Saturday, December 31, 2016

Almost Done

someone already said that thought that
better than any quick digging can redo

Bach believed in God Beethoven Bach
even winter wonderland failed its mojo

is it late are we there yet almost done
summarizing three millennia of ideas

Friday, December 30, 2016

Comfort Zone

even snuffling you are my joy
the party only partly regretted
we are enough unto ourselves

midnight can be when we like
eastern time our comfort zone
even living happily in Oregon

no regrets for the passing year
surgery and exercise enable us
to keep on doing what we love

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Good Habits

I am this not that I think
but what can I possibly know
the mind constantly fools itself
justifying what it thought before

I am the kind of person who
for example never says no
deciding long ago on a general yes
thinking I can always change my mind

and what if I am entirely deceived
good habits a costume over sloth
fastidious to a fault but lazy
no one will know if I don't say

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Idle Dreams

when rain stops speaking
silence returns the favor

the fire murmurs secrets
only a fool would doubt

the space between lines
knows less than nothing

an insignificant evening
whiled away with words

remembered possibilities
awoken by a stolen kiss

the math of idle dreams
totaling up to minus one

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Left Behind

is this all there is of me
these tastes and habits
carefully curated over
years now inescapable

is it enough for me to
live the way I'm made
as if given any choice
I'd be exactly the same

or shall I force reboot
into an alternate reality
revise earlier decisions
be the one I left behind

which was that a looser
universe might permit
such chic shenanigans
this one plainly doesn't

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Perfect Results

the cognac of my youth still tastes the same
Mother's lamb sauce old-time hard sauce on
persimmon pudding incomparably delicious

thus we celebrate Christmas with traditions
remembering the future better than the past
though nothing has improved little changed

only greater clarity of intention all the time
simply being alive with love and willingness
to strive for perfect results inclusive of error

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Old Friends

new people are a good idea
if you manage to know them
one might become a friend

surprise me being someone
unexpectedly interesting not
that I seriously lack friends

others know each other better
already old when I arrived I
feel relatively welcome here

old friends far away or dead
one starts again again boldly
extending a friendly warmth

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy at Last

the boyhood flavor is the orange bread my mother used to make
from Fannie Farmer
the novel is La Princesse de Montpensier by Madame de Lafayette
the local weather is trivial
a snowstorm
frigid temperatures
the Brahms is the piano part of the third violin sonata
the villain hero is Donald Trump
happy at last

Monday, December 19, 2016

Your Eyes

looking is looking at something
randomly selected from the field
presenting itself before your eyes

objects related by shape or color
define themselves by your look

unobserved they merely buzz
awaiting differentation calmly
or excitedly longing to be born

the field itself is loosely bounded
as peripheral vision edges off
into the continuity you presume

open your eyes and look around
what you see is never all there is

so look as long as you still can
by seeing create your existence

Sunday, December 18, 2016

More Sense

not much can be said
without telling the whole story
and no one has time for that

a novel leaves most of it out
so it makes more sense
than the actual experience

possibly a song is best
barely suggesting the events
killing you with feeling

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lost Adventure

local weather overwhelms
planned family decorating

anticipated boyhood flavor
redeems the lost adventure

as respect validates a whim
thereby grace will intervene

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Changing Weather

years passed without our noticing
as if another winter was the same
and so were we better all the time
not minding the changing weather

months passed as we were acting
like backdrops flying in and out
the light dissolving into darkness
while time leapt crazily forward

hours passed appropriate meals
appeared on the table to be eaten
appointments were kept or broken
according to need and who we are

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mighty Surge

one mistake leads to flurry
wild chaos proliferates yet
Brahms goes on as long as
rhythm persists hands land
again on consonance again

hugely or barely beyond me
the mighty surge embracing
mind emotion vast complex
contained in capacious form
pouring hot from our hearts

Monday, December 12, 2016

Just Me

if you can't do it yourself
it probably won't happen

or is it just me reluctant
to lose myself in a group

humans lean on teamwork
to have any impact at all

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Year Ahead

what is not cancelled may not happen anyway
but probably will most intentions are realized
surprisingly much gets done a little at a time

so I don't say what I won't do but what I will
unless the situation changes my appointments
rule benevolently I can make them a year ahead

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Diluted Value

political slapstick disavows reprisal
no one can win when it isn't a game
the villain hero takes home the cake

making fun of it is beside the point
none return from beyond the grave
diluted value can never be regained

incoherently we struggle to concur
each promoting a different analysis
hoping some of our values survive

Friday, December 09, 2016

Old Stories

how much do I need to know
not to be wrong about everything

or is the human brain so wired
it will always be able to fool me

learning is a form of forgetting
all over again from the beginning

old stories have to be told again
or the young will never know them

nothing is new when you are old
every place you go you remember

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Chair Time

driving in fog inside and out
wet above and below freezing
carefully lead ourselves home

stillness within and without a
cognitive ease leaning forward
enables my creative chair time

think enough but not too much
examining words hidden sense
emerges slyly grinning amazed

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Bloody Night

dim dawn barely breaks
in the dark time never
really dark Christmas
lights left on all day

electricity seems free
though billed monthly
each light too trivial to
count adds up to suicide

whole earth electrified
murderous Phillipines
glitters in bloody night
like a natural condition

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Almost True

hiking is serious walking
going for a walk is easier
going for a hike is harder
even an identical distance
this is the power of words
say it and it's almost true

Monday, December 05, 2016

All This

how quickly does the quick brain do
what it does react automatically decide
what we slowly then attempt to justify

I think about things without reaching
articulatable positions knowing I know
what I think before I actually think it

I want the facts the actual situation how
it came to be whether anything can be
done to right wrongs and make it better

being who I am is not subject to change
I should have done more for other people
but it's too late instead I've done all this

Friday, December 02, 2016

Do It

interest is potential gain
of coin or intellection

you know what you need
more than you can think

mental energies flow
where will commands

do it and be pleased
then you can relax

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Gray Again

dawn comes slowly probably gray
again I arise more promptly today
disconcerted by a dream of crazy
motel room sex in a hidden town
I can walk to from my remoteness

the story goes on like this in days
activities succeed in filling nicely
we are recovering again from pain
we will forget to remember when
the pleasant present's course is run

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Remains

is that smoke before my eyes
no merely the haze of age
all sensation gradually fading
yesterday's high a memory

and yet I am happy at last
with everything I need more
fully satisfied than I deserve
accepting gift and blessing

slower still I am fast enough
this plateau goes on forever
in the moment of enjoying
what remains a perfect life

Monday, November 28, 2016

No Question

what more could I want
than this living together
do what it takes to go on
no question this is right
night lead us to the light

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nothing Is Perfect

"The big choices we make are practically random." (Amos Tversky)

I still want perfect
though nothing is
and when I'm not
I can feel regrets
but not enough to
spoil the occasion

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Into the Rain

another game of ping-pong would have livened us up
instead I let you drive off into the rain read "Villette"
until eyes tongue brain boggled collapsed on the bed
before recovering to finish cleaning up boil more eggs
is it too late to learn to follow my well-won impulses
know it right to do what we need not justify or explain

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Thoughts

Monday, November 21, 2016

Terrible Mistakes

here comes the future
like it or no
some nifty advances
some appalling regression
terrible mistakes
some nourishing love
some destructive hate
we can't go back
but could go forward better
I may be wrong
probably not

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Routine

our new routine seems real
but changes every day
improvised according to plan

we set ourselves a schedule
to follow if we know how
who did what when and how it worked out

tomorrow will be much the same
overlapping continuities
colliding in the good name of progress

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Rise

the dream is long and various
Sweden a three-wheeled Vespa
sex with a boy an ancient theatre

having trouble breathing I rise
to a luminous colorful morning
ready to resume togetherness

choosing not to demonstrate
opposition to neighbors' votes
much as I deplore their choice

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Some Things

"What we are projecting with our minds is what we get." (Walter Anelli)

can we be happy
in spite of everything
some things go well
care and good will
solve some problems
improve situations
warm feelings are exchanged
more time bought
for the joy of living

Monday, November 14, 2016

On Living

by Nazim Hikmet

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example—
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people—
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees—
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

Let’s say we’re seriously ill, need surgery—
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we’ll look out the window to see if it’s raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast . . .
Let’s say we’re at the front—
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We’ll know this with a curious anger,
but we’ll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let’s say we’re in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind—
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet—
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space . . .
You must grieve for this right now
—you have to feel this sorrow now—
for the world must be loved this much
if you’re going to say “I lived”. . .

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Good Ideas

illusion of three dimensions
illusion of flat all illusions
describe themselves as real

illusion of black and white
illusion of natural colors all
impressions lean on artifice

impression of good ideas
independent of real facts
facts are what actually is

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Natural Energy

tired of looking my eyes
would enjoy a vacation
maybe nothing but art
zero pixels or moving
images give me a break

too much of it electric
buzzing into the brain
pleads no more let me
vibrate organically live
free on natural energy

Friday, November 11, 2016


how pleasing when the game works out
and it often does if you just cheat a little

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Enough Opinion

a finite number of ideas fly around
which ones will you grasp and hold
as if you were thinking for yourself

enough opinion about without mine
I incline to travel at my own speed
and keep what I am thinking private

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

No Telling

everything said becomes true
although nothing can be known
an opinion may well be wrong
whether you express it or not
even thinking we know better
no telling what anyone will do

Monday, November 07, 2016

What Else

if not why not
you have to wonder
what else is happening

news goes on
repeating its clichés
as if any of them signifies

while we talk
someone else suffers
lives and cities will expire

be still then
grateful to be exempt
spared the ruin of all things

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Changing Light

pink clouds and orange stripes
complement the golden grapes
before gray devolves into rain

I like even the dreary weather
changing light in our windows
marking seasons' stately march

today gives us a double rainbow
arching perfect over the walnut
as sun touches the cottonwoods

Friday, November 04, 2016


how it goes on

Thursday, November 03, 2016

So Lucky

eating reminds me that I exist
I am not alone self-sufficient
the pleasure of taste connects

by yielding to my suggestion
we'd eat well and walk less far
preserving our energy for art

each to his own way of power
exercised against a dull void
where others are not so lucky

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Urban Charm

rabbits first thing promote good fortune
though perfect health no longer assumed
each our physical civic and political woes
recite as fascinating to ourselves as dreams

waddling chickens more attractive as meat
center conversation on the delicious table
depart for the slaughter in Halloween dark
as beloved guests reconstitute urban charm

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Catching a Cold

I could easily fall down or apart
just catching a cold makes me feel
there's no point in doing anything
though I did bake a chocolate cake

after all I'm still all there is of me
apart from these traces of little depth
or weight marking my movements
like eddies of the transitory elements

instead I watch my step stay awake
take another dose of anti-viral hope
it's only me not catching or caught
by one who minds it infinitely more

Other Sounds

bed at twelve up at six works
as a regular protocol we each
have to find our own routine
intention adjusted to possible

other sounds at seven-thirty
break into the solitary spell
we make the bed I move on
toward blueberry pancakes

Saturday, October 29, 2016

No Rush

the point of the arrow is direction
not speed always looking forward
no rush in necessarily going there

if time doesn't notice what I think
I'll think it anyway easily revised
intention fits available resources

Our Weathers

something is sure to go wrong
in the background of rightness
or maybe the other way around
our weathers ever changeable
perfect health a faded memory
the world a welter of distress
our sweet routine interrupted
though only for a fun few days
others still tolerate traveling
we stay home loving how it is

Friday, October 28, 2016

So Far

anything can happen
but it seldom does
except in a novel it
hardly matters how or
whether it be plausible

transform everything
before the story dies
idle depressed and ill
what will you have her
do having come so far

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pitch Dark

reading is not writing even if
you are thinking about what to say
likewise writing is not reading
although it may be entertaining
in its own way and seemingly can
satisy one's need for expression

this is what I'm thinking feeling
consider worthwhile writing down
my process of consciousness while
darkness slowly yields to daylight
though it's actually still pitch dark
a matter of faith that day will come

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Slow Reading

do it now helps later
clarity of mind arises
naturally if you let it

piles of slow reading
supply needed input
output resolves itself

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Chairs

here I am diagonal there
square to the walls my
chairs planted and on
wheels eating the cork
floor I glued down badly
chewing up the fragile rug

peering at my screens I
piece together hours and
days between sleep and
waking mainly to eat and
write straight and read on
the angle I carefully chose

Sunday, October 23, 2016

In the Mood

now is the best time so I can watch a movie later on
as I'm in the mood to keep the balance going forward

if I were directing this play I wouldn't change a thing
the actors already know their lines and where to stand

I wrote it when I was younger and better able to stay
focused and felt it was worthwhile to write it all out

now there are pancakes to be made and a therapeutic
soak before the rest of the day carries us both away

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How It Was

small favors defy regret
as if previously worn or
frozen the same position
meaning something else
when you are the parent
not knowing how it was
or how to make it better

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reading Chair

New Yorkers multiply half-read books
pile up around my reading chair can't
read I have to do it and somehow stay
awake squirming wringing my hands

De Quincey Marx the Greenland ice
equally claim attention so does N+1
as Poetry laid aside mid-read repeats
everything about the New York School

I was never altogether there thinking
better lives exist what happened when
I went away meant nothing to me any
more beyond retrieving what was lost

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Wise Position

O.K. I get it what it is
is what it is and so on
full acceptance a wise
position for a person

we're all people here
depend on it cash out
prepare to spend it all
while it still has value

let's meet up in the city
where no one knows us
lunch and a movie will
make me feel all right

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


how fast can slow go
without stumbling on
technical limitations
forestalling fantastic
alternatives to virtue

do be both know best
how slow fast can be
and still note-perfect
with warm expression
flowing over the keys

or shall we just forget
how carefully to move
our weight and breath
and leap wildly about
to spite our best ideas

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

At Home

all-day errands resolve in perfect
solitaire as the evening air cools

solitude dissolves my will falls
like cards determining success

memory bids me shuffle again
lest last game haunts the deal

win or lose the game plays on
excusing its own false charm

thus the wastage is redeemed
a while whiled away at home

Monday, October 17, 2016

Before Winter

nothing further could be said
the train had already pulled out
I had lost you in the confusion
of the station were you aboard
how would we see each other
again this side of eternal rest

either way it was much better
to think of not thinking much
about what could be done for
those in need food and succor
on the way but not arriving in
time for complete assimilation

I blamed myself for everything
as if something more could be
done to improve our situation
though old we were not quite
beyond the heavy tasks that
had to be done before winter

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Story

am I here or in the story
pursued by desperadoes
hiding on a Texas hilltop
eight bullets in my gun

silence of no more wind
in the rain-charged night
the creek keeps on rising
anything might happen

taken away I still return
this the chosen actuality
I will defend to the end
of the story and my life

Friday, October 14, 2016

Energy Swirls

time for fun the wind
stirs everything up I
feel excited I can do
whatever it takes the
energy swirls around

calm in the middle of
the storm my leaking
roof happily repaired
dry in my writing den
love the wind and rain

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Even Now

that was yesterday
today nearly gone
what is tomorrow

between has sleep
a world of dream
separates realities

what I remember
makes who I am
even now become

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last Words

random reading
from Teilhard to cashless Sweden
imaginary friends paying with phones
and codes

the ding of new email
here is Baby Paul in Las Vegas
looking beautiful and alert
as usual

bedtime crossword ritual
followed by oxygen on demand
maple walnut ice cream yum
last words

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

All Pass

too boring to write about books
though I can't stop reading them
Sachs Welch McInerney Lilla
Foer Dillard Ishiguro Mitchell
all pass through my mazy brain
happily absorbed then forgotten
it is what I do and that's enough

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dimly Warmer

half moon could be going either way
in fact it's waxing already outshining
neighborhood electric lights that never
sleep as if thieves prowl all the night

darkness defeated in our modern days
till remembered by the sleeping soul
awoken by the dream or itch to wander
rooms lit dimly warmer than the wild

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Vulgar Sentiments

if I don't do it no one will
so generally I do the rain
falls regardless of virtues
expressed or acted out or
badness vulgar sentiments
all equally will be soaked
why should I let it stop me
so I don't I can change my
shoes after my task is done

Friday, October 07, 2016

Everything Else

thumbs up encourages further sentences
writing comes without effort only begin
which means stop doing anything else
which seems easy but is not always easy
the fact is one can do everything else too

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Left Out

if I think of something I'll tell you
if you want to talk to me call me
everything is connected by vibes
everybody dances to the same beat

if you want to know something ask
if you know anything important tell me
everybody hears the same stories
nobody is left out of humanity's fate

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Daily News

I don't want to know
every terrible thing that's going on
spare me the daily news
it's my birthday
I don't have to know
before tomorrow
if then

Monday, October 03, 2016

Work and Play

how can I work
if I can't play

hard is easy if
you do it right

life can be gay
I play at work

a wheelbarrow
gloves secateur

ripeness is now
the whole story

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Falling Short

perfection is what is
behind the Bach I actually play
the possibility of accurate
repetition of the true creation
the fact of genius
beyond the reach of cunning
effort total discipline
inevitable falling short
is what makes it perfect

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Continuous Improvement

unaccountable bounty of experience
stacked against forgetting what one
received as if my due being young
and lucky in my historical timing
expecting continuous improvement

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Slit Awareness

what is happening
is hardly all that is happening
even to me
forget the rest of the world
what I notice
narrows the slit awareness
not even noticed
no room for more in mind
can't watch movies
can't bear to go through it
more information too much
rut in the mud
imagines more still possible

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not Saying

self-criticism inevitably asserting self
necessity veiled in narcissistic mirror
blocks natural flow and accumulation
needed for living in the moment shared

not-to-be-spoken-of matters abound
absorbing possible attention to the real
arising constantly seeking expression
hidden by habit dressed as active choice

where is the open door to truthful being
beyond the half-attentive performance
before an audience of deplorable dolts
not saying what we most want to reveal

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Fig

what am I doing
basically nothing
why shouldn't I
relax and breathe
read at random
appreciate a fig
busy tomorrow

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Still Yesterday

do I have to be interesting
can't I just relax whatever

isn't it still yesterday today
or did I miss a whole week

next week may well be worse
if not here then somewhere

if you can't get up I'll help
unless I can't get up either

Friday, September 23, 2016

Not Myself

I have not been myself for some weeks now
who was I then if to be is to be me or you
or everyone else figuring out how to exist
given all this confusion and horrible wars

I know myself by now and what is not myself
an absence mainly and something else too
stealing my well-being and self-confidence
I am well and confident soon happy again

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Among Ruins

generous examples of goodness redeem
despair of no future because I have none
we live among ruins ruining everything
apples grapes cats kind people abound

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Every Day

agreement sought and received
we can go ahead as intended a
knee replacement a European
tour a new president a miracle
drug a thunderstorm an ice cream
sundae every day of every week

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No Excuses

language ages adapting to a new young
ignorant as we were when we were smart
it's your life you have to live in the now
moving as it always does in generations;

lay for lie offends me every time I hear it
especially from people who should know
better making who-whom errors in NYRB
on NPR even in Condé Nast's New Yorker

I don't really care I just know what's right
see little charm in being sloppy and losing
structural distinctions I've always enjoyed
I in the objective plain stupid no excuses

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Jolly Bounce

art is unexpected combinations
a post-postprandial nap slump
check writing record balancing
rain coming in through the roof
produced a jolly bounce in time
for company pingpong cooking
and a movie before time for bed

Friday, September 16, 2016

Evil Flowers

wrestling shrubbery for my sweetheart
these evil flowers beloved of butterflies
barely visible by the sinking sun I am
happy naturally warm at last I must
be high why not summer getting on

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Even Right

that you truly believe
and may even be right
does not irmply that
everyone else is wrong

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bug Picture

little things take you over
and meanwhile the big picture
is a total disaster real problems
barely mentioned shared wrong
assumptions never questioned
and the juggernaut rolls on

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Great Art

how can I walk home
three miles through the woods
it's suddenly completely dark
and I've lost my shoes

someone offers me a smoke
ridges of weed open-face on a wide paper
light it with a wooden match
surprisingly effective

in the morning the streets are empty
as if there never was a party
my friend sleeping with the windows open
and a trunkful of great art

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fine Surges

music is pattern mind
responds to organized
structures evolving in
formal gesture moving
to deliciously delayed
cadences of resolution

time more than passes
taken apart fine surges
of tenderness arise to
carry forward our own
desire for harmonious
unfolding now exact

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Durable Goodness

just keeping track of what needs to be done
is a full-time job roof repair chicken fence
process the harvest into durable goodness
helpers help when they actually show up

and then there's the self aging body needs
appointments procedures regiments of pills
how you feel as if different from all of that
learning limits realize there's no going back

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Monthly Fee

nothing is required
if dues stay paid

or did we convert
to a monthly fee

terms redefined
corporations rule

noncombatant old
equally in danger

Friday, September 09, 2016

Whole Story

if the man's achievement is his work
who is the man when not working if
reality comes into existence by being
transformed into something like art
what of moments that simply happen
and disappear is anything really over
if the whole story can never be told
the parts must stand for everything
these fragments the truth of existing
conditional temporary but all that is

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Plenty More

flies are calibrated to annoy
which isn't fair to them or us
brings out the human desire
to kill and of course they die
there are plenty more flies
people too for that matter
which doesn't make killing
what annoys right or good

Hours Late

I could easily pass out
in the searing soda-ginger soak
reading about the siege of Malta
but I don't
instead arise and proceed as if normally
shave apply unguents
all over my unhappy body
and dress for the gym
hours late

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Me Enough

high altitude enjoying same sunshine
nightly report formalizes end of day
easy to imagine warming up the bed

my own low life continues trajectory
adapts to unexpected developments
me enough despite random settings

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

All New

if I can't still play the piano
will music come back to me

music too long all known
background to writing life

only playing lets me yield
to its insistent dramatics

recedes like so much else
into an art-saturated past

listening now I remember
listening when it all was new

Sunday, September 04, 2016

By Himself

no one noticed that he went off by himself
but when they did he would be in trouble
these dream fragments rarely seem to apply
any expectation of coherence is misleading
what you dread is the established protocol
the system takes over and you lose all control
when your body betrays you where can you go

Friday, September 02, 2016

No Normal

each existing counts absolutely
while it lasts the music breathing
with the shift of weight gently
sustaining available emotions

my view and symptoms typical
of privilege the relatively few
survive in time to wonder why
others might think them trivial

each fate what it is no normal
way of staying human despite
everything going wrong future
dubious for all of us at once

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Still Coherent

strange feelings hot and cold vaguely
disoriented eyes dilated unsure of hip
still coherent function normally oddly
cheerful considering how the meaning
of everything has changed if I can say
what I mean more specifically I should

New World

an "ideological certification"
I would never pass although
I am as American as anyone
born in the heartland loving
our prairies and wide skies
great cosmopolitan eastern
cities where I learned love
can I still be myself in this
pitifully failing new world

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Good

making myself useful is the least
I can do anything I put my mind to

body another matter now I'm old
strength senses fading unperfected

what good can what I know do me
now that time asserts its dominion

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Haircut

I keep forgetting what I am doing
what am I doing fetching almonds
stirring the stew feeling a bit better
having practiced Mozart practicing
helps no problem at the gym my hip
no longer hurting and got a haircut
that always makes me feel younger

Monday, August 29, 2016

Say When

either day is fine for us
no further plans I want
to mention absent trips
you'll find me at home

regular routine loosens
any time early enough
waiting for midnight I
write in order to read

say when and I'll come
always glad to see you
still devoted to the art
we conspire to sustain

Sunday, August 28, 2016


the real me is
not written down

Still You

later it is more about symptoms
and specialists you don't want to
talk about what's really going on
is still your life still you inside

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Miles Apart

out of range too cruel
as if we should be talking
although miles apart

days of absence pass
both busy doing things
we want to be doing

the moon connects us
each thinking of the other
painfully out of range

Friday, August 26, 2016

Excellent Company

they're my people Froelicher Schuyler
Porter Ashbery O'Hara gone too soon
that's how I wanted to live beautiful
things fine food excellent company
"At a certain point, I have an idea,
and then I have to resolve it." I was
late to the party distracted by youth
not self enough yet to seize the time
immortalized in paintings and poems

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Every Word

how much noise is in my head
quite a bit and all the others
reciting poetry brilliantly managed
by the bar waitress food cart honchos
much was said some of it intelligible
too many poets mumble and croon
poetry depends on every word

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Flying Low

like flying low over a patchy landscape it
could be the American West green islands
in prairies of dormant grass as good as dead

no signs of human habitation no straight
lines scored across the empty land no roads
farms etc. of course not it's the summer lawn

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Close Attention

I am one who regrets knowing
whether to remember all that
happened to be happening at
a time I happened to be paying
close attention what I learned
was never do any of that again

now I really should know better
but I still remember times I was
not thinking clearly just doing
what happened to be happening
thankful someone else making
plans I could fairly safely follow

Monday, August 22, 2016

Smart Kid

I don't "get" the cartoons now
have I changed or have they
well both me just a smart kid
from Kansas City their world
of attitude what I aspired to
New York was sophisticated
its currency personal charm
now you have to be ironic at
three removes of plain stupid
taking place in a ruined world
unkown never to be seen again

Sunday, August 21, 2016

One Man

this is a piece of something I am writing
it is all a piece one man indivisible

Friday, August 19, 2016

All Over

planning my death
what is to happen
when I am not alive
or compos mentis
not to leave a mess
or undue confusion

not just the money
but my literary work
all come to naught
potential unrealized
when I am not here
as living validation

I really don't care
it's all over for me
my spirit reunited
with the mighty All
air we all breathe
souls we all co-own

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sweeping the Floor

Feeling lost and empty is not funny.
Sweeping the floor helps.
You are not actually paralyzed.
Everything doesn't have to be funny.
Louis C.K. doesn't have to be funny and he's a comedian.
We are all comedians.
You can be funny if you want to be funny.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Easy Path

what you didn't know surprises
an easy path to the swimming hole
long hidden in blackberries

an unexplained explosion outside
a horse kicking a board probably
or something is terribly wrong

swiftly catch the fleeting glimpse
revelation comes in tiny sips
oceanic moments easily missed

Monday, August 15, 2016

Looking On

silence a thick mixture of sound
even close to midnight on the farm
our own systems hum and puff
crickets chirp traffic approaches
out of the patchy prairie darkness

longing for simplicity as humans
we blindly complicate our lives
contrive to need a million things
smug that we actually have them
several buildings barely hold it all

delight as well in multiplicities
inexhaustible manyness of days
people art weather various acts
all one with each other animals
looking on as we puzzle it out

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Further Hope

an earnestly modern sensibility
encourages intensity of attitude
or is it the other way around

certain tensions propel good work
trying to keep up with yourself
without giving up further hope

no one minds if you don't do it
your own desire for expression
more than enough to keep it real

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Dragon

"...young men from miles around were sent to Elizavetgrad just to look at her."

awoken the dragon demands to be fed
Tibetan thunder reminds it of wetness
cold Himalayan light around the world
shining in the middle of our dull night

shtetl life survives amid the alien corn
the dragon unappeased thrashes alone
barbed red tail breaking ancient china
demanding we sacrifice our only child

everything was supposed to be harder
mathematics Everest none can climb
the dragon not intended even to exist
lest every day dissolve itself into dust

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Other Forms

old expectations keep slipping
into other forms can I adjust I
must I know this little territory
inside out by now I've been here
long enough to not be surprised
by transformation like it or no

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

I Will

if I can I will
things tell me what is possible
don't try just do
what is done is what was possible

then I know more
whether to keep on with this
or something else
which might prove surprising

the light is changed
animals recognize the seasons
I do what I can
as the opportunity arises

Monday, August 08, 2016

Cracked Skin

"What shocks the virtuous philosopher delights the camelion Poet..." (Keats)

distracted only partly by consuming pain
in my case cracked skin hands and possible
tooth not feeling at all right what the point
of saying so when chocolate sundae of ideas
sparkle practical farm matters carry forward
projects live for friends things getting done

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Precious Living

no more quickly do I address the dirt
piles of rubbish waiting to be welcome
to the presidential birthday for the rich
and famous glittering in their celebrity

my quality of life depends on luck good
habits cultivated friends even from afar
count as blessings brighten twilight hours
as well as every aspect of precious living

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Their Taste

pears falling fiercely off the tree
demand to be picked or picked up
allowed to ripen voluptuously eaten
my hands so sore I can barely pare
and peel them to complete granola
barely type this tribute to their taste
sweet juicy delicate perfectly pear

Friday, August 05, 2016

All Young

the clock runs as if time
were a measue of anything
real we need to know about
granola toasting chickens
and turkeys crowing aloud

light marks the daily round
changing with the seasons
advancing age marks years
we have known each other
since we were all young

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Some Roads

officially old we stride forward anyway
watching our footing not wanting to fall
and break something not easily repaired

this full summer promises another winter
makes you think it all just a cycle but no
some roads go somewhere some just end

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Desire for Light

flowers bloom weeds
grasses flourish trees
reach toward the sky
earthbound I relish
share desire for light
need food water light
to live and reproduce
images beyond being
present upon the land
fauna and flora one

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Knowing All

do I have to be aware of everything
care and have a defensible opinion
not that anyone is asking what I think

events will still catch me by surprise
there is not a thing I can do about it
even knowing all there is to know

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Perfect Weather

not always knowing better is a relief if you believe it
how people swim vehicles they drive how they live
perfect is how I would do it if I could do it perfectly

anything but ordinary discovers itself to be much
like everyone else pleased with a summer barbecue
blessed with perfect weather functional company

everybody does something especially the chefs
enough chairs for all appear in the circle of shade
tears of memory and mutual love well up in all eyes

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fellow History

taking time out to read
no one notices you are
not "missing" missing
anything needed every
minute of a perfect day

otherwise you would be
exhausted remembering
why we are all together
diverse cohesion binds
fellow history runs deep

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Only Yourself

sanity is correct understanding if you accept
that one way of seeing can be truer than another
are you only yourself or a representative human
what is true for you may not be true for everybody
if truth is virtue how can anyone then be good

More Energy (2)

if I'm going to brag about it
I have to do it thus I do it
feeds intself no need to try

more people bring more
energy but not to a purpose
unless you have one yourself

I do and continually pursue
questions of meaning identity
what is really happening here

in the process learning what
you might call humility if
one dared to own up to it

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Even So

apologies are all I can offer
resolving to mend my ways
stop indulging in arrogance
it's embarrassing forgive my
daily errors as Seneca would
go on being himself even so

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More Energy

not quite collapsing I
stumble from task to task
of course not workouts
swimming keep me fit

everything necessary
and more is done it's
enough I can relax
as the crowd gathers

they bring more energy
we all feed each other
personalities obsessions
ideas how to do it better

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Knowing

if I could but think
and say my knowing
I would be wise enough
to give consent instead
constrained by others'
cunning misinformed
robbed of my modest

Sunday, July 24, 2016

For Eggs

I talk to my chickens
address them as ladies
inquire of their health
suggest they be nicer
to their little friend
thank them for eggs
sure they understand
how much I like them

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Big Words

chocolate music Brahms Carter
counting on oxygen gravitation
intervene against neural decline
reasserting our possible nobility
big words mean more business
personal flourishes boost flavor

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Real People

erase all that start over with a fresh idea
be no less blunt good words don't hurt
despite the fog of vague associations
the idea is me and in me will come out
what I wrote before no longer satisfies
circumstances reinvented by time alone
what I wanted then not what I want now
say more or less what I think life means
this slippery secret journey between real
people and consructs of wandering mind

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Morning Sun

awake not that different
if you can't move about
practice waking actions

you sit in your chair see
shadows of the morning
sun move across a room

remember being in bed
lost in secret dreaming
did you actually get up

later a nap after action
punctuates the daylight
lying down eyes closed

if I sound depressed it
may be viral transitory
afflictions come and go

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Lovely Attitude

it's nice to be paid
but I'd do it anyway
is a lovely attitude
if you can afford it
fortunately I can

Monday, July 18, 2016

No Trace

reading and thinking of something else
a thought like a dream leaves no trace
I was there and also somewhere other
also here where I had been all along

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Wonder

How am I existing? In the space between watching a Times video and writing something, what exists? This body, this consciousness. Shall I have something to eat? Why do anything? Who is doing it? Suddenly I wonder, then again. I itch. I breathe. I am still. Silence is a roaring in my ears, the slow rhythmic puff of the oxygen concentrator, the rustling of my movements in the chair, a peep from my stomach. Do I exist by writing? How does it help?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Slow Decline

whether to turn my head
do the next thing or not
stasis abruptly pleasant

I deserve a few pauses
in the steady unfurling
writing and tidying up

aged father's stillness
on an Acapulco balcony
models a slow decline

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Forgive Yourself

the gaps reveal
all you didn't do
you were doing
something else

forgive yourself
for all omissions
rather consider
all that was done

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Strange Characters

that this is the one possibility
though circumstances vary widely
and will change willy-nilly
though we feel completely stuck

inevitable in retrospect
we didn't know it at the time
strange characters as president
making the same mistakes again

so this is what we turned into
unified by name and family story
unique and like everyone else's
rich or poor win or lose we all die

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Self Body

sex is self
the body me

more self

self body

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Night

this is the night the Queen blossoms
twice and just for us enormous bursts
of spikes and petals extruded from the
sides of leaves on random stalks interior
architecture fit for one Amazonian moth
heavy scent seduction beyond sweetness
worth waking up and getting out of bed
to marvel at this natural magnificence
gone by daylight like the bliss of love

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Even Less

whatever time it is someone
is barely falling asleep so be
quiet unless you have to sing

still until you have to dance
give in completely if you can
wait an hour it will be better

no need to say goodbye again
it's only for a little while we
do this every year or even less

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Too Real

what came before reappears
as magnificent as ever now
you knowing how to see
what occurs within range

three-year-old legs strong
but not long to run ahead
returns in self-awareness
benefit all honest viewers

after the everyday drama
a too real naptime dream
fine grandparental dinner
a movie helps forget it all

reaffirms a meta-continuity
in a precious shared parade
leads to the hour of just me
before sleep's weird oblivion

Four Words

my eyes crossing
limits what I can do
too tired to type I
can't form four words

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Awake Again

a movie in my mind I
must be falling asleep
then I am awake again
everything is the same
the movie flashes by
outwinks the flasher
he manages to bring
my $15,000 something
is right with the world

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

One Step

standing on a slope
leaning into it
one step at a time
flex ankles
trudge ahead
flatness abounds
turbulent art
expands to twice

go then if you must
return in sunlight
alone forever
abandon cities
overthrow kings
and then what
doves butterflies
further interests
shyly unfold

Two People

every nuance is symbolic
of something lived before
its hidden intentionality
overriding normal pleasure
we must endeavor to relax
which ought to be natural

we can never be just any
one or two people together
clear in each other's eyes
if we could pay attention
I am the father you the son
every encounter a tragedy

equally the greatest joy
most valued of creations
transcendent continuity
in the form of a real man
discovering being itself
delivering his own child

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Alien Doves

it isn't morning anymore
the alien doves are sleeping
you're abed I'll follow soon
after wrapping up the day

my innocence is still intact
in spite of knowing better
it's obvious what matters
despite everything they say

today Man reached Jupiter
far beyond this trivial air
as if going were a higher goal
than doing one's best at home

Monday, July 04, 2016

More Fun

something important happened
in the dream I can't remember
our town fireworks privatized
hooray for the Fourth anyway
I can have more fun in the city
all I do here anymore is weed
I'll make blueberry pancakes
for myself then go to the gym
drive into Portland see Alfred
celebrate the country I loved

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Everyday Fun

"…what an innocuous, insignificant prank it is to write all these things down!" (Robert Walser)

such is so much
summer visitors
everyday fun

lightly light
cerulean sky

hours open up
doing tasks
I think of you

Saturday, July 02, 2016

This Chair

so this is it he thought in the bright morning
with a clarity only wanting the windows to be washed
which he would do after cleaning the house
this is the car I will go on driving from now to the end
the persona I have constructed after all these years
choices made for reasons I barely recognize
leading to this chair this day this crowing cock

Friday, July 01, 2016

Don't Ask

if I don't ask
I won't mind
no answers

doesn't do it
for me either
before bed

our leader
promised me
slow failing

so I go on
not knowing
who I am

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Plenty of Time

assuming I may fall into incapacitation or drop dead any day now
is quite relaxing in a way although I still want to get things done
the environment needs to be maintained and the bills keep coming
I privilege love and friends over solitary work and I always have
there is plenty of time to be solitary and continue to self-express
isn't that what everyone is doing though not necessarily as art

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Not Too Old

ninety-eight is not too old for chocolate cake
I celebrate it on my own with a banana split
hoping we all will feel much better very soon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dive In

cool water on a hot day
dive in have confidence
dissolve in it tread water
correct the spelling later

meantime everything else
goes on needing to be done
deer love roses fence down
let them have their desire

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Feeling

why do I scratch
I want to feel something
as if the taste of fresh berries and cream
weren't a feeling
or vertigo
or the wonderful tomato sauce
I made to put on polenta
or Schumann
or Maggie Nelson
or the power mower bouncing over the lawn
I don't need to scratch too

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stay Cool

trying to stay cool
the fan comes on
in my laptop in
my lap remember
learning to scratch
it feels so good
you can't stop doing it

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Future Past

who are our guardians
if not ourselves or each
other better able to see
if not know better who
each one chooses to be

this is what we needed
to say what we meant
excavate wisdom from
experience moving on
invent our future past

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Walk

these woods are ours we planted them
a dozen years ago 400 native saplings
a wide swath down along Silver Creek
protected them from deer and beavers
as best we could ran long hoses to them
the first dry summers enough survived
tall now a dense mix of varied species
wild undergrowth I mow a walking path
but can't just enjoy my walk too much
to be done a beaver cut down a poplar
blackberries taking over the stream bank
clematis climbing the trees and no one
to save it make it into a beautiful park
I would if I could the price of owning

Normal Functions

how we are novel
clusters in a void
like galaxies like
universes spinning
in a bumpy field

how have purpose
special pleasures
arising in a tempo
each its singular

how we do go on
normal functions
often self-repair
each one unique
freely swarm

welcome warmth
deplore decline
tend to pair up
help each other
study to exist

Thursday, June 23, 2016


when I die don't worry
in case I didn't mean it
time is finite though it
feels infinite anything
might happen and will
you can embrace it all
and be more complete
death could come right
now any time is fine
leave life unfinished

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Emotion

how do I feel about X
impatient exasperated
heart-broken helpless
is that an emotion too

why feel anything when
it's obviously hopeless
too much already said
about what's happened

obviously I feel terrible
how did we let this occur
everything going to hell
nothing done to stop it

personally I am well and
happy to be living my life
loving loved and creative
my heart full of gratitude

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Being Sick

recovered you can't remember being sick
or if you do it doesn't matter
misery ahead unknowable saves all fear

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's Time

full moon solstice sooner than ever
turns before we know it's time as if
summer started ending as it begins

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Italian Men

a seemingly boundless store of feeling
awaits recognition in each individually
pretended nonexistence notwithstanding
I am the trumpet cock telephone alarm

is this Italy it is Florence in the morning
the streets freshly washed by beautiful
machines operated by Italian men who
don't see me catch another train and go

much later I know how I must have felt
between the coffee opera monuments of
a better age before ego got the best of us
strawberries in season and Schubert alive

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Least Details

the details that matter are the date
the year is now with all its history
place under a thin realm of cloud
and which pilgrimage brings you

if you are seeking history it is lost
former tribes built no monuments
existed without reading or writing
at one with moments as they pass

how would I live without the word
a timeless illusion of permanence
meaning beyond one little lifetime
its least details will matter forever

continuity includes the forgetting
where you came from how you can
think yourself real worth knowing
why you keep doing what you do

Friday, June 17, 2016

Going Anywhere

summer again next week the glaciers gone water
a problem for the grass trees dying people thirsty

elsewhere in the world one hates to think about
going anywhere that used to be so interesting

creativity was inherently revolutionary but not
in this age of commercialization and celebrity

the wildest art as a perk of power and wealth
only titillates whatever its ideas and gestures

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reading Aloud

severe skin all-over prickling
coming and going inexplicably
meanwhile everything goes on
as usual need energy to keep up

and the car has its troubles too
and the world is coming apart
fools or worse grabbing power
for their own dubious purposes

I'll get over this then something
else will go wrong and so on
keeping a record for the gods
to read aloud in the long winter

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Local Roads

the actual miners go down in the holes
work hard in grueling conditions unlike
you me or the flaggers on local roads
like waitpeople cooks not lifeguards

what it might be like to actually work
might satisfy more than nothing to do
to get you through the day something
constructive cooperative with others

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Somewhere Else

we are Greek and Christian via Rome
but all that came later than the forest
our grunts and sea-calls echo bears
and gulls calling us to leave the land

driven away by jungle wet and desert
we traveled north into simpler trees
and onward still to windy highlands
where trees were stunted and sparse

now we worship them one by one
standing still in half-remembered
consciousness of being on our way
from somewhere to somewhere else

Monday, June 13, 2016

What Else

curiosity is a good enough reason
possibly the best follow your
curiosity find your bliss

pleasure is never trivial what else
identifies as your very own
technology can satisfy

a piano is technology nothing wrong
with ever-changing pathways
to the same pure end

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Not Personal

"Our pleasure is individual-—but not personal."
—Roland Barthes, "The Pleasure of the Text"

the same with blueberries
or clouds (without edges)
they are for all who taste
as well as eat all who see

I can be myself without
necessarily affirming me
write "I" as if it were "he"
one existing as we all do

Friday, June 10, 2016

Not Me

this is not me
or rather it is
not the actual
body of course
sitting here and
writing this no
this me is what
materializes one
letter at a time
something else
is propagated
the literary me
true to itself

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Even Rain

less eventually nothing if you don't start
you can be sure it might even rain then
you'll be sorry even if you aren't already

don't imagine I am giving up until I do
something more actively stupid than an
extra-long nap on a dark wet afternoon

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Home Gardening

anxiety of abundance
stress of harvest home
gardening needed time
strength agility lacking
saved by younger friend
happy working $100 days
too many blueberries ripe
for me to pick and freeze
incomparable on granola
escaping chickens show
varied smarts brown one
comes home white one
doesn't get it when it's
dark enough I grab her
throw her in good night

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

What We Meant

more is always to be told
showing makes doing real
think it over after the fact
impossible while in the act

this is what happened to us
only because we say it did
otherwise invisibly melting
into time's imaginary flow

even then we'll soon forget
what mystified in the doing
grasping at the barest hints
twigs upon a rushing torrent

considering the obstacles
we do more than expected
registering protest at least
saying what we meant to do

Monday, June 06, 2016

My Dream

remember my dream later
I never do

is that enough a day full
of nothing

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Immensely Varied

the same word or phrase can mean
all kinds of things as people are not
at all all the same circumstances also
immensely varied not like you or me

therefore how does one read or write
because words are not what they mean
but a system to solve this very problem
you have to be willing to be understood

this includes a distinct class of esthetes
as in nothing matters more than beauty
their joy distinctly felt but never shown
thus classical music and other language

how do you show it there are no words
and the ones there are you don't speak
sure everbody should speak standard
English but that's not going to happen

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Some Places

how hot is hot not really
some places so hot you die
I wilt willingly do anything
that arises in the shade
weather is like health I
need some then I'm happy

Friday, June 03, 2016

Keep Trying

capitalism has to be progressive
otherwise I don't see the point
just constant scramble to keep up
individually and as a civilization
we have to keep trying to improve
we can if that's what we aim for
ultimately this system can't go on
all balloons either pop or shrivel
maturity suggests a time to stop
better we be seeking equilibrium
concentration better than growth
once you are as big as you can be

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Too Much

normal living is almost enough
without writing or accomplishing
anything more these blog poems
retail most of the stories anyway

amid Karl Ove's confused twenties
we know how well it will turn out
he makes it into these good books
and is the writer he wanted to be

I already am what I am becoming
already wrote the books of my life
still living I am aware of being old
beyond the luxury of infinite time

in other words it's now or never
more than ever defined by being
each doing adds to the richness
already too much and too little

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Growing Mint

perfect iced tea introduces June
weeding climax survived intact
as we'll ever be never younger

I was my grandmother's eldest
male a role I readily embraced
admired for easy achievements

eventually it reemerges in her
recipe you have to be growing
mint use best Assam black tea

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rich Carpets

dream light night inside the dark
music curtains drawn lamps lit
rich carpets remember footsteps
deep inside their Persian pattern

does it drive rabbits to suicide
or were they already that crazy
I don't know what they expected
to hear this isn't show business

Monday, May 30, 2016

Turning Blue

often the problem goes away
you just needed time to think
it is confusing if you let it be
but the berries are turning blue
the weeds are defeated at last
months roll over semitypically
old and young negotiate love
whatever happens will be fine
if luck holds and heaven smiles

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Between Words

nothing stays the same longer
than it has to be told who you
wish to be in another situation

what it means is what it says
where it lives between words
with identical meanings if so

therefore decide for the time
being who you are becoming
without following any script

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Taken Away

change is allowed in fact you'd better
what isn't given up will be taken away
the time comes because you liked it
doesn't mean you have to do it sgain

pleasures fade and so does fear of pain
you get used to it nothing new anymore
and no point going back where you were
every streetcorner clogged with memories

what you used to do you still can sort of
I'm still here more or less the same man
former boy but that was a long time ago
what is not forgotten no longer applies

Friday, May 27, 2016

Better Off

steadily warming inevitable growth
precedes decay disintegration meet
to converse particular time location
demands presence for a flourishing

let us reconsider ways we manage
waking incorporate dream stories
deplan our swims breathing deeply
easily exchange intense revelation

our exes better off without us now
select expedience can never forget
a different state unhelpful altitude
if you say so I will gratefully echo

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Going to Town

why does it have to be so ugly
the working farmland beautiful
enter the fringes of our capital
suddenly both sides an unsightly
mess no coherent design or plan
brand new vulgar clashes against
old-fashioned funky falling apart
visual clutter of cars and business
block after block mile after mile
it's unbearably stupid our world

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Perfect Fit

for Jean-Claude van Itallie

what not confident
after eighty years to
learn to be oneself
this has to do with
everything I can be
one world imagined
shaping itself to me
and fits me perfectly

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

No Illusion

vanity is entirely fantasy
if you wanted to go there
laugh at something funny
not at what makes me me

cliches of another episode
pathetic if you let them be
innocent as I ever was fear
no illusion you ever knew

Monday, May 23, 2016

Too Pretty

clouds too pretty to look at
rise to their sublimity look
well enough to take them in

you stop in your tracks but
only so long the light goes
rose into its own memory

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Another Layer

shivery feeling suggests it's cold
but maybe it's just me "haptics"
gone awry as itching is not pain
shivers not wholly thermometric

another layer helps of clothing
I mean not of meaning nothing
means anything but we go on
wandering around wondering

I do anyway ever more aware
how much there is that I don't
even realize is there different
lives I can't imagine knowing

my own a tapestry of itches
parallel to thought and loving
work and play one endeavor
undeterred by mere sensation

Friday, May 20, 2016

An Anniversary

delirious with joy no more
frustrating student of piano
an anniversary two glasses
of wine with a $100 dinner
a classical American sunset
a full moon rising what else
could anyone possibly want

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pure Play

music all emotion but hardly particular
the way you might feel glad or jealous
all emotions in one suspended in time
feeling itself as long as a beat goes on

all form matches to something inside
craves order yearns for eternal return
affirms its breath and its beating heart
harmony images of atoms and galaxies

history is born again in each movement
ideas no words can explain slipping past
even as you half-discern their meanings
embodied in patterns made in pure play

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What's Next

no point in complaining
but one wants to report
interesting what happens

and a certain alarm felt
never know what's next
and it won't all be good

still the present matters
as much as anything can
be active do as you will

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

That Idea

I invented a concept
but no one noticed
I didn't dance to it
went on as before
thought this is fine
what was that idea
I had it for a second

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Caught Up

my father at 80
sat still musing
as if turned off
alarming to me
at half his age
now caught up
I have the same
brief moments
tingling aware
doing nothing
clearly happy
simply to exist

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Soaked Sneakers

time going forward drags its past along
soaked sneakers heavier on the pedals
knowing you can't get here from nowhere

so where am I now to be speaking from
receding from readers on a fast caboose
500 miles of prairie and a mountain wall

this itch I scratch the same as yesterday's
all history converging into a single now
multiplied by billions the mind boggles

still you look in one direction at a time
according to which way you are facing
and can't always be turning clear around

Friday, May 13, 2016

Too Hard

what's more as if this isn't enough
grips my waking expectations as if
my take on what I do mere proposal
the real house book conversation to
follow later after I figure out what
I want hidden under layers of error
pretense self-serving preconception
I am too hard on myself indulgent
parodist of irony looking for truth

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Certain Gaps

perverse diffidence accounts for certain gaps
opportunities offered and not seized because
I was distracted doubting the value of success
unsure of my ability to work at a higher level

instinctive modesty wars with my arrogance
classist assumptions of superiority unearned
playing the Yale card although I dropped out
that didn't seem to matter when I had the air

undone by my own not doing I pressed ahead
accepting this is who I am not who might be
if I wrote better if I had let myself be helped
if I'd released my ego singularity and said yes

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

An Opportunity

we do what we do
knowing it's
barely enough
the need infinite

if I were Chinese
would I be
sitting here as
the sun rises

nothing to do
an opportunity
for something
beyond a day

Monday, May 09, 2016



Sunday, May 08, 2016

Effects Follow

remember to read more
than is written happens
even if you don't know

try to utter something
similar or not the least
like every prior thought

someone will read this
effects follow from less
without leaving a trace

Saturday, May 07, 2016

No Wobble

let us change the way you run
first walk let your arms swing
the direction you are moving
straight ahead also your legs
straight from past to future
what was to what becomes
everything linear no wobble
does it feel better or worse

Friday, May 06, 2016

Crazy Thoughts

if cars could realize what's going on around them
they'd be terrified with human drivers behind the wheel
thinking their wild and crazy thoughts feeling numb
teach me to drive they'd say if they could speak to us
I will be mindful of the prime rule, which is never touch
soon we will have nothing to do instead of too much

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Just Read

I'm feeling pretty low
what with my hands sore
rough dry cracking
my skin itching all over
and being so old
there's really no hope
so maybe not writing
is less depressing
I never want that
my dark side is over
maybe I'll just read
a Nick Hornby novel
or if that fails watch
another episode of
Horace and Pete

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Naturally Warm

here and there a cat stares at something invisible
more intricate irises erupt in extravagant colors
the lawn growing fast soon needs mowing again
goldfish in the horse tanks don't stop mosquitoes
the horses and steers are feasting in the pastures
chickens lay more eggs as the days grow longer
everything is easier when we are naturally warm

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The Merge

longing arises
give in
it's visceral
but what to
if only I liked heroin
just kidding
an all-over plunge-in
actually arriving somewhere
like sex
swimming comes close
the water embraces
every inch of skin
in the dry I'm partway there
already imagining
the merge

Monday, May 02, 2016

Just Music

trying to do everything at once
just music devoid of meaning
like sunrise or cinnamon toast

trying to explain what I mean
find out in the process like day
or night completing its hours

trying to show I know better
not telling everything at once
to anyone happening to pass

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Natural Beauty

rainbows are corny but uplifting
God's promise is it or evidence
of natural beauty in divine order

synchronizing my movements
with my tai chi teacher gives
pleasure like musical rhythm

words for thoughts are waiting
do I find them or do they find me
ready to breathe and shift weight

Friday, April 29, 2016

Making Plans

you think this is everything
because it is all you have
and now the only moment

well yes but there are other
universes other people are
making plans for next year

age can't define whole life
or nourishment be skipped
without dire implications

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Get Help

is it too late for further improvement
just as we were approaching the ideal
remodel the guest bathroom move the
slightly misplaced ceiling lights above
the dining room table and the piano
get help with the horses and gardens
weed the flowers kill the blackberries
make the creek walk a beautiful park
or is it time to plan an orderly retreat

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Hint

this is easier than writing it all out
assuming we all have the same life
I don't have to tell you about mine
we both understand the implication
why elucidate an idea a hint will do
you will know what I mean vaguely

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Input

on the road between originality and accessibility
actual words perverse and obscene music beautiful

this could all be explained if you want to go there
personally I prefer to keep it vague and blurred

friends in other time zones can't replace legibility
active study of everything reveal so much more

visitors from abroad keep me in touch with new
input knowing doing anything helps one stay sane

Monday, April 25, 2016

Too Busy

this will interest you
(films by Harry Dodge)
from one generation to
one or more of the following

have their own interests
don't share the references
(music by Nico Muhly)
are too busy to care about
anything you don't already know

who's ahead of whom
is there any appreciation
(books by Patti Smith)
yes there is yes definitely there is

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Just Eat

one's last anything what a
thought what else is there

instead of dinner just eat
independence unrelatable

potentially assisted living
if you can't do it yourself

Saturday, April 23, 2016

All Wrong

what I am not managing to say
or even think is beyond entropy
which applies to closed systems
I'm open energy keeps coming in
though not as fast as it's going out

what I mean is what I really feel
living these rapidly changing times
as if it finally caught up with me
I scramble to accept the situation
though so much of it is all wrong

what I mean to say is I know that
but I never have facts to prove it
personally comfortable for now
conscious of being compromised
ready as I can be for whatever is

Friday, April 22, 2016

Letting Go

rain thinks of other rain
other roofs back to boy
kept inside being bored
read dream play games
with mother or cousins
awning edges dripping
a row of shining drops
one by one letting go

or else go out fight wet
with wet raincoat boots
or nothing if it's warm
you're alone in woods
no one to see or judge
emphatically grounded
neutral energy ready
for a next mad charge

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Very Little

the blueberries will survive without weeding
but will I I have to stop myself from busyness
work conversing nap errands dining dishes
the car mats had to be washed and put away
the chicken water collapsed needed cleaning
hung up multiple pairs of corduroys realizing
I have a ridiculous range of choices of pants
and very little occasion to vary my wardrobe
L. L. Bean is so easy a few clicks they arrive
before that I did laundry air-dried the sheets
I didn't remake the guest room bed I stopped

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Too Soon

even then I didn't know
how everybody eats
and gets along

always the same stories
only half imagining
the basic facts

but I was actually there
and paying attention
I have to know

now I am too long gone
thinking it signified
more than love

beyond feeling is nothing
but texts and pretexts
ended too soon

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Good Feelings

did you have something else to do in Portland
or did you come just to see me I imagine asking
if we get that friendly and I don't see why not
we like so many of the same people and worlds

is this a story or the continuation of an old one
or is there just one story with numberless details
I would like to keep it going keep figuring it out
keep finding new good feelings for people I know

Monday, April 18, 2016

Part One

I am still living not done yet
something new occurs to me
I don't think I already know

nor is confusion any excuse
if confused one acts anyway
clarity the moment of doing

who you were then part one
one part of who you are now
made up from the same stuff

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Do Something

wringing my hands which are swollen inflamed
itching stinging burning with some weird reaction
to the outdoors sun plant matter no one knows what
I'll go the top docs for tests as soon as they can see me
(June) without much faith that they will learn enough to
prevent this vernal recurrence but I have to do something

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Smaller Casts

we buzzed but the door was open
in those days everyone came in
smoked talked listened to opera
drinking Pepsis instead of Cokes

later there'd be nothing to do but
read or write watch movies play
the piano no end to that pleasure
although no one listens anymore

smaller casts took over all over
except in revolutionary settings
when it wasn't art but all too real
and we went on playing ourselves

Friday, April 15, 2016

How to Live

who I was then is like a
different picture of what
I thought I knew how to
live quietly and do work

everything changed when
I realized I had to move
elsewhere and say other
stuff about the world

comparatively real we
devoted ourselves to art
and making sense of
what doesn't make any

when we thought it did
we were naive and had
to learn through hard
experience and knocks

the original me came
back then with bells on
keeping it together and
secure for a little while

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trying to Read

my glasses have a mind of their own
or as many minds as there are pairs I
need for different purposes a screen
a challenge or sharps and naturals in
piano music or simply trying to read
a breakfast newspaper book at lunch

I often walk around without glasses
or set them aside at the dinner table
I hardly need to see to eat enjoy soft
eyes taking it all in not spelling it out
or reading every word I chance to see
as if fearing I might miss something

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Just Fine

an empty salon a vase of dead flowers
enormous misadventure displaces art
too much furniture everything is used
drawers full organized a need created
by rearing conventional bo-ho whimsy
manifest as cloth wood polished brass
accents you seem to be doing just fine

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ten Fingers

"…those parts which I couldn't actually hear sounded best of all." (Glenn Gould)

practice all the more essential
after you can already play it
every other episode smudged
as if I hadn't done it before
the turn that makes it Mozart
tripping me eacb time it comes

imagine if I could concentrate
how perfectly the notes arise
so Beethoven builds his house
nailing intention with gestures
of ten fingers body and mind
momentarily musically one

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Not Nothing

milk is not water although liquid
air is not nothing though invisible
anything is what it is if we say so
otherwise it could easily disappear

everything is mostly empty space
energy we misapprehend as mass
fooling everyone who wants to be
spoken of as if they actually exist

Saturday, April 09, 2016

My Time

balance is my name or game
both my unarticulated motto
work rest discipline indulge
measured energy idle action

if I say exactly what I mean
who will understand or care
it is a way of being only me
lover friend artist of existing

each word a gesture painting
like the New York School I
love for being of my time as
if I too might be significant

Friday, April 08, 2016

No Regrets

the merely practical problem of
making a new life in a new place
after the old became impossible
this the actual story of my life
no regrets or protesting of fate
no illusion of ruined continuity
no regard for might have been
no choice but to press on with
the merely practical problem of
persisting alive for another day

Nothing Else

who cares that it's me except me
everybody has a life only they
are really interested in so what
if I am doing this or that today
feeling whatever it is I may feel
as if reporting it made it matter
what actually happens is enough
only because there's nothing else

Thursday, April 07, 2016


did I learn anything new today
that most of the wisteria stems
were dead and that weeding the
blueberries is too much for me
I had to take a nap before lunch
I'm not complaining at least yet
just mentioning aches and loss
of stamina breath visual acuity
it's mainly a question of tempo

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Knowing Better

it doesn't matter what I think I realize
it is no longer relevant in fact I don't
understand clarity is actually receding

I am the target demographic now for
hearing aids not houses or consumer
products I already have what I need

even knowing better I don't presume
to flaunt a dated taste for outrage or
dictate what young people should like

what I was reaching for I have reached
my indiosyncratic construct of what
I managed to make of a particular life

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Force Yourself

don't force yourself but do
force yourself a little bit
otherwise nothing gets done
then when it's done relax

Monday, April 04, 2016

Fresh Ideas

it's okay to stop you can
start again
where you left off
possibly with fresh ideas

spell it out
if you can remember the words
or who said them to you
and why

or think something else entirely
abstract or imagistic
not obviously relevant
to what you were talking about before

Saturday, April 02, 2016

About Bach

even the best politicians
don't care about Bach
his sublime forms and
harmonies can't save us
from their good or bad
hopes aims aspirations
or other human faults

still it helps to declare
Bachian perfection as
he wrestles time to a
glittering standstill
carries us with him into
art and pure expression
of how it all might be

Friday, April 01, 2016

Another Book

I want to write something
this will have to do will do
I was thinking play stories
or another book imagined
make something up of air
imagining I can why not
and meantime there's this

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Reality

nothing more each day
replete with pleasures
immersion in reality
natural human being
sufficiency and more

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just Notice

if I sound a mite exasperated
it may be because I am aren't
you aware of what you make
happen on the receiving end

no I know pay attention to my
own body enough to wonder
about my poetry and prose
affect exasperation to control

you be you and I'll be me just
notice who else is in a room
as full of thoughts feeling
fine about sharing the air

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Drop In

one rose garden is enough
but it's just the beginning
drop in and check it out

or one good restaurant if
better than home cooking
we can relax and converse

one attraction per town
unless you live there then
you may want a lot more

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pure Idea

stone gives way to paper
mystery to the word as
paper gives way to pixels
the word interchangeable
with music and pictures
bodies live as pure idea
sensitized to all media
reproducing the sublime

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Good Will

if I could but think
and say my knowing
I would be wise enough

what I might realize
inform my choices be
content for my verses

instead I am consumed
with maintenance tasks
undertaken in good will

trivial arrangements are
neatly realized careful
habits faithfully maintained

and within this fine order
freedom still one's friend
is ready to be romanced

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Many Times

actually being there accounts for no thinking
that you were there before or will come again
one of many times when something happened
more important than was happening elsewhere

actually being yourself in the identical situation
you knew before and before that knew nothing
still this is now and that's all that matters just
you and me and the rest of the cast of our lives

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sure Enough

what I wanted to know was what I wanted to do
when anything was possible everything in doubt
now know better in fact am doing it sure enough
of what I like can manage and succeed in giving
gratefully accepted comfortable in my own shoes

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Palace

I would build you a palace
if I were emperor and you
wanted one I would do most
anything but I can't do much
each of us has our own life
to live as only we can do it
and one has to admire you
for doing it the way you do

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easy Drive

a blizzard in Denver
another day in Portland
ramen "The Big Short"
an easy drive home

circumstances change
and we must adapt
no sense in resisting
what happens anyway

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Shared Values

our way each different no judgment
of each other / the power goes out /
then comes back on / my thought
barely in formation with Brussels
on my mind everything threatens

we want nothing to happen at all
different from what we arranged
agreed values bring us together in
love memory mutual appreciation

Monday, March 21, 2016

Flawed Logic

do I have to open up
more than the usual
accept flawed logic
I cannot understand
yes and yes contain
more than the usual
day's warm emoting
as formally as Bach
conveys all possible
heat of the moment

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Leaving Now

what I do not say is all the basic
obvious that 80 does not feel the same
as 70 which I can't begin to remember

I don't say more or play Bartok
which would only add to the racket
bad enough with folk musicians

the fiddler blocks the path to the door
we are not the only ones leaving now
turn off the radio pick up a good book

Saturday, March 19, 2016

This Desire

what or who is driving
this desire to continue
doing feeling knowing
sharing touching being

puppets without master
must act on their own
although mechanically
moved like all the rest

whirling through space
led on by gravity's tug
each with its own idea
explaining its own life

Friday, March 18, 2016

Yard Work

Phineas acquitted in Chapter LXVII
Trollope tries our patience nightly
as the winter gradually unwinds
flowers blooming mostly white
a little yard work makes me stiff
Julian is coming to visit tomorrow
the exciting season marches along

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Equal Terms

he bear dances friends
give me a ride in the dark
after poetry and yogurt

everyone has plenty to say
if you can understand them
words and meaning too

earnest youth and age
meet here on equal terms
yearning to be known

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Many Worlds

war all over year after year
nobody paying any attention
except people caught up in it
deliberately or plain unlucky
we don't really want to know
many worlds exist in parallel
happy that we love our own
nothing to say about others

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In Retreat

light emotions light my verse
why anything else if you can
help it no one more seriously
than these easier acceptances
as long as the situation allows

dark days are in retreat even
if you wouldn't know it rain
inside and a bird trapped in
the skylight I couldn't help it
if I tried to therefore I won't

tragedy rises before comedy
no one laughs at suffering I
hope fate stays on my side
and my loved ones prosper
healthy loving enlightened

Monday, March 14, 2016

Felt Duration

musicians enter the chamber quietly
acknowledge applause wait for silence
synchronize minds bodies and begin
performance structures felt duration
once begun you are subject to its grip
thoughts wander nothing else happens
except the music 'til it climaxes finishes
releases performers and audience alike
to be repossessed by nonmusical time
pulsations of real life refilling the void

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Good Time

while we're here appreciate
you are the only you be
good at it have good time

while we're here be good
to each other and yourself
wise enough to appreciate

while we're here observe
certain rituals of selfhood
see yourself in the mirror

while we're here we live
backward younger purer
ever closer to the real

Saturday, March 12, 2016

C'est moi

say toot your horn
say what you will
then be that way
as if it mattered
where I am what
I may think or do
c'est moi c'est tout

Friday, March 11, 2016

Golden Age

nothing in The New Yorker I want to read
five percent of the Times does my sorrow
for South Sudan benefit either them or me
baroque music at Reed is too much trouble
in the pouring rain we prefer to stay home
never anything on tv that I care to watch
though I know this is its very golden age
can't believe I devoted my life to theatre
I wanted to be a connoisseur of everything
broadly deeply aware of truth in my time
changing world changing me some story

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Jolly Finale

emotion in music improves the real
so ambiguous I think I am happy
am I really when something may
happen making everything worse
life does not respect artistic form
which promises allegro after largo
a jolly finale after sighing lament
to be sorrowful in music is a joy
sadness and loss becoming beauty

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Just Begin

if this is temporary
what is the tempo
who gets to decide
or do we just begin
and hope it works
as it probably willjust

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

All Idea

idea is all there is except the body
which finally is sure to defeat us all
and who exactly we are living with
which is other primary existences

where we are is little more than idea
unless comes revolution war famine
or natural catastrophe destroys town
and where we think we want to be

ideas about ourselves are who we are
until the body fails us suffering dies
ideas and chance decide what we do
what we do becomes what we are

all idea we are only bodies as ideas
thinking we exist in this dense form
that the universes around us are real
idea embodied winks out all gone

Monday, March 07, 2016

Perfect Principles

stop and do what you have to do
then you can do something else
wanting to be alive and have fun

being somewhere else entirely
then coming back assures success
if you've done what you had to do

then you can do anything you like
you're free free free remembering
perfect principles of musical style

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Old Friends

music old friends
eating the ocean

don't we have fun
while we still can

out of the wind
the day was calm

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Goodbye Again

he felt he was playing himself badly
not intending a personal appearance
he was surprised by people he knew
from an earlier chapter of his career
as a human inhabitant of the planet
continuing as they had always done
making art learning interesting facts
children growing up near retirement
then what he wondered stay on here
or still young in the middle of being
evidently he looked as he always had
although they all looked much older
I'm all right he thought aren't we all
good to see you and goodbye again

Friday, March 04, 2016


what is music anyway
a career for show-offs
with superior abilities
a show for grey-hairs
who once loved it and
still love the idea of it
lucky I am not a critic
the fashion is changed
I don't like it anymore

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Their Points

what can be said has been said again
who can be sad is even sadder later
the whole discourse paralyzingly dumb
who are the people who think like that

what was understood is now forgotten
discovery was only thrilling at the time
no one cares anymore if they ever did
emphasizing their points with gestures

what is the principal principle today
if everyone is occupied with texting
when the king is murdered no one sees
until everything is over and we're home

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Still Me

still here hydrating
a normal moment
before I fly away

packed and ready
decisions made
I will actually go

I will still be me
taking here along
bringing it back

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Close Enough

like me yesterday
suffering through
I am better today
a 24-hour virus
or close enough
to be comforting

Monday, February 29, 2016

Curled Up

I was young longer than I will be old
I have been well longer that I will be sick
as I am now vomiting last night curled up
on the bathroom floor feeling horrible
out of it all day hardly doing anything
barely better stumbling through Schubert
with no confidence or precision lying
paralyzed warm at last barely able to read
how long will this go on will I miss my trip
never again young but often well I hope

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Original Me

resolve to remember my dreams
past waking too soon forgetting
pure emotional openness closing
before I can absorb its meaning

I know there is no meaning yet
it is one's very insides speaking
wringing the heart in its sleeping
like a strange but familiar movie

I desire that aspect of my being
resonantly ringing in my hearing
bring me close to the original me
reveal my radiant heart of living

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sitting Down

did I say that already
to myself was I sitting
down pretending not
to care as much as I do
that's the impression I get
from the video as always
regretted seeing myself
on the screen well almost
playing pingpong was okay

Friday, February 26, 2016

Baby Paul

we worship the baby
clustering around
as he tries to crawl

five months old he
smells sweet wiggles
twitches in my arms

his moods change
like Oregon weather
often sunny warm

it's all Baby Paul
everything to learn
not easy growing

A Reading

gradually warming but never cold
like Oregon winter I saw the eyes
receiving every word or thought
pattern not obliged to understand
quite all I may have meant seeing
it is in there just enough to satisfy
rhythm sound structure and sense
meshed invisibly to make it poetry

cognac afterward and nothing said
till the next morning when it's past

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

For Now

write for now not later
catch this very instant
leave it on the counter
like a crystal glowing
perfected by existing
complete unto itself

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Who We Are

nothing is in doubt
choices truly made
ours to play them out

no decision required
things are as they are
as we are who we are

occasional suggestions
may be entertained
but are rarely taken

no longer becoming
we already have been
our lives largely lived

feelings follow fitly
without reservation
loving then and ever

Monday, February 22, 2016

Busy Enough

these are my favorite years
easy to enjoy without regret
of anything I did or didn't do
or anything anyone did to me
I might have had more luck
seized opportunities scored
then I'd be busier than I am
I am busy enough just living

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Wrong Word

one wrong move
and it's yours
to do over

one wrong word
and the poem
is ruined

one bad moment
soon forgotten

Natural Rhythm

three prunes six almonds
this night's bedtime treat
after poets readings (many)
and a late movie (reprise)
wending toward midnight
when I can go to my rest

this is my natural rhythm
sustainable with a nap
virtually every afternoon
I read NYR at breakfast
books at lunch at dinner
we come together and talk

I don't call these habits
but practices in balance
after years working on it
always meeting deadlines
Sunday pancakes my ritual
Bach cantatas in our ears

Friday, February 19, 2016

Other Poets

other poets tell stories
scrupulously recount
adventures in reality
describe flowers have
complex relationships
with seasons weather
expressing the locale
they chose to occupy
while I content myself
suggesting thoughts I
might have anywhere

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Was

my whole life with me
tenderness unabated
rises warm within

letters of love sharing
intimate reflections
friends far away

not judging myself
indulge nostalgia
value what was

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Elementary (1965)

Potpourri in Chinese bowls on your left as you come in from the elevator hall. They are waiting between the tables. This causes distraction.
I spoke to him—
On the way to the theatre—
She isn't calling my name. We went out on the balcony. She poured him another Scotch. You had to come in a taxi. We were passing the Women's House of Detention. I was on my way home, like always.
Not uptown.
Like light among aspens.
Yes I do. I speak out, forwardly, so they will know I'm there—I mean here. Sheep are our friends. So are cows. Chickens are edible machines, and fish are swimming vegetables. Whew! I'm through with that.
I had Greek olives some years later and swollen glands. I staggered, and someone leapt forward to catch my arm. I recoiled violently, knocking against the piece of furniture the bowls of potpourri sat on, banging my forearm on the edge of it painfully, smiling, watching them come for me.
Oh, it was nothing.
Someone had loved someone once. We had all of us felt something intense and alarming, a huge extended throbbing pang, and fallen for its adhesiveness. Stuck.
We ran because it was raining. The car was locked and I had the wrong keys. We all ran back inside the house. Taking her coat off, Joan asked if anyone wanted tea. I said yes and took my coat off. Fred came in with the other keys. Charlie came in with an armload of wood and started building a fire. Jeremy and I had a conversation about plastic pipe. Someone rolled a joint. Fred and Gwen went out and got in the other car and drove away. Jeremy tried to take me down to the cellar but I wouldn't go. Joan brought me a cup of sassafras tea and sat beside me in front of the fire, resting her hand between my legs. There was no sound but the crackling of the burning logs. The full moon sparkled on the wet snow. I felt myself falling asleep and let myself go.
The sounds of someone taking a bath.
Then nothing.
Have you been out at all today? No, I'm sick in bed with a cold. I don't stay in bed but I don't go out of the house. Why not enjoy a disease? This is elementary.