Published Poems

Chronogram (fall 2015)

A Case for the Rocking Chair

 

The Daily Palette (spring 2014)

Self-Directed Study

Calling

Sawdust

Divine Pistachio Ice Cream Pie

 

My Earliest Poem

 

Bluebird

Vistas & Verse

Song of the Open Road 

by Walt Whitman

A photobook remediation

Humor Essay

 

Thumbs up to heartache

and pain!

Visual Essay

In Art We Trust: 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Paradox

Teachings

A poetry appreciation class for adults of all experience levels. Inner child required.

 

Bluebird*

 

Blue bird, blue bird

take me away

to a land where things

are far from grey.

 

A land where things

are nice and quiet,

a land where no one

makes a riot.

 

Blue bird, blue bird

you've been so kind,

take me away

to the land

that's on my mind.

 


 

*I composed this poem when I was ten. For the record, my childhood was idyllic, spent in the lush suburban wonderland that laces New York's Hudson River Valley. My backyard was a forest. Still, I had a Snoopy Brusha-Brusha Toothbrush. A Spirograph. Lincoln Logs. A Lite Brite. Friends! A St. Bernard. My Holly Hobby Oven kept me occupied (or more accurately, mesmerized) for hours on end. Visits to the local library were frequent, and long, and every mad dash I made into the childrens' book section conjured the sensation of Christmas morning. I do not recall looking at birds.

Sammichele di Bari

The non-chance glances

of the old Italian man

who keeps riding by

on the world’s most battered

bicycle do not in any way

creep me out.

They might, in some other town,

on some sorry-we’re-closed side 

street stumbled upon

in the unplugged hour of a neon night, time-

keeping dream teams lost in 

transfixion, bros who know the score hashtag 

you’re it one bar three bars two 

bars hey pretty lady but not 

here. 

Here, 

inside this corridor,

dignity is the decision made, 

again, by the Puglian dawn. Prima luce…

sparata… onto cold medieval stone 

and that man is wearing a pin-striped 

suit as he chariots a loaf of bread 

inside a threadbare basket fastened

to the arc of two tarnished bars 

he handles with a sincerity 

I may never know.

I wonder if he stood in that crescent

of brass-playing gents 

who crescendoed right through 

the midnight moon.

Perhaps he played the tuba.

It was a dusty window

that I peered through.

 
 

Falling in Love in the Middle-Ages

(When You Were Born in 1970)

 

Silly little smart phone

- - shit! - -

slipped onto stone.

I am eligible for an upgrade,

but it’s enough just to know,

and stone feels like

home these days, anyway.

And it still works, anyway.

What doesn't kill you

gives you scratches,

makes a knee purplebursted

and those are two mating Monarchs

I might have otherwise missed.

This, I told you, through the phone

that slipped onto stone,

and you spoke slow,

of things below,

and the sky, it broke, 

the jewel of worth-it-all

unearthed between us and yes,

I can hear you now.

Yes, as sun and moon

split the unlimited minute

I can,

I do,

here and now,

affirm your tone.

Ground and bone,

fixed, in the azure abracadabra

of love’s rotary unknown.

 

A Rooftop in Dubuque

is, apparently, where I’ll be, later tonight.

Given my current coordinate,

I suspect it will be 7:45-ish when I arrive

at the house that the new friend I made

last weekend on that bridge over the Wapsipinicon

gave me the address of. 7:47 is anybody’s guess,

but I suspect that label-free bottles of red

and snacks scattered about in artisan bowls

we’d never use were we eating alone

will be within eyeshot by 7:48. It’s summer,

no need for that business with the coats.

I’m told fireworks are slated to appear,

and there’s a pool if I want to bring my bathing suit.

But I don’t own a bathing suit. Not these days.

If I’m making time for anything these days, these

who-knew’d shoeless why-be-gone days breathed

beneath a sky that tries forever on for size with every dawn,

it’s doing nothing. And anyway,

I’m more of a feet-dipping, wine-sipping kind of gal.

There.

There you go, bios

of all those well-known poets out there going strong

thinking big writing smart (read:

Ow.) poems with misdirected cameos by pronouns

and mosquitoes, poets who have published

volumes of poems and live, currently, in towns

where they work hard at poet things and know, mostly,

other poets.

Here you go.

Here’s mine.

My life with that bridge and those bowls and that wine.

My broke but not broken state.

My Iowa my New York told me to go to.

My once upon a desk inside the home of two

benevolent friends of my pen but anyway where was I,

pen? Oh. Yes. 6:36. Shit. I still need to stop and get

the gas that I will pay for with a check memo’d you betchya

but first I’ll get this down so I can work on it

later if not sooner

if not ever, or if sky.

 

Walt Whitman Practices Holding Up a New York Deli 

 

 

You!—grab that tiny crate of clementines—you!—

Hand me that deodorant—no!

Make it a tomato. Yes! That big, slightly rotted one,

And while you’re at it, dip your notions of hope into that Sabra hummus.

Also, take off your clothes. Have a seat.

Let’s talk of moles! Everything is headline news when you

Think you are about to maybe be dead––come on, people––cool it! 

Remain calm! Compose your soul before you do or do not die, let’s

Sweep the nation into that dime-store dustpan 

       and speak only of dreams while we still can! 

Of moles! Ants! Cracks in the sidewalk, in faces, there’s one in everything!

Listen. Nobody make a peep. 

To the roof!––let’s go. Bring your multitudes, we’re not coming back 

You there, with the pungent pits I beseech thee, king, 

Undrape! And you, there, 

There is e’er among us, a you,

Impotent, loose in the knees,

Open your scarf'd chops till I blow grit within you,

Spread your palms and lift the flaps of your pockets,

I am not to be denied, I compel, I have stores plenty and to spare,

And any thing I have I bestow.

Step forward. 

That’s right Everyone!––Look alive! Atoms! 

Strangers in boots! 

Look as alive as you can 

       and nobody gets hurt.

 

 

Full Circle

 

 

As I lean forward to kiss the tip

of the nose of this regal creature

who just carried me inside the

cradle-crescent of his back

for three hours—

the weight of my bones

burdening his

as four rusted talismans

nailed to his hooves

took on hillside after hillside,

creek after creek,

broken meadow after hinterland trail,

and then, finally,

that wide dirt road,

all so that we’d end up

right back here,

here inside this

sun-spoked barn,

a stone’s throw

from a rooster’s comb,

no fertile plain settled,

no destiny manifested,

no stars named,

just me

and Showdown,

dustier versions of ourselves,

but just us, standing here,

back where we started—

I can’t help but think of

my mother,

and of my father,

and before I even have the chance

to wonder why they come to mind,

I am lifted onto that pony

in Wildwood, NJ, 

and I am four,

and the man with the camel-hump hat 

who took the money

is barely holding the rope

just ahead of us 

as we pulse,

three times around is all we get,

so I will savor the third time, especially––

the ferris wheel in silhouette,

the sand a fiery orange

the sun the moon the stars the water––

and as we make our final circuit,

with a smile that may never be duplicated

I trot back towards my parents

who are sitting and watching

from the white wooden fence,

dad beneath “Pony”

mom beneath “Rides”

just like last summer

they sit and they wait

for me to return with my tale,

only, I leave 

the best part out,

the part where I am forty, and unsure 

about the rent, it’s great 

to feel your passion, it’s so 

inspiring that man at the packed concert last night 

or back on that beach said and as he 

lifts me off the saddle,

I close my eyes

and here I am,

settled once again

inside this golden barn,

here, inside this sanctum

I may never enter again,

I tender my lips to this bridled being,

and so, to a heart

fifteen times the size of mine,

and with a gratitude too vast

for even the Black Hills of South Dakota,

I whisper thank you

and tell Showdown I will 

see him again

as particles of matter glisten and orbit

in the sun’s last ray of the day,

the way they might do  

in the gleam of a movie projector

or a searchlight.

 

 

Room in New York, 1932

 

 

Dear Mr. Hopper,

 

I know that you died in 1967,

but as I stand here riveted

by the pureporcelain landscape

you have illuminated

and draped across

that woman’s right arm

all the way up

through the arc of her neck

and into the eclipse

of her low-lying gaze,

you are not dead, really.

And so,

I just wanted to write

and let you know

that I am quite sure

this painting

would have been 

itself enough,

had you captured that woman

alone, as you have,

at the upright piano—

her stance remote,

skewed yet stable

atop a small

wooden perch,

the weight of a day 

  the L, 

  gristle... 

of a thought

   heat, 

   speed...

of a word, unspoken

   crysallis...

all at once released

and then relinquished

into the transparent tapping

of a middle C.

But that you would

impose that man

into this urban diorama,

hinge him in that armchair

opposite that stately table

and slant his firm frame

into a leaf-through

of the daily news,

is to have altered

the trajectory

of not only

that woman’s

melancholy,

but mine.

 

I shall work hard

to render

the poetry I see,

the truths I imagine.

Those hues best

fit for lit interiors.

 

 

D.G.