Dinner with Abby

Last Night We Had Dinner with my Oldest Friend

old as I am Abby Robinson she was Abby Glazer

apart from her large and yes incredible

new photographs haunting and bright and strong

only hers what I loved was how we

so much older now than when we were young children

how the same we were as when we were

playing together on a scrappy beach in Woodmont Connecticut

summer after summer after summer until her mother

thought she needed More Significance mine did not

we were both so happy on that beach

our complicated mothers out of earshot

hers cleaning ironing ironing mine reading library books on the green porch

Abby would swim the most beautiful crawl I thought she was a fish

or a mermaid and I would write it down.



Dear Friend I Know and Friend I Don’t,

to remember is why I write poems

they do not answer questions

do not adhere to external structures

do not speak to big issues either

relevance and legacy

mine are not legacy poems

dear friend I know and friend I don’t

I have always wanted to tell you

what the stranger said on the bus

and then, what actually happened next.




I Dream of Lost Shoes

I have some recurring dreams and one often involves shoes.


In last night’s dream

Cheryl Clarke (!!!) brought me to my classroom to teach

a class in Good Stories.  I happened to be wearing

excellent shoes (and so was Cheryl).  Mine were high

blue suede.  In my dream I’d gotten them in Paris.  We went

into the classroom about an hour before class

and I took off my shoes (I don’t usually) and Cheryl left

for work in another building.  I walked out the door without my shoes

and the door locked behind me.  No one around had a key.

My class started in fifteen minutes and I wasn’t sure

whether to borrow shoes and how to get in the room.

In the next scene (an actual scene) someone had opened

the door.  I was wearing someone else’s shoes (where did they

come from) and They Weren’t Good.  They were

brown shoes for long walks.  My French heels were gone.

All the time I taught my class I thought about my feet.



School’s Off on Simchat Torah

Our grandchild goes to a secular preschool Purple Circle

housed in a synagogue so when there are Jewish holidays

so many in the fall she has

no school and she who is the daughter

of our Chilean Jewish Armenian son, colored

South African woman from Capetown, she who is not yet

caught up in who or what she is, she explains  she has no

school today because We All Got an Important Book

and she has one too and  brings me her book

about a boy who becomes a mermaid and we read

her new and holy story and celebrate.

Yesterday Poets Read in a Bus

We were part of a 14th Street festival

and because it was raining

we met inside a poetry bus

read to each other

changing seats so other people

could come inside  and after poems

we went to one of our favorite

bars old Spanish place on 13th and 6th

waiter there forever always moving slowly

bringing drinks free food meatballs and potatoes

same two plates for forty years

says How Are You but he

does not need an answer

for the thousandth time

I remember how life if your eyes are

open   if you are lucky

how life can be a poem.



Doctor’s Offices Are Usually Not Very Good

Doctor’s offices the space itself how

they look art magazines WEBMD in magazine form

chairs pinned against the wall generic flower or two

sometimes mums this time of year

they are rarely good. Maybe because

the doctors mostly look at body parts.

A few weeks ago because I have hives

ZocDoc dermatology office a chain with one

in my neighborhood owner a doctor

who calls himself Doctor Bobby

he has an autographed to Bob from Bob

picture of Dylan in his waiting room

but his office wasn’t good either.

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