Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Books tell us that the basic difference
between me and my cat
is my greater cranial capacity,
and an opposable thumb-
but that’s science;
the important difference is that
I make deals with the Universe.

It may seem silly to believe
that if I use a certain spoon
to stir my coffee every morning
during baseball season
the Universe will help the Sox win-
but it’s worked so far,
at least some of the time...

Some people may call that ‘Superstition’,
or obsessive, or neurotic;
I call it Playing it Safe.

Looked at logically,
making it through my day
may not be directly related to
how I butter my toast-
but try telling that to the tiny voice
lurking deep down inside
which tells me that the Universe
will punish my failure
to follow its often arbitrary rules
by making bad things happen.

Sometimes the Universe is very specific-
Going around the left side
of the dining room table
when entering the room,
and always passing to its right
when I leave
may look a little silly-
especially if I forget
and have to re-trace my steps,
but it’s what the Universe says I must do
to keep my 18-year old diabetic cat alive.

Usually the Universe and I
make more general bargains-
For instance,
I know in what order
it wants me to open the tabs
on my internet browser every morning,
and I go along with that,
so that it doesn’t punish me,
so that it doesn’t hurt those I love,
so that it doesn’t
take them away from me.

And I don’t have to worry
that I’ll miss something,
because the Universe
is always there to grab my hand
and say, “Wait- you know
that if you put the spoons away
before the forks,
something bad will happen”.

Cats can’t make those deals
with the Universe, but I can,
and that’s what makes me human.
And if I keep up
my end of the bargain,
it keeps me safe.  

For now-

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Love-

Poetry does not help me love the snow.
It helps me love the ‘concept’ of snow-
It helps me appreciate the metaphor of snow-
the blanket of innocence-
the pure white new morning-

or whatever.

Poetry or not, the snow
has still got to be shoveled.
And there’s a metaphor
to be found there as well.
Shoveling the s---.

And while shoveling I begin to contemplate
the subtle, eternal question
a new snow brings-
is snow really innocent?
Or is snow simply cloud shit?

Is that blanket of stillness
which cocoons the fields and woods,
enveloping all sound,
really just there to cover over
the wake-up farts of sleepy bears?

That’s not a question
Robert Frost would have asked-
but then again,
he had a hired hand
to shovel for him.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


She watered her anguish
with tears, and kept it fresh.
Repressed memories
no longer repressed
had given soil to the seed.
Late-night nightmares
she’d wake screaming
and sweating from,
were finally explained-
but not really.
Explain it?
No, not easily.

When the one who was
supposed to love her
took his own hatreds
out on her instead,
and hurt her
hurt her
hurt her so deeply-
 she buried it,
planting the seed so deep
it took years to sprout-
explain, she thought.

Strangers nurtured the seedling.
Sidewalk catcalls,
groping hands on
the bus and subway,
lunchtime leers-
flashbacks provided
fertilizer for pain.

Broken trust,
Broken bonds-
explain, please.
For god’s sake,
she would silently cry-


She could not.
Explaining would hurt
more than remembering,
but she watered her anguish
with tears,
keeping it fresh,
turning it inward,
turning it into hatred,
insulated and private
so it would not taint
her own daughter,
would not frost
tender leaves,
would not transplant itself.
She prayed every night-
God, let it end here.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Snow day

It is a Big Bad Poetic Day out there-
the air is alive with syncopated syntax.
Oh, wait- that’s snow.
Blowing sideways.
Back to bed.

Sunday, February 01, 2015


For as long as she could remember,
she had feared the Easter Bunny.
Santa was also suspect.
Experience had taught her that
no adult ever gave her something
without asking far too much in return.