hat tip to Mark Zanger


“Yogi Berra was a great bad ball hitter; even if he had to golf or tomahawk, he was clutch.” The balls I hit are all bad that’s why I hit them. That’s where anger turns into beauty. They say there are no bad dogs but they are mostly dog trainers in their pride. Pride and shame are two ends of the same bat. Shame makes every bad ball your fault. That’s where Yogi comes in, the best Yankee philosopher since Emerson, the Buddha squatting behind every batter. He observes the violence of the perfect pitch, the smack in the deep pocket of his fat glove. Thanks to Yogi there are no bad restaurants, no bad decisions, no bad balls. When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Maybe a scratch single, a dribbler to the left, a ball just out of reach of a diving glove, Yogi motoring to first. He came back as a huge gentle black dog who takes the bite out of every bark. Soon all the neighbor dogs are following Yogi to the restaurant no one goes to anymore.

The Living Hive

for Jordan Bantuelle, keeper of the urban farm


You have seen a bee face up close. The verbs fell away, the sky tore strips of wax paper. You heard the thrill of the bees, you felt the stings. Through the metal hexes of fence, your fingers caught. Sleeping, you hurtled in a Beethoven surge. The geometry of winter: an angle of dead bees. The secret honey in the cells of six. The smell of honey heals all wounds. White wax kisses them, seals. Still you hurt underneath. The stars really do have sharps. The sky black as bees’ eyes. You go on unforgiven. Hungry for honey, hungry for balm, hungry for wings.

The Broken Tablets

--“R. Joseph learnt: ... both the tablets and the fragments of the tablets were deposited in the ark.”– BT Menachot 99a

The broken tablets were also carried in an ark.
In so far as they represented everything shattered,
everything lost, they were the law of broken things,
the leaf torn from the stem in a storm, a cheek touched
in fondness once but now the name forgotten.
How they must have rumbled, clattered on the way
even carried so carefully through the waste land,
how they must have rattled around until the pieces
broke into pieces, the edges softened
crumbling, dust collected at the bottom of the ark
ghosts of old letters, old laws. In so far
as a law broken is still remembered
these laws were obeyed. And in so far as memory
preserves the pattern of broken things,
these bits of stone were preserved
through many journeys and ruined days
even, they say, into the promised land.