"Metronome Ghost" by Rob Plath

i had a dream i woke
in the middle of the night
& went to the kitchen window
& stared out 
somebody had moved into
the empty house across the way
& had strung white lights around
the blue spruce on the lawn 
even tho it was three months 
after xmas 
i pressed my face against the pane 
gazing at the twinkling triangle 
then it went out 
that’s when i saw my mother’s face
in the opposite window 
it floated above yellow lamplight 
she was waving 
her tiny hand steady & constant 
like a metronome 
how can you be there? 
yr dead 5 years, i thought 
& i almost turned away 
but then i waved back 
& finally the tiny hand lowered itself 
& the window went dark
& then i awoke 
strangely at ease 
to scribble this poem down

"I Dream of the Horse
Nietzsche Spared in Turin" by Rob Plath

i always hated 
bukowski‘s poems 
about the track 
the subject reminds me 
too much of my father
pissing away his paycheck
at the betting window
or screaming at the tv 
as his horse 
came in over the line
dead last 
or leaving us sweating 
in the hot car in august 
while he went into OTB 
for hours
or bragging about 
breaking somebody’s legs 
over a gambling debt 
or the whipping of something 
that should’ve been shielded