Monday, December 19, 2016


someday you will wake up
and the bad people will all be gone
and you will think, hallelujah
this is the new dawn

and you will take the scripture
down from its secret shelf
the one you have been writing forever
all by yourself

you will put it in a suitcase
and go out into the street
and you will nod politely
to all the folks you meet

and they will be so happy
that their oppressors have fled
that they will not even notice
the frown on the top of your head

you will take the suitcase to the river
and toss it into the depths
your sins will all be forgiven
you will have no more to confess

all the gods you invented
and all the demons you named
will be as if they never existed
and never played the game

you will put your hands in your pockets
and walk back into town
the celebration is only beginning
but where is your golden crown?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


i was young
and now i’m old
i was hot
and now i’m cold

i had energy
now i’m tired
i was cool
and now i’m wired

i had the world
spread out before me
but then my friends
began to bore me

i was innocent
but did learn
that friends against me
could quickly turn


i had a friend named jim
i was better than him
and another friend named lee
he was better than me

i had a friend named lou
who knew just what to do
and another friend named cole
who wanted to save my soul

i had a friend named clyde
who took me for a ride
and a friend named brad
who took everything i had

i had an enemy named joe
who knew things i didn’t know
and an enemy named ray
that i hope to meet some day


friends and enemies
vanish in the breeze

i wish i had more friends
but the dream never ends

Monday, February 29, 2016


the sky was blue
the earth was brown
a breeze passed through
the little town

one cloud was white
one cloud was pink
walter thought
i need a drink

i need a drink
and then another
the sky is my sister
and the earth my brother

in fifteen minutes
i must leave this bar
and try to sell
a human a car

o what did i do
to deserve this fate
my dreams were early
and my crimes were late

today is just
another day
just one more drink
and i will be on my way

harold and rufus

harold stood on the corner
the light would not turn green
his dog rufus was beside him
his collar was shiny and clean

how many long hours
had harold stood on this spot?
he tried so hard to remember
but he could not

was red alive and green dead?
or the other way around?
the cars went by forever
but he did not hear a sound

rufus remained as faithful
as he had ever been
through rain and snow and lightning
his collar was shiny and clean

harold looked across the street
to fate he would not yield
red would not last forever
green would be revealed


once, i walked down a dark street filled with flowers

all the flowers opened, and spiders crawled out of them

i tried to love the spiders but could not

in despair that i did not love them the spiders turned into butterflies and flew away

leaving me alone in the street which was also my lonely room

but who was i?

i tried to remember but all i could think of was turtles

i leaned out the window but i leaned too far and i fell out

i didn’t have my key in my pocket - it was the first time i had ever been outside without it

everybody knows me, i thought. they will let me in even i don’t have my key

the landlords were piling up my things

all my books and sacred manuscripts from samarkand and tibet and eddie’s deli on west 44th street

i told them there was no sense piling them up because i couldn’t fit them all in my suitcase

i remembered the old days on market street

eating hot dogs and french fries with jack and arthur before the barbarians came

and sometimes even corn on the cob - in the shadows of the market street cinema

we each had a little notebook

mine was blue, arthur's was red, jack’s was crocodile green

jack wrote a poem about the market street cinema

“the floors soft as pancakes with syrup on saturday morning”

arthur wrote one too - “the only man in the audience without a tattoo”

as for me, i was terrified of the market street cinema

even though i knew the red ants and demons of my childhood would never return

any more than the white wings and eyeballs of the million forgotten gods and archangels

we waited through a thousand foggy dawns for angel and abdul and the sailor to show up

and they finally did, along with the prophet and percy and the inspector

who told me many wise things all of which i have forgotten

words are not water, but they can’t float

revolutions come and go like jacks of diamonds

but the queen of spades is still standing on the corner

the cigarette shakes in her hand but the squad car rolls by

Saturday, January 30, 2016


i walked in
to the room

and she said
what are you

doing here ?
and i sat

down in the
old armchair

that had be-
longed to her

and where her

liked to watch

reruns of

i rented a room - the directors cut



lady in waiting




all of you
behind in your rent

i rented a room

the air was smoky
the banana was yellow
the clown was sad
the doll was mellow

the elephant smiled
the flower grew
the grass was green
and heaven was blue

i rented a room
on the 17th floor
the angels were winning
but the demons kept score

i looked at the wall
and the wall looked back
i heard old number 9
coming down the track

the impetus waned
as the joker relaxed
the king fell asleep
the lady paid tax

the waiter approached
with a bill on a tray
the king woke up
and said please go away

i saw it myself
as i sat by the door
because lions prowl
and oceans roar

the market flourished
noodles expanded
the octopus drifted
the piano glad-handed

the queen wore a hat
the refrigerator hummed
the snake said good night
and called the tarantula scum

upstairs in the moonlight
a violin screamed
the walrus ate peanuts
at the nexus of dreams

the maid swept up
the peanut shells on the floor
sixteen orangutans
banged on the door

an impolite yawn
zero balance is spent
all of you villains
are behind in your rent

i texted my mom
and my mom texted me
you’re my own flesh and blood
but this is not poetry

Sunday, January 24, 2016

room 4404

i had never heard of jonathon and i had never been to new york so i was surprised when jonathon invited me to stay with him at the grand hotel.

i packed in a hurry. actually my aunt miranda asked for me so i did not really know what i had in my suitcase.

the hotel was very wide, at least on the outside. there was a lot of work going on both outside and inside it, so i had to duck under and around a lot of wooden boards and cans of paint and burly workmen to get to the front desk.

our room number was 4406. the 44th floor!

the man at the front desk gave me a key and i went up by myself on the elevator, as there were no bellhops to be seen.

on the elevator i had many strange adventures.

when i finally got to room 4404 the door was open and i just walked in.

jonathon was talking on the phone, and just nodded absently at me when i walked in.

the room was actually a suite - a series of long and narrow rooms.

as jonathon continued talking in low tones on the telephone, i went over and looked out the window.

the window overlooked a beach, a sort of bay or inlet. on the other side of the bay tall cliffs rose up.

i was hungry, and wondered what we would have for dinner.

i must have dozed off, for when i woke up jonathon was gone.

i was alone.

i decided to unpack.

when i unpacked i quickly discovered that aunt miranda had packed a number of grandfather’s old golf clubs along with a lot of warm clothing that i did not think was appropriate for the weather outside.

five golf clubs to be exact. what was i to do with five golf clubs!

i decided to go in search of something to eat, and some more suitable garments.

when i checked my pockets i discovered that my wallet was missing, along with my passport!

but as i was a presentable and civilized person i though kind people would help me when i explained my predicament to them.

and i had no doubt that jonatjhon would return eventually and everything would be straightened out.

i went back to the elevator and had more strange adventures.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

it felt strange

walking on the sidewalk
with the others still trapped in the truck
megan wanted to take her chances
but i felt a great sense of relief

at the newsstand on the corner
there were a lot of pictures of frank but no papers
ernie was not even there
i guess he was not too worried

i went up to joe’s room
his old telephone was still there
the one that looked like a banana
i was tempted, but left everything the way i found it

in the office
i crawled across the floor
and got my pants back on
everybody acted like they didn’t notice

someday i will go back to the hotel
and this time go up the stairs very carefully
because you never know who is waiting