Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Promise of Dawn

sunrise sun fills my eyes to overflowing

it tells me that whatever follows
will be thin and pale

that promises aren't kept
that silver and violet and pink

melodies sing but a moment before they fade
into dense white noise and high bright light

concealing everything they promise to reveal

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dancing in the Light

at sunset in Lincoln Park
falling light
a scarlet diminuendo
sings to shadowed towers

and somewhere someone
dances in a measureless light
sitting or standing still
someone dances in light

and in this final bar of light
singing to night
I dance to the music
I taught myself

I dance to the
music of light

to the rising and the dying light

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spring Again

today it’s a wind-song spring
green and blue and lavender

at 4:31 p.m. she was there
gone at 4:31 and 30 seconds

and my world had turned away
from wholesome greens and blues

I’ve lived many years since
through all the colorful seasons

and my world is green again with
a trace of crimson confusion

I bless my palette of bliss and pastels
all that’s green and blue and lavender

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Poem Written at 4:15 A.M. or Thereabouts

early this morning I wrote
a scarlet, fuchsia and sea green poem
yawing and spinning in blinking red lights
and clanging and banging
like an overserved party of oversized angels lurching about
in their celestial rock’n’roll saloon

it was also a quiet poem
that false dawn
when startled crows take their last deep breath
before warning of another dangerous sunrise

and now this poem just
stumbles about wondering
where crows light in windstorm
and how hungover angels atone for their reckless fling at abandon

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


After Auschwitz poetry is impossible
—Theodore Adorno—

here’s to my imperishable cousins
whose unsung lullabies moan in my dreams

whose bones were scoured beyond empty eyes
beyond stench and ash and poetry

let my bones call to these unmourned ashes
unsung graves in a high indifferent sky

I wake to the singing sun
and the world dances into dailyness:

it rolls on and on and on

Monday, May 18, 2009


Oppen’s God has the decency not to exist....
—Norman Finkelstein—

in the starless night
rattles windowpanes
grinds soul to gristle.

O! where’s the thunder
and silver lightning
in my silent black night?

The sky’s a windy black riddle:
Why the cold black wind
and the cold black heart of man?
Why the aching and sobbing?

O! dear lonely
and absent God
may I please
interrogate your silence?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Deep Sleep

There are dreams deeper
than death

winter nights
of deep black dreams
and summer nights
of honeysuckle longing and sunsong.

Late last night
I dozed in my easy chair
waking to sunburst and laughter.

a glad domestic scene
but I knew
I’d never know
where I’d been that night
so far away from
my strange

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Highway

but for me
in my powerful sedan
the road is silent and empty

and the fleeing red horizon
lures me forward at speed

I pursue disappearance
just beyond belief

no one
in front
or back

on this high-speed highway
to a nowhere
I chase forever

Essay on Beauty

In the gold and scarlet morning
the dogwood explodes into whiteness
and the brindled cat
stalks the red-breasted bluebird
fallen from blossom
to the spring-masked lawn

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I Sing of Truth and Devastation

will I crack the world
into rocky little dreams
and applaud each tiny explosion?

An early April sun
sings its silver joy
in the sigh of morning

and the skeletal sugarberry
must wonder if it can flower
in April's ascending sun.

Don't worry about tomorrow:
the world falls into the waiting void
or bravely spins into orbit.

Maybe I'll live to sing another crystal dawn;
and though I bless my chances
I can't number my days.

Here I am
singing my way into and out of
whatever glows and glowers

Weather report

the twilight
is a docile shimmer of silver and green
but a gathering storm seems about

to savage
the peace
and it could be a
widdershins storm

sucking up
birdsong and blossom and sunrise
and I wonder (don't you?)
about songbirds and storm

and gentle green
lawns fenced off
from storm and what
I did to deserve

a fortunate old age
and why I dodged
so many storms

and at my near
horizon a terrible wind
and I slip on
a jacket and amble out

to the swirling black night