Wednesday, August 16, 2017


The music strikes up; dancers,
Already on stage are in motion.
They’re just a few at first but,
From the wings come more
And more again until the stage
Cannot hold another. No matter;
A scrim lifts, and there is space
For those coming from everywhere
Rappelling from the rafters, streaming
Down the aisles. The musicians
Put down their instruments to dance;
The music now plays itself. Last of all,
You rise, arms links with yours
And you’re dancing.
                         If this isn't Death
What can it be?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Grown old, Mr. Hyde finds he misses
Dr. Jekyll. He is not a chemist –
That was Jekyll – but he has the notes
From the original experiments
And signs up for some courses. His wife
(Hyde gave up murdering women years ago
On the advice of his cardiologist) thinks
Jekyll is unlikely to return from wherever
In Hyde he’s been larricking about. Still …
She prepares the guest bedroom
And buys porridge; Hyde hates porridge
But says Jekyll will want it at breakfast.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Almost featureless, the ghost
Stands by a wall. The rain
Makes people hurry by.
I furtively put in his hand
The memory of a dime
One of the old ones, silver,
With Mercury's head on it
He curls his fingers around it,
Nods and is gone.

Friday, August 11, 2017


If this was 1940
I might take a subway --
One of the new
IND lines --
And walk a block south
24 West 40th Street.
There, I'd ask "Do you have
The Goddess of Time?"
"Certainly," the jeweler would say
"That"ll be one dollar down
And $2.87 a month
For the next ten months."
My grandfather, a watchmaker,
Might have cautioned me
That any watch called
The Goddess of Time
Was no better than it should be
And was not to be trusted.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Chief Mullica, licensed detective,
Can be found, when he chooses,
At 577-S, The
Orpheum Building,
Jersey City, where it is always
October 1940. He is willing to train,
To investigate, to fingerprint,
To shadow and to solve
Cases which have baffled
More ordinary detectives.
That he works out of a building
Torn down 60 years ago
Is not a problem. 
For $15 a day and expenses,
He’ll  travel almost anywhere.
Particulars, say his ad, are free.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


So tightly they grip hands!
How fast they circle round!
The goose, in vain, honks
Alarmed that their feet
Have left the ground.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Alif, who can't be seen,
Has an apprentice --
The angel Ayin --
Who doesn't exist
But hopes to.
Homeless, she sleeps
In alleys, wrapped
In a torn shadow.