Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The Adjunct Teacher’s Complainte

My life is a procession
        of buildings and doorways
I have had my share and more
        of the shape of the world.
I am geography without
        a map. I am the man without
a country about which I dream
        at night, my country my land
of doorways and buildings.



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To His Lover’s Stomach

To His Lover’s Stomach

Please don’t tell her
we’re having this conversation.

She would say we are fools
for acting like young lovers.

But you and I know better, I think,
than to deny ourselves the music

of my callused hands playing
softly across your skin.


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Time to Start Posting Again

Sorry, faithful readers, for not posting anything. I have been studying for something that my college calls the “MA comprehensive exam” and it has taken up all my time. Now I am free from that burden and I’ll get down to some writing. For a little taste, here is a sample of a poem I am currently working on.  I hope you like it.

A Small Vespers
for Jennifer

I. The Litany of Peace

You need this. Asleep on the train,
you are at peace with the whole
world; at peace with the wounds
of the day; at peace with the hand
that stings; the nation and it’s institutions
for which all are responsible; at peace
with the demands of the exact time
and the gentle rocking of the 5:09
out of the city.

sing a quiet psalm to your heart
while you lie in the seat with your coat
half open and the windows of section
eight houses begin to glow, like candles
under the cradling roof of the Chicago
to Elburn.

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Taking the Kids for Pizza

Taking the Kids for Pizza

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound
thoughtful or sad, but you make
me thoughtful and sad and I think
that is good. What other reaction
so fits the world?

If we take your kids for pizza is it not
natural that I should think about evolution?
When I follow your daughter toward games
that shine like harbor lights, should I not wonder
at the tensile strength of life, so fragile and tough?

I know I think too much and talk
too much, like that douchebag
in Dover Beach. But it’s how I am.
I think now, as I watch your girl point
at a plastic fish, that I’m ok  with it.

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A Rhetoric for Lovers draft I

I don’t quite know what to do with this poem. Maybe after a few revisions it will be worth sending out. I hope you all like it.

A Rhetoric for Lovers


This evening I want to call you and hear
        you tell me about the small things
that happened in your day. I fail
        to see why I shouldn’t, but as yet
I have not picked up the phone.


I mean, we know each other well enough
        after a few dates that I really shouldn’t
worry about it. If you don’t
        want to go out, you won’t go out.
But love is so hard these days
        and so easy to scare someone away.


I should like to point out to you
        that I think we would both find
a night spent together to be
        both good and advantageous;
though I suppose that this fact
        will have to be taken on trust.


What is the point, my love,
        when strangers are making it
in dark corners, and troubled
        youths are fingering their triggers,
and suicide bombers are wrapping
        themselves in the dark, secret
love of their righteous death,
        of the two of us sleeping alone?


So i hope that when you hear
        your phone ring, you will
pick it up, and tell me how to
        know you. Although, as yet,
I have not dialed your number.


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Valentines Day: a poem

Valentines Day

Saturday. The dentist. I was paying
my bill when the girl at the counter
was given a bunch of red roses.
This made me think of you;

how the red petals were like
the red highlights in your lovely
hair; how they made the room
swing and how they belonged
wherever they had been placed.

Then I wanted to send you flowers
and I suppose a romantic guy
would have found a way
to get your address and surprise you
with them, but I didn’t do that.

So instead I just wrote you
this poem and I hope you manage
to stay warm on the fourteenth
which, I am fairly certain, is going
to be a cold day in February.

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Here is a poem that doesn’t seem quite good enough to send out, but still I think it deserves a home. So I hope you like it.

late Afternoon

Cigar shop and I’m thinking
of you when I should be working
on something that might get published.

But your hair is something
of a coolness on my mind.
And I can picture you, I think,
without obsessing over the curve
of your waist, or the shape of your ass.

I am not nervous that you haven’t called
me in three days and my cigar doesn’t taste
very good. I think there is something wrong
with the humidor in this place. More often
than not, the cigars don’t burn right.
Old guys on the couch are talking
each other through the evening news.

But I hope that you will call me again
because the idea of your voice
makes me rise like the smoke rises;
slowly and not too high.

I will rise from this place and return
home where I will drink gin drinks
and I might hear the sound
of your voice on my answering machine

Or maybe I’ll take the dogs for a walk,
watch as the rain slowly turns to snow
and obliterates the roads and the sidewalk
making everything quiet and still.

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