Archive for the ‘Jerseyana’ Category

Stone Resurrection

August 21, 2011

I Come to Praise, Not to Bury, the Last of the Incroyables
To what is left of my 1970s garage band, now a lounge act

Chilling roots. A competent Bodhisattva,
you describe Adonis at fifty-something.
Total ice. Incredible. Only genius
covers the Eagles.

String guitar, a salient old perspective
claims the high road. Holy of Holies, hear me.
Count your minions. Carry the sonic proxy
out of our future.

Crank your manic destiny, Haines and Tug Boat.
Slack becomes your adamant Dylan medley.
Larry Fix, your name is an astral 6 train.
Hail to the Fender.

Solid ghost, pretend to remind the gathered
ancients, hairless, vague, of the Minor 7.
None shall rise as few would dispute your glory,
Stone Resurrection.

Surrey down. Reveal to a static world how
angels wear your Dorian cherry hi-tops.
Call the game, O Surrealistic Pillow.
Surfeit the fallen.

Recited on stage to diners at the Perryville Inn, Perryville, NJ, August 19, 2011


Avon Jetty

July 3, 2011

They watch us from the rocks in camouflage
against a line of clouds at the horizon.
White and grey, the haggard entourage
can not believe the flock it has its eyes on.

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

On Bloomfield

November 30, 2009

Our beards are soft and gray as morning ash,
endowed with parables and cigarettes.
Our coats, a vagary of petty cash,
describe the button holes in safety nets.
And if this station cracks beneath our boots,
the cold, erasing rain may knit us suits.

Salvaging Summer’s End

September 4, 2009


For Marybeth and Nemo

Casino workers tend to reminisce.
The games are closed. But will the summer fly
and all this parkway hydroplaning cease?

Remember this: A kiss is but a kiss.
Suburban gardens melt into the sky.
Casino workers tend to reminisce.

I’m not surprised at all to learn that Cec-
il B. DeMille might turn a jaundiced eye
on all this parkway hydroplaning. Cease!

or is it Cut! he’d cry, the emphasis
on wrapping it and filing it on high?
Casino workers tend to reminisce

on briny white electric clouds that hiss
and lovers too cashed-out to say Good-bye!
Will all this parkway hydroplaning cease?

Unlikely, as the weather’s simply hit-or-miss
near Exit 38. Which tells us why
casino workers tend to reminisce
on parkway and the hydroplaning seas.

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!

Hip Café in the Suburbs

March 29, 2009

Here dessert and coffee have much in common.
Amsterdam it ain’t, but there’s always throbbin’
chaka Abyssinian rub-a-dub, mon.
Pour me a latte.

Infamous Moments in Pick-up Football #137

September 2, 2008

He lithely dodged a crusty ten year old
and spun on air—not bad for forty-two.
He found the end-zone clear and hit it cold
and harder than an inkpen jail tattoo.

The cheater blitzed on four Mi’ssippies, pal–
you saw the dance, that sand and bully kick
come up the gut, destroying the morale
of rookie linemen slippery and quick.

You saw him spike the ball he should have eaten
and how he wouldn’t give the kid a break.
Consider all the ways he might be beaten—
you saw the way he telegraphs the fake.

That’s business, pal. As brutal as it gets.
On Avon beach, they’re calling in the bets.

Fourth Movement

February 29, 2008

I’m navigating Bloomfield Avenue
To Coltrane’s chronic prayer for saxophones,
A love supreme, divine and overdue.
Pedestrians behind the orange cones
Are waiting for their bus or heart attack
With coffee cups and modulating bones.
The melody advances front to back
And lingers at this corner where I stopped
to find an alternating rhythm track
beneath the cut of dynamite. I dropped
The flying highway with my other glove,
And now this sound, meandering, has cropped
The temporal continuum above
A love supreme, a love supreme, a love.

War Games

February 12, 2008

These thin, gray woods were once a Southeast Asian swamp
Where all the boys on Cutter Drive would re-enact
The news or World War II, the atavistic romp

Of kids with maple sticks and dirt bombs, all the pomp
And circumstance of war. When Cedar Street attacked ,
These thin, gray woods became a Southeast Asian swamp.

It took a half an hour for our troops to stomp
Across the skunkweed, dodging all the dirty flack
They threw in World War II–our fatalistic romp

To claim the hill. We’d charge and dive and belly whomp,
We’d make machine gun sounds, rearming at a stack
Of thin gray wood. We had a Southeast Asian swamp

Behind our houses and you had to play. It’s com-
plicated. Part of growing up a boy. In fact,
The news from Viet Nam, the late ballistic romp,

Conscripted us to fight. Contending with the stamp
Of masculinity, my buddies never lacked
For thin grey wood, a sweaty Southeast Asian swamp,
The news from World War II, the cold sadistic romp.