All My Grooved and Scratched

All alone
In the kitchen
With the kids gone
The wife gone

The leaves gone
The way walls disappear
Into meadows
The way knives

Disappear
Into marigolds
Sunshine
Into debris

Of the spirit
I’m all alone
In the
Kitchen

I told my old friend Joe
The worst thing
I ever did
Was sell

My LP collection
On the street corner
When I was broke
And couldn’t

Buy an orange
They flew away
From me like
Hummingbirds

Or pigeons
Sold them from a stoop
On Dean
And there they went

Gone
Like music didn’t
Mean anything
Anymore

My friends Eric
Derek Pedro
Deanna
Dolores

Gone
My youngest kid up the block
In a Wonder Woman
Suit

And bangles
Flying from one porch
To another
With her six year old

Love interest
Judy
My eldest
At play practice

Practicing Willy Wonka
Practicing how to be
A human muscle
Of love

Against
All the greasy
Fingertips
Of 11-year-olds

Wanting touch
It’s enough to make
Me mad
Full of madness

While the washing machine
Begs me
To come downstairs
And make love

To it
As if making love to it
Will bring back
All my grooved

And scratched
Van Morrison b-sides
All my Judy Garland
Outtakes

The Red Garland
Blue Notes
All alone here
Next to the trash

My wife in Houston
Laying over
From Tucson
Where she has spent a weekend

With Laura
Dying Laura
Curled up with her
Spooned

Who will be gone
They say in two
Days
It does not matter

What day it will be
Or what the disease
People just up
And leave sometimes

The Chinese character
For gone
Is wang
Or wánle

There are so many
Ways
To say it
There were so many

Records I could not live without
Without everything
Without everyone
Needle in the groove

Skipping

###

Matthew Lippman is the author of four poetry collections: Salami Jew, American Chew (winner of The Burnside Review Book Prize), Monkey Bars, and The New Year of Yellow (winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize). He is the recipient of the 2014 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review.

“All My Grooved and Scratched” originally appeared in Heaven (TLR Fall 2016)