"Three Hopeless Songs"

I wrote these during a particularly difficult time in my life.  The
poems are from friend (and former neighbor) Pablo Medina -- I really
like the sense of suspended melancholy that they seem to capture.

Here are the texts to the poems:

-- for Liz Roszel

It is winter,
a yellow haze 
clings to the sides of boats.

The fish are oozing
rivers and the clams
float out of perspective.

Behind the bare branches
of far trees there are houses,
incoming clouds.

The fisherman's wife
is waiting for her husband
to abandon hope.


Ach, wie anders, wie schon
Lebt der Himmel, lebt die Erde.
-- Goethe

for Ellen Jacko

It snows because the door to heaven is open,
because God is tired of working
and the day needs to be left alone.
It snows because there is a widow hiding
under her mother's bed,
because the birds are resting their throats
and three wise men are offering gifts.
Because the clouds are singing
and trees have a right to exist,
because the horses of the past are returning.
They are gray and trot gently into the barn
never touching the ground.

It snows because the wind wants
to be water, because water
wants to be powder and powder wants
to seduce the eye.  Because once in his life
the philosopher has to admit
to the poverty of thought.
Because the rich man cannot buy snow
and the poor man has to wear it on his eyebrows.
Because it makes the old dog think
his life has just begun.  He runs
back and forth across the parking lot.
He rolls in the snow.  He laps it up.

It snows because light and dark
are making love in a field where old age
has no meaning, where colors blur,
silence covers sound, sleep covers sorrow,
everything is death, everything is joy.


What you know is what you know.
What you love is not there.
Your eyes shutting see only inside.
Outside is a day full of light,
occasional cars, occasional people.

Intimacy is danger, danger
is another breath.
Don't deny that I have spoken,
that pollen covers the sidewalk,
that the trees are budding,
that what you see is what you see
is illusion.

Silence is our partner.
Death is a daffodil.