Tag Archives: Richard Stolorow

In Somebody’s Business

by Richard Stolorow

The company said produce
or police or justice or something
and parleys began in rooms
with silver door frames and naked
dead blondes fashioned on the top of tables.

The cloth we wore, our faces,
negotiations—stretched to the limit
the abeyance of desire for a fat man’s hand
squeezing on all genitals.

We looked like a glass factory:
soft guys making a hard thing.

I remember growing up
in Tennessee, grand mariner of snakes
and hills. I stabled my Mississippi
crossings, keeping them low,
very low and dry, to visit an office
or a finance secretary in wool skirts
crying behind the counter in her way.


To My Old Psychiatrist

by Richard Stolorow

Doubt moves me
to write you now
where we were drifting
on a couch and chair
through venetian blinds
I could see the sun move
every day a little
further off

I stay here
an unmailed letter to you
I read often
to help contain
my wistfulness
to set very solid
matters before me

I wait to take shape
before I mail it
There are promises to fulfill
first to settle more
I want to fare well
before I say good bye

Stabat Pater

by Richard Stolorow

He stood in powder blue swimming pants
facing the ocean to test the sight of his working eye
against the ore ship on the horizon

reminding me of the girl with the cut glass lips
and rectangular brow who scoured her horizon
from a hill above a lake, promised
to perfect her loneliness, make sadness an art,
insist there was more than being
caught unexpectedly on the third floor.

Like iron leaching
out of plaster on the white tapestry
there were spots more
than could be explained by love.

But he stood upon that alabaster balcony anyway
of the purgatory replacement apartment in Florida,
and believed in the eye which never-the-less
could not detect the movement of the ore ship
which inched and inched, believing it
to be making its way down the Atlantic coast
while the life leaked imperceptibly
out of his body.

Movie with Midge

by Richard Stolorow

The face of the abnormally startled
middle aged woman between the stacks
brims this brisk unseasonable July morning
with bright eye and twinkle as she
makes comment on my legs—Cold?—
in their little white shorts. I think:

Here is script. Formerly stolid Midge
and I on the divan, she pouring gin,
I describing what is love where
all shy deceit and shame like fish
fall from the air, leaving
high fancy, and plenty of music.

Midge would be magnificent! The blocking
pure genius: she leads to the boudoir,
her broad underprivileged chest
swelling like a ship’s bow on a heat wave.
She makes unguarded advance, the flood
itself is forgiveness, my thanks a dream.

Oh my dear denouement. Your tears
are for all the time without this, a sadness
I of the lily white legs cannot endure.
You, two grown, an ex. in L.A., the library
patron star of my little heady drama,
you persist on this cool unfashionable day, blooming.


by Richard Stolorow

Her bark cracks the neighborhood
with each brusque installment
and the big maples in today’s wind
and the very distant children’s voices
and whatever thought I might have had
defer to the whack whack whack
of the little short-haired bitch.

I wonder about her owners who are home:
are they proud of their little noise maker,
does she provide the fantasy of security,
or are they immune, not really hearing
like the screams of one’s own child
which are background noise to a life
with more pressing concerns?

One day I am coming home from the pool.
I am relaxed and exercised, practicing life
as unity, balance, beauty, romance,
when ahead I see Lady being walked by a girl—
Lady sniffing the side grass looking for a spot
and the girl indifferent doing her chore
wishing perhaps she were somewhere else.

Lady, I say friendly, bending down.
I proffer my knuckles should she wish to smell.
But her eyes accuse: she knows a lie.
She is the tyrant of my neighborhood.
I would court her, find her lynchpins
and send her sprawling, humanely,
into a shallow puddle of trust.