Michael Estabrook


Watch only movement. What a person does is what a person means.

—Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

50 years after high school through the miracle
of social media I found Jack again roaming
the Florida Panhandle gambling, golfing, boating
buying a house with his new girlfriend 30 years his junior
still the same old devil-may-care man’s man he always was.

Fun seeing Jesse again he’s brilliant you know
fourth in our class, MIT PhD, been all over the world
proficient in photography, scuba diving, speaks Russian . . .
always on the prowl to learn something new
makes the rest of us look dim.

Cousin Kathy was at the wake her hair pure white
moussed sticking straight up down the middle of her head.
“I like your hair, it’s different. What made you do it
like that?” She smiled, teeth all sparkly.
“After I almost died of cancer I said fuck it.”




We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.

— Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Trying out for the Senior Class Play’s
romantic lead opposite my girl but coming in second
to the ever-popular handsome hunky Everett
then having to watch him romancing her
on-stage from backstage for weeks.

When she told me I had to leave because she had
a date with another guy I contemplated following them
walking by them grinning but I was frightened
she’d be so angry she’d never see me again that I left
the campus my tail between my legs as usual.

But I did pursue her, wanted her more than air
would’ve jumped off the roof for her or sold my soul
to the Devil. Although today she’s kind about it says
I’ve never had anything to worry about she’s always been
my girl. Damn Devil’s got it covered from all angles.


©Michael Estabrook

Coalition of cheetahs, clutch of chickens, colony of bats, caravan of camels, cast of crabs, crash of rhinos, congregation of alligators . . . and what might be the best appellation applied to a gathering of poets? Convocation? Cluster? Chattering? Collection? Clutter? No, no, perhaps cacophony would be the most apt descriptor. Anyway, Michael Estabrook is one of the cacophony, his latest collection of poems being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2016).

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