(For Vanessa)





My chocolate, my tobacco

and you across the river, my three

addictions: you analyze


the toxicity of love;  I appeal

to your vanity, waltzing you patiently

through my analysis – my fear


of losing you palpable, thick

as clouds, as smoke; I fear your drift, I fear

you are fixing the tobacco, I fear 


you are sweet as chocolate. 

I confess patiently to you going down sometimes

to the river devouring chocolate, smoking,


imagining myself a smooth, smooth

stone skipping madly,

madly on the wings of my addiction,


blithely into Brooklyn.  You,

afraid of my loco-

motion: ever the psycho-


therapist, manically explain the mechanics

of the breasts, vis-à-vis the

good breast and the bad breast, while


I explain patiently to you to try

smearing them with chocolate

so I might love them both.


I imagine you, lowing, my favorite

cow in the whole of Brooklyn.  I imagine chocolate

milk; I imagine the greenest grass.









I like your bracelets – your

bangles.  You love

my raspberry jam.  At my age


I want only raspberries.  This information

gives you the blues.  It’s a lot

like America these days – all red


and blue: your aura all red

while I am berry blue: your skin, covered

in goose bumps, is like fresh raspberries; your


veins purple as figs pulsing over the neighbors fence. 

I am fresh as Adam, reading you like a school boy,

boning up, eager to learn myxolodics.


































You nibble at the edge

of the river  like a bulimic, devouring

the finite with all the gusto


of Saturn: certain

delicacies you say excusing yourself,

you have trouble with;


You dine on cuckoo, you dine on willow.  Reading

shells, excrement, from

the feathers of wild geese, the gooey entrails


of sheep, examining tiny seeds,

bits of vegetable matter,

paper, paint, I parse your bones: tibia,


hip, clavicle, rib.  You snore

like Demeter.  I examine legumes, chocolate


coins.  Lighting a candle,

I discover you asleep, curled into

a ball like a porcupine.


I discover you floating

among the cattails in your garden,

I discover you in your bath.


















It’s pumpkin time.

My grin a jack o’lantern

leering from every window.


Your chagrin is basic black,

the fishnet stockings requisite, the

jagged quartz in which

you view the world

in fractals; curious trees, birds,


flowers, shuffling gnomes, enchanted

shadows phantoms; grotesque,

misshapen.  Signs shut suddenly appear

as triangles, wands, pulsing swords,

pentacles: the perverse


season.  Dolabriformed leaves

go up in smokes.  You say it’s hard to see

the past through all the smoke.  I say

from this great height it’s hard to see anything

without my glasses.  Consulting the oracle,

you say you’re seeing asphodels, the frost

is on the pumpkin:  I say the bloom


is off the rose.