Surprise Street

We wandered through hard-luck places
exchanging change for bits of candy
at corner stores and chasing them
with peach soda under burned out letters
in the humid summer dusk

We’d found a couple couches
and dragged them in to the garage
so most of us could sit comfortably
as we passed the microphone around
putting stupid jokes to worn-out tape
for posterity

the snack food would run out eventually
and quiet would come just before the birds
with bodies snoring softly on every floor
dreaming of promises and plans
that never came when the morning did

One at a time we would come to
pouring 7 kinds of bowls of ceral
gathering in the living room
kicking children’s toys around
waiting for the van to park outside

I left Surprise the following spring
tying shoes and trying my best
not to forget my coat in the warm
my strap on the old classical
my CD in the system near the television

I never went back



a summer dream
we speak of love
in birdsong

do not poison
the air with your

do not focus your

i would work a lifetime
for 5 minutes more

with her

Summer Cold

It’s the cough that kills me.

‘Too warm for this.’ I think
to myself out loud as the shiver
sets deep in to my bones
– just for a moment –
as the crickets chirp
just outside my window.

This old blanket serves
just as good as new
for to swaddle me up
and keep me warm in this
65-degree-Fahrenheit night

And I lay awake wheezing
and wiping clear snot
on to the back of my hand
until it’s saturated enough
to flail to find my kerchief
– an old cotton T-shirt
that I’d already worn.

The chirping seems to swell
with the unconscious chatter
of my arms and guts – and
everything, as far as I
can tell – and it would
fade again, I’m sure,
if not for this headache.

‘Ain’t it just the way?’
I yell to the uncaring crickets,
‘Sore throat in the middle
of Goddamn June!’

It’s the cough, though,
the stupid fucking cough,
that gets me every time.

summer lull

with its sweet lilting voice
i have succumbed
to the lull of summer
and the interminable desire
to hibernate until winter
(or at least fall)
when i shall again arise
in magnificent chapluzkian glory
refreshed by the cold,
rejoicing in the blizzards,
no longer oppressed by unending heat.

Drafting is so last summer

A bottle of wine sits on my desk
staring at me with those red, red
vinegary eyes.
Daring me to go on
daring me to sing along
to the tune of decoration
and endless elaboration.
“Look at me,” it says
“I’m patient and I did it,
You can do it if I can.”
It seems simple enough,
let the words stand alone for a bit
don’t be hasty,
bottle them,
close the door behind you
and come back in a week.
Things will be better then.
A nice body of work is
like a nice bottle of wine.
Or so they say.
I tend to agree really,
I just prefer to get drunk
sooner rather than later.

last day of summer and/or fall sucks

i can write LOVE on my arm
all day long but i cannot
stop the fall from falling
all over me like a whale.
sanity leaving with the
leaves i am a helpless
child to the rhymeless
wastes and abandoned humanity
MI 48858 (Apt #A253).
all the debts must be
wrung in,
all of the snide comments
must be said,
all of the comfort must
get sucked with the humidity
and brought down south
to comfort the old souls
in florida being fed
by tubes and so-on.

do you remember the last
day of summer? when
we traded a pack of
cigarettes for a beautiful
sun, clouds, temperature,
scenery and situation?
that day was the last
drop of water in our
trip through the sahara.

the summer’s ending

the summer’s close
is drawing near
and i would like
nothing more
than to dig in my heels
and stay right here
in the glorious summer,
reminiscent of my youth,
where there is no work
and there is no time,
where responsibility
is just a word
and does not concern me,
at least for the summer,
the beautiful summer
where anything is possible.

Hello July

July came
with reduced heat
but plenty of shine,
flexing its thermal muscles,
ramping up
to what will be unbearable,
giving good reason
to flee northward
and not return
till fall’s respite.


in the electric air of
this early summer evening we
speak of what
will come to pass
while you’re away
wind chimes ring
hollow and low
filling the spaces
between our sad words
which we mask with laughter
in vain.

the first bite of fall

this morning
i felt the first bite
of fall
as if sneaking in before
testing the waters
of the atmosphere

i walked into its
sharp chill
eyes and lungs widened
as if breathing in a secret

by dawn summer returned unaware
of the thieving season waiting in the wings.

The Bad Summer Daze

O how many summer mornings shall be filled with anger

When cooperation can be the first solution ?


O how many summer mid days are filled with joy

While pain exists so deep within our souls ?


O how many summer evenings drag on in dullness

Without distraction or relief from all the hurt ?


O how many more days must I wait in the heat

While time continue to pass me by ?

12 Jul 08

was it the night
we sat on steps avoiding
others so we could speak secrets and dreams until 4am?

or was it the time
we walked in the park in
autumn sat on a bench beneath
the night acutely aware of our hands and the distance between them?

or was it that Thursday
the first time my lips fell into yours
in the background the treading percussion of Explosions in the Sky?

or was it that Sunday
at circle of hope when I calculated the exact pressure
of your hand on mine to equal the love of God and kept it to myself?

was it in old city
beneath the din of eighties hip hop
when I told my friends I would marry you someday?

was it in spanish
stumbling mispronunciations and incorrect accents
in an attempt better know those who mean the world to you?

was it in harvard yard
dressed as wizards wandering and wondering
where we could find the best butter beer in cambridge?

or was it the summer
we spent unemployed reading and mastering
the NY times crossword puzzle then emerged, merged adjusting our eyes to autumn?

or was it that night
in central PA when you showed me how
to cup both hands to carefully catch these drifting constellations?

I cannot say exactly
between my hands and yours
between sunset and sunrise
between the top and bottom step
between the mountains and the atlantic
between jersey and philly
between te amo and mahal kita
between the upbeat and downbeat
between the first and last page of this notebook
between one thousand and one days ago and today

I fell in love with you.

and even to partially properly articulate this
it will take my entire life
an infinite number of pages
and perfectly placed kisses
(which is part of my plan)

but something tells me
nothing will match
the simple eloquence
of your hand
in mine
some evening
fifty summers from tonight.