Fear exhilarates my passionate
freaks, they who love speed and
physical risk and panic just to
shock themselves towards happiness—
their damages, bruises, their hurts
to them, just a series of not yets

Humanists like me don’t
think humans think very well
We’re greedy, inquisitive beasts—
complicated, godawful,
faulty and easily misled
We overreach, we overspend

Mistakes are monsters
One day I follow Dad all around
the house—“Kid, cut it out!”
We experience one thing
and remember another, our
younger lives so close to yet

Never got the real point—
to obliterate myself in that 1960ish crowd,
in the thump, thump, thump of the rock
guitars— so much louder than a melody
that could rouse herself in my head,
so loud that I couldn’t hear her

We sat around and smoked
strong French cigarettes—
so knowledgeable, so cool
So we glimpsed at the end
and didn’t predict and didn’t
explain and didn’t pretend

When he got the diagnosis he
referred to himself in the past tense
He said, “I didn’t have to drive a cab,
I didn’t have to be a waiter,
I never had to work in a laundry
I honored what I couldn’t understand”

When Grandma heard the adagio
of the Brahms violin concerto,
she cried true tears a bit after the violin
stole the opening melody from the oboe
and returned her to a more
vigorous time in this life

Half feint moon in the summer daylight
Morning sky blue as her eyes—
No clouds
Howard wrote: “These hills are
pigs asleep, the snow is deep,
the mountain lions crouch”



-July 22, 2017-