Practice For The Real Thing 2009

           Practice For The Real Thing

It’s practice:

Makeup on each day.

I’ll probably see no one –

No one’s here but me.

I could say that it’s harmony – or vanity,

That I’m dissatisfied au naturelle,

Practice for events to be –

Eventualities I’ve learned

Through observation and experience,

Are meaningless. Nobody cares.

We know Narcissus lives,



am I impressing for a what that waits?I do the thing –

The writing thing, the dressing thing,

The thinking, contemplating thing

In preparation for

The real thing

Which always has turned out to be


© Practice For The Real Thing 1.31.2009

Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Reality; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin

Interpreting Signs 2009

               Interpreting Signs

The pluckéd eyebrows still grow back;

A secret symptom only we,

The caged in age, perceive.

We watch and sometimes grieve.

We know our bodies

Singular- collectively;

We see what’s stopped,

What’s slowed, what’s new;

We know what we inhabit but,

We feel what we have always been.

We know how to interpret.

© Interpreting Signs 1.15.2009

Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Nature;Circling Round Woman;

Arlene Corwin


Day After #2

                 Day After #2

One day

After New Year’s Eve;

Nine years

Post millennium:

Continuation ordinaire,

Nothing changed but numbers.

What makes dates so great?

Why the fireworks

To signalize

A time that’s anyway here/gone?

I am a yin/yang person

Thinking all the time –

What’s there to celebrate

When it’s a fiction?

© Day After 1.2.2009

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Circling Round Reality;

Circling Round Vanities; Birth, Death & In Between; Time;

Arlene Corwin


Coming To Terms 2008

      Coming To Terms

I can’t keep thinking about

Drooping, mushy tushy’s* programmed gravity’s

Hormonal mystery defeating one and winning.


Neither looking at my bod’ nor sulking;

Tired of made-up mirror terrors while

My profile carries on its travels.


Reveling in my knee-length end,

Friends will understand,

And strangers don’t concern me.

*tushy; Yiddish for rear end, bottom, rump


© Coming To Terms 10.23.2008Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Woman;

Arlene Corwin


Breaking In New Shoes 2008

      Breaking In New Shoes
He wanted to break in new shoes.

A little tight, they broke him in.

A bump on arch’s cartilage,

A change in bone.

The underlying principle

Whose undertone is:

If the shoe

Is new

And tight,

Don’t fight

Your foot.

The vanity that buys the shoe,

That underlies

The thing,

Will bring you to the Buddhist view

That life is suffering

Take the loss and skip the talk.

Save your walk

And take it back.

© Breaking In New Shoes 8.18.2008
A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin



After The Bunion 2008

     After The Bunion
I’m tired of this body.
Pamper,  feed and vitamin it,

Beauty top priority.

But when chips are down,

Three days a-bed,

Papers read, 

Radio a-listenéd,

Computer sites computeréd,

Still sick and sickened,

I can sympathize with those who let it pass away

Voluntarily.  Yet,

Every glass is half-full,

Backs have  fronts,

Effects make causes new,

And you –

You’re not a body with a soul,

But soul with body.

Since you never know what waits,

The sick and tired body

Has a vanity-less duty

To hold out, push on the fates

And live.

© After The Bunion 11.16.2008
A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Birth, Death & In Between;
Circling Round Nature; Circling Round Vanities; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin



How Not To Save Money 1998

      How Not To Save Money

A good job:

You’ve got it!

No snob,

And yet you eat out

Quite a lot;

All over town,

This restaurant, that café,

This talked about museum, that play,

This club,

This pub –

Why not?

You’re earning pounds, so use them.

A good flat, clothes,

Of course!

No clothes horse,

But what’s ‘in’ is key –

Not consciously,

But in the stream.

Friends, trips –

One needs the new,

To come to grips

With life. One’s young,


One doesn’t smoke,

And one or two good trips a year

Do well to stoke

The fires.

Still no risk of getting old,

Growing bald,

Losing out to someone younger

On the job or in the home.

The time’s to find out

Who you are, and what to do

About the days and nights you roam

The streets with gobs

Of energy, a heart that throbs.

Philately, a cup of tea,

Reflecting on the death of days,

The endless, certain, fickle ways

Of change –

Now’s not the time to pan the range,

Examine change.

It’s all so strange,

It’s all so new:

Now is the time to do.©


How Not To Save Money 98.7.2

Going, Going, Gone 1998


        Going, Going, Gone

You’ll think that I’m a wimp,

This, lamentation.

This is not a whine or ‘wingeing’ –

This is for the women

Just to show we are one breed.

Besides which, I am scientific:

Deep inside I need to measure.


I succeed in looking good with color from the pot,

The dew is definitely gone.

Pose, clothes achieve a lot,

But lines above the lip define

What hairs betray with deadly aim –

That estrogen has passed away:

Estrogen has stayed its time.

Cropping up and popping out on eyebrow, chin

Where corners of the mouth cave in,

Unpredictable as blight.

Fifty-six was nifty-six.

Flaws would go back overnight.

Now muscle, ligaments within

Need more protein:

Wrinkly, crinkly

Thigh king-post twinkly.

Sanity or vanity –one’s more and one’s reduced,

This warp insidious

Yet nothing-ness.

Perhaps we’re really walking minds;

Organisms old as now,

Young as a nineteen thirty-four,

Youth-eating time, the omnivore

Where body’s going, going, gone.

If one is not to give a fig,

But keep on digging

Out of scientific interest,

Dressing up until the interest dies away,

That’s quite okay.

It’s just a game. I’ll play.



Going, Going, Gone 98.10.26Circling Round Woman; Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Circling Round Vanities; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin




Changing Forms 1998

      Changing Forms

Over lip hair,

There unwanted creases;

Helpless watcher’s silent whine.

Every noticed day’s new shock

Which doesn’t block the clock

But forces one to love what’s mineThrough love of self.

Changing Forms 98.1.27

I Is Always You Is We; Circling Round Woman;

Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin

But Now You’re Seventy 1998


      But Now You’re Seventy

But now you’re seventy,

And fifty-six seems young.

At eighty, seven decades will seem juvenile,

And you, the wee marsupial,

A worm in mommy’s pung.

For such are our perceptions:

Relative and without substance.

Now you’re seventy.

Repeat it!

See the troll for what is:

Foolish, impish chimera

Whose scornful aim it is

To move the goalpost back and forth,

East to west, south to north –

Making you a little you:

What rot! What poppycock!

A crock of shit!

With each new decade you are it!

More refined.

It’s all a trade-off:

Seeing time and what it’s made of:

Pain’s long trip from breath to breath

Where something ‘fab’ awaits.



But Now You’re Seventy 98.2.16Circling Round Woman; I Is Always You Is We; Birth, Death & In Between;

Time; Special People, Special Occasions; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin

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