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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 occasional runner, avid and trim;
the odd walker, casual, paunchy.

The same lawn on Bates Street
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.

Monday, June 5, 2017

You

Spice in the chouriço,
five alarms in the red peppers,
fire in the diamond,
ice in the sapphire,
saxophone in “Moondance,”
drums in "We Will Rock You."
August thunderstorms
thrashing the boats of Gloucester,
February blizzards
whipping the shores of Scituate.
Hot wine of Argentina
coursing in the veins
of a tigress.
Coffee of Morocco
jolting me to attention.
Sunbursts and hurricanes,
tidal waves and tantrums.
Hesitant and delicate
as a Pamplona stampede.
Domestic and proper
as the fifth shot of whiskey.

Out for My Walk

Arlington, Massachusetts, 5.15 am, first morning of summer --- air cool and dewy: sprinklers, sparrows, squirrels; a wide-awake rabbit o...