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Farrell Dyde
D  A  N  C  E    T  H  E  A  T  R  E
        • Portfolio 2009
          A Small Selection of Poems
        • The Fun is Just Beginning

          Might as well relax
          because the world
          has become undone.

          Regis Philbin and Kelly
          fight on the telly --
          the smelly under belly
          of toxic assets in zombie banks --
          Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson,
          Oprah and Britney Spears
          defending their weight gains
          as Lindsay Lohan defends her loses
          as adroitly as General Motors
          “does in” Detroit.

          We must anoint ourselves
          our own bosses,
          fly on private jets
          and secure
          necessary fame
          on the back page of the tabloids
          to feed the fast food dreams
          of the hoi polloi.

          So, relax. Take a vicodin.
          Swim some laps
          and take a hit from your bong.
          Its OK. Really.
          We’re all sinners singing
          the same Youtube song.
          Blondes smiling from the cover
          of every magazine firing shrapnel
          killing the innocent in all of us.
          As tanks move from Iraq
          to Afghanistan.

           -- the man on the street
          so slim, so metro sexual
          in sleek monochromatic Calvin Kleins --
          as big bail outs
          a new design for living.
          Who cares? Its all about sex anyway.

          So, relax.
          It will be OK.
          Just save your money
          for yesterday
          because tomorrow
          may never come.

          The world has become undone
          and the fun is just beginning.

          A One Way Conversation with the Arbiter of Taste

          James, if you please, show the gentleman in
          For he obviously wants something.
          I must at least give him
          the opportunity to hear what I have to say.
          Good day, sir. Please do sit down.

          Now, Sir, I have read your materials
          And I must say that the problem, Sir
          Is that you have no royalty in your blood.

          Your face has that ruddy
          Tragic mask of the perpetual

          That very coarseness of ambition
          So characteristic of most Americans,
          That people of my birth
          Find so distasteful.

          Your vulgarity offends me.
          I have empathy for the plight
          That one faces in your position.
          But, I have no patience
          For your beggarly face
          So, lace Irish red
          Or for your inherent dread
          Of anything resembling hard work.

          We of my class
          Did not achieve this status
          Merely through grace.
          It took almost Machiavellian
          Strategies to overcome obstacles
          That would have made you
          Wet your pants at the mere mention
          Of but one.
          You are the son
          Of illiterates
          And while you have attended
          To your reading
          There is no possible way
          That you can overcome
          Your lack of breeding.

          Therefore, do not visit me again.
          Do not request support
          For artistic activities
          That have no art
          Nor for art that has no heart.

          Your empty gestures
          Upon the canvas –
          Your feeble movements
          Upon the stage –
          Your forced motifs
          In the rock based classical music
          You purportedly compose –
          Your vacuous music videos –
          The way you shake your ass –
          Oh, lord, I could go on.
          But, please do forgive me
          If I now request that you leave
          My presence once and for all.

          You are an unfortunate fellow.
          I value kindness above all,
          But I do not suffer fools gladly.
          And my tolerance for bad art
          Is null.

          Your own work does not offend me -
          It merely bores me
          And that is the greater offence.

          So, please sir, take your leave.
          Or, I shall have you removed
          By James henceforth.

          Good day, Sir.
          I bid you well –
          Even as I secretly wish
          That you and all your kind
          Would rot in hell.

          James, please come into the room!

          Be gone, sir from my sight.
          Yes, now. Be gone.
          Be gone. Be gone. Be gone.

          Now, James, could you remind me please
          About what my wife told me about
          Our dinner plans for this evening?

          Avocado Mon Ami

          What does a Hass Avocado
          do at night?
          Does it seek refuge
          in some dark
          refrigerated space?
          Or does it reside in its
          crowded store display
          to soften in spite of its
          tenuous grasp upon life?

          When still dark and hard
          held in the palm of the hand
          it reminds one of a grenade --
          Iwo Jima, WWII,
          the Greatest Generation
          and Frank Sinatra
          singing at the Paramount --
          a knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork --
          that’s New York.

          Or is it mashed like Mexico
          into green mush
          with Tabasco sauce and salsa
          dancing a meringue
          in the grocery store aisles
          while rats lurk about
          seeking more pungent odors?

          Mine sits simply
          on my table top
          ripening in the scintillating
          Texas summer sun
          shining through my kitchen window.

          When it is ready
          I will eat it with delight --
          peeled, sliced and drenched
          in olive oil alongside
          a good French bread,
          Provolone cheese
          and Law & Order on TV
          be it day or night.

          Silent Bells

          In the night wind
          there are not so distant bells
          alarming one
          to a presence
          that just eludes a sense
          of normal hearing --
          a quiet so profound
          as to be beyond silence.

          A mind at peace --
          a being whole,
          complete attention focused
          in great effort to hear
          the echo of those bells
          that rhyme and resonate with each other
          leaving harmony
          in place of a discord --

          where anxious desire
          rode hard like the devil
          beating his horse --
          riding, riding, riding
          toward something
          that could never be reached
          and the clatter of hooves
          made true hearing
          all but impossible.

          Gently Down the Stream

          Needing affection
          they move
          close to me
          seeking my
          sympathetic body warmth.

          I am perplexed
          by the action
          but, give way
          needing the self same
          thing myself.

          Then, they retreat
          once more
          into cold indifference --
          needs met
          now desiring more than God
          to be independent,
          no strings attached, God forbid.

          I bid the warm moment
          adieu --
          knowing that I myself
          seek no attachment
          other than that momentary
          affirmation of self
          that assures me
          that I do indeed exist.

          And so it goes on
          day to day
          the inward and the outward
          taking of breath --
          first hot, then cold --
          seeking, then not seeking,
          knowing, then not knowing.

          Unlearning as we go
          merrily, merrily
          gently down the stream
          and deeper and deeper
          into a dream
          we have never
          dreamed before.

          Partners in the Losers Hall of Fame

          we were for a time
          attached to the same tether –
          not quite like Picasso and Braque
          more like Martin & Lewis --
          or descending even further
          into the treasure trove
          of great allegiances --
          the leather-loving Sigfried & Roy.

          The alloy of our attachment
          not sexual or artistic
          but simply practical
          combined with a mutual need
          to allay a total descent
          into madness, poverty and a desire
          to let loose of the rope
          of life completely.

          Such was our fate together.
          And I must say, we made
          the best of it – much like
          Laurel & Hardy --
          loving yet antagonistic
          and resisting homosexual allusions
          yet, not even so successful
          as a team as Abbott & Costello
          nor as graceful as Adele
          & Fred Astaire.

          Our ascent up the Stairway to Paradise
          blocked by a persistent
          attachment to failure and the
          enjoyment of the low life
          pleasures associated with
          drink, drugs and casual sex
          with whomever happened to
          be walking our way that day.

          Our lives hexed by demons
          passed on by parents --
          their own unions incomplete --
          their own hopes and wants
          And so you and I smoke
          our blunts and drink
          stiff alcohol
          in the hope that our innards
          will land forever intermingled
          and pickled in formaldehyde
          to reside to the end of time
          in the Loser’s Hall of Fame.

          The Muse

          I have observed with great
          your various get-ups and guises.
          I have watched with some
          the myriad variations upon your
          hair –
          first, raven black, then brown,
          then red –
          now long, now short, then
          in between.
          Your jeans always tight,
          but in various lengths
          from long to Capri to short -
          low slung or riding high.
          I have even had the bright
          of seeing you hiding
          in an elegant dress or two -
          an enchanting design – the dress -
          and one that most becomes you.

          I have been a willing
          to your constant blather
          about this or that fad diet –
          your determination to quit smoking -
          your on and off the wagon
          declarations of a new sobriety.
          Yet, you remain the soubrette -
          the frivolous coquette -
          the perpetual ingénue
          and I am more charmed
          than alarmed
          by your continual experimentation
          with your outward appearance
          grandly coupled with your deepening
          of the glorious creature within.

          It would be a sin
          not to care for you
          but just a little.
          The trick of course
          is not to fall in love
          for that might provide
          occasion for remorse -
          you being more a source of inspiration than any
          palpable thing.

          Still, I am tempted to
          have a fling –
          if only out of some great
          curiosity to come in close
          contact with that
          special kind of  madness
          that I know I could
          only experience with you.

          The Cad

          He sat at the bar sipping
          a Miller Lite out of a brown bottle
          eating a sliced avocado
          drenched in olive oil on a bone china plate.

          He looked quite elegant
          in a sharp slate gray shark skin suit,
          crisp white shirt
          and gray silk tie with subtly placed
          roses to add a bit of color to the scheme.

          He seemed all of a piece
          and quite at ease
          in the middle of a sunny, brisk
          spring afternoon.

          Few could have guessed that
          he had no real occupation
          and that he lived a sycophantic
          kind of leech-like existence
          living off the wealth of ladies
          who had far too much leisure time
          and husbands who were far too busy
          making money to pay them much
          attention or any real mind.

          He had that air about him
          that stirred both envy and contempt.
          Just looking at him made one feel
          slimy and unkempt
          and yet somehow superior.

          One needed to cast him
          in an inferior role
          because he threatened one’s
          very tenuous grasp – one’s control --
          over the very thin strands
          that held a badly frayed life together.

          What, after all, was I doing there
          in the middle of a workday afternoon?
          Why was I not at the office?
          What was becoming of me?

          This man sitting there --
          so obviously enjoying himself
          shook me to the very foundation
          of my nouveau puritanical, politically correct
          so-called liberal upright American belief
          that there was something evil
          about drinking a beer
          and having a bit of fun
          in the middle of the fucking afternoon
          for God’s sake.

          Was I losing my grip?
          What would my wife say?
          What would my children think?
          What if I stumbled home at 10 PM
          that evening stinking of beer
          and cigarettes and the foul scent
          of some sleazy trollop
          that I had picked up and fucked
          in some slimy motel
          just before slinking home like some criminal?

          These thoughts crossed my mind
          just as the man in the gray suit
          took his last bite of avocado --
          his last sip of beer
          and walked out of the bar
          looking quite happy and content.

          I ordered a double Martini,
          lit up a Camel cigarette
          and winked at the barmaid.
          We knew what he was up to –
          we knew where he was going --
          the cad.

          The Most Deserving of All

          Above all
          inspiration is required --
          that daily desire
          to place bed warmed feet
          upon a cold floor in morning
          to arise
          and once more light
          that inner fire
          that will carry us
          through to that next moment
          of darkness --
          the retreat from a world
          that often seems to stand
          against us –
          the clamor of empty voices
          rising in a chorus of protest --
          each one of those cries escaping
          from a similar bed
          with similar desires
          each one shouting to be heard
          above the herd.

          And all are deserving.
          But, for the sake of sanity,
          each one of us must consider
          to be
          the most deserving of all.

          Mother and Son

          We’re all dancing
          on the edge of a dime.
          And in times
          of near disaster
          nothing defines the meaning
          of life
          more clearly
          than a beautiful mother and son --
          the perpetuation of good
          things done in past
          and hopefully future --
          even as we become undone
          by lacking leaders
          we can resist receding
          into despair
          knowing that
          that kind of love
          still exists.


          Old Cat Eyes

          An old Tomcat
          marbles high and low
          still intact,
          secure as I saunter in --
          no cataracts --
          no fear of heart attack --
          the scent of her
          lingers on the stoop
          of the back door --
          her early slink a shadow still there.

          I, seeking to suck the sweets
          of sweet philosophy
          and to suckle the sacks
          that have the potential
          to provide a milky beverage --
          my main leverage a knowledge
          gained from years of catting around.

          Leavened by the wisdom
          of graying whiskers
          avoiding the whispers
          of well meaning friends
          who envy my still sleek mane
          and ability to tame
          the female of the species --
          make her purr in the presence
          of my lion-like liquid tongue
          and steely leer
          that never fails to get
          the cat’s meow
          and have her feline fur
          tickling my genitals
          as I lock her cat eyes in mine.

          Two to Four

          From two to four
          I am yours.
          My being absorbs
          every tender thing
          you do.

          The sound of your voice --
          whether loud or soft --
          never escapes my ear.

          The small movements
          of your hands – so distinct –
          in motions of distress
          and happiness
          mirror quite admirably
          the minute palpitations
          of that large pumping
          ventricle so close
          to my heart.

          Your eyes
          quite remarkable
          on their own – enhanced
          by black mascara expertly applied
          lend mystery
          to your down to earth
          almost plain Jane practicality.

          I can hear your voice
          telling me what to do
          and me willing
          to do your bidding --
          but only from two to four.

          Because while I
          adore you
          and make myself
          your prisoner
          for a short time --
          my quest for the sublime,
          the ineffable, the unknowable --
          make me far too mercurial
          for a woman such as yourself.

          Still, it contents me
          greatly and gives me
          hope and a sense
          of lost desire
          to find you here alone
          at this hour
          and know that I can have
          you and love you
          even if
          it is only
          from two to four.

          The Most Terrifying Thing of All

          Now, would perhaps
          be a good time
          to tell you
          that I love you.

          Do I love you
          as a father might
          love a daughter?

          Do I love you
          as a lover loves
          a lover?

          Do I love you
          as a son loves
          his mother?

          I say yes
          to all these questions
          because in you
          I see all things.

          I see myself.
          I see my failings.
          I see my success.
          I see the very long
          and hard hill I have climbed
          to reach this place
          where I can love you
          and expect nothing in return.

          Oh, there have been days
          when I have been hurt
          by your indifference.
          I have returned that indifference
          with my own – or maybe
          I started it.

          There have been times
          of intense dislike --
          a desire to dismiss you
          as just another
          self-centered little beast --

          so arrogant, so knowing,
          so ignorant of anything
          outside your busy little tribe –
          those whom you emulate
          and pretend to be one of –
          even as you stand alone.

          I have dissected
          bisected, destroyed
          and put you back
          together again.
          Yet, you remain
          a puzzle –

          an amazing jumble
          of pieces and parts
          that don’t add up.

          I have wanted to
          walk away.
          I have tried.
          Yet, some unknown force

          brings me back
          and ties me to you.

          My fascination
          with your face --
          my attention
          to every gesture
          you make --
          every small fluctuation
          of your weight.

          I have tried to penetrate
          your eyes
          to see if for one
          brief moment you will
          look directly into mine
          as if to say
          “I love you.”

          I have waited
          and now the moment
          has come --
          not for you to love me
          but, for me
          to simply say
          I give up.
          I give in.
          I love you.

          And I know
          in every fiber of my being
          that the love I feel
          is not a sin
          but, a supreme joy
          and that I
          am not just a boy
          who loves a girl.

          But, a man
          who loves a woman
          and that woman
          is you.
          I love you.
          And that is
          the most terrifying thing of all.


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