God, you’ve moved your moon

God, you’ve moved your moon,
and I was the last one to see it go,
but I had nothing to do with it,
you probably decided it was in
the wrong spot all along
you probably wanted to…

…push those tides in the another direction,
after all, who cares about the coastline?
Fragile, my eye, it’ll wash away
in another hundred thousand years
screw the migratory birds too
they were more trouble than they were worth
give them space, they’ll find somewhere to nest
where it’s warm – the New Yorkers do —
it’s called Miami Beach.

To hell with the dolphins, what good are they
to the people in Cincinnati and Tulsa
and Paducah, it makes no difference in the Great End!

After all, we are all just casual victims of circumstance
aren’t we? We didn’t ask for any of it…

yet, here we are, misunderstood and praying for daylight
huddled under blankets and
hiding in the backseat of an ’85 Buick
as the great 21st Century manhunt thunders
through the Streets like those Pamplona bulls
…stay ahead of them if you can fella’
it’s a young man’s game — not for the
old and rickety…not for the faint of heart
you are but a step away
from death by horn or hoof.
So phone the Vicar, let’s get to the bottom of it,
write a poem, write a song,
Garcia is long gone, we’re on our own.

last named storm

it is amazing how,
in the end, we thought about it,
so little – we were
…too busy reading
tawdry paper-backs on
hot summer afternoons…
lounging by the pool,
on powder blue,
chaise lounge chairs,
the ones you bought from TropiBreez
for $499 ea. Plus shipping,
and slathering each other with sunscreen,
…too busy sipping
pineapple rum,
and too busy playing old
vinyl, Joni Mitchell albums,
on your 1968 stereo,
and playing board games,
at the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoons,
to hear November sneaking up,
to care about November sneaking up,
behind us — like a Brooklyn wharf rat,
we — too self absorbed to care,
thinking that if we quit smoking,
and stocked up on drug-store vitamins,
and cast a vote for president,
we’d be fine until the next decade,
but then it was November,
all of a sudden,
…bleached out, rung out,
dried out…November,
let’s drink one more
let’s toast the passing,
of the last named storm.

thoughts : 2016

don’t let them stifle you,
don’t let them make you call it a day,
or call it a lifetime,
or call yourself crazy,
fear not the dark, or being alone,
don’t fear marauding dogs,
armed gunmen,
or the Zika virus,
or the shrinking glacier,
don’t fear the savage politicians…
or back-pedaling middle-managers,
or the real estate racketeers,
don’t fear the phone,
or foreign hackers,
or panic attacks,
don’t worry so much,
it’s just opening night jitters,
stay strong, stay in your lane,
and keep off the main roads,
play Rachmaninoff on the car stereo,
and spend an afternoon playing 3-card poker,
and drinking watered down bourbon sours,
at the Mardi Gras,
don’t look back, there’s nothing to see,
keep it moving

Florida derby

Once, I wanted to paint

but the canvas

wasn’t there

I found, instead

just an old bed sheet

that someone

had left out in the

early morning

Miami rain…

…poor visibility

and cataracts

cloud my

judgement.

I

find comfort in

your arms when

the weather beats

against the shutters,

when the old

drunks clatter

down the street

at 4AM

when there is

a truck abandoned

at the end of the block

with its lights still on

when

a life is lost

or

a soul forgotten.

I think of

a shipwreck

twenty years ago

…I dream of youth

and riding the finest

horse in the world

across the finish line.

We’ve never lost have we?

short sale

don’t put it on the market
yet
just tell the neighbors,
you are
waiting
for the next
bubble
…you don’t really need it…
do you?
you can still walk, can’t you?
you can still pretend
…when you have to
can’t you?
So
don’t spend all day
at the casino
you don’t need the grief
forget
the dollar slots
they are
not the
answer
JUST
plant your
beach chair in the sand
and wait for
sunrise.

tax time

Naked
and afraid?
Who, you?
me?
Not a chance
dig your
pink painted toes
into the sand and
file the extension.

Then kiss me
like we have no
real chance
of going home.

It’s a two and
a half hour
flight to
Tegucigalpa, so
call up the relatives
and pretend
there’s a new investor
named Ferdinand
and he’s burning
cash like there
is no tomorrow.

Just kiss me
again and
say if there
is such a thing
as real love
you’ve found it here
on deadbeat beach.

In a week we will
be on the bus
to Choluteca
drinking warm beer
and laughing about
the last check we
left for the
landlord.

The Upper Keys bagel poem

after all
the skiff is still upright
the shadows have
hastened away, and
you and I are upright
as well…
and waiting for the next
thing to happen
AS we wait for the
quiet of mid-morning
to slink in like some
old washed up
guitar player,
like some has-been
drugged out rock star
like some careless,
busted, fishing guide.

We wait until the traffic slows
on the OS Highway
so we can walk up to the
bagel shop where that
guy named Nigel says
he has the best damned
bagels south of Brooklyn
but you say he hasn’t got
a clue as to what goes
into a bagel
you tell me that he’s
too self-absorbed.
You tell me
there is not
a fucking
bagel
worth
eating
south of Cape May, New Jersey.

We eat our bagels
in peace – on the deck
of the best damned
Brooklyn Bagel dive
in the Upper Keys.

You wave to
some driver in
a furniture truck
barreling
south on US 1
you tell me, that
he’s driving too fast
and in the end
it’s all just another
accident waiting
to happen.

 

Summer/Palm Beach, FL

Summer nights in Palm Beach
you can almost wear
the heat around your neck
on a multi-colored lanyard
smell the night air drifting up from the
Boca ghetto 20 miles to the south
watch the bejeweled sky light up
like the gems in the shops on Worth Avenue
expect everything – you can afford it can’t you?
don’t drink the water
was it worth the hangover?
was it worth the Jacques Selosse?
that you’d ordered – spilled
for that special occasion
Don’t ask the waiter who couldn’t wait
to steal your Lana Marks bag,
don’t count on him,
he’s a traitor who’s fled West.

Keep up appearances
and don’t forget the dogs,
you’ll need them to keep you company
at the Breakers
after the politicians have left the room.

SO
talk the talk and enjoy the ride.

It ends in West Palm at the dog track.
It ends in a seedy poker room
with half a dozen guys smoking cigars
and talking legalized pot.
It ends in a sunset you will never see.

Safety in numbers/surviving the inquisition

So there’s safety in numbers?

don’t believe any of it

don’t think that you’ll be that face in the crowd

the guy in the Macy’s parade wearing the hat

the guy in the bank line wearing patent leather shoes

don’t think that you are part of a movement

…there is no movement.

Don’t read the papers…they don’t exist

Don’t think you will survive the inquisition

they know where you are

they know you’ve worked in shipping

for the past seventeen years, and

they know you’re 63 years old and

you drink too much.

They know you…they can pull you out

of line whenever they want

and stick a cold, soup-line finger into your chin

ouch…it’s 1932 all over again

bite your lip. Stand up straight.

So let them do it.

You’re a little punch drunk now.

In half an hour you’ll realize that

…none of it matters…

You’re Just a frazzled old beatnik at heart

Writing poems, and

telephoning friends before

looking around for a bus ride out of town.

a short poem about eternity

don’t talk eternity with me
until you’ve sailed out to the offing in a rental boat
and considered the molecules in the sea
and the sand on the shores of the Dry Tortugas

don’t remind me of the million year rain
or the damned great beasts,
just curl up behind me in the night
when the wind is high and the last new moon
of the year is about half a mile behind
(and remind me that the old traitor
is afraid of the dark)

It’s raining so kiss me
like there is never going to be
another geologic upheaval
don’t pretend that you and I
have not been smooching
like this for at least
ten thousand years.

Take off your clothes
and listen to the waves
slap up against her hull,
she’s been around for a while
but she will never sink,
not here
not tonight