Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Starlight for my father at fifteen
Still awake at five in the morning
High in his attic, standing by the window.
A flickering dream for my mother,
Fourteen and just about to wake up
A mile or two away. It's a Saturday;
He will go to the synagogue and ask God
Some probing questions. She will go
To a movie and gather evidence
Of how reality can be constructed
From shadows and light and fear and love.

Monday, August 13, 2018


I have decided Virginia Woolf may live
An additional twenty-five years
Beyond her suicide, the pond waters
Indignantly refusing to drown
A Glory of British Letters
Imagine her writing reviews of plays
By Angry Young Men or commenting
On Suez and Sputnik and leaving
Almost finished a brilliant jeu d'esprit
In which John Profumo awakens
In Hyde Park with Christine Keeler
And a demon who offers him
A gently used wish with a chip in it.

Friday, August 10, 2018


Reach in your pocket;
There's a ticket there
For the
Midnight Special
Or the Hellbound Train
Or even the Train
That's Bound for Glory
But perhaps,
Persuaded by me,
You may ride
The train from Timbuktu
To Kalamazoo
To Kalamazoo
And back.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Rolling to his execution
Captain Brown said
"It is a beautiful country;
I’ve not had the pleasure
Until now of seeing it."
If you don’t hear
The poetry
There will just be
No pleasing you today.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Because we were in a hurry and because
We were tired and because we
Didn't care very much we left the hours
Entirely out of order so six at night followed
Hard on the heels of ten in the morning
Which gave way to three in the morning which
Is an hour filled with wolves who decided
To stay for a while and were irritated
To disappear at the stroke of noon.

Monday, August 6, 2018


The hour looks sandblasted
Any maker’s mark gone;
The minutes, blurred and dull,
Their sharp edges lost
Are oddly shaped
Their seconds having drifted
And accumulated; a few
Are chipped or cracked. Once
I'd have offered nothing,
Or next to nothing, but now
It is the first time
I’ve seen in a while and,
Miraculously, still functions.

Perhaps it had been part
Of a long night, the sort
Where it is a long march
three a.m. to four, so the wolves
(That hour is filled with wolves)
Close their yellow eyes and sleep.
What wonder if the rest of the day
Grows impatient and goes on
Leaving this hour behind?

Friday, August 3, 2018


Did the fool at the wedding look grimly
At the bride's sister, knowing she'll one day marry
A man named Moses Getreu and on another day,
 Have a child who'll write letters to her
On Snediker Street and on a third day,
Play a long last song, take a last deep breath,
And jump from a roof, meeting an angel
On her way to the street below?