Saturday, February 27, 2010


I. (In the beginning there was the Word)

has not
been such a
breathless moment

such a
blush fluted

nothing stronger

blinding flash
of creating

exploding into life

II. (standing on common ground)

have you ever
looked a baby in the foot
from profile and, not noticing
where the melanin begins
if it does at all?

gnarled walnut finger
traces image held in
tanned maple hands
Burnt Siena-cherry baby
teeters on pink soles

just like my baby
coos grandma

III. (Seek ye beauty where it may be found)

the thicket threatened

twisting viny imports from
bowels of a casual bird
what chokes worse,
sumac or shade grass?

blades and hatchets
merge with muscle
air infused with sunlight
whispers warmth across the crown
of rose of sharon

one bud unbows its head
chartreuse grey-veined sepals stretch
makes way for the blossom

IV. (To sleep, perchance to dream)

i've been here before
dim light glows pink off the live ones
dusty pigments pinken up the dead ones
they don't call them icicle roses for nothing

see how the pink gold threads
forming candles in the misty carpet
bare pink-gold candlelight
reflected warm yet wan
The color of birth
dimmed to pallor

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dregs of the American Dream

Shambling to the door, the old man
Split the Post-Gazette as follows:
Things that matter; adverts, weather,
Real estate he'd sell, excuses.
Then the pace of war, of taxes,
Last, the sports, once to his manhood
Central. Now decried as worthless,
More a torment to the man who
Stares into his cold reflection
In the china case just past the
Pile in which recycled dreams die.

never could i gain
no man will obtain
excellence! my brain

rigidly declares
triumph flees before
boredom's pall prepares
to death

Forty years of struggle locked in
Seventy years of mist, of memory.
Wed a fertile mind soul body
Planted monoculture there
Five lost children call you "other"
Only grandchild bears your witness
By a bird call you once taught him

Legacy written under claims of
Rights of age and skill of rhetoric
Finally, power fading, shame
Strategies could not assemble
What was born already broken
Broken now, your body resting
Freed from one last lecture given
Look at what is left - a relic
Of his time cast bitterly
Into ours.

one took one who could not love him
one found an angel
one joined with another victim
two so certain of their path
they stayed alone

surveying my aging body
my shopworn life I
see my father's footsteps lengthen
( He a 10 1/2, I a 12)
overtaken by his shadow
his pain my shame
am I more or less

more polished yes
spit-shine on canvas sneakers
more money no - more debt
degrees lie fallow
more waist line tells a different story

less healthy less fit
failed heart in a strong body
less confident less brash
tagged by this century's introspection
aware the success machine
the American Century
is broken, rusting

Father, we are one - failures!
Dregs of the drink called American Dream!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Good Day

i can't do this with mama
snow angels in his eyes she plunges in hip deep
walls i can't climb

she's worky real watchy dad's sportsy
my soul dances over this snow blanket
no food for days

filling buckets full of snow pack
packing hours into memories
i'm cold mama

bombs fly. Abomasnow!
eyes fixed on plum plaid jacket
paws sink in drifts

watch me hide behind the wood crate
not a care for cold for time for hunger
hide in bamboo

dad's not watching rush the castle
fusillade of cloying crystals
tracks in the field

GOTCHA overturned a turret
(changes rules while plowing forward)
hush stalk pounce kill

jumped his castle! daddy, how?!
Special Forces dad detachment
did i do that

now i surrender daddy tackles
tumbling in reflected sun-blind
claws slice mouse guts

how come you never hurt me daddy
hoist him like a sun-bronzed trophy
thanks old deu-who?

three times my weight yet never crushing
the image of my soul eclipses sun
i eat at last

this is the best day of my life
this is the best day of my life
this is a good day

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


winter blossoms grow by the hour
pampas grass waves white
frozen flowers born in wind
plucked by the next gust

transported, i
walk the fields of winter wheat
waving white as donkey carts
drag a scythe promising
chlyeb for the weekdays
challah for Sabbath
potato vines threaten to withhold their tubers
hiding under blankets

cold cotton crumbles across my cheeks
fluffy frozen memories
shtetl children in bomb shelters
stitched from rags and skins
escape the hungerby throwing snow
eating snowcones
without syrup

retreating to black bread and cholent
potatoes bob in the pot like marshmallows
in our chocolate milk

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Chat Room

sound coalesced
from chatter
from scatter
blown to fluted glass
yet unfixed

magic dances
swirl and freeze
a frieze in time
yet sublime