Posts Tagged New York

Daybreak

Two mangy dogs down by the Claverack Creek

Insist that, on early spring mornings,

County Road 25 belongs to canines,

Not cars, silence or jogging poets,

So each morning they come at me

 

In all their dirty, furry little anger,

Balancing their pace with their courage,

Until I turn and jump toward them, arms out,

The sudden star of an Off-Broadway musical,

A move any crackpot poet knew was coming.

 

I’m no man of headaches and this one took three days

To take off, lifting like a flock of geese,

Clucks and double clucks,

A retired steam locomotive on the Fourth of July,

The coughing and whispering of pressurized air.

 

My furry henchmen, having exchanged glances,

Steal away, bewildered, as many an audience.

Then, conquering the moment, I stand by the river

Where the other morning I stepped in

And swam against the current, moving and not moving.

 

Writing is what happens while you’re sleeping

And at daybreak, it all comes floating by —

Familiar voices, a missing paragraph, this poem.

All the poet has to do is the living, the loving,

The exhilarating loneliness of typing.

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L.I.C. Bar in Queens, May 22, 8 p.m.

Monday, May 22, 8 p.m.:

I will be returning to the L.I.C. Bar in Long Island City, Queens, to play a set of mainly original songs. I might throw in some Johnny Cash or Greg Brown, or even a Scandinavian folk tune.

Begins at 8 p.m. sharp.

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Fireplace Concert in New York City

Sunday, February 5:

I will be playing a set of original songs at the L.I.C. Bar in Long Island City, Queens.

The show starts at 5 pm with Pete Lanctot & Ginger Dolden.

I will be on at 6 pm, followed by Maya Sharpe at 7 pm.

Come and be warm by the fire and hear some tunes

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Recipe For Dried Apples

After summer in New York
Fall feels like spring
And then a birthday in October
Reminds you it’s precious to get older

So you leave town
Shy of the morning commuters
To pick apples upstate in the drizzle,
Smelling the dirt, the wet grass

As your hand reaches for that apple
That the ones before you couldn’t quite reach
And then you drive home like after church
Under foliage the color of all sermons

You find an old Danish recipe for dried apples
You scald Mason jars for aquavit
Adding vanilla, star anise, cinnamon sticks
Then you seal the lids. Winter.

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Sunset Park

It took me years
To start dreaming in dollars
Which I do, at six forty-five,
As the clock radio goes off

Announcing that the Dow is up
So I get up as well
And ride my bike to Sunset Park,
Past Green-Wood Cemetery

Where, last week, our landlord buried
His old brother, a man I’ve never met
But who used to live in this house,
A life as real to me as fiction.

The October sun penetrating
Feather-shaped leaves of oak trees
Makes it look like early spring
Which, in a way, it is.

Young people sing of broken hearts
Later, you marvel at the generosity
You since birth have carried
In the vaults of your chest.

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Pocket Doors

In New York, you can’t get to the water
But the water can get to you,
I say to someone at the opening of an art exhibition
Of paintings by Vilhelm Hammershøi
Who painted with light and shades of white,
Leaving the water to the imagination
And then was forgotten for a lifetime.
I stroll with my wife through Murray Hill,
Sharing a plate of Indian food among the cab drivers.
At Gramercy Park, a man in a blue suit gives us
An impromptu tour of Governor Tilden’s mansion,
The dark wood, tall ceilings, the old bricks visible

Inside the mahogany pocket doors and I point
To a framed drawing among hundreds of portraits,
Saying, “Isn’t that Itzhak Perlman?”
“Could be,” he shrugs, turning to assist a young
Intoxicated Russian lady in the doorway.
At home, I look at old photographs, flickers of light
In pieces of glass from the shattered window of childhood.
It’s October, these mornings are clear, and with my eyes closed
I can hear my mother’s radio in her kitchen –
All the stories about the Middle East,
The burning of books and violins
That they somehow still insist on calling The News.

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Small Poem Filled With Hope, Rain and Biblical References

In New York
It’s raining
Cats and dogs

But it could be
Exodus 8
And frogs.

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