Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'm sorry I was rude to Jeanne.
I wish I hadn't been so mean.
I want to try to make it up;
I'd like to try with chicken soup
But I am just as sick as she.
Soup it isn't gonna be.
I cooked this up, though, long ago -
A book - all full of joy and woe
And now it's done, it's stirred, it's hot.
I'm the chicken in this pot.
No matzoh ball, no lima bean.
I'm sorry I was rude to Jeanne.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sit Still (cinquain)

Sit still
Let them ask their
questions. Do not reply.
Suck the air in, let it help you
sit still.


I am close to the
redwood forest, but then
to the gulfstream waters rolling up along the
coast of Maine. I was in a cabin sitting on a
low stool not too far from the fire, waiting, as I
am now, for sleep. Then, strong arms would lift me into bed. I want
those arms now. Instead, I will fall on my side and
that will let me know it is time
to pull my legs up.

Gilbert #1 (cinquain)

true to his word,
cannot carry a tune
but sings, teaches us to

Remembering The Raven

And I just remembered that I forgot
that I want to memorize
The Raven. I started wanting to about seventy years ago
when rote memory was in disfavor and so my
wishes were at war with my beliefs and I
forsook my wishes. Now, having heard the glorious
late Jack Schafer recite it I realize what an
egregious error that was and I want
to make my wish come true before I
die. And now no one will roll their eyes in disgust
if I try to recite it, either, the way people used to
in my teens. I am getting better - I may get well enough
to read my poetry aloud again. If I do, I want to be able
to recite The Raven once in a while. I would like too to be able
to recite Marianne Moores Spensers Ireland but one thing at a
time. I believe when I first read Moore I had already been
longing to be able to recite The Raven. Meanwhile, what
can I recite? I think that Yesenin, The Back Streets of
Moscow, is about it, and for that one I need to memorize too the
name, for some reason resisting my attempts to
know it, of the translator. That and maybe a Sara Teasdale but
I have forgotten the title of that one. Actually two Teasdales and
not the titles of either. Reading biographies of Teasdale finally gave
some glimpse of why I found her so hard to memorize - her poetry and
her person did not coincide as in those days no one
expected them to, it was as if art shows who you
want to be - for who you are you need
a mirror or to wait until after your
death for a lucid biographer. Of
course I suppose one always likes
ones own times best - anyway I
sure prefer mine. It is good to
have lived this long.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These Birds

These budgies
here in the bird room
have memories only
two minutes long, so I have been told, but it is kind of neat
how one or the other will chirp suddenly under the cover that
darkens their cage, chirp just at the moment when the
right word comes to me. Reminds me that there are things
we know and also things
we do not know.

I Look Out With Surprise


at the familiar hillside; I guess I was dreaming of being
somewhere else. Where, though? I'd like to go
back there, I was
happy there and here I am coughing and short of
breath and despite the sunshine and the
friendly greeting of people going by am not exactly
happy. Happy is evidently not happy either; when
I pass her in the hall she`s the exception: once she
told me ''You`re just an old woman with
white hair.¨ True enough and she could say
the same of herself but Hey, Happy¡ Rejoice in it. Look
where you might be instead. Besides, despite being sick I`m having
a lot more fun right now than I was for a lot of years when I was
quite otherwise - busy busy housewife driving around all day in a
car, everybody´s ferry, and smoking up a storm which is what
put me here, in a nursing home but waiting
for a shipment that's on the way of my own
new book, a collection of my own
poetry. I wish my mom
could have lived to see it, and my
sister. Happier than Happy, that's for sure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Days Of The Predicted 21 Of Recovery

1. It's been
cough, cough syrup,
cough, all day. Sandwiches,
soup too, go down anyway. Still
bad day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last Night

I wasn't able to eat dinner with Penny and Helen in the
dining room because I had to unhook the oxygen in order
to get into the dining room and when I got to my seat I was
too short of breath to move, let alone to eat dinner, so back in my
room with the tank I awaited my tray, bearing when it came a
discouraging sight (that s why I prefer eating with friends - at least
the company s good). Okay a mound of mashed potatoes with
gravy, that would be edible, in fact I like mashed potatoes with
gravy in spite of meeting it twice a day and often cold. Green beans,
too and
tasteless. A mound of chopped chicken, somewhat salty, and a spoonful
of cranberry jelly. A cold bun with margarine and some multi-colored
jello for dessert. I looked at it all for a while and then called my
daughter. When you come, I said, please bring soup - there is nothing
for me to eat here. The matzoh-ball soup when it arrived was a mitzvah
that thrilled my bones and I was well fed on the evening of the first
day of my predicted 21 days of recovery from this last bout of
pneumonia. And it was the first
day of
fall. Winter
is coming. Matzoh-ball soup is good magic for
turning the seasons.

Brown Bread

Oh but it was good on
Sunday mornings with baked beans and fish balls;
hot and slathered with butter, not baked but steamed:
Boston brown bread. I'm thinking of it now because I just had
probably my last bite of white sliced bread - one peanut-
butter-and-jelly sandwich too many, alas. I do like a
midnight snack but I will have to find another kind, this
polished bread won't do. We had brown bread with
raisins and brown bread without raisins, both
heaven-sent, fresh out of the oven where they'd been
steaming overnight. As a child in my
grandfather's house I never thought about the
laboring housekeeper, up before we were just to
feed us, up and then down two flights of stairs, the
back stairs too, dim and narrow. Deaf Elizabeth Cronk, who got
a weekly newspaper from her home in Canada that had
amazing funny papers we were allowed to read when she
was through with her paper - Maggie and Jiggs, Mutt and Jeff, -
and the best, The Toonerville Trolley. Up on the third floor where
Elizabeth lived when she had a chance to live (her
afternoon break and Thursdays off) was the room that had been
my father's and uncle's playroom, with
Gibson Girls on the walls and The Hardy Boys in the
book case. Other books too - there was The Sun
Also Rises. And the Guest Room, where the
treadle sewing machine was kept on which I made -
what did I make? A blouse, and a dotted-swiss evening gown,
and I think a dirndl skirt. Elizabeth would put the
brown bread in the oven to steam on Saturday night, and
she knew how to bank the fire in the wood-burning
oven. Later we got another stove, an
electric one, but still the brown bread was steamed in the
old one. Oh if I ever get a kitchen again I'll bake Boston
Baked Beans and steam Boston Brown Bread but I won't
try to deep-fry cod-fish balls - too scary. Maybe I can buy
ready-made fish balls and heat them up. Or make fish-and-
potato patties and fry them in a spider. But of course, I'll
never have a kitchen again, not one of my own, cooking
is dangerous to me. I'll just have to

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dessert Disappointment

"There's none so rare/ as can compare"
with a good slice of pumpkin pie. So say I, though I would have thought
the adjective unnecessary until today when I learned, to my
sorrow, that there is such a thing
as stale pumpkin pie. Of course too there's
sweet potato pie, a delicacy I have relished
a time or two. But (good) pumpkin pie, that's
the best; always a disappointment to hear at the counter, "Oh,
we only have that in November." Once in my younger days I
baked a pumpkin chiffon pie because I did not want to be
boring; it was all right but though not boring did not
come up to the mark; pumpkin pie is it. Mince pie you can keep;
at Thanksgiving Uncle Tom Robinson always brought mince
pie and people put ice cream on it and raved but for me
it was a mystery why they liked it. I ate
pumpkin, all I could eat. But today, alas, I learned
that though all pumpkin pie is created equal, some
is left standing too long. Next time, don't hide it,
bring it to me! It's
what I'm waiting for.

They Call Them Rock Doves

We got out the bus schedule to find out what time to leave
to get to the party in Venice. Venice, California, not Venice,
Italy, someone explained, and someone else said "Don't forget crumbs
for the pigeons." "Hey, there are pigeons in Italy too - let's go
to Italy" but I disagreed. Next year, I said; I have enough
shoes right now. Besides, this party is to honor the
workers. "What, there are no
workers in Italy?" Oh, who knows? Of course there are but
Italy has Communists to take care of them. Here we have only
parties. Of course the Communists are a party but it's always
BYOB. So here I am looking at a picture of Mary on the beach. Who
a party or a bottle either when there's
all that sand?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


At first I wanted a suppository. Then I wanted
an enema. Then I
had a bowel movement and didn't need
anything any more that I thought I wanted, except for the
use of two hands to type with in order to
capitalize. This I gained by holding the breathing-treatment
mouthpiece between my teeth. I'm feeling very sorry for myself but
I realize that there are people who type using a stick held between
their teeth the very way I'm holding this mouthpiece; not only that but
there are people who talk with their eyes, looking up for yes and
down for no. I never thought I could do all that but after I saw
Steven Hawking go by in his wheelchair talking to his aide I realized
I probably could; I'm glad I don't have to though. Seeing them
was funny too because they were walking right by the long line of
mostly students at Santa Monica College waiting to hear him; none of
looked at him. They were in line to see someone but they didn't know
what he looked like, just as I am now mostly waiting for death without
the faintest idea what it will feel like, and desperately searching for
kleenex when it is right in front of me, just behind the open laptop
lid -
and remembering when Kleenex tried so hard to prevent us from
saying kleenex. "The people, united, will never be defeated," I used to
chant when I could still walk and shout, not thinking about kleenex at
at the time, but it's all one: language won't ever come from Madison
Avenue though at times it will incorporate it. And now I'll have a
cabinet please (a Boston milkshake).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Four-Thirty In The

Four-Thirty In The
a of the m, as
Bonelli used to say; I know what he
meant too but I won't
tell you. These are the hours I love, between
midnight or so and six, the sun is coming round again but
still gives no sign - you just have to
know it. I guess I enjoy having
secrets and something
bigger than myself
to believe in.



a of the m, as
Bonelli used to say; I know what he
meant too but I won't
tell you. These are the hours I love, between
midnight or so and six, the sun is coming round again but
still gives no sign - you just have to
know it. I guess I enjoy having
secrets and something
bigger than myself
to believe in.

2008 September 16 poem: WHY SHOULD IT BE


that I think of Chicha as soon as I start to
try to figure out what day it is that I'm
writing this, whatever it is. Must be
that her garden is her
poetry. I wish my
poems were as rich and
healing as is her
garden. And
- think of it - Tim
promised me an

2008 September 15 POEM: ART & THE CALENDAR


By the time I figured out
what the date is today I had
forgotten what it was I wanted
to write about. I think I need a new
system for introducing poems: write it first, then
give it the caption that tells when
it is I'm writing it.

2008 September 16 poem: FUNNY PECULIAR


not funny ha-ha, we used to say. I'm thinking it's
funny that I have not seen a bluebird in so long, and then
realize it's not funny at all, no one has - or few have. They're
rare indeed, live
I hope this doesn't mean
happiness itself is getting rare, though that
sometimes seems true. What is also
funny peculiar is that my most vivid
memory of seeing a bluebird is of seeing the stuffed one
under a bell jar on the mantel in my mother's bedroom (formerly
my grandmother's) all those years ago. Gone the way of
the Delft tiles around Mom's fireplace and the
firedogs she never got to keep, that she wanted so badly after
Grandpa died. The tiles anyway, maybe the firedogs too, are
still in that long-empty house, and
Mom's long gone to where
(or so I believe) things like
firedogs won't matter. But who knows? Maybe things like
tiles do matter in the afterlife and we continue
to care about their whereabouts after we've lost all
ability to control them. Well, no, actually I don't think, at least
I don't think that. Still, it's interesting sometimes to observe
how objects still extant seem to be tied to thoughts of the
dead or the sensation of being talked to by the
dead. Say a plant that never bloomed suddenly
has two blossoms - or a hod used as a magazine-holder
falls over, though empty. Blind coincidence is really just as
hard to believe in. I'm walking all my life through the past, and
the past talks to me. It's just that I'm
mostly deaf. But sometimes -
it's funny -
word gets through.

2008 September 15 poem: WHAT A VIVID


imagination you have, said someone once. Can it be
that? Or does this stuff really act so fast? I took some
antibiotics for pneumonia in the left lower lobe less than an
hour ago and already feel better - feel perfectly well, as a
matter of fact, well except for a bit of
what I used to type on
Treatment Authorization Requests as
S.O.B. (Shortness of Breath). Me and
Dalton Trumbo, I always think, because he was one of our
oxygen customers back then. Now he's gone and I'm
getting it. Couple of reds getting MediCare and
blessing socialized
medicine, yes indeed. Too bad Trumbo
didn't live to see Obama - how he would have
loved him. But never mind, I'm seeing him and so is
my buddy the peripatetic Marvin. Isn't it great sometimes to be
living in interesting

Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 September 15 poem: LOTS


"Drink lots of fluid," she said, so I asked her
if one cup of water was lots (it seemed so as I tried
to get it down). "Oh no," she said, but could not tell me
exactly how many cups of water would
constitute lots. I'm going to go for drinking
one cup every hour (while I'm awake) and
hope for the best. How that helps get rid of
pneumonia in the left lower lobe is beyond
my ken; maybe nobody knows, it's just that
experience has shown it to be true. Anyway
now I'm downing my second cup this hour
so am exceeding my quota, aha. Lots
and lots. And lookee here - the remains of the
Thai iced tea she brought me earlier, hooray. The next
time someone asks me "What can I bring," I'll say
lots of Thai iced tea. I won't have a problem at all with
lots of that.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2008 September 14, 2008, POEM: WINDOWFUL


No sky in sight; instead
three brown storeys of stuccoed apartment building, behind
sunlit trash trees on a hillside held back by blocks and
bricks, and a macadam courtyard with sheds,
trash cans, milk crates, and, right against the
window, some spear-leaved plant maybe half as tall
as I am. On the tip of one of the spears is something
that may be a scrap of blown Kleenx or may be
a wilting white blossom. I'll never find out because
when I go outside I can't get to this side of the
building. Rarely a deer appears on the hill, squirrels and
crows abound and there is the occasional
thrush. I know they're thrushes because one of my
daughters is a birder. I don't know what it
calls me and of course it doesn't know I
call it a thrush. That's all there is. Imagine!
No sky!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008 September 13 poem: COUGH


and cough and cough and cough. Take some
cough syrup, stop coughing for a while, eat supper, then
cough, and cough and cough and cough. Wasn't this the way
pneumonia started last time - shortness of breath and
coughing? Well there was fever
too; I don't have a fever. Cough cough cough. Anyway I have
asked for some more
cough syrup and am remembering
calm. Between coughs I can just about
recall what it was like.

2008 September 13 poem: HUNDREDS


- thousands, maybe,
in the ten years I've worked here, says
the LVN to a visitor looking for a way to keep her
patient friend here alive forever. We're
all going to die, he says; most of these
patients are just going to die sooner than
we are who work here or who
come to visit them. She is not
satisfied; her desire is that nobody
die, certainly nobody that
she knows. And I've been
feeling so lucky since watching the news of
impending "certain death" for those in the path of
the latest huge storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Lucky because
are going to die and I'm not, but hah! We're all
doing it - not just falling in love but
dying too. That's the way of this
beautiful round world. I say, Thanks
for the ride.

2008 September 13 poem: THREE FORTY-TWO AM


"Do you have anything to eat?" I
asked the night nurse, forgetting all my
Baby Bel cheeses in the bag in the drawer. She
poked around and came up with
some kind of splendid banana nut bar; meanwhile
I found the cheeses so it's hog heaven right now here in
Room 28. It's sort of like
tip-toeing down the back stairs to the kitchen in
Grandpa's house to find
leftover turkey in the ice box (yes, a real
ice box, back by the back door). Stolen riches,
unearned and all mine. Tonight I have to
chew slowly, on the left side - no molars on the
right any more - and I relish it all - still having teeth,
found feast I'd forgotten about, being sated in the
middle of the night. Persistence rewarded - imagine,
she first offered me
unsalted saltines! But the salt
has not lost its savor yet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

2008 September 12 poem: MEDICAL EXPERTISE


The night nurse was a big help when my
glasses broke. "Oh, they're broken," he said. "The
lens came out, see? This is the lens. Someone will have to
put it back in again. Do you want me to take them?" After that
explanation I really didn't so this morning they're sitting here
waiting for Gilbert, the Activities Director, who
fixed them before (it was the other lens). Gilbert
who has been around the world at least
once, taught me that July 4 is not just Independence
Day but Philippine Independence Day too. He not only
knows how to fix glasses but
how to make me laugh so I look forward
to his visit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 September 10 poem: NAME


Sometimes now when I wake up I have to ask myself not only
"What day is it?" or "Where am I?" but
"Who am I?" or "What is my name?" I know
I'm not Franny Dean any more, haven't been for a
long time but still I feel more like her than like
"Mrs. Smith," which is what everyone here
calls me; Mr. Smith is long gone but of course I'm still the
mother of some of his daughters, so
I guess that's not really wrong. The thing is, though, I'm
the mother of someone else's daughter too, whose name
I never took but who changed me for life. francEyE, that's
who I am but in this institutional setting being constantly called by
name on my paper records I tend after a while to respond to it as if
it were me. When I just need my pajamas or to be hooked up to the
oxygen tank who cares what my name is? I guess having some
complications to keep in mind regarding what I am called might be
helping me to keep my mind alert, as they say these games of
"Trivia" and "Bingo" do; it would be good to
think so anyhow. Anyway tomorrow I am going away for a while
with a few others; I think I will teach all my companions my
real name, francEyE. Who knows - maybe I will learn some of
their real names too.

2008 September poem: ROSS'S FINAL CURE


Sometimes dreams can be really grisly
jokes. Ross's final hemorrhoid cure in this one was
like a lipstick tube with a sawblade along the side
and the person in whose effects it was found had
died from loss of blood. The rest of the dream was
my pointless explanation to the dead man
of remedies I had used that had
worked as well without killing me. One was a
homeopathic one -
combination # 30 I think -
but the best and last was taught me by
my yoga teacher: you put the tip of your tongue
to the roof of your mouth and hold it there for
five minutes. This produces a lot of saliva but
through some body magic causes the anal area
to be lubricated too. Each time you do it the time
before the next episode of
itching or pain increases until finally
there is no more next episode.
I don't think the dead man in my dream
benefited from my account though. Why did I
dream it? I don't have any anal
itching or pain but I do have a slightly
sore throat caused from sleeping all night with the
oxygen on, maybe that was it. And how I miss
that yoga teacher. The last time I saw him was
on a train - he had just come back from Nepal
and was working as The Amtrak Clown in the
children's car. Who knew there was an
Amtrak Clown? And why
don't they have
yoga classes in
nursing homes?

Monday, September 8, 2008

2008 September 8 Poem: YUP


I replied at last. My neighbor in the next bed
asks questions when I come in, when I leave, and when
my light goes on when she's going to sleep:
"Did you feed the cats?" "Where did you
come from?" "Is it time to eat?" I seldom answer, but
tonight when she inquired "Are you breaking down our house?"
I replied in the affirmative. Since then I haven't
heard a word from her.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


come to me sometimes through the ether
that say things like "Call it Jhoubai" or
"Go to Inglewood." Since I don't have anything to
give a name to right now and I'm not sure how to get
to Inglewood I ignore them. They're not for me, they're
meant for someone else. If I just let them go, I hope
those supposed to go to Inglewood will
get their instructions. But if I ever
have a need for a destination or
a name all I'll have to do is
wait; it'll
come to me.

2008 September 7 poem: AMAZING VEGGIE DREAMING


I received a typewritten letter in my dream,
concerning an erratum in the article I was reading at the time
in The New Yorker about a
cubic cucumber, which the otherwise inventive authors failed to name
a cubumber. The illustration showed a cute cube
about 2 inches on a side
with dark skin only on the eight corners. I'll call research
in the morning and tell them
to get right on it. Don't you think
square lettuce leaves and pre-sliced
tomatoes would also go over well?


Saturday, September 6, 2008

2008 September 6 poem: REGINA


Usually the nurses
send me across the hall for a cup
of cold water after I swallow the Tylenol crushed in its
applesauce, but she
walks over there herself while I'm chewing
and brings me a drink. Now that's
nursing care.

2008 August 30 poem: I WENT OUT


to enjoy the cool dark and to
exercise my night vision, but there are those
who think they know better than you what's good
for you and who never even heard of
night vision and can't understand that maybe someone who has
lived more than twice as long as they have might
know something they don't. These hideous conformity police
come running after you if you exercise your
powers; you are not supposed to have powers; they
have power and you must need their help, that's
all there is to it. It was
beautiful while it lasted, though - maybe two or three
minutes - moving slowly in the cool, just
beginning to see. No
starlight, only
reflected earthlight from the cloudy air. Maybe I can
figure out how to
get out without warning of my absence; after all
I'll be in this place for many, many months, time
to figure out a lot of things. I'll be the
maverick patient, the
bane of their existence, and they'll
love it, they love eccentricity as
long as it's
somebody else's.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

2008 September 3: HE GETS IT


The ombudswoman says
she doesn't think he gets it,
but he's smarter in his stupid way than
she has found out yet, able to appear
not to know what people are talking about. The
minute he saw me write down the phone number
he was headed out of the women's
hallway back to his own
territory. Mr. Hands, I call him, always
reaching to grope. Like the turtle that
lived in a box, he finally
grabbed at me and "he
didn't catch me," I called
the number on the poster and
here she came, ready to take
charge and she did
take charge and it turns out
I'm not the only one who's
complained of him, so the end of that
nonsense is here. I wonder
how he will amuse himself
having to stay in the men's
corridor and
forbidden to grope. Maybe he has a good

2008 September 3 poem: LET'S SEE NOW


Why is it again that we have church,
some protestant melange,
on Thursdays? Thursday is nobody's
sabbath that I've ever been told. I guess it must be
the afternoon the wandering preacher
has set aside for us. I remember a wandering preacher I knew
back in the fifties - by the time I met him that was no longer his
calling; he'd become a philosophy student instead
but he had kept body and soul together for a number of years
before I met him, going hither and yon preaching though I know
he was not a believer. Sometimes he'd preach to two
congregations on the same day, one
in the morning and one in the afternoon. Anyway Thursday is
our Protestant Sabbath here and there is a mass too but not
on Sunday; I forget just when it is. Maybe it was today before the
protestant service. What I would like is temple, but I don't believe
there are any Jews here; probably if you're Jewish and get
old and sick you go to a Jewish place for the
old and sick, not one like this. I wonder if you
have to be Jewish to get in? I would like it
better, I think, though certainly every place has its
bureaucratic annoyances. But kosher
food every day -
and lots of chicken soup -
that would be nice.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 September 3 poem: REMEDY


I went to the medicine nurse for my
Calming remedy. Does it work? he asked. Oh yes,
it puts me to sleep. Sometimes, usually. Of course there's always
those five minutes first when it doesn't. Each minute about an
hour long, and for every one of those hour-long minutes you're thinking
what am I going to do now? It's seven hours until breakfast and I
can't sleep? This is unacceptable, yet somehow I do
accept it and the next thing I know it's breakfast time but
until then, still, every minute is
an hour long. So how long does it take to write a poem?
someone always asks. And now I know the answer -
about five
hours, more or

2008 September 3 poem: PUTTING MY PAJAMAS ON


It's Wednesday,
I think to myself
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then
the big day. Oh that will be fun.
I liked it better when there was
something special happening every day. When exactly
was that, anyhow? I wish had
paid more attention when it was

2008 September 3 poem: OLE


You are a night
says the LVN -
ole to rhyme with hole -
and I do not correct him. I have given up
on the idea that the world cannot get along without my
tutelage. Perhaps I am, after all, a
night ole, swooping down from the rafters upon
unsuspecting mice who were looking out for
owls but not for
me. And maybe Allan Ginsberg really wrote
Hole. I will take a copy with me on my next
night ramble and when we meet, commend it
to his care; maybe he too will become
an ole. After Ginsberg there's always
Bukowski and then maybe Sharon
Olds - and after Olds, of course
Young. Oh this guy is going to be
one happy LVN when I get
through with him.

Monday, September 1, 2008

2008 September 1 poem: THAT WHEEZE


What shall I do about that
wheeze in my nose? I remember what I used to do years ago -
what helped to make matters worse though it made them
better for a hot minute - I had a benzedrine inhaler, and
later a menthol one. In those days I smoked all day long
and never gave any thought to what I would be doing now,
half a century later. Now I remember that I have a little
squirt bottle of saline inhalant but damficn remember
where it is but I go searching through drawers and
containers and sure enough: squirt, sniff, wheeze gone.
On my walks I pass LVNs on break, smoking away; I say
that's what put me here and they nod sagely but
one thing I have learned: most young people don't
expect to get old. They expect to be bombed or
otherwise done away with by their own kind before
they'll have the chance. Funny though that none of them
seem to be planning to do in their peers. Rome
perished from lead, so it's surmised; Western
Civ. may succumb to

2008 September 1 poem: NO MNEMON


I'm trying to think of a way to make plain
when to apostrophize it's and when it's
wrong to: i.e. when its apostrophe doesn't
belong there. I can't think of a way: you
just have to know. That's what comes of
trying to reify everything. Let's just say
"his" or "hers" instead, unless of course it's

2008 September 1 poem: FIVE HOURS LATER


I was just glancing through
Rick Lupert's books before going to sleep. Now it's
time for breakfast but I just have to
check this out one more