Twenty-five selected poems
Charles gives an overview of the book:
InfidelityCheated on my wife yesterday.
Short changed my employer too.
It wasn’t the first time either.
Left work early, headed straight for a rendezvous.
The motor lodge perfectly situatedmidway between office and home.
Pulled into the lot, backeddirectly in front of room one-twenty
hiding my tag from street-side eyes.
I’m experienced at this.
Looked up, mirrored the doorand imagined the room beyond.
Dresser on the right, TV on top,bathroom straight ahead,
end tables sandwich a king-sized bed partially occupied,
clothes hastily thrown over a chair.
No sense waiting, reached into my attaché—for the key— to anticipated bliss.
Quickly opened to page twenty-two ofTaylor Mali’s, What Learning Leaves.
Read “Like Lilly Like Wilson” for a fifth time.
Thirty minutes passed as one.
Stopped on page forty-five, slipped in the bookmark,
closed the paperback, stuffed it,well back under the passenger seat.
Hurriedly fired up the engine and sped homeward,
traveling a meager five miles over the limit.
No sense incurring a ticket, compoundingmy indiscretion and adding to the guilt.
With difficulty, ignored the cell phone’s musical demand for action.
Was it the office? The wife? Powered it off.
Half-hour purloined from the world.
Worth every second but hopefully
this compulsion will not lead to obsessionthat wrecks my career,
ruins a joyful marriagebuilt upon foundations of honesty and trust.
Is there a twelve-step program for poetry addicts?
If so, pray it never comes to that for me.
Redner is the publisher and executive editor of The Hummingbird Review, a new literary anthology (first issue Feb., 2010). Author of Down But Never Out, Open Books Press, 2010, a bio of boxing champ...