Archive for December, 2009

What News?

December 30, 2009

What news arrives to play at decade’s close?
What random suite of happenstance befalls
our so-called holidays with gladding calls
to halcyon feeling, sadness or repose?
A revelation? Or the shock and awe
of senseless war and human tragedy?
What killer wave, jihadist strategy,
or stupid luck will swipe its feline paw
at all our tidy packages and glass
menageries, set fire to the pants
of airline passengers or snuff the glow
of hapless tabloid blondes? What song of chance
coincidence or pyhrric Senate pass
inflates its sack and sets its pipe to blow?


Managing Glass

December 28, 2009

The beat philosopher at the antique
emporium wraps all my crystal gifts
in paper towel, takes only cash, and smiles
and smiles as though he doesn’t hear a word
I say about my game of hide and seek
with breakables. My sense is that he drifts
away and back. He’s got a lot of miles
on his odometer, the cagey bird.

I say I need to keep them separated–
the tidy creamer/sugar bowl ensemble;
the narrow vase for long-stemmed yellow roses.
Diogenes, reflective, doesn’t care.
He tosses all into a desiccated
plastic shopping bag. My little gamble
and the guarantee will tinkle, one supposes,
chipping in the trunk of my Bel Air.

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light!

December 25, 2009

December 13, 2009

On comparing canvases with Paul Weingarten

I: Who Among Us? (or Assassins)

Convention puts the hand of Judas
on the table. He’s the one
whose Pennsylvania lawyer screwed us.
See that hand?…The smoking gun.

A flatfish palm and flying fish—
confusion: Man or Superman?
Our CEO holds up a dish.
There’s magic in the marzipan.

But what about the blade that floats?
Accounting for appendages,
I comb through the da Vinci notes.
No handle. And no end to this.

II: No Exit

Convention puts the hand of Judas on the table.
It’s best that we identify the perp before
we case the dining hall or call in Cain and Abel.

Keep an eye on him. He seems to be unstable,
fingering his burlap money bags galore.
Convention puts the hand of Judas on the table

and his eye on the horizon through the gable
window to the left. There’s treachery in store.
Let’s case the dining hall. A call to Cain and Abel

placed at 6:04: They’ll play it by the label,
Good Cop / Bad Cop. This is no time to ignore
convention. Put the hand of Judas on the table,

clip the cuffs and get a handful of that sable
collar. “Guy’s, there isn’t any 13th floor!
No case. No dining hall. You copy?”~(
Cain and Abel

on the horn). Who knew? The old “No Exit” fable
and we fell for it again. The Civil War
Convention puts the hand of Judas on the table.
We case the dining hall. No call for Cain and Abel.

III: Grace

Forgive them, for they do not understand,
these fishermen, Hassidim, and the guard.
The painter with the funny hat. It’s hard.
Yet everything has truly gone as planned.

If only they could see the simple line,
the masks of death amassed upon my shoulder.
Those masks from Mexico. It’s getting colder.
Now listen to them singing Auld Lang Syne.

He followed with the purest of intention,
the complicated anthropologist
who took the rope and hammer from the stable.
Kazantzakis’s apologist,
the man who sees and raises me. Convention
puts the hand of Judas on the table.

Marke that it doth Sucke too Much!

December 4, 2009

Be it Known that Broadside Four of The Flea, a journal compiled by Paul Stephens, formerly of Leeds and Harrogate, late of The Strand and presently engaged in sundry Enterprises in the Colonies, has been brought forthe. Therein, yours truly presenteth “Sticking Point.” But stop not until you Reade entries by Rose Kelleher, Timothy Murphy and other Actors exemplary of our Irish Problem.

Young Girl in a Suburban Café

December 4, 2009

Marcie plays guitar and sings off key
or listens to the Velvet Underground
revivalists and sips an herbal tea
until her turn on-mic comes back around.
She’s luminescent, reaching to the length
of fingers spread across a rosewood board.
There’s stiffness in her rhythm but some strength
behind that errant F# minor chord.
And, yes, the knotted scarf is kind of sweet.
She looks the part, a twist of smart and pretty.
Behind her through the window to the street
the DeCamp 33 bus to the city
idles brightly for a moment at the light,
then sets off on its slow trip through the night.

Wednesday Night Open Mic
Tasty Coco Cafe and Lounge
Caldwell, NJ

Here Be Monsters On Ice

December 3, 2009

Please click on image to see how weird its eye is. Thank you.

Cassowary Photo®: Madrid, Spain, November, 2009

An Emerald Fist of Pistols

December 1, 2009

Tilt-a-Whirl, an online poetry journal spun off from Kate Burnadette Benedict’s Umbrella Journal, hits today with its first issue. Its thing is repeating forms, and in it, under villanelles, is “The Theme from Shaft: III. History” by our very own. Read also villanelles by Marybeth Rua-Larsen and Michael Cantor, something nonce by Mary Meriam, and a ballad [no “e”] by Maryann Corbet. And read the new Umbrella. And, since I’m just talkin’ ‘bout Shaft, read all three parts in my chapbook Aquinas Flinched. Support an independent publisher of poetry and help me make my nut. Because the Modern Metrics imprint at Exot…these people are leg breakers.