Saturday, December 31, 2016


Funny how solid objects "move." Intriguing how angle and perspective alter everything. The five emerald onion domes of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church seem to sit just above the railroad bridge as you proceed west on Erie Boulevard toward West Genesee Street. But in my mind I think of them as residing a ways to the left, up the hill, Tipperary Hill. The iconic (literally and figuratively) church is to the left -- from certain angles. As the road bends or turns, you bend or turn with it. Each turn or bend presents a different perspective. An aerial view offers a whole different angle. Up close, far away, above or below, all different perspectives. Perspective is perception. Hashtag metaphor. 


I walked our dog in Burnet Park, where she gamboled in the snow, merrymaking and frolicking just for me, to give me a smile, as she sported in the fluffy lake effect snow. No. You're right. She did it for pure dog love, total abandon, canine self, yielding to the moment and the next the next the now.

watching the ball drop

I don't watch the ball drop at Times Square at midnight, not typically. Just doesn't interest me. Who knows, maybe it would be fun in person. Maybe some day. But almost certainly not. "Maybe" is a capacious word.

what comes after 'penultimate'?

So now we are at the ultimate, the last day of 2016. Squeeze it out, like someone making orange juice, fresh. Drain it all, seeds and rind and pulp and beverage.

Friday, December 30, 2016

calendar musings

Soon December turns to January, and 2016 to 2017. I get that we don't live a year at a time, not even really a day at a time. It's this moment drifting or dissolving into the next and the next and the next and the next. You get the point. Still, I'm eager to bid good riddance to 2016, its upheavals, violence, tumult, blooms, blossoms, sunrises, sunsets, roses, rusts, and secrets. And that's talking about my personal adventures! Let's turn the page!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


It is 4:41 p.m., and I have yet to leave the house today, spending time wrapping presents, napping, eating, and now napping. (Though the last sentence is long-ish, it is NOT a run-on sentence, which has nothing to do with sentence length, longevity, rhythm, or cadence. Look it up.) Is my staying in a reaction to the aforementioned frenzy or a tidal opposite of activity or mere holiday depression? (How dare one call it mere, ma mere.) But, having shaved and showered, I shall now venture out into the world, beyond the insular confines of my pauline walls.

Friday, December 23, 2016


You see it. A palpable tension. An agitated hum. More voltage, higher speeds, greater impatience, fear in the eyes. Pressure! It's the holidays!


I've surrendered most of that, though I understand it.

The fear of failing at the height of transactional trauma.


Maybe instead of saying "Merry Christmas," we should invoke a salute to stillness or silence.


Some way.


winter haiku 1

crystalline dancers

melting snowflakes on window

sliding into stream lines

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

autumn haiku 8

:  :

sun-throb cumulus

etymology of sky

murmuring cirrus

:  :


Friday, December 16, 2016

... and speaking of arrivals ...

... not meaning the Arrivals terminal at the airport, or alternately the Departures edifice at the same locus or terminus ...

But something else.

("That is not I meant at all.")

Hold on a second. Try on for size, color, and style these oft-quoted lines, by T.S. Eliot, in "Little Gidding":

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

arriving at 'Arrival'

Having seen the movie 'Arrival,' I am left to wonder: ah, why was there not more wonder in the movie? Why was there not more 'ah'? They tried, but mostly missed the dazzling facial glows of 'Close Encounters.' They (the scriptwriters, producers) tried, too, to touch on the inevitable nexus between immanence and transcendence. But it is, in the end, a movie, a Hollywood one at that. I salute this much: despite the cliche of the threat of military intervention (I won't spoil the plot) and despite some other tropes, the production had some gravitas. 'Arrival' touched on our human yearning for connection, as well as our propensity to sever connection (e.g., kill, destroy, alienate). And 'Arrival' touched on language in a fresh way. As a wordsmith, I enjoyed that. It earnestly sought to be optimistic. I'll give it that. I did not dislike the movie. (Is that damning with faint praise?) It had more simplicity and less noise than most films like this. I confess to having experienced a chill run down my spine at some moments. So that's powerful, right? I will close by saying that the immanence and transcendence the movie sought to evoke is ineffable ultimately. (Is it not?) Which is why we have art and silence and poetry and image and dance and breathlessness and pulse and no-thing-ness.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

good day sunshine day

Sunshine, even for a few hours, is welcome in the month of December in these northern climes.

autumn haiku 7

icicle shards drip

in sunlight just before noon

cumulus shadows

Drying Out

the dusty rose petals

October's faded gourds

besotted by habit

memory's fodder

sobering up

from 'it'll be different'

to 'this is this'

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

autumn haiku 6

capillaried branch

leafless breezy pantomime

before the storm breaks

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


a word left on a plate

a syllable in mid-air

digital deletions

the unspoken shout

closing doors

no more static

radio silence

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Grayer Truths

I saw it in a horoscope
Yours not mine
Trumpeting grayer truths
I wondered why
That was fine

I wandered off the grid
Of black and what
A vacant landscape
No rock, sand, water, air

Is this horoscope for real
Something neutral
Less invested
Cooler scale
Hues of medium

I wondered
And wandered unbleached
Indeterminate and old
Searching for grayer truths