Archive for February, 2016

My daughter was an instrument of mercy wound
tight by songs better left alone. I trust you to make
your own meaning
was what she alleged by her birth,
then danced a child’s paces with me when she was
three, spelled better than I ever did when I was ten, and left
me before I was already beyond thinking. Her lover
carved her name in a rock beneath the seaward
tower. No one goes there now. She’d warned me
about sin, the young herald of fever, and woke
blind as the summer sun.


Read Full Post »


One night I came to the room of a boy in the ICU
while they were trying to revive the child
who happened to be dying by death’s lonely hand.

I knew nothing more
at the time and took my turn to keep the heart moving
blood to all his vital organs.

And was coached by the night senior resident—
push harder so his blood pressure stays up!

For me it was another beginning of a sleepless night.
Children often died there without warning or permission.
Sometimes we couldn’t explain it at all.


Tim the doctor in charge walked in with his blue
scrubs, a neatly trimmed beard and the soft voice
that I looked up to and wanted to believe in.

It seemed we had done everything we could.
He told me to stop.
Just then I realized I didn’t want to be the last one.

The one to let him go.

I didn’t want that for him or for myself.
I still don’t know anything about that little boy.

But I do remember that I removed my hands
and left all his secrets safe within him.


Read Full Post »

Humanity seems to prefer an intense level of cultural homogeneity, and apparently will halt at nothing to achieve it. Ethnic cleansings along lines of speech, behavior, color, race, gender, emotion, explanation, preference or identity continue to sweep the world in all manner of trials and inquisition. When will we evolve?

Read Full Post »

Helpful thought for the day: “Just because he doesn’t value your skills and intellect, does not mean they have suddenly disappeared. And does not mean you have to stop using them. Disrespect doesn’t magically change who you truly are.”

Read Full Post »


I could put my whole life in a notebook thinking
that a date would settle me in my own home, and
to forget all the other lovers who refused to see and did
not understand how socially inappropriate Ravel had
been borrowing wagers from the future against
more harmonies no one else wanted.

But I’m a poem’s own single nightmare.

And words gather round my pen looking
for redemption in how stupidly I garner countless herds of them,
combing for a grain of platinum in the land of silver–
something that will not tarnish.

The jungle strips one’s manhood in a single scream.

Is it a howler monkey or a seductive wish? Now even
sounds unnerve me and I think I want to know more
and more about little and less. For example why there’s
always never enough for Western Man—a species
of naming forever in search of Platonisms

and Superbowls. Why not hold

a child in my arms, her smell against my neck,
a rush of summer

on the infant’s new voice.

Read Full Post »

There is a very disturbing trend within the world of clinical psychology, involving censorship and thought control, that seems to me to be contrary to the principles of a free and scientific community. Often, words viewed a deviant or unpopular are met with censorship, ad hominem attacks, or outright exile. Highly ironic considering the degree to which the community espouses flexibility and “love” as heart felt values. Beyond that, it seems to me quite fearsome to contemplate the degree to which the instruments of fascism continue to linger on in our cultural basements ready, like one of Tolkien’s balrogs, at a moment’s notice. One would have thought that the lessons of the early 20th century were better learned than this. I should have hoped we’d been better schooled in the banality of evil. My antidote to this has been to write a poem about a clinical encounter that engendered strong emotions. It was censored and I reposted it because I believe we all have a duty to oppose the abuses of power with such simple truths as these.

Read Full Post »

dig me a deeper grave just
like the next day of the week
because i tried to ignore you
walking your straighter line
as hell’s own fair witness kicked
me under the table a strangler
in my sleep was she

more to the good

to understand what i say
imagine your own child
alone in a hospital bed newly
paralyzed you gazing down
at the babe you birthed her life
suddenly gone without
even a word

Read Full Post »

He wrote a poem for you that was
the sun and stars. But ever since my father
died the very possibility of love has faded
like an intermittent signal from a friend
on the dark side of the galaxy
gone silent.

Read Full Post »

The events that cause our emotions often get us to think in a strange way—as if when faced with some horrible thing, time will stop there and we will be stuck for all eternity. We forget that time keeps going, to the other side. Who will we be, when that happens? And it will happen.

Read Full Post »

While I was out skiing today, I thought about the upcoming memorial service for G, a friend of mine who died recently. I found myself worrying that I might run into J my ex girlfriend who also knew G (I met both of them in the same salsa dance troupe and we all performed together on many occasions). Seeing her again, I believe, would be quite painful, as I was ridiculously in love with her once, and asked her to marry me. (She said no, obviously –but that’s not the point here). I found myself worrying about how painful it would be for me to see her again, especially if she shows up with a new boyfriend or (god forbid) husband. Then the thought occurred to me “but what if, by some miracle, in that moment you find the strength to weather the emotional storm, and find that at some later point, beyond the point of the seeing of J, you have developed or honed some skill that improves your life in some way, brings you closer to a heart felt goal, or saves a life?” I traced this thought to something a FB friend said to me recently “pain is just weakness leaving the body.” Will it indeed change my life? Who knows. One way or the other though, both J and G already have.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »