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Max Reif

Vision: 'freedom

'Freedom':
an obese woman
at the register,
buying cigarettes
and candy bars.

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A Question in Rhyme

An obese young woman, dressed
as the thin girl she wants to be

leaves me wondering
about the fit
of my own
identity.

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Found Poem: Today's Headlines from YAHOO News

Rescuers race to free trapped submarine,
Space shuttle undocks, heads for home,
Passenger jet goes down in sea off Sicily,
Hiroshima marks atomic bomb anniversary,
British government defends crackdown plan,
Typhoon batters China,1.24 million evacuated,
Mel Gibson asked to stage Christ's crucifixion.

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Wild Turkeys on the Road Near Home

Tribal elders in their feathered garb
pow-wow in the middle of the road.
Bright red wattles shake
from bright blue faces

(reminding me of
rabid football fans) .

Smiling drivers stop,
though with a slight discomfort

to see something so ancient
that Johnny-come-lately, reason,
makes no sense of it at all.

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Portrait: Two Men

The two men
walk together like overgrown boys,
a jaunty humor jingling between them.

One of them dwarfs the other.
The smaller, compact man
carries a rolled up blueprint
under his arm.
The other is big and athletic.

Are they brothers?
The are like octaves of the same song,
point counterpoint, music
walking nonchalantly along.

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Randall Jarrell

This poet who could write
with voice of child, drawn
from eyes whose spark
had never dimmed

walked into traffic at 51
to meet a solid, metal fate,

but the words of the wonderchild
still live in the books on library shelves,
need only a reader's
glance to ignite,
and what I want to know is

why fate had to be so solid
as it barrelled its say
to lay him low?

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Capitulation

I've resisted the intrusion
of technology into my life —
more than some,
not as much as others,

but this morning,
getting out of my car

while juggling a cellphone,
a digital camera
and a new, stiletto car key,

as another, dead cellphone
bulged against my pocket

and my laptop weighed me down
in the bag hanging
from my shoulder,

I realized that I've lost.

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Infusion

I weep at the purity of a little girl
carrying a cup of hot chocolate
carefully across the room.

Her face becomes the face
of all the children I have known.

You need not despair, Humanity.
We speak of making
the world safe for children,
but it is children
who make the world safe for us,

their infusion of innocence
ever freshening our world,

saving it
from the senility and stagnation
of our dark dreams.

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As My Recovery Progresses

A little while ago
I came down to the computer
in the early morning light,
strong as a lumberjack
in a forest of redwoods,

read a few poems,
and in the shadow
of my conscious mind
felt the seeds
of something great
beginning to sprout.

Now, after answering
a little correspondence,
I already feel the need
to go back to bed,
and I'm fumbling
through these papers
on my desk

[...] Read more

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Picture of Confidence

In Bermuda
shorts on a cold morning
he wheeled his shopping cart,
a little recklessly,
up to the side
door of the cafe',

pulled out a stainless
steel, covered mug
and splashed the steaming, old
coffee into the gutter,

then came in for a refill.
Long, straight hair shining,
a smile lit his face
as if all of us
warm, secure people
should envy him.

He came out of nowhere,

[...] Read more

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