The Love Bomb of J. Prufrock

vapors wander
under the door sill
smoke drifting insolently
from Magdalene’s cigarettes
in the hallway like a teenager at school
lacking Self-Awareness

the Terracotta Princess holds her head
in her hands and complains of migraines
in Winter stuck indoors and camphor smell
of wooden chests from Indonesia carved
with birds elephants tropical palms
hold our memories

we read our thumbnails like tea leaves
across the picture window wall of the sitting room
desperately brushing at the webs
that encapsulate sterile
lives once breathed
now only suffocate
in stillness scrolling
the Ether mesmerized
by the Ether swallowed
by the Ether

lost in addresses unknown
our unexplored paths rerouted to
numerical errors multiplied in chaos
as we count our digits and laugh at the irony

the Dominion knocks at the door
and lets himself in shivering from the cold
outside and shakes his wet raincoat on the living
room rug with the abandon of an overzealous Dane

circles the dining room table
weary from journeys taken unsolicited
but lucrative just the same if you’re a lost
soul and he’s certainly a lost soul lacking

come in
make yourself at home
I ready a cup of fresh ground
Moka from the stainless steel pot
and sweeten it to taste and offer it along with
the finest French creme pastry you can buy
wrapped in cellophane

it isn’t much and may not
go well with the Sumatran
but it’s all we’ve got our
last pennies gone
to the offering

god is pleased
but we are not
—the Terracotta
Princess rolls her eyes
and I in my uncertainty query
the Oracle to make sure Shakespeare
agrees and the script is canon

for I am,
what I am, Or
am I?


Beneath an August Moon – Andrew Mellon High


Andrew Mellon High




my junior year
I’d walk the ten blocks down sycamore lined streets
past Zeppo the Taylor’s and the pizza parlor
across to the old brick schoolhouse

where I met the bubbly Junior
who made it her call to round up every new kid in school
and introduce them to her Lonely Hearts Club

“Hi!” she smiled as I stood
detached from the mythic dance
of the crowded schoolyard
“My name’s Kitty”

I suspected a come on—but this skinny gal
looked harmless enough

“I’m getting everyone who looks new in school
together at table six; would you like to come sit with us?”
“Yeah, why not?” and over to the cafeteria
where I met two more single Simons:

a toothy pimple-faced Sal Mineo

her greeting was aggressive
maybe she was nervous—“Good ta know ya!” she snarled
friendly enough—in a hard Brooklyn accent

I laughed nervously looking
to Kitty for help

then one day she wore a dress
and not her usual bell-bottom jeans
as she finished up her homework
(for a part time job after school)
her legs crossed angelic under
the lunchroom table
I saw the woman
—not the child

or maybe it was when we stood together in the lunch line
when I saw across the top of her midnight blue hair
each strand so vivid beneath
the fluorescent lights

by that summer we were in my room
listening to music and
making love

Beneath an August Moon – Clarence






Clarence Moss was a conductor on the B&O
always full of useless tips
on relationships;
love affairs

he had the hots for a certain girl
I knew, and warned me “Don’t you doubt it
one day that girl and I, well—you know”

but you’re married, I thought remembering my
long afternoons with the woman
of his dreams

as the train haggled the rickety tracks
past Seaside Beach into St Paul’s
a safe arrival at the terminal
I assured him there was
nothing to sweat;
that scene was
just a figment
of the summer
—smoke and steam
she would soon see other
guys (Clarence being one of them)

Beneath an August Moon – But the Blues



But the Blues




the blues
marked with the bitter bruises
of heartbreak's melancholic muse
Vincent's blackbirds sent to darken
a golden sky; crowing love's loss strewn
on the dandelion lawns of summer:
as the princess of my childhood
wildhood said "Adieu"

On Tuesday (Umbrellas in the Rain)


On Tuesday (Umbrellas in the Rain)


the rain comes softly down
the cobblestones are restless
dressed in gray flannel suits
(umbrellas in the rain)

a gray sky over the city
women sadly pass by; brown tweeds
flat-bottomed shoes; going off to meet
their trade on Tuesday (a village in the rain)

didn’t even know her name
the day she caught my eye
to her it was just a game
no lies, no promises

but that’s ok
I’m doin’ all right
there’s no need to apologize
I’m just trying to get myself right
I just need to dry the skies on Tuesday
(then she was gone) on Tuesday
when the world went wrong

Chinese sailors bend and fall
down walkways of a crowded street
smiling ladies laugh and speak in a sing-song harmony
with hibiscus flowers in their hair; it’s not fair
on Tuesday (umbrellas in the rain)

The Carnival – The Anthem of the Dove



Walking down streets and empty harbors of the city;
I look for an answer; one is nowhere to be found.

A sound reaches from behind broken storefront windows
a sound that echoes in the emptiness:

“Hello,”—a voice soft and gentle.
“Hello, what are you doing here?”

But, I have searched through tome and printed page
to find the answer to that question; I found nothing but despair.

While words fell like curtains from the page in candlelight,
I’ve found nothing to guide me.

And I have tried to catch the rainbow in my hand;
for a pot of gold— knowledge more than riches.

A barren dream is what I earned—
a cauldron full of wishes—a worthless treasure chest of emptiness.

(A dove flew past my window in the morning.
It cooed a song, a soft ‘hello’.)

And tho’ I felt the sun warm roses yellow on the bough
in the distance I heard thunder.

The dove became a hawk;
and the thunder tolled (and answers hadn’t found me);
I saw a searing wind that burned the leaves off every thing,
and left nothing.

The Blurred Vision of My Eyelashless Self

A poem I found in a lost notebook from 1998. Deep in meditation while taking  a Zen class, the influence of the Tao is soaked inside these thoughts.

the blurred vision
of my Eyelashless self

a part of the park
I’ve never seen!

from the Gazebo
past the stone steps
of the walkway

a secluded row of purple Azalea
border the stone wall that rounds a meadow
to the right

a soft slope
the blurred vision
of my eyelashless self sees

the bending
and winding twists
of tree limb and trunk

branches of bright yellow
Sugar Maple in its cycle of death to rebirth
—the Fall

soft green Juniper in the foreground;
Dwarf White Pine and Japanese Laurel
roll down to a flaming Elm

and the passing cars that hide
behind an Austrian Pine
on the street below

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