Poetry Showcase for William Walrond Strangmeyer

Windmills, Clouds, Fog, Wind Power


Wind, Wind, Blow Wind

I remember how I felt, silly bastard that I was,
that sleepy, dusty Jersey day, the third of June,
with a girlfriend way too smart and a case of who am I
that would follow me down all the years it's taken me to die.

Well, the street was real suburban
and the love was new and fine.
I thought I shone as much as her,
the way we'd walk and pose.
Her hair was blond and mine was drab,
an army khaki pink,
but to my heart the rage had come,
my eyes bled red-blue flames.

That sleepy way of walking
Europeans cannot learn
was all the comfort I could pull
from dry, hot summer air
and if I'd known how long I'd last,
I swear I'd'a' pulled the plug
on all that sort of fear I had
from never drinking blood.

Oh, summer love, oh, love of loss,
why did you cheat me so?
I gave you all the hope I had
to win the final round.
But now the only dainty thought
I have cannot be said.

Remember this, remember that,
but fight the bastards off:
They'll give you Marlon Brando eyes
and make you write a check.

And then I walked across the bridge,
although I hated town.
Some guy was selling horoscopes
of London falling down.

© William Strangmeyer 2004


Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own 

I saw the film on TV late at night and fell asleep holding Scarlett Johansson’s foot. but the dreams are thin.
Are movie stars hard or soft? Maybe the women are hard and the men are soft.
Desire thwarted often will then thwart the goofy, set-up roles
as, each in turn, each season conquers each and those who lose would rather win.
Have you ever felt the way some film would have you feel? And in maturity now?
And one could ask a question of each wight or lover that one sees.
You say that the desire never left the whole time you had that losing streak?
I asked you a direct question and you answer me with a prologue,
the prologue to a short story about a serial monogamist or a fisherman?
I was asking about the desire to do the wrong thing, the suicide gene.
If only we could step out of bounds and have the match called off for that.
A mulligan is all I ask of your God, but then, again, we’re all three rather hopeless.
You find the clues strewn about your life and pick them up in tisket baskets
on the off chance that you can find a better past for yourself, but it is carved now
and all the woods are filled with wolves and the connections tenuous.

(c) William STRANGMEYER 2018

Certain Connections

I listen to minor-key music,
ironic and plodding,
sometimes coming down heavy
on one gimpy leg
with a rhythm like a motor
or a card in the spokes,
at home with Greek peasants
or effete, snotty snobs,
a joke for Italians or for Corsican clowns,
all prepositions and conjunctions
or one verb repeated,
and you can’t dance to it
‘cause it goes too fast,
mustard having a fuzzy reaction
with hot sauce or horseradish
and humming like a green-glow,
apple-lacquered car
but it’s ginger-candied
and the prickly-pear she’s singing
is the fuzziness I crave.  


And then I don’t need my revenge
and feel obliged to uphold no cause,
even though she’s clothed up,
I realize but do not see,
and shod and tapping.

© William Strangmeyer 2003

Grand Delusion

"She said to me, 'Everything you do in life, Valdemar, you do to make me happy.'"
"Oh, yes," the girl cried out, as if struck to the heart. "That is how they talk to us, that is what they believe about us."

                                                                              -Isak Dinesen
                                                                               Anecdotes of Destiny

An artist knows an artist by the rings in their ears
and the beautiful charmers they get for their sex
or else by the ring in their nose
that's tugged by a master you don't even know,
for here in the  West
you're the product of food,
the tripe of religions and the drip from TVs,
the news from the government peg-boy.
So just try now to sing
what comes straight from your heart,
if you have got a heart,
but it sometimes takes guts
and the ennui of bored housewives is a product of cash,
and adoration of the public, Christmas tinsel on a tree,
and I'll tell you what else isn't hallelujah:

© William Strangmeyer 2000	
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Retro Writes: The Music by William Walrond Strangmeyer

Retro Writes: The Music by William Walrond Strangmeyer

vintage red vehicle

At the time it was a distinction, a distinction from the movie-talking mass. I saw its grim, limited appeal at a club called The Seven Stars where the kids, the guys, sold cold-hearted serenity and sleep-walker pills.

            What held us together was the music that now we call doo-wop. All the leather jackets gathered round the record player, hair greased back and pointy shoes.

            The distinction of parts was important: five or perhaps four lines; but the figures therein were few, three or four slow, two or three fast. But any smallest variation was the point. Add satin, grit or whiskey to the tone. Add an attitude. Fake sincerity and remember:

            You dress like a saint.

            We walked in a certain way, pleading our cause. Our cause was not justice.

            But since then I have in no way felt so keenly the rightness or wrongness of any chance word or gesture and the sergeant-at-arms would grin upwards through gritted teeth in approval of the loyalty to the complicated rules of every song the same and felt by the obsessive believers to be different, maybe closer to the ideal or with some almost imperceptible, riotous twist.

            Most valuable were the long, slow high and the deft, rapid low and possession of both was a glory, but the girls didn’t get it unless they had matching party dresses. Then they might be admitted, but their game was no cult and there were fights at their parties. Too much awe, too much aww.

            A word could settle status and “Hey,cool” had many nuances. Anything could trigger anything. It was a matter of style in the longest and misaligned, grayly varicolored decade.

            Art can focus the mind on narrow details.

Bio: William Walrond Strangmeyer was born in Roanoke, Virginia, but grew up in Brofus, New Jersey, attending Rutgers University for years of switching majors. His influences are adventures in bar rooms, doo-wop, rock, Palisades Amusement Park, Paris and the usual Beaudelaire, Eliot and Pound. He has read all around Paris and some in the U.S. And has been co-editor of a literary magazine Upstairs at Duroc. His mission in lit is truth telling, however grungy the beauty of it. He loves people in the abstract, somewhat less in practice. His main character defect is loyalty.