The Vessel

My pen poised, ready for words to flow, but my face and mind are as blank as the page before me.  What am I going to write?  Can I write a lullaby softer and sweeter than all the ones before?  Can I invent a fantastical world and take a reader to a wondrous journey?  Can the divine inspire me to put together words that bring tears of joy to those who read them?  I am nothing but a humble servant who showed up.  I am here, present; nothing more than a vessel waiting for the words to flow.


Picture perfect windows they were, wall to wall without blinds or curtains to detract her view.  The southern exposure provided long, warm rays and situated on the tenth floor, she benefited from the display of colors all seasons provided.  On a cold winter’s day she’d light the fireplace and curl up in her couch facing the gray landscape before her.  On a hot steamy day, she’d raise the air conditioning and observe the slow motion that only a yellow-orange day can generate.  Her insulated aerie fed her spectator fetish without active participation.  That is, until Sandy, the perfect storm, struck.


Today he would’ve turned 49, reached the brink of the so-called golden years.  Hard to imagine the life he may have led.  He may have followed in Dad’s footsteps and worked at a printing plant or he may have gone on to college or followed pipe dreams.  He may have married and had three or four children or remained single.  Instead, he was trapped in a body that refused to grow.  A victim of deforming German measles, Andy was another Willowbrook State School statistic.  My brother barely lived to be eleven, yet his short life left its imprint in ours.

The Hologram

Forever and a day, Ellen remained locked inside a shell.  She moved.  She smiled.  She worked.  She participated in daily events, but she was never present.  She felt as if she were a hologram—a projection of movement with no substance.  Moments of true pleasure, even happiness, broke through occasionally but she’d quickly mask them for fear.  Fear of what?  Fear her feelings were one-sided?  Fear she mattered to no one?  Fear to reveal she really was a nothing?  She couldn’t articulate the fear; therefore, she remained in a perpetual state of robotic activity. Waiting.  Waiting like a sapling in frost.

Only in New York

It was a gray day with a persistent drizzle.  I wanted a fruit smoothie to simulate the ray of sunshine that the day sorely lacked.  So I pulled on my rubber boots and marched down Sixth Avenue emboldened to face Mother Nature.  I found the vendor two blocks down with no one waiting on line.  Ah, at last!  Usually the line goes halfway down the block.  With concoction in hand, I slowed my return pace.  The occasional wind gust did not break my stride and the drizzle actually seemed to dissipate.  Ah, the power of natural vitamins.

As I entered the plaza of my office building, a degenerate pulled down his pants and scratched his privates.  Right there, staring me down as the light rain covered his exposed self.  This being New York City, his actions did not surprise me as much as the three businessmen who immediately positioned themselves for action in the event a confrontation ensued.  I quickened my step, the pervert pulled up his pants, and the men relaxed their stance.  No harm, no foul.  Good looking out, guys!


Luck Gambles with Wine Sestina

The glass of wine

You reach

For, deep

Within holds

A well

Of luck.


But what luck

Does the wine


When your lips reach

The rim that holds

Elixir deep?


Down deep,


Only holds

A stain wine

Cannot reach.



Your eyes well

With deep

Fears.  You breach

Your heart’s luck

That whines,




The empty well.”

The wine

Drains too deep.

Better luck

Is within reach,


You hope and reach

The rim.  Wait, hold

On.  Luck

Runs out.  You wel-

Come your deep

Fears and drown with wine.


Reach the well.

Hold fear deep.

Luck gambles with wine.