Nat Lipstadt May 2013
For Al, who left us, Nov. 22, 2014

With each passing poem,
The degree of difficulty of diving ever higher,
Bar incrementally niched, inched, raised,
Domain, the association of words, ever lesser,
Repetition verboten, crime against pride.

You ask me when the words come:

With each passing year,
In the wee hours of
Ever diminishing time snatches,
The hours between midnight and rising,

Shrinkage, once six, now four hours,
Meant for for restoration,
Transpositional for creation,
Only one body notes the new mark,
The digital, numerical clock of
Trillion hour sleep deficit, most taxing.

Al, you ask me from where do the words come:

Each of the five senses compete,
Pick me, Pick me, they shout,

The eyes see the tall grasses
Framing the ferry's to and fro life.
Waving bye bye to the
End of day harbor activities,
Putting your babies to sleep.

The ears hear the boat horns
Deep voiced, demanding pay attention,
I am now docking, I am important,
The sound lingers, long after
They are no longer important.

The tongue tastes the cooling
Italian prosecco merging victoriously
With its ally, the modestly warming rays
Of a September setting sun,
finally declaring, without stuttering,
Peace on Earth.

The odoriferous bay breezes,
A new for that second only smell,
But yet, very old bartender's recipe,
Salt, cooking oil, barbecue sauce, gasoline
And the winning new ingredient, freshly minted,
Stacked in ascending circumference order, onion rings.

These four senses all recombinant,
On the cheek, on the tongue,
Wafting, tickling, blasting, visioning
Merging into a single touch
That my pointer finger, by force majeure,
Declares, here,  poem aborning,
Contract with this moment, now satisfied.

Al,  what you did not ask was this:
With each passing poem,
I am lessened within, expurgated,
In a sense part of me, expunged,
Part of me, passing too,
Every poems birth diminishes me.

4:38 AM
September 8th, 2012

Greenport Harbor, N.Y.
Immerse me in your music
Let your melody dance
upon my skin
Surround me in the notes you play
Until I'm seduced from within
Let the music takes me over
My body starts to sway
Emotion flows from your guitar
It's rhythm taking me away
On a journey to where there is
nothing but your music surrounding me
Encasing my body in the beauty
of its melody
My husband was a fabulous guitarist. I miss hearing him play
~for granddaughter Wendy on her first birthday~

mailman delivers a
a small bubble wrapped envelope,
an internet purchase made a long sometime ago  
accompanied by an enjoyable, self-served and self-serving,
"you're a good fella"
          pat on the back        

a spurting act of the what-the-heck,
trigger pulling, self-pleasuring,
donating a few bucks to saving poetry,
sucked in by a suckers click bait

sent money to the
   keepers of poems;   
they even give something
in return.

sensible pencils.  

a non-rational purchase;
@ $6 dollars per leaded squib,
a wooden helping kiss rife with possibilities

all for a goodly cause
preservation band society poetic

this one-and-done impulse many weeks ago, 
followed by an immediacy forgeting,
then, an eye stabbing,
a widening wow weeks later
upon receipt
of an unexpected 5 pencil's all poems poetry reciting!

5 pencils. No. 2’s,
on each a phrase,
a poet's name and their singular words parsed
(see the notes).

paired passages from five poets,
deemed and distinguished to be
what's more apropos than a dangerous  instrument of a
loaded leaded pencil,
that can be used to add to the  
Ever Expanding Universe of Verbal Liturgy
("and I helped")
once briefly dusted off the top of closeted dreamy days,
my notions of acclaim gone, silly gone,
my only marks now are erasures,
tiny rubber sheddings on paper
that's my marker,
a minus mark of deletion.

may yet come the day,
one will one gather up the
many survivors,
poem fauns, all my orphans,
give them to the
Wendy baby,

she to metamorphose those
baby squeaks and  giggles,
weighty weightless poem noises,
clapping, waving, delighted and delighting, kiss-throwing videos and that milk covered face,
into her own living words

all these noises that makes even non-poets
smile ear to ear unabashedly,
nodding in delight agreement
to her own non verbal
original poems
one day a little girl
will stumble on five pencils,
mixed in within fifteen hundred poems not particularly well hid,
between worthless insurance policies and other artifacts,
memoirs and pointless depositions,
hid between her older sister and brother's
crayoned keepsakes

  with pointed newly sharpened pencils
the very same,
his Wendy,
might add
to the grandpere's poem collection with
pencils begging to be used,
for they are generationally and genetically,
pre-poetically enabled,
weighting the old memories
with new ballast and new balance,
from new verbal babies
all of her own.
What happens to a dream deferred?  Langston Hughes
Won't you celebrate with me? Lucille Clifton
Do I dare disturb the universe?  T.S. Eliot
I'm Nobody! Who are you? Emily Dickinson
Where can the crying heart graze? Naomi Shibab Nye
My pain is not a poem, my poetry isn't poetic.
It's cryptic and a message, cutting up and breaking
branches. Comprehensive; my poems are suicidal, files of medications and prescriptions are seemingly all my mind can write. Jumping to conclusions and indenting my addictions,
inflicting this confliction, convictions I don't mention. Those rhymes that I have wrote It was the drowning as I broke,
a broken draft of notes, that sing:  "you'll never learn to float," Acid, or is it water?  I'm hoping for the latter, well I guess it never mattered, years doubled and I'm sadder.
When does it get better?  
When do I get better?  
I guess it never will, and I'm
home but I'm not here,
I'm stuck,
I'm stuck,
I'm stuck,
and all my heart
can pump is tears--
All feedback is appreciated and welcome!
Evelyn May 17
One headphone in the left,
radio in the right.
A stranger drives measures in clefts of night

Kiss him how feet kiss sand
    ---A soloist breaking off from the band,
the pianist beckoned him back,
tuning deft fingers to a single track.

Sound’s wordless talk
beats a measure a half-step off;
Blue’s lips tactless, sucking down,
Blue’s lips fastening ankles to ground.

Then sudden:
a rock in the road is an
anchor thrown,
caught between verses,
words you don’t know.

Then sudden:
the break is
pianist's mistake,
notes shift under toe,
the ocean lets go.
Swells Oct 2017
lowering into the hum of empty bones
among a tired floor
i feel unknown
i feel shaken by drowsy notes
from unruly voices
translating parts of me
between the cries for father and peace
between the silence on my lips that kiss
at the grave digger’s feet

i left in the early morning
                                      before my own breath could
                                                                ­                    wake me.
I’m wrapped up in a day like tomorrow
I’ve crossed over, without my weapon of sorrow
It’s a little bit muddy there, I know.
I’m galloping over sympathy and subtle notes.
So, technically... perfect me, inject me.
Typically abusing the wanting.
I fight, primarily with empathy... receiving nosebleeds.
Don’t follow me, with your magnetic high beams.
Just stay within me, and help me push down my feelings.
I’d crumble for you but I’m redacting what love means.
If you know, like I know, we’d end up seeing all that’s below us.
These words, they bring a simple understanding
Don’t touch me, I’m ornery like your offspring.
Detesting what man thinks that god brings.
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