My roommate’s nickname was “Jersey Fog.”
Came from down the shore in Long Branch.
After long silences, his words arrived
Slowly, crawling their way tree by tree
Through a thick fog.
At night I listened to his music of choice,
Jack Jones in stereo singing show tunes.
Once The Fog lost it. His normal daze
Turned into Muhammad Ali
And he began a tornado of punches
Turning me into his personal boxing bag
At Gleason’s Gym.
He landed machine gun jabs to my chest
With bullets from both fists
Then a roundhouse knockout
That left me flat on the floor seeing stars.
He went to law school, married his college sweetheart,
Had two kids, became a successful lawyer,
President of the school board,
Then his young wife died.
When I learned of his loss, I wrote to him,
Offering my compassion, sharing his grief.
I never heard from him again.
I only heard from Jack Jones:
I’m wild again,
. . . Am I . . .
Sander Zulauf’s recent books include The Poets of New Jersey (Jersey Shore), Where Time Goes (Dryad), and Bashō in America (Eric Hoffer Award Winner, and an iUniverse Rising Star). He is editor emeritus of the Journal of New Jersey Poets, and a County College of Morris professor emeritus of English and creative writing.