Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From “La Boniche”

Flowing brick and glass
This modern outlook
Onto the old soda fountain
The leaning downtown clock
Holding vigil at Kearney
Once flowed rivers of fedora hats
As giant beetle buses
Belched thick exhaust
Into Harvey’s Bookstore
Chasing the ghosts of the Rialto Theater.
That old Greek barber!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Dancing Drunk
Every module moves with singular thought
Expressing to everyone their singular meaning
Draped in liquor
This cape drowns their inhibitions
Pound the floorboards you rhythmic creatures
Rejoice this humanity
Unveil this fool

Sunday, December 20, 2009


He took his position next to the gargoyle
And summoned what strength remained,
To impersonate the gothic
Yet he failed
And now we try to teach him the ways of the celibate
But what results can be expected from an emotionless paragon?
I would flog his hide, -but sooth!
The statuary feels not the barb or the spear!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pepere's Rails

He helped shape the rails and
He blew the life into the red lights
That criss-crossed our hearts
With the iron ties of night
On switch box
Or rock bed
The number counted out
The fuel rigs
The cat-like cars
Stealthy in the woods
Watching with their
Feline surety
He redirected and braked
His long cigarette jiggled
On his bottom lip
The men in the yard
Brothers and cousins
Gathering next to the
Mile markers
With heavy burdensome wedges
Or crossbars
Singing their song
To the coyote sky
They would drag their asses
To the line
And squawk in French or
Boast in Polish
Rough hewn hands
A pillowcase filled with granite
The stock-still eerie far off wail
Of the Manchester line
Just now over the switch
Green lighted
She’s a derelict siren
Drawing nearer and
Pointing her beam between
The forlorn stars of
Simple evening
Her feet fitting through the
Curving steel
Like a graceful dancer
Attacking the diesel atmosphere
His baleful eyes
Gave no hint
At the raw hurt burning in
His legs and back
A gray lunchpail with
Mashed potato sandwiches
Four of ‘em for cryin’ out loud!
Made by his doll like mother
In the cramped kitchen pantry
She made Paul’s too
He’s just now out cold near the
Hands resting on his chest
Under the moon
Flaps of his boots
Ragged tongues
Panting at Orion
I’m not sure how he managed
Great bear of a man
That posturing under porch eaves
Suspenders and locks of hair
Rolling on his head
Pressed suits
Set against the dump fires of
Little Canada
The boiling black smoke
Arcing over the Merrimack
Arthur heaving dumbbells by the shrubs
Sleeves rolled up to the
Bulging biceps
Face contorted
The rails called them
Following lines like Boston & Maine
Out of the North Country
Across Vermont and down
New Hampshire
The Canadian express
Dropped her red boxes on flatcars
Lumber on the nape of
Forest necks
Bearded men with torn pants
Wrapped their mouths around the
Necks of futility
That grab bag of punch drunk weekends
Smelling like shit and whiskey
Broad women under broader hats
Berate the young ones at
The terminal
Some slick-headed kid
Hanging his poor head below his
Coat collar
Turned up to the bitter cold
I asked the Northern Line
To take care of my family
Huddled together
In the fourth car
A plague of suitcases
At our feet
I asked the Northern Line
To speed us home......2/13/01

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waiting It Out In Newburyport 11-16-00

Waiting it out in Newburyport
My tie wants to strangle me and
My suit coat is a threat to decency
Parked on a creaking town hall bench
As old as 1851
A wall of long dead town fathers
Behind a curtain of sepia tones
A wall of long dead young men
Blown apart in all the great wars
Ceiling fans circulate the breath of
Yellow record keepers
Pushing down floorboards
On muffled feet
The common council room occupies
The acoustics of the water committee
And their paper scrolls and pleas
Mimeographed flyers flap
On corkboards
My coat hangs in the hall
Like an invisible traitor
Someone rubber stamps
My neck hurts from being still
So much time here
And all of it

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Face For Each Feature

Milford is a farmer who busies himself with the demon-beauty that is cornucopia.
Amherst is a lunch pail of egg and toast—the general of the highway army.
Derry is a stand of leaning pine holding council with fox and skunk.
Further south, Lowell is a bowler; sliding along warped wood.
Dracut is a shameful boy; fidgeting next to his mother.
Waltham is a spindly stretch of mortar, with a franchise of cheap eats.
Lawrence is the friend that smokes too much and mooches.
Concord wears a tri-cornered hat and takes too long to load.
Boston is the grand inquisitor who bends to no one.
She is a rank amateur when it comes to the color of humanism.
The Cape shows its bicep to the ocean.
Quabbin fills up and spills and is a watershed.
Berkshire is the noble timeshare of the Downy Woodpecker.
Williamstown makes pottery meant to break.
Groton is at once nocturnal, and then it becomes as saymite.
Dunstable is a lost vagabond, with overstuffed suitcases and apple orchards for arms.
Franconia has at its heart, the downward necklace of water.
We come to the face, and grow like the Bohdi Tree.
Keene has the stability of a garden row,
planted close to the tender caregiver of the country.
Hampton and Salisbury are cousins once removed;
implacable beauty in the inlet of salt.
The Grand Banks, the mother of us all,
shelter bullets of scrod and tarpon.
And then there’s the signature of Nashua;
the floral script of an antiquated hand,
writing her story across a hilly page.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Hampshire Impressions

This bridge of land has been unlocked
From careful hand to masts of rock
That loom and stretch the ribboned road
Has quarried most, that green she coats
Then inks to black where eyes of doe
Flit swift and cold near boulder’s throne

By cutting gullies, frothing white
The heads of moss poke holes through night
And burdened there with cat-like eyes
Are sparkler brights on country heights
Whose patient rovers crossing lanes
Drop tracks of rolls and coffee stains

This one grand slope that furrows time
That grapples sky with mountain’s light
It’s bands of silver etching through
What rings of birch have leaned askew
The bridge holds true, it cups and throws
The bedrock falls to silt and stew

Where simmering we see her toil
A family sown in land’s deep soil
A cloud of crow, a wash of dove
Round heights that ice has gripped above
And soon to rinse her granite face
That rain has carved with cunning grace

Into a shallow water’s trough
Grand spectacle greets fish and moth
That boats could swell in mirrored sounds
Their waning cries call dusk to shrouds
Bathe valley steeple crowned with white
Poke spires round God’s pristine sight

Prod fingers clay that belch and steam
Hold weary workers heads to dream
Call clouds to boil in heaven’s hand
Calm fears that strive to understand
That faith and stone are shaped the same
Beneath this lion’s fiery mane