Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Sitting in my dentist's office
for new choppers I have time
to kill; I'm excellent
at that after all
the practice I've had.
Though now,
I must say,
"time" is paying
me back. Unfortunately,
for him,
there's less and less
of me to kill.
the sonofabith
still finds
more of me
to work with.

I've brought a book,
but my concentration
is not there
for that.
The dentist
& dentist offices
freak me out--too much
real pain
too much

I look out
the square pane
of glass
on the 16th floor
overlooking what
used to be
the garment district
in New York City.
I can see ten
water towers on top
of fifty buildings,
a shadow of a big sign
for Max the Furrier,
no better quality,
no better price, the red bricks
smeared with black city grime
supporting massive air-conditioning units
cooling bleached blondes
dancing on the poles below.
The sidewalk gum
that sticks to my shoe's soul
tells me more
than all the coral reefs
and rain forests.
The Aborigines
and Yanomami
would interest me
if I were Levi-Straus,
but I'm not.
I've watched Jewish
& Italian families
break bread
on Sundays
& knew
the quiet hatred
hardening between
the slices.
It told me more
than The Grand Canyon
& polar icecaps
& a million books
on psychology,
& making yourself

I was lucky
to find a decent
dentist who takes
Medicaid after my denture
Hell, I wore the damn thing
for fifteen years. I'm like that
with most of my stuff. My underwear
has to turn into spores
before I let it blow away.
My fellow patients
are all on the dole
as well.
We're all comfortable
with the game: I'll take
as much as I can; my dentist
will bill for as much as he can;
his landlord will get as much as he can.
What else can you possibly learn
from nature?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

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