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Category: My poems

POEM: The Clean Blue Field

The Clean Blue Field

The clean blue field is a comfort now.
I send out letter after letter trying
to convince someone to pay me money
so I can sleep indoors and eat.
Then it’s back to the clean blue field.
Nonjudgmental. Static. Broken only
by a wrinkled, hand-cut paper
telling me to wear a mask, to avoid
messy foods, to work by myself.
These days alone is where it’s at.
The clean blue field protects me from
accidental eye contact or conversation
with the person across from me.
It enforces, with its institutional cerulean,
the subtle separation between me
and the student working on a paper;
the elderly woman filling out tax forms;
the stubbly man reading a mystery.
I sip from my covered beverage (allowed)
and find an excuse not to look down
at my laptop. Instead I let my gaze linger
a moment longer, lost in the artificial sky.

/ / /

14 January 2022
Colonie NY

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POEM: The Best Thing

The Best Thing

Late at night,
listening to songs
that make me cry.
They’re not sad songs.
They’re just so beautiful
I can’t hold the feeling in
so it comes out as tears.
Moments of transcendent joy:
Aurora dancing on Fallon;
Toad singing about Nanci;
jamming with Ringo’s photos;
belting out harmonies with Dawes.
Music is the best thing
in the whole goddamn universe.
You can quote me.

/ / /

12 January 2022
Colonie NY

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POEM: Algorithms


The apartment complex
doesn’t know it’s over.
They’re sending me notices
about our impending move.
The internet folks don’t know either.
They want me to return the router I rented,
back when it looked like
we were starting a new life.
Algorithms charting the next phase
of a life we no longer share.

/ / /

12 January 2022
Colonie NY

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POEM: Ron McNair, Astronaut & Saxophonist

Ron McNair, Astronaut & Saxophonist

I had a cassette tape of Jean-Michel Jarre’s concert album Houston/Lyon 1986.

The penultimate track was “Ron’s Piece,” intended to be a live collaboration with McNair, who would play the sax part on the space shuttle while Jarre handled the keyboards back on Earth.

(“Back on Earth!”)

Ron was on the Challenger.

In my memory my mom called the school, told the vice principal about the Challenger, had him call me to the office to tell me.

I remember the secretary handed me the receiver.

The phone was heavy.

That can’t be right, though, can it?

I kept a scrapbook afterward, cutting out articles from the local papers.

Every story had a photo of the long tubes of smoke, each ending with a piece of wreckage, in some of which there must have been parts of human beings.

Later I pasted concert tickets into the same scrapbook: The Moody Blues, Tears For Fears, Rush, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull.

After the public lost interest in the shuttle program, my friends and I would sneak into the high school’s AV storage room to watch whenever a launch was broadcast.

Maybe on cable.

I can’t imagine they were on terrestrial TV by that point.

Anyway Ron wasn’t around to play his part, so Kirk Whalum played it.

They dedicated it to Ron.

The show must go on, I guess.

/ / /

11 January 2021
Colonie NY

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