NEAR PROVIDENCE 2:1.21

A girl sat reading

The Lives of the Saints. Her walk-

ing stick leaned at rest.

The seat next to her

was empty. The place was packed.

January sun

streamed in the windows.

Sometimes noisy rooms go qui-

et, like then, like now.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 1.1.21

Low tide. Half in, half

out, the geese soak up the sun.

The cold, distant sun.

January one.

I get goosebumps in the wild

ecstasy of time.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 31.12.20

On the last day of

the year the gray Bay shines like

wet cement. Really,

and not because I’m

depressed. It just looks that way.

In fact the simile—

gray Bay, slow drying

cement—is both ludicrous

and apt. Call it real.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 30.12.30

I thought of tea. I

was on the last lap of a

cold walk to the Bay.

Nothing was on my

mind. Gulls rode the winds crying

their piteous cries.

I did stop once to

listen to my neighbor’s wind

chimes. New since Christmas.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 29.12.20

You know you’re getting

somewhere spiritually

when the winter sun

pours out of the blank

side of a dockside warehouse.

Blankness in excess.

Of course you are no-

where in particular. You

stand there getting cold.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 28.12.20

When alive, my wife

showed she was alive by fre-

quent changes of hair

color. She loved it

when other people did it.

The one with purple

hair sitting over

there in the sun, my heart stopped,

I thought of Toby.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 27.12.20

What’s a minor po-

et to do now the Apo-

calypse has come? Rich

and poor more at odds

than before. Wonderful Earth

in revolt. Mankind

not kind at all. I

have survived my youthful cults,

just barely. What’s next?

NEAR PROVIDENCE 26:12:20

Christmas leftovers.

As table companion,

Umberto Saba.

For the cheap diner,

for the yellow polenta,

immense gratitude.

I leave a big tip

for the nameless one, my age,

who knows what I like.