Poetry is as natural
as the rising curve
of the mountain slope
reaching above snow-flecked
fields of wilting wildflowers
fading with the season.
It is the language
of forces much older
than anything I’ve known,
not just of the terrible
of primeval seas,
but even of the kiss
of quiet winds
that whisper cooly
before continuing on their way.
Suddenly the burdens of my life
sank away into the ether like
the weights lashed to my ankles
dragging me down to the dark depths
only to slip loose and send me
soaring to the surface to feel
that first breath above water
that first kiss of sunlight.
It was a closing of the eyes
and an understanding.
You’re back again
crept in my door
across the floor
I hear you
whispering in my ear
all the things
I’ve longed to hear
I feel the tickle
of your hair
but I open eyes
and you’re not there.
I shut them tight
against the night
and dream again
till all feels right.
I knew you before we ever met.
I felt our feelings,
Ruminated over our thoughts.
I clung to our convictions,
Was crucified for our flaws.
I didn’t write for you,
Yet was delighted
When you understood.
I gave you my hard copy,
Creased down the middle and bent from nervous energy,
Typed twenty-six point font
(These drunk eyes of mine strained for less).
You gave me your hard copy.
I never saw it coming.
Typed with handsome typewriter slab serif.
Bursting with honesty,
Truth that I value over all.
The occasional typo
Revealed to me the process,
The ecstatic pleasure in creation
That I’ve felt before.
You on your typewriter,
I in marker on the window’s glass canvas.
The next night
We joined you for drinks and for good company.
Talked dumb society,
In drunken elation seven true hearts
Howled to heaven,
Performed clumsy art.
I had more drinks.
Relished the night
Shared with kindred souls.
The night went on.
You asked for your coat,
Which I mechanically retrieved.
Stepped out and into the cold
With no coat of my own.
As you nervously lit your cigarette,
I knew something
That’s how I knew,
It was everything.
There isn’t anything in the sky that isn’t in your heart.
There isn’t anything in the sky.
There isn’t anything.
It all stood still.
You know there’s
a world going on
out there, boy?
I hadn’t noticed.
I’m always trapped
in my own mind—
now more than ever.
It all stood still.
I couldn’t rationalize
or feign understanding
as hurt turned to sad.
I hadn’t noticed.
as seasons rolled on
and love was forgotten.
you’re on stage.
Well, not really.
Nobody really cares—
just show up.
That moment when a major change in your life totally changes certain songs.
That moment when smile inducing ditties instead incite pangs of remorse.
That moment when understanding is found in a long forgotten tune.
That moment when the refrain feels like a punch in the gut.
That moment when meaning arbitrarily seeps in or out.
That moment when memories stain notes forever.
That moment when we no longer dance.
That moment when you sing alone.
That moment when I do too.
I finished fastening a flag to the aft-most railing
wondering about the oceans of the Asiatic world,
and how they must hold secrets even our wildest
ancient New England mariners must never have
even dreamed of in all their days, and I heard the
thumping beat and yawling vocals of absurd
electronica, and turned to face the pull:
Hundreds of people, volunteers and participants,
showed up for the Pride Festival. I ran the lines
for the ship, and as I was looping the last length
of rope I watched as all sort of folk walked past
our dock and into the festival—and confident
young girls in thigh high stockings and short
skirts and bright tops laughed as they entered
with arm around curly-cued girls in vintage
dresses; or unseemly boys who never new the
comfort of belonging sliding secretly into the
ranks of their own people for the first time since
birth; or weirdos not part of the crowd, but not
part of any crowd, so why not?
A queen on roller disco styled skates in tube socks
singlet and donning big angel’s wings skates by
as I loosen collar and stare first toward the two
lighthouses that guard the harbor, then toward
the festival’s tents. Queen Disco slides by and
asks for the time—”Oh, it’s just about seven.”
He says, “Bet you’re not used to seeing people
like me ‘round here.” He was non-plussed by
He rolled away as I walk toward the port lot, and
he linked arms with a man and smiled at the
“Man, nobody’s that different from each other.
”This isn’t different?”
”I’m older than you!”
”Like I was saying, we all have our challenges,
and we’re all just trying to live well as we can.”
”Nah, that’s it. Just don’t sweat the differences,
we have too much in common to think like that.”
In the small park opposite the ship of my employ,
people learn not that they are different, but
that they aren’t alone, but if only we all knew,
like Queen Disco, now.
The wind was razors
slashing against skin
Walking, alone, down cold, uneven sidewalks.
Beech St. crosses with Bagley, then East Grand.
After three, only the unsavory, the lost, and the tormented roam these paths;
forever seeking peace of mind where only delusion resides.
Not knowing entirely what lay ahead,
walked to Coe Lake.
One spot in this little place that seems almost untouched, unadulterated.
No street signs,
Just the gentle silence that is discontent with just being;
it affects, it liberates, it call into question all that is certain.
Get lost in your thoughts on the gravel path,
and take a seat by the water.
Just as Mother Moon gazes into the face of the glassy lake surface,
so must I look inwards,
Is this the right path?
The nights sighs back.
Kites in the
a Beijing sky.
Footsteps hasten to worried strides
in sinister black of night,
slinking desperately toward
the neon glow of
a grocery store in Shanghai,
just because strangers stand