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Not Quite Quietly

Allow me to express that I have nothing to say
to ears that hear not listening, breaths
without sense, fingertips touching sans feeling,
lips that brush but do not quake, souls unstirred,
this path untaken, the ground which figures trace,
across the broadest empty.

Chagall 2017
Happy Thanksgiving to all you virtual cats out there.
Peace & Love. Can you dig it man?


En Passant

I was six, maybe seven, when my grandfather taught me to play chess.
What a wonderful way to think and to engage with another mind.
I would watch him watching me over the top of his glasses as I’d deliberate.
And he’d smile.

In time, I got better. One hot summer, when I almost had him,
he turned on an oscillating fan and blew the light-plastic pieces away.

One day, I was nine, maybe ten, I set up the board on my grandmother’s kitchen table, oblivious at first to my grandfather gripping his chest, in the throes of a heart-attack. My grandparents had no phone. I remember running upstairs to our apartment, calling the operator and enlisting her assistance to get an ambulance to us.

My grandfather never returned home after this incident. He spent the rest of his days at Goldwater Hospital. My mom would make that trip everyday, a subway to an overhead-tram to a shuttle and back. I would visit on weekends.

I kept the board in the apartment set-up for over a year, awaiting his return and his opening move, anticipating gambits, and enticing endplay. Then one day, when it was clear there would be no rematch, I ceremoniously put on the fan in his honor, and blew the pieces away.

Chagall 2017

Fixing The Daybreak

Every morning I step under the arch, or sometimes roam the arbor,
I always find sunlight and windblown green matter
among wooded creatures, Gaia underfoot rising like
our own scent, robust and loamy, sans words
in this timeless traipse, shrunk
to the tiny infinite wound up
around me inside this funnel
where eddies ebb
without tide
but not I

Chagall 2017

The Echo of Hypnotic Montuno

old vinyl from Eddie Palmieri, 1971, Rio Piedras Campus, University of Puerto Rico, plays in alleyways, alphabet city, that same year, the island of then not like today, and now
at the window I see my neighbor lower her stylus – a turntable!
Vámonos pa’l monte, and how I dance! And she sees me and she dances, my partner across the alley turns it up loud, but not crazy
and it is dark and autumn soon to be winter,
and the sun is rare in the alley this time of year,
when these acoustics reverberate stone, the island,  and she of other days

Chagall 2017
link here to Eddie Palmieri

The under-the-cabinet fluorescent over the counter in the corner of the kitchen
brings comfort, throwing back the darkness
in a cascade of concentric rings of diminishing light
as I imagine small fires-in-the-round did
so many millennia ago.

Chagall 2017

The Two Commandments

Be whomever you want to be in life, and never ever hurt another being

Chagall 2017

I was feeling around for my underwear, the other night in the dark
and I thought who needs labels when you can simply look for the hole in
the crotch, and then I realized that taken metaphorically, one might get offended, though I meant the observation to be quite innocent pertaining to the tag on the waistband. Why have one? Merely probe for the movable-seam in front to properly orient oneself.

I said
No way anyone would get offended by that
to which I said No?
Just watch, you one-dimensional moron.

Chagall 2017

Les Boules

No greater pleasure than taking the top off
the cloche, a full-face of steam, seeing your bread for the first time

Chagall 2017

Still Waltzing With Debbie

it has become ever more difficult
to remain gentile

a trio playing,
Sunday…the Vanguard?

just a week away
another day

brush on snare is solar plexus
the sandy grate of existence

atop deep


music for
down some

losing love
more than sleep

other time

the reprise

my favorite things



For Scott LaFaro (link here) – Chagall, 2017

Just Like That It Can Happen

Tiny spider smiling, tucked-in-a-roll of garden bags,
knowing she’s made it inside.

Chagall 2017

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