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Monday, June 26, 2017

Out for My Walk

Arlington, Massachusetts, 5.15 am,
first morning of summer ---
air cool and dewy:
sprinklers, sparrows, squirrels;
a wide-awake rabbit or two;
the dedicated runners, avid and trim;
the odd walker, casual, paunchy.

The same lawn on Bates Road
plays host to two signs:
Sean Garballey for State Senate
and Cindy Friedman
for State Senate.

Just enough scribbles of cirrus
in the sunrise-hour sky:
white hairs streaking the chevelure
of a beautiful woman over fifty.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Discovering

Verses from the Tehillim,
          a song
     in a timeless tongue:
try the language of the hymn ---
    words come out half-wrong.

Erev Shabbat: the temple
          holds kind
    faces all around:
Adonai, Love Eternal,
    meets me where I stand.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Playing Language

Tonight I sit,
boy-clarinetist emeritus,
hunt-and-peck pianist,
guitarist in my dreams,
musician manqué,
and play language instead.

I play consonants and vowels,
stresses and unstresses,
pyrrhics and spondees,
iambs and anapests.

Tonight I'll improvise
a blues tune,
a jazz riff,
a classical concerto,
a power ballad,
new wave,
synth-pop,
arena rock,
glam rock,
hard rock,
alternative,
emo, shoegazing,
industrial,
a post-punk paint-peeler,
a fab remake of the Beatles,
a campy cover of the B-52s.

Tonight I'll perform an aria,
belt out a drinking song,
hum a disco tune,
sing a Christmas carol,
intone cantillations,
chant Gregorian.

Tonight I'll smoke
imaginary cigarettes,
drink real cups of coffee,
replenish myself with water
and sleep and prayer
and poetry.

Tonight I'll think of tomorrow
when I'll play for you
and for you alone.

A Young Woman of Boston

Elegant as pi to the hundredth decimal, beautiful as a quadratic equation, close as Cambodia, distant as winter, precise and mathematica...