Behavior Pattern by Frank Rubino

I have very much liked you—
to feel one has acted well—
My behaviors were in admiration of you and perhaps
imitative beyond healthy,
like apes learning to fish for ants
octopuses learning to screw open
jars. If the whole thing has been
an exercise in getting your approval
I was living your life—
the terrestrial life—
the human life

though you did not feel it—I charged a few pennies a day—
You paid to give me your attention

I have very much enjoyed your design—
to feel one looks with discretion—
I thought I had picked the perfect
watch and you pointed out several
typographical disasters on the face
like twelve’s two crowding the one
It was true! I never wore that thing again but
I had many scotches with you in Times Square
I’d like to throw out time itself, not simply the watch
And that is what I really love about sex
that everything goes timelessly stagy
A green light in the sky, the hut’s walls falling away

in the East a jungle, Bruce Banner The Hulk
seeking Peace beside you on the tatami mat

about the author:

Frank Rubino’s poetry has been published in The World, Little Light, and New Directions. He studied poetry with Eileen Myles and Ted Berrigan, who taught him to write how you speak but more interesting, and to read everything. Since 1982, Rubino has performed his poetry in front of live audiences at celebrated New York City literary venues such as St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Ear Inn, Cornelia Street Café, and Nuyorican Poets Café. He received his B.A. in fine arts and a master’s degree in technology and fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and has worked in the publishing industry for more than 20 years helping publishers keep up with the historic onrush of the internet.

Rubino’s poetics admit uncertainty and gaps. As Kierkegaard said, “It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand…”

In 1998, Rubino and his first wife traveled to Russia to adopt a baby boy. (Three years later, they did the same in Ukraine, returning home this time with a baby girl.) The experience of adopting a child in the post-Soviet bloc is the subject of Rubino’s novel Boy American, published on Amazon in 2010.

Rubino lives with his second wife and four children in New Jersey.