Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The orphanage by the sea


I just drove down here from New York City
couldn’t get the time of day from my family
at that little family reunion, and may I tell you something?
I didn’t really want the whole watch, just the time.

So here I am at this friendly but seedy but clean
seaside motel at Virginia Beach, checking in for the night
or maybe longer. Probably longer, even my car
is giving me dirty looks.

Next, without even changing out of my highway Levis
or the sun to come up,
I’ll go jump in the ocean and float;
it’ll be so soothing to my
better but battered back
and soul.

After that, I’ll come back in here and get online,
I see they have a complimentary lobby computer
so old, the plastic so yellow, I can’t believe they still have it
or that I’m so behind the times that I need it,
and I’ll listen to John Denver all night.

For sweetness
for light
for life
for love
for possibilities
west of here
in a new family
somewhere.

I really will, don’t worry about me.
But first, the Atlantic Ocean.

All those family albums gone
all that scotch tape come undone
out with the tide.



Saturday, February 23, 2019

Elevator music

A lonely rainy day—
no real reason to be lonely
except for some stuff that happened
a long time ago, back when I was
from one to four feet tall—
I walked inside the hotel elevator.

It was a new hotel so naturally
I wanted to go up and
see the view from the top.

I stepped in alone and was enveloped
in perfume; a smell so wet and thick
I couldn’t see through it, couldn’t find
the lighted row of floor buttons to push; I inhaled
deeply 
this enveloping perfume
that was mailing me somewhere else.

The elevator door closed.

I oozed through the aroma, it was wetting me down,
weighing me down, filling me up, found
the buttons, and pushed
ROOF.

I wasn’t really in the elevator anymore
not in the hotel anymore
not lonely anymore
nor four feet tall.

I began to speak, right out loud—

Who was she? Where is she?
Oh, boy ... all the people we’ll never meet
or get to know. 

The elevator wasn’t talking.
But when it got to the roof,
it had the instinct to reverse direction
and blink off the floors
one at a time
back down to the
GROUND FLOOR.



Friday, January 25, 2019

Haiku this poem to Cuba

So, no one needs me
Christmas Tree Past, tinsel still flashing; 
But I sure am fun! 


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A pine tree (not a pining one) advises—

Me, walking through the woods last night
heavy with tragedy
(me, not the woods)
came to a pine tree, heavy with snow.

It leant down, branch first, asked:
“What’s the matter?”

“It’s sad,” I said, “when a woman you love
falls in love—really loves—someone else.
Don’t you think?”

“No.”

“What!?” 

“You love her, yes?”

Oh yes, I said to the pine tree, wanting to climb it.
Or someone.

“Then you care about her, how her happiness goes.”

“But—”

“What?”

“But—”

“What?”

“Ok, I see that. You’re right. Wait a minute—
I think I’m having a realization.”

“Alright, stranger. I’ll stand here and be quiet. I won’t
needle you.”

“Wow! You are right! And I do love her, so ... ”

“Good. Now. It’s time you got out of these woods.
Do you see that merry red glow over on the horizon?”

I saw it.

“Time for you to get back to town.”



Friday, December 28, 2018

Disappear

You get so lonesome
sometimes you can’t see 
anything
and what you can see
can’t possibly be there.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

happy hollowdays

Driving in the woods and the fog tonight 
almost the second car crash this week, 
the deer lit up scared in the headlights 
she went right, hooves down the pine needle bank
I went left, rubber down the asphalt slick. 

I turned my headlights into the woods
saw her breath puff out first, then 
her golden brown eyes 
coming around the corner of a tree
staring no blinking into my translucent blue eyes. 

She didn’t run.
Looked like she wanted to say
Merry Christmas. 

I knew exactly how she felt. 


Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Fish Tale

I just got home.

But before I got here,
I was driving home—in a free, wide-open mood
from Trader Joe’s,
had some nice, highly-spirited conversations
with half the staff,
turns out they all like me.

I sorta thought so but now
I sorta know so, and I feel great.
Not that I’m so nipple needy
but it’s true what they say about community.
Guess I won’t hide from it anymore.

Well, anyway ...
I was driving home from Trader Joe’s
just now, feeling the loose and casual
but overwhelming ZING! of humanity
right down my spine.

But I lost control of my car in the blizzard
that is still going on out here and
I went into a long skid
sliding straight at a tree
doing 60
in a 35
the radio on number  ... well, way up Loud—
Tracy Chapman singing
"Give Me One Good Reason."

Yesterday was so bad, I thought
as I slid toward the tree,
back home a box of senior citizens down the hall
smelling like The End.

Give me one good reason not to go
straight into this tree, sang Tracy,
as I slid closer to it.

But today felt so good.
It had been such a friendly afternoon.

Still sliding, I thought:
if this is it, if I'm about to get killed
this is a good day to go,
a good way to go
everybody liking me out at Trader Joe’s.

I settled into the skid
turned up the radio
but the car began to fish-tail,
spin, ballerina around, and I missed the tree
and everything else
solid.

The car and I were facing back west,
the road empty, the snow still sending mail;
I drove back in that direction.

This not the end.
And I didn’t really just get home.
But I’m on the way.