Wednesday, February 28, 2007

the edge, no. 2

sitting at the edge, just an
incautious fellow
by the dark hollow
i've made of the night
53 floors climb below me
raised in steel and raw wind
each voracious
each with its yammering
and i'm sometimes troubled
sometimes worried
will i fall

bring my mirror a little
up here where i may make
some chatter with the gods
how do i compare?
is it wrong to admire
what can steal the very grace
of heaven

sitting at the edge, just
singing to the clouds
as they whirl and give nod
rumble with appreciation
i'm shaking this throne
with laughter
spying on the little people
praying and dancing
floor by floor
passing love like lollipops
tasty lemon drops
maybe if i snap my fingers
i can be king

come taste my command
of lust
but eat it carefully
drink it cautiously
it consumes more rabidly
than blood
and i have no use for
an old and used servant

are you

i can make you mortal
you fear that you might
live forever
let me take that uneasy
i can remove that tortured
no more than summer dew
random and ill-suited to
your improper garden
believe in me

do you?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

as is my wont, i'm bringing back a favorite . . .

?, no. 5

there is a man, sitting on my kitchen floor, tucked into a
corner, tossing flour up on the air, making words that float
and make a chatter that i can not understand, and his face

is hidden by this ghostey clamor, so i can not judge his eyes,
or have his lips been kissing mother, has he brought some
solace to her days, for he must know she's buried deep in

secrets, locks her windows with the failing of her charms, she
has a craft that comes from rare and special creams, she
has an art that speaks to wayward husbands, suitors with

unseemly dreams, or does he make some pact, here in my
kitchen, will he take my coffee for his own, and have his
supper at my table, sing some ditties to blush my mother's

cheek, there is a man, sitting on my kitchen floor, or am i

simply lost

Monday, February 26, 2007


you toss your mistrust up, over
down at my feet
where it wraps, slowly nestles
tantalized at my ankles
slithers under my arches
mews and purrs

should i fear its climb
will it make some
on my calf
seek the warmth
that i've sheltered
from you

sweet as syrup
am i

Sunday, February 25, 2007

untitled, no. unknown

you're watching me, rather closely
and where the sun will place its shadow
i will curl, down on the ground
wrapped around the shades

for you

Saturday, February 24, 2007

hiding under beds

hiding under beds
names forgotten
the stillness gone
wandered out into the wilds
leaped out of the window
did the stillness

and under beds
there may be safety
but only for the good
only for the listeners
for children must obey
mustn't they

children must be taught
with deeds of wisdom
deeds of caring
all thoughts that would
hold badness
in their small and lovely hands
should be driven
be banished
far from the loving home

a father knows the world
too well
has seen the ugly and impure
the bitter failings
one must endure
he knows that children
who resist
and cannot see the
rightness of his way
will bring but shame
bring but heartache
into the home

hiding under beds
can close their eyes
but for a moment
can brave the dark
and the ogres it protects
but there are demons
with gentle faces
and sorrowed lips
searching under beds
lovers, no.2
abbreviated love

lovers, and little vertigoes
and i've been living in the past
it's somehow been recorded
for me to endlessly rerun

some times i stop, abrupt
mesmerized, and stand
thinking of days, hard-edged hours
holding fast in some old embrace

lovers, and how i've failed them
thinking kisses were enough
that roses and moonlight
my gentle hand, were enough

this was a bargain that found me
unprepared, watching life
make its sputtering loops
transfigured as a child

lovers, and my ravenous

Friday, February 23, 2007

the edge

let me pull my old chair, here to the edge
i feel beautiful in the sun
listening to the mocking birds
making lies for my amusement

i'll serve some country foods
with tea as cold as mamma's breath
and spin a tale or two of my adventures
out in places hidden from the pastor's eye

you'll find me jolly, and ancient as the moon
corrupted by the fools that gave me laughter
so if you stop your silly patter, i may
steal one of your kisses

save your mocking for another thief
you'll not bring down any dreary scents
into my special garden, with walls
that hold your world at bay

and save your unsubtle protests
for a man who might believe
that honesty still plays a part
in anything you touch

i haven't lived to be the fancy fella
who will lose his nerve at heaven's door
i have some secrets that may amuse
someone who lingers for my care

i feel beautiful, here in the sun
though you may think it to be unkind
it leaves no shadows at my feet
as i pull my chair, up to the edge

Thursday, February 22, 2007

we're starting the day with something new. then following with something previously posted. you can call it old, but i call it blue. and now . . .

my father's son

feel the sun grow dimmer, losing at long last
some eerie battle,
flailing like an old man, spent
by years caroused

can you feel it ramble drunken
arguing with the clouds
gone misogynistic
greedy for its own

these are curious days, full of
melancholy, full of jerky bouts of
sorrow, and i sit wrestled raw
in my confusions

where are the beginnings, and
where the ends? or has this
life of ours just leaped its bounds
and we stagger drunken

my father knew his place with
calm certainty, and knew his time
they settled on his shoulders
tailored, well fitted

how can i be my father's son?
sitting in my corner, safe within
its unbent shadows, making my

calling out
you've just read the new, and now for the blue . . .

whisper me something

whisper me something, mister, you've been standing here
since dawn, must have seen old sister, walking with her cane,
must have heard a secret, that i could sell for silver dimes

your pockets should be full up, things you've captured in
the wind, baubles made for nightsome trysts, jewels from
mandalay, golden ash spread on the ground for a prince's

silken feet, i've a need for all these riches, as you surely
must have heard, you've watched me at my window,
sliding down the drain, running off to see the world, one block

at a time, but if you've seen me making darkly moves,
with the lads down 23rd, you've surely never said a word, to
daddy or his kin; did you know sweet jenny tried her song

in a wrongly key of g? whisper me something, mister,
you've some kindness left in store, i can bargain with
the best of them, make a trade to bring a smile, for

the day, it is a-coming, when the last block has been seen,
and i'm ready for the wider ways, where the sun sets
in the east, and a bedroom's just a bedroom, quiet

in its sleep, give me something, mister, i've gone tired
with all my moves, with all this sliding sideways, jumping
over cracks, counting stones along the driveway, whistle

something, mister, when you're ready for our trade, and
you'll end the day with no regrets, and i'll be on my way

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

my 2nd post for the day, following this, is a new piece. dance the blues has been previously offered for your confusion. i'm hoping that a reread will bring some understanding to . . .

dance the blues

these are goodbyes i've never faced, i've been lost
down twisted ways, making steps in alleys, mixing
whiskey in a paper cup, and always wondered

if you'd dance the blues, keep these two feet from
another wrong move, i've a weakness come all sudden,
got a tremble made me weary; now i know the face

of darkness, the taste of my day to come, and i'm
full up of reminisces, longing for a yester day gone
dim, so will you dance my blues, hold my head

when light goes stray; i've made my fall from grace,
left my honor somewhere out beyond, in the black
between the trees, sleeping on those summer flowers

made my fall from pride, stealing like some thief
and i never understood the why of love, the how
of love, they mysteried me life long, only knew

the fierce of love, that wrapped me like a strangeness;
there are goodbyes made when i was young, please hold
my head, even if you're hard with anger, for i can

release you


here, at the end
something new, something old today. it's a cloudy, bluesy day by the Bay.

objects found

objects found, let us suppose, are
objects discarded
perhaps lost, cavalierly tossed
momentarily forgotten, subsequently
mislaid, hidden, supposedly
never to be discovered
by bandits or strangers
dawdlers or lutheran boys
on a wednesday escapade

objects found were once adored
caressed or fetished
holding magicks and spells
were useful or tawdry
ribboned, or dusted, shiny
or flat
made of silver or plastic
but the eyes of an owner
can waver and wander
the heart can forget
waiting for tea

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

let's revisit a recent piece that seemed to be widely misunderstood. maybe a second reading, or a third, may help us with . . .

sad boys

all the sad young boys,
making shuffles
watching old boy fancy steps
counting cars, drinking coffee
getting smooches in the back room
at the annual bazaar
is there ever any drama
in a life gone merely
to the side?

but were they reading hegel
on the corner at 43rd
discussing topics of concern
convolutions that could possibly
leave nietzche quite disturbed
were they purging a superego
catastrophically overurged?
possibilities are not endless
if you're easily misled

oh, these mad young boys
afloat on rusted bicycles
flying like the gulls
hopping through their windows
cadillacs have cash
temptation's fine
it has its benefits
if mothers can keep fathers
in their beds

small feet with arches
command a heady price
jacquard from paris
can't compare
not as soft, not as rare
but a dime can't buy a quarter
except in conditions
quite extreme
what else can be discussed

down on 43rd

Monday, February 19, 2007


music, family, french doors to a
suburban garden
matching teacups, faithful sons
and golden daughters
lies, and lovers
graceless exits round 3am
we are what we are

may we play some streisand
from 1965
octaves tossed like salad
in a spinner
broadway highlights on a vinyl disc
who could ask for anything more

jog my memory with a sandra dee
zen could be my saving grace
mango custard, raspberry creme
confusion circles slowly
as it should

holiday inns, breakfast buffets
my life has been played out
in paperback novels
sold at rubbermaid parties
to ladies of leisure
not without pleasure
all at a charge

families give comfort
but rarely when needed
how will it end
these liars and dreamers
masquerading as neighbors
with garages for secrets
we're picking up the pieces
from a random distribution
of luck

are nights still meant for
keeping customs sound
traditions tightly wound
like summer in the poconos
entertaining ants and flies
by the lake
jam and bagels, bourbon or
sincerity has its cost

i leave my clothes, piled by the door
when rains come after dark
and walk beneath the tulip trees
quiet as a cat
listening to nina play
her songs of boys gone bad
love misconceived
poorly financed
until the rainbow finds me
at its end

Sunday, February 18, 2007

a lament, no. 2

these old streets are flowing by me
mad with undulations
going crossed, going into places
that ought to be hidden
i can't see the end and i've
forgotten all beginnings
oh, these old streets

and walls of brick
of mad plastering
confusing in their random colors
have settled everywhere
some with holes and doors
and windows
looking at me, probably
places watchers can breathe
slowly, carefully
sharp-eyed and remembering
armed with papers, taking
every where

it's a proper time for secrets
a time for wards and charms
proper magicks
all the things that old men know
if they would only say
but their very ancientness
faces falling within hard creases
cloud the memories i need
i don't fear the witches
any longer

i've tossed my shoes into a bin
marked and left unaware
ready to capture any thing
so my feet can feel the earth
speak to the stones and dust
my toes can learn the language
of winter airs
spring grumbling
any spells dropped and eager
to bewilder
i feel that i can make my peace
with sorcerers

some one has cracked stones
possibly killed them
to bring them here
pieces are piled, jumbled
so that the sun must constantly
to bring some small light
to ground
it looks so weary
left with so little
for the moon

these old streets are wrapping
heavy gray serpents that torture
my eyes
somewhere below them shrieks
a monotone
dredged and stripped of color
no one could sleep under this weight
at least it strips the dreaming
some small comfort
isn't it

Friday, February 16, 2007


take this stain off of me
i can't take it any more
lying here like a grave
under blackness everywhere
isn't heaven over there?
can you take me to its door
have i been flying with the angels
fallen sudden to the ground
so take this stain off of me
if you can spare the tears

Thursday, February 15, 2007

a lament

do you still talk to the sea
make your rambles in the blackening dusk
push your toes into the softened sand
hoping for marvels
scrunching wishes that can be tossed
and carried
where ever the heart may go

you smelled of seaweed
ripe and glorious in decay
we'd babble in our pidgeon french
perhaps never saying what we meant
but then again
did we know

i would follow your footsteps
until they were swallowed
there always seemed to be a quickening
of the tides
of the gossipy old birds
hoarding you for their very own
knowing very well
all your cast off mutterings

some nights i'd write you notes
squeeze them into bottles and throw them
high into the moonlight
wondering where they'd go
what your face would say when you found them
would you read them to hermit crabs
turn them into little tales
fit for gulls and walrus pups
gathered as your children
full of salty tears

and in the day i sail my ship
against the western winds
and its howls and wintery aches
i have no talent for idle yammering
with the old men out raw
and hopeless
and their hard longing
we've all seen our spring
go slipshod into the east
some where with you

i still make my quiet tinkering
rub away the worn secrets
from a life too poor and gentled
built with mute devotion
i've found that words are tricksters
that may serve other men
but i stand alone
waiting for the waves to find me
wondering if they've touched you
some where far away

Monday, February 12, 2007


there's a colorful laddy,
lying flat on the floor
dressed like a dancer
or perhaps like a king
of a carnival wintering
on a dim irish bay

he's forgotten to close
his emerald eyes
for he's slipped into dreaming
seems caught by the sun
in a warm pool of white
captured by moonlight
gone hidden by day
here in my bedroom
lying flat on the floor

there are bees in the roses
that have climbed to my door
they seem anxious to find him
to finish a tale
full of honey and longing
for a colorful boy
should i tell them he's sleeping
adrift far away
should i ask them to supper
so i can finish the tale
when the laddy comes waking
lying flat on the floor

Sunday, February 11, 2007

the lane

there is folded, quite neatly
on the side of the lane
a gentleman's jacket, old tweed
i believe
and full flaring slacks of an
antiquated style
shoes, buffed and polished
but no socks to be seen
a black belt hanging tidily
on the white wooden fence
a gabardine shirt
out of place or quite bold
i'm at a loss just peering
at the sartorial display
it all seems to be waiting
for a gentleman's fancy
on the side of the lane

i may stop for a moment
for it has a small spell
and i'm given to ponder
at inopportune times
should i wait for the jasmine
to lend me its scent
or the moon to come rising
or a silvery bell
there may be woodchucks to gossip
who may know all the long
and the short of this mystery
on the side of the lane

there's a radio playing
across the green field
sweet sadness is drifting
with the wisp of a tale
of lovers who've stopped
to dance with champagne
smitten by dreaming
splashing the dew
on a night in the country
on the side of the lane

Saturday, February 10, 2007

some where in between

little stories, i tell them on my
sloppy ambulations
but if you don't mind walking
through these farm boy muddy fields
we can weave a way
from here to there

come take my arm, and
no, i'm not your dark eyed hero
i rather mystifying magicks
to the humdrum tricks you turn
bouncing at the bus stop
grin-eyed and full of offering
taking jelly beans from the catholic boys

watch the steps come below us
and follow in their muddy twists
they'll lead us to a backyard salvation
plaster saints, pink flamingos
mirrored balls for our reflection
silvery window to the past

this path is laughing like a trickster
will grab your feet and hold them planted
in its spooked up garden, ghostey
yammering can freeze a careless fella
another weed unwanted
making clutter some where in between

Friday, February 09, 2007

modern man, no. 4

there are choices to be made,
between the shadow in the dusk
the hymnbook on the second shelf
the iris bent by curious fingers
of autism

circumvented decisions play
to your general disharmony
standing before the counter
faced with nefarious choices
quiche or burrito
noshing with the lactose intolerant
acerbic barrage by vegans

perhaps a picnic on a county field
imported peasant basket
woven some where variously accented
half pictures of hunched women
news worthy indignation
trade pacts float off to the distance
barred by the morose language
dropped from grinning pundits

we can make a splash with our local barista
displaying hard won knowledge
of the world's repertoire of beans
roasting and grinding
brewing and savoring
we can somehow pass the day

alone is alone
profess those who should know
wisdom adrift through the ages
variously acquired in art houses
gallery openings enhanced by fruity chablis
coiffed and draped
sinuous and sensual
we can return it all tomorrow

there are choices to be made
perhaps on a stool in a burmese noodle house
captured in the moment
by a cloud of curry
arrested contemplating
the nuance of chilies
the benefits from garlic

should i simply confine
these speculations, ruminations
to my wednesday 12 step camaraderie
to my thursday morning mantra
joined within the buddy bonding
on a joggers' trail

shots of vodka, iced with lemons
brought at great expense
from corporate retreats
rescue friday night from the mundane
ensure friendships for the ages
living with milk and honey

i am still amazed
by the various permutations
of life

Thursday, February 08, 2007

looking for an exit

look, i've found an old steel trumpet
fancy dinged and etched by smokey whiskey
it'll blast and we can scat my famous
bluesy concoctions

life is jumping curious, here at your
dilapidated table, creaky and shaky
just like your dancing, where the mirrors
interrupt our privacy

we have a mismatched capella
looping whispery at this honky place
that man is snapping and shouting
some thing in a bebop tongue

do you still wash your pontiac by the river
wiping and shining and blasting rock n roll
i heard the city fathers are making you a law
to order peace on sundays

what sort of bar room fancies cheese and grapes
silver frames on photographs
cluster cross old walls that want
their rugged aggravations on display

i'm toodling through this mix of cross-eyed
beauties, with swigs of margaritas,
unstirred cocktails that say nothing
what a town, bricky cincinnati

some squawking man's been telling me
rough stories, fishing dead folk
from the brown mouthed river
silt and dirt and strangled black

are we moving in and out of war
my feet won't run like the Riccoli boys
making time on the corner
with their daddy's business

what's the nearest exit
to bricky cincinnati

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

modern man, no. 3

soft rain comes in annoying noises
indecisive splashes mixed and irregular
why have you brought me to this
anonymous place

hard wooden benches, when i need
arabian pillows, when i need the small
but devious comforts that are bought
with careful attentions

and you think to ply me with kenyan
coffees, artisan chocolates, trivial
arts or crafts, in a room that reckons
coldly with its favors

autumn soups reek of wholesome
herbs and plucked leaves, roots
haphazardly discovered, wrought
and dug from earth

where in this vapid supper can i get
the sustenance for an artist, a writer
chasing down the steps of warriors,
painting funeral moments

look up at your grey clouds, blabbing
in a pseudo-heaven choir, dripping morosely
on this poor disheveled street, crossed by
stragglers and dogs

was i so easily seduced, that you thought
to purchase me, no more than a tuesday treat,
a toss away frivol for a day gone dreary
and tiresome

so we sit here, noshing on bumpkin foods,
breaking muffins for their poor fruits,
seeking some solution for an ill-matched
suitor after fame

but hold my hand, no one will hear our
fingers touch, recognize our little passion
take home a few gossips for a garden club
devoted to peonies

we are, are we not, quite modern

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

modern man, no. 2

some where on the road to 4th street
we can dabble in she-bop-bop
find a chorus in those thuggish fellas
though they're tenors one and all

candy-red will be our color
custom made between the avenues
i have a nimble hand for city art
and will lead this little band into the Times

they make their fashion around their knees
and in a way not fit for family publications
so we'll stop along the way, round 7th
take a seat and play at censors

there is a certain aura, about alleyways
and lunatics, and stories left in stains
unknowable splotches like a walk of fame
that have me hopping and scotching

don't let your toes carry these tales
along, even if they fit somehow
into your baggage, into your empty pockets
it's best to leave them as they lie

i think you're just a corn boy, green-eyed
truant and chased by your curious shadow
but you've a baritone i find unnerving
so i will shine you up, my village toy

long strides will carry us, like soldiers
and our hard listening may keep the uniforms
at bay, may keep the downtown lads
off-key, rumbling out where they belong

sunday in the city, relished with some
saturday night sins, dogged by some
friday night liquor, doubled down
by thursday night dinner in queens

here we are, on the road to 4th street
with some little time for salsa dancing
i don't remember why the day goes dark
surely these misplaced bruises

are by versace

Sunday, February 04, 2007

raphael's dilemma

memories, raphael
walk with me, i know a place
where time won't mind our chatter
and i can see you plain and full
count and mark your scars
where you will tell me
all the hows and ways
come twisted into your life

there's a path,
watch my feet and follow
step upon step
we'll jump over shadows
that aren't our own
bundle our words to whisper
that passersby can't steal
and we can work
to make your anger sing

walk with me,
and if the laughter of children
slices quick
i'll bring a spell to mute
and give chase
i want you for my own
free of your confusions
old and wearied they may be
for some few minutes
believe this is your home

memories, raphael
earth bound, sore
don't listen to those spirits
hawking favors
slipping gifts into your pockets
what do you have, now
of any value
that any thief would glimmer
i am the only one
who hears

i know a place,
secured with locks
a shelter far less cold
than heaven
not anxious with thin ethers
or cluttered by the yammering
of angels
safe from mourning
given over to those comforts
special to you

can you trust me, raphael?
i've gone this way before
and we can end this day
lay you down to sleep
there is unfinished dreaming
i've kept if for you, safe
can you trust me

Saturday, February 03, 2007

some men

you just walked away,
and i hopped, and scotched
missing cracks, dumbfounded
by the sudden disrepair

jazzman clouds have come
rumbling, impure and rowdy
bluesy concoctions tossed up
toward the end

my every sinew, every bone
is making clamors
pushing my feet to jealous
little shuffles

it leaves me breathing backwards
no one will step forward
to hold this mutilated
love in check

and how i studied every definition
of how a life was meant to be
memorizing that critical list
of allowable emotions

mapped the boundaries
with precision
but i realize, now that i hear
the hard hours of the night

now that i smell
the empty savors of this room
and make this tardy

there are unquiet mysteries
unknowable but in faith
leaving little havocs
in our bed

i was to be the perfect lover
shaping every movement
of our graceful dance
with unordinary rhythm

certain hours can't be contained
in silver frames
captured by the artful use
of cameras

and some men will pass
into the lateness of their day
sitting by a window
absorbed by love

Friday, February 02, 2007

dear sarah

dear sarah, wherever this may find you
i've gone away, out into the world
found that promises inked raw
when i was younger than my memory holds
must be unwritten, when the sea lies waiting
and the roses all cut bare
when the garden takes to wild
winter storms fade the kitchen door
photos fall to floor
old shadows won't be chased
webs and dust give quiet mock
to a home gone lost to dream
i've been undone, here at the last
singing those old songs
playing fool to places over stuffed
with you
it's loosed me, unhanded me
simple anger, but most unsimple sorrow
that thing's gone rooted in my soul
where ever this may find you,
all steps are counted
i hear the wind give chatter in the night
some times i think to understand
the earth's own words
so i will sit and make a conversation
where the end will talk with sense
to a man who's been undone

Thursday, February 01, 2007

left behind

leaves gathered by weaverbirds,
muddled into a nest
then stolen and worked into an autumn wreath
to entertain the parents
on a miscellaneous sunday afternoon

there's surely a message to be found
in this spare history
and can be read in the mundane monument
to a working bird's day
all played out on 17th street

and if your ribs are now constricted
by the sudden inhale of indignation
and if you see before your troubled eyes
a home wrenched by callow urbanites
for a minor display of vanity

you may exhale, but carefully
for i can offer some small consolation
it was a home long discarded
for weaverbirds are upwardly mobile
and had taken flight to a suburban elm

and i ramble roundly, moving with a fine malaise
ever as a child i hid in wary caution
never your golden hero
waiting behind closed eyes
for the dark to bring its tricks

i paint my garden walls every summer
for i no longer move into the world beyond
it's gone into a mystery for me
closed and alien and dense
so i make my walls thick and tireless

but we can sit and rock
speculate on the mailman's route
the fine stories he could relate
if we could capture his devotion
and offer him a chair

brew a china tea, left on christmas day
gifted in a porcelain container
painted by a master
somewhere far away
in brittle cups from old cathay

you say i've been wearied by the days
sitting among my ruminations
foraging among our grand concoctions
so you bring me donuts filled with jellies
and drink my whiskeys

and confounded as we are
one breath still follows another
we've traded mozart for aretha
schubert for synthetic strings
left behind on 17th street
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