New York City skyline at night




Barry Wallenstein

At the Surprise Hotel

She dashed in — the darling of the place,
and her cousin came too,
a sparkly old bird named Mona,
vernal, unbeaten, un-trodden, fresh as paint,
and the songwriters, the revelers, the men
who fix the pipes, all collapsed in love.

Lately, on blue days, they call out her name,
Mona, and the sound of it, the flush implied,
lifts their cloaks of blue and suddenly
she's as violet vibrant as her cousin,
the unknown, the stick figure,
the darling of the place.


The Excesses of Advancing Age

At the end of the day,
he took better care of his breath
than his breathing — a deep imbiber —
executive sessions with left over bottles —
gin generally.

Before all that
he worried a bald spot
until it became an area,
and then a plain
barren with nothing to graze on.

And then he took to smoking
factory products
and weed from the garden too —
a slow smoker, a deep toker
a fool along the measuring rope of time.

Toward the end of the day,
he fell in love with a piece of sugar,
a little soil on the side,
and an off the chart IQ.
They never quarreled
and made love beyond the law.

What's left of his memory
never forgets her
and the surprise — every time.



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