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I stood outside the door for five extra minutes
More than enough time
To pack a toothbrush
And slip on your boots
But you did not come

It is settled, then
Not all frogs leap
Some, in fact, stay put
Stuck to the lily pad
Waiting for the perfect moment, forever

I do not seek perfection
But I bake banana bread
And, in my back pocket, carry a few conversation starters
To ease your shyness at parties
Should you want to attend parties

I have, on my best days, patience For women who do not follow me down the stairs…

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What I could not see then even during slow walks through backyards was the wrath. I heard shrill sounds travel through kitchen window cracks as I passed each neighbor’s house sounds I recognized as shattering ceramic smashed dinner plates, perhaps But I, a boy of ten assumed it was accidental for I had broken a few things by then and never meant to. I could not comprehend why men would break things on purpose the piercing roars of fury from burned-out suburban fathers who after decades of commuting to cities for deadening careers were unable to cope anymore. I see…

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On this new morning I awaken
For hot coffee with a splash of skim milk
These few moments of silence before emails are sent
And I am inundated by requests
To solve small business problems which, if left unattended
Wouldn’t alter the state of things

I slowly settle into my sacred nook
A simple space with limitless treasures
If you search long enough
You will find pleasures for all the senses here
Fresh chrysanthemums fill the air
As the Soundwalk Collective chants about enlightenment

The morning hours are precious For the roads of possibility have not yet been taken Cars…

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Why, when I meet stillness
Does your shadow invade
I overwhelmed the air with soy candles long ago
The odor of jasmine, oud, and sandalwood
To deaden your scent
But I can’t remove your stain from my sweaters

I ordered a new wardrobe
Slim fit, like you always wanted
And started working out again

I contemplated, at least for a few moments, becoming a vegan
Until I recalled the taste of your honey soy chicken

Eckhart Tolle’s teachings sit on my nightstand
Unread, like all the letters I sent

Meditation unsettles me So I sit and write Determined to make…

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‘Cinema Paradiso’ (1988) dir. Giuseppe Tornatore

When I first started my blog, I was in a sullen state. Shelter in place restrictions hit New York City the hardest, and in March 2020, when movie theaters shut down, a cabin fever creeped into my soul. It seemed like I was afflicted with one COVID-inflicted anxiety attack after another.

To pass the time, I baked banana bread. I watched The Great British Bake Off. I caught up with some friends over Zoom, an awkward attempt to stay social in a climate that stifled all human connectivity.

None of my efforts were enough, so I started this blog with…

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“An interesting Picasso, but not his best,” I say
I really don’t know what I’m talking about
But I like being here with you
To feel your breath on the back of my neck when you walk behind
Wishing you would come just a little bit closer
And whisper all the ways you want me

He wanders on his own
And reads each museum label like an art history student
I am saved by his absence
For it’s just us now
To disappear within these museum hours at our sacred pace
Trying to make each shared glance count

When I…

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We’re on museum time now
No need to rush
Soon we will return
To all the nudging people
And their noisy pleas
“Pay attention to me,” they’ll cry

This temporary relief is ours
The right to stand selfishly
And be still
In awe of something
But what?
Art, perhaps, or the power of our attraction unfolding before us

We go from painting to painting, pointing at walls
Sharing pretentious musings along the way
“An interesting Picasso, but not his best,” one of us quips
We pretend to know what we’re talking about
When our stomachs start to ache
We ponder…

Jon Alexander

Follow Instagram @jonalexandernyc

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