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Month: May 2017

On the B Train to Brooklyn

At the station people
pack themselves into
the subway as if prodded
by an unseen finger and
a high-school aged boy
shifts a basketball
from his left to right hand.

Then a sound booms out
and the familiar rhythm
that resembles an outdated
office machine stuck in
self-destruct mode fires
Chicka! Chicka! Chika! from
deep inside the boy’s bag.

A woman smirks and rolls
her eyes at the boy whose
head is embedded in his phone.
I want to say to the lady
at least his pants aren’t down
“gangsta” style, but then I
look again to see I was wrong.

He’s a good-looking kid
wearing glasses; he’s short
and thin and I want to believe
he’s an A-student and this is
the cloak that helps him get
back to Flatbush without being
harassed for being a student.

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Graffiti Up (Couplet)

In fear, I withdraw
graffiti up my soul.

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If You Have Your Health (emailed May 12)

Well tell that to us chronic
complainers. We first-worlders
who fret and cavil about needing
a brand new appliance as if it
were foraging atop a towering
pile of waste at the landfill.
We feel quite put out; it’s
a focus of our daily struggles.
Then warm to how our life will
become better the day after the
new thing is installed. Then seek
out the next calamity online where
products can be found to pause
the inevitable decline.



Poet’s Notes:
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On the Jersey City Pier (emailed May 5)

The fisherman on the pier
extended his phone and
the shattered screen
shimmered nonetheless
with forty inch stripers.

Wow, that’s some catch
any luck today? I asked.
No I just started, the tide,
the tide is going out, he said.
It’s best with the tide out.

He wore a torn t-shirt and
grimy jeans but spoke to me
in my business casual outfit
as if I were a lost brother.
But how could I even begin

To think of those brothers.
Now, mutually forgotten,
though for a long time I looked
up to them for that which I
found within, the great catch.

Poet’s Notes:
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Aphorisms (emailed April 28)

Courage is riding the sharper edge of fear and not letting yourself get cut.

Character determines whether we take our own “trash” out on the curb every morning or allow it to accumulate and dump the excess in our neighbor’s yard.

We cannot give a fraction of ourselves to others and accuse the world of knowing so little about us.

The greatest frustration of all arises from the false belief that others intend to frustrate us. Because we then hit the “off” switch as a defense mechanism and frustrate ourselves.



Poet’s Notes:

* def: “A pithy observation that contains a general truth.”

Yeah, doing something different this week to let my poetic muscles rejuvenate themselves after a long winter in NY. These are original quotes and not to be used without attribution (looking at you, Steve). 😉

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Heard Late at a Bar (emailed April 21)

Heard Late at a Bar


Bitterness is my brew baby
the entire keg, especially
the drippy dregs. I shake em
up and slug em down. Mmm
nothing tastes better than
the defeat inside defeat
surrender without contest.

Happening without fanfare
without anyone in attendance.
So bitter is my brew and so
shit-shaken my gnarled soul.
But let’s just keep this tale
between me and you, OK?



Poet’s Notes:

There is no accompanying pic of the draft.
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