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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Old Haunts

For J.E.M.

I’m not just a name carved in stone.
You may hear when I’m clumsy in the night.
Then and now, more than sepulchral bones,
but I’ll back away at your slightest fright.
I’ll hang like the mist in your yard,
or like sugar in water, sweet but unseen,
and you, you won’t disregard
my story, my life: you know where I’ve been.
I’m not among the dead weeds.
I’m upstairs—can’t you smell my pipe?
I’m not where the flowers went to seed—
I’m here, an orb full of light.
So reach out, take hold! Here, you are safe.
Lonely, but not alone, in a house full of grace.

Friday, October 23, 2009


A hat, a scarf, your
face, in a diner, years on--
strange, sweet re-vision.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lip Service

I want decadence
and debauchery,
or a better night’s sleep.

Beauty weapons:
smoldering eyes
bold lashes
liquid lipstick
tousled waves

I want a shared vocabulary—
Look me in the lips!
Radiance without the regret.

Hot tickets:
femme fatale
rocker chick
good girl

I want an homage: the ultimate
work of art, and someone
who broke my heart—
Frayed, faded and cut off.

A little self-absorbed?
Changes beyond control.
The feminine mystery,
now history.

(Composed using words from Allure magazine, July 2009)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Burnt Orange

Nina's tail measures the beat.
Three clicks, and a
sun-sharp snare
cracks, bounces off
the bricks.
Leaves in the wind are
tiny shuffling feet.
The tangerine sunset
calls the foxes of dusk
as the summer starts
to rust.
Pumpkin drums make heartbeats
as an ocher guitar smolders
then bursts with
a fire's heat.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Late Roses

Pink blossoms in July,
soft petals aside wrinkled
blooms on the same stem.
Your orange dog steps carefully
through my garden, paws
light, one raised, nose twitching.
Inside, cats keep a wary distance.
Our animals mingle—
no one eats.
High sun and cotton clouds,
a gentle breeze, as if
May came after the fireworks.
More bemusement as a
soft breath of air
causes us to stir,
to rise from our sleep.

First line of a story

Courtesy of my pal Sylvia:

"Every piano player, no matter how small the hands, has a tremendous reach."

Somebody get on that!

A Letter to My Students

I don’t say it enough, but I care about you. Each of you. That’s why I’m here. It’s too much work to do it for the money, so there must be ...