Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
Nat Lipstadt Jan 18
“catharsis, the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art. In criticism.  It is a metaphor used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of true tragedy on the spectator.”

<>

composed many, months & many, many years ago, and hazily recalled, written in a moment of purification and purgation, petrified by aging and it’s companion, self-pity from fear of approaching death, sought purity by its very composition, when someone just recently poked my eyes with the word c a t h a r s i s, and this old poem resurfaced…no, no, it’s not my birthday anymore…

<>

yesterday was my birthday.
you need two hands, two feet,
a multiplication table
to count my years,
each finger, worth a decade.
each toe, perhaps, a century.

birthdays.

a point of inflection,
a point of opportunity,
a present presents itself,
to rewrite history.

a second coat of paint,
gift-wrapped in weak excuses.
of how I lied, of how I ain't,
grimm-fated fairy tales
somebody created.

invisible suits of gold-cloth
worn to my party of
past rewritten and
future foretold.

one single thought,
a memory,
seizes my heart,
as I fall to my knees.
cracks my temperate ease,
renders open the
woof and weave
of recycled deceptions,
causing all to be revealed
and asking myself

what if the poetry ceases?

you know prostrate?
you have tasted grief?

have you not but
a singular pain,
one act,
one deed,
one memorization,
act of cowardice,
act of desertion,
mistake maden, taken,
for which
forgiveness
can never
be given,
be faked,
attained?

do, does, did.
did; does; do.

let me then this day,
win the birthday lottery,
let floods of relief from
daily chores drown me,
chauffeurs to drive,
masseurs to massage,
cooks to cook,
les délicieuses friandises to sweeten life,
please keep theologians, logicians,
philosophers on retainer,
even historians, those future fortune tellers,
if needed, for explanations -
or just satisfactory rationalizations.

none know,
or can provide,
still and yet,
a year round
priestly sacred chord,
to grant relief,
absolution,
songs of hallelujah,
erasers of the ache of
perpetuity worry.

those ancient pains,
grow fresh daily,
the loss of one element
of my body,
prevents my primal knot
unreasonably to be untied,
everything should be permitted
on my birthday, no?

this day, these days
breathe through words,
molecules of vowels,
stem cells of consonants,
the fabric, the tissues of life,
veins are a dictionary
of corpuscles,
red blood cells are
mounds and nouns of nutrients.

this day, these days,
the infection of my soul
is tempered, kept at bay,
tamped down from the
full flowering
of white blood cells
of rhyme, verse,
and asking myself

what if the poetry ceases?

though the bones creak,
snap, crackle and pop,
the body they carry,
resurrected this day in white
for morning, afternoon
and evening prayers,
and the last one special,
spoken standing.

thrice daily poetry I recite,
roses red, violets blue,
my marrow transfused.

though my prayers likely refused,
the poetry act immolates
the fringes of my disease,
for which the common cure
is not currently invented....
so I ask myself

what if the poetry ceases?

be assured, I am told
scientists hard at work,
on the forgive n' forget drug.

meantime,
take a bubble bath in
rosemary and mint,
trap and tap some words,
into your cell phone bone,
the poetry heat, scented waters,
provide aspirin relief.

through this poem,
on one day annual,
I am relieved, relived,
the muses, the Devils
all herein, feted, and sated

gone for few moments
concerns, worries of
exposure today,
the agnostic's foxhole of hell
is dis-remembered,
the gloss returns,
the faux dispatched,

ain't birthdays grand?

yet, I cannot help but ask

what if the poetry ceases?

what rhymes with
Sorrow?

mmmmm.

could it be
Morrow?

bath drains,
rosemary and mint odors dismissed,
the Argentine disparu,
the Spanish Medievalists,
the Neo-Raphaelites,
all dispatched,
didn't they have birthdays too?
didn't you know
the Renaissance has come
and gone,
but nobody tole ya?

t'is the day
my sweet city recorded my
naissance in the
Hospital of the Flowers
on the fifth Avenue.

the 'crats put the datum
in the bureau with the
night creams and
the statistics
as follows:

on this day + a few,
six or seven or decades ago,
perhaps even fourscore,
a few centuries,
a question was born,
and an ache that is
sometimes relieved,
by a poem~song.

though do not celebrate,
t'is a day to calibrate,
review, edit, tinker,
rewrite, often a stinker.

always one thought recycles:

what if the poetry ceases, how will I breathe*?
Jan 13 · 84
always a trilogy
Nat Lipstadt Jan 13
morning prayers are
always
a trilogy

the rounded evenness of three,
provides the necessary gravitas
of sufficiency,
three being
not too short,
not too long,
not too quick

just three right,
to impart
the seriousness
of gratitude
for having gained
another day upon earth,
with it,
many multitudes of
chances to share
thankfulness,
kindness,
yes,
& love too,
and to write,
one more poem


encapsulating
all of the
above
.
excerpt from “Morning Prayers” poem
trilogy
Nat Lipstadt Jan 10
Sunday afternoon
her best bud,
our dearest friend,
coming over for
a television marathon:

appetizer, a glass onion,
a ****** mystery to whet,

NFL football main course,
accompanied by her pasta bolognese,

plus a tasty choice of English after-dinner treats,
with chocolate chip cookies, candied pecans,
a platter of  BBC sweet treats,
even one Viennese,
some creatures large and small,
a Victorian female most scarlet.


I proffer:

I will wear my
best pressed
bleu jeans,
my new Kit & Ace bleu sweater,
(that she bought me)
actively participating in all
activities, even keep my cussing
to a tolerable minimum,
and if asked, will gather in a taxi,
no matter it raining bitter cold.


She weighs my terms,
excepting
her acceptance:

Responding that my
dress code excessively formal,
sweatpants will be
infinitely more comfortable,
than jeans, given the intense
intensity of couched exertion.

A sole thought courses through my body:

Lord!
what a magnificent creature
you have planted in my garden
.
2:09 PM
sun Jan 8
2023
Jan 8 · 76
The Privilege
Nat Lipstadt Jan 8
The Privilege

rare who contemplates the
painting that can only seen from
frame, looking to outside/from within

expelling words, expecting sounds
felling forest trees, a-seizing, but
listening, waving… hearing silence

For we mistake who’s theaudience,
weare the audience,
we are

The Privileged

the Privilege
accepting your acceptance,
taking your listening,
listening to your taking


That This! was Granted,
you to us,
The Privilege,
astounding!
for you gave us
art
to create


JAN 8 2023
1:25pm
thank you
for the privilege.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 7
when does the poem end?


creation is never ending,
the earth is endlessly morphing

but you lean back and say
enough
not because the poem
is finished,
for it is never finished,
because an exhalation feels
satisfying, releasing

but the poem never ends,
nor does the need to

exhale

not with the final .


the next poem is

but a

continuation

of the previous poem;

a continuation

of you~poem,

inhaling

and

exhaling

& morphing.

Sat Jan 7
7:57am
Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. ~Kurt Vonnegut
Jan 4 · 196
502 Bad Gateway
Nat Lipstadt Jan 4
502 Bad Gateway
(a work in process)
~~~

poetry
is to be found easiest, lying fatal-fetal amidst
the sewage of the blessed daily profane~mundane,
enslaved within the tyranny of everyday indignities,
encrusted within the indignities of diurnal tyrannies,
in the catch basin of sew-aged treatment  pools,
living as a perpetual unpublished draft,
locked behind Five Hundred and Two
Bad Gateways,
Emma Lazarus-yearning
to be free…

502 is an even number, the internet sages confirm,
equitably distributed with no regard to
pronouns,
disrespectful of any age, all creepy~seedy known gods,
equally unconcerned by the laws of **** poetica,
succinctly informing you to f*k off  with the elegant
sparseness of technical brevity,
a la vie moderne boulder,
repeatedly *****-fussy pushing back on you,
as we push a poem uphill

<?>

The road to good poetic intentions is human-paved;
a utile fact,  so continue to insure-shod be thy feet,
when shedding writings of poesy, lest the hot asphalt of
low inspiration yet get the better of ye…or the gates
or the bad gateways,
502 in their number, lock you out,
and carry the day, have their way, and
fracture well honed words
into bits & pieces of letters, scraps of scrap,
“pebbles and ******* and broken matches and bits of glass”^

that all the king's servers and all the king's technicians couldn’t put together again coherently, your words but conscripts in a
vast wasteland of eternal drafts^^

      <?>

well you know this story, that one that has being asking
you to writ it/get rid of it/tell it finally,
a couple of times daily,
that poem, this be that one,
an amorality tale of rejections,
a precision guided
error message,
a HIMARS missive miserly
missilery projectile
rife with hidden %#&”postulations,
of the “what’s wrong with me”
garden variety

think of life as a series of serious, independently linked moments, cherish-able, composting  usurping cursing phrases
distinctly worthy
of re-sharing unto the befouled upper atmosphere,
directly communicating the texture of your experience^^^

Ah Goodbye
Hello Poetry,
rejection is thy middle fingered name!*

this befouled poem
was
begun: many years ago
completed: Jan 4, 2023 @2:11AM
^James Joyce’s words
^Tevye
^^^ unknamed professor
Nat Lipstadt Jan 3
my hidden shames

are an excellent source of moral fibre,
nurturing, but not nutritious.
we coexist in a quiet
 mutual acknowledgment,
coexisting but un-categorizable,
nonetheless,
among my oldest cohorts,
their singular coordinated characteristic,
they are mine alone,
not meant to be shared.

But they will someday
make an excellent poem.

Mon jan 2 2023
6:47am
@here

———————————————————-

the askew

are  my oldest companion,
dating back to my naissance,
faithful, eternal, but single-minded,
with a rueful sense of humor,
of course,
refer to my relatively plentiful hairs
inherited from my mother’ genetics.

a morning chore,
to return their antics
to an adult,
dignified pose,
plenty sufficient to be be brushed,
straight back,
the preferred orderly compose,
of older men
who cannot waste time
with foolishness,
the excessive vanities of
curls, parts and pompadours,

and yet,
every day they wake me with
ridicule, mockery,  by presenting
themselves.to me,
as if electrocuted,
each  
hair raising itself
pointing to the heaven,
whence
their true Creator resides.

no amount of product
persuasive,
they do what they must do,
akimbo, askew,
with inordinate amount of
malice aforethought and
a venomous sense of
hairy (and now hoary)
absurdity .

a splash of water,
a handful of rigorous brush strokes,
returns order
and the pretense of a serious mien,
an adult demeanor.

But their purpose accomplished,
they have reminded me of the
absurdity of human vanity,
to humble myself
before forces
more powerful
than human self-aggrandizement
by accentuating
our human foibles.

7:13am
same time & place
——————————————-

morning prayers are
always
a trilogy

the rounded evenness of three,
provides the necessary gravitas
of sufficiency,
three being
not too short,
not too long,
not too quick,
just three right,
to impart
the seriousness
of gratitude
for having gained
another day upon earth,
with it,
many multitudes of
chances to share
thankfulness,
kindness,
yes,
& love too,
and to write,
one more poem
encapsulating
all of the above.


7:35am
same day
same place,
same cup of coffee
Nat Lipstadt Jan 1
It’s only a short straight hill
(First Poem.of the Year)

“I'm 69, newly homeless, and can't wait to start the journey of a creative life after being asleep for so long. It's only a short straight hill and I'll be on a path into a new life.”

Jeremiah B Xxxxxx Jr.

<?>

it is
4:11am
on the
first day
of a new
year.

a year
is a unit;
mathematically
measurable,
defined,
calculable,
divisible
by seconds,
minutes,
hours & days,
all artifices,
mutually
acknowledged.

you,
& others,
remind
me too easily,
that the
creative
is the only
path
to endless,
(a unit immeasurable)
reinvigorating
life.

your fragrant
optimium optimism
is stun
gun overpowering,
the ill defined,
but instantly
understood,
immeasurable
distance,
you foresee
to life better is
conquerable!


”only a short straight hill”

imbues me to lift
head, heart, arm
& unloved dried ink pen,
to pen,
to unpack,
to speak,
of all that
needs climbing,
over the
artificial lines
of the first unit
of time:

a new year.

thank you.

Sun Jan 1 2023
NYC
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2022
a long time ago,
when poems fell

from my mouth like easy tears &
excited eyes revealed more hid
in the cracks of city sidewalks,
just trying remember/recall all the
airy compositions that flew from the
inhabited urgent pulsing of creativity
from/of a living duopoly, heart + head,
was ironical, the greatest challenge;


it was easy to give my excess to
nurture the young ones, bend their
path to higher plains, testing resolve,
my wingspan span so lengthy room,
to tuck, hold, encourage even lend
to the raw, the preternatural talented,
my self-pleasuring, a weedy high (five);

nowadays, there is little now in my day,
pinpricks of light suggest, but the juices
fail to follow the lead, leashed, restrained,
s t r a i n i n g, to believe my words possess
3V’s - validity, value and vividness deserving,
scraps are heaped in the corner awaiting my
incineration, permanent~premature incarceration;


wondering, who will nurture me now,
cloak me in arm-round-shoulders and murmur
sage wisdom snippets, refill, reattach my quill
to the paper with no time or space interference,
but I wait not for your soft & silent rejoinder;

whatever I can draw from an infernal and infertile
weakened pulse, is this meager complain, I once
gave freely to others, who can - who will - payback?
those who gave nurture understand its healing  prowess,
so I beg & ken you, nurture me, in my old age, give me
commissions, order me to compose, I daren’t disobey…


Sat Dec 31 2022
LPOTY
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2022
the ink of succinct…

is this a poem?
is it a sufficiency?
it self, itself is in
possess of two f’s,
two i’s and two c’s,
thus, is it necessary?

necessity, a quality qualification?

the moment, this moment
is both over and forever,
a sufficient and a necessary
condition for art, for your art,
think - is your condition,
necessary and sufficient?


then you are an artist and a poem…
Fri Dec  30 2022
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2022
“Sweet Nat :)” by Temporal Fugue 





Temporal Fugue:

“It'll flow with the rain,
the river and stream
of things, people
and places you've known:
once you're tapped in,
never again
for the linking of words,
never strain”

Nat:

“someday you’ll learn this craft and the extreme patience it
requires, how to savor a word, its conjunction with the one that
comes before and after, the combinations that make a verse, a stanza sobering beautiful that it robs your breathtaking sensors, a scar minder to, for god sakes, ****! stop!
**** that trip to trite, and give us something to shout about!”
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2022
tired of the voices in my head

blunt spoke, they never shut up, believing their longevity
provides a grandfathered status, denying them dispatch

they do not acknowledge my notice of eviction but the
rumbling is quieter this morning, the mournful bittersweet
residue of their whining, wrecking, nearly  murderous noises

their recital of my major crimes, weak selfishness that was the mirrored reflection of my weakness and jealousy, the hallmarks
of the failure to be brave at the moments that mattered, indeed, my own murders Eye-confessed-committed but yet unpublished, remain

flawlessly bawled out loud, with repeat threats to remand me to
a higher judgment if I escape responsibility in this world, which
is laughable as they have played accuser, prosecutor, jury
and judge, so oft that the processional process, my living justice, trembling, slow destruction is preliminary a full color, living hell

but this sabbath morning of a blue sky after forty days/nights
of a cold rain that relentless fell, sparing none, gives me a pretense, a veneer of an almost-bravery to dial till a click clean heard of a
thunderous silencio, “no más” no more and a sudden abrupt of
is this not preferable,
this silenced soliloquy of modest relief

and weep guilty~grateful for a reprieve, a small pardon that
undeserved for the heinous things I have permitted, nay, allowed, will never earn parole, early release, and the finality of no more delay, is a inevitably undeniable, and a poem
of excuses not successes, and an acknowledgment that
I’ll never seat at the head of a table
revered by my progeny

welcoming the arbitrary invitation delineation of a new year,
a fresh start


Sat Dec17 2022
New York City
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2022
Few people know how to take a walk. The qualities are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good silence,
and nothing too much.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

<>

A late-in-life walker, the words above resonate in my mind,
with a check, check, check, check and a voluble ding, reading

and nothing too much”

many a poem mine labored, birthed arrhythmically walking,
eyes see verses, verses fill the mouth, mind desperate as
the feet unceasingly trod round new corners, new visions,
Emerson’s words remind my well worn weary path daily renewed, a vocabulary child re-newborn, and how to keep all this forever,
until tomorrow, and nothing is everything all too much carried over

and nothing too much”

speaks to an openness in every orifice, be prepared scout-boy,
to adapt to nothing too much as hours earlier now recalled are ancient history, mind staggers at the minuscule differences tween yesterday and this exact moment in this exact place that has been reimagined, deserving of recording, notating, and my desperation struggle to
semi-successfully delineate, report, on all these
mini-magnificent miracles countenanced, overwhelms…

the brain furnaces/furnishes a thousand thoughts, a million worries,
slew of infinity-sized emotions like love of children, so it’s confusing to window-peeking  strangers watching for the walking man with tears pockmarking his cheeks, unaware that his each stride is a story, a unique grace forward and too, backwards, history mine, reviewed, graded, and the comfortable shoes, the old sagging clothes well worn and beloved, fit like gloves, whispering in the good silence,
a lamb sacrifice to the

good silence,
“human, your foibles and deeds, admixture of
blood inherited, a morality crafted by ancestors,
so the next step is
alway$

and nothing too much”* and everything…

Sat Dec10 2023
Shell Beach, Central Park, in my mind, and nothing is perfect
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2022
1:47am. Standing on my thumb

awakened by my badder bladder, disobeying the rules,  
one reaches  for the tablet’s reassuring whiteness and
its scrolling alerts; ascertain that the world order is yet
extant in a normative disarray, the elections are over
yet not, my sports teams have creaked to losses,
my inner devils are resting nesting in anticipation of another
day of sweet self-torture and guilting for a life full of
sinning and mine failures, a dawning realization grasps
my twilight self, half-awake & somewhat sleepy, that
I am writing poetry in the nether space where rules
and space are permeable, my river of conscience consciousness
flows between the gaps of truth and disfiguring lies, and that
I am standing on my thumb.

Yes, a single shorty, stubby, chubby digit is firmly attached,
arrested onto the screen, a portal tween love stories, podcasts
of human grief, leaking creativity and foundational support,
I am upright, upside down, feet in the air and kept there by
a small undistinguished and unattractive teeny weeny appendage through which hard data, drowsy dreams,
arousal, stories are bytes flowing in conflicting directions,
all at risk, great risk, by defying gravity, and the awful pull
of the accumulated weights of sorrow and grime of wasted opportunities, unbearable weight of lightness & love both
taken and given, potential horror stories, and the deniability
of humanoid excuses is pathetic and inutile, indeed, futile.

my suspended state of betweenness, the past and future,
caught up in animated currents of the perpetual and eternal,
unbelievable fantasy and unrecoverable missed opportunities,
cognizantr of a chasm division entre my failing body~shell and the sparking consciousness that cannot destroyed.

all while upright standing, aloft by a single but critical thumb.

the watch face glows 3:12, this episodic journey will be eradicated, molecularly scattered, permanent only in its
self-destruction and the remaining disquietude of the
unrealized reality of a naissance  and a renaissance
having occurred,

I am no longer awake and never was…

NYC
Thu Nov 10
2020
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2022
Re words:

rejoint my conscious self,
reiterate, as it is late, I am old,

reread
my prior poems, rewrite them, indeed,
rebuild them, redo them in their entirety,
so you can resell them and be rediscovered!

retake them, rekindle & rearrange in new combinations,
rewarmed, you are re-rewarded in their reassembly,
again reabsorb the moment from wells beneath your skin tissue,
recall the prescient exactitude of what you were then feeling,
readjusted for today’s new filters, recalculate the cost,
replace the cast with renewed images, refreshed faces,
new alpha dogs.

if you can resell them, they will rebuy them, no one the wiser,
thus, regain the old glory, redemption, no need to repent,
just rejoice and sleep another hundred years.


revenged.

Aug 17 2022 11:01 PM
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2022
How many poems does one individual contain?

Ahh you say!

Why unlimited are our of-coursing emotional exhalations,
our sighted and insighted sparks
like forest fires they come ad infinitum!

THEN the mind’s eye blinks, then word blindness follows
in phased arrays of
gaps that cannot always be easy pencil filled, permanent inked,
as locked and closeted,
and put away in a glass jar of formaldehyde.

I see, I feel, I hear, I read and react;
a notion,
a title born,
perhaps even a line or two follow-on scratched and etched,
even refetched
but followed then
by the deafening quietude of a stillbirth breeched
 fetus,
the emptiness of a blanketing blank,
a glance too short,
a foam extrusion whitening the spark into nothingness,
the death of a poem in a forest…

and you can’t care!

more such wordless poems have I buried than the
talkative children I’ve birthed,
old age delimits me now, my eyes failing, my hearing lessening,
the senses eroding, and worse, the frustration morphs
NOT INTO caring,
for the days of wine and roses, the mid-of-night urgency of
try, try poetic ****** is now a sinful spilled residue
on the wooden floor,
crumpled sheets of spermatozoa failure to perform…

the wastebasket
is a into a silo of mockery, a self-administered glass shot
of saltwater, bitter herbs, lamentations, an impassable gateway nominally know as 502, a wide, emptied moat of “haha on you!”

thus an answer forms,
there is no endless, growing,
inhumanly impossible trumpeting crescendo voice that doesn’t falter, eventually!
a petering out, a tangled, gordon knot of a shoe-laced Nat voice that cannot be untied by creaking fingers that scream ¡no más!

Even though
you believe, you yet possess the tools, though well worn smooth,
the belt lies heavy on the hips and its removal a welcoming
enlightening!

let me abide in peace, trigger me not, and the
answer is and always had been, this one, or the next one,
or the one prior is perhaps the finale, you will never know,
and if you do,
you will never permit yourself to utter aloud,

terminé et terminé!

in sæcula sæculorum imperf!

forever and forever unfinished finish!

!last one out, turn off the light!
10-30-2022
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2022
Sep 15 10:45am
Silver Beach, Peconic  Bay, Shelter Island

it is the day of the twixt and tween,
64°, stolid breeze on a bright sunshiny day,
but no question, we are well ensconced in
**** season, overlooking the shadowy, dry, speckled
blotchy, thirsty grass, and an empty bay, sails put aside

it’s a normal/semi-normal moment,
simultaneously secular and heaven blessed,
the stimuli of the quietude is the outlier,
it’s quantitude is overwhelming, it’s amplitude,
a wave of farewell humbled hushed rumblings of wind and
the drip of dropping leaves that fails to puncture
the total absence of noises, human et. al.

shirt off, chest wet & warmed, a light jacket,
my wrapper from the firm chill,
an undeniable temperate moment,
for this is an interlude day,
a goodbye and hello
shucked/unshucked poem,
the only semi-frisky item on the menu

even the animal kingdom respectful,
recognizing the sorrowful solitude
of this single intruder, so no cawing, honking,
even rabbits quietly chewing, their senses understand
this is a  remorseful write on a beauteous 1/365,
an adieu + au revoir script to
this island

but then the sign!

between Silver Beach and Noyac,
three heads a-bobbing,
white throats and white underbellies upright,
too far away to be heard,
but I swear I hear the purposeful porpoises saying:

“Adieu! Adieu!
until we see you and yours
once more,
for many more,
till then,
we await our mutual sheltering together,
in our shared waters”

<>

our summer palace,
where the sum of each newborn morn,
begins a life extending day, offsetting the aging of cells,
and softee smiles of children are botox injections,
directed to the soul’s lining,
an antigen antidote
to the toll time’s antibodies extract,
time units recorded and kept hid in the
the surround sound
of a special silence,
the sounds of rays twinkling
upon the waves,
reminders to everyone
that we are merely
betwixt and between
a plentiful heaven today
and a
plentiful heaven tomorrow
Sep 2022 · 224
My Saturday Vantage Point
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2022
7:00am
Shelter Island,
Sat Sep10

on the south west edge of the isle,
the slowrise sunrise just behind the trees,
so early day yet, no full frontal of a sun
bathing to wake up woman, babes asleeping, but the
animals know exactly this hours early
perfection.

indeed, the crazy squirrels are random
hither and dithering in spurts of energy,
only stopping to observe a viewing of the humans
nest~resting through the glass doors with their
inquisitive, self-possessed, bedside reckless manner,
perfected.

the suns pealing gleaming gleanings picks
out any shiny reflective surface that enhances
its low-rise greeting, with a chorale of living objects
singing “Hallelujah orb, what’s in store for us today,”
river~bay, wake-less, its becalming, marbling surface, again,
perfected.

me?

I’m mugged by the perfection intersection of
my eyes-scape, first coffee, the holy quietude, only
the regular soft breaths beside, lend a counterpoint
to these thoughts and the litany of chores the iCal happily, annoyingly,  prematurely but with certainty lists, resistance (Walk!)
perfectly ok.

ok not to move an inch, watching this daily movie rerun,
that energizes hope, a contemporary localized contented without the
humdrum of blaring headlines, talking heads, and the
infiltration of the guilty unfulfilled responsibilities demanding a due,
then heavens signal me, Donovan, earbud singing Colors, confirmed
perfectly ok!


Yellow is the color of my true love's hair
In the mornin', when we rise
In the mornin', when we rise
That's the time, that's the time
I love the best

Sep 2022 · 242
just a moment of momentum
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2022
4:30pm Sep 7 2022
Silver Beach & Shell Beach
Shelter Island


the heavens masters have departed their summer palazzo,
drawn the curtains, residual cloud cover of grayed thickened oatmeal,
a parting souvenir-gift, an 18 hour soak, grasses ****** raised glasses,
the few sapiens that still walk, hike, cycle, feel no need to smile/greet

our pheromones don’t operate properly, without a sunshine trigger,
we move doggedly but dragging a massive sadness, we’re marked;
count! an end of summer, a tree ring closed on our physical cell walls,
summer weather switch thrown, a universal human Cain birth mark

all is as before, but just for a moment, a silver color clarity invades,
all encompassing, everything bathed, haloed, a shining, don’t blink!
we are lit, alight, enlightened, changed, no longer tarnished, as if a
celestial silver polish swipes the gloom, the beach sparking white fire

this a sign unmistakable; cycle yet unbroken, flash card reminder for our eyes, brains, transference neurons ignite continuous continual,
our observations are the connecting links, the tissue human that
remains, reminds, each, this heaven & earth story is never ending!
a true story
of course
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
Something’s changed.


6:00 AM Sun August 16 2022

The temperature today will baby step
up the kitchen ladder, careful, senior slow,
to hover at a pleasant 79 Fahrenheit.

But, I am unfooled.

‘tis the birthing of the
changeling of mid-Augustus,
June’s initiating summer solstice,
an intimate longing now a long
gone forgotten memory, now a
calendar X a valedictorian graduate.

But of late, the sun has lately been
heisted by late afternoon by a batter
thick grayish cloud cover, right here,
hovering upon this godly place on earth.

there is a underlying fragrance, familiar,
an unmistakable chilling odor of cool fall.

an urgency emerges, hurry up you,
pluck the blueberries, harvest the peaches,
because trace hints of crispin fall apples,
falling browning foliage, curling leaves,
pumpkin flavorings and yellow gourds
is unjustly barely there, a definitely discernible.  

Back-to-school ads replace banners proclaiming
bargain prices for summer necessities, vin rosé.

Even the squirrels are enjoying a Sunday rest,
after mornin’ worship, no feverish acorn collection,
a subtle hint, winter supplying must be nearly done.

dare not superstitious say out loud, the **** geese,
have made themselves scarce going on two weeks,
having learned a trick or two from the Ukrainians,
I chuckle to think that we may have regained territory.

But, I am unfooled.

Morning boats of all ilk and demeanor ply-plow the
bay waters, but all seem less hurried, savoring the pretense
of forever long summer days, beyond-belief sunsets, soft white
ice of creamy calming waters, no impasto^ seas wintry rough.

Return-to-bed, coffee mugged, I await the Dumps early call,
the sorting done, metal, plastic,compostable, so easy to bring
order to our daily detritus, thinking if only one could sort the seasons then I would be a forever summer man, here,
on this godly place.


But, I am unfooled.

7:06 AM Tue Aug 16 2020
Shelter Island, N.Y.

————————
^Impasto is a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the surface thickly, usually thick enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture; the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.
Aug 2022 · 173
GRASP
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
——


7:05 AM Sun Aug 14 2022

this com-plaint again?

a FPOTD^ comes on like a summer cold,
fast, annoying and unexpected in mid-August, requiring
instant attention, dueling satisfaction, immediate ****** completion.

‘tis no secret to those who love me (why else would
you be so foolish to read this scribble), that I am a sadly ****,
fading desirable, somewhat literate, old man of advancing years.

(here my conscience inserts fiddling doddering old fool,
but a successful old men
Senatorial filibuster denies passage of this clause)

I confess my symptoms, without shame, but with deep anger,
that I’ve failed myself, permitted the slow decay to gain secure
footholds in the Black Mountains of my body.

my hands do no tremble, yet, my gait is not a oldster shuffle, yet,
with a squint, can still read some fine print, even find the balance
resources for a near-daily moderate paced, 4 mile walkabout.

what then do you fail to grasp?

Exactly. Every gesture, every step, touching, task-moderate is a calculus of deliberate exactitude, so refined, an-ever-so, careful
UNhurried grasping of my fave 19oz. Macintosh mug.

deep seated aches in extremities, bending requires malice aforethought, long drives requires reassembly to remove me from
the driver’s seat, don’t ask about recovery from trunk unloading!

the day begins. shall not catalogue the many mini-acts that will
be performed, combining balance and fine minute movements,
there will be grumbling aplenty, screams of Joy & Pain,

for such is life when you’re are in the finale act!

Bluntly, then, recap,
the gangrene is deep in the places where there is
no recovery possible, no forgiveness available, and the stench
of aging, the old man stink is musk-masked, but unmistakable
and I grasp each arriving second with alacrity, care.


<>

“And Mr. H. will demonstrate
Ten summer sets he'll undertake on solid ground
Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”^^

8:17 AM
Shelter Island



^ First Poem of the Day

^^ “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Aug 2022 · 682
A Perfunctory Morning Poem
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
Thu. Aug 11 2022
7:16 AM


~ for Julia and Joanne~
good neighbors

<>
a renewable habit apparently, again, a first poem of the day
(FPOTD), comes early, this old practice, me-bedded and mugged, with music ear installed drowning the noises of television blah,
iPad rests on left leg, left hand pointer finger ejects capsules
of letters, charmed into existence by the Barber adagio.

the Weather Channel forecasts morning-rain and my window
to trample and shuffle this deteriorating body rapid closes,
and the sun, weak, in concession speech, begs pardon, throws
off a few miscellaneous rays by way of apology, fooling no one,
except for the hopeful, itinerant poets, & the bunnies-neath-the deck.

know now you understand the poems entitlement, as is my wont,
you’ve been invited inside, sharing eyes and senses, you journey
today from a vantage no one else possesses, just you and me. Later,
we will drive to the Parrish Museum, studying modern painters,
each will inquire, a poem for me please, I nod sure, perhaps?

promise little, deliver less, is this your best? A travelogue of the
mundane, the little things, that do not stir your heart, smile tears,
and make you think wish I was there, or this, being
just too-me-boring?
The brain growls, no one making them read this perfunctoriness,
nonetheless, you apologize, pardon the no-angst trivia of daily life.

like the acid reflux bile, swallowed and returned to whence it came.
before it invades, tarnishes the peace of our surroundings and
the pleasure of your company, as I read your writings,

worth so much,
filled with so much angry pain,
I want to easy-soften the everything,
if this missive, takes you-nearer, to the calmer~closer,
this  poem, you transform it from perfunctory, to just, simply


perfect.


8:18 AM
Shelter Island
Aug 2022 · 290
Vast Eternal Plan
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
TUESDAY Aug 9 2022

05:59AM

(for you)

silent alarm trips me up into a dawning at with a five o’clock
wakefulness, (‘woke,’ cancelled) that comes with morning daylight,
this is the likely culprit~catalyst, for the sky is traced,
blending multi-palest shades of whitening blues,
crowned by toppings of baby orange + pinks of faun~sun arrays


an hour prior, my 1st day-view,
is of mine eyes popping corn open to Peconic bay waters,
waves moving actively, not yet rascal-frothy winded,
meanwhile the woman


an hour later deep dreams of what I know not,
but rumbling and mumbling
and noisy shuddering combinations course through her frame and
whatever turbulence she’s experiencing is plainly nothing good


my apriori
training kicks in and a tender embrace and the be-not-afraid caresses work quick, restore her own waves to a comparable calmer current


now, she sleeps peaceful, breathes in easy quiet as I, writing, memorializing the moment, all else can wait, and Tevye’s prayer~
memory comes pinging, re the powers of it who makes all via a

  “vast eternal plan,

crinkles my smiling eyes and my fingers begin to radio-receive the signal of dash dot dash of words you currently are reading/imbibing

something unknowable raised me up
amidst the all-quiet of the first watch,
thus I, was snap ready to ease her troubles, at the very first moment…

<~>

now I am cellular~level conscious of witnessing and feeling
each of the trillions upon trillions of minuscule defractions

of light bendings that will populate, articulate,
the entire world’s rolling day,
give them to me, please,
the causality source of millions of minor miracles that will go unobserved, unrecognized and unrecorded

I rise from the bed needy, urgently seeking them,
your adventures, their earthquake interactive tremors,
the raw minerals of what will be all the future poems of our lives,
but, first,

coffee.

06:49AM

Shelter Island, N.Y.
Tevye of Fiddler on the Roof fame sings:
“Would it upset some vast eternal plan God,
if I were a wealthy man?”
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
Aug. 03, 2022  06:43am
Peconic Bay, Shelter Island

Open my poetry bible to random page,
Whitman possibilities endless, his inspirations
of human essences distilled, a parfum of
sounds and smells, touched words, an airborne
mist of  spray penetrating deep, tickling cells’ walls
.

In Whitman, where all my journeys end, the luster
of all that presents to the half-dressed eye is restored
to its original color, a reverse osmosis where the coatings
of crusty salts that nightly accumulate, word-washed away.


miracle!

The restorer~forgers freshen original hues,
a creator’s helpers, workpeople tasked by
whom
matters not,
for even those
whose all senses impaired,
inhale new born air that informs
the body entire that the natural
shadings have been renewed.

as if

a virginal placenta
of pure best has cracked open,
refilling the palette of the morning, colorists
of new dab pretending it’s a first time re-gifting,
an original vista, sanctifying all who welcome-willing,
finding new combinations words to etch and fetch what
is deliciously indescribable, what is given freely, but to whom?

To each.

To each of us.

within each

our own

  leaves of grass.
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
the house in August is summer morn quieter

the sink clatter of breakfast dishes awaiting disposition by the dishwasher (me) ends abruptly. The slamming screen doors are
signal that crew has departed for yoga or Zumba, even work,


and the cottage is his.

An early riser, he has already visited and returned from the Environmental and Recycling Center which demands he ken various kinds of plastic, sort clean metal, glass and batteries for Hades voltage  crushing to their eternal resting for burial and rebirth & celebrates

bringing order to refuse.

Now, he retires to the sunroom couch to bring order to the refuse of his rambunctious mind, where he has birthed too many poems, survivors, destroying many stillborn or defective, that were not good enough for you, wept many tears of joyous completion, reveled in the late current bounteous good fortune in a mostly accursed life,
and dwells in a world entirely

of his own mind carving.

With one exception.

He sees the few names of those who have shared this journey.  With some, he has conversed for almost a decade. His grace for those willing to tag along and make their presence known, I am grateful

beyond words!

Thank you.

nml
08/03/2022
you know where.
Aug 2022 · 272
last, best shot?
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2022
Last Best Shot

July 31, 2020
8:07am

the morning sunlight. high enough to lighten first café & the future.
warming, mellifluous, biding good tidings, a head, ahead for the day.
sun-in-sky-low, so trees stand taller, shadow-makers, just for now.
grass blotched, pockmarked, alternative hints of hope & mystery.
the bay wave waters stilled, unrolled, unroiled, no-thrashing, omen?
is this wellness? is this a green tea soul and soil infusion, calming?


my mind wanders to that remains unaccompanied, unaccomplished.
unwashed breakfast dishes, miles of mail urgently unattended.
poems half-composed, some decomposing, resurrection on the list?
these unwashed word-shards, cry out, if not today, then when?
passerby’s, yachts, kayaks pause, turn, all bow-me-pointing asking?
is today their finale, burial by deletion, or their
last, best shot?

my reflection, neutral-neutered mien in 19oz. Blue Mountain
black coffee, in a Canadian Macintosh porcelain mug, provides
no clue, accident or incident, but inquires: why the adrenaline?
Jul 2022 · 188
every distance is not near
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2022
“They say everything can be replaced,
Yet every distance is not near”

”I shall be released” Bob Dylan

                            ~~~~~~~

this fragrant lyric,
burro-stubborn, hot burr burrows,
into an old man’s deteriorating brain,
one who spends nowadays, mending,
stretching short hours to feel lengthy,
by reviewing the distances he has travelled,
means/meanings to/for unalterable endings

when time hurries
to shrink distances
tween them points,
of incidents logged,
forking roads, always
wrongly chosen,
safety over bravery,
easy pain over hard love,
miscalculating time
and memory,
prioritizing avoidance
of the unknowns ******* up
the risk of the best laid guesses,
those things that come to be
the chiefest fete of contradictory
ironies, the travelogue nearly done,
what never happened
cannot be replaced.


he sings dirges
for the remains of the day
and other things vaguely recalled.

2/2/2022 ~  7/17/2022
one of the many orphaned waifs living in my half started, half finished files.

A email from a Dylan fan made me birth it
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2022
~but, yet, another love poem~

In the thousands of years of Earth’s foregoing,
marking the reign of humans, all seeking sapience,
full well knowing, neither first or last am I to mark
this day’s commencement with a need, a desiring,
to notate this not unusual but definitively unique
calendar entrance with a tribute, neither requested,
but freely given to the person who lies beside me.

Did I wake commanded or so compelled to scrabble
a collection of words, sequences, initially disordered,
into a shape, to chisel these sendings of a chest into a
living disbursement, a marbleized breathing creature,
that empties and releases a sensory disposition rambling,
rumbling into a messy, utterance of sentience while they
sleep quiet, pockmarked by dreamed mumblings, dreaming?


No, I did not.

News headlines come demanding see me, insistent that
I am urgency, but one displaced by the next, making them
instantly stale by pealing replacements.

This poem, a self- appointed task is now eased, story spent and spurted into a lifespan of a length unknown and untold.  But, and  yet, here I end, ceased and not resisting, demurring, desisting another stanza, The hour approaches the seventh hour after midnight, rising time.

Go now.

The choring chords of fibrous tasks that stitch existence into
a sustaining impertinent permanence, list-crossing-off, a-nagging.
The itches of living, ask for scratching, 1st cup of coffee making,
but smile bemusedly that this first and freshest to do, newly added,
is done, dispatched with a line-sworded satisfying crossing off.
She sleeps on, while I soon to rise and quiet paddle to the
kitchen where kept the utensils for sustenance,


But, and yet, I am contented, miraculously, simultaneous,
emptied and fulfilled.

4-14-2021
NYC
7:18am
Leonard smiles and whispers “hallelujah! I-used-to-live-alone-before-i-knew-you”
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2022
This day will start out mostly sunny with temperatures near the high 70s. Then expect a chance of showers and thunderstorms late at night, with temps dropping to the high 60s.

ALTERNATE-SIDE PARKING
In effect until June 20 (Juneteenth)

by
God.

(who is relieved that we humans will celebrate and honor Juneteenth,  by not having to rise early to move our cars to the other side of the street to enable the horde of street cleaners and free men and women to sleep late too in honor of the emancipation of enslaved people in the US.
June·teenth
/jo͞oːnˌtēːnTH,ˌjo͞onˈtēnTH,jo͞o:nˈtē:nTH/

a holiday celebrated on 19 June to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
Jun 2022 · 241
The Confrontation
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2022
The Confrontation

he is stirred by buzzing thoughts, irritating him to wakefulness;
mobile, random and annoying for they last but a moment and
his sticky flypaper hands cannot capture and eradicate them into
existence fast enough to make them permanent, shareable and eased.


5:54am
Tue., the seventh day of the sixth month of MMXXII

postscript

he desperately fails to recall the world word labyrinth that urged him to rise and capture the wild animals that roared and removed his half-notions from the lifting fog of consciousness. Alas, they are just like specks of new sunlight upon a linen of grassy, newly watered wet greens; here today, instantaneously, gone and gone and gone. Instead,
he writes of their early death and mourns the brevity of their beauty,
and thinks not of the wasted times of the last seventy years.
Jun 2022 · 169
Labile
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2022
Labile

la·bile
/ˈlāˌbīl,ˈlābəl/


1. liable to change; easily altered.  “Persons whose blood pressure is more labile will carry an enhanced risk of heart attack"


2. of or characterized by emotions that are easily aroused or freely expressed, and that tend to alter quickly and spontaneously; emotionally unstable."mood seemed generally appropriate, but the patient was often labile!

       !~~~!

oceans have boundaries,
a shaping, fluid, fluctuating definition.
words have dictionaries,
a permeable listing, unsettled,
offering oscillating
meanings like our lives.


these building blocks,  fluid,flexing,
wooden watery vowels areshape shifters,
including the hard constant consonants,
lay upon the minds rubbled streets, begging for us
to trip and fall, in order to ******* an ‘ah ha!.’


words are liabilities, even if unknown,
responsibilities, carried upon our ledgers,
even if nuances pass patiently unrecognized,
even if unuttered
.

the woman wakes, bad startled by a concluding dreaming,
speaks ‘what time is it?’ and reassured by words,
promptly falls back to rem the darling earlies again.

her labile is my liability,
incumbent then upon me,
to be alert whenever she so stumbles, alarmed,
prepped with reassuring tools to soothe, coax.

stored this word for how long, till it became a responsibility,
incumbent to explore its precision tooled vagaries,
saved unknowingly for this precise moment of


Sturm und Drang.
7:05am the Fifth of May, Two Thousand and Twenty Two
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2022
Of a Certain Friendship by Elsa Gidlow

Odd how you entered my house quietly,
Quietly left again.
While you stayed you ate at my table,
Slept in my bed.
There was much sweetness,
Yet little was done, little said.
After you left there was pain,
Now there is no more pain.

But the door of a certain room in my house
Will be always shut.
Your fork, your plate, the glass you drank from,
The music you played,
Are in that room
With the pillow where last your head was laid.
And there is one place in my garden
Where it’s best that I set no foot.
This poem is in the public domain
Nat Lipstadt May 2022
Have writ of the return to our sheltering place so oft,
sanity suggests move on to a topic lesser revered, yet,
the throb of compulsion is irresistible, immovable, irrefutable!
so the fingertips tango step over a white screen dance floor,
looking, for old steps, new combinations, awaiting reincarnation!

as if self-denial was even possible, sanity and need are irrecusable.

Every exodus requires a commencement miracle, ours annualized,
the small SUV engorged, supplies-swollen, a Chanukah oil miracle,
time & space expand - always enough, calm stating, ¡más! accepting
all offerings and longings, rolling merrily along the worn paths and hamlets of Indian origin, voyagers, port to port, till we are destined,

free forced to isle~ferry, to-exhale relief; Here! an embraceable peace.

Water~bounded, isolated isola, surround~sounded tween two spits of land, two forks, two tines, define/defend its in~between persona,
welcoming but skeptical, welcoming but take note, we all become an islander, even by osmosis, distinctive, in~possession of a collective history of heroes memory, inscribed names, on our ferries, highways, & eyes

we all become sheltered islanders, serving by remembering….

Memorial Day 2022
Shelter Island
Nat Lipstadt May 2022
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
    God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour

    As one man more, methinks, would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

    Let him depart; his passport shall be made
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
    We would not die in that man’s company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.

    This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
    And say ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian:’
    Then he will strip his sleeve and show his scars,

    And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names

    Familiar in his mouth as household words:
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d,

    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered;

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:

    And gentlemen in England now abed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
St. Crispin’s Day

By William Shakespeare

“Memorial  Day inspires mixed emotions: pride in the valor of those who gave their lives in the cause of freedom; sorrow that such self-sacrifice should have been necessary. Pride in past valor may be best expressed in the St. Crispin’s Day speech from “Henry V” (Act IV, Scene iii), delivered by the young king on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt”
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
April is in my mistress' face
April is in my mistress' face
April is in my mistress' face
And July in her eyes hath place
And July in her eyes, her eyes hath place
Within her *****, within her *****
Is September
But in her heart, but in her heart, her heart
A cold December
But in her heart, her heart
But in her heart, her heart
A cold December
Thomas Morley (1557 – early October 1602) was an English composer, theorist, singer and organist of the Renaissance. He was one of the foremost members of the English Madrigal School. Referring to the strong Italian influence on the English madrigal, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians states that Morley was "chiefly responsible for grafting the Italian shoot on to the native stock and initiating the curiously brief but brilliant flowering of the madrigal that constitutes one of the most colourful episodes in the history
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/books/review/what-is-poetry.html

an excerpt…

“From time to time I’m asked, with bewilderment or derision, if this or that poem isn’t just “prose chopped into lines.” This idea of the free verse poem as “chopped” prose comes from Ezra Pound via Marjorie Perloff, who quotes Pound in her influential essay “The Linear Fallacy,” published in 1981. The essay encourages an oddly suspicious, even paranoid reading of most free verse as phony poetry, as prose in costume. The line, in Perloff’s view, in these ersatz poems, is a “surface device,” a “gimmick.” She removes all the breaks from a C.K. Williams poem to make the case that a stanza without the intentional carriage returns is merely a paragraph.

I find this baffling — as if chopping up prose has no effect. It does have an effect, the way putting more panes in a window changes the view. The architect Christopher Alexander thought big plate glass windows were a mistake, because “they alienate us from the view”: “The smaller the windows are, and the smaller the panes are, the more intensely windows help connect us with what is on the other side. This is an important paradox.” To state the Forsterian obvious again, adding breaks to a paragraph is not always going to make an interesting poem — but most poets don’t write that way. They write in the line, in the company of the void. That changes how you write — and more profoundly, how you think, and even how you are, your mode of being. When you write in the line, there is always an awareness of the mystery, of what is left out. This is why, I suppose, poems can be so confounding. Empty space on the page, that absence of language, provides no clues. But it doesn’t communicate nothing — rather, it communicates nothing. It speaks void, it telegraphs mystery.

By “mystery” I don’t mean metaphor or disguise. Poetry doesn’t, or shouldn’t, achieve mystery only by hiding the known, or translating the known into other, less familiar language. The mystery is unknowing, the unknown — as in Jennifer Huang’s “Departure”: “The things I don’t know have stayed/In this home.” The mystery is the missing mountain in Shane McCrae’s “The Butterflies the Mountain and the Lake”:

the / Butterflies monarch butterflies huge swarms they
Migrate and as they migrate south as they
Cross Lake Superior instead of flying

South straight across they fly
South over the water then fly east
still over the water then fly south again / And now
biologists believe they turn to avoid a mountain

That disappeared millennia ago.

The missing mountain is still there. As for what is on the page, the language that changes the shape of the void, I’m of the opinion it can be almost anything. One of my favorite books that no one has heard of is “Survey Says!,” by Nathan Austin. It’s just a list of guesses ventured by contestants on “Family Feud,” arranged, most ingeniously, in alphabetical order by their second letter, so you get sequences like this: “A bra. Abraham Lincoln. A building. Scaffolding. Scalpel. A car. A card game. A cat. A cat. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream.” We get the answers; the questions are missing. “Get a manicure. Get a toupee. Get drunk. Retirement fund. Get out of bed. Get ready! Let’s go with manuals. Get sick in there. Let’s say a pet. Let’s say shoes. Bette Davis.” The poetry seems to perform hypnosis, the found rhymes and assonance and anaphora enacting an enchantment, a bewitchery; it seems to be giving subconscious advice. Get ready! You must change your life.”
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
~another love poem~

In the thousands of years of Earth’s foregoing,
marking the reign of humans, all seek sapience,
knowing full well, neither first or last am I to mark
this day’s commencement with a need, a desiring,
to notate this not unusual but definitively unique
calendar notation with a tribute, neither requested
but freely given to the person who lies beside me.

Did I wake commanded or so compelled to scrabble
a collection of words, sequences, initially disordered,
into a shape, to chisel these sendings of a chest into a
living disbursement, a statute, a marbleized creature,
that empties and releases a sensory disposition rumbling
into a messy, mediocre utterance of sentience while they
sleep quiet, pockmarked by dreamed mumblings, dreaming?


No, I did not.

News headlines come demanding see me, insistent that
I am urgency, but one displaced by the next, making them
instantly stale by pealing replacements. This poem, a self-
appointed task is now eased, spent and spurted into an
lifespan of a length unknown and untold. Here I end, ceased
and resisting, demurring, desisting another stanza, The hour
approaches the seventh hour before noon, rising time. Go now.

The choring chords of fibrous tasks that stitch existence into
a sustaining impertinent permanence, list-crossing-off, a-nagging.
The itches of living, ask for scratching, 1st cup of coffee making,
but smile bemusedly that this first and freshest to do, newly added,
is done, dispatched with a line-sworded satisfying crossing off.
She sleeps on, while I soon to rise and quiet paddle to the
kitchen where kept the utensils for sustenance,


I am contented, miraculously, simultaneous,
emptied and fulfilled.

4-14-2021
NYC
7:18am
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
<~>
Pradip Chattopadhyay:
“I think of death now, but more than that, the life I left behind.”

this is like gray hair,
one day, just there,
lower back pain, joins the train,
this retrospection inspection,
seasonal,
neither spring summer or winter,
just a unique fall,
like gray hair,
appearing slowly,
surprisingly unsurprising.


there is no wisdom herein,
just timed capsule release
decay.
the weaker the eyesight becomes,
the squinting routine,
we see every moment,
through a rearguard retreat.



did we win, or just
stalemate?
we cannot accept
the sense of lost,
so squint harder,
for looking ahead
is refused
for that is a neutral state,
facing backwards
is the only warranted
directive,
that you must, must
take to make hard
judgement.
Apr 2022 · 141
half-breed half-writs
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
~for Steve and Marshal~

they crouch round,
white wide eyes,
their skin, *****, like
the darkness that
completes their near
invisibility.

new child arrives when
it declares I’m here, not
seeking acclaim, just a
witnessing to its slimy
amniotic messy, amnesiac
birth.

what does it say, what,
does it know? the stilled birth
of permanent incompleteness.
though hardly alone, it has no
siblings, though, it has much,
much company.

these half-writ poems predestined
to never see light of any kind, neither,
sun or moon or bare bulb glare, bred
to never age, never die, their ultimatum,
to be discarded when the bytes, their
geophysical representation is tossed
into the crusher bin, recycled, reformed,
but still always half-breed, half-writs.

nml
Apr 2, 2022
nyc
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
Listen to the stories

men tell of last year

that sound of other places

though they happened here
Listen to a name

so private it can burn

hear it said aloud

and learn and learn
History is a needle

for putting men asleep

anointed with the poison

of all they want to keep
Now a name that saved you

has a foreign taste

claims a foreign body

froze in last year’s waste
And what is living lingers

while monuments are built

then yields its final whisper

to letters raised in gilt
But cries of stifled ripeness

whip me to my knees

I am with the falling snow

falling in the seas
I am with the hunters

hungry and shrewd

and I am with the hunted

quick and soft and ****
I am with the houses

that wash away in rain

and leave no teeth of pillars

to rake them up again
Let men numb names

scratch winds that blow

listen to the stories

but what you know you know
And knowing is enough

for mountains such as these

where nothing long remains

houses walls or trees

<~>
“I would recommend On Hearing a Name Long Unspoken. This poem is from Cohen’s 1964 collection, Flowers for ******, which deals with the trauma of the Holocaust and its legacy in 1960s Canada. In this book Cohen describes himself as a ‘front-line writer’ trying to understand totalitarianism, and the poems aim to critique his readers’ complacency in the violence of the world wars, anti-Semitism and colonialism. In On Hearing a Name Long Unspoken, Cohen asks his readers to consider how atrocities ‘that sound of other places’ also ‘happened here.’ He wants us to remember the lives of real people, to remember where people have found solidarity and protection, as well as how they have been oppressed because he is concerned that the stories that are told about the past will make it feel distant and unreal.”

KAIT PINDER, assistant professor of English at Acadia University
Jan 2022 · 665
I know nothing of poetry…
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2022
~for Robert C Howard, inspired by his “From Many, One”

I know nothing of poetry…

or ballet or symphonic works; a ******,
a passerby, a glimpser of other’s artistry,
neither can I add, nor delete, just observe their
intersection, a triplication, and yet, a snowy
Saturday Sabbath is colored now by their story

a  story of many, a symphony playing a concert
of harmony, the notes are grunts and shoutouts,
the high notes of squealing tires screeches, the bass
of growling heaving hearts, engines-beating revving,
music growing louder, to a crescendo of resounding success

sudden silence is the fiercest applause, a reverbing
mark, echoing in a forested heartland, quietly absorbed
into the scarred bark of the witnessing trees, adding a minute moment to their long playing recordings, approving  an
endeavor of many unasked, self-tasked to help, many into one…

a merging of a singular memory
Jan 2022 · 281
the missing accents
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2022
the missing accents (in a poem composed in French)

~for Elisa Maria Agiro~

are neither missed nor lost,
are neither essential nor essences,
for the heart of the poem dazzles!
for the life well dreamed, dazzles!
the simplest truth needs no spices,
life, it is glorious, the glorious spark
of god, living and breathing within us,
no matter the language, no matter
the accent, that is our mission!
Jan 2022 · 308
My Best Ever Fortune Cookie
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2022
My best-ever for­tune cookie con­tained a vari­ant
of Feyn­man’s maxim:

The work will teach you how to do it.

    <|>

not yet noon on New Year’s Day,
the new words search begins croakingly,
then stumble upon a philosophical notional,
celebrating messy processes, equating to outcome,
robbing me of my lazy-all-in-NY Day-no-work-ethics

many a-poem writ, more half-baked, on shelf resting,
but the pointillist theoretical, paint by point, insists:
a clean year is a clean canvas deserving, so wade
in the water of frozen creeks silencing gurgles,
catch and release, a natural new work now!

an admonishment most personal, for the
production of poems has dimmed, excuses,
plentiful but it seemed my harshest critic, MM&I,^
never provide an editor’s sign off, these pieces of me,
pass their date of expiration, &  will then, my own passing


the work teaches how  
but never guaranteeing good enough






1/1/22 4:46PM
^Me, Myself, & I
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2021
T.S. Eliot: "Last year's words belong to last year's languages and next year's words await another voice.”


<>

exactly.  

the old words are salty, unexpectedly coarse, unrefined and unsuitable for staying and surely not for going. The words are stamped with an expiration date.  

the evening is calendar-redlined, wobbly but outlined & finite, but the words are resisted, non- transferable. Stale.  

and I drink and wonder whose voice, with  artifice of a new vocabulary, all next year’s words, will bid me farewell and will I understand the spoken sounds of a new long division






Dec 31, 2021 4:07 PM
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2021
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater the art is of ending”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
                                                      ­  <?>

how we age is both simultaneously
conscious and unconscious,
uncontrolled and uncomfortable


we never fail to recognize the mirror image, yet,
always thinking out loud in our brain that’s not me!


some remember their successes; others, do not,
perhaps they cannot recall the few, or more likely
acknowledge them as triumphs, as the scale is a
canon always in flux by time grinding us fine


we readily admit, or do not deny, the lines upon our bodies
are highway markers of journeys, yet we know not
who built these signposts, how they came to be here,
but that they ours, unique and accumulated, undeniable


Longfellow’s observation above hits me
with the  fullness of a wet washcloth;
intemperate and stinging,
but not unpleasantly so.

each of our beginnings are artful;
full of promise and worthy tales;
we think this. is normative,
the way a young life is proscribed,
meant to be enjoyed.

of course, this is not necessarily so;
indeed, the exiting is a violent decay,
unrelenting and foisted upon us and
we try, to amend it, our transient departure,
so that we remove the artifice, keep only the art,
the skilled communication of what we valued,
the things that are progeny, living or material,
those clues to whom we are, to whom it may concern, 
we were


Dec. 25, 2021
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2021
“Poetry to me is emotion strung on Christmas trees,
it's that delight that rips through paper
and bows to find the treasure hidden inside.

I love the thoughtful topics you bring to us
to delve into and ponder. As holidays near
I wish you warmth and caring and

childhood delight…

hugs,
Patty

a note to me from Patty…published without her permission, sorry kiddo!
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2021
Mark Twain to Helen Keller


“Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that “plagiarism” farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul—let us go farther and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances in plagiarism.

For substantially all ideas are second hand, consciously or unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them any where except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.”

Mark Twain
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2021
measure me by quantity,
mine you, deep my shaft of data,
I got plenty,
lots of ill-advising words,
to a thousand poems...

keep 'em short, boy,
satisfy the appetite
of the new age for
short and sweet,
make the metaphors
obvious

make sure
the span of spam
tween moving the heart
and the ticking clock
is
brevity
that is the soullessness
of popular attention

you maybe, nah,
you are an old fool,
getting into movies
practically for free,
an ancient mariner,
(a what?)
but nobody wants to
read the longings that are
still and wild flowing
into and from,
erupting
of every pore,
every one a door
to to a different destination

"Your poems are too **** long"

So I will write what you want to hear...

**** it....

too long? Ok!

Suk it...
but using grownup words,
try,


Succinct me!

3/28/2015
Nov 2021 · 913
A Poet’s Qualifications
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2021
“A poet's qualifications include common sense, knowledge of character, adherence to high ideals, combination of the dulce with the utile, intellectual superiority, appreciation of the noble history and lofty mission of poetry, and above all a willingness to listen to and profit by impartial criticism.”


Ars Poeti a (ll. 295–476).[10]
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2021
I read to find inspiration.
I write to restore candor to the mind.

N. Scott Momaday

                        <<<<<>>>>>>>>>

Find Inspiration:
a phrase that diodes light, a one-way current within,
making me a selectman, “of thee I sing, of thee I write,
of thee am I composed and fodder for thy dissection &
”my decomposition.

a phrase that reads me more than I read it,
jumps onto my ontological eyeballs, a great leap
forward, and I suppose humdrum you could call it,
inserted inspiration

Restoring Candor:
thus begins expiation+ excoriation+ exhumation;
a longish road to candor restoration, where plausible
deniability is denied, Jedi verbal mind tricks are
just in movies, and candor is really “can-do(r)!”
but
no one dare say that
for fear of being laughed at,
a cancelled jingo-lingo-patriot.
Wed.  Sep. 1, 3:28PM
found this in my scrap file, can’t recall if used but!
Laura Nyro asked me to rhapsodize and rap upon it.

Who could refuse her?
Next page