Two Poems: “ageing” & “reborn”

by Dan Jacoby


sometimes at the end of the day
just before giving up on waking
trying to gather thoughts
about the next day
failures, victories
like a preening tom cat
going over old ground
listening for a sound, a chance
to minister some resolution
a figment like gatsby
fresh to the scent
of daises and coke bottle glasses
found in barbwire wastes
I hear the house move
just so in the hard wind
cat hears it too
he hears much more than I
ears still ringing
from a 1960’s firebase shelling
back cramping, flinching
hears my heart racing
sensing an incoming old terror
mind no longer in neutral


where does one catch
the moon taxi for the bayou
you think you know
you have no idea

brother, you don’t know the road
its’ roots go deep
hidden in the kudzu of time
a thin line between genius and delusion

destructive power in blind ambition
when you’re ankle deep in horseshit
with that three on a tree
in high gear on bald tires

early lunch, tacos and beer
moonshine in the trunk
trying to find spirituality
on a tractor or in bottom pasture

one can always go back to that place
and pull the pain back up
sitting with a bottle of sour mash
making obscene coyote calls

momma said it was just a phase
growing up southern baptist
a little too rigid, just elohim
too low on air

like an old stern wheeler
trying to capture the rhythm of the river
navigating the snags of mussle shoals
to avoid an early grave

an all too fast tequila boogie and
jukebox playing chautauqua hymns
left over from an old medicine show might
leave enlightened cab fare to gather at the river

Dan Jacoby was born in Chicago in 1947. He has published poetry in Indiana Voice Journal, Haunted Waters Press, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, and Red Fez. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets.

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