Forget the overdue book,
the music clubs whose disks you never returned,
the extra cellphone charges
for missing the free minute zone,
the soft nagging of disappointment.
Were you ever any different?
Capitalism depends on forgetfulness.
Who can keep up? A friend told me,
"You must get a credit card
that earns free air miles."

There are people who worry
about the insurance on their jewelry,
pick up dry cleaning on time
and organize their shoe racks.
Do you really have the energy?
To manage every detail
you must attend to every wrinkle.
You may miss the pearly trout
beneath the willow bank,
the luna moth drying
green wings with purple piping
on the white clapboard.

Now They Fit

Sansabelt slacks my dad presented me
when I returned from medical school
to interview for residency.

Sansabelt by Jaymar,
the beltless miracle for middle age--
bell-bottomed though conservative gray.

The elastic puzzled me and the wide
band of cotton that contained it
(striped in multicolored threads)

that gave the sensation of being hugged
by a benevolent rubber band,
anything for the middle—

like the middle of a poem,
to be ignored. Sansabelt
was the solution to my father’s

aging frame, Sansabelt by Jaymar
(if I recall the name)—though I never
understood his fascination—until now

Late Show

It was the late late late late late show
spanning midnight forever
until the wee hours of the morning
and afternoon and evening,
the show to end all shows—
the star-spangled Boobarama!—
where talk show hosts hosted
other talk show hosts who babbled
about their favorite talk show hosts
constantly without interruption
except commercials—
it was the show to end all shows!

Oprah and Leno were there
and Citizen Kane and Marilyn
and Brando and the Marx Brothers.
They blathered inoffensive gobbledygook
and complimentary bloviatons
because in Hollywood
everyone’s your best friend!

It was the late late late late late show!
I swear the hosts all looked like Jerry Mahoney,
scratching their televangelist-hair noggins
like silver lottery tickets—Ah, the slavery of talk!
To lie well, to lie often, to please all!

C.E. Chaffin, M. D. FAAFP, edited and published
The Melic Review for eight years prior to its hiatus.
Widely published on the net and in print, he has
written literary criticism, fiction, personal essays,
and has been the featured poet in over twenty
magazines, the next of which will be Quill and

Credits include: The Alaska Quarterly Review,
Byline, The Cortland Review, Envoi, Kimera, Magma,
Pif, The Pedestal, the Philadelphia Inquirer Book
Review and Rattle. He has appeared in a number of
anthologies and will soon be published along with
the likes of e. e. cummings and Theodore Roethke
in “Crazed by the Sun.” For more of his work visit
www.cechaffin.com or simply google “C. E.
Chaffin”. Shoe size: same as mouth.

© 2008 Underground Voices