Raimondo: Snapshots of My Friend Ray

My wife introduced us
and he asked, ‘do you do lunch?’
We were old when we met
told our stories through 500 lunches,
I heard about the children he read to,
trips to Operas in New York and Santa Fe,
light poetry and slow retired pleasures.

He had style, an LL Bean credit card
American fashion style – urbane, cultured –
listening to opera and jazz, ( reclining in his Eames chair).
He was our editor and publisher of poems, –
and told tales of Scholastic Mag., (interviewing Gore Vidal),
and of his Ford Foundation Follies.

But now, retired, he longed for Italy —
devouribg Italian detective stories
(Donna Leon, Camillarie, Montelbano) in winter,
and rented apartments in Rome and Florence,
sharing them with friends, almost every year.

In Rome we  negotiated the Metropolitaneo
bused from Fermata to Fermata –
dinned at Fabricios Trattoria –
and sought  great paintings leisurely,
So,     After the glories of the Chiggi Chapel,
talking lightly of Caravaggio,
while strolling along the Via Barbuino
Raimondo found the perfect Panama hat
a grace a gentleman would divinely wear
in the evening passeggiata through Trastevere
to admire all the gorgeous Roman women on display.

Kent Bowker    12/28/11

Of ‘Three Quarks for Muster Mark’

(from Finnegans Wake, James Joyce)

Behold, the Big Bang Creation.
Behind opaque ion veils, dancing
strings curled in an uncertain eleven dimensions,
unobservable, squished up, tumbling
together, then inflating, become a fiery froth
free of the churning unknowable past
rushing  into the infinite void,
time begins and in dimensions three,
the great Higgs, the Quarks with Gluons galore
and all other kinds of massy gore appear:
Fermi-onic nucleons, Hydronic  mesons, all flavors, and chromaticities;
wild clusters of Anyions  (Charmed or Strange) and all the anti players.

The Universe happens then, in a swosh.
Tiny Leptons rushing from Fermions
at light speed, Tachyons grandly push
even faster, never seen again, while Bosons
so slow, coalesce into infinite galaxies
with black holes, and WIMPS  holding  together
all the heaven’s time lines, all our felicities
expanding through warped geodesics for ever.

Kent Bowker                11 December 2011

Oh, What do you do with this?

(  An apology for a quick and ill-considered assignment based on the declaration,
’We’re here to look at your sprinkler head’ )

Oh dance the interrupt polka,
the morning news with Mars bars,
motor cars, coffee with mocha.
The sprinkler man has come
to look for drips,
and bad trips, stimulating
an irreverence for authority,
and just about everything
else, especially  inferiority
to ‘Special K’ Menshes
crunching with wrenches
whence a drip.

‘We’ve come here, madam, to see’
algorithymically shattering our privacy
our secluded meditations
our secret inclinations
shattered, dispersed,
splattered and revealed,
torn, as might a spider web collapse
into a face with sticky bug cases,
our thoughts are disordered,
like commercials screwing up love scenes,
coitus interruptus redux.

The spider in the closet is aghast
her web is ruined, splattered alas
entwined in a pushy inspectors face.

Must we be open to intrusion,
listen to amplified Listerine ads,
lipstick patina, M and M’s prancing,
watch murders and bouncy babies hands
selling watch bands,
allow cameras to watch us,
cell phones to track us?
Polled and monitored
us delegated consumers
bandied about by rumors
of terrorists, or enormous debts
hide in our homy castles.
To avoid all the hassle.
must we grow beards;
hairy privacy shields?
Dear spider, interrupted,
web demolished,  come back
build again in your darkness,
we’re out here where sprinklers drip
inviting inspections
uniformed inspectors
any time they wish.

Kent Bowker   Nov 23 2011