Frank Praeger

Rhetoric for the Ordinary

An invariant handful of dirt
and pleasure almost beyond bearing.
Smiles that do not distinguish,
a daily bowl of spinach positing a dreamful venture,
a painful posture,
the visible neither adding nor subtracting.
The view of the distant bluish Huron Mountains
that has always consoled.
Days vacuous as the water's edge.
A stillness from a stranger's mouth.
Was someone laughing or was someone crying?
Seventy and forever old.
No way to reconcile a churning in the gut
with a putative inner calmness.

Crickets, Robins and Flies

Crickets to follow
after frogs,
already a robin's call.
A fly on the inside of my bedroom window
was busily cleaning itself
enveloped by the warmth of sunlight when....
Oh, crescent streaks, pitiable washes of gray.
Tousled, interminably doctored,
truculent when not cheeky,
an indolent, speculated had,
dashed
turgidly
through homeless paths
to be left with an out-of-tune piano,
with a deft touch for the inacessible.

Frank C. Praeger © 2014

For All Those Whom Gustav Klimt Painted: Adele Bloch-Bauer I,

Emilie Floge, Mada Primavesi, Fritza Riedler, Unnamed Models,
Et Al.

Too much -
too much gold, luster,
too much design, ornateness,
too much myself,
extended, touched,
inundated by each cluster
of gold, of purple,
of heightened color.
Crumpled vermillion lovelier...,

nor pair of scuttling claws, nor razor.
Nowhere
ground cover,
dull, dying vegetation,
amorphous
ground color,
plaintive - glossed over.

Each of you
has been held,
each
pictured
at least once,
each
held dearer - dresses
dyed heightened color,
dyed purple,
dyed gold,
dyed vermillion,
dyed lovelier... -
held
at least once,
each
caught,
fixed,
a calculated figuration -
neither significant nor trivial.

Each face,
if complacent...
if willful...
displayed,
seen -
a flowery pistil arrangement -
whether ductile...
whether brittle...
final -
as any fortuitous,
winding sheet scene.

Frank C. Praeger © 2014