Friday, September 19, 2014


you sly old
He'd be 95
though always
going on 15.
I sound like him,
look like him and,
if the truth be known,
wanted to, and acted like,
I was him
no matter
how far
I wanted to get away
from him,
but never did.
He'll be happy
to know how strong
his genes were
while his presence
was even larger,
not to mention

People knew me
by my voice &
my looks: twins,
they said,
we could
have been.
I had the same love
of women, fast cars
& music
as he did;
loved to laugh
in those dark spaces;
manipulative, selfish,
naive and stupid. I got
his fears, too; his blind
spots and gravitated
to a love
of symbols, fools

I speak to those ninety
year olds now who fought
Hitler & Tojo
on Normandy and the Pacific.
I hear about the Philippines,
Okinawa, and Scofield barracks,
and hear once again
how he bluffed
the other gamblers
out of thousands
in 5 card poker games.
I was the only one
among my peers
who wanted to serve
but couldn't
and pretended
I was lucky.

I only remember
him fighting fat
all his life:
grapefruit diets,
booze diets,
Pritikin, Weight Watchers,
Over Eaters Anonymous,
where he told me
he did the 12 Steps
in a week and a half
and now had "sponsees;"
The Duke fat farm
who threw him out
for smuggling ice cream
through open windows
at night,
or tearing I.V.'s
from his arm because
his store needed to be opened
the next morning
for a family who,
he thought,
needed him
more than what
was good
for them.

I stand here now
wearing my ol' man's watch,
much too big
for my wrist, waiting
to die.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

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