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

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