Six Poems



off to my right
behind some nettles
under two thick trees
in the shadows cast by them
she suddenly appeared
and as to no one in particular
she said

I am a ghost
and not at the moment
in any way scary
a ghost is not necessarily frightening
(not in appearance at least)
take me
(not like that
 that would turn out awkward)
my appearance is that
of a naked and shapely young
woman with auburn hair
(on my head and
 there as well)

I could should I wish
at any time and instantly
change my appearance to that
of some horrid old hag
clad in sordid rags
to match my hair-style
but I won't

you on the other hand
said she as to no one in particular
once time will have done
with changing your appearance
will have no choice but
to stick with that

now that
she said
is what I would call

the trees and I stayed
where they were
and so did the nettles and the shadows
suddenly just disappeared


'firing lines'

synaptic configuration
dimensional response
to integrated external stimulation
in another word
she mused
biochemical hordes doing all
the hiring and the firing
so to speak
of what gets set in motion
when I put this
my right nipple
into your ear
and of all the room for thought
while we wait out the years
until age will allow me
to simultaneously insert my left nipple
into the other ear
in both ears and out no other
purpose there is none
random firing of synapses


'easy chair'

the old are different
from their younger selves
so that one old
may even when entirely sober
fall asleep in a chair
I did
what woke me was my shirt's collar
getting tugged
my head fell forward
when I raised it my eyes were open
facing me stood a smiling young woman
wearing a summer dress
she explained that she had come upon
me asleep in a chair
my curled hands' palms up as if in prayer
relaxing in my lap
she noticed that my fingernails
were clean (unusual for a man's)
and that an impulse had led her
to gently lift one of my hands
with one of her own
while with the other
lifting her skirt
(under which she was not in the habit
 of wearing underwear)
she described how slowly and carefully
(so as not to disturb me)
she had inserted one of my middle fingers
into herself while she watched my eyelids
seeing Rapid Eye Movement and concluding
that I must be dreaming
she wondered and wanted to know
how her gentle interference
had influenced my dreams

because I had been dreaming
of sitting under a sunny sky
when a bitch sauntered up to me
and licked my hand
I laughed

she slapped me then
and I woke up
the room was familiar
and so was the chair
and I was the only one there

the scent emanating from a middle finger
posed a fadingly moist riddle



the trees around are not about
to sail away
their leafy sails becalmed

all the way up to lofty crowds
much higher
wind-crawl from the West
is herding clouds gradually thickening
sunny side up
darkening shades of grey
their hazy keels
as forecast a summer's storm
must be brewing
a simmer of thunder towards the evening
and flashing without associations
of indiscretions of the flesh

windows hereabouts tend to be small
and wooden shutters will pretend
to shield the inside from lightning
and those who chance to be outside
from flashes of middle-aged nakedness
behind panes of glass
in frames of wood


'chou fleur la Mt Everest'

the scent of cauliflower cooking
of Brussels sprouts on the boil
such are the harsher facts of food

at half a mile above sea level
raising a stink in such a way
will take considerably longer
than where below is just above the water
because that liquid under lower
air pressure will reach the boiling-point
with less input of heat
than it will where under sea level
atmospheric pressure

adventurous annals so far
have failed to provide salient details
of the olfactory dimensions
involved in preparing steaming cabbage
dishes in support of conquest
of the world's highest peak

may these lines inspire
digestive heroism


'a case of the humps'

according to Jeanine
aged and Parisian
dying is a matter of when
where and how
a statement associating her
with a camel in Mexico

the animal figures
among the attractions
of a so-called park
of such day-trippers' delights
as thought up and exploited
by an American entrepreneur
who as reported in a French
regional newspaper (La Montagne)
came to an untimely end
when first bitten (feet
 and shoulders) by the camel
aforementioned after which
the animal went on to trample
him and adding insult to injury
that camel sat on that American
entrepreneur in Mexico
his demise a fine example
of when where and how
even if it did not get pride
of place in a mid-October
issue of La Montagne and
even if it never mentioned
aged and Parisian Jeanine

Levi Wagenmaker

If you have any comments on these poems,  Levi Wagenmaker would be pleased to hear from you.