Kathleen Rooney


The violet hour, the city at dusk.

His somnambulant apartment on Filbert Street.

Maybe this year will be frustrating in new ways—so much crap has yet to be pulled.

They bypass the folderol of candles, cake for the small divertimento of Ballantine Ale.

They eat pretzels & play some of Robinson’s songs.

Four decades he’s longed to be too good to ignore.

He bores himself these days.

Fears his conversion to a men’s magazine cliché:

Hot Jazz, he thinks. Liquor, he thinks. Dames, dames, dames.

His actuality has become burlesque—

affection toward a stripper he met doing theater:

bleached blonde in lowgloss lip paint.

She’s here, folded into a butterfly chair, wearing sexual darkness & a real mink stole.

Mysterious as a blank façade, Robinson has a moodswing.

Excuses himself to sit on the porch—

all misgiving & miscarried ambition. 

Paging through a driving guide to Mexico. 

Thinking: I’m doing it againapplauding myself in an echoplex.

Thinking: Lifestyle, Libido, & Intellect.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and the author of Oneiromance (an epithalamion) (Switchback Books, 2008) and the forthcoming collection Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). She lives in Chicago where, with Dave Landsberger and Eric Plattner, she does Poems While You Wait.

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