Archive for July, 2009

Mourning Doves

July 26, 2009

Two mourning doves inspect the mulch I tossed
across the ghost roots of an apple tree
to hide the scar and reckon with the lost

and longed-for body, with the shade that crossed
my summer grass, a grazing prophesy.
Two mourning doves inspect the mulch I tossed

into an ugly hole. It would have cost
me more to wait for a catastrophe,
to hide the scar and reckon with a lost

gazebo or a kitchen porch embossed
in tangled screens. I paid the woodman’s fee.
Two mourning doves inspect the mulch I tossed

exactly where I cut my losses. Frost
and thaw will cycle more reliably
to hide the scar. I’ll reckon with a lost

arcade, where now I wander albatrosssed
in sunlight, shadowed by a memory.
Two mourning doves inspect the mulch I tossed
to hide a scar and reckon with the lost.


Feeling a bit nostalgic…

July 20, 2009

Sonnet to Modern Science

July 17, 2009

“The first step towards the attainment of a real discovery
was the humiliating confession of ignorance”
—Humphry Davy

Myopic genius, feeling in the dark
to find a switch installed so many years
ago, put down your hands and face the stark
reality. Forget the chandeliers
you count on to illuminate a world
of walls, for they are gone with your succinct
mathematics. The discoveries you squirreled,
those notebooks and the hard drives are extinct.
You’ll have to trust your instincts after all
and maybe listen to another voice
that sings to you from far outside the Hall.
You’ll recognize it now, you have no choice.
There isn’t any guidance on the shelf.
The light is in the world outside yourself.

Through with Buzz?

July 16, 2009

Never! Forty years ago today, Montclair’s favorite #2 son took off with Louie Armstrong and Cork MP, Michael Collins, for a date with tranquility. Big up, Buzz Aldrin!

What Happened to the Apples?

July 14, 2009

For Lydia

What happened to the apples, grapes, and pears
that rolled beneath a carpeting of bees
in summers I remember still? The trees
are dusky skeletons of sticks and hairs
beneath their haircuts of wisteria.
Sweet color lasts a week. The cardinal flies
to other airways once the purple dies,
and lying green provokes hysteria
in one who knows the framework is a sham.

There is a groundhog known as “Mr. Clam”–
the sobriquet awarded by my daughter.
He thrives as a perennial somehow,
and last year’s Clam is fatter, fatter now,
that sac of dirt and vegetables and water.

Carrer Nou de la Rambla

July 13, 2009


We hike down to the bottom of the Rambla,
maybe to report a stolen wallet.
The statue of Columbus stands so tall, it
casts a sundial shade on the ensemble,
fat and foreign, lolling through the stalls
of animals and flowers. Turning right,
we pass the Hotel Gaudi where the night
is calling as it does when twilight falls.

A little further in this corridor
we give up hope of finding the police.
The bars disgorge their guilds to the caprice
of crime where cracked graffiti chafes a door
that totters, bleeding like a razor wound,
a smokey light congealing in an ark
of misery. And from the cobalt park
across the street, we hear a croaking sound,

an ancient whore who cackles as she’s taken
from behind in what at first appears
to be a murderous attack. The jeers
about the square convince us we’re mistaken.
That we’ve come too far. That it is we
who might need help. Or that we’re helpless now,
anonymous, uncompassed on a scow
of shipwrecks in a road behind the sea.

Barcelona, June 22, 2009

Photo by Lacomba

On Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ

July 10, 2009



July 10, 2009

I recognized the shuck in this kid’s act–=
I’d seen my share of carnival routines.
The way he blocked the catwalk through the tract
of towering powerlines and evergreens:
“Ya see up there?” He pointed to a wire
and to a blue gray dove perched all alone,
a glint of feathers in a line of fire.
He reached into his pocket for a stone.
And what a shot. A wrist-snap to a bird
that dropped between the cattails to the boards.
He fetched his prey, he held it, and I heard
a snap beneath his twisting hand. The cords
of heaven snapped as well. They cracked somehow.
I didn’t like this kid or hate him. Then or now.

Statue in Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona

July 8, 2009

parc statue

Wilbur on Sonnets and Confessional Poetry

July 1, 2009