Pen Porn

Picked up for a song,
this Cross fountain pen, designed
by Paul Smith: purple

lacquer over brass,
Sterling silver trim, grip, and
clip. Grip pebbled, clip

twisted (pure Paul Smith
but sure reminds me of you).
The fine Cross nib, made

here in Rhode Island,
flows like a charm, as our love
did —- with no hard starts.

Across the Water

I am too easy.
Grounded by age and bad health,
I listen to the

yachts across the bay,
the rigging and little bells,
restless in the slips.

Exhausted by wow,
it’s astonishment, the bite
of being, so like

grief, that brings me out,
the masts cleaving the blue, the
too-muchness of things.

I.M. George Floyd

In despair I look
into the lights and darks of
the Spring canopy.

I see blue beyond
and hear a bottomless sigh.
Basho watched Fuji

in swirling mist as
a spiritual exercise,
but all I can see

today is the peace-
ful face of yet another
crucified black man.


There’s nothing given
about a flurry of gold seeds
whirling from maples

on a hot windless
day in June. I lean down and
pick one up. Heavy

veined wings doubled for
the descent. How we children
spun ourselves around.

Meaning is excess-
ive to the thing itself, the
thing we love to death.


I am thrown above
(pace Heidegger) by the clouds
over the calm bay.

Air heavy, milky,
saturated with June light.
Porosity is

all, the horizon
tremendum et fascinans
in Little Rhody

as when Basho rests
on a high mountain path in
a field of yarrow.

Poor Reasons

It’s the equipoise
of the ducks that draws me to
the water’s edge; it

seems like free ballet.
Nothing I know explains it.
I know no reason

I visit daily
other than the superflu-
ity of beauty.

My windbreaker ( wording the flux—Desmond)

In summer my eyes
struggle. Wrinkled nylon is
how the bay looks at

noon. Eternity
winks and nods as I look at
it with sweaty eyes.

I’m no Rimbaud; my
windbreaker’s wrinkled nylon
makes me want to fly

but Noon releases
me in a fart of self-dis-
gust and laughing gulls.

Cat Wang on Beating the Heat

Now that it’s hot the
master busies himself with
new window treatments.

Filtered sunlight leaves
our rooms rather poetic.
As for me I crawl

under a rhodo-
dendron and push my nose in-
to the fresh blossoms.

Master freaks out
but I don’t go down in the
words of his girlfriend.

The Road

The smell of coffee
in the morning helps me wake
from my dreams. I wake

to the edgy ob-
jectivity of caffein con-
sciousness, or the real.

It seems. The day’s text
is Jaccottet’s Violets—-
qui ouvre une voie.

Violets appeal
from innocence beyond us
to our finitude.

Later I’ll remem-
ber he says the violets
will need replacing.

Yellow Gear

The rain blurs the bay
but not the yellow of the
fisherman’s rain gear.

In the gray immense,
the dinghy is a shadow
under the yellow

of the rain gear. No
other shade of yellow would
quite tell the story.