Saturday, February 27, 2010

Searching for ChocoLove

Dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds
is not to be found anywhere in Boulder;
the addict wanders from the Boulder Book Store
(one bar left, bought it) to Wild Oats (not a bar to be found),
to Pharmaca on Pearl (an empty box)
the cabinet in the kitchen is empty, each
square has melted in her mouth, the
final taste, salt on almonds dredged
in dark chocolate, she's

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Night for the Old Farts

it’s Friday night; young people
are just getting dressed to go
out; older couples listen
to the dogs eat raw hide in
the living room, roll out
the TV on the microwave
cart for the big night.
Friday night is movie night,
when they remove their business
casual Dockers and sweater,
replacing them with
slightly torn sweatpants
and an old T-shirt.
Wine glass in hand, they
settle onto the couch with its
broken springs, lean gently
against each other and settle
in for a wonderful evening.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Watching Fish

so easy to be distracted
by the graceful swimming
of two nearby goldfish
on this snowy night.
They search for small
pieces of food as diligently
as a small child collecting
colored eggs on Easter morning,
small morsels settled
comfortably onto the
rough surfaces of the artificial
leaves undulating in the
pump-generated current,
or drifting gently down
towards the green pebbles
scattered on the floor of
their watery home.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Empty Coffee Shop

From the outside, we could see
the owner standing next to the cash register,
gazing down at the counter,
his black reading glasses perched
on the bridge of his nose.
The gaily painted chairs stood empty;
every table gleamed, not a drop of
spilled coffee, scattered sugar or
crumpled napkins.
Every night it was the same; a lonely
man waiting for company that
never arrived.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Looking for Verdeleine

my mind’s eye threads through
the small spaces between walls
looking for her, between walls
which used to stand ten feet apart,
but now lean against each other
as drunks do after a long night on the town.
my nose would sniff the dank air,
hoping to fill with the scent of her,
of innocence and youth, not just the odor
of settling dust, the smell of bodies
devoid of life, the smell
of decay, the smell of death.
is her small body which was dressed
in a sparkling clean white pinafore
hidden beneath pyres of crushed stone,
or does she hold her mother’s hand
as they stroll together in the
early evening.

Verdeleine is the name of a little girl I have been sponsoring in Haiti through USA Plan.  I have not yet received news as to whether Verdeleine or her family have survived the terrible quake.  I worry about her and the staff there.  Please consider contributing to any of the many organizations which are providing desperately needed humanitarian aid to Haiti.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anonymous Baked Goods in the Neighborhood

Two pieces of pie were left
wedged behind the storm
door in a rectangular Tupperware container, beautifully
embellished with a woven crust and crimped edges,
a small note with a smile was stuck onto the cover.
Three warm slices of home-made bread were left
wrapped in a clean soft cloth inside the mail box;
two slices delivered in a waxed paper bag, left
next to the newspaper to be found early that morning.
Two heart shaped sugar cookies decorated in pink and white
looking for a pair of lovers the day after Valentine’s Day.
They all taste good.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being a Piece of Furniture I: Chair

a chair never aspires for fame;
even when offered, the
chair politely refuses
the designer, who sits down
in the frown between
the back and seat, not
noticing the chair’s

Friday, February 19, 2010


the parking lot is emptier
than usual in the morning,
offices are quiet even though
the lights are on and time
is being clocked.
lunch break starts just
as the coffee cups start
to chill after the last sip
is gone, the last crumb
of scone eaten.
after lunch, the workers
are tired, a long week behind
them, they dim the lights
and head home for a before
dinner martini.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Isabelle and Kirby: Fish

despite earthquakes in Haiti,
the tragedy of lives lost or destroyed,
despite a gridlocked Congress,
they swim up and down the tank
walls, beseeching,
despite the tragic death of a young
luge athlete, a life of young woman
suspended for another day,
their bodies undulate in the current,
what shimmering light
reflecting into my
eyes, mesmerized.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love and Cookies

Love in a cookie
baked fresh as
hot from the oven
molten chocolate
disks gleaming
on the surface

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Letter to My Daughter

I am reading Letter to My Daughter;
my mother never wrote this to me,
left as I was to figure out life, how
to jump from rock to rock without
falling in, or how to jump out before

I write letters to my daughter all the
time, my pen laid against paper
late at night or first thing in the morning,
my efforts mostly lie in
writing legibly.

My letters are written in the hands
which have caressed her, my
lips which have brushed against
her hair, in my eyes
which have watched
her grow into a

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is there a Poem in the Kitchen?

Is there a poem in the smell
of freshly baked bread filling a
warm kitchen, or in the smiles
that arise from it, as dependable
as the yeast used to make it,
Is there a poem in the empty
dishwasher, its mouth gaping
towards me, its racks pulled out
waiting to be filled,
Is there a poem in between the
ticking of the eleven clocks
decorating this sacred space where
we are nourished in body
and soul.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

At a Pay-Phone on Valentine’s Day across from the Queens Criminal Courthouse

Fred Frangelli, 44, stepped into
the phone booth, turning his back to
the cold; it had been a long time
since the door had been removed
to keep out vagrants or drug dealers.
If you listened carefully, you would have
heard him whisper to his wife that
he would be home soon, that this
next year he would be a better
husband and father, that he
loved her, before he walked out,
his hands pushed deep into his pockets,
his breath hanging in the air.
he walked away from the booth,
from the criminal court, only
turning once to look back at his
history, before looking ahead to
what he promised would be a
brighter future.

Article with pictures on

Friday, February 12, 2010


she can look severe if she wants to,
useful for a cross-examination in the
courtroom or to scold an errant neighbor
who refuses to shovel her walk
following a snowfall.
when she is happy,
her smile lifts her whole face,
scrunching up all those cute smile wrinkles
around her eyes, which narrow
to little slivers, like
almonds in chocolate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


at first,
the square of chocolate
had sharp edges; having
been broken from
the larger bar with a
certain urgency that all
middle-aged women have.
pressed against the roof of my mouth,
my tongue glides along
the silky chocolate, pausing to
savor the roughness of the
embedded almond, its salty
the corners softened as
the chocolate melted onto
my tongue and the square
dissolved into a disk sliding
up and down along my tongue
until the almond disengaged;
crushed into a hundred delectable
morsels of sweet and saltiness.
now the end was near, a mere
sliver rested in my mouth,
i valiantly resisted the automatic swallowing
action so as not to say good-bye
to my square of chocolate.
alas, all things must come to
an end so I went to the cupboard
and got another square, with its
rough edges, its salty sweet

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Real Poems

I thought I was a poet
until I read some of the real stuff
in Poetry last night.
I started silently reading the first poem
on the first page, lines 1, 2 and 3
were fine, easy, quick. At line 4,
all four lines combined into music,
then a symphony of words as lines
5 through 12 joined in.
I was breathless and read the
poem again, this time aloud,
and again, and today, again.
I did this with the next three poems,
re-reading them over and over,
and feeling the lilt of their rhythm
on my body, my face, my tongue.
I lay down on the bed, falling into
a dream of my poems growing up
one day and becoming real poems,
just as seeds grow into beautiful
flowers that bloom in
summer’s sun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Arrival of Kirby II

my new ten cent fish cost a pretty penny;
a new filter and pump, a self-start gravel-vac
and eight fluid ounces of Stress-Coat water
conditioner, all to keep his majesty happy.
His handsome black stripe on his forehead
required a bit of home décor improvements;
a brand new orange wallpaper with a floral design
was installed on the back wall.
after surveying the new digs, taking a
few bites out of Isabelle’s tail, he decided
his new accommodations beat the old ones,
having shared the aquarium with several dead
compatriots swirling among the living.
i, of course, am now wasting entirely too much
time watching Kirby II and Isabelle.
i must get back to more important tasks
such as baking bread for the neighbors
who always cancel their invitations.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Library

the security guard looked bored,
leaning against the hospitality desk,
he chatted listlessly with the clerk
who was repairing damaged books
which had accumulated on her desk
during her absence.
library patrons checked out their
books at the self-serve station; they
didn’t even acknowledge the security
guard or the clerk as they walked out,
as if the library had no need for employees
anymore except to repair the damaged
books which pile up on desks.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dead as a Doornail

Kirby didn’t last long.
He drifted along the bottom
of the aquarium listlessly until
he just keeled right over;
I found him on his side,
dead as a doornail.
S. didn’t want to know that
I used the salad tongs to
dredge the little fish corpse
out from the aquarium,
threatening to never eat
salad again.
Just more for me, I guess.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Neighbors

we have been planning to meet
them over a glass of wine,
but they keep cancelling, citing previous
engagements that had not been written on
their calendars, relatives from out of
town that we have never heard of,
trips to unlikely tourist destinations.
they always apologize but we’re
starting to think that maybe they
don’t like us so much after all,
what with dogs that slobber in
their laps, a lunging rabbit and now
two begging goldfish.
it’s all a bit overstimulating after
all for a glass of wine in the late
afternoon when all those who are
civilized would rather be napping.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Acceptance Letter

the handwriting on the letter size
envelope was definitely European, but it didn’t
look like my cousin’s writing.
it was addressed to Geneviève; inside
the envelope was a tiny note, a half
sheet, with a short note telling me
Waiting for the Bus would be published
in the next issue, expected publication
in a month or two.
he seemed to like The Final Square better
but too many of his readers are on
their final square and he didn’t want to
remind them, so I was sorry I had renamed
that poem and reminded it’s always
good to know your