Unquiet harbor –
bay at the moon
as if the last piece
of scrofulous cheese
out of reach in the trash.
on the river –
your shadow splinters
in the streetlight,
which you slip
between my ribs
like a shiv of love.
For dVerse Quadrille
Noon on the Hudson, helicopters chopping
at the sky like a deli salad –
a bowl of blue tossed with
joggers and stumblers and strollers,
a tattoo of Sinatra in wisps of clouds
whispering New York New York while
dogs from every nation make their embassy,
the river embossed with the whack whack
wake of ferries propelled from shore to skyline
and back again, spinning through
the turnstile and the man punching your ticket
like a prizefighter, the main event, ringside
at the Garden.
For The Twiglets
If a friend insists TGIF, but the
near-beer, half-hearted/half-empty glass of your week
breaks in your hand so that you cut your finger with worry,
you mix a Bloody-Alice, because when life hands you blood oranges
you make Band-Aid, which
instead of raising a toast to wrap
the incredible bullshit you go on about,
Alice said “DRINK ME”, like in the story, and she
drank with you in the bar then drank with you back at your place
drank herself until squinting you looked like her wonderland, her velveteen rabbit, you want to ask her “are you my mother?” because its Go Dog Go, all now another story entirely
where you wake tomorrow with capillaries
that are toffee-sticky, a
headache gooey as cherry pie,
you didn’t listen to your friends
who warned you about the poison.
For Miz Quickly
If the quick of bone
then why are my ribs so slow
to now take up your part?
Don’t they remember you –
my Eve –
how you filled their hollowness
with the haste to twin,
that keening heave
of heavenward breath?
For dVerse Quadrille
Life ain’t no picnic
’cause when I open the basket
I get a head cheese sandwich
which is body parts, right?
In aspic, like the gelatin
of love, holding it all together.
Ain’t a bowl of cherries either,
aren’t the pits toxic? Dog got sick
last time she got into a bunch.
More like life is a bowl of crabapples
and those make her sick too.
If life is a journey, I’m amazed.
If it’s a game, my bones feel like
at-bats, and my ribs are scored.
If life is change,
someone stole my lunch money!
If life is a gift,
are we all supposed to
live in the present?
Tossing a salad for Miz Quickly’s Labor Day Picnic
Measure twice, cut once.
Treasure twine, split for nonce.
We’re but measured mice, cut slack.
Life’s a maze, amazed, we’re lost, we lack.
What blaze lights your path, the muse of riches?
For love nor money, wager stitches.
Worn red or black, a gamble’s set.
The eyes throw down a heavy bet.
Witless guise, weight of pride, all mulish.
Penny-wise, pound foolish.
For dVerse Twisted Adage
The rubber bullets of night have ceased their thrumming against the window
Dreams that wanted to run riot, dispersed to the outskirts of the city
Christ of the Abyss underwater in the Genoese harbor, but not you, not in Orlando
The two cities turning on the axis of old and new prayers
Where you write in skeins of rust, eyes heavy as iron poor blood
All that the Guardia and mall cops have have left to you for the Night Watch
The passwords dissolving in ink and wine