Wednesday, February 23, 2005

night creatures


The porch is not mine
now, since it is night ;

today’s coffee
in an oversized mug
cools on the rail.

When I stagger over it
to puke, it is much
later.

The raccoons and maybe a skunk
were all, then, who saw this.
talking

around nine when the wine
is gone it starts

crimped in the chair,
no friends and the TV rooms
away

again and again
saying sorry, never, always
until the blows come

and the gratitude

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Iowa farm

1

The shapes of trees seem gray
like everything
that passes unnoticed.

2

The boy’s ghost keeps
my daughter awake when he is not
swinging in the barn rafters.

3

Quiet now, we settle into sleep
as the blurry old sky bleeds
into the room like always.

Monday, February 21, 2005

glue

There was Virginia, hair fresh red
her filtered cigarette crammed into the ebony holder
she said was a gift from FDR
telling the story again, right after she’d finished
end and beginning joined together seamless

and I thought of the ancient English carpenter
who had disallowed power tools of any sort
as thoughtless innovations that would ruin a man
and make him unfit to even drive a nail, let alone
make a ship or chair or writing table

and his reverence for glue, how the boiled
hooves of horses, already worked enough, were
indifferently worked afresh to make
a smelly ignoble thing, a thing of jest
that would yet make a bond so strong as to be unbreakable

Sunday, February 20, 2005

the only white cabby in ny

I was uncomfortable and talked to the cabby at length about how
driving a taxi in new york must be so interesting and how he met so
many people and he said no, the cabby's life was one of the loneliest
with its parade of strangers and even then seen just in the rearview
and then never again ever and how it was all smalltalk and that now
his kids are grown he and his wife have no more struggles in common
and the hard years that paid for the future were a joke since the son
was in florence arizona due to a msijudgment and at best would ever be
a reformed excon and the lovely little girl had grown too fat to dance
in the clubs of littlerock and now was faking disabilty to try for
social security to feed the kids of three, four different fathers and
how it was a lonely lonely life

all the way to washington square where my dinner
started with oysters and kept right on going
like a cab