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For Donald Lev, With Thanks

I, too, have attempted
an ascent to heaven
on a ladder that didn’t collapse
or fail to reach far enough

Yet it isn’t the lack of existence,
my personal ending,
or shoe size, gastronomical predilections
or even “The Great Poem”
not broadcast over “Poetry Central”
I simply didn’t know how to insert
the pronged halogen bulb
and it broke off in the socket

So I gave up and am cautious now
I type in the dark while you are full lit
in your house with old wiring
and a heating system that needs repair,
you who see various sides to an issue
and when you can’t reach a bulb and turn it
blame it on your limited powers
and not on technology,
or the infinite heights
that seldom escape your vision

  Roberta Gould __

For Donald Lev
in Memoriam 1936-2018

I tired myself out
explaining the way
to the next town's library
checking memory
like an amnesiac
in the guise of an ornithologist
first day of spring
But we couldn't get it right
The picture not reliable
like the road

After an hour we gave up
Exhausted I dozed off
You energized
began the night
with those slips of paper
on the kitchen table
your chosen agenda
your faithful work

  Roberta Gould__

What’s Was Its Name? A Movie
For Donald Lev

The rose bower leading
in and out of a morass,
the maze of thought
enfolding forgetting
just a kiss reminding
& a corpse blurred away

This was the movie,
demigods killing
slashing and paying
transmitting static
and make believe

Much work
to puzzle it out
watch what came next
as you, Donald, rustled your stiff
bag of popcorn
eternally relishing
one kernel at a time

  Roberta Gould__