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by Michael Estabrook




Jagged Lines


I read yet another poem

by yet another famous poet

that doesn't make any sense

no music, no beauty

just a bunch of jagged lines

anything to be different.

But this lack of comprehension

missing the sublime subtleties

the hidden meanings has to be me.

Perhaps I should read it again

there must be more to this thing

than meets the eye.



a line, (a short blue one)



Queen Anne


Heavy into genealogy 20 years ago

almost connecting my family

to Queen Anne Boleyn of Henry VIII fame

thinking perhaps

I should get back to it


because the Internet has so much more

information now

than it had back then and it really

would be terrific to fill in those twenty generations

between her and my grandchildren


because it would be oh so cool

being related to one of the

most powerful women in the history of the world.



a line, (a short blue one)





Two months ago I gave my good friend Bill

a copy of Controlling Chaos my 120-page hybrid long poem

asked him today over lunch

if he's had a chance to read any of it.


He looks up sheepishly from his plate of meat loaf and gravy

“No not yet but I put it on my TV stand so I know exactly where it is.”


Suddenly the Devil appears out of nowhere like usual

popping into my life uninvited and says

“You didn't really expect him to read that thing did you dude.”


I hate it when the malignant little fucker calls me “dude.”



a line, (a short blue one)



Hot Dog


When you visit New York City once

every five years

no matter how much planning you do: rooms and meals

timing, tickets, and taxis

you cannot avoid bumping into people

getting stepped on

cannot prevent sore feet and calves and back

cannot help getting turned around:

Uptown Downtown, Eastside and West –


But it's worth it, it's all worth it because

you got to see a Broadway play, an opera at Lincoln Center

got to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

got to sit on a bench in Central Park

and eat an official New York City hot dog.



a line, (a short blue one)





So I’m fast asleep minding my own

damned business when suddenly

a nightmare wakes me up:

I’m out front of our condo when I notice

a dozen boards of the siding between our front door

and the kitchen window are rotted as hell!

(I’m out there every day how did I miss this?)


Cracked and missing pieces, rotted bits of wood

flaking off, oozing out.

I can almost see into the kitchen. And I panic

because our Condo Board is notoriously slow responding

to issues, problems, and complaints

and I don’t know how I’m going to be able to

get their attention!


Last year we had a chipmunk in the walls

luckily I was able to get the thing out

otherwise it would still be in there raising

his family, chewing on the walls.


Don’t know what’s worse – termites or people.

I know where this nightmare came from –

That stupid Weather Channel documentary

I watched last night about termites

and urban blight.


(When I got up and dressed I went out front to have a look.)

Stupid Weather Channel!



a line, (a blue one)


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