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To a Three-Year-Old
Sitting on a Tombstone

There you sit atop
the staid marble monument
to the late Augustus Hildebrand,
angel of life right
solid with the stone,
face turned sunward in
radiant defiant triumph
over ancestral silence.
affirmation of
beatific Yes!



I would gladly miss
the sweet sadness
of being
without you

to feel again the
sad contentment
of lying
beside you


Crowded together
in darkness,
each sits alone,
senses abandoned to
the magic wall.

As flickering light
pierces the hall,
moving shadows move
each mind to its own
space, its own time,

to be transformed
by light playing
on imagination,
refracting images
through prism minds.

Diffracted by the
edges of each
experience, dancing
light bends to color
the illusions

brought before it,
for the mind,
quicker than the eye,
makes what it will
of the magic.


New York Alamo

There was something of the Alamo
in that 43rd Street hotel. Not the fallen fortress, but the outlaw hotel home
of dim shadows who moved through
the halls and waited on plastic covered
lobby sofas for God or

That Alamo has fallen, too, a memorial
to progress and one more parking
garage. What became of the haints,
hookers, junkies, lobby ghosts? Did
they come up to the big apple core
43rd street? Hard

Maybe they are among the ones who find
shelter in pisswarm doorways lulled by
poppies, or just exhaustion, discomfiting
theater patrons who hold close
their own dreams as they make quick
getaway without

Eye contact is dangerous even on
Sunday morning as nightmares slide
in and out across the edges of sleep, from
one park bench to another. No romance
here. Kerouac is dead. Beatific man?
No man, just beat

Anachronism. Or is it anomaly? Across
the street from the Lone Star Cafe, hip
hangout of homesick and would-be
Texans, great barbed coils snake
around rooftop estates as down
below beneath the streets
above the screeching of the subway
cars wafts the mournful wail
of a thin and ageless waif
blowing the blues
on a brass clarinet.

Remember the textbook
Alamo? There at least
they had a line
they could


Symbols from antiquity
we shake them carefully,
arranging the old shapes
into new patterns,
myths that conceal
secrets of the universe.

Among the shale may be
the one shard that
will explain it all.


All of these poems are from the 70s and 80s — my poetry decades. I started bicycling in 1989. Could it be that bicycling is a cure for poetry?

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