Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watching TV series

Downton Abbey is done for the season.
after a marathon session last night of one
and a half hours,I wonder
how do people watch four hours per day
eating Fritos and brownies, as the scale
moves up but at least we can now discuss
how sad it is that Matthew has died,

we are part of America now.

With the proposal posted to NASA,
my life is free again for margaritas and
more TV series, and did you know
The Good Wife has another season now
so we can follow the lives of others
for a moment, not too long,

I prefer my own.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Squat

squatting is quite unattractive
and reminds one of know
hiding in the bushes hoping
no one walks by and
the lowly squat - young men grunting
under heavy weights, straining,
so unattractive.
tonight I find myself squatting
while playing flute, my teacher
towering over me, the sound so
pure, no trace of that tension
that runs up the back through
the neck to the lips that sometimes
say such caustic words.
the squat is underrated in life,
divorce it from what you think,
embrace it like so many lowly
things that bring so much

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

multiple universes in my head

i sort of dozed off during the Gamow lecture,
not so much as to start snoring but a bit of
head rolling, the drone of the lecture propelling
me into alternate universes where strings
vibrate and type many different proposals,
the best one to get the contract rising to the top
just as we landed here in this universe
93 million miles away because it is the
right planet in the right universe.
thank goodness Einstein came along to
spawn a million mathematicians giving
a million lectures for a million nights,
our brains drowning in alternate realities
that all lead to deep restful sleep.
thank you, Brian.

Monday, February 25, 2013

too tired to write

I propose stopping for tonight,
let the dust drift where it may,
following unseen electric fields,
flying high on thermals that circulate
my overheated brain,
I should have been writing poetry
tonight about starlight and popsicles,
instead I watch the dust bunnies
gather around my feet as I
pull on my warm jammies and
climb into a cozy bed.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Boy and His Father; A Mother and her Son

un garcon et son pere
we watch them together,
my son and I, he still wearing his
down jacket and boots, hunched
forward on the couch, me slouched
on the couch, head on pillow
warm under a blanket that has
seen too much dog.
the boy and his father
drive to Mecca, the boy
always speaking French,
his father, Arabic, yet they come
to understand each other in spite
of their different tongues,
as we do on the same couch,
me speaking the language of motherhood,
he that of a young man bursting forth
into a new world.

Friday, February 22, 2013

proposal writing

I'd rather propose to you
next to a roaring fire, a glass of red,
a plate of shrimp drenched in chipotle sauce
red hot delicious.
alas, proposal writing is another thing indeed,
so many paragraphs so carefully crafted
to convince them,
not of a happy life together,
but of the importance of science,
this science, so I write this late
at night, not of love
but of the Moon
and dust

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Saying the Wrong Thing

after awhile she stopped talking
even though she appeared to understand
she was not blind or deaf
the family cajoled, begged, cried in frustration,
screamed in anger,
her mother held her in her arms,
her father looked down her throat.
her sister taunted her endlessly with glee,
she never replied, only her eyes told her truth.
the family went to therapy where
they tried to rebirth her by swaddling her
in a thick sleeping bag.
we all remember the end of that story.
she never spoke again
she died happy knowing she would
never say the wrong thing again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Riding a bike in a snowstorm

Not sure why
except my bicycle has studded snow tires
and the windshield of the car is covered in snow.
not a very good reason
except I hate driving, and it's been so dry
this winter, my bicycle calls out when there is snow on the ground
and it's coming down fast
pinging against my eyelashes
drenching my thighs as it melts onto warm courdoroy
it's damn cold out here
so I come up with good reasons to tell my teacher
why I rode my bike to lesson
with two flutes on my back and music
a hairtie holding my pant leg from catching the chain
he's not sure why I rode my bike to lesson
he said I'm crazy,
succint as usual.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Body Parts I: Feet

As much variety as a face,
maybe more
five toes of different lengths
instead of a single
feet grow inches in ones lifetime, a face
mostly ages
gaining wrinkles and sunspots, no grandeur or dignity.
Feet! with those toenails,
those tufts of hair
between the toe knuckles, always black
never like the soft downy fuzz as on a young woman's face.
feet do such service, carrying us and
our substantial baggage from
place to place, each foot step compressing
its golden arches only to spring back like
the indefatigable jack-in-the-box.
why do we not parade our feet in front of each other,
they are too busy transporting our
endlessly chattering mouths from
place to place.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Parents who brag about their kids

I do it.
I try to keep it brief
but impressive, to stave off lesser stories
that may drag on too long.
I run from parents with more than two children,
or those with honor student bumper stickers
on their cars.
I decline the competition reluctantly
when a dad down the hall accosts me
with his two superachiever kids in tow,
he even raised them solo,
no mom in sight, impressive.
I wanted a job from him so I listened
attentively, I'm optimistic about it
but it was hard not to spill Harvard
from my lips or whisper two Ph.D's.
I do it
and am embarrassed about it,
my superachiever kids despise such
parental gushings.
Stop before I go too far.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday dinner

a ritual that started once long ago
i remember now that we would cook together
the young handsome lad, my son; we'd get
a cookbook and slice onions, dice garlic,
smells would fill the kitchen and then we
would dine together, he and me,
mother and son.
it was lovely while it lasted
and lovelier as it evolved as others
joined us, the friendly one with the gap
in his teeth, the widest open smile,
then the adorable little runner girl,
her beautiful blue eyes and generous
laughter, but somehow
it was only me who kept cooking
Sunday dinner, now five mouths waiting
eagerly to be fed like the birds chirping
on the branches outside the
kitchen window.

Friday, February 15, 2013


a meteor streaks across the Russian sky,
why this one, rather than another continent,
this one to contrast the white against the dark landscape
its majesty would only blend into the background
in Antarctica;  no one would see it in Greenland,
all cuddled up in warm beds and blankets.
They don't look up in New Zealand as they are
too busy drinking flat whites and eating fresh
produce, walking pristine beaches, or paying
attention to driving on the wrong side of the road.
Why not Russia; they as much as anyone need
a reason to look up at the sky in disbelief
and wonder.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day at Home, Sweet Home

I wake up from my nap, 6:30 p.m. and groggy,
hungry, hopeful for a nice dinner downstairs,
it's Valentine's Day, after all!
Chocolate, flowers, nice dinner, presents!
I'm sure of it in this dreaming state of mine.
The microwave is going, I can hear the beeps
as he enters the cook time, sure he is tenderly
warming something yummy for me,
not the leftovers which he absent mindedly
removed from the refrigerator a moment ago,
his favorite paleo diet leftovers, meat and veggies;
he happily settles in to eat them while watching
basketball on his computer,
Ah Valentines' Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When The Barrista Calls Out "Cappuccino"

don't wait long to pick up your cappuccino
the soft foam is collapsing rapidly
revealing a cold sheen, a bitter taste.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

in lieu of

in lieu of practicing scales
in a cold room upstairs,
in lieu of
the mundane,
go hear the masters play,
stand in awe of youth and beauty,
in music, in passion exuding from
his every pore, his joy.
in lieu of mediocrity,
stand in awe of talent, expression,
the culmination of hours and hours,
days, years of commitment,
I stand in awe
of them.

Monday, February 11, 2013

If I were a tube of toothpaste

If I were a tube of toothpaste
I'd be the aqua gel loaded with glitter
that dissolved in her mouth.
I'd wash away the morning coffee stains
and other sins of the day;
blueberry scones and French fries for lunch,
toasted foccacia loaded with baked brie
washed down with a generous goblet of
the finest red wine.
She'd smile innocently after I was done,
she in her tight black jeans and alluring blouse,
a pendant brushing the pearl buttons.
She, with her beautiful white teeth,
she fools the world with her goodness.
she can thank me for that.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

single lines

they wrote themselves in my dream
the sun crossed the sky, a beam of light
swept across the scattered covers,
my arms flung across my chest, as if
to edit the unwanted words from that line,
or to place them perfectly where
they belonged amongst those strands of hair
turned grey over the years that passed
without having noticed how tall he has grown
and she so beautiful walking in the
deep snow and silence.
but when I woke up, the poem so
perfectly formed, each word in its place
suddenly confused by the sparkle of
dust in the last rays drifting this way
and the other, it all fell away like
sand from between my fingers.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Which way

he always tells me which way to go
left, right, straight ahead, but I'd rather not
go straight ahead, I'd rather follow my nose
without consideration of the usual way,
or the best way, I want to go my way.
he heads off in the other direction, sure I
will follow, but I do not, heading off into the
dark parking lot that leads by the large oak
tree that I love in the summertime, so
he veers my way reluctantly, snorting
in some level of disgust as he changes
direction to follow me,
I love that about him.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cambridge, MA in winter

I remember the dreary streets,
trash blowing along dingy gutters
the reddened cheeks wrapped in scarves
hands stuffed in pockets,
the grim faces, eyes down, no
one smiles here, they grumble to
cloudy skies and carry on somehow
to the next task, the next job,
responsibilities, no sign of ease,
so we leave this place, moving
west until we find the sun and a
smile, a warm handshake, a mountain
vista in the morning through a
sunny south-facing window.
we hope you come here one day
so we can share the same view.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh to be nineteen again!

Oh to be nineteen again
a new poem could be written every night
for what the next day could bring,
new love, a bright sunny day, a new job
with benefits, a letter from mom.
to be nineteen again before it all happened
and life changed, blurring an optimistic
potential with a harsher reality,
I would go back again and change
the house I lived in, that man, and
begin again with a fresh poem and
endless optimism for what
happiness would surely
come true.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The new president of the University

the new president
waves from his hospital bed
after an heroic act involving a stove hood
and his hand, still strong enough to greet his
new colleagues and adversaries alike.
he proclaims
the  mandatory suit will yield to a T-shirt, but it must be clean.
there will be no stadium seating for football fans
nor team building retreats in Hawaii for college personnel.
my goodness, all employees of the University will
work 8 to 5 for the good of the Institution, and
he now proclaims the end of all golden parachute
he is a revolutionary.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I could reflect back on a wonderful day
getting Rusty to do my experiments for me
speaking French with Daniel and Veronique
having birthday crepe suzette for dinner
with my beloved,
but I end the day with F#,
that horrible note that screechs
and breaks with no good cause,
the breath is strong and pure,
the intention divine,
the will intense
and yet screech it does
over and over so I go dejectedly
to write a poem, not of a wonderful day
but the new nemesis, no longer the E,
but the F#
I hope she falls into place
sooner than

Sunday, February 3, 2013

running again

gently now along muddy paths
a soft jump across an icy patch
ducking under the fallen tree that
still waits for me here
running again
along the path that was covered
in snow, fingers warm under
fuzzy mittens, a blur of green
and white, not of spring blossoms
yet, but of my new shoes glistening
in sunshine this beautiful morning.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Movies that Make you Crazy: Silver Linings

anyone who has suffered craziness
madness, the days and nights of endless
panic, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations
crying knows
love does not solve everything
it can even make it worse sending one reeling
from one wall against the other in a spiral
of mirrors facing each other where no one knows
where one begins or ends and the boxes in the attic
are thrown open at 2 am, he wakes up his parents
in a rant
love does not solve that
like the movies say and how many of us go
home after that movie wondering why love
did not make our crazies go