Monday, June 30, 2014

missing my poetry companion

it's been weeks, empty boxes packed with a home's belongings,
the heart is silently empty.
how else when he places his next to another woman
justifying it with equations with symbols on one side only
of the equal sign, his side, the parameter space
is stacked against her so I get on her side of the
balance beam as you would with a small child
who is playing with a big brother who tends to be a bully.
I have seen this before, this warping of reality
where empty boxes fill with once-loved toys and
children's clothing that is too small but holds something
in someone's heart, don't break it now this way,
let's write about it and hope it passes with
the turning of a page.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Balancing the Books

we wait months
to balance the books, you paid the insurance,
I bought more groceries, was the car hitch on my credit card
or yours, don't forget we had to fix the fence.
the garden had to be tended, the toilets scrubbed,
we could save money if we did that ourselves
who are we kidding,
when, my love?
so little time for me to hold your hand
and tell you I love you,
so much important than
finding yet another weed
between the bricks,
we saw it there

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday night margaritas after giving a talk at 4 p.m.

an empty brain and stomach
and the alcohol settles in, margaritas at Pica's
should never be indulged at noon if you need to work,
but at night after a hard day's work, make sure you have food
or you won't be driving anywhere.
excuse the poetry, the bad flute playing, the head
slightly lolling off to the side and the incomprehension
that sits on my face, it's Friday night and it's been
a long week, it's good to see the women's faces
sitting across from me, we are too
rare here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


the French plate please, the one with soft rind cheese
and the white stuff that melts in my mouth, how about
that one there that goes so well with the tomato pesto with basil
and the bread, so crusty on the outside and soft inside,
I love that.
the cashier is sweeping the floors and the doors have
been locked but the warm summer night breeze
makes us drift off into another topic, and the wine
makes it interesting, or maybe it doesn't matter
as long as the stresses of the day dissipate and we don't
think beyond the textures and smells of the cheese plate,
a meditation that requires no discipline, just a sinking
into full enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

a sheet of air

does one write on it, read it, skate on it,
is it only for air hockey, is it white or translucent,
how does one make a sheet of air, but from
perfectly formed embouchure perched on the lip plate
of a silver flute, this sheet of air precisely sliced,
perfectly resonant inside the acoustic cavity
creating the purest sound that can directly
touch the heart, stop the mind for a moment
from rambling, create serenity for
a precious moment.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

reaching for inspiration

behind me is a bookcase of inspiration,
the ones who write seriously, carefully applying stamps
to an envelope, a letter inside, several pages of their finest.
one day, they hope to see their words on a white page on a bookcase
like this one behind me, this bookcase of inspiration, words spilled
from writers who care enough to apply a stamp to an envelope and
send their words out, hoping for them to be printed on a book
of inspiration, a book like the the ones behind me in my
bookcase of inspiration, for the days when the gym,
the workplace, the events did not spark a poem
in this space that does not go into an
envelope, or a bottle, or anywhere
that is white and smooth, only
a screen somewhere that
someone might read

Monday, June 23, 2014

Inviolate soul

inviolate soul
unless we give it away,
but in the end who wants it more than we do,
this soul, spirit, swampland, swirling about us
waiting to be reclaimed, claimed, tossed and claimed again
like waves tossing bottles onto the beach
only to draw them again into her surf
and offer them again and again in an
endless cycle until one day we pick
up the bottle and read what's

Sunday, June 22, 2014


several crows fly across a cloudy sky, cawing,
the wind is picking up,
it will start raining soon.
I love the light at dusk.
some cars pull up in front of the house,
the college kids are whooping and hollering
across the street and  the dog is sleeping on the couch.
the children are moving away and Sunday night
is uncharacteristically task-less, they are busy
packing boxes, it's too quiet.
there is really no one here but me and my
questions, here in the quiet, in that place
they call mid-life where you can turn on the
TV or the alcohol, or maybe you already have
the answers to the big questions, but me,
here in this quiet, I don't, they just hang
in the air waiting.

Friday, June 20, 2014


my whole body vibrated inside my own house
with no music on, not even the radio,
there was no escaping it, no set of earplugs stopped it,
no burrowing in a pillow or perching on an easy chair,
it was the sub-woofer down the street,
that sleek box inside his house beating against
the floor to accompany the sweet sound of a
trance flute while he gardened outside.
who invented the sub-woofer, the devil
black box whose goal is simply to pound the
bass into everyone's gut.
I sweetly asked him about his sub-woofer
and if his sub-woofer could maybe sub woof
itself to a lower level and thank goodness it
I should collect rewards from my neighbors.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

why/why not

if I couldn't walk, I'd dream of it and wake up
with a smile on my face, only to cry at the deadness in my legs.
if I couldn't play flute because my lips were swollen from a bee sting,
I'd salve them and wait impatiently for the day when they could form
the perfect note.
if I couldn't ride home from work, the wind pushing  hard
against me, I'd wistfully dangle my arm out the car window and
feel the breeze against my arm
so why is it that I don't rejoice in every moment of being able to
do, bridling against the imperfect, the tedious, the boring,
the usual, I berate myself for the lack of joy in the usual
when I want to be rejoicing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Giving Talks

I dress up
and hope my slip is not showing
and that I don't fall off my heels.
that taken care of, I launch into it
with enthusiasm, carrying them along
willing or not, following or not, they can't help
but learn
and then, when the last slide has
faded away, I go to my office
and remove my heels
sigh a breath
of relief.
it's over.

Stealing Work

some men go out at night with their flashlights
in hand, looking for the gleam of copper pipe
on an otherwise deserted street or lot.
the hungry stuff some steaks in their pocketbooks,
teenage girls perennially steal lipsticks and compacts.
we steal untethered mathematical symbols
from dusty desktops and file cabinets when ours
are settled into sequentially numbered equations;
it feels good to arrange them on either side
of an equals sign, we know they want to know
where they belong.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Birthday girl

next year will be better,
a man will show up smiling and
she'll get a new job with better pay,
she'll get over the guy who got away
and the condo that was too expensive.
each day she'll get up and look in the mirror
and see the beautiful woman that she is
with that sexy Italian accent.
she will climb hills and see new vistas,
her skirt will twirl in a new breeze,
and her eyes will sparkle like they
always do, she will see her
reflection in our smiles.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Alien Grasses

rigid, blue stalks rise up from 
a soft landscape, pointing starkly into 
skyscape, the flagstones a pathway towards
a surreal glass landscape
we greet them in awe and ask from where
they come, these spires that require
nothing from us in this arid land, 
we should stand so proud and tall, our
strangeness a challenge to traditional
beauty, forged from heat and the
human breath.

Friday, June 13, 2014

MOMA lunch box

it's MOMA lunchtime, salad with chickpeas,
garden lettuce, snow peas dressed in vinaigrette,
two chocolate pieces
with salted almonds 
hidden inside the smallest
how chic, how progressive and healthy,
recalling 4'33" where the musician
is instructed not to play but let ambient noise
fill the space, and 
the endless galleries of fuzzy photos 
and video of Afghans squatting with
their machine guns,
how modern and artistic.
The lunchbox was my best find.
Call me unsophisticated,
it's probably true.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

pizza night

the TV trays come out and the dog gets an extra treat
I notice the couch has teeth marks on the arm.
it's pizza night and we lounge on the sofa and watch
The Americans, pausing frequently for him to explain to
her who is spying on who,
it's a man's world and the women suffer the consequences.
i eat an extra half piece to make up for it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Real Estate Developers

all three are wearing suits and their hair has gel in it
to keep it looking fresh and styled all day as they go
about their business of developing real estate.
my eyes glaze, then pop at the number of new hotel
rooms and parking spaces, square footage of new office space,
all to be occupied by people who don't drive cars,
they must be different from the ones who currently live
on this planet, in this town, different from all the ones
who vision all day, and drive their cars to vision to us
after we get off work and they hope our vision is not too sharp.
my bike is parked outside and the batteries have
died in my light, I ride home in the dark and 
envision a world where we who live here
are treated as if we see perfectly clearly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Western Skies

expansive and open,
colorful, silent, multi-hued, spectacular
Western sky, how ungrateful I have been,
how unseeing, how could I not be in awe every
evening of every day at dusk and dawn
and every outside moment in between
until tonight leaving behind the raucousness
of New York City, I enter your silent beauty
and recognize how essential your presence is
to my

Monday, June 9, 2014

Morning Soundscape NYC

car and truck horns,
the rush of water through pipes
and air through a ventilation system.
no birds.
the rumble of the subway,
truck brakes and hand carts,
I refuse to open my eyes,
I try to close my ears,
where are the birds that
call each other across tree tops,
yes the ones that wake me at 4:40 am
I miss them.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Post Parade Apocolypse on 5th Avenue

police milling around, restless, barking at pedestrians to stay on the sidewalk,
we're dazed by skyscrapers and open skies without any cars to keep us
off the streets, we wander out into 5th Avenue, amidst Puerto Rican placards and trash
dervishes spinning up towards the sky, I wear black
suitable for the lack of life here, the cement, the few trees, the sun-baked
plazas, the glass, the M&M's dancing across gargantuan screens.
tomorrow I will breathe in art and trees,  I will hear singing voices
in a music hall, a sense of home away from home.

Friday, June 6, 2014


and why do we need to go
when my feet are wandering through water
and fountains are erupting around me,
the world is mine, mine, mine
I make my own wake, ripples wander
away from me and the sun warms my
clothing, all wet, no matter,
no matter, this weather suits me.
you wait for me to wander towards you,
all in my own time, willingly
when the weather, or my mood,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

why is packing so hard?

you'd imagine one could get better with practice,
but no,
not me.
each time as if never done before, no idea what clothes to bring
for what temperature, clothes I don't even like make it into my
suitcase somehow, no sign of my hearing aid
or toothpaste, bifocals, what book would I
want to read, each decision paralyzing
in its ridiculousness.
I'd pay someone to do this,
I scurry to water the plants
as if they had never been neglected
before, as I am leaving
for eternity...
its just the
for god's sake.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Golden Triangle

I thought of sandy beaches and gentle ocean waves,
but these points will get me there, moving stagnant
energy away to open ways to the new, so they say.
Sharpy pen at hand, new fangled electronic devices
that buzz and whirr and off we go to nirvana
and better health
through toys.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Working Late

men are lifting file cabinets and pulling carpet from
tired floors, they look tired after working all day
at their first jobs and they look at me with those
tired eyes and I look back at them with tired eyes.
I will leave them soon to their carpet squares and
the smell of new carpet and adhesive fumes to go
dream of molecules
careening through space
do they dream of carpet?

Monday, June 2, 2014

step into the darkness

step into darkness and there will be light
to guide you
this stated matter of factly in a flute lesson
but yet
I remember my first lesson and hearing
Flute is Life.
yes, from the zen of a single note to
standing in front of an audience
and sharing your heart,
never knowing what will be the next step
or how you will ever play a high E
with grace
but somehow it happens one day
and once it happens once, it
can happen

Sunday, June 1, 2014

meditating toes

they meditate in the corners of photographs,
on carefully laid stone pathways, on their way
to the store to get yogurt and on sunny pathways.
overactive brain cells do not interfere with 
pure bliss, each toe reaches out into the world
tethered to her brethren but sufficiently
independent to stretch a little sideways,
up or down towards the best situation, 
breathing in fresh air and enjoying the 
freedom a long leg provides.