Friday, December 31, 2021

The Moment

entertaining enough for me
with or without Beethoven
in the middle the moment
passes into unremembered
ground of rhe new present
more beautiful still when
I was there I knew it all
noble romantic absolute
as good as a good show

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Inner Life

My friend Joe Chaikin was a friend of Susan Sontag. I met her a couple of times with him and joined the conversation. I still remember an argument I had with her. We were talking about inner life, our inner lives, and Susan remarked that most people don't have inner lives. This seemed like a deeply illberal position—I was shocked and offended. Everybody has an inner life, I insisted. But she is probably right. Having an inner life means paying attention to consciousness itself, not just whatever you happen to be doing or saying, who you happen to be with, Most people, I suspect, don't even do that but tend to act mechanically, their minds elsewhere, as if being physically present is enough. Inner life can be rich beyond measure, fed by all the art and thought you have ever taken in. Joe, Susan, and I kept up with plays and movies, read inquiringly all the time, went to concerts, opera, ballet, museums, thinking about it all and processing it into work of our own, thinking about ourselves doing it. Not everybody does that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Really Serious

ironic paradox may not be enough
or the whole story I want to tell
only a tool a stance a habit of mind
an attitude to bridge the crevasse
a twinkle in my eye so you know
I'm joking when I'm really serious

Sunday, December 19, 2021


more than I imagine still here
I can dance alone in my studio
embody music arms and hands
enough to express the phrase

what joy to move with genius
connected at the highest level
not everything can be shared
doesn't mean it isn't beautiful

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Too Exciting

my head is not that big
barely room for  brain
and the lower functions
no matter how fast I
think I'll never catch up

full speed is a walk I
can't run jump hurry
aim only for andante
switch the music off
if it gets too exciting

Monday, December 13, 2021

One Thought

Steve doesn't take me seriously
as a poet because he thinks I
don't revise but I do when I
see a way to make it better
it's all one thought being
human all we can do our best

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Like a Garden

I don't so much decide as wait to know
if I try to think I get self-conscious think
I don't know how yet something thinks
further understanding arises of its own
all is clear only waiting to be unearthed
plowed like a garden to bloom and fruit

Friday, December 10, 2021

Keith Ridgway

time slows down and his thoughts slip
thinks Tommy on his way to the party
isn't that what I am courting every day
I will order his book keep writing mine
he has few readers but a publishing
machine so do I in a way but his gets him
published in The New Yorker analyzed
in The New York Review of Books to me
New York is a graveyard of memories
but I still count on them to tell me about
books and writers I might want to read

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Good Cheer

 my mind is reeling not to
mention incipient dizziness
the simplest things are too
complicated what became
of my fabulous competence
and tireless physical vigor

was it always like this not
really the new now still the
only one I can deal with it
possibly not so well but I
was never satisfied by my
own level of performance

can I still count on charm I
wonder demonstrate good
cheer as if I Ioved the world
as it is I feel reservations
does that compensate for
not really being a genius

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Clumps and Voids

clumps and voids
a description of the univers
the clumps are galaxie
voids the vast spaces in betwee
and what is beyond that
this is the kind of question I like
irrelevant to actual life
but fundamenta

troubles matter
for poetry otherwise useless
though unavoidable
relax and be happy good advice
for most occaions
when the real will not be denied
it briefly dominates
remain yourself

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Endless Possibiities

 what do I mean and
why do I say it to you
what is the answer
what question asked
because it can be

what am I missing
do you know better
why am I alone as
if I need to be to
do what I have to

essy to ask anyting
if it comes to mind
emptiness opens up
endless possibilities
invoking what arises

don't be discouraged
this too will pass a
child can understand
what anyone expects
may be all you know