this old poet, one of the first, to see your wave,
when he was playing knick-knack paddy whack on his shoe,
the old poet then played two, and said,
yes, I will follow you

imaging-imaging that old poet with a glanceable cursory,
a small smile whispered, with entourage of a nod and a wink,
stands, knowing he is in the delivery room, a witness,
to first steps of a babe starting a new life
marvelous miracle by touching a button, a new line written,
not crossed but connecting by pressing "Follow"
with a finger from a hand, a human fringe,
attached to a breathing mind and a thinking heart,
the first to follow you, a ceremonial gesture of
innovation magic incantation, a new moon blessing,
a living person believing, remembering, the longest ago,
his first own graceful acknowledgement and eyes speak,

yes, I will follow you

the new poet, astonished at this induction to the smallest
Hall of Fame that they alone own the only key, study that
number, that number 1, the first to follow, kinda looking over
their shoulder to make sure the old poet still there on the morrow,
sure enough there are now two, safe in the back pocket,
a tabulation of humans who speak volumes of trust, saying,
yes, I will follow you

the old poet, imaging-imaging the babe, dancing round
the room, invigorated, challenged and the faucets pouring,
can't write it down as fast as the trains arriving disgorging,
words unique in new combinations and the rush of blood
from heart to head to those newly literary fingers bleeding
happy creatures of creation as if they are Noah
setting sail to save us with verbs and adjectives
two by two all for now species unheard of

the old poet wants to send cautionary notes, the path strewn
with frustrations of no inspiration ditches and inescapable cliches
that sound fresh but just aren't, the disappearing satisfaction,
the inability to get it just perfect, and so many obstacles
to be prophesied,
but he does not, these things must be self taught,
today let it suffice the initiation, the first crowning of
yes, I will follow you
for this the way of the poet

10/16/17 5:09pm

what an honorific terrific
to be the first to follow

The Daily Prayer                               The Daily Prayer
AUG 2010                                            OCT  2017

Be forever young 'n humble;   seven yearlings of plenty famine;
Feel ancient and royal;              youthful graybeard commoner now,
Ride tall in the saddle;              old hoary, crooked headed ancien
Do something nifty;                   content to just, just walk crookedly

Take someone's hand                if they permit, for hands gnarled,
Unexpectedly:                             roughened and time toughened,
Drive home in the slow lane;   only the city bus, now bows, kneels,
Do the de minims;                      how has the minimalist become
Do the de maximis;                     the max, the best old-dog-in-show?
Leave a book on a park bench;  forgetfulness, unintended bonuses,
Use pen n paper, write a letter; the fingers shaky press cell button,
Take a chance, make people laugh; your appearance quite the joke,
Barrel into contention;                 a barrel casket, half your wardrobe
Show mercy to the confused, no arrogance, have mercy upon poets,
Show anger to the abusers. for they fear voices calling out, account!
Bless a child with both hands; now take their blessings returned
Grasp your soul; throw it down, others sidle, it's our time, now,
Then raise a child to the sky.       to raise you up father of fathers
Straight up,                                    straighten your time bents, curves,
Build a continuum,                       honor thy work ever continuing
You and they,                                 we, and you, we are all your steps,
              on a ladder of each poem, to guide us heavenward

each poem a prayer, each prayer a poem, passing back, coming forth in the crests upon the beach and bay you so loved, the moon and sun both shine simultaneously while it rains straight,
                                    all come, each to recite,
even the One with whom you vociferous argued, unrepentantly,
all here, together placing that weighty last period at the end of
                                        your daily prayer.

a suggestion- read each side as a separate poem, then across as one

8:37am 10 years later, 10 years lateral, 10 years lovely. 10 years in the writing

the sighs in our chest that emanate from a different kind of
breast cancer

wrote these words prior,
then, certainly uncertain of the exactitude of their meaning,
clearly unclear of their useable intention,
yet the too real wrathful sensations
that inspired their caesarian creation,
the sigh's very own exhalations,
floatations devices for the interned-no-longer emotions,
escapees via the crevasses of chest ribs splitting open,
return to glory thanking me for freedom given

let posterior eloquence suffice, let brevity guide
my self's interior diagramming,
lengthy explications and deep analytics, I leave to you,
the astonished medical examiner and the horrified mortician

chest ripped, my hand reinserted, the blighted scourges,
the abscessed cancers, the obsessive relentless cankers,
asking shamelessly why have I returned to the crime scene

the sighs are air-borne, ready for air plucking,
all cloud seeded, deeded for poets to seize and commence,
to plant and invent, a mountain top trickle to a mighty
river of poems to be recovered and discovered,
unrehearsed and unleashed

but you and I have unwished, unfinished business,
as of yet unwritten, one last poem to honor our
mutually assured destruction,
for this day will be
rewritten differently

this one, a simple script, a written pyramid,
built by an Israelite, who by command, perforce
mustn't but does write prophecies
that may or may not come to being,
poem pyramids,
surely none will not survive Darius's desert sandstorms
ravaging kisses of time's forgetting
Nat Lipstadt Oct 7

Those old comments from the disappeared with no names,
no faces, just a large gray dot and two -- anonymous


Those old comments
live on, unremoved,
from the disappeared ones,
no faces, no names
a large gray dot and
two -- anonymous dashes

a most contemporary kind of disregarding,
disregard-me, frak you, cause I disregarded you first,
funeral pyre middle finger gesture,
where only your face was consumed,
but your words live on forever. ...  
congrats, in this day and age,
you, managed to get in the last word

who were you?
why was it necessary to leave?
while your comments, pithy,  
cheddar sharp, meaningful,
of just a plain old prdinary
tender precious to me
drive me now to simple
madness gladness sadness
failing to yes, to be recalling
who you were/are

were you stalked, trolled, gored,
or just bored
with the word-gaming,
needy for some well constructed avatars
desirous for orgasm machine gun killing?

did you heart break one last time
into one million parts too many
you did not believe, didn't trusted me enough,
to heal the cuts and paste
you together like I did previously,
no more one more time?

did you get
move beyond and out of
London and Minneapolis, Katmandu?

win the lottery,
get parental sent away,
super jetting wealthy,
married, divorced, soul lost,
unhealthy in complete privacy,
up and left the poems of we
poor sods behind,
on your way to Monaco or Singapore?

did I offend beyond any mending?
gladly would have kissed you knees,
written a poem just to tickle you pink
or whatever color you so desired but that
gray grey cream dot not,
that makes your disappearing act,
twice as a pain-full, a banner unfurled of,
you pick the word

was I too sweet, too kind, cloyingly annoying
driving you crazy with my midnight clockwork
"jes' me checking in on you"
one liner messages,
go one message too far?

how we conversed, holy roman dialogues
till one day and hadn't heard and
chagrin uncovered no more souling
we two, ragging and consoling,
on each others nonsense,
you cloaked a name in deliberate invisibility!

well ha on you I am lying,
I will know your name, your face,
your funny way of signing off
when fate sits us side by side
on some long plane ride

you will watch me tap on my tablet
in letters so big you won't struggle to read over my shoulder,
the poem I will write for you / just one more
for just you

and I'll see reflection of your turned away head
in the plexiglass window smiling and tearing,
while I hum some Carole King sad love songs

you will salty say
to wound and to love
cause ain't no difference:

you're still an idiot,
write way too long
and forget to put the title in, on -- whatever

and I will nod also,
in that idiotic identical
tonality of whatever,
in holy poem agreement
not saying much, just
tapping grey --
the rest of the way till we land,
thinking mostly about all the gray grey shades and shadows
in that dashed word,

9:27pm 10-5-no jive

"Now And Forever"
ny Carole King
Now and forever, you are a part of me
And the memory cuts like a knife
Didn't we find the ecstasy, didn't we share the daylight
When you walked into my life

Now and forever, I'll remember
All the promises still unbroken
And think about all the words between us
That never needed to be spoken

We had a moment, just one moment
That will last beyond a dream, beyond a lifetime
We are the lucky ones
Some people never get to do all we got to do
Now and forever, I will always think of you

Didn't we come together, didn't we live together
Didn't we cry together
Didn't we play together, didn't we love together
And together we lit up the world

I miss the tears, I miss the laughter
I miss the day we met and all that followed after
Sometimes I wish I could always be with you
The way we used to do
Now and forever, I will always think of you
Now and forever, I will always be with you

"Who writes poems like these?"

She, Miss Patty,
from Missouree? Missouruh?
asks me this question
round about a year ago,
after eavesdropping on an open poem line,
about a conversation,
a dialectic chat between me and the big guy in the sky^

(yeah, him, the magic marker Maker, who graffitis our lives only in
ink that just never goes away, cannot be erased,
talkin' bout this 'n that, ending, in a request from him for a
love poem personal (denied, fyi))

my answer:

come, sit for awhile, in poet's nook, upon soft pillows for our
tired sighs born in chests with a different kind
of breast cancer.
and upon these tough worn Adirondack chairs hard,
by the bay, we shall coverse in alternating verses

if too hot, the poetry's temperature.
we'll slow drift to the sun room of lace curtains and
heated suicide poems,
and after cool drinks
we'll observe the water, the rabbits, the cacophony low
of all the noisier creatures asking the trees and the
shuckling cappuccino frothy leaves
where did all those poets come from?
so to the question at hand and heart,

Who writes poems like these?

answers scarce, confessions plenty,
evasions conjured,
but tried, tired, and true, indeed
always ask myself, my sole troop,
that very same question every time,
the brain chimes poem time

'tis a truth, sort of, for the question is
asked by me, so oft,
should I, would I,
dare deflect the inflect of the eyes who cannot lie
and write a poem like this,
knowing it ends always only in tears,
or quit while ahead,
while my heart is slow beating,
and the pounding is temporarily,
halftime shelved

I ride the bus, open the kitbag,
find messages so privy
with and from the other poets,
(it is a privilege to be so councillor entrusted,)
picking up the gleaming gleanings of
fellow earth-extraordinaires,
reading the tales of the mad lunar lovers,
each of whom believe the moon has been following
only, each of them individually,
from childhood

exercising the muscle memories of love and ache
when watching the little gestures of my babies, my loved ones,
clues to who they are,
clues to who they will be.
after I am not

but let me be measured for measure by this:
Who writes poems like these?*

well, after every writ complete,
weep and weep, if not laugh uproariously,
for though the question earnest, and I too,
never ever let adulthood interfere
with actions of my eyes, my mouth, my gut,
they all, masters now of me,
forcing me to write with abandon reckless and yet,
slicing off choicer cuts of me, carefully crafted, into
word etchings, painted water colors coming from the body's oils,
for my ration of rationality
has left town
for the summer, following the little drummer
perhaps, for the (double meaning) good

this each, a parcel of me, writing beguiling amuse bouches
of cache and cant, of poodles who speak human,
long legs in bed, high heels attached, conversations with moons,
crying to my lovers, I am a little boy, so needy,
and then the left foot turns to face
any and all gods who permit their names to be abused
for muddying murdering purposes,
as if we, all humans, all poets, were playthings,
bowling pins and not poets of some, any, the, way,
coming from the place
to where we all speak words, in our differing dialects,
accepting the blessings & curses thereof,
words but never fists

have I answered the question?

suspect not,
cause I am the suspect prime
in the crime
of low poetry
and high mis-demeanors,
and the authorities have been asking me the question for a lot longer than you, but no longer than one peculiar man,
Who writes poems like these?
and they haven't caught me yet
and I haven't quite caught
the plain answer

Nat Lipstadt Oct 5

who among us
does not whisper
many a daily silent prayer,
unconsciously, or even a thoughtful thought
initiated usually by
  guilted conscience

to a deity,
or to just
the god voices of ourselves, or
ha! or anybody within earshot...

these whispers,
sally forth,
direction upwards,
to an unmappable and usually
unresponsive atmosphere,
seeding the sky moment hoping for
a smidgen of warm rain in a life drought,
the wanted future with
grains of hope, needy desires and
evil warded, off put

who among us
without marks of hesitation,
hearing the prayers of others
desirous of any bounty's share<
whisk-that-wish a
fare-thee-well, a shout out, a whisper,
thinking our legal rights confirmed
by a participatory, hearty, git-along-little-doggie,

even a
hot damn
or an-oh-so subtle, a holy colloquial
yeah baby!

who among us never says,
need, want?

not me...

a piece of a broken poem,
broken off...
Oct. 4 - 7, 2015
Manhattan Island


the adoration of the daddy,
as his red haired babes
leaned into
either side of him,
courtiers to a king
on the way to school this AM,
transfusing his magical super~fatherly,
by inhaling his special powers through
their nostrils, direct from his
broad and powerful brave-heart chest,
for use later in the wild jungle

of second grade
an elderly gent whose walker rattled
with every lift and kerplunk on
the street~steppes of a dangerous city
for the brittle of bone and the easily dentable,
and the crowd that gathered round walking
at precisely the same pace he required
to make it across the widest boulevard
which was thirty seconds more than the
Dept. of Transportation's asinine calculations
and a miracle from Lourdes occurred -
not one horn honked in ire as the court
escorted their Long Live the King
safely across the street, as if

idiocy was like rain, against the law,
until after sunset as in Camelot

an elegant germanic man,
in homburg and velvet collared overcoat,
taking care of sales and distribution of
newspapers and candy at the corner paper "stand"
while the elderly owner, whose partner~wife of
fifty years had recently passed, now had no one
but someone's pop whose was out
walking our cocker spaniel,
to tend the place while said candyman
obeyed nature's callings

and all his fans and friends who passed
on their way to the adjacent subway station,
exclaimed Erwin, Erwin what are you doing?
his twinkled crinkled eyes replied,
enjoying their puzzlement, laughingly saying

"making spare change"
where I lived these little miracles occurred so frequently,
was told a story that the ministering angels
could not keep up with their duties,
complaining to the On High, who resoundingly loudly
commanded their silence! by reminding them that
all these, his creatures, were his own precious,
the reason for creation and why they were needed,
and the sum of all these small acts gave them their own
existential purpose, now angry at himself for loss of temper,
soft spoke as a parent and told them better,

hush my children, we have much to do!
so now you impatiently need to know
why this scripture
came to be known as
for I was witness to all of this,
all on that day,
that was twenty fours hours long
across many hard hearted Hiroshima decades,
that made me

the richest man in the world

a proud member of the collective of the false.
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