is a bug swarm,
a rat den,
a browning of the skin.
July is creeping
shamefully — flat-footed
down the wide planks
of the hall floor too
late at night, is
along the coast — up
and down and inland
to where the
A big storm, but
Sleep, like a corpse,
but still exhaustion.
by the door droops
but is still fierce
in its blueing
Starve a cold, bite
the hand that feeds you. No,
never injure the provider. They won’t
provide for you anymore – 3 days in the
hospital or Medicare won’t pick up
grandma’s bill, no matter how much she
The righteous feed on the
body of Christ, someone on the A train
basks in Cherokee legends. I listen to
Phosphorescent at night
and he sings about being fucked up
and then sober again.
It’s a feeding frenzy here,
Spring in the city, overrun. The Great
Lawn is mobbed. We give ourselves
into it, becoming part of the throng.
Mercurial in crisis, especially when
food is involved. Once I skipped
my afternoon meal for seaweed,
plucked from the bottom, brought
to that table in Media—someone’s
grandparents—with the miraculous
revelation of eating something fresh from the
earthiness of water.
Just as sure as the curl of your
hair, I will keep
eating until the cowbird
from my mother on a visit home, all
the parts thrown in, nothing
wasted; the elusive
perfect curry, ordered
mild for the gringas; bites
off the end of a ficelle, without
grace or propriety.
Even as the salt begins
to boil up my digestive tract (in
crisis), I keep it going down (in
crisis); the only way to
handle a crisis:
to eat, with a hearty
faith in the rightness
After a while away, back on track to write poems again. A pantun for today.
In April, I began to go blind—
early dusk setting in the retina.
I had you carved in the deep spot of my mind
driving in the honey hills of Virginia.
I can’t write political poems.
A poem can’t help but be political.
I wake up in the dark morning and take the train to work.
The subway trip to the South Bronx stretches 8.2 miles.
Miles cannot begin to tell a story.
I teach grammar and Shakespeare.
I don’t apologize for “boring.”
I say the Bard invented swagger.
They don’t believe me.
At the end, I wonder -
how does one know when they’re force-feeding?
Triangle of warm
pressé, a certain
hunger for the kindness
Each pore on my left
arm, right wrist
to the paleness
of winter, saturating.
And even if the bright-
ness induces a certain
I’m grateful for how
it will drag us out
to converse with
and the shrieking
young of this
Broadway is white
with coming storm and plumes
of smoke that billow through the street.