Poems February 2010


Too long, too tired
Too beaten up to care.

Now it's 2:15
And it's tomorrow
A new day

God, at 2:16 make into a new man
Such that to others I'm different and to me, somewhat the same


February 28, 2010


Fresh washed pillows
Don't help
Those guys
Guys like that
Saw through the house
We return to it
Notice nothing too wrong to cause our speaking
And then we are out
Old with gray clothes


February 27, 2010


I close my eyes and still see light
Softened blobs of it

And I wonder at it in my eyes or rather
It is deeply held in my imagination

Sleep now, boy.

February 26, 2010


The window at half-mast
Simply leave it
Along with the socks
As they are on the floor
And those unpaid bills

There are people to call
And lazy chatter over
Small meals

Then a walk past closed shops
On a street the reminds visitors
Of another place, reminding us of where we aren't.


February 25, 2010


The night walks on
Past your particular disease
And down the path from your summit in 1997
The vintage that was bottled never to be even tasted
Thrown out instead with all the plans and sketches and other garbage you still carry and cannot put down

Even tonight
when there is a woman and rain
You are alone in your head
counting your curses

February 24, 2010


When will you learn what you are?
the slow rain asked

Look at your little house,
your job,
that car...
Isn't it clear?

Her voice cracked and choked
But already he was gone


February 23, 2010

Who 22

where are you
when you're right beside
wherever I might be
where I am or what I am
or who I might be
is of minor concern
why worry
why bother
why question
why hike into these strange foothills
where even you dread walking
with me living
with me is so difficult
when I will live like a hermet
while you stand in an empty yard
while I eat alone


February 22, 2010

Ticking Dust

The ticking dust
Climbs over the headboard
And down onto the pillows

Alarms are set
Children tucked

And still the ticking dust
Climbs down over me

My feet search for cold spots under the blankets
And the weight of worn clothes
As I search for a dream from which I cannot awake

February 21, 2010


My feet hurt
Sympathetic to the wanderings of my mind
I walk miles and never move

But most of all, I'm wearing out from the outside in

I'm wearing inward
One day to become a ball
A round milkdud of a human
Up all day, boxed at night


February 20, 2010

A Nachtpoem

A man proceeds drifting down the street
He smells something we can't smell

We smell home fires, grilling, pies and cakes baking, the common home smells

But our man on the street licks his lips, opens the door to the house, closes it behind and shuts off the lights.

February 18, 2010


Who are you
When the wind stops its restlessness
And lies calm and dormant at your feet?

In the dark there are melodies and voices in the sounds of the house, the motors in the fans, the working of the mattress and blankets

The blind and its window are cracked the width of a finger open
A knife of air strikes your face from it. It's good. It is

February 17, 2010


Soft glow
Moonswept lighthouse water

Cable knit sweaters
French braids
Shy upturned nose

Laugh lines
Crows feet across
The snow mixed with sand

They'll be wanting us back at the house

But we have a moment to pull your hair ribbon and wrestle the wind.


February 16, 2010

Too bright, too loud

At seconds before midnight
The clock is too bright
The tick it too loud
The pants sit too low
The color is wrong
The hair not quite right
The breath a bit off
The words ill chosen, the sentence badly formed
The thoughts tainted
The heart ok
The intentions as purely as deeply as can be scrutinized
The names forgotten
The river of love drained
The nail driven

The humidifier is on
The bed vast and uncrossable
The quatarre depression gets us all in the end.


February 15, 2010

Buddy Night

With warm hair twisting
You fell asleep
Against my back

You're silent now
For the first time today

I can hear my tinnitus
And the clock
The wind outside

February 14, 2010

2 weak

I'm up again
at 2 am
watching Mission Impossible
reruns again redundant

And I never change
although I must
I must I must or die and bust
too late too late

To even be great or even widely pitied
Get out of a house into apartments in NY city

And stay up again alone
Just like tonight


February 13, 2010

The Bright Ones

Oh, you, beautiful boy
Beautiful boys all
Beautiful boys all of you

Was snow made especially for you?
A private toy from space, from heaven
From an unlocked box in your imagination?

Come! Run into my arms now!


February 12, 2010


When the snowfall is over
And we are all grown up
I'll live again

In the fullest sense
I'll melt as the snow melts
Into new forms and shapes
You'll not recognize
Not that you've ever recognized

Maybe I won't even know me!


February 11, 2010

Snow (11)

Snow has alighted
Turning trees into the veins of angels

Shall I stand out there too?
Spread my fingers, crook my arms
And have the snow annoint me beautiful?

A girl I've not seen in years follows, laughing

And all the disappointment
like rings if you could saw me down
would drop away leaving us bare
ready for possibilities

February 10, 2010


Miss Brooks on a night
before a snowstorm
her bob and her bangs

She never really found anyone she was so busy being Herself
And now she forever dies in the lap of a murderer on Christmas Eve

My legacy...? I'll go back to taking my son to fencing when this play is over - my last for years. And I'll be a dim name recalled increasingly less frequently in the high school halls - that weird guy - taught Brecht. And I'll maybe be "your grandfather" to a kid I'll never meet.

But if there is something after, you'll find me where Louise might be. Having coffee on any given morning.

February 9, 2010


My ears make their very own sound which only I can hear

Filling my silence with the unending bowing of a tiny cricket

He tells me horrible things, things about my body and my balance sheet

And reminds me that I will never fit in and that love was mine but it left me years ago


February 8, 2010

Saturday Night

I want to sip the night
and savour every drop of its mouthful of cold orange juice

I want to drink time
drop by drop and splatter none of it

But for you -
And each day is a shot of unchased tequila
Dopey drunk and slurred at the table


February 7, 2010

Through the cracks (#7)

Through the cracks the wind is cold
One cold finger after another.

And where do I lie now, with these cold hands?
Cold on my shoulder, my hips, my lips.


February 6, 2010

Number 6

I cannot
make you better

Where is my power? Not here.
Not even a dad, just a guy
These days just a guy

It's your power.
You wield it everytime you dream in bed
but then you stay too long there
And at night, if the wind creaking outside keeps you up
You lay awake there
Fighting the urge to finally take the blame you so richly deserve.


February 5, 2010

Nachtpoem 5

Clocks have changed
They no longer tick tick tick
Or tick tock
Ours are quartz
They just tock
Tonight there are days between each of them:
Tock - when will my wife be home...
Tock - I'm so behind in work...
Tock - my son's laugh is still in my ears...
And now the tocks - the first at one pitch, the next slightly lower
such that it sounds like a limp
Time gimps along on two different legs
My son moans lightly in the next room asking for a little drink
A car goes by, and a plane...
And I am trapped here between the seconds.


February 4, 2010

Nachtpoem 4

I'm dim
I'll dummy down
stymied and
ordering my own retreat
and discontinuation

Mother, I've lost.
You're only here yourself because I hit the "m" by accident
wish I was a happy accident
instead of the distressed product

of this I am sure:
tomorrow may or may not come
and I go to where the sleepers go


February 3, 2010

The Why of This

The other night - January 30th 2010, my son and I were sleeping over at my mom's place. Well, not really sleeping because we were sharing a small bed and it was cold and Rainer was thrashing around and it was awful. And there were sounds outside - she has an apartment in down town Glen Cove - strange windy noises caused by anything other than the wind, cars most likely, the sounds drifting miles from the Expressway or some such. And so I tapped a quick poem into my iPhone just as I tried to fall asleep for the hundredth time that night. And then last night, I wrote another one - right before corking off, under the blankets, the lights out except for the glow off the iPhone, and me tapping away.

It seems to me to be a good daily practice... nightly practice. Off we go!

February 2, 2010

Nachtpoem 3

done with it all
with the light to off
the clock to alarm
and to blow out the warm candle to wax

we try and succeed at less these days
now smiles are an achievement
now feeling ok in your own skin for 5 minutes out of 24 hours is
big digs
where once we read minds it's now sections of The Times


the night encircles like dark butter
I'm reminded how flimsy it all is
hopes, complaints, plans
it's all bent up
in pieces
on the floor
and this life is a wool sweater
warm, scratchy, old


February 2, 2010

Jan 31 - Nacht Poem #2

the moon alone
if the moon holds me
in his arms just above my windowsill
scattershot air and not much more under my feet
and no compass to me
then who holds me?
No one. No anyone.
no compass to me
thick with clotted leaves
I float out over the roof, the gutters- what a word for me!
the afterimage of the moon I see when I shut my eyes
til it fades to true black
the bodies under the blankets make moraines
the radiator boils like rain
and in the dark I can feel the corners
and the walls I cannot see

February 1, 2010