Grandpa Died Grandpa diedthe end of that summer.We drank a six pack,the four of us,the last time it would belike that. I spent the autumnwith blues records:Muddy WatersRay Charles. I spent a summeron Beatles-vibes,before the winter,and it’s always been like this:I remember the music most. Love at 23 You can’t love at 23,You write constantly.You jog to shed off the years of wasted time.You try new kinds of teaYou switch your routineYou start taking different routes to workYou read a self-help bookYou change your mindYou denounce the self-help industryYou decide you like youYou get a mantra from a websiteYou take up photographyYour friends take you out dancingYou call up people you never didYou take that long awaited vacationYou realize hotels can be very, very lonely.You realize hotel bars can be very, very lonely.You write constantlyYou can’t love at 23 Optimism On the day I decided to become an optimistI laid all the bad stuff on my bed.I said: “Enough with you,with envy, greed, sloth and all,I’m an optimist now.” I took up runningand drank the herbal teaswith my multivitamin. I called my friendsand gave advice,like a therapist that worked pro bono. I studied Zen,and ate the right foods. And then I missedthe sad songs. Joe Marchia is a writer and humorist. His poems, stories, and articles have been published in numerous journals and websites. He currently writes news satire for The Portside Standard.