Monday, June 10, 2019

Bee Keeping in Lincoln Heights

I wake early and naked to the heat and the work
of killing tomatoes to spite the aphids
only who knows what will
happen to the bees.

Surely there are bees
in this urban garden on my balcony
six floors above the urine, shit and garbage
above spindly, barren trees.

I can’t stop now; the war is on. It is on
and on, like aphids on balconies
and doom on the horizon for tomatoes
and maybe bees.

They can handle the heat but the dirt
will grind them down,
the weight of exhaled sighs and the air
thick with the pollen of 18-wheeled jake brakes
and the honeycombed memory of microparticles.

I see unlikely movement on the tomato leaves
even so, I lean in with the spray bottle
hoping to see a bee.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

56 Years Later

Of course, she had friends.
She had lots of friends and lots
of fun times. They would have been great memories now. You know that.
Knew that. Knew all about
the friends, the parties, the clothes
 and the ski trips. You heard
the stories and maybe even remembered some.

But still. You look at this photo
and you don't know anything or
anyone or even know any stories
about this trip to Alpbach,
which is in Austria, but you don't know that,
the way you don't know
her. Not your mother, but just her.

Oh you know some of it: know that she was thirty-two
and beautiful. She had a husband
who made everyone laugh and she was
loved. She had children who aren't yet really
a part of this story. That would be you.
Not a part of the story of Alpbach. You were not yet
the centre. But you know
of course, you know that you never were.

But somehow. You think of her and see
you. Not her, but you and she is peripheral
and slightly blurry like the corners
of a photo. And you wonder.
And you will keep wondering.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


He always fought, hitting
back hard, pushing
even harder.

Anything you did he could do worse
deeper, darker, further from home base
and safe on-base runs or even slides.
He couldn't help himself, he had to.
Had to. Like, must do
or undo if that was worse. Always worse.
A form of winning for the underdog
who didn't wouldn't jump climb fly
but wasn't afraid to dig or drop.
The bottom was never far enough for him.

So how did you expect the story to end?
Did you think all of that would somehow turn out alright?
Come out in the wash?
That he would drill through the basement and somehow hallelujah
somehow find the sky lay there,
low enough for him to finally soar the depths?
Do you think that happened?

Taking flight