Poems. By Frank C. Praeger.


Top Gun


Spies in batman suits don't live very long.

All kinds of clothing scattered on the ground,

what clues can they yield, where could he be hiding?

I will not be brought down,

not to his level - oh, you know, his cute

now you see me, now you don't.

Both hands steadying a stun gun

advancing, hesitantly, in hush puppies

through, suddenly, attenuated circumstances,

silence and the thump, thumping of my heart,

enveloped by a stale, rank smell of body parts.


My journal 's blotted dry.

Last entry: diatribe against a moment's irritation.

Stun gun against a passing stranger's forehead,

copycat catharsis.


Souped-up jalopies are no substitute.

Crash courses on the art of put down,

although without effect, are endemic.


Percussive, legato, whichever

is quick to be insisted on

and maybe, just maybe, might blow his cover.

Oh, to be first,

                   to be, in fact,




a line, (a black one)


The Endlessness of It All


A plum colored fuchsia, down-turned bloom, wind chimes


in the morning breeze.

Groggy, a dreamless day ahead.

Sunlight, an edgeless earth,

newly found traces of yesterday,

a ball of yarn that will not unravel.

Out of all of this a flowery gaudy color blankets today

bracketing yes and no, do and don't,

mixed-up and disparity, capacious though spent

within a maze of wrinkles

where each evening's interlude,

sky's impenetrability

eke out their meaning.


a line, (a black one)


This Unexpectedness, This Briefness


Levity disguised,

challenge to an antebellum pomp,

further function of the incognito.

Whose disguise belongs to whom?

Whose fractured bond, whose lost commonality?

Permanent wrinkling, old age spots,

jowls and a confounding of folds of skin

can make the familiar unrecognizable.

The planets must be misaligned.

Whose failed fanciful escape?

Phantom faculty of being somewhere else,

not mine.

A putsch,

a turn around,

a stride, catch-all tumbling combination

tendering open and closed,

deferring to each day's fervour.


Autumn sunlight,

maples's yellowing leaves


antepenultimate moments,


of yesterday,

of an unacknowledged lamentation,

of an always surprising unexpected brevity.


a black line

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