Sunday, April 24, 2016


Over at Jim’s, across the street, they are still
asleep, but the trees dazzle, blossoms
blowing in the Sunday wind. The soft
down of grass has been culled into shape,
the dandelions removed, the pansies trained
into neat little rows. Even the maple seems
to be obeying some grand design.
In the mid-day sunlight, the greens glisten,
the yellows sparkle and pop, the oranges
blaze like dying suns, the reds bleed and bleed.
I observe Nature here, in the urban garden,
a blinded muse, a bound dancer, a slave.
I am no master.

(the first word of each line is taken from This Poem

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

to fast: v.

to go without, to postpone, to defer,
she fasted that she might be furthered
to hasten, to proceed quickly, to heighten,
she fasted that she might arrive
to increase, to displace, to prolong
she fasted that she might want
to hunger, to yearn, to need,
she fasted that she might desire
to bind, to fetter, to fix,
she fasted herself that she might persist
to worship, to mortify, to meditate
she fasted that she might be pure
to elevate, to seek, to pursue
she fasted that she might find
to arrive, to discover, to escape

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Self-Portrait as Lucian Freud's "Double Portrait" (1985-86)

Am I the woman, artificially still, arranged as if in sleep,
or death? Am I the dog, nestled beside her, its jaw tense,
dreaming, ready to snarl or bite? Am I the paint, deep
and patchy, ridged  brushstrokes blowing from edge
to edge? Or am I the canvas, flat, transparent, and square?
Am I the navy of her dress, her pale buttery skin, the grayish-
pink of the dog’s vulnerable belly? Am I the paint brush, the hair
Of rabbit, badger, or horse? Am I the shadow beneath the weight
of her arm, casually shielding her eyes, or is her pose a defense
against the artist’s gaze? I’m the suggestion of a wall, the blank
bedsheet, the too white bed, the dog’s mottled fur, the sense
the world is one indecipherable scene and art makes it think.
What, exactly, is it the subject of this painting? That which we see:
woman, dog, paint? Or the space between the painting and me?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I like this one, so I'm reposting it here.

Sonnet for an Absent Spouse

I almost wrote “an empty house,” but it isn’t, still three of four
on site: Son, and dog and me. In your absence, I chauffeur Son
and walk the dog. I text “I miss you.” Is that the vodka (80 or more?
calories) talking? Or maybe it’s the delicious and necessary wine
(5 ounces Merlot = 120 calories) that makes my thumbs light.
When I miss you, I drink whiskey (110 calories), I let Son spend more
time watching “Firefly” on his computer to avoid the nightly fight.
I imagine expensive additions to our home: a deck, French doors
opening off our master bedroom and into the backyard, fertile
with rosemary, tomatoes, chard, sunflowers, and orange poppies.
When you are gone, I am uncharacteristically morose. I wile
the hours away reading actuary charts which forecast our untimely
demise. It’s not wise, the way I spend my time. Wait: that’s a lie.

I imagine the hours we’ll spend, sipping wine, until we die.

Friday, April 01, 2016

National! Poetry! Month!

Welcome to April, in which two poets test themselves against time, meter, rhyme, and the days that demand poems. That's right, it's National Poetry Month which means that HighTouch and I will be writing a poem a day, and you know what that means! Lower those expectations. Let's go!

April Fool

Perhaps there is a spaceship where astronauts
grow tomato plants in zero gravity.  Perhaps there is a zip code
where anyone can live, their mail circulating in some imagined zone
Perhaps instead of a tax refund, I am buying you an air conditioner
or a refrigerator or those teal shoes that you love.
 I am leaving them on your front porch, surreptitiously,
for you to find.

Perhaps I am pouring water on you to wake you from your sleep,
only it's a pitcher full of shredded newspaper,
confetti of the displaced, the forlorn,
the slightly out of date.

Perhaps I am beckoning you near with only a whisper,
trying to dump water, soapy and warm,
down the front of your blouse, rendering you rain-
soaked, stained and foolish.

Or maybe I am a lie, a single red tulip,
planted years ago in a patch of dirt beside the house
that bursts forth unexpectedly every year this day.