Two Poems

by Jeffrey Burghauser (September 2020)


Autoportrait sans indulgence, Guy de Montlaur, 1969
 
 
My Psychiatrist
 
Piled like a rotting toad  
At her desk, a sleepy pride
Rippled through her face’s load.
Something seething in the snide,
Trampled glimmer of her stare
Intimated that my fair
Application was denied. 
 
My prescription refills re-
New my license to remain
And maintain residency
In the Nation of the Sane—
Over there I have a life,
A vocation, kids & wife
I would like to see again.
 
Documents are no more un-               
Certain than the borders they             
Let you cross, or than that ton
Of diluted blue & grey
Scattered through the never-rent,       
Desolated firmament—  
Night that plays the host to Day.
 
Be aware that only His
Voice persuades Earth to exist.
But the Good (by nature) is
Frangible, remission-kissed,
Coy, contingent, feminine,       
Or (in other words) the in-                 
Verse of my psychiatrist.
                  
 
On a Certain Clergyman
 
Among those men entitled to my gratitude
Is one who’s sickened by the man I have become.
His disappointment isn’t baselessly accrued,
 
But, nor is my intent to flatter someone who’d
Regarded me deserving. Therefore, he is plumb
Among those men entitled to my gratitude.
 
The banquet he dispensed acutely crooned with food—
Expensive food that left my mouth profoundly numb.
His disappointment isn’t baselessly accrued.
 
Because the man imagined me a many-clued
Equation orderly enough to have a sum,
He’s doubtlessly entitled to my gratitude.
 
His father-fondness lost me as a sunset-hued
Guitar lets leak away a plucked note, and is dumb.
His disappointment isn’t baselessly accrued.
 
He loved me. My diminished, retrospective mood
Affirms that love is necessary as a thumb.
Among those men entitled to my gratitude
Is one whose rancor isn’t baselessly accrued.
 
 
 

__________________________________
Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey's book-length collections are available on Amazon, and his website is www.jeffreyburghauser.com.

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Comments
1 Sep 2020
Send an emailCarl Nelson
Lord, forgive me, but I enjoy poems where things aren't going so well.


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