Friday, January 27, 2012


rabbits, rabbits, rabbits
rabbits, rabbits, rabbits
rabbits, rabbits, rabbits

hopping around
for sale signs
instead of
May poles

hoping for
instead of

hoeing for
instead of

instead of
carrots, carrots, carrots
carrots, carrots, carrots
carrots, carrots, carrots

gold in the soil
ribbons of spring

sales are foiled
sprinkling of greens


celebration in the streets
royals married a few days
Osama dead at least a week
May day uncovered
can we leave now?

we can leave when we leave not before
we can leave when we leave sleep ever more
sleep ever more

ravens call the farmer
for plowing under
where they slept

writing desks
happily, happily

rabbits, rabbits, rabbits
dream of
carrots, carrots, carrots
and lettuce


Canada leaves the old century
monarchs cancel visit
May elected MP
spring arrives

spring arrives
six weeks or
a century late

breathing in
breathing out
breathing in

leaving the minutes

Lenny arrived crisply at 9
comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
of neutral colors
his beard beneath
his shirt
he opened
a specially made box
took out a brush
to mix his paints.

Mike showed up
an hour later
dressed in a
bright, fashionable suit
a young man followed him
a box full of
paints and brushes.

since i've lived in this apartment
nine years now
i've never repainted
even though the walls are peeling
throughout the kitchen and bathroom
i'm not sure if the building will do it on the house
i keep meaning to call

from house painter
to Mayor

last term
same-sex marriage revolution
a paint revolution
got a revolution
got to revolution

it isn't spring
cold, dark and drizzly

when standing
more fading fresco
than revolution

less renaissance
preoccupied with
what the guy next to you
is painting

only the centuries know

Life is mostly about
sewer, water and roads
for a mayor

for a philosopher
it's the joke
not the punchline

joan rivers has a steel file cabinet
almost as tall as she is
filled with index cards
containing every joke she's ever told

rivers, rivers, rivers
always happy
knowing its source
its purpose

don't care
the name
the season


century and a half
victor barely notices
salves wounds

it's not the same for victor
never has been
he barely notices anymore

polar bears
on ice flows

climate change
moved them to solid ground
and grizzlies

are not mentioned

there i mentioned them
prizzlies, prizzlies
there i did it once again

barely noticed

oaks blooming
eyes burning

yesterday they ran the kentucky oaks
the kentucky derby for fillies
today, as always on the first saturday in may
they run the derby

last night
dad and i discussed the running derby bet mom and i've had going since
the mid-’70s
(she still has a knack for picking the winner)

visited early
for Mother's Day
left a stone

still needs to be sodded

i went to the derby once with an old girlfriend
and i was on antibiotics
so i only took home the commemorative derby mint julep glass
and hid out in a bush in the infield
to keep the sun away until post time

massapequa park restaurant
serves cajun food
so authentic
it will make you cry

mint juleps
with their own moonshine
could take
paint off a car


went to see a buddy
at a local coffeehouse
last night
good music
saw lots of friends
up late
uploaded youtube

CK Williams
at Whitman Birthplace today

workdays draining
weekends to catch up
on sleep

going to
this afternoon
Mother's Day BBQ

had mother's day dinner last night
and then was told we were going to my sister's for mother's day today
but i haven't been feeling my sister for six months
and i was going to some dinner where she was getting an award two days after that
and that was enough
so i slept mother's day off until 7:30 p.m.


putting air
in a tire
to drive it
to the mechanic

sleeping until i can't
planning a nap afterward

4 nail holes
in a tire

for now

plan another nap after dinner i don't eat
fixed? nah.


eyes still burning
no more generics

considering changing brands

generics work just fine
we've had this conversation before

it's all in yr head

especially my eyes

should have stayed home
& slept
& slept some more


wearing a suit
and tie

wearing yesterday's outfit
except the jacket for my sister-being-honored-banquet

jacket & tie
replace shredder bag
water cooler bottle

if i wear an outfit only for a little while,
like to go to a doctor's appointment
one where they don't strip me
and throw me in a cloth examination gown
then those clothes
from top to bottom
are good for at least another wearing
usually two more

used to think
i was stretching it
to wear pants 2x
before washing them

recently saw an article
that you can wear them
at least 3x

not wearing a suit
for another week

only for
or events

wash and wear
saves dry cleaning costs

washing clothes at my parents house
saves laundering costs
me visiting them in cleanish clothes
bringing with me only dirty clothes

organics are washed separately
and hung to dry
to keep them from shrinking

good pants and shirts also
to keep them from fading
too fast

this also saves
cost of drying them


i moved
to a new house
forgot the address

forgot the dream
moved house
to new address

my wife
was moved
to start
a website
my dream house has trees
to address
clearcutting of lots
for new construction

we forgot
about it
until the url
came up
for renewal.

start construction
on a dream treehouse
address renewal
move my wife in
forget about the clearcutting

forgot the address
where my wife
taught piano lessons

had a storybook treehouse
she always dreamed
of being invited up

moved by the hope of
clearcutting childhood nightmares
replaced by renewal


my older brother
was born
on the 13th

my mother
always considered
it a lucky day

my mom was born on february 13
my brother says he remembers it
by saying double bad luck

being the shortest month
always reminds me
of the half-joking complaint
of that's why it was chosen
for Black History month

my mom and punker henry rollins
were both born on 2.13
26 years apart

guess you mean Rollins is the younger?

I found Rollins recent comments
on the killing of Osama
to be disappointingly pedestrian

not sure what your Mom thinks

tidying up
for my nephew's
birthday visit

picking him up
earlier than expected

AA baseball tonight

guess you mean the ducks, ya?

hope you got him one of those duck call qwackers
the best 2 bucks a piece i spent for my mom and me
last summer at the atlantic league all star game at the ducks park

i keep it in my everyday bag, always
and break it out every so often,
especially to get people wrangled to start events

bought him a qwacker
they are now $3
he enjoyed sounding it
even though
the lanyard
was broken off


friday, woke up at 4pm, went to bed at 10pm,
warm tossed and turned all night,
despite the air and the fans,
maybe i need to put my quilt away,
sleep with just a sheet

saturday, woke up at 2pm,
ate some leftover eggplant parmigiana
so could take my meds
went back to bed,
woke up at six
went to bed at 615

today, woke up at 10am
took my thyroid pill
went back to bed,
woke up at a quarter to four
checked glucose level
injected injectable
ate breakfast
while watching last week's
90210 and gossip girl on my macbook

allergies were not that bad
in the all day class
in an air-conditioned hall

allergies ramped up again
as i spent the day outside
with my almost 10yo nephew
at the aquarium
and the ball park

finally left at the 8th inning
passed out from a 5 inning headache
or succumbed to
increasing nausea

gave in to 2 benadryls
took my nephew home in a daze
wife drove
came home
and slept


need to go back to therapy
two options
one a walk away and more expensive
the other a walk, a bus, and a walk away
both two far for an almost shut-in

i've wanted to walk more
to lose weight
to help with my asthma
between my allergies and the rain
i haven't


off to vote
on school board elections
and budget
before work

big turn out i bet

at 815am
I was the only voter
for 4 machines

i've lived here 13 years
and don't remember
any school board elections
or budget votes

i believe nyc
used to elect
local school boards
Bloomberg did a coup
and took all the power for himself


i am excited
about the long drive
to riverhead this morning
i will get to
listen to a long swath
of my audio book
on unconscious

i used to love working for my brother's auto glass shop
driving 68 miles each way,
a good chunk of it alongside the water
once, newly in love,
listening only to the cure's "friday i'm in love"
for 70 straight minutes

today I’m learning about
how we instinctively
know how to read
people's faces

and how the police
who shot Amadou Diallo
to do it correctly at 3
different points

so, light reading.


a meeting tonight
and an early train
to manhattan tomorrow

not happy
like my sleep

your sleep isn't happy?

not when I am
late to bed
and early to rise.


first boulder summer
my new friend miriam from detroit,
us standing in the backyard at the kerouac school,
asked me to get her a can of pop.

In 1997
I won $2,000 in Lotto
bought a car
went to The Other Economic Summit
In Denver
& then
a weeklong class at The Kerouac School

It was the first time
I had ever heard
in that context
and so I said "huh"
and then she said, "you know, soda"
and then I, you know, laughed.

after 3 days
with alternative economists
and then a week with poets
I had to get used to
people not being honest
with each other
when I went back to work.

you're a lawyer
and everyone's honest?

after 10 days of poets' theatre
& sustainable economics
I forgot what
it meant to be a lawyer.

wait, it means something to be a lawyer?


my mom and i continued our decades-long picking of the triple crown
with dad joining in this time
today, the preakness
no bets, just picking
the horses i picked 1-2-3 finished 3-4-5
mom's and dad's horses finished way off the pace

1-2-3-4 what the hell are we fighting for
remember when we saw
Country Joe
and Richie Havens
at the Talkhouse
because your brother decided not to go?

is that how we ended up there?
try to guess what month and year that was.

August 1988?

August 1989,
20th anniversary of Woodstock.


even short poems
every day
is harder than it looks

stop your sobbin'
chrissie hynde

you may pretend
it's easy
but life intercedes

cleaning in the morning
for an open house
running errands
to a sweet 16 party
& fell asleep at 8pm

a sweet 16 party?
have you adopted a secret child?

daughter of a friend
known her since she
was a toddler
my wife had nannied for them
for a while
the kids call her
Miss Kimberly
the adults were invited to a BBQ

i always wonder where the cut-off is
when inviting people to an occasion

depends on the party
there was a lot of adult family
and close friends invited


having a meeting
at work this afternoon
grants for next year
to fund our program
but mind-numbing

you know what's not mind-numbing?
i like ice.

ice, ice, baby
I don't have much use for it.
never liked my drinks super cold
it just seemed to water them down
and get in the way when I tried to drink

i'm breaking up with you

I guess you like ice
better than me


I accidentally
pulled my dress shirt
with french cuffs
out of the closet
it is a bit much
for my job
but i decided
to wear it

i finished it off
purple and white
cuff links
of my father's
that we found
cleaning out their house
after my mother passed
i never remember him
wearing cuff links

i only have
1 other french cuff shirt
i bought it 2nd hand
it is made of polyester
and has rows of large, red

i wore a one-pocket t-shirt
to my event yesterday
i like setting my cellphone to vibrate
and putting it in my chest pocket
it is the only way in manhattan
that i can feel my cellphone vibrate

i often don't hear
my cellphone vibrate
I usually don't mind


didn't expect to have to wear a suit today
wore one yesterday
and knew I had to wear one tomorrow
got a call yesterday
asking me
to cover today
so it makes 3 suits in a row.

i don't own a suit.

want mine?


resolving guitar string breakage theory
divining the utility of a peace symbol
pain of searching for a new home
depth of an acre
meltdown temperature
locality of ballot fusion
seeking the logos

wavy gravy,
hyping a 75th birthday party being thrown in his honor,
takes out a one-stringed instrument
to play while he sings.
one string means there's less chance i'll play out of tune

and more chance
you won't play
at all
when that string


this morning
i dreamt i was
at an event
for a very long time
i had left
the passenger side doors
on my car
and the engine running
no one took it
it was my old
71 buick skylark
i was angry
with myself
since I had just filled
the tank
and now it was empty

my first car was a 71 skylark
powder blue

mine was dirt brown
with a 350 engine

mine had an engine too

did it have doors?


my mom wants me to call you
says she and dad are going out with bernice and larry
that i should call you to go out
i tell her it's rude to call someone
a few hours before you want to go out with them
and so i don't

I had already
invited you to
Jim Frazzitta's show
that night
you could have
met me in Huntington
I had my 16 yo nephew
with me
they let him
do sound
& MC

i remember that, kinda,
though i think right now i'm not wanting to see anybody
and in forgetting it
chose not to reach out where the extension is always ok

figured about as much
if you were interested
you would ask
your parents might be sufficient human interaction
you would have liked
We're All Just Passing Through
twenty-something brother-sister duo

because they were getting it on?



mom had me choose movie
turned down new woody allen
another european exile
pick something borrowed
one of those rom-coms you love so much

saw Mona Lisa Smile
with my wife
lots of young stars
seemed like they
could have done more
with the plot

ah, so the promise of sex
leads you to the viewing of chick-flics?
where have i gone wrong oh these many years

old married couple
cuddling on the couch
watching a movie
we agree on

that works too.


we live a trickster world
they ask for our votes
sell us things that make us sick
confuse avarice for patriotism

i have no idea what yre saying
i ate a hot dog and a hamburger
i ate macaroni salad that had macaroni shaped like snails.

the Norse god Loki
was a trickster
and so was the Old Man Coyote
of the Crow tribe
both could assume any shape
don't know if they were ever
shaped like a snail.

i've been told that the snail pasta
was actually small shells
and my sister also made red potato salad
me and hellmann's mayonnaise are bestest, bestest friends


On this date
Walt Whitman was born
my mother died

i've been meaning to ask you about that,
about how your folks dying has effected you,
continued to effect you,
but i haven't because it's not a topic we venture,
and a part of the asking is selfish,
my parents now 81 and 76

both my parents died 1 month before
their 78th birthday
not looking forward to
September 2043

i think having a vegetarian wife impact your diet should buy you some more time.