Left Me Scratching My Head

From the collection Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Left Me Scratching My Head

Guy came into the library
said he’d like to donate these books
Said
sure they’re ten years old but still good
despite their contents being superseded
ten times over and
What
he said
when I grimaced
he said
What do you mean
you don’t think anyone
will be willing to pretend
it’s ten years ago and
the information
these books have to offer
is new
meaningful
in style
au courant?
When I shook my head no
he said
Well, if you don’t want them
then why would I?
he said
and stomped out.

2/28/19
3/5/19

Until I Can No Longer Remember

From Count Syllables on Your Fingers, the collection published in 2020.

Until I Can No Longer Remember

a sense of
caught once never gone
Chlorine sharp
wavery
sun-shot sparkles on my arms
that ripple tattoos

of aqua
freckles. Shoulder to
fingernail
my arms stroke
my shadow swimming solo
along the bottom

of the pool
Elongated and
slipping past
with no sound
but that of silver bubbles
surfacing to breathe

2/1/19
shadorma chain

Give a Call

From the collection Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Give a Call

I feel
gone so far away since then
all of a sudden
it scares me
how about if I call you up
and just a minute or two
would be plenty
don’t want to bother you
but

old memory
I’m hoping

though I know that you
and of course
every other one of you
is old or some of you dead
right along with me
but still
it’d be nice
to be together
there
in the when new
the one more time
wouldn’t it?

2/28/19

A Few New: I Came in Late but the Plot is Clear; Complete Joy

How about a couple of new poems from recent times?

I Came in Late but the Plot is Clear

My favorite little cat eyes
the mouse behind door number two
He has not moved in an hour
Either one of them.
I don’t have time to wait until the curtain
rings down on this small drama
but then again
how will it hurt me to
rest my feet a little?
Pull up a chair
settle in next to the washer
front row and center
here in the basement theater
where
no one moves
but
someone might.

2/19/21

Complete Joy

Zero for the fruit
said the baby
Eight for the pureed peas.
Eleven for the broccoli casserole
because
it spurts out such a berserk stink
or is that me?

Really
said the mother
How you are developing
in such satisfying directions
You are a constant delight to me.
I will buy more broccoli
tomorrow.

2/19/21

Intermezzo

From the collection Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Intermezzo

Black car at intersection
crisscross forward left
easy swing in the
low winter sun aimed just right
The light washing
over windshield glass
one smooth blinding
blink of the eye
squeezing into a tail of dazzle
swiped along the body of the car
cut off at the bumper
falling in the road
where the matte asphalt
swallows it. Gone

while black car carries on
down the straight-line road
returned to
solid black factory paint job
A stray sparkle
thrown off its roof
winks and rolls away

2/28/19
3/5/19

Frost on the Car Windows

From Count Syllables on Your Fingers, the collection published in 2020.

Frost on the Car Windows

Only five
degrees. Zero plus
five degrees.
Very cold.
Man in the next car over
coat-clad and scarfed-in

squeezed behind
the steering wheel and
thick puffed arms
held out straight
knit cap atop cranium
jaunty pompom style

1/31/19
shadorma chain

Little Vines 2/22/21

New Little Vines. Here is this week’s array.

4692.
sweetheart have you got anything else to say
the vowels want to know
if they can go home early tonight

4693.
step out into the bubblegum pink surf
swoon in the sugar-sea-dazed vapor
I’ll catch you and give you candy kisses to revive you

4694.
why separate them
when they are still upright
and having such a good time together?

4695.
you see the shaking hands the jerky motions
the falling mannequin sufficiently ghoulish
you ponder a store window version of eternity

4696.
in the starlight I see
it’s a new set of towels
he’s brought me for a gift tonight

4697.
my sweet tooth
draws the line at a tangerine cadaver

said the old zombie

4698.
Twenty feet above the bottom of the lake
in the blinding shimmer of sunlight
we steer the boat through the waters where you drowned
No one talks about it. Everyone remembers it.

4699.
what immense autumn disappointments
what smoggy mildewed breezes
what limp cornsilk sunshine
are you remembering now?

4700.
do you remember the hand
holding the cigarette so carelessly
the cuff of a fur coat falling away?

4701.
picture a stormy sea
rushing downtown at dawn
the sunrise illuminates the highway full of commuters

4702.
We’re doing bread shots from the basket
the waitress set on the table
Another glass of water please!
It’s thirsty work swallowing crusty carbs

4703.
ponder quietly, contemplative jewel box
tell me which necklace to choose for tonight:
the withered rubies gazing hopeful
the tired emeralds that whisper nonsense?

4704.
a bulky torso parked above spindly legs –
You are describing
either my dad or the china cabinet. Which is it?

4705.
a bitter drink
a staticky radio broadcast of weary piano music
a smoke hue to this afternoon. I wait.

4706.
eventually the house
and its distaste for its inhabitants
merged into a feral howl heard miles away

4707.
I hope I’ve got time for one more snowflake
for it to fall into my palm
turn transparent and dissolve

4708.
Stand still, tearful sad and grieving woman
I’ve got an answer for you on the cat phone:
Pick me up and hug me. I will purr for you.

4709.
the frayed shoelace
aging and anonymous
curled in on itself, distrustful of strangers

4710.
the vehement metronome
in its delirium
pushed the orchestra to the brink of a heart attack

4711.
we will swim in the ice water
emptied out of satin slippers
all night in the wild silver garden

4712.
his soul?
I believe that
if you crave nothingness, this is where it is

4713.
the cave
next to the highway
plucked souls right out of their cars

4714.
cafeteria fire
the honeydew melon
writhing in the flames

4715.
I cried so often in my garden that summer
the roses were consumed
by my salt tears that watered them

4716.
the whine the slap the incessant itching
Yes, we live here on sufferance
the mosquito planet takes its revenge every day

Non-Waterproof Ink

From the collection Use All Your Eyes to See, published 2020.

Non-Waterproof Ink

Slush slush the cars in the street
slop along the asphalt
spatter up the melting snow
draw lines of black on gray
stipple polka-dot stubborn spots
break them down in tire-tread patterns

under white-lined black trees
raining down a thaw in progress

2/21/19

Shadorma 155-156

From Count Syllables on Your Fingers, the collection published in 2020.

Shadorma 155

Speak to me
you say. Your cold hands
grasp mine and
I shudder.
You are Winter. We walk on.
Forced pairing. Not friends.

1/31/19

Shadorma 156

Stepping back
I thought I’d see how
you made out
on your own.
Now we’re at full count. Next pitch –
you have to hit it.

1/31/19