Sunday, February 26, 2006

Movie about Murder

Because they are
always living
in other people's homes,
it's cold;
they have no family;
flowers can't cheer them.

Even though
there is always
courtesy and wit
courtesy and wit,
they just seem to suck on it
until it's a bone.

They practice
willing accidents
while laughing.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Deep Sea Exploration Team

They know how,
sit courageously close,

nod and weave their heads,
fence with their eyes,

seek-until, seek-until
they receive those

needed hand-shake glances,
eye in eye like mirror in mirror infinitude.

show their teeth
all the time

and use their voices
with precision.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Notes In My Pocket Notebook

As I watch out the window
the gems of meaning in the city
sink deeper into the snow and clay.
My eyes have to burrow harder .
It would be easier if I weren't
so driven to find them.

Woman 1:
When she hears the man say something,
she straightens her view,
uncocks her head.
I want to be sure.

Woman 2:
albeit gently, soft
foot to street as if
she doesn't want to hurt the earth.
But she marches
in a rigid, straight line
then turns sharply and waits
at attention for the driver to say,
come in miss.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Three Poems Sprung fromThe Same Dream

1. Sanity

I sat all day
carving away
at a dream
breaking it
into this world,
but carefully.
One stroke too many
will kill it.

2. Photography

If only I could
find my camera
when we have
the perfect light
to frame you,
while the miracle
surrounds your face.
I don't have the tool
to stop time.

The neighbors
smile as I suffer,
enjoy replacing
defeated heros,
show no mercy.

3. My Visionary Neighborhood

To be honest,
I do not trust
the neighbors.
with their upstanding
Boschian faces.

The streets
are filled with
bird beaks and
dunce caps
and fire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pickle Juice

Sometimes the scavengers for love
are fatter than those who hunt it.
Wasted love is widely spread
over the rug
under the bed
popping from belly
and flaking from head.

When I was fifty
I wasn't satisfied
with scraps of love.

Careers Come College
employed me as a mascot.
Student Services Coordinator,
I taught speech-making
and communication.
I'm sorry Ms January.

The first term went well
as all the young women,
light heartedly
went where I took them.

Then you came along leaving
pickle juice in my brain.

You gave that speech
I'll never forget
about reading the palm, and
worked so hard on your slides,
I should have been dazzled.

I am sorry Ms January. saying that now,
wishing I knew how to say I'm sorry.
I wake up cringing still, my mouth twisted
with pickle juice from my brain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Confession of a Clumsy Man

As you might have guessed,
I'm not good with names
or anything interpersonal
if truth be known
(except loving--
I'm not bad at that).

Friday, February 10, 2006

Valentine's Day Poem

When they look for someone
who makes them laugh, eyes alight.
When they think of love as holidays
they don't understand love.

They don't understand love
when they assess each other to
make a better world. They
conduct contests.

I will hold your hand
when life becomes
the conquest of space
and I can no longer embrace you.

Love is down in the dust,
eating, sleeping,
pawing the earth. It
snatches, surprises
and destroys everything.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Missing Dr. Rosenblatt

(God takes a long time
to punish acts of pride)

I am at a kind of
poetry conference
and feeling honored
and free. On the screen
behind me projections
of poetry manuscripts
with words
as big as my face
exaggerate something
so familiar, endearing, habitual.

It takes place in a hospital
I recognize the hallways, know them well.
I used to work here.
In the corridor below me
I see the familar face of Dr. Rosenblatt,
who gave me a job
in the fuzzy New York days
when I didn't know
who my friends were.
I race down to meet him
and find it's a dimply-faced woman
from the far east who speaks broken English,
distressed because she is lost and
I can't help her.

I go out for lunch on Main Street,
the gathering place of litter. A large hamburger
concession truck happens by and no one is
waiting. I can't think of what to order and
by the time I stop stammering a crowd has gathered.
I wait my turn in the midst of hamburger fragrances.
I order a hamburger-no-a-cheesburger-and-do-you-have
fried-onions. The mean faced server turns away.

Then it's dark. I still smell meat but
the truck is gone. I'm alone and I realize that
for the first time, I slept standing up.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I am covered in earth,
dull haired, hope to be useful
but could fail at that.

Living three quarters of the way
to the edge of the world
where the sun
makes great arcs around
the border of the sky,

not able to smell
the flowers of the South
where winters
are soft,

could I drape
myself in white?
Can I be golden,
glistening sprays of myself
into the breeze,
exhale perfume?