The poet’s chest

The poet’s chest was still closed
Since it still had butterflies in it.

He knew it had only cockroaches.
They were poor smelly creatures

The longest surviving on an earth.
His knowing that was one thing.

His thinking in mind was another.
A chest must always stay closed.

For the butterflies not to fly away
A lid must always be kept closed.

Recalling “Hope Chest” by Max Ritvo (1990-2016)


He goes gentle into the night

A doctor of the native country,
He had fired his shots in arms

And in the soft village buttocks
For fees gentle on hip pockets.

He delivered women of nights
Also noses running on bridges

Sent them city on a village bus
If there was big-size carbuncle.

Now he goes gentle into night,
Not rage against dying of light

Not a word leaves gentle soul.
Night could not ungentle him.


We do not believe us

We are the people who wore out,
The main babble outside station

Lighthouse that lived by the sea
Where train rises every morning

Wearing out thin by the evening.
We do not believe us , others do.

(reading a poem Down by the Station Early In The Morning by John Ashbery who passed last Sunday at ninety)

Bit by bit

We are at your cervix, mam,
While you drink your coffee.

They slow talk woman in lift
Breaking darkness bit by bit

Like a mountain for houses,
With the chisel like squirrel.

Lift groans on the first floor
With wheelchairs to biopsies

While fat woman smiles fatly
Into phone her hint of smile.

The body, in  hospital corner,
Breaks its darkness bit by bit.


Moving finger has writ and moves on.
After it is calcined dust inside a vault

It points where empty spaces spread
A dust of written word walking dead.

Finger wonders at old fingers writing,
A dead word embalmed in pure light

Where light is dust like in the skylight,
From a tiled roof with holes in its sky.

Touch and feel

Ashbery no more experiences,
Who gave ever so many filters

A mirror to laugh ourselves at,
So convex we see broken lines

Like sparrows in mirror series,
Their pecking serially over time

And of course the geographies.
Ashbery is America geography,

With its coordinates in humans,
His is poetry to feel and touch,

Experiencing to feel experience
And to pat lovingly on its back.

(“Experience” poet John Ashbery passes on 3rd September ,2017 at ninety)