“Jeff found scuff marks on the windowsill.”

“Yes, from your shoes.”

“I wasn’t wearing shoes.”

“You weren’t?”

“No. I was in my stockinged feet. Cassidy, someone climbed in that window before I fell out of it.”

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Running of the Bulls

She had watched the men running

At Pamplona

She had pursed her lips at their

Palpable fear

Women frown at the sexual contradiction, the beast chasing the man

At least the ones who are tired of sex.


Those who still warm to a touch on a nipple


And accept both the beast and the man.


Zelda took a shower in the middle of the afternoon

She had dreamed of making love in the heat behind the shades

Of a fan-driven hotel in Merida.

It was only a dream.

Even so, trickles of sweat formed between her thighs and at the small of her back as she

Remembered the dream


She ordered a martini and took it to the balcony

To watch the bulls.

Zelda not on the highway

She remembers

Slow dancing before the mirror in her


She holds the negligee before her like a shield

That will protect her from the truth.


She was in a room

In a pension and

Her lover

Had faded off like the line in a divided highway

At night

As the

Battery died.


No need to put the negligee on

No one there

From the Grave, or: Too many zombies

Pop pop

Little popping sounds of  rain on my windowsill

Keep me company

Along with Otis.


Otis takes care of me when Zelda is away.

His face is very demonstrative

When I’m being stupid his mouth turns down and his eyes are cold

When I use my brain to better advantage he grins

It took me ages to realize that one side of his china face goes down and the other up

Which is a blessing because now

Depending on my mood

 I can turn him and receive



Zelda has been gone about a year.

She left to avoid watching me slowly pass away it’s

Not like her to give up but I was immoveable

On the barstool

A feast of agony

Gorging on pain

Awash in cocktail seas

I ate nothing but salt and

Drank nothing but whiskey

For days, or was it months?

And still I berate my fate as though she were here to listen

As though the bar were still open

As though I were still alive.



The Desert


The wet sand the brown sand

The white sand and now the inundating black sand

Rougher, coarser, empty of shells

The clear water the water filled with plankton and small fish roiling

The water

The shells

Usually cats paws and scallops not so many turkey wings


The blue heron the cloud of ibis the

Occasional skimmer scooping the tide

The plover eyes alight eyes afright

As I walk past stepping carefully between

Sharp objects.

This is my other world

My Florida. Once my refuge

Now I look unseeing at the pelican cruising my waters I

Stare at the ocean unaware of the dolphin

I stare at the ground wishing

For release.

Thus is my love wasted.

Shirley V.


She is my youth and my old age

Not the in-between

She is the adventure the frustration the longing the questioning

Not the contentment peace joy in knowing you’re doing the

Right thing

The alpha and the omega the

Spring flower years and the twilight

For the first time I see the connection


The middle is not empty but too full

For remorse for retrospection

For revolution


The beginning..ah! We shall turn the world over

Upright the wrongs

The end…ah! We shall turn the world over and

Make it in our own image


Shirley you are one silly bitch.

Zelda Reawakens


When Zelda first approached me I

Dropped the cigarette

(She disapproves)

“You are an American I see”

She said with a sneer

You eat…coleslaw.


I recovered.

Yes I do. I’m not proud of it. But I draw the line at grits.

She softened.

Come with me.

She led me through room after room.

Gently lit, tap rails and wallpaper, a bust here and there

Of a poet or an architect.

Beautiful rooms.

I longed to go to the garden but she led me to the kitchen.

Sit. Eat. Afterwards we make love.

I acquiesced.

Zelda in Tetouan


Zelda in Tetouan 



It’s always the house set at an odd angle

As though it’s falling into the sea

We spread our legs like Captain Ahab

Keeping our balance

Grasping for rails

Reaching for the back door

Escape! Escape into the garden

Zelda holds us back

You’re not going anywhere

It’s not what you think it is

It’s not a garden

It’s a dream. There are no plants

No flowers

No fruits

No comfort

It will not make you content

Come and play with me

Dancing on the coping

Howling at Pluto

Embracing the violinist with his slalom glissandos

Until at last we drop exhausted

On the sands of Tetouan.