Thursday, June 30, 2016

After a Shower

After a Shower When I am Naked, Clean

After a shower, even before I towel off
the words begin jumping into my head. 
All morning long I sat staring at the screen
and wrote only a single word:

It is interesting and even funny
how the words are always there
but the flood gates open
when they want to open

The muse may spew her message when
you have paper and pencil
or when there is no paper around
and how much can you write on
a foggy bathroom mirror
much depends on
how large the mirror is
and if you can read your notes
before the fog melts away.

I have to run, dripping, at least it's
clean water, and reboot the laptop;
typing what hasn't already evaporated.

She had waited until
shampoo suds were in my eyes.
Her message mixed with the rinse spray.

And here is what she said;
“Later, not now, I will help you
finish your thoughts about ATTENTION.”

Wedding & Mud in Piles

Wedding & Mud in Piles

Don't give up there is a place where people in white dresses prance and fawn in fantasy for as long as the photographer can stave off a yawn. And not to worry, the flotsam and jetsam will accumulate and deposit itself in mountains to be split into equal shares when the flood arrives.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

High Mass at Notre Dame de Paris

Why Does the Muse Carry a Lyre?

What is it to read, to recite words aloud before the ears of strangers,
not knowing who is hearing and who is asleep with eyes open?

I am seated in Notre Dame listening to a language
that I hear with my ears,
but do not understand in any day-to-day manner.

Boyhood and blue beams of daylight projected through church windows
the priest intoning high mass
clouds of white smoke
that heavy scent as the chain clicks
against the outside of the metal censor,
a bell in reverse, from outside in.

Words recited loudly in Latin,
mysterious incantations

and I heard as a boy the ripples of future sounds and rhythms
of  listening decades off  to Russian poetry, 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko not merely reading dramatically
but blasting the doors off what it meant, at least for me, to recite poetry

Gary Snyder, read on a long ago poignant evening in Ann Arbor
Offering a granite thought wrapped in a gift blanket:

"each rock a word
a creek-washed stone "       

and my friend Jim reading, I can hear in his voice a certain softness
a gentle sadness, perhaps not sad at all,
but possibly just patience;

"It was nothing unusual. Just a woman, bare-knuckled
on a cold day, pushing an empty grocery cart up University towards hell.
You see it all the time on this planet of theirs. "

Their voices animate  creek-washed stones
otherwise flat on a page

In listening we hear where
the missing punctuation fits

Words recited loudly not necessarily in Latin,
mysterious incantations, still

and if these words are not meant to be heard aloud,
then why does the muse carry a lyre?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chopin in the Park

Chopin in the Park

Wind blowing

flint dust fills the air

metal chairs dragged
on flint gravel paths
make their own brand of music

babies scream til soothed

and above and through all


Many thousands of happy
ears filter out or accept
the ambient ruckus

a little girls calms and drives her
toy car up her fathers arm
and down his back

Happy ears galore

leaves rustle to join the applause


In the Luxembourg Garden
on a Sunday afternoon in summer.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Paint Box Sits

Paint Box Sits

Tubes of paint, brushes, colored pencils
And the regular graphite ones with
Yellow painted wood and pink erasers
Sit inside a box I keep high on a shelf
In this Paris apartment. 

I come here each year and open the box
Just to be sure they are available
If I have an urge to put them to use.

Back home thirty yards of canvas sit.

Neither paint nor brush nor pencil
Nor canvas expect or care what may
Or may not happen to them.

They are fine with sitting in a box
Or staying rolled on the bolt.


The Three Muses of Poetry

The Three Muses of Poetry

Sometimes he sits and nothing happens

Or too much comes all at once and there is no bucket large enough to catch it all.

In either case, he can always blame the Muses of Poetry.

He draws a blank on their names, but the really good muse of poetry carries the attribute of a lyre, hinting at the recitation of poems rather that their reading, written, flat on a page in a book.

The muse of erotic poetry also carries a lyre, but bigger and more erect. 
This muse and he have fun in our shared head.

The muse of short poems hides behind trees and carries a cell phone.
Sometime back she carried a boom box.

Today there is a shortage of muses.

Nothing interesting, sexy, or humorous is destined to be written down today.


Six Croissants

Six Croissants 

Not much to choose from at

the boulangerie this morning

perhaps the baker slept in

baguette and six croissants

Flakey enough

No irony