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Category: Albany

POEM: salt



you were sitting on the couch
I was on the floor in front of you
you were wearing that skirt
your bare legs pressing against my back
I knew all I had to do was turn
and you would accept me
the salty taste of you on my tongue
your fingers twisted in my hair
I would pull you toward me
you would arch your spine
head thrown back against the couch
eyes closed, breath deepening
stifling your moans with one arm
because there were people sleeping
in the next room …
but instead I sat there, facing the wall
feeling your knees against
my shoulder blades

/ / /

Written in 2010, I think, in Albany, NY.

Photo source


POEM: What to do at Schalmont (when there’s nowhere to go for lunch)


What to do at Schalmont
(when there’s nowhere to go for lunch)

On my lunch breaks I would sit
in a graveyard, reading aloud
the poems of Robert Burns in
what, to me, was a fair Scottish
accent. If this behavior struck
the dearly departed as odd,
they never said, which was
kind of them.

22 January 2013
Auburn, AL

/ / /

The image above is of the mausoleum at St. Cyril & Method Cemetery, which is the cemetery referred to in this poem. (Photo source.)

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POEM: and so we say our goodbyes

On Sunday I’m moving from Albany, NY, to New York City. Today I started saying goodbye to my friends with a few little gatherings. Although Albany was the site of probably the darkest year or two of my life, I did meet some incredible people here who I expect I’ll be friends with for a long, long time.

/ / /

and so we say our goodbyes

over avacado tortas and enchiladas
iced tea and fresh salsa
we talk about work or lack thereof
share a laugh about the end of the world
tell stories about food poisoning
and a raffle at a Stones concert

later there is a poetry reading
out-of-town poets with an in-town crowd
afterward we have a conversation
that is like the ones we’ve had before
in exactly the right way
Nina Simone is singing – we have to stop talking
when she gets to the Dylan tune
for the record, I am not Bob Dylan

tomorrow there will be Japanese food
and the glow that always comes from it
but even this is not goodbye
who really has to say goodbye anymore?
I’m not heading west in a wagon
never to be seen again
I’m as close as ten numbers
as near as the computer screen
as far away as the edge of the universe


POEM: old couple in the therapist’s elevator

I found this one in my notebook. I wrote it back in November after witnessing this scene.

old couple in the therapist’s elevator

she says “dirty rotten elevator”
he doesn’t even sigh anymore
just presses 2
puts his head down
kneads the brim of his gray-
checked fedora with one
arthritic hand