My Poems and Stuff


Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold
Over my chronic age-old, old age concerns
And the goddamned snow wouldn’t stop falling
In the middle of March cutting through naked
Tree branches buried in the backyard ravine
But I made it to retirement breaking down
Beds and screwing them back together
Seventy was a good age, I thought, to pack it all up
Until my bones groaned and I fantasized
About that next round of experimental drugs
To be extended to me in a flimsy paper cup
So I lurched forward to take hold of it–
The grave my wife purchased last year
And I sat wondering how I arrived here
Stuck between boxes marked ‘utensils’
Useless…the new television set
I can’t turn on or off. Oh hell,
It’s already April–the spring
Of somebody else’s life (the best I can retell)
And this doesn’t feel like birth, but dying
In this white chair the movers left here by the
Floor-to-ceiling windows not made to open
Shut tight while the three-car garage bulges
With past mistakes, broken things, and T-Shirts
Unworn since the late great summer of 1981

My Poems and Stuff

The Palm of My Hand

Beauty moves in curves, in imprecise shapes of things like this wrinkly soft face I look deep into.  I turn it left and right, and press my thumb into its well. My thumb likes this art of recalling mother’s smooth soft knee, Ed’s crushed leather couch, pink rose petal creases, and that day we spent sitting on Hearst’s warm sandy beach. I stroke this simple satchel and begin to decipher the paper-worn map buried inside, but I’m side-tracked by a feeling.  A balding Wilson tennis ball I batted at my brother; neither young nor old, neither here nor there. My hand in my hand. It really is nice. I study it a while longer because I like this linger, this remember.


Ben Shahn, Harvard Art Museums


My Poems and Stuff

In the Bag

Psst…hey you,
Looking into the recesses
Of my refined crumpled corners
I’m your kind of bag, baby
I’m the kind of brown you pay for!
100% post-consumer product
Tattooed with some designer dude’s
Three awesome bent arrows
Showing you the way, baby
To my magical spinning wheel
Turning things
Into other real cool things
Because recycle is copacetic
And we’re bona-fide hipsters, baby
Here to save the world, the whales,
Or some other smooth shit like that
So don’t go crazy, man
When it comes to staying green
Just stay cool with all that responsibility
Stay cool brother man… I’ve got this in the bag