my book of poetry about September 11th, 2001...and after Available NOW at -click here

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Silent Night

There is so much advice my friend Paul, my spiritual brother, has given me over the years. He counseled me against getting tattoos, for example, and I always disagreed with. However, I think he was right in that he made me wait long enough to figure out just what I want permanently inked onto my skin. I don't want some high art or naked women, skulls with cross bones or even a heart that says "Mother". I want the Pythagorean Theorem. I want Pie. I want the mathematical expression for "Bubbles of Perception" inscribed in fiery letters of the Phoenix onto my back. My friend is exploring the spiritual realm, his body so paper thin that if you touch it it may tear. The hope and the prayer is that he has made the choice to stay with us here in the physical world a bit longer and that his rebirth will bring robust life back into his limbs so soon we will be hugging him once more. As light is re-born on the Solstice, so will Rebhan re-emerge from the ashes of Chemo-therapy. The blizzard of '09 has brought a moment of muffled Peace and quiet to our metropolis, reducing us to a compendium of small towns and villages, and households waiting for loved ones to arrive home from work. The chains on snowplow tires ringing like sleigh bells. Happy Solstice every one.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hubba, Hubba

We had an awesome time at the shoot last Saturday. Nothing went as planned and we still got some awesome shots. Thank you to our lovely models who braved rainy weather and all kinds of setbacks to soldier through with great professional performances. Last weekend was very emotional for me. Shoot on Saturday, work Saturday night...and then to the fond farewell for a man who is no less than my professional father: John "Jack" Meade. I would not be putting food on my table without his influence in my life. He also supported my theatrical ambitions with sincere interest and passion as one who understood the value of the stage and how all the world is one. On this stage Jack is a leading character. A family man, a Union man, and a stand-up guy. I am overwhelmed by his generosity, and his families, to have been invited to say goodbye. This was no tearful wake, but a joyful celebration with a live band and near 200 people.

"It's not how many breaths you take in life, but the moments in life that take your breath away." Jack Meade.

As I left the party, my breath was indeed, taken away at how fortunate I was to have met Jack. I got to tell him and his wife Anna, that I loved them.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Ace of Pentacles is the foundation for all kinds of projects in the real world; this foundation is as valuable as gold, and as solid as concrete. It is the cornerstone of a building that might stand for decades, or crumble to dust after a few years - this is determined by how the rest of the structure is put together. The Ace of Pentacles is not the promise of long-lasting financial and material security that some might expect, but it is the sign that such things are within your reach. It gives you the resources to go in search of higher goals.

What a challenging weekend is ahead of me. Today a dream is about to come true, a dream of creating the best possible art using the very finest of raw materials. The prospect of once again creating something lasting and meaningful gives my life purpose. And the fact that I can involve the people I love and who love me is the only way for me to get through it. This is how the weekend begins...alas it ends not with a wake, but with a celebration of a man's life. I can not say enough about Jack Meade. He was a guide and mentor to me when I was young and in need of direction. We shared many interests. He showed me that there are men of honor and pride everywhere. He is a father, a husband, a leader whose influence has touched millions, though not many know it. As with my friend Paul getting set to go the fourth and final round of chemo, Jack has given me the tools and inspiration to go forward and deal with a life out of balance and bring some equilibrium into the world. And I am not alone, there is a little card reading angel whispering into my ear: "Look up! The Great Work Begins!" Thank you Mystical Marcy! I am present to the possibilities.

"The verb "to temper" means to modify or strengthen by adding a new component to an existing substance or mixture, and this broad definition can be applied to many areas of your life. But all applications of Temperance share the common theme of moderation and balance, culminating in the creation of a centered and well-rounded being."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Windows open and windows close. This was last night as we drove through Times Square toward our next stop on West 45th Street. This city never ceases to amaze me, even after 51 years. I've been told 5 is one of my prime numbers, so this being my 5th decade on Earth, I feel like a good ten years are ahead! I have so much to be thankful for: my friends, my wife, my family, my good fortune to be employed by the greatest city in the world...and our cat! Going for a nap now, Paul is home from the hospital...again! One more round of chemo to go. Thinking of him too, and thankful he is still around. Another friend and mentor of mine is not faring so well. My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family as they face the final curtain.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miracle Manifestation

The Star

The Star
Miracle Manifestation,

My first royalty check came in this week from the sale of my book: After September. I will be donating $58.80 to the National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center. May it be the first of many. Thank you all for your support, for those thinking of holiday gifts...give the gift poetry (tax deductible!).

The Hierophant

The Hierophant

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let Me Down Easy

We, me, Jen and Routh, went to see Anna Deavere Smith last night in Let me Down Easy at 2nd Stage. There was a bit about a boxer getting knocked out. I had flashbacks to The Knitting Factory many years ago and my own solo performance as a boxer who gets knocked out and does not remember how it happened. This one woman tour-de-force takes on Cancer, Health Care Reform, Life, Death and aging in a 95 minute channeling of 20 individuals. Among them a former Tour-de-France champion battling cancer, a supermodel, a bull rider injured on the job, a TV movie critic dieing of cancer, (even a woman who does one person performances!), all interviewed by Smith who impersonates them verbatim with a skill that lives up to her reputation. Last night at our post show discussion over cocktails in the Film Center CafĂ© the question I posed was: “How do we grow old in America now?” For me I can find some great salvation in my work, a reason to live, so I can put this poetry out in hopes that it will inspire others to keep going and face the brutality of our darker natures with luminous offerings of Peace. However, in a culture that seems to value the violent, the young and the beautiful, it seems an up hill battle. The only thing we can do is:

Keep fighting. Thinking of all my loved ones in physical difficulty: Keep fighting. To my loved ones who stand up in front of crowds of people to deliver messages of hope: Keep talking.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Agent Provocateurs

To my friend and Agent Provocateur about to subject himself to another round of trial and error...I salute you. Our thoughts and prayers continue for you and for your friends and family near and dear, keep the strength!

We saw the film "Precious" yesterday with our friends Kelly and Jill, and it is as brutally an honest portrait of urban-American life in the late 1980's as I have ever seen. Raw and powerful, unapologetic and disturbing, real life artfully depicted.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Father

Is it macabre to celebrate the birthday of a loved one after they have passed? I don't know, but it seems to me in the case of my father, when I celebrate his life I am celebrating my own. I love my father very much and have never had an adequate way of showing it. So... I'll just keep marking his arrival and his passing on this earth until the day I no longer am able. He would have been 79 years old today. My thoughts are also with my friend in Florida recovering from his 2nd round of Chemo. Stay strong Rebhan.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

The Alpha and the Omega of my all time favorite character. Here I am the Satyr making a plaster mold in performance of a woman's petite breast. Here what follows is the finished sculpture. Fond memories of the Harper Gallery in Tribeca. My friend Paul continues to battle his illness with the help of his Mystical companion Marcy. My thoughts are with them both during this difficult time. Were I there with him today I would wrap Rebhan in bandages and gauze and parade him around to trick-or-treat on a hand-truck, selling tickets to those who wish to see the Mummy come to life! Haunted indeed. Wishing everyone a spiritual and fun All Hallows Eve. Paul Rebhan is a Saint who marched into my life ages ago. I am forever grateful for my friends.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Anger

People often misinterpret Anger. They think it bad to get angry, to be mad about something. Yet Anger is a very ancient and essential human emotion. It's the way in which we get angry that can be destructive and hurtful. Try to think of all the good anger can do. When we get angry about injustice laws can be made or changed, when we get angry about incompetence, people can be called into account. Anger is on the 7 stages of grief.


Frustration gives way to anger...

The worst thing we can do about Anger is to hide it, bottle it up until the pressure becomes too great and then...POP! We explode in a rage. Face your Anger. Embrace it, for our Anger is trying to inform us. As with all emotions it must be examined from a place of no judgment, no fear, no bias, so we can give our Anger an opportunity to express itself in a positive way.

What do you think Edvard Munch is expressing in his seminal painting? Many say Angst, I say: Anger. Anger need not be ugly nor counter-productive. We need it to survive, to change things, especially ourselves. Some of the greatest gifts we both give and receive are those of forgiveness for our loved ones whom have vented their Anger on us. We have all been there, all been frustrated by seemingly immovable objects and facts of life too terrible to bear. Anger makes us human for it is almost always rational. Always rooted in some tangible thing. Getting to the root is the journey. Be aware of Anger, the how and the why, there is much wisdom in it. MDR

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Witches, Bitches!

A Bitchin' evening with Shakespeare's Witches and some of his Bitches! Great effort by the American Bard Theater Company. Scenes having to do the macabre and death, perfect for this time of year, opened last night with a ghoulish bang. The group, dedicated to First Folio technique, which they gladly illuminate through out a selection of scenes from the Bard to Mamet while relishing in elocution and enunciation, phrasing and pacing to a delightful degree of professionalism.

Stand-outs include Cheri Wicks as Julius Caesar's cautious spouse Calphurnia, Damon Kinard as Othello, Jacob Troy as Mamet's evil Edmond, and Betina Joly as Jose Rivera's Marisol.

Directed by Raven Peters, the players seamlessly meld this material by way of the Scottish Play's Weird Sisters alternatively performed at one time or another by each of the eleven member ensemble with devilish glee. A good way to kick off the Halloween week long festivities. Don't miss it tonight. Check out: also on Face Book and Twitter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Walt Whitman and Levi's

"Pioneers! O pioneers!" I'd heard these words before, now echoing from my television speakers as black and white images of young people having fun in high definition paraded across the screen. I had heard those words before, and instinctively I went to my bookshelf to my last remaining copy of a text from college, my long held paper back copy, pages now yellow with age, my blue BIC pen notes still in its margins, "Leaves of Grass" by the great, great grandfather of American poetry Walt Whitman and sure enough there it was on page 229 of the 1973 Norton Critical edition. Then I looked across to another book shelf of ours and saw our copy of "Poetry Speaks" and thought hang on a moment. Could that actually be Uncle Walt speaking those lines? Low and behold, not "Pioneers! O pioneers!" but an excerpt from "America" was contained there-in which I then heard on another similar ad featuring a half submerged sign AMERICA, along with black and white images of young people having fun in high definition. The significance? The meaning? Let there be no doubt, they are trading on the nostalgia of America, of the genuine article, of the true blue tried and true. Though the authenticity of the actual recording is in doubt, that never stood in the way of a good ad campaign. Now Levi's makes no claim that the recordings are authentic nor that the poet is even Whitman. Yet I am happy these long cherished words are finding a wider audience probably not even aware of their historical significance, just as many are ignorant of America's historical significance. Poetry for mass consumption has not traditionally been well received. Let's see if Levi's sales improve!

On another note, speaking of college and the real thing, Paul has gone through round two of chemo. Still in the hospital, and my thoughts are still with him.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What a Beautiful Day for Baseball

I'm just saying... of course there was no baseball played anywhere today, not professional baseball, not MLB, not play-offs. No World Series. Take note Bud, take note of the icy breath of Phillies and Rockies OVER THE WEEKEND. At night. In the Rocky Mountains! You better pray it's an all Los Angeles series Bud. Otherwise you may be looking at a postponement of the World Series until...SPRING!

On another, more serious note, Paul is back for round two of the chemo. Lets all wish him a better experience than last time. Our good thoughts are with you pal.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

After September on sale NOW

Click here to purchase a copy!

Thank you all for your support. The marketing campaign is about to begin in soon as I can figure out what marketing is, means, does...

This is me just hanging around near the top of the Empire State Building.

Friday, October 2, 2009


October...and the trees are stripped bare...of all they wear...U2

It seems September flew by. What with the fire, the bathroom retro-fit, my friend being deathly ill, I never got to write about my dad at all. On the 8th of September, the day marking one year since his death...I was up to my elbows in soot and bleach trying to clean out our place from the aforementioned disruptions. Hard work always makes me think of him. So he was on my mind, even if I did not get a chance to sit down and watch the video. In a way "After September" is all about moving on from grief, getting present with the most each precious moment of our lives, however seemingly mundane, has to offer, to teach, to share. Here's to you Paul, thank you for believing in me and for having the strength to get better! Here's to you daddy. We will never forget.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paul says Hi.


The greatest times we had, he instigated it all...and there is still much to do. The night this shot was taken we transformed a living gallery into something ethereal. The house was packed, the lips smacked and we got it all on video long before HBO.

YES, that's me in the fangs and the horns.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My FRIEND, Paul Rebhan

Dear my friend, I know you can't read this, but know it is coming to you like prayers from a great distance, but it is as if you are right here with me. You have touched my life in a most profound way and we have always had a non-traditional friendship, an unconditional love between two human beings void of the garbage baggage of this world. My thoughts are with you in your great battle against the force that ravages your body and the chemical warfare you are waging against it which is just as toxic. I know you are on the brink because that is the strategy for this type of treatment. You are the bravest man I ever met. You have been the inspiration to me for the entire time I have known you, as if you were meant to deliver me from madness and narrow mindedness. Which you have done. I continue to practice on the Bubbles of Perception and try to know you and the world we inhabit not through interrogation but through interpretation. I am love. I am non-violent. I am a warrior for peace whose only weapons are my words. There was a time I doubted you, many, many years ago when we were young and I trusted no one. I thought your faith in me was patronizing at best. But after many years of watching you travel the world and do the things many people only dream of, I came to realize how blessed I was to have a person like you in my life to call me friend. You are my best friend. So it is difficult to be so removed from you right now, but this is not about your friends and our comfort, this is about yours. Know that we all pray for a peaceful and painless resolution to the conflict. I know you are in a place I could not dare to imagine, yet you inspire everyone you meet to imagine. You have changed the world for the better, and will continue to do so. Andy Kaufman got nothing on you kid.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chaos, Fire, Mayhem!

So...after the electrical fire in the cellar a week ago today, we are back in the apartment under temporary power. It has been a very hectic week to say the least. The guys were in the middle of changing out our bathroom when they had to drop everything and change everyone's locks because the fire department broke down everyone's doors. We were not home at the time having self-relocated during the construction on the tiny bathroom. We didn't find out until last Sunday when we just stopped in to see how things were going. Things were not going well. The hall still reeks of smoke, it's like 9/11 all over again. Fortunately no one was injured although the restaurant downstairs that makes Jen's favorite food (Peking 2) has been forced to close. Snug is safe and not traumatized thanks to dear friend DD who let us stay in her place for the long weekend which turned into over a week. We are all waiting to see what will happen next. The generator could run out of diesel at any time...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Have To Write About This!

This is Farrah on the ferry from Orient Point Long Island, N.Y., to New London CT. She was a popular doggie. We were taking her from Wainscott in the Hamptons to North Branford, CT to live with her new family. The odyssey started for us the night before when I was at work and Jen was sick with a cold. Neither of us got much sleep at all. Yet when I arrived home from work at about twenty to seven in the morning, my lady was up and ready to roll. The skies were gray and heavy, rain already started to drizzle down. We jumped into the Colorado and headed for eastern Long Island. The ride out was uneventful, yet we were nervous about making our noon reservation for the ferry. Having never taken the South and North Ferry from Shelter Island to the North Fork of Long Island and Orient Point, we were not completely sure of the timing. And we were not sure how long it would take to pack up the pooch and get on our way. However, despite a last second dash to chase some kids on an RV, we got the 2 year old Golden into our truck, said our goodbyes, and headed north. She was a wonderful companion on the road. Not a problem at all, and such a hit with all the other dog loving ferry riders. When we arrived to her new home, we had a warm welcome despite the rain. The dog was soon frolicking in the backyard with her new boy. Mom and dad very happy to have this beautiful creature drop seemingly from heaven to the laps. All in all we feel we did a good thing for everyone concerned. We stayed the night in Guilford, partly because we wanted to make sure no complications arose, and partly because we were both exhausted, and Jen's cold got worse. We summd the trip up in this fashion: Tank of gas: $60.00; Ferry fees: $100.00; Dinner at the Chowder Pot: $80.00: a night in the Guilford Comfort Inn: $180.00...the sight of Farrah pooping in Holly, Jim and Tyler's back yard: PRICELESS

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

After September

Those of you who follow this page are the first to find out that my book of poetry, "After September" is now available on as well as My author page will link you to the book :

Author page:

100% of my royalties are being donated to the:

National September 11 Memorial and Museum
at the World Trade Center

I can't thank everyone enough who has helped bring this project to such rapid fruition. A process begun in early June of 2009 is now complete. Well, almost. Now I have to get the word out and hope people will react. I wrote this book not so much for those who were there that day, though I hope they find it helpful in expressing their own emotions, but for those who were not, those not even born. In a sense this is a milestone in my own emotional recovery from what took place eight years ago. This moment represents my own personal climax to a healing which began on September 12th, 2001.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moving Forward

Some last hurdles have been cleared and I am getting ready for the release of my book of poems. It all started innocently enough when I clicked on an ad on FaceBook which led me to Xlibris and the rest is...about to become history. Don't let anyone tell you that advertising on the internet doesn't work. I only wish that I thought of this a year ago when my dad was still alive. I think he would have been proud. But last year I was up to my eyeballs in work training new recruits at the DOB. No regrets. Everyone says I am a late bloomer. All the details about when and where the release will take place will be duly noted. Stay tuned.

After September
Mark D. Ransom
ISBN: 978-1-4415-5497-0

Mark David Ransom — comes from a long line of craftsmen. His Italian
immigrant great-grandfather worked on the world famous Brooklyn Bridge.
His German/Irish father practiced his trade at the 1964 World’s Fair and
on the State Capital in Albany, NY. He spent many years himself restoring
masonry buildings in the five boroughs, including the Brooklyn Museum and
the Empire State Building. The son of a slate roofer and a bookkeeper, and
educated by the public school system of New York City, Mark’s chosen crafts
have been making song and theater. He has done poetry slams at the Nuyorican
Poet’s Cafe and readings at Reckless in Hell’s Kitchen. He is a member the
White Horse Theater Company where he played the title role of Half in a
workshop production of the original play. A lifelong resident of New York
City, he is a poet, an actor, and a singer/songwriter. As a building inspector
and civil servant, living in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, Mark witnessed the events
of September 11, 2001, from a unique perspective, one that provided him with
the inspiration for this, his first volume of published poetry. In his official
capacity as an inspector, he documents the physical damage of city buildings.
As a poet, he investigates the emotional and psychological topography of a
new era emerging from the old. His chronicle in verse, dedicated to the city of
his birth, is written with words of healing, admiration, respect, and love.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Man at Work

Or maybe I should title this page "Putting Out".

It's not so much about ERT work as it is about poetry...and the poetry is about work. I am collaborating with a bon-i-fide editor, and in negotiations with Xlibris to publish a volume of my poetry on the subject of September 11th, 2001.

This is my big news. I am hoping to pop my cherry, so-to-speak, and enter the world of publishing with this most intimate and personal account in verse of my impressions of the days, weeks, and months that followed that life altering event.

To say the least, I am excited. My poetry has always been another outlet of expression for me, my most immediate, most near and dear to my heart. Sharing it has never come easy. After my father's death, I now feel obligated to let others decide if they care to read me or not. I feel I must give people the opportunity to decide for themselves. Poetry about such an event is something I never felt comfortable submitting to publishers with the possibility of rejection. So I have decided to self-publish, but in order to provide legitimacy to my voice I am working with an accomplished writer and editor who has agreed to take on the task and I can't thank her enough.

As usual I am all over the map. My headshots and resumes are in envelopes ready to be mailed, I am studying rigging, hoisting and tower cranes for an up-coming test, and there's work and overtime and all manner of distractions pulling me this way and that, not to mention a deck to paint and a stoop to repair in Rockland at my sister’s house and a nude beach in New Jersey calling to me on sunny summer days, but hopefully I can manage it all and still get my book out.

My horoscope says this new moon is the right time for this project...and did I mention it's a two book deal? I can publish a second volume at no additional cost. What subject should that book deal with? Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Work Is

What work is…for me. Most people can’t wrap their heads around what it is I do to make a living. I work for the Buildings Department in New York City in a special unit called ERT which stands for “Emergency Response Team” and is basically descriptive of the work we do…except for the hours. We are only activated at night, on weekends and holidays. We are the staff of the department when everyone else is home. Our schedule rotates between seven tours a month consisting of the afternoon and evening of one day and the morning of the next. We work round the clock on weekends and extend those weekends into the various Monday holidays.

Basically, we are the people the Fire Department, the Police Department call when the lives have been saved, and the fires put out. We coordinate recovery efforts, we stabilize situations, we tell the FDNY they can go home, we ask the NYPD to stay and keep an eye on things. This work is also carried on during the day by the myriad of other units in the department. In my line of work, I have witnessed many disturbing things, tragic things, heroic things; I was in my office just six blocks away from the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th and heard the first jet fly by my 14th floor window and an instant later impact tower one. I, we, my colleagues and I, have been responding to fires ever since.

For the past ten years, I have been immersed in training, both giving and receiving. New York City recovered from the devastation downtown and is courageously fighting through this economic recession. None of it would have been possible without the outpouring of support from around the world, and for that; as a New Yorker who stayed to rebuild, I thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, Yes We Did.

Say hello to our little friends. So there we an undisclosed tropical paradise....our long delayed, solitary, all inclusive honeymoon type vacation. It felt good, exotic and strangely a bit dangerous as we relaxed poolside, oceanside, side by side for a week. We almost did not know how to do it at first...but quickly got the hang of it.

White sand and gray bracken

Shoulder a blacktop road

Leading up to and away from

A tongue of rocky beach

Shadowed by the towers of Tulum.

Pane-less portals gape

At deep tossed blue tropical sea

Haven for ancient wind and spirits

Which rule the Earth when we do not.

Flat jungle tangled and twisted

Bleeds down to water’s edge

Like wreckage strewn by

Intangible impacts

In gifts of stormy rage.

From massive heritage of pale blue sky

Hawks circle on high

Sweep wisps of clouds of time as

Weathered petro-glyphs

Say nothing, mean much

Stone hard to my mind

Soft to touch

Bring messages of

The Past.

I wrap my arms around me

Rock forth and back

Like waves on the ocean

And read a solitary sign

From that deserted highway:


Post a watchman at our door

For some unbidden intruder

Invited by the ennui of this age

Seeks to usurp our moneys

Our stones, furs and...

Something more, that inexplicable

Something always more powerful

Greater than...

Sorcery is very strong in this part of Yucatan

Where stars are more than they are

And man is less than large

La Na Bu Ma Ti Yo Nu Ho

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recovery of the Inner Child

The Boy in the Wooden Box

I found him

While on a search for the source

Of some dangerous thoughts

There he was tiny as a pixie

A near naked blue eyed imp

Scrawny but for his bushy blond


Enraged and hidden deep

Within a wooden box

Upon the walls of which

He thrashed and crashed

Angry, shameless, crying

Over his broken family

One long ago fractured and

Splintered under the weight

Of Norman Rockwell’s America

To calm the violent beast in him

I acknowledged his predicament

And I set him on my shoulder

He was abandoned and alone

So, I set about to father him

And to mother him the best I could

Now, when dangerous thoughts

Enter my mind

I know it is time

To bring him forth

Where he stands placated

Holding onto a lock of my gray


Sucking his thumb

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poem for Yesterday Today

Jawbone of an Ass

This shit will rot your brain
This mass media thing selling
Multi media masturbation
Promoting a different kind
Of Onanism

It seduces your intellect
Until the only thing
A brain is good for
Is predicting the plots
Of silly sit-coms

(Forgive my slathering
The dentist got angry
When I ordered composite
Instead of amalgam
And shot my face full
Of pain killer)

They want me on that couch
They need me on that couch
Watching anti-mysterious who-done-its
Finding commercial advertisements
More entertainingly clever
Than the repeat programming
Constantly, annoyingly, more comfortable
And familiar than my own left hand

(The subway smells like
Roach spray
I guess it could be worse
Because even with all these distractions
Even with all these restraints...)

I feel a little more lucid
A little more here
A little more with it, man
With that little, tiny bit
Of Mercury
Removed from the back
Of my Jaw

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Work

Feeling really out of sorts lately. I am trying to figure out how to proceed with my "second act". I've given my self the freedom to do nothing, to loaf, to be lazy, to miss dad, my childhood, my youth. I nap a lot. I love to cook dinner for my wife, my family and our friends. My mom actually let me take her out to dinner on Easter Sunday. She let me pay and everything. It was amazing.

One constant has been the poetry. I am trying something new, a lttle new for me, just going ahead and free writing and maybe trying to figure it out later. Or maybe not figuring it out at all, ever. I put together things from here and there inspired by this and that. I even composed a verse in my sleep one night. I'm going with it. Here's something:

When things fall down
When things collapse
When April feels like October
Wet, cold, and dark

When I miss you
When my world ends

When worlds collide
When cars go crash

When you deny
Your denial
Like a crack of the lash

Paranoia of perfection
Image in the bathroom glass
Is not mine, not me

My wind chimes sing
Of wind and rain
The hardware on the flag pole
Clangs now and again

Busses and trucks hiss
And whoosh
People hurry by slicker-ed and umbrella-ed

When lives diverge
When language
Will not serve
When cruel seasons
Binge and purge

Another cold spring.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I keep losing and finding
The same 10 pounds

Letting the days go by
Is just like it sounds

Leaves bud on trees
Street buskers sing

Without you here
It doesn't mean a thing

Missing you today Pop

Love markie

Monday, April 6, 2009


Reunited: Jennifer-Scott Mobley, Mark Ransom and Steven Rahe at Saturday nights post-show Gala at Actors Theatre of Louisville for the 33rd Annual HUMANA Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY.

A whirl-wind to say the least, we touchd down Friday morning and promptly hooked-up with Steven who works in the Education Department at Actors Theatre. We proceeded to see several plays including: Ameriville, Hard Weather Boating Party, The Tens (as the ten minute plays are lovingly called) and Under Construction.

Though this festival has been around for years and is very highly regarded and respected, it took us this long to make our way out to see it. We will be back. It helps to have a good, old friend living across the Ohio River in New Albany, Indiana to house and entertain you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

I wear black for St. Paddy's day
for it marks the passing of
my Grand Daddy

I never got to say hello
let alone goodbye
as he left us some three years
and a few months
before I was born

a small granite stone on Staten Island
marks his final spot

I miss my father now so much more than ever,
as he missed his father,
now they are together

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov

What a gem. We love CSC, we love the space, and the other night the space was filled with theatrical heavy hitters from Tony Kushner, to Lyn Redgrave…and that was just the audience! I will not pretend to be erudite enough to explore all the layers of meaning I witnessed, suffice to say I learned quite a bit about Chekov, Vanya and theatre in general from such an intimate and powerful portrayal. One of my favorite revelations, the three stages of relationship between man and woman: “Acquaintance, lover, friend.”

It was a long play, yet we were riveted and hung on every word. Good theatre compresses time, and this was a jam packed evening of work which inspires us and never tires us. Nights like this are why we love theatre, why our passion depends on it. What my wife and I share we share through this medium like making love.

Dennis O’Hare was masterful as Vanya, his was an un-assuming portrait of the middle-aged, cynical, yet responsible bachelor exploding with a fury of the quietly desperate. Peter Sarsgaard as the pathetically idealistic and obsessed doctor exposed the tireless physician as overworked, oversexed and completely self absorbed despite his noble causes for saving humankind from itself. Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of our favorite live actresses. We saw here a few years back in Kushner’s “Homebody Kabul” and were thoroughly impressed with her chops. She does not disappoint here and plays a realistic Yelena, brutally honest and totally sympathetic. Over-all I would liken this performance, directed artfully by Austin Pendleton, to a hot night of Jazz music playing blues chords and torch songs with a mute Miles Davis trumpet reaching inside and working at your guts. You marvel at the work, the technique, the craft, but also cannot help but be swept into another dimension be the visceral quality, the absolute spontaneity of every word, every note. We stayed up until one discussing it, and we left before the talk-back began. Bravo.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Black and White

I've got the photos of my family arranged in front of me on my desk. There we can be together without argument or frustration. I miss my dad everyday. I have missed him my entire life. This is a photo of our parents long before any of us were born. I think they said it was Baltimore. I've always liked Baltimore. I even like the word. Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore. I like that Counting Crows song "Raining in Baltimore".


I fear, my dear

I’m sinking down

To a place that can’t be


When you’re not around

I’m going down

Lower than low

That’s where I go

And why that is

I just don’t know

But when I’m alone

I feel so alone.

My mom still has the same brown eyes I first looked into as a baby in her arms. I really love visiting her and looking into those eyes. I makes me feel like I'm at home.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Looking Back

This was then. Then, about fifteen or sixteen years ago. I am still him, just wrapped differently, not too tight, not too often, still mad, still angry, but calm, a lot calmer than before. I was in a lot of pain for this photo shoot. It was summer then, I had gone back to work on the Met Life Building complex on twenty third and Park Avenue South. I used to sunbathe nude at lunch time on the roof, higher than anyone could see. I didn't eat much, didn't drink, just worked, and worked out in a gym that later became a theater where I performed Bruce Springsteen songs. In those days I was in training for my own one man show. The plot was a lot like the one in the "Wrestler" where an old, broken down, busted chump gets a second...or third chance. Now, I am enamoured of the Obituary Cocktail. Two parts Gin (or Vodka) One part Absinthe, 1/2 part dry Vermouth. I've gotten my second and third chances and I am so in love with the lady I married, and so happy I am not driven so crazy as to feel the need to doff my clothes for the camera.

Drinking in the Afternoon

Is it too early

To start drinking?

I’m trying to slow down.

Trying to de-tox

So I can re-tox

I never used to be

A drinking man

But now

I have my favorite bartender

She feels like home to me

So, I married her

And, still I collect them, bartenders

And barmaids

Like some collect

Little porcelain statues.

There is Maya, Mike and Matt

And Routh and those

Whose names

I do not yet know

But who mix and serve

My favorite libations

Suiting every occasion

Today... I am home on a Monday

Afternoon writing

And toasted Lager


My very own ice box

Precedes a night of


We will catch up with each other about our day, I will show her what I made for dinner and we will dine sumtuously. She will give me all the boring details of how New York sucks and we have just got to get out of here, and I will laugh and hang on every word, drift off into my own thoughts, fantasize, and be chastized for not listening, I never listen. "My nerves are bad tonight, yes bad, what shall we do what shall we ever do?" Yet, I love it, all of it, 'specially her. She will never know, they never do. I am older now, I savor everything now. Life is, indeed, short.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008: Year of Gain...and Loss

A more apt title was never composed to describe a year. To sum up briefly: the gains were monetary, the losses...were not. I gained respect, admiration and accomplished, with my co-workers, the feat of training twenty people. I am very proud of what I have been able to offer and give back. I am even more proud that 17 of theses fine civil servants are continuing with the City. Three have chosen other paths. The gain has been to us all. These are measureable results. At my job over the last year, I have been tasked with measuring just what it is we do, and sharing that information with everyone.

The loss, however, is immeasurable. Day by day, hour by hour, I think of Daddy. I think about his life, his enigmatic existence, his tacit demeanor, his stubborn pride and toughness and I just want to live out loud! I want to gather all of life to me and shout. Because if there is one lesson I learned from him, it is that your glass cannot ever overflow enough. I want more poetry, more theatre, more of my cat drinking from his well, more hugs, more passionate kisses, more music, more fun, more giving, more receiving, more nature and more nurture. I want it all...and I want it now. 2009 is: The year of UN-restriction. What ever has been held back shall come forth. Life is too short, even if it is 77 years too short, for bullshit. Happy New Year to you all.