Friday, May 10, 2013

memoir



i sat on the wall at midnight
watching the tide

the black waves rolled and swelled
without a trace of foam

the rain began to fall
like bullets

one drop, two drops
then a million

i was never so alone
and never so happy

and what i now tremble before
i faced without fear



Friday, December 30, 2011

neighbor






mister wagner
in his buttoned sweater
at dusk
watering the lawn

i remember he had
a little mustache
and a receding hairline
but he probably didn't

he was old and strange
and could have been any age
between twenty-five
and eighty-five

i watched him
unsuspected
from my own shadows

and his wife
came out on the porch
herself a shadow
in the twilight

and said
hurry up
it's almost time for star trek



Sunday, January 30, 2011

variations



for nooshin azadi




three leaned over the rail
two fell in
one drowned

one ran for help
one was arrested
one washed ashore

one swam
two sank
three walked away

one leaned over the rail
two fell in
three drowned

three laughed
three cheered
three swam away

one ran for help
two reported her
three arrested her

three judges
two jurors
one jailer

one sky
one sun
one cloud




one river
one boat
three leaned over the rail


Monday, January 10, 2011

do






i'm sorry, ms sinclair
there's no need to apologize, joey

i was just doing what i do
i understand

it's what i do
yes

i have no choice
of course

i do what i do
the doingness of the done

the thing itself
to do the thing

that is imperative
the imperative itself

i told you
i understand



have you called the police?
of course

why else
would i have handcuffed you?

well
to keep me from doing what i do

no
i called the police

i had no choice
i understand

but you understand in turn
the imperative doingness of what i do

the done thing itself
yes

i think i hear
the police outside now




Thursday, December 23, 2010

tape





i'm sorry
i didn't mean it

but you said
i know i said

but i didn't mean it
but you said



i have it
recorded

right here
you said it

i know i said it
but i was just saying



i didn't mean it
you're a liar

i don't believe you
you said it

you are what you say
i was just kidding



i didn't mean it
honest

honest?
what do

you
know about honest?



you have to believe me
i didn't mean it

i know you
you're a sociopath

i read a book
about you



sociopath?
isn't that kind of

a big word for a
conversation

like this?
go away



i don't like
you any more

i never liked you
how can you

not like me
"any more"



if you never liked me?
there you go

again
being a smarty pants

as well as a
sociopath



i know you
now

i always knew you
how can you

know me
"now"



if you always knew me?
get out

get out
so all this stuff

about the tape
and the book



about the sociopath
is just an

exercise in style
right

if you never
liked me



i said get out
but

it's my room
yes, mine

you don't
believe me



i have the rent receipt
right here

in black
and white

that's just the
kind of thing



a sociopath
would say

like what i have
on the recording

i have the receipt
you have the recording



i guess there is
nothing

more to say
i guess not

sociopath
you should find



a new insult
"sociopath"

is kind of sterile
all right

i'll leave
now



see you around
no you won't

i'm glad
that's over with









Friday, July 30, 2010

just one






billy, is that you
how are you

it's been a while
yeah

think you can
give me some

sure
like the old days

when you
were my number one



remember
how you used
to give me

ten, twelve
fourteen at a time

wow
just thinking about it

sixteen, seventeen
those were good times

right
i hear you




how about
four or five

i could really use
about four right now

no
how about one or two

one billy
one

for old times
come on




i remember
you gave me twenty

one time
remember that

yeah

you're right
things aren't what

they used to be
that's true

time goes by
but some things

don't change
what, like desperation




i'm desperate
i'm begging you

just one
can't you give me just one

i see
yeah

all right
all right

i understand

so long, billy
it was great

talking to you
again

later





Wednesday, June 16, 2010

echoes





i was born
around here

there were none
of these brick

buildings then
these antique

shops and wine
and cheese shops

old sam had
his news stand

right over
there he sold

the racing
form i'd come

every
day and say

have you got
the racing




form sam and
he'd say of

course i have
the racing

form, what else
would i have -

there was a
place over

there, where that
greeting card

shop is, sold
hamburgers

and hot dogs
it didn't

have a name
so we called

it the place
with no name




Monday, May 17, 2010

the confidence man





hey! you made
me spill my

coffee! but
that's all right

i'm just a
bum, so who

cares, it took
me all day

to get the
money, what

difference
does it make -

oh hey thanks
pal thanks hey

sure you can
afford it?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

shore





i think i'd like to go far away
where no one has gone before
over the farthest mountains
along an empty shore

and walk along forever
but never round the bend
where the ocean meets the river
the river that never ends

and stop beneath a shady tree
to listen to the rain
that plays on the leaves a melody
that will never be heard again





Wednesday, March 31, 2010

stop me if you've heard these before





lord humphrey had a pet white mouse
and when he wasn't shooting grouse
he whiled away the night and day
engaging the rodent in repartee
in the parlor of his ancient house


lets go sit in the park
all day until it gets dark
it it rains we won't care
it's the answer to the flowers prayer
and it won't even leave a mark


sister sophie, a modest young nun
decided to soak up some sun
when her discarded habit
was eaten by a rabbit
she cried 'i'll be a daughter of a gun!'




a temperance lady named june
busted up the local saloon
with her mighty truncheon
she destroyed the free luncheon
and the drunkards warm cocoon


a postal inspector named sage
was on the lookout for gage
when a package came by he said, if
this only contains some good spliff
i could make a living wage


a bear and an antelope
went into the park to grope
when an evil park ranger
named murdock t granger
sold them some very bad dope


josie's kitty climbed a tree
because it wanted to be free
perched below the topmost leaf
it looked down with pure relief
at josie's weeping misery




all humans are the same
all humans are insane
they pretend to be civilized
but that is just a bunch of lies
as they walk in the devils rain


mary jones washed rich folks sheets
and her daughter walked the streets
and made more money in fifteen minutes
than mary in her whole life - that's sad isn't it?
listen to the rain as it beats


listen to the rain as it beats
on the windows and in the streets
it swirls and falls
it murmurs and calls
listen to the rain as it beats