Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
I'd rather read stories that end before I want them to,
Than long, long stories I don't want to finish but should
Before I begin the next - which might be one that ends
Without my hearing the red-headed girl whose wit I like
Speak her wild mind out - or might be another long one.
I read about a wronged husband who boiled his black-hearted
Wife's betrayer down to the bones, an artist in limited way,
By why get to it years later, around page five hundred fifty?
I knew one preacher with terminal facilities, but only one.
All my visitors overstay an hour, and when I go to call,
Even on the most famous man I know, I catch myself wishing
To have been there. Music backs up one measure, goes two.
Funerals and weddings are over before the principals know it,
And with or without words, love-making makes its own end.
And a story is a story as long as there are new happenings.
Inaugurals and college commencements would never get raves
On the drama page, it takes so long to lose new characters
In the old plot, and there are too many, many speaking parts.
I'm in a hurry for new action, not in westerns but easterns,
Hungry like the end of the world and all the stores closed.
But even if I had forever, I'd break it up and out of here,
To the library for a one-week book and finish it before bed,
Chewing and talking, the music on, the family in and out.