Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hello Moon

In all the swelter welter of passwords
that may or may not have at least
one numeral and one special character
and the waiting and seeing if the dog perks up
and the five flat screwdrivers in the toolkit
in the junk drawer in the pantry closet
in the garage in the downstairs powder room
when the phillips is what's needed
and dropping the iron on your bare foot
while realizing that the boss you'd give a kidney
to never have to see again has the same eyes as
the mean girl who stomped on your foot hard when
she was Joseph and you were Mary and you didn't hit
her back because nice girls and saints don't hit
although forty years on if you could get a do-over
you would take her shepherd's crook and knock
her into the middle of next month
and when you are on your knees and hosing
aged cabbage out of the rolling garbage bin
on to the driveway where you hope
some creature of the night will eat it
and you look up to blow the hair out of your eyes
and there is the moon
shining through the dark
as it has since the beginning
hello moon

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Sin of Marketing

I suspect
if there turns out to be
anything more than nothing
an imp wearing hemp
will direct me to 
a block of cubicles
in hell
specially reserved
for those who have
ever signed off
on the purchase
of 25,000 beer can cozies
made of stretchy fuzzy stuff
that will survive
nuclear holocaust
the bright purple
undimmed
the university logo
in sparkly thread
glittering
at no one


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Chickadee Trio

A trio of chickadees
lands on the feeder bar
next to a red-winged blackbird
and for an instant all is an
iStock image keyworded diversity
then Patty Chickadee
hip bumps Maxine
and Maxine hip bumps Laverne
second verse same as the first
and then there's a wing protest
and then there's a squawk
and the blackbird eats the air
flapping his red-tabbed wings
to stay level with the feeder
and yell your mama wears army boots
while the chickadee trio
lunches

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What if all of this

What if all of this
is the punishment
for having used pages
of my King James
revised
for rolling papers

(It's thirty years on
and I only took
from the concordance
no red letters
I swear)

What if all of this
is the punishment
for that afternoon
in Whitby Hall
in room 413

(with the view of the maple
I thought of as mine
and the artificial pond
with the artificial name)

What if all of this
would have been different
if I had sacrificed
instead
the onion skin
over the frontispiece sketch
in my 1899 Cranford

(What if all of this
has been
outer darkness)

Monday, March 9, 2015

At some point midstream

At some point midstream
people stop asking how are you
You stand there out of breath
on the rock that is Monday
after making the leap
from the rock that is Sunday
a leap that is equivalent
to translating Beowulf into Western Yiddish
while climbing Everest
on a moonless night
when all you know of Western Yiddish
is gonif and putz and maybe matzoh
when you should have worn something better than sneakers
when the crank to the crank flashlight
won't crank

Monday, January 12, 2015

Therapy Dog, Memory Ward

The woman is so small
her wheelchair looms around her
like a man's boot
looms around a child's foot

The woman is so thin
her bones loom out from her skin
like bent grasses waiting to escape
from an iced over pond

The woman is so quiet
her silence looms around her
like it is the snow
and she is last summer's terra cotta pot
forgotten on the patio

The woman is so close to dying
her death looms up at me
exhaling cold mist
forming the words in the air
Walk on; she's mine

And so I walk on past her
but the dog turns back
and rests his muzzle on her knee

Friday, January 2, 2015

Three Months to 50

I would like to commission a scroll
Suitably ornamented by monks
Listing the blessed gifts
I have manifested
In my half century of living
But I can think of only two
I never say imply when I mean infer
And I can blow the cover off a straw
and look so true blue
that when it bounces off your ear
and you look around to see who did it
you'd never dream it was me