It Was Beginning

It was beginning

to drizzle

late

on a Friday

evening, as Claire

and Darin and Jared

sat on the SUNY bleachers,

drinking canned MGD, and smoking.

“How long have you guys been together?”

said Jared, who was the most

drunk. “What’s

it to you?” said Darin.

Claire was staring at the shivering

moon,

gone

dark.

Solitude Is the Sermon

Solitude is the sermon

I paid no

attention

to

in the womb,

when it mattered.

Now

it’s

just

an echo

of a dream.

I saw a co-worker

on the street

today

and smiled

widely when she

recognized me.

It

was

like being

born out of strangeness

into a family.

This

could be

such a world.

I Congratulate the Morning

I congratulate the morning

on its brave

return

to the field

of now, where

the neverending

skirmish continues, between

previously and

furthermore.

This world is obviously a metaphor

for something inexpressible

in the Beyond, where

everything must

be. Here it’s

like

a history

in permanent

throes of possibility.

Thankfully there is coffee

in the trenches.

Ready, and Unprepared

I saw a flickering

light

in the sky

this morning,

and for about

40 seconds I was

terrified

and

relieved

it might be

Jesus, coming finally

back.

No such apocalypse

was the southbound

flight

into

SeaTac:

but I was

ready, and unprepared

regardless

for the end.

Oh,

to be

a leaf attached

to something

real.

Jake Was Sitting on the Floor

Jake was sitting on the floor

in the Bagram

terminal, watching

the first quarter of Super

Bowl XLV on the flickering, overhead TV.

Soldiers in uniform waiting to go

home or further into

Country

filled

the room

with a quiet absorption,

like a congregation during

a church service; not like Americans

watching football

for

free.

The First Song

The first song

was

a mistake,

full of holes.

And yet the audience

of several

treehugging

australopithecae

was riveted to fearlessness.

Destinies

were fulfilled

and foretold, the

wounded

began

to heal, the flippant

began to feel. It

was early

night

and

the stars

were diffident.

Two and a half million

years later,

it’s

the same.

Have You Ever

Have you ever

wondered—

like

seriously

wondered—what

the hell is going

on

here?

Probably

not, because

you still use the

expression

“thinking outside

of the box.”

There

is

no

box, and at

the same time,

there is only the

Box

in

which

we plunder

ourselves for meaning,

trying

not

to hurt

too many

others.

Tears Were in the Tall

Tears were in the tall

Drill Sergeant’s

eyes

as

he

told us

he was switching to another

unit, halfway through our Basic Training.

“They like to move the talent around,” he said,

with sincerity and irony, at the same time.

It was the end of an endless day.

We sat in the sweltering

barracks,

riveted.

Intimates

A little south and just

west

Claire

could see

the fuchsia villa

of Julian Schnabel. “Look,”

she said to her fiancé, pointing.

But he remained lost in a further

gaze

on the far

side of the balcony. She

let him stay there,

and continued

her own

research

into the familiar

wilderness of the Village

sky.

You Go Ahead

You go ahead,

have

a good

time, said

philosophy

to

experience, as

they parted reluctantly

in the foyer

of Grand

Central

Station.

Experience watched

her lover

return

into

the vault

where vehicles

vanished

into

the trafficless

north. Finally she turned

toward her life

in the City

where

the least

passenger was

a wild

excursion.