Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Seattle afternoon

Confessions of sea shells
Whispered, never taking a breath.
Bridal registry of the sea
Unblinking like the day
Pregnant as the peace you carry.
What would you like to hear
As it tells of sand and cold blood?

What can be bourn on the wings
Of a seagull as it flies inland?
The air that holds it is
An unknown history of salt,
A rumor of the story of love,

It is a poem that keeps
The land from being lonely.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now I lay me down

There were these thoughts and they
Were nagging, slightly oppressive
As a prairie dream of low and flat.
There was this time, a whole lot of it that,
Having passed, was mostly in garbage heaps.

There was this music, not exactly
You wish you could forget the tune
Because it was always just a little beyond
Memory but still a little too familiar,
A sound a little new but too often understood.

There were these dreams, some of them yours
And some of them his, the kind to keep you awake.

There was this soldier of the unknown battle
Sitting alone, doing it again until it’s done.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Smile fruit with remember potato

for Sue

So the ham and cheese morning rests on the little it knows.
Angels gather together in the kitchen of dreams
Not slick and stainless, tile and grout,
But close and crowded, clean and lean.

It was so unexpected, that kitchen, practically over lake waters.
In the weakening summer sprinkled with Dutch rain
It climbed the narrow stairway to the sky,
One leg in Eden the other in the deepening water out from the shore.

The handfuls of gadgets were home at last, having found one another.
In another room sat Montaigne scratching that itch,
Ready with manuscript to go to the Voorschorterlaan Station with
The press already rolling like a subway on its track to London.

Kitchens should always speak Nedderlander above the tree tops
High where the best fruit grows.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Harmlessness

The illusion is that something harmless can pass the time
And as it passes nothing is hurt, all change is harmless.
But what of what you’re waiting out? What of the
Children whose lives have been touched with
Unintentional troubles and left to grow in bent up ways?
You did the best you could; I know that, I have too.
We both failed our sons and daughters, believing in a better good
Than us and ours, trusting society rather than ourselves.

I have these tears, I can’t get them out! They burn, sear,
Leaving scars deep within me; they would be like acid
On my face. They are like a bomb within me,
Whose blast I will not be able to survive. So, like mom

On the table lie the cards
I play a game of solitaire.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dee sonnet of dee day

I’m Drunk now!
The first beer
Spewed over my chest, Mr. Bones,
Having followed much vodka,
I drank voraciously!

This cold, splendid day was
In absence of happiness,
Joy, or joke. Quietly
Problems did their obligatory circle.

Your love spilled over me
As rushing esters
Swept me away.

Foolish crime, loneliness,
Punished as we commit.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My MP3

Where is the rumble,
The war of thought,
Tension on the shaft
Turning the gears;

Momentum mounts,
Picks up pace,
Music tumbles,
A waterfall of words.

At first it’s slow,
I can write things down
(Then gone beyond
The speed I could).

Symphony of syncopated excitement to simply
Listen I sit, marvel at the sound.

Monday, October 31, 2005

you can't hide

you can’t hide coming to grips
with wrestling boy
in a world that always wins
stark dark dog eyes
sometimes growl
sometimes whine
then close in dreams of lunch

horror tells
whore to hurry
watch raggedy run
time’s always short
go ahead roll the dice

the dog is hungry
there’s lye to cure the lice

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Phoenix in Tucson

It is that my life
Grew strong this seedling.
Residue down when
Winter limbs knurling,
Naked claws the brash
Winter sky slow, soft
Scratches on itchy
Dusk’s knobby spine clouds.

But I in my fell
Passion scorched the dark
Night close, day wide bright
And set to this tree
Fire that consuming
Left blackened stump.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Serial Sad

Unquiet day when my
Restlessness startled my sleeping me,
When chambered horrors broke free,
When a pale, white, full moon bag of me
Drained and shuffled down a sad and lightless hall
And said this is it, that’s all.

Last night’s shining smile won’t set me free
And why should I be, this criminal of the heart.
My love’s no joke (like a bad punch line
Told over and over, until everyone starts to laugh).
But I ain’t laughing because it hurts,
Just like dad did me

And my heart broke with a twang,
A tossed out, spring tight clock.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Submerged Science

Apple apologies in a basket,
Rain stained sheets on the line,
Call waiting and voice messages,
Corner foreigner’s the milk man now.

And I’m the foreigner now,
Waiting to know if the
Milk man has a story to hear,
Is it our song, all the kids are humming?

If the ice man cometh
Is global Miami
And Miami is a good dive
(Drove the levee over the Chevy and the levee wasn’t dry),

The country of the Condoleezza Rice
Floating over soppy Atlantis’s dreams.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sweeping the Dawn Sky

Sweeping the dawn sky
with large, black wings,
crow lands at
very top.

Tree, celebrating,
throws yellow confetti.

Old man clinking
glass bodies
dead of last nights laughter.

Trash being tidied
on faded asphalt
scruffy piles.

Black cat
watches below the trees.

Time stands still

but will start
with children to fro'
in iron chairs.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Halloween was our best season

Howl as an aching moon
goes groaning low and wide
in the west. Howl as time
passes boundary between happy
and sad. Howl because you don’t
know what else to do.

Growl at slowness of dawning,
longness of frowning,
shortness of the breath of fall,
with its amber haired smile

and days of retreat
in memory’s eclipse.

Whimper recalling once was
in grown up child’s busy.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Jilly’s Celebration

Wild haired in the dawn;
It’s not about me.
Saw mill bandits
Still cutting logs.
Cat dance near the sleeping dog,
Growls chasing dreams away.

Do they run, do da!
Horse hair dawn streaks,
Brilliant fur on the horizon of day.

Night grows in anticipation;
Night grows on a cake from the store,
Puffs of steam from sizzling stones.

The gig is done, midnight is noon;
Happy birthday, Happy Anniversary!

oil workers sestina

cause the weight to be lifted
but not before one human moment
sharing the commonality of conversation
touching simple soul to soul
for when the burden is taken away
all is done and in the hole

create something even on the brink of the hole
we cannot escape that weight being lifted
make that connection which does not pass away
have kindness because in some next moment
the coil will unwind from around that soul
touch it with gentle caring in conversation

how many times a day in conversation
do we treat others darkly in ways not whole
in how many ways do we tread face with leather sole
how often we seek that anothers wallet may be lifted
considering only ourselves for that sad moment
looting time and friendship for things carried away

or jealously protecting our pitiful own being carried away
taking the taste of bitter in the words of conversation
carrying the weight of emptiness to burden the moment
like the heavy impossibility of picking up a hole
like wanting first place finding it translates to alone lifted
hungering throughout life without knowing its to touch another soul

the doctor looking down at that last moment of the soul
the pipe fitter asks when they will take the pipe away
not knowing as the doctor does what will be really lifted
while they wait the little things of life are conversation
don’t juggle the tons of pipe let him have his consciousness whole
do you smoke, he asks for a moment

trying to quit says he the doctor offers you can quit in a moment
while they share a smoke they quietly touch each others souls
hes worried will i ever again be whole
theyre still not ready to lift the big pipe away
do everything we can is the gist of conversation
lets enjoy talking til its lifted

smoke dissipates leaving the smell whole as they flick the buts away
rest easy your honest soul and thanks for the conversation
and hes immediately dead the moment the pipe is lifted

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Soap Sonnet

What are the real qualities of a clean shirt?
Who could teach it to know that?
Warm, soapy socks in your hands
Are slippery, sensuous.

Dials and knobs tell it all
But tell it nothing else.
If there is joy on laundry day
Its because it works by itself.

Complete with ugly and dumb,
Only as smart as a drowned flea circus,
It can’t be denied it knows what its work is;
Results are good but you wonder why?

While you whistle and sing filling this thing,
The magic goes in with the clothes.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Darkness and Shadow

Day does not begin with sunlight,
It begins with waking.
Dreams go through day and night
And never ask: am I awake?
Dreams sometimes sleep
And then there is true shadow.

I went to sleep in jail
And woke up having killed.
The room where you find the door
Was made of black satin.
The robe of the judge
rustled in darkness I found waiting.

No evil can be done at night,
No good during the day.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Rounding the corner from mind to flesh

In silent dreams we pilot the seams between life and death. The ground is so sure when none is there. Nor does sleep buffer flaws, fears or foes. What we see, unfettered, is clean, pure essence of thought. Whether pain or pleasure, this weighty lumber is dragged to new vista in passive will. What waits there is the thing, the play. Hamlet’s power is that he dreads it so to go there with no return. I, too, long for the foolishness that is waking. I, too, long for the relief when flesh is logic.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sailor

Fire start nights, the mystery of not
Being somewhere you know –
Water creatures on the shore of wet
Banking into a turn at the speed of air.

Flashing silver rain,
Moonlight in the fountain,
Pale yellow eyes with black dots,
Stretched along the skin of the water,

Watching, waiting, serene
As pomegranates fall from the sky
filling pools of red juice around cobbles
making the night urgent.

Making stone beat feet hard and fast.
Making the woman of the dry ask “What’s your hurry?”

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sad friends senyru

tears reflect
this strangely rounded moment
in a wet eye

Friday, October 07, 2005

dirge for bob denver

what makes the silence as he turns
or laughter we bought in cans
that cannibals and the assortment
of others who kalfka walk
in and out like it was
help you couldnt be
self obsessed enough to escape from
a giant country not a tiny
island and the lost were
there in blank pratfalls of
useless humanity
doing duality with
singleness of purpose and
double entandre until we
finally stop looking and
he walks shakily over the water
sick and tired to stay
very far from any beach

Thursday, October 06, 2005

came together

blankness waits again
rolls off the tongue
like a word

ive made it up
just before it
became me

found it out
found out how
right i was wrong

incredible sensation
dark cannot hide
nor pain ease

tears for friends
that you would give up
feeling to end pain

Thursday, September 29, 2005

tv sonnet

rocket shoots up a spike driven in the sky
Painful grin I aint laughing though
folks riding explosions
coughing clouds

sitting on the shore of the stars
looking neither
in deep nor out far
grand words for stupid history

above sickness and starvation
bodies in the water
dying birds
and little corpses left in alleys

we cannot look beneath the surface
and see the shallows over reality

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ask for more

Interrogating life
Not looking for answers.
Who knows what they would be?

Bright girl, bright boy,
Walking atom bombs,
Timeshare factories for
Making people.

Conversation to pass the time;
Brownian motion to fill the place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Everybody Likes a Sure Putt

Lives put in baskets to keep them together
Irritation as a lifestyle
Criticism and flights of fancy
Bridge looks half in rain, half in sun

This shallow breathing shall not endure
Nor is its purpose clear

How to hollow out the ages
Written in the tree trunk
Canoe in the human soup
Trying to leave the island

Fear is in the hollow
And below the surface

Always ask questions
If you’re afraid of giving answers
Strong wind, taught sails
Disguise the bailing

Cat in a bag
Playing with confinement

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dateline teardrop

The drink is for the flipsy friends
Or is it just with them?
Can’t seem to marry that man,
Hoplessfuls of confusion about

This would ruin something
So start it out broken.
No surprises!
Just hate surprises, she gulps!

Anger that is a powerful
Blaze which burns
Without wood. Good thing nobody
Noticed (something might be consumed).

Our tears are for a serious us,
It is easier to cry for, than laugh at, that.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hidden Star

Here star waits to shine;
You have chosen to hide
In the misty clouds of time.
Everything is obscure in
That foggy cosmos of feet,
Everything except something
Which nothing can wipe from
Your view, being the reasons
Why you bank behind the backlit
Clouds, shedding light only to
Make something beside yourself
Shine and be seen as though
It could produce light itself.
What are you waiting for?
What manner of evil could
Keep you from doing what you are?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sad Monster Sonnet

Clunky boots like monsters wear
Old clothes, frightening hair,
Sadly shuffling by the stair,
There’s no one around to scare

What’s the point of being
Like I am if there’s no one
To see me. What’s the point
To be me when I’m all alone.

Can I be just who I am?
What if I didn’t dress and do
The things that matter
When there is you?

Shuffled off to change into a flowered dress
Arriving home scared me half to death!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Praise drunk on itself

I love your words
As they frantically jitterbug
Across my somber attention
Dancing horses on point
Fooling around with my
Chalk and white board markers

A grown woman in her my little pony hair
Showing she can count
And neigh for hunters at
A proactive road kill dinner
Stalking the drunkenness and porn
Hate/love testosterone

To tell on her life
As we mad laughing live it

Dacha

Spending seven fastidious days sorting freshness
With my lungs. A sea of air shifting
Eternal sands, in a place where time
Has a quality of energy about it, not
Because something must be done but
Because it can warm and cool your skin
Like sunlight. Tea in the afternoon in the
Yard from the smoky samovar, cold cuts,
Cheese, hardy bread, lettuce freshly
Picked and washed, sweet cherry tomatoes,
Still smelling like sunshine on the ground,
Hands that smell like summer rain in the trees
After you wash them in cold, clear spring water,
I am healed where doctors can’t check.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Show’s over

It was in the dining room;
It hung from the curtains
In his study.
It was so palpable when
He worked, which he
Always did. He had
A place to kneel
But almost never got the chance.

At night when dreams
Would torture me with doors
That wouldn’t go away,
I’d walk the hall.

The setting moon would
Put a pale, light rectangle
On the study floor,
An ended slide show
With the projector on.

The snake would seethe within
Me, I would never be
Suitable. I would always be
A lonesome ghost in that
House which is forever lost.

I’m an inverted image
Done in a box with a
Hole in it; the light
Would come from without
My life would play within.

She let the snake out dad,
Don’t give in!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ah! Magic Café

In the throes of success
The blind dishwasher
Intuits stains the seeing
Can barely spot.

The late night café
Leans sideways to
Accommodate a customer
Who, having induldged,
Needs a different angle
To match his walk.

The cook has a nose
Like an elephant’s trunk
And concocts aromatic
Pleasures of delicacy
And balance that
Mobilize circus tent
Sized appetites.

The waiter’s face
Looks different to
Every customer like
A close old friend.
He knows everybody’s
Name even if they’ve
Never been here before.

Customers often offer
Him their wallets but
Their happiness is the
Only tip he wants.

They take credit cards
But it always seems never
To subtract from your balance.

The music fits each dish
And the desire of people
To talk and the mood
They want to have
Surfaces like a smile.

You never need a reservation.
Your favorite table is
Always ready and
Everybody you have
Been wanting to see
Is there waiting
To say hi to you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Things Given, Things Got

Her storm on the brow, looking up a word
I remember myself, reading
The dictionary, a geologist
In the cave of light.

She looks up and that whole apple smile
Makes the teacher’s day.

The boy in the group of guys
Is working hard. He needs everybody’s
Attention. He’s worth it; they all laugh.
But I see how hard he struggles with his

Need to be seen and celebrated not
Drawn close and loved. He wishes he knew it

But is afraid to go for the final
Prize which she always wins with accepting
Eyes. He’s angry, frustrated how can there
Be another throne in the hall, a seat

He’s afraid to get to without his fierce
Army. Don’t give me what I must fight for.

Monday, September 12, 2005

for sue and our students

dont trouble me about
punctuation
spelling

i am looking for
meaning
not exactly

those who serve rules
might not be served
nor understand

our students know this
after meaningless tests
to find out who is

the best
but at what
and for whom

yes i am peevish
but no im not bad
(just not a bureaucrat)

yes i break rule
looking for more
than I found at school

lament for gulnaz

come here from wherever
you know how hard a burden you bear
tears sit like pain behind your eyes
it troubles you
this complexity
that you are things
you do and
dont like
that today isnt building
a tomorrow you want
and you dont know when
the future begins
and endless today is over

you are tired
of resting
and yearn i to introduce you
to meaningless happiness

a day for my angel

sparkling quiet in the halls and rooms
cat and dog curled up
student gone
books gathered

tonights lesson plan freshly printed
stars and moon out of sight
plate and cup drying in the rack
the world is in my nose ears and eyes

neighbors greeted
dog walked
poem saved
chores after noon

the cat knows i will lie down for
late morning nap

search party

every moment spent searching
gravel unusual little details
door ajar
hat pin on top of blank paper

counting things
changes in size and color
empty slot for an egg
words in their places

searching the cloudless distant sky
stars
cosmos
cat asleep on my pillow

looking for God in meaningless details
finding Him in my heart

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Passing Time

Of all the troubles I have ever known,
The harvest of time so slow of a haul,
It’s worst to be unoccupied alone
With stupid to do or nothing at all.

When we share of our time it goes so fast.
Start pleasures finish so quickly complete;
Soup’s soon to dessert and so quickly past.
Sidewalking laughter echoes on the street.

The singing of songs all memory now
The toasts to the host with vodkas raised high
Superficiality asks us how
We could do so; we must even ask why?

But we know in the night’s troubled empty
Glad we would spend endless hours so simply.

father abraham

in this house of life
happy lives its master
threads sew day to night
with value and respect
work important money plenty
time to relax as well as work
friends give honor by their joy
if more is asked more is given
the love of God here is found

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

frankenstein sonnet

you know your little darling
cloned vengeance
night pretends to close its eyes
category five mounts

madness embarks on lears valley
granulated quiet
some dumb drops
youll beg for death

distance doesnt separate
limbs supinate
lies you create
suppurate like exploding transformers

canibalism becomes you
you were your first victim

Monday, September 05, 2005

depressed scales

there are eyes in glasses
one fierce one kind
beard like cut grass
hair roots are in the brain
growing wickedly
you must wash faucet handles
after he washes dishes

he poisons those who dread day
stealing with stained smile
teeth he can count on
his life is a museum of garbage
with a lethal bar inside
he comes from night
and goes back there
in darkness that frightens
cats scurry and grow furtive
dogs whimper

warts grow healthy and ugly
trying to imitate his vigor
no matter how fast they grow
they can not match his strength
when nice people grow ill
he gurgles in his dark bed
like a barrel filling up

he will never die
nor be ill
when he is gone
something dark
will have taken him
on best working broken wings
eyes in glasses will see
new place in need
of pain

not big but no longer small

sand lot boy and girl
two years ago in the
sand box
this year on the slide
sitting on some cloth
to protect tender skin from
summer hot steel
in a couple more years
with baby brother or sister
toddle small and compact
the small feet
in too stiff shoes
the falls
hot angry tears
and that wounded shriek
that tells us you didn’t
deserve their trust
they looked up to you
but you failed them

five more years and that
metal and sand universe
will be a bizarre moonscape
only containing that
desperate hope
that he or she will love
you back
and can be trusted
not to let you
float away some
cool spring night

Friday, September 02, 2005

my burden is light

i like to move easy with dawn
the hours and moments of my life
blow through a
wind tunnel
as i watch

i see nothing passing
but i feel the absence
how can this precious
be less tangible
than its absence

how can these words
be no more than a
record of our thoughts
yet our thoughts be of
such stuff

that can anchor a
moment to pleasure
so solidly it cannot
be moved by even the
strongest

or sorrow
close up a life with
tomb like stones heavy
as the pyramids
solid

ignorant
yet only that sense organ of the
mind can touch them
just as we touch each other with our eyes
more tenderly than any hand

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

devils lament

so today you stand before me
so very guilty of your crime
you loved and were so innocent
time and again you wont repent
time again i have to try you
the sentence always is the same
to be drunk dry by the ageing
vampire who shuffles slowly by
eyes dim as misty time itself

drinks in gurgles careful not to
kill you only leave you stumbling
weak so you cannot strive again
so your innocence is not your
fault so i can take from you what
you wont abandon your strength is
offensive in extreme so it
will be sucked away and your love
can be taken from you without
your giving

in the end too weak to rise
vampire sadly close your eyes

Monday, August 29, 2005

caesura

spring fall lurch
together
on a day
that’s neither
but feels like
both

solemn is
hollowness
in the yard
with proud moms
and pops

drunken red
nosed stumbling
around the
children who
slide and run
while uncle
barely can
walk

rain puddles
filled only
yesterday
tiny new
swaddled tight
dreaming what
they heard in
mommas womb
wondering
what is this
dry and new
world so

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Materialization

How to say those things
which we have in our minds
that this is the season of change
and it is our lives
and no matter what we do
this today which seems so familiar
is really a slightly different
tomorrow which we dream of
or dread
the breath that is the breeze
is scuttling bits of paper
across the ground and we
follow them looking for some
larger meaning analyzing the broken
stick with the white grip like end
that was Excalibur in a better
moment but is now just
part of the morning trash
that swells the ground around
popular places like the little summer
house that is romantic in the dark
but rusting metal and empty bottles
sullen dregs in the dawn
and assures us that all is
exactly not what it isnt
and very not really as
it appears

nice hat teardrop

he is trusting the shadow
that it will not hold him back
so natural bright will burn
lazy sleep that will make
shadow itself incandesce
and expel him from its
womb of death which plays
toy like with the brighter
dream and lures him down
like a beaten man into
numbness

the sleep that comes to weary
souls even they are only
weary of their own uselessness
and comforted they sleep through
workless days and nights
or become so busy with
dangerous doings of no
meaning that swallow all time
and effort which they talk
endlessly, complaining about their
troubles and hardships which
they have done to themselves
or possible chance that they
might be done harm or that it
could happen to someone they
say they know

gobbling time with wasted
breath which was sour from
within and possibly just
needed to escape they grapple
for control or to try and
trouble others for they
think this gives satisfaction
without the trouble of
meaning to lives
wasted on useless pride
which giving opportunity
draws no benefit which it
only could if they ever saw
something besides their small
and useless selves

and knew a larger picture in which
the train arrives and people
move about doing something
or nothing and somewhere somehow
there is a word to add that makes
it light or draws a picture hat better
than the one they are wearing or
could ever buy or dream of
in little lives that try for the
nothing they achieve

but to try is tiring and
the question is always there
burning like a black hole in empty
being the same empty he is trying to fill
but to stop trying is to
fall in line and fall asleep
doing that joyless dance at the
Zombie jamboree
and therefore not to try is
to loose all hope of any joy

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

thoughts

Whats there to
think about, a
lifetime of
victories and
mistakes
hangs suspended
in air like
a tortured prisoner
and all that
wasted time
spent fighting
boredom
is the fire
under his feet

I will not
quietly
succumb
to that whichs
like all else
just because
thats whats done

God save us
from drowning
ourselves in this
pool we pour
full of
mediocrity

change the sheets
in this
bed of life

Torture
metaphors
squeeze
similes
shave
phrases
for every
drop that
heals this
dull sentence with
enervating thought

Monday, August 08, 2005

Thanks Gulnaz!

This is what Gulnaz gave to me and I gave her all that I got. Now I give it to you! Visit Apple Pathways and enjoy!

The quality of color

There is a green that
smells like rain clear air,
that puts shoes
on my feet and
takes them off,
it calls to me
from the mountains
in the earliest
days of summer.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

quarter time hymn

and in the new lit dawn
you shall enter
the glorious
spreading out
anesthetized cities
sleepy with dull electric light
left on like an afterthought
of the tomorrow and the
today that we are
already forgetting
as you have
written your poems
and stories to
tell again and
anew against
empty coffee
cups and large
salons where you are
comfortable strangers
on the collective
loose

to tell of
things which
we all can
see if you
look at us
in the stark light of
morning past the
dawn that tells of
you and always
has
for you are poets
story tellers
and fools who
have night for
dinner and
dawn for
lunch with
humble biscuit for
that is
your part in
dirty city
trash collection
doubtful
hopeful
dawn

where you
stumble to
crash in the
trash dumps
where we wont come
because it
isnt done like
a mountain busicuit
or pot of rice
still hard
still you are
dark and
frightening in
our view
because you
have thought
something frightening
about us
and you
and tomorrow
which is far scarier
for it is our
kids for which
we tolerate
today

with patience
behoved of God
for you know
no such
form with
our fast
flying bullets
against slow
porch swings
self hate
slow kid things
that pace our lives but
tell us nothing
which is all they know
for tomorrow is a
duck
too late
im shot
song

it is here and
its gone
and you
were there
hot tears
like candle drips
singing this
first light
late night
song
and we
were in
your arms

Friday, August 05, 2005

Uncountable You

Every poem is a mirror
That takes you where
You’ve always been
In ways you sometimes
Don’t expect

The glass can show
Like riding on the
Bus and looking
As the city passes
Seeing things you
Know are there
Telling you you’re
Going home

Not lost but
Traveling.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Form and Pattern

Must I bow again
To the clueless King
Whose sleepiness
To my needs
Contrasts his
Attention to
My flawed obeisance.

Form and pattern
Is boy girl boy girl
But not meaning.

Form and pattern is
This blotless morning,
Moist summer air,
Promising suffering
And brown grass;

Form and pattern is
Slow step by step
Of the lonely old
Woman who doesn’t
Want to die,
Walking in morning,
Wanting more of
Waning time.

Form and pattern is
Bowing to God
For this little dog,
This plate of fruit,
The hope I breathe
In fits and gulps,
But this is more
Than that.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ode for the unseen chorus

Why is it that I am at peace? The
Quiet has lulled me to a sense of
Things which float rather than scurry or
Scramble. They are not in the bushes nor do
They climb the trees. They are not fervent nor
Fearful and have no need to hide or lurk. They
Do not need the darkness for they are bright and
Airy and we don’t normally see them when we are
About our usualness of doings that rob us of this
Sense that an order we don’t understand nor couldn’t
Create, is all around us, seemingly beyond our
Senses but not really because it is heavy in a
Light way, like air. We can feel it if we try, like the
Breeze that rustles the curtains and lifts the
Table cloth’s edge; that caresses our skin in
Such a gentle way like love enjoying our
Surfaces while filling our interiors with such
Gentle overwhelming that our skin is
Transformed into something pleasant and
Delightful, an organ of the oldest and most
Beautiful music.

The day is cloudy and the dog comes to
Sit beside my foot and, as if on schedule, the
Sun comes out and makes a halo for
Her body; the quietly noisy of a trillion
Rustling leaves stumbles over me in a
Pointillism of sound and she brings to me the
Aromatic wealth of her hot, dark fur for a
Pet before sitting back down. I inhale the
Day and there is a
Prickliness inside me like
Standing hair in static electricity
Before the new found sun hides
Again to the rhythm of another
Cue and the cool shade spreads its
Soothing hands across us to
Rest there.

There is a silent roar as the
Lips of the wind brush across the
Lips of the land and trees
And buildings and wires,
TV dishes and antennas, and
Through the open window and
Across the clack of this keyboard.
I float a little on it
And settle back down.
You are with me now.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Parlor of the Duchess

Is it in the rhythm of the heat that the
Dark parlor of the Duchess undulates?
Sitting in the shadow she sometimes
Shouts, sometimes murmurs so that dark things
Dance as they always have but not so
Comet-like as now with wagging tails sowing
Susurrant light sashaying through the short
Swirling summer curtains.

Light that will go to join the stars
Only to be visible on those nights when
Mars shows its fat, full redness in the
Glowering sky like a bloody mist, a
Rust-like tint not lively like the color of a
Tintoreto redhead but more like the reflected
Light in Nero’s ancient saurian tears as he
Played for the party of the hate that he had
For the great that he wasn’t. He let the violin
Murmur and shout savoring the saving of his
Peptic voice for even more caustic times,
Peccant as a tossed down angel floating
On the crest of waves of flame, tottering
But not consumed, buoyed up but without
Purpose.

Hour glass light that is tied to time, slowed
Down to something that is measurable, even
Creaking and struggling as it moves, given the
Air but cursed with clumsy wings and the need to
Perspire into flight to be safe in the most
Dangerous of ways, always a struggle except when we
Try to comprehend because it is so slow and
Sluggish that it can’t squirm away from our
Gaze nor slither away while we search for the
Lenses and scopes we need to see with, the
Glasses we’ve misplaced but need in order to be
Able to find them, light in a time that is
Squeezed and narrowed and forced to go
Grain-like through a narrow space so we can
Count them like our restless sheep.

But now the Duchess needs no glasses nor
Even eyes for she now sees what she has always
Known without sight for it was that light she
Could see when she, as a scared little girl
Lying in the dark, squeezed her eyes closed
Really tight and the reddish blue dots appeared and
She began to look at them, petrified but
Calm as they became lighter and finally began to be
White and billowing like clouds, her clouds
Through which she could fly on clanky childish
Wings, careening and almost crashing, without having her
Eyes open or being forced to see anything she wasn’t
Prepared for. Her parlor is filled with that light
Tonight and surrounds her like the heat of the
Summer night. Not chastened and sent to hide
Until no one could see, but encouraged and
Sung to with moans and gurgles, the sounds from
Juices that aren’t being processes but stay
Inside her to poison her with the waste she
Creates by simply living.

Say goodnight, Duchess, if you really cared to, for
Around you the darkness burns as if to be
Consumed by that which seethes from you
As you sit relentlessly precarious to the edge of
Your day bed. Turn on no lights for they are
Not needed, a life and all its reminiscent clingings
Claws this air with gnarled talons, sparks it to
Fluoresce in the churning night, and is not afraid
Of closing doors anymore.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sue Hardy-Dawson changes the world we live in with grace and love. You must see her art and writing. Go to Poemcat and see for yourself!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mommy’s Mummy

So here we are, the children of the
Oh so, not so fruitful womb
When along comes that tall
Texan, dad, the hero of every
Heart and tales told often at
Campfires and around the good
Old fireplace and in the pungent
Secrecy of the kitchen table where
He passes like a former Greek hero
Although now we’re talking bald with
Glasses and a pot belly belying all that
Rugged youth and horses and
Basketball hero football idol bronco
Busting intellectual with articles in the
New Yorker written while still a child
Himself. When do we stop to be that
Which we have always been, the who that
Somebody knew, probably your best enemy’s
Friend who really knew us but didn’t feel
Compelled to pretend with us because there
Weren’t any shared smoke the
Backy in the home made corn cob
Pipe don’t tell anybody ‘cause
It’s our secret boy/girl bond
Bull crap. How could he do that when,
All that you wanted was to adore this
Fiction that everybody told like a
Piece of literature admired by some,
Loved and quoted by others, on
Everybody’s lips? How could you be
On everybody’s lips when it was I
Who loved you? How could your love not
Be so sacrosanct and rare that its
Grace had to be so common? A
Questioning old age, a troubled
Youth, denied the answers to questions my
Children have asked now since I
Have turned out to be me.

When do we buy that retirement home in
Sedona, among the candy colored cliffs
And elevated plateaus of our imagination
Where we live forever in that adult fantasy that
We have grown up and are completely
Miraculous and good. You were always a
Danger, so much everybody’s else,
Such a question if you were even ours and
I have turned mother's fear into
Me in my quest to talk to you.
You, you poor man, and I
Were pickled, wrapped and dried,
Things of hollow legend and without love
From the moment we started this search.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Breakfast is not ready

We give the illusion that it comes to plate
Venus-like full blown and assembled
From the sundry stuff that
Is only a step or two away
From the garbage bin. When
Monster mercenary minstrels gyrate
Their ancient Greek hips Elvis-like at
Sounding boards of internal and
External music – the larder to
Barter for some oddly personal hymn
In the hopes they can
Recall the loss

And the gain for shekels
Or worse, pride. How to
Give up that daunted dare
We stare in to solid emptiness
Hoping that we’re not
There like ghosts in a
Mirror, especially a concave one
(convex is better
For purposes of company)
Keeping what we like
Discarding the rest
As one would an interloper
In the bedroom of our love

We cannot say the self
For fear other will hear
But we can talk of nothing else.
To the muse: bad girl,
Where have you been?
Would you like some
Breakfast? She says

You are all in the same boat
A reed basket floating down de Nile
That we entered right after birth
Leaving our family for a better
Life, doomed to wander forever
After the anger of hot youth
Ends the privilege of childhood
With the sad truth we will never rest
Never see home again
We will go through death’s door before our own
But after all the peace of home is
An illusion. One which we hold so
Dear because we fail to truly see
That the park is a battleground
On which we can rest while the
Plants and trees fight it out for the
Sun killing anything around them
With deadly shadow. Which when
The darkness of doubt falls over the
Plate with its ordinary and
Strangely questionable goddess
The substance of tangible illusion
Utters that dangerous word the
Self which is now so plain to see
And naked on the plate and
Painfully absent of vines and leaves
And all the figs, or perhaps an
Apple in the mouth making it
Tough to breathe because we didn’t
Want to talk about it anyway. So
I asked my father, seeing the ripe
And rotten fruit: is this
What you wanted me to eat?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Tutoring

Two new students
Into the hours of desperation
Of swimming, but not much longer,
In the unacknowledged
And unacceptable sea
Of unfathomable ignorance.
Here for the painful cure
Of superficial knowledge
Of ordinary matters of
The heart and mind and
The miracle of my
Shallow shoal soul shut
In the narrow confines
Of my broad body.
Despairing the lack of difference
They, like the ship above,
I, the sleeping leviathan below,
Storing up all that fat they need
And want me

To dispense, in a suicide pact
For those humble delusions of grandeur,
The luminous calories of thought.
Could I have dreamed
In the sublimest moment of the
Slender threads of responsive sleep
Sewing themselves in glorious
Gilt throughout the play filled
Foolishness of my childhood,
Even I would have laughed at
Me as the object of
Such practical folly.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Friday, June 03, 2005

Old Melody

The young at night
Drink and fight
And leave a lot of litter.

The old at dawn
Come along
To recycle empty bottles.

Pickers and leavers
Daylight grievers
Rest now your worn out waters

Tomorrow’s a song
We’ll sing along
No matter what happens
To our dreams and desires.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Thought you might like to see the view of our mountains from my classroom! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Castaway Heart

I remember your lips and want to be Robinson Crusoe there
I remember the bone of your hip and sparkling eye
Oh the curve of your cheek oh the curve
I melt into your smiling stare
We must touch each other that we may
Know who we are
And who we are not

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Clinging a growing pool

Clinging to the roof – a cat
closing the front door – a firm click
down the hall like a ghost
TV playing earnestly
ancient pain
struts the screen
no one sees

radio plays in a closed room
ghost party perhaps

dog nails slowly clicking on the tile
tail hangs limp
quiet eyes
watching silence move
turns and
slowly clicking
recedes
to faintness

people make a place alive
without them
we float
without bodies

in the next world
the one across the very
thin, tough membrane
a woman is crying
she has a basket of dirty clothes
on her head
she falls constantly
with children
on her feet

she cries because
she cant hear the
tone of my words
the music in her
head is too loud

my only hope
is this poem
that the music will stop
like a pain suddenly gone
and she
will hear
this tone
of our larger
life

the meaning of emptiness is
to love, to love

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I think she loves the dacha even more than I do! Posted by Hello
An older pear tree is in the foreground. The trees behind it are all apple trees! Posted by Hello
This red tulip was so nice looking I had to share a picture of it! Posted by Hello

Friday, April 29, 2005

Daychange

Early morning bright with sleepy light
Dreams of neighbors walking on the street
Aftershave
Perfume
Cigarette smoke
Empty lift
Carrying its own short term memory
Feet shuffling somewhere below
Beehive of separate lives
Different goals
No talk
A sense of starting

But evening
Dusty diffuse light
High laughter
Shouted conversations
Many cars
Coming and going
On a small street
Thud of a kicked ball
Crowded running feet
Shrieks
Laughter

A neighbor nods
We walk to one another
Warm handshake
Szdrastdwitdchche

Dogs run
Children hop
Neighbors walk together
Couples seek
To pretend they are alone
An old woman walks slowly
Amid the confusion
Comforted
Silent

Things nearing completion

Friday, April 22, 2005

Maybe I'll see you there?

Most of life is too cautious, too afraid of the rare within to give it birth. That's why I'm moving out to the fringes (no more just holidays). I'm fighting not to be afraid that not many people live there (I am always afraid of this loneliness). The little dog of joy lies curled beside my feet. She must be allowed to be where and how she is happy and healthy. For that I would risk everything!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

This is Russian soda like we cook with in Kazakhstan. I have tried to substitute regular baking soda for it in other parts of the world (guess I just cook all over the place!) without any success. Can anyone tell me why this is so? Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

Question

If i were to know love
would it remember me when i was old
unwashed pots leave an all too clear
record of our passing here
the fabric of time threatened
and straightened and fought with in vain
our cautious consciousness
peeking and blinking to see
if not too much mess has been made
if we could live here
if love is not buried in our history

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This is for Roger! This is how I make blini. No half shell for this Venus. It needs to be turned once on my cast iron skillet to achieve perfection. Posted by Hello
This is Kyrgyze Balsam. It is 90 proof and is great to add to local cognac (just a few drops). It really add some interest to the already great taste! Posted by Hello
My trusty pasta roller. Wow, does this thing do a great job quickly! Posted by Hello
Fresh home made noodles, an art in themselves! My father would have loved them this way -- buttered and quickly sauted with salt and pepper. Wow, what a wonderful taste! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Unitarian Jihad

Check out Julie's post. Pretty funny satire piece. You'll find it at:juliepachouli.My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Moderation.

Get yours.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Table tennis anyone? Posted by Hello
First sunshine in five days! The snow shovels have been busy this morning. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Spring Cookie Recipe

This simple shortbread recipe is my daughter’s favorite cookie. I have cooked this recipe in a number of restaurants as it is a wonderful compliment to a cup a tea for the discerning guest. A year ago I received a pleading letter from her asking for the recipe but, as luck would have it, the only thing I could find was the professional version I use to teach my kitchens. It is virtually useless to the American home cook unless they have an electronic scale which can measure up to a kilogram by increments of one gram. I knew she didn’t have such a scale and I was in a terrible quandary until I remembered I had published it in the “home form” quite a few years ago when I was writing a newspaper food column.

It took a little daggering around to find where it was archived but I finally found it and was able to send it to her. As Spring should always be greeted with the good smell of dough products cooking in the oven, I thought this would be a good time to post it. I hope you enjoy it! For all its deceptive simplicity, it produces something truly wonderful to be enjoyed with tea or ice cream (although my daughter swears it is a great treat just as a standalone)!


Scottish Shortbread

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of potato starch (substitute corn starch)
Sugar to sprinkle the top with, use slightly larger than regular sized crystals, if possible

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and work the butter in them until completely mixed. If too dry to hold together, carefully add only a few drops of water at a time, being very cautious not to over moisten. Do this until the dough will hold together in a ball. Press the dough in the pan to form a layer of uniform height. Then take the tines of a fork and prick it evenly in a decorative pattern. Turn the tines flat and press around the edge to create another attractive pattern. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in a moderately cool oven at about 300-325 F. for about 40 minutes or until somewhat tan in the middle and lightly brown around the edges.

Cut in little wedges and let it cool. A few may break on the way out of the pan but the closer it gets to room temperature, the fewer broken wedges there will be. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Trying to answer!

Please bear with me; I've been asked a candid question by a friend and I'm struggling to understand how to answer. Maybe you will know what real love is. It is the love you have but cannot feel or the love that conquers and destroys you? What do you think? Anyway, here's a poem to try and explore the idea.



The perfect tear

I saw your shoulder and it made me like a leaf in the wind
The thousand kisses I thought I’d lost sat waiting for me to discover
the salty bumps of your spine parched my throat
Somebody spoke, I don’t know who or what they said

You captured the sun, I could only see the sky
by looking in the corner of your eye
as you glanced at me

I smelled something
but it didn’t make sense
I walked somehow to where your perfume lingered in the air
like a dream that I had had
that I couldn’t wake from

I saw you naked
you arched backward
and spanked yourself once laughing
and I was crawling
like a man clawing up a tunnel into the light

In sweat and salt and heat
I slipped off your wet lips
like an unconscious man falling
but you caught me and pulled me back up again with suction
I was saved from death
and died again
to find your little body
beating like a fast drum beside me
floating on a quiet tide
in a quiet room
in a lagoon somebody said wouldn’t last

Back on the street again
I thought what are all these people doing here
I am lost

Monday, March 28, 2005

My new house slippers from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I got them jus a few days before their even newer revolution. The material is woven from camel fur and the patterns are traditional. They are very warm and comfortable! Posted by Hello
Oops! So much for Spring unbridled! We've had a day and night of snow. OK, I'll be more patient (crossed fingers). Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Here is a Russian Easter Egg. It is getting to be that time of year! Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Posted by Hello
These tulips will be the first flowers to grow in the Spring. They are hand carried back to Kazakhstan from trips to Holland. This picture was taken in the early Spring last year. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

I miss my dacha! This is my samovar in full tilt boogey! TEA IS READY! Posted by Hello
Some beautiful people at a food fair in Atyrau! Posted by Hello

Quiche Lorraine

First you must make the dough for the crust. I like it with a flaky crust and will explain how I do it, in case you are unfamiliar with it.

Here are the ingredients for the dough:

1 generous cup (150 g) flour
½ teaspoon (4 g) salt
7 tablespoons (105 g) very cold vegetable ghee (from India, Pakistan, or Turkey or substitute Taplonee masla in Russian)
water (very cold)

Put all ingredients except the water in a chilled metal or ceramic bowl. Rub together using the tines of a fork. Avoid ever touching the mixture with your hands as they are warm and would melt the ghee. The effect you want to achieve is to have many areas in the dough where the oil (still hard) is present in high concentration but only a thin layer.

When the mixture has achieved the proper texture, add the water in increments until the mixture will hold together. Now you may take it very briefly in your hands to form it in a ball and put it in a plastic bag. Put the covered dough in the refrigerator to rest for between a half hour to an hour.

When you are about ready to take the dough out, you can make your custard for the filling. Here are the ingredients for the rest of the quiche.

250 g (1/2 pound) coarsely grated cheese

(About the cheese, a good, all around choice would be Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Gouda. These are three rather distinct flavors so the choice depends on the taste you prefer. All three, however, harmonize nicely with the bacon or ham.)

125 g slab bacon or prosciutto cut in slices a little less than 1 cm thick (a little less than a ½ inch)

For the custard, 6 large eggs,
A heaping teaspoon of flour
200 ml of milk (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraiche
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
(Beat these ingredients together until frothy and full of air bubbles just before pouring in the crust and putting in the oven.)

OK here is the cycle of events that occurs in my kitchen. When the crust dough has been resting in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, I preheat my oven to 210 C. (about 400 F.). While it is preheating, I cut the meat and grate the cheese. Next I put all the custard ingredients in a bowl reedy to be whipped or beaten (whip me, whip me please they cry). Then I take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out in a thin crust to fit the size of my pan. Once it is in the pan, in goes the meat (evenly spaced and lying flat) and then I cover it with the grated cheese. Next I beat the custard mix until it is really frothy (oh my, oh my) and pour it over everything. Then it is in the oven for 50-60 minutes until nicely brown on top and well set. And Voila! Let it cool enough to handle, slice and serve while it is still a little souffléd, if possible.

Just a note about nutmeg and pepper: I always freshly grate or grind for the tastiest and most aromatic result. Niki, help me a little here; in Russian, whole nutmeg is called muskatnaya areckhee, how is it called in Romanian? Any way, they sell special graters to make this wonderful spice product be at its best. Buy one (if you don’t already have it) and use it religiously. For the pepper, I use a Greek or Turkish hand coffee grinder to freshly grind the little whole peppers. This I also do religiously.

I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious dish!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Yomi and I shoot a commercial in a stretched, white Lincoln limo, in the mountains above Almaty  Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pantoum for Raoul Dufy

The snow has gone and uncovered our displeasure with objects
A flashing light with its malevolent power signals a right turn
The store has sold itself robbing the blind giving Peters change to Paul
Passing cars drive by people trying to scare one another

A flashing light with its malevolent power signals a right turn
Do down things have to be put up
Passing cars drive by people trying to scare one another
I doubt the love that left me here to rot in my own right

Do down things have to be put up
No matter where she looks she has misplaced her mind
I doubt the love that left me here to rot in my own right
Allergic to things that once were saddened by light frightened by dark

No matter where she looks she has misplaced her mind
When distinct differences are the same as narrow talk
Allergic to things that once were saddened by light frightened by dark
Axons in the night dully twinkling

When distinct differences are the same as narrow talk
Cat curled on the line between fast cars
Axons in the night dully twinkling
Here I am! I have danced the level stairs

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A late Valentine's day post!

"...still in peaceful dreams I see the road leads back to you." Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Down the up chimney

Carving to see
Starving
Patterns plain as smoke
Ethereal as dreams
Of smoke
Shrieking
waking
daunting
shaking

Camera obscura
On the nerve
Repetition
harmony
hollow light
Dull and blurred
A bird in the sky
Going nowhere

And in the room
No one goes
An empty plate
On the table
Painting of fruit
Fork
knife
spoon
cup

Bad eyes
Starry night
A sense of blur
Hands jerk
And in the corner
A record skips
skips
skips

Lives like smoke
Looking for patterns
Love me

Monday, February 14, 2005

Gnome

I’m dancing a dance,
Absolutely tame,
No viable chance,
Always the same.
It's a shame,
It’s not exceptional!

(dark stumblings
lurch
knee aches
swearword
cant
crawl
home)

I’m dancing a dance
I taught myself.
Knew better:
Born that way
And hated it.

Either way
To hate what’s new
About you
Is natural.

Too sensitive.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

wolf pups

no rage only passion
from mothers dance
no milk only passion
as mother dances around us

she dances around brother now
he barely raises his head
and is dead

she dances with me
am i to die
ill be stronger next time

Monday, January 31, 2005

Glorious Quiche Lorraine, home-style, a la Bocuse; I wish you could smell this! Posted by Hello
Who says life is only difficulty?  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It is a struggle and blessing to convey our surroundings when so much of them are internal; how interestingly we color our external reality with our internal one. It is not a filter, no, much more than that, it is a bright painting spread confusingly on top of another one. For me it is so interesting that I step outside to see what is inside and in writing about it I learn, more or less, to gracefully align them both.
These are Blini (Central Asian style). They are served my favorite way with vareniya (CA style jam, in this case from apricot trees in front of my dacha) and sour cream. They are hot, buttered and folded in quarters. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 14, 2005

oak lullaby

snowing now
almost defying gravity
a heavy burden
tumbling down a
light lazy blanket of water and air
dull soft inverted world
sky cant be seen
dark above
brightness falling
cold stardust
precipitating locally
in a small
still living part
of the cosmic killing jar
a hint of coming
the smell of ice

don’t fear
little acorn
sense
a clue to stupidity
limiting the world to only
what can be seen

trees sleep hope
and talk to god in
warm rivulet dreams

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Cup's Corner 5

The street and the fresh air did only little to steady Sidney. He continued to be in a preoccupied state and Mr. Lorry was satisfied, for the most part, to walk along with him silently. When he got to the neighborhood where the wine bar was, he became visibly more agitated and was trying t figure out what to say so he could take his leave and head off to calm himself. It was then that Mr. Lorry rather abruptly said something that caught his attention.

“You’ve been struggling with it lately, haven’t you,” he asked?

It was as if he had been listening to the raging that was going on in Sidney’s head and the sudden question was very embarrasing. Sidney, momentarily at a loss for words, struggled to put a line of thought together that was worth communicating with normal company but before he could staunch the dammaged flow, Mr. Lorry spoke again.

“You’ve been to that bar a thousand times but that has only led you to this frustration your having now,” he said. He quietly added, “you’d be better off to go back to the Manette’s, even in this state, then to go back in there again.”

With that a volcano of words erupted from Sidney’s mouth without his even thinking about them. “Am I just following old patterns? I know where those lead and I am tired of not being where I want to be. Can I start something new? Do I have to always be flawed with this terrible weakness as I have always been? Can hope be found or am I always to be something which might have been noble and happy but is now to be nothing more than a prisoner of these chains. I am wretched in these shackles watching the world go happily by the window of my self made cell. Can I not crush these walls just as I have made them,” he asked?

“There is hope,” was Mr. Lorry’s taciturn response and he took Sidney’s arm as the headed off in the direction of Sidney’s rooms. A wellspring of emotion gushed forward in Sidney and, constantly having to dry his eyes, he allowed himself to be led home. Mr. Lorry doctored him with some laudinum, when they had arrived, and Sidney found himself drifting stupidly on some happy fog. With this, he allowed himself to be put to bed and placidly began to drift out from shore on the placid waters of lake sleep. He remembered seeing Mr. Lorry leave but he seemed to have drifted so far from the scene that saying anything was rather less valuable than talking to a painting of a person. In the ensuing darkness, he watched with detached amusement, many slow and happy scenes.

Until Mr. Lorry awakened him (apparently he had spent the night in a chair in the next room), he wasn’t sure wether he had slept or had gone off on a journey to some strange, placid, new land. That strange fog seemed to be clearing somewhat but he found himself irritatingly sluggish. They had coffee together and Mr. Lorry excused himself, saying that duties at the bank required his presence. It wasn’t until after he had bathed and dressed in crisp fresh clothes that a sense of seamlessness was replaced by the awarenessof things having definable edges, such as the starched collar of his shirt and the hems of his cuffs. Creases and gathers sewn into the cloth of his suit seemed to be satisfyingly precise and the cut of the gem in his ring was pleasantly sharp. It wouldn’t be until early afternoon of a long day in court before he would sense the hunger for more of the opiated calm that he was now so glad was passing.
****