Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Blanket Around a Stranger

If you were
proud of me then
you would have
claimed a stake
and I would be partly yours.

But since you are not proud
you just wish me well
and we sail off alone,
I in my own and you
just smiling a friendly smile.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Bend in the World

When I move
from the silence of finger taps,
get dressed to
drive off into
footsteps,
clippering lips,
tickle glass,
I am facing the future
and turning from
the declining past.

Oh I still
love what was.
I can't bear to
speed it's vanishing;
but I must carry it
lightly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meeting with the Judge

My cat looks
over at the humanitarian rep
and says, "He's a perfectly good
master to me."

"But I yell at you," I say.
"I chase you off the couch and
make you move when I want to sit."
I have tantrums sometimes when I scare you."

The humanitarian rep looks
over at me and scowls.
But my cat says,
"He's a perfectly good master to me."

The Tall Buildings

When we crossed Manhattan
and made that sharp turn to starboard
the tall buildings reached up to us.
We noticed how red like claws
were the edges on their
pointed tips. It was too high
above the friendly earth to argue.
No one in the dark boundry below
could see what they meant to do.
There were red smears
of light on the windows.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Flu

Nothing but abstract dreams
of strange forms fill
my dream eyes.

I am all body now
lifting. The airs
of my imagination are gone.

It may be a good time
to end the hauntings
if they don't come back
when the sickness clears.

Danger Dream

After the guardrail
goes over my head
and I slip through
all the safety fences,

I slide on my back toward the rocks
grab at the green strands
thinking this is not final
all that grass will stop me

and after I relax
my feet stick out
slack against the sky
and there is nothing else

I think by golly this is terminal.
Entering the realm
of the wind I think reality
doesn't apologize.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Family Visits


We don't know how to behave
when we see the outlines
of the wormhole
and the air gets cold.

We all say no no
and look at each other
but our smiles
don't make it go away.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vaudeville

I always thought
love, a kind of fame,
comes when the dancing
is good, then goes
when the applause dies down.

I always thought love
needs to be fed
like comedy
and fades
when the laughter stops.

I thought the band goes home
carrying their
black cases
and the lights go out
just as I trip on the stage.

Pesty Old Pet

The world, my good friend
whom I have known
since I was one
has proven
to be a trickster.

Stealing my love
and chewing on it
like a sneaky puppy,
naughty, I half laugh
half weep.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nancy Clark

I love to hear
about love.
It always brings a tear.
I hear deep
the stretching of
the muscles and the sigh.


I trust love.
Anyone who loves
even the earth
or loves the day
or touches what they love
can tell me in song.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two Native Guys Meet on the Bus

Recognize each other right away.
Wear the international insignia
of street people. Stand face on face,
each a figment of the other's hard male dream.

I don't hear them, intimate and silent,
a fierce and appropriate sign-on.
Grasp hands in the universal hip handshake.

"Where you heading?"
The shake of his head slaps the question back at the sender,
saying nowhere important
but it's all I have.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bill Paying Day

The bus stops moist and hard
and a long haired bewhiskered
wheel-chair'ed man comes out.

None of the passengers are
looking forward to a quick good time,
That look is in their eyes and on their

unfancy flesh. They step
off of the steamy bus floor
onto the ice. It is March.

Visit by Egyptian Musicians

This silence
is like pebbles falling on concrete,
slow dry cracks
coming from nowhere.
There is so much room for time.

Like the slow drip
from a drying puddle
into a pond,
no one can really speak
to be personal with strangers.

But there are tears forming,
not drying fast enough.
How many moist words
do we need
in an arid place?

Friday, March 06, 2009

My First Indoor Game of Marbles

You beat me there
in spite off all
my reputation.

I hated you
and wanted you.
You reached into

my deep need for proof
that I can not
fulfill my promise.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Washcloth

Down in the breathlessness
where time slows to a stop
the edge of the light
is like a long, soft brush
that flutes
the transparency of things.
Hair like crystal,
communities of boxes,
colored jungles
in the dirt.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spring Starts (was Getting Into Smitty's)

Saint Peter is
the host when we
enter the restaurant.

He looks us over
and checks the dress code
point-by-point.

"I suppose we can let you in." he says
"if you are not fussy
about your table."

We sigh,
more than a little dismayed.
But we say thanks.