Poetry

Circling in time’s devices

 We are older than the sun 
 and moon of course, it’s only us 
 who are aware, have eye and voice 
 to see and state time’s passing
 and think it matters. 
 
 The kingfisher on the gate 
 isn’t waiting to be let in. 
 Doesn’t hear me say: “Come, 
 come into my garden.” 
 She eyes me blackly, shits 
 and flies off. 
 
 Made me smile though, 
 to be visited by sweet Artemis, 
 who’s as ignorant of time’s devices 
 as the vacant sun and hollow 
 moon. Bless her...
 
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Poetry

What are you protecting Cicero?

 Your oh-so-distaste 
 for Tribunes who incite the popular crowd,  
 what are you protecting Cicero?
 
 Your ballsy support 
 for the latest drone deployment in Thrace, 
 what are you protecting Cicero? 
 
 Your polite way 
 with handlers and a word for the homeless, 
 what are you protecting Cicero? 
 
 Your dream 
 of heroic iambs on the steps of the Capitol,
 what are you protecting Cicero?
 
 Your hosting 
 of lavish dinner parties for the argentarii, 
 what are you protecting Cicero?
 
 Your blood-clean 
 sacrifices in the race for everlasting life,
 what are you protecting Cicero?
 
 Your corpse 
 in a vault with a tag on your toe―too late, 
 what were you protecting Cicero?
 
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Poetry

Fishing a calm sea

We look into the water, 
the absence of wind and swell 
has flattened its surface, so the low 
setting sun cannot bounce light 
into our eyes, there's a rare dullness 
that we can see ourselves in
and to a few arm-lengths below. 
Our faces peak over the boat's rim 
like two cherubs looking into a well. 

Our bait, whole piper, wallow 
in the visible zone, swinging 
a lazy rhythm between two 
bobbing heads. Such tranquil sorrow 
where no tears are shed 
at the looming blackness of it all. 
Our view is narrowed, 
we don't see the cliffs flipped over, 
ascending from green to orange clay, 
to rocks above
                 —a snapper torpedoes 
into the bait, a rod slams 
downwards, the line whizzes, 
the mirror smashed. We’re ejected 
from the sea and plonked 
back in our small boat, father and son, 
winding in the world we know. 
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Poetry

Untitled (from Big Love Songs)

Like a Connery I flower late,
improving as the sunspots 
travel across my face, 
and more of my scalp
shining in the moonlight. 
 
 My act I've perfected, 
 the parts I choose within my range,
 which is the trick of mastery. 
 No one can resist my grin. 
 
Don’t pity me my limitations, 
I’ve enough to woo them still.  
The sun is warm and my plants 
are thriving in their Bahamas home. 
 

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Poetry

Johnathan by the water

It’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like a seagull’s shiver.

His eyes are honest, so honest
He’ll tell you how it is
Hit you between the yellow and the blue.

He’s got you leaning into the wall
Waiting for you to fall.

He’ll smile and lead you on
His eyes are honest, so honest.

He’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like a seagull’s shiver.

He’ll hang you in the elevator
You won’t reach for the button
Because it’s right
Because it’s right.

He’ll tell you not to cry
It’s America and it’s built to last.

He’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like seagull’s shiver.

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Poetry

Our dog is like Frank O’Hara

our dog is like Frank O’Hara
aaaaaaalover of gregarious freedom!
we don’t want to train him—he’s untrainable
half wild, like a Coltrane solo
he takes free rein, takes it where it will go
he barks at everyone he sees        with no malice
he just wants to say hello
and tell everyone        he loves them
he can jump up in the air in crazy yelping pirouettes
he’s a bit of a show-off

he’s too quick footed for the big slow dogs
who can’t pin him down        there’s no easy walk
trotting along beside in regular rhythm
it’s all full tilt, nose down, tail up, pulling forward
choking against the collar—sudden stops
deviations         instant enthusiasms
abandoned for the next delicious scent        tiring
and exhilarating, like keeping up with Peter
when his brain’s exploding
T.S.Eliot mixed with obscenities

he sleeps close to us on the bed
any noise, 2am, 5am, and he’ll leap off
and run around barking in circles       it’s idiotic
and pisses us off
he wants to lick your ears in the morning
loves it when you scratch his head
he hardly eats, but likes to clean your plate
flies annoy him       (he’s mostly content)

he escapes often, being small and agile
always finding a new way to get out
we’re lucky he hasn’t been hit by a car
we would miss him a lot
aaaaaabecause he’s full of the genius of life
our dog
a destroyer of shallow boredom
like Frank O’Hara.

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Art, Poetry

I wish

I wish I was in Greenwich Village
reading Macbeth, legs crossed, a glass of wine at my ear.

Or in the Sistine Chapel
seeing Adam raise his dandy arm to bearded God.

Or in front of Socrates proclaiming
the revolution of reason, reaching for his cup.

Or in a Parisian café drinking absinthe
with poets, painters and philosopher junkies
in wrinkled collar shirts.

Or eating fruit with Manet and his companions by a lake.

Or crossing a bridge over the Sumida River in the rain.

Or shopping at Macy’s and seeing Adrian Piper
with WET PAINT on her top.

Or driving a bulldozer for the first time
through the Nevada Desert.

Or side-by-side with children flying their kites
through a hole in the prison wall.

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