Sweet Confusion

We are called into
various loves: philia,
eros, self-approving,

celibate. It’s wild.
In the flux of love’s chances
we will be tempted

to crown agape
as the father of all. Re-
sist the pretender!

True agape in-
sists on nothing, making way
for sweet confusion.

Cottage Cheese

When you could still walk
you’d leave your bed demanding
“the goddamn cottage

cheese” and we’d laugh. You
loved to say “goddamn”– Ezra’s
ancient Spring music

came to mind. Your mind
was going, dementia
a good month away.

In retrospect I
know the self is no ground to
stand on, sing goddamn.


Before you do some-
thing rash, walk around the block.
Circumstances al-

ter one’s sense of self.
Your American youth did
not prepare you for

life’s changes. Rela-
tivity, communism, look
very different now.

Go easy on your
self. Today it will change once
you smell tonight’s snow.


Wandering in Rome
we’d come upon a fountain
spilling level to

level sweet music.
Today the blank page, source of
forms full of surprise

remains quite empty
until you turn, smile, wave and
fade into the crowd.

Your Birthday Ode

Tomorrow is your
birthday. You would have been not
old — sixty-seven —-

but who’s counting now.
The point is you came to be.
Beauty and Justice

became your causes.
Alabama, the Fifties,
Amurika you

never made peace with.
You scorned Metaphysics but
Beauty and Justice

will burn brightly a-
amongst the candles on your
cake and won’t blow out.

My Dog

As I hesitate
to go back into the rain
having written my

poem, I observe
through the foggy glass door a
shape waiting there for

someone like me. Not
my dog, I say on my way
out, not my three-legged

pooch. It waits calmly.
It doesn’t need a poem
to accept its fate.