Not the poet–though yes,
a poet, aspiring. Old.
At Big Cup he regards us
slickened with testosterone,
his eyes entertained.
Though his full hair helps him
seem a youth in drag
save for the swags of his neck,
he can’t but help present
himself as age itself,
a brand of birthmark
we think won’t accrue,
unnerving as June rime
limning a suburban lawn,
as if he were a black man
scouting a Mormon temple.
His melting candle of body,
cupped, burns. He grins.
Compare him to the man-crone
trolling Our Place
in Des Moines with Frank
Fortuna and Dan Grace
two decades ago:
Brutally cruising, drunken,
his halo of hair aflame,
he swaggered to budding men
declaring “You’ll be me!,”
his annunciation denunciation,
then stalked off, sated.
The boys, abashed and angry,
decided time was a virus
you just had to swallow.
“The faggot angel of death,”
Frank baptised him.
Now Frank is fifty-one,
commences drinking at noon.
Maybe knowing Frank,
or himself an initiate of crones,
and warhorse of Village cafes,
whose soldiers now are wraiths
(who here knows
what old men know?),
Milton acts like he belongs.
He steps among tattoos,
buzzed hair, and bashful mouths,
inhales the caffeine and finds
himself an appropriate chair,
surveying the sipping guys,
while taking care to seem
a clean old man.
He winks, to summon us
to the fallen fruit of himself
that if we’ve got guts enough
we will pick up and eat.
Check out Tomas Mourian’s interview with David Groff in the Huffington Post