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Thursday, December 31, 2009

GODDESS, Rewrite

The first time I saw you.
I was in a remote world.
It was years ago.

You, yourself, were in a niche, manifest,
In a Hindu temple, a marble figure,
With your eyes carved wide-open.
You were adorned in regal, pageant gown,
Dyed scarlet; gold thread woven within it
Made you shimmer in the flickering candle light;
I noticed your eyes were painted violet.

Your right arm, it protruded direct, out
From the shoulder, it was bent right angle
At the elbow, it had a barely clenched fist atop,
And from your fist a thumb extended
Straight up perpendicular to your head,
Its signal was unmistakable, providential,
It portended good luck, ‘thumb’s up’.

Brass bowls of red-hot coals burned,
They burned perfumed joss sticks at your feet.

Your supplicants queued from portal to portal arch,
They humbly attended chance to implore good fortune.

And they carried on polished metal trays
Oblations of fresh-cut flowers and I remember seeing
Strings of marigolds, cluster upon cluster of pompons,
And with them bunches of large lotus flowers.

They offered all kind of fruit.
There were bananas, coconuts, and pomegranates.

All was splashed with bright vermilion powder,
As if to inform the procession,
To remind those petitioners that once
Your altar demanded blood,
Your countenance necessitated animal sacrifice.

And me, I await, patient.
I am yet another mortal, who prays for favor,
Hope to tease meaning from your stare,
I desire, I wish for you to bless me,

My eyes are locked,
They dwell upon your motionless and painted face.

I hear drums tap out devotional rhythm,
And through the distance a din of flutes and whistles,
Singers repeat your name to accent your ascendancy.
Oh! How deep the people’s love and ardor.

I go deep within my pocket, pull
Wrapped, hard candies, add them to my tray of gifts,
And excitedly show the temple priests,
I wear appropriate raiment. I tell them

My nostrils detect your mango fragrance!

And in the clamor, coming up, almost inaudible,
Against the background noises of the street,
I believe I hear your coded parlance,
'I miss you'. You tell me, you miss me.

I am on my knees, I plea,

Goddess, Love, grant me the serenity
To accept the long absence
Before you are flesh in my arms again,

The courage to change those things about me
So better to pray and be proper devotee,

And the wisdom to remain faithfully yours,
To be yours and yours alone, today, tomorrow,
Whatever obstacles may bar the way,
Stay course steadfast and loyal, fervently always.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

SWEDISH INTERMENT, Illinois Enchantment

Illinois Enchantment

You know it's bullshit, honey,
This talk of visionary moment and prophetic feat,
No more than ploy,
Another way me getting into your pants.

Yet loving you no quick turn of verse,
It is serious task, requiring dedicated effort.

At prognostication I am gifted.
I have always been able to see around corners.
On that, our first night we had slept together,
You may recall, I told you I saw our future,
I knew how it was to transpire.

And once you actually experience,
Live an event which I prefigure,
You recognize about it uncanny familiarity,
Déjà vu, you feel the situation,
As if it were previously known,
Or may have been already played,
An occurrence, you would swear,
You had witnessed ages before.

This power strikes deep. It causes tremble,
And it bestows pleasant excitement;
It makes life expectant.
With me you will learn to swoon and shudder.
You will know warm and be hot all over,
Whereas others freeze in midwinter.

I told you your grandfather speaks to me.
His voice emerges from a dream.
Though the setting is familiar, my own bedroom,
The light comes from afar,
Suffusing the space and me within it,
I dwell in delicious, excellent hues of red and green.

He tells me I am the man of the house,

Oh! He speaks with unmistakable clarity,
Happiness the product of our life together.

I have another secret; I want to share with you.
I envision major experience,
Not unlike Leda's when she learned;
It was a god who had entered her.

You should know from you will issue --
Yes, marvelous to relate! --
Being supreme, a mortal whose
Life and renown, belongs to that golden,
Regal realm, where Homer rules king.

I slip, revealing more than I intend.

I knew it. I recognized it early on in my life,
Long years before your birth,
Within truck farm fields,
Along the rows of cabbage and corn,
My love for you was growing strong,
I had sight then, ears to catch the sounds,
And nose to whiff out the dreams,
Conferred on me, oracular, from on high.

I stepped out from the Hitching Post Diner.
I saw you! It was you.
On the packed-mud bridal path, just ahead,
By a yard or two, down the trail were you,
Your form, it preceded me, walking apace.

This last August, eleventh,
Before we had begun to date,
Between bed sheets wet from too much sweat,
Your heat wakened me.

I rose up, breathed in the air, and
I learned the smell of you!
They were your odors bursting up my nostrils
From the threads of woven cotton,
While me in my bed that lonely summer's night.

I had instantly recognized those fragrances,
Once I slept with you,
Once your presence entered my pores.

And now, again, the moment, fate commands
My fingers on the keyboard in front of me.
Before I had met you,
I realize I heard it, your name!
I heard your name,
It came to me from time, prior,
Yes, actually previous to your birth!

I assure you, when yet not adolescent, a child,
No more than ten or eleven years old,
I witnessed destiny from landscape in Illinois.
The refocusing veils of shimmer, aurora borealis,
The phantasmagoric curtains of shifting color,

So utterly present, then, in a feint,
As if by trick of hand, gone, shows of polar light had
Held me captive; I had fallen to trance, bewitched.

And in the midst of this awesome display,
From the far North, your name, I heard it.

I heard! I heard your name; it was announced,
While green and red flames crackled,
Burned along the vault of the universe,
I looked, glimpsed into future time.

And that very self-same night,
I was no more than ten or eleven years old,
From the backyard lawn of my childhood home,
Facing North and up into nighttime colors,
Once more sky portended hereafter,
It was world beyond my youth and Illinois.

I saw oak trees; they grew outside a low, black iron fence,
Before that fence a fresh, earthen mound,
And at its head a cemetery marker,
My name, it was struck upon a gravestone.
I understood. I knew in an instance the certainty;
The ground I saw upturned, it was in Sweden.

I heard! I heard your name; it was announced,
While green and red flames crackled,
Burned along the vault of the universe,

In a flash, in enchanting shift of color,
I envisioned the circumstance of my own interment.

I was a child, no more than ten or eleven years old,
I stood entranced, captive,
Gazing into the aurora borealis, bewitched.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

BEAT IT! Canal Street Lessons

Canal Street Lessons

Let me comment on our Western tradition;
Money talks, every other thing walks.

Now, in this, mine, particular scene,
Sam is key,
He’s the boss, the king to the thing.

But conduct, also, counts.
Say “Hello! Good mornin’ ma’am!
Do not forget, “Hey babe, how you doing?”
And behind this deportment, be doctrinaire,
Remember to talk three things in one person:

Pussy, the weather and always include
A word or two about sports,
Otherwise masculinity might open to question.

And let us say what things soever the law says,
Get an invoice,
And make sure to write it all in carbon.

Fair and square, it’s hard to trick in duplicate.

I believe, was it not, Saint Simon, who teaches?
“To each according to his need, and
From each get a copy, every transaction.”

Careful with Leo; he is hooked up,
High as a kite and looking for trouble,
He may not remember
How he spoke one day or the other.

And Bernie, he’s the intellectual type,
Try to explain what course of action remains
Good for today and possible tomorrow.

That basement desk with the single light bulb above it,
A hanging one-switch receptacle on a wire,
No shade, why adorn it?
Send the lawsuits down the wooden, threadbare steps,
To bottom, the barely paved, beaten concrete floor,
And have a laugh at the process server’s expense,
What a notion Bernie authored.

And should you go out for a drink,
Keep an eye on Bob whose favored fun,
Slip you a Mickey and laugh while you fall,
Knock your head on the barroom floor.

And Stanley, why he carries a box blade,
He might act to settle a score,
Good Lawd, what a whore!

Sell! Sell! Keep ends tight! And sell!

Today we have diamonds, tomorrow the world!

Say hey, Willie Mays, you’re the greatest,
And now the world knows it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

PLEDGING MY LOVE, Abide with Me, Christmas, 2009

Abide with Me, Christmas, 2009

Abide with me for fast closes day.
Darkness deepens with alacrity,
Nothing halts the night.

Stay with me while time permits,
Yet, when other comforts flee,
Accept I mean the best,
Help, where others only helpless seem,
Spare your soul from bottom and regret.

In every deed, my every word,
I want to be true, do right by you.

Though many things to tell,
One thing sums it right,
One thing huge, deep and great,
With ocean of delight,
My heart embraces you.

You, my love, are all my life today.

I wish to assure, let it be known,
Though you in mortal moment seem,
Great Light, Infinity blesses you.

Happy outcome, your every secret dream,
An absolute alignment, God’s will be done,
That power to carry it out,

And to top it off!

I hold belief, whose strength
No public fire, no coliseum of wild, hungry beasts,
Nor awful rendition, chamber in far-off land,
Might ever shake, nothing my faith dissuades,

Yes! Certain, when I write,

For you awaits the greatest gift,
That each and every early day,
You will have come to believe,
And learn to say,
Thank You, Lord, for life,
And yet all You do for me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


You had better get ready, Princess.
Because when you return to my arms,
I plan to kiss you red, and then
Feed you, until you are plump.

Be forward, and you will see,
You will learn who’s the stronger,
You, the sick little girl,
Or me, your crowned Prince!

Friday, December 18, 2009

RATNA, You May Laugh At Me, A Love Poem Inspired by T. Wijaya
You May Laugh At Me,
A Love Poem Inspired by T. Wijaya

Ratna, you may have left me,
But the blanket on our bed remains.

Sometimes out from the shadows in the street I hear
A chatter; I push open the drapes, look outside,
But see no one. Because the event
Reoccurs daily, at intervals,
Fifteen minutes before the bell of the ninth hour,
I imagine its source children, who hurry, hasten,
Not to be late for school. It is a collective voice,
And it seems to capture, as if these youngsters
Recite my poem, aloud, the words, the meter,
And within its clamor, how the poem means.

The verse swelling over the bedroom window sill,
Out from the shadows in the street,
It seems to express the fire in my heart.
I hear my love for you, said aloud with excellence,
A match, were the poet himself to read the lines,

How strange it must be when in classroom
These students learn, study the language of science,
Realize, my own textbook teaches,
Reveals nothing but great passion and affection,
A knowledge that no everyday, timely attendance,
Might bring to reason, or be sufficient to
Realize with easy, algebraic, chalk–board formulation.

Ratna, my feelings, the terms of my endearment, dwell
Far removed from any chapbook lesson,
I am reminded of the hapless task, trying to reason
The abundance, all the marvel, God bestows
Though we may not merit, no way deserve
His grace, the bounty which freely befalls us.

Ratna, you may laugh at me, but when I awaken
I pretend to percolate coffee for you,
Or that soon I receive your telephone call,
Your voice at the other end, you,
No longer at business, but here, now,
The distance between us breached,
The gap closed, when I hear your vocal timbre.

Ratna, my dreams of you are constant and happy.

You may have gone, flown from my arms,
Still, I remain deeply enamored,
My thoughts of you, our life together, remain indelible,
My remembrance, joy, boundlessly happy,
It burns within my mind’s eye, and warms my soul.

Remember the tree I planted in your garden?
Its fruit has become property of another,
And each and every time I think it over,
Our life, the every moment together,
I find myself sitting back at desk to write,
Hoping to explain, yet though my being over-burdened,
To tell all audience the splendid images,
The visceral weight, and the deep compulsion,
To relive the time our hand in hand held together.

Ratna, in endless run of sentence after sentence,
My life returns to great day, the glory chapters,
Which comprise the big book of our love,
Oh, how thrilled I am to have been at your side.

Ratna, in your heart my love for you may be dead.
But each day I arise in that blue room,
That blue bedroom, where we started the day,
Each day I wake to the same blue sky,
Which houses our Lord, to Him I pray,
I ask for nothing, only His Will for you, for me, today.

Ratna, my lovely light, the dream which floods
Across this room, down upon the key board,
And propels my fingers to write the distance,
How far my heart races,
And this dream, please, believe, no mere chimera,
No flight of fancy, but real as any earthly object
You may now touch or see before you.

Do not fear me; do not fear this verse.

Darling, listen not to friends who claim misgivings,
Who believe I have taken leave of my senses,
That my ultimate design may want best for you.

You know that is not the case.

Ratna, I write in the moment,
This instance sums all a human may possess,
But I mean every word I say for the ages,
World and all posterity to see.

Oh, what a lucky man I have been,
My good fortune, the gratitude I feel in having
Loved you and making your acquaintance.

A DREAM OF YOU, Part III, Desert Vision, A Poem in Three Parts
Part III, Desert Vision,
A Poem in Three Parts

I remember Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
Danny’s store packed with Native American silver,
Bracelets, necklaces and rings, properly displayed
On racks, in trays, locked within
Glass enclosed showcases, on clear shelves,
The velvet pads, the array of colors, Alexander,
My son, maybe eight, but not more than ten,
His years of age, playing behind the counters,
Next to the shotguns, diagonally propped,
On the floor twelve-gauge shells in open boxes,
Should there be need for extended engagement.

I share with you the times when, flying in
From Dallas, the grand noise, engines’ reversal
To land at Sky Harbor, the ground crew,
How they scrambled, and then, rolled up the staircase,
The platform for debarkation, and me, I would descend
The steps full-tilt straight onto the tarmac,
Fahrenheit, ninety-five degrees in early morning,
A rental car awaited me, and I was off
Over to the parking lot at the Dog Track,
To the swap meet that was unfolding and I sought
The cowboy named, Roadrunner, who always had
Tons of loot, the goods, every Sunday’s hauls.

Though at his point, it all seems dream-like,
I recall the very special meeting, when traders
Lined up, raised hands, and one after the other,
Volunteered to say that jewelry great here and
Proclaimed that whosoever is welcomed into
The lounge camper, who greets the Navajo,
Both the man and wife, eyes at slight, diverted,
Who knows the children and divines a pattern,
From their running across the gravel lot, left and right,
Up and down, then unto the asphalt sidewalk,

Who enjoys when they stop to refresh from
The water-cooled, stainless steel, floor-pedal fountain,
That bright sparkling, that eye of the desert,
The stream which gushed upward, next to,
It was on the right side of the pari-mutuel windows.

Upon those persons, who bore witness to the design,
Who abstracted the anagram from behind
The children’s scurry, who traced,
Out upon the open parking space, meaning,
Those, who were brought to new vision,
Sight seen within the minds’ eye, the dance,
The dance holy ones once danced in godly regalia,
Those, who heard within the children’s feet the drums,
The rhythms ancestors had orchestrated
So to let go, leave this material world,
And find entrance to separate reality,
The traders at the meeting, in-order, one-by-one,
Called upon Great Spirit to sanctify their decision,
They bestowed their most precious title,
And among the ghosts and the human beings
One word cemented the union, ‘Friend’.

One Sunday afternoon, I felt good magic
When a child ran up behind me,
He quickly, then, touched the back of my hand.

Later I went up to South Mountain to the home
Of a Mexican. It was painted a distinctive blue.
I bought more jewelry and got into my car,
I took the Express Way North, exited at Bell Road,
And headed to way out West of the city.

At one point, I passed the shopping mall,
I thought about Monday’s appointments,
How a salesman's lot means he sits,
Marks time to wait his turn with buyers.

That night on the concrete patio, the one surrounding
The big swimming pool, at Community Center,
I buck danced to beat, which played
On the rock an’ roll, radio station.

Although it was already that Sunday’s dusk,
And the day’s high temperature had receded,
It still was ninety, over ninety degrees while I sat back
On the lounge chairs and watched Alexander,
Time and again, practice dives off the high board.

Even then, it was long ago, and in Phoenix,
It was you! Darling, I had been waiting for you;
The desert air brought dream of you,
The shimmering, the uplifts, the vertical lines,
Up, upward, shafts of heat rising
Out across the desert vista,
Now I know it, a dream of you and the vision,
My verse racing, galloping through my mind,
Sat at the tip, the tip of my tongue,

I was reciting poetry, not out loud, but to myself,
Though I knew not its power, no idea the prophecy,
I knew not the meaning of that woman,
Who walked out among the columns of earth fever,
And stood next to the Saguaros, in the twilight,
Who I saw for a moment out on horizon,
Seemingly, over and against the floor of the desert,
Before she disappeared leaving me to these lines,
Whose cadences I repeat at key board,
These words I use to describe a dream of you.

Long before I had ever made your actual acquaintance,
A figure in landscape,
I saw her in time prior to when you were born.

At the airport, when security stopped me, I stood
In a booth whose sliding curtains dropped to the floor,
The jewelry I carried, x ray showed
A concentrated jumble of metal, my carry-on bag,
It must needs be opened and inspected.

In that booth, halted before my return to New York City,

That was the moment, the time I began to wonder,
(I tell this event, though it occurred decades ago,
It remains fresh today, as if it were yesterday.)
I began to wonder, when you, when your love might
Saunter in and make my life complete.

A DREAM OF YOU, Parts I & II, Desert Vision, A Poem in Three Parts
Desert Vision, Parts I & II, A Poem in Three Parts

Sweetheart, I know you love me.
I know you appreciate the poetry.

For two years now I have struggled,
Wanting to write history,
A great, big, love poem about us,

The way this thing of ours went
Right from the start, all banners unfurled,
How time marshals forces
Though we go about our daily business,
And children are born and then grow up, think,
Believe fervently they are meant for one thing
To discover later, underneath it all,
A new world order sweeps away the old,
And the fulfillment of prophecy remains unknown,
Until the actual event transpires,
The Word has meaning after the fact,
Books herald events other than those,
Which meet the eye, proof there be script,
Beyond the narrow wish of human endeavor
That we may do one thing, but discover,
Unwittingly we do another.

Today I write, record the moment
Yes, I say that is the way,
The way, it had actually happened.

Now you may follow, dear, should you desire,
How I dedicate verse,
That I compose a story about events
Yet even before I had known you,
Or have had inkling of your name,
I include you in geography,
You had not experienced, an earth, whereupon
Your feet had never trod.


You very well inquire,
How do I acquire such nerve?
-- The actual gall of me, hey! --
To affirm this verse, our story,
Penned, so I claim, solely with you in mind?
How might I affirm to have written events,
That include your presence,
Decades before we even had made acquaintance?

In truth, the matter propels me, no choice,
I do what destiny would have me do.

I found these words,
I had inked them once,
On lined, yellow, perforated sheet,
‘I sit at the desk, night after night,
And sometimes, it's even day and night,
Often I write on topics, quotidian and small,
On matters of no special interest,
Issues, which critics declare,
Want propriety and moment,
And do not belong to sphere of poetic ambition.

Now years have passed,
And choice less still, I write.’

Earlier today, I had packed up your mail,
Readied the address to Coral Gables,
And when you later called and asked
How I was doing, me, under compulsion’s light,
Lonely, slave to love and ardent desire,
I answered 'pathetic.'

No one else will have me.

It as though I have some terrible pox;
Other women see it and shun me.

My mirror image, you,
I cram my schedule, insufficient time,
The day wants the hours,
I have endless list ‘To Do’.

I isolate terribly, talk to no one for the week,
And when friends telephone, I rush them off!
Honest! No time for idle talk, or chat.
No choice! I return to my desk.

I dread any date for lunch.
Sorry! I want only you.

Yet I have that other side,
More than everyday business;
A confidence I wish to share with you and world,
About how I always knew,
Though I came to comprehend only after the fact;
I believe I might say it right,
Watch me now, and let’s see if I say it right!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

YOUNG LOVE, It Drifts Away, IV
It Drifts Away, IV

When we had met, mask of youth,
And its costume was still upon you,
Then the next year, 9/11, it marked the city forever,
Downtown burned, towers had fallen, and all the dead,
Though today, very hard to believe,
The smell dominated the air,
Yet there at last days of December, it was,
All the way to West 26th Street,
A bad omen, I guess.

I remember that Christmas Eve. Later you confided,
Your first and only holiday spent in New York,

You were different then, more girl
Than the grown woman you are today.

You had bought silver jewelry,
I was at market and you stood before the showcase,
Studied the pieces, awaited me to make the move
And price to drop, bargained without word,
Used patience as your tool, you figured,
I was in a hurry, wanted to get home.

It seems halcyon, when I look back,
Though the impact of that infamy surrounded us,
When I picture you, recall your eyes
Expectant, be-all, the end-all,
Tomorrow’s promise, stayed awesome and bright,
I want to say, etched,
But no lines, at that time visited your face.

You were different then, more girl
Than the grown woman you are today.

And you appeared happy, light upon your feet,
I judge your back had not come to bother you yet.
You had a man, and you relished in his friendship,
Maybe you wished the start to family,
Saw for yourself a real, happy ending, hey?

My defenses were still intact,
No idea you would play, lead in dream-wish drama,
Whose title read, cherished above all others,
That when I fell within the sphere of your limbs,
I would start believing,
Make it an apostle’s creed, a matter of faith,
Though love only a feeling, it drifts away.

All good sense and sensibility abandoned, I was yours,
The pleasure of your company engulfed me,
And once I placed my hand upon your knee,
Oh heart beat, beating fast, lasting long, day after day,
Together, no matter what I might have done,
However I might have conspired to end it.

You said, love, now and forever,
I know it’s trite, nothing I should write,
Unworthy of poetry, your promise,
Yeah, until the end of time, and you,
Today I feel, as if, you had purposefully played me,
You laughed at notion, desire might ever wane,
Though love might be only a feeling,
You swore ours here to stay.

Anyone who seeks,
Fervidly wants dream come true,
Gets the sense of what I am saying, knows
The terrible desire, that were it possible,
A replay of yesterday’s grassy splendor,
To enjoy again the glory in the flower,
Despite the rapid descent, the finality marking,
Every bit of human radiance and beauty,
No matter how grand, ambitious the effort,
-- Isn’t it already written? --
The rainbow comes and goes,
Some where out at space time’s edge,
Gamma ray bursts post daily funerary notice.
Entire worlds disappear, who calculates that agony?

No human comprehends the sorrow;
Number and immensity overwhelm us,
And we might simply shrug our shoulders,
What answer when first pain, then life no more?

We acknowledge how impossible to variegate the end,
Great, bright light, then extermination!

And for us, for you and me, it is same story,
Anguish, the very definition,
To cling to silly notions, and hold them right,
When the telephone is off the hook,
And all the doors are shut.

World knows, love, only a feeling,
It drifts away, and, I, fool, believed, I believed,
I thought at odds, forgot the foreboding,
Paid no heed to events, the remains,
The awful atmosphere of Christmas, that December,
Instead, sure we had mastered of our affections,
Our land, the land called Eden,
Positive we had won, and continued the delusion
That, and as you had promised, ours was special,
And contrary to every dictate of reason,
I had come to believe we had found it,
Love, here to stay, bright sun, morning after morning,
Endless awakening, fresh flowers everyday,
A bed with gorgeous sheets and pillows fluffed,
Despite love, it being only a feeling,
Like the youth, we at one time owned, and
Had been our possession, it drifts away.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BY LOVE BEGUILED, In Mood Subjunctive, Rewrite
In Mood Subjunctive,

Don't get me wrong.
If I appear distracted,
Look knocked out by the light.
You make a very strong performance,
A singularity round whose axis my mind spins.

I remember once, years ago,
When I landed in New York,
After living a year and half in Europe,
How the neon of America,
It appeared so awesomely garish, and bright.
Yet, when I close my eyes and picture it,

All seem pale before the radiance of your face.

Two people meet for morning breakfast,
Look out the café's window at the steady rain,
Walk here and there along avenues of
Inviting store fronts, and before the day is over
Fall into hopeless passion one for the other,
As though there be something in the air,
Perhaps some electromagnetic charge.
So the occasional electricity might overwhelm us.

Or cupid steal behind fixtures of thoroughfares.
(That day I spied him crouched near a mailbox,
At start of our walk on Main Street in Point Pleasant!)

The winged child, he pull from his quiver, arrows;
They drip wet with potion. Once he aim
And shoot them, grievously they tear mortal flesh
To make for a ruckus extraordinaire
And expectations suddenly become great.

This romance presses hard upon me.
It’s a love I am compelled to profess.

To gain your confidence,
To prove my mind sound, not at loss to reason,
I couch my verse in mood, subjunctive,
A grammar I use hoping to temper
My over-wrought affection and quiet,
Soften the immodest and elevated parlance.

Were I not to employ this principle of language,
One might believe my love for you be shameless.

The mood, also, provides proper relief
For the all, too-far-out attitude, the conceit,
Whose command animates my senses,
That I have come to possess a gift, as it were,
Higher power grant me prophetic mantle.

Understand. I solely express my own wish and desire.
All I say remain contingent
Of mind still hypothetical and dependent.

I do not use the imperative, I make no demand.

I have no special outcome in mind.
I dwell in fortress called Zion,
And come from it in the Pilgrims' coat and hat.
I look in the mirror and see their collar and tie.
And, like those passengers on board the Mayflower,
I know the Lord to be my helper. I fear not.

Who among your former friends has ever said it better?

And were you to live long and hearty life
As all actuaries predict, what future friend
Might ever phrase it near as well as I have put it?

And if you for a moment consider,

This lyric arrive, transcending everyday concerns,
That it join, Sentiment Supreme, Him, the real pilot,

When we drove in the white, Ford van and crossed
Jersey's North shore highways, while the soft brown,

Oh that magic, dream-like, living, pale, ethereal,

And somewhat golden light accented the downpours,
Whose constant unleashed falling, more
Like rain the Lord had promised Noah,
Than any explicable, temporary weather.

Wie es eigentlich gewesen war.
”The carriage held but just us -- and immortality.”

And when we drove that first time together,
Though it is months ago, and now amounts to years,
All the time past, it feel shorter than the day, the day
I first surmised the engine's mounts
Were tied to point, and we, too, were belted,
Hurled straight ahead in solemn league.

Mercy, let it be known, Mercy freely bestowed,

Not for this, the one earthly moment,
But for our children’s children,
Drawn and signed, delivered,
A grant for us and them, settled in this verse,
Sure as Word once promised Abraham.

I hear the text my grandmother spoke.
I picture her at work while she iron and fold,
I watch her nod the affirmative nod,
Repeat to you what she said to me,

“And I will bless them that bless you,
And curse him that curses you:
And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

EMMANUEL, West Houston Street Encounter
West Houston Street Encounter

Say! Excuse me, Mister.

Wonder, might you spare some change?

Believe it or not, I was once a teacher;
I had a home in New Canaan, a wife and kids.

And good religious education,
I learned the books of the Bible,
Always felt myself a righteous man.

You might find it hard to believe,
Given current circumstances,
But it's true!

Think on it, mister.

It’s true!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SHOUT OUT, Ecstasy Overpowers, edited
Ecstasy Overpowers, edited

Uneasy, when it came to sex,
You made me feel
I was doing you wrong.
Your body stiffened,
And, I remember, once you said,
“Too incredibly intimate!”

Later I watched in movies,
Men drop to the knees,
It seemed nothing special,
No more than regular business,
Hollywood does its usual fare.

In a recent film with a Bedouin setting,
North Africa, camels on route,
Over windy hills of sand, oasis to oasis,
Hardly a trend setter,
The lead takes his captive,
Wife number three, and there
Within the walls of village home,
He keels, while camera spies,
He takes love by mouth.

Since I knelt before you,
It is months now.
I wish I might kneel,
As the sheik did!
But you, and health, and work,
And sleep, they have gone,
Fled irrevocably!

I wake in the middle of shouts.

I taste you, still.
The taste, it fills my mouth.
I try to write,
But swoon instead.

Were I not lost, driven to distraction,
Were I able to clear the mind
And return to proper perspective,
This poem might read better by far.

Oh, Oh goodness!
Fetch a chair! ...Never mind,
I’m fine. I’m okay.

It’s the terrible heat!

Friday, December 4, 2009

CATULLUS POEM 58, An Adaptation of a Love Poem
An Adaptation of a Love Poem

Johnny! It’s Lesbia, our Lesbia,

That Lesbia, the girl, Stanley loved,
Loved more than self and all he calls his own,
Now at the Great Hall, Chicago, Union Station,
Up and down the polished marble floors,
She goes high-heeled, black boots,
A short skirt, and an open blouse,
Corn, she husks corn,
For any them,
For any of the spoiled sons of Lincoln!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WELL, WELL, WELL! Her Pretense
Her Pretense

Well, well, well!

It won’t be long now,
Our love, how it plays its final story,
Like all else in world’s glory,
Soon end and be no more.

Perhaps we never meet again.
We learn the awful ache,
What separation means,
When time runs out, and we see
It’s too late to mend a heart
That has been rendered, torn apart.

Right now I feel it’s true,
We will never meet again, while
Yet we remain this side of heaven, while
Still we abide earth’s shore of the river.

Strange, yeah, our fragile hope
That you stop it with your forked tongue,
Abandon your bad habit, and proclaim,

Admit it; you broke the deal,
And, as for me, you know the story,
Surrender, otherwise, forget it.

Just tell all, say to one and all,
I am gone, you’ve done me wrong.
I swear, I don’t care, I don’t care.
I am gone, gone, gone, gone!

The hurt is bad, real bad.
I am through with you in my face.

Remember the time when I begged,
Had to ask, time after time, again,
An easy request, I wanted a few month’s itinerary.

You pretended not to know the meaning,
You pretended not to know
The meaning of the common English word,
And when you finally succumbed,
Sent me your plans,
Not a word of it proved true.

Awful, actually very sad,
After all the time we had spent together,
Treachery, simplest poetic conceit sums it,
It was game; you played me.
You had pack of lies.

I’ve had it! I’m really gone! Moved on,
Because you done me wrong!

BEWARE, Reckless Love, II
Reckless Love, II

Should this book pleasure you, beware!
Know an idolater has made it,
Although he sought to subjoin words to holy theme,
The good news that earth and spirit be one,
He failed and remains unredeemed,
Then to his hands that writ he did betake,
Which he disclosing read, thus as the paper spoke

That it had been sworn,
Even every single line of verse,
And all else he calls his own,
Believe it or not, his life itself,
To graven image, he worships
Finite woman, a girl made of flesh and bone.

For her, it was all for her, for her alone,
He had conserved his health and appearance,
He tempted fame and fortune,
And since the days of youth,
When he marched in line, the bishop’s Confirmation,
No sacrament meant more to him than day with her.

And he waited;
He waited as no else could have waited,
No one in this world would have waited for her,
For anyone, as he waited for her, his patience,
Unparalleled, he had not despaired. Believe me, believe,
Reader, though it sound trite, he exampled axiom
Within the human breast, hope springs eternal.

Oh dreamy picture of love,
That all force of history might conspire,
Act to exact his design, no, no, not reckless,
But true, he built for the future,
Knew it was right, that she return to his arms
As surely as the clock measured the hours
He waited for her, heart and mind,
He waited for her as no one else would have waited!

Let me drop the pretense,
This whole business of third person,

As deer crave for running waters,
So I crave, so I crave, so I crave for you,
As a mother wish for an absent daughter,
So I wish, so I wish, so I wish for you,
As father long for return of prodigal son,
So I long, so I long, so I long for you,
As a pastor ache for member lost to church’s flock,
So I ache, so I ache, so I ache for you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ROMANTIC, Love Lockdown, edited
Love Lockdown, edited

I miss you, honey.
I miss going to dinner with you.
Everywhere I look, up and down the streets,
I keep thinking I see you.
It’s the damnedest thing!

By the way, I’ve decided to discard,
Throw out some of the poetry, I wrote.
Of course, you must know why!
It has me loving you too much.

Oh! Those notes I took,
The records of our long-distance telephone conversations,
Sister, that’s a painful lot!

I documented all your promises, your assurances.
I made you repeat them.
I hoped thereby you might remember
How many times you had given me your word.

I wrote them all down, my questions, your answers.

I can look back, should anyone have interest,
And figure the exact dates of those, your pledges.

But the exercise would require work,
Because in the ledgers of those,
Our continent-to-continent dialogues,
I reckoned time according to lunar calendar.
They read, for instance, first, Monday, December.

Across one sheet I marked significant,
You had telephoned me from Florida this last October,
The day directly following the second, the Harvest Moon,
A moon whose rise the previous night
I had sighted over Forest Avenue.

Upon those papers I sometimes drew,
(The right term here might be doodled.)
Regular zodiac signs, pretended knowledge.
I played role of old-time astrologer,
Who predicated life’s lot on planetary whirl,
Who posited fortune from abstract, our lives
On conjunction of heavenly bodies within a starry belt,
I was dream-wishing.
It was make-believe, pathetic.

Might your last satellite communication, I wondered,
Be housed on plane with moon in constellation, Leo?

It all gets very primitive when dealing with you.


When I concentrate,
Concentrate on my abandon, on my love,
Thoroughly examine the extent of my feelings,
My heart wells, fills up like a balloon, ready to burst.

Overwhelmed, stretched to utmost circumference,
Its membrane reaches thinnest extreme,
It helps to explain
Just how sensitive I am to your every desire.

If I remember to relax,
Should I try to stop holding on,
Just simply let you go,
Then I can not help but feel gratitude,
Give thanks for the time
I had opportunity to spend with you.

At other times I fall to absolute delusion,
And believe I write great poetry,
The words I pen immortal,
Celebrate you and me for the ages,
That future reader discover my dreams of you,
And pine and swoon as I do here,
Know that ours was destiny, and yes,
Wonder what higher power allowed lyric to express
Love beyond belief.

I guess I believe we are constantly being born.
I go through all these thoughts, again – again,
Hoping against hope,
Seeking a glimmer, some glimmer,
Fingers crossed for incredible stroke of luck,
Trust your return to my arms once more.


I have a real problem;
It’s when I look about.
I see other couples, pairs, tight,
Together for the afternoon, daylight upon their faces,
All lovey-dovey, they walk along the avenues.

It bothers me seeing them; they sit in cafes and read
Newspapers and books, and sip from bottles of water.

I envy them. I do not have you.
World seems happier place
When people have each other to depend on,
And romance animates their bodies and faces.

I am sorry to conclude, you’re a mean person.
You went away; my sole companion now my work.

Am I making this up as I go along?

But you did go and I am home alone.
You left me all by myself with my freedom.
I fear, I have fallen prey to mine own emptiness.

Were you to belong to me, I swear I wouldn’t,
I wouldn’t share you with any one, with anything.
Time and place reduced to you and me,
You at center of it all!

Oh, dream comes true!

It would feel more like love, sweet love,
Than me, here, sitting lost,
Trying to figure the situation, or
How I might say it proper,
Finally to convince you, love too precious a thing,
Once, often once in a life-time event,
And ought never be disclaimed, or abandoned.

Hope I have not upset you.

Maybe that is the real difficulty,
The source of us being driven apart,
I am just too romantic
You seek something other,
Maybe you are simply more practical, reasonable.
My flights of fancy and over-heated emotion,
Not things you have in mind.

Do not worry!
I have the capability of living with my beliefs.

But, darling, you must take pity,
Open your heart -- for you say you still love me.
Mercy please! Forgive me, I lack resolve.

I am unable to start anew, to make life without you.

I am still not over this thing of ours.

I have not gotten over it, the beauty,
All the wondrous times,

I have not gotten over my being with you.

ABJECT, Morris

After Etta left him,
Morris was down and out,
In very dark state and exceedingly lonely,
But then he met Penny,
And his world, it brightened again.

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