Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2006

Magic Hour

People pass in a leisurely blur
On horseback, an odd juxtaposition
Of both place and time- a city
Where everything is possible
And in being so, becomes necessary.
A dozen dogs in four hands, soft coats
Softer still in the meager sun
Of early spring. Joggers test their wrists
And happy immigrants talk spiritedly,
Trading sips of coffee and bites of bagel.

Walkers pass under bridges,
Through tunnels, by ponds,
Carrying umbrellas in places
Where they would not walk after dark
Without mad weapons instead;
And along the water, trees shimmer
In brightest green, yellow, red,
Ginger orange of reawakening,
While beyond, skyscrapers glow gold
In the shroud of fog that invalidates
The time of day, enclosing the city
In a single moment of the magic hour.

A group of tourists, young women, naive
Or emboldened by their number, stop me
And hand me their camera, me
In my three-day scruff and my leather,
And my eyes that I know misrepresent
My quiet solemnity. I take their picture
With a green hill of Central Park
Rolling u…

Streets of Gold

First memory of a sacred mosque,
Salmon-colored in the brilliant sun
Of mid-morning, birds flitting in and out
Of familiar arcs. On a beach, a man
In elaborate robes sells rides on his camel,
And offshore I can see an island being built
In the shape of a palm leaf, a resort for the elite.
An old man in white robes falls asleep
On a wooden bench on a shining tile walk.

Men in long shirts matched to their pants
Unload massive sacks from a rail truck.
Others stroll by, elaborate cloths draped
Over their heads to ward off the violence
Of the unwavering sun, past enumerable shops
Of countless millions in shimmering ore,
All wedged or molded into every bauble
That could conceivably be sought.

Alleys as populated and commercial
As the streets; men selling watches or blended pulp
Of exotic fruits, or gathered in plastic chairs,
Seeking private congress in the shady tunnel path,
Daring me with their eyes to objectify them
With my camera, which blinks insolently
In my fervent hand. One glares venom
Into my heart when…


I dream the most amazing women.
Last night, one simple and lovely-
She trusted me,
Turned to me in her need,
Leaned on me physically,
Bent over me, speaking
Her perspective into my eyes.
She was my friend
And I was grateful.
With her, I needed no pretense.
That was peace I don’t know
In the light.
So I slept her existent
And I was happy,
And then I woke her away.


I have photos instead
Of memories.
I keep looking through my albums-
Thousands of images
And not a single story.
I wonder who I am.
I wonder why.
All those years I spent
Yearning to get out
Into the world,
Instead of dying,
I saw it differently.
I thought if I traveled
A million miles,
I would arrive somewhere.
But I’m nowhere.
I’m no one
And nothing in particular;
I’m cold and weightless,
In a void without gravity.
I’m a thief of oxygen,
A waste of atoms.
I could have been wild
In the jungle, or the sea.
I could have been a star in Orion
Or a stone at Giza.
I walk the streets
Just to see living.
That’s the only way I can see it-
From the side, watching
Other people breathe the air
I’m only tasting.
I should lie on my back
In the street,
Cross my eyes
At the buildings that sparkle
In my periphery,
Hanging from the sidewalks
Like beaded curtains.
I should reach up,
Pluck a single blue thread
And watch the sky unravel;
Watch the world Fall away.

Keiko Wore Black

This is half-truth that's almost unbearably cute and traditional. It started at the train station this morning.

(a poem)
Keiko wore black today
And I saw her in a different way
Her figure was more delicate
Her eyes more bright
And was it my imagination
Or did her hair catch more sunlight?

Keiko wore black today
Why it mattered, I couldn’t say
We share just enough language
I can show her my mind
But the language of my body
Divulged views of a new kind

Keiko wore black today
Our goodbyes went a different way
I passed up her cheek for her lips
I hope that was OK
But I can hardly be blamed
She was wearing black all day

Or maybe it was charcoal grey

Blue Street

I only want enough quiet to read by
Silence that I can see in
Pale light washes all the color
From my skin like paper ash
Grey blood through my charcoal heart

Hostile buildings spit lamp luster
My eyes stinging I rise and pace the decks
My knees debate the insistence of gravity
As my spine longs to press cold metal
A shadow squawks over the black water below

Shadows drag men to the edge of decency
If my mind could push them into the bay
To put an end to the vulgar uproar
My scruples would be tested
Windows shine like apprentice stars
And surrounding stars applaud

Make it enough

In the morning I walk the blue street
Tile chips fleck the black top
Like splinters of fractured day in night
People make sounds as they pass me invisible
Their implications lost on me

The others hear the sounds and know their meaning
They smile because they like knowing it
Or they laugh or just look on and care
A white-haired man bends over the sidewalk
Pushing leaves toward the street

Sun pours through a frosted glass canopy
The pavemen…

A Murder of Doubts

A crow landed on my table by the bay,
Looked in my tired eyes and asked,

What is the nature of my soul?

Does it grow from my body in lustrous plumes?
Does it stretch for wind when I cross the blue?

Does it grip the arms of wooden beasts?
Does it peck and tear at rotting meat?

Does it blink the light from all I watch?
Does it rise from me in woeful squawks?

What part of me makes me a crow?
What, in essence, is my soul?

The part of you that is the crow,
Is the part,
I said, that seeks to know.

It took to the trees, an acorn in its beak.


I can't understand why they choose
From those self-anointed lords
Of the crippled masses, wretched
Punching holes in pretty things

While the otherworldly sane
In the blinking baron sun
Huddled, grip their bones
On some cold masonic craft

In the absence of a word
To the right incensed and pure
It seems the sickly driven blood
Gains a sweetness in the air

Formative Years

One more before the road
Of grinding rock and sleet
And elevated intersect
Teeter underneath

One more before the hills
Of browning tumble grass
With rutted recess interrupt
Catch the spirit fast

And one before the walls
Of red-brick vision screen
Too hastily adjacent built
Necessitate the dream


All my time is exhausted now
Gleen the yielding second skin
Of resonant distant yesterday
In black and stinging din

The mirror fakes its flattery
Through endless spiral song
The ends reset in everything
Giving back the endless gone

OK Grey

The sky is as I left it
Occupied in subtle turnings
Loose unto the dogged road
Spent up in mystic wage
Altogether disentangled
From expectation holding
Indifferent to the bitter states
Of aeronautic interchange
Excessive in its blue attempts
Spectral in the window frames

Forced Perspective

If everyone could see the world
As I see it,
There would be no murder,
No war.
No one would ever dare
To spoil perfect landscapes
With blood stains;
Shatter it's native peace
With explosions.
It was good to be so ignorant,
Eyes closed,
Groping my smiling way,
With the world revolving
At arms' length.
The only locales on Earth,
The place I inhabited
And the places
I'd rather be.
My private concerns
Played out on a stage,
While just behind the curtain,
People were dying;
Killed by the hundreds,
Killed in their homes,
Killed in a fervor
Of self-righteous belief.
Maybe the closest thing
To peace is believing
Your own problems
Are important.

Side Streets

Slipping into an open space
In the fading gold of morning
I stroll past store fronts
Small and unpeopled
Snacks, pets, bamboo decor
Silk and glass, fashions of Europe
Locals walk by, barely moving
I am lost and I am charmed
And I was never more alone
I choose a hill and follow it down
A vague notion that at its bottom
I will land near a place familiar
Orient myself again
And return to where I began
No fuller, no better.