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Thursday, December 30, 2010



They wake me, I beg their advice.

I place my right, open palm on my left wrist,
I place them both upon my chest. I tuck my head.
I assume this posture flat on my back.
Although I am in my bed, I mimic the stance of a bird,
Which stands with its wings folded tight upon its sides,
When it sleeps at night within a tree on a limb.

The leaves of a giant holly bush shelter me
Beneath its evergreen.

My voices urge me to repeat their verse once more,
To rehearse the words they reveal to me,
To write them that I might better recall my reverie,
And share it with my audience.

How many times, darling,
How many thousand times,
Have I told you that I am yours?

Oh love may I tell you one more time!

How many pens have I used to declare our love?

Surely to discard their emptied bodies would require
The space of many trashcans and barrels.

And how many oceans of ink and electronic script
Have flowed and been posted in our love's name?

Oh. love allow me to spill you oceans more,
And wildly post till my days are done.

How many worlds of hearts
Have burned and bled in love's cause?

Oh, love, I offer you one more.

How many tears over the eons and years
Have spilled past the brim of love's beakers?

Oh love might I ever stop my crying!

How many children in destiny's starry heavens of love
Have called your name
And have missed opportunity for life and form?

Oh love take me unto to you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SEEKING A MUSE, Personal Classified Advertisement

Personal Classified Advertisement

I know what to do!
I am not at a loss, despondent, nor down and out,
Not at all! I’ve got plenty of options.
I’ll run an ad on Craigslist,
Or a personal in one of those free Weeklies.

Hey there are plenty dating sites on the web!

I’ll write, Single, White, Male,
Looking for a muse,
A girl to inflame my verse,
Make my heart sing a wondrous refrain.

I’ll say she must be educated and smart,
Tall, slim, and good with money,
A brunet, who has a pleasant smile,
And whose buttocks own an exquisite form.

I’ll require her voice to possess subtle timbre,
Her smell to be sweet and, above all,
I’ll demand that she be
Disciplined in work and habit,
Someone to put me to bed early,
And early to arise, a woman who might
Qualify suitable mother for a child or two.

Oh! Did I forget to mention?
I want large brown eyes and an olive complexion.

So don’t think, don’t believe for a moment,
That you are elemental, like some sustenance crucial
To happiness and breathe, for you are not. Ha!
You see how easily you can be replaced!

Get it straight! I know what to do.
Honest! It's not that big of a deal.
I’ll run an ad on Craigslist,
Or a personal in one of those free Weeklies.

Hey there are plenty dating sites on the web!

Monday, December 27, 2010

WALTER GOMULKA,* Rewrite, December 2010

Rewrite, December 2010

I imagine the children hated to see him go.
What a Grandfather!
Talk. Talk. Talk.
They could skip their prayers.
He never forced them to eat.
He loved when they whispered secrets in his ear,
And as for his telling of fairy tales, no end!

*From his post, First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party, he ruled Russian occupied Poland from October 1956 to December 1970.

Thursday, December 23, 2010



Her disease, it said,
‘Dark around and within,
But outside, far outside, it’s all light.’

It said,
‘I’m a beggar,
My richness, my excitement, my genital,
All that shines outside,
I am empty.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A DREAM OF YOU, A Poem in Five Parts, Edited

A DREAM OF YOU,Desert Vision, A Poem in Five Parts,

Sweetheart, I know you love me.

I know you appreciate the poetry.

For three years now I have struggled,
Wanting to write an epic,
A great, big, love poem about us,

I sought to post the way this thing of ours went
How it went right from the start,
All banners unfurled,
How time marshals forces
Though we go about our daily business,
And children are born, and as they grow up, think,
Believe fervently that they are meant for one thing
To discover later, underneath it all,
A new world order sweeps away the old,
And learn that the fulfillment of prophecy
Remains unknown, until the actual event transpires.

The Word takes on meaning after the fact.

Headlines acclaim events;
Yet history proves otherwise,
Often something other than bold type might suggest.
Although the finite first meet the eye,
Spirit alights, it writes the script,
The real storyline often lies well beyond
First-glance tales of human endeavor …

We intend to do one thing, but, many times, later,

Discover, unwittingly we do another.


Today I write, declare the moment
Yes, I say that is the way,
The way, it had actually had happened.

Now consider, I dedicate this verse to you;
Yet allow, if you please, that it records events,
Prior to our acquaintance,
Events which had transpired years before we met,
Years before either of us heard each others' name.

Where do I get the nerve?
-- The actual gall of me, hey! --
To affirm that this poem part of our story,

And that I include you in geography,
In a place on this planet you had not experienced,
An earth, whereupon your feet had never trod.

In truth, the matter propels me, no choice,
I do what destiny would have me do.

I found these words;
I had inked them once,
On lined, yellow, perforated sheet,

‘I sit at the desk, night after night,
And sometimes, it's even day and night,
Often I write on topics, quotidian and small,
On matters of no special interest,
Issues, which critics in essays declare,
Lack propriety and moment,
And do not belong to sphere of poetic ambition.

'Now years have passed,
And choice less still, I write.’

Earlier today, I had packed up your mail,
Readied the address to Coral Gables,
And when you later called and asked
How I was doing, me, under compulsion’s demand,
Lonely, slave to love and ardent desire,
I answered 'pathetic.'

No one else will have me.

It as though I have some terrible pox;
Other women see it and shun me.

My mirror image, however, it reminds me of you.
Same as you, I cram my schedule, always insufficient time,
The day wants the hours,
I have endless lists ‘To Do’.

I isolate terribly, talk to no one for the week,
And when friends telephone call, I rush them off!
Honest! No time for idle talk, or chat.
No choice! I return to my desk.

I dread any date for lunch.

I pass on evening engagements.
Sorry! I want only you.

I just want to be with you.

Yet I have that other side,
More than everyday necessity and much more
Than simple expression of my love for you
A confidence I wish to share with you and world,
About how I always knew that you were the girl for me,
Though I came to comprehend it, my great love,
The singular fact, only after the event;

I believe I might say it right,
Watch me now, and let’s see if I say it right!


I remember Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
Danny’s store packed with Native American silver,
Bracelets, necklaces and rings, properly displayed
On racks, in trays, locked within showcases,
And on clear shelves, velvet pads, the array of colors,
Turquoise, coral, black onyx and mother of pearl,
Abalone, agates mined and cut to display their fire,

And Alexander, my son, maybe eight,not more than ten,
His years of age, playing behind the counters,
Next to the shotguns, diagonally propped,
On the floor twelve-gauge shells in open boxes,
Ready, should there be an extended engagement.

I share with you the times when, flying in
From Dallas, the grand noise, engines’ reversal
To land at Sky Harbor, the ground crew,
How they scrambled, and then,
Wheeled up the staircase,
The platform for debarkation, and me, I would descend

The steps full-tilt straight onto the tarmac,
Fahrenheit, ninety-five degrees in early morning,
A rental car awaited me, and I was off
Over to the parking lot at the Dog Track,
To the swap meet that was unfolding and I sought
The cowboy named, Roadrunner, who always had
Tons of loot, the goods, every Sunday’s hauls.

Though at his point, it, more dream than reality,
I recall the very special meeting, when traders
Lined up, raised hands, and one after the other,
Volunteered to say that jewelry great here and
Proclaimed that whosoever is welcomed into
The lounge camper, who greets the Navajo,
Both the man and wife, with eyes at slight, diverted,

And who knows that the children divine a pattern,
From their running across the gravel lot, left and right,
Up and down, then unto the asphalt sidewalk,

That person, who enjoys those moments
When the children stop to refresh themselves from
The water-cooled, stainless steel, floor-pedal fountain,

The bright sparkling, that eye of the desert,
The stream which gushed upward,
(It was next to the right side of the pari-mutuel windows)

Upon that person, who bore witness to the design,
Who abstracted anagram from within
All the children’s scurry, who traced,
Out upon the open parking space, meaning,
Who was brought to new vision,
Who was able to see within the minds’ eye, the dance,
The dance holy ones once danced in godly regalia,
That person, who heard within the youngsters' feet
The drums, the rhythms ancestors had orchestrated,
So to let go, leave this material world,
And find entrance to separate reality,
The traders at the meeting, in-order, one-by-one,
Both arms raised up on high, heads flung back,
Palms stretched and fingers spread wide apart,
As if they reached and pressed upon the sky,
Called upon Great Talking God to sanctify their wish,

It was at that moment
They bestowed their most precious title,
And between the ghosts and the human beings
The word rang and cemented the union, ‘Friend’.


One Sunday afternoon, I felt good magic
When a child ran up behind me,
He quickly, then, touched the back of my hand.

Later I met a Mexican friend up on South Mountain.
His house was painted a bright, distinctive blue.
I bought more jewelry and got into my car,
I took the Express Way North, exited at Bell Road,
And headed to way out West of the city.

At one point, I passed the shopping mall,
I thought about Monday’s appointments,
How a salesman's lot means he sits,
Marks time to wait his turn with buyers.

That night on the concrete patio, the one surrounding
The big swimming pool at the Community Center,
I buck-danced to the beat, which played
On the rock an’ roll, radio station.

Although it was already that Sunday’s dusk,
And the day’s high temperature had receded,
It still was ninety, over ninety degrees while I sat back
On the lounge chairs and watched Alexander,
Time and again, practice dives off the high board.


Even then, it was long ago, and in Phoenix,
It was you! Darling, I had been waiting for you;
The desert air brought dream of you,
The shimmering, the uplifts, the vertical lines,
Up, upward, shafts of heat rising
Out across the desert vista,
Now I recognize it was a dream of you,
And this, my verse was racing,
I flashed on a fast and mighty steed,
I road atop a beast as if it galloped through my mind,
Yet I had command

Already galloping through my mind,
I managed to pull in the reins,
Then I hitched it up, tied it to the rail at the tip,
I hitched the reins at the tip of my tongue.

I was reciting poetry, not out loud, but to myself,
Though I knew not its power, no idea the prophecy,
I knew not the meaning of that woman,
Who I glimpsed,
Whose image I caught from from the corner of my eye,
Who walked out among the columns of earth fever,
And stood next to the Saguaros, in the twilight,
Who appeared in an instance out on the horizon,
Seemingly, over and against the floor of the desert,
Before she disappeared and let me to these lines,
The cadences I repeat from once upon a time
And now so long ago, today at key board,
These words I use to describe a dream of you.

Long before I had ever made your actual acquaintance,
A figure in landscape,
I saw you in time prior to when you were born.

At the airport, when security stopped me, I stood
In a booth whose sliding curtains dropped to the floor,
The jewelry I carried in my on-board luggage,
X ray showed a concentrated jumble of metal,
And as I awaited the woos and ahs of personnel,
When they opened my bags for inspection,
It was then that I began to wonder, and it remains
Fresh today, as if I describe events from yesterday,
It was then I began to wonder, when you,
When your love might saunter in, and make my life complete.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WINTER LOVE MELANCHOLY, Version Two, December 2010

Version Two, December 2010

The seabirds cry by the sea,
Their songs are sad,
Their refrains freight my melancholy.

And in the distance a fog horn,
It, too, sounds a plaintive note;
It repeatedly revives my sorrow.

There is a damp, hard, winter wind.
It beats on me, causes terrible chill.

The nights remain very long;
I fear that I may have lost forever
The memory of how the summer sun warms.

And now my mind succumbs to a foreboding.

Oh the dread that I might never kiss you again!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

PADMA, You May Laugh at Me*, A Poem Inspired by T. Wijaya

You May Laugh At Me*,
A Poem Inspired by T. Wijaya,

Padma, you may have left me,
But the blanket on our bed remains.

Sometimes from out in the street
I hear chatter; I run to the window,
Open the drapes,
Look from our second-story flat,
And I see children.
Because the event more or less reoccurs daily,
At intervals, fifteen minutes before the ninth hour,
I imagine the youngsters are students,
Who hurry, hasten, not to be late for school.

The sound runs major then quiets to minor,
But before too long it returns, again, to loudness.

Beneath its ebb and upward flow,
Within the clamors' swirling expansion and contraction,
Underneath it all, I swear to it, darling, I swear,
I very clearly perceive,
Throughout the commotion, a young, collective voice.

In my mind the cacophony
Amounts to no mere happenstance of noisy play,
But is itself poetry,
It seems to capture a lyrical composition.

It is as if the youngsters have gained access,
Know the words and meter of my heart’s declaration.

I feel the children have taken my verse
And boldly recite it for the public.

Their voice expresses every splendid feeling and thought,
I hear my love for you said aloud with excellence,
A match, as though the poet himself read the lines.


Padma, think how strange it seems, paradoxical when
These self-same students learn in classroom,
And study day-long the language of science,
Yet my own textbook teaches at odds;
It stands against current curriculum, revealing solely
Great passion and affection, a knowledge that
No everyday, timely attendance might bring to reason.

No matter the hours, whatever time devoted to lessons,
No amount of homework or tutorial reduces my soul,
Its lyric, to easy, algebraic, chalk–board formulation.

I am reminded of how hapless the task,
Attempting to find reason, to understand
All the marvelous abundance God bestows,
Although we may not merit, no way deserve
His grace, the bounty which freely befalls us.

Padma, you may laugh at me, but when I awaken
I pretend to percolate coffee for you,
Or I imagine that I receive your telephone call,
Your voice at the other end, you,
No longer at business, far away, but here now,
The distance between us breached,
The gap closed, and that you have called to tell me
You are safe and have arrived home.

My emotions flutter when I hear your vocal timbre.

Padma, my dreams of you are constant,
And possess warmth and overall good feeling.


Consider it. Once I recount my story,
The story about you,
You the woman, who has abandoned me,
Would anyone accept this tale?

Suppose we were to search the whole wide world,
Would we find one, one single person,
Who concludes, who believes,
If even for a moment, that I am a happy man?

Padma, I do not regret a single day.
My thoughts of you, our life together, remain indelible.
And when you promised heaven and earth to me,
Those moments in which you had sworn
And ardently acclaimed your love for me,
My remembrance of them, carry me to joy,
To boundless fervor and contentment,
They fire within my mind’s eye.

Padma, a big smile inhabits my face.


Remember the tree I planted in our garden?
Its fruit has become property of another,
And each and every time I think over our life,
The every instance we spent together,
I find myself sitting at the desk to write,
As if enthralled by some faery power and driven,
Hoping to explain how I trust every word you said,
Wishing to relate the splendid images,
The visceral weight, and the deep compulsion,
To relive the time, our hand was in hand, and
We were held together, our fingers interlocked.

Padma, in endless run of sentence after sentence,
My life returns to the great day, the glory chapters,
Which comprise the big book of our love,
Oh, how thrilled I am to have been at your side.

Padma, in your heart my love for you may be dead.
But each day I rise again in that blue room,
That blue bedroom, where we started the day,
Each day I wake to the same blue sky,
Which houses our Lord, to Him I pray.
I ask for nothing, only His Will for you, for me, today.

Padma, my lovely light, you, the dream which floods
Across this room, down upon the key board,
And drives my fingers to write the length,
-- Oh, the grand expanse over which my bosom races --
No mere chimera, no flight of fancy,
But real as is the space between earth’s continents,
My ardency covers distance,
Real as the miles, which total our globe’s circumference.


Do not fear me; do not fear this verse.

Padma, listen not to friends,
Those who claim misgivings,
Who believe I have taken leave of my senses,
That my ultimate design may want best for you.

You know that is not the case.

Padma, I write in the moment,
And, as you already know,
This instance sums all a human may possess,
We own but this one day, alone,
Still I mean every word I say for the ages,
I want world and posterity to learn.

Oh what a lucky man I have been.
My good fortune, the gratitude I feel
For loving you and and having made your acquaintance!

*The Indonesian Poet, T. Wijaya's original title for this poem was RATNA, You May Laugh at Me. I kept the subtitle, but changed the name of the woman to whom the poem is addressed to PADMA. The name RATNA unfortunately conjures unfortunate associations for an English speaking audiences. I imagine my poem, though inspired by Wijaya's reading of his verse, has little to do with the sense and meaning of the poem. I do not know the Indonesian language and have relied solely on a rough translation into English provided in the original reading of the poem. I have used his verse as a launch pad for my own.

Monday, December 6, 2010

CATULLUS POEM 11, An Adaptation of an Ancient Roman Love Verse, Rewrite

An Adaptation of an Ancient Roman Love Verse,

Christopher, Billy,

Hey guys! Do Stanley the favor, and tell her,
Please, convey the message.

Tell her, whether he is afoot upon Indian Ocean shores,
And this time with his consort,
Glory maiden, whose girdle exacts a proportion,
Which brings great joy to any man who spies it,
His new love, a love as beautiful, and thunderous
As waves which hammer across white beach,
And her voice, it echoes the sound of the sea,
And like the woman, herself, is magnificent,
She, how else might he describe her,
Another sensual gift born of the fruitful palms,

Or if he goes alone into the Ganges plain, and seeks
To follow the time line of empire and civilization,
Or turns to sign post pointing north
To the glacier’s cave, the river’s mouth,
Where sky animates the waters in spectrum of colors,
Which, when uplifted in awesome spray
Among the half-submerged rocks and boulders,
Causes pilgrims to rub their eyes and wonder,
Assure themselves that they have not fallen to slumber,

And are awake, Billy, Christopher,
Close to heaven are the Himalayas!

Tell her he is gone, that he has discovered new love,
Or that he lives in a mountain cave, alone

But, should it be, and Stanley must run even farther,
As if, he must vanish
So to escape her haunt, her awful memory,
And he sets blanket on sand in old Siam,
Where lovely Buddha women administer,
His every physical need, and teach religious tenets
That might bring soul to calm
And show person path to new knowledge,

Tell her, he travels to the Far East.


And should you hear that she still follows him,
You may note, but do not share with others.

Keep this destination to yourselves.

He escapes to Australia,
First to the city, Perth, to acclimate himself to life,
Where under influence of the Southern Cross
Astrology may chart a better course of life.

And should he not find peace.
On that island-continent’s western shore,
Know he treks the long, highway east,
Traveling from mile post to mile post
Out from Bunbury toward the Outback,
Past roads with names like Starvation and Reptile,
‘Crossing the Nullarbor’, and then down south
To Port Adelaide and across the eight hundred miles
To the docks and wharfs of Melbourne, and once there,
In Victoria, he turns to the North and East,
Beyond Eden and Milton on Highway 1,
To find Gulburra, where he meets his Australia,
A bathing beauty, a blond and tall, true love,
A maid known for her moral character,
It happens while he walks out upon the sand,
Against bright, bright sky as South Pacific swells,
And it makes its great roll onto shore of Surf Beach.


Oh his friends, his buddies, Billy, Christopher!
Though you are ready and might wish to hurry,
To travel and visit, to join him in this remote geography,
-- We all live according to Destiny’s will --
You may believe him when he declares
Happiness comes to all good men as do the rays,
The bright that comes to souls with summer’s sun,

Announce, would you please, would you let her know,

Yet before he departed, he had left these words?

No need temper his assessment, good comrades.

Do not bother to ask that she forgive his unkindness.

Tell her, he tired of living beneath her continued deceit,
Her stubborn refusal ever to admit the truth,
Her lie upon lie, until her and his own head spin,
No real memory, no living history,
All concoction, each and every personal event,
She not remembering a word she said.

And let her live and love,
May she have three hundred lovers or more,
And disappoint whomever her unhappiness encounter,
That her self hatred destroys whatever hopes some
Good and noble might have,
Cursed are those who fail to discern her treachery!

Here he cleaves unto the words of Catullus,
When, once upon a time, and so long ago,
He realized the term, whore,
A word he meant to stand for her insatiable lying.

As for him, the love,
All that love which had been hers for the embracing,
His deep regard is gone and in this, our pagan world,
No forgiveness, no hope of the resurrection,
Any more than the flower,
Which farmer’s passing plow deracinates and cuts,
It has no future and never blooms, again.



You are not mine to keep.

I may never possess you.
I just wish to take care of you for a while.

You have lived for years and years.
Yet your life seemed to have awaited me.
I wonder the truth, could some sweet destiny
Have intervened bringing you to me,
Along with a book, which contained these lines,
Insisted I copy them for you and world to hear

Up and down the country roads,
Along this big ol’ city’s streets,
You have had some tears and smiles,
And your plenty share of dreams and wish come true,
Yearnings never go out of style.

Do you ever cry when you‘re alone,
When I am absent, gone from your side?

Do you silently wait for me?

Once I cease to live,
Someone else will appear, I suppose.

I know you have had some lucky breaks,
Found fair quota of goodly things.
You can not be blamed, many were my own mistakes.
You have lived your life as your own.

I write this song so you might know,
When you might happen upon trouble,
Times of fear and woe,
When you loose your course and fail,
You have this verse, my love for you,
And I trust you remember the times I sat behind
The wheel, and steered you safely home.

You are not mine to keep.
I just take care of you for a while.
You’ve been around for years and years.
Yet your life seems to await me,
That I might find these words to write.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

BLACK WATER, An Adaptation of a Fassbinder Theme

An Adaptation of a Fassbinder Theme

Water in the forest, terrible black water,
A pond over rot and dead leaves,
You lie silent, quiet, you, you stay still,
Unmoving, yet the storm rages around the wood,
In the groves pines lean and nets of spiders,
They are torn apart, and then splintering begins.

You, in the hollow, you, you rest, black water.
Branches fall, leaves scatter,
Bark peals from trees and flies all directions at once.
The wind rips all that stands, the grove succumbs.

But nothing reaches you down there, black water.

Friday, December 3, 2010

BIRTHDAY CHANT, For Jocelyn on Her Thirty-Second Year

For Jocelyn on Her Thirty-Second Year

“Horse and hattock, horse and go,
And pellatis, Ho! Ho! Ho!”
There’s time for nothing, then we’re cold.
May Jocelyn never grow old!

Today she counts another year (as she must)
As if forced to note, none may escape the dust.
Why then repeat it, scream with lust,
Let it be known, we have cause that’s just!

“Horse and hattock, horse and go,
And pellatis, Ho! Ho! Ho!”
There’s time for nothing, so soon we’re cold.
Lairds and ladies say it bold.

May Jocelyn never grow old!


Seize the Day

Heed the day, today!
The day is all we have.
It is the very breath of life.

In its brief, twenty-four-hour course,
From sunrise to sunrise next,
Dawn the real and the true,
The absolute of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
And the glory of power --

For history is over and closed,
The past is gone, finished.

The future, no more than vision,
A dream concoction,
Our own mind fantasies our continuance,
That notion we have another day,
What guarantee next moment exists?

But today, well lived,
Best endeavor, minute by minute,
Makes every yesterday, dream of happiness,
And then should tomorrow dawn,
Future becomes abundant;
We may expect fulfillment of every hope,

Seize the day!

Live here and now.
Mind this very instance.
Give your best regard to the moment.

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