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Things (you know, objects?):

Long line of cars waits
for one tall yacht. Then the bridge
is a bridge again.

The head of a tall palm
caught in the closing bridge jaws--
slips free.

A trick of perspective - the palm was beyond the draw bridge.

even as I bend to drink,
twinges in my teeth.

A car whips past.
In the street a cigarette,
smoking, dances.

Jet planes roar over--
probably they think there's a
good reason for it.

Old frame country house.
A torn basketball net hangs
out over the road.

Beer can in the canal,
on each side floats a dead leaf
like wings.

The sidewalk ends;
I walk with the cars -

That child awakes. If I'm walking on the road with the cars, perhaps I'm a car.

A poet reads.
Behind him the wall,
busy with bricks.

Whine of dentist's drill
wakes me - dentist's drill?
Oh, the CuisineArt...

Look up, beyond
gothic arch to towers...
a jet plane glides out!

As I looked straight up a cathedral tower, a plane flew into view, as if it had emerged from the tower top.

On the bar's shelf,
candles flicker
between dark bottles.

In the stream,
caught on rocks,
a torn NO TRESPASSING sign.

Old red wagon bumps
down the hill: UMPH UMPH UMPH --
to tri-umph!

Three "umphs" equals tri-umph.

On top of the piano,
legs up, the piano bench --

Twinkling lights drift
along the sky's deep blue rim
toward the airport.

Hush, hush,
teakettle -
I'm coming!

Mid-wall a brick
pretends it doesn't know
it's spring.

Empty table
except for a twinkling of glasses,
mugs, forks, bottles...

Empty tables.
The waitress dismantles
twinkling still lives.

Messy? Perhaps, but also rather elegant, all those empty glasses and shiny spoons reflecting like mad.

Moving my hand to see
if that's a shadow on the rug
or a stain.

"Snap!" From my thumbnail
into the waste basket sets
a white crescent moon.

Traffic stream - flash!
the red and blue
dorsal of a predator.

Framed by curtain falls and festoons,
a grand piano, untouched,

Tower of lights,
each from a cubicle
where someone worries.

One way to define an office building after dark (but still at work).

Movement in the weeds -
far end of the branch
I've stepped on.

Put on the alert by a motion I'd created myself.

Far off SCREEEECH!!!...
waiting for FOOM-tinkle...

The oddness of being (momentarily) disappointed by the failure of anticipated disaster to strike.

Through my headlight drifts
a white moth...? I just slowed for
a scrap of paper!

No cars. The green lights
chase the red lights up and down
the avenues.

The timed lights along many of Manhattan's avenues.

Walking at night,
hiss at my ankle...someone's
sprinkler system.

Who are YOU? I ask a thing
in my soup.

A sea cucumber, the waiter told me later.

Watching the laundromat show:
A machine vomits suds.
Someone not there.

After morning shower,
sunlight through green elms and steam,
taste of toothpaste.

As I pass
that driver's cellphone becomes...
half an apple!

Another case of myopic poetry: Cellphone, on closer appearance, turns out to be an apple.

Among the pine needles
a red Coke can, but at the
tree top, no star.

Someone had tossed away an empty Coke can; it had caught in the branches of a pine, like a crude Xmas ornament.

We make the bed
tight, neat, a place where nothing
could have happened.

Can't snooze -- outside
a starter motor whines, whines,
whines -- won't catch.

Turning on the TV
to make something happen where
nothing is happening.

Does the propman really
use a different beer can
in every park scene?

Construction nearby.
That truck still backing up?...Oh!
Our fax is jammed.

The lamp tips its shade --
Hello! -- as books crowd it
against the wall.

Jet roars by overhead.
Where's the insect and bird noise
that filled the day?

The trail comes to
a long rolling valley...
Oh! Golf carts.

On the scale
a number and, in a row,
ten dumb toes.

First light -- a room
full of things. I live here
with someone's things.

By the bed, a pen,
notebook, these words, how they fit!
Almost mine.

Seeing these objects and the words on the page from an early-morning remoteness, not yet gathered in from my dreams to partake fully of the life of the body.

What's too new to stroke --
fresh paint, a bud, a wound --
is sticky.

Where did I leave the car?
"Peep...Peep...Peep" --
no headlights flash.

Pressing on my car-key's remote door opener, in hopes my lost car will reveal itself.

Outdoor book fair -- breezy:
Covers flap open, hissing
READ me! READ me!

Airplane noise, always.
Born now, I'd call it "blue noise,"
sound of sky.

When I was a kid (born in 1942) airplane noise was rare enough (though a war was on) that it would make me look up. Since now it is always present, one might consider it to be the noise the sky makes (if one could disentangle it from car noise enough to know it comes from above).

Train whistle
w o r r y i n g

Dental floss

Morning car sounds,
scissors slicing through cloth
without snipping.

"THREE SLAIN" says the news.
I don't know what
the teapot is saying.

The teapot's shriek is both appropriate to the news and, in its everyday domesticity and reality (compared to headlines), an escape from it.

The clean clothes,
the dirty clothes,
my body.

All three were in the room together. I might have written instead, "I suppose you wonder why I've called you all together here tonight."

In the toilet,
a soiled diaper, talc smell, rubber,
baby's burbling.

We'd look odd,
sitting here staring, if someone
removed the TV.

Dropped a peanut...
the floor vent! O well,
everything is somewhere.

Stupid toilet
won't stop flushing. We'd better
build an ark.

Used-book store -- almost
the smell of the trees, now
ripened into books.

Barefoot on the grass --
It's safe: sunlight glares
off the broken glass.

A machine left on
though nobody's using it --
the waves rolling in.

This is a washer in the laundromat.

Bright on the sidewalk,
it turns dull in my hand, but
I keep the dime.

Fresh smell -- does the grass
like to be cut? And...ah!
Bacon frying!

Smell of newspaper,
rain-soaked, drying in the sun
at the curb.

Rain-soaked newspaper --
even the boldest headlines
are soggy.

Rain brings heavy news:
Smell of soggy paper --
keep it off the rug!

Old footprint in cement
gleams wet in the street light --
leading somewhere?

Wood shelves, their grain
full of trapped motions like a zoo
for trees.

My blue bag
for dirty clothes -- something
to throw them at.

Moldy magazines,
as thrilled with themselves
as new ones.

Motorcycle won't start.
Jerks his rear up and down
on his huge bug.

Broken umbrella
on the sidewalk, sun
bleaching its bones.

Through wires borne
by a line of dead trees, I
send my voice to you.

Wires thread the sky --
puppeteer's strings to move
the mannikin city.

Naked with socks on:
blue toeless feet, like
a cartoon character.

A giant clam waits
in ambush -- on the floor,
my unzipped suitcase.

Hello, lamp –
are you, too, shining
in an empty room?

Where's my new suit?
Empty wooden hangers shrug
varnished shoulders.

Driving. Phone lines
carry the sun's flash
from pole to pole.

The word play ("pole to pole" usually refers to North and South poles, not telephone poles) is perhaps light enough to be contained in haiku .

Suburban front yard –
a red wheelbarrow on which
nothing depends.

This alludes to a famous (among poets, anyway) William Carlos Williams in which so much depends upon a red wheel barrow...

Last night's jalapenos –
afraid to fart
with the stove burning.

Cleaning the drain --
why aren't giant dams
made of human hair?

The parking lot is full.
Damned car! I can't take you

Things aren't so bad...
That's why sometimes I wish
I were a thing.

A shame to trash it -
delicate ruined crystal
palace of filament.

A burnt-out light bulb, if you look into it (if it isn't too blackened to look into), is intricate and frilly – bits of perfectly shaped glittering glass doodads and fine, slender coils of bright metal, all so tiny even Lilliputians would fear to crush them with the lightest touch.














Loss and Loneliness and aloneness


Old Age


A Poet's Life








Telephones and TVs