[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

to watch fish in a clean tank is comforting
in line at a bank I usually fume
sign these three forms and we'll release dollars to you
but in the pet store
I watch fish
stay calm
now I have the take-home form

old jazz
I can listen to a melody
and its variations
wiggling like tails
instruments going, perfect swimmers
this minute one way, the next a stunt
and I'm easy as a chair
no pain anywhere
but loose contemporary jagged crabs
and it's me and the postal workers
running for the armory

my idea of hell is when folk clap before anyone plays a note

I thought the algae-eater died
like Raymond Carver, he bumped into something
and fell over
but I see he's got that man's second wind
the sucker's moving
out of school
an amazing quick star
the opposite of elegant

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon
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