Another Barbara

Another Barbara Walking in the kitchen, the terrace doors are locked against the sun, against the gypsies The bowls of dried fruit, the cranberries, the candied ginger, the apricots and raw cashews arose suddenly a din in their bowls I distracted, then focused , looked around It seemed a greeting, trumpet to attention Then a slight , girlish presence, and I apologized wordlessly, because while I had considered her I had never really thought of her A giddiness rose in the air between her and I .just momentary, the crack between there and here, wordless, though dense with information It is definite even I a stranger Late to the party by decades Know You will never find Barbara again. You come to my bed Giddy childlike and open in the morning I am shrouded in aloneness from the night before when you like the Prince in East of The Sun and West of The Moon, who at night turned into a wolf or bear, retreated to your room, wordless and heavy, to be alone. I cannot send you away when you come to me The woman in me must receive you , must comfort you must give you what you silently require Eventually when you have had enough, the toe dip into the waters of intimacy You leave You do not want to go further and I say nothing. Sometimes you kiss my mouth hello or goodbye and I let you Just as I see you kiss the mouths of everyone you know I do not receive your kiss indifferently Yet to turn you away would hurt you and I know that You say “This is hard for me” and “You don’t know how hard this is for me” Because I am sensitive this takes a toll on me I…

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Bowered In Silence, I Too Am Stilled

(for Jim Carroll) Bowered in silence, I too am stilled The all white storm cocoons me And the frantic world around me The blizzard has come Finally Manhattan lies at peace Finally The snow flakes fall slow fat white baby hands that clench and unclench dispensing peace and heavy wet quiet over all. Poetry is itself a blizzard that whites out ones mind As the shadows Stand out in the light. Walt Whiman is out and Jim Carroll too Those hardy types they like to stroll, no endlessly walk Like all poets do, if only in their minds. No destination but what perchance appears Leading, the GPS of the heart coaxes and seduces Step by step in an ancient unknown tongue You to move to your true north. In Inwood Park now in life the once frail wraith as sturdy as when he was a boy No hat, his smile broad and broad stride It is a poets day, a holiday of emptiness save for floating. The kind of day, a holy day that poets treasure above all The world both close and far a maze of white and shadow all bright now No more the one, the two, but three dimensional Walt Whitman is by the shore crossing Brooklyn to Manhattan He is wrapped in a cloak of snow, a halo of light shadows his great head and he breathes great gulps of snow fresh air catches snowflake on his tongue from time to time in ecstasy the lightning rod of beauty pierces him from out to in Oh Walt Whitman see him stride the long road his great coat flung open Each step imprints the echo of his long memory of then to now The swirl of snow around him a funnel of reverie Jim Carroll crosses Inwood…

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