Frank Praeger



Rhetoric for the Ordinary



An invariant handful of dirt

and pleasure almost beyond bearing.

Smiles that do not distinguish,

a daily bowl of spinach positing a dreamful venture,

a painful posture,

the visible neither adding nor subtracting.

The view of the distant bluish Huron Mountains

that has always consoled.

Days vacuous as the water's edge.

A stillness from a stranger's mouth.

Was someone laughing or was someone crying?

Seventy and forever old.

No way to reconcile a churning in the gut

with a putative inner calmness.




Crickets, Robins and Flies



Crickets to follow

after frogs,

already a robin's call.

A fly on the inside of my bedroom window

was busily cleaning itself

enveloped by the warmth of sunlight when....

Oh, crescent streaks, pitiable washes of gray.

Tousled, interminably doctored,

truculent when not cheeky,

an indolent, speculated had,



through homeless paths

to be left with an out-of-tune piano,

with a deft touch for the inacessible.




Frank C. Praeger © 2014

For All Those Whom Gustav Klimt Painted: Adele Bloch-Bauer I,

Emilie Floge, Mada Primavesi, Fritza Riedler, Unnamed Models,  

Et Al.


Too much -

too much gold, luster,

too much design, ornateness,

too much myself,

extended, touched,

inundated by each cluster

of gold, of purple,

of heightened color.

Crumpled vermillion lovelier...,


nor pair of scuttling claws, nor razor.


ground cover,  

dull, dying vegetation,


ground color,  

plaintive - glossed over.


Each of you

has been held,



at least once,


held dearer - dresses

dyed heightened color,

dyed purple,

dyed gold,

dyed vermillion,

dyed lovelier... -


at least once,




a calculated figuration -

neither significant nor trivial.


Each face,

if complacent...

if willful...


seen -

a flowery pistil arrangement -

whether ductile...

whether brittle...  

final -

as any fortuitous,                      

                      winding sheet scene.



Frank C. Praeger © 2014