Archive for November, 2012

Mei and I

November 27, 2012

He sits rapt as a parrot overlooking
a perfect mirror image of itself and thinks:
Atonement is a stone in the river.
Astonishment is not.
A poet of the ‘gentle
ideas of philosophy’, the heir
of Ta’o Ch’en, who belongs
to the clarity of poetry,
he has no thoughts on
the toucan encrusted bridge
built across the arc of his life span.
Great is that memory of the mountain, he writes—
for if memory allows you to look backwards,
it also allows a peek into the future,
the spill of the seasons.
The air smells of pears and tears.
This is our poem:

Atonement is a stone in the river.
Together we flow into a gentle sea, Mei and I.
How great is that secret memory of the mountain.

Among many islands, a village appears…


November 14, 2012

…[T]he only way for monads to begin or end…is instantaneously.
—Gottfried Leibnitz
The cold sets her old teeth to chattering.
That taste in her mouth is more formidable than she
can ever know. It seems like a clam that has been stored
in the side of her cheek, too sore to swallow.
Each breath rasps at her lungs, like each one must be
the last in a long line of lasts: last kiss
last laugh, last honeydew melon sliced,
the last seeds scraped away, a last dream,
the last time she’d wet the bed, as if
in triumph, the last blink of her left eye
frozen in Stroke City by the last Jinn
of Bagdad. Like it was childhood and she could
do it all again: the last time
she’d read the Monadology,
the book of monads—
that last sly smile—
Suppose, she thought, all of existence
could reflect all of existence,
that the monads could see each other…
Suppose it was like that.

Mother Nature’s War on Trees

November 8, 2012

These pictures are from the second storm to hit Long Island this week.

The Professor Moon

November 4, 2012

Last night’s feathery clouds are set aside tonight.
The fattest moon ever is about to shine,
the Professor Moon. It shines, in fact,
across a whole sea of what looks like Chinese porcelain dolls
shaped row by row in the dark ocean
into round smiley faces—
like each wave could be a china plate
made to be crashed  on shore.
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon,
the professor sings. He shines and sings.
(He sings of mute mules carrying
either ore or so much more than ore:
jackasses in asbestos, say, braying fire.)
He shines to smile, to make us laugh,
our benign knight, circumference king
that he must be. He sings because he is.
(Hollow, not hallowed, a porcelain moon,
a Chinese monk, a creature
of some other morning’s moonlight…)
He shines because what waxes, wanes …
He sings because we sing; shines because we shine.
He thinks, I say, I’ll shine, I’ll sing, I’ll rhyme.


November 3, 2012

This is a picture of the street where I live…after Sandy”s visit.