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Advisement

Ron Charach
From:   Dungenessque. Signature Editions, 2001


Declining to do her yoga stretches in the nude
(what would be served, but an audience
and a draft wafting around loose baseboards)
she taunts:
If you need excitement,
put animals into your poems.

Last night I wanted her.
But I'll do anything to avoid pleading.
I opened a novel. Though I'm not content to sniff
at the base of artificial rocks and trees
for cleverness, I'm willing to suck
the marrow from every word.

These days, coffee goes straight for my heart,
my thighs grow thinner,
and no escape route on the horizon.
I pine for my former five/fifty mile,
wood chips on the secluded track
smelling of wet dog
[now that my sheltie, with malformed hip,
no longer runs like the wind.]
I mourn thick tomes unopened on bookshelves
whose dust has the feel of hypocrisy.

When I visit the emeritus rabbi's fabled library,
floor-to-ceiling, on rollers, his walls of antique books
like tidal waves could crush the senior reader,
were it not for a board he inserts to part them.
He holds up pages from ancient manuscripts,
books on alchemy and witchcraft,
Malleus Maleficarum,
the sciences of their day.

Let me show you also, he adds,
my brother Maurice's works,
etchings, oils, watercolours, sculptures in stone . . .
Maurice is very ill now, but once
he had a true genius for capturing birds.
If you too crave excitement,
have you considered placing
birds in your vers libre?



Ron Charach's works copyright © to the author.


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