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Five Poems
by Martin H. Levinson


I am an I                                             

floating in
the Sea of
hidden motives
lying deep
the surface,
jagged peaks
of reason
and despair.
is rock solid,
a mile thick,
algae and
to be seen.
Go with the
floe I tell
melting from
the strain of
trying to
make a
good choice,
if I ask
you out 
you could
say no.



a line, (a short blue one)


Signal Reactions


Red light,
Don’t Walk,
Stop, Look, 
and Listen
to thoughts of
being tied to a
desk with no
window, fat
next to me
into his phone.


Red light,
Don’t Talk
about a
home I’ve
a girlfriend
who keeps
me frozen
to the curb.


Signal changes,
I move forward
aware that barreling
down the boulevard
of broken dreams
and bootless bustle
like hooligan hotrods
from the hedgerows 
of hell are forces
that threaten to
kill and maim me
if I cross the


I cross anyway.



a line, (a short blue one)


Thoughts I Had When You Told Me to Eat Shit


Should I have it as an appetizer, entrée,

dessert, in a sandwich, on the half shell, 

a la mode, scrambled, simmered, steamed,


creamed, scalloped, seared, boiled, baked,

roasted, fileted, flambéed, fried, maybe with

a side. Perhaps I can also offer you something 


to chew on, a few sarcastic words to cut you to

the quick, make you feel sick, realize you’re a

dick who likes dumping his venom on innocent


vics, gets in his licks on people just trying to

help him. Or maybe I should simply smile and

say, have a nice day, turn around, walk away


from grief you’ve given me through the years,

listening to your bogus fears of losing a tenured

teaching job, a wife who treats you like a god,


friends who wish the best for you, of which I’m

of that steadfast crew that wants you not to be a

nit, to which you replied fuck you, eat shit.



a line, (a short blue one)


Lost in Thought 


in thickets and birds
flowers and trees 
sun overhead
moon on the rise
and wouldn’t you know it
I’ve tripped
on a branch
I should have seen
if I hadn’t been thinking
I should have been
quiet and listened to you
when you told me to get
waffles at Key Food
two cans of soup
frozen burritos
don’t forget cheese
and cold cuts for lunch
instead of replying
I’m not forgetful
you think I am stupid
just tell me the items
you want me to get
then into the car
and off to the woods
where I’m taking a walk
and thinking real hard
was it four cans of soup
and what did you say
we needed for lunch.



a line, (a short blue one)


Singular Dudes


Pooch is a butting, rubbing, pushing, pawing,

   I-want-some-of that-cake kind of cat who

lets me stroke his whiskers and pet his wavy

   marcel coat for as long as and strong as I’d

like. When he stares at me with his slanty,

   yellowish-devilish green eyes I get


the feeling there’s someone home

   in his tabby cranium, that I’m viewed

not merely as a hominid meal ticket

   but as a beasty chum worthy of slurping

and burping beer from a bowl.


Buddy, his younger feline companion,

   is a cat of a different color, a fearful mouser

who after nine years of being faithfully fed,

   devotedly taken care of, sees me as a stranger

in the kingdom of carnivores and a source of

   continuous perplexity and bemusement.


No going to the bar with Bud for wet food, ale,

   and the camaraderie of life forms banging heads

together. No going to the couch for a kneading

   session, plop down, and a restorative nap. No

bounding through the house bumping up

   against each other, but instead


a gentle extension

of a hand for sniffing,

a beseeching

dulcet voice,

a tremulous query,

what can I do

to make you like me?



a line, (a blue one)


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