Walking along the beach at low tide,
picking through heaps of natures jetsam
with sand fleas leaping about my feet, I spied
an interesting rock, a conglomerate 
of some kind, which I placed in my pocket.

Later, at home, I broke open the stone
with a hammer.  Inside was a rough
piece of amber. Holding it to the light,
I clearly saw the shape of my father
perfectly preserved within the
hardened resin of antiquity,
a familiar expression frozen on his face,
the very same smirk he had worn
as he lay displayed in his coffin.

When I held the stone to my ear,
he spoke: "Yes, just as I stumped you
at hide and seek & defeated you
in the sack races at church picnics,
as I could tie a bow line hitch
& calculate cubic feet in my head,
so I also beat you through the Gates of Death
& now, have even preceded you
into the geological archives. Indeed,
I have become my own historian."

So I purchased a lapidary tumbler,
filled it with the finest grit, polished
the amber to a peak translucence.
A jeweler set this amber stone
into a 24 carat gold clasp, which became
this lovely pendant I wear from my neck.


In the lst circle the Mayor was eating hot dogs.
Grinning, he said, "I'm still the Mayor. They give me
all the hot dogs I can eat. I like it here."

In the 2nd circle I saw a former girlfriend
being blown about in the arms of her lover
by a dark wind. "I'm glad you got yours,"
I shouted. She stopped & replied,
"The sex is great here. My genital herpes
have been cured. Weíre thinking of getting married
after we win the lottery next week."

In the 3rd circle I heard Allan Freed
on Hellís radio station. "I never play a song
I donít like," the great DJ announced. 
Then he played "Little Darling" by the Gladiolas.

In the 4th circle I met some familiar poets.
"We all have new books out," they said,
beautifully printed hundred pagers with 
choice of original artwork by DaVinci,
Monet, Kurt Schwitters or Mapplethorpe."

In the 5th circle I found the old piano
I abandoned in an apartment 20 years ago.
"Don't touch me!" said the piano. "You had your chance."
Art Tatum is due here any minute for his practice.

In a dark hallway next to the elevator,
a door marked Janitor led me to this
small car parked near Sandy Hook Bay
on a rainy Sunday afternoon.