What Must Have Been

What Must Have Been

I must have really wanted
to be a kind person, ’cause
I did nice things for nothing

but now I’m so hurt
so angry that I’d
much rather
kill every mocking bird,
every living thing with
a machine gun

because I am a machine
a lost cause
an artifact to theory, unless

there’d be love and then
I could feel as if I mattered
and as if I
could reach out with a brush
and make a painting of you
with all the colors of a blush, until
you were real
and the world were kind.

I like making rainbows.

I think I’ll dance in the rain
until I am alive with glee

and you will see me
as I used to be
without tears
playing

— Douglas Gilbert

A Clear Revenge

A Clear Revenge

Where will I go now?

All the roads are blocked by snow
and I don’t know where you are

I run with my shovel
to clear the way down streets
the recalcitrant refuse to clear

because it’s better to
get to the post office for you
than to kill a neighbor or
wait to slip and fall and
wait for a lawyer to sue
speaking in pain with broken bones

but for that one or two houses
who clear their driveways but
not their sidewalks I’d say
good luck with the locusts.

— Douglas Gilbert

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 5)

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 5)

There would be a recipe to
political power for the adroit, but
many soufflés go flat even with the
accoutrements of the Palais de l’Élysée

The self-appointed Chef manqué cooks, thinking
he knows about Presidential amour, but

what does he, himself
know about building Love

Yes, he can be globally social,
trés chic and flirtatious
when he can find the
accidental actresses, and
the female Secretaries of State,
and Lady ministers —
watch out!

He’s on his motorcycle
with the visor down

His mistress imagines many things
beyond expensive gifts and orgasms
and she is devastated because
she thought he was deeply
in love with her, but he, you see,
is merely a puny politician

She has a career and friends,
just as he has his pompous chums

But in this world, faithfulness is
like a Chick Flick, and

His Majesty, the President
doesn’t deign to watch, because

He has everything novel, and
can click on a chick
like a fine menu,
no truffles of trouble at all
’cause he has a nose for fungi
like himself

— Douglas Gilbert

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 2)

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 2)

The Chef of the world
knows about amour, but

what does this President
know about Love

Yes, he can be global
on a social scale:
trés chic and flirtatious
when he can find the
accidental actresses, and
the female Secretaries of State,
and Lady ministers
Watch out!

He’s on his motorcycle
with the visor down

His mistress imagines many things
beyond expensive gifts and orgasms

She has a career and friends,
just as he has his pompous chums

But in this world, faithfulness is
like a Chick flick, and

His Majesty, the President
doesn’t deign to watch, because

He has everything novel, and
can click on a chick
like a fine menu,
no truffles of trouble at all
’cause he has a nose for fungi
like himself

— Douglas Gilbert

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 1)

On Being Famously Powerful (Draft 1)

What does the Prime Minister
know about Love

His mistress imagines many things
beyond expensive gifts and orgasms

She has a career and friends,
just as he has his pompous chums

But in this world, faithfulness is
like a Chick flick, and

His Majesty, the President or Prime Minister
doesn’t deign to watch, because

He has everything novel, and
can click on a chick
like a fine menu,
no truffles of trouble at all
’cause he has a nose for fungi
like himself

— Douglas Gilbert

Rhinoceros Under Us (Draft 1)

Rhinoceros

You can’t judge a rhinoceros by its horn,
or a book by its undercover, well

no, not always

Sometimes a rhinoceros is horny, but
sometimes it just talks in snorts:

poetry at the watering hole:

have you not seen floppy ears
and when it charges

it’s better than Pamploma
because it goes after tourist jeeps
and they are thrilled and mostly
not gored much, whereas

in Spain, traditionally
many are hurt by the Bulls
or on other days by the tomatoes, but

a rhinoceros would never
try to eat your pizza or a matador

though I’ve heard that at the watering hole
the snort poetry is magnificent

CD’s available soon.

— Douglas Gilbert

Nowhere To Linger Anymore (Draft 1)

The End

I am so much at the end of my times
though I wish it were Grand Times
like, you know, for the Universe
or for some seagulls or flowers
that I’ve happened to mention in a crumby essay
about what that they ate in a peck
without regard to me as a benefactor

well, of course, a minor crumb
and an annoying body
to dispose of in a land fill
or cremate.

I always thought
I would have been more.

I always thought I was brilliant
or at least someone

And now
everyone tells me I’m nothing

I think they are right because

There is no evidence of me.

— Douglas Gilbert