first thought of Simon and
Garfunkel, angst, new love like
uncertainty, showers, flowers
and better months ahead
sun stays, longer days of
green grass, eggs, hidden
chocolate resurrection, rebirth
believers, earth day dreamers
ecology’s return to the beginning
before we lost our ozone layer
still unknown, how it ends
whether April begins again
She squirms, arches belly up,
scratch me, love me, don’t forget me.
Eyes and eyelashes, wise and long,
this one-year old furry seer, knows
if you are kind. Sometimes I ignore her
paws clawing at the sky, asking important
questions. How can you focus on
anything more than me, than this
moment, do you see me, really see me?
Here I am, I love you. Where’d you go?
Did you forget?
You are me too.
I don’t pray every night, but I probably should. After baths, books, conversation with wife, I usually drift into writing, creating, rearranging words on a screen. Mind a whir, could journey depths until dawn, but the clock of calculation, of sanity, of sacred sleep, tells me to stop. I go into my daughter’s room, turn down her light, I love you, I say to her curled up slumber. I meditate in my son’s room, the sound of his breathing, my pew, my stained glass, my sanctuary. Seated, darkness, air in, carbon dioxide out, first minutes filled with brain bouncing from thought to thought, the earlier, the tomorrow, the could happen. Then sometimes the indescribable now, when I’m nowhere, everywhere, witness to all time, and no time at all. Emerge a short life span later, pray for my colleague, that her malignant tumor retreats, allows life, hers to continue. It feels like I could stay forever, talking to God, to no one, to everyone.
exhaling visible emotion
ink onto page
alive each night if
only for these moments
toes touch sheets happy
the hours before are done
no more plodding through city
streets in laced up leather
free naked now
words moving across the page
indenting with cursive letters
pressing down, scribbled lines
fragments of thought
searching for truth night after night
sometimes finding things
like an old Hot Wheels car in
the sandbox, pull it out
examine chipped paint
try to recall when it was lost
describe what it looks like
loose front tire, red Camaro
“this is it,” I think
to reclaim, touch memory
unearth myself, the buried parts
Manicured ladies in stilettos navigate ancient smooth
stoned pathways, corridors assembled during Roman times.
Smooth curves of their exposed skin pattern the night,
wafts of perfume mingle with the smell of grilled
octopus and cigarettes.
Some cling to tan wrinkled arms
of sugar daddies, men with white chest hairs
attached to fortunes drenched in cologne.
I never visit the island for Gucci or Fendi,
air-conditioned square shops of consumer luxury.
The purring cicadas surrounded by sea
are my siren song, blue water darkening as it journeys
to Tunisia. Pulsating, my calves quiver up and down steps
to Villa Jovis where Tiberius reigned supreme, decadently
tossing the unwanted off cliffs into the watery
chasm of time.
The ruins sit unaffected by sun’s sweat dripping
from my elbows. I rest in pine tree shadows, imagine when
Neruda was here, arranging verse in his head. Away from the glitz,
everything is as it was, as it is, ants, jasmine, laughter
of the old women who were born in Capri,
born by the sea.
Once the Irish, the Germans, the workers pressed together, clustered little Victorians, where they were born, lived, then died. Now babies in strollers, babies pressed against mom, against dad, toddlers wobbling, wide blocks of deconstructed, reconstructed, houses, pasted photos, smiling women and men, realtors, listing, listed, selling, sold. White buses, elevated people, wearing laptops like blankets, heading south to touch more technology. Hilly hills, wisps of fog, oceanic clouds, permanent winter like they say Twain said. Past and present commingle in gusts of wind, September summers, sometimes rain and rainbows.
I actually want the time to show, let the world know that I’m that much closer to the abyss. Aged ringlets at the borders with brown, blonde before that, when hair was just hair. Above my ears a battleground, the grays sending sentinels, accumulating knowledge for the next attack. I stop and stare like Rembrandt with a ballpoint pen, pluck rogue whites from eyebrows where they grow as if I were a 19th century senator. Better than bald, some say, distinguished, the old compliment the old. Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice, my favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young line. Oh but we do, ointments to push back nature, like pioneers clearcutting ancient redwoods. I look in the mirror again, as if it matters, as if I will be here forever, in wonder over the me I see. This face, this head, these gray hairs, human dust clinging to a self making meaning out of molecules.
No one reads what
I write anymore.
Used to race to paste
poems on the screen,
look at me, look at me,
my words for all to see.
Now these things just sit
floating above blue
machine made lines.
They hide here for my
delight, in a notebook
with secrets held tight.
Whiskers start in June
mostly black, some gray
pushing through skin
like sunflowers they emerge
carefree, unrestrained by razors
of other seasons
when they are scraped away
like speckled truth
man’s primitive nature hemmed.
Summertime, I let them grow for days
like a backpacker searching
for my lost youth.
Long hours of shadowy sun
my face like time