(This is an extension of previous poem)


It’s their conspicuousness
that disturbs me most,
hanging out there
like damp clothes on a line,
ready to be dipped into the nearest soup.

The flashiest ones,
flowered, flaunting calendar figurines,
are first to get stained,
repulse rather than attract the girls,
make them make believe.

And all those Showmen, wearing
their garish displays
like some medieval armor on parade,
are hardly more than superficial
caricatures, funny paper
Blazes Boylans with sales-pitch
at the tip of their tongues,
the Gangsta ethic on display.

So now I’ve packed them up, cried,
“Down the Cravat!”
and sent them off
to another state,
to my son,
who goes to court,
and obeys the rules,

to my daughter,
who used them
to decorate the walls.

I mean,
why do I need
a rope
around my neck?

Like Houdini, I’ve escaped
the rigidities, the requisites.
It was a way of life
to which I could no longer adhere.

No boss-man now to say
You’re not dressed right.
Thank God!
I’ve got away
from all that crap: tie,
jacket, starched white shirt.
They’re in the cedar closet, out of sight.
Nothing like sloppy sweats and muddied sneaks
to assuage the soul.