Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recipe For a Sunday Morning

A stirring lilac breeze for an alarm or,
alternatively, a morning dove's song

Minimum one, maximum two people
absolutely no minors

Several medium-firm pillows
a well-fluffed quilt, untucked

Two auto-frying eggs and strips of bacon
and auto-toasting toast, buttered, triangular

A large glass of freshly-squeezed (by someone else)
pink grapefruit juice

Espresso served in tiny cups à la volonté
steamed milk upon request

A stout newspaper, of which no more than 50%
can be composed of actual news

Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue" looping
in the background

One pair of loose fitting boxer shorts with t-shirt
one pair of bare feet, regardless of the season

And absolutely, positively
no planning whatsoever

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Portrait

Standing in the garden facing the four o’clock sun,
the roses drawn up to their full height,
you approach me from behind, press a piece
of paper and a pencil in my hand and ask me

to draw you a picture. I hold the translucent
sheet up to the light and traced the scene
which slowly soaks through, the proudest
rose bending at its apex due to weight of

its oversized pink blossom, petals spread
by the onset of autumn and swaying gently
in the breeze.  Above it, the soft glow of the
sun seemingly just inches away.

Between them, the silhouettes of distant
evergreens cut across at a slight angle.
Satisfied that there’s nothing left to
capture, I scrawl “The Confession” across

the top of it and hand it back to you.
With a grateful smile, you fold it in three
and slide it into your back pocket before
anointing the rose with your green watering can.

Many thanks for the nomination. I nominate: Classic NYC Story

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Upon Turning Five

Today the clouds mill above us, more white
than grey, content to shuffle their feet,
taciturn and glowering, heads down,
clammy palms buried in deep pockets.

Not at all like the day you were born,
unseasonably warm, fresh sun slathered
on elm leaves which refused to turn their coats
out beside the hospital window, casting your

first colors upon your tiny hands as you slept
upon my chest, gentle green mittens caressing
the base of my neck, not holding so much as
confirming you were where you wanted to be.

This morning was no different, really, though
your feet were on the ground, hands around my
waist, a smile and closed eyes pressed to my hip
before you scurried out the door to school.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October Showers, 6AM

Morning had not yet fit its fingers through the
cracks in the shutters nor was its reflection
visible in the face of the alarm clock,

but I could hear its footsteps in the stairwell,
the soft steps of autumn,  creeping with an
inconsistent rhythm so cold were its toes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


It starts simply enough, a symphony of birds who
Clearly value their constitutions and sleep in,
A leisurely double espresso in bare feet and shorts,
John Coltrane simmering in the kitchen and

Me slouched in a straight back chair at a red and
White striped table centered by a chorus of
Unlit candles and a conically folded white napkin.
Rain patters on the veranda roof in the next room,

Streaming in such a way to pass the dishwater sky
In front of a series of circus mirrors, the stares of
A cigar-chewing fat man, a rail of a girl with a half
Eaten cotton candy and someone with the misfortune

To resemble a pavlova sculpted by a blind man
Read a magazine over my shoulder with interest.
I wonder if the perks of living everyone’s childhood
Pleasure everyday outweighs never having a day of rest and

Being obliged to stand at attention for hours at a time.
I answer my own question silently and lay my
Magazine down as the rain grows still, allowing the sun
 To illuminate a sink full of dirty day-old dishes.

Motivation Letter

I am seeking
                                    Something new
That I know
                                    Something challenging
That I’ll achieve
                                    Something fulfilling
With no surprises
                                    Write back soon

The Poet

I sit in the wake of a day well spent
Bridging  two forest green lawn chairs
With my feet, my bare toes strumming
The holes in the back like a bluesman.

Absent-mindedly parsing thoughts between
The rough hewn strings, above me an
Indecisive sky blows blue then grey then
Blue again while I count the hibiscus blossoms

Which August has already claimed.
I wonder if flowers go to Heaven and –
If so – is it the only afterlife where it rains
Long and regularly with burst of intense sun.

I note the still impeccable state of the red bird
Feeder on the worn white brick wall and
Worry that the neighborhood fowl consider
It a one-star establishment in their travel guides,

No bath, slow room service and only me for
Light entertainment apart from you, opening the
Garden door to ask what I’m doing out here
To which “writing” is my only reply.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keep Your Hat On

Hold this while I pack…
…or am I unpacking?

                                                Neither, really, they’re just
                                                two fallacies eyeballing

us, we shed our skins
whenever we grow out of them

                                                or they grow weary of us
                                                and we slither towards some

familiar thickets to scratch
our bellies, or to bathe in the

                                                long dewy grass, home is
                                                whenever the outside meets

the inside without touching
frequency is a matter of wear

                                                You can keep that…
                                                …I never use it

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gare Centrale

Of all the places you could have been today,
you chose here: five centimeters away,
your back pinning my right arm flat, your
briefcase tenderizing my crotch as the car
twitches out of each station, the penny
of my thoughts stretched into copper wire,
holding me victim to your wife’s
poor choice in cologne.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tintern Abbey

The ancient entry is polished daily
by whispering feet and careful tongues.
Only whispers live here now.
No one profits of the acoustics,
as if they fear direct retribution
From the Holy Mother perched on the West wall.

A placid strait of green sweeps before the alter,
swirling around jagged islands of once proud columns,
a sea which Man or more may stroll toe-to-heel.
The walls seem scaled, the plump fish
Which nourished mind, stomach and soul for centuries
Content to wallow in the valley’s shallow spring.

To stand in its belly, ears alert to
the sun’s arrival in a flock of sparrows,
eyes anticipating the tingle of the approaching wind
through the lilacs you smelled upon entering
this outcrop of Man’s immortal soul,
Is to stand pleasantly corrected.


The sun strikes noon through the elms
and we repose beneath their parasol,
chewing reverend silence with our back teeth
daisies clutched, salting a boulder with our hides,
one small enough to conquer but colossal
enough that our toes blow raspberries
at the thirsting milkweed below.

As much boulders as we were explorers,
chunked quartz and lime measures
for a requiem for a simpler time
when broad men cobbled fortune,
drifting in any direction they chose
and reinventing themselves.
Cyprus could be wrenched by the roots
and stamped anywhere, their leaves
no less stiff, blood and sweat no less
fertile even when imbibed by arid chalk.
One plus one equaled two for but an instant,
men were disposable, women were grainy
and structures were temporally eternal.

Before us, the wind taps cat tails in Introitus,
Kyrie whistles through doors never dreamt of,
the Agnus Dei grazes upon the broad grass
rolling out of trenches which now contain
rather than repel, only the frame remains.
From our perch, we let our petals scatter
in remembrance of a time which bore us and wilted,
our candle lit across the pebbled Earth.


There is no need to feign interest in my deep
lines, pétillant personality exposed by several
millenniums nor in my particular position,
rebelliously pitched amongst the clover and
crabgrass, stoically standing guard before
chain links stretched for no one’s convenience.
You didn’t trek all the way from Heliopolis,
Athens or whatever the place to be is these days
to point your back towards my acrobatic neighbors.
You’re only looking at me now out of obligation,
the tales of this place have grown tails that take
hours to work through, so you find yourself savoring
that moment which you’ve planned and saved for
over a decade while staring at the triple XL cherry
poncho draped across a loquacious woman from Virginia
or pretending not to be annoyed by your three year
old’s constant need to water the English countryside,
whether or not it needs it.
Stones included.