A LOYAL MENTEE THANKS HIS 3 MENTORS
Life is short.
The craft so long to learn.
Who taught him how to live—
the 2 Henrys— Miller and Thoreau,
and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, all advised:
See and hear everything new
as if you were a traveler from a distant star.
Brace yourself for falling in love,
the way a good horse opens its mouth
at the sight of the bit.
Only take a bus marked Not in Service.
Don’t be afraid to wear a sheepish grin.
Always fly one flag at half mast
for every loved one you lost.
Be kind to everyone you meet,
but reserve your deepest compassion
for painters who can only paint
with a brush between their teeth.
Never forget the taste of the crunch
of a Macoun apple on an October morning.
Avoid the snarling coyotes of the world,
they all reek of halitosis.
Apply for a job that doesn’t feel like work,
and then work as hard as you can.
Let nature take its course.
A LIVE MONITORING OF PASSERSBY ON GEARY BOULEVARD
Two men cling to each other madly in love.
Older man talks—younger one laughs.
Both adorned with silver crosses
glinting in rays of morning sunlight.
Could they be priests in civvies?
The laughing man suddenly weeps,
pleading, I’m unworthy of your love!