Posts Tagged Poem

Share My Sorrow

For Leonard Cohen

I’d like to share my sorrow
I’d hand you this broken cup
I’d like to share my sorrow
But you’ve already had enough

You spoke so low in darkness
To brighten darker skies
You spoke candles burning
In a thousand angels’ eyes

I’m leaving for the hotel
I’ll pay a few more dues
I’m leaving for the hotel
To check in with the muse

You skipped the preliminaries
Your song is in the mail
A voice like a mountain
A pen hesitant and frail

I’d like to share your sorrow
And fill this broken cup
I’d like to share your sorrow
But you’ve already shared enough

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Nobel Limerick

Honorable Nobel Committee
When you award me for being witty
Don’t share the prize
With three other guys
Or my mother will say, What a pity!

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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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Moon

And while everyone on Earth
Looked to the Moon
For their own shadow
I stood on the Moon
As our fragile little Earth
Covered the Sun,
Praying, wondering
What on earth we have done.

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Superhero

The highway starts humming at four
The birds in the trees at five
And then I

Last night,
A neighbor called to say,
Could I move my Ford, a day in May?

For a scene in a superhero movie
They need to vacate the lot
I said,

“A superhero who can’t move a truck?”

In a heartbeat,
We will long for winter
But spring is the only season we hope for

And then I
Superhero of poetry, coffee, and all the rest.
Tug the pull chain, green light on the desk.

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Homework

Love left for another continent
And for weeks, the notebooks have been piling up
On the kitchen table.

Outside the window,
At seven-thirty, the cardinal sings his tune
To remind the world, I assume

That breakfast is overdue.
I’m reading the ABC of Achebe, Bukowski, Camus
Dotting down, in red and blue, sequences of particular musicality.

At sunset, the first glass of wine is exquisite
The second is the name on the label
After that, it’s like doing someone else’s homework.

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Spring in New York

I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
And for sidewalks scattered with gloves
For three new construction sites down the block
And for strangers to piss me off

For neighbors smoking on fire escapes
At three o’clock in the morn’
Life in a city that never sleeps —
A life of kind-hearted ignoring

I thank Thee, Lord, for the BQE
For buses of tourists hoping to see
Authentic Brooklyn
Which it would be
Were it not for them
(not for me)

Oh, I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
Where writers in their 30s write memories
Eating 30 dollar sustainable pork
And drink Pinot Noir out of Ball jars

I thank Thee for the kids in Underwood Park
Who cry, “Let’s play Barack Obama”
I wouldn’t have experienced that today
If my neighbor had been a dirt farmer

Oh, Lord, one more thing, before I forget
I thank Thee for aerodynamics
What New Yorkers need, time and again,
Is to fly off and assess the damage

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