Balcony Scene

Up — or out? — here:
a problem of preposition,

my uneasy relation
with the world. Whether I’ m

above it or apart. On the other side
of the latched glass door, a man

loves me. Worries. Calls my name.

Where — for art — thou-
sands of windows go dark

in slow succession. On Essex
and Ludlow and Orchard.

A thousand times goodnight.

A boy throwing stones at a window.
Right window, wrong boy.

Over the Heath

The truck grinds by
and pumps out grit;
the road glints and
goes still.

The barn owl that
had not finished here
returns. But with
its fill

of scavenges,
face ruffled in mulch,
the vole is lost
and safe

so the silent specter
flits away, its
moon face to
the moon

and rears unknown
against a copse,
claws tipped for
the strafe

and something dies
too soon.

He filled her between
the hay bales in
that Dutch barn, now

Of What is Real

I like to lie with you wordless
on black cloud rooft beach
in late june 5 o’ clock tempest
on clump weed bed with sand
fitting your contours like tailor made

and I like to wash my summer brown face
in north cold hudson rapids
with octagon soap
knees niched in steamy rocks
where last night’ s frog stared
at our buddhist sleep

but most of all I like to see
the morning happen...

dear love,

you dream in the language of dodging bullets and artillery fire.
new, sexy diagnoses have been added to the lexicon on your behalf
(“charlie don’ t surf,” has also been added to the lexicon on your behalf).

in this home that is not our home, we have mutually exiled each
other. i walk down your street in the rain, and i do not call you. i
walk in the opposite direction of where i know to find you. that we
do not speak is louder than bombs.


I scissor the stem of the red carnation
and set it in a bowl of water.
It floats the way your head would,
if I cut it off.
But what if I tore you apart
for those afternoons
when I was fifteen
and so like a bird of paradise
slaughtered for its feathers.
Even my name suggested wings,
wicker cages, flight.
Come, sit on my lap, you said.

I Fail As a Celibate

Despair leaves
a dry spot
the passage of light
through my veins.
I fail as a celibate.
The smell of honey
fills my throat.
I lose touch with
my bone when
it stiffens.
I find a place
to spring
& spike you
while you cry.
I try to rev things up
although I hate
the sound of flying.
Gagging leaves
the breath
no exit.
Then the chest puffs out,
no longer hapless,
in the face of
everything aloof
& distant,

Out of Catullus

Come and let us live my Deare,
Let us love and never feare,
What the sowrest Fathers say:
Brightest Sol that dies to day
Lives againe as blithe to morrow,
But if we darke sons of sorrow
Set; o then, how long a Night
Shuts the Eyes of our short light!
Then let amorous kisses dwell
On our lips, begin and tell
A Thousand, and a Hundred, score
An Hundred, and a Thousand more,
Till another Thousand smother
That, and that wipe of another.
Thus at last when we have numbred