I Cannot Stand To See You There 1990 1993

        I Cannot Stand To See You There: A Temporary Aberration

I cannot stand to see you there.

I cannot stand to see your face.

A person always in despair

Is hard to bear, so hard to bear.

And scarcely easier the space:

The place you take of pasty waste.

I cannot stand to hear your voice –

Opinionated New York voice:

That mass of uninformed ideas

Expressed unasked; that mass of fears

And vulgar views; contempt, disdain

For other views, and plainly

Those with godly hues.

I cannot stand to hear you speak.

Each talk demands one turn one’s cheek.

You turn all conversation round

To talk about yourself instead.

You run all sound ideas to ground:

You’ve never read a book.

And drag about that sad, filled brain.

You’re seldom cheerful. You complain.

You alternate complain/demand/

Complaint again, your days like sand.

Your stays in bed are days in bed.

You lie about, get up to pee.

You think your thoughts in secrecy.

There’s nothing in you to agree.

Black’s always white. Simplicity

Has left you. Stiff, probably

A long, long time ago there was

A flexible persona there;

A dare I say it, vulnerable child bare.

But now the openness is less.

How silly of me to suggest

An open word like openness.

It’s angst to see you at the door,

And dull to fix your meals, for

There’s no appreciation seen,

Just an indifference to what’s been.

A candle or a flower wasted,

Fine, brewed coffee hardly tasted.

Instant is as good to you.

Why bother, when it’s all the same?

A stew, a brew – just change the name.

As for dinner conversation:

Cynical and silly words,

Repeated, hackneyed little turds;

Dogmatic, slanted, un-thought through;

Self-centered clichés only you

Can see.

If only you could trust in folk.

You simply can-, will not agree

With him or her, or them or me

About the slightest, lightest joke.

You never get the point!

Each issue, like a tissue crumpled,

Torn de-valued, thrown away.

Where the hell’s your sense of play?

Contentious always, and yet yellow,

Formula for living hell, you

Make our dining times an effort,

Pleasant conversation, indigestible sensation.

When it comes to giving credit,

You have done it, seen it, said it.

Since your every word gives pain,

I can’t stand you near again.

If only you’d hold in those good

Suggestions: food,

Ideas, including portions I should cook,

How the size itself should look.

I think, until the day we die,

I will try and cry and sigh. You’ll vie.

Have all those meaningless days’ “Why?”

And I’ll just have to learn to try

That bit more to interpret

Your behavior as a debt

That I must pay in order that this small disjointed,

Small dis-joy-nted soul gets whole.

But God, it’s hard to be a loving, peaceful child

To one whose conflicts drive me wild,

Whose every statement gets me riled,

Whose thinking circles around ‘me’.Blindness or stupidity?

You interrupt and never listen,

Never shift from a position.

Whether stated or negated

Every tiny point’s negated,

Almost hated, never sated.

Worst of all,

one feels so sorryFor a woman of some charm.

Still, I’d like to break your arm

For marching, army-like upon

Your daughter and your murdered son.

You never hesitate, you tank!

How I’d love a mom to thank.

How I’d love to thank you but

To be quite frank, I can’t. The hurt

Is much too much twixt twisted you

And direct me. A blindness or stupidity?

An eg-or-eccentricity?

Writing it, is therapy,

A never-ending poetry.

I’ll have to fight to not re-write

(Which could go on indefinitely )

Playing the sage,

Expressing innocent and guilty rage.

This poem has got to stop,

Attention turning to my pop,

My dear Alzheimer losing dad,

The dad who’s losing all he had.

Besides, the anger’s petered out,

So why more meter?

Of course, there are some signs of change,

The range minute and bound to teeter.

Any change is better

Than that set, depressive crater.

Dare I say, it’s bound to be

Resolved one day,

In poetry

Or not.


©I Cannot Stand To See You There 93.6.20/90.12.21

Love Relationships; Pure Nakedness; Mother Book;

Arlene Corwin










Back From Brooklyn 1990 2007

              Back From Brooklyn

I find the world an evil, unreliable place:

Its pace, its face – I can’t find my space,

And the whole human race is falling apart,

Diseased at its heart.


‘Race’ verb, ‘race’ noun –

Full-blown its weakness,

I groan as the town crows

And cry as the town groans,

The how of tomorrows

Stressed, mussed up and trussed;

The now of tomorrows pretentious.


I’ve thought it before


I’ll think it again:

Anything built upon quicksand

Falls in,


I’ve been

There and walked there and talked there

And seen


When unreliable worlds carry on

Bonfires double so hot as the sun

Leave a few of us here


The most of us gone.


Thought it before.

Think it again:

Anything built upon quicksand falls in –

Given time.

©Back From Brooklyn 90.11.13/rev07.9.3

Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin





Conducting Life As If it Were A Jazz Improvisation 2003

Conducting Life As If It Were A Jazz Improvisation

The fresh, the changed,

The voluntary risk,

The lively soul unmasked,

The task jumped into

Free of plan,

The thought of fear,

Of ‘must’, of ‘ought’,

Some in-known you

That foregoes rescue

Just to find the ‘you’ defined

That calls up some strange peace of mind

Which, in itself makes hard days easy –

Years of falling on your face


Conducting life as if it were

A jazz improvisation.


©Conducting Life As If It Were A Jazz Improvisation 03.5.14

Vaguely About Music; Nature In & Of Reality;

Arlene Corwin

©Conducting Life As If It Were A Jazz Improvisation 03.5.14

Vaguely About Music; Nature In & Of Reality;

Arlene Corwin

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