I am a cold vapor, a whisper— I feel
nothing when I walk. My
loose skirt gliding gently above the
wooden floor.
The dust stirs slightly in my presence
but that is all.

I want to be the spirit who
throws china with a heart-breaking crash.
I want to be the memory that
raises hair on your arms.
I want to be the phantom
you call to in the night, when no one is around.

But silence is mine. I leave
the light on
with tears that
won’t wet my cheeks.

house clean

Nothing quite like the feeling after a long volleyball tournament; ah the aches! Half hour to USA hockey, perfect time to post a poem….

House Clean

When I die
will you go through my things?
Fingering papers
and smudging your fingerprints all over my photos
even though you might remember later
that I hate that.

And making a mess in my kitchen where I
always wished that you were but
you weren’t.

Tossing out this and that; the this and that
that I saved purposefully
all those years.
Hoping to get it all done quickly,
hoping to find
that million dollar antique
that you already know I never had.

Then, in one corner, finding letters,
letters of deep secret
self, family, love;
diaries of thoughts you never knew I had.

Will you throw them out?
Yes. Suddenly, in one moment, I am no longer
who you
want to remember.

Finding Robert Zimmerman

It is late afternoon time; you are at me again—

I swear I never really knew Robert at all; I never
knew what he was all about.
I was every bit the lone hitchhiker on the highway
that never went anywhere; the stubborn patient
convinced of my own sanity.
But it doesn’t matter now; late in the afternoon you don’t believe me.
You still interrogate me
with pointed questions—poking, prodding—did I remember
anything about Robert? What plaid shirt was he wearing this time?
What kind of mustache served as his disguise?

Outside dusk comes quickly, but inside—

I sit here under the heat lamp, saying
over again, I never really knew Robert at all. I hopped trains
in search of him. I hid out in the spread
legs of the backcountry—I sipped the high and mighty
in Manhattan. I imagine that he had strong tan forearms but
I never touched them.

Longing to leave, frustration at the questions, finally—

Leave me alone, Man. Go ahead and stick your own thumb out,
stretch your own legs, and see what you find.
I’ve got a folk singer to meet and whiskey to drink,
in a club that was never open,
in a scene as elusive as an early morning dream.

Upon Reading Nabokov’s "An Invitation to a Beheading"

I know I know—
Yet there are these
Times when the imaginary
Characters seem to have complexities
Beyond their capabilities,
When the sky
Seems to have shades of meaning
Invisible to the ordinary eye.

That other self says, I know I know—
It is the shadow that throws
My will to live against the wall
And watches it drip off like a smashed
Spider clinging to the web after death;
It is a puffed prison warden who says
To sit still and listen and that soon enoug
It will all be over, justice served.

I must know this; I can feel the cold breath—yet,
The lessons in the book say,
Stand up. Just simply stand up and

Feel alive

When clouds have slid into
Indistinguishable strands of silk as a veil
On the smile of the sunset,

You will take a deep breath
Air will fill your nose, smell sweet,
Settle into your lungs with a sigh.

Feel alive then.
The sand is between your toes and there is
A gentle rockabye song
Playing over your mind; one wave, two wave.
Crash softly, pull back out to the expanse of ocean,
Crash softly.

You will breathe out
Knowing one day this too shall pass. This too shall
Belong simply to your children.

white-out conditions and memories

There are white-out conditions outside my window! Heavy gusts of snow so that I can barely see the townhomes across the street (with their classic Baltimore marble stoops now completely buried again). Not much to do but remember the past. As you will grow to notice, I have many “RIP” poems. It seems I’ve said goodbye to many; some might say too many for a person my age. But no one gets to choose. I just try to write my memories so I have them for later (perhaps sunnier) days.

To Shawn:

When you were riding,
You could feel the day’s warmth
Easing into the night sky
Dissipating like a quick sigh of resignation.

Dust to dust.
You sped down the highway,
The smells of the road and Maria’s pizza
And the summer’s last cut grass
On the wind in your face.
Ash to ash.
In the headlights you saw it all and
Then the realization:
A lifetime’s worth of dreams and thoughts
And love
Shattered into a thousand colorful pieces
On the asphalt.

(9/20/07 RIP Weasel)


I wrote this today, actually just about 30 seconds ago. I probably should give it time to marinate, time to revise and reflect… but nah, not today. Not with cabin-fever setting in (Baltimore is a wintery sink-hole!)


With gentle whisperings soft
snow creeps ever higher
Onto windows, doors,
Piles high on cars,
Rooftops, and chairs left outside.

Snow seems to come
From every direction, white
Crystals so light and
Yet how they pile, how
They trap us with every inch.

My mind is covered in
The ceaseless display of how
Many many small things
Can add up to a great power,
Can create an entire alien world.