Gary Patick

Fifty years old and

what have I got to show

for it? Thinning hair, a

growing paunch, an unhealthy

taste for red wine, an excessive

need to be alone, a continual

surrender to procrastination,

a definite hunch of a

frightful future.

Gary Patick

While hanging out in bed with my wife,

she communicates a need to hug and

cuddle, just hug and cuddle, so I oblige

her, but when I go out of bounds by

showing actual arousal, she gets

this look that tells me that Iím

hopeless, that she knows

Iíll always be immature.

Gary Patick

While straphanging on the subway,

the Q train to Brooklyn, I notice

the sagging flesh of my upraised

arm. I start to worry that others

might take notice and disapprove of

my wrinkly droop. I straighten

my head and use just my eyes to

scan the crowdóno one seems

to notice, except perhaps one young girl who

stares at my arm, then looks directly

at my face as if I was some kind

of reptile. I start to want to admit, yes, I

am a monster, but a movie monster,

riding back to my personal cave,

where Iíll wash off my movie monster makeup

after this hard day on the set.

Gary Patick is the runner-up in the 2006 Anderbo Poetry Contest. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and doesnít look as old as he thinks he should, having four daughters by two wives. He now lives in Rockland County and commutes to Manhattan by Mini. He claims to have experienced the 4th dimension; is looking forward to his afterlife. E-mail him at

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