Beauty waned early

October 5, 2011

I was afraid of age. Especially old age. I recal as a kid delivering a newspaper to the home of two old people. Their house smelled like corruption. It was probably Noxzema. Every week the old man would cancel the paper. I wouldn’t deliver it. Then he’d complain to the newspaper that I wasn’t delivering his paper. I’m still not sure why he acted this way. Was it dimentia. Or was he a prankster? I just knew he was old.

When I wrote this poem I think I projected a sadness on old age. That somehow there couldn’t be an joy when you were getting older. And also I noticed that women seemed to age quicker than men. That their beauty waned early.




ruthie returns like an old friend to the mirror

who holds her up as evidence of his accomplishments

and in doing so finds himself ashamed.


“oh god,” she confesses

“more unenlisted lines.

Everything looks so tired, I don’t know.

To be 50 in this diet liberated age.”


“There doesn’t seem to be any zest in my life, no zip.

Boarded up inside, rehasing old times, renovating one’s memories,

ransacking one’s motives.

I think I’d drown without the printed word.”


“There’s too much noise.

Silence will take its revenge on sleep,

the whupping boy of the mind.”


“I wish being awake felt like something more than insomnia.”


Her attention lapsed into her fingers,

clenched tightly in a fist,

wishing someone would tell them

it was only a rehearsal.

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