Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beethoven's Last String Quartet

I love your old eyes.
I love where they take me,
to castles in the park
overlooking the lake,
with quiet voices
explaining passions,
to lessons taught with charm.
We could laugh in that
muffled way with gently
tightened throats.
We use things made of
polished wood and glass
genuine things.
We are in control.
I love that.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day After Bed Strain

I want to be done
done done done!
I'll never get finished.
The details pile up
along with the impossibilities,
and I make mistakes
that I have to do over.
It's hot
and I want to be done.

I wanted to
decode the rainbow,
I felt like it this morning.
The refreshment,
cool shower
after sweat-oozed sleep.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Daily Afternoon

Coming up on deadline,
with the sun
chasing me down,
I sit idle
surrounded by toys.
It's my fault
but the summer is harsh.

Bits of sparkly stuff
flick through the hours.
I smile as I pass them
and my arms
swing into action.
The rest of it is
pressured sleep.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I met Elizabeth
during my flirtation with English Literature in 1963.
Another lesbian,
pretty blonde with
soft hands and beautiful legs.
I used to pick up Elizabeth
at the counselling center
where she was trying to be cured.
When the university found her out
they hinged expulsion on her success.

I fell passionately
in love with Elizabeth
with all my post adolescent yearning,
the feel and the look of her.
She allowed me her company
and the freedom to dream.

Her father owned an
automobile dealership in Baltimore.
Well-to-do. I could never meet their expectations.
Part of a disguise for her parents,
she knew I wasn't very good at it.

I followed Elizabeth
doggedly and drove her
where she wanted to go.
When she looked for a job
after she left college,
I drove her from office to office.

An editorial job in a small business magazine,
I was glad when she came out beaming.
Elizabeth had been interviewed by love,
She and the matronly magazine owner
immediately set up housekeeping together.

I could have been a friend to both but I melted.
Elizabeth never wrote me letters.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I'll never forget how
she cornered me
outside the lecture hall
with her downcast eyes,
looking so respectful.
I thought women were
supposed to look
just like that.

I spent evenings in her company.
She made me supper of beans and greens.
Ellen was studying nutrition.
In my mind it wasn't a high profession.
She was a practical person
with concrete attitudes.
But there was a twist to her,
a sadness that called for
my special talents.

Sitting at her table
became a staple of my life.
It was only when I developed
a tenderness toward her that things changed.
She stood at the cabinet drawer
looking for needle and thread.
I came up behind her,
suddenly driven by a gush
of something physiological.
I touched her hand.

She withdrew alarmingly. 
Lesbianism was illegal in those days.
Ellen's partner was a butch named Maxine.
She called her Max.
I would be an appearence.
Not my charm
but my availability
made her wait for me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On Reading Old Letters

I can't remember
how many friends I had
after I departed to Illinois.
It's true they were far away and
I enjoyed their affection
only through the mail
with its own kind of sensuosness.
The  tracings of pens and pencils,
dribblings and stains
informed me of bodies.
How much they professed missing me
and asked for my return.
To be asked when you are coming back
is one of the most touching endearments,
especially when you
have no intention to.
I should have felt beloved.
I thought I was superman in those days.
So kind and knowing.
Knowledge always precedes education.
Education only refines, adds patina,
gains you names, arguments,
but knowledge is constant.
I survive by inventing theories.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Fly

In the early morning
I skirred among the treetops,
a million sparks of water.
My wings lisped in the cool air.
I slid near the canyons of
green and black;
and yellows alarmed me.
Grateful for
my two big eyes that
made a gift of distance.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Last Days before the Big Surprise

It's very bright
and green here
behind my eyes,
the color of Spring.
I'm used to that
and I live where I loved.

I don't know you.
I've forgotten all
but traces. New dreams
are eating the memories.

Perhaps I lay
under the pumping sun.
Perhaps I find
old strands of unused
language. Perhaps the
shadow of something
from time and place
surprises me. It's all
new and present.