The girl sits cross-legged in the comfy chair;

Her mouth is very animated,

She has grey eyes that open wide.


She pulls her jeans up;

She is wearing a wide leather belt;

She sits with a girl wearing glasses.


Her face is very spotty;

Does she lament into her private mirror?

How silly to notice this, how foolish not.


They did not listen to music.

The two chairs are empty;

I saw them leave together.


There is no one to sit there any more.

There are many other empty chairs.

There are more staff than customers.


I throw the remains of my stay…

Paper cups here,  plastic lids there,

Even tho no one is watching.


My man, when she got up and left,

You forgot to smile.  That cannot be recalled,

No matter your attention to detail.

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 2:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Most Beautiful Girl

The most beautiful girl

I have ever seen here

Had fine blonde hair,

Her eyes were warm blue…

Is that even possible?

She had a face

Like a spring morning;

When she smiled,

My heart went weak,

Even tho

She was not smiling

At me.


She sat with her sister,

Who was blonde, also, but

Her face was hard as winter earth.

I thought:

You are roommates,

You act like her mother,

You push her around,

You are jealous

Of her particular beauty,

But you guard her,

You resent her,

And, oh yes,

Just to make things difficult,

You love her.


I don’t know why

I thought those thoughts.

Then the sister got up,

And the most beautiful girl

I have ever seen here

Got up,

Stuck crutches under her arms,

Smiled at everyone,

And started off,

Moving with astonishing grace,

For someone

With one leg.


This is for Erin, who I worked with for all too brief a time.  One of the really nice ones, one of the good people.
I promised myself once that I would write of you,

But that was rash.  How could I get it all…

Your measure, texture, scent, pace, poise, rhythm,

The glory of your hair,

The mystery of your legs.

(Once I saw you in your leathers,

Black leathers, and a single blonde braid,

And I swore I would learn to motorcycle.)

But i will try no sonnet on ruby-red lips,

Or milk-white skin, eyes like a clear sky;

Nor will I write of those other eyes crowding you,

Nor the shaking of heads, nor the counterpoint

Of sighs.  None of these, although

All are true.

So, Erin,

There I was for many,  many years, with an evening coffee,

Or  there, in a bookstore, or there, in a park,

Or on one of my famous rambles,

Struggling to recall your completeness.

There I was, indeed, and that, too,

All that is true.

I am sorry, but I must take refuge in story,

And fantasize like this:

I remember our embraces,

The thrust of your breasts against my shirt,

Your arms around my neck,

Your face between my hands,


Of course,

Because the tale must be believable,

The way you laughed and said

“That’s enough!”

Published in: on August 28, 2012 at 2:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Now, that got your attention.  This is just a spliff I wrote this morning.

It’s nine a.m. on a Sunday morning,

A lord’s day in late summer,

And I am contemplating brassieres.

No. No. No mocking, now!

I’m not fiddling through the wife’s stuffed drawer,

Or gawking by the endless Wonderbra racks,

But, sitting over a dark coffee, noticing

Not even clearly, mind you, just a hint,

Blatant, but a hint, under a tank-top,

Of that suggestion of armour,

Shielding from my eyes, any eyes,

And me not even a breast man.

But I do love the look of the bra-less,

That freedom, the sly wink of nipples,

That easy movement with a shift of shoulder.

Women should not constrict their bodies;

The clumsiest make the most graceful man

Clunky. Awkward.  In danger of embarrassment.

I will grant you only this:

The bra is necessary as athletic support,

For those sexless games on playing field or track.

But they are a cheat, always a cheat,

A seductive cheat, for as I look, I ruminate,

As that old Chinaman said in the Tao,

The soft overcomes the hard,

The yielding the brittle, so

You do not  fool me, concealing it that way,

Nature meant it to be seen.

And all that textile, all that array of harness,

Scarcely veils what is truly meant to be displayed.


Published in: on August 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Future of Civilization

Six little meditations.  God! meditations?  Totally pretentious.  Anyway, as a taste, here is the motto for this piece, the motto corrupted from Tacitus: 

They make a desolation,

And call it progress.

The Future of Civilization

Deaths in the Family

Laughing is one way of approaching sorrow.  I confess I felt no sorrow at my parents’ deaths.  In each case, it came in its own time, not theirs.  And “about time” was my reaction.  My emotional relationship with my parents was always problematic.  Anyway.  Sitting on the can at Starbucks, I was reminded of my father’s death, and my mother’s, and how each was attended by a kind of grotesqueness.

My father died in the bathroom,

Not, unfortunately,

Sitting on the can,

His soul taking leave,

During a last squat.

No, no, not that, although

It would have made

A great story

To be passed on

During some conversational lull.

He sat on a stool


Death took its time.

As my mother came in,

Wondering why he had not emerged,

He floated to the floor,

Without so much as a goodbye.

Just like him.


The last time I saw my mother,

I had come to pick up her things,

Bric-brac, pictures of family

She had long ago failed to recognize,

Gadgets, books, a crucifix, so,

Imagine my surprise!

She was in rigor mortis, right there

In her bed, lying as if in state,

At the Sidney Care Home,

Her eyes wide open,

Her mouth gaping wide,

As if in astonishment,

As if about to say,

As she never would have in life,

“Holy fuck!

I never expected this!”

Noman and the Snakes

Another parable of arcane wisdom featuring Noman the Stylite,  who is not on his pillar, because it was demolished, during a brief period of Byzantine urban renewal.

Noman the Stylite was puzzled.  He stood in the middle of the road, and watched a pair of snakes copulating.  He was puzzled, because he could not tell the male from the female, and he wondered how they could.

Noman remembered the tale of Tiresias, a sage of ancient Greece, who had seen the same thing.  The sage had struck the snakes with his staff, and was instantly turned into a woman.  He lived as a woman for seven years until she finally encountered copulating serpents, struck them, and became a man again, somewhat regretfully.

Noman had always wondered what it would be like to be a woman, so he struck the copulating snakes with his staff.

Instantly, Noman was transformed into a female snake.  Almost at once, a male snake appeared, and leered the snaky equivalent of  “at last, a looker.”  Noman considered that since he was no longer a man, he just might be able to  dispense with the vow of celibacy.   The male snake rather aggressively made his mind up for him.  The experience was, to say the least, alarming.

Noman hid under a rock, until he sensed the approach of a human.  His snaky senses actually only told him the pedestrian was warmblooded.  He crawled from under the rock and wiggled provocatively.  At once, a second male snake attempted a baroque form of sexual assault known only to serpents.  Noman tried to be yielding.

The pedestrian stopped to watch, then struck at the snakes with her staff.

Noman instantly became a man again, and turned to his benefactress.  When she stopped screaming, he said:

“Have you seen a robe and staff, I seem to have misplaced them?”


Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm  Comments (1)  
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