AFTER SEPTEMBER
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunset In America?


"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

William Faulkner



I consider myself an optimist. Not an intellectual. In fact, I am only now starting to formulate the questions which define my reality. Something most of you reading this did long ago. Hey, better late than never. I write this in the solitude of my rent stabilized Brooklyn apartment where fully half of my income is paid in rent. Yet, my landlords want more.

I write to you this day after a political convention dominates the news even as two more police officers were shot in California, one fatally. Yet, that story is relegated to page two of our collective national newspaper.

The questions I am beginning to ask are fundamental.

Must we be at war with ourselves everyday? Has life become so cheap and meaningless we would be willing to sacrifice our children at an unholy alter? What is "Holiness"? Do we put too much power in the hands of a few and call it democracy? Is it really all about what it looks like? Who puts the value on wealth and money? Where have all the true "Leaders"gone? Is POKEMON evil?

Hillary or Donald?

Really?

Is that all we got? Our American radical extremes made manifest in the persons of a hustler who is a cross between PT Barnum and Larry Flynt, (no disrespect to Larry Flynt), and a career politician uniquely positioned to make history by becoming a "first" woman President of the United States?
(No disrespect intended to either women or to the word United.)

My last question for this missive is this: How many more officers in blue, and the people whom they are sworn to protect and serve will die before November because day after day our eyes are on a sparkling piece of costume jewelry distracting us from the issues dragging our sun into a long, deep, dark night?




Friday, June 24, 2016

BROOKLYN IS THE LEAST AFFORDABLE PLACE TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY.

Marooned in Brooklyn. Red dust, red Planet, red Brooklyn. Unlike God Mars I am powerless to lift my Earthly carcass off the dirty ground of a heartless place and soar into the sky of freedom. Burdensome issues of individual rights and moral imperatives fetter my already bound limbs. There is a current of fear in the world. This is why I think I want to name our new house: Serenity. A safe haven for poets, and artists, and for those who live the word Possibility.


Who would choose this?



Over this?



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Father's Day


"  ...a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again," 
Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 William Shakespeare

My relationship with my father was and is complex. Suffice to say I love him as much for his faults as I do for his virtues. So it is for all the world, if we be compassionate, rational beings. I miss him.


Fallen

On May 29
At 2:15 am
The moon rises

It is a gibbous moon.
Pale yellow.
Like young wheat...

When we heard you fell,
we didn't know you died.

But that young man
who swooped me up
with one arm
after work
with a scent of tar
and slate

Never came home.

Instead,
two different men
replaced our dad.

One a quiet charmer, thoughtful,
bright and sharp.
Terse on most subjects
of any import.

The other a Devilish drunk
who loved to squeeze too tight
and smelled of beer
and booze and too many smokes.

But they both shared
a sad, proud limp.

I never asked him what
date it had been.
I knew it was a Saturday,
then
but I never knew
his anniversary
marking the day
He fell

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happy Birthday , Mom in Heaven







Rose Mary

What will I miss most about life
when furnace fire darkens down
behind my lidded eyes?

Will I miss most
those rose water dawns of spring,
bright fresh mid-summer mornings,
late lazy autumnal afternoons?

Or blazing rouge sunsets
with evenings of bejeweled
purple sky and cold weather warmth
of long dark winter nights?

What will I miss most about life?
The music or the musician
the actor or the play
the painting or the artist
the sculptor or the clay?

A scent of dew after rain,
touch of your hand upon my neck
bread and wine of the host?

Oh!

I know well
what I will miss most.
When all else is done.

That would be you, mommy
And dreams.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day









For Rose

I want to write a poem
About the women in my life
I want to write a song
About their power
And their light

I want to write about
How they roll up their sleeves
And go to work
When their men
Fail them

I want to write about 
How they never give up
How they make me laugh
When I am sad
How they comfort me
The moment I hear thunder

I want to write about how
They feed me when I hunger
How they nurse me when I am ill
How they calm me when I am enraged
How they teach me not to kill

I want to write about
How they taught me to love
The kind dumb animals of this world
How to bear and rise above
With the definition of the word “friendship”

I want to write about how
They can be 12 places at once
Making sure everyone has what they need
I want to write about how they walk in
When everyone else leaves

I want to write about the women
Who strap iron bars to their backs
And carry them up 6 flights of stairs
Just to ward off the fear attack

I want to write about the women
Who give birth
Not just to babies
But to the very earth

I want to write about
That special woman who gave me life
I want to write about all the women
Who've helped me make it through the night


I want to write about these women 
My mothers, my lovers, my sisters and my wife
But every time I try 
Their courage and their beauty and their strength
Humbles me


To silence






Saturday, April 30, 2016

And We'll Walk in the Sun...out of Brooklyn...



“March, 2000


My car parked on the Friday side
with a ticket on its windshield

Never the less
Brooklyn has been kind to me
Gentler even than Staten Island or
Manhattan

Pelting searing
raindrops
drown a surreal
Wycoff Street-scape in liquid
Ash

My coffee grinder churns out words
and in the black grounds
Beat murmurings of
an unconscious Allen Ginsberg
whose own bones channel
the lost conscience of an
excavation retro generation
flayed and
Hung

Lioness March wind
cruelly soaking April in her black
Mad Cow Skirt
blew the window open
So I had to battle
Fire and Limestone
Freezing and thawing
my manic Ambition which
lies else where
having toured Wall Streets
Beverly Hills
and remains
Unimpressed.”




“April 7, 2000

I had my teeth knocked out
When I was 16
That’s why the front ones look white
While the rest look green

So what qualifies you
To represent me on that
Silver screen
When I’ve been the places I’ve been
Seen the things I’ve seen?

I was repressed and obsessed
Wound up intense and undressed
Went to Fuck U after
Graduating a school for Hard Knox
When I “came out” all I saw
Were wet cunts and
Hard cocks

How can you show me
About my life?
About my alcoholic father
Or dysfunctional ex-wife?

I can represent myself
If I live that long
Take my Dog down off that shelf
Listen to this song.”



Friday, April 29, 2016

And We'll Walk in the Sun...with Gonzo Girl...



More from my journals past before getting present…

“May 18th, 2000

Tears on the Verge of being on the Verge
Sometimes I feel like there is everywhere to go
And I can’t understand—

What’s stopping me”

April 29, 2016

Last night, this morning, I dreamed my mother died and I finally cried. I was finally able to mourn her passing, to feel my protective layer dissolve and to let the grief of her passing, of her loss, wash over me. I cried in my dream. I was trying to get back to her, I was in Chicago on a business trip trying to get a flight back because I was told she had died and I was frantic. Strangers were helping me navigate the bars and bureaucracy of Midway Airport. It was beyond sad, and a little bizarre.

Sort of like the life of Hunter S. Thompson. If you have ever wondered about the man played by Johnny Depp in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” then you will want to read Gonzo Girl by Cheryl Della Pietra. Just out in paperback, it is the story of a young woman born and raised in the protective custody of our East Coast, daring to Go West and experience the tumultuous drama of genius and human frailty in a totally immersive adventure to the edge of sanity and back.






I relate to Thompson because he was my dad. I mean my dad was him, minus the literary talent, creative genius and penchant for suicide. But the drugs, booze, guns, women,— they were twin sons of different mothers. Both craftsmen, my dad working with tin and slate, Thompson with words, both exploring the limits of freedom, physically and metaphorically. My dad died in 2008 after years of self-abuse and slow physical erosion from the effects of a 30 foot fall off a roof when he was in the prime of his life. Thompson checked out by his own hand in 2005 as his health too deteriorated. His story is the story on manhood in America in the 20th century.

If you have yet to check this book out, it is a great read. I highly recommend it.