Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Rabbit Test

Bernhard and Selmar hit the jackpot in 1927
Xenopus frogs have nothing on lady rabbits
Someone decided they prefer urine over blood
but forgot they hated injections, scalpels
HCG steals the spotlight

Elizabeth tells Edward the rabbit died
over bathtub gin and mock chicken made from peanuts
He scrapes the plate, curses prohibition between bites,
forgets the rabbit, thinks about the young boy in Honshu
That Certain Feeling hums from the player piano

quietly, but audibly
he rushes to the Gershwin
plays I'm Lookin For A Four-Leaf Clover
Somewhere across the city another rabbit's ovaries bulge
Eggs bury themselves in walls

A Pinch, A Clank

Her mind was messy
or dirty or pigeon-holed
the look on her face

Everything became blurry,
Uncomfortable, fragile, expected
Her palms sweaty now
Heart crinkling,

She closed her eyes
not to go elsewhere,
to take it in more slowly
to control it, focus.

There was a pinch, a clank
A release, a weight
A choice, more choice
The choice, silence.


He'd had a King Kooker since their first-born was a baby,
when Thanksgiving started to mean something.
Everyone gathered at their house
clanking dishes and silverware into the night.

He dug it out of the basement
the night before,
smoked a cigar while he brushed it off,
imagined the kids tossing the football in the backyard.

He went to Whole Foods and bought a six pound turkey,
cooked it outside in the oil like he does every year,
cried while he ate it
at a table set for five.


I wanted to make you chicken, broccoli, ziti tonight
I took out the chicken, sprayed the frying pan,
dug in the back of the pantry for your favorite four cheese alfredo sauce
I washed the cutting board, set the broccoli out,
put the water on the stove
Just as it reached a boil I remembered
that you left four months ago

I made the usual amount anyway
Half a box of ziti
Couple crowns of broccoli
Two of the finest Tyson chicken patties
Imagined you calling to say you were running late
Got stuck at work or something

I started eating without you
Watched your plate go cold
Thought three times I heard the door
Made myself coffee when I finished
Washed my plate while it cooled
Then sat with your plate thirty minutes more

Sunday, November 8, 2009

These Homeless Kids (revision)

It is 1:05 in Boston, a Sunday
12 days after my D.S.S. discharge
It is 2002 and I find 10 cents on the T
Which I'll use towards today's Globe
So I can know a little about the goings on in this world
When I meet my mother for our first dinner in 3 years

I walk down JFK towards the Out of Town Newsstand
Cuz if I know Billy he'll trade me an ice cold soda for
A couple of parliament lights anyday, and I get shoved
Off the sidewalk by some guy who's late for his
One o'clock in the boardroom

I dig my hands in my pockets to give me a little
Leverage if I get pushed again and find
85 more cents way at the bottom
Which is great because the ATM ate my card today and
I don't have an interview 'til Tuesday

When I get to the stand I can tell something's up
Cuz Billy he got that big grin on
"Here, I got ya a little present"
He hands me a plastic grocery bag wound tight
As if to say "open this somewhere else"

I take it down to The Garage, into the only public restroom
Left in this square, and shove the toilet paper where the sliding
Lock used to be to keep the door shut
I open the bag and find three warm bud lights and a roach

I go sit in the sun outside Au Bon Pain reading the article
About how these homeless kids never make a life for themselves
And decide I'll tell my mother, as she's paying for dinner,
And hope she gives me a few bucks for my library fines

Sunday, June 21, 2009



She stays home sipping Argentinian wine at night,
waging a war on everything she does not understand
in the blinding light of everything that happens before the sun sets.
She laughs, reminds herself that a man once said
that the sun also rises.


She loves the way white turns fantastically blue,
but is instead defined by the moments in which the blue suspiciously faded,
or turned to red.


In the moments in between the silences
she thinks of what she'll say next, weighs what's been lost,
pretends she knows the answers to the questions she's sure
you'll never have the courage to ask out loud, or even quietly to yourself.
She adds and subtracts and then draws a mental road map of a conversation
that she and you both know you will never have.
And then there are those moments
when love begins or reclaims or saves,
pulls itself out of the fire, or begs her to believe in it for just one more second
and she has no choice but to believe again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Man

She had 10 minutes to kill.
He was fishing off the bank. She could see him from where she stopped on the footbridge after realizing she had 10 minutes to kill. She watched him, oblivious to the traffic behind her, lost in the music coming through her headphones. He wore khaki pants, a button up shirt, a red sweater vest. He was maybe in his late sixties, had white hair, and a bushy but tamed beard and mustache. From the bridge she couldn't make out if he had shoes on or not. She would have believed it either way.
She watched him for the entire 10 minutes, by himself, throwing the line out, waiting, then bringing it back in. Initially she was somewhat distracted by the ducks that splattered the water between where she stood on the bridge and the man. They would catch her eye as they darted under water, wagging their bottoms in a way that made her smile every time she saw it, regardless of the reality that she was in fact the saddest she had been in quite some time.
There was something so comforting about watching that man. She could feel her body relax over the wall of the bridge, the tension in her neck and shoulders give way to a posture much more at ease, relaxed even. Each time he cast out over the water her eyes moved with his bait, following it through the air, diving with it beneath the surface, bobbing with it as he pulled it back in against the water. Occasionally the man set the rod down after he cast out, walked back to his tackle box, his bags, seemed to be looking around for something, maybe more bait, or some water to drink. He, too, oblivious to the cars whipping by, the people out walking, or biking, or running, loving, or hating, or forgetting.
He never seemed to notice her either, and yet somehow suggested to her, for the first time, that perhaps loneliness was nothing more than a state of mind.