Published Poems

Chronogram 

A Case for the Rocking Chair

 

The Daily Palette 

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. Honestly, my childhood was rather idyllic. I grew up in the lush timberland and rolling hillsscapes that lace 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 let's say, mesmerized for hours. Visits to the local library were frequent. And long. And every mad dash I made to the childrens' book section felt like 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, happy hour bros 

who know the score hashtag you’re it one bar 

three bars two bars hey we won hey pretty lady but not 

here. 

Here, 

inside this corridor      (have I sauntered all night?

unpretentious ceremony 

marks the occasion,

again, of 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 two tarnished bars he handles 

with a sincerity 

I may never know.

I wonder if he stood in that schoolroom

last night, in that crescent of brass-playing 

gents who crescendoed right through the midnight moon…

Perhaps he played the tuba. 

It was a dusty window

I peered through.

 
 

Falling in Love in the Middle-Ages

(When You Were Born in 1970)

 

Stupid 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, you wanted to know 
more, 
so
I sat down

in the woods with the leaves on the dirt 
and you spoke slow of saying

no, the undertow of being

suddenly
older, the “it”

of worth-it-all 
unearthed between us and yes,


I can hear you now.

Yes, 
as sun&moon split the unlimited minute 
I can, I do,
here and now, 
affirm your tone.
 Ground, blood, and bone.
Fixed, in the azure 
abracadabra of love’s 
rotary unknown.

 

Lazarus

I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously.

I don’t even take what I am seriously. 

          —David Robert Jones

 

 

David Bowie died last night.

I propose he was a poet

above all. How else 

for the words

cell phone and ass

to be placed

inside a song

composed upon

the last mattress

his bones would know

only for the whole of the piece

to speaksound&satisfy

in a flash

like a classic…

to hover&delight

as if a star…

but even more than all that,

as if it were the blackness

behind the stars—

to lure&disturb…

to transmit the shimmering grit

of a bluemoonward riff

in service of us fools

still confined to the establishment,

where you is misconstrued as you

and awe a thing too precious

to access from our dream-numbering beds

in which we 

lie, and rise, and lie, and rise, 

all the while burning deep

beneath the secret

of the infinite night for that 

one

 

gasp!—

 

song, 

love’s to-be believer

who will honor all our oddities,

undress all our scars,

and fuse the ghost notes of beauty

into the blood-beasted circuitry

that pumps the miracle epistle:

>> - - Live!- - ->>>

into our playful homo

sapien bones

and cells

and asses.

 

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 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 ants! Moles! 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—

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 equanimous 

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 cavalry sieged,

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 boardwalk rides in silhouette,

the sky both blue and orange,

the shore the stars the crescent moon––

and as we make our final circuit,

hands crossed tight on the saddle horn, 

cantle securing my back,

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, what I don’t know is, I leave 

the best part out, the turn 

that is some distant day away,

some tour leg when I’m forty

and unsure about the rent, 

certain only that the questions

have the reins it’s great to feel 

your passion, it's so inspiring, from

that man at the packed concert last night,

or the empty cafe ten years ago, 

or back on that beach… 

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

breathless before 

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,

I see, you are 

not dead.

And so

I just wanted to write

and let you know,

I am quite sure

this painting

would have been 

itself enough

had you captured 

that woman alone,

sitting as she is

at the upright piano—

her stance remote,

skewed yet stable

atop a small

wooden perch,

the weight of a day 

of a thought,

of a word unspoken,

all at once released

and dispelled

into the transparent tapping

of a middle C.

But that you would 

decide to 

slant that man

into this urban diorama,

hinge him in that armchair

(who refuses such plushness)

extending the vacancy

of that oval table into two 

crisp white shirtsleeves, a vest 

a tie a face, unreadable 

as it pays no mind 

to…the daily news?…

is to have complicated

the source or the cessation

of not only that woman’s 

melancholy, but mine.

 

I will work hard to render 

the truths I imagine.

The questions I see.

Those muted notions 

born of lit interiors.