Without Her...

I turn to glass--

don't touch!

I can deflect emotion

but not much

the past closes behind

leaving a choice

a tossed-off bottle

leaking dregs of time

or stem crystal

burst by a voice


For my daughter

You have flown off

leaving an empty airport

at six a.m.

the aura of your presence

swept away

wing-lights flash and fade

scaling dawn sky

you catapult the zenith

arrowing west

and I turn back

to wintry houses

in a dented car


a turtle's lower jaw

the huge blue contour

of the turning world

splendor of clouds like hair

fine combed

sweep carelessly in sky

merging to night

wildly beating sea birds

careen like moths in floodlights

stingrays hover

at sand line

in gently pulsing surf

on the stone pavilion

amid a storm of laser motes

we dance, we dance

Departure Eve

I want to remember

the soft wind

lights of Cancun

across the bay

bright walls

and living chambers

of the sea

women lovelier

than saffron blossoms

flowering bougainvillea

in alchemy of silks

and ribbons


achingly desired

Storm Watch

Areas of depression

scattered across the Heartland

spirals of dry leaves

whipped to tall funnels

roiling black clouds

a landscape of flash-points

utterance of thunder...

the neo-Nazi, Stormfront,

on the farm porch

angry, failed men

with rowdy skinhead sons

riding the edge of turbulence

into the heartland.

Stock the cellar

with candles, food, water

guns and shells

against the coming ice-storms 

against the frigid cold

the wind chill factor


in extreme evening

raw smell of grass

limp leaves

melted slate-green scales

old magazines in porch light

empty Adirondack chair

deserted house

drifts on the dying year

Seven A.M.

cold now

we are estranged

first rays highlight

chrome toaster

bike pedal

sugar bowl

on wall


a folded leaf

on window


a jeweled, clear winged


dog snores

on sofa opposite

eye-slits fixed on me

staring in sleep


full moon

blazing phosphorus

Venus climbing

flush of sunset rouge

silver canals

set with a few lost skiffs

stranded in ebb tide

old men in derelict cars

scowling at stars that will return

when they have sunk

below the mud of time

a quiet layering of seasons

folding the latest on the last

soft summer air

Parsifal (after Wagner)

The King:

        whose phallus

        maims the man

        and blights the land 

        unhealing wound

        crazy desire

        basts all

The Cup:

         vaginal urn of birth

         brimming with blood

         fountaining radiance

         of grace

The Fool:

          armored in innocence

          learning passion's power

          from one taste

          of a harlot's tongue

          fuses the charred fragments

          of the spear

          restores the crown

The Spear:


          humbled by impotence

          purified by pain

          worthy again to serve the Grail

          healed by the same spear touch,

          finally understands

          love is the deepest wound

Diner Booth

side by side

in summer shorts

bare legs graze

their surface hairs

crackling with charge

the unreachable imago

whose smile lights the world

only inches away

while on my spirit map

one inch

equals a thousand miles


I too felt the riveting instant

of masks half-lowered

to reveal

transparent eyes

of selves exposed

beyond biography

worlds realigned

beneath the barely rippled

surface of words

Last Meeting

for Carole

the love that never was

in sudden ending

in fog and rain

accepts the rending

that deletes the cause

accepts the pain

too soon into my world

she sped

figure in aura

fire too bright to know:

breathless attempt to follow where she led

always a step behind, a beat too slow

until my clumsy shadow broke the flow

I stumbled, chafed her ankle

and she fled


still I pursue

the woman, Carole,

who is and is not Carole

who in a flash

embodies her

a shimmering congruence

I cherish in my arms

till she streaks back

to the periphery...

a dream of Carole


perpetual angel of my solitude

siren of my abolished memory

you pierce the liquid glass

to join your semblance

phantom and flesh converge

in breathless focus

almost too late

I strive to be the man

I must create

Through a Galilean Telescope


you swept through

my lonely orbit

grabbed by your field

I felt my speed increasing

swiftly, swiftly

flung toward the bright galaxies!

the light that blinded me

poured from behind my eyes

as I caught fire


she is a spear

flung fiercely

faster than thought

piercing all preparation

a truth that leaves me paralyzed

impaled on the tree of life

whose fruit rains down

like diamonds

at my feet

Apartment Houses



walls of dream

how far

far back

words echo

against brick

In Twilight: After Eliot


condos across the water

clusters of glowing tiles

a radiant fist of cloud

grabs peso moon

then opens to a stage

backdropped by stars

exhilaration of old age

and rendezvous

at the last milestone

in glare of alien light

gramophone needle

floats on polished vinyl

turntable of galaxies

the isolation of

and in the flesh


a dream of trains

clatter of wheels

clash of all things


relaxed bodies

choral sway of speed

let the wrecked cargoes

rot on ocean floors

let wild baboons


rags of past

let me turn face to fore

turn love to fire

the sea-wash freshening

from the ship's apron

pathing with luminous shadow

Atlantic darkness

cradled by glowing waters

Solitaire: Homage to Yvor Winters

if love is a game

that plays out in time

for the purpose of mind

they are nearly the same

time sunders the elements

love seeks to bind

when love is abandoned

death is the game

love shimmers in memory

bleaches in time

my loss is my gain

when remorse is the law

we bet precious hours

to win perfect pain

fruition is balance

we play to a draw


days don't foreshadow

selves unfolding


beyond redemption


the desperate instant

love withholding

haunts us

for a thousand years


                                                                       © Copyright, 2-2-97 Martin A. Abramson. All rights reserved.