The Jim Archives
I Know a Girl
I know a girl
I know that she knows about me
She's not just a girl
I think that she knows how I feel

—The Undertones

...recounts the hope before the storm which characterized the fall of '89. For a fictionalized account of the events of this period, see and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.

Flirtation with a Hypocrite

She leans, slides, turns, looks
in this direction
as if there is something here
(as a completion or depletion)
that will afford rest or a reasonable approximation.

A case of mistaken identity, perhaps?
But no, her eyes reveal intent:
"Excuse me, sir, but your fly is open"—
why must everything be made a moral judgment?

It is a most natural impulse,
born of a moment's apprehension,
to question why this must continue
until every cell in the body fairly screams for her assimilation—
but fairly or unfairly, a scream is a scream.

So a decision must be made.

In quiet and thoughtful deliberation,
plans are drawn, and now the call to battle—
"Lay down your arms, soldier of love,
and surrender to me."
A pacifist in your old age?

A motion to speak,
only to find:
in the sky,
a whisper cloud
the hazy blue-green
of conjectured happinesses
and wonders unrealized;
at the tip of the tongue,
once more the taste of exasperation.

And the thought lingers,
whether modesty is, indeed, a betrayal of life.

(September 1989)

An Inability

The composition of a love lyric at the present time
is impossible.
There is no place to begin.

"Queen of my soul, ruler of my heart!"—
straight out of some trashy romance novel,
but, sad to say,
I do not cut a dashing figure against the night sky,
nor, for that matter, am I named Ashley.

"Fairest of the fair, truest of the true"—
Jeez, now I'm starting to sound like a fairy tale.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel...."

"Brightest star in all the night sky..."—
Yeah, bright star,
why would you want to waste your time
with a washed-up astronomy student like me?

"O sweet philodendron—cherished houseplant of my existence!"—
more down to earth, p'raps, but no.

these words are inadequate.
This is not a time for pen and ink.
These are not pen-and-ink feelings.

(October 1989)

Biblical Interlude

Here is my dignity,
given unto you that you might have laughter
(inwardly at the very least).
Blessed be the cheerful recipient of another's dignity.

(October 1989)

One Thousand Angels

The pieces of this jigsaw puzzle
shards of a disremembered smile,
like a thousand angels in the lobby—
a blaze of warmth and welcome
upon your entry,
portending God-knows-what.

(October 1989)

Bathing Beauty

Neither Miss America,
nor Miss Pennsylvania,
nor even Miss Wallingford Heights Paper Products.
But how does "Brightest Eyes in the Universe" strike you?

(October 1989)

Better Than Warm Milk

She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep....

—Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV (3.1.210-213)

Rushes, you say,
and wanton ones at that.
And several worlds worth of meaning
in the softness of your lap.
So I lay me down.

Have you brought a lullaby,
sweet solace for my congenital insomnia?
Maybe if you just hummed a few bars
of "Don't Worry Baby"....
There you go.

there is in sleep
a child's promise of acceptance—
forever and always,
for sure and for certain.

Though, it's true,
I have caught an occasional glimpse
of both truth and beauty
in Keats' sweet unrest,
for this life
I think I'll stick with the lap-and-nap.

(November 1989)

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