Ash Blonde Janet’s Planet

by Kenneth Rosen

                    1.
A phantom of green – eyed, ash blonde, pre –
Adolescent delight, with suggestively mousey,
More coarse than ashen brows
Taunted my Bostonian inability to announce
Her name without a nasal distortion
That made her giggle — think of John Kennedy
Saying the name Janet or chin myself,
As she could so easily, on the schoolyard’s
Iron bar, where I’d come vaguely, secretly,
New to this city strewn with its remnants
Of Germany, Irish Famine, the Jewish Pale,

2.
And its verbal auras, Brotherly Love, Philly,
Seeking to improve myself, namely
The soft – boiled eggs of my biceps, and thereby
Make friends, impeded in this case
By Janet and her preemptive interest in me, later
The small brown mole afflicting her long,
Downy, goose – like neck — c.f. Tenniel’s unfortunate
Alice — my inner rat confused to incoherence,
Dragging its fat, broken, hairless tail.  Her father
Was named caretaker of the Christian cemetery
On Lehigh Ave, and moved his family up there,

3.
Where I’d pedal my fatuous green and black
Schwinn Phantom — well, William Wordsworth,
Janet too was a creature not too bright
And good for human food which means what ? —
To catch a glimpse of mournful Janet mourned
Morbidly now for the last sixty years of a moronic,
Bi – cyclical, virtually stationary life.
Why treat kindly this insipid splinter of ancient
Love – hate safeguarding not merely youthful,
But lifelong stupidity ?  Better to worry and suffer
Janet’s lovely, innocent accident of a planet.