Thursday, November 23, 2017

And When You Get Old

“It is the Leviathan of Memory”
       —Ruby Namdar

she said “ we are making memories” so when you grow up you can bring them out and recall the past even the time the smoke alarm went off because the grease in the oven which i  didn’t scrub off started to burn and the fifteen pound turkey had burnt wings which is a thanksgiving memory and that was before the ovens cleaned themselves and you didn’t need to spend hours scrubbing away any burnt on grease but in those days you also boiled water to put in the freezer to melt the ice which choked up the space in a small freezer that never kept ice cream solid yet colder than my mother’s refrigerator where cookies were stored on the bottom shelf and cereal kept in tin cans because in an apartment in the city you didn’t take chances on an infestation of insects or roaches and I recall once drop kicking a roach in the hallway of a cambridge apartment building 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Take and give
Arrive to begin 
Leave a place you know well
Forget yesterday
Recall each moment 

The top of a single sheet of paper
no matter how thin, how heavy,
has a bottom

The whisper knows the shout
They share the same lineage

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 in America

      Who can protest and does not, 
        is an accomplice in the act.

Wail without action,
 empty howls—
self-deception and prattle 
Hand wringing
over a litany of deceptions,
lies and bravado
masquerading as reality
An upside down quagmire
Stand in the marketplace
and roar

Friday, November 03, 2017

A New Reality

     These days I wait for another political morass, another political wasteland, another beyond belief story. I expect that we are getting so accustomed to hang on by your nails diplomacy, the defenestration of common ordinary empathy, and the roll out of prevarication praised to the level of acceptability for some folks— that a compromised reality is the norm.
     We need our ballad makers, our minstrels, our artists, our journalists, our poets —especially our poets— to lead the way. We need anthems, banners, mugs with slogans. 
     Remember Take Back the Night ? 
     I am thankful for the women’s marches, for Emily’s List of female candidates, for strong women who tell stories straight, and for sweatshirts with our new slogans.
    I once owned a sweatshirt with Emma Goldman’s photo larger than life and her words emblazoned across my chest: if I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution.

    Now I wish to replace those words with another set of her words:

      To-day is the parent of to-morrow. The present casts its shadow far into the future.