Saturday, June 29, 2013

sweet tooth

you long for something
sweet, just a
small piece
of candy.
it doesn't even
have to be
just something
to lie on your
tongue and melt
as you stretch
out under the fan
in this summer heat.
but a kiss
from you will
do instead, if
you're interested
that is.

woman in a catsuit

you come home
from work
and your ex-wife's
best friend
Lucinda, who lives
next door, is in your
house. she's wearing
a black leather
cat suit and lying
on the couch.
she's holding a whip
in one hand
and a martini
in the other.
oh hey, you say,
carrying your
bag of groceries
into the kitchen.
what are you doing
here? my ex is long
gone. she's not
here anymore.
and how did you get
in here? I don't care
about her she says,
letting out a growly
purr. I need some
milk, she says,
I need some attention.
come over here
and pet me.
sorry, you tell her.
I didn't buy
any milk or cat
food, perhaps it's
best that you leave.
aren't you hot in that
suit? oh, and do
me a favor, set
this bag of trash
by the curb on your
way out. thanks.

out of the jump

worked on jobs
with men
who have
killed other men
and have no remorse
for what they've
done. they feel
badly only because
they got caught.
they have that
sharpened look in
their eyes,
one turn of the phrase
or stare
too long, could
bring the whole
house of cards
quickly down.
the job means nothing.
to them. they could
go back into
the jump without
a problem.
only getting
respect keeps them
sane, and even then
you never know.

good to hear from you

your poetry is better
she says
when something tragic
happens to you.
when you fall off
a roof, or get
bit by a snake,
or get a flat tire.
when you are fat
and happy, content
like a cat on the sill
watching birds
in the trees.
your stuff stinks.
it's dry and empty,
boring and lifeless.
I need to put a mirror
over some of them
to see if there is
any life in there,
she says.
it's good to here
from you too, you
write back. it reminds
me of why we
aren't together,
although the poetry
was much better
when you were
around, i'll give
you that.

buttered blisters

the children
run screaming through
the neighborhood
with burns
on their arms and legs.
roman candles
gone askew,
turned over
and shooting molten
flames on
everyone. sparklers,
the colors burned
out, now red hot
sticks to poke
one another.
and the parents
already full
and stewed from
a day of in
the sun drinking,
tired of spitting
seeds into
the yard
and grilling, aren't
sure what to do.
so they grab the garden
hose, and water
them down,
butter up
the blisters
with butter that
sits nearby
in a melting tub.
it's the fourth
of july.

after all these years

she's out
before the sun
comes up.
with her one small
and cat.
her hats and gloves.
that Tupperware
that you finally
no note on the fridge.
no kiss
farewell on
the cheek.
she hardly
made a sound,
out the back door
to get into her
beat up old
with baby moons,
and an end the war
on her bumper
that still, after
these years,
holds true.

the dark room

of where you
are in the dark
in a strange
hotel, you feel
your way about.
a chair,
a nightstand,
the edge of
the bed.
then you feel
a hand,
an arm, a
leg. who are
these people
in this room
with you.
no one seems
to mind
being lost,
and confused.
each going about
his business,
finding a way
to the bathroom.


the butterfly
and carefree
with her
light thin
of butter
but you don't
what's going
on inside
her head
as she flutters
her wings
in no
rush to go
yet you
how anything
so soft
and beautiful
could have
a problem.

she's in

someone has found
their way
into your life
she's found
the key
under the mat,
or was it
the open
window, or
the door with
the broken
latch. somehow
she's slipped
into your bed
with hardly
a sound,
and now you
can't imagine
your life
without her.

Friday, June 28, 2013

new socks

how many pairs
of socks can you own.
not enough
you think as you
carry a basketful
of them upstairs
to be dumped,
unsorted, into
drawers. it's just
nice to have
new things
to wear. although
it goes deeper
than that,
as you remember
together holes
and slipping
cardboard into your
shoes when you
were twelve.

happy feet

when the music
starts at weddings
and the open bar
has been open for
and the dancing
it's painful
to watch,
nails on a chalkboard
aunts and uncles,
shaking their
booty. getting down.
getting dirty.
throwing their
arms up into the air
in celebration.
you make yourself
made of lead
gripping the table
because you know
you are going to
be dragged out into
the spasmodic
mayhem at some point.


the planets align
and you have
a good day.
a day
of nothing to upset
no urgency is in
the clouds,
no hurry in the sun.
the world spins a
little slower
as you sink back
in your couch
of contentment,
savoring the moment,
anything changes,
as it will.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

wedding bells

the laws change
and lovers
now can marry
one another
no mather
what gender they
they may be.
boys with boys,
girls with girls.
there is celebration
in the streets
and the divorce
lawyers raise
their glasses
in toasts
to the ruling,
knowing human
nature, and that
their business
will increase.

chimp with a set of keys

the zoo animals
are escaping
one by one.
a chimp
with a set of keys
is slowly letting
out the others
for nightly
excursions in
the city.
it's only right.
I saw a walrus
the other day
sitting in a bar
with a cold beer
and a platter of
he was keeping
beat with one
to the jazz band
near the window.

i remember now

there was something
I was going to tell you,
but I've forgotten
what it was.
oh well. it must not
have been very
important. maybe
i'll remember it later.
I think it had
something to do
though with the way
you leave the house
without kissing
me goodbye, or calling
me during the day
to see how i'm doing.
plus, I've been wondering
why are your clothes
gone, all your
girl stuff is out
of the bathroom. are
you trying to tell me
something? oh, now
I remember what I was
going to say. happy
anniversary, what's
it been now, three
years, four?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

reverse luck

you have
reverse luck.
picking only
the numbers that never
come up.
the horse that never
wins, the
milk that isn't fresh,
the line or lane
where nothing
it's a comfort
though to know
how right you are
in being wrong.

waiting out the rain

pass by,
of vinyl
letting the rain
roll off
in soft
as we wait
under the store
front, waiting
for a break
in the down
pour, standing
enough to kiss
one another,
like we
used to do.

the hour glass

when she dropped
the hour
glass, shattering
it on the floor
and the sand
poured out
she didn't think
that it was a portent
to what what
her life could
be, childless,
and living alone
at this age, still.
she didn't think
if only there was
someone here, this
might not have happened.
she thought none
of that, as she
took the broom
from the closet
and swept neatly
the grains of sand
into the dust pan.

a foreign land

when I met her
she was Bermuda
with long white
of sugar sand.
fountain blue
waters, with pink
coral, and wisps
of cotton filled
clouds, but now
if she was a country
i'd say
she was a northern
land, Siberia,
or north
Korea, or perhaps
or Greenland.
where the days
are short,
the nights are
cold and long, a
place where
a harsh wind
whistles constantly
in your red

weeping willow lane

you hear the plow
out beyond
the trees.
the bucket
carving out dirt
and rock
making way for
new dreams
with streets
freshly named
like elm
and oak, birch
and redwood.
there's rarely
a weeping willow,
although there
should be.

let's go wild

put some clothes on
she tells
you, twirling into
the room
wearing a new dress.
let's go out
and get wild,
have some fun.
you grimace
behind the newspaper,
then yawn.
what? you say, go
yes. let's have some
fun and do something
like what you say?
folding the newspaper
over, checking
the obituaries
on the back page
of the metro section.
go wild? you say
again. give me an
example of what that
might entail.
I don't know, she
says, drink some
tequila, drive
to the beach. meet
up with some fun
people. stuff like
that. okay, sure, you
say. but I need a nap
first. what time
to you want to start
and have you
seen my Hawaiian

the white hospital

you remember
the cart
the old horse
on it's side,
the crack
of a pistol
from a policemen's
and the blood
of the man
the car that
hit the horse
and the cart
in the busy
you remember
staring at
the injured
man as he spoke
in a different
lying on
the back seat
of your father's
turquoise impala,
while he drove
to a white
hospital gleaming
in the sun near

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

expiration date

it wasn't
the burnt toast,
the lack
of sex,
my snoring,
or inability
to remember
important dates,
or the way
she spent money
a drunken sailor
on liberty,
no, it
was something
deeper, much
more than that
that did
us in.
our shelf life
had expired.

the fat robin

a fat robin
against the window
his time,
bogarting the bird
feeder, while
smaller birds
flutter about,
and complaining
about how
there won't be
any left for
them. but the big
bird pays
them no mind
and eats
and eats and eats,
his feelings
unhurt by the names
they call him.


your friends
that are on
chemo, have lost
all their hair.
even their eyebrows
are gone.
and yet, still
they laugh,
the spirit that
you loved in them
is still
in tact. you
wonder how strong
your own
faith is, in seeing
lives, like
theirs end
too soon.

the box marked kitchen

she's moving.
her divorce is final
and now
she can leave
and start over
but she needs to
stay in the school
for her two kids
who are still
in middle school,
the move will be
temporary, until
they finish.
so it's a three
floor walk up
for now. a place
that takes pets,
and where the hallway
smells like cabbage
cooking all day.
she has a view
of the front where
there is reserved
and a brown
dumpster where she
can deposit her
trash daily.
it's not the green
lawn that she
will miss,
or the pool, or
the garden and flowers
that she kneeled
to and raised
from seed.
it's more than that.
it's the years
of being young
and hopeful that weighs
on her now
as she climbs
the steps with
the first box marked


you are burning
and not getting
the gas mileage
that you used
to when
the metal had
a shine on it
and the tires
weren't so bald.
there's a small
in the windshield
that is
growing with
each day.
the seats are
torn, the orange
poking out
with springs.
every turn of the
earth seems to add
to the diminishing
of what you once
and cruised in,
speeding down
fifty to the eastern
shore, as
if that was
mecca itself.

Monday, June 24, 2013

the cookie fortune

at the little slip
of paper
in your fortune
that reads,
tomorrow is
another day,
eat well, you
open up another
that says,
avoid the kung
pao chicken,
and the crispy
beef proper.
it's bad for
your heart
sometimes they
the peking
ducks onto
the dirty floor
and kick
them towards
the oven.
another one reads
eat at joe's
around the corner.
sunset specials.
you look around
the room
and see
a busboy
smiling, his
pockets full
of fortunes,
his small revenge

christmas eyes

she had christmas
eyes, always
bright and
at seeing
with the unwrapped
that you
could be,
but it was
the halloween
that made you
run, those bats,
witches's brews,
that cackling
throughout the night
with or without
a full moon.

the house we build

if the eyes
are truly
the windows
to your soul
then is it possible
that your ears
are the vents to
the attic of your
mind, are your
hands the instruments
of good
and evil, your feet
the vehicles with
which to run away
from, or towards
the life your mouth

Sunday, June 23, 2013

the blue notes

blue notes
the saxaphone
as the man
on his wooden
in the old
with the old
brick of
the floor
creaking where
he taps
his boot.
where once,
when he was young,
he only sang
about what
could bring,
now finally
he sings
what it

the playground

the empty
playgrouund of
your childhood
still stands.
the iron
the worlds
turn. the sand
free from
the banded pit.
the see
saw in half.
swings without
the rusted chains
in the wind.
but it still
remains, the bones
of your
the small thrill
of your
short youth.

red kites

the small
of children
with strings
in their
hand, holding
over the blue
of summer,
their grips
are tight,
holding on
holding on.
a lesson not
by more years
more summers,
more kites
held high
above them
in precarious

the blue room

a big
in the window.
cold eye
the trees.
it fills
the blue
painted walls
with light.
not day,
not night, but
another realm
a place
you don't mind
with her
in your arms,
the trees

staying young

i can't be blonde
she tells you
staring at the roots
in her scalp
where she parts her
thinning hair.
i'm done with dye
and keeping
the grey out.
i'm going to let
my age show.
rebel against
the culture
of youth. these
these furrows
in my brow, i've
earned. the stiffness
in my back,
the bags
under my eyes.
all of it is who
i am, who i've
become and was meant
to be.
love me this way,
or go. it's time
be free from this
madness of staying

Saturday, June 22, 2013

the rooster

old people
which you are quickly
one of
like to brag
about how early
they get up.
I got up at five
one man
says, while the
other shakes his
head and
says, that's nothing
I get up
every morning
at four thirty
and do
five leg lifts
before putting in
my teeth.
i'm up before
the rooster crows
he says
sticking his
chest out,
and coughing.

half a worm

in eating
an apple
you don't
want to find
just half
a worm,
a whole one
would do
just fine.

cracked eggs

you buy a dozen
the box.
three are cracked,
the clear
of what makes
them an
seeping out.
there is so
much openly
hidden in
the world.
what else
don't you
know about

the red scarf

she keeps
to herself these days.
by love, and still
her wound.
I've lost
my faith in humanity,
she smiles
all men are alike,
they only
want one thing,
and then they're gone.
why is that?
she says, knitting
a red scarf
for winter
in front of the coffee
why are men
so unavailable
and selfish.
beats me you say,
sipping on your
drink, staring at
three women crossing
the street in
their summer dresses.

tell us how we're doing

at the local
big box hardware store
you wander the store
seeking help. but
the clerks in their
orange smocks are
avoiding you
as if you were a leper,
nearly running
when your mouth
opens to ask a question.
finally you corner one
in the light bulb section
and ask him
where you might find
a flat head screw
driver. what is that?
he says. and you make
a motion with your hand
as if you are turning
a screw. hmm, he
says, I'm not
sure, but I can call
the front and see
if we can get a map
of the store to locate
one. how many do you
need, he says, talking
into his phone.
just one you say. one
will be fine.
you are in luck, he
smiles. we have a box
of them coming in
next week. we can call
you at home if you'd
like, or e mail you
when they arrive.
before you leave, if
you don't mind, can
you fill out a survey
to tell us how we're

off his game

the magician
is tired,
off his game
instead of a
rabbit he
pulls out a chicken
from his black
top hat.
he doesn't
come close
to guess
age or weight.
he's been
drinking beer
all night,
eating nachos
from the bar.
there is cheese
on his lapel.
guacamole on
his once
white shirt.
he taps his wand
the box, but
it's empty when it
flies open.
no doves, nothing.
only one handkerchief
comes out of his
sleeve. it's a long
night and even
longer still
when he saws
his assistant in
half and blood
pools on the stage.

Friday, June 21, 2013

did you vote today

she loves
politics, could talk
all day
about the deficit
and immigration.
she knows
her swing states,
her blue
and red ones
too. there is
no topic left
unturned that she
can't offer an
opinion on.
she's tuned in
to who leans left
who leans
right. she's
in the choir
listening to the
preacher on
talk radio.
collecting information
to rattle off
later, to prove her
points, pointing
her finger at
you for being
on the fence
with so many issues.
did you vote, she
says to you
and everyone
she meets, here's
a button. go
vote. go vote.
go vote. sigh, how
you miss her, or
who she used to be.

a different education

you would
skip school with
five dollars
in your pocket, half
of it change, and take
the A-9 bus
to the national
archive building
and begin there,
with your other
a jaunt about
town. to the capitol
to sit in
on a session
in the second floor
gallery, then
to the cafeteria
for bean soup.
then to the museums,
so quickly as
to hardly pay any
mind to Renoir,
or rembrant,
or winslow homer.
you had to get down
to ninth
street to play
the pinball machines
for a nickel,
working up a sweat
banging on
those machines with
skinny arms,
and hair falling
into your eyes,
then it
was off to the four
seasons diner
for burgers and fries,
down the street from
the old fbi building,
always leaving
the check came,
running wildly
down the street
until reaching
the blue mirror
strip club, where you'd
inside, hands cupped
to the windows to
catch a glimpse
of blaze starr
and her bouncing
betties. before dark
you were back on
the bus, homeward
bound before anyone
even missed you.

room for rent

the rental
is clean
but smells
of must
that have come
and gone,
that have
their welcome.
the made
bed. the thin
that fall short
of the sill,
and bent blinds.
the dried
in a plain
white vase
does nothing
but extend
the loneliness
of what it is
and what it
a book of poems
Robert frost
is on the night
a crimped
ear marked
on the road
not taken.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the fire truck

the fire truck
comes screaming down
the highway
horn blasting
at each intersection
and you see
the men inside,
quiet and calm
talking to one
another, as
if it's just
another day.
they know fires,
they know trouble
they are used
to we aren't used
to, sometimes
you feel that way
about broken hearts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

she couldn't sleep

you remember
how light she was
on her feet.
especially at night
when she tried
hard not to wake
you, going to
the bathroom
for water
and to sit on
the edge of the tub
to read,
or cry.
but it always woke
you up.
her soft feet
on the floor,
a yellowed
wedge of light
coming down
the hall
from an open

no tears shed

they are taking down
the shopping
mall, one brick
at a time.
ripping out the thread
carpet holding
a thousand spilled
orange Julius's
in it's weave.
you can hear
the quick footsteps
of shoppers past
browsing, stealing
using coupons
and cash.
the clothes once
bought in nineteen
seventy five are long
gone, as are the shoes
and boots,
those leather vests
and hats
that no one wears
soon, there are just
the steel bones,
without music
piped in from above.
only the grind
and pull of machines,
erasing decades
of nylon and polyester

the nudist camp next door

a nudist
camp goes up
in your neighbor
hood, but they install
a large wooden
fence so that
you can't see
what's going on
over there.
they can only see
each other,
naked with all their
and bruises,
their earthly
defined by gravity,
out in the open,
and what is there
to see,
that hasn't been
seen. why are there
such places,
why are there
fences, what's going
on here?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

will power

there are times,
like right now
when you need
not a stack
of cookies,
or a bowl
of ice cream,
just one bite
will do
of something
bad for you,
but the search
is futile
in your kitchen.
behind the quaker
oats box,
or the soup
cans, or in
the fridge,
not even
a frozen candy
bar from
halloween exists,
not a single
sweet treat to
be found.
your will power
is that of
a child you
think as you drive
to the 7-11.

ducks in a row

she goes
and leaves
standing with
hands in
near the river
where a family
of ducks
march in single
this warms
you in
the cold spring.
seeing that
love is

when you get there

like you,
the sky
isn't sure what
to do
with itself.
cloud to open
which one
to close.
how much sun
to shine
down, or
to keep it
all hidden
a grey shroud.
turn left,
turn right, keep
maybe you'll know
when you
get there.

no matter

no matter
how suave
and sophisticated
you think you
are, or how many
degrees you've
accumulated, no
matter how
hard you've
worked to stay
fit and young,
no matter the clothes
you wear,
how expensive they
are or what kind
of car
you drive, no
matter how many
books you've
read, or places
you've traveled
to, there
will always be
a moment in your
life when
a piece of toilet
paper will be
stuck to your shoe
and dragged about
for half a day
without a clue.

go, be happy

no funny
bones are found
in the x rays.
just brittle
pretending to be
that hold
you upright, so
that you
don't slide
into a human
puddle to be
washed away by
the next hard rain
that falls.
take this your
doctor says, handing
you a bottle of pills
to make you happy.
this will restore
your sense of
humor, make
you not care
about what goes
on before you.
you'll be laughing
in an hour, by
night time
you'll be telling
and being your
old sarcastic
self. just one a
day, he says.
go, be happy.

in her summer dress

you drift off to sleep
in her arms,
but when you awaken you
are older now.
your hair has grown
white, your teeth are
loose. your bones
ache with more years
on them. you are wearing
the coat of an old man.
your eyes, once sharp,
are blurred as
you look up at the clock.
she is still asleep
beside you, but she
hasn't aged. she is
the same girl you knew
when you fell in love
with her so many years ago
as she walked beside
you on a new York street
in her summer dress,
her hair and eyes aglow
with so many tomorrows
yet to unfold.

party balloon

what doesn't
are stoves
and cars,
the blender on
its last
stir, the ice
box fizzling
into a wet
drip upon
the linoleum.
that light bulb
black as you
twist it's
knob to go
on. even memories
have a way
of seeping
out like air
from a party balloon,
the music
over, the cake
gone, the pictures
faded yellow
and curled
in a box on
the floor.

Monday, June 17, 2013

the sled ride

did it happen
were you a child
in the snow.
throwing your sled
onto the ice
covered road
going downhill
the spray of snow
in your red
face. your black
rubber boots
stretched out
on the wooden
sled with iron
rails. was that
you on your way
down the rise
of dorchester street,
faster, faster,
around the bend
in the moon lit night,
beating back
tomorrow, before
the plows, before
the snow
was gone, before
youth had
melted away.

clipped roses

her sadness
is a wet
coat that
she puts on
everyday no
matter what
the weather,
no matter how
hard the sun
she's resistant
to blue
skies, to
the full green
that fill
the streets.
a rose means
nothing her.
something clipped,
that will
die in a cold

three witches

around a pot
with long
wooden spoons.
with green
they chant
a spell
or two
putting a curse
on someone,
then taste
the brew
they boil.
looking at one
each nods,
than one says,
more salt?
just a little
the other
says, while
the third
one sets the
table. putting
out some
bread and


you see
coins all day
as you
walk along.
the world being
in small ways.
pennies mostly
but nickels
and dimes too.
hardly ever
a quarter
or a half dollar.
no one
cares about the
penny it seems,
but you
feel guilty in
not picking it
up. so you do.
and it will
find it's way
home with you,
deep in your pocket
to be turned
out at some
point and thrown
into a blue
jar on the counter
and from
there, who knows.

the tuna sandwich robbery

while eating
at an outdoor
café, a man approaches
you and asks
for money. you say
that you have
none, not exactly
telling the truth,
you could write
him a check or spare
a few bucks, but
you do have this
sandwich to pay for,
plus tip, and maybe
one more beer before
heading home.
so you say, i'm
sorry, but I don't
have any money to
give you. this makes
him lift his shirt
up to show you his
enormous belly,
and a gun tucked
neatly under it,
on the edge of his
pants and underwear.
oh, you say, startled both
by the stomach and
the gun which
reminds you of something
like a curled
snake. you try to remember
that he's wearing light
blue boxer shorts with
little turtles on them,
a detail for the police,
give me your sandwich he
says fiercely, as you continue
chewing. half? you
say, I kind of
started the other
half. I mean it's got my
germs all over it. what kind
of a sandwich is it,
he asks, his gun still
hanging out of his pants.
tuna, you say, hot peppers,
what the hell, he says.
who eats tuna at a restaurant,
okay, take out the
peppers and wrap it
in that napkin. give me that
damn pickle too.
he takes it and walks
away, pulling his shirt
down. you hear him
mumbling about tuna,
and what the world
has come to.

carnivorous cathy

why are you biting
me you ask
your new girlfriend
as she nearly draws
blood from your shoulder.
you turn your head
and observe the teeth
marks indented in
your once smooth skin.
what's with the biting,
you ask, breaking
the amorous moment
in two. oh, she says,
i'm so sorry. did I
hurt you. you can
bite me too if you
want, or pinch me real
hard anywhere.
I won't mind. honest.

stray dogs

when you were
a kid.
a very long time ago.
there were
srtay dogs and feral
it seemed.
there was no
going down to
the pound or local
pet store
to adopt one,
to sign papers
and get shots,
to be interviewed
to see if you
and your
home was worthy
of having a cat
or dog.
you just set out
a bowl of milk
or water, or
a rib bone on
the front stoop
and the animal was
yours by dark
beside you on
the floor with his
or her new name.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

the last slice

you are not
but sometimes
you feel
like the last
piece of
bread left
in the plastic
with no friend
to lie down
with between
a bed of
ham and cheese.
no lettuce
to cool
your nerves as
you both
talk about past
what could
have been, what
will be.
even fed to
the ducks
would be more
than this hot
bag, waiting
for a hand
to pull you free.

a window with a view

you want to look
out the window
and see water.
a blue spread
of sea with the waves
against white sand.
you want to look
out the window
and see ships
in the distant
horizon, sailboats
with grand white
sails full of wind.
you want to look
out and see the curve
of the earth,
gently disappearing
as far as the eye
can see.
you don't want to
see red bricks
divided by grey mortar
as you do now
from your apartment
in 3 G.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

no pulp, please

you are not
a fan
of camping in
the woods.
a fire,
a tent, a
can of pork
and beans
with which to
soothe your
then there's
the mosquitoes,
the wild boar,
and bear.
the cold stream
to bathe in.
no. give me
the Marriott
or Hilton,
with room
service and those
mints on
the pillow.
set the ac high
and climb in
between those
freshly washed
and ironed
600 count sheets.
tell the desk
you want a wake
up call
at nine a.m.
and bring up
some eggs and bacon.
coffee and a Danish.
a glass of cold
juice, no pulp,

all the kids are doing it

what I have
to say
can't be texted
or e mailed
she says.
what I need to
say to you
needs to said
on the phone
so that I can
slam the phone
down when
i'm finished
and have
that noise
ringing in
your ear all
or in person,
so that I can
slap you
across the nose.
which makes
you cringe and
say, but
texting is
the way these
days. all
the kids
are doing it.

fly me to the moon

your dentist
likes to whistle
Sinatra tunes
when he's
about to
pop a syringe
full of novacaine
into your
front gums
two teeth
where a snickers
got stuck
last October.
you like candy
he says,
in between
sentences, making
you feel
and squirm.
don't move
he says, this is
going to really
hurt like hell.
then starts to
whistle once
again, as he
slides the point
of the needle
deep into
the pink hard
flesh of your

the kimono robe

on father's day
the packages begin
to arrive
from all over
the world.
you were a sailor
traveling on
ships from one
port to another.
a kimono
comes from
japan, a bottle
of wine from
Italian shoes
Florence, all
signed, love
you dad whoever
you are.
you especially
like the kimono,
and will wear it
all day with
the black socks
your son sent you
from L.A.

making your move

she had a long
deep scar on her leg
that you point to
and say, what's that?
shark bite?
accident? what
happened? but she
says that she
doesn't want to
talk about it.
looking away,
the memory obviously
still haunting her.
does it hurt, you
ask, can I touch
it? which she thinks
is strange, but
laughs and says, okay.
go ahead, touch
it. so you do. you
gently, with your
feel the hard
ridge, the gully
of the peach
colored scar that
runs up the side
of her otherwise
wonderful leg.
after a minute or
two, you ask, can
I touch the other leg
now, I want to
compare and contrast.

welcome to the neighborhood

you keep moving
into new houses
people feel
to bring you
food, large pans
and trays of
home cooked meals,
you into your
new humble abode,
but they seem
to be getting annoyed
when you ask
them to go easy
on the salt with
the lasagna this
time around,
and if they
could wrap that
stew up nice and
tight for
freezing. you only
have so many
moves left in you,
you know that, so
you want to prepare
for when
that day arrives.

Friday, June 14, 2013

our sky too

they go out
to gaze
at the stars
with them
a map.
nothing seems
to change
out there,
they say
to one another
as they lie
on a hill
away from city
lights, it's
the same sky
that galileo
saw, she says,
the same sky
of shakespeare
and van
gogh. our
and mother's
sky. and now
he says, taking
her hand, it's
our sky too.

use soap

use soap
you used to tell
son as he'd
into the tub,
from a day
of play
in mud. and
at five,
his reply would
be, with
a wink, even
what's soap
dad. i've never
of soap.


you are late in
arriving. early
in leaving.
you are
going places
that you don't
want to be.
your life is
full of compromise
and adjustments,
uneasy in
the chair you
are forced to
sit in. at what
age, can you say
no, i can't
do this anymore?
at what point
do you say
enough, i don't
want to, but
thanks just
the same, no

fix it now

every time we
have a hard rain
the water
rushes down
the sides
where both roofs
and then overflows
into that small
of gutter, there.
and what
go down
the spout finds
it's way into
the house,
the ceiling until
it finds a low
spot to drip
how much, she says,
out her check book
to make this
i'm willing to pay
almost anything
to get my life
back to normal and
not have the ceiling
come crashing down.
five thousand
the contractor
says. it will take
at least a week
or two, depending
on the weather.
and I can't guarantee
that it won't
happen again. plus
i'm about six weeks
booked up. this makes
the woman pull
out a gun
and says fix it now.
get your ladder
off the truck
and go to work.
the first shot is just
a warning.

no, not you

the photo
has aged, but
not you.
it's wrinkled
and yellow.
the corners
everyone in
it is older
but not you.
the color
has faded,
the surface
you can hardly
tell just
who is who,
but no,
not you.
you are still
the same boy
on the stoop,
smiling in

the shopping cart

unlike others,
because you are such
a good person.
you push the shopping
cart from your
car, after unloading
into the trunk,
back to the store.
you don't leave
it in the lot for
others to avoid,
letting the wind push
it about denting
doors. no. you
are better than that.
instead you take it
back. so it surprises
you when you leave
it on the sidewalk,
not pushing into
the stack of others
lined up, that a
woman yells at you
wagging her finger
and says, if that
isn't the height
of laziness.

peeling apples

as you peeled
an apple
as a young child
your mother
would say
the curl of skin
would be the first
letter of name
of the girl
you'd marry.
which made no
sense at all, leaving
out the letter
D and R and an
assortment of
others, but you
liked the idea.
even then amazed
that someone could
love you enough
to marry you,
no matter what
the name. love
it seemed
was as easy
as peeling
the skin off an


stop waling on eggshells
you want to tell
her as she steps
gingerly across
the room speaking
nervously of the man
she's in love with.
the eggs are broken.
they are on your fork,
in your mouth.
they are yours to season
and cook which
ever way you desire.
worry about what's
in hand, not underfoot
and enjoy the meal.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

too much

you have light,
cold milk.
with the turn
of a dial
you have
the news.
the weather,
a thousand movies
to peruse,
and click on.
pizza, a phone
call away,
peking duck
a masseuse can
come to call
to rub the hard life
you lead
out of your
neck and back.
you have books,
every book
ever written at
your fingertips.
you have
all your friends
in line,
and organized.
so why, oh why
are you bored.

the shadowed one

you have reached
an age
where death is
coming down
the hall. knocking
on a few
doors, taking
what it wants,
with a random
point of the finger,
or so it
it's hard to figure
out, who
comes, who goes,
who gets to stay
a little while
before it's
their turn to pack
up and leave.
it makes you want
get a guard
dog and chain
him out front to
keep the shadowed
one away.


to finally
be old, to have
your sighs,
your long walks,
your time.
to linger now,
over tea,
with no hurry
in your bones,
no phones to answer
quickly or
to keep.
how nice
to sit and watch
the snow
fall and know
that tomorrow is
a place
you don't have
to be.

inbetween love

she was always
in between love,
on the cusp of someone
in a place
where two seasons
meet, still
undecided on which
way the wind
should blow.
she liked being
her indecision
being her safe place,
a sargasso sea
of sorts,
deep blue
with clarity,
her heart still intact,
calm and open
to love, or something
that resembles
what love
could be.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm Fine

when someone
says, i'm fine,
don't worry about
me. i'll be okay.
you know
because you do
the same
with health or
not wanting to
disturb the ones
whose turn it
is not yet. let
them have
these days, how
short they are.

the plant in the corner

you remember
the last plant you had
when you lived
in a ground floor
one bedroom
apartment in Maryland.
it was a leafy green
thing in the corner
on a wobbly
table, so old,
that you didn't
mind the overflow
when watering
said plant
with a glass from
the kitchen.
you weren't in
love with it, but
it was always there
when you came
home. dusty and weak,
leaning a little
more towards the
light of the half
drawn shades.
you'd turn it around
for balance, one
side growing
differently than
the other, picking
out the cigarette
stubs from your smoking
friends who
couldn't find an ashtray.
a wad of gum would
be in the dirt as
well. but it was a good
plant. hardy, surviving
your continual lack
of attention. there
was guilt involved
during your entire
relationship with
this plant, still
felt today, when you
set it in the trash room
on moving day.

the english teacher

you had an english
teacher once
who was as close
to evil
as one could get
without horns
and a tail.
she made you read
poetry aloud
in class,
standing at
your wooden desk,
memorizing lines
of Whitman,
Hardy, and god
forbid, Emily
Dickinson as well.
and now, so many
years later, you
wish that you
could find her with
her chalk white
hands, that netted
bun on her head,
to kiss her on
the lips, hug
her forcefully,
and tell her
that all is well.

fatherly advice

you try to explain
to your son,
as he suffers
a failed relationship,
writhing in
the heart ache
of it all,
that it will
diminish in time.
that she will be
like a ship
in the night sailing
away, her light
getting smaller
and smaller
as she drifts farther
away. you gently weave
this metaphor
around his anguish,
as he holds his
head in his hands,
not moving,
sobbing quietly.
then you realize
when you've
finished talking,
and he says,
what, what did you
say. that it's time
to let him heal
as best he can
on his own,
not just this time,
but for others too.

the big fight

the fight
is over something
you can't even
remember what
it was,
but it's a
spark, a flicker
of flame
that's enough
to set
the moment
on fire.
she calls you
a name,
it might be lazy
and you return
the jab
by calling
her stupid.
she calls you fat
and dim witted,
and you ask
her to go
look into the mirror
at her
wrinkles, which
makes her
a book a you.
why don't you read
instead of watching
tv, she says.
which makes
you turn on
the tv, and
smile. you know
that the first
one to smile
has won, and so
does she,
as she slams
the bathroom
door, taking in
her face cream.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

between rounds

crises, small
days and nights
like soft
beds to lie
enjoy them,
you say
to yourself.
sink deeply into
the easy
of nothing gone
rest up for
the bell
ring again.

feeding the ducks

ignoring the posted
sign saying
don't feed
the wildlife,
the woman
and her
older daughter
open a plastic bag
of sliced
white bread.
they whistle
and call to the ducks,
shreds of crust
towards them.
come here duckies,
they say
together. toes
the brown water,
flip flops
dug into the wet
sand. they are
smoking cigarettes,
and carrying
cans of beer.
the ducks come,
not flying,
but swimming
gently, their black
grey with green,
in layers. their
long necks draped
in white peering
towards shore.

still life

you place an apple
onto the table
next to a green
pear and a banana
that has almost
gone bad. you
stand back
at your easel
with brush
in hand. there
are flies
in the room.
there is a cat
on the table watching
what you are doing.
she licks
a paw then rubs
the back of ear.
she has all
day to do this,
but chooses now
while you are
in the middle of
something important
to take a bath.
the cat has no
real affection
for still life.
she needs a mouse
to chase,
as do you.

mixing paints

the man in the paint
store tells me
that his wife is bored
with her job.
it is too hard
and monotonous
for her, he says.
she comes home
angry all the time.
he leans over
the counter
to grab a gallon
of paint
and begins to add
tint to make it
the color that I want.
she wants to get
another degree,
he says, go back
to school, then find
another job
that she won't be
bored at.
he hammers the lid
onto the can,
smoothing a squared
sticker onto
the side,
then puts the can
into the shaker.
my wife is very unhappy,
he says, wiping
his hands
with a rag.
we both unconsciously
listen to the rattle
and hum of the shaker.
I don't know what
to do, he says,
looking past
the shelves of cans
to the street
beyond the window.

the land of cream pie

this poem
means nothing.
there is no
hidden meaning,
there is no need
to figure out
who when or why.
no need to strangle
it with your
hands, your
probing eyes.
just as this orange
shirt I wear
means nothing.
I am not
alerting anyone
of danger or
wearing it for
crowd control.
I just put it on
and left the house.
it reminds me
of a time on
a cruise when a man
beside me ordered
another slice
of boston cream pie.
and the waiter,
from another land
asked if he was
from boston, and
the man replied,
rubbing his belly,
no young man,
i'm not from boston.
I am from
cream pie.

sleeping in

no reason
to sleep in.
you aren't tired.
or sad.
but you like
the feel of this
the sheets against
your skin,
the pillow below
your head.
you could stay
here for hours
and not feel an
ounce of guilt.
you've done
what you could
with your week,
and this rest
is good.
this peace is fine.

another shore

the fading light
in a sea
of gray fog
slips easily
across the bay.
the churn
of soft waves,
the memory
of her
comes back to you,
rolls over
your cold bare
as the boat
moves towards
another shore,
where it
should be.

to work

you listen
to the ice maker
out chunks
of frozen
water, ornaments
of ice.
it keeps
working, never
there is no
rest for what is
has to do.
its single purpose
in life
being fulfilled
day in,
day out,
never complaining,
or murmuring
when you step
out of the room.
how virtuous
it is.

Monday, June 10, 2013

toaster ovens

you are
not good with
either giving
or receiving.
you always choose
the wrong size,
or color,
or something that
they already have.
you'd rather give,
than get,
but someone always
to wrap and tie
a bow around a pair
of socks
for you come
father's day.
you have socks.
lots of socks.
what you need can't
be boxed
or wrapped, and
the same goes for
who doesn't yet
have a toaster

the red ink

you cut
a vein and dip
your pen
into the red ink
of you.
this is how
you write.
this is your
life that eeks
out in
small bits
and pieces. like
of a broken
mirror catching
just a jagged
glimpse of
who you are

we're different

there is no
one like
you, you say,
seeking the right
or phrase
with which to
and not criticize.
you are unique,
you try again.
they broke the
mold when you
were born.
I've never
met anyone quite
like you.
no sir. you are
one and only.
but still, I'm not
sure if we
can be friends, i'm
sorry but
we're just so

it's late

is following
you home.
you hear his
footsteps behind
you, the clicking
of his heels
on the wet street.
you are alone.
the sky is beyond
the buildings.
somewhere there
are stars.
perhaps a moon.
you turn another
corner, then look
back at the person
who has also
stopped. you yell
out, asking what
he wants. there is
no answer.
you keep walking
going in a different
until finally
you are lost.
you stop
and yell back to
the person who
is following, where
are we, you say.
your voice echoes
in the dark,
the man shrugs,
putting up his
hands. I don't know
he says, but it's
late, i'm going
home, then turns
and walks away.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

eat fish, live longer

live longer,
the man holding
a stack
of menus
on the street
says as he
to steer
you into
the restaurant.
and when
you say
no thanks,
and walk
away, he
says, fine
then, have it
your way.

moon pies

your friend is adamant
about life on other planets.
why are we so egotistical,
he says, to think that only
earth holds life and the rest
of what's out there is barren,
cold, lifeless, or it's so
blazing hot that even lava is
considered a refreshing
cold beverage.
you begin to express your
point of view that this is
all there is, and even if
there was life out there,
who cares. why spend
the money. why bother them.
do you know how annoying
it is when a neighbor
knocks on your door
early in the morning?
which makes him angry,
pointing at the sky,
demanding that we
build more rockets and go
explore the universe
find these creatures,
so you give up
and ask him, when was
the last time you had a
moon pie with a nice
glass of cold milk, which
makes him smile
and calm down, saying,
do you have any?

finding the right word

you can't find
the right word
to express what
you want to say,
it's in there
somewhere you
think, tapping
your forehead,
but it won't come
out. you fear
the early onset
of some
mental illness
which makes
you put your shoes
in the icebox,
and the milk
in the stove.
finally, while
standing in
the shower, you
remember what
the word is
and feel relieved,
safe for
another year
or two.

the pool opens

surrounded by a high
chain link fence,
topped off with
barbed wire
your pool opens
to the sound
of screaming
dropping like
rocks into
the cold june
water and the sound
of the guard's
whistle, as he
yells, no running,
no diving,
get out of the deep
end, kid.
you are stretched
out on a scrubbed
lawn chair, with a
new towel, a new
lime green set of
trunks, that you
aren't sure about
rereading the
Great Gatsby, after
seeing the not
so great movie.
because of the trees,
throwing a canopy
of shade onto
half the area,
everyone wants a chair
in the circle of
sunlight, so you
are bunched together
inches from one
another listening
to their intimate
pointing at parts
of their legs,
asking each
other if something
looks infected.
you don't go near
the water, ever,
but the showers are
nice and chilly.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

name that cat

you get an e mail
from marsha, someone
that you haven't
seen or talked to
in over a year.
I am stuck in costa rica
it says.
someone has stolen
my phone, my purse,
my money.
you are the only
person I could contact.
can you please wire
me a few thousand
dollars to this account.
I will pay you back
as soon as I return.
I am stranded and broke.
I am at the end
of my rope. please help
me. you are the only
one who seems to give
a damn about me.
okay. you say,
writing back. sure,
but first tell me
the name of my cat.
she must have made it
home, because you
never heard from her
after that.


no more
of stamps
and pressing
them with your
thumb to a corner,
or dragging
your wet tongue
across the flaps
of envelopes,
finding zip
for the right
no more
in this almost
rare that
any mail
of substance
comes in,
or goes out
for that matter.
but it makes
you uneasy,
these changes.

the firewood man

in june
a flat bed
truck rolls
around, and a
man in a checkered
black and red
runs from
door to door
asking anyone
if they need
he's sweating
from the heat,
at the bee
stings on
his neck. he
talks in a strange
way, hiding
his mouth
with his hand.
he could be thirty
or sixty,
who knows.
you tell him
that you don't
have a fireplace,
and then say
that it's summer.
this doesn't
faze him
as he moves
to the next
house, pulling up
his pants,
as he gallops

one yellow sock

you like
clean clothes, but
you hate
folding laundry.
you'll do anything
to put that
off, letting
it pile up
and up
near the dryer,
a small white
dashed with
a little color
here and there.
the blue
shirt, the green
case, the lavender
and one yellow
sock. where did
that come

the crying baby

the mother,
eating and talking
with a man,
she may or
may not know,
ignores her
baby crying
in the restaurant
as everyone
and shakes their
head, wondering
what a baby
is doing here
on a Saturday
in a high
chair next
to the white
linen table
where a bottle
of wine sits.
where there
are flowers,
and a lit candle.
soft music
can almost be
if that baby
wasn't crying.
it all means
something, but you
aren't sure what.


the turtle
his etched
diamond back
so brittle
and hard,
golden brown,
his ancient
and yellow
beak, twisting
in the morning
sun. moving
ever slowly
water where
he can be
free of himself
and move
the restraints
of gravity
and mud.
untouched by
who want to see
what he is
all about,
picking him
up, turning
him sideways.
knocking on
the shell.
we all want to
be in water.

searching for land

you feel like
a sailor
on a ship
asking Columbus
we are
and where
are we going.
we're low
on chick peas
and we're tired
of cod fish.
we haven't seen
a lick
of land in
months and everyone
is sea sick,
home sick,
and sick of
the scent of
maybe the map
is upside down.
maybe the stars
have shifted.
I need land soon
Columbus, or

Friday, June 7, 2013

the angry line

I want to give you a
piece of my mind
the woman says, hands
on her hips. I've
got a lot to say
about what a horrible
person you are.
hold on you say, you'll
get your turn.
but the angry line
is over there.
against the wall,
you see those other
women, well, get at
the end of the line
and i'll listen to
your grievances
when it's your turn.
there's a fresh pot
of coffee in the back
and some bagels.
help your self. try
to be concise and clear
when it's your turn.
keep your voice down
and try not to spit
when you talk.
okay. off you go.

lila in alaska

your friend lila
in Alaska
sends you a photo
of a sturgeon
she pulled out of
the river
after carving a
hole in the ice.
she's very happy
with her catch,
as she swings it
towards the camera
in the dim mid
day light
of anchorage.
i'll salt and dry
some for you, she
writes. enjoy.
there's not a sweeter
girl around,
then lila.

listening to rain

I know that she
loves this weather.
and that
she is in her room,
darkened by
the sky with her
cats and the radio
on. a book by
her side.
I can see the wry
thin smile of her
mona lisa face
listening to the patter
of falling rain.

donut day

you see online
that there is
a new diet
that involves
your lips shut
for three months.
they leave
only enough room
for a thin
straw with which
you can suck
soup out of.
or slip in a
bird seed or two.
it's guaranteed
to make you
lose thirty pounds
in ninety days
or your
lips and money
interesting you
say, to no one,
as you eat another
chocolate covered
glazed donut
on national donut

mission statement

what is your mission
the man says on
the phone, questioning
your business
and what it does.
mission statement
you say? hmmm.
I guess it's
to make money
and feed myself
and to not fall
off any ladders
or burn down
any houses in
the process
of painting them.
that's it, he says,
sounding surprised.
what about mankind?
no virtuous endeavors
of making the world
a better place to
live in? beautifying
the world, one house
at a time. not really,
you say. I just
want to pay my
bills, help my
son out when I can,
and live a peaceful
life. are you a
green company, he
asks, sounding
exasperated and tired
from doing this
all day. Green, sure,
i'll paint with any
color my clients want.
green, red, purple.
by the end of the day
I can have green
all over me. so, yes.
put me down as a
green company.

bleed em dry

the lawyers
with blood
on their teeth
are having lunch
together after
a break in
the lengthy
divorce trial.
well, should we
both give in
and let them go.
i'm tired of these
not yet the other
one says.
they both have
more money in their
accounts. let's
keep it going
for awhile.
did you see the photos
she sent of
him sneaking around,
yeah, great.
and he's been bugging
her phone.
they both laugh
and shake their
where should we
vacation this year.
i'm thinking of taking
the boat out
to key west, care
to join us?
count me in, he says.
okay. let's get
back to the courthouse
and make some

finding the right stick

you find yourself in
an antique shop
in a sketchy part of town.
an ancient
old man is behind
the counter
on the guts of
a clock.
there are silent
stuffed owls
on the walls
and the place smells
like moth
balls and wet shoes.
you see a basket of
long veneered sticks.
you pick one up
and wave it around.
what are these for you
ask the man as he
tinkers in the darkness.
divining rods, he
says. be careful with
that one. that one
is for love.
carry it around
and you'll find the
love of your life.
what are the other
sticks for, you ask
him, holding on tightly
to the one you
picked. water, he
says, gold. happiness.
peace of mind.
but won't love
bring you happiness,
peace of mind?
how old are you he asks,
you haven't learned
anything, have you.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

a good catholic girl

she was an outlaw,
a rebel,
a wild child
for the ages,
red lights,
and stop signs,
with metallic
or styxx
in her trans am,
and the t-top
out, she
toll booths,
rolling through
without her
e z pass.
she paid
her taxes late,
and almost
never paid
her parking
or read the labels
on prescription
she drank too
much, chain
smoked her cigarettes,
and cursed anyone
that wasn't born
in this country.
but she went
to mass every
single sunday,
taking communion,
no matter what her
or who she woke
up with. she was
the dark side of
mother Theresa
with one hand on
the wheel and the other
saluting the car
that just cut
her off.

exploding cup

when your
coffee cup explodes
in your hand
after microwaving
it for three
minutes, pouring
in some milk
and sugar,
you don't say
praise the lord,
but you say something
else as you
feel the sting
and heat of a
boiling twelve
ounces of
coffee on your
chest. it's
not a very creative
but it fits
the moment.

pot hole lament

in orange vests
and hard hats
the pot hole
after lining
up a mile
or so of plastic
and signs
saying detour,
it's a small
hole in
the road,
nearly the size
of a man hole
cover, a half
a foot deep.
a back hoe,
a steam
a dump truck
and the men
with shovels
and brooms, talking
on phones,
on 7-11 coffee.
it's bumper
to bumper traffic
as rush hour begins
and lasts
all day.

texas chainsaw

a skeleton
with blonde
hair and blue
eyes with a texas
and dull
mind rides
into town
that she's here.
someone give
me a protein
and a dumbbell
she says,
flexing her
skin in the full
length mirror.
three men
approach her.
and she says,
please, one
dumbbell at a

the extra key

a peep comes
of the neighbor's
she's pleasant
on her way
in or
out from
work or play.
it's a cautious
of words
you both
use, not wanting
to intrude
or be impolite,
any personal
questions in order
to keep
it just this
way. you haven't
reached a point
of exchanging
keys, just
in case
of some calamity.
for now the key
stays neat
and safe
inside the stone
with the slide
out bottom
near the dogwood.

early risers

no longer needing
beauty sleep
older people
get up early.
they even brag
to everyone about
how early it is
when they get up.
I get up at five,
they say,
and another will
top that with
four thirty, I get
up every morning
at four thirty
before the paper
even arrives,
before the moon
is out of the sky,
before almost
everyone, they'll
say, then sit back
smugly, yawning
with a coffee
in their hand
at ten a.m.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the harvest

the farmer
prays for rain.
then he prays
for the rain to
stop, for
the sun to come
out. he's never
with the weather,
the crops on
good luck
or misfortune,
or a sin unconfessed.
each seed
holding a wish,
or a prayer,
each harvest,
an answer.

the blue balloon

a blue balloon
sailing across
the horizon,
floating with
a thin
long string attached
to a small
child's hand.
the boy is smiling
with joy.
they have found
and all the things
that life
can be.

who she wants to be

she brings
her sorrow with her.
a year ago,
ten years
or more, perhaps
at birth
it started. this
anger, this
with which she
holds the world
it's a cold
wet sweater
across her shoulders.
her feet,
bogged down
in what will
never be.
you want to take
her hand
and show
her where the fire
is, but
she's gone, she's
too far away
from being who she
wants to be.

the yellow light

your father
to new glasses
after 84 years
of buying them
off the rack
at the drugstore,
his vision
to the point
of disaster
behind the wheel
of his impala.
is it green,
or is it red,
he'd ask at
sixty miles an
hour, speeding
along the coastal
with a coffee
in his hand
and you bracing
for an intersection
of unseen
traffic. yellow,
you'd say. think
of the lights
as always

new leaf

how joyful
are in spring.
a new
leaf turned.
your hands
your mouth wide
for what
the day may
no fear in
what could go
no sorrow
in what has
happened in
the past.
it's spring.
softly to let
the old
go. let new
things begin.

shaved moon

shaved moon
and solid
on by pale
in the black
how little it
knows of
love, or
life, and
yet listens
with the patience
of a thousand
to your tales.
no words come
no gentle whispers
of wisdom.
just the cold
stare of what
it is.
the moon, nothing
more, nothing
and that's enough
to get you
to tomorrow.

mistaken identity

how strange it
is to be mistaken
for another.
when a person
thinks that it's
you and it's
not. how odd
it is to defend
your identity.
to be backed up
against a wall
and feel guilty
for having done
the misplaced anger
is sad, showing
you more about
that person
than a thousand
words ever could.
you can only shake
your head and move
on. hoping the best
for them
and their lonely
ways, wishing
they could find
a mirror and stare
deeply into it,
to solve
their problems.

one less egg to fry

your stupid, but
stove has died.
it just stopped
working. it was only
forty six
years old, but
you depended on
it. day and night.
it was the sun
the moon in
the sky. always
there for you.
it cooked
its last meal.
fried its last
egg. made
the tea pot
whistle one
final time.
you loved that
stove, with its
push buttons,
with all the numbers
worn off.
the creaky door
on loose hinges,
with that space age
window, not unlike
the one on
the Gemini capsule.
you'll miss
how sometimes
the coils
would catch fire
and you'd have
to blast it
with the fire
extinguisher, or
dampen the flames
with a wet dish towel.
how many chickens
you baked,
pans of brownies,
and that one
time you
cooked an oven
mitt to a nice
charred crispy
finish. you are
going to miss your
old ge 27 inch
drop in electric
stove. white with
silver trim. god bless
you little old

beautiful when angry

she's beautiful
when she's
so she's
quite gorgeous
most of the time.
her eyes
those lips
the way she
takes a stand
and waves her finger
in the air.
she's a sight
to see
when she's mad
and has a cause
to fight for.
quite lovely.
I must say.
I can't imagine
her any other
way, or have seen
her differently
for that matter.

what, i can't hear you

why do they play
the music
so loud
in this restaurant,
you ask
your friend
betty. what?
she says,
moving her hair
back and
at her ear.
I can't hear you,
she says. talk
so you scream,
why do they play
the music so loud
in this place?
I know, she yells,
back, the chicken
is undercooked.
I agree.
and it needs more


her sister
is older
but only by
a year, still,
she rules
the roost, as
they like
to say.
where lunch
will be, and
how long
they will stay.
she feels
smarter and
more worldly
than her little
sister, despite
their experiences
being virtually
the same and
they never
disagree, at
least not to
one another,
or openly, although,
little things
do come up,
like the men
they wanted
to marry
but didn't,
always afraid
to lose one
another, remember
him, they'd
laugh over tea,
such a fool, he
was, as together
they battle
age and memory.

local calamari

you don't seem like
the marrying type
she says to you on
your first date.
why do you say that,
you ask, sorting
through a soggy
plate of calamari
looking for one
crispy one to dip
into a red sauce
neatly spooned into
a paper cup.
oh, you just seem
determined to remain
a bachelor. I wonder
if this is local
calamari, you say,
hoping she gets
the joke. she doesn't.
would you ever want
to meet my parents, she
says, now squinting
painfully at you
over the edge of her
wine glass.
you still have parents?
you say, motioning
to the waiter
for another napkin,
having dripped
red sauce onto your
rumpled shirt that
you didn't have time
to iron.
yes, she says. both
my parents are still
alive and doing quite
well. they live
in florida.
and you? your parents?
I don't know, you say.
I was raised by
wolves, so I've lost
contact with them
once I wandered out
of the woods.
you know what, she
says. I don't think
this is going to work
out between us. perhaps
I should go.
okay, you say. stay
in the left lane
out to the highway,
it's a sharp turn,
and it's easy to miss,
then you'll be heading
south, you don't want
that to happen.
it's been a pleasure
to meet you

cold feet

why are your feet
so cold
she says as you
both lie in
bed, waiting for
the other one
to make some sort
of romantic move,
a gesture that
may head towards
sex. poor circulation,
you say.
my mother has the
same condition.
cold feet runs
in my family.
why bring up her,
she says, folding
her arms and staring
at a spider
hanging from
the ceiling fan.
you asked me about
my cold feet, so
I told you. oh,
she says. do you
see that spider
spinning his web?
shouldn't you get
it and flush it
down the toilet?
what, get up and
break the mood?

the corner store

going out
of business.
must go.
prices slashed
in half,
into quarters,
some things are
free for you
to carry out.
we will not be
bargains, we've
got bargains.
there is no middle
man anymore.
there will be no
more thanks,
no more how's
the weather out
there, no need
anymore for
chit chat.
there will
be no reopening,
no new management.
take it all away
as it is.
no haggling, all
prices are final.
everything must go.
no refunds.
no returns. don't
come back,
close the door
on your way out.
we will
not be undersold.
we're going out of
business, but
look for us online.
we'll be open

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

the need to read

it's rare
these days
that someone says
pop the hood
let's take a look
at the engine.
they want to see
what's inside
the car, play
with the lights
and the bells,
the whistles.
they want to
breathe in that new
car smell.
hear what comes
out of the speakers,
touch the leather
and the knobs
that shine
like ornaments
on a tree.
the motor is less
important, or
so it seems.
which makes you
understand a little
why so many
beautiful people
don't feel
the need to read.

on the field

how fast you were
when the ball
touched your hands,
the exhilarating
burst of speed,
as you darted across
the field like
a small gazelle,
darting in ways
that were least
expected. how sweet
it was to burn your
lungs with winter
air, and feel the tug
of the earth
beneath your cleats.
how those memories
stay fresh
within you after
all these years,
is not a mystery
at all.
joy never is.

the thirst

just a touch,
a hand,
a slight
bend of arm
around your
waist, or
kiss upon
your parched
will do
a word of sweetness
not much more
is needed. just
a simple
sign of
love would
be nice to quench
that ever
present thirst.

fat moe

your dog
was in a constant
state of hunger
as he got
and fatter.
once sleek
and fast as any
mouse or
cat, now he
towards the woods,
with laughter
as his slowness.
what was there
to do.
he loved to eat,
and had figured
out how to drag
his bag of dried
dog food
to his dish
when you weren't
home. but
not having thumbs
posed a problem.
and the frustration
by the frown
on his little
greying face.

winter moon

unable to sleep
you stare
at the moon
that lingers
in the corner
of your window.
white like chalk,
as round
as any ball can
be. lifeless
and cold
and yet it comforts
you, this moon,
these nights
that keep coming
one after the other
like quiet
footsteps in the snow,
in the winter
of your life.

Monday, June 3, 2013

rolling the dice

proclaimed once
that he doubted
that god played
with the universe
but he
never mentioned
the roulette
wheel, or
five card stud,
or rummy, or
even rock
paper, scissors.

one sting per bee

is it worth
the one
for the bee
to die
for all
in protecting
the hive.
in the consequence
of his
duty. has
the bee thought
this through,
on the field
of battle
a flag
high, or is
it something

a wonderful marriage

the bartender
as you come
and pours your
without a
word being
down goes
a coaster,
and tumbler
of vodka tonic,
small twist
of lime.
you nod back
and take
a long sip.
he slips
a menu
onto the bar
which you
push away.
and he
says, the usual.
and you say,
yes. but
easy on
the onions.
it's a wonderful
you and pete.

yoga girl

watch how
high I can kick
my leg
up, she says
in her ballet
and her leg
does go up,
the toes
above her head.
it's a wonderful
sight to
see, her so limber
in her pink
tiara on her
head, eyes
bright and
beautiful. now
you try it,
she says.
and you say not
perhaps later, but

old sweater

you know that
if you pull at
the slender blue
thread, giving
it a tug,
you will unwind
the old sweater.
but maybe it's
it's given
you warmth,
and a strange
sense of
the winters.
but this
thread, this
strand of
fabric that's
in your hand
will end it all.
one long pull
and the rest will
no. maybe next
year. maybe never.
just clip it
clean, and go on.

what you know best

there is more
to be
about, than
you. but it's
what you know
best and even
that is a mystery
at times.
with what you
say and do.
you stand
back and shake
your head
in wonder,
the earthly
person that
you are.

impatient fruit

unripe fruit
is hard
to pull
from the tree,
the stem
the branch
holding on,
telling you
not yet,
not now.
can be that
way too,
when not
to bloom,
to blossom,
to be taken
a bite
out of.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

finding the time

you have
wandered into
the age
of insanity.
of bombs and poison
acts of terror.
don't these
people have
jobs, have children
to take
to school,
laundry to fold,
bills to pay.
dogs to walk.
where does
evil find the time
when there is
so many other
to fill the day.
trash to
take out, Christmas
lights to
take down. I
guess not.

the next train

the next train
is yours
so you pick up
your bag,
adjust your
tie, and move
the platform.
you are alone.
there are no
crowds, no
friends, no
family, only
the conductor
leaning out
as the train
slows down,
and says all
aboard. you
take a seat
by the window,
and hand
the man your
ticket. the one
you've been
holding since
you were born.
you think about
where you
have been, where
you have lived
your life
and with whom.
you wonder where
this train
will take you
as you enter
the tunnel towards

whoops, tweets the pope

you get a tweet
from the pope
your life
long views
on how to get to
seems you only
need to be a
good person
and the gate
swings wide open
to all comers.
later he tweets
whoops, my
bad, I forgot
about the other
thousand year
set of rules
and regulations
for which one
must pass
in order to get
into the pearly
it's hard, the first
few weeks
on the job
to get used to
all that good

Saturday, June 1, 2013

your move

you listen
to his story as
he moves
checkers across
the board
in Washington
he takes out
a white
folded and ironed
and wipes his
brow. there was
this one time,
he says,
as he double
your kings, when
I was
married to velma.
a girl
from the Bronx,
and she hit
me with an
right across
my head, here
look at the scar
if you don't
believe me,
and when you
look, he puts
checker onto
the board. why,
you ask, why
did she hit you.
I don't remember,
he says. who knows.
your move.

cheese plate

the cat
and she's
the mouse,
other times
it's reversed,
with her
and you
darting in
and out,
except when
cheese is
when that
she's both.

towards shore

it's a long
swim home
when the ship
goes down.
but you can make
it with
even strokes,
calm kicks
in the blue
froth of waves,
and pull your
life to shore.
you can almost
see the white
you leaning
towards the water
with your
soft strong