Thursday, April 27, 2006


How ridiculous,
flowers sprouting from every crack,
colors making mockery of the street;
it's bright like no one dies.

I come back to his grey face
parched with longing
like he wants to be human again.

Someone out there is claiming their siesta,
and somewhere they gather like every night.
I have my dinner with them
on a separate table,
though they cannot smell me.

The hallway opens wide and long again,
nothing but a vision of myself
and frames still waiting to be hung.
We could never make up our minds
what to feed them.
And it's not becoming to hang
an empty frame.

The yellow one sits empty still,
staring at every snapshot that could be.
Passing, passing, passing,
like the days I have left
to spend with her,
their finiteness killing God
every time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

What If

What if this is happiness?
This thing, tasteless as water.
What if this is the perfect day?
The one where nothing happens.
What if I didn’t notice;
would it count?

What if this is it,
missing them
but still able to hear their voices?
What if this is it,
waiting up for you till midnight
and then you come home?
What if all there is
is this cat, turning on its back,
waiting for a tummy rub?

What if all that happens
is this
and then nothing,
would this be a life?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Well Done

In "celebration" of "Poetry Month"...

I am done with poetry.
Henceforth, I write postmortem.

I am done with poetry
that doesn’t sound like poetry,
and poetry that reads
like grocery lists and Hallmark cards.
I am done with wisdom about life,
and lack of wisdom about life.
I am done with writing nobody reads.

I am done with readings where nobody listens,
where the only voice anyone wants to hear
is their own.
(But I should have guessed—
they are, after all
called Readings, not Listenings.)

I am done with my cynicism,
and with yours.
I am done with the silences
between my words.
I am done with magazines and journals
nobody reads—not even their publishers,
and I am done with publishers.
I am done with the guilt of not reading
other’s work—Who reads anyhow?
And why should anyone?

Here is to Poetry month! Here is to
Poetry Blogging! Here is to
Laureateships and the New Yorker!
Here is to expectations
that always need to be lowered!
And here is to words nobody reads,
and site nobody visits!

I am going back to wax,
back to baking my mother in the oven.
I am going back to my silence,
and to collecting dust bunnies
where the wall meets the floor.
I am going back to knowing
I am nobody,
and you are nobody,
and nobody’s listening…

Friday, April 14, 2006

"The Four Subjects of Poetry"

  1. I went out into the woods today, and it made me feel, you know, sort of religious.

  2. We're not getting any younger.

  3. It sure is cold and lonely
    (a) without you, honey, or
    (b) with you, honey.

  4. Sadness seems but the other side of the coin of happiness, and vice versa, and in any case the coin is too soon spent, and on what we know not what.

--William Matthews

"How many things have to happen to you
before something occurs to you?"

--Robert Frost

*Excerpted from an
NPR interview with Edward Hirsch

Friday, April 07, 2006


Here is the silence
fill it with words

out of the shadows falling on this room
capture the day in retrospect

like a lamp that refuses to light
until you touch it

I speak to you
through her these days
and she speaks of her medusa
and how, as always
it wears a familiar face.

I get her the same gift every year
but now my gifts only
collect the shadows on a shelf
She has outgrown them,
but I was away
and now I don't know
what words to get her.

Once more, change the dial:
this time it is the prize
they gave her for her limbs
I wonder if she resents the gesture
or only misses the feeling in her leg.

And now under the covers
where the cold has made a nest
where I have made acquaintance
with the blankness of his back.

Quick, the last thread of light
is dissolving, soon they will fire
the cannon--somewhere,
some other time--
the days all die the same.

Now you can hear the whine
of frigid empty air grazing the floor
It's just you and it now;
don't look; it's not there.