The Blue Ones

i. I know that statistically, some of us are meant to be stabbed. But first there is only a slight pressure, a metallic taste where my mouth could be. And some muffled sounds I have learned are cuss words. Or the shaking they do in frustration. If that doesn’t work. If that doesn’t render me in their hands, there is …

Aide–mé·moire

I am sins of decades despite duck and cover and breathing mushrooms of imagination draft age wars jungling heart attacks in the genes and pollution in bottled water fires in the belly stringing the lobes in spider webs aromas and penstrokes a mess of bedtimes numbering thousands no need to pull a Roman when Broca has forgotten   by David …

Particicution

(Based on a scene from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood) Identical red dresses and white winged bonnets crowded around the drugged man, the rapist. His pulpy face a mess of cuts and purpling bruises. His stench forced me to cover my nose and mouth. Sounds of retching and murmuring in the soupy air. Then, a shrill whistle signaled “Kill …

A Perfect Piece

Once upon a time on an outskirts bus to center Paris, I found her rapt in a magazine.  She shared with me a photo: a wooden sculpture, an Afghan treasure, once stolen, carried  place to place, a beautiful river goddess – flowing skirt, tight waist — (a noticeable backside crease).   She spoke in slow French, for me, how the …

All the Colors of the Rainbow

A couple moved into an apartment. They discovered that one of the doors was locked. They called the caretaker who explained to them that the room behind that door had been designed and built automatically. No human being had been involved in the process whatsoever, or had even seen the room, and all data pertinent to its construction had been …

Sunrise Matinee

Audio from some movie playing in the next room You wake up to the sound of it Without remembering having it on before you fell asleep   Sound of an unfortunate sequel In an unnecessary series of films Rom com or dramedy or buddy cop action   It continues in the background of the morning, like wallpaper You wonder if …

Best Intentions

never planned for much, really money is nice not spending much of it gets to pick roles now monogamy being one still lives on south side, one bedroom no car has to show up jamming with friends playing transports former second stringer to starter at rolling stone his soul releases its fears stage fright still problematic, inherited achilles heal like …

All Earth is Dull and Muddy

your body is still your body, even though they took everything from you, like the famished hare who pulls even the bitterer berries from the wilted stem.   they came easily, jarringly, and pried everything that you carried from your tired, trembling arms while the assorted leaves were making their slow descent; or while they went moldering from green to …

My Dad Speaks of His Father’s Death

When dad’s grief unbottled itself, when he could not square   his guilt over the dad he could not love, when his beast of a past   coiled him, a rattler ready to strike, he would tell the story.   I still try to picture it, my grandfather, deep lines in his red face,   trademark overalls, a Fedora tipped …

It’s Gingko Season

This is not a metaphor for anything. I am talking about a very real pungency. Smashed yellow cherries on the concrete sidewalk. It’s check-the-bottom-of-your-shoe season, it’s did-I-step-in-dog-poop season, it’s no-you-didn’t season: it’s Gingko Season. It’s that one spring in Brooklyn where we finally discovered that the Chinese restaurant on the corner had been using the construction dumpster by our house …

My Own Van Gogh

I thought about taking up Art once. Before I met Margery. Before I went into investment banking. Something I picked up in the military during the war. Not a real war. More of a military intervention. The Mongolian Intervention we called it. The gas fields of Northern Mongolian. We were liberating the gas lines there. We did liberate them. Very …

Stepping

When I go to places The seaside I am already leaving there Rehoboth Beach More water than sand More sky than water Bones of fish laid bare A new tableau each morning Tides take back All that they lay down Washing me to white To bold To bright A seagull screams just once And dissolves in my skull Naked sun …