Friday, June 30, 2017

End of June

The hummingbird feeder fell last week
due either to mechanical failure or a raccoon
stretching arms and legs with a taste for sweet.

I've been looking for a similar replacement since
but haven't found one like it yet so
I filled the old one and set it on a stand

It feeds and consumes ants
drawn by the sweet to their

The hummingbird I thought
might have moved on or starved
during the week I neglected him

But I saw him this morning out there
siphoning below the floating drunkards
and gave him a refill, relieved.

I dreamt this morning of an older love
turned to bitterness, distrust, even hatred
worse in the dream than in reality, but still a symbol

And then you, this morning I thought it seemed
likely that you would walk in and join me here
and we would get past the questions and the tension

And ease right back in to liking each other
but you didn't, and I know you won't, and find
the waking world littered with broken things

A black ant floating in sugar water
with fifty of his dead mates, crumpled in a wet ball
when I dump them out, antennae seeming to twitch.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Sky Over The Black Hills Tries To Get A Message Through

Wasting a day or recovering
The fan and a drowsy feel
There's nothing I want to do
Badly enough now that will mobilize me
The usual neglected chores, delayed projects
I could go out and meet people who want to develop
Relationships which really sounds like a bother of
Effort and Hope, Expectation and Disappointment.

Love I've known - more felt for another than
Shared with another - radiated out
Never knowing for certain if it reached it's intended

A video of a man standing in the foreground of Bear Butte
Indian kids running a 500 mile sacred hoop
"Hoka Hey!", he yells toward a boy who
Talks to himself as he runs - I can do this, I can do this...

I ran not far from there once, took my prayers with me too,
Repeating them until pain and concern for my own survival
Replaced them in the forefront of my mind.

A prayer worn down to its essence - keep going, one more step...
The pain in your body becomes the words of the prayer.
Simple, honest, desperate and direct
All you really have to give.

Friday, June 23, 2017


An invitation to an after work networking
event which I  arrived to very late after being called a hermit because I was still at work.
No one told me it was a Republican fund raiser
which I was able to ignore until the person in front of me
told me she supported the same candidate I did, but when
that person didn't survive the primaries, she voted for the
individual in the other party who, I pointed out,  is  just about the
polar opposite of the candidate she originally supported.

When she started telling me how we need to send more troops to Afghanistan to kill Isis, although she's got no son or daughter or husband or nephew in the fight,  I lost my shit. First time I ever had to excuse myself from a bar. I am no longer interested in participating or "networking'. The bartender said, somewhat alarmed, that this was the most she ever heard me say. I left and went to a karaoke place in which I sang "War Pigs" between Taylor Swift and Journey to no applause and a single fist bump. I felt somehow avenged.  The next man up sang Lou Rawls (you'll never find, another love like mine) very, very well and I shook his hand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Shortest Night

I never really dream of you directly.
There have been references though
Thinking about you, waiting for you,
In occasional dreams of the anxious variety.

The night before last I dreamed I was with you
But you didn't really feel like the you I knew
More like me doing a mundane version of you
Uneventful, small talk, but you asked me more than once

How someone named Richard was doing
And I didn't like the way that question felt in my guts
Both times you asked. That felt like you, the you I think I knew.
There's a reason I keep you out of there,

Sometimes delusions are beautiful though. Remember?
The hard world, the one we call real, has shown me a place
Without any version of you, a place with less air
For nearly a year now, and I am still alive on its surface.

On the surface, I am still alive but not happy with the conclusions of these
Rationalists here reducing my colors to blacks and whites;
Reducing my religion to biology; Reducing all the contents of my heart
to the mere scratching of an itch.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Wrote my first prescription for a tired girl.
She goes to school and works the overnight shift.
She's never in a bad mood, never shows distress.
In fact, miserable myself at 3 A.M. a couple of weeks ago,
I asked her how she managed to be so perky all the time
at this this ridiculous time of day.
"I don't know", she smiled.

Last night I saw the first visible signs of exhaustion.
"I'm exhausted" she said, so I told her I'd write her
a social worker's prescription and she could give it
to her significant other or her Mom or whomever
she lived with to have it filled.

She held me to it - made me actually write it down
before I left at 2 AM.

"Feed this girl, bathe her, tuck her in and
rub her head until she falls asleep".

She seemed happy with that.
I hope it works.
I could use one of those too.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Harvard Yard

I find myself around the corner from a bar
in which we ate our last meal and drank our
last drink together. It's attached to a hotel
with a kind of, to me, high end ambiance,
the people in there dressed their parts- suits,
techies, academics- overdone social laughter,
awkwardness excused by high net worth.

It's still a place I'd never choose to stay
for very long on my own, but it was a gift,
and with you in those days, anywhere
was good.

But not that night,
despite the fact we were there to celebrate,
everything fell short, nothing felt natural, and the
fucking winner's circle ambiance oppressed me.

There's no nostalgia here for me. No yearn to return.
But I can clearly see, retrospectively,
you behaving dutifully
while wanting to be elsewhere
and the very next day,
you were.

The last memory I have of your face is you rolling your eyes.
Someday, maybe I'll thank you for that.


Almost all of this first real day of summer spent
in bed with the fan blowing and the sun shining
and I'm laying here dry and cool and calm and alone
half-making plans for things maybe I should be doing
but, if truth be told, I'm tired of striving. It feels right not to.
Just to rest and go slack and not to make any effort at all.
The mourning doves make a gentle sound, the red cardinal
makes due with what's in the feeder and does not ask me
for anything more.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Something To Get Up For

"Hi ya, Zippy" says the man to the hummingbird
who checks him out quick and zips back into the leaves.
The man gets up to prepare the nectar for the widower,
 or the bachelor- Zippy's marital status isn't clear, but
he's been on his own so far this year.

Two cups of water and a half cup of sugar,
leave it to boil and can't help remembering her
in the kitchen, everything prepared at maximum
temperature, scorched pans, then turning back to the
window to see what appears to be a female on the feeder,
if his eyes are good enough and it's not a trick of the cloudiness.
She's smaller,without the colors on head and neck, and more curious,
regarding the man steadily without apparent fear.

Taking the feeder inside, cleaning it with hot water
to kill the bacteria, not wanting them to starve to death
with swollen tongues - a horror.

Living things need care.
Letting the mixture cool and
hoping what he thought he saw is true.

Whenever the man sees the bird alone, he seems, on the surface, alright.
To the man's eye the bird eats, moves with purpose, at what seems its normal frenetic pace.
The man also can't help but see her absence, his loss, motion only for motion's sake.

The man hopes he has found someone,
and wouldn't it be cool if it was her.

Time to pour the mixture into the feeder- it's cool enough - then
store the rest in the refrigerator.  A small ritual worth getting out of bed for.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Another rainy morning.
Waking with irritation
Not sure why
Don't want this
Thought or mood
To set the
Tone for the
Day so I
Try to let
It pass as
All things must
It's June 5th
And there's nothing
More to say.