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

What You Really Want 1994

     What You Really Want

What is it you want?

Good food? Nice figure?

Skip the figure – just food?

Big house? Stable mood?

One dollar? One million?


job? no job? Just fun?Something to do?

Husband? Wife? Baby? Two?

Time to putter with the flowers?

Hours puttered on the green?

Ecstasy? A vision? Insight?

Hiring someone else to clean?

As high as you aim is as high as you’ll get.

The such-ness of wanting

Depends on the bet you are willing to place,

The debt you are willing to pay

For the backlog of errors still milling about

in the mind.

There once was a peasant who,

Asked what he’d do

If the crown of the czar were to land on his head,

Said, “Man, are you crazy!”

His voice coarse but level:

“Steal ten rubles and run like the devil!”

He thought he was free.

(His level, you see)

All he would do is to steal and flee.

The most you’ll possess

Is no more and no less

Than the thing that you want.

© What You Really Want 11.14.1994

Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin


Poem #1 1994

          Poem # 1: 1994

Who will die, and what will die –

In brief, will change identity?

What plans and systems hit the floor,

A heap of dust in ninety-four?

What institutions far and wide-

Disorder, borders, cultures fried?

What plaques and monuments be carved:

Informed, infused by masses starved?

What scientific theories spurned,

Records broken, taken, burned?

Celebrities. We always wonder

Which will die or just go under.

Famous men and women frame

And give our generation name.

It comforts us to see them go,

We also mourn the passing show,

For though we like a bit of smear,

To gossip, throw a secret spear,

We mourn the passing forms we knew,

Formulas by which we grew.


In ‘ninety-four, the conscious eye

Will peer out of itself while wakeful ear

Will strain itself to hear

In preparation. Throats will clear

While nose that’s sensitive smell fear:

Certain endings, circles closed,

Cycles within cycles doused.


What will pass in ‘ninety-four,

Go back to sleep to snore,

Creating once again the lore of yore?

It is a bore.

We never learn.

© Poem #1 1994 1.2.1994

Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin


The Psyche Of The Culture 1993

                The Psyche Of The Culture
The psyche of the culture is a sickness unto death.
It’s seen in all the symbols bought and sold in every breath.
I’ve been around the gorgeous homes in Frisco and LA.
I’m not even sure what awful truth I’m trying hard to say:
I see caring homes and careful homes,
Careless homes, no car-less homes;
But car-filled phones and phone-filled cars,
And all that’s written in the stars
‘Bout phony wares and phony stares
And wary phonies
Tearing breakneck speed toward monies,
Wearing out their hearts and tummies
On commodities so crummy…
What one hopes is that one’s wrong.
If the psyche is a symbol of its deep and real wealth,
And my dinner conversation an extension of its health,
Buried deep within the system is illusion by collusion –
The throng that’s carried right along.
How I fear for those that lay their actions on that shelf.
The psyche of that crumpled culture falls in on itself.©The Psyche Of The Culture 93.4.1


Definitely Didactic; Our Times, Our Culture; Defiantly Doggerel;
Arlene Corwin



The Process Pre-mental 1993

                   The Process Pre-mental
Yesterday’s triumph was only activity,

Yesterday’s failure only black-tivity.

Pay no attention to either. They’re empty.

Ladder-like, bladder-like,

Empty, just empty.

Yang-ish and Yin-ish,

There’s never a finish,

One holding the other;

Contiguous brothers,

Like dust on a mirror,

Smoke from a fire.

You’ll pardon my Gita, but each one conspires

To fill out the day.

They’re really just clay,

And never do stay.

What is it I wanted to say?

Oh yes, playing –

And that is the point:

In sorrow or harrowed, encapsuled entire

In this wired spire

Is: each never stays,

But changes and alternates.

Always the nebulae forming from dusts

And the gases of nebulae crusts;

Total explosions that send out the seeds

Of equal potential to fill out the needs

Of new forming clusters

Grasped in their grandeur.

Its essence elusive, which rules out a seeking,

The peeking behind each intuitive find.

Speechless with awe,

Ecstasy permeates pencil and paw.

They grind to a halt,

This entire procedure salt for the day.


©The Process Pre-mental 93.2.4

Definitely Didactic; Nature In & Of Reality;

Arlene Corwin



Revised View Of My Parents 1996 2007

              Revised View Of My Parents

A shorthand that I understand,

Essential for my peace of mind:

No more at war with mother’s dark, illogic mind,

No more preferring daddy’s kind

But weak, artistic presence, pleasantries.

Now, today, with daddy clearly

On his way, and mother nearly mad with sadness,

Locked in bed and impotent to run and help,

She eighty-four, he eighty-seven – at death’s door,

Three thousand miles away, derangement his finale.

Now that I know Arlene a bit,

The strengths and tendencies that show,

And some that don’t, I wish to forfeit

All the old complaints and sufferings,

Replacing them with grateful yea’s

For useful gifts and graceful traits,

(The freebees that I took for granted

Or assumed were shaped by ways

Of don’t know what.)

I know now never could have been

If mother had not been exactly

Who she was, and dad the same –

And that does not include my name.

View revised, not over-, undersized,

I’ve re-evaluated mom and dad.

It’s time now to apologize

For thoughts unkind: thoughts just plain bad,

Too analytical and double bound –

A blind unquestioning and double-binding paradox

That locks the brain into the box in which it runs around;

To reach the point where one no longer

Alternates between the passive and aggressive

To feel briefly stronger…

Gone to error’s happy land, left free of frenzied cleft.

Since the honeycomb of home is love,

And all roads lead to Rome,

It is love’s inauguration that has changed my view.

My children, will you need that too?

I do expect you will.

©Revised View Of My Parents 96.8.27.revised 07.4.6

Love Relationships; Mother Book; Pure Nakedness;

Arlene Corwin



PUshed Around By Fate 1998 2007


            Pushed Around By Fate

Wed at twenty.

Thirteen later months a bairnTo care and think and learn about,

And little brain

Prepared to form a life my own.

Unprepared, reaching out,

Guessing, tripping, dripping doubt;

Not grown, without a cicerone,

Stupid right down to the bone,

But glad to leave a family home

That felt unreal as foam.

Yet now all’s right and all is fixed –

The complex simply un-complex.

What seemed like chaos back then when,

Was inner order,


On grace.



Pushed Around By Fate 98.8.23/07.2.7Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Woman; Pure Nakedness; Time;

Arlene Corwin


Out In Town 2007

                  Out In Town

I walked along the main street

With a thousand more

In front, behind, beside

And saw

A hundred years from now.

Not one of those in front of me,

Behind, beside

Will be here,

While our leaders

(who won’t be here too)


To provoke pretense defense.

Not here

A measly hundred years

From now.

What could be more ill logical

Than killing off

A generation

That won’t be here anyhow

In senseless, cruel

Shortsighted wars

As if we had control?


Our Times, Our Culture; Birth, Death & In Between; Revelations Big & Small;

Arlene Corwin 
©Out In Town 07.9.13.  


Slipping Into A Slot # 2&3 2003

Slipping Into A Slot parts 2&3

Who’da thought the breasts would soften,

Get a little lower, sag?

(The word’s too strong.

My run’s been long.

Not yet a hag.

Then those cheek bones –

Lines beneath them?

(`Wrinkle is a trifle strong.)

Vanity still hits its gong

But lines have flowered.

Who’da dreamt a kidney stone

Could blow up,

Need a blast and show up

© Slipping Into A Slot parts 2&3 03.11.3(03.3.26)

Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Woman; I Is Always You Is We; Time; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin

Getting Used To Death 2008

     Getting Used To Death

Long, drawn out or quick and sudden?

Which would I prefer?

Long, drawn out gets friends and family used to it-

The chronic it. Grateful when you’ve gone –

Glad that the suffering is over

(For the other and themselves);

Daily visits, altered schedules,

Shifts from love’s devotedness

To medical frustrations, system weaknesses

That make one mad;

All over with and terminated.

Long gives time for settlement: insurance, testament;

Allows for karmic caring, showing

Love long put to bed.

Long gives sacrifice a shine.

Long is a great revealer. And

The chosen one can choose the kind

Of funeral and casket. And,

(If one has nerve to ask) command

Donation or cremation or the ordinary earth.

A long, drawn out passing-on has hope,

The chance to think forgiveness.

Quick’s shock is numbs.

Quick is another sorrow.

No tomorrow for a chat, that being that,

Things left undone, unsaid –resolved,

Quelled and dispelled ambition.

Quick spurns longtime-suffering,

Morphine dependence, side effects.

Quick has its points to favor it:

Embarrassment and diapered shit

A non-existent shame.

Quick is the name of she or he

Who laughed while waving, crossed a street,

Or said goodnight and never woke;

Whose brain still spoke,

Who had no time to fear.

Which one would I prefer,

(If I could choose at all?)

© Getting Used To Death 1.6.2008

Birth, Death & In Between;

Arlene Corwin




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