Friday, February 26, 2016


Night  has scrubbed clean
The street of light
And sound.
Gone, the sound of church bells,
The whoosh of passing cars,
The echoes of spectators
Watching children playing soccer,
Sprinklers spritzing on, then off,
The roar of lawn-mowers--
All gone under the persistent,
Downward pressure of dark matter.
Air--that combination of oxygen
And nitrogen--
Clear in the daylight,
Becomes impenetrable.
See nothing/
Hear everything--
The night is made for listening,
The receipt of words,
The interpretation of silences.
Life’s alternating current--
Day, with the eyes open,
And night, when sight gives way
To sound,
Gives way to touch,
Gives way to smells
Of lotions, perfumes,
These hours--
Sacred, extraordinary, time--
For extrications, contractions,
Retractions and consents,
Of skin and spirit,
Blood and belief--
All in this weightlessness

Of night's caress.


With the right side of the world
invisible, not darkness--
there is no darkness except
when I close my eyes each night,
Navigating through  each day
is sometimes hard work to do.
The left eye, ninety-five percent
disconnected, the nerve torn
I stride down sidewalks quicker
than "normal" people believe.
"You're not really blind, you know,"
is shouted from some passing car.
By now, I just laugh at them.
If they only knew my life
from all its vantagepoints.
I would trade this cane, truly,
for a driver's license.
I envy their freedom--
always have. But I can see
the world at  a slower speed
as long as I have sidewalks,
or bike lanes, wider shoulders
on the roads I travel.
In my two-dimentional
world, I talk to people
everyday, and everyday,
strangers can't help but marvel
at my refusal to yield.
Let's take away their car keys,
force them to walk to bus stops,
waiting in all kinds of weather
for buses that never come.
Let them board buses that stop
too far from the curb 
to manage without stepping
in snow, in puddles, in mud.
Let them try to figure out
how to get from 
point A
to point B
without having to ask for help.
The empty half of my life
has always existed.
Everyone, and everything,
has height and width, but no depth.
"Where is...?" is answered by
someone pointing their finger,
which, of course, I cannot follow.
It must be hard--to drive, to look
where one is going. to shop,
to work, to play, just to live,
with all one's faculties intact:
how do you manage so well?
How do you manage to ask
such stimulating questions?
without tripping on your tongue,
without your brain convulsing
from the effort of inquiry?

I would really like to know.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Ten days old now,
the snow--what remains--
has lost its lightness,
has become hard, slick
dangerous, melting each day,
refreezing each night.
When it fell, I walked
from my studio
to take out my trash,
through fourteen inches
of wet and cold morning.
Now, when I go outside,
what remains is mostly on the grass,
at the edge of parking lots,
thinly spread on sidewalks
I have learned to carefully
navigate in boots--
not my tennis shoes.
Another week
of sunlight, and fifty degrees,
and maybe it will leave once
and for all, only to be replaced
by the next, inevitable, storm.
The groundhog didn't see his shadow,
so perhaps the snow won't fall
as late into this year
as it has in years past.

Copyright © 2016 by the author