A Brothermine – A Poem

I was up too late
and you had gone
too far.

Talk to me.
Talk to me.
What can I afford to give you
but the white
and the gray walls?

Parched and absolved
I am now a brothermine,
consciously tolerant
of my own delusions.

Yet what if only for that instant
in the spell of the clover
and the honeysuckle,
a fire,
a dance
amid the dreaming bees,
there were no definitive answers?

Not here. Anymore.

The rain comes.
Where will we go?

Dead House Blues – A Poem

I think we realize the desert.
The open drunkenness of its air
fills our blood.

Dead house blues.

I collected the photographs from the walls
in compensation for missed memories.
It is a collaborative psychosis.
I submit.

She crosses her legs and pulls up her stockings.
The hot syrup that was poured over my French toast
has run into my eggs.
It is an uncomfortable situation.
She refuses to add anything other than
blueberries to her yogurt.
Her coffee has turned cold.

She strikes a match
in answer to the late evening melancholy.
the rotting smell of cantaloupe clings sweet
and suffocating while
the buildings turn a yellow-red under the street lights.
Illusions vanish as Saint Martin Road transforms.
A paper mountain landscape leaving us
only anxious for winter.

Dead house city blues.

It is not so much a lie I conceal
as it is an omission.

Pandering in the dark
we make an allowance for green silk ties
loosened about the neck;
That she is to be an oracle of the autumnal gods
and that the small of her back
is forbidden to touch.

The veil of her shadow blends seamless
in the obscurity
of the crescent moon.
It draws me into a labyrinth of masked fiction
and binds me to her love.

Olivia in Brown – A Poem

Olivia in brown
subjugated dreams.

A revolution
benign and unimpeded
courses through
the river park.
She can feel it
in her toes. Nails brushed pink.
Sandaled feet.

As the reconciling crescendo
from a soundless past
Olivia fuses
each vibration as they ripple
and orchestrates them into a
brightly glowing vortex.

Her back is to the statue
of a little boy
whose downcast eyes
conceal his judgment.

Olivia’s two daughters
kneel near shallow pools.
Remnants of a summer rain.
The girls’ hushed voices are
briefly reflected
in the water
before becoming lost
among the passing clouds.

Near the bridge
and in the building
under the clock tower
the ambition of a man
was found wandering blind
in the twisted corridors.

A light wind comes
and with it the fragrance
of poppies.
The girls rise
and run. Their hair is blown. Strands
tangle in a strawberry madness.

in brown

The Specter of an Innocent Age – A Poem

I spend my time
lost in your shadow
beneath the cherry trees.

Schubert’s Arpreggione Sonata
is drawn to me by a feebly
remorseful wind.

Brightly colored boats
dagger across the bay:
their oars cutting into the dark blue water
that reflects a white sky.
The glare burns my eyes
and I seek shelter in the memory
of kitchen window curtains
fluttering in a paisley carelessness.

But even that grows still.
Lifelessly fading until it is no more
than the specter of an
innocent age.

We were the members of an improvisational
generation once who believed
in absolution.
Our spirits moved through dreams
and we would ignite the fire of the world
with our golden breath.

Where are we now?

I am content though.
On the cool grass beneath the bending branches
and green leaves
the day passes.

Your zealous heat
overwhelms me into a state
of disillusionment.

The evening comes and soon
too the night.
I will count the stars if the sky clears.

North 71 Cleveland – A Poem

“Any,” she says. “Yes, any.”

And so any.

North 71 Cleveland. A temperate mood just like a Floridian evening in June. Patio tables wet with rain; an umbrella silhouette; a man alone in the fog.

“Fourteen days. Fourteen days! and then suddenly one became three and everything went to hell,” the engineer exaggerates.

“He’s working on a treaty with the surveyor,” she explains to me in confidence.

“A bold move,” I reply.

“Aw hell, I am going outside to smoke. Want to join me?”

“Don’t smoke.”

“Aw hell.”

She pairs up with umbrella man and I leaf through my notebook. A transference of company.

I listen. The minister is mumbling as he writes a keynote address. Ice cubes are talking. The low moan of a distant train.

Vibrations from an undercurrent of violence disrupting our natural inclination for solitude.

She returns and umbrella man is gone. The Engineer is now orchestrating a coup d’état. “The dams will be our first objective!”

“He’s going to end up before a firing squad,” she predicts and giggles.

The gray light behind her mutes her features. Her shoulders are wet.

She sips her drink.

“It’s dangerous times we live in,” I say.

“We can go south, though. My sister lives down south and she says its safe. Not filled with all this talk of revolution. We can slip away at dawn.”

“I can’t. I have to go north.”


“North 71. Cleveland. It was on the sign and I have to follow it.”

“A damn sign?”

“It’s all I have.”

Opposition – A Poem

I tear my name apart and throw it into the ocean where the pieces sparkle for a moment under the sun before they submerge and all that is left are the waves crashing blue, white, and green.

Time moves. Clouds cover the sky.

The wind sings playfully to the rain which drops softly into the sand at my feet.

There is an opposition between the three (the wind, the rain, and the sand) and I am left isolated on the shore.

My memory skips and I find myself standing in a bedroom. Or is it the bedroom. I have no basis to differentiate between the two. The place lacks both a sense of the familiar and the strange.

In front of an open door a pile of dirty clothes lies on the floor, and just outside it, a presence languishes in the inky darkness of the hallway.

The sound of robots flipping switches and the smell of burning butter escape from the kitchen.

A Champaign bottle opens behind me. In the mirror over the vanity I see the shadow of a person by the window. My reflection exposes eyes that are clear and deeply cool but I don’t recognize myself.

I am not here I think. But here and there have no relevance.