Tag Archives: New York poetry

I Am a Patchwork Quilt

Suppose disintegrating into the soil
is the best next place to be,
surrounded by dirt and its worms chomping through.
It’s more there to me than it is to a student of suits.
Yet in an encompassed environment, stemming wood
from its fruit, we go laughing and brimming all cute.
Still disguise yourself, child.
The ecosystem is futile.

And all inside a wildebeest’s throat,
my all-time favorite sharpened toes
kick my own shins raw and tattered.
Who doesn’t know how that happens?
Who doesn’t play in the sand?
Who doesn’t want to ride into town on horseback,
all among the cowboys, dribbling.
Drooling at the sight of majestic hands clapping.
I am a patchwork quilt.
You are driven by fate.
We’re both late for work.

And speaking of work, my my.
Mine is somewhere inside
a place I never thought I’d be.
Seeing how the other half be.
Hearing all the garbage streets
wrapped in finer things.
To places I’m sure I’ll never see.
It frightens me.
But I giggle through grease
and match with a smile and pleasantries.
Caught with a neck pointed east,
dying to leave.

But to know there’s a fever to bear
makes me believe in a memory there
of a county fair,
where I saw tractor pulls,
ate fries
and drank beer.
I’m ready for planks to be planted.
I’m ready for trees and the like.
I’m searching for words, always.
And quietly.

Balderdash

1.
Interestingly, as the year begins to turn over,
and winter is beginning its five-month grip
on the weather,
I am in no more trouble than I could be.
My mood is beginning to waiver, yes–
I have to better watch my temperament.
My shoulders ache,
hunched against the wind
cold and biting.
My hands go dry like sandpaper,
my beard is thin like straw.
My open eyes are blinded by
a frigid rain.
35 degrees is no temperature
for precipitation.

2.
False idols stumble about.
I am inundated with news
that the president is somehow
still popular with
half the country.
Half the country
is stupid
at best
then.

Worse, the overwhelming wish
to block it all out
Cynicism.
Nihilism.
All the isms.

3.
Perfect doctrine rarely slips its wrist;
rarely bends and twists;
rarely plays its part in leaps and flips.
And the only murmur here
is something ripe and rendered clearly,
now my hopeful nature strikes again.
I clench my fists.
I reel and wreck the gist of every story told
I forget as quickly, yes
I forget.

To Havens Racked

Oh, with fantastic shivers, run
Beside a candle dripping upon
The table ‘neath the shelf above
A chair you sit, too dear
It’s backward, yet sincere

And for the forgotten, it’s been said
There’s nothing more to distinguish in it
A portion of reconciled air
Of putrid soil and debonair
Stares
You whittle off a casual glare
For serpents drifting
Shifting fair
For tabernacles filled with blood
And priests aligned with death
I don’t believe they’re worth their breath

So find a clasp and shudder out
To gross indifference to your shouting
Loud beneath a cavernous room
Ceilings drifting
Dregs in doom

1858 Steinway Square Piano

I am an old piano
Born in Manhattan.
And with barely 70 keys, I still sit grand
But not a Grand Piano.

I’m ornate, it’s true,
And one-of-a-kind.
A gift for a wealthy child at first
But he never played me.
I just sat in the corner of his room and looked pretty.

Over the years I’ve had many homes.
I resided in an orchestra pit for a spell.
In a jazz club too.
Art Tadum played me
And so did Thelonious Monk, and Oscar Peterson.
I sounded lovely for each of them
And always stayed in tune.

Around 1990, I was taken from my home
And placed on the second floor of a school.
And now
I’m barely a piano anymore,
Encased in hard plastic or glass…
Look at me! Look at me!
Play me! Play me!

This Door

This door keeps out the sounds of the hallway.
This door can hear every word uttered here.
This door demands our attention when slammed.
This door swings on its hinges, rusted.
This door’s in tune with the walls at its sides
This door speaks not, but listens carefully.
This door relies on its framing, unsplintered.
This door is see-through, and there’s something outside.