Tuesday, June 23, 2009


There are those
who always seem
to be happy; never knowing
accidents of any kind.
They have been winners
at genetic roulette, and
hardly ate a bone cooked
more than once. Usually
they smile, if not laugh
at the postman’s legs,
on the street, in supermarkets
only if in the company of others.
Perhaps they were prepared well
for life’s catastrophes, or have a faith
that transcends them. I’ve never seen them
in clinics, in gin
or Medicaid mills,
foraging for food
thrown out, for money disappeared
from a hole in the pocket
or head; stolen
without warning
or retribution.
Usually these aren’t the ones whose bodies are at war
against themselves: acne, tumors, diverticulitis,
dementia, boils, warts, madness; their lives aren’t waged
against landlords, and bosses, and politicians
who possess the trait that all men of power do: indifference.

I’ve not drank, nor written a poem, in ten years.
I’ve not been missed. The word has mattered
to those that own the presses. Tribal chiefs
and The Medicis have understood this well. Those writing
control only their demons; they only matter
if lucky, as commodity.

I’ve just come from the supermarket. I do not need
a basket. They watch me, as I watch them.
I saw a couple holding hands as they debated
salsa: too hot for him, too mild for her.
He whispered something in her ear, and they laughed.
She leaned in closer, and rested her head
on his shoulder. I moved

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 1995

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