Thursday, April 02, 2020

Wet Grass

the sun had come out after days of rain I should have said
it sparkled on the wet grass the white clouds puffy against
blue sky in the west but I didn't understand the exercise of
looking and generalized instead of saying what I really saw
attention to the present not an impression I wanted to make

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Only to Me

waves of fright lap at the shores of my tranquility
I am reading poetry now getting it for a change
later another line will come to me from the rain

boring is the word from Nancy Foster unsettling
mine for now anxiety makes me feel sick I am not
merely vulnerable no longer ready to feel strong

everything signifies but only to me when I'm gone
no one will remember these paintings' special ring
George Sand in the park boys picking raspberries

Monday, March 30, 2020

Fatal Steps

unconstrained maximalization
peeps from the undergrowth of
optimization theory undermining
all our natural inclinations as if
mathematics ruled reality so it is
the basic application classified
no one knows what's going on

my old friend follows fascination
into weaponry god knows what
will result from human curiosity
unbound by commonsensical
reasoning if I don't someone else
will take the fatal steps ahead
follow to the logical conclusion

I don't begin to understand the
math defeated as a freshman I
let it go do something other led
a different style of grownup life
who better richer more fulfilled
our beautiful being undefined
unmeaninged by epidemic death

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

No Secret

for example what is happening
in Afghanistan and Iraq
where we squandered billions
blowing things up thousands
of lives lost have we now
forgotten don't we even care

why was wonky even then
revenge power someone's lust
for more fatalistic falling
no one wiser could prevent
as if history was written
before we could even think

then you stop and wonder
what else we take for granted
is utterly disastrously wrong
warped priorities no secret
where do you start to fix it
better nothing like right now

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally, who has died of the effects of COVID-19, was a friend of Scott Burton's at Columbia. I had a fling with Scott around 1960, when he may have still been a senior but I think was already writing for Art News. Terrence was living with Edward Albee in a duplex in the West Village, with Edward's ex-lover William Flanagan on the lower level. Scott took me over to see Terrence, Edward not at home, and the three of us rolled around together on the big bed that filled the bedroom from wall to wall. I remember looking at Edward's writing desk, which faced a blank wall so nothing would distract him from his imaginings. After a few years Terrence broke up with Edward, who didn't want to be identified as gay and wouldn't publicly acknowledge him. Terrence went on to write a series of entertaining plays that helped make gay love relations imaginable and eventually acceptable to a general audience. It must have been the Albee connection that brought so much attention to his first play, "And Things That Go Bump in the Night," when it was done at the new Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. I was flown out to see it along with other influencers and remember the Life photographer snapping pictures of us in the lobby more than I remember the play, which subsequently flopped on Broadway. But Terrence was just getting started and gave birth to many more in a long and beautiful life.


breathing is not enough
but it helps

Minus Readers

and no one will read
so I write into the void
minus readers to help me
find what I mean to say

still I like to put out these
traces of my waning days
hoping no fragile parts fail
while the virus rules

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Talking to Myself

thinking is talking to myself
if no one is asking anything
or interested enough to respond
then who am I to answer back

no more a critic or critical I
silently swallow my opinions
they hardly matter to anyone
and I could be entirely wrong

I'd pay for a sympathetic ear
someone smarter than I am to
hear what I am trying to say
as I talk to myself and think

Friday, February 28, 2020

What to Say

what it meant to me
and what to say about it
what I want to think it means
or meaning give to it
what of the other survives
what is sadly forgotten
as if we never met
what was originally intended
what you imagine
when I speak of this

Monday, February 17, 2020

Future Man

am I overly attached to being homo sapiens
can I write for the future man
though the present doesn't care
someday we will be fondly remembered
by specialist aesthetes who will see how far we fell
before we disappeared entirely
and weep

Friday, February 14, 2020

Even Here

we didn't do it
though we thought we might
we didn't go there
and never will now

roars and clanks
say work being done
white light bright
between rains

if I still can read
words and piano music
I still can write
any time even here

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

"Too Boring"

cruel truths to pseudo power
yield relief tip inner voices off
warm water lifting just enough
still or self-propelled shorter
shower punched-up ruffians
pleased to be unremembering

silence like a foggy morning
"too boring" now sublime as
you arrive remain enhanced
resonance releases afternoon
delight beside a cold rushing
torrent of finally speaking out

Saturday, February 08, 2020

And Yet

if I feel as I feel
I feel
no one ever knows
and yet
we are lovers
we love
we are contented

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

An Idea

could be anything

having an idea
make something up

a play
a novel
more poems

I call fun
bring it on

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Random Nets

he's been telling me you and he are
my mind loosened by weariness and
despair casting random nets catches
nonsense feeling something unspoken
time doesn't care about how I feel it
marches ticking chimes another hour
I live by clock even now when free

the story is just a story whatever goes
I can't help making jokes grotesques
misfitting like my pants falling down
like someone I don't like like trying
to be better when the time has passed
seeing less well hearing mainly noise
stumbling yearning doing what I can