Poems- 2004


 gesticulate ghosts

my poems

haunt the unconscious world
of virtual space

fling heart beats

against the screen

Seeking the Spirit

 gesticulate ghosts

my poems

haunt the unconscious world
of virtual space

fling heart beats

against the screen


 time brings to March
the earliest harbingers of April thaw
and ripening between the lives of streets

thru the tracery of leaves
glimpses of royal purple
sylvan shuffle of centuries

rain on the doorstep
girl with umbrella

and the chance to regret
all I never began
to regret

by speaking to her

Poor Eurydice

 supplicant to his song's
prismatic streamer
in her gray-scale world

where even sardonic Death
granted his boon.

Following, following
fated to die again

knowing that on the very
brink of light 

he will look back.

Expect More Snow

new snow will cover up the old

whose heartbreak has at last gone cold

bury the latest blight, the one

whose heartbreak's only just begun

and, so, a final rendezvous

white cloth, soft lamps, table for two

we quietly agree while eating

it is, in this life, our last meeting

and there is talk of things that matter

mingled with the usual chatter

you're for a new life in the West

I to my old world's empty nest

as false dawn with its snowy birds

pales, I recall your final words

"If you should die, will someone write

and tell me?"


                          I died last night." 

after she left

the condo acquired a classic purity

museum light

cold and precise

the love that was absorbed 

by her skin

raced outward to the world

and was reflected back

now I intuit the rain's mood

my sunset is the painting of a flame

an easy chair and heavy volumes name

the galleries of my life

my solitude

Still She Haunts me Phantomwise

 I press my head into your rose sweater
the softness beneath the knit wool.

In your clothes, your shoes
the surrounding air, room, world,

you are presence without pretense
motion without flourish.

Seen on a suburban bus
or in the aisle of a supermarket

ever eluding one who searches beaches and wide thoroughfares
wanting what he can never have

or having, always discards

who searches still, seeing you
"as in a dream where everything happens...

somewhere just beyond the view of the sleeping eye".  * 

* Philip Whalen


at the quiet hour of night 

at neap tide

the sea eddies listlessly 

against the rocks

a pale glow 

drowses on the waters

night birds shake 

fiery showers

from wings 

of dawn 

Volutes and Vortices


insects and feathers
petals and twigs
straws in the stream
leaves in the flow
clouds of bubbles
grasses and stems

rushed by an eddy
spun in a pool
frozen in glass
sliding over a rock

directed, deflected
to archives of day
some scattered about
on the summery strand
some buried below
in the pebbles and sand
some lifted in air
with the foam and the spray

Remembering Simon Stanislow


How you would rail and thunder
at the frauds, fascists
hypocrites and crooks;

but in a quiet bed
in Maimonides
all that energy and rage
ebbed away.

In the cancer ward
you said:
"I feel like a clapped out prostitute,"
and pulled the blankets up
over your head
like a layer of dirt.

Your small ghost
haunts the lower East Side,
floating through book stores and coffee shops
stopping to photograph graffiti on a wall
or lovers in the park.

You will be remembered in Cozumel
and Isla de Mujeres
by sailors and fishermen
with affectionate laughter:

"Ah, Simón, that crazy gringo,
how he loved his cerveza." 


 writing thru paper into world
out of the dark of mind
into light

but whence comes that brightness
if not from you?

the ardor of our island lovemaking
late night visits to your bedroom
in Port Jeff

love at relativistic speed
etherealized in a dissonance of superstrings
sum-over histories
multiversed into sand
into silicon

nothing having changed
no hint of acrimony
saying good-bye 

Christmas Card to New York


Let us edge the green sorrow of the fir 

with shimmering tinsel 

with silver spheres

forgive the deaths we have endured 

fill the cut crystal!

There's Stan across the table 

in Teresa's Polish restaurant 

behind a three-year pane of ice

uncles, aunts 


and cousin Melvin who tried 

to cheat me out of my inheritance.


I trudge through city snow 

to the merriment of puppets 

in Macy's window

skirr on Wollman's rink 

in glittering Central Park.

Joy to the snow globe 

where four seasons 

push the worn turnstiles 

of incessant birth.

And we impending ghosts 

share with our children 

the love that turns to stone 

but trembles in a certain light. 


after the medieval sculptor 

carved the royal hunt 

into the halves of a walnut

after the Swiss watchmaker 

wove fishnets for time 

from wheels and springs

comes the silicon sandman 

moving molecules, wireless 

writing with photons

etherealization of world 

by wizards in cool cubicles 

living on pizzas and coke 

For Leslie

 the girl I wasn't allowed to name Marina
works on tall ships plunging
through crested waves:
strong hands for the halyard
strong shoulders for the storm raked wheel

restless, moody ashore
joyful on high seas
fearless of sister Sirens
or mother Circe

while I, Poseidon
would bless her voyages
send her calm winds

but wish I had insisted on that name 


a sun shaft


moving mazes 

of foliage

spearing the eye

wind shuffles and deals


light and dark

furious whispers

of trembling fronds

rebuke the skirt-lifting



of the breeze

Laughter with Carole

This laughing

and kissing


my head

and speeds the arteries

like subways at rush hour.

(O therapy!)

(O therapist!)

This poor old heart

is beating a bongo

and dancing the samba

across Central Park.


he survives

eating the apple of arrogance

since nothing inspires hope

he builds the stubble of the wind

into a Windsor of the mind

he walks in smug humility

fixed on his secret wealth

as a  miser's cellar of gold

as a people

slaughtered and expelled

from every land

who must be

if anything


White Queen

flying across landscapes

in creamy Celica

gathering green petals

scarlet hunting cap

shades steady eyes

reading the road

her riding-breeches

curved to bucket seat

her sweet ass sporting

my right hand's


at the same high angle

whereof I took her

early this morning