Wednesday, February 24, 2010



I see you
and you enter me through my lens.
I re-work you
neatly in my catalog.

I can't live
without my files,
my eyes
abstract you.

I know you
make of you
an icon mixed
of mind stuff.

You sit
in the museum of my memory
prominent among the icons
that compose me.


We live
among cartoon skeletons,
canned statues,
of the living.
We live among examples
rarely touching anything,
even then with masked touch.
We live in maps,
hovering over the earth,
in our pajamas
feet dangling.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Service Announcement

Nightmare Central
will help you
make up nightmares

if you don't want to
do it yourself. There's a handy
web addressable gimmic

or a recorded message. Personal
operators are already slow
because of heavy demand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She Sleeps Late

I can see her
joyously picking out
the pictures and the frames,

moving those hands
I sometimes now hold.
Some of the hangings

can use some slight straightening now,
even as the love still radiates.
She is sad because little pieces of a storm

broke through last night sending shards of the
sacred to earth. The sadness is good soil for fondness.
And life is hardy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

High Efficiency Fridge

Today the new refrigerator came,
eligible for energy rebates,
and it was out with the old one.
We sort the old foods
onto the table.

Keep and throwout piles
happen whenever it changes.
Each vegetable, each wrapped leftover,
each jar of sauce
is a memory.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day

We had more than a week.
I've many a lesson in living.

I see you know how
to make the days graceful

and we think about
getting on forever.

We must be brave.
Forever is a

newly captured horse,
not wanting to be ridden.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Twenty-Four Hour Diurnal

Now you introduce me
to night. It isn't empty as I recall it,
not a limitation of the day,

but a path
of golden lanterns
in a garden.

Over us
night slides new life hours,
new phases of sunset and dawn,

Sweet unconsciousness
merges with speech,
even deep in dark.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Treatment Committee

"Get up!" They say to the wounded soldier.
They want him erect,
want his head up--extending his nostrils
into the oxygen.

Getting the man to stand
is the goal of all first aid
to end the crisis,
the unbearable alarms.

They only want
to silence the sirens,
they want the babes to sleep
and the pain out of hearing.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

On Hearing Bach

In the quiet of the
music I am sad.
I feel the soft strands of it
raising me toward
something glorious
but not living.

We dance too lively
to lift us
into those beautiful heights.
It's the sad
and the proud
who lift us away.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


These are not just
challenges of new skill

calm mind going beyond instruction,
trying new tricks,

these are trips into beyond.
These are final emptyings

from which there would be
no time to escape.

These dredge up
forgotten strings of turmoil

which we simulated
only in games.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Deep Background: A Prose Poem

When I was a child,
one of my favorite games was "leave and comeback."
I would say to my friends,
"Ok I am leaving now but I promise I will come back."
Then I would head off out of sight.
I would toy with the feeling of departure

and the feeling of cold space between me and
my point of return, which in my imagination was home.
I would toy with the sense of being missed and missing.
I would practice trust .
In my game there was never a forever.
There were no real goodbyes.

Then, after a time I would re-appear.
Usually it was a return from an imaginary mission
I would bask in play with the feeling of welcome.
The welcome would mount into a childish imaginary play-acted love.

I haven’t played that game in more than 60 years.
And I am well out of practice.
But I still remember how to cope with the feelings,
my practice is still in the muscles of thought in my mind.
I do need to add the goodbye skill.
I do need to build the will to face forever.
Passing successfully through old age is going to require it.

A Naive but Dangerous Man

Having passed through the maelstrom,
conquered my conscience,
beaten back love

kept my heart hard
developed selfishness,
gone on to better things,

and, with history to write from,
with something remaining of the future,
I may have enough to say.