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Tag: Poetry

POEM: Happy Days


Happy Days

these sidewalks are littered
with slowly fading memories
their edges are folding up
colors draining from the images

already Terrace Bagels has changed
it shrank then grew again
Thomas Wolfe once more proved right
but at least the bagels are still good

I’m three blocks from “our” place
waiting for the person you were jealous of
funny how relationships turn out
how I cling to what I can

outside the cafe door a woman
shakes a paper cup in the wind
she’s singing a song I can’t hear
as one person after another passes her by

just in case the point needed to be made
the theme from Happy Days starts playing
I watch my own reruns for a moment more
then turn off the channel and stand to hug my friend

/ / /

22 March 2014
Terrace Bagels
Windsor Terrace
Brooklyn, NY

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POEM: Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay

she is studying cell biology
peering into our tiniest structures
to discover what makes the touch
of your lips to mine so perfect

she moves in slow motion
adjusting her hair one strand at a time
as I pen yet another love letter
to you, whom I feared I’d lost

I thought perhaps she was a vegan
until I saw the bone beneath her rice and beans
we’ve entered the Chesapeake Bay watershed
though the bay is 300 miles away

at the rest stop, she stretches
reaching up for the whispy clouds
I imagine your hands reaching for me
like the bay you affect me, even here

/ / /

Jason Crane
21 March 2014
Somewhere In PA

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POEM: for E.B.


for E.B.

couch, cats
collecting words
putting them in the best order

Rejection: doctor’s office, or

nail polish
big sunglasses, sometimes
filtered, sometimes knot

Rejection: grading papers, or

steaming cups of __________
leftist gnomes
Georgia countryside

Rejection: this rebellious body, or

1 white
1 black
:thousand-mile stares, the both of them

Rejection: your advances, or

driver’s seat, side mirror
cold beach
walking, sitting, writing

Rejection: a dull life, or

desk menagerie
selfie, inscrutable
or maybe not

Rejection: the unexamined self, or

/ / /

2 March 2014
Oak Street

(Photo source)


POEM: napkin poem


napkin poem

how many times in how many bars
on how many napkins
text bleeding into the cheap paper
better suited for soaking up
condensation and mistakes
the band is playing “A Felicidade”
we are talking but not talking
text and subtext and saxophone
trying to avoid monkey clapping
loose lips sink ships

/ / /

28 February 2014
Zola, State College

Never heard “A Felicidade”? Enjoy.

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POEM: release



I slowly open my hands
feel its wings flutter
against my warm palms
see the colors emerge
from between my fingers
until it is free, flying
lifting off into the sky
leaving a single feather
on the cuff of my sleeve
I put the feather on my desk
so I can look at it later
when I need to remember

/ / /

27 January 2014
State College, PA

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POEM: they didn’t even mind that their skinny jeans got damp


they didn’t even mind that their skinny jeans got damp

instead they ran through the streets of the West Village
laughing as they hadn’t since they were children
jumping in puddles (first he, then she, then he again)
as the sound of a jazz combo lurched up the stairs from the 55 Bar
following them down the street like a beatnik mendicant
on the corner of Greenwich Avenue, across from
Jefferson Market Garden, she grabbed his arm, pulled him close
they kissed in front of Village 1, parting the shoppers like a boulder in a river
then, laughing, they danced out of sight down the avenue

17 December 2013
State College, PA

/ / /

The title of this poem comes from something written by Avital N. Nathman, whom you should be following on Twitter and at her website.

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POEM: the cache in the cellar

the cache in the cellar

spirit away
this bit
and that

in case
you need them

hide them
in the cellar

the jars of
you bought

last winter
when you
thought you’d

like to make
sauce some

if you’re ever
feeling low

you can creep
the cellar stairs

a flashlight
late at night


scoot the jars
out of the way
and look at them

sitting there
in their dusty

16 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: say I’m a Buddhist

say I’m a Buddhist

say “I’m a Buddhist”
not to identify your-
self to others but to
identify yourself to

5 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: for Lorine Niedecker

for Lorine Niedecker

I imagine you at a card table
on a screened-in porch
vinyl tablecloth
with a bright flower pattern
glowing in the afternoon light
of a Wisconsin spring

you’re holding a sheaf
of carefully typed poems
harvested from years of
unvoiced imaginings
your hands shake slightly
second ring catching the light

in front of you on the table
is a Philips dictation machine
tiny wheels turning
as you intone the words
your reedy voice
imparting a gentle dignity

at this point almost no one
has heard of you
two books published decades apart
one privately, one only in Scotland
your connection to American letters
a series of epistles to Zukofsky

soon a stroke will take you
silencing your voice
just as it’s becoming audible
but enough have heard to ensure
your words will survive beyond
this Wisconsin afternoon

for now it’s enough
to sit on this warm porch
read your poems about Monticello
remember Polly and Darwin
this paean to place
your lasting gift to the world

5 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

/ / /

It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April. This poem was inspired by the Niedecker episode of Essential American Poets.