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These poems had to be cut from different sections due to lack of space.

  Drowning in Air…


is slower


there’s time 

to read the mail

watch TV

steam vegetables

to grasp at love

till air

closes above—


I rise more than three times

to gulp the purer element

you breathe

to me, mere inspiration


I think,

“There must be

something

I can do.”

as my life


flashes before my eyes

  

Waste

each
in his own way
wastes his life
 

leaving only
the children
whom we hope
will not waste theirs

The Man...

stands in the foyer

of the Museum of Modern Art

before a wall

swirling with calligraphy


he thinks

he sees a woman strolling

among the Picassos


he sees a café

with sandwiches


shuffling of feet

subdued chatter of voices


he wears corduroy pants

and a green sweater

the woman wears an orange sweater

mauve skirt


he thinks of things to say

nothing seems appropriate


she moves off through an archway

to another room


he wonders about Picasso


a tune runs through his head


he debates taking the subway

back to East 10th Street

or walking


he thinks about the café

sees another woman

  

Will I Remember… 


tacking into waves
wind tensing the sail 

skiing a mountain
diving tropic seas 

Sunday morning cafés
reading the Times 

wearing jeans and joggers
playing Bach 

that I had friends
parents
children 

that I had a name?

 

TRIPTYCH

 


I. Giving


take your clothes off

 

take your skin off

 

lay your blood at her feet

a red velvet cloak

 

bridge with your bones

the chasm of her loss

 

still not enough


II. From the Fire

 

who only leaves

can only return

 

I would return

for you

 

only

I'm still here


III. Valentine's Day

 

I don't need to know

why she left me

or why

I will return to an empty apartment

stop a drafty window

with a torn scarf

 

or why my cells unglue

dissolve their chains

 

but what is a white plastic straw doing

on that gray-flecked square

of this linoleum floor?

Southampton Workshop

a sewing circle

ladies round a table

twist poems like toffee

in strong hands, someimes

licking the sweetness 

of a phrase from their fingers


life tenses language

on a loom

cut, woven, laced

deep dyed


quarrels, laughter

carnal asides


till in the spell's

unbroken circle's

brilliant setting


wordsmiths present

the jewel

Dream

I slapped the ice cream off

the angel's cone

his cherubic calm was shaken

when I grabbed his jacket

in both manacled hands

wrenching with furious strength

his ear to my mouth

rasping between clenched teeth


      How could you leave me

            handcuffed  for an hour

       With all these Nazis

        Running around?


        I don't care if they're friendly

         They're still Nazis! 

Divorce

I loved you in heat of skin

edge of bone

strength of shoulder

mound of hip

deep groove of spine.


The flesh of marriage 

ripped,

its shreds and rags

bled in gutter streams.


Speech that is spirit

and flesh

that sanctified our union,

repulsed

extends no further bridge

for soul to cross with hesitant caress

in seeking Love's

unbearable communion.


Love Song

my freckled mate

I don my drool suit and clown cleats

not just to frisk your high school chassis

but for your Brooklyn blood smoke

and family candy


whisk us to indigo beach

electric boondocks

where slingshot sea-gulls

surf paradigms


sing me those rip-rap blues

and baste some semperfish

O avocado mine


rub the mudblind

from my subway glass

and dunk my dandelion   


Two Images from Morikami

through arching canopies

the fog

curls into curling leaves


distressed concentrics

bright green algae float

on a glaucous pond



Lombard Street

"Hold On." says the driver

as the bus lurches forward


"But I'm not supposed to be on Lombard Street. 

I need the 18 L."

She says, "This is the 18 L."


Exiting on Lombard Street

I'm nowhere.    

Moses

A basket floating on the Nile

found among the rushes

by a princess.


What's inside it?

Why does she take it?


How has it washed 

into the swirling confluence

of peoples?


Is my desk

floating on the Nile?

Passing Out

far black depths

memory of a dream


uprushing

breaking the surface

at a cymbal crash


shocked by this strange 

familiar world


she cradled my head

murmuring comfort


until the new world

joined the old

in sudden focus


accepting joy

Carbon Dated

an old man fallen

in the folds of time's overcoat


peoples the watches of the night

with memory and fantasy


"and that which should accompany

  old age...


   which one of you has done this?"


album pages

whisper of a fan


smash the effluvium

of years

Court Calendar

In the sluggish tide of legal documents

pushed with the garbage

of crime and politics,

twenty-eight years of marriage

washes through the hands

of lawyers and legal secretaries

to the supreme court.


In waivers, stipulations, disclosures,

summonses, allegations, depositions,

appraisals, actuarial computations

the inner-life of a family

is fed to the grindstones of jurisprudence.


So is the severance severed

and every street and alleyway

of marriage duly sealed;

marked off with barriers.


Only the traffic of the court

connects us now

and even that must end

leaving two citizens

tasting strange sunlight

full of empty freedom

and unquiet memories.

Ponquogue Bridge

boy

 on a bicycle

                       open shirt flaring

                                 whipping behind


great white gull

      wings fixed

                              balanced on wind


searching for

     a new music

                                  nature unveils herself

                           day unto day

Our Kids

sliding faster

through films of time

than memory can follow


in the reversed telescope

we dwindle to stick figures

in a virtual landscape


they send reports

from distant landsof marble terraces

washed by raveled waves


our consolations:

theater seats

rockers by the fire

wool gathering and

quiet conversation


seldom squinting

into the darkness

beyond the stair