Beneath our enchanting facial expressions
the skull always waits, poker face.
It holds eights and aces,
lingers awhile over the last
bet as the pot swells,
ice clinks in the glasses,
cigar smoke curls,
and in the background
a soft guitar, a woman
singing about the endless road.
Steve Klepetar’s granddaughter Lizzy has a favorite Jane Austen novel, and he’d like you to try and guess which one.
A man plays trumpet
on the Third Avenue
platform, while the crowd
swirls around him
and my mother growls
“I’d pay him not to play,”
his notes glowing
in the black tunnel
like glowworms on a summer night.
Steve Klepetar’s sons have forgiven him for chasing them around the house reciting the opening lines of the prologue to The Canterbury Tales.
My cousins built green houses, red hotels,
I bought a railroad or two,
and then my aunt came in with cookies,
but they were burnt,
so we crumbled them in our fingers,
dropped an offering to the scattering birds.
Steve Klepetar has never completed a game of Monopoly.
My Old Life
my old life
in smoke and ash.
Steve Klepetar writes one-sentence poems (and sometimes two- or three-sentence poems) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and he watches the money roll in.
Cities of the Plain
You peer back toward the cities of the plain
where you smell the smoke
of their burning, watch white ash fall among pines
Steve Klepetar plans to watch the presidential election returns with a towel over his head. (We are planning to spend election night just staring at the towel on Steven’s head.–The Eds.)