Hair

My hair is getting weird

There’s a long tuft on top which just showed up.

If it wasn’t for this fucking virus

I would go to the salon

For a styling

But here I am stuck in my house

Looking mournfully into the mirror

With an electric clipper in my hand

The one my husband uses every few weeks or so

For his buzz cut

My hair is thin anyway

I can see my scalp peeking through in places

An aging thing I guess

Maybe

A buzz cut would be youthful.

I swear

I am such an optimist.

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Crossing the Street

I have learned caution

Nowadays I look both ways before crossing the street

Instead of flying willy nilly into traffic

Like I used to do.

I swear

You can only get run over so many times

Metaphorically speaking

Until you wise up

Or die.

I guess I learned caution

The hard way

Only after years of making choices

So random they hardly

Etched themselves on my consciousness

And crossing the street in front of oncoming cars

Was what I did

Metaphorically speaking.

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Me Myself

Okay, I’m not laughing

I am sick of being by myself, also

Maybe sick of myself.

Even in the best of times

Which this is not

I have

As they say

Limited existential resiliency.

So when I

Polish my nails

Scour the cupboards

Examine in minute detail my wrinkles

And gray hair

I equivocate.

Either I go out or alternatively

Man up and

Abide by myself

With myself.

I tentatively conclude that being sick of myself is

Better than being sick.

At least so far.

I do remember however

When I was a girl

I wanted to sleep with a man who confessed he had the clap

I told him I didn’t care

So we made love

I got the clap.

Just saying.

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Positively Bleeker Street

When I was 16 and an artist

I would dress in black

And take the subway

From the Bronx to Greenwich Village

To hang out.

I carried a sketchbook and

Rapidograph pen and drew

Fellow passengers on the long ride downtown.

One Saturday as I was walking on Bleeker Street

Holding my sketchbook

This man caught up to me.

He told me

In a French accent

That he had been following me for blocks

Because I had such a lovely behind.

He said he was a diplomat from Haiti working at the United Nations

And took out his wallet to show me a foreign paper

Which he said proved it.

His name was Louis and he was 32.

We went to his apartment arm in arm

And I discarded my black turtleneck sweater

And black corduroy pants

On the floor

And the experience was positively

Bleeker Street.

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Reading

When I read the

Reader’s Digest cover to cover

Each week

And all the books on our shelves at home

Peyton Place My Three Prisoners Van Loon’s Geography

And many more

My mother frowned.

When I read the Saturday Evening Post and

Collier’s magazines

Cereal boxes at the kitchen table

Uncle Wiggily

Little Lulu and the Classics.

Three newspapers a day

My mother said

It’s a good thing she’s smart

Because she’s not pretty.

I had a library card.

In the third grade I was fitted for glasses

So I could see the blackboard

And the page.

I read my childhood away

Sorry not sorry.

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Urning Your Love

I am dissatisfied with myself

Petty, fat, ungraceful, soon to be dead

And lightly mourned.

I used to want a big celebration when I died

With four white horses prancing down Main Street

An obelisk and marble urns

Wreaths of flowers and sobbing mourners

And the only reason I now reject

Such a grand deathmarch funeral

And instead choose to ghost my way out of life

Unnoticed

Is my fear that

Nobody will come to say goodbye, or worse

People will eat the canap├ęs and leave

Before the speeches, all of which were

Of course

Pre-recorded for the occasion.

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The Carriage Trade

When Katy was a baby

And we lived on the Upper West Side

She wore a bonnet

And a pink hand-knitted outfit.

I wheeled her up Broadway

In a pram built like a cruise ship

That had a convertible top if it rained.

Sometimes I walked with my mother.

We took turns pushing the carriage

Smiling at the baby while she

Sat wobbly on

Satin cushions and

Played with a teething ring.

We were good walkers, my mother and I

And Katy traveled in style with us

Looking in all the storefront windows.

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