IT’S ALMOST TIME TO LEAVE

When Angie comes around,
I know it’s almost time to leave.

She crinkles her nose at me
when I’ve got fifty tabs open
in a browser, while she shimmies
behind my chair to collect
my plastic bag of paper & lemon peels.

Go home, she insists playfully with a gesture
at an invisible watch on her wrist.

She shows me pictures from her
native land with a longing I admire.
Live to work here, she says, No
way to live.

Angie sees everything, knows everything.
Quiet observer, kindest heart.

Today, I told her that I’m leaving.
No, she said. And then she said it again.

And then: I won’t see you anymore?
She sighed & kissed me on the forehead.

DAILY OBSERVATIONS ON 18TH

Finally, peppermint crisp,
the sky is cotton-white
with a speck of platinum
light nested above
the Walgreens.

I must know every
detail of this intersection.

Wind plays with the ends
of my hair in teasing waves.

People mill about.
Cafe workers have
confusing relationships
at the table next to me.

Two cyclists with touring
bikes and fat saddle bags
go up and down the street, lost.

POEM ON FATIGUE

There was a time
in school when
we made little
bridges entirely
of toothpicks
and glue

Some kind of rite
of passage, the
rudimentary sketching
out of engineering,
new senses of space
and time

With a week’s worth
of shifted focus,
here comes my
new contribution
to the soundness
of my own structured
life

How the entire tapestry
of the day is
rendered differently
when there is
fatigue settling
on the corners
of the cheeks
and eyes

ONCE THOUGHT

Musical accompaniment by Joe Brooker. Many thanks, faraway friend.

465789_10100346036462217_2001216496_o

The rooftops in Queen Village, Philadelphia.

[ Read the original poem here. ]

ONCE THOUGHT

I am humbled
by my path to nowhere

It’s not a hero’s journey
afterall,
as was once thought

In fact it’s rather un-
spectacular
milling through the
myriad
daily concerns

I didn’t choose it

It took mounds of
hush/hush/hush
in my mind

so that I could at
least pretend to care

If I had one of Phillip
Pullman’s dæmons
it would whisper to me:
you’ve always
been preoccupied

Now I do know
I can’t be
above scotch tape
or fax machines
or the usefulness of
paperclips

I see the clumsy
stacks of paper
wheeled in by the
Staples man

and ship out on arms
of many, day and day
and day

What kind of tree
are we sacrificing
today?

And so my path
is a path to nowhere
where I seek the
things that once made
me scoff:

pleasure
warmth
happiness
love

And it’s not a hero’s
journey, as was
once thought.