Sky’s heavy with clouds,

it’s still humid & warm outside.

The leaves are still green….

Summer hasn’t left the party yet,

she still wants to play upon our senses.

Fall is waiting in the wings,

but has forgotten his lines;

tomorrow is the autumnal equinox,

the show will happen, no matter what!

We wait for him with bated breath,

when the kids return to learning.


Now is the day of turning time’s wheel

towards the New Year.

He sleeps heavy on the sofa before services,

before the kids run through the temple door,

before our prayer shawls are draped over our shoulders,

before the prayers, blessings

& readings of the Torah

Let us feast on apples and honey,

to lean into the sweetness of life’s journeys,

to have one day free from uncertainty, injustice and violence.

New pants

Yesterday I bought enough things

to wear for Fall; I saved almost $150

thanks to the sale.

I still heard my mother’s words:

“New pants won’t buy you happiness

when you’re in debt.”

We came out of our mother already in debt;

we grew up with almost nothing,

wearing hand-me-downs from Target.

We wore out our dreams too fast

even when they were too big for us.

Credit card payments are now heavy.

I wore my new navy pants today.

The seam on the side highlights my ass nicely.

The thigh area is not full of holes,

unlike the other pants that remain in my closet.

Why can’t anything fit or last anymore?

If there was a tree where one finds

happiness growing out of it,

at no cost for each consumer,

where can I find it?

For right now,

even while I’m in debt,

these pants do look good;

they were a wise investment.

Yo, Slick,

the tragic event

earned its license to drive;

it’s speeding down every single bridge,

sailing on every ferry,

while most jerks wear funeral clothes to work

Smoke is invisible; the fires still burn inside

the yards are dug up, lined with electric wire

As they read the names of the lost

Downtown at the holy memorial,

she tries not to feel dead,

remembering how the audio of that day

played loudly in the museum

did bring her to tears.

It’s inevitable;

patriots and non-patriots alike,

we will walk in our own ashes

The naked eye only captures gold from sunlight,

but, like songs set in the key of C,

it may look or sound easy, but it’s not;

All specters of insurmountable color,

clearly defined by a human artist’s palette,

are trapped within the golden light:

One color is many colors,

one note feeds numerous songs.

Even those who brag about their supposed purity,

are not purely pure anymore.

We all have hidden colors & bloodlines,

we all come from many different places—

Why stop those who are trying to become better

by coming here to make a new life & situation,

and why demonize their children, steal their future

even when they were born here?

Do songs only exist when they are sold for mass consumption?

Do we have to sell ourselves to get ahead?

We need to breathe easy when we can do so,

even with pollution in the air,

even after the fires stop burning.

When I see sunlight hit all of our faces,

golden tones by Noon may be mined by our eyes first,

later frozen in time by Technicolor,

but the bright tones, still transparent within our minds,

are yet to be discovered as we continue

to evolve

at our own pace.

I thought my adventures in 1994

was noteworthy:

graduating college the same week Kurt Cobain died, flying home from Sweden the same day OJ’s Ford Bronco was trying to Escape…

But I didn’t grow up in LA, or had worked at Spin like John, who

once watched Madonna perform

her “Holiday” grunge-style at

her own house for a Halloween party.

I can’t help feeling a bit nostalgic

about twenty years ago,

when one can listen to world music

at record stores’ listening stations,

and can dance shamelessly with

huge headphones on, for an entire afternoon, or after the late-night movie,

and when everyone had only

answering machines,

and could disappear for whole

days if they wanted to,

and 2 hot dogs cost $1.00.

Explaining the ’90s to Millennials is exhausting.

Princess Di was a major treasure!

I’m in my mid-40’s now.

I need a nap after drinking two beers, and I still sway whenever grunge music plays on the radio.

Sent from my iPhone

Overcast at dinner,
they all continued dancing

out in the yard

where the folk music played

and the totem pole bloomed,

their makeshift crowns blooming.
We forgot to drink tonight;

I would had danced with them.
The rain fell soft and cool;

meatballs with savory sour cream

and lingonberry jam

warmed my palate;

the waffles were too 

textually soft today
I’d flashback to my trip at 22

when I drank vodka with my cousins

in Vaxholm every day;

(I should had got some sex but didn’t);

I missed Midsommar over there,

I was on a ferry to Finland,

I missed the festivities and the hedonistic carryings-on,

my grandparents wanted to see Finland.
I’m here and not 22.

It’s a love-in 

as my NY Jewish friend says,

complete with beautiful 

fiddle players in folk dress.
We walked in Battery Park

seeing the sights:

the Clinton Castle,

the Stained Glass carousel,

the Globe that was on

the Twin Tower
It was pouring 

by the time we reached

the South Ferry station;

we entered the 1

on automated raised steps

in the humid platform.
Sunset still had an hour to go

but we had to go,

and the rain hasn’t stopped yet.

It’s not so unusual
that one-year-old boys

still in strollers in subways,

become so enamored & obsessed

with their own face,

a picture of them, frozen

on their mother’s smartphone, 
Then they see you and hum with delight,

like any young man would. 
Nor is it too strange

for an older young man (20s or so)

to glide on his skateboard

towards Astor Place,

wearing a full-body Spiderman cosplay suit

in over 80-degree weather;

his girl, who walks behind him for support,

wears a black t-shirt with all 

the famous bearded Duck Dynasty stars

smiling pensively, all in a row,

as she walks along with her Spidey,

her long, fizzy, hair flying. 
Outside of Van Leeuwen’s,

another lady, who’s not so happy,

as if she was a fallen amine hero 

defeated at the Battle of the Moon;

her hair straightened and dyed

first platinum then baby girl pink,

her eyes closed by perfectly straight lines,

just horizontal, no curve there, no black pencil,

she walks past, wishing she was invisible—
No one can be invisible or unnoticed here,

even in old age, we all take up space

when the young kids leave home,

milling from E 7th Street

to 1st Ave.,

they are too busy gawking at the

Cooper Union

to stop to have tea with me….
No, it’s not so strange 

to see these things

in the East Village.

This is New York, after all. 

Caught in the crosstown crawl towards Queens,

the cars suddenly become like ships in my fertile mind,

as the mammoths tow and sway slightly under the lights,

curving, straight-ahead, without crashing,

hovering at a snail’s pace, shimmering under the

golden light of the East, fog burning off the sky;

the storm is coming, salt is in the air.

Muscled men in striped, short-sleeved shirts,

singing “O solo mio”, are not necessary

to rev up the engine; my own engine  is still running fine

& I need to escape this traffic.
This bliss may begin

in the next two weeks during vacation,

but, in this New York minute,

can it also begin

now, & here?

Mother Nature is not usually vindictive towards men,

except when she bows out of the way for storms.

Maybe she was written out of the plan for land domination

when the sea and the wind chose to combine forces.

Harvey did have a score to settle with his big sister Katrina:

If she can do it, I can too…

What was he trying to prove, this mad tropical storm,

that he was the bigger man?

Like the rest of the named hurricanes, he didn’t care

about lives lost, properties destroyed, families uprooted,

land waterlogged, changing the fabric

of the Texas & Louisiana shorelines forever.

His destruction tendencies, shown in hundreds of miles,

his crowning achievements, his wrath upon innocent humans,

was nothing but a blip on radar,

a bloody feather in his cap,

an aged diamond drowned in the deep.

The forest holds slim-picked animals 

(for money)

even for one family 

when all the children are starving.
Each brother is hungry 

for his own section of fresh meat

from the same animal,

bleeding fast & profusely 

upon the green
Will they divide 

their shared kill evenly?

Or will they sharpen their blades

against their own flesh,

so to gain a higher tribute 

from the elders?
If one has to face the ones they love,

those growing distant over time,

and their taste of water is now 

different from where 

they came from,

coloring their tongues in new

traces of metal,

so they talk and taste 

so different now…
Remember the love you had shared,

and don’t let the new blood

grow cold, thanks to

your indifferences.
Let your armor be of leather,

not of metal.

Let your gloves be velvet,

your arrows be sharp & sound,

let them fly true.
But don’t produce wounds

that can never ever be healed,

for they are also your blood.

The worst of blows

will cause pain to radiate forever.
Be careful what you do & say.

Sometimes the best offensive move

is to do nothing.