A Poet Reads

He is serious, sincere  and rather sad

Has lost friends, lovers

been saved from the loony-bin

by good Samaritans.

I last for six or seven poems

but his monotone

nudges me into waking dream

hallucinatory sleep

recalled to consciousness

by a crash of applause


I ride the elevator down alone

Like him, arrogant enough

to leave sandpiper tracks

of unexceptional experience

on recycled paper.


that is buoyant

like the full mass of the earth

that dilates 

Renaissance irises

stalks rain forest 


solves the lies

at desire's core

that the follow-spot

grips in twisting plunge

from heaven to hell

that waits in armored sleep

circled by fire

by rubble of

imaginary thrones

is mistaken for something

that has something

to do with her.

Alphabet Poem: (Incomplete)

A is for the Abramsons fleeing some     

Polish ghetto, arriving in America.

B is for Brooklyn and Baby Brother Bobby selling Rock'n Roll in Greenwich Village.

C is for Christians who blamed us for Jesus' death and Grandson, Chase.

D is for democracy, Democrats and Delano Roosevelt.

E is for Evelyn, girl-friend and lover.

G is for God who cursed me and watched over me all these years.

J is for my son, Joshua.

L is for my daughter, Leslie.

M is for my mother, Belle Sien.

N is for Nathan, exemplary son-in-law.

P is for Granddaughter Parker, my best hope.

R is for my wife, Roberta.

S is for my father Sam, Daughter-in-law, Stacy and Grandsons, Scott and Spencer.

Price Club

on the checkout line

jostling and complaints

people unhappy with slow lines

prices, each other

shopping carts full of

electronics, sporting gear

cartons and jugs

how joyful the woman beside me

her cart filled entirely with flowers


rows of razor teeth

come out of nowhere

then are everywhere

claws rip down its 

shoulders as jaws

sever its neck

the victim, dragged away

the killer heedless

of its private dying

when it comes

it comes quick


those little voices

in my head

people talking


when will they stream out

as children burst from school

at three o'clock?

Sir Thomas More...


his rebellious flesh

stuffed hair shirt

under chancellor's robes

racked heretics

with purifying fire

but is almost forgivable

(not for opposing divorce)

but for whipping his daughters

with peacock feathers.

Her Mother

If she were dead

we could afford divorce.

But she lives with us still:

A tiny lady in square black shoes

pacing the grim house

in the dead hours

before dawn.

We hide the death wish

in even closer care

We coddle and cajole

as one would nurse

a sick conscience.

The same force 

tearing the roots 

of  our marriage

drives her toward death

but not as fast.

Wednesday Morning Blues

last night I told her

just leave me alone

still dark

people in lighted kitchens

train whistles on the dawn run

engines firing in the parking lot

last night I told her

just leave me alone

sky won't give up 

its iron cast

to sunrise

mist turning to rain

you don't need me

you got a man at home

you don't need me

you got

               a man

                           at home


dragging a lobster out of its shell

just too much work

it can keep its meat

deboning a chicken

the flesh clings tenaciously

even in death


I love her

and it overrules me

forcing acceptance

wherein this bright

unfolding blossom


                  in its time.


what happened?

yesterday I kissed you

holding both hands

lips touching

but when I spoke

with you today

clearly nothing had



ascend the stair

that I shall climb


to find you naked there

at shoulder teeth

palm fingers bring

to buttock thigh

in madness fling

my seed like nebulae

to sky

The 'Sixties: East 10th Street

My  Village apartment

With fireplace and leather wing chair,

Formica table, closet-kitchen,

Bookcase boards balanced on bricks,

Abstractions in swirling oils,

Queen bed set sideways 

Against West wall, headboard

A long, low dresser

Doubled as a coffee-table.

A fifth-floor Shangri-La, accessed

By elevator, a local luxury, in which

My wife stooped, lips around my cock,

Ascending, giddy with danger

Of discovery.

But the bed that had supported

Such frequent coition

That she finally cried out,

"All you want to do is fuck, fuck, fuck!" 

Was not the same one on which

Years later, she said,

"I need to find a young stud who can screw me

As much as I want."

Slide Show

some rush to inter-


shun the abstract

have beaucoup fun

some live in the mind

prefer the entr'acte

where memory serves up

skein after scene

faux waking dream