Saturday, December 26, 2009

black socks

new socks
were not
on my list,
but i got
them just
the same,
black,
both dress
and casual.
i am
very fond
of black
socks,
and obviously
it's well
known
throughout
the world,
otherwise
why would i
get so many
each christmas
morning.
and i would
be remiss
if i failed
to mention
the plaid,
red and green,
dishtowels
that were
also,
not on
my list,
but now
adorn my
kitchen in
holiday wonder.

meow

she likes to kiss.
like she's doing now.
to lie on the couch
and breathe softly
into my ear, no words,
just her warm breath
like a small cat
who needs something
from the kitchen,
but i'm sleepy
and tired, and all
the purring and pawing
that she does won't
get me to move an
inch east or west,
but those are not
the directions that
she's concerned with.
she's been into
the catnip.

photos

there is great difficulty
in the sorting of photos,
taking them one
by one from the big box
where they have been for
years, some sticking, some
black and white, some
unremembered, but most hold
a memory, an instant when
the camera flashed and a
permanance was given to the
temporal, or so it seems.
for who are these people,
these young, unlined faces
with heads full of ungrey
hair, their slenderness,
and quick smiles,
the absence of so much
that weighs down the old,
the relentless movement
of time, so clear,
so amazing and bittersweet
in one's hand.

Friday, December 25, 2009

the light

the light of you
is bright. i feel
it's warmth, absorb
it's heat. i welcome
you, this friendship
that comes so easily,
it moves to every
corner that was once
dark, shadowed with
indifference and
yesterdays unsolved.
i am ready to move
everything
to the middle,
to let you see what
i have seen. i think
that much about you.

the absence of you

for so long
she followed me
down the steps,
through the woods
to where a cold
stream ran
over broken rocks.
this was what we
did when we were
in love, and it
was natural to hold
hands and kiss
upon arrival, or
departure, but now
i go alone,
and the steps are
dark and wet
from the fall
rains, where
the leaves
have emptied from
the trees,
and the sleeve of
water is blue
like steel,
dangerous
and different
in her absence.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bacon

feeling desparately low
on nitrates when i woke
up this morning,
the day before christmas,
i asked myself just how
badly did i need bacon.
was i willing to brave
the holiday shoppers
and traffic, the speeding
mini vans full of coffee
crazed moms and children
fighting for the last
spot in the already
packed lot at the whole
foods, was i patient enough
to negotiate the iced
roads narrowed by the walls
of plowed snow from a week
ago. it was all a cup
of crazy this notion of
getting bacon, but i
wanted it, no, i needed
the sizzling taste of
grilled fat to go along
with my eggs and hash
browns, my toasted english
muffin with blueberry jam.
so off i went in search
of a pound of thick cut
bacon and four hours later
my hunger was satisfied.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

resolutions

ah, the new year's
resolution. let's start
with something simple like
no carob or lima beans,
or tofu, or sugarfree
anything, and then work
our way up to no
standing in lines
for anything. how about
no phone calls longer
than three minutes, no
texting beyond three
communications, no
listening to lectures
about politics, God,
or global warming.
and on the more positive
side, more sleep, better
food, more kissing,
more exercise.
more love. more listening,
more giving, more reading.
more writing, more meditation
and quiet, more cake,
more fun. forgiveness.

keep going

another mile
run,
another sit up,
another press
of the weights,
the lifts,
the stretching
and pull.
another sprint
on the bike
through the woods,
up the hills,
another step
onto the scale
to measure the
weight gained,
the ounces lost,
another peek
into the mirror
to witness
gravity and time,
the years
and daylight
racing away
like horses
in the late
summer sun.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

at this stage

the notion of you
is this, that you
need to stretch your
limbs like a sleepy cat
and seek out
love under every
rock you come upon.
i understand and have
great sympathy for
your plight. it's not
an uncommon one, this
need, this desire
to be in love, although
i have met a few
that have fought past
it, and found a place
of content and comfort
within themselves, no
longer needing physcial
pleasure, or someone
to have around to converse
with or to share a thought
or fear, or meal, or simple
cup of joy. i have
yet to determine though
if it's age related, or
just the way it is now,
this modern life, or
when and if it will own
me too, and you.

the parking lot

there was a lot of grumbling
about the snow while the
shovels went at it, clicking
and clanking against the ice
and pavement when it was
finally reached, where
were the plows, the salt, someone
to get this mess out of here.
of course these were all
adults grousing, the children
were on the hill throwing
snowballs, sledding, rolling
like puppies in the deep white
flakes. but we lifted, and
huffed, sweating in our
layers as we cleared the
paths for our cars and trucks
for the next day. a work day.
we carried load after load
of ice and snow to the end
of the parking lot while
the children screamed with joy.
these two worlds were
oblivious to one another.
the glee of youth untouched
in smiles and laughter, not
hearing the grunts, the groans
or seeing the worry of tomorrow
folded in our brows.

yesterday

a book of poems arrived
in the mail from a friend
of mine. every line ryhmed
and talked about flowers
and love, God and sunshine.
they were heartfelt poems,
full of family and religion,
faith and the beauty of
nature. thankfulness. they
were fine poems. i liked
them for what they were,
and for the true emotions
felt and expressed so
simply. they were poems
that i couldn't write even
on my best day. unlike him
i need to scratch at something,
to find the itch, the scab,
the dark cloud, the blood,
the edge, before finding
redemption in the bright
light of summer. i want
to feel the cold in my
feet and fingers. i need
to walk on ice before this.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Medical Marijuana

I saw Santa in the sky
the other night, a week
or so before Christmas.
His sled was zig zagging
back and forth between
the clouds, with toys
and gifts tumbling out
of his enormous bag that
sat perched at the back
of his sleigh. He had
his radio turned up
really loud and was
snacking on a plate of
sugar cookies. Crumbs
and spilled eggnog were
all over the front of his
fuzzy red suit, but he
seemed very, very happy
despite having no memory
of where he had been, or
where he was to go.

Friday, December 18, 2009

inheritance

everything is
everywhere. i can
see that from
the door. the death
of a sister
and a mother
and suddenly
you have three
clocks, more
art than the walls
allow, vases
enough to break
on a daily basis.
all of it has
felt your touch,
your hands,
your fingers on
each edge, but
it does nothing
for you, not
even the flush
bank account
matters. what
trip will bring
them back,
what car, what
dress, what
lavish meal,
or piece of gold
can save
the heart
from missing.

sailor

the black sea
rolls forever
below the white
stars, and on
this ship i wonder
what will become
of me and all the
sailors who sail
this ocean, from
each port, to each
sea. where will
i plant the flag,
set foot high and
dry upon green
land, when will
i give up
the sextant, the
sail, the oars,
the treasure map
that promises love
and the holy grail.
where will i see
you waiting
with arms aloft,
your face in the
new sun, waiting
high up on the rocks,
your green eyes,
like stars, showing
me the way home.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cup of sugar

my neighbor, alan,
who happens to be
a professional circus
clown, stopped by
the other day
to borrow a cup of sugar.
brown or white, i asked
him. and he said why
on earth would i want
brown sugar. baking, i
said, perhaps you're
baking some cookies
or a cake. he was grumpy
and a lit cigarette
dangled from his lips.
traces of fake tears
were still painted on his
whitened face. i could
smell whiskey on his
breath. there were bags
beneath his eyes
and a fresh scratch on
his cheek from what
looked like fingernails.
i'm brewing a pot
of coffee he said,
and i need a few
teaspoons of sugar.
he still had the remants
of his clown make up
on, but it was smudged
and greasy looking, as
if he had started with
the cold cream and then
gave up. his hair was
matted down from the red
wig and derby that i've
seen him wear when he goes
to work. no floppy shoes,
or big red ball nose. only
his billowy clown costume,
which was a radiant
yellow, with big green
dots. there looked
to be a gravy stain
down the front of it.
rough night, i asked him.
he nodded, still holding
out the bowl that he wanted
me to put sugar into.
yes, he said. i broke
up with my girlfriend, lulu.
maybe you've seen her, she
rides the elephants, short
girl, cute. he indicated
her height with a shaky hand.
no, i said, i don't go
to the circus. the smell.
i don't like the whole
deal. it makes me nauseous.
he shrugged. she ran
off with Reginald,
the strongman. weightlifter
guy. bastard. she sent
me a text message
during the show to tell me.
i was in the clown car
with nine other clowns
when i got the text. damn,
i said, then poured
some sugar into his bowl.
enough? that's good,
he said, thanks, then
went down the steps, back
to his house in his bare feet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the High Seas

i understand that
the boat won't go
down if we all paddle
and pull together,
put our fingers
and hearts into
the hole where
the cold water rushes
in and aims to sink us.
it's a group effort
this survival, although
at times i wonder,
and wish to swim
alone, take my chances
on the high seas
without the boat,
the person next to me,
and those who seek
to captain. i especially
dislike the group sing
alongs as we pull
those wooden oars
towards shore.

I find

it is the soft
kiss and light
caress in
the morning
light,
upon the cheek
or lips
or hand that
gently touches
the arm
or hip that
let's the day
unfold
with a much
greater ease,
than in
the absence
of such
subtleties.

Monday, December 14, 2009

let them eat cake

i find that in times
of stress that i go
to the cake. that slice
of deep dark chocolate
is where i find my solace,
my comfort, my sweet
redemption and peace,
my happy place,
and when i'm tired,
or sad, or lonely,
or the stock market
has dropped five hundred
points, or even after
a lusty session
of unbridled passion,
once again i need that
big fat slice of cake
to calm me down, to bring
me to my senses. i want
that flour and sugar
and eggs to rise from
it's sweet batter
into a globe of golden
warmth and wonder.
bundt, or pan, layered
or even the little
cupcakes will do, it
doesn't matter. just
pour me a glass of milk
and cut me a nice healthy
slice, please hurry,
i'm feeling blue.

google

we really don't need books,
or schools, or teachers, or
anything or anyone, we have
google. type in your need,
your question, your desire
or problem and there it is
in spades. all you need
to know is waiting for you,
like magic, on a when you
need to know basis. why fill
up the mind with so much
useless information. just
learn the answer when you
need the answer. yes. it
is the end of civilization
as we know it, but those of
us who have yet to learn
how to type on the tiniest
of keyboards without looking,
using our fat thumbs, we are
dinosaurs clilnging to our
books and newspapers, awaiting
extinction. when, i don't
know. but let me google that.
i'm sure there is an answer.

when the eggnog runs out

as i stand outside
the house i used live in,
where others now reside,
shivering and cold
in my wet shoes, a pint
of southern comfort at
my blue lips, foreclosure
papers still in hand,
i can't help but wonder
at the turn of events
that have taken place.
the economy is the simple
answer, but it's not
enough for me to know
that so many others
are suffering the same
fate. bad planning, the
wrong job, not enough
education to keep the
money rolling in, divorce,
or children gone off the
deep end, sickness,
the swine flu perhaps.
it could happen to anyone,
but still. it was once
my house. it was the place
i put up the christmas tree
and gathered the children
around, some of them mine,
and the second wife, i think
her name was marsha, the dog,
the cat, my neighbor jimmy
and his boyfriend, bill.
it was where we would all
sing, and dance the night
away until the eggnog ran out.

No, please, I've got It....

she loves chinese food,
get out of the way
and watch the chop sticks fly,
deep fried and spicy, or
bring on the italian, white
sauce or red. oh yea, steak
and potatoes go down
like nothing. Yum. and garlic
bread, roast her up a lamb
with some mint jelly, or
a slab of chilean sea bass
blackened and tender to
the touch or tongue. did
i hear maine lobster?
wine, keep it coming, pour
her another and another,
no sweat, oh what the hell,
leave the bottle, she's not
driving, she's not paying,
her purse hasn't been opened
in so long it has cobwebs
on it, but it's okay. a
salad, dessert, oh perhaps
an appetizer. it's queen
for a day, a night,
they line up without a
hint of guilt, it's the
world we live in. if you don't
pay, well, then sadly you
probably won't play. Be a man
and step up. Stop your whining
and open that door. hello.
what all that bra burning
was about, and marching
in the street to make us
all equal, i have no idea.
It's nineteen sixty three
all over again my brother.

NYC

My left shoe has
given out first, failed
me with a round hole
worn straight through
from walking the streets
of New York City with a
hot pastrami sandwich in
in one hand, a map of
the subway system in the
other. I have a bright
yellow swab of mustard
down the front of my coat
and seven dollars to get
me back to 56th street
and 6th avenue where I
have a warm room at the
Belvedere. I am amazingly
happy here in the city,
without a clue, a buck,
or the love of my life,
past, present or future.
I think I'll take in the
Zoo before the sun sets
and Time Square lights up
like a Christmas tree
on crack. I've got time.

Truth in Dating

The new dating site
will be called Sodium
Pentothal Dot Com. An
hour before you meet
the perspective love
of your life both of you
will receive a shot
of truth serum from a
qualified nurse, who then
will also apply a nice little
bandaid on the pricked
point where a spot
of blood may eek out.
And in the course of the
evening, with very little
prodding from wine or
martinis,or flirtation
of any sort, each person
will begin, without
reservation, to reveal
their true age, weight,
height, religion, marital or
relationship status, plus
any diseases past or present
that may lurk in their blood
stream, or sit itchingly
upon the skin. Your
financial status will
be revealed, hidden tattooss,
or piercings, will all come
to light. the criminal
records, genetic predispositions,
not to mention the number of
children, wives, husbands
that may have occurred along
the way will all be known.
One might as well own up
to the dogs and cats, boas
and birds, or other exotic
beasts, or insane relatives
that may litter the landscape,
or cohabit your home, or the
backseat of your car.
And finally, in that moment
of pure revelation and
enlightenment, each person
will have to say what their
true intention is with
the person who sits in
front of them all prim and
proper and formerly smelling
of roses. It should really
save alot of second dates
from ever taking place.

Friday, December 11, 2009

the best

not all the cream
rises to the top,
sometimes the best
get stuck near the bottom
or at some point in
the middle. you see
it all the time,
in the creative fields,
or science, teachers.
someone has to drive
the buses, ladle the
soup, shine the shoes.
the best singer
is on occasion behind
the counter, tending
the register, the
greatest athlete
might be mopping
the bathroom floor.
it might be luck, or
lack of it, fate, or
a purpose, who knows,
but it doesn't mean
that the light is not
shining within them,
it's still there, but
the shades have been drawn.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

snow storm

the movement of the trees,
slight in the autumn wind,
it's a heavy cold arriving.
you can feel it in your bones.
the weatherman swears snow,
or sleet, or both, the warnings
come often with the urgency
of doom. the rush is on
for shovels and salts,
hats and gloves, where are
they, the ones from last
year, and the stores are full
as the essentials are purchased.
but the snow is never deep,
not anymore, not like i
remember when i was a kid,
when it would climb fences,
cover the cars, and schools
would shut down for a week,
but the slight panic is still
on, even now as the earth heats
with too many of us. nature
will eventually find a way
to balance it all out, but
until then, bundle up, an inch
or two is about arrive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fear of Flying

I'm not fond of being up
in the air, above the clouds,
soaring in the so called
silver bird that speeds
through a gaggle of
fluttering geese. I think
of everything that can go
wrong, despite the wonderful
bag of nuts and soda that's
been provided, the inflight
magazine, chock full of
insightful tips and the top
notch films starring goldie hawn,
or snoop dogg, I am full
of doubt and fear. Of course
I admire and respect
the professionalism
of the attendants and crew,
so neatly attired in white
and blue, so starched
and proper, and yet still,
it's unnerving, the mere
mention of the fetal position
makes me want to go into
one and yet, that is what
one must do before the swift
plummet into the earth below.
They quickly train you on
how to exit down the slide,
and to inflate that orange
life preserver around your
trembling body, or the rubber
raft to float upon in an endless
ocean full of sharks and killer
whales, if you survive the impact
that is. I feel cramped
and helpless in the hands
of the captain. What if he
had a bad day, what if his
wife burned the toast just
that morning, what if
the mechanics had a wild night
out in a bar drinking tequila
with the captain's wife,
and forgot to tighten up that
one bolt that holds the whole
thing together. And just being
stuck in a metal tube, elbow
to elbow, breathing the same
fumes for hours on end with
complete strangers, or worse,
relatives with the flu,
the coughing, the sneezing,
the scratching of arms and
necks covered in welts. Not
to mention security,the removing
of shoes, the searching of bags
holding your very very personal
toys and what nots, the tags,
the x-ray machine, the long
walks from here to there
in a crazy zig zag of signs
and ramps, escalators and
moving sidewalks. No, keep me
on the ground, it's greyhound
for me, although those bus
stations are nothing to shout
about either. What's that puddle
I'm standing in and sorry, but
no, I don't have a quarter.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Out of Reach

The gloves I wear
have a hole in them,
and so does the next
pair, and the next
that are buried in
the boxed pile of
winter wear. Moe,
the recently departed
pup made his mark
on everything, and
rarely does a day
go by without feeling
his warmth beside me,
or in me putting my
hand through the torn
leather hole of a shoe,
a glove, or coat. Moe!

Don't Quit Your Day Job

she says in retreat,
a thrust of the critical
knife, but strangely
there is no wound, no
blood, no harm done,
and I think about
this wonderful cliche line
that is so often used
when there is a dislike
either real or percieved,
it doesn't matter which,
but the line is one of deep
feelings. I like those
lines, the short ones
that have a ring of truth,
a point of clarity. It
does make me think about my
day job, and how much
I enjoy the sweat and
exertion of it all, the
satisfaction of completion.
So little in this life
allows that on a daily
basis. It's a struggle
as middle age takes over,
and yet a blessing in
many ways. So, no, I
won't quit my day job,
just yet. I'll let nature
take it's course and when
time allows I'll write
and write and write to
my heart's content.

Patience

I can't help you anymore.
My skills are limited.
I've listened time and time
again to your troubles,
but I have no answers, no
clue as to how to ease
your burdens, get you on
the right track. I could
steer you towards prayer,
or a self-help guru with
a shelf full of books to
read and ponder, or I could
suggest meditation, yoga,
or exercise to clear your
brain, settle your soul.
Perhaps a therapist who
deals in such matters is
best. For this goes much
deeper than what I'm
capable of saying or doing.
I can't deliver you, or
save you. The problem is
that you like being where you
are and really don't want
to be helped. You just
want to be heard, to tread
the water of feeling sorry
for yourself, to remain
this victim of life. Chaos
is the house you live in,
and I'm sorry, I just can't
visit anymore. I have to go.

Lovely Rita

I see her waiting patiently,
so I dip into my pocket
for a few permissable coins.
But the meter maid still hovers
like a jackal. She sits in
her crazy half car, squeezed
tight into the glass box
that rides upon the tiny
wheels. A pad of tickets
rest in her hand, the pen
perched in her paw. Her bent
badge adorns her as does
the black baton, and cannister
of mace, the radio hooked
to her sleeve in case she
needs to call for help.
She's just doing her
job and doing it oh so well.
The scone crumbs on her
issued shiny coat does not
impede her efficiency one
bit. I respect that. I feed
the hungry meter, that pants
with a red tongue,
a few quarters, then give
her a wave. She scowls
and shakes her head, making
her fuzzy hat tilt even
more, before giving me
a laugh. She moves on.
The sun is hardly up
and the quota longs to be
filled, so she cranks
the engine of her little car,
lights a fresh cigarette
and rolls slowly up the block
to where the line of grey poles
of meters flicker expired
and red. It's feeding time.

A Winter's Night

The lake is frozen
and the skaters, in
mittened groups of twos
and threes, gather
to glide along the blue
lit ice beneath a winter
sky. I'd love to join
them, to toss up the dust
from the silver blades,
to cut through the shadows
of the bare trees on
this moonless night,
but I am old. My legs
have seen the walk
of eighty years, and my
gait is broken, but my
heart is young, like
theirs. I am still in love.
I am still in the wind,
my hands are still entwined
with hers, and I will skate
out my years with joy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Train

i do want to believe
in it. marriage. i had it
and when it was good
it was very good, but
when it went south
it was a living hell
that saw no end, each
dark day lined up one
after the other waiting
for it's turn at sorrow.
but i want to believe
that it can work, and yet
i only see the lying,
the onslaught of boredom,
the cheating, the deception
in each and nearly every
one of these marriages.
the fights over money,
children, control.
i don't know the answer.
i guess you have to work
at it, like a job, and
then there's the glue of
religion, common interests.
love and family, trust
and respect. i get it.
i really do understand,
but i step through the
debris of these train
wrecks everyday and see
the carnage and i just
can't see getting on
that train again. same
sex, opposite sex, no
sex. go ahead, give it
a shot, i wish you all
the best in your endeavor.
but when i hear that
whistle blow and the rumble
of the wheels about to
cross that trestle, i step
aside and let it roll by.

Friday, December 4, 2009

jelly beans

are sweet.
i keep a large
bowl of colored
beans always
within reach, the peacock
blues, the passion
pinks, the whites,
and greens, the
licorice black.
my dentist loves me
as i put his kids
through school
and pay on the new
lexus that he leases.
i can't stop myself
from dipping into
the bowl jelly beans,
one after another.
i seem to have that
problem with other
things as well.

cancun

it rained hard
in cancun mexico.
and it seldom rains
like that, for five
straight days
and nights. but we
made the most of it
with food and drink,
music and dancing
in the bar across
the street where we
would stumble home
in the wee hours,
and then we would
return to the room
that overlooked the
blue bay, shadowed
in darkness, etched
with the lights of ships
in the distance, and
we would make love
on the balcony, soaked
to the bone, through
our clothes, her dress
clinging to her skin,
so pale and cool
against the mexican
night. who was to
know how short her
life would be, and how
deep the cut would
wound me forever more,
but we had those rain
filled nights in cancun
and sometimes that feels
like almost enough.

oyster moon

I put my hand
out to the yellow
moon, aglow
on this warm night.
I almost feel
that I could snatch it
from the sky,
and hold
the smooth orb
in my hand, like
a pearl found
in an oyster of
dark, lifted open
like a heart
so overdue for love
and light.

the invitation

arrived in the mail,
which is rare in itself,
everything being funneled
these days through our
online connections. but
this thick envelope held
a stamp and was addressed
by hand with a flourish
of careful calligraphy,
a wedding of two friends
was in a month's time,
and i was to come and wear
a tuxedo and all the trim
mings. of course, not
having one that fit, seeing
that it had been fifteen
years since i last wore
the one hanging in the closet
i ventured out to buy or rent.
i spent the day and five
hundred dollars to find
just the right fit, the right
shoes, and shirt, and bow
tie. it felt good to have
my new suit, but it cost me.
and i know that it would also
hang in the dark closet,
awaiting the next formal
invitation for another decade.
and this all confirmed my
beliefs about weddings
in general. that the two
love birds should run away
to some far off tropical
destination that only they
can get to and leave me
out of it.

the office

where i once worked
is hardly missed, although
the wednesday night
game of volleyball, and
the happy hour which
followed, is. there was
always a birthday, or
a holdiay party which
would shorten the day
by half, and perhaps a nice
cake. not to mention
the endless arrivals
of a new receptionst or
secretary to meet
and show the ropes,
or a clever way to unstick
the copier or to lift
that heavy box of paper
onto the shelf, yes. i was
quite the office mate
and was very surprised
when they fired me, not
once, but twice, because
of the second chance they
gave me for being so
helpful, liked and nice.

fast food

is everywhere you look,
the neon brightens every
dark corner of every dark
street. chicken, burgers,
fries, tacos, anything
dipped deep and long into
the well of oil and grease.
not an apple to be found,
or pineapple, or banana,
or berry picked by hand
in a sun drenched field.
no need to be subversive
and over throw this land,
no plotting or acts of
terror need to happen,
just be patient and wait.
we will do it ourselves
and squeeze our hearts dead
with what we crave and eat.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a new book

i need a new book,
thick and rich,
one that i can lose
myself in, something
that grabs me, that i
won't throw across
the room when the plot
goes awry and the characters
sag with cliche and empty
souls. i want it to be
real, to savor each line,
each word, to wince when
it nears the end. i
want it to last, but
not reach the final page.
i want that book, the one
i'll read again and again,
and never lend, and know
exactly where it is, on
which shelf, close
to my heart and hand.

bread

i fall in love
easily with warm
bread, fresh and doughy
on the table before
the meal arrives,
i like the way a pad
of yellow butter
melts like a kiss on
the soft white face
of a slice. i want
to hold it, feel the
warmth of it, the hard
crust on my lips as
i take a bite and pull
and gently tear it's
life into me. bring me
more, then take my
hand, and i'll start
with you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

dead people and pears

she waited for the morning
light, the strong sunlight
to shine in, then she began
to paint in oils from the
sketches of the photos cut
neatly out of the obituaries.
not every face would do,
it had to be a certain look,
old or young, something
different, unique in the posture
or pose, the eyes, the length
or lack of nose, or ears
that would protrude too far
from the face. the high
forehead, a grin, or scowl
a mop of hair lopsided
by some unseen hand or wind,
but she had an eye for them,
and could capture with her
subtle hand the very essence
of who they seemed to be.
and when she bored herself
with painting the dead
she would turn to a bowl
of pears, fresh or ripened
brown, it made no difference,
and she would line them in
a row and gaze into their
very souls to find a way
to paint them too.

screwed

the day starts
with a small nail,
or screw that you've
run over in your car,
it's stuck deep
within your tire,
you hear the clicking
of metal against
the pavement, but you
press on, there are
things you need to do,
places to be on time,
but halfway in your
journey, the screw
expels itself and the
tire quickly goes flat,
leaving you stranded on
the side of the road,
you try to call AAA,
who you've religiously
paid for thirty years
just for this one moment,
but your cell phone
needs charging, and it's
dead, you have no change,
you left your wallet
on the kitchen counter,
the money you were going
to grab is in your coat
on the hook in the closet
miles away. you want to
find a metaphor, some
reason, some point being
made about the circumstances
that have occured, the place
you have arrived at on this
cold december morning
with traffic roaring by
at seventy miles an hour,
but you've got nothing,
and then it starts to rain.

sandman

I'm drowsy
from the pills
I took to sleep,
but I can't get
there from here.
The mind races
with a zillion
silly things,
like love and money,
the madness
of it all.
It's the constant
ticking
of the clock
that seems to whip
the world
into a frenzy,
and the genius
is in finding
a way to stop it,
to get out from
under the big
hand, the little
hand, the plate
of relentless
hours we must
succumb to. But
until then,
I'm waiting on
the sandman
to bring me sleep.

snow bound

Don't look at me
for answers, for
at the moment I
have none. I'm bone
dry. I'm sitting
on this bench alone,
Trying to keep warm,
letting the wind
hold what's left of me.
I'm starting from
scratch, from zip,
which is exactly
how I like it.
The bare canvas
of this white
deeping snow, suits
me well. I'll dig
out of this too.
Just give me time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

january

drops in
univited.
a cool guest
full of false
promise,
the start
of something new,
the sales pitch
of a new year,
as the colored
lights fade
and get boxed,
stuffed back
into the cellar
or attic
with the plastic
tree.
the gaiety is over
as the sky thickens
with cold,
and we break each
heartfelt resolution,
one by one,
with all the zeal
of the falling
snow that won't
be gone for
months.