Trying to quiet my mind,

but onions are frying in the kitchen

and he’s playing Ravel on the piano.

It sounds like water flowing—

I wish my thoughts 

can sometimes float on the water,

but they stomp around,

trying to dance like lilac elephants

in the jungle; Disney music scores 

and well-wishes can’t quiet these 

elephants down, they leave 

their huge prints behind.

Wherever they go, 

I can’t sleep;

others tend to creep 

along as if nothing has happened

& the water is in short supply 

as the onion smell and piano playing drone on—

Gone are thoughts of forgetfulness,

there’s nothing more, or less.

I stopped by that place

we met years ago for one night

I saw the steps and the cafe

we used to sit, passing the time

until sunrise. But today’s light 

made the sights look different.

Alone, I remember your warm hands

as I walked the cobbled streets

Your emotional marble in your head

was so big back then. What happened?

It’s now the Year of the Rat.

You got another woman pregnant 

and you must marry her, even though

she doesn’t make your soul sing.

The light has changed everything 

but I still feel the same, 

a star lost in orbit, searching for a harbor

even if love or the light disappears.

Good women don’t stay silent.

Good women speak up against injustice.

They need to stand up for each other

during the darkest times

of our personal history.

Most women 

were taught to remain silent,

even when 

the most heinous actions

against them happened,

but no more.

Good women eventually resolve

their differences,

solve their mysteries,

and soothe their traumas,

thanks from help by others.

The cuts will heal with time,

outer and inner wounds will become malleable

and the bad dreams will fade into mist.

Good women deal with bad dreams.

Already flashed my ass on Houston Street today.

(a sweet, elderly, black woman with a walker 

mercilessly tugged my skirt down; thank you Ma’am)

before Phil drank his Breakfast of Champions drink

(pineapple juice & vodka)

and signed his new lovin’ coyote book: Hooray the hero!

I already traced my steps before,

to the Library Bar on Ave. A,

trying to remember that magic night years ago

before Sister had a kid,

but the bar looked different in the mid-afternoon light—

It was so empty with dumb-looking hipsters—

and the grocery store across the street 

reminded me of the UWS

with its various goat cheeses and specialized sushi—

this is not the LES, man!

Let’s sing of gut sandwiches here and drink Stella in the dark

among dozens of stone-cold groovin’ friends

as New York continues to get real, 

dancing between old and the new realities 

as our long, black skirts stay up

on a sunny winter’s day

without you noticing (at first).

When evening comes in like a casual bandit,

when the kids fill up on 2nd Ave.,

the new bars here now 

are a grey, pale shadow 

of the dive bars of the ‘80s,

and more new, soulless glass boxes

are built here, with crippling 

rent hikes & mortgages, 

shutting down the heart 

of the neighborhood,

as Phil’s stories of Blondie & Boho illustrate, 

these wild coyotes

still try to survive here, 

even in these dark times.

Please wrap me up

in an audio cocoon;

warm my silken threads

by the morning light

as I hear 10 versions 

of “Good Morning”

jamming from my

new Skullcandy headphones,

or soothe me to sleep

at midnight;

Cover me

with a dozen curling branches

that sing 10 versions

of “I love you”

as I gently rock

in the tree.

My new wings are still wet

but you can still

hear me sing away—

my chosen lullabies

are tinged with Soul

as my voice 

grows into

a deeper chocolate 

Nimble like deer grazing,

people walk upon the snow

and the traffic shines afar

like fireflies slowly moving 

in the bluish mist of early evening;

the naked trees of the park

are black and tangled, showing

the fat flakes off. We tread

into the first snow slowly,

trying to get ahead to where

we are going in 2020.

Blessed by the lazy Saturday,

we snuggle in beds or do chores

as the snow continues on.

Thomson Ave. is silenced during the morning of Black Friday—only the constant row of cars over Queens Plaza Yards offer any escape and life.

The walking streets by the 7 train are bare; the new skyscrapers shine by the 9 o’clock sun.

I’m the only one at work on time

in Long Island City. No money makes me save like a hoarding dragon—no-go into the stores today. 

Must earn my keep after the big family meal; fighting after-effects of wine and sleepiness—must work with silence— 

but I love silence. That’s when the ideas come.