Sixty Something

reading philosophy

I think

my heart might stop

demanding attention

a distraction

like a ringing telephone


slightly annoyed


glacing sideways


nobody fucking cares

how much you love her

or that she doesn't love you back

least of all


What It Is

love's no melange


or synthesis

it doesn't 'add up'


one perfect thing

Tea And Biscuits

This is the world of unrealized dreams

Where the thrush takes flight at midnight

And the leaves of nightshade glitter

In the lobbies of funeral homes.

A world of terrible waiting

Of outstretched arms

Probing glances

Defeat of will

Exhaustion of hours.

Below the stirring fans

Conversation slows to a helt

And mah jong tiles

Lie still as tombstones.

Nothing we make

Lasts beyond the joke of death.

I write this for the desolate

Who scan cold waters

And accept the consolation

Of tea and biscuits.

The Cloisters

a ghost slips through the hydrangeas

along the grassy walk

high over the Hudson

where we would stroll and talk

a ghost that flings itself 

against the barrier of years

remembered by a silent urn

that haunts the meadow where I wished

so often to return

Brooklyn 1940

holding Ma's hand

pebbled cement

of Sutter Avenue

steel trolley tracks

people everywhere

now mostly gone

1940's people

mostly gone

Forget Sartre

Still breathing.


instinct and sensible

All I experience

is life itself

not fine wines

or lustful women



Forget Sartre

I am your only


For Barbara H.

I had a dream about you

we were near Central Park

crowded with happy people.

You were exiting the car

but suddenly turned back and kissed me

then we were kissing ferociously

and I asked

Why didn't we do this 30 years ago?

Retired. What a Farce!

We puppets

hurled by the scruffs

across the stage

crazily dancing

jerked on hidden strings

the Puppeteer

playing for laughs.

Who cares when dolls are ripped asunder

salvaged for spare parts?

But this illusion of wholeness

effortless health

strung up in the stockroom

endlessly rehearsing

the muffed lines and missed cues

foisted on us by the Puppeteer...

that's the worst part.


wild girl

above Mount Sopris' double peak

a rhapsody of wind and sky

racing on island cloud

and snowscapes 

where you run

leap as you please

no thorn to catch your flying hem

nor roots to trip you

rocks to bruise your knees

the moon your clasp

the sun your diadem

My Daily Day

a morning session at the library

vaults me into lunch

a bike ride in summery weather

a book on the jetty

as afternoon 

stretches toward night

can't see'ums

have me

gathering book and folding chair

evening plans unfold and

if I lookaround a bit

a poem may come.

The World

we live too much in houses, see

too little sky climb

too few mountains glimpse

evening and dawn

thru the corner of an eye

travel the open road 

in closed cars

view hills and fields

on screens and magazines

and why

are you reading

this poem?


they're in the buffets

the fat families

waddling to and fro

with loaded plates

mother to daughter

try this, it's delicious

and father: that's right son

throw your weight around

why struggle

between vanity and craving

or suffer

for a vision of fitness

when you can enjoy the ecstasy of the inflated gut?

blood pressure? plaque? diabetes?

mere medical abstractions

satisfaction's first hand

layer cake, pie a la mode, chips, nuts

ten types of pasta

pealing through the church

of Hedonism, ready

for great-bellied Buddha-hood


please pass the salt, butter, pepper, soy-sauce

duck sauce, salsa, cream, sugar, maple syrup...

Abstract #3

this is a lightning bolt leaving town

this is a big top and a clown

this is the merry month of June

this is a window on the moon

here a piano and a score

heroes and men from days of yore

here is the zither and the lute

here is the darkness and the root

Explaining a Picture 2

there are dancers here

circled by birds and leaves

tangled by snakes

the whirlpool's 


Sing Poet...

of the Jew in America

completed in antiquity

standing on the doorstep, ragged

washed up from pogrom, poverty

moduli of terror

photos, keepsakes, silverware

stuffed with garments 

in those twine-clenched suitcases

settled the frigid East filtered

to Tennesee, Ohio

where my psycho grandma forbid

paternal love

to that tormented female child

my mother, Belle

to white beaches with new veisions

of culture pasted to film

death of a salesman

Wall Street, 6th Avenue, Madison

genius of wealth

not eluding the old nemesis

Nazis, inner-cities

ghettoes of soul

At the William Stafford Gathering

through tall, thin windows

green tides of grass



trees flooded in green

thru which a small bird streaks

bearing love's anguish