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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > Waiting for Lauren Bacall

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 Posted: Thu Aug 14th, 2014 10:09 pm
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timmy
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1077
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Mana: 
I sit on a bench outside
the Dakota on a sunshine day
in July of 1988, waiting,
waiting for Lauren Bacall
to enter my afternoon world

I spoke, almost secretively,
to a security guard
the previous day,
a young man who puffed
up when I inquired
about John Lennon
and that Chapman fellow;
ironically, he knew nothing
about the violence that day,
only the violence since

I do not carry a copy
of The Catcher in the Rye;
instead, I sit quietly holding
a Starbucks and think
about far away destinations
like Key Largo or other such
places written on the wind

I occupy myself, Central Park
behind me, incapsulated
by tall buildings, a green space
of Strawberry Fields, and Passenger
Cars Only signage; there is a man
in a blue dress shirt down the block;
he seems to be dusting off a bench;
I wonder if he is also waiting
for Lauren Bacall

I do not know what I will say
to her if she were to appear;
hello sounds so benign; yet,
I love you seems a bit forward

How does one speak intimately
to a person these days when
intimacy is limited to a screen
of black-and-white cinema:
Lauren is twenty-something,
alluring, faint, and sexy,
kissing other men, telling
them to just whistle and...blow
if she is needed; I am at a loss,
my name is not Steve,
my confidence is ebbing,
a transit bus has stopped between
her Dakota doors and my bench

My Starbucks is cold, there are dead
leaves blowing past my feet, the man
in the blue shirt has been joined
by another man; I can see their mouths
moving but their words are lost
in a wagon train drone of automobiles,
red and white trucks, and that damn bus

It finally lumbers on, another thousand
people appear from every direction;
in this awkward period of time,
I fear I have missed Lauren,
almost as much as I fear
I have missed an important story
in this naked city of eight million stories

I feel my muscles and veins rippling
in rising circles, the hundreds of pigeons
surrounding me like lost friends;
all of them preparing to depart
at exactly the same time.

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