Friday, November 19, 2010

The Landing

The river bears no reflection in a first winter frost
Following a midnight flash of magnificence.
Wandering along the surface ripple
Buying time, I am lost in the disconnect
Between water and cloud.
A soothing hush casts shadows
Of moonlight on the rage of my thoughts—
Hidden, private, mine.

Once, this ship cruised to new kingdoms
Balanced on a thread of reason
Fighting the tempest waves of memories.
Now, wedged among fantastic creatures,
A reality more obscene than anything imagined,
Carried in a delicious calm of discovery
I await the tide, here, in this place,
Where the ghosts haunt the landing, still.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Solstice Moon

--For Stuart Scheingold, departed June 24, 2010

Buzzing incandescent fireflies
Juxtaposed over powder blue iridescent skies
A quasi pointillist improvisation
Etched in a moment, fleeting
Undisturbed by the spectator, most pleased.

Billowing cotton cumuli
Sweep the sweet scent of tired leaves
Fragrantly exhaling sighs in synchronized pirouettes
Wisp suggestively a baited breath
Drawing out a smile from beneath the day.

A most philanderous dusk toys with the senses
Ardently injecting beauty into each inch of air
In balmy beams of Venetian blonde moonlight
The since forgotten season spreads infectiously
Boldly summoning high spirits and the audacity of bliss.

The night, for an instant, both singularly beautiful and heavily disquieting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On the A Train -EDITED

Shaeffer Sentinel ballpoint click-top pen and spiral-bound index cards
In his left shirt pocket always
Sonny rides the subway
Poetry in motion looks like mad scribbling
Resistant to track litter and bustle
Rocking and jerking the poet
Who occasionally is lost for words
Even here, and draws instead
Carefully selecting sides, lined or blank
Much like our faces now
Venue to the occasional exercises in penmanship.
Palindromes in sequitur
Sonny's stuck on the song of grammar and syntax
A linguistical trance from which he exits only briefly
--Little Honey, do you know this one?
Swept off my seat, my feet, and this train,
Witness myself pirouetting through fields of funny words
Gleefully guided by the poet turned illusionist
Maintaining the guise past the crack-turned-methadone heads
Swaying on the 14th street platform at night
I am nine, madly in love with Sonny The Magician
Stealing his notes like a kiss
Returning them ashamed but unremorseful.
Riding the bus, I am not nine now yet still
Rustle through pockets for a click-top ghost
I love the man, not Sonny, and
Plant kisses all over his face
Comb his silver loopy hair binding
Disappearing indexed memories beneath.
He too loves me, now especially for my thievery.

Monday, April 5, 2010

In the Now (Day 5 of 30) EDITED

Accessory to my rebellion
We devised special knocks and pass codes
KaMaNa and the answer to “Who?”
At the door: “C’est moi, le Poisson Rouge”
The finest French you’d ever spoken
Remnants from a past life of a family man
When you loved her, and sang the praises
Of her Crème Caramel – Best Flan in Town!

Reassuring, you said
Sometimes daughters fail, but
“I still love you”
On the street, the TV’s corpse lay shattered
Victim of gravity from the fifth floor window’s rage
Remnants from a hidden angry monster kept chained
When you loved me, and boasted with pride
Of surmised talents, I misused and abused.

Thinking I understood
But knew nothing about us, and
Found myself desperate to heal your wounds
To console my own, but
Found only the Poet’s Plague, chronivorous,
Verbivorous, and most egregiously
Thief of what was only briefly mine

Grateful for so many names,
You call me Little Honey still
A warm embrace that glossies my eyes, and
Forces thoughts of “Justice” and “Fairness”
Into banishment as I bite my lip fiercely
To offset the ache swelling within
A great smoke and mirror show
Projecting strength I do not possess.

I may be sad forever remembering
Breakfast discussions of punctuation identities
Of which you have had many,
Our present is but another
All of which dwell in my words on this page
With the ring of your laugh in my ear
I can not miss you

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Fever (Day 2 of 30)

There's a magic dance
On this shuttle bullet
Through the bowels of the noise
All parts equally displaced
Exit stage right, well... occasionally left
Platforms of an urban safari
The wildness of which sits
Beside me, bopping rhythmically
Hypnotized by the beauty of my mane.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Marked Progress (Day 1 of 30)

It is possible, I suppose, that I was never so;
Though definite, that I am now.
Left here thusly, with uncried tears like shards in my hand.
Too broken to wish for peace to wash over me.

Singularly faulted lines, maimed, gorged, and steaming
--Stretch marks on my existence, torn past my tolerance.
Inside, the boiling emptiness leaks occasionally through a stare
caught still in a snapshot of happiness.
That look, so dark.
The world, noisy and stiff again,
Cracks deeper with every movement
Escalating the frigid dunes of my mind.

Frightened: a coward, still.

April is Poetry Month!

Stay tuned for (hopefully) daily posts!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Darkness Within

Mephistophelean is the moment
That shreds the pieces
Feasted upon by a toothy Circumstance
With a taste for impossible tragedies

Mundane formulas, concentrated
And bottled inappropriately for their size
Zealously quench my thirsty torturer
Boldly robbing me of tears
To soothe the banshee of my spirit
-- Critical location of vulnerability

Surgically incising Will, a scalpel
Upon my raw being,
Hemorrhaging the pain of no control,
Seeping fear into my open wounds:
A dark climax of merciless wrenching

Most cruel is the tormentor that teases me
From the precipice of despair to an ocean of hope.

Friday, September 25, 2009


ah, the staccato notes at dusk...
a stream --independent of my being,
unheard over the schizophrenic symphony
(a "cacophonic masterpiece" as if
to condone the tone of my piece so far)
the volume of one thousand sirens;
a choral wildfire of my own voice
in a song loudly burning within my ears,
deafening the patient soundness of my Reason,
attempting a most melodious susurration
lost to me as the notes in the night air.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Nature of Morning

Swept away through the window
To a world exactly like tomorrow
Light and dark adventures
Wild stories or creative anxieties
Polka dots of disparates,
Colorfully punctuating the fabric of my sleep
Until her sweet magical fragrance--
Water Lilly petals gently kissing the pond
Waking the world beneath
The dewy cover of dawn
The warmest of soft embraces
For which I feigned to sleep
Greedy for the luxury of her love
So regally delivered.

Worlds away now, I call into my pillow
“My kingdom for your mornings.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Songs of Glory

Oh, how my bird sings
Curly tales of dissonant notes
Emerging loudly from
A creature so small

Oh, how she chirps
Angry bouts of cacophony
Misassembled notions, raw
From a lofty perspective

Both up and down

Her perch-made soapbox
Doesn’t ask for contributions but
Submission to her voice
By will or by force

No exceptions, only time

Oh, how my bird flutters
The breadth of her melody
Disguises an angry ax, resolute
In dismantling dissent

Oh, how she must squirm
When bursting with grandeur
Of a personality, misunderstood
Mismanaged, and misperceived

A raging tweet on the tail feather of a comet

Enchanted by her rare feather
A version of Venus and
The estranged daughter of Mars
Living on the cusp of each pulse

Seeking a single place of credit in a symphony of indifference

Oh, how my bird lives
Loving and lost but for her song
A score of veracity
In a world so unreal.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Roll Call (EDITED)

Submitted studiously to the
Street Academy of Puerto Rican Traditions,
Division of Fake Names Made Longer
for the Purpose of Making Smaller
By one Carmen Diaz-Hermina,
Seamstress and story-teller.


Not my word but hers
A gift of refuge from
The other you

Not my word but yours
Unforeseen hero of your stories
Cases of unmistakable identity
Where Sonny did it and ran,
Hit the road and didn't come back,
Invented chocolate ice-cream,
Played Dominoes (and other stories from the Puerto Rican),
Not to mention the adventures of Dr. C. Ookoo --Sonny for short.

Sing me a song, tell me a story,
Who are you today?
So much to so many for so long,
As the characters of my childhood stories you spun,
I can be happy with just Sonny from now on.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Confessing to Sonny (Revised)

Dear Sonny,

The ghosts, that once kept you
Awake at night, writing feverishly
Seeking the perfectly versed spell
To banish them from your dreams
Are now gone. Along with
The remorse of deeds
Mis-done, opportunities missed,
And accounted absences;
Along with
The sadness, that came around
Unannounced to crush you and leave,
Again and again;
Along with
The conscience of the last
Tally of your losses
That cast upon your face the
Darkest of shadows.

Please forgive me, I have
Ached from the dearth of you,
Indignant and appalled;
But in the caverns of my own mind
Responsibilities and memories cast aside,

I am grateful for some horrors.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Note to the Editor (Day 24 of 30)

There are things, you know,
About which I could never write
For risk that you might read them
Memories I sigh deeply to bury
Back in that low hum
Burning my entrails (not to be dramatic)
A life that is, was, another me
Another time, which is best
Unaddressed, unmentioned.
And if you were there, well,
What benefit in reliving
The fury of that point of existence?

I was faulty — broken.

There are other things, also,
About which I should never write
For I fear that you might guess them
How my heart breaks further
Beyond repair in each moment,
with the very thought of you.
A thought beyond tomorrow
For which I brace myself
Unprepared, unwilling.

I am, however, not speechless.

I will write that I am weak
Slowly crushed by my sadness
Amidst the tempest of this life
So you will know
My spirit is stronger than
The leaky, crumbly fortress
In which it lies.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Courtship (Day 8 of 30)

Once upon a morning haze you left me
Deep in sleep, and full of peace was I.
In a moment, up from the sheets, with the air on,
Tiptoeing through this nook and that.
Upon careful inspection I was alone. What a treat.
I had found a lair in your large kitchen,
With a window and a garden —well,
A cement yard with trees and birds, close enough.
A stove to feed ten people, and food for none.
No matter, bellies full of coffee never go hungry
And though I found your sour mix and hootch
There was no bean in sight. As panic ensued
I thought: "This will never work out".
Just as that blasphemy crossed my heart
You burst through the door beaming
With café con leche y pan tosdado
Spoils of your adventures outside the confines of our sheets
My hero, I thought, wins my withdrawal wars
And loves me deeply with breakfast.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Heartbreak, Inherited (Day 7 of 30)

What the Night Brings, Sonny said slowly
As he pawed across the cover and repeated
‘Carla, What does the night bring?’
Between whistled episodes, Sonny chants
Her name like the protagonist
of his morning serenade, over
hot chocolate and the barking beast,
Shuffling through the pages with
His fingers as hesitant as his feet
So head first into a line on page 42
He dives, half expecting — hoping really,
to have bells rung.
The moment at least is merciful,
Eclipsing that look on Sonny’s face
When hope is lost and sadness casts a shadow
Hiding the tears gathering dangerously close to the cusp
Just enough to see, not enough to run
That face, Sonny, just like ‘buelita’s
So brutal and eviscerating
Stares amused at me in the mirror
Like a bad joke about a gift, undesired,
a devastating disease to the integrity of my heart.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Difficult Mornings (Day 3 of 30)

On mornings of heavy skies and flooded streets
like a reveille at daybreak, I feel your call
pierce through the nimbus of my sleep
from the part of me that feels forgotten,
buried deep beneath the sand between
the red rowboats parked by the shore, oars in,
spectator to a most exquisite show.

Effortlessly blue skies, wide open,
a canvass for the impending battle of
marble peaks and prime olive weather
punctuated by a single renaissance cumulus
gold, and rust strewn through
violent and conscious of its beauty
elegantly shading this patch and that rock.

My heart, your tactics are ruthless
and I am fool for leaving you behind but
the prospect of succulent peaches and salty bread,
without which these mornings would be heavy and sad,
makes every slippered scuffle from my bed
a beat closer to your beaches.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Message (Day 2 of 30)

-- or 'Being Sonny'

If I were the murmur in your heart,
I’d tell the world all is not lost
The day has sprung into my footsteps and
I prance around to the beat of the tremble
In my hand that worries you so but
Is solitary without a skin to tap upon.
(No matter --I make the beat in song
Just to watch that sad look efface
From the dark and tired in your eyes.)
If I were the murmur in your heart,
I’d quiet your tears and kiss you softly
To bless your cheek and whisper gently
That my love is yours to keep beyond
My presence in this place, and your sadness
Has no cause in me, so listen,
Let’s dance this away.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Upon Scaling Mount West 14th Street (Day 1 of 30)

--to Ken Schmidt in 3A

I heard you play the flute today
As I climbed to reach my perch.
The melody was soft and sweet
The dancing notes, left and right,
Like birds from branch to branch
Occasionally paused, never accidental but
Staggered by the arthritis in your hands.
My heart broke as I thought of
The eons since last I heard you play
Even as the joy of a voice un-muted
Ebbed within me
How sweet to dream of deliverance!
How cruel the hope you give me
That beauty can still upon occasion
Peak through the seams of
Devastation advancing in his mind
Like the hungry cat upon your birds.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Surviving Eternity

If ever there were a moment
That between you and I subsisted
Let it not be the one of slammed doors
And angry fists fluttered forebodingly
Of multilingual curses with tongues untied
And loud stomps across the floor
If the Great Lord of Physics allows
Ethereal “warm and fuzzies”
To survive what we cannot
Let the first moment you held my hand
Supplant my flipping you the bird
And the fuming hollers be quelled
By the soft murmurs to your ear
Let the percolating coffee in the morning
The bell of the the spoon in the sugar bowl
The warm sweet happiness -- like your kiss
Be forever inoculated from the occasional
Hot, fever-deliriums of our love
And be the paradigm of moments lived
Henceforth, for our eternity.