Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Watching a first sailing boat
in the storm as an observer
floating by this wind
stirring up the craggy coast
off Rhode Island
yet trying not to make waves
as the Northeaster's breeze
pulls my legs under
the roundabout boat docks
as if my life is temporarily
hiding on watery hull rocks
twisting in a stymied turn of fate
by trying every push up
to get the most warm
in my red Christmas sweater
embedded with a soccer letter
while watching with a camera
and a boast at a newly sighted
humpbacked whale
I'm anchored by the Coastline
by a shimmering fjord
shivering on the grey waters
annulled by eyesores of time
almost reeling
fearing to be sunk
by the fish's large ghostly tail
as if Melville himself would fulfill
his poetic mission wish in me
not willing to harm
or strike any mammal
with a treasured spear
from my bare trunk
of culled memory
here at the mirrors of high tide
watching an open mouth
of the biggest fish
with my halting camera
off the wide swollen banks
trying to bare my memory
of thanks for my life as a poet
to remember this skulking moment
of furtive pride in late December
wavering for shaking moments
like the prophet Jonah
having to wait for a higher power
to decide my furtive fate
I'm like a lost brigand
with a life and death wish
on a ship of low estate
in the few knots of a ship
not willing to have sinned
while trying to hear the wind
and to tell this allegory
to the local press
of a recurrent religious theory
why it's always an adventure
for a cultured poet's day
of feeling hypnotized
among the boat's sway
of floating in innocent streams
that my high powered fans
will recognize this tale
of the reality of a day dream
on a mat at a once even keel side
of being traumatized
by this documentary drama
enfolding here
of my own mimetic history,
not meant to be swept away
nor bent in kneeling to sway
by the winding shoals of bream
turtles swim by boulder and stones
praying for God's own glory
to rise up on the waves
by spray spume sounds
over our cold dry bones
and to give my own cabin fevered
testimony remembering how
the Old Testament prophet Jonah wept
for his own bold apocalypse
of a scroll's revelation plan
putting aside his kept diary
away from his chapped lips
around the emboldened Leviathan
in which was he was saved from all
the flooding waters,
I resume to tell you of my story
of this day in recreation
that I was not abandoned
nor died as I cried out here
on the perfumed island bounty
of lost trade ships of the nations
by the fishing net cargo
wading in from this home harbor
by five light house stations
though shaken from the flood
yet feeling forsaken
remembering how lamb blood
was sprayed
on the lintels of the wall and door
and saved the desperate slaves
in Moses time
when Pharaoh swore
not to let the Hebrews go
on a saint's pilgrimage
from Mt. Sinai
to the top of the promised land,
that God is able to save us
from our own ill fainted ego
or journey of a protocol utility,
a poet wishes for a ghostly exodus
here off Rhode Island
near the iridescent Elm trees
when the spirited windy breeze
will blow its ghostly howling force
and took a poet literally
in his tense hand
when I sensed a holy presence
who recognized my need for safety
to lead me from the sea coast
when there seemed only futility
for me to unwittingly understand
my newly energized
and fertilized imagination,
hence to land here by Providence.


She was a flower child
in 1968
Tina heading for the Golden Gate
with her cursed life fallen behind
from an every day's appeal
waiting for her life to get better
here at an early hour peal
from the first hour school bell
she puts on her Christmas sweater
marked with a sports letter
from Tom her boyfriend
both needing an innocent vacation
to mountain climb or ski and escape
from their family's aggravation
during an absent wintry sunlight
away from mad parental storms
Tina returning with the bouquet
with a warmed over perfumed scent
from her sister's Las Vegas wedding
she not invited by reservation
yet was able to  secretly attend
and reduced to bloodshot ashen eyes
of laughter and tears
her head in a chocolate cupcake
she took from the head table
tells me that by her teenage days
she is a runway
a student of much swagger
with many unearned fears
yet able ,well read and intelligent
far beyond her years
knowing by her interlaced
marked up hands
she is a folk singer
on the guitar,
telling me she was
always shadowed by her sister
named Summer
and her father
who was a drunkard,
a hot under the collar pianist
and the only drummer
in an old boy Birmingham band
who threatened daggers to her
if she didn't perform
when she became this runaway
and escaped backstage
from her barracks in the dorm
with a backpack in the night,
calling out to the sleeping family
of Tom at the door
of the elementary school
who do the cooking
and are janitors
Tina asking them for a bit
of pin money
to sustain her for a week
as they going out to Twin Peaks.

Jan. 7 birthday

Sitting with my Aunt Sarah
and my Uncle Scriven
with our box lunch
being famished
for tomato juice, pomegranate
a cheese Danish croissant
a Russian styled knish
and an assortment of summer fruit,
after I had my violin lesson
at quarter to eleven
then a solfege class in theory
with Lenny Bernstein
recalling the laughter
of his master class
on good days at Tanglewood
in Lenox, Mass.
with all the ardor of youth
here in the concert shed
hearing Poulenc's Stabat Mater,
the art director together
with the conductor
all in white sear sucker suits
watching as the chorus and choir
are on the upper stage,
we're eyeing the birds
as uncle Scriven opens for me
a book of ornithology
now just a childhood memory,
suddenly hearing the last words
of Jesus to brother poet St. John
on his exiled journey
to the Isle of Patmos
to take care of Mary his mother
with his last ten words
still alive to sing for us
from our lively last visit
to the springs by the monastery
in the garden of Gethsemani
weeping by the cross of pardon
at the Kentucky Abbey
with the poet Tom Merton
over a bed of rosary.


In your loft's window
sitting under the Paris sun
near the tree dusty shadows
in a accidental day dream
about a wonderful dawn
clouds glide by bird wings
like a poet in exile
with ever-fleeting looks
at Baudelaire's albatross and swan
searching for any smiling angel
with strings of a lost violin
of rabbis in Chagall in Vitebsk
next Peguy has a vision
of a time at peace
with Picasso's dove released
and the Messiah of love
carries a cross on his back
knocked kneed
on the bloodshed soiled earth
of the first world war
here I am by the cool waters
at the monastery by Mt. Carmel
near a fountain and pool
carrying your poetry book
dear Peguy to bring to school
hearing an old Jerusalem peddler
crying out in the soft rain
for his smiling daughter
to be careful of the desert
and not be a fool
as she mounts a donkey
going to visit the poor
housed in a shelter
waves with a Russian kerchief
embarrassed someone has sent
for a carriage
hearing chords in the distance
as a violinist plays a French tune
with wounded fingertips
caused by the war
on the western front.


I played the solo
from Massenet's Thais
on my half violin
under my chin
at the wonder of my first recital
in the conservatory
arranged by my aunt
for her ten year young prodigy
and rarely laughing nephew
and then wherever I played
the serious lyrical part
on every new Hamletic stage
the various critics of my age
would watch my every move
as I became an adolescent
in love with you, beautiful Thais
covered with your footprints
and angelic perfumed scent
whether by a bench at the Seine
Charles River
or at Los Angeles beach
you always reached out me
and never showed up late
even at an Italian bookstall
in the dark hallways
of bargain basement antiques
or on a blind date in Rome
during winter vacation week
near the Venetian canals
far from home,
or in a far continent or near
the Golden Dome
or dressed in the bright masquerade
for the Greek bacchanals
pressed on as Fortinbras
in the New Orleans parade
or with the best at Mardi Gras,
nor with a delinquent Rimbaud
as a runaway reaches out
on the culling waters
of day dreamt waves
sprinting to African Morocco
among the daughters
of Casablancan slaves
a poet never behaves,
or floating on a banana boat
with Sister Peach
Brother Cantaloupe
jelling at a country island
your quarter notes inclined to me
from an imaginary spirit
you are my saint still singing
your madrigals
up at the conduits with the saints
preserved at heaven's gate
serving the mourning doves
having leavened chibata bread
in a poet's repast on the earth
burning with your love for me
under a small sun
or planting new saplings
as a guest welcomed
in a Jerusalem monastery
by tall eucalyptus trees
experiencing an early spring
or hearing of Jason and his fleece
in a sequence of a metamorphosis
flying into your Easter egg nest
passing over the begging clouds
in the last shroud of Thais.

born in 1928

Writing from
a Jamesian heart
in a world that stains
more than a church window
in the rain,
understanding what you
taught to us young poets
about Poe,Eliot and Crane
as a critic with a belief
with great class judgment
that our education in English
was not in vain
who learnt with discernment
as a resident in the Dublin library
teaching on the handwritten nature
of Heine, Burns and Shelley
who taught us about the Romans
Ovid, Dante and Cavalcanti
hidden on the home book shelf
among the Italians and Latins
all about the Ghibillines and Guelfs
and the metaphysicals like Donne
the moderns from Joyce, Hopkins
Keats, Yeats and sonnets of Dickinson
capturing the wishful  modified part
of a transmogrified Western culture
with great poetic wealth
from an Irish critic and talker
who defied the stealthy attention
of any vain literary mocker
with your sunny adventures
of intellectual consideration
and polite conversation
who cannot conceive
of a nature to believe you
as an intellectual mentor
in a civilization that cried out
from Vietnam's stealth vulture war
on all of us
you are still popular
as Dr. emeritus on the campus
far from our home
in Paris and Rome
like Jacques and Raissa Maritain
we will still read you, Dubliner
Dennis Donoghue
in a certain wonder
by night light underground
in our shade and shadow
under lace curtains
from folded sheets in dormitories
or in Kentucky monasteries
enfolded in a cold abbey
of Father Tom Merton
your world in the word
that will remain.


Erik Satie
the French critics say
has his eccentricity
a particular friend of Dada
and the Hungarian poet Tzara
on his recital bench
from musical Parisian strings
to a thousand exceptional cities
as his magical tunes sings
moving us as a lyrical major star
sent from heavenly Saint Cecilia
plays from his classical
all the way to Santa Barbara
through my memory of Erik Satie
we proclaim victory for his art
in the avant-garde community
with his creative electricity
swaying to his own solo part.


Hero, patriot
Alberic Magnard
writer of opera
and composer of sonatas
let the notes of a voice
flow over the soul of Paris
lover of words, quotes, sounds
your music as a mystic
and gorgeous chorus
resounds in Guercoeur,
the critics concur he is
the French Bruckner
with his leitmotifs found
in a fleur de lis
of Richard Wagner
when the enemy came
to burn down your residence
in the world war
you fought back
for nothing can rob you
of your lyrical eminence
from gun toting hacks.


The Jewish Messiah
and holy family he drew
from being Catholic
like Rembrandt
among the remnants
of the art critics
as a Christian he knew.

(A reflection of our times)

Whether God given Jewish panache, audacity or an instinct for survival, whether in an essayist

Eherenberg, film maker Eisenstein, spiritual poet Pasternak or a political Posner, a chapter is

closing but before we close the book on Russian Jewry or write their obituary let us not forget


Whenever the Russian Jewish musicians would arrive here we met with them to discuss with

them, about their fate. Of course we have not forgotten the fate of the Yiddish actors, directors

and intellectuals who perished in Stalin's antisemitic madness after the war.

The irony is that the CP.U.SA, together with the Axelrod types and Jarrett who gave us Obama

many on the Left in favor of a surviving Soviet Russia, Soros,along with the Soviet apparatchkis

who found the US. community organizer in Chicago among its democratic Jewish mayor and gay

bars resembling a time of Weimar do not yet know the extent of the Soviet -American Iran

policy, what it meant for Israel.

The American right in their operation Moses brought out the Jews of Russia to America and

Israel; it is to their credit. The Left in America has virtually with the alliance of black Muslims

(like Chicago's Farrakhan some blacks having abandoned Christianity, their only hope, for Islam

which enslaves blacks in the Sudan , as in Africa like in Boko Haram and simply murders them)

presided over the deaths of Jewish souls, but when did the Jews ever vote in America for their

own interest or survival, unlike their more savvy Russian -Jewish counterparts. They have a death

wish and instinct the stand up comedians especially. But I pray the Jews will listen to Moses and

choose life.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Birthday Jan 2

"The Child of our Time"
those poetic words
by Sir Michael Tippett
embraced my baton
are heard in my retreat
up at the high podium
when my once critical uncle
leads me (as he is director here)
as I am humming
and jamming the notes
up on the stage's pit
aware not to skip the pages
nor apologize
to my nascent enthusiasm
as the adjacent music inspector
has selected to record it
with discipline, obedience
and a miracle of goodness
I was rewarded with a chance
and assigned
to be a guest conductor
and resigned to be in a black vest
with short pants
in my Sunday best
into a rabbit white coat trail
with loafers on my feet
near the wise concert master
in a recital for an hour
displaying the virtuosity power
of strings, drums and choir
with a bell's peal of motioning
the orchestral mimetic beat
apparently without any flaws
or notes out of line or demise
raising my arms to applause
as the patrons rise
handing me a carnation flower
for my lapel
though I still have butterflies
in my bones for two hours
dwelling within my own conceit
in a miracle appearance for me
before my red eyes
and given a cup
of stone cold French wine
a ways up from the bench
as a ten year old's surprise.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


The last of the Christmas trees
is brought out under the stars
as the directors check
tall piles of plywood and nails
near a Vermont stage and deck
on all fours by arranged bars
as actors prepare their lines
caught in a cool breeze
a few thespians worry if they are
a little wanting at their age
to rehearse the miracle plays
with tales of medieval songs,
chants, madrigals and dance
as throngs revel by the wreaths
of poinsettias, flowers, by floral
orbs and cherub's ornaments
where tiny bear cubs hide
and prance near evergreen branches
beneath the presiding manse,
we hail the mythical cast pageant
in a musical announcement
as musical parts are given out
for high soprano and alto voices
in a lyrical singing chorale
by open garden ranches
a few gentlemen put on costumes
ready sing carols or to chain dance
with lonely courtly ladies
in newly worn creased garments
as the art director takes on
a poet's assignment
feeling like a priest in confinement
to save souls from Hades,
here is the prodigal son
in his brand new sandals
brought to a reconciled father
from out of a family scandal
between a time of resentment
of a father and son trial,
now behold, all the actors
have arrived on stage
at the cold riverside's edge
with a show off and tell loyalty
by their skill to know
of God's love
in their middle age roles
with a free will offering
to newly baptized souls
as lay brothers and nuns
play their parts
with exemplary fun,
these that escaped
any mortal punishment
at an age of accountability
because of what is done
to all humanity
as is the theater's responsibility,
dramatic St. Elmo fires are lit
on either side of the stage
along the thespian aisles pit
everyone reads
from their own page
as if it were holy writ
in satire, comedy and wit
by the now newly reconciled
where nearly everyone smiled
here is a missionary stranger
playing an Italian contessa
bowing at the manger
recalling her Marian vision
who  had repented from her sins
to her handsome confessor
another sister has a dream
and dresses up in capes for a Queen
who is her praying intercessor
by a mounted horse of the duke
hearing woodwinds
played by a St. Luke brother
with a holiday music sing along
sharing all of love's wonder
who is wearing a scapula
and fresh stockings
who acts as an Arthurian king
who had once done a wrong
by in mid- life
to his own wife Gwinevere,
the chorus now sings for us
in a mood of understood belief
with perfect confident loyalty,
as a suited lover crosses over
a chocolate heart's box of Royalty
giving a kiss of peace to a knight
in a shining armor shield
made of solid gold
hearing reigning thunder
so brightly across the bay field
on top of a cold mountain hill height
there is an old rood and nailed cross
with guardians of the grail
a tale told with so much good will
who manage to thrill us,
now all covered in the dark
hailing the past reigned monarch
with poet visions of Joan of arc
even the power elite weeps
with the martyred St. Stephen
who bow down with red flowers
at the feet of the creche's bed
desiring to worship baby Jesus
with a bright red costumed choir
rejoicing here in the wood's
open shed,
as our Beloved is with us
sparring with the story book
of a young Robin Hood
from which took from the rich
to give to the poor
for the cause of brotherhood.

January 5 birthday

Silence when only love
is what remained
of my Sorbonne horizon
on my restless search
here in Paris
in the fifth Arrondissement
lonely by the bridge
in late dusk,
hoping like any voyant
or vagrant poet
with a prophecy of desire
at the museum window
art realized its dream zenith
in Tanguy's underground shade
of burning blue surrealism
in a pure siren glade
rescues his speculative lights
of undercurrent prism's reflection
as a light angel
of numeral design
pens his new art made
for my class advancement
in my shadowy direction lines
until the days of my commencement.


Under the daylight elm
wanting to touch the weave
and helm of His garment
or the robe of love
after reading the psalms
at the warm frontier gate
or listen to laughter
like old St. John
on the island of Patmos
to know God understands us
under these stormy caravans
or to sit like Jeremiah
under a carob of green
by wreaths of Christmas trees
up from Vermont
you sent down to us
crowned with apricots
wrapped in fallen leaves
beneath the desired ledges
dusted with snow drops of candy
by the high leafy hedges
with gum drops
or to stand on Plymouth rock
or land ride by Jerusalem Road
or to feel secure
without hunger or war
in any part of the globe
if only to find our roots
by lonely lyrical vines
wanting my first fruits
before it is too late,
or walk by white cold sand
alone on the beach
longing to hear the echo
of the sea at Galilee
or hear the Rabbi teach
under a glittering dawn sun
to reach out at the Mercy Gate
at an emergency open door.

No regrets for the past year
when all we want to gaze
at the Green Mountains
and remember those brave souls
by the fountain of the catacombs
or in the cave's secret passages
in monasteries
of our younger days
up here in Vermont
now we want to help
those bent and doubled over
who cannot speak
for the love in us
helping others across the road
and offers them my hand
to reach out to the brothers
read as the lector
and play on my guitar
with a vacant Beat poem,
or cheer up others
with maple syrup
or to serve the divine cup
of the monastery wine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

W.D. Snodgrass Jan 5 birthday

When the new year
submerges our dreams
I turn to you, W.D.
to on line poetry
with an eye rhyme
realizing there is a discovery
in which time
has not passed away
but you have grafted in
and discovered us
from our livelihoods
bordering on the edge
of night and day
bordering words rising in us
all from the ice blocks
of your past confessional
in the live form of denial
when old conventions lock us in
yet steers your time
while out of breath and smile
we are trying to reach out
over seas
to companions and poets
by teaching the lesson
that our long- suffering
is only a trial of abstention
that we will survive
in our poetic recovery
from an exiled attention.

(A prose poem)
 To you on a blank December cloudy day of a sky's shape I am Bobby Kol, a ghost writer, yet

you found me not by accident but by fate.

I am not lost as a weighed down unperceived shadow as you crossed the street to greet me. You

may think I am a call boy on the telephone hot line or a go go boy motioning my hips and lips

for a night out on the town.

We take the city bus. I play alto sax for you. It has been pawned in many places,but it always 

comes back. You share my bread in my underground apartment. We do not have to speak.

I make dinner and love for us, sharing my poetry.

We are both prisoners of spiritual warfare when the red wine grows dry. There is a bright

angel forming two shades of green on your napkin.

You are a runaway also but transform time. You landscape my bed with roses. We open the

window for air and visit the statue of a famous poet in the Square.

Entering the museum the daughters are art let down for their memory of shadowy reinvention.

Every painting, classical and of Christ comes to life. He prays with us.

Degas dancers take us to a ball.

We sleep under Dali's nose.

Duchamp's let us use his fountain.

The watchmen lets us out. We realize we know no one not even each other or ourselves.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

(One act play)

Jesus Nava
the Hollywood reporter

A melee of people outside a movie theater in L.A.

R. Was that a shot that came from the movie theater or only a car tire, from firecrackers of July

Fourth or a homicidal suicidal bomber?

G. You never know these days, Rochelle.

R. I thought the Sixties gave us a thoughts for freedom and power for more people but this new

regime of thought control here has a denial of free speech and is akin to fascism.

G. But until we know who shot whom and what for and the media speaks we must be quiet.

R. But we were so outspoken before.

G.We can't even dream or make love without a speech code

or get married without a politically correct contract. Before there were no controlled words now

words are like silver and gold but we didn't know how lucky we were before.

R. Be careful I saw the Hollywood reporter coming by. The one who said XY the rapper singer

was gay and lost his job. He told me we support gay rights but no one we know no one in

Hollywood is gay.

G. Not if they lose their job for it.

R. What hypocrites.

G. It's always about who is affected.

R. And I loved Hollywood.

G. That's before.

R.They turn their back on us now if we deviate in any way from their ruling opinion.

J. I am Jesus Nava and I want you at my birthday celebration. I'm sprinkling you with stars of

joy. Rochelle you tried to be in many plays and movies but due to your injuries you did not make

it to the auditions. Now any time you go to a movie take these stars and you will be in any movie

of your choice, or even on any television show and Gary you will be the director as well.

R. How do we get into the movie?

J. Just sprinkle these stars and which ever part you want is available to you.

The couple go the movie. Afterwards people are lined up seeking their autographs.

J. See I told you. Here is the Hollywood reporter, folks.The Hollywood reporter is even wearing

holly for my birthday. I see you've come out to celebrate my birthday.

Reporter- Happy birthday, one and all.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 Dec. 16

Hey Beethoven
with pure music of reflection
where hopes were imprisoned
you stand in for freedom
remember we Beats
fill us again with an air
among soft flakes of snow
near your statue
ring out Fidelio
interwoven with melody
of those drum and timpani.

(for Andre Breton

Over the dark grove
of another generation
magnifying the quarter moon
to question every encounter
of the stars over the Seine
midnight becomes a poplar
where exiles are conceived
in day beds dreaming
singed from chimeras
of rejected lovers
among a threshing flood
fringed by an unwanted birth
almost buried by the snow
yet the murmuring baby
emerges whole by the park
in a laurel crib smiling
in his stroller
becomes a poet
who speaks in tongues
plays hide and seek
under hidden garden walls
watching as the winds rise up
from the dusty rain clouds
of a December dawn
inhaling the snow flakes
round her eyelids
near the edge of the shore.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

(December, 1990)

Reading a cyrillic keyboard
with dialogues
in a cafe frequented
by students at Cambridge
he strives for anonymity
tells me he is Andre
and is bilingual
originally from Moscow
who strokes a cat
and laughs hystericallly
at my American jokes
tells me his parents
who were critics
of the regime
were taken away
after the war
as Siberian exiles
and never returned,
then wonders if the second
chapter of his life's dream
will add up to more
than a nightmare of indifference
since the thaw
as snow falls
outside my dorm window
he puts on his fur hat
under a seaworthy sun
appears on the pier
by the sweeping ice-floes
yet somehow Andre
with his gallows humor
must have hope
as we pass by meadows
and empty fields,
he lived his early life
only by fearful rumors
now wanting to watch
the thorny trees with mistletoe
and carry an Achilles shield
to prove his agility
to be a guy above the fray
Andre takes up fencing,
as flakes from grey sky
move across the lacrosse field
winter wakes to be reborn
only seeing shadows instead,
Andre wants to do stand up
to protest injustice
still feels like an orphan,
sings out a Russian peasant song
along the blue Lake
with sky birds sensing bread
as squirrels search for acorns
this poet removes the leaves
by my house with his rake
Andre helps me
but his heart still aches

in Anna Akhmatova's memory
(1889- 1996)

Breathe on me
but from afar,
but in your heart,
Anna,enlighten me
by a shooting star
of St. Sebastian,
over my ashes
sprinkle on me a ration card
I'm hungry for words
thirsty for verbs
searching for mushrooms
for a chard of cheese and bread
with frightened birds
below the snowy balcony,
as a bride left by his groom
with these bitter herbs
in this one room,
recently swept up
with the leaves
still I am the one
who believes
as I ride the train
by the Volga,
watching for an
open fish tank on the shore
thanking God for life
by glassy mosses
here is a wish to be
thankful for
in these oyster beds
and shells
appease me
cover me with blankets
I do not care
about your lovers
crush me
with your red eyes
by the Neva
banish me
with your smile
in this lost
and tarnished time,
keep me writing
from all despair
in my calling
above all,
return my son
into his mother's arms.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Tiny snow flakes from the sky
sent to a circle of friends
taking a coffee break
stepping outside their offices
who usually stand outside
to relax their mouthy orifices
sharing in a cathartic fashion
their latest critical passions
near the small rock garden
when not sitting
by their bony cubicles
even during Advent
they have not spent their lips
of the choicest gossip,
here at the water cooler fountain,
by green wreath rows
and padded Christmas trees
which are sent in with holly
by friends of the company
in the Green Mountains
of distant Vermont
here in the dissonant cold air
these foolish bureaucrats refuse
to hear out the street musicians
who play miracle Italian tunes
needing to pay rent or taxes,
or the poet who sings
a St. Francis canticle
on his way to noon mass
barters for warmth and zeal
with the recital of a limerick
always grateful for a left over
of a hot meal on wheels,
in the hallways
or Matt,the tall new guy
from San Diego
dressed in a cowboy suit
who plays the blues
from his newly baptized lips
carries a pawned soprano sax
and lives concealed
silently in the woods
who carries an A.M. radio
and plays a wicked flute solo,
the gossips will not hear
any jolly ring of pealing bells
in the snow flake air
from the Salvation Army
or receive any mail
delivering charities
preferring to vent and nail
their own news
nor will they listen
to the Apostles of the Jews,
preferring any jet flight
good talker
than helping the crippled lady
crossing the street with a walker
here on the corner
of the arctic garden
making sports bets
as if they had a secret formula
to be with the football set
or by keeping a furor going
with their sarcastic bayonets
to play with any golden calf
hiding under a blanket
on the snowy soccer field.


Watching Chekhov's play
"The Seagull"
with my Russian friends
up in the balcony
with a confessional love poem 
slowly emerging
in my smiling imagination
when there is no language
that could sabotage
or upstage
the Beat in me
with my sax of a soul out here
in the provinces,
anyway it is starting to rain
on the island
wondering if our life
merely repeats
the family dialogue
from any generation
in any lyrical
or musical language
but this play sends me back
to my early childhood
making my thoughts
and aching spirit rise
between two continents
to rock the boat over me 
knowing an aging poet
is always in exile
shipwrecked on the ocean
or by merely visiting
the company of another.


Watching "Monica"
a film about young love
here alone in an art theater
everything seems galactic
from a cathartic acting
in black and white
with Swedish subtitles
feeling indifferent about life
when the speakers are not clear
at a midnight showing,
a woman in front of me
who had heard me play sax
at the local gig,
the watering hole,
asks me out for a drink
my eyelids glance out
and I look a sight
with my sunglasses
at the empty seats,
we drive by the ocean
the air is biting us
wondering where my soul
is wandering sporadically
if this is what other poets
endure from loss
and family rejection
on this boardwalk at a time
of so many spells of dread
and hours of deadening insomnia
wishing to be a year younger,
soon we are afloat
on my orange kayak
at the shore
not questioning the moon
or the crazy cat
who follows our beach trail
hoping to restart
my motorcycle or my life
or at least to
think of something to say
when she tells me
her name is Monica.


The anniversary
of a poet's last
parental storm
which drove him
to his cargo of relatives
where it was always
a Christmas party
on board in Long Beach
where he had a sailor suit
and was always forgiven
along a trail between daylight
and midnight
searching for sleeves
of tourist ships
barricaded only by fate
swayed by waves
lashed by time outs
with so many stops
on blind alley roads
covered with hilly bumps
that his motorcycle
heading to a reading
by Bukowski
is overshadowed
by reinvented  memory
thinking at least words
will not fail him.

The leaves from the wind
sweeps by the sandy beach
now filled with gusher waves
along the icy shore
as a swan glides by
that's where the news boy
first made love
his head is aching
from a German beer
left on the harbor docks
waves to the bicycle rider
wearing a straw hat
who was not catching any Cod
on the Cape
but running away from home,
tells his girl friend
he cannot afford tickets
to see Adele,
that even song birds do
not wish to return home
with all winter storms
forecast by the media
preferring a Southern warmth
in the tree branches
as they will crisscross
a laughing sky
to spill out the sun rays
glowing with footprints
of Rilkean and Blakean angels
to embark
with a lengthy departure
over Jamaican palm trees
in a resonant park.


The poet asks how much
as his Dutch friend
puts his hand
on the meter
does not dare
to talk about money
at Christmas time
they are both tired
and stood up tonight
by their double dates
two bouquets of roses
lie on the front seat,
the poet needs to
study French
in the library
on the back bench
waiting for his exam,
but he will not take
the cab driver away
from his grave yard shift
lasting a life time.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dec. 18

That sauntering sense of color
on the canvas
appraised by my teacher
at the Metropolitan museum
loving Klee's art as a child
surfacing my eyes on clear lines
in silent respect
later injecting my own jazz words
of painted poetry
from the light on walls
though his Swiss dreams
in Prussian blue
giving us the fragrance
of his touch
in shaping what is new
like a bird's dance
on his painting "Before the Snow"
drawing a body of memory
through a Muse's chance
to understand our identities
on a white meadow by the Bay
from imaginative shadows
in a language native to pine
on a road map through the woods
with a Muse all yours and mine
as an earth angel saint
plays the lute
from a speechless scherzo
by a narrow flowered river bed
in a half-painted fresco
on a selected metamorphosis
of wet paint
yet only Apollo would know
to salute and visit you
on your pillow
at your birthday.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In Memoriam)

A wordsmith has earned
a place in posterity
from the heartland
to sum up his time
with a visionary voice
of a grace we have discerned
to matter what in humanity
you dream for us
in the woods of solitary silence
we have learned
so much from your verse
being an eyewitness
as a flying Dutchman
watching sky birds
in the night sky air
as you walked on the beach
by ever living stones
reaching for a conch shell
to put it up to your ear
and listen to an echo
near the lake's shore
to wave you on in Ohio
with names of stars
in a full rising moon
where angels meet
whispering to you, James
over fairly open wheat fields
battling the frozen elements
where children build a snow man,
you remember those who survive
as in Achilles shield,
you hear the priest's sexton
awakening an open steel door
in the sanctuary of revival
to reveal incense going up
intermingling immortal fires
and then in the breeze's
early winter air
you take a long walk
amid nature's forest breeze
brushing by rival winds
as words reshape you
overlooking an icy lake
feeling as a sparrow on a roof
holding your pen in hand
as you proof read images
on many a poet's page
in a woven labyrinth of rain
as you sit under the fir trees
with Christmas lights
on December 13th
tiny flakes of snow
cover you with night's wonder
a hovering bird on a white branch
sings out to you
over your birthday's
lasting quatrain.

Trees take their leave of us
your lover is gone
life is anonymous,
green days are over
there are not even
red wing black birds
on lawns
by the public park bench
near the swan boats
on the Boston Common
were I read Breton
in French
now empty of children
who want one last ride,
my sax and viola
need a tune up
and your doctor says
you have a case of lethargy
with the blahs and blues
and there are no words
for a Beat to write out
on graffiti walls
except to remember
at your last love letter
on the fourteenth of December
but do not know what year
even to speak of
until the spring spins out
on a blanket for two,
that you still hear voices
chiming in on branches
with birds surrounding you
with your favorite melody
as a landscape poet
of chance
you take out your violin
to play the czardas
in a Brahms Hungarian dance.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Sharing a large cup
of Orange Julius
with a homeless runaway
from the Big Apple
a once flower child
Tish now about thirty hides
behind black sunglasses
as she quotes to me from
O'Hara's "Lunch poems"
Ginsberg's Kaddish
and then recites by heart
on a city bench
the wish lines of Alfred Jarry
from his play Ubu Roi
with perfect memory
in a French accent
emerges from a pup tent
on the sidewalk
holding a lottery ticket,
this former childhood star
of Hollywood,
near her is a media camera
that her brother Rusty carries
in his beat up car
tells me she sleepwalks
despite her terrific stamina,
that she is in the business arts
worked at the Ritz
making gowns for starlets
speaks in several languages
and got use to play bit parts
now collects tortoise shells
from the Pacific
which she paints and sells;
Tish was raised on a commune
in Butte, Montana
where her sick dad perished
in the copper mines,
later she met Kenneth Rexroth
at a poetry seminar here
a few years ago
even knew his birthday
was on December 22
once played in a Western soap opera
called "Reckoned in the Dust"
with her brother Rusty
a stunt driver and as an extra
she asked me for a quarter
and passes out her verses
in iambic pentameter
on pink paper mache.

(For Thomas Merton
passed away Dec. 10,1968)

All laments from our eyelids
fade in the long distance
sent from a companion's dream
of nightly agents of animation
with a trinity of love words
rises out of angelic anonymity
by an abbey's canon song
as light reveals a mourning dove
on an unexpected branch
hovering over by a breeze
in an ancient snowfall
which befriends a silent Oak
by the bones of Gethsemani
suddenly upraised by sounds
of a sacred wheel moving
by hidden windflowers
which touches the vocal chords
and spoken words of miracles
of a poet who passes by
near the reddest leaves
by one still flowering rose
on grounds of monastery trees
during these silent nones hours.

In Orleans on Cape Cod

The ocean is deserted
for its favorite poet
except for a volcanic soul
with butterfly tattoos
on both sun-burned arms
who sleeps here
near the sea birds
in a sleeping bag all winter
his voice is modulated
with a Corsican accent
says his name is Napolean
and tells me the islands
off the Cape
hold onto their secret treasure
of lost pirate ship cargoes
worth a fortune in gold
but hold onto them
like sea lions for their young,
he is under a pup tent
wrapped in brownish blankets
and tells us in French
he is a distant relative
of Gauguin
that he has a treasure map
from Tahiti
but lost it in Hawaii,
his large eyes are persuadable
next to him in a surfboard
which he proceeds to take
near the Orleans shore
to show us his rock collection
gulls are flying back
sounding off into the dark sky
the weather is icy cold
and we bring him a coffee,
muffins,a Russian hat
and fur scarf
from the Hannukah-
Christmas carnival,
we speak to the authorities
of any frostbite concerns
write and visit Napolean
and put him in my diary.


It's a rehearsal day
this December tenth
for BZ's new play
he puts on his director's
pork pie hat
wondering at length
who is going to show up
at the afternoon auditions
will they be pioneers 
or real stars with ambitions
any summer stock actors
looking for some structure
to their lives
former soap opera guys or gals
with scars on their shriveled up
those who are merely tired
or have retired
those who survive
their  past adult films
of "show and tell"
those looking for some
difficult drama to act upon
not feeling like cast in Hell
or those who almost made it
to the red carpet
but settled for bit parts,
to be stunt men
or to be extras
on daily crime dramas
or prime time T.V. shows,
one never knows
if actually
one really talented person
will portend a future role
on the stage or under the lights
at a community theater
or go to off off Broadway 
or Hollywood playhouse
but I say break and leg
or knock on wood
do not beg for a part 
the theater is a difficult art
to stage manage,
take it from a poet
art director, actor
from all who play their part
you are welcome to try out.


Always on the same day,
by dawn's hour at 6 A.M.
the fishing boats on the Cape
go out on the sea
the south winds are cooling us
even when icicles fall
and sailors slip
over the piers on the docks
my eyes move leftward
sharing in reminiscences
of a lost tourist ship
in which all survived
because of the flashing mist
of the lighthouse
we are chilled at a distance
as we met the one poet
on board named John
who breathed in my words
once at the second parallel bars
pressing over the gymnasium
for John needed therapy
from unwanted pain
we held a fund raiser for him
in which he read his verse
about that fateful Fall day
when he reached out to us
in which none of his dreams
drowned on the beach
in the rain.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DEC. 8

Tonight I am playing
your violin concerto
which once communicated
to an audience
when I was twelve
in short pants
when my great uncle
with a shock of white hair
rising up from his chair
conducting the music school
orchestra with finesse
as only he could
with throbbing notes
and chords
remembering my cadenzas
and thinking of Sibelius
of his long suffering
as an adolescent would guess
you making music
that showered love between us,
now that I am mature
in an embrace of time
on your birthday
with my memory of sound,
voice, echo,vibrato,
surely playing your concerto
from my soul.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

(Dec. 2015)

Our memories grow
in still recollection
from our consciousness
we will remember to bless
the souls of the departed
shocked to know in reflection
there is sadness among us
yet we will still smile
at an angel's easy stare
becoming aware
a star will glow in December
on our Christmas trees
or we light candles at Hanukkah
hoping for miracles
while there still height
or breath in us for vindication
from sighs of immortality
on any spiritual journey
in many wonderful directions,
we bards or troubadours
from all indications
rejoice in the woods
with hymns or psalms
recite our poetry
in our neighborhoods
remembering row after row
the silent families
in San Bernardino
as time grows in judgment
of the violent few
in civil strife at death
the memories of each of you
are significant
as any sacrament of life
reaches out to us
below the rainy sky.

Friday, December 4, 2015


We are December poets
with lyrical skill,
take cover
under the windowpane's chill
on a rain or snow day
it's the end of the year,
as some of us hibernate
like a musical bear
or play classical or jazz
with harmony or care
in this starry animated time
as my violin sways
to the Tartini's sonata in D
"The Devil's Trill"
giving out a mystery
of great dexterity,
complexity and difficulty;
speaking of the Devil,
suddenly at my hallway
is my poet friend Kyle
comes to visit,
who always calls me
a ragtime musician
who plays drum
in ragtime with his chops
even with an injured thumb
from his last trip to Calcutta
which left him
taking ear drops
for his present condition
and under the weather too
from India's long jet lag,
he works at a camera shop
and brings a smiling photo
of all us in his small grab bag
taken at his sister Lydia's
spring wedding
looking like the bride
at a Cana portrait by Titian,
as she walks down the aisle
with a bouquet of flowers
to receive her ring
where we all played music
until the dawn hours
in our jazz celebration
reliving our first audition
in this zig zag world of ours.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DEC 13 birthday

He was an articulate voice
of the San Francisco Renaissance
his cool verse created
a new reaction in our ears
we miss Kenneth Patchen
with his jazz violin, sax
drums and woodwinds
made clear
in musical satisfaction
of a twentieth century
along our sun baked streets
as a Beat against war
in a labyrinth of power
as your inheritors renew us
from Whitman and Blake
this December thirteenth
we celebrate this hour
as we awake with you.


There are takers
who think they are
here to have fun,
and  the givers who share
increasing our world's words
over the ocean,stars and sun
opening up our eyes
who do a peace run
running in a Marathon
for charity's sake
and those like Quakers,
Merton and Dorothy Day
who forgive the St. Francis way
giving bread to the least
even to bird and beast
we remember how Jesus rode
on a donkey to Jerusalem
perhaps in December
for Ceasar's census
and the Tabernacle's feast
later giving out loaves
bowls of fishes and miracles
or how Picasso painted doves
to fly in columns of clouds
we say in our lyrical wishes,
may their bowed souls increase.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


The ocean rages
and lengthens on the shore
as a friend and his daughter
jutted out near the Cape's shore
from an old fishing boat
by the shoals of blue fish
swimming as sunny shadows
in the uneasy waves of waters
sense a pale gathering dusk
as the sailor drags his salmon
along the wet tall grass
soon to be cleaned
for me by my wood stove
the sky now full of rain
finding the trace of a poem
found on a napkin
written from a French cafe
in my grey overcoat
under the driving cold wind
by the ferryman, poet
and daughter Julie
careful of fallen wires
sheltered from the storm
eyeing torn branches
of a dead Oak tree
desiring to be warm
under logs of fire
suddenly hearing
what sounded like bees
in the lightening of a city
with great thunder
in this burly wonder
of our own mortality.

Birthday Dec. 10, 1891-1970

We remember you
on December the tenth
for all your strength
from the attacks of darkness
near the smokestacks
and ashen faces,
it is not goodbye,but yes
to the life of Nelly Sachs
though time may delay
we honor her memory
on her birthday
by barren boughs
on trees in Germany
new leaves may grow
letting in the light to disclose
that there is a spring
of birdsong in the breeze
after the long snows.

Dec. 9, 1830

Dusk covers Amherst
the Autumn wind
has made the Oak
leafless and scattered
as acorns fall around my feet
as students and I
present hyacinth
at your burial ground,
for your December ninth
we hear tiny sparrows sound
and we stood around and recited
by startled whisper of willows
not willing to leave or depart
without sounding out
a few of your verses
by the nests of tiny birds
who linger for bread
near an Evergreen
called so many names-
minister, singer, spinster, sister
who will always be read
by those with a willing ear,
though the skies may change
their colors in a robed night
and the seasons record
critics who favor you,
we dispatch every pardon
catching us in a first light's span
here in this patch of garden
the sun is out for you, Emily
whose words rise like fire
out of the late Fall ashes
as long as we desire.

(In Memory of Delmore Schwartz)
birth Dec. 8, 1903

A jazz trumpet is heard
to sing over the buildings
on the roof of birds
a poet of boundless words
has lost it
amid his Manhattan chambers
but it is your special day
some will remember
December the eighth
but at this time, Delmore
you do not trust anyone
or cannot even make a rhyme
as you raise your blinds
to this day's sun,
punch drunk
on your own mortality
crazed by black birds
on the fire escape
feeling lost and cheated
out of life and shape,
the city smokes its own
as you empty your ashtrays
on a threshold of breakdowns
near your dry bones
when no suicide note amends
or any way to atone,
noting the skyline has dozens
of oven birds rising up
as you pour more liquor in a cup
near Jacob's ladders
staring at the logged fireplace
with radio news and music on
as night slowly falls
over the drifting snow,
yet not moving out
for there is no where to go,
your youthful dreams now aged
growing into a pathetic madness
even when a friend and critic
from the Times dares to visit
you walk barefoot to the door
but do not open it,
lying here with living words
a well known poet paces the room
feeling alone
with his melancholic gloom,
with volumes of words
written at your desk
only your is pride intact
a soul now delirious
wishing to be that kith and kid
in the school hallways
wanting always be no.1 in class
or the serious teacher's pet,
it's another December 8th
and Delmore you have hid here
for years without remorse
with labyrinths of no recourse
except to drink heavily
or take pills
using crayons for graffiti verse
or making up cartoons
for an afternoon
over troubled walls
feeling doubled minded
and blinded to any feeling
to any vision from Dante
that needs love to be revealing
in your requited sadness
as any insomniac in your flat
nothing wakens your memory
from any passion fruited sun
you tremble in dark shadows
from your hurting back
yet suddenly you remember
the statue of Rodin
"The Thinker"
in a book of drawings,
yet you sleep only with
your Luciferian pride
in knots from self pity
tasting the bitterness
of raw herbs
deciding to pass over
any promised land or city
or to desire like Dante
that you share a kiss
from Beatrice
or take a bride
in the morning cool air
not wanting another birthday
to share with a friend
over these dirty sheets
on your unmade cot
demanding the world
give you recognition
that deserves a five star pin,
with an open mouth
of cigarettes and Cuban cigars
convinced in your clever solitude
without a contact or contract
to live as a moody recluse
not washing your face
with an unnerved heart
forgetting your fan letters
leaving not even one
when you depart
as you tie on the laces
on your cheap shoes
no one embraces you
it's as if you are on fire
only by your own anger
even at this unholy hour
the singer of Manhattan
is never reborn.

birthday Dec. 9

We visited Plymouth Plantation
Thanksgiving week
with several students
from many nations
we read from "Paradise Lost"
knowing your birthday
is coming up
and show pictures of you
from the public library
with your early writings
believing you are in heaven
by angel wings
we toss stones in the Atlantic
with messages in green bottles
enlightening the outside world
about us in the Fall of 2015
we approach a deer
who blinks at us
under brambles and branches
at the quick waters spring
overflowing on this holiday
O John Milton, you voyager
reach out us to us, join us
in a chorus of English majors
we are no longer strangers
of your Puritan friends
now in New England
as pilgrims and companions
celebrating your poet life
and sing a birthday hymn.


Against the time,
the grain,
the opinion of others,
often in the wilderness
through no fault
of my own
tossing my own sand pebbles
and stones into the sea
walking alone
in a Whitman universe
yet finding the body, bride
and print of a painting of Christ
by Roualt in my room
hidden under the lamp
I once built with reflection
that a candle will hold us
from seasons of indifference
where the festival of lights
and Christmas intersect
in a language of brotherhood
no frozen heart will abide
in this vacant neighborhood
nothing will muffle our voices
to give a sign of peace
in his poetic right hand
safe keeping this Beat
in all good memory
to always pardon
with a universal tongue
and keep alive a miracle
at this Zen crossroad
of an empty garden.


Over sleeping rocks
the last of the tourists
passes by the sandy dunes
and sits under a tree
not knowing why
share a poem of mine with her
on the quiet parking lot bench
she is an artist from Fresno
and no longer a stranger
with cabin fever
who has lost her life partner,
she is cold and I bring her
fresh clam chowder
in a still open beach window
we speak to each other
by the shore birds
as the seas wave
bathes us in a vaporous rain
of life's shadow
reaching out
we say a prayer of St.Francis
together at first light
through my leafy eyes
and I play my alto sax
to the wood winds
as she draws my portrait
on her canvas.


Even a nameless road
accepts us
as a consuming sunshine
overtakes my walk
watching a string of sky birds
leave for a warmer climate
after the first dew of morning
along a busy highway
this poet at the puzzled woods
still rejoices he is alive
in a wilderness of dawn
shuddering at first light
as a fawn appears in the snow
lost in dazzling moments
when my mind plays
a jazz sonata for oboe
just composed at 5 A.M.
life moves on quiet sidewalks
where boys play bocce
and one child hurts his knee
bends down and is smiling
again on our undated days
we watch our zig zag hours
pass by an old tourist boat
home bound for the holidays
in the Bay's harbor
as liquid raindrops
sparkle to disconcert us
there is always another time
for a recital of music,
words, love, chess,backgammon
for our lives ask to be creative
as those vibrations of eternities
to reflect nature's longing
for a song birds immortality.