Late afternoon beach light Bronze, bronze, bronze North and Central American flesh On Disney beach towels Eastern European, Korean, Sri Lankan and Japanese flesh On Disney beach towels Bronze, bronze, bronze, even if it’s a spray Surfboard in a photoshoot that a gray haired man watches He has an admiring smile on skin he’s happy is bronze, leeching melanoma The sun he loves is gonna kill him Like his three ex-wives And the son he loves An Eames armchair in a place nearby Candy label ball of tangerine sun reflects off the sliding glass A man looks at it wondering how its beauty compliments his sadness Eastern European flesh clucks from inside “baby you got any more weed?” He does but shakes his head vigorously He wants her to leave An ex-wife’s view of the moon is fractured A spill of milk on the barn door table In the kitchen of a home Designed by an apprentice of Richard Neutra On a slice of Mulholland dirt Featured in Architectural Digest eleven years ago She sniffs cognac, wondering if it’s gone bad A coyote’s jowls snap the neck of a dehydrated squirrel She listens to its howls in the architecture dotted canyon The morning hums with traffic The ex-wife hears it, even from the canyons She runs her hand over the rough-hewn wood of the barn door table Pleased that it’s hers The gray haired man, her ex-husband, hears the traffic too Surf is rough Grabs his battered board and runs for it in his torn wet-suit Only one other surfer out at that hour A real pro, the old man admires The old man is shaky getting his footing On the curve of a wave gaining muscle Could be his last ride Or could just bang him up bad Either way he rides it with a smile
About the Poet:
Steve Wittkoff grew up outside of Chicago and attended Northern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Journalism and a B.S. in Marketing. Shortly thereafter he began a career in advertising in Chicago. However, an English professor at N.I.U. advised him to keep writing fiction, no matter what career path he followed.
A long distance relationship led to love and a large Buick transporting him from Chicago to Connecticut, where he moved in with his partner, Bill. After settling in, he quickly picked up an Account Management and Strategic Planning advertising career in New York, which lasted more than 25 years and led to being a Vice President at Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising. But he also followed the advice of that professor, and kept writing fiction and poetry.
He has been a long time participant of Dr. Louise Stanek’s New York and Maine writing workshops for novelists, and his short story Laguna has been published on the literary web ‘zine monkeyplanet.com. He’s also published several nonfiction feature articles in Connecticut Magazine and has taken on freelance editing assignments for them as well.
He retired early from advertising to focus on writing. He’s most passionate writing literary fiction that explores existential issues and the delicate complexities of human relationships, particularly among queer people, but also among people of all backgrounds. Some of his favorite authors are Haruki Murakami, John Irving, Elizabeth Strout, Joyce Carol Oates, and Michael Cunningham.
A wonderfully detached poem with a beautiful setting and a palpable sense of foreboding. I loved it…
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