In the morning the sun’s limp yellow light
creeps sullenly into the dark-filled room;
particle by particle its bright-
ness takes shape; it fails to dispel a gloom

of more than night.  Cracked eyes and stirring flesh,
bedclothes cast aside; mumbled greetings, minds
a-whir; the day conspires to enmesh
them, like the old.  Slipstreamed time too fleeting—

bathe! dress! eat!—nothing settled from before;
the looming day a welcome eight hours’ break
from things unsaid but thought.  Best not to bare
words better left silent; just go and make

a life of sorts, like everyone they know:
work, distract, suffer through that little blow.

Father & Son

He said “I live three miles from the ocean but I haven’t been to the shore in three years.” I say, “That sounds awful.” “It’s easy to forget the things of beauty that abound all around you.” I nod in agreement, furtively looking at my watch, eager to get home, hoping he won’t keep me much longer. “Look out of my window. Do you see that tree? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Look how it stands, impervious to everything we throw at it— the city’s rot, the earth’s malefactions. Year after year it goes through its cycles, the constant rebirth, until it outlives us, gently mocking us with its silence.
“But I forget it. I forget it unless forced to consider it, as your presence has forced me to consider it. It’s a trapping, a mere accessory, a bit of color that doesn’t impact me in any way that’s significant, except on a day like this; and even a day like this—talking here, sipping coffee, getting along famously— will soon fade, be of no matter, ebb away into the wash of time. And that’s the way that beauty perishes: rarely through willful destruction, but through mere neglect.”
I left soon after, for the day pressed on me— many promises to keep, many more people to please. I, too, live near the ocean, and haven’t been to the shore; and I have a tree in my backyard, tall and glowering, insisting on its weight, mocking me by its age, by its permanence, refuting my claims to property, to earth, to life. The world conspires against you, not out of malice, but because, like God, it would say “I am what I am”.
Look at your watch; look, and watch the hands fly.

I feel you most

I feel you most in your absence;

Your ghost wanders around the house,

Your scent a faint memory

Of when you were here.


I know what I did to drive you off;

I don’t know if I could change it.

We are fired in a crucible,

And the hard matter is not easily remade.


Can I tell you there’s a gaping hole

Where you used to be?

I can. But that’s not enough.

Mere protestations are empty,


Like this poem; the words will woo

Those who do not know me.

Were you to read this, you’d nod your head,

Smile slightly, and put it away.


Be well. Be happy. Be complete.

It is an irony that I who left

Now feel abandoned. That, too,

Is a particularity of the self.