Sunday, May 31, 2015


june rains, linc’cum line –
obese lass talks about th’wait,

watched mortar explode
on 'nam hillside - now th'harbor
fireworks make him jump

vet ‘n th’inner harbor
went t’nam, now even th’fireworks
make him grind his teeth


curses th’o’s traffic
th’radio reports th’acc’dent
near maryland house

visionary’s art –
th’intense joy’f th’harbor summer
through th’prism ‘f th’confined

outside gaithersburg,
looking f’r th’westbound train, but stopped
at ‘n ancient farmhouse

sailing chesapeake,shore
cabins' shutters closing
in sun's reflection

slurps th’crab off his thumbs –
from th’eastern shore, makes th’big point
‘f eating’m in season


up from th’eastern shore,
‘n’ lost his wallet ‘t camden yards
wouldn’t norm’ly beg

woke up t’ th’copperheads –
a-t hiker tells ‘bout th’night
on th’maryland trail

assateague salt marsh -
trav'ler seeks respite from heat,
clapper rails still hunt

one night, mar’land trail,
through-hiker’s nightmare comes true –
whole nest ‘f copperheads

from th’pickup bed, watch
cowboys change drivers without
stopping – chesapeake bridge

camden yards gambler -
decades of wins and losses
betting on the o's

harper's ferry, now
antietam - firefly, how much
hist'ry do you know?

smell of fresh crab cakes,
eye on harbor tourguides
and the pickpockets

woods near arundel,
unwraps rich cheese, loaf and jug
misses home, boulogne

south mountain: the trail,
or th'road t'denver - sets down th'pack,
and flips a quarter

cut west ‘n hagerstown,
or stay with her, ‘n’ watch th’leaves turn
in th’small college town


nanjemoy egret,
th’leaves changing around his stage,
‘n’ his regal d’cision

ravens’ nineteenth pick –
watchin’ th’game from th’towson couch
getting’ drunk ‘n’ vi’lent

high hopes ‘t th’wedding –
th’whole raven team, her fam’ly,
cruciate ligament

th’inner harbor shines –
game day, ‘n’ she can’t stand th’ravens,
can’t bear it t’go home

long walk down howard,
cold bus stop, sidelong glances –
they, too, far from home

saints' day - poe and ruth?
visionary museum's
here in the harbor

nanjemoy eagle
in talons a trout that saw
fall colors, last time

‘they should just get jobs,’
th’old man says, but ‘s christmas time
‘n sandtown-winchester

sandtown winchester
first snows ‘f christmas settle in,
sense ‘f desperation spreads

harbor tunnel slows
t'a crawl - maine t' georgia trip stops
as th'east coast counts down

stuck ‘n th’harbor tunnel
traffic’s not moving, ‘n’ the east coast
starting its countdown

epiphany feast
awaits, but traffic's backed up
since maryland house

between steel bridge and
harbor tunnel, truck jackknifed -
miles back, snow tests brakes

from th’visionary,
th’icy walk t’ th’inner harbor –
what are th’gulls saying?

icy glazed harbor,
late night at th'visionary -
crab cakes for breakfast

justice f’r mister poe –
in life, th’maudlin verse, in death,
th’icy grave on greene

bal'more has drum gigs
but's hard to pay the gas bill
'round 'bout febr'ary

inner harbor march
scarf ‘n’ hat ‘gainst th’wind, guy mumbles
something ‘bout cocaine

th’old priest on dubois
th’sailor hides from th’april rains,
gives him th’sack of jewels

down on th’eastern shore,
mallets, crabs, th’start of th’season
he loves th’sounds of home

sea breeze, spring morning -
th'ocean city bartender
jams door with driftwood

he’d give you th’driftwood
but he found it ‘n assateague,
‘n’ he needs it t’hold th’door


spring ‘t th’metro station –
happened t’come, says th’musician
cause ‘t’s called shady grove


likes th’black eyed susans -
they survive th’chesapeake rains,
‘n’ still come back cheerful

oysters ‘n’ tobacco –
may fog, charles county lad’s tales
‘f th’way it’s always been


maryland death fest –
even among th’blooming flow’rs,
hundreds ‘f black skull shirts

nanjemoy creek dawn -
egret hesitates, decides
to stay for summer

fireflies ‘t antietam
any possibility
th’souls’re still among us?

Saturday, May 30, 2015


near th’sox game, make peace
with th’traffic madness – same laws,
different culture

back roads t’ th’ peace p’goda,
th’green Berkshire woods – th’kids feel ‘t home,
though they’ve never been

stop and go traffic -
storrow drivers' distractions,
sunbathers on charles

backup, storrow drive
some guy was lookin’ too close
‘t th’sunbathers on th’charles

cape sand in his pack -
ten rides 'n' a hike t'get out here,
much easier t'get back

two kids 'n th'laundromat -
guess wellfleet's got noth'n for 'em,
their laughter fills th'night

wellfleet laundromat –
barefoot kids find joy ‘n th’refuge.
outside, rains ‘til dawn

august gale on th’cape
th’road, and th’dunes alongside it,
completely swallowed

long pond fishermen,
surprised by th’august downpour –
weekend in their trucks

blue line to revere
th’ocean, th’boardwalk, th’strong feeling
everyone’s related


was hustling th’commons,
but needed th’break, fell asleep
‘t th’puritans’ gravestones

waiting for the ship -
these minutes, says th'girl, th'best in
th'whole vineyard summer

warm night, socks ‘n’ sandals,
chess program beats you, ten moves –
café, central square

drives around cambridge,
controls th’car, hidden in th’trunk –
‘t lights, opens th’windows

midnight ‘n east sandwich
they notice th’open windows,
‘n’ try t’imagine th’life

on harvard line man
wears sandals, leisure suit, gets
off at central square

red line eccentric –
wrote twelve books, wears sock 'n' sandals,
gets off ‘t central square

august ‘n provincetown,
th’lass blows glass, sells her mobiles –
she, too, loves th’sea breeze

at harvard, th'students
so frugal 'n' clever, th'autumn
night, beating th'pinball

gravestones 'f th'puritans
acorns 'n his knees, he stops t'read'm
on his way t'th'commons

in th’berkshires, fin’ly –
even with th’fallen leaves, th’noise
‘s gentler on th’spirit

holds th’berkshire acorns
tight ‘n his pocket – promises
not t’drop’m in th’city

killed women and kids
in 'nam, so comm ave peaceniks
could wear nixon masks


killed women ‘n’ kids ‘n’ ‘nam,
has t’tell someone – picks th’drunk kids
comm ave, halloween

northampton costume,
gender-free superhero –
maybe not a costume

protesting agnew,
thousands line boylston and charles
streetlights kind’f pointless

old bak'ry's nutmeg -
wild-eyed woman, glad it's not
the salem of yore

symph'ny road trumpets
introduce an october
of fenway's silence

saxes in th’brownstones –
symphony road’s a madhouse
when th’kids’re back in town

changing leaves below,
sounds’f kenmore square – bathed in th’lights
‘f th’flashing citgo sign

old whalers' stories
served up in new bedford bar -
dead leaves, open door

cradle ‘f th’rev’lution,
they say – you’d think th’mass pike boys
‘d let you drink this tea

jersey girl points out
th’red trolleys, names like alewife,
snowflake on her tongue

raging nor’easter,
nantucket lass – their turkey
without her husband

at sea it’s much worse,
she says – take refuge from th’snow
‘n th’whaler’s museum

turkey, dressing, pie,
raging snows - all th’nantucket
fam’lies have th’same pray’r

raging nor’easter –
nantucket family’s prayer
lasts longer’n th’turkey

hol’day nor’easter –
nantucket mechanic works
on th’lighthouse beacon

p-town curios
in dusty case - outside, sea
and snow from three sides

south station rehab
rent stub lost in christmas bills -
bitter wind from docks

revere beach boardwalk -
cold angry sea brings new year,
plover finds th'french fry

myles standish rooftop,
bathed ‘n th’glow ‘f th’changing citgo sign
here’s t’another year

rains pound p-town,
kids spend th’entire new year's break
watching ‘back t’th’future’

proctor’s ledge – salem
lass says this barren hillside's
where it all happened

tex'n scorns th'tiny states,
icy nashua fades 'n th'mirror -
th'world'll spread out soon

odd light, th’snowy fields
driver wonders why th’u f o
would visit th’berkshires

mass pike west ‘f worcester –
morning sun, silver mirrors,
truck runs through th’blizzard

gloucester’s rocky coast –
even in th’blizzard, she waits,
thinking th’boat’ll come in

these little states gone -
icy nashua in mirror -
before you realize

mass pike hitchhiker -
lights on frozen fields are not
just coincidence

andrew square traffic,
st. pat's party somewhere, miss
kid on ninety-three

pulls on th’cigarette,
over garden traffic, says
how much he hates th’habs

curses th’habs ‘n’ th’leafs both –
thin cigar ‘n’ heavy accent,
th’garden kid’s willing t’fight

revere beach ocean
breeze lifts spirit like a kite
but folks never leave

kenmore square, march wind -
he sells his book of poetry,
she's read th'one before

march sleet, kenmore square
th’guy sells th’poetry book to th’lass,
she’s read th’one before

grim march day, logan
taken twenty years t’get here,
she’s crying tears ‘f joy

mass pike pace quickens
inbound drivers' urgent plans -
trees bloom in city

weather breaks ‘n th’city,
first frisbees, ‘n’ kids along th’charles
mind th’crazy traffic!

th’cars don’t respect th’lanes –
th’flowers bloom ‘n th’beacon hill sites,
‘n’ not a moment ‘f peace

near steep rock hill,
th’marathon runner, by chance
happens t’see th’old flame

spring concerts, brookline
they’ll take th’T to th’club, he’ll stay
with th’allman brothers

thrown off crew f'r drinking,
now he spits off th'mass ave bridge
aiming for th'cockswain


th’oars splat hard on th’charles
by may even th’harvard kids
have found their refuge

small, purple, ancient,
she found’m ‘n th’em’rald necklace – calls ‘m
th’canada mayflow’r

bright logan tarmac -
beyond, blossoms of city,
here, dull empty wait

Friday, May 29, 2015


--> loves cars, loves t’tinker –
loves th’t-bird convert’ble, ‘n’ t’cruise
th’mich’gan countryside

ludington downpour –
wonder if th’badger ferry
will lift her spirits

quebec - l.a. run,
stranded in ypsi - huron's
fish seek shaded pools

summer in th’cool pines –
looks across th’lake ‘t chicago,
alas, still seething

corktown remod’ller –
old truck, fresh wood and supplies,
practical vision

the all-star diner
cold sundae on a hot day
instead of dinner

off th’road at jackson,
can’t b’lieve an ice cream sundae
can be th’whole dinner

she likes th’jazz fiddle –
‘minds her ‘f summers ‘n black bottom,
th’harlem of detroit


from th’shore ‘f his town ‘n th’thumb,
he’d watch th’ships – but joined th’navy,
‘n’ now he’s coming home

detroit parking lot -
monarch shows weary hiker
dance of the moment

worked in th’car plants ‘n flint,
just f’r spite, dropped bolts ‘n th’panels ‘f cars –
spits th’rage on th’hot road

monarch’s erratic dance –
his stage, th’detroit parking lot
where th’two guys were killed

traverse city lunch –
peanut butter, fig bars, cheese,
wood basket ‘f cherries

spent th’summer fishing,
found th’laughing whitefish river
‘bout didn’t come home

lansing tailgater
shows odyssean journey
pointing to his hand


ninety four ‘n ypsi
not fleeing th’motor city,
going t’ th’buckeye game

down ‘n th’cut river gorge,
th’leaves’ve turned, th’water’s fresh and cold –
from th’bridge, th’whole wide north

says 'tiger stadium'
twice - gives the old man chills, just
t'hear it 'n october

big night for arson -
these days, much less 'f detroit t'care,
much more of it t'burn

lots ‘f empty houses –
what th’angry detroit kids do,
set th’devil’s night fires

no work in car plants
so slowly leaves turn, fall on
foggy streets of flint

lion cornerback,
another torn ligament -
please pass th'damn gravy

stuffing, gravy, th’bird
done so well – th’dad watches th’lions,
so he’ll be angry

fried trout, black coffee
cold bath in the mastinique
frost on a tree stump

saginaw drifter
came home for th'holidays, but
thinks there's work 'n texas

go’n t’texas f’r th’winter,
saginaw fellow, down ‘n’ out,
thought he’d take some car

muskegon lad’s hand –
cold as it is, good enough
t’show how he got here

mackinac bridge wish -
more coins t'pay th'toll, melt th'ice, fill
these empty pockets

reaches for th’coins t’throw
off th’frozen mackinac bridge
a tingle ‘n th’fingers

old ‘n’ scratchy radio,
blizzards, ‘n’ th’windsor bridge, ‘n’ dozens
‘f michael jackson songs

won’t go back t’yemen –
dearborn, ‘n’ its gray slushy snow
‘s what he’ll learn t’call home

iced freeway, detroit
rush hour – they seem not t’notice
all th’abandoned cars


foam cups, icy road –
they all hurry t’get t’detroit,
‘cept th’abandoned cars

used t’kalamazoo
as th’junction – from th’frozen north,
he turns t’chicago

ruins of detroit -
a thin vaneer of ice cracks,
th'man grips th'shopping cart

ypsi musician
thawing out in diner - once
moved to hell and back

small lake huron town -
kid uses cold mangled thumb,
points out where he's from

'nother house burned down,
't's either meth, 'r stealing copper -
winter 'n towns like hell

frozen u.p. roads -
an old car's heating system,
a vast wilderness

wixom kid with skates
goes straight to th’rink after school,
dreaming of his wings

detroit's abandoned
cars, styrofoam coffee cups -
icy highway wind

benton harbor winds –
th’lake’s gray ‘n’ choppy, ‘n’ he spends march
thinking ‘bout th’city

tales ‘f huron’s fury –
in th’grove ‘f blooming cherries,
find ‘em hard t’believe

old mission winery,
lake's lapping waves - haiku for
the cherry blossoms

russ forest sunrise –
they realize they’re sleeping in
th’field ‘f blue-eyed mary

three days, mich’gan woods –
now she’s at th’drugstore, ‘cause she
has t’have th’calamine

they call it "a squared" -
chalk dust edges window panes,
willow buds outside

abstract algebra,
hyperbole – a-squared lass
feels th’pull of th’spring breeze

ann arbor t’austin,
temptation ‘f spring, or career
‘n abstract algebra?

t’saint joe then ‘round th’lake,
‘nough supplies for th’trip out west,
bag ‘f fresh-picked cherries

picking petals from
th’gallup daisy, says we can’t
divide by zero

Thursday, May 28, 2015


bound’ry waters lakes –
wide sky, th’lack of conflict, but
th’bugs sure are hungry

feet ‘n th’lake ‘t two harbors,
even ‘t night, th’fish nip – ‘cross th’way,
fireworks ‘n wisconsin

birches’ve come alive –
winnipeg-bound trucker tells
about th’folk festival

from th’cities t’fargo,
takes th’june northern recklessness
and changes his route

bound’ry waters tale –
th’bear considers th’americans
just a bit naive

ir’n colored water,
toes in th’cool gooseberry ponds –
th’way they make their o’s

orange cones, road t’saint paul,
th’tiny wildflowers amongst th’weeds –
no time for a nap

foul words, orange cones
bound f’r moose lake, doesn’t want t’miss
th’precious good weather

old boat on white bear -
rhythm of ripples on hull
minutes into days

locks ‘n’ dams‘re th’problem –
winona houseboat lass tells
‘f canoeing th’whole thing

north shore gulls adrift,
lake breezes changing their minds -
and days turn shorter

outside two harbors,
night softens lake and wisconsin,
but for some fireworks

winona houseboat
tales – she tells ‘f th’summer she
canoed th’whole river

old guy ‘t two harbors
plays accordion ‘t th’festival,
loves t’watch’m throw th’lut’fisk

half mile from downtown -
dirt path, green woods, secret beach

folks find secret beach
downtown t’franklin t’twenty first –
tonight, th’loon’s found it


t’ev’ry beach, its crowd,
gay or straight – but secret beach,
f’r whoever finds it

hidden part ‘f calhoun
cool, clear ‘n’ close, not too hard t’find,
best ‘f all th’ten thousand

warm rock, ten foot drop
t’frigid lake superior – those
boys’ll live forever

county fair, north coast
th’kid ‘n’ th’dog, both int’rested in
th’dead fish they’re throwing

barefoot ‘n powderhorn,
smoke ‘n music fill th’afternoon,
but th’days get shorter

bush on either side,
buck ev'ry ten, twenty miles -
hit duluth by six

xerxes avenue -
i learned th'alphabet, he says,
on these shady streets

tales ‘f th’laughing waters,
‘n’ th’summer th’hippies took over,
out ‘n minnehaha

grasshopper on rush
trying to make it to shore
before th'bass gets him

chisago lowland
visitors - mallards fly in
for wild rice dinner

superior shore's
cold august rain lets up in
split rock tunnel's glow

dinkytown cafe -
workers don't know what happened
to the baseball scores

ten thousand lakes, but
one loon's cry throttles the night
even at th'town park

needin' thirty bucks,
they'll walk through any open door in

northfield lass’ complaint –
that they’d call th’her’tage fest’val
defeat ‘f jesse james

‘her’tage festival’ –
most ‘f northfield not bothered by
‘defeat ‘f jesse james’


kind of likes th’silos,
rides minnehaha t’downtown,
‘n’ likes when they’re filled up

omelets come and go,
fall breeze catches sports section -
life at the seward

road t’eden prairie
gets th’new students t’play hockey,
lost some teeth himself

oak savannah, they
call it - pin oaks hold out on
minnesota plain

pin oaks against th’wind –
sometimes folks dig in their heels
‘n th’minnesota plains

out from split rock’s cliffs
with th’whitecaps ‘n’ th’cold wind, he knows
there’s trouble on th’lake

up through two harbors,
northern lights, icy forest -
days'll be longer soon

uptown beemer's trapped,
not by th'two feet 'f fresh snow, but
by th'punctual snowplow

outside minnetonka,
tale'f th'city scrapin' dozer
fell through a soft spot

walker in th’blizzard
what s’prises th’guest, not th’ice ‘n’ snow,
but that life goes on

cities’ roads ‘r’ iced ‘n’ glazed
folks don’t mind, all th’rinks ‘n’ lakes,
‘n’ hot cocoa by th’fire

some jerk broke his nose
high school hockey's serious
in eden prairie

eden prairie coach
tries t’get kids t’play fair on th’ice
he, too, ‘s missing teeth

choosing th’eastern branch –
th’gold dome, a silent saint paul,
then, th’frozen river

saint paul streets, glazed ‘n’ clear,
gold dome’s silent – car full ‘f kids
goes back t’dinkytown

lost faith th'winter ir'n
range priest took bingo funds, spent
'm all in holy land

brought her show t’ th’walker,
knows her warhol and th’soup can -
ice on dayton’s curb

hennepin café –
she tells ‘f warhol’s marilyns,
they tell ‘f th’kinds ‘f black ice

ice on th’silos –
jaded as she is, she likes
the mini-apple

march blizzard 'n th'cities,
drunken sioux, angry tirade -
on th'wrong city bus

warrior’s anguished rage –
may blizzard, seward bus fare,
th’fate of th’sioux peoples


angry lake street sioux –
may blizzard, ‘n’ lost patience with
“minnesota nice”

duluth harbor quest –
he’ll know all the lake’s secrets
soon as th’ice breaks up

west 'v th'cities, the plains
open out, green 'n' wide - clara
city, you're a speck

down from winnipeg -
hit th'cities 'round two, but 'n june,
everyone's still up


sun ‘n’ th’old star tribunes
th’hippie farmer’s on th’porch, with
th’huge stalk ‘f brussel sprouts

twinkiedome drama
yankee fans, a bit crude, but
june belongs to twins


called th’false indigo,
says th’saint paul lass – th’purple flow’r
escaped into th’wild


iron range trainyard –
prairie larkspur, you’ve come far,
forgive their language

dinkytown lattes -
punks agree, june's too short to
suffer through classes