Tuesday, August 31, 2010

not everyone

they disappear
gently into
the night, beneath
the soft
glow of moon,
as if they were
never here.
friends and lovers
slipping away,
going down into
the darkness
of memory.
your life can't
hold everyone
and nor can
theirs, so
something
has to give
not everyone
can be on the boat.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the new book

after hearing so
much about it,
i start the new
book, the cover
is hard and shiny
with a yellow
sheen like lemons,
crisp from the
press and packaging.
i dip my eyes into
a page or two
at first, but it's
slow going, and i
turn it over to read
the praise, the blurbs
from other authors
whose books i also
couldn't read. one
says that it will
change my life, but
instead it makes me
sleepy, this fiction,
these characters
so thinly drawn.
i'll wait for
the movie on this one.

the pale son

the pale son
worries me at times.
so slender, so
on guard and
reluctant to share
too much, not
quite there, still
in that shadow
world of childhood,
and where he soon
must be.
it's awkward
for him, for me,
and we stumble
with our love.
i feel the pull
of him away,
as i bend towards
him to say goodbye,
unsure in this
new territory
of what to do,
what to say.

the cavalier hotel 1927

you can barely
fall asleep in
this room that creaks
and moans throughout
the long night.
stretched out and
prone on this slight,
but hard resemblance
of a mattress,
the air conditioning
a constant hum
and rattle as pipes
bend and bellow,
the false cold air
putting a chill onto
your skin, you are
asleep and yet awake
in this old boned
hotel once again.

safe on shore

as the current moves,
and the swimmers struggle
to get out of the water,
being pulled to places
they don't want to go,
and the whistles blow
as each lifeguard chair
plants a red flag warning
to beware of riptide, you
dip your toe into the
warm shell laden sea
and let the violent
waves just kiss
your legs, barely out
of danger, but safe
on shore, out of the
storm and harm's reach.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

breakfast

two eggs
over easy,
some toast
with butter
and blueberry
jam, a
few strips
of bacon,
and a small
glass of juice,
and coffee
of course,
keep it coming,
dark and hot.
keep it simple
and a good day
may follow, or
not, and if
that's the case
at least
you had a good
meal.

now

for the most part
i've never been
burdened with a tomorrow.
or the day after that
and the days to follow.
i like to sit in
the chair of now.
i try very hard to
stand still in the
moment and not relive
or rely on the past
either. life is change
and you can't stop
what's coming, or
not coming no matter
how hard you to attempt
to make things last.
surrender and let it
all happen as it should.
sleep, eat well, be
kind, work hard, be
a good friend and father,
a lover. stay true.

coming clean

i stand in the hot
shower and scrub, i
let the water run
hot and steamy turning
my skin red, filling
the bathroom with a
cloud of wet heat,
fogging the mirror,
dampening the floor.
it feels good to
come clean, to confess
and be forgiven, and
let things fall
or not fall, as they
are meant to be.

the candy store

it's a murky world
of connections,
the internet
and online dating,
it reaches out
with soft whispers,
luring you with
new possibilities
and keeps you
active, never quite
free or out of touch
with it, stuck in
a fine web of
who's next, who's
more attractive and
the sweeter piece
of candy. it's so
easy to get lost
in the funhouse.
to let your ego
savor the attention
to bathe in the
warm glow of false
affection. it's an
all day happy hour.
i know all this
because i've been there
and stayed too long.
never quite satisfied,
never quite enough.
never quite letting
go of lovers in
the rear view mirror
as i tried to go down
a new road. enough.
i'm gone and i won't
look back.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

cutting back

i ask her how
she's doing and
she tells me
on the phone that
she doesn't need much
to get by these days,
she's trimmed the
fat out of her life,
got centered with
some yoga and deep
breathing exercises
she learned at the Y
on tuesday nights.
she says that all
she really needs is
some food and water,
shelter, transportation,
occasional love
and affection.
okay, maybe a fur
coat and my diamonds,
she says, i don't
think i could go
on without those.
and all of my shoes,
and dresses, and
slacks. and i suppose
i need a vacation
every now and then
to just get away and
relax, paris or rome
will do, nothing
domestic, this
country is starting
to bore me. she
sighs. i really have
cut back though. i'm
down to one martini
per night, unless it's
friday. i nod and tell
her yes, you're
practically living in
a nunnery dear.

scrabble

my peace corps
scrabble buddy
labella, queen
bee teacher
of all she
surveys finally
gives in and we
talk and smooth
things out. i'm
relieved at not
having lost
her as a friend.
she is a rare warm
soul in this world,
despite being a
cheater at
scrabble, or at
least bending
the rules in her
favor to beat me
on a regular basis,
and at some point
i know, i'll have
to just let that go.

details

starving for food
i give in and pull
into a seven eleven.
i ask the man for
a hot dog and he
smiles, adjusts
his orange turban
and says, one
or two. i tell him
only one, i'm watching
my figure, i might
be going to the beach
this week. he smiles
and nods as if he
understands the nature
of me, my desire to
be fit and trim
as i stroll along
the shore half naked
for all to see. we
have a special, he
says, two for the price
of one and a bag
of chips, trying to
convince me to go
for the second dog,
but i have extrordinary
will power, and say,
no, just one will do.
so i grab some
mustard, a water,
pay the man and thank
him. and when i get
outside to eat i
open the box and see
that there is a fat
red hot dog lying there,
rolling about on it's
own with no bun. just
the dog. it was his
first day, i guess
and i didn't
specify the bun too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the story

i start to write
a story, but stop,
then start again.
i want it to be
simple, a girl
meets a boy, they
fall in love
forever, and then
the end. but it
doesn't quite
work that way,
now does it. but
i don't care,
for that's the way
i'll write it.

candy

i wake up
thinking of candy.
i can't quite
get enough.
no, that's not
her name, but
it could be if
she were a
car hop in a
pink poodle skirt
and bobby socks
and black
and white shoes.
the name candy
would suit
her just fine.

winter sun

in the winter
with a low
yellow sun giving
us a warm hand of
light my son and
i would go towards
the woods, stopping
at the cold creek's
edge and find
a gully of soft
ground, and sit
and talk about
whatever was
on his mind at six
or seven. i can
still see the sun
on his face, his
sweet brown eyes,
listening to
me, his arms folded
behind his head,
his whole life
in front of him
and i wonder if he
remembers now
what i do.

cupcake

because she had
eaten most of
the cupcake covered
in thick rich icing
i thought that maybe
i could have the last
small dollop of
sweet creamy topping,
so i scooped it up
and put it into my
mouth and she screamed,
no way. you ate the
last drop. i swallowed
and wiped the remains
off of my mouth,
then bought her a
dozen and left them
at her house.

rejection letter

the editor
scribbles an
inked note at
the top
of the rejection
letter and says,
the story lacks
ambition. and
i know exactly
what he means,
what the point
is. it's fluff,
it's fun, but it
touches just
the surface
and never quite
delves truly
into the human
condition. that
was fifteen years
ago and after
rereading the
story again today,
i realize
how truly kind
he was in saying
what he did.

hand wash

the label says
hand wash, which is
the same label
i have on me, well
actually it's a
small tattoo
on my lower back,
but i need the same
kind of personal care.
i'm very fragile
that way, and tend
at times when in
the mix of washer
and dryer, in the
heat of a moment
have a porpensity
to fray, and tear
as you may well
know being around
me enough.

getting lucky

on a whim
you slap down
a ten and say
give me ten
random numbers
for the mega
million lottery.
it's up to three
hundred million.
the man behind
the counter
smiles and grins
while he fetches
a hot dog from
the roling tray
behind him
and says, you
feel lucky today.
not really i
say, but what
the hell, it
would be nice
to have a speed
boat on the bay
and a condo
in nyc, and a
house at the
beach, and of
course to
dole some out
to friends and
relatives, to
those you love,
in need or not
in need, it
wouldn't matter.
why not. now where
did i put that
ticket.

day off

so much to do
on a day off, such
as sleeping late,
of which you find
impossible waking
up at six, so you
get up and shower
and dress and
answer e mails, you
do some bills, then
check your schedule
for the week up
next. but then
you're done you are
caught up on
everything and
it's still only
eight a.m., you
think about a day
trip to the beach,
but it's raining,
perhaps a movie, but
there's nothing
really you want
or need to see.
the bookstore, or
clothing store
perhaps, but you're
all done with retail
therapy. it's wide
open at this point.
let's start with
coffee and the paper
and see where this
day leads.

a love poem

you pick a mountain
and decide okay,
she's the one, and go.
but it's not easy getting
to the top, the incline
at first is slight,
and the footing solid, but
the closer you get,
the steeper it is to
reach the peak, the air
is thinner, it's colder,
there is ice to deal
with, weather changes,
and the chances of
survival are less, but
you keep at it, you want
to get there, to be at
the place where there
is no place left to go.
satisfifed and full
with this mountain
that you chose.

Monday, August 23, 2010

children

as children
grow before
us, as we did,
leaving us
daily in ways
we don't quite
see, we find
it bittersweet.
and wonder
if the love
we shared
will be enough
to keep them
warm, to keep
them close
and still
tethered, but
free.

at bat

it's easy to swing
the bat. plant your
feet, dig in
and focus, be still,
be patient, spit
if you'd like, step
out and call time,
wipe your brow,
dust yourself off,
and get set again.
wait, wait and find
the ball as it leaves
the mound, that white
mark as it hurls
and spins towards you.
it's easy to swing
the bat, it's making
contact, finding
the sweet spot and
sending it out beyond
the fence that's hard.

memories

lock the door
behind you, she
says. but why,
i ask, there is
nothing left
to take, it's
all in the trucks
now, yours and
mine. the water
is off,
so is the power.
there is no
heat, no light
to speak of.
all the appliances
are gone.
just lock the
door she says,
i don't want
the memories to
awaken and
follow us
as we go our
separate ways.

cookies

i see you in the grocery
store just buying milk.
it's the only thing in your
cart. no cookies, no
cake, nothing for it to
go with. this bothers me,
despite not knowing who
you even are and i want
to stop you and ask you
why are you leading such
a lonely life, then i
realize that my cart
except for the milk, is
nearly empty too, but at
least i have cookies.

i find that

it's rare
to find
a soul
you can sit
with and eat
with, laugh
with, make love
to, and talk
throughout
the night with
before the
sweat has
dried and
the hearts
have slowed,
or to just
be in silent
agreement
that this
is good,
whatever this
might be.
it's rare,
and welcome,
and frightening.

subtle changes

everything changes
just slightly with
a new day whether
it be from the tilt
of the earth, or from
sun spots or perhaps
from the tides
being pulled by
a lethargic moon.
does the moon
even care. i doubt
it. but there is a
shift in hearts and
minds about nearly
everything under it.
nothing staying
the same for very long,
and i can't let it
bother me anymore.

mabel

you don't see me
there, because i'm
gone. i'm on the road
with my new dog, mabel.
she doesn't know any
tricks, or listens
to me, but i'm used
to that. i have a
son, an ex-wife and
a trail of, well,
let's not get into
that. i've got a bag
of dog food in the
backseat, her squeaky
toys, her leash, her
water, her fluffy bed,
and a map, although
she's sitting on it
at the moment so
we're driving blind.
she loves to look
out the window, stare
at the other cars
going by. she's a good
dog, the kind of dog
that if she was human
would have a cigarette
and a beer with you,
and a tattoo of her
mother on her arm
and stay up all night
to just chat. my mabel.

the visit

across the street, past
st. bernadette's
where a lush green stretch
of land is set with markers,
crumbling and tilted,
crosses and stones, where
i haven't visited yet.
i see her move towards
no one, but sits upon
the cold bench to rest.
she comes nearly every
day, at the same time,
in the same way, slow
and bent, but moving.
she doesn't seem to be
praying, or coming to
see someone she used
to know, perhaps she's
just curious about
what might be next.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

charity

when the church
would bring us food,
on a holiday,
bags and boxes
of canned goods,
a frozen turkey,
a pie, a loaf of
fresh baked bread
and gallons of milk,
we'd scream with joy
all seven of us,
while my mother would
stand there at the
door holding the last
baby and sadly cry.

getting ready

with winter
approaching,
i'm chopping wood,
swinging the axe
over my shoulder
letting the weight
and muscle work
as one, splitting
thick trunks into
blocks. but i don't
have a fireplace
and i wonder why,
i'm doing this. i
have central air
and gas heating,
which works really
well. what's up
with all the wood
chopping, i don't
know. but it looks
good stacked up
in the back yard,
next to the butter
churn, the cows
and chickens and
fish tank full
of catfish. i'm
getting ready, i
guess, for something.

the minute you die

i have it on a
high source and i
believe it to be
solemnly true that
the minute you die
you suddenly zoom
out of the room or
wherever you might
be taking your last
sweet breath on earth
and enter into
a glorious stream
of angelic light
which captures your
body and soul and
spirit and speeds
you straight to dairy
queen where you
receive an extra large
blizzard of your
choice, no charge.

lawyers

why don't more
bad things happen
to bad people
you might ask,at
least before death,
unless of course
you are one of
those people and
then you want to give
the last gasp confession
and receive that all
inclusive forgiveness
package sending you
straight to heaven
bypassing security,
the body scan, luggage
check and a written
exam before dropping
into the fiery pits
of hell and damnation.
but i seem to know
not alot, but a few truly
bad people, and except
for the twitching and
inability to sleep,
and ulcers and things
like that, they seem
to be doing quite well.
and not all of them
are lawyers.

it's a good thing

there is a spring
in your step when
she appears, your
heart skips, you lean
in her direction
and you stumble with
your words. all the
wit and widsom learned
through a thousand
dates goes out
the window, your
mouth goes dry, you
can't help yourself,
falling so hard this way,
like a kid in school
who can't eat or
sleep with her on
your mind. it's humbling,
and hopeful, no
matter what the final
outcome, to know
that this, this crazy
emotion still lives
within you, when for
so long you thought it
dead and long gone.

the ride

it's a sweet clean
ride through the woods
along the stream
to the lake as the sun
melts and the heat
subsides and summer
closes each day with less
and less warm light.
and you savor the time,
the hour that you pedal
hard, with no care, no
tomorrow no yesterday
on your mind. it's just
now, you and the bike.
peace and quiet delight.

the bird

the bird wouldn't
sing and it was an
expensive bird.
a parrot of sorts
with clipped wings,
yellow and red, with
streaks of blue and
aquamarine. she put
it in a cage at
the end of her
marriage. it was
for spite, of course,
but there was
nothing he could
say or do, that part
of the program had
long been over. she
whistled and sang
and spoke to him,
but the bird wouldn't
sing. and she kept
it for years and
years, until her
boy went to off his life,
and she grew older,
alone with her
bird and the silence
that he brought with him.

complicity

if you don't
want the rest
of that shiny
red apple
that you plucked
from the tree
of knowledge
despite being
warned, hand it
over to me. i'll
take a big bite
too, and we'll
both see what we
shall see.

the long night

i push snooze
on the alarm and
in ten minutes it
bothers me again.
i have to get up
though on this short
end of a long night,
after too much wine,
and you, the dogs
outside howling at
a moon they can't
even see. i'll find
an hour or two later
to make up for
this fatique, crawl
back in bewteen
the sheets at
midday, and find
a chance to sleep
deeply, and to
dream while the rain
pours down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

domestic chores

i forgot to separate
the white clothes
from the dark clothes,
okay, i didn't exactly
forget it, i just threw
them all in together,
but hey, i'm not hazel
here. so now i have a
bunch of pink t-shirts
that were formerly white.
and thanks for telling
me about those dust balls
beneath my bed. i just
can't reach them, the
broom is way in the
basement, and the vacuum
won't quite fit under
the frame. and yes,
i know that most
of the condiments
and bottles of salad
dressing have a green
fuzz on them. i'm working
on that. and i plan to
carbon date that roasted
chicken way in the back
near that collapsed orange,
to see if it's sandwich
worthy. whew, i tell you
it's not easy running
a household when
it's only me.

i'm bored

i'm bored, she says,
tossing a book at me
from across the room.
i pick it up and look
at the title. I'm
Bored Too, is what
it says. i need a
life, she yells out,
a new life, i need
to have more fun,
go out, go dancing,
put on a new dress
and go to paris
on a whim, maybe
i should replace you
too, get a hot cabana
boy with washboard
abs, she says, staring
at me and pointing
her finger. then the
door bell rings.
honey, i say, can you
get that. it's pizza
man, the money's on
the table, near the door.

some women

before discovering
normal, in the past
i've been attracted
to some strange
women, or they've
been attracted to me.
cat ranchers,
hoarders, collectors
of knick knacks.
tap dancers.
women who could snap
a cigarette out
of your mouth with
a bullwhip from twenty
paces or stop you
in your tracks with
just the look in their
eyes. then i thought
it through, that maybe
there was something
about me that
brought them near.
i try not to think
too much about that
though, it's a very
scary thought.

nothing

i'm in search
of an immortal line,
something i can
etch in stone
and put on a
monument. a perfect
string of words
that people will
quote and memorize,
carry it with them
until the day
they die. something
smart and forever,
that will change
lives, alter the
course of human
events. save souls.
but it's been
a long day,
and i'm sitting here
eating a klondike
bar and i got nothing.

no advice

sometimes endings
are just beginnings
i want to say to him
when he tells me the
news about divorce,
but you can't go
there, not yet.
there are no words
to say, no advice
worth giving at
this stage. it has
to soak in, like a
cold wet blanket.
you have to shiver
and grieve whatever
loss there is, before
you move on.
this will all pass,
you want to say,
but still you can't,
it's best to just
be there and listen.

wine away

as the foot
hits the bottle
then the glass
and the wine
goes up into
the air onto
the white carpet,
in a red splash,
onto the couch,
the pillows, all
in slow motion
and we gasp,
i see in that
instant the
value of a good
wine remover
under the sink
waiting to
be used. amazing
how what seemed
ruined and at
it's end can
be saved.

blabby

she gave me a
nice cold slap
of the silent
treatment the other
day. and no
the silence wasn't
golden. deserved,
yes, but also very
instrumental
in getting
the point across.
i've used that
tact before, in
fact. unleashing
quiet, retreating
to that man
cave when things
weren't quite
right and i needed
some time to figure
it all out. but i'm
blabby now, very
blabby. sometimes
too blabby, like
right at this moment
when you want
this diatribe to end.
i have a tendency
to say alot of stupid
things sprinkled
between the occassional
gem. oh well. i'll
try to do better.
bear with me. okay,
i'm stopping....

in the past

in the past or
on any give day
or lonely night
i used to throw
the net over the
side of the boat
and pull it up
when it got heavy
and full. i'd
throw the whole
mess of flopping
crazy fish onto
the deck and sort
through them, one
by one. it was
tedious work.
heartbreaking at
times. and sometimes
they'd put up a fight,
or snap, or wiggle
out of your hands
and slide back into
the sea. and i
realized that this
was not the way to
do it. so i dove
and went under
to meet just one.
eye to eye.

the hand

i like the strong
hand she holds,
all queens, ace high.
it will be tough
to beat. she's
confident with her
bet and tosses in
most of what she
has, which makes
all the others fold,
but little does
she know though
that i'm holding four
fat kings and the ace
of hearts to top her.
i'm pushing all my
chips to the middle.
there is no bluff,
no tell, no need to draw
another card. i call.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

not really a poem

it's a very small
window. this life.
the brevity of it
all is astonishing.
decide quickly what's
important, what makes
you sad or worry,
then make all of
it, as quickly as
possible, right.
find the joy, a
passion, find love.
find peace
and contentment in
whatever place you
land. don't crowd
the room with angry
souls. don't let
their unhappiness infect
you. don't waste your
time and energy on
what can't be fixed,
move on, don't stay
where you are not wanted,
or being used,
or chase what can't
be caught. be happy
in the moment. be
happy with who you
are, not with what
you have. chase
away that darkness
with light and through
all of it be thankful.

the dance

she loves to
dance, to swing,
to shag, to do
the two step,
she's out there
all night as
the boys line up.
they don't give
a damn about
dancing. they just
like the way
she looks in a
dress and moves
about the floor
with her blue
eyes flashing,
and they're mostly
thinking about
later when
all this foolishness
is over and she
could do a
different kind
of dance.

dinner

you see
the silver
slice
of fin rise
from a grey
wave and it
circles, not
sure yet
what will
be it's prey.
it doesn't
matter, there
is no menu
from which
to choose,
there is
only what's
in the water
this bright
summer day.

everyday

she twists
and turns
off the high
dive. fearless
and falling
quickly to
the deepest
part of the pool.
focused, tumbling
in tight motion,
before slicing
into the cool
still water
with hardly
a splash. she does
this everyday,
and never, ever,
looks back.

yellow moon

there's a moon
rising yellow right
above that cloud
of dark trees, and
if you stand right
here, and don't
move, you'll see
what i can see. it's
memory will persuade
you to come again
and again, to find
another moon, on
another night, and
it has no real
meaning, but it shows
you that in the
moment, in the brevity
of life, that things
can slow down, stand
still, and be just right.

the black and white cat

in the summer of
seventy one, with
my friend perry herbert
we hitch hiked to
ocean city maryland.
we had twenty dollars
between us, a few
nickel bags of poor
weed and our sleeping
bags which held a
bathing suit and a
toothbrush and zig
zag rolling papers.
the three hour trip
took eight hours.
our hair and youth
did not encourage
cars to stop,
and if they did
they were tourists
from france or spain
or someone who needed
cash for gas. we
had no problem meeting
girls despite our
shaggy dog appearances,
but would be run off
by their fathers
when we tried to see
them later, at
their family hotels.
at night we'd go to
the dunes, away from
the houses, the cheap
motels and find someplace
to camp for the night.
and in the morning
the cops would wake us
up with megaphones
from their squad cars
parked along the
highway. one morning
before that happened,
i awoke and
found a beautiful
black and white cat
in my sleeping bag,
curled up beside me.
she was purring,
dreaming, as happy and
free as she could be,
so much like us.

boardwalk elvis

there used to be
a man on the boardwalk
in ocean city, years
ago, before the high
rises went up, and it
was still a small town,
who stood on his
head and sang elvis
songs, and blew on
his harmonica. you
ain't nothing but
a hound dog, seem
to be his favorite,
his black soft hat was
there beside him,
collecting coins and
dollar bills. he was
also blind and wore
black sunglasses
like roy orbison. one
day we were staying
in a room at the same
hotel he was, and we
saw him walking down
the hall with his cane
tapping gently along
the rug, the walls,
until he got to his
door, which he opened,
went in, and turned
the light on.

on ice

i'm sitting
in a tub
filled with
ice cubes
and cold water.
that's right.
you got it.
i'm chilling.
in about
an hour my
lips will
be blue,
and i'll be
shaking like a
waring blender,
my heart rate
will slow down
to the point of
blacking out,
but at least
my knees
won't hurt
anymore.

tea time

she wants to know
where i've been,
what have i been doing
and with whom.
who put that lipstick
there, whose curling
iron is on the
bathroom floor, why
is there so much
yogurt and bottled
water and cheese in
your refrigerator.
hummus? when did you
start eating hummus.
what's up with the white
wine bottles in the
trash. that one high
heel, who left it here
and where's the other.
who walks away and
leaves wearing one high
heel. what kind of a
woman does that, she
says, shaking her head.
she's driving me
crazy with these
questions, my mother. i
can't invite her over
for tea anymore.

wait

once the field
has been cleared
and tilled and
the seed is in
the ground, there
is not much that
you can do, but
wait, and be patient.
wait for rain,
wait for sunlight,
wait for the first
sight of something
green breaking
ground, then weed
and keep the bugs
at bay and be
ready, when she is.

goldfish

having a few extra
dollars in my pocket
i purchased a gold
fish the other day
and it's brought
me great pleasure.
it's the only pet
i can handle at
the moment. he
doesn't bark when
the doorbell rings,
or when the mailman
slides mail into
the slot. he doesn't
shed, or need his
nails clipped, or
yearly shots.
no teeth cleaning
is necessary because
he has no teeth.
i don't need to carry
plastic bags with me
to pick up after
him when i take him
for a walk, because
there is no walk,
he has no legs,
and can't be out of
that bowl of water for
very long anyway. it's
a fish thing.
i love my little new
friend, so gold and
bright and happy
in his clear small
world of wetness. i am
trying to think of
an appropriate name
for him. but wait, in
the time it's taken
to write this down,
i see that he has gone
belly up. he's afloat
at the top. oh my.
that was quick. what
happened? a broken
heart perhaps.
maybe i should get
two the next time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

closets

in a whirl wind
of fury i cleaned
out five closets
full of clothes.
six bags full.
why i had so many
green shirts i'll
never know, and
khakis and loafers
with tassels full
of dust. ties i
haven't worn since
the 80's. all of
it green bagged
and ready for the
curb. belts and
hats, scarves some
things that weren't
even mine, but i
kept them hanging
in the closet
just the same, as
if they were.

the woods

it's through the deep
woods that gets
you there, there is
no other way but
through the unmarked
path, cutting into
bramble, the vines,
the swamp of unseen
traps. you don't
need a compass,
or the stars, or
a map to get you
home. your heart
will do all that, just
as it always has,
and always will.

catching rays

beneath the sun.
on the long
beach. feeling
the warmth of
the heat, that
fingertip breeze
off the ocean
that rolls up
you, starting at
your feet, it's
so bad for you,
the sun, the rays,
but oh how
wonderful and
invigorating
it can be, even
now.

what is it

it's always easy
in the beginnning.
fresh love, fresh
flowers, the promise
built on tenderness
and kisses. it's
before any clouds
appear, or roll of
thunder.
the storm will prove
it's worth, if it
is to survive for
another day, or month,
or if it's just
a summer fling,
a passing memory
to be folded like
a flower into
the pages of your
life and be done.

beyond me

in the clearing
where the sun has
dried and lifted
the wet grass
of morning which
followed night,
a flock of birds
have found
a place to rest, to
eat, to do all the
things that make
them birds, before
they fly away
to another place
beyond me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a new bridge

i like this new
bridge. it's strong
and sturdy. the wind
will make it sway,
but it won't go
down into the deep
sleeve of river
that rolls below it.
i like the steel,
the shine of it,
the long smooth
cables that hold
it up. i like the way
it looks in the sun
from a distance,
rising high. i feel
safe crossing this
bridge, take my hand
and come with me, let's
get to the other side.

Monday, August 16, 2010

running

i took up running
the other day. just
a half a mile though.
i'm not sure how many
k's that might be.
the metric system
still confuses me.
i'm working towards
a full mile, but the
starbucks is only a
half a mile away,
some fraction of a K,
and so i logically
stop there for coffee
and a scone and to
talk with fred, my
barrista. he likes
to run too, but he
goes much longer.
sometimes he goes
as far as 26.2 miles
and gets a t-shirt.
he's always entering
a 10 k, or a 5 k,
or a 3.2 k and gets
even more t-shirts
and sometimes a very
nice hat. i tell him
they have t-shirts
and hats up at wall
mart. just a mere 1.2
miles away and he
laughs and laughs.

words

those in charge,
the censors want
a few words out.
the f word, the g
d word, the m f
word and a few
others. c s is
another one. and
c and d and we
must not forget
b and b. the guns
though are okay.
the bullets,
the blood, and
even the occasional
knife fight is fine.
but keep the
language under
control. words
will harm the soul.

the weather report

a chance of
rain tomorrow.
clouds and very
little sunlight.
they are not
even sure if
the sun will
rise. fifty fifty
the weatherman
says and winks.
it's an inside
joke, but i'm
not on the inside
and i'm worried
about the sun.
i want the sun
to rise, i have
more than a token
interest in
that. i met
someone who wants
to go the beach,
and we need
the sun, we really
do if i'm
ever going to see
that polka dotted
bikini.

dog son

i used to say
to my dog when he
would roll over
and stare at me
wanting a pat
and a scratch on
his long fat belly,
"and you call
yourself a dog."
and he would
give me that what
the hell are you
even talking about
look, then wag
his tail. the look
was not unlike
the look my son
now gives me
on a daily basis.

paris

like many people
often do,
we fell in love
in paris. our eyes
having met on top
of the eiffiel
tower. at the time
though we were both
just recently
married and on our
honeymoons. so
there was a problem
in finding time to
sneak away from
our suddenly
insignificant others
to meet in a cafe
and kiss, and
drink espresso, and
say sweet things
to one another
in very bad french.
but we managed.
we made plans for
our future together
once our divorces
were final and we
were back in the
states. we even
talked about what we
would name our
children. she loved
the name pierre if
it was a boy, i
was always fond of
violet, if it was
a girl. by the third
day of our early
morning rendezvous
we had had our
first real fight.
she was cranky from
the stress of
hiding our love,
and lying, and being
nervous about it
all and threw a
buttered baguette
at me. she got up
crying, and ran off
down the boulevard
knocking over flower
vendors, and
chocolatiers,
saying i hate you,
i hate you, i hate
you. i guess it just
wasn't meant to be.

namaste

whenever the toast
burns, i think of
you, she tells me
in an e mail. whenever
i stub my toe, or
get a paper cut,
or bite my tongue,
or bump my head on
an open drawer i
curse the day we
ever met or that
i even know you. by
the way, your
check is late again,
one more time and
i'm calling my
lawyer. have a nice
day. namaste.

the dancers

the dancers,
with glazed eyes,
like cats in
heat on the stage,
their limbs wrapped
around poles
in the hazy
dark, in a place
that smells like
beer and bad
decisions. they
are shadows
moving gamely
to the pulsing
thump of music,
with tight nylons
draped with
wrinkled bills,
high on their
heels. no one
watches for long,
expect for those
up front with
elbows on the table,
their beards
touching the
hardwood floor.
planted for an
even closer
look at what
they can't have.
and it all falls
apart momentarily
when the front
door swings open
with the starched
white light
of midafternoon
and everyone looks
in that direction
for no reason.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

civic duty

she asks me what i'm
doing when she comes
home from work and
leans over her fence
to look into my yard.
i'm lying there in
the sun reading a book
on how to electrify
your fence. i put the
book down and squint
into the sun at the
top of her head.
i tell her, i'm working
on my tan. but
don't you have things
to do, those shrubs
are out of control,
that grass needs
cutting. how long
are you going to keep
that old furniture
out there in the
weather. it's a disgrace
to the neighborhood
what you've done to
your yard. leave me
alone, i tell her.
aren't you married
to someone else now.
it doesn't matter,
she says. it's my
civic duty to keep
you in line until
the end of time. by
the way, she asks,
i hope you are
using sunscreen.

let's slip

into the stream.
remove our
clothes beneath
the arc
of summer trees.
let's swim
to the middle,
to the deepest
part of love
and hold on,
and see what
gives. see if
we go under,
or make it back
to shore as one.

peace

what is it
that you want,
as you move
about the
frenzied days
and lie awake,
exhausted in
the blue night.
can you put it
into words,
can you even
form the thought
to convey what
will truly
bring you joy
and or some
version of
happiness
in this lifetime.
you know more
what it isn't,
you've had money,
and love,
and all the
things that bring
comfort, but
even that is
not enough.
what it is that
will put you
at peace
with everything
and everyone.

save the day

save the day
that eased
gently into
night, then
morning, and place
it in a safe
place. put it
where it can't
be lost, not on
a shelf, or in
a box tucked
away in the attic,
don't hide it
between the dusty
pages of an old
book. put it where
it needs to be,
where it can be
seen and felt
whenever you
desire, keep it
near your heart.

the party

from the outside
looking in, i could
see that there were
balloons at the party,
pink and white, lavendar,
and a cake, of course,
there has to be a cake.
and they sang happy
birthday, while the music
played and the drinks
were poured, and everyone
clapped and kissed her,
and made her feel warm
and beautiful, and not
old at all, but content
with where and who she
was, she felt it was
a perfect day, a
wonderful party despite
my absence, and everyone
stayed late while
she opened the gifts
and cried and held them
up into the light
for all to see. she
felt blessed to have so
many good friends that
loved her. and from
the ouside looking
in, i was happy for her
too, then i turned
and walked away towards
a new life without her.

in darkness

things move within
the house, the floor
creaks, the pipes
rattle, water drips
into the drain,
a branch scratches
against the roof while
a cool wind wind
presses against
the window. i listen
to the sound of you
breathing next to me
while i lie awake,
uneasy, at three a.m.
and ponder it all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

space flight

as the rocket lifts
in a plume of white
clouds and flames,
splitting the blue
sky in two,
i see you waving
slowly from
the window. you are
wearing your space
helmet and lipstick.
i knew you wanted
to leave, i just
never knew how
desperate and how far
you'd go to do so.
i'm very impressed
with the effort.
you'll call when you
get there, won't you?

Friday, August 13, 2010

italian ice

i could stand
in line all day
for a cold cone
of italian ice
that sparkles
round and clear.
cherry flavored.
waiting my turn
with dollar in
hand, as patient
as the day is
long. stay in
the shade over
there. yes,
sweet girl. i'll
get you one too.

a new way home

i found a new
way home. it's
a path we never
took. so it holds
no memory of you.
i don't hear
your feet against
the cobblestones,
or voice singing
lightly in the
april sun. i don't
feel your hand in
mine or remember
what you looked
like on this street
that rises high
before it falls,
it takes so much
longer now to
get there,
but i've found
a new way home
without you.

departure

it's hard to say
farewell. to board
the train with bag
in hand, to find a
seat near a window
and watch you get
smaller with distance.
you are already
fading in the fog,
holding your black
umbrella in a light rain
while the wheels
pull me away from
the station. and
the kiss we shared
is not enough, or
the promise of words
of when we might
be together again,
nothing is certain
when one is on
the train leaving
and the other is
left on the platform
waving.

summer's end

like the tail end
of a marriage,
august moves slowly
with heat, the trees
heavy and tired with
a summer of leaves,
sag and bend with
the weight of trying,
they want so much
to fall, to be soaked
clean with rain,
and done. ready for
the season change
that seems so
overdue and welcome.

at the movies

more to come,
these are just
the previews,
the trailers,
the tease. go
ahead and lead,
i'll follow.
let's find a
seat dead center,
in the back row
where we can
stretch our legs,
whisper and fold
our hands into
one another
and steal a
kiss in the
flickering
light of film.
don't forget
the popcorn,
with butter.
the junior mints.

wind song

i like the way
the wind moves
within you,
the way your
body sways with
the music of
your soul hearing
what you hear,
knowing what
you know.
i like the way
you lean against
me, not just in
the dark of
night, but in
the day as well.

the dinner

it's a fine
meal she brings
to the table.
my mouth waters
before i even
see it. i can
smell it from
here. hear the
clinking of silver
ware and glasses,
her heels,
clicking against
the kitchen floor,
it takes two
hands for her
to carry it all
in. she doesn't
want any help,
she wants to show
you what love
is, not say it.

behind the door

there was a knock
at the door the other
night. late. past eleven.
it was windy and raining,
no one was out at this
hour, in this weather.
but the knock
was persistent,
i yelled out, who is it.
and there was no
answer. more knocking
ensued. more yelling.
whoever it was
couldn't hear me,
and wanted me to open
the door. i expected
the worst. the police,
some sort of trouble,
evacuation, a fire
nearby, the plague
was coming up the
street, crime, pestilence,
famine, all were
suddenly on my front
porch, waiting for me
to open and let
all hell break loose
in my life behind
the safety of my door.
so i unlocked it and
turned the knob, i
cracked it just a little
to see my neighbor
standing there. hey,
you left the lights
on in your car, she
said, then went away.

bill day

it's bill day
and the dining
room table is
covered with
opened envelopes
and stamps, two
checkbooks,
address stickers
and registers
to document
it all. i'm so
far behind the
times with
online banking.
but i'm that
way with alot
of things, i
still tuck
my shirt in
and own a stereo,
with a cd
changer,
and have a
phone that's
been out of
date for at
least a year,
which translates
to ancient. but
somehow i
mangage to get
it all done.
hopefully she'll
tell you that too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

icecream

i'll share this
with you. come here,
lean towards me
and lick that sweet
cold cone of ice
cream. open those
lips and stick your
tongue out. it's all
yours if you want
it, but we need
to share to really
make things work.
none of this my
cone, your cone
nonsense, okay?

checking out

one night
at the holiday
inn, ten years
or so ago, i checked
in for a few
days in an
attempt to smooth
out a marriage
that was already
done. i sat on
the edge of a hard
bed that smelled
like smoke
and rotted cabbage,
and listened to
a man through
the thin papered
walls coughing. his
television was still
on at two a.m.
i never went to
sleep. i thought
about my son who
slept alone
in his room that
night without his
father in the house.
i laid down
and listened
to the coughing,
to the bland voices
of the tv, and
reasoned that this
is what hell must
be like. the next
day i got a lawyer
and found out that
hell has many levels,
more than i imagined.

the first time

i remember
the first time
at eighteen
in the back seat
of a dodge dart
swinger, army
green, with
rolled and
pleated plastic
seats, the family
car before
baby seats,
and seat belts
or cupholders
or air bags,
or anything.
there may have
been a map in
the glove
compartment.
her name was
marsha, a friend
of my sister
who needed a ride
home. she was
lean and tall,
older than me
by several years,
with long straight
hair. i remember
her lighting
her cigarette
as i drove,
smiling at me,
moving to the
center to put her
hand on my knee,
then telling me to
pull over somewhere
dark. i never
saw her again,
or talked to her
again, or ever
heard anyone
even mention
her name in
passing. in some
ways it was like
she never existed
except for those
quick five minutes
on that hot summer
night, when we
made anything
but love
in the back seat
of that car.

needs

i need to get
moving, i can't
keep waiting
for the phone
to ring. i need
to get to the
bank, i need
coffee, i need
to get dressed
and out of here.
get off
the computer and
get some food,
go to work, before
the day is shot.
i have alot
of needs, i
realize that,
but they're all
justifiable.
and don't even
get me started
with what i
need from you.

ebb and flow

it's easy to stop.
to let it pass
and go on to the next
new thing, or love,
or place you think
you need to be. love
is a tide that rises
and falls under the
spell of the moon
and things we don't
understand. you don't
need a list of
reasons to stay or
go, it just happens,
all part of some
mysterious ebb and flow.

things have changed

i don't recognize
the view, things
have changed, buildings
have come down
and gone up. the old
street is more
narrow, but the trees
are full and tall
and lean over
like old men and
women, nearing their
own slow end. the
drugstore is gone,
the bowling alley
bulldozed halfway
into oblivion,
that patch of woods,
hollow and dark holding
so many secrets of
us in our youth, is
flat and barren, a
gravel parking lot
without cars. it's
easy to just drive
through and leave, no
sense in stopping.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

moonlight

she sleeps
soundly when
she's here.
i can feel
the weight of
her against
the mattress
as she breathes
softly and clear.
her skin
just barely
touches me
as the moon
moves slowly
across the sky,
allowing just
enough light
to pour in to
make me believe
once more.

you'll see

i'll pay you back
tomorrow, but i'm
flat broke right now
i spent all my money
on the horses
and women, i put
gas in my car and
food in my belly. i
don't have a penny
to share or give
you, but i'll be
flush tomorrow. i
promise. hold tight,
keep the faith, i'm
on to something good
and things are about
to turn for me.
you'll see. you'll see.

lean on me

when the waves
break over the levee
and fill the streets
with water
and the cars float
by, and the rooftops
become havens for
those who may survive,
don't worry. it will
fall back. it's the
way things work,
trouble and then
peace, rain and then
sunlight.

let's go

there was a day,
which seems like
yesterday to me,
when you could make
a few phone calls
and gather the group
of guys together
to roll out for
a beer or two, or
to a nightclub,
when those of us
that were still
single could get
out on the dance
floor and sweat and
hopefully not make
fools of ourselves
trying hard to meet
women, but now, at
this age, everyone
needs notice
in advance, at least
a week or two.
then there's kids
to deal with, wives,
girlfriends, jobs.
jimmy wants to know
what we we're wearing
on this night out,
jeans or slacks,
button down, or polo.
jesus. frank's knee
is sore and he's not
sure if he can make it,
but if he comes he wants
to make sure there are
no steps he has to climb
and that there's parking
close by. larry wants
to bring his third
wife who doesn't trust
him out with the guys.
tommy and bill
don't like each other
anymore since the
poker game, so if one
comes the other won't.
randy wants to eat at
the bar while dave
and joe want to reserve
a table, preferrably
outside. it's all up
in the air, but for
me, i'm always ready
to roll. just call.
let's go.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

seeds

the struggle
of the seed
unseen,
pushing up
through dirt
and weeds, bone
dry or too
wet, making
it's way up
into whatever
it needs to
blossom and
be is not
inspirational
at all, but
i get it.

that's all

i need twelve
sundays in a row.
a string of days
and nights where
nothing is urgent
and needs to get
done, no phones,
no work, nobody
but you to tend
to. we could go
down to the sea
in the morning,
after making
love all night,
and breathe in
the ocean air.
that's all.

rainbows

when i was twelve
i'd listen to my
mother and father
do battle down below.
what dishes we had
sailed across the
room and broke into
a thousand pieces
like little white
stars. of course
liquor was generally
involved, as was
the lipstick on
my fathers face,
and scratches from
the nails of some
woman. sometimes
there was blood,
my mother's, or
a broken arm, a
broken nose, a cut
phone cord with
the carving knife,
but always lots of
glass. i remember
how the sunlight
would catch the little
rainbow pieces
caught up in the rug
when coming down
the steps in
the morning to go
to school.

storms

a storm in the form
of work comes every
now and then. it blows
in off the ocean
and batters the house.
but you close the
shutters, lock the
screens and doors
and wait it out. if
it takes the roof,
there is nothing you
can do, but get another
roof. it's just one
storm and beyond that
is blue skies, at
least for awhile.

joining the ministry

my certificate
to the ministry
arrived the other
day in the mail.
with it came a large
collection basket
with an extension pole
for those long pews,
and a flow chart of
the main players in
today's religions.
i applied online
to a place called
'ministry certificates
online'. they only
needed a credit
card number, no
questions were asked
about what
my ministry might
be about. which i
was glad of, because
i don't quite
have all the particulars
nailed down.
i'm shopping for
a robe now, not black
or white, nothing
traditional, perhaps
something pastel. i
lean towards lavendar
or a nice shade of
blue with white piping.
i have nothing
planned as far as
sermons go, i might
just wing it, yell
alot and then
whisper and shake
my head like i see
them do on tv. close
my eyes and have
someone behind yelling
out amen to whatever
it is i come up with.
but i have a few
ideas mostly to do
with behavioral issues,
nothing too religious.
i could easily do twenty
minutes on people
not using their
turn signals without
even looking at my notes, or
how flip flops are not
appropriate shoe attire
twenty four seven. i
think i might need
a nice hat too, sort
of like the one the
pope wears, but
taller and with a red
blinking light on top
to keep everyone's
attention. it would
be so large that i
could keep a sandwich
in it in case i got
really hungry with all
that gyrating going on.
or is it down, i get
that mixed up.

the back yard blues

avoiding the window
i finally take a glance
at the back yard.
i've left it in God's
hands for too long.
everything in the woods,
from over the fence has
found it's way in
and is happily thriving.
i need to bring order
to this green chaos
at some point, what
will the neighbors say.
nothing that i haven't
heard before, i'm sure.

keyless entry

i made a key
for you.
set it under
the mat, it's
silvery and
freshly cut,
i tried twice
to make sure
it turned.
there's another
one beneath
the potted plant
out back,
and one more
just in case
the others
disappear inside
the shed,
i've turned
the alarm off,
and gave the
dog strict
instructions not
to bark when
you arrive. i
even told
the neighbors
who you were
and what you
looked like
and that you
will be bringing
things in,
not taking them
out. on
second thought,
i'll just keep
the house
unlocked and
you can come
and go as
you please.

Monday, August 9, 2010

the bartender

when i went down
to have a drink
at the local bar
it was full of priests
and doctors,they
were glum, saddend
and sour, sloshed
in drink and lost
in deep rambling
talk of doom. they
had given up. they
as one agreed
that there was no
hope, no sense in
it all. but the
bartender was thrilled.
this was what he'd
been hoping for his
entire life. business
was about to boom.

exploration

even in
the dark
you know
each curve,
each small
nook, each
line and
bone that
holds her
flesh
together in
sweet wonder.
but it
doesn't stop
you from
exploring
her more,
as if
you just
landed
on this
sunlit
foreign
shore.

winning

the dilemma in
winning the lottery
is what to do with
the millions.
who gets what and how
much and why, and when.
what about the sister
who doesn't like you,
and the feeling is
mutual, what about
the father who never
calls, or the friend
who needs a kidney.
then there's the neighbor
who lost her job,
and all of the charities
that suddenly have
your number. but it's
a good problem. you slice
off yours, then delve
out the rest as you see
fit, first come, first
serve and no whining.

stray cat

i find another
stray cat and
take her in. she's
quickly adept at
her new surroundings.
food and shelter
and a soft bed
makes her purr, i
like the way her
tail edges up
when i move my hand
slowly down the
soft of her back. not
once has she asked
for a diamond ring,
or a new car, or
where i'm going at
such a late hour.
i like this stray cat,
i think i'll keep
her if she wants
to stay.

lay down

lay down
your weary
bones and
rest, don't
let the trials
of the day
spoil the love
you've made,
more work
will appear,
but she won't,
she's that
different.
that rare.

open

i was beginning
to believe that
i was no longer open
to new ideas. that
the store was closed.
i thought that i knew
what i liked at this age.
butter, cream, sugar
meat, salt and alcohol,
just to name a few
of the things
that will eventually
kill me. but then came
you walking down
the street in that
black and white
polka dotted bikini,
walking your dog,
and i had to add one
more thing to the list.
and suddenly that
changed everything.
the store is open
for business again.

the ring

i found this
ring the other
day, she tells me.
it was beautiful,
gold and laced
with diamonds,
another woman's ring.
it was left on
the night stand,
on the side where
i sleep. it's not
my ring, she says,
but i think i'll
wear it just the same,
maybe it will bring
us luck and back
together again,
but if not, you
owe me and this
is just a start.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

it's getting dark

it's getting dark,
so bring your light
over here, where
i can see you. i'm
old now. i'm living
way beyond my
years. i can barely
walk. i just sit
and stare out the
window all day,
and rock. the cat
is in my lap, and
the dog is just
a photograph on
the fridge, still
leaping through
the air. i remember
everything though.
the first kiss,
the last dance, how
you leaned in
to kiss me, giving
me the green light.

more stuff

they buy more,
bigger and better.
they need another
whatever to be
whoever they need
to be for others
and one another.
they want more.
they have to have
more. it's a
steady diet of
staying on top
and fleeing the
bottom where a few
of us have found
our peace.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

faster and faster

the spin of the world
is quicker now.
the clocks are all
moving at a swift
click. how is it that
years and decades
keep falling by.
you want to put your
foot out and slow
it down, keep
the children young
for just a little
while longer. keep
healthy, keep love,
keep this state of
mind. this hard
earned contentment
forever in tact.

the kite

my yellow kite,
so high against
the blue,
it's white
tail fluttering,
jumping with
the wind and tug
of string from
hands below.
like love, there
is no real control,
you just want
to keep it up
in the sky,
and flying free
and easy,
among the clouds
for as long
as it will go.

sea glass

the sand sparkles
with sea glass,
blue and green
shards, small shells
of red holding
light, the edges
softened and
feathered
over time. the sun
is still high
this august day,
your hand in mine
and what we find
against the shine
of water
that brushes up
against us, is
new memory.
there is no
yesterday, no
tomorrow, yet.
but this is good.
this moment in
late summer, and
having met.

hot pastrami on rye

i had enough
change and tokens
to get me
to the corner uptown
where we were to meet
and exchange thoughts
about our future
over a hot pastrami
sandwich with a pickle.
it's how i do
business now, and love
for that matter. it
always involves
a sandwich. it's my
trademark move.
eat, discuss, move
on, or build towards
some wobbly future.
we end it with a kiss.
each with mustard
on our chins and lips.
we agree to continue,
to see where this
passion might lead us.
and as i take the
subway home, back to
the bronx and she to
queens, i believe that
hot pastrami on rye
will keep us together.

Friday, August 6, 2010

fresh flowers

she is sunlight.
a clean cold
drink, long and
lean, a wisp
in the wind of
my time, her
time, crossing
paths and lips
and legs and
hearts, hot with
heat and fresh
flowers, unsent
but bought and
bright upon
the table.

mirage

my behavior of drinking,
gambling, smoking and
staying up late like
an alley cat has pretty
much robbed me of any
ambition, but it
doesn't matter. i have
a computer and i'm
on the internet all night
and day where i can be
all that i can be
and more. if you need
a cowboy riding the range
rustling cattle,
i can do that. i can be
a fearless astronaut
floating out in space
in my shiny silver suit,
or a carnival roustabout,
dangerous and tattoed,
with a smirk, i'm your boy.
i can be rich and handsome
or a surgeon working pro
bono to help those with
sun damage around their
eyes or who need a tummy
lift or implants. i
can be a politician,
a minister, blessing you
and pleading from you
a nice contribution for
my cause. yes, i am
quite charming as i sit
here typing in my tuxedo,
preparing to take my
limo down to the beach
where i will count stars
and write poetry to woo
you with. just tell me
what you want, who you
need for me to be,
and i'm your man.

i'm just fine

a tree goes down
from the hard winds
and falls upon your
roof, taking with it
power lines and
breaking through
the rafters, setting
everything on fire.
it's not what
you had planned
for a friday evening,
after losing your
job and having your
son and daughter
get matching skeleton
tattoos. and so you
get a hose and put
the fire down, you
take your power saw
and cut the tree
into pieces. and with
those cut limbs
and branches you
make your self a
nice chair with skills
you never knew you
had, and then
you sit and get
comfortable, pour
yourself a glass of
wine. you watch
the stars and night
clouds, when the
storm has cleared
slide by the new
opening in your roof.
things have worked
out just fine.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

xmas eve

i want to unwrap
you. i don't want
to wait for christmas.
i want you now, this
night, this
christmas eve, despite
it being august
and there's not a
snowflake or elf
in sight. i want to
rip off those ribbons,
tear into the tape
and paper with both
hands, using my teeth.
let's see what's under
the tree tonight. i'm
without patience
when it comes to slow
old santa, and you.

into the light

when you come out
the other side of
that tunnel, it's
dark hollow road,
so straight and
narrow, it hurts
your eyes when you
hit sunlight, it
blazes through
the windshield.
the truth, like
white light, is
always a surprise
after darkness.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the whole cake

yes. at times
in a weakened
state, i can be
jealous, green
and envious. i'm
rarely human like
this, but at times,
yes, even i can
succumb to my
lower nature. i
don't like these
suitors, these
clingy men in
suits and ties
that text and smile
and e mail and
pour you drinks,
and kiss you on
the cheek and touch
your hand. i'm
very selfish when
it comes to you.
i'm a child who
wants the whole
cake, not just a
slice, but all
the slices and
all of that sweet
icing too.

the dance

i bought new
dancing shoes
the other day
with you in mind.
a new white shirt,
black slacks, and
socks to match.
i'm getting up
the nerve to ask
you out. i might
just show up,
and start dancing
on your porch,
but i know it's
already crowded.
i can hear
the competion as
they vie for a spot
on your dance
card. i see
them sweating, red
faced as they
click their heels
for you, showing
you what they got.
i hope i'm not
too late.

the vase

in small pieces
you find the broken
vase on the floor.
it seems unfixable,
part dust, part
sharp slivers of
glass that can't
be mended back
together. it's a
cold puzzle of
porcelain broken
apart. you'd
have to sail all
the back to venice
to find the same one,
or one very close
to the vase you
had sitting on a
pedestal, so near
to where the dog
wags his tail in
happiness when he
sees you come home.
he only knows that
he loves you, and
misses you, not
what his tail
has done.

never simple

fatigue has set in.
i am full from all
the courses served,
but it's hard to sleep.
if i could, perhaps
sleep would solve what
is causing me to toss
and turn, to roll
back and forth in the
cold sheets, alone. i
don't like this edge.
this place where i've
wandered. it's never
simple trying to avoid
the word love, when
it wants to be said.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

more of the same

the war is over.
well, not exactly.
people are still
dying. i almost
forget why sometimes,
but it seems
important,
as every war does
in the moment. of
course in hind
sight, it's always,
the question why,
what the hell
were we thinking. we
can't make everyone
like us no matter
how hard we try.
meanwhile, it
continues as the
homeland gets
bored, we drink
our coffee and
flip through
the paper to other
news, the sports,
what's playing at
the movies.
and the war becomes
a very distant drum,
with a slow sad beat,
the boots barely
audible as they march
into darkness.

untitled

i lie down
in this bed
of water
and let the
waves roll
over me.
whether i am
in light
or darkness
i'm not sure.
i know nothing
still,
having read
a thousand
books. no
inkling really
about love,
despite being
in love.
or life, having
lived one. not
enough to
fill this
small cup
i drink from.
if i lived
another
fifty years
i'd still
have nothing
to help you
with. you'd
listen, but
that's all.
nothing gets
passed on,
just the words,
you'll have
to do the rest.

Monday, August 2, 2010

fired

i remember this
one man, my boss,
a midlevel lifer
in the office
where i worked
was crying as he
walked down the
hallway, fired,
carrying a single
cardboard box of
photos of his wife
and kids, and dog,
and beach house,
and relatives
some gone. with a
security guard
behind him, he didn't
he even nod, or
slow down as he went
by my office, despite
our friendship and
endless conversations
about life and love,
sports and nothing,
everything.
his head was bowed,
as the tears ran
down his red face,
into his beard, wetting
his light blue shirt.
i'm glad that he
didn't stop though,
i wouldn't know what
to say, as others would
feel about me as
my turn soon followed.

the warranty

i have a warranty
on the roof. a life
time promise of repair,
although i'm not sure
if they mean my life,
or the life of those
tacked on tiles.
if it rains and comes
pouring through, i'm sure
someone will be right
over. my phone is
covered too, unless
the battery gets wet,
or i drop it,
as is the fridge and
new micorwave. my ac
unit and heater has
a ten year guarantee
but the small print is
so small that i'm sure
i'm getting screwed.
i think my polio shots
may have worn off, but
i don't have the paper
work on that since i
was six when i had
those innoculations.
my vacuum has a three
year parts and labor
warranty and my car is
covered for five years
or fifty thousand miles.
i bought a broom the
other day and the girl
at the register asked
me if i wanted extra
coverage on it. i told
her no thanks. i'll
take my chances, but
i'm second guessing
that decision while
i sweep up everything
else that has broken.

half in

i've lost alot
of weight,
but only on
one side of my
body. my left
side is thinner,
toned, and several
sizes smaller
than the right
size. this has
caused a problem
when buying
clothes. and i
realize that
i'm halfway into
alot of things,
and this is
just one more
example of that
fact.

runaway train

she tells me,
looking into my eyes,
holding my shoulders,
steadying me, that
my blogging is like
bleeding that can't
be stopped. you are
wounded and the blood
keeps pouring out
like a fountain. i tell
her yup, and what's
your point. she says
take a break. go to
the beach. give your
brain and fingers
a rest. the world won't
end if you just stop
for a few days. i tell
her i can't stop.
i'm a runaway train,
i'm burning all of my
coal and speeding down
the rail without a
destination or a stop.
there is no station,
to pull into. she laughs
and says, this is what
i'm talking about, nutcake.

night out

i ate too much,
drank too many drinks.
i fell in love with
the waitress, heather,
who was half my age.
i asked her to marry
me and fly away,
or rather take
a bus to miami beach
together. just the two
of us. all of this
within the span
of three hours.
my bartender, pete,
rolled his eyes,
having heard me tell
the same bad jokes
on other such nights.
he put me on club soda
and coffee for the rest
of the evening and
set out a basket
of bread. he takes
care of me, he really
does. and when it's
time to go, when
the lights go up,
he calls me a cab.
he's now officially
my financial advisor
too. i trust him
that much.

chapter two

chapter one started
out nicely. well written.
the characters fleshed
out and the plot line
pushed along at a nice
and interesting pace.
it was obvious that the
two would become lovers,
but then trouble came
along with all of
life's problems and
unexpected turn
of events like fires,
death, destruction,
your basic mayhem
and disaster. the author
put them on thin ice,
in peril, and hanging
on by their fingernails
to the edge of the cliff.
chapter one had it all.
but in chapter two,
the sun came out
and the ocean subsided
and didn't flood the town,
or send everyone to higher
ground. the sky was
blue and birds were
singing. i really liked
chapter two, how smoothly
and content the two main
characters had become
with one another. i might
just stop reading at
this point. i'd like
to stay in chapter two.

a fashion statement

you've made
a fashion statement
with your super
girl underwear
and cape. i see
what you are
getting at,
you are telling
me how strong
you are, how
you can rescue
me as i fall
daily from
the tall buildings.
i like the sound
you make as
you whoosh across
the sky and catch
me in your arms.
but those boots,
we have to do
something about
those crazy
yellow boots.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

sunday

can you walk
a little
faster. drive
quickly and
bring those
lips and legs
asap. it's
sunday and i'm
in a lazy mood
to get busy
with you.
i'm a bee
on a flower,
a lighting
bug lit up
on a summer
night. i'm
a melting cone
that needs to
be licked and
bitten into.
none of these
metaphors really
work, but i'm
throwing them
out there
because i have
nothing to do
until you
get here.

cold water

a cold swim
rattles the bones.
chills you from
head to toe
as your feet
scramble against
the hard pebbles
and stones of
the ocean floor.
this is not what
you expected when
running across
the hot sand
and leaping into
the blue green
sea glimmering
with a high hot
sun above it. but
it's the only
ocean you've got
for now. so you
shiver, and slip
below, seeing
only the strange
green mist and
the occasional
lost fish that
bumps your leg.