Archive for the ‘Melancholy’ Category



March 13, 2008


The doctor confirmed what I already knew,
that the fuzziness creeping in around the edges of my vision
wasn’t some imagined darkened curtain
but more a milking of the lens.

Adding haze to my specificity,
the green twinge of memory sending back
imagined reflections of different choices
a doubling of vision.

Two doors stand before me,
two paths, two roads, are they behind me or ahead?
I made these choices long ago
or did they make me?

Passageways I long abandoned
images of shadows of an imagined future
nestling with the dying embers of youthful spirit
long since burned through.

The light reflected and refracted
into a white-hot laser. I recoil
from the heat and searing images
of swirling doubt in hopes of seeing clearly.


When Last It Was I Looked Upon Your Face

August 21, 2006

When last it was I looked upon your face
your pregnant eyes were full of certain grace
your gentle touch, with all its soft carress
your spirit free, your soul by angels blessed.
Your dappled smile gave hints of summer dew
and joyous mirth. These images of you
are all that’s left to me now. Winter’s here
and what was newly born is old and sere.
Your memory, a portrait in my head
is drained of hue. My recollection dead
as passing time, the enemy of years
has drowned my childhood fantasy in tears.


Subway Dream

August 13, 2006

Something happened on my way home yesterday
you opened up your blue-green mouth and I was
swallowed up by the noisy indignation of the
brutal street; grey taxi-cabs passed me on the
thoroughfare of little angels and I dove into a waterfall
of slowly swirling images of doubt.

When I surfaced for air, all I could see was a sky
light of stars as they fell upwards, moving
to plug the leaks in the firmament that were left
by your big footprints, your high heels punching
patterns of holes in my self-esteem, and when
I turned the corner, I was back in my bedroom alone.



August 6, 2006


Maybe it’s the heat
of this sultry summer
wafting in the window
and fighting the slow fan
rippling eddies of cold comfort

Maybe it’s the lightning’s
violent flashing
fireworks on the horizon
which we try to push away
with stoic indifference

Maybe it’s the turgid
way I have these days
of moving with my pre-
arthritic leg, my own
unbending in this humidity

Or maybe it’s just that
we aren’t speaking anymore
so we let the children voice
our frustrations as we
watch each other melt away…

Maybe it’s the heat
of this sultry summer
wafting in the open window
and fighting the slowly spinning fan
for dominion over the empty room

Maybe it’s the lightening
fizzling far away from us
fireworks on the horizon
which we hope by ignoring
will maintain their distance

Maybe it’s the turgid
way I have these days
of moving with my pre-
arthritic leg and my knee
unbending in this humidity

Or maybe it’s just that
we aren’t speaking anymore
we let the children voice
our frustrations as we
patently ignore the melting away…

I should definitely say that this is not based on current experience at all! Rather it is an exploration of some of the ways we experience heat.


Thoughts on Turning Thirty-Seven

August 5, 2006

When you turn thirty-seven:

you shouldn’t be surprised
when people call you sir.

you start to realize that
the body you have now
is probably the one you
are going to be stuck with
the rest of your life.

forty isn’t as far away
as it used to be.

you are now as old
as your parents were
when they were
thirty-seven years old.

you’ll never be cool again
to anyone under eighteen
(not that you ever were).

MTV is younger than you.

if you double your age
you would be older than
that Beatles’ song about
old people who need to be
taken care of.

the poetry you wrote
as a teenager starts
to look pretty good
again (well, some of it
does; the rest looks
like pretentious crap).

retirement is only
thirty-seven years

My thirty-seventh birthday was yesterday (if you want to sing, go right ahead), so this seemed apropos.


Have You Ever?

August 1, 2006

11/14/1985 (revised and updated 8/1/2006)

Have you ever doused the lights
and really tried to see?
Have you ever just reached out,
and touching nothing, felt?

Have you ever tried to find
yourself among the lost?
Have you ever lived a lifetime
without a moment passing?

Can you find a place between
this moment and the next?
An empty space to fill
with stinging confidence?

Or are we doomed to fail
the passing test of time?
By passing through our day
immune to hidden moments?

I have been away for a long time… Just haven’t had that much to say… But hopefully I’m back now…

Andrew, I miss you.


Light & Darkness

September 19, 2005



nebulae collide
in the bittersweet heaven
bright iridescence
while light-years away I stare
at the computer’s dull haze


nebulae collide
spilling heavenly carnage
over galaxies
on the evening news more death
a new nation emerges

Image courtesy of NASA.


Empty Room

September 12, 2005


Desolate and damp desire
crashes through the empty room
sending pain and suffering
through the cold and shadowed tomb.

I see the room.
I feel the pain.
I cannot move.
I am the stain.

my feelings flow,
my soul can fly,
and as I rise
I wonder why

my ending’s come
and not by fire.
I had my vice,
I had desire . . .


“Thoughts Into the Future”

August 27, 2005

I wrote this at an especially pessimistic moment for me. At the time (in 1986) the religious right was gaining ground politically and, to me, the supreme insult appeared to be the (somewhat) serious candidacy of an evangelical minister for U.S. President. Now, let me say this up front — I have nothing against Pat Robertson, evangelicals, Christianity, Russians, Africans, or Israelis. In fact, I don’t wish any of these groups harm.

This poem just was an exercise in seeing what would happen if the unthinkable became real. How far would we go? Was it in any way prophetic? You be the judge.

By the way, I included this poem as a supplemental essay with several college admissions applications. Some of the ones I sent this to even accepted my application for admission. Others may have run for the hills when they read this!


I. Pat Robertson in ’88.

“He’ll never win. He has no chance.
It’s just a joke.” They say.
“Be serious, America would never let
a man like that be its leader.”

“Oh God! He won. I can’t believe
the mad support he got
from millions of T.V. addicts.
American will now become
a Christian Paradise.” (Pair-Of-Dice)

II. South African Revolution in 1990.

“A ‘Gene Overthrow’ just took place
in South Africa. The black
majority led by ‘Zenyatta Mandatta’
revolted against the white minority
led by ‘Negraphobic Xenophobic.’
The new black leadership
is happy and oppressive. God bless
Pat Robertson.” — Knightly Knews Knetwork

III. First Permanent Space Station – 1992.

I am a child.
A Star-child.
A lover of infinity.
I was born on “Pat” space station.
And will live there all my life.
I will never see a bee, a tree,
Be free.
I will always believe in the
Disunited Statutes of Amerika
and will salute Pat Robertson
as the supreme leader.

IV. AIDS and Starvation Kills Everyone in Africa – 1994.

Pat Robertson believes in colonizing
“The Little Brown Brothers,” but wouldn’t
give them food. How rude! How crude
of all those millions to die when
Pat Robertson

V. Russia Turns Robertsonistic – 1996.

The Reds have seen the light,
Kissoff, the Premier, has turned God-fearing.
(Pat Robertson-fearing)
since “Star Wars” is only for Amerika.
Now Russkies and Patskies are
hand in hard hand.
It’s a world in peace (pieces)
with Pat as our God.

VI. Amerika is Great in 1998.

“Let’s party like it’s 1999.” — Pat Robertson

Heil Pat Robertson!!
All are Christian here;
Big Brother will make sure
that God, Jesus and Pay
are your Holy Trinity.
The K.K.K.
(Knightly Knews Knetwork)
shows Pat as our savior,
Amerika as love,
and Robertson as life.

VI. Israel Nukes Robertson’s Amerika – 2000.

“Jew-Boy, Jew-Boy, Scaredy-Cat, Scaredy-Cat” — Pat Robertson, Jr.

A Jewish, Black, Oriental . . .
(non-W.A.S.P.) State hated
by Amerika, Israel is
the homeland for the dislocated.
To save (end) the world
they sent the bomb as a nuclear
Trojan Horse.
Amerika responded.
All are gone (dead).
But so is Pat Robertson.
That is one good thing.


Diving for Oysters

August 10, 2005

Wet tears fall
like glittering pearls
down her face,
I dive in, looking for oysters,
bringing up handfuls of mud.