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

Monday, November 16, 2015

Watching the Detectives...



I started watching Mark Harmon and NCIS with dad in Arlington back when he was with Susan.


Jen and I like to catch the syndicated episodes, we rented season 1, and saw the beginning of the series. Whenever I watch, I try to keep track of the “Gibbs Rules” and here are a few I was able to jot into the iPad before it took a bath. Fortunately, nothing is lost to the Cloud. In this time of hyper vigilance, I think of how these rules apply to my own experience in New York City.



Gibbs Rules - Nothing's more boring than perfect. Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness.

2. Always wear gloves.

5. You don't waste good.

8. Never take anything for granted.

10. Never get personally involved

11. When the jobs done, walk away...

12. Never date a co-worker

14. Bend the rule...don't break it

35. Always watch the watchers.

38. Your case, your lead.

42. Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

She Didn't Care for Cats...

For My Mother Rose (1929-2014)

She didn’t care for bed time stories
She knew the price of milk and eggs
Her favorite day was Christmas Morning
She wasn’t one to plead or beg

She was the strongest person
On planet Earth
A force of nature
Since birth

Never sat on the lap of luxury
Her family her treasure trove
She made her way without a partner
She had no license when she drove

She did not like swear words
She loved a good ice cream Sundae
From dusk to dawn she worked it seemed
Monday through to Monday

She raised two unruly young ones
Did all of it mostly alone
She bought cars, and bought a house
She gave us comfort, she made a home

Life will not be the same
Without her
There’s  an emptiness

That won’t ever be filled



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Young, digitally astute poets with loyal online followings have catapulted onto the best-seller lists, where poetry books are scarce



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/business/media/web-poets-society-new-breed-succeeds-in-taking-verse-viral.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

I've been at this a long time.  Trying to get noticed is ever a tricky thing. Without resorting to stunts and gimmicks, or relying on the kindness of strangers, I have managed to carve a modest niche for myself. My expectations go as high as the worth of my work. I figure my lack of success means I'm just not very good. So standards of quality are upheld in some esoteric way.The above referenced article in the New York Times prompted me to immediately publish a poem on Face Book. Which is an old poets venue, I suppose, as opposed to Instagram or Tumblr. Poetry, as with all beauty in Art, is in the eye of the beholder. Most poets dream of getting their work in front of as many appreciative eyes as possible. I guess that is what the "game" is all about. The new generation is forging ahead, clearing their own path. Kudos to them and their society.

If you read further into the article you will learn that a few of the poets have been given a leg up, riding the popularity of established celebrities. Poetry over the ages has proven to be the most democratic of arts. Its popularity ebbs and flows with the times and it is good to see a resurgence flourishing on our latest new democratic medium of the internet. Critics will not be impressed, but given a choice between critical acclaim or popularity, I think most poets would rather have their work read by as many people as possible rather than face being insignificantly obscure. 

Am I bitter? Good question. If I am it is only because I have been drinking my coffee black, for the most part, all my adult life. I have the sense that when I get serious, when I really put the work in that's required, then it will all fall into place. What ever that "IT" is supposed to be, I have yet to decide.

For my few fans of this page, here is what I wrote the other day on my flight from NYC to Greenville, NC, long before I read this article:

Amateur Poet

I stab at truth
With my words
Their points dull
So that no piercing
Insights
Penetrate
To draw blood
Unlike Allan Ginsberg
Wandering a neon fruit
Section
Illuminating night
Like a full moon
In autumn
Following Fathers Walt
And Lorca around
Tuned to their
Frequent and varied
Fires
Which rest in
Promethean hands
Dancing like stars above
Olympus.

I excel
At futility
My fusillade of verbiage
Wounds no one
Except, maybe
Myself.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Today...October 18th, 2015



Sunday, after getting back from a visit to Jen in North Carolina and doing a double at the DOB. Our neighbors, Danya and Andrew are getting married today. I hear them in the hall. A lovely couple just starting out! Like Jen-Scott and me, almost exactly 13 years ago!

 I wrote something at work the other night…It is a speech I imagine myself giving to a room full of inspectors-in-training as I face them for the first time since news broke that my chief, of my very unit, resigned in disgrace.



“I enjoy performing for the people of this city. What I perform is my duty. It is truly sad when someone believes they are above the law. It plays out time and time again. It is especially sad when it is someone so young and talented. It's an indication that he perhaps rose too high too quickly. Service is the most powerful gift one human being can give to another. It is not a submissive act, but the most dominate force known in this world. There are those who think that everyone has a “price.” I call bullshit on that one. When you begin to sully yourself as a person with that type of thinking, when you begin to put a price upon that which is priceless, you lose your way. I will perform for you today and when I leave this room, we owe each other nothing. Nothing except the understanding and a trust that I would never expect anyone to compromise integrity for my gain. Anyone who asks that of you is not your friend.



I am a bricklayer by trade…” (The following I added this peaceful Sunday morning)






As such, I learned the value in meticulous repetition. The choreographed movement of tools and materials that spread mortar and place brick one after another so that from a pile of raw clay and sand, a structure begins to emerge in a place where there once was none. So too does one day of labor follow another so that with careful husbandry and the passing of time I have built for myself a life. I came into this world under very humble circumstances. I have stumbled and fallen more than a few times. I have learned that life is very much like a building. You must have a strong foundation, one that is unyielding and will not shift or settle with the loads imposed. This is the very root of integrity. Firm belief in the basic principles of a just society. Even though there is injustice, only order can defeat chaos. My core belief is that even the smallest, most unrecognized actions I take to paddle against a tide of misery are worthwhile.



I have had my chances for fame and fortune…I may have not been properly prepared for those opportunities at the time, so I did not enjoy the trappings of an early success. I am grateful for that in a way. Grateful because I have slowly come to learn the true value of life. The true power of each individual soul and how it is we who must decide what is important to us. What’s important to me is that the vile demons of our natures not overpower the good. I am where I am, I do what I do, and I make what I make.



Now let’s go to work. These homes, these churches, these places of business will not build themselves…



Monday, September 28, 2015

A Hershey's Kiss for You.

Yesterday I slipped on a pair of jeans I had not worn for quite a while. In the change pocket on my hip I found a little ball of foil wrappers from Hershey’s candy Kisses. There’s only one place it could have come from, and that is my mom’s place.

My mother maintained a crystal candy dish full of all the different incarnations of that candy Kiss. My favorite is the original, of course. I could not resist, on my visits there where she would comment on my growing beer belly and express her concern over my health. What she really didn’t like is the look of me growing older. None the less I would help myself to a candy Kiss or four whenever I was there. The ones with the almond centers were good too.

One of the best memories of my mom is when she took us to Pennsylvania to Hershey Park. I was maybe four or five at the time. I remember the factory where they made those delicious chocolate bars of my youth. We also went to visit some relatives on a farm and I was placed on the first of many horses I would perch upon. Later I would get all spooked by a bull and fall right into a cow pie as I ran from the corral where it was penned. I ran toward my mom only to be intercepted by my laughing great uncle who redirected me to a hose bib where he helped me wash up.

Good times.


All wrapped up in a tiny little ball of candy wrapping foil.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Devil's Lash





…expression of thought and emotion here…goes… I wrote this the other day at work. I had a tune in my head, not original, and worked with that for cadence and rhythm. It is based partly on Johnny Cash’s rendition of “I Hung My Head” and on a pretty girl from my past who worked in the mornings around the corner from General Restoration's industrial South Bronx shop. 

She was engaged to be married to this beautiful man, it’s the only way I know how to describe him. Good natured, good looking, both young, their whole lives ahead of them. Unfortunately and tragically, the young man was killed in a motorcycle accident. Rumor had it that there may have been some intent involved. I never got the full story as I was a casual customer. We drove on Gun Hill Road Sunday, inspiration sparked, the muse began to speak, I took out my phone, and over the course of the day I tapped out the first draft of another morality, biblical type song/poem:


The Devils Lash

Her eyes would glow
Bright with delight
Whenever Beau
Was in her sight

That she was smitten
All could see
Deep in my gut
I wished it was me

I thought if I showed her
She'd understand
Clearly to know me
Was to want my hand

When I saw him on Gun Hill
I had my chance
That's where I first felt
The Devils Lash.

He gave me no problem
No reason to fear
Unaware that his judgement
Was waiting right here

There he was kneeling
By his broken down bike
My tires squealing
As I swerved to the right

Hi-beams were blinding
He was gone in a flash
Once again feeling
The Devil's Lash

There she was grieving
I would go to her now
A shoulder for weeping
Then soon take our vow

But the light in her blue eyes
Completely went out
And no matter how I tried
She clung to his shroud

Then the weight of what I'd done
Fell on my head
We'd never be happy
Never be wed

She'd never have children
Or see them have kids
She'd never know joy again
Or grow old with him

Now I'm just waiting
An empty shell
A wraith for the taking
To the gates of hell

Where all is forsaken
In heaps of brimstone and ash
I'll be tied to a stake and
Given the Devils Lash

On Gun Hill
I made my stand
I cut him down
The good with bad

I took my stand
On Gun Hill
The Devil laughing
He's laughing still



For it was there

On Gun Hill

I chose to kill




Monday, September 14, 2015

Daddy- 1930-2008

Been so busy lately I have not had time to properly write about dad. I think of him every day and I miss him so much. I want to tell him about everything going on in my life.All the good things that have happened, all the trials and tribulations. He was so heroic to hold on for as long as he did, and my sister Susan no less heroic for the way she took such great care of him. It was through the efforts of her and our sisters Martie, Patty, and Joanne, that we had the joy of his presence in our lives for his last years.It does no good for me to look in the mirror for I see his face staring out at me. I think of him and mommy constantly. And what guides me is the faith I have that some how they know me, and what is going on with all the world moment to moment; and it's this faith which supports me. I feel their love and their guidance all around me as I ever try to do the right thing.

David on his horse Lucky

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor: Counting Blessings



Fortunate to have such things
About which to be sad.

Sun setting on summer
Winter soon be here
You are there

I am...not

We are separated
By miles and states
Missing each other
At the fall of the year

Yet our sorrow pales

For we have not drowned
Fleeing tyranny and war
Have not suffocated
Escaping poverty and famine
Or fallen victim
To worse atrocities

Lucky

Fore Bearers
Brought our
Great Grandparents to this
Place
So we could help build
A land of cities

That was
Before we learned
What happened
To the Human Beings
That the rat, plague
And cucaracha all
Came over on the
Nina, Pinta, and
Santa Maria
That below steel spires
And stone pavement
Is buried a history
Of our own
Barbarity.


We are fortunate to be sad
About such things
About too much
To eat or drink
About what to do
With what we think
About the luxury
Of Love we share
About a conscious
Will and nature
To care

We are fortunate to be sad about...
Such things

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Leap of Faith




DAY 1 AGAIN … August 29, 2015


Today I sent my work out to Ben Cesare Sr. who, along with his talented son, Ben Jr., will hopefully make something out of it. They are in Nashville cutting a record as I write. Hope this is a hit...Today I feel truly blessed, even with my troubles which I know could be much worse. So I count my blessings and turn a positive face to the world.



I have so many keys
For locks lost long
Ago.

Why I keep them hanging
On my board
I just don’t know

I’ve been told
I have a hard time
Letting go

But

My hurt that’s hurt forever
Seems so natural



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Highway Muse




Back in Brooklyn, I saw a musician on NY1 Talking about NEW YORK, saying if it doesn’t inspire you, what are you doing here? I am thinking I am not very inspired anymore, hence I write songs, poetry, and stories whenever I am away. Hence...the Highway Muse.



On the way to Williamsburg, the first leg of our journey to Greenville, I saw a road sign on I-95 for “CALVARY ROAD.” The germ of a poem formed and I worked on it to this very day and I now see it wants to be a song. I don’t have the music yet. But I think it will be slow and soulful. Something I would like Johnny Cash to talk/sing. So the sign on the road got me thinking about where I've been and where I am going. Got me wondering about what my father might say to me to day...my literal one as well as the almighty metaphorical...I came up with this so far...


Calvary Road.

My father spoke to me,
In a dream,
He said boy, life
Is not what it seems.

There will be times
When you feel
Fed up and bursting
At the seams.

A day may come
When blood will run
And the very earth
Boils and steams.

As you face these trials
Son, this is what you do:
Listen carefully
To the words I say to you.

Don't talk the talk,
Just walk the walk
That lets everybody know
You're on Calvary Road.

All things you're
Thrall to
Are uneven steps
Along the way.

Do not trouble yourself
With petty cruelty
Nor the heavy burden
Of debt to pay.

Remember well
The path you’re shown
Be not impatient
With the words I say.

As you weather storms
And the strain of time
Remember well
What you've been told.

Don't talk the talk,
Just walk the walk
That lets everyone know
You're on Calvary Road.

My son, my son
Our lives are brief.
Fate can be generous
Or fill your days with grief.

Trust yourself
With a compassionate heart
So all the world will know
The way to Calvary Road.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

GONZO GIRL GOES PUBLIC!!!

Breaking my unintentional BLOG silence here. It's been a busy summer to say the least...but enough about me. I am here to review a new novel by one Cheryl Della Pietra entitled Gonzo Girl published by Touchstone Books and available worldwide.

Oddly enough, though the setting for most of the action is a remote and secluded ranch in Colorado, the many and varied references to our beloved NYC are right there if you know where to look. For instance, as I rode in a cab the other night south along Varick Street, we passed a pub we frequented when ever working around SoHo Rep called "Walker's". I had been an irregular for years during the Paul Rebhan, Harper Gallery days of the mid-1990's. A few blocks further south, West Broadway intersects with "Reade" Street and there you have it.  The name of our antagonist :Walker Reade. A slightly over-the-hill cultural icon struggling with so many demons his writers block becomes near impenetrable. Now back in the day, (and even now) you could start a bar-crawl on Centre Street, proceed west along Reade Street and never make it to the Hudson River! But I digress...




Walker Reade is a thinly veiled portrait of Hunter S. Thompson who is, or was at one time, the master of Gonzo Journalism. (A term which would fit neatly in the Oxford American Dictionary right between "gonorrhea" and "goo".) For me Thompson and his work picked up the torch ignited by the likes of Henry Miller, Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Norman Mailer. He didn't just live in the wild west, he was the wild west of our generation. 

His story is told through the eyes of his latest editorial assistant, Alley Russo, hired to aid him in a faltering attempt at a new novel. Her duties include: lighting his butts, mixing his cocktails, catering to every whim of culinary craving, entertaining his guests (who are among Hollywood's "A" listers of the era), accompanying him on wild car rides, extravagant dinners for two and...oh yes, editing his copy whenever he deigns to write anything coherent.  

Alley is based on Della Pietra's own experience as Thompson's assistant, yet with this fictionalized account, she is able to evoke so much more than just memory for the "good old days" when driving around terrorizing your famous neighbors while high on whatever was just looked upon as good natured hi-jinks. Reade in this portrayal single-handedly embodies our American obsession with excess, and Alley Russo on one woman's journey to find out when enough is enough.

It may be odd to look back at the 80's and 90's and think of them as an age of innocence, but compared to our present situation, it seems almost reasonable that artists like Spalding Gray and Hunter S. Thompson decided to check out early. 

Yet, there is an inherent optimism to this piece. Like if we can survive this, we can survive anything.Though Thompson set the literary world ablaze back in the day, Della Pietra starts a few fires of her own. By the end what I craved was a Grappa Cocktail...and a clove of garlic. 



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Irondale gets Brecht Right…of Left?




I am still very much a student of the theater with a special interest in Bertolt Brecht. His is the kind of theater which is in a class all by itself. Some of his text may be considered great literature, but mainly, it is in the staging of these texts, following tropes set down for his particular vision of what theater should be, where his work is most memorable. So when I heard about Saint Joan of the Stock Yards, (think of this as a mash up between Joan of Arc and Guys N’ Dolls), I was very intrigued. I have seen a few of scripts brought to life. 

Now I can add Saint Joan of the Stockyards. Man. I love the title. Of all the work I have experienced so far, this is the most direct attack on capitalism. If that doesn’t alienate, well Irondale will make sure that before you leave the building you will have been hustled, cajoled, preached to, involved, fed, and hit up for more money. (Irony?). All this will entertain, inform, and move you in the most unconventional of ways.And I think you will love it.

The proceedings were positively Elizabethan with the bar open before the seating, direct address to the audience, clowning, improv, and all the artifice of theatricality laid bare for the spectator to judge, dismiss and then become immersed in the story of not only the characters, but also of the people portraying them.

If you have never seen Brecht performed, this is a must see. The world of Verfremdungseffekt
will materialize before your eyes.


  

Bert Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards


May 22- June 13, 2015
Wednesday-Saturday 7:30PM | Saturday 6 & 13 3PM 
Tickets $25 | Seniors/Students $15 | Matinees $20

IRONDALE ENSEMBLE at the IRONDALE CENTER
85 S Oxford Street
Ft. Greene Brooklyn

Rose Mary Annibale Born May 1929 - Passed June 2014









So, the cable was down, and the coffee maker went on the fritz…so I had to break the one out I got for mom…still had the remains of the last brew in it. I just want to say I am sorry mom, sorry for all the things I failed to do for you. I know you forgive me. Mad as you may have ever gotten toward me, I know you loved me. You are my hero. So brave in the face of terrible adversity. I cannot ever complain, and I refuse to do so because it has been so good. You gave me the work ethic. And I know I get lazy from time to time. It’s just me standing back and admiring it all. Trying to get it all down, trying to figure it all out, all beyond the common crass explanations of a jaded and profane world.


I am sorry I let the moments of our lives pass by like a cloud of smoke, smoke that burned my eyes and made me gag so that I felt I could never be close to anyone who was addicted to a toxic spew, sorry I could not overcome that and spent so many hours on the floor where the air was at least a little fresh. So much, so much I could never tell you…and now from your lofty perch, you know all…so they say and believe…those who believe. I believe I love you. My first love, the same love I share with my sisters, my lovers, and my wives. Love is the only power I will ever have, and that power comes directly from you.



Friday, April 3, 2015

“If you cast this temple down, with-in three days I will rise it up again...”

Easter Journal Entries...

The High Holy days of the Roman Catholic religion are always meaningful to me. Maybe more so this year with the passing of a wonderful friend, brother…a person with whom I shared only good times…and love…So this is Holy Thursday…the day of the Last Supper of Christ after which he is betrayed by Judas. This is the first Easter since mom died.


 I discovered my soul
Don’t know where don’t know when

Somewhere in my past
Just round the bend

So much on a red
Wheel barrow depends

Glazed with rain water
Gleaming

When you touch my hand
The sky opens up

And the stars move so fast
They are streaming

My heart fills with love
I just want to share...

Oh, the time
Has come for dreaming...


Good Friday...a day of reflection and fasting...


I can’t help but think of Tom Johnson, my mom and dad…they have gone but will not be forgotten. I have been running the racket that I am a toxic person and that is why I can’t go back to the “old gang.” There are so many old gangs I have abandoned in my life. Some for their own good, some for mine.

Tom’s death has poked something in me. We have not been close since high school. After his sister, Lynn, and I broke up, I can’t remember much contact with him at all. We went separate ways. I think it was all for the best. My drama was toxic for people trying to be good people. Struggling with their own demons, they didn't need my brand of superior dysfunction, my gaping hole of want and need, my crazy, unrepressed selfishness. My inability to give, truly give of myself only complicated what was an already complicated time in all our lives.

Tom Johnson taught me how to drive in his mother’s car. We drove that shit brown Dodge Dart up and down Watchouge Road. He took me, in that car, to take my driver’s test in Port Richmond. They threw me a surprise 17th birthday party. The only one I’d ever had in my life. When I had fallen from grace, for my 18th birthday, we went to the movies…me, Tom and Kaz went to see Midway. It was the lamest birthday ever. It was perfect.

Maybe I am remembering the past through Rose-colored glasses (pardon the pun Mom), but even though Tom could be an intimidating presence, I felt he always loved me.

I spent many joyful hours with the Johnson’s. I practically lived there for a while. There were members of the clan who weren't overly fond of me or of my relationship with Lynn. But not Tom. He was able to remain loyal to his family, watch out for their best interests, and not vilify me.

Whatever is good in me…that family helped foster. My love of M*A*S*H came from the evening ritual of watching it as a family. I remember my dates with Lynn, we went to movies like Roller Ball with James Cann, and The Who’s Tommy. On the 3rd of July 1975, we all went to a drive-in and saw Jaws. There’s a line in that film where the mayor of Amity exclaims, “Tomorrow is the Fourth of July,” and we just howled with delight. 

 Whatever love I can share now, whatever good I am capable of doing, that relationship, my relationship with the Johnson family, helped enable and reinforce the possibility that there was something positive I had to offer the world. I look back at all the good times, and think of the stupid things I did with a smile. Now, I can only imagine what a reunion would have been like.


The boat that was sinking
landed on your shore

Oh, the time
Has come for redeeming... 





Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Upon the News of Tom Johnson’s Demise

We live many lifetimes, as Shakespeare puts it ..."our acts being seven ages..." Those who knew me between the ages of 14 and 34 knew a troubled soul. Luckily, and with much love from my family, and friends, I found my way safely to the present, but when someone from the pleasantest parts of my tumultuous past are now gone forever, I mourn all the more deeply. Tom Johnson was a leader. He led by example. I have always admired and respected him.His was a life, brief though it was, well lived.

                                    Good bye Tommy, I can say in all honesty I hardly knew ye...

You think maybe it’s time
I wake up?
Take my place in this world?

Earn the term “brother, friend, neighbor,”
And “Husband” to my girl…

Ever the student, never the teacher
What have I really learned?

That the sun is warm
And fire hot
And both have the power to burn

Some folks wander through life
While others blaze a trail

What is the point I wonder.
Are winners just losers
Who know how to fail?

Some just seem to know better
Others seem lost all the time

What’s the difference between searching and finding
The right words to complete my line?

And all the love both given and received
Is what drives us through the dark.

As all our moments of trial and triumph

Are numbered with death’s final mark.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cry, Trojan's, Cry

Usually I find everything The Wooster groups does has merit. Cry Trojans is no exception. However, instead of a review, I wrote a poem in my head on the walk home.

CRY TROJANS
THE WOOSTER GROUP

Echo, Tommy, Robert

Echo

Echo

Simulated violence
Blows to the heads
Of Inuit People

Echo

Echo, Tommy, Robert

Echo

Echo

Cry Trojans, Cassandra

 CRIES

Natalie Wood & Warren Beatty

Helen is a slut

Troilus finds Cressida
Then fate tears them apart
Simulated violence

Lacrosse, Basketball
Ponderous pandering

Echo, Tommy, Robert

Echo

Echo

Straight Home
No beer, no Booze
Wyckoff Street
Sleep…

Echo, Tommy, Robert

Echo

Echo



Sleep.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATTY, MY SISTER.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATTY CAKES! 65 STAYIN’ ALIVE!

Patty cake, patty cake, baker man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!




I call these pics “Soul Sibs.”




        


Marti on her 60th.





 Happy birthday to my sister Patricia Ann...The Goddess Vanessa. 





                

Monday, February 2, 2015

February...Already. Happy Valentine's Day...Mom.


On the 7th day of the 6th month in the year 2014, mom departed this life, my life, our lives.

It has been just about seven months, and I miss her terribly, especially on rainy days, of which this is one.

I feel like getting the Rose tattoo on my left shoulder with MOM in script beneath. She would NOT have liked that. Nor would she like my full, scraggly bear of a beard which I have been cultivating since Thanksgiving. She would have seen me around Christmas and complained and I would have shaved by now.

Instead I just sit here, dragging a comb through my face, and writing a love story about my mother.



Perspective. It is something one gains only with distance. Many can imagine distance. Then there are those with a lack of imagination, or imaginations drifting in different directions. Until one day, it suddenly becomes clear. You think of the time when some one was about to let you in on a pearl. A pearl of wisdom, and someone else shushed them. And now you wonder "what the hell was that all about?" 

Why I insist on learning everything the hard way is rooted deep in the old adage: "No Pain, No Gain." The rock I stand upon is the sense that I have earned my way. I know that could be seen as a fantasy since I am the recipient of white male privilege. Privileged to be male and white! Imagine, to be duty bound to sacrifice my life for the common good, a privilege! Wonder what mom would say about that! I know what she would say: "Don't be ridiculous," (she would say stupid, or dumb, but she would mean ridiculous).

Well, it hurts not to have my mother to talk to. We talked about nothing of import. Gossip about the family. How she was feeling, which she did not like to linger over. Her many and varied activities at the Pointe. In that talking though, there was an indescribable comfort.  And we knew, we both knew, the end was coming. I did not want to see it. Chose not to see it. 

There was a commercial during the day yesterday, maybe even during the Super Bowl. People born in 1914, 1916..I think it was a Dodge commercial. They all looked fantastic, spry, glowing at 99,100 years old. I wanted that for mom, for her to linger here till she was maybe 95. It was selfish of me. She was suffering. Now she is at peace.

And I am in the process of making my peace with that.





Saturday, January 17, 2015

It Came to Me In a Dream

It was lovely
As the woods
Were dark and deep

The very lap
Of high society

But their teeth were
Stained you see
For these were ghosts
That came to me

Ghosts that came
To haunt my dreams
And remind me
Of more bizarre scenes

A grand ball
In a grand hall
Or the lobby

Where our revered kin
Stumble in
And mumble marvelous
Pre-Motion Picture Lines
Of real verse

Like the thoroughly modern
1920's

When poetry
And all its didactic charms
Held us thrall
To magic

Friday, January 16, 2015

SAD FAREWELL

SAMPLE
(Free Stuff on the Streets of New York)

When we moved
Into the hood
Drugs were easy to
Get
Coke and weed

But the best
Things Are Free

The sun blazed on
A late afternoon
And was pleasant
Even if it
Was early January
And the air itself
Froze inside your
Nose
Sterilizing  bronchi
With
          Each
                     Inhale

Still people stop
From brisk walking
To peruse a box
Of books, trinkets
And a chest of
Drawers curbside

Leafing through
Dante’s Inferno
And an IKEA creation
Wondering

How to get it
Back 5 blocks
And up four flights

In some bars
At happy hour
Blue flamed sternos
Warm wings and
JalapeƱo poppers

For the price of a
Guinness or two
You can dine there
Most days of the
Week

Outside the arena
On game day
Samples of soaps
And creams
And sometimes
Dreams
Flow from
Bottomless plastic
Barrels

Thursday is bulk trash
Day
And furniture
Found on sidewalks
Really paved with gold

Filled our studio
In early 4th floor
Over-heated eclectic style

The City giveth
Weekly as
We walked
Naked
Through someone's former
Possessions

Happy to have
Found free stuff
On the streets
Of New York

We made love on
Sundays
To the chime
Of
Church bells

So thankful
For smiles
Laughter
And tears

Flowing like red wine
We tasted
At the free
Tastings!

And it was
Orphan’s Christmas
At SAMPLE
And Orphan’s Halloween
And everything
In between

Now glittered skulls
And garland
Fill paper boxes
Becoming part of the
Free Stuff
On the Sidewalks
Of New York

East side
West side
All around the town
We come up out of
The F Train
And settle ourselves
Down.

There was Maio and Heather,
Janine and Rollins too
Serving up Ploughman’s platters
Wine and spirits too

We would go there often
As often as we could
And always left
So happy

That SAMPLE was in the hood