"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Neighbor Angst

Warning:  This is not a nice poem.  These are true stories, a conglomeration of hundreds of people. If you've ever been my neighbor, you might not want to read this one.  I'm just reflecting in general on every reason friends have given to me, over two decades, on why they couldn't stay-- or stop by.  Really I'm just a list maker--I'm hoping that gathering like items into tidy piles will help declog my brain--help me see a pattern and discover how to change.  Is this still poetry?  Not sure, but I still have over 150 more days to go here so...I am writing anything that strikes me.  Something about writing a poem a day, I have to write what comes to mind or tomorrow there will be writers block and bad rhymes.  And maybe
tomorrow something friendly and thankful, but not today.

Neighbor Angst

Dear Neighbor,
I invited you over for tea, but you couldn't come,
because you couldn't leave your dogs alone.
I made your favorite chicken and noodles,
but you couldn't stay, you had to hurry home.
I brewed a pot of sun tea for you, but you
brought your own soda from Sonic instead.
I cleaned the bathroom, and put out fresh guest towels,
but you must have held it in.
I had a party, but you had a doctor appointment
that couldn't be changed.
I had an evening soiree, but you overslept
and forgot to come again.
I bought organic coffee and hash browns,
but you went out to breakfast by yourself.
I went to your house to make Christmas cookies,
they were already done, and you didn't offer me
any to take home. 
--I had new sprinkles and muffin papers with
candy canes on them, unopened, but I took them
home again.
I brought you your favorite peanut butter candy,
but you were on a diet.
I brought you fresh fruit, but you gave it
back, "too much would spoil."
I brought you a casserole and you said, "Why
are you always trying to feed us?"
I brought you a basket of Holiday goodies, and you
said, "I know you," and didn't tell me who
you were.
I baked you my special homemade bread,
but you were on a low carb diet and
wouldn't taste one bite.
I invited your kids over to play with mine so
you could go out by yourself,
but you don't believe in babysitting.
I invited your grandaughter over to play,
but that made her mother nervous because we
were strangers.  I asked for your phone number,
but you didn't know it--it's a cell number.
I asked for the phone list for the sunday school
class, but you said there wasn't one, then sent
me a letter asking me not to come back.
I offered to take your granddaughter to the parade,
but she came down with a sniffle.
I offered to squirt the kids with the sprinkler,
but you took them to the pool, and didn't invite us along.
I invited you to come by, but you lost my cell number
three times even though that's technically impossible
because cell phones memorize numbers.
I left my new phone number with the secretary,
but you couldn't find it--after twelve months.
I sent you a letter telling you I was in town,
and wanted to see you, but you didn't reply.
I asked you to call every week or so,
but you didn't want to intrude.
I was in the hospital with my cell phone on,
but you though I might need more time alone.
You asked if you could help--when
I asked, you laughed at my request.
I called to talk to you, but the dogs
were barking too loud.
I tried to talk to you at the front door,
but you couldn't invite me in,
because the dogs were barking too loud.
I called to talk to you, but you
were driving.
I called to talk to you, but
you didn't recognize my name.
I visited you, but you talked to the dogs
the whole time.
I sent you a package,
but mine never came.
I sent you thank you notes, illegible, but true,
in twenty-eight years, I've never gotten one
from you.
I came to your party, but you
forgot to introduce me to your friends.
I came to your house, but you don't
own any cups.  I was thirsty
and you didn't offer me a drink.
I had to go the bathroom,
and you didn't have any toilet paper,
and not one towel in sight.
We came for Christmas,
but when we arrived you'd already
eaten without us.
I reminded you we were getting together
and you said maybe the calendar
would clear the month after next--
only you'd been saying that for two years.
I came over, but you were on your way out.
You told me never to knock, but
you always jumped when I walked in.

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