Monday, November 24, 2008

At Last (cinquain)

At last
when there's nothing
to say, you say nothing -
but isn't there always something
to say?

Friday, November 21, 2008


It's not that I was thinking of the

hopelessness of my situation or of how much I miss my life,
I don't know what I was thinking but it really didn't seem
to have anything to do with my crying, I just
suddenly started to cry. Perhaps my loneliness just then got to
the point of no return: I cannot keep this up. Anyway walking in the
gray hall with my walker I suddenly started to cry. Tears flowed and
sobs shook me as I walked and then I quieted down a bit and
soon I was telling people, "I don't know why but I just can't
stop crying," and then after a while I wasn't
crying any more. Then I ate but
eating's not the same any more, it isn't
enjoyable, it's just
a way to pass the time. I'll never
get my life back; it's gone; not that I'm dead but that I'm
unable to be in charge of myself. But the worst was when I
said to Deborah, the medicine nurse "Thank you for
being so nice to me," and she
turned away as if annoyed to hear this message. I
wonder what it is about it that she rejects. She is, though,
very nice to me and careful with my medicine and
I love her so much I could just

Thursday, November 6, 2008


"A woman who
but looks up to trouble"
says a woman's voice, then a
baritone tells me "A calm sea
has your knee." I'm walking the
late night halls hearing scraps of other people's
TVs as I pass their doors. I could collect in one night enough
titles for a lifetime of novels, should I have any desire to
write novels, which I do not. I hardly ever even
read them any more. What can I do, then, with
all these quotes, so mysterious and yet so
mundane? Collect them, that's all; if I gather
enough of them I will have more than
the storied output of all those
monkeys. Maybe that's all it is, anyway, this
jabber from screens, through doors, deep in the night:
monkeys talking. Two days ago the
jabber was of higher quality - it kept saying
Obama, Obama, Barack,
Barack Obama. I remember thinking how lucky he was in his
name, one that it's almost impossible not just to
keep on saying, but he's not the
only lucky one - we get to
have him around. And now if I could just
get someone to scratch my back I could
go to sleep.


When the sun is on the treetops afternoon
falls easy down the slope to where the wall
holds back the earth, letting me have all
the space I want for walking. Very soon
the earth having turned away, light will be gone
from yard and slope, leaving my gaze to fall
randomly on curtains or my ill
roommate, silent, stoic, all alone
abed or in her wheelchair where she dreams
perhaps of France, France whose facile tongue
falls not from her tongue - none does - but still seems
to cheer her waiting ear - Jeannot, pronounced
"Zhan-knot" by helpful aides, making us smile -
me and Jeannot - even in our dreams.


I want to go
up the west coast to
Canada by train and across Canada
by train through all those "too many" according to my
grandmother mountains and down to Portsmouth,
New Hampshire where I could take a boat
to Star Island and there fall asleep
to the sound of the waves on the rocks. I would not try
to swim there - when I was 18 I only thought it had
killed me, just for a minute as I first went down
into icy brine - but I would think about it; I would not
try either to walk the rock wall between islands as I could then, but
I would see them again and think about it. Now I don't know
exactly how I would get back here from there so perhaps the
whole trip will just consist of
thinking about it. Oh I think from there by train again but
south and west, through
Indian country finally, those
empty vistas so gratifying to one
full of homeless dreams. I remember that
Navajo woman who said to me near Albuquerque, "You
have all those people and no place to put them - we have
all this land and hardly any people." I would like to see her again
her friend told me "You
look just like her mother." And I could see again
those mountains named "Blood of Christ" and wonder still just how
that blood differed from my blood, if it did. Blood-red they sure
could be,
when the sun fell. I would come home with
some turquoise, not
blood-red at all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So Long, Whoever You Are

Today's the day I saw you die. It's
the day Obama won, so now I'll always remember,
Oh yes, I remember when Obama won, it was the day
I saw that woman die. We were sitting in the hall
across from each other in our walkers, resting. We
made eye contact, peaceful in the sort of eventless
afternoon when it seemed the only thing happening was on
TV. Obama was winning, we were resting, our heads supported by
the backs of our chairs. Then yours wasn't, it fell forward til your
hit your chest; I gave a yelp; nurses came. Here, and then not here,
just like that. Mystery woman, I'll remember you, and honor you every
year on the day Obama won, 4th
day of November, 2008, his
victory day and your