Friday, July 16, 2010

a difference in personalities

when he walks into the room
he has questions, he has theories
he emerges with stories

the same room blooms for him
that she leaves cold, aloof

feeding the stray

upending the can of cat food in a china bowl
she set it on the steps
the cat came running with an open mouth


I was haranguing someone, a new father
arguing that time seems long to children
that half of life seems childhood
introduce them now to the riches of this world

he interpreted it to mean a full toy box

Saturday, July 10, 2010


remember how
one day you were going to show them?
and now you could, but it doesn't matter?

the best revenge is no revenge

Monday, June 7, 2010

barbecue tastes better on a wrinkled tablecloth

what delicious food you have here
can I be your housefly?

time to invest in a spider...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

it has been given to her
to be pestered by little boys

children gather in the neighborhood
cries of newborns on each side

we haters end up surrounded
living with what we hate

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the viewpoint roofed
and crowded with visitors
posing, chattering
ignoring the view
which anyway was dusty...

she let illness
wipe her glasses
a brighter sun
came shining through...

Thursday, May 6, 2010


he reached an end against the wall of time
bouncing backward through the telescope
for a shuddering return to the majesty
of images, pre-speech

not for sale or rent (on Fruitvale Ave)

no pictures to disturb the rhythm of blank walls
nor furniture to dim the echoes, interrupt the flow
of parquet flooring room to room
no curtains to impede the sun

no tenants to destroy the
tranquility of the self-built building
empty 25 years

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

noted today at the shopping center

children lined up, pointing fingers
at the pigeons on the roof, lined up
pointing beaks at the children

Monday, May 3, 2010

not an example

holding out her arms
she stood among pines as an equal
until some children came into sight

Saturday, May 1, 2010

at the theater

entering, you bring
your own life into the room
squeeze into the old upright seats
(among tarnished gilding)
(under the painted-on dome,)
(telescopes of lights clipped to the balconies)

stand up several times and let pass
arriving small commotions
how does the usher keep
her disillusionment in check

the performers continually fling
enchanted ropes into the audience
you don’t have to reach very far to catch one

the critic refuses--
he has disentangled himself and
sits disenchanted among the ropes


they didn't have "a people they belonged to"
so they tried to make their own

Friday, April 30, 2010

last night's dream in words

two black cats, in greeting
flash green eyes at each other
lighting up the forest floor

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the body believes the clothes
when driving, accepts the car as part
of its circumference and status
the hand believes the hammer and the pen
and she thinks her crooked spine
is a part of herself

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

melting pot

he's black African/European
she's Korean/Chinese
their child is going to
reconcile the continents

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

in his penthouse condominium
twenty-one stories up, with the 360 degree view
he had hoped to be lifted
above petty concerns...

Monday, April 26, 2010

place of business

ah, a tasteful new facade
remodel of the sales floor

in the back, where the employees are kept
no pretense--it's peeling paint
torn linoleum, exposed pipes
the truth of cobwebs at the high windows

Sunday, April 25, 2010

more dreams

n center city, an encampment
billowing tents, wildly waving pennants
music of gongs and chimes

the people reverent, participating in rituals
of deep meaning, ancient significance

when the families stopped dancing and the music died
she curled up in her chair and cried,
walked down the street with clenched fists--

all this we gave up for knowledge?
knowledge had better be worth it

Saturday, April 24, 2010

view of the stadium

there they were--men, women
and all gradations in between

Friday, April 23, 2010

at the last

he liked to call up
his employees from his bed
and chew them out

(looks so real, but breathes not)

(the undertaker's masterwork
too beautiful to be interred)

(boxed--a delivery of flowers--
close the lid)


she woke slowly from her dream
and began remembering her world
without dread

Thursday, April 22, 2010


drink coffee at bedtime
have faster dreams all night


surrounded by buildings
she glances often at the sky
with its darting birds
and remembers: earth beneath
the pavement

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


rush of commute traffic
the thump of party music gearing up
the neighbor screaming at her little ones again
ah, a nuthatch calls--it has found our trees

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


he projects himself a story
walks in

indifferent stars?

the stars are not indifferent
just busy

Monday, April 19, 2010

binocular vision

one small eye on each side of the nose
is sufficient
the face opens to the scenery
like a garage door

Sunday, April 18, 2010


(the understory turned
and threw over a city)

melting pot

with kitchen scissors
before the family house
cross-legged on a patch of lawn
the little man, ancient, sits
scissoring the grass

Saturday, April 17, 2010


she waves at her dogs in the window
the dogs wave back with their tails

Friday, April 16, 2010

camellia bloom bursting
out of a spider's web
was the spider surprised!

saved again, by Medicine

eyes, there must be more for you to see
the neighbor's rhododendron about to bloom
our hydrangeas, about to answer

Thursday, April 15, 2010


the sea lay undisturbed--
for days, not a swallow


dark shadow of her former self
lay draped across the floor


night birds' clicks
beeps swishes hums


held to the bed with tubes
over an abyss of fear


happy Easter said the slight man cheerfully
then fretted, are you Christian?

she noticed she could not say no

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

slow recovery

between the impulse and the act
a gulf too wide to bridge--
the hand, reaching for the door knob
stops just short

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


red-wing blackbirds
crowing in the young trees
of the Walmart parking lot
preening themselves to glossy

trip in spring?

But if I leave
I cannot be here now!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lake Merritt

downtown, among the buildings
blue water has cleared
a wide space for itself and the birds

Sunday, April 11, 2010

housing crisis

the fragrant lumber flowed through town
houses advanced like haze on a pane

as for the northern forests

o carnage, o destruction
the satellite cried, looking down

glancing up from the Safeway parking lot

beneath the daytime moon,
a grapefruit tree with brighter moons
among its clustered leaves