Four Scenes From A Weekend

Revised from its initial publication in 2014.

Originally, this was three separate poems written over the years 1976-1980.  Found in my ancient archives from that period.

I was a kid then, a teenager, and my reach was often far greater than my grasp.  I had an essay and a whole theory about what I was trying to do with poetry that when I read it now (of COURSE I kept it!) makes me giggle and blush.  But I was aiming at something, something larger than the individual Poem, even back then.  

Didn’t have the life experience or the skill back then to make it work.  Not sure I do now either, of course, but I am far more clear on my small abilities and my large ambitions than I once was, so…let’s say I think it’s worth a try.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1.
Overheard from a dusk-dimmed driveway:

“Basketball’s simple — 
you take the ball,
you dribble it,
then you 
shoot…”

Father, uncle or big brother speaking.
There was no second voice.
After that, the flat notes,
rhythm of rubber on asphalt.

2.
Two worn men on the sidewalk ahead of me.

One says, “Every time I get my check
I try to hold on to the money.
They rob me at the bank
so I keep it all at home
but they rob me at home
but now I got them all fooled — 
I give all my money 
to the man behind the counter
at the liquor store.” 

His companion howls 
and slaps him
on his age-sloped back.

3.
On the bus
another old man, taller than I
by a head and a half, lighter than I 
by a body and a half,

muttering
again and again,
“…had a big 
fat fat 
fat fat 
fat fat 
wife, seven kids, forty years, 
I’d know her face now I think
but not her name…”

4.
By myself, in bed alone,
 
diving into sleep, into a prayer

that I never forget
the innumerable ways 
to get from one end of the court 
to the other;

that I never 
scorn a journey
for where it ends.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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