Poetry Reading

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Old Dog

when the old bones stop at the
bottom of the stairs
and drop with a whimper and a sigh
resigned that the
soft mattress is beyond hope and suffer
this cold hardwood bed for the night
when the aspirin doesn’t dissolve the
pain anymore
when the joints go their own way
grinding spurs dislocating
when it was only yesterday
you came home
with the leap of youth in your legs
when you could not only run
but fly

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Learning How To Drive

in reverse careering down the narrow
twisting roads in the city
lined by cars parked on both sides
at the mighty meters feeding the
ravenous city budget
with bikes locked and hanging their chains
and frames rusted from the daily
corrosion of the weather
and pedestrians on sidewalks dodging
into the street blindly behind bumpers
deaf to the world with their cell phones and iPods
you drive
backwards through red lights
stop signs and yields that we
can’t even see
my seatbelt tight restraining me
you steer around
the oncoming cars trucks and buses
with grace and felicity
while I holler and scream
and can barely watch the
horror unfolding
you smile and
accelerate reassuring me
that we’ll get there in time

and I say I’ve had enough of this ride
but there’s something about speed
hammering against the flow
something about youth and skill
free of the adversary of anxiety
that seduces
that releases me

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Road

the old road’s cracked and rough here
blind potholes out of nowhere
like some sickness
the pavement’s blown
along with my tire
when was this surface last smooth
had to be years ago
when the asphalt was still hot
and steaming
over a bed of fresh gravel
before that it was a track of dirt
but the town had it paved
because of the wild ruts
and loose stone
now after seasons of neglect
it needs repair
and mending
and I bend over exhausted
the two of us the road and I
leaning on my tire

Friday, April 4, 2008

Trouble Packing

the girls are playing polo in the
front hall again without ponies
lanky and lean in their uniforms
swinging mallets whacking
knees and ankles causing a few
black and bruises but their teeth
are clean and white as they should
be for their age and general
good health and vitality
as Sam and I pack and prepare
for our cruise and I remember
the last one with the rock and roll
of the ocean liner heaving under my
body and the unrelenting disequilibrium
nausea and vertigo the pink patch
behind the ear never did relieve
and the days spent in bed and Sam
says we’ll have calm seas this time
and I never know what to pack and stare
at the empty suitcase and the crammed closet
and the dog shakes and Sam sneezes
and coughs and says the salt sea air will help
his sinuses where the CAT scan showed the chronic
infection and the doctor wanted to operate
but Sam says he’ll sail on this trip with his
antibiotics and saline irrigation and try that instead
and I need to run out to the store for some last minute
things for the trip when an old woman with frizzled white hair
driving a Dodge Dart swerves head-on into my lane
but she’s going so slow it’s not terribly hard to avoid her without
a fatal collision and then another old lady in another Dart and another one
aims at me exactly the same car my parents drove when I was
a kid and I didn’t know they were still on the road and such a favorite
of the old people here in town

when I return home the girls are still at their game
teeth white as ever
healthy and alive