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Page Three: Prose Poems by Levi Niemi

Original Prose Poems

                      MULTIPLE MEANINGS
The sign on the Chiropractor's window said:
                    CARPAL TUNNEL
                  WORKSHOP TODAY
My first thought was, "Who'd wanna learn that?" Then, I was tempted to sign up,
but I remembered something no-one once told me about the local zoo, where,
approaching the wishing well, a wide bridge covers part of the surrounding circular ponnd in which the goldfish leisurely swim under the bridge in the shadows, peering out at the visiting tourists, all wishing to their hearts' content, as they flick their wrists tossing hopeful coins into the wishing well and the pond. The story has it, from my unknown source, that the goldfish once voted, quite innocently, presciently, and affectionately, to name their shadowy viewing spot the "Carpal Tunnel."
So, go figure! No owrkshop needed, I decided.
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                                                              VICARIOUS LIVERS
We are talkin' serious transplants here, folks! Persons who mop, sponge, vacuum or Hefty-up any tidbit pieces of another person's life, to be sniffed and sampled, then wrung out and passed around with some delicious intrigue, so very important, just because their own lives are apparently so meager, barren, boring or empty that they need to borrow daily "stuff" form any other available source. Isolation might  just kill them off, as their life-blood could not be slowly replenished. No more transfusions. No more theft of meanings. Just can't make it on their own, 'cuz borrowing meaning was so much easier than creating their own!
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I have long suggested that it would be useful for each person to "come with a glossary" that alerted others to their favorite concepts and meanings, but I've been convinced by a friend that a much more useful approach might be to just ask them which words they would prefer to not ever have to use, like "goodbye" and "closure" for quick, available examples. Then they could quickly eliminate a bunch of problems that would make them stumble, or at least seem confused about how they have communicated and how they feel about each other. Because I believe that no-one should ever need tpo apologize for having loved another person, I try to practice that myself besides recommending it to others, so I don't need any closure or goodbye because that would not accurately represent the position of my heart's door. Ponder that.
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                                                STUMPED BY SILENCE
                                             (Nostalgia about my twenties)
If she'd been able to tell me; if somehow she could have said, "The reason we can't go on is..." But, she never could -- or would. So, I went on, stumbling from person to person, trying to solve the riddle of "Why not?" Specializing in the emotionally unavailable; not finding any answers; not knowing how to return serves or volleys from those straightforward, genuinely warm, authentically nurturing, self-comfortable individuals who I've been lucky to know. And I began to understand the meaning of: emotional deprivation; misspent youth; being put on extinction; becoming a late-bloomer; deminstrating lack of practice; being expert at spotting just-noticeable-differences...and thinking that I want to believe that hoping "it is never too late" might still be true for me. I guess that sometimes "Love is nothing" in the match-set game.
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                                                     AN OBSTRUCTED VIEW
                                                         (Refund, please?)
If I k new the right answer. If I had the right form letter, I could write Ticket Master for a refund. The seat I was assigned for life turned out to be rather cheap, but also have an obstructed view. So many things have gotten in the way of seeing clearly. Offices without windows and going the whole day without even knowing the weather. Persons with large hats or big hairdos at movies and concerts.
Larger, taller persons in almost every public space. Clouds of personal anger reducing visibility for reasonable thoughts. Poorly planned public buildings. Random shrubbery. Words of public figures pretending their actions were invisible. Vehicles with corners bnot allowing sight of those who wish to pass. Tall fences around parks and playgrounds, shouting "Keep Out!" Heavy, locked doors on churches and schools when nothing was scheduled there but lots of space could be available.
Maybe if I'd called ahead, made a reservation for a few decades, I might have been given permission for standing room only, with whatever its advantage for wandering around to see the things I've missed? Forget the nasty letter -- I'm gonna call, COLLECT!
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                                            A ONE ACT PLAY
                                 (based on "Bubbles" a poem
                                   from Carl Sandburg's book
                                               WIND SONG
Cast of characters:
     Butterfly = You
     Bubble   = Me
It was worth
being a bubble
for just a few seconds
in order to have
held the reflection
of that beautiful
       The End
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