I Am Like an Unsanctioned

I am like an unsanctioned

fire

burning

in a vacant

lot

out

of a barrel,

warming the hands

of the sky

after

the last

vagrant has

found a home

or

a grave.

Soon the barrel

will be done

and I will

catch

the dry

grass with

my ardor, or run

out

charring

into the dirt.

In Thy Orisons (After WS)

In thy orisons

be

all,

said

the shore

to the cold

water

between

it and the western

isle where the land

rose

into

mythological

peaks among clouds.

I need a god

these days,

said

the man,

sporting his fourth

different facial hair

configuration in five

weeks, to

himself, as he

climbed another cup

of coffee.

The 12-Inch Magnavox

The 12-inch Magnavox

television

perched

on the refrigerator

in the kitchen

of the deceased

had

been

on now for

89 hours straight.

Thank God she was watching

PBS

when

she went,

said the machine

to itself, as the words

of Shakespeare’s greatest

depressive

rang

out

among

the inanimate,

. . . ’tis a consummation.

Devoutly to be wish’d.

Mid-Flight, I Take the Controls

Mid-flight, I take the controls.

Everyone else on the plane,

including the two

pilots,

has

plummeted

into the sanctuary

of the silence of history.

I don’t even pretend to know

what

I’m

doing. I flip several switches,

randomly, and consider their echoing.

I curse

the absence

of a steering wheel,

and the plane eventually,

lifts.

Claire Didn’t Recognize

Claire didn’t recognize

her ex-fiancé

until

she

was already seated

at the corner table

next

to his

in the Museum

Café. When her friend

Jeremy arrived with a tray

containing their chicken salad

sandwiches, organic potato chips,

and two

Heinekens, Claire was studying

the museum map

in her lap. “I can’t

look up,” she

whispered.

I Can’t Remember

I can’t remember,

was I Gene

and you

Phineas

in the analogy

of our reconciliation,

or vice versa?

Did

we

decide, Judas?

Later, I was living

in a blue room

on the brink

and

you

lost it, or

something. I don’t

care

for memory

like a maestro

for his keys. I just

play

and listen.

I. Muse

A bold fruit fly

bounces against

my laptop screen,

wanting

in

on

something. Or out.

Or maybe it’s

just

tired

and confused. I shoo

it away and start

this

poem; watching

through a blurry

lens the last woman,

always skipping ahead

of me, as we cross and recross

strange with intimacy, along the Brooklyn

Bridge.

III. The Gray Illusion Of

The gray illusion of

the East

River

narrows

to a northern

mist. I continue walking

like an astronaut on Bliss

toward

Long

Island,

where all

this beginning will end.

She waits for me now,

holding

out

her

gloveless

hand, inviting me

with eyes too dark

and bright

to

resist.

I hold on

for

awhile.