Poems of love and lust


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The morning sways with the currents of rain

making streets asphalt liquid,

black dripping silver drop by drop

from rushing elbow drains


Brillo faced clouds

darken the window

like a deep frown over the grey city


You shiver, draw the shade,

laughing with discomfort


Another number flows behind your name

one more tributary in a journey down stream

You used to brag of them

You used to celebrate their additional flow

into your life


Now, you seek dry ground,

like Odysseus

where an oar might be mistaken

for a plow


You should celebrate Spring

the slow greening under that stormy grey

You used to enjoy the dripping gutters

the drain's groan

the window's glaze

the melancholy spread of dawn


Now, you listen to the swish of tires

of cars rushing down the road,

wondering after them,

wandering in your dreams


But the Odysseus in you fades

and Telemachos grows.


It's just another

passing storm.





I waited, an autistic child

dreaming in my silence of you

wearing the illusion of your voice

of creamy seductions over the telephone,

of blissful mornings after taunting my mind

not one of which ever remotely

came to pass





She cried because of you,

each word a brick built upon her back,

heavy with the burdens of passion,

strangely comforting,

like a dilapidated old mansion

into which she crawled during storms,

she bore you to bed at night,

whispering with you,

each of your words worried over,

pondered on,

dropped into her head like coins.

Her mind was a wishing well,

a pale hell of dreams

in which never one came true,

despite the promises of you,

turning forever the ugly pages

till she drooped into sleep,

embracing and caressing those poems,

reading them over till they danced on the bed sheets,

like lively little pixies poking fun,

though often, later,

when I picked your book

up from her sleeping chest and kissed her brow,

I found there, the deepest of frowns.





She lies on pebbles,

naked breasts pressed to the ground,

curious men parading like soldiers on either side,

guarding her perceived virginity with rigid perfection

the imperfect nature of their sex

flying colors for a war

not one is prepared to win





July 3, 1989


I wake to the whistle of trains

and think of you,

you're arrival by rail

even now with the sunlight,

streaking through the window

brisk air beating back this july heat

blankets and your weekend clothing

scattered across the corner of the bed

repeating you

I think maybe you will sneak back here

some sunday night

after the bus has taken your body east

and I, stumbling home, dread the empty bed

I think of you as that rising sun

the breaking of the mist

warm in my arms, hot against my chest

my thighs, my heart,

I think of you.




You've always mistaken other things for love,

broken bits of trivial dialogue,

throbbing lust,

men who offer you free trips to the south seas.

I've never understood the confusion,

having been that perpetual loyal man in the wings,

the actor that never gets to come on stage

except for a line or two,

serving drinks at your birthday party,

taking you out as an excuse to avoid someone else's date.

You've never understood why

Simon & Garfunkel's ``I am a Rock''

was my favorite song for years,

nor the reason for the books of poetry

piled high on the shelves in my room,

always with the most depressing poems

dog-eared from over use,

thinking solitary life a waste of time,

though for all the years of socializing

you still think men are cads.

Man after man after man

following you from bar to bedroom,

never calling again once they've landed on your shore,

thinking less of you when by accident

you meet them again.

They always whisper ``barfly'' to their current dates,

just loud enough for you to overhear

as if you hadn't known their opinion all along,

as if sitting on a beach or barstool by yourself was a crime.

``Why don't you go out?'' you ask me,

every friday night when I gather in my room with my books.

``You can't spend your life in your room.''

But the truth is: we all do,

whether it is barroom, bedroom,

or one filled with books.





She wears thin to nothing,

drinking up sand dunes,

eyes burning with salt and desire,

her dreams crashing under

dawn's cool umbrella,

the melancholy of perpetual motion,

rushing to and fro,

a shy actor waiting for

its audience of beach towels

and sunburns and

dancing, loving moon.





the blizzard came

after you were gone,

rain turning to sleet

then snow, during

the long walk

from downtown,

passed huge


homes whose wide

windows had seen

such storms before,

worse, more furious,

lapping white up

against their steps

like foaming waves

upon which my

footprints come and

go, the path

self-made, no one

before me making

those exact steps,

nor (despite many

imitators) will any

exactly follow, my

thoughts, twisting

under my cap with

you, wishing you had

remained one more

hour as to catch the

flakes, me, ashamed

for not having

waited, for having

sent you too quickly

upon your way,

leaving me to this

lonely, terribly

beautiful path

through the snow,

boughs of evergreen

leaning, my step

erased, but not the

memory of you,

engraved beneath,

not so much in ice

as in stone, unmelting

permanent, asking you

to return home






All my life she's waited there,

gift-wrapped on Second Street,

turning corners with faceless men,

shadows of night that hover over her,

slipping away with her unnoticed,

shadows which leave their imprint

on her hair and skin, smearing

her ruby gloss, waiting for me

with spider eyes and impatient

gestures, waiting for the end of it,

to move on, repackaging herself,


even when held by me.





She browns like an aging flower

but never does whither,

the smell of old petals clinging

to her as she grows and grooms

herself, shedding just enough

to maintain appearances,

her insides burning sweet

incense, the torchlight

beaming from her eyes,

all beacon and smile,

a whispered breath,

she is a cozy house

with one big comfortable room,

and closed drawers

and locked closets

and secrets in the attic.




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