Monday, July 24, 2017

SUMMER 2017

cicadas chorus in waves, soft, 
then loud then louder still
cho-weet, cho-weet, CHO-WEET
then soft, then softer still then 
quiet until the next round

the neighbors' elegant detritus
fills the parkway since the deluge
the YOOGE inundation, their new digs
drowned by rain penetration in the 
summer of Trump, sideshow

for the yahoos and greed mongers
oh, yes, we deserve his worst
as the soft yellow-green
fireflies, the females, settle
in the grass awaiting copulation

after which they devour the mate
or so i read, incorrectly i hope,
nature red in tooth and claw
as alfred the lord tennyson had it
when his young friend died young

death is in the air one way 
and another - my wife's demented
mother delusionally says her dead
husband is alive but missing
then she reverses herself and says

it's all made up, she was just fooling
and apologizes deeply until 2 minutes
later when she says it all again, then 
again, then again, almost cicada-like: 
oh, yeah, my beloved clancy is dead


copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Thursday, July 13, 2017

THIRTY-SEVEN

even true love
encounters bumps

here and there
broken promises

pet peeves
disappointments

imperfections
unmet demands

even so, even so
true love persists

strengthens
mysteriously

some promises
are kept, some loving

and then the 
grand surprises



copyright © 2017 by patrick o’hayer

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

KANSAS POEM
Empire poolroom opens at 9, so i'm
killing time at the Merc, deluxe
grocery store/food-art museum for the
health-and-beauty- and nutrition-crazed
comparing prices, all so very high,
while ogling a tall local college town
goddess--LA ain't got nuttin' on lawrence, kansas
at 71 little elvis sings rarely,
half time, half mast, so no old
fashioned cavorting, the biology
running low but the mind
annoyingly
like Yeats in the LAST POEMS
buzzing but athwart time,
he tried the questionable
steinach surgical fix
to get back into the game
but i remain a natural
accepting proper reductions
memory loss, sore knees, nouns
and names disappearing
day by day, nature's design
perhaps even though
the mind always disobeys
copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Saturday, June 10, 2017

SONNET FOR ELLEN

I've trapped you in the Bouncy Chair. You just 
complain, you won't accept your precious need
for sleep, mine for rest. Sometimes, oh sometimes
I recall you will not be for long be my
"Potatoes Maroo," not for too long, no,
no; soon you're a woman with a woman's
prerogatives; and I'm, I'm not your old
Pops, but something like your Parent, lucky
to be a consultant. And then you're, oh,
hauling your own oats, you won't need old Pops
to warm and grind your lunch. Like for me now
living will be your problem. If I'm still 
in town, I'll help; I'll miss not lifting you
off an edge, rocking toward the sleepy deeps.



Copyright © 1983 by Patrick O'Hayer

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

AFTERNOON

cleared 2 drains today
do-it-your-self-er

pal charlie built a new bathroom
while siring sons

and longing for cute-guy assholes
the marriage broke up

but he remains an icon
of home repair

some cliches are pretty weak




copyright © 2017 by p. o'hayer

Sunday, May 21, 2017

SATURDAY IN MANHATTANVILLE

getting bagged, gorked
daughter's tears

wifely protests
condemned to ego

pursue altered 
states at all costs

altered states
familial oblivion

heroic acts demurred
often enough

to make a cocoon
self-immolation

for ignoble causes
of self love/loss



copyright © 2017 p. o'hayer

Saturday, April 29, 2017

TEETER TOTTER MOURNING

"All poets are manic depressive." ~Donald Hall

fall deaths tripped a switch, then
too busy, too excited, inspired

too many easy poems
quieter now, is melancholy

descending, again? at my age?
but in fragrant spring

for the first time?
in the past dread winter

would bring me low, almost below
ground--this is, as wallace stevens

had it, a new knowledge of reality
the neighboring leafless red

bud trees fill me with hope
i clip by hand the flattened weed

grasses skipped by my soundless bird
inviting reel mower and i feel well


copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Monday, April 24, 2017

SPRING AND ALL

"They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter." ~William Carlos Williams

absinthe saturday grass cutting
with quiet reel-type mower

robins alighting silently
eat the bugs thus disturbed

by my work cannot spray 
the blooming creeping charlie

because wind buddha garden
perennials, st. francis garden

tender veg crops
awaiting mother's day sale

my blades of grass
mere ground cover struggling

with goosegrass yellow foxtail
nimbleweed plantains

the demented neighbor's forest
of indestructibly prolific dandelions

thistle henbit nutsedge
fall panicum bermudagrass

my limp whitmanesque blades
half green destroyed

by neighbor's brand new 
blindingly green sod

again absinthe saturday 
all day spring and all



copyright © by patrick o'hayer

Monday, April 17, 2017

GONE

danny boy, king
of the family
jobs at 12
car at 16
married at 19
dead much too soon

sweet maureen
young foe 
of housework then
many many many
babies
traveler, reveler
also dead too soon

lives unknown
in the great world
without celebrity
but family stars
shooting stars
falling stars
make a wish




copyright © 2017 by pat o'hayer

Saturday, April 15, 2017

HOSPITALITY: NOUVELLE HAIKU

barman bonhomie loves us
all barflies behave
blather stay sane pay the tab

barmaid short skirt smile flirty
but take it easy
men are dogs nuts but generous

busman quiet thorough all
but invisible 
backbone of every restaurant

diners divine impossi-
ble facing food trau-
ma in the wrongest venue

hostess congenial glamor
alert friendly wise
first impression best always

owners lean mean investment
shrewd bottomline love
sly worker burden heroes



copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TITANIC: JIMMY BRESLIN, RIP

i was not gifted with good hair
Ma sent me to the local discount
barber, who would mutilate my cowlick
making me look even worse
if i walked past the shop
on Addison Street
in summertime he would
wave me in, give me a buck and send
me to the Southport L station
to pick up the Green
Sheet, the tout sheet of the day
so that he could phone his 
picks into the bookie
i managed classroom boredom by
reading Damon Runyon stories,
Guys and Dolls, Blue Plate
Special and such, which led
to my college years horse playing
and academic underachievement
when they weren't running locally i'd bet
two bucks across the board
at New York City tracks
the race results were on page 1 
every day beneath the fold
on the Herald American, the first edition
hit the news stands at 2PM
almost instant gratification
in those glorious years
i met Ralph the Bookie
and Vic the Druggist's nephew
a clerk at the neighborhood downtown
stationery store who
also took bets - my school work suffered
but having become a reader i 
discovered the Daily Racing Form
--one immortal headline: FINISHED FULL OF RUN--
purchased at Chicago and Michigan
which none of my Loyola classmates
appreciated or wished to borrow
i'd think of the barber and his Green Sheet
when i'd visit the south loop warehouse
where Ralph the Bookie 
operated the freight elevator 
to place my bet
or in the Eye-talian grocery store 
with the steam table where the
B&O railroad workers lunched
along with Ralph, Tony, and so many others
i learned how to appear circumspect
these days when i mention Damon Runyon
to the smarties at morning coffee i get
a blank look, even from the guy with
the j-school diploma from an elite venue
among his countless excellencies
Jimmy Breslin wrote Runyon's
biography, as well as many other 
books and countless newspaper columns,
second in the trade only to Mike Royko
during my elective absence from the Vietnam war,
the summer of 1969, when Breslin
was on the mayoral ticket with
Norman Mailer--Vote the Bastards IN--
i thought to volunteer
in some meager capacity but decided
my escape to Canada was more urgent
as luck would have it the Great White North
found me unsuitable for landed immigrant status
O they're all dead by now, Ralph, Royko, Vic's 
nephew, Vic himself, Damon Runyon 
decades ago, then Mailer, in 2007--
and yesterday Jimmy Breslin
there's no finish to this meager
remembrance
nothing, nothing at all, except for
FINISHED FULL OF RUN


copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

MR MOM: SURROUNDED

by fashionable enticement
at the library, the supermarket,
the drivers license renewal counter
yoga pants, distressed
bluejeans showing a little thigh
skin, dramatic lipstick
heels that cant the pelvis
appealingly, sort of a public service,
sophisticated suburban hairdo
highlights, gym figures
displayed assuredly, 
almost boldly
my chubby toddler oblivious
to one of her futures
the new feminism, 
almost equal pay, 
equal bedroom rights
equal pain
i hold
the at-home moms
at arm's length
no hug-hello at library
story hour, at music and movement,
the playground swings
at the mall admiring
hand-woven carpets 
with my perfect daughter
who says, let's go, dad
perfect daughter turning 34 this year
good job, dad!



copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

IN THE BEDROOM COMMUNITY

cold and crisp, the neighbor 
dog's barking for no reason

bronchitis making the day's
first cigaret go down hard

today's espresso, not
a god shot but entirely satisfactory

some of the family golden-years
elders are improving, some

shut in, no visitors 
until further notice

facebook bristles with the usual
political squabbles and excellent food pics

my relatives all have
employment except maybe for

one--my great-uncles were career 
housemen, at great-grandma's

boarding house, didn't work 
for wages even during the greatest generation war

the great war disabled some permanently
even with the brilliant bannered welcomes

even with total victory, the bomb, beaten 
wives and small children, total silence, victory



copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer
WELLNESS

been hocking 
loogies

for three weeks
i'm dying

until i see 
the neighbor's

dog, he does 
his business

on the parkway
and meeting

anybody on the 
sidewalk wags

his tail using his 
entire body joyously

infectiously, brilliantly
he suffers from

numerous ailments 
so that his

scrumptious owner
forbids my giving

him treats 
bought especially

for the purpose
which saddens me

enormously
but with his epilepsy

his social anxiety
so she says

i honor her 
wishes, look on

from afar, from 
across the street

oh, that he 
were mine

oh, that he
were mine



copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Thursday, February 9, 2017

METEMPSYCHOSIS?
fresh and fluent, fabulous
a diamond in the rough
diamond dave
but a fidgety ladies man
fraught with love need
conquistador-ing
handsome dave
but as well a trickster in pursuit
prevaricator, poetic inventor
dave the liar
but huge flightiness
this, that, this, then back to double this
so he went to portlandia to stabilize
returning sometime later
somewhat recognizable
added pounds of text
mathematician, logician, weighted
with quick-fire words on
multiple new subjects
but the labia minora now foregone
neo-monkitude
neo-celibacy
in my ending is my
beginning, or words
to that effect
copyright © 2017 by p.j.o'hayer
WHY I HATE SPORTS BALL
cowboy's come-back
most stirring in decades
against pretty boy aaron rogers
--that ill-natured lucky putz--
most stirring maybe in all
sports ball history
but the pack's
flock of angels intervened
one blown pass coverage
one sideline hail mary grab
and then a long field goal
swooshes the uprights
nothing but net
but
the cowboys' tying
field goal misses by a foot
blown left by the pack's
guardian angels'
intense wing beats
can't wait
for the pack to encounter
Gisele Caroline B√ľndchen's Brazilian
Victoria's Secret mojo
good luck to the pack's angels
but i'm betting gisele's
pure macumba
cleavage
--deflated pigskin reminds tom of those heavenly girls--
and you should too
copyright © 2017 by p. o'hayer
THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND ME
“Yeah, they have more money” ~Papa Hemingway
Bill Clinton screwed everybody he could
from Hope, Arkansas, to Timbuktu
the Dems said what’s the big deal!
Monica Shmonica!
but Donaldo’s infamous “locker room talk”
incensed one and all and then
when he cagily triumphed,
then the Dems' youge double-standard,
and then embarrassingly
the sour grapes, shockingly sore
losers almost beyond measure then suddenly
the US Constitution has it backwards! ahem
Gore Vidal said that
he and JFK each had at least 500
sex partners over their lives
and JFK died young: celebrity sex
but Gore’s Malibu housemate Paul Newman
when queried about Hollywood sex said
When you have steak at home
you don’t go looking for hamburger
Alexander Hamilton was murdered by Aaron Burr
over St. Alexander’s infidelity
celebrity philandering can have
its price but it can yield 16 Tony
nominations and win eleven
who’s kidding who?
Copyright © 2017 by Patrick O’Hayer

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ON THE MEND
been croupy for 10 days
not helped by tobacco addiction
camels-luckies-menthols
growing up was always seriously
anti-smoking, nagged my mom
a passionate smoker since her early teens
yet, like all antis, i yenned
to experience the poison, finally started
in boot camp to avoid policing
the area during smoke breaks
--chose camels to honor kramer-o'grady
only pals who then puffed--
visiting the daughter to recover,
always straighten out here,
lose weight, re-connect
having absinthe with my coffee
to honor van gogh, who enjoyed
immensely his pipe, his hallucinogenics
lethal tobacco has anxiolitic
qualities and dampens appetite
big plusses in my current state
daughter suggested taking
a sick day today, no cavorting
no pool hall, no museums, no baking
just curling up with the dogs
and HBO Now, sr. avila
GoT, sex in the city
deadwood, wired, the young pope,
roommates, insecure,
deadwood, louis ck,
will report
positive outcomes
presently
copyright © 2017 by p .j. o'hayer

Saturday, January 28, 2017

GRATITUDE

RIP MR, JP

madonna's dad joe got mugged and i was pissed
i phoned the daily news and asked for mike royko
one ring: "royko"
i told him the story and the backstory
"i'll check it out"
meanwhile madonna's sister phoned him with the same facts
a few days later he did a column*
i went to the billy goat for a beer, the bar was crowded, i sat next to royko
though tempted to say hello
his aura was profoundly private
reading the paper
chain smoking pall malls 
"where particular people congregate" 's their motto
he slammed shots of christian brothers brandy
one after the other
where particular people congregate

*04/03/1972 chicago daily news

copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer
BLOOD BROTHERS

for noam chomsky

the barkeep's satanic wisdom
the existential madness of the clientele

mentor, mentee

exemplar
protege

cartesian
common 
sense




copyright © 2017 by p. o'hayer

Monday, January 23, 2017

PHYSICS

for BR

fuck physics
fuck a-bombs, h-bombs
fuck the gloriously wasteful moon shots, the space programs,
and psychotically dangerous
electricity generation
fuck nuclear medicine
fuck them all
fuck ben franklin
fuck galileo and his lifetime house arrest
fuck the italian inquisition for failing us
fuck these lethal speculations murdering millions
fuck big science too
fuck physics subsidies to big business
especially fuck big science
fuck sir isaac newton, mystic math wiz
fuck fermi
fuck the manhattan project and the commie physicist spies
fuck albert einstein, adulterer and a-bomb enthusiast
and terrible violinist
fuck the paradoxes of physics
fuck dark matter
fuck contradictions of absolute laws--bad poetry
fuck bad poetry
fuck predicting electron indeterminacy--who the fuck cares
fuck all the physics smartypants
their arrogance, their big-dollar lobbying, their bogus rationales
their miles-long underground accelerator toys
don't get me fucking started
fuck pop physics propaganda, clever marketing to the stupid
fuck the hubble telescope, multi-trillion-dollar hobbies
fuck the god particle
fuck cold fusion, so safe
we'll see
fuck the law of unintended consequences
fuck the catastrophic waste of big science
fuck three mile island, fukushima, chernobyl with the skeptical locals
fuck the fucking japs for world war two
fuck nagasaki, because the fucking physicists had to be sure
fuck trinity--good job, physicists
fuck the rationale that we can afford these searing levels of waste
we're starving here, dying here, killing 
everyone in sight, the twin towers
the shining path, the two state solution
fuck yucca mountain 
fuck reprocessing/storing murderous nuclear waste 
essentially
fuck physics
doesn't pass the smell test
cliches are so useful
but in the end
fuck physics
agreed?
no doubt, except for the physicists
but fuck physicists
fuck string theory
fuck 16 dimensions
fuck big experimental physic toys
fuck cern 
hey, physicists, fuck your mother

copyright @ 2017 by p. fucking o'hayer
THE MACHINE
"Chicago ain't ready for reform." ~Paddy Bauler
my uncle bobby, born in 1915,
had down syndrome
back then those kids
were usually dead by age 18
no treatment
paddy bauler
the most corrupt of the corrupt
--his best pal, the hugely corrupt
charlie weber, of the famed
Charlie Weber Day at Riverview Park--
died mysteriously, a mob hit probably,
in the only mansion in my neighborhood
Addison & Wolcott*
so, paddy bauler
the 43rd ward alderman
corrupt to his eyeballs
gave my uncle bobby a desk
at the ward office next door
to paddy's saloon at North & Sedgwick
in Old St. Michael's parish in Old Town
let him run errands, do the make-work
so appalling to Republicans
bobby ran errands, bobby visited shut-ins
was a kind of saintly kid
according to my mother
when he died young
the neighborhood turned out
for the funeral - i never met bobby
but think of him when
the beastly republicans/progressives/libertarians
go all holier than thou
--make-work jobs, Monicagate, crooked hillary
and all the rest--
the wise old cop always told me
that chicago pols had to be very wary
around the downstate republicans in
illinois who'd pick your pocket
while quoting bible verses
--fucking republicans, governor george ryan--
and now we get donald the yahoo
roy cohn's protege
what goes around comes around
tricky dick nixon
--the joke in 1960? you can't lick our dick--
flashing the V sign boarding
the resignation jet staircase
yeah, how do you spell irony?
bounder JFK needed a little help
from paddy and friends
to carry illinois in 1960
though charlie weber wouldn't sign on
the fatal decision
of course the nixon victories in alabama and mississippi
were never helped by black vote suppression
by lynch law - dixiecrats
requiescat in pace, bobby laarveld

copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer
*https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagocrimescenes/13677720415 - for the story click on the lower-right arrow

Friday, January 13, 2017

LOVE & HATE: FAREWELL HOPE AND CHANGE

'war all the time' ~gore vidal

'no one complains more loudly about freedom than the colonial slave drivers'
~samuel johnson

hated ACA, dictated by health
care moguls whose shares
blew up
the initial computer glitch
said it all
hated barack's senatorial mentor
joe 'i adore the iraq war' lieberman
i think of joe whenever
i hear that al gore
--and his supremely hawkish VP--
would never have declared perpetual
war in the mid-east
like W did
after 9/11
sour grapes ralph
nader hating democrats
can blow me
sorta loved the paltry stimulus bill
a little
loved repeal of don't ask don't tell
loved cuba deals, sorta
loved the iran nukes deal
hate the drone war
hate guantanamo
hate joe biden b/c clarence thomas and
anita hill--no forgiveness, julie, sorry
loved michelle and the girls
hated the syria red line business
rolled by mr. putin
a chance to do some good
but barack walked it back
really hate the drone war
really hate his smooth
his smarts
his hopeless eloquence
his hotness even hotter than bubba
trump transparently
showed the presidency biz
and it is a business
to be reality tv
been like that since st. george
'richest american of his day &
devoted enslaver' wasington
st. thomas 'proud enslaver' jefferson
b/c sally hemmings
st. james 'minority of the
opulent' madison
--it's why we have a senate,
to safeguard the riches
of TMOTOs--
history is so fraught
take the good with the bad?
revere the good?
forgive the bad?
not on your fucking life

copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer

Sunday, January 8, 2017

BALZAC
'coffee for my breakfast, shot of whiskey on the side' ~robert cray
for madonna p
i crashed early last night, 9 p.m.,
no better sleep aid than the
NFL playoffs, bitches,
so i was up at 4 this morning
wide awake after 7 hours
of perfect sleep
to start the morning
canned moka pot italian coffee plus
very hot whole milk
lots of sugar
some leftover panetone
during my postprandial smoke
i noticed lights in the attic
of the 7,000 square-foot behemoth
across the street
our own local balzac
at work no doubt
20 cups of coffee with 20
cigarets recording the melodrama
of the trump election
and contemporary
elite bedroom living
the balzacs moved here paying
an enormous housing
premium just to avoid
drive-bys
my big sis
moved here in 1970
with 9 kids and a drunk
bus-driver husband
because housing then was then so
dirt-basement cheap
'a beautiful place in the country'
or so said the jingle
how times have changed
big sis returned from ft. myers
last year to be with family--la familia--
i'd advised her to stay put
here in town way back
when, her paid-off house the drunk bus
driver had provided but the lure
of the 4 bedroom
one-and-a-half-story quintupled
equity was too irresistible
couldn't blame her really
she refurnished her entire life with the proceeds
and moved to a florida condo to find
another mr. right
the drunk having succumbed
to his pleasures
a year ago her corporate VP
son bought her a house
back here in the 'ville
she thrived playing daily scrabble
with her beautiful daughter
and her, the daughter's, 5 kids
hope you got this all down
and your all-night
composing bears fruit,
monsieur honoré
copyright © 2017 by p. o'hayer
POEM: IN HER MISSPENT YOUTH
in her misspent youth
my niece hung out
with a girlfriend
a honey bear
but when together
you'd overlook the HB
because my niece
glowed so
dangerously
5 kids later
she's looking better
than ever - dangerous
beauty

copyright © by p. o'hayer

Monday, January 2, 2017

RESTING BITCH FACE IS REAL, SCIENCE SAYS
ogling the walk-in
at my fave restaurant - i
had been chatting with the owner
while he rearranged antique
decor - she looked troubled
and as soon as she
entered she about-faced
back into the parking lot
super intense on her mobile
i pretended to smoke
hoping for a further ogle
but saw it was not the time
for in-depth ogling
so i headed in the opposite direction
there i espied an
out of service
payphone, weathered and sad
someone had bent thick
now-rusty wire to prop up
the handset but it hadn't held
the handset dangled
dangerously
i've been on a lucky streak
since the two october
deaths made me insane
a quick reajustment
had the handset resting correctly
in the cradle--operation complete
a bit of found sculpture
inside i beamed
re-entering the joint
i encountered the oglee now
standing in the vestibule
holding back tears
tense, teary, not your
average resting bitch face
that science now says is real
averting my glance
i skulked past
back into bottaio's
on milwaukee avenue
libertyville, illinois
back into the
sacred oblivion of
mourning
copyright © 2017 by patrick o'hayer