Sunday, May 31, 2015


fireflies ‘f antietam
out on th’grassy field, she asks
what’s left to be said


sailing ‘n th’chesapeake
behind those dunes she’s reading
‘bout how t’be happy

docked ‘t ego alley
th’buskers try t’raise some cash, ‘n’ th’child
salutes th’midshipmen

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

baby copperheads –
t’ th’through hiker, th’maryland trail
holds his worst nightmare

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

wreck ‘n th’catonsville pike
trying t’find seventy west,
saw th’steamy city

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

salt marsh clapper rails –
th’tourists’re in assateague, but they
go ‘bout their business

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

hustling th’ravens game
used t’play music, but th’streaming
‘bout killed th’industry

wore th’hijab t’th’harbor
sharp words, cold winds, ‘n’ th’struggle t’be
openly muslim

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

has th’right t’walk quickly
down howard – they watch his breath,
‘n’ he mumbles ‘bout drugs


clogging up th’system –
first frost, ‘n’ th’city workers have t’take
th’fatberg from th’sewer

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

countdown ‘n baltimore
hotelier’s nervous, some guy’s
arsenal’s on th’roof

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

ice ‘t th’poe memorial
too worried about th’danger
t’think about th’guy’s life

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


field ‘f black-eyed susans
th’train pushes west ‘n hagerstown,
‘n’ he’ll miss her dearly

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

brown ‘n’ orange, th’orioles
shirts ‘n’ hats fill th’inner harbor –
hope for th’new season

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

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


washington county
spring rains, ‘n’ they’re hauling off th’perp
f’r using th’online tools

spring ‘n ocean city
he’ll stay f’r another season
but wants t’throw th’driftwood

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

logan tarmac tale –
visa took seventeen years,
but made it for th’fourth

concord t’lexington –
in th’rush hour traffic, he spits
at th’freedom billboard

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

th’question of racism –
surprised at what th’fans might do
down ‘long yawkey way

construction worker,
bar ‘n southie – tells ‘bout th’treasure
he found in th’big dig

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

through hiker ‘n th’berkshires
even th’trails have th’sense ‘f order,
‘n’ th’leaves are starting t’turn


acorns from th’berkshires –
back ‘n brookline, he feels guilty
digging ‘n th’crowded yard

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

buskers ‘f harvard square
hustle, traffic, ‘n’ distraction,
th’squirrel drops th’acorn

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

near worcester, th’farmhouse –
classic dinner, th’golden bird,
grew th’cranb’rries herself

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

lass at th’gloucester shore
screams ‘t th’waves – hol’days are coming,
‘n’ he’s not coming back

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

th’way he says ‘garden’
know he’s got hockey ‘n his bones,
been here all his life

why he stopped ‘t stockbridge
th’long trip west, ‘n’ it’s icy ‘n’ cold,
he’s got th’memory

winter tide, scituate,
th’freezing water’s flooded th’houses –
seems th’ocean’s angry

proctor’s ledge, salem
th’boys don’t like th’pow’rful, th’lass says,
tongue catches th’snowflake

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


brick walls ‘f brattle street
voices ‘f puritans ‘n th’spring breeze,
so darn judgmental

in th’grass ‘t king’s chapel,
mom reads th’puritans’ headstones
th’lass scrolls through tinder

‘n th’emerald necklace,
finds th’canada mayflower
been here all along

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


blames th’zebra mussels –
fishing near saint jo, ‘n’ haunted
by th’clearness ‘f th’water

kid rock ‘t th’stadium
brings drums, lights ‘n’ hard politics,
wants t’run for senate

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


th’old cadillac’s parked
somewhere outside ann arbor
vines’ve enveloped th’fins

reb flag ‘t th’tigers game
surely you don’t mean we should
secede from th’union?


th’lass sells all kinds ‘f fruit
in th’cool lake michigan breeze –
th’cherries are th’ripest

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

takes th’shotgun on th’roof –
still r’members how devil’s night
took much ‘f west detroit

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

after th’turkey, th’nap –
seems t’be more beer than ever,
after th’lions lose

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

woodward avenue
q – line riders argue ‘bout
th’trolley’s heat system

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

facebook sock puppets –
lansing barista wonders
why th’hol’day crowds’re mean

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

arctic snowy owl
come south t’detroit ‘n january
less snow, ‘n’ plenty t’eat

down from th’north country –
even kalamazoo’s ramp,
th’iced slope t’chicago

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

up ‘n th’peninsula
t’see th’place, even th’twin cities
kids, impressed by th’snow

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

‘cross th’mackinac bridge,
he throws th’change – a long trip south,
‘n’ th’irish luck’ll melt th’ice

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

cherry blossoms ‘n’ th’lake –
he slips into nostalgia
‘t th’old mission win’ry

‘long th’dequindre cut,
th’budding trees – th’bicyclist feels
th’city’s will t’survive


snow lets up, he says,
manistique’ll get some tourists –
it’s only april

flint city water –
april and th’snow is melting
‘n’ they’d rather drink that

field ‘f blue-eyed mary
fort’nately th’russ forest lass,
no problem camping

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

saginaw plumber –
cousins’re like th’rest, into th’drugs,
no cash for th’may rent

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