Friday, April 30, 2010

written at the Info Desk

row by
row he
the shel
ves until
he's bow
ing deep

I don't know what language
she's using with her child
except for, "No," and "No."

it ought to be simple --
explaining why it's not
is not easy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

written at the Info Desk

in a library full of books
books full of words
I find nothing to say

tree the wind sets all aquiver
you haven't died to make a book

newest newspapers bound to sticks
the man and woman each
shielding their faces behind events

she puts on her glasses
turns to face
the wall of mysteries

he puts on his glasses
to examine the piece
that fell off them

judging by the clock
how much hunger I'll have to fill

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

written in a cafe

ah, I see who got the last
chocolate chip cookie

dotted streaks
raindrops hitting the dry window

chair tipped so it rests against the table
the rain can't sit there

almost done with that book
true for weeks

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

written at the Info Desk

my boss walks by
I try to make thinking
look busy

he flips through the first several pages
then puts the book back

people in caps and jackets
umbrellas dripping
so sunny yesterday!

a book by Edward Lear
it belongs to another library
How Pleasant to Know!

Monday, April 26, 2010

written in radiation oncology waiting room

says the

sit facing the clock
sit facing the television

"How are you?"
"All right."
"Good for you," the tired patient says.

on the bulletin board
the smiling faces --
pushpins in their heads

these eyes wouldn't be able to read
that sign
in English either

Sunday, April 25, 2010

written on back porch

seeing my thoughts
not the grass

the cat going under my legs
a tunnel

the floaters in my eyes swirl
turning to look at the cat

cat, tasting something under a porchrail, shakes its head

the mouth of the hose is dry
the ground below still wet

watering can on its side in the grass
gathering spider webs

a white calla lily
its neighbors curling into fists

yup, cat loves my lap when it's his choice

Saturday, April 24, 2010

written at the table

I opened the window
because the outside
needed more room

tree, a tiny breeze will make you shiver so

a stack of CDs --
so much sound
sitting silently

feeling slighted by the neighbor
-- this moment's old resentment

Friday, April 23, 2010

written in a cafe

having cleaned my plate
food in my teeth

the handsome dyke
just look at her
the world is better

the farther away the easier to see
the haze on the hills

after naming all the stores
she's shopped at
she & her friend sit quietly

Thursday, April 22, 2010

written in the bakery cafe

anxious, tired
not always, I remind myself

Buson on the white board
I squint to see who he's missing this year

snickerdoodle, choclatine, macaroon
this time a muffin

is there more wakefulness
in the bottom third of the coffee cup?

she sticks out her tongue
rushes to add sugar to her cup

last swallow more bitter than sweet
sticky crumbs on the muffin paper

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

written at the table, listening to music

all of a sudden
a lot of light
but look at those rainclouds!

now the table's shining
we need curtains

this page has a freckle

no more sun
it was too much, really
for this mood

what if the next song makes me feel like dancing?
oh, it doesn't

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

written in the break room

startled to find
the glass vase waiting
shiny, clean and broken

metal book ends
arches lining up a passage
tongues overlapping for a path

the unopened fortune cookie
who here didn't need to know?

a yellowed old donation
hey, I'm reading that book

the mending supplies
what a messy jumble

Monday, April 19, 2010

written in a cafe

he shaves his whole head every day?

ceramic duck in the window,

shaking his mother's keys,
he waits for the intersection to clear

at least one in every crosswalk

sky bending across windshields

Sunday, April 18, 2010

written on back porch

my notebook
sun on the page
I filled last night

digging them up
cutting them back
living with plants

crows now and jays
the songbirds taking a break

surprised at having set the bin a-rocking,
the squirrel hops off

upside down, clinging to eaves
by your toes, bird,
great place for a bug?

past the hairs on my ankle
the ant makes good time
across my foot

Saturday, April 17, 2010

working at the library

"good morning, baby"
croons a child's voice
"tuh woo! tuh woo! tuh woo!"

tic a tac
closing out the cash register
did we break a hundred?

returning her DVDs
the woman gasps
a case -- empty!

Friday, April 16, 2010

written on the back porch

inside -- Kent's TV
outside -- the neighbor's

the cats are listening
to birds
not the market report

noises: traffic, airplanes, newscast
I came outside to commune
with the visible

the yellow trumpets of oxalis
are tooting toward the underworld

do you want anybody to pity you, cat?
me neither!

quieter, cooler, darker
what next?

my hand likes the feel of you, too,
orange cat

Thursday, April 15, 2010

written in a cafe

dead weather constellations
psychedelic horseshit rubbersidedown
-- playing tonight

under a green umbrella
the blond reads the pink pages

guidebooks for Spain and Andalucia
the traveler fetching a latte

another one of my little burps
I take a sip of water
to fill the gap

his yellow t-shirt
likes his body

two little girls --
this one in two colors
this one in six

he carries his skateboard
its black surface sparkling

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

written in the taqueria

tree shadow aquiver
faded parking cross

the man in reflective orange
rests against a white fire plug

even upside down
pineapple pulp and ice cube
not shaking loose

police officer on a bike
another officer
and they're off!

one big sneeze
my eyes open
world's about the same

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

written on the bed before dinner

the things piled in this room
are patient

unfolded shirts
rest on a pillow

hearing noises upstairs,
the cat takes his purr away

Monday, April 12, 2010

written in doctor's exam room

I haven't had a physical in 2 or 3 years. I've had it on my to-do list for months. Finally, I scheduled one. As usual it was loads of fun! What I wrote in the exam room:

the nurse having gone
I'm alone with
more waiting

doctor's exam room --
on the white walls
fliers of many colors

a model heart
a model tailbone
imagining myself a model patient

how many ahs
in the jar of
tongue depressors?

picking at a thread
not ready to come free

I have higher blood pressure than I ought to. It's short of a diagnosis of disease, but when I said my dad had bypass surgery doctor looked concerned and gave me the spiel about eating right. At the pharmacy I bought a bottle of vitamin D - "It's the latest miracle supplement," the doctor said, with a twinkle.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

written on couch, listening to music

"You need somebody to reach behind your neck,"
says Kent, giving the cat in his arms a vigorous scratch.

how can I write with all these distractions?
the distractions are more important
so neglect them and write badly

this music is really rock & roll!
Kent cleans the litter pan
this music is really rock & roll!

am I hungry
or just tense
-- belly things!

adjusting my body
to be more comfortable

the next tiny itch - where will it be?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

written at the dining table

a proud vermilion cock
construction cranes against a manila sky
-- two poetry anthologies

salt cellar
peppercorns with grinder top
-- two towers

asking for something
nervous because I think he doesn't want to do it

the heater has come on
yes, it does look cold outside

Friday, April 09, 2010

new books in the Claremont collection

Life in Rewind
Back to Life
How Not to Die

7-day Energy Surge
So Stressed

Secrets of Happy Families
Happy at Work, Happy at Home
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream

The Wild Marsh
The Pecan Orchard
The Wolf in the Parlor

Thursday, April 08, 2010

written at the library information desk

the reflected 8
a little top-heavy

my heart is working –
too hard?

under the chair
but some dark

do I have to like
what I write?

embarrassed by something I said
… uh … sorry, interrupted, what?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

written in radiation oncology waiting room

"I will recognize you next time,"
the patient apologizing to the nurse

I start to count waiting room chairs,
lose interest

number of people: 2

taking a breath -
I've been holding it
listening to strangers' voices

They should have treadmills in waiting rooms.

This is the 1,001st post at LoveSettlement.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

written at the bakery cafe

pressing warm coffee cup
to my forehead

his long curly blond hair held with a barrette
hers straight and loose

the bakers are talking business
my coffee break's almost over

having loaded folded laundry
in his car, the baker
comes to work

eye on the pastries,
Rosemary passes right by my "Hi!"

Monday, April 05, 2010

written in the attic

in the attic, hearing
how hard the rain
wants down

roar of airplane above rainclouds
thrumming of construction tools next door

third pen this morning balking
like my thoughts

Sunday, April 04, 2010

written at dining table

I can see rain
but only when it passes

the wind whistles
going about its business

I won't see you in sequins
when the sun's out,
neighbor house

mouth still sweet from the cookie
drinking glass still white from the milk

Saturday, April 03, 2010

written at the Albany Bulb

On April 1st I started a haiku project. My husband has been diagnosed with colon cancer and he's trying to live in the now, pausing to meditate and appreciate, so I'm following his example. While at the hospital last week I wrote some haiku (or haiku-like poems, depending on how pernsnickety you are about definitions). And I thought they were pretty good. So I set myself the goal of stopping somewhere each day and writing at least 3 haiku, preferably at one sitting or in a short space of time.

Today K & I went to the Albany Bulb, a former dump for construction materials that nature has reclaimed. It's a park now. It extends into the SF Bay in the shape of a bulb. Lots of people take their dogs. Shortly after we arrived I saw one dog that, for a split second, I thought had only three legs. As we were leaving a real three-legged dog bopped by - one forelimb, two back.

As we rounded the bend to the flattest, most exposed part of the park, where it's just slightly above the water, we saw a young woman in white, baring her shoulders to sunlight just beginning to warm as the high fog burned away. She had two companions - young men in faded green or blue jackets. They were all quiet, and at first I thought the boys must be photographers and the girl a model. But when we came upon them, the woman returned my smile and I said, "Here on a photo shoot?" She said, "Just enjoying it."

As K & I left we looked back to see the woman had walked out in her long white dress and white fur to the point, while the young men shared one chunk of concrete some distance away. One of the men was smoking.

People paint or sculpt the old rubble so there's often something new to see.

As we neared the paved drive a tall young black man in baggy clothes passed us telling his cell phone, "Chemotherapy will fuck you up."

faces of bright yellow
painted on the rubble

four diving birds on the water
no diving birds on the water

surf so sleepy
it doesn't even turn over

time to go?
just a little more breeze
for our backs

the sound of
stepping stones

on a tree
naked but for hanging shoes
Kent hangs the shoe

ahead Kent
fords the puddle

the puddles are blue now too

grand plume of tail
on that dog
I'd be proud of it

Friday, April 02, 2010

while on the new couch upstairs

I watch myself on the turned-off TV:
he looks tired

through old glass
a tree's a little warped
but the white sky -
perfectly smooth

a plastic bag
stored between spokes of the bike
that doesn't go anywhere

Thursday, April 01, 2010

written at cafe

dark glasses on the table
bicycle seat in the backpack
he sits down again

leaving the Laundry
red jeans spread to dry
over the wheeled basket

she holds her reading glasses against her nose
when she lets go, they don't fall

a borrowed pencil
the back of a receipt
otherwise: thoughts only