August 23-29, 2004: Michael Estabrook and V.M.

week of August 23-29, 2004

Michael Estabrook and VM

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Michael Estabrook

Bio (auto)

Empty-nesting here in Acton, Massachusetts, with the last child off in college leaves me some time (between work and going to school myself) to finish about a thousand poems begun over the past couple years; also trying to get a real book of poems published, entitled “A Superlative Woman” (about my wife).

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Michael Estabrook and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


“You need to get a big dog for
your self-esteem,” Eddie says, after I mention
I’m scared to death that our tiny terrier
will be torn to shreds by the two gigantic,
muscular ridgebacks living down the block My wife laughs at me, “They play fine together,
dear Paul and I take long walks
in the woods in the morning and they
play fine together.” Her eyes have a funny glint,
just to taunt me I hope Paul’s one of those
golden boys, large and strong, an up-
and-coming businessman with the shiny BMW,
the vacation house on the Cape,
the hefty stock portfolio, and cute little
businesswoman wife who rides her
exercise bike, jogs in the park
on the weekends, and can’t cook to save
her tight little ass But I still can’t stop
the anxiety, worrying about poor little Spenser
and what big Paul’s big ridgebacks may do
to him one of these misty mornings
as their master and mistress walk together
in the steamy summer woods Maybe Eddie’s
right, I simply need a bigger dog.

Mrs Dalloway

My wife leans over
touches my arm
ever so lightly “You’re a genius,”
she says, her sweet
breath warming my cheek Man that was right out of the blue “OK,” I laugh, “if you say so,
but it’s because
I married you.” “No, silly,”
she shakes
her pretty head and smiles “You’re a genius because you
can read Mrs Dalloway.”

Marc Campbell

”I had another dream about my wife and another man.” (Even after 30 years of marriage to this beautiful, wonderful woman, I am still insecure, fearful she will stumble upon a real man who likes football and golf, collecting tools and hanging around Home Depot ) ”It wasn’t as bad as some of the other dreams where she was kissing other guys, but it woke me up and kept me up for a long while.” Mike continues chewing his sandwich wondering why I’m such an idiot ”We were in some hotel lobby and she came out of this phone booth, sort of burst out of this phone booth, smiling very broadly, her face flushed She looked at me and said, ’Marc Campbell really likes me!’ then scurried off down the hall.” Mike says, ”Man, you really are insecure, but at least nothing graphic happened, I mean it could’ve been worse.” Yes indeed, it could have been worse In one dream I had she was making out with some guy in a car, pressed up against him, rubbing him In another dream she was sitting next to some guy in a sauna, red-faced and wrapped only in a towel, his hand Yes it could be worse, it can always be worse Later Mike sent me an email clearing up some confusion I had about a stupid powersaw he was buying, something as a ”man” I should already know He ends his email by stating, ”No wonder your wife likes Mark Campbell.” Ha, really funny I write back, ”It’s Marc Campbell damn you!”



The dismal grey of the rain-soaked clouds
hanging like dark veils over weary skies
darken and subdue the lush power
lurking in the thick green of the Wicklow Mountains

The crowded bus rocks on its dirty wheels
as it speeds along the tiny dirt road
that snakes and curls around the ancient trees
and empty stone churches

The Glen of the Two Lakes appears
cradling the abandoned monastery
Craggy rocks and broken trails
circle the pristine water

What venerable history dwells
beneath the surface of that sacred water?
Lost to the echelon of pilgrims flocking
for confirmation of the soul’s existence

Too profane to pray among the headstones
that rest beneath the round tower
as modern life intrudes on the sacred graves
of Saints and Sinners and The Unknown.


The night we crept
Beneath the pine needled trees
Through barbed wire
and stinging nettles

To the neighbours backyard

A light mist falling
on our skin

Were they home? We didn’t care
Stripped down to bare flesh
We lay upon the Irish soil
Grass in my hair as you
entered me

So cold —
My mouth giving birth
to tiny clouds
with each exhale

Your breath hot
against my chilled cheek
The dark of the rain obscuring
your face in shadow

of soggy earth
Beneath my body; Imprinted
as the scars
in my tortured memory

Brief amnesty
for anarchic love
across an ocean of stars


All those things left unsaid
twirl around us in the smoke
of a shared cigarette
Tobacco stained kisses
her mouth on mine

I stradle her, my hands on her waist
Her breasts are softly
pressed against my own

I feel him watching us
Later as his hands roam
My body
oil and kisses

I remember the taste of her
so sweet,
so sweet

The Evening News

Gunshot stain
on a tranquil town

Fear locks the doors at night
when once they were left open

To strangers and neighbors alike
to warm by hearth fires
and share a kind meal

Small town gossip
frozen stiff and cold
as the housewife corpse
on a manicured lawn

Bloodsoaked flower garden

No one sleeps now
No one smiles now

No children playing
No faithful praying

Time stands still
on the main street corner
of a community in shell shock

Caught unprepared
for the grim reality
of human nature.

Post-Apocalyptic Picnic

The table is set, my dear
so drink up
and we’ll laugh our cares away
as the world burns down

In shades of orange
and ash, darkening
the distant horizon

We’ll dance along
the radioactive reservoir
so merrily

Just you & I, my love
and the cockroaches
our guests

A post-apocalyptic picnic.

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