Best Poems 2000-1


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Recovery *****
Owed To a Spreadsheet: Spread the Sheets For Love ****
Wimbledon Came Early This Year ****
I Did Not Know I Was a Witch *****
Dark Chocolate Profiterole ****
Quality of Service *****
I Can Do Anything Now *****
Beach Erosion *****
Angels Fear to Tread on Barren Earth *****
Angry Finger, Soothing Wind ****
California Weaving *****
Lake Life ****
Licensed Californian ****
Summer in Wintry Fog the City Lay ****
Fair Trade ****

Selected Poems 2000-1

 Recovery *****
There is magic in our lives
It lies within
I don't know where.

There is magic in movement
It comes from within
Taking us we don't know where.

There is magic in our speech
When words collide
And new ideas spark.

There is magic in loving
And being loved
When worlds crash together

There is magic in the undressing
And the dressing
And the love-making before and after.

There is magic in the knowing
And the unknowing
Magic in the growing and the falling.

There is magic in the perfection
And the weakness
And the subtle understanding of decline.

There is magic in hello
And magic in goodbye and all between
And the memories you leave.

March 1, 2001

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 Owed To a Spreadsheet: Spread the Sheets For Love ****
Many years ago
My first Macintosh
The one with one hundred and twenty eight K
And no hard drive
Was a joy to us both.
I have to give you credit.
It was your move.

You always remember your first.
The one I fell in love with
Even though it was a buggy beta

Spreadsheet drug
Others look like aspirin
Spreadsheet drug
All consuming
Spreadsheet drug
Nothing else matters
Except continuing the building
Continuing the building
Until you get it right
Which you never do
Spreadsheet drug
Always iterating
Spreadsheet drug
Until enormous crises drives you away from
Spreadsheet drug.
Drug departure, great regret.

Others can't appreciate your love for
Spreadsheet drug
They just weren't there
They did not build
Spreadsheet drug
They did not care for
Spreadsheet drug.
You don't want to share
Spreadsheet drug.

All they'll do is mess up
Spreadsheet drug.
A Greek once said
You cannot step in the same spreadsheet twice
He was wrong
He did not spread the sheets for love
Nor admit mistakes
And back up.

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 Wimbledon Came Early This Year ****
Strawberries are a gift
A June fruit
That come with tennis
And tennis whites.

This year, June came early
And beneath the Japanese screens
Of my porch
Hawaiian hair
Impossibly improbably strawberry

Iced coffee in hand
She sat tall and slender
Spoke with poise
Of whales and ships
Breakers and reefs
Laughing at her failure as an axe murderer
A problem of coordination
That may extend to golf and tennis.

Exuberantly, we both proclaimed the need for an island,
Or at least counter space,
An office,
Sushi and skiing.
The enigma of 28-year old women sudden with cats.

This year, June came early
Beauty beneath the hot blue sky
We drank carefully carried bottled water
Amidst the rampaging wild flowers
Framed in a curve of trees
On a hill for painters.

I was enchanted by her delicate freckles
Riding up her left leg
And her bravery.

This year June came early
Arriving with the richness of cream
And the tart sweetness of desire.

May 6, 2001

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 I Did Not Know I Was a Witch *****
I have a theory
About parking:
If you aim for the next slot over
Back up
Turn back towards your slot
You rarely hit the pillar
And the act is graceful.

About to back up
A Land Rover roared behind me
A second away from
More than a kiss from my bumper

My adrenaline stomped over
To point out the error of his way.
In a hurry,
He said he had not been going as fast
As I said

I thought about dire predictions
Incantations and protestations
What I wanted was a curse...

Blood calmed
My sanity restored
I realized I did not need to throw a curse.
He had self cursed
Would reap the rewards of his own driving

I am a lazy witch
I monitor my karma
Listen to my blood pressure.
Seeking only graceful intervention.

May 7, 2001

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 Dark Chocolate Profiterole ****
As I lay there on the bench
Face in the green vinyl
Working on my triceps
One arm at a time
My personal trainer barking orders at me
I realized what had transpired:

Her client
Wanted discipline
Dark chocolate leather
With thigh high boots

I raised my head
Sat up
Shared my thought
She rollicked laughing on the floor
The jigsaw came together:
She told of April Fool at the gym
Where dressed in dominatrix leather
She caught his attention
And many others.

Over dinner
She taught me how to eat like an Italian
To roll the eyes
And murmur at the food.

I wore three courses upon my shirt
Salad, soup, dark chocolate profiterole
My shirt was almost good enough to eat

In turn, I offered advice
As is my wont
Even when unasked
And said to her unmasked:

“It sounds like a premium personal training service to me.”

And she ate another dark chocolate profiterole.

May 12, 2001

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 Quality of Service *****
Your lost words floating in the bowels of the Internet
Chopped up like worms, perhaps to reunite
In some new email, read randomly by carnivore strangers
Mutating into new emails
The sound of your bytes echoes across terabyte-walled canyons
Through unknown routers and brouters, switches and packets,
Checked and reconstructed, bounced and resent, reassembled
Diminishing, fading, until the meaning exists only in your cache
Your head
The phone rings

May 23, 2001

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 I Can Do Anything Now *****
He tied her up tight
Important if you're going to fall
He cinched her in places
Husbands would know to be intimate.
Then pushed her out into the blues.

Isabel fell
Ten thousand feet
A man tied to her side.
He spun her in the air.
And ripped the cord.

Isabel fell well.
History husbands drifting off
Buoyed by air.

Viewed from the ground, Isabel fell well
Five thousand feet under gossamer wing
And landed walking
As if nothing had happened
Except the adrenaline.

Isabel felt well
Rooted on the ground
Her mother breathed
 “Next time, do this without me.”
Her voice drowned out
In the draft and song of Isabel's new flight.

June 4, 2001

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 Beach Erosion *****
She walked in water, sandals in hand, clothing that clinged
I walked in Birkenstocks, dry, just out of reach
At the end of a continent
On a broken sand-dollar beach.

Windmills stretched south
Where sand dunes once ruled.
Where plants, one man's vision, now knitted the sand
Where a park had grown.

She worried about the end of love
The possibilities of new love
At the ocean's edge
A water effect, that she would like to have landscaped
Though she doffed her hat to higher powers.

And I did not care
Having given up love for hope
Settling for fascination
The giving of attention
Daily transcendence in the flowers of the freeway.

I felt myself falling
Down a slippery slope of sand
As she pushed me down
And reached inside to tuck my shirt
Lingering lower
And longer
Than was perhaps necessary
Unless you were trying to knit the sliding sand
To prevent erosion.

So I kissed her
Held her
And breathed her in
With the tide.

June 8, 2001

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 Angels Fear to Tread on Barren Earth *****
I opened the door this past month
As summer came to town
And grass turned golden against the blue sky.

The wind rushed in, refreshing my lips
With smooth and passionate kisses.
That made me feel sixteen

And you held the door
Invitation to come out.
So I poked out my head
Rushed out until

A cooler wind came through
Banging the garden gate shut
Bringing a tear to my eye
A lump to my throat
A sense of loss for something
I had not glimpsed in a while
The wild beyond the wall

Or perhaps it was
Just reaction to a seed
That had blocked my sight
Leaving on the wind
From my barren earth
No longer gold.

June 9, 2001

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 Angry Finger, Soothing Wind ****
I am your biggest fan
My goal is just to sooth.
You've left behind other fans
Who like to chill your bones
Air conditioners on wheels
Window units with remotes
But I am your biggest fan.

I like to see you troubled
Then I can help you sleep
Wipe the tears from your face
Perspiration from your brow

I love to sleep all night with you
Windows fetching wind
I love to see you sleep
Your face relaxed and calm

I am your biggest fan
Don't poke right back at me
To get around my guard
Don't blame me for weather inside your head
Or you may lose the point
I am your biggest fan.

June 17, 2001

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 California Weaving *****
It begins with the beauty
Grass, the spring flowers, summer blossoms, the green trees oasis-like in the golden hills
The almost perpetual blue sky.

Then there is the freeway
Unfamiliar exits
Mysterious houses
Billboards and signs
Uncertain links and futures.

Over time
Each cloverleaf, entrance, exit, intersection
Reveals different edges
Its own itinerary of goal and hope
Observations and amusements
Destinations reached and destinations lost
Adds itself
Like tendrils from a vine

Past visuals link to today's direction.
Past purpose
Past people
A web of time
Underlaid beneath today's route
A fourth dimension extending
The archeology of my travel
But not yet a new Troy
Though Helen has left
And the last rebuilt Troy has burned down
And Odysseus has been a long time on the freeway.

Shared tendrils exchange histories
Shared histories tenderly tip toeing into a mesh
Repairing, replacing two vines savagely torn down
A fault in the city architecture and expectation
That went undetected
Until too late.

It's always easier rebuilding
If you can forget the rich loss of deep connections
And enjoy the neural net construction project.

With time a spell is woven.

June 28, 2001

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 Montreal ***
I notice the breasts
Full and proud
Perched on high heels
God, I love this city in summer.

June 29, 2001

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 Lake Life ****
The low moment on the walk was when James trod in a cow patty
The highlight - wild strawberries small and sweet, close to the ground
Where James can see them easily.

The movie moment when James fell down the stairs
Had a happy ending with blueberry pancakes and tears
Ironic, he should just have mastered Slinky-racing down all fourteen steps which takes a little technique.

The fireworks on Canada Day were exceptional for a small town
And so was the weather
As the crowd shivered, dancing to keep warm, whirring their glow sticks

And while the wind was high
It kept the mosquitoes away
And that is never bad.
But when the wind went down
James and Sam found a net and a sticky insect catcher
And did quality control on errant insects
Stomping and catching
Sticking their prey on the gluey bar.

But the high point was the scraping of the cake bowl
The chocolate faces
That needed a water fight in the lake to clean the boys to their original state
The third time that day that they achieved original state
Thanks to the washer and drier.

July 2, 2001

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 Licensed Californian ****
There are certain expectations:
No more fizzy soft drinks;
Interest in and knowledge of wine;
Organic is good;
Macdonalds is out - In-And-Out Burger is in;
Fusion cuisine a must;
And knowledge of sunscreen required if you are blond;
BBQ an expected male skill.

But perhaps most important is the sports requirement.
Rollerblading, hiking, tennis, biking, with golf optional
Jogging and weights
A personal trainer is good;
And for graduate work, kayaking and white water rafting are essentials.

It only took about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of automobiles
To get the graduate work set up.
Two SUVs, a pick-up truck, a Toyota and a BMW
To ferry us from Palo Alto to San Carlos
From San Carlos to Larkspur
From Larkspur to Emerald Hills
From Emerald Hills to the kick off spot
And from the kick off spot to our destination

Twenty-five rafts and who knows how many kayaks
Waited for the water to release
That's American River style
Which also requires TEVA sandals on your feet
And red life jackets
Though they clashed with our puce boat
And Sushama's multi-colored dive booties
Diving only being an optional Californian sport
Though there is pressure to make it a requirement.

It's all new to me as a whitewater virgin
But I have to say after ten miles
And much paddling
It's a whale of a time
A whole lot of fun
And importantly, an upper-body work out.
And given that California is about temptation
I am tempted by the sexy shapes of those obviously highly maneuverable kayaks
Though Kathy tells me
Training is in order.

Graduate work is looking like fun.

July 16, 2001

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 Summer in Wintry Fog the City Lay ****
Free parking
With a questionable legal opinion
Good food from a waiter unclear in English
Recently promoted out of the kitchen
A city bathed in two thousand feet of fog
I, seduced into climbing - no, racing! - to Coit's Tower up endless North Beach high angle streets and steps in the illusion that my double espresso was our destination
But at the top, all we could see was San Francisco entirely surrounded by pink reality
Did I pass the fitness test of the first time California date?
She offered family revelations on the downhill
Along with the overhang of current lives
And finally coffee
Two kisses
Two cars untowed
San Francisco at its best
In a fog
A San Francisco hello
And as it turned out, goodbye.

July 21, 2001

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 Fair Trade ****
The radio woke me
Stumbling out of bed
To see two tall towers on fire
And hear of tales of people leaping a thousand feet or more to their death
To avoid something worse that I cannot imagine

My neighbor knocked on my door
In awe
At turmoil on the screen
And planes flying into buildings
Friends phoned
A husband on a plane to Boston
I phoned to find some asleep
Others unconnected to
A Kennedy day
Where were you when…?

News commentators stumbled too
Not knowing what to say
Not knowing what they saw
A tower vanished
A fair tower vanished
The smoke went way wide
And I thought
I have been there
As a fair sister collapsed
While a third building burned in Washington

Someone hates so much
That destroying the fair
Killing the innocent
Seems a fair trade for his injustice
Probably a religious man
Who has forgotten
Thou shalt not kill
And love thy neighbor

I went to a meeting
Where the mood was quiet rising to anger
Streets bereft of pedestrians
Tears kept rising to my eye
But hovered unborn
Choked back
By a black pall
And images seared into my brain

In my favorite book, there are three towers
There is one ring to bind them all
And fate comes a full circle to deliver an evil hand
An equal trade for his destruction of the fair.

Morning mourning, September 11, 2001

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