Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sitting in a Ford Taurus by Hank Kalet

Sitting in a Ford Taurus
by Hank Kalet

I knew he slept in his car
from the clothes balled up
in the back seat, from
the blear in his eye,
and the way his black hair
snarled in an awkward
cowlick. Eating breakfast
with a plastic spoon
from a can of meat stew,
sitting in the front seat
of a banged-up Ford with
no front bumper and a
phone book beside him
on the seat, watching people
through dirty windshield
rush in and out of the bagel shop,
isolated and alone,
his eye catching mine
as the bells jangle
on the glass door behind me
as I leave with bagel in
brown bag and black coffee
in hand, and I wonder
what's running through his mind
watching the unbroken flow
of workers passing through
this door like electricity
through a circuit as he sits
eating cold stew in a car
in a strip-mall parking lot
on a day when rain is forecast
and political speeches
lead the paper rolled beneath my arm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pen and Ink by Hank Kalet

Pen and Ink
Hank Kalet

If I were to draw you
in black pen,
I'd use all curving lines
and trace them with my tongue....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vacant Windows by Hank Kalet

This is brand new.

Vacant Windows
Hank Kalet

"The city itself
is ruined"

and the photos
in pixilated color

on the front pages
of the papers

at the Wawa
bear out the words

of the refugee
in Tskinvali

that I read in
The Chronicle

on a Wednesday
when Michael Phelps

won his fifth
gold medal

and the feds issued
retail stats

that put in numbers
what we all know

all too well,
that our pockets

are as empty
as Mother Hubbard's

bare cupboard,
though the bills

keep arriving
with the frequency

of nightfall
or the trashmen

on Wednesdays.
Broken buildings,

the rubble
in the street,

it’s like I’ve seen
these pictures before,

the smoke billowing
upward from blackened

apartments, upper stories
bombed out and burned,

blacker than the Black Sea,
vacant windows like

the eyes of the dead
before the pennies

are placed to pay
Charon, before

the ferry comes, before
the coffin lid’s secured.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Morning Fragment by Hank Kalet

Morning Fragment
Hank Kalet

large bees hover
in humid August air

no breeze, drops left
from last night's rain

on hasta lily's
waxy green leaves