Monday, December 24, 2007

Some poetry. And a song.

Female, 78, pelvic fracture

First of all her Hummel figurines
had fallen from the table near the place
where she herself had fallen,
her splayed hands
clutching at the carpet as if it were life itself.
A neighbor stopped to check on her and called
911 when he heard her moan
from be hind the door, festooned
with a merry wreath
which wouldn't yield no matter how he slammed
his shoulders into it.
How long has she been here?-I wonder, ask;
she answers, seven hours.
We check her pulse
and roll her like a turtle to her back.
She moans again: her hip is broken, leg
turned out as if into a grand plie, but for now
no leaps or arabesques for her.
Onto the stretcher, out into the cab--
her pulse is quick from pain, breath rapid too.

Oxygen mask and morphine, and she sighs,
frail body melting into the cot
like a spring allowed now to unwind.
I take her hand--
"You're going to be fine."
Her skin is like rice paper, loosely draped
over a web of veins, a bunch of bones.
"Fine," she repeats, the morphine drips, eyes swim,
then close. "You know," she says,
"I used to be a dancer. When will I dance again?"
An honest question answered honestly:
"Not for a while, and please, keep your mask on.
You need to relax." I stroke her hair, grey gone thin in patches,
or all gone.
The lead medic snaps, "Check the supplies."
Is too much tenderness prohibited?
Still, I am glad to pull myself away
from that vortex of human suffering;
a reminder that even one as young as I
will someday age and fracture, fall and die.

Bread and Roses

I know that I need beauty
more than I need bread.
Bring home baguettes to admire,
then photograph;
food to write odes to.
But more important,
bring me roses
in the gentle curved clasp
of your fingers;
bring me your lips
arched like bows
and fire at will.

And a song...I still have to figure out the guitar part in its entirety:


It's three in the morning
I'm walking down Broadway
My friends and my neighbors have all gone to sleep
And from their apartments
the windows spill secrets
that during the daytime they struggle to keep

Insomnia does that, it sets you apart
It's the tension in eyelids, the seal on your heart
It's the kinship of coffee
and honey, believe me
Come meet me on Broadway some night and you'll see

I have a prescription
to help me drift off but
It doesn't work, I still toss, turn and moan
I don't care what the med is
'Cause anyway bed is
More lonely than sitting up writing, alone.


Some night I will meet you
at four in the morning
At that all-night diner on 39th street
You'll ask for my name
and I'll ask you the same
And we'll know we've been waiting our whole lives to meet


At last I am sleeping
I slip into dreaming
Of streets and apartments and coffee shops too
And though we haven't met
at least not quite yet
Awake or asleep I am thinking of you.
Now if only I could figure out a way to record it that didn't make the vocals sound like I was using a garbage can for a recording studio...

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