NOT MAJOR HOOPLES BOARDING HOUSE:
I just returned from a long mostly silent journey.
To discover I just inherited a twelve-room house.
It feels vaguely like the last house.
But don’t ask me its location.
Exterior needs a little paint but don’t they all.
Remodeling seems to be a work in progress, just like so many of my paintings.
There are tenants occupying most of the rooms.
But even those that are currently empty one often hears the whispers of the past.
It’s rumored that Tiny Tim produced his best music in room number three.
The Venus room looks wonderful, but Saturn has done the decorating.
Surya shines bright and bold, but I find it too hot…Jim Morrison felt the same way.
A hell of a fight breaks out in room number six, Mars breaks a window or two.
The Moon is milky sweet but is afraid of Rahu’s shadow.
That snake scares me too.
Why oh why did they decide to be roommates!
Mercury is fast but sometimes outruns himself and forgets to lock the door.
Jupiter is gracious and our guiding light, watching over everyone like a sleepy owl.
In time they all will transit to other rooms.
Google maps says follow the neon sign shouting Color TV and Free Coffee!
Damage deposits and thirty days’ notice required.
My dear departed wife collected dolls.
I am now collecting shadows.
Storage is not a problem.
This collection is not for sale.
I normally don’t play favorites but this one has all my attention.
Its exact location is hard to pinpoint.
Google maps does not help.
It often appears under a passing cloud or nestled beside me in the warmth of my shadow.
Often it shows up in a dream, wearing a blond wig and a t-shirt that says I love Cairn Terriers.
I even wrote a long and beautiful love letter to it, but it was too long and too beautiful.
Now it’s gone AWOL… was it stolen or just a runaway?
Is there an app for this?
I might put on a milk carton… Have You Seen Me?
My friend Jenny collects sentences.
THE LONG DRIVE TO NOWHERE
Horace Tibbs long journey started decades ago.
He accompanied his father Walter on his never-ending sojourns across town.
His mother Joyce provided the marching orders.
Their 1965 Plymouth had seen it all, well, all that was worth seeing.
Walter insisted on always wearing his tie and wide brim hat.
Sloppiness was not tolerated in the Tibbs house no matter how small.
Everything Horace learned about these ball- busting drives, and the brain cell depletion he
learned from his dad.
Men did not go into the stores with their wives. That was strictly taboo.
Sitting in the car was where these jockeys belonged.
Music was not allowed; it drained the battery.
Conversation was limited to man talk… sports, lawn maintenance, or some rant about the
Commies in the Soviet Union.
Other sitters could be seen in their cars as well.
There was no waving or acknowledging; this was akin to talking at the men’s urinal.
Once a couple was arguing loudly next to their car about money.
They paid no attention to him or his father.
They never do.
The only distraction was when a buxom lass trotted in front of the car.
His dad often honked the horn, “a mistake “ he would say with a wide smile.
A family tradition worth keeping.
Now Horace was on his own, his dad long gone.
He sometimes listened to the radio, an act of treason he knew.
His own wife resented his unproductive car time.
“What are you doing” she would ask. Often the same words she uttered in bed.
They both worry about Bobby their son. Would he become another horn honker?
Can we do a DNA test for this?
Bobbie wouldn’t be caught dead with his parents.
He had recently begun calling them by their first names.
He would rather smoke cigarettes and cruise around town chasing girls.
Something Horace often fantasized about.
The sitters’ club, like dinosaurs, would soon be extinct.
There would be no movie, or book. Most likely a 12-step program would emerge.
Horace found himself on occasion crying quietly in his car over this sad situation.
And why, oh why, did they name him Horace for god’s sake!
Tears would flow but he was careful not to stain the leather upholstery.
Nothing cheered him up except maybe the hair solons owner’s daughter Rhonda and her tight
He would muse about painting her, in the nude of course.
At least he’s going out on a high note.
A mistake was made, his horn was honking.
Frankie Laufer is an oil painter and writer living in Walla Walla, WA.
His paintings have been shown in both the SF Bay area and Eastern Washington state.
His poems have recently appeared on Piker Press.
The expressive nature of both painting and writings creates the possibility of rediscovering
lost or forgotten feelings and the possibility of new discovery.