Tuesday, July 28, 2015


THE DAY I RETIRED FROM MY JOB AS A POET I DECIDED TO WAKE UP EARLY BEORE THE SUN ROSE AND LOOK AT THE BASIL PLANTS

I hadn’t watered them in a week 
because my job was crazy-busy
but I did water them last night 
after I decided to quit my job

I just went up to my boss this AM 
and said, “I quit, boss!” 
just like they did in the movies
and I took the trolley home, the kind 
they also used to have 
in movies 
they were black and yellow

and then just loafed around 
the apartment house until 
I remembered ... 
my basil plants! My damn

basil plants! I was about to water 
them but then I remembered 
that you should only water them
right as the sun begins to set, 
a friend of mine told me that, 

and I have many basil plants 
so I just waited 

and just as the sun began to set 
and before Gunsmoke was on 

(this happened in about 1958 
when Matt Dillon was still alive 
and the sheriff on Gunsmoke)

I watered my basil plants and 
then went to bed after reading 
the morning papers

(there were morning papers and 
evening papers in 1958 and kids 
on bicycles threw them on your lawns) 

I wasn’t sure when a good time 
to look at basil plants might be 

(my friend was gone, after all 
this all happened in 1958) 

but it seemed to me that the early morning 
would be best even though I had no reason 
other than that to get up 

(but what could be more important than 
looking at a freshly revived basil plant 
behind your apartment as the sun begins 
to rise and you have nowhere to go?)

Why do people have basil plants 
when they have apartments ?

Well I think it is because they want 
to feel like they have homes

This was true in 1958 
and it is even truer now

(in 1959 and 1960 and 
so forth and so on)

Anyway
that’s not
the important thing

The important thing is
that I quit my job
and that I have
basil plants
and the sun
will soon rise
and soon
I will see them
again


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