Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Mist still blows
______from mouths like smoke
Gingkos litter sidewalks with
______wet white confetti
Cherryblossom & Dogwood
Red Oak & Honey Locust
_________________________Tulips too,
_________________________on Park Avenue

Potholes are also a sign of Spring

D.O.T. workers close off city blocks
and with 450 Cats & 6 ft. screeds
square cut the craters
& pour hot black gravel
poundit all in &
rollit down hard

They've done it for years
_____the exact same way-
this temporary fix they call
_____"hope and pray"
but next Winter the salt,
_____tire chains & plows will
chunkit all up again
& the work will repeat

_________________________Fingers always turning
_________________________the wheel of the world


National pride
Ethnic pride
Religious pride
Atheistic pride
Cultural pride
Subcultutal pride
Professional pride
Doing well pride
Not doing well pride
Identity pride
Lots of money pride
No money pride
Big house pride
Making do pride
Expensive watch pride
Expensive car pride
Expensive clothes pride
Status symbol pride
Better than "X" pride
In good shape pride
Being right pride
Invested in the shell
The empty hollow shell
All substitutes for self - which is
Nothing real at all

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3/29/11: Washington Sq.

In sunspot warm
small body learning
to balance to move to walk
Knees all green from
______falls on grass
Tripping toes stop in
______pavement cracks
Uncoordinated feet
______refuse to cooperate
Arms down
stiff at sides
Chasing two fat pigeons

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kerhonkson Haiku

Bad news comes, but
seldom reaches me here amidst
the whispering pines.

Friday, March 18, 2011

but that I had a creek to sleep beside

Apogee moon sits
on a hill, guiding me home
through whispering pines.


There is a persistent ticking as from a clock.
I only hear it when I sit on my mat.
Ignore it and it grows
search out its source and it disappears.
Through the open north window, a sparrow's thirrip
calls me back.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crossing 82nd
Somewhere a bitter stench
A throat full of death

For Yuyutsu RD Sharma

From the world- “away”
you’ll return to your home
hug your children
make love to your wife
take your own shower
drink your black tea
eat the food you’ve missed
read your newspaper
note the afternoon light—
how it has its own color
note the Kathmandu air—
how it has its own shape
see your close friends
pass out gifts to be envied
re-establish your bonds
to place
to time
and to old familiar comfort
only too soon,
to be leaving again

For C.H.

We sit together
quietly sip coffee
Conversations come and go
but talk is unimportant.
By silence
our friendship is not diminished,
nor by talk, made deeper
but with time simply spent in company,
its substance ever grows.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Out back, behind our building is a courtyard. There are trellises- painted green, wooden planters, and a few plastic chairs. All this is set on a vast (for Manhattan,) concrete rectangle, with a shuffleball court at one end.
Our last superintendent, Maxwell, took joy in keeping it up. Throughout his years of service, the trellises were covered in vines, the planters overflowing with green in Summer, and tulips in early Spring, and the concrete slabs of the yard itself swept daily. Even the iron furniture was painted each May. Since however, he was retired several years ago, his successor, who does not share Maxwell’s passion, has not kept it up, and entropy and weather have gotten the better of things.
When, while in the city I wish to meditate outside, I set my cushion down at the most derelict end of the courtyard. There’s a rough wall there— a scar left when a public school was torn down in 1967, to build the apartment building I live in, and a low ledge to lean my back against.

Cigarette butts left
in potted plant: small reverence
for growing things.

After The Alarm

We lay in bed
facing one another
stroke belly
and thigh
and breast
and keep
the inevitable day
at bay

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Following Coyote

In headlights
______________as if
projected on some screen
_______(the trickster?)
leads me o'er mountain road
where I follow
slowly ____home

Friday, March 11, 2011

11/3/11: 8th @ 5th: "Fucking Sheep"

for Chuck

Fucking sheep" you called them—
who damn red lights
suicide streets on
Blackberry or iPhone

"Fucking sheep" you said
___________________I said

"You know, they call that
______sheep worrying"
but you
weren't in the mood to laugh
__________________as you
stepped off the curb
damned the red light
damned yellow taxi
damned the damned world

3/11/11: Prima Vera

Sparrows in my garden
hunt for twigs: new nests
for the birds' new year.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

R.O.Z. pt. ii

Soggy Sunday morning
No TV to bark in the corner
The neighbors have gone to church
But for a siren
________________tens of
blocks away _______All is still

The rain drips from rusting fire escapes
onto the concrete courtyard
Someone shifts a clay flower pot
________________in its
terra cotta saucer— It couldn’t be
____anything else________ &
in the distance, you can almost hear
wakes ____spread across the
___top___ sheet
of the East River____Or
is that
____the city’s breath again?

For Lu Wu

You asked what I meant
when I said to you, that
your photos had "editorial voice".
What I meant to say—
what I should have said
is your photos don't look like
stock photography, or some
souless postcard with a
"Wish you were here".
What I meant to say,
is that
there you are
pointing your lens at
casually chatting
with gods.

* The Tibetan name for Mt. Everest

Friday, March 04, 2011

Bad Hair Days

Getting older,
afraid to cut my long hair off
There’s just so much less time
to grow it back now
than back when I
was young

shaved my whole head clean
on a whim
some people thought
I had cancer
(it was the 80s, and
unheard of back then)

folks like to say that
as we age
we become more patient,
and I tell myself,
after all,
it’s only hair, but

the next three years
if the truth be told,
seem very long
as I’d be growing it out again
& measured as they’d be
in dissatisfaction
over something as unimportant
and effemeral,
as bad hair days

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

3/1/11: Guggenheim Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital

Quietly feeding a small brown sparrow
bits from a peanut split off with my
in the surgical waiting room
of the Guggenheim Pavilion
He rejects the pieces he deems too big
tossing them from his beak
with a shake of his head

A girl in black tights
and high heeled boots
quickly walks by
scaring him into
noisy flight


Sitting beneath an old oak tree
Fifth Avenue, One-Hundred-First Street
Winter's almost over
The park is showing signs of rebirth
Readers on benches
Joggers on paths
Shoots amidst the
hillside scrub
I'm eating my breakfast—
peanuts mixed with raisins
You're across the street,
upstairs, on a table
with an IV in your arm
Counting this, you'll have had
nine surgeries
over the past three years
I'd say it averages out to
three per year, but it
hasn't been that neat
We spent last Summer
together at Cornell-Presbyterian
It was your heart then
now it's your left eye
Shivering in the cold, I
stand to zip my coat

A siren shatters
the quiet; I wait for news
on a sun warmed bench