Five new ones and Five Old Ones, April 8, 2013, Copyright Doug Stuber


She owed to
every artist who
ever showed at Sizl, but
it was a joy to
support her attempts

to survive
in a world only
partly in
tune with the
work she did to raise

her son, all
on the chance that some
homeowner would decorate
with the art she picked,
or made herself. No,

the final
struggle was not at
all about
making low
cash flow work, it was

about years
of being alone. Then home
among those
whose lives were exact
opposites of her

best clients.
Her last email? “all is well,
new boyfriend, moving
to better quarters.”


We can never let
loose of the time we
saved each other: me from pure
you from a drug-baked

user who
wouldn’t let go, so
finally you rid yourself
of the best sex you
ever had.

Mornings meant wheelbarrow
chores. Knowing my work
could only attain friendship,
which was all
we both needed. Yes

paintings flowed,
teahouse madness with
the Eileens and Phils of the
world, and mutual
wonder of

plants growing,
simple tea or coffee, beer
and sinful
lustful thoughts denied
for so long, one now

suspects it’s
too late, too much a part of
the best true
lover lady I
ever didn’t have.


She danced
around, could draw the
anatomy of
humans, heartache and

even cows
made of fiberglass.
Where now sister? Remember
The fourth of
July when you came with bags

of laundry
to do, or the art
colony you backed
out of? And
Paul, the picky dumb

ass, what was
he thinking? Your large
emotional spectrum was
a touch hard
to handle, except for those

with equal
experience; such lovers
burn out so
in short or long bursts.

Nothing could
ever fully grab you like
art, but your
blues singing, meld in
to Georgia, came close.


Carol and Tad set you up
with me, and we played
a reverse game of
lovers by
sleeping together,

causing all
to believe, while not
doing the deed, for a short
time at least, thus your
dignity and natural

propensity to be quite
sure before
commitment was quenched
Then what? Eleven

years flushed as
as soon as you got a
Beemer, your name on a house
and a reconnect
with Nick, step-brother, Oh West

came to roost on my head when
he called me
weak to my face as
he stole you away.

I hope he’s been good to you,
but the large
damage you put on
still infests you too.


Queen of Hope
jumps park benches behind
the Inn in Stockbridge. You got
great joy from
drawing me near, but

more from keeping me
at bay. So pool balls flew and
windows broke, ambulance took
me from an
open setting to

closed. Closed for
five more years, yet I
still can’t call you heartless, as
I was the
fool; on the heels of

major sucker-hood
it brought back paranoia,
the fear that no one would
even have
me, and no one did

for oh so
long. But there you were up the
valley from
Roanoke, still on
the farm, weed bags full,

horses fed,
allowing nude rope swing, but
again, just
a tease, me another
man to not dream on.

Spring 2011, Gwangju, South Korea


Splotchy white-barked sycamore pushes to surpass pines

atop Chosun University mountain.  To reach this bench,

three hundred ninety seven staircase steps and fifty one drops

of sweat are spent.  Pretty rich girls stroll on Saturday, but

this empty campus lets spring roll by unadmired by soccer

kickers and potential mates.  Chirping birds are more likely to

feel naturally sated after planting egg fertilization, eating

grass seed, flying in the Gobi’s polluted yellow dust.  Invasion

comes to mountain peninsula not just from the west, but

this spring from post-tsunami Sendai and its blowing-up

reactors.  Disaster only slows the drums that demand we build

more radioactive electricity.  Post-modern deconstruction should

be applied to decommission these ogres rather than ascribe

meaning to writing based on an assumed idiosyncrasy acquired

during the author’s adolescence.  Human activity, which has brought

us both to productive heights and the epitome of the gap between

rich and poor, will slow to urgent needs and war now that

demand outstrips supply nearly universally.  The young will

have and the old will keep trying to have sex in order to keep

economic realities at bay, but the very richest will not yield

legislation to help the poor this time, thus assuring mega-disaster.



Live Strong


Peripheral sunrise elongates table shadows, initiates morning calm

five days before the trip.   This mixed-race neighborhood

finds curious children stepping toward friendship while parents

remain closed in busy lives with no time for old friends no less

a new batch.  Small dose of warm leads to ping pong, kickball

and lacrosse.  Fifteen Korean kids experience the U.S., try new

sports, speak English to strangers, love nightly contests, yet

bored by Disneyworld.  Orange rays turn yellow, cause

dew-sparkle as a clank of dish-washing jolts early work-day

to life.  This heart, shredded, strewn like superfluous jet fuel,

scatters onto February snow so remote no living thing can

detect the agony caused by having to choose between family

and friends or prime faculty position in a culture that routinely

rejects emotional outsiders and is built on hundreds of rules

that strictly judge behavior in order to instill “maturity” at the

price of spontaneity .  No natural omens, like a darting cardinal

that prefigures any sound move have appeared.  Aspirations change,

fulfillment occurs when newfound silence replaces blabbermouth

stupidity and yard play warms frozen tears as well as crowd cheers

ever did in the days before finding redemption in family and work.




Cactus Mints


“Don’t cry because it’s over, be happy that it happened.”

(Be happy that is was once good, or that it ended?)

If pushed, or by your own courageous design, you take

a month off and find stress level relieved by fifty

percent or more, the trick is to keep that level when

she returns.   Tip: keep your mouth shut, attend to

every detail even if your mate won’t notice: the clean

tile grout in the upper reaches of the shower stall.

Resist looking at, or introducing yourself to the Asian

Claire Danes-alike when she walks slowly into and

out of view.  Allow cold concrete to freeze your ass

and smile as her lateness becomes an absence. This

fleeting annoyance provides the impetus to continue your

series of lecture/inspiration poems; though not as polished

as Beop Jeong, they may one day be read by a kindred bereft

lonely-heart.  One clot or another passes through your left

lung while dancing at Bubble Bar.  This causes a momentary

scrunched face look that some wild woman in a Budweiser shirt

actually notices.  Then your shoulder’s tapped by JY, the long

lost gift-giving friend.  She’s happy now.  Hey wait, so are you!




Ambient heat warms

left elbow

twenty feet above mossy

rocks, soggy

leaf-carpet forest.

Tin roof dries

quickly in the first

of three thaw days.  Geese

now prepare

to change directions.


winter hops,

this hotbed of nutrition

being the

closest oasis.

Library beeps

and mechanical

noises interrupt

deep nature

meditation dream.

This Cedar

having worked twenty years, is

about to

lose it all at the

thoughtless whim of one

capable of thought.


of warmth plus sharp dark shadows

invites lone

walker deeper in

to sanctuary.


Eunheungsa Two: 8 November 2011


This ancient

temple village gives

refuge to

city dwellers as

two monks do fall chores.

Five buildings

are reconstructed

already, but this place once

had thirty.  Armies

stayed and burned.

Fifteen years

of dedication

yields modern

comforts, new paint, an

enlarged plan to show.

She sweeps leaves

with a branch found near

riverbed, clearing a way

through yellow to fruit

so healthy.


chicken clucks echo off walls

as the day’s

mating dance starts on

the yard.  Two roosters

thrust necks at

each other, then chase five hens.

A chopper

disrupts natural

flow, soon disappears.

Copyright, Doug Stuber

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