Monday, July 22, 2019

POEMS 2005-2017


Again, here.
After midnight
At the bar
And the weight of
All those famous paintings

Cannot equal the
Course of each life.



Spring was cool and summer never shook the chill,
but as September climaxed

in unnatural heat,
You took your quiet leave.
Three weeks is too long to go without speaking.

Somehow now in mid-October, winter’s icy
fingers already grasp at the city streets.
My phone is a dead weight.

Another meal at Café Luxembourg.
There are a few things I would like to tell you.



Last night, we served
quivering plates of oysters.
Each briny draught brought
a death by dinner party.

One large shell caught
the corner of my mouth at
that point where lip meets
lip and is almost cheek.

So thin, that delicate line of lip,
so effortlessly severed by the ancient
creature’s last line of defense.
I dabbed my own blood the rest of the night.

Today, the bright
pang that bites each smile
recalls the beast’s sharp shell,
not its cold, strange meat.



Making a hasty retreat, sleep’s
bellicose company silently slips
through prattling window panes
on wafts and whiffs of wintry air.

Why is it so cold this spring?
Ravenously ticking,
the red bedside clock
devours the seconds in steady gulps.

(A guppy will eat her fry . . . )
The alarm is set, but I
did not wind the beast before bed.

Sometime tonight it will silently stop
timing time and not a soul
will be alarmed.


APRIL FOOL’S EVE 2008 — A 90th Birthday Party Remembered the Next Morning

Aileen, Aileen, you take the cake,
which was, last night, a tart
—ahem—and make

us toast five years hence,
glasses raised, bifocals lowered,
smiles gathered up and gleaming.

In all our sprawling tomorrows,
how we wish to spend
the best of them with you!


IN LEME - Rio de Janeiro, August 2005

Green-shadowed streets,
air thick with salt, unseen
the sea whispers to the shore.

Waves on sand,
familiar caresses coaxing
improbable embraces.

The women in white arrive
with their evening tribute,
champagne and candles

for their forbear
lost to aquatic union.
Is it mourning or seduction

that toss in the tide
while unlit waves arch
to kiss the night horizon?



I wish
I could
remember every
word you said to me
and then dance
among the letters:

Tracing their curves
and corners,
teasing each ounce
of meaning from their



Time expands
and contracts
like an accordion.

from between
its fingerboards.



And here we
uncovered a country
of love, surprised to be stung,
bees strumming, wings on
weeds, flowers in sun.

The field is full of sharp sticks,
and tics, and cold stones:
each a tiny, insurmountable boulder.
Our picnic blanket is thread-bare
in all the wrong places.

But what displaces us
and places us here,
sprawling in gleaming,
green fields?

Our blanket rolls
in checkered folds,
and the cold dew
promises sprawling
tomorrows on

Each weedprick folds
me more into you, as fields
of gleaming green fall faster
and faster from
the vaulting blue sky
and we tumble faster
than meaning itself,
bumping and kissing
and knowing that rolling we, dizzy,
will face each face, and eye each I,
and love-stained by earth and sky,

will bump and roll down
terrible terrains of radiant green,
holding on, holding on,
to the shining country of
our love.

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