PARADAXES: 2

B&W Movie

 in the old
film

outside a dorm window
leaves blow
in shades of gray

young men
in smoky sweaters
ashen slacks
banter philosophy--

in the easy energy
of their speech

their intense glances

the leaves
are green

 

California

 how can we ever forget you
California of Hippies and Beats
love children, face paint and beads
of Be-Ins, Berkeley protests, Haight-Ashberry
and City Lights?

We wandered your hills from Larkspur
to San Francisco ocean-front
and down to Palo Alto, stopping
at Kepler's Books and Oasis Burgers
then over the Coastal Range and Skyline Drive
Campbell, Los Gatos
to Half Moon Bay, the caves
of San Gregorio;
then east to Salinas of Mexican restaurants
and San Jose and west again
to wharves of Monterey
where gulls rise in morning fog
to pace the fishing fleet
along the rocky coast
to touristy Pacific Grove
down U.S. 1
to Carmel Valley and Thunderbird Books
past Point Lobos with its twisted cypresses
to Big Sur where bacchanalia
echoed the woods
and restless spirits
fled on past Nepenthe
to lofts and garages in Santa Barbara
awakening before dawn to steer
old cars and motorcycles
south on El Camino in steady rain
to Venice and San Diego
on the endless road to Old Mexico

 

Love's Capital

 you'd trade futures in love
invest in precious metals
hedge your moves

a billionaire at baccarat
trying to buy fidelity with pride
betting it all to hold me in a thrall
under a scope
a tissue on a slide

Croesus of love
just as it can't be bought
love can't be sold

unless it's freely given love is dross
dealing in love trades always at a loss
 

The Rescue Effort

 a voice of thunder in the lines of rain

we dug through rubble five days
losing hope

a few survived
inhabiting
bubbles in the avalanche
reading and writing by an icy light

we call from opposite sides
of this sudden chasm

murmur of questioning
days go by

the air carries our tears 

World Trade

 ceilings buckle
walls implode
towers dissolve in smoke

the impregnable empire
shudders against the dawn

"This," you say, "is what
we have come to,
our lives
as small
as yours are large
worth nothing but the price
of your death

one will redeem the other."
 

after the towers fall...

 we ask
what have you heard
from the inside
the other side?

walking amid the park
spring green

in tinker toy city
of alleys, basements, bars--

I can report
scratch of cricket
moan of mourning dove

no more the city
where we swam like fish
or the apartment
where you followed
charmed by my words
meeting in nakedness, even

as silver condors
soaring and serene
steered by prayerful madmen
home on our beacon
vectoring in
 

The Glory

 we are nowhere
and here
we are part of
and gone
does anyone miss us
when we disappear?
does anyone care
where we burrow and run?

we are pieces
of future
and pieces
of past
surfing a wave
made of charges
and math
and we ask
what is now
and how long
can it last?

we bestride
the arena
are cheered
by the crowd
sudden is glory
the wave sweeps us on
then streams out from under
the glory is gone


 

Bye to Long Island

 at fall's peak
leaves blazing
I bid farewell to friends
whose love I hope
never to lose

to wavelets
of the Great South Bay
and rolling billows of the Sound
which many a summer hour
I crossed in boats

to bike rides from
Sag Harbor to Montauk
Remsenberg to Potunk Point
over a maze of shining
ponds and streams

from beaches at West Meadow
and Smith Point
to distant Orient

from symphonies at Staller
recitals at Shoreham
films at Huntington
folk songs at Centerport
and festivals at Northport
to parties and poetry
from east to west

to all the loving people I've known here
hoping you will hold me fresh in mind
so I can return at times not as a ghost
but fondly like an uncle just breezed in
from Salt Lake, San Diego or Des Moines
with humorous anecdote and scary tale
a dreary winter evening to regale 

Schrodinger's,

 like Carroll's Chesire cat
alive and dead

heuristic paradox
or quantum wile

the King cannot decapitate a head
't Hooft cannot renormalize a smile 

we can hate and hate...

 hurt and hurt
kill and kill

but the fact remains

we have all come from lovers
all searching for lovers
all estranged
 

Summer

 the day is magic real
light so intense the foliage
opens inside the eye
the lineman on his pole
a demiurge 

poetry is about poetry

 it has no other subject

life is a useful amalgam
for casting poetry 

Strange

 they have a strange relationship
keep breaking up and coming
back together, they must have
broken up ten, fifteen times, sometimes
for months
till someone calls sombody
and they're back
in love again 

Lowest Denominator

 holed up
tapping a keyboard
jabbing a remote

actors for friends

my eyes still catch yours
on a crowded street
my shoe still sets my weight
against the world
my blood still flushes
this indifferent flesh

someone is here