Monday, August 22, 2016

Your laundry cart
has been in front of
your door for a while. 
in urban cliff dwelling land
subtleties are honored
like lovers’ arguments
between the walls
the phone call in the foyer
that can be heard all over
the floor
we communicate for weeks
neighbors next door
in e-mail and texts
she slides out with her dog
i escape to the store
in urban cliff dwelling land
that can be felt all over
the floor
Your laundry cart
has been in front of
your door for a while. 
urban cliff dwelling land
spells respectful distance
between worry and action
it’s part of the resistance
to rules and interference
we nod in the elevator
we chat at the door
we leave each other wanting more
Your laundry cart
has been in front of
your door for a while. 
the message comes in
like a dull thunderous day
I’ve forgotten
she’s noticed
just checking to see you're ok.

Friday, August 19, 2016

From your memoirist
the museum of magic
holds many treasures
among them the loss 
and loves in great measure
hours with you in
your crowded rooms
recording your life
in a cigarette brume
the evasions
confessions
the repetitive wanders
your weary return to
the love you remember
how did I not guess
the bread crumbs you saw
on the trail that she left you
her constant recall
of the life that was you
after days spent in
your hot crowded rooms
the kitchen walls
laden with antique spoons
avoiding the cat
who knew who knew
your history as plain as the devil
memory as sharp as
the gavel that sounds in your heart
you were always meant
to return to her ring
the woman who loved you
the boxer who came slowly
to the ultimate win
you were always meant to
unfurl silken bondage
she’s yours
you are hers
in the forever hereafter
you are ours
in that magical theater
a drink at the bar
a line in the sand
a strait jacket moment
you are ours when
we can
find a way out of the ropes
the box and the past to
reconnect with great love
at last
at last
to release a white dove

Thursday, July 21, 2016























her

now and then
in the neighborhood
even the past catches up
sometimes
when she comes out
of nowhere on Madison Avenue
where I hardly walk
sticking to the park
but for a meander back uptown
from the current exhibition
of a calculated circus
of the now dead photographer
needing a think about
those unknowing entertainers
my quiet gawping on Madison
my reaction to
the excess, the wealth and the
cakes on display
in Willy Greenberg
draws my camera to shop windows
after she glides past me
like a rock on wheels
like an mobile manikin
smile-toothy and not
as dissipated and mad as
how I remember her
not as dissipated and mad as
the ones I have just seen
the couple arguing in Coney Island
or the child with the hand grenade
in the park that I love
or those cringe-worthy twins
and one that I met  a long time ago
her
who was once madly entertaining
before the signs rearranged me
not as beautiful
nor as lasting as
the lady who appears to be a gentleman
in the photographer’s lens
her
who I dodged
until the story was written
her
who made eye contact
on that well-heeled avenue
like a Vampire among the bitten
I ducked into the bookstore
breathed deeply and carefully
remembered what I knew
a writer accepts
any invitation
comes armed with
a qualified nod to discretion

I am a camera

it’s a careful collaboration

Diane Arbus, Miss Stormé de Larverie, the Lady Who Appears to be a Gentleman, N.Y.C. 1961, in the exhibition "diane arbus: in the beginning" @metmuseum Met Breuer, NY July 12 through Nov. 27

Saturday, June 25, 2016


the cat laid her head in the palm of my hand
I was nervous and undecided
sirens had been sailing for days
in the street below my window
manholes exploded
across a sea of fucking humanity
and I stopped to reflect
and moped like a sad drunk
in an ocean of insanity
what makes us, I wailed
what takes us far and afield
what owns us, I wept
this gravestone and how is it sealed
I am lonely sometimes
I whispered to the cat
her head on my open palm
I am lonely and glad to be in this dark cave
her head in the palm of my hand
my step on the ocean
my step on the wave
my eye on the carnival
my heart gone to seed
I write like a farmer
up ending the bones
I write for a cat
in my upturned palm

Friday, June 17, 2016



Dad

where is that impish grin
when the big light goes off at night
how does the light slip in
for the curious and the frightful
it goes to me your daughter
who could only guess
that your laughter was
my chance to address every
in-between that you taught me
the dark and unknowing
exploded like chestnuts
at holiday’s undoing
when we wished for everything
and got only time
to discover again snug under a cap
an eye full of questions
a small boy’s chin
caught forever for me
in an old photograph
your thwarted intention
that impish grin
the big light’s turned on
you are in my heart now
that murmur, that missed beat
that impish grin

Friday, June 3, 2016


what grew me

February 25th, 1964
dad in his sorrowful mode
a night like every other night
in the projects where men
check their gloom
my father my hero
alone in the living room
me, in the kitchen
learning to fly
when a man who is beaten
slumps angry and eaten
by what he thought
he might become by chance
or hard work if he tried
until the day he died
alone and resembling
the rumbled and cursed
that day Clay became Ali
our carpet in the projects
was linoleum and free
I stood under the shelf
silent in the kitchen
where the radio was housed
quiet as a mouse
my hero my dad
was grumbling and lost
I cheered in silence
for the man who said NO
I took on my roots
I began to grow in the way
I had done since birth, since impression
I bent to the win
I learned silent  aggression
works wonders when honored
and renewed my lifelong affection for wonder
cheering the man
who fought to be free
of war that enslaves us
that black men and white men will dance
for the masters to ponder
I learned to float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee



Thursday, May 26, 2016


entertaining monkey

hear that cymbal clapping
it’s not me
see that foot a tapping
it’s not me
I work the underbelly
stroke the muse a plenty
go down on her and
make her scream
the audience is just a dream