my head is full of you.
a lover who knows
no end. finds me
in daylight,
lights dusk.
pulls me in,
casting a net
to trap me
in sweet, fragrant
peu de fleur blanche,
my head is full of you,
you’ve pushed
everything else


I float
then bob
no one
pulls me down 
stuck to the ceiling
I am


                  Boss. he charged me to look at the sign on the wall for a business that failed, we aren’t this. he was old and scraggly, behind the times or so everyone thought, but he’d win the prize ‘cause he was smart like a fox. he gave me the courage to face the deep end and dive in.       Friend. alone. in nyc. with strangers, not my people. escaping, only an address that led me to a street in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Cab. Stoop. Wait. saw him coming down the street. rushing to meet him, he wondered, what’s wrong baby. I confessed. he said, don’t give ‘em the good stuff, never give ‘em the good stuff. he knew what that was about me.     Lover. he loved me long. I’m certain that I was his last thought. powerful. listened to me babble about Babylon. rushed to open my door. put flowers next to my side of the bed. held me tight when he wanted nothing but to do that. Always. Always. Always. forever.     Wanted. someone. who could be a little of all three. just a little. expectant. knowing. devoted.

first day of spring

veiled in warm sleep still,
the hawk meets my step
calling the frost to
unsettle spring's day.
dressed tight in blue sky,
snow filled clouds move off
out over the lake
pushing cold inland.
crows post the corners,
bulbs stand at ready,
yet I've lost all hope
the lion will leave.


crisp cold comes
under a cracked
window to lie
next to me
as the small
of my back
tries to push
a daffodil from its bulb.
I’d give anything
for a warm hand
to tend to it,
not His who made
all of the cycles
of Nature,
a southerly wind
to thaw and coax
what is cruel out. 

grandpa's whiskey

poured only when the bottle of wine is dry
on special occasions when the heart
is clouded with what ifs and whys;
its certain tribal elixir a comfort in storms
and time that doesn’t fit into every day.

I pull a dram to call the tribe to circle ‘round,
protect me from playboys of the west  and
certain agents that dishonor the tri-colour:
turn coats that can’t know a day of toil and turf
whose hands  haven’t held the hand of the earth.

in a barrel-filled room full of the amber stream,
I find my grandfather who kept bottles in boxes
in case the big lake pulled in mountains of snow
jailing him in solitary confinement: it’s noon in New York
and he tastes manhattan: whiskey and sweet vermouth.

I am his daughter, one who has only sons,
he pulls me to him and says that I will hold up the name
in spite of the patriarchy, in spite of the brawn and
arrogance that are his second sons;
he knows that I am the one to bring him whiskey. 

drunk, alone

don’t worry about me
I can get drunk alone

I can call on my demons
to keep me company

I can pour another round
find conversation in a memory

if a song comes on the radio
I can dance by myself

cheers! I raise my glass
to those that might have come

those that are closest to my vest
are here in spirit to wind me up

don’t worry about me, darlin'
I can drink alone

snow storm

piling up
like sugar
in a cake

it buffers
city noise:
sifted flour
for cracked eggs

snow blowers
whir the drifts
mixing up
dry and wet

in an hour
icing on
tree branches,
red velvet


a shard of glass
slipped into
my heel.

I didn’t feel it.

storied philosophy

interesting, because in the short time I was in Japan with you, I saw that most of your  bullshit wasn’t bullshit at all, but a brilliantly found philosophy of life … you covered it all up with a good story and laugh … your stories were riveting I tell ya

my charge had a paperwork emergency so I went out to see her this morning. we always have a meal once whatever fire she had is put out. and I think that she chews each piece of food at least 100 times before swallowing. today it took her 2 hours and 15 minutes to eat 2 scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast, fruit, and a butt steak. usually I have to listen to her normal repertoire of stories, but today she had a new one. she worked at Monumental Life in Cleveland, Ohio after she returned from Europe and the Army. she was in love with one the insurance salesmen, Mort, a married Jewish man. she had sex with him twice in the apartment that he kept in the city. did she like it, yes. then he fixed her up with several of his single friends, none of whom Doris would give so much as a kiss to. what happened? Doris decided to move to Chicago and leave Mort behind. she said that he tried to keep her in Cleveland and wanted to buy farm for her to live on. a farm? you must understand that Doris is the last person I could ever see on a farm. I asked her what she would do on a farm? her reply … have sex! she explained that it would be an affair after all and her job in it would be to sit around and be available for sex whenever Mort could get away from the city and his wife. she moved to Chicago instead. I asked her if she ever spoke to Mort again, and she told me that whenever she and Jimmy had a fight (the man that she married in Chicago) she would call all of her boyfriends, including Mort, collect.

you think like me. that is rare in itself. you look at story like me … finding paragraphs of scripted tale from a few bites of porkchops.

My dad didn’t yell at us … he was just loud. And he would get confrontational. He was always trying to start stuff. “Hey, you have a big zit on your face!” We learned just look at him and say, “yeah, so?” The thing is, reacting that way pissed my father off. He wanted a fight. The older he got, the worse he got. My mom got sick of it and finally started to give it back to him. Well, my dad got so confused. He’d cried to me, literally cry because the man didn’t live a day that he didn’t sob over something, “your mom has changed!” He was, in his own words, a classic in his own mind. He got what he’d always seem to want, but he didn’t want that.

you are very bright and should publish … but then again, i don’t know. that defeats the purpose.

March Second of Ninety-Nine

fourteen years
have passed
since the fury
that called
you home.

I worried,
fearing that
the frozen dirt
that covered
you was cold

even though
blood-red roses
blanketed the
ground where
you lie.

a bird
has begun
an early spring song
out my window
these mornings.

its wistful ayre,
sweet against
the iced pane,
brings you to me
to cheer
this dolly polly,
reassuring me that
ground holds life.
cold preserves.

as I uncover you,
you are still here.