January 2020– As Monk used to say- it’s only the beginning
These long dry days
when pavement yawns bare gray
grass sleeps brown
and light shivers lost
without the blanket
of snow to surround..
So very quickly January
settles into herself
without memory’s delay
the novelty of newness
Not a second thought
escapes here to slip away
nowhere goes the tongue
explaining nothing further
other than the day to day.
In this strangest Winter
forecasters scramble to explain
the lack of punch in the season
the vacant numbness
in practiced silence
to justify and ordain.
when a lull
in the beginning
seems to betray
what you know is coming
now to you any day.
In this the Strangest of Winters.
January Letters 2012
So soon the light struggles to return
to fill the new year wolf ticket sky
in a lingering tentative twilight
towards some vague promise of Spring
merely a rumor of illumination
left in a hand written note
taped to a bus shelter on the corner
of 33rd St.. and Lexington
asking you in rhyme by name
What did all the years mean….. …… ?
I recall writing those January letters
imploring you to reconsider
that annual ritual of tossing
the poet out of your life.
Now as you have finally succeed
you still read in stubborn justification
safe in the distance from these words afar
telling you exactly
what you never had the heart
to tell me
to my face.
Mute the voice
Blind the eye
drain the last pool
of affection dry.
What is written here now
has a place beyond words
where language is the
shallowest of vehicles
for sequestered emotions
scattered to the four corners
of isolation, exile
estrangement and banishment.
Distance now is the key
after you have left another
in so very deep
that the hope of a journey back
to all the lost moments are everything
that you can no longer keep.
Get that Poem…
Written in the Coal Yard 102 1st Ave. between 6 & 7th St. East Village NYC Sunday Night 12/11/11
Listen there you
and better listen good
get the poem off your chest already
take that crestfallen chin
You really want it
to continue to dig
a hole in you ?
Better face it at last.
Nothing you write really matters here
so it’s really time to try to forget it…
Write it down and then burn it.
If it was all just another
of your ill-advised creations
of the heart
at least try
to resist your insistence upon remembering
anything more about all this….
But you at least took your lumps
and I mean did your time
in payback zone all alone.
Some things I suppose
you could have said better
what rage you deferred
was perhaps at first what you should have thought better of…
or maybe your second guess was just the worst.
So now in this place past the end
you still feel that you would rather have had
it all done to you
than do the same hardness to another.
So they get the brake
They get another pass
But just how long
In their lives
Do you think that’s
Gonna last ?
But at least for tonight
and I mean right now
just for once
you can walk just right around the corner here
and get that poem off your chest
and take your skinny ass and crestfallen chin
Another year ? Another Dybbuk
The Dybbuk Dreams
It was in the first few nights of the New Year
when all promise and disaster were as unopened mail
that the past had a walk in his sleep.
The Dybbuk’s hands opened old draws
shuffled through forgotten pages
Pausing to repeat a line of a letter
here and there.
Ashes were stirred and long dormant old flames set free
to flicker. Then the night faces could dance once more.
Night faces coming back to visit shining
eyes to glow back into.
Another year rolling itself out like an immense black wing .
Your sleeping form swept along in this night flight,
those waking hours, now the specter, this was the soul
strolling hand in hand with the eternal freedom of
She walked once more upon the mores, in a chilly thick fog.
Here where she had always known that he waited for her
In between anger and consequences,
in this dreamscape of quicksand recall where mushroomed
marsh islands of what might have been.
They both returned to this shadow realm of still photographs
hung and propped in the endless stark arms of winter.
Here where the past stood naked and true.
Both came with small hands grasping deep into the heart’s
pocket. Each visited at different points
along the dream curve, with separate dependencies and
versions of the same story.
They left messages here for each other.
The last word over and over. The promises of reconciliation
and forgiveness. The sensation they shared of never being
able to meet face to face again, outside of this place
of half light sand deep grey pools. Always to return to
the same beaten path, in the corner of the dream.
This place where the images of each other’s faces
in those frozen photos snared arrested looks
and eyes of love and delight that once were shared.
They both returned to this place, every so often
to get a face full and
look down at the other’s footprints
left in the path
from the night before.
Another Rubber Eden 1997
The wonderful life Christmas is over
One tries not to be depressed.
Maybe re-read Brautigan’s piece
Where he and his friend were
so depressed over Kennedy’s public execution
that they took pictures
of discarded Christmas trees
abandoned in the gutter
and then proceeded to get drunk
while watching a slide show of them later.
I get that.
All those rolls of left over wrapping paper
all about the place.
The lights that need to be taken down
before the neighbors start with
the “white trash” wisecracks
One thing you can say about Christmas
in this post modern area,
Once it’s over.
A lot of build up.
A product orgy climax
And the day after ?
Forget about you
The day after Christmas
is like nailing a wood screw
into the back of an old friend
Who shows up once a year for a visit.
And as he walks out the door.
You slam and lock it on his heels
Hissing, “and don’t come back till next year,
You pain-in the-ass bastard.”
This year I was thankful I didn’t end up
in the paraplegic chair
in a nursing home in Baldwin
after that nasty fall
down the Cold War stairs
back in your hometown
that ended up with you
kissing some concrete.
Instead I made it back here on Christmas Eve.
Just in time to have a good cry
With Alastair Sims.
Greeting from Gridville 12/03