The Works of Philip Kaveny
Three Poems for a dear friend Dr. Mike Zielinski
By Philip Kaveny c 2015
These three Poems are dedicated to my dear friend and source of inspiration Dr Mike Zielinski who three decades ago pointed me in the direction of my present Christian spirituality. The poems themselves were all written fifteen years ago. They are me in three iterations of my life when I might have died a violent death, or worse yet caused some else’s’ I remember saying to Mike who I shared a room with at the Minnicon Science Fiction Convention in 1985 when I was 41 that I was surprised that I was still alive considering some risks I had taken. Make who has a profound and engaging spirituality and the mind of a math professor said in reply without breaking stride.
“Maybe Phil, you were kept alive for a reason.”
This was me looking for death by cop as a fourteen year old
Nov 22 1958: It¹s 1:30 AM and the dance has been out for three hours.
My name is Philip. I am fourteen years old. I am six feet one inches tall and I weigh 223 pounds.
Sparks fly from the cleats on the heels of my black engineer boots. My Black leather jacket fits me as I move as if I grew it.
The lead ball I melted onto bicycle chains rest UN easily in the pocket of my greasy jeans, and the thirsty machete I have double edged sharpened and strapped inside my pants leg makes me walk a little like Chester on Gun Smoke.
Everywhere I turn what I fear most is behind me. Have I become death only looking for more death?
Please, please, please, do not scare me for I may kill
This is how I almost froze to death, died of alcohol, or drowned in the Yahara River
Cool Cold December Nine 1959 I nearly drowned on moon beams or Roma Brand Port Wine.
Razzo Pilgrimage, Easter 1970 (on our way to the Poynette Wisconsin Rock Festival with its cast of 40,000 human souls)
Vita: This poem is written by me to celebrate my 30 years of total abstinence and sobriety from alcohol since Feb 2, 1971.
The summer of Love turned to my winter of Discontent, and
April 1970 was truly the cruelest month.
Therefore Steve and I set forth our quest for lady death.
She took the form of an eighteen year old, blond haired blue
eyed cutie dressed in a mini skirt with linen gauze blouse, sandals,
flowers in her long blond hair and wore absolutely no
underwear, of any sort whatsoever.
We were carnival pilgrims with black leather jackets, but
No hair shirts – riding both aback our two-wheeled Norton
750 at 120 mph.
Cold sleet walled in our faces my greatcoat flapping like a
Land locked sea bird. My arms wrapped tightly around
Steve’s waist and a case of beer tucked under each armpit.
Faster ever faster the engine roared after her receding form.
We sought to swap our lives for a dance with lady death.
Road, ice, and sleet became a solid silent wall. Time past
Time present all time hung forever As we froze.
Then I felt her icy breath and lips against my cheek as
she laughed, and laughed , laughed and said:
“Vietnam has filled my dance card with fine young men,
much dearer than the likes of you.
Besides, silly boys with me it is always ladies’ choice.
But please; meet my wallflower sister lady grace