Dan Cuddy: Two Poems

Croatian Daydream

where do I start?
first, kicking that critic who snuck in the attic of my brain
like a squirrel
I can hear his sarcastic mumbling and scratching and running
his tiny little redundant pentametering feet
let me get a broom or a shotgun
get the gloom outta the house

I will begin dipping my toes in the Adriatic
as I walk a Croatian beach
the water is turquoise
the women not swimming but wearing black bikinis
I catch them slyly from the corner of my eye
still haven’t gotten over adolescence after all these years
never would I be donned in choir robes
never sing clichés of music and lyric
not theirs anyway
I’m on a beach near Dubrovnik
the many shades of turquoise defy description
Besides I’m described out
the last drop of imported Italian wine sat not too well
I felt like the Roman Forum
a ruin
last night as the violins strolled among the tables
spicing the tomato sauce
my eyes peering through the curves of a wine glass
the red liquid jostled like my blood
Claudia Cardinale in all her youth had one elbow on the table
the cloth a red and white cliche’d check
after all this is a poem without rhythm but the long luxurious strokes
over the most sensuous taut strings
the sonorous echo in my skull
I am thick-headed with rhythm
Claudia looking at me
searching my eyes for a soul
it was a long search
and I visually frisked her body
the plump melons of her breasts
they were more like luscious plums than melons
but all dreams and poems are injected with hyperbole
unless ironically religious and prudish like prunes
I am not a prude
just lewd
but I keep it to myself
better to be a free decadent than a jailed pervert
better yet to be asexual in body, mind and soul
for yours is the kingdom of heaven
no regret, no inconsolable disappointment, no war within
all peace like a sea without a wave
the wisdom of the ages
the seer beneath the eucalyptus tree
something symbolical about that tree
but I haven’t surfed Wikipedia
the emperor of ice cream scooping cups of concupiscence
putting them aside
watching them melt in the warm sun
just like the water dripping off Claudia
after a dip in the Adriatic
and the violins play in my sinning heart
the many shades of turquoise inviting
the transforming essence of the grape
on my tongue
in my brain
and in a critic’s judgment
a smacked in the head critic
a terribly inept poem
oh so sweet is ineptitude
I don’t give a damn
except for you Claudia Cardinale
a shame we hadn’t met in our youth
when Truth was Beauty and Beauty was Truth
or something like that


A Barnyard Portrait

He was a little rooster,
his curly red hair a coxcomb,
his frame thin,
his head movements
when in heavy discourse
just a little less than that bandy
back-and-forth barnyard tic.
He squawked rather than talked.
He was always proclaiming
his prowess with hens,
always sniffing up their rear-feathered end.
He often clucked at inappropriate
times and at great broiling lengths
about the ideal chick,
dissertating like a bedding barn preacher.

Oh, it was a work hour.
Oh, farmer McDonald wanted him in his office.
Oh, he hoped he’d escape with his neck.

Ah, he’d be relieved when he returned,
head attached, little eyes swaying
in their sockets,
the little beak crowing words,
cursing the farmer
for threatening to make him
a capon
if he didn’t do his job,
get there on time
in the morning
to crow for customers.


A magazine cover with the word Loch Raven Review on top, the word Sixteen on bottom, a painting of a woman wearing a white gown centered.

Click here for The Loch Raven Review website


Photo credit: Kathy Cuddy

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