AT EIGHTY by Martin A. Abramson   © Fort Lauderdale 2015     

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What a farce!

We puppets
hurled by our scruffs
across the stage
crazily dancing, jerked
on hidden strings

the puppeteer
playing for laughs.

Who cares when puppets are ripped asunder
savaged for spare parts?

But this illusion of life
suspended in the stockroom
rehearsing endlessly
the muffed lines and missed cues
foisted on us by the puppeteer

...that's the worst part


You'll experience
a series of pleasant memories

like skating with Judy
on the Central Park rink

an anesthetic entr'acte
to soften the terror
of having


For Barbara

I had a dream about you
we were near Central Park
crowded with happy people.

You were leaving the car
but suddenly turned back and kissed me
then we were kissing ferociously
I said, "Why haven't we done this before?

(like 30 years ago)

      To Bobby

Did you ever make your peace with Sam
who only had a peasant cunning
against the emotional spectrum
we got from Mom?

Now that he's dead twenty years
and estranged forty
can you accept the part of him
that would have been pleased to hear
that you made ten times more money
than he ever did?

   Forget Sartre

Still breathing...

instinct and sensible

Elvis my coeval
long dead
with everything to live for.

But the curious phenomenon
of life itself
is all I know

not fine wine
or lustful women

Forget Sartre.

I am your only

On the Beach: for Ava

sometimes at night
always when I'm asleep
you leave marbles and shells
at the mouth of my cave

I would like to show you
pictures of my family

In the Moment...
we have no idea

whirling us in
sweeping us along

(the laws of physics)

this fateful world


life at five
the pebbled cement
of Sutter Avenue
steel trolley tracks
holding ma's hand
people everywhere
now mostly gone
1940's people
mostly gone

The Cloisters

a ghost slips through the hydrangeas
along the grassy walk
high above the Hudson
where we would stroll and talk

a ghost that flings itself against
the barrier of years
remembered by a silent urn
haunting the meadow where I wished
so often to return