“from Jubilate Neoleo (Harry, his cat)” by Larry Jones

I’m a runaway from Commack, Long Island,
left home when I’d turned only two and
that same spring had a truly torrid fling

with a pandemonious she-panther from the
surly wrong side of the alley, soon thereafter
landing in a trap for vagrant, feral cats,

very much like the one I’d recently become.
Turns out that at my would-be mother-in-law’s
beckoning, I moved in on her daughter whose

cop boyfriend shortly went completely postal on me.
Next, not unlike last term’s mayor of New York City,
I move on, in on a Brooklynese gay business associate.  

Oh no, nothing like “Harry and Larry” becoming
sexually/romantically involved, again like
the last term’s mayor my narrowly having

just escaped/survived the extremely bitter end
to just such a disunion and my being just subsequent
to some very shall we say “challenging” surgery.  

Our roomie, Damian the Russian/Argentine refugee
artist, and I we share what was once a most fine
dining room, now his studio, my watercloset.  

I assist as he sculpts, sands, scrapes and paints
scrap wood into hieroglyphic gothic sailing ships
and other, shall we call them, vessels.  

And ever so infrequently the dancer David
will billow in breezing by blowing me a kiss,
being deathly allergic to the longhair likes of me.  

We’ll nosh and talk across the kitchen table
of how he’ll never take the New York bar,
wishes Sean Combs would return his calls …

The sunny and long apartment largely to
myself, somewhat large myself, most days,
the kitchen window over the senior center

parking lot my favorite stoop to spot to
watch the soaring, circling, resting, rising
blackbirds, crows, starlings, pigeons even gulls.  

My name?  Yes adopted and renamed, another
mother, Larry’s, my would-be mother-in-law’s
third and so far (hopefully) final husband.  

Yes like Walt Whitman from Long Island,
and never so very far from the sea.
And should my life these days seem a little

seamily like Emily’s, this not-going-out
business, well….  Frankly, I’ve not read
Larry’s poems, but am told that they are

disgraceful.  My only wish for him that he
might one way or another find it in himself to be
half so much in love and residence as am I

with Damian.

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