Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

walt whitman

i dropped a quarter in walt whitman’s cup
out front of the serv-rite

hey thanks man, he said biting into his
sandwich, slumped against the wall—

what’re you irish – irish is good people,
man, good people – you irish, aint ya

nah man, i’m american, i said, walking

well, yr still irish - did you hear me – yr
still irish!
he called painfully spitting down

the street again, offended, apparently
not walt whitman, not walt whitman

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bridge Hermit Strangely Killed

from The Evening Bulletin, Monday, May 7, 1923


Refined Recluse Who Never Begged Found on Tracks,
Slain or Hit by Train

the “hermit of high bridge” is dead
his body was found
beside the pennsylvania railroad
tracks at wallingford
examination disclosed his skull
had been crushed, one arm was
cut off but otherwise the body
was not marked he never begged
for food and never asked alms
he was always willing to work
and when he spent his money
it was with economy
he was evidently
a person
of refinement as he spoke
english fluently and appeared
educated he fitted up his hut
comfortably under the bridge
with his books, stove, table,
lamp and bed he gave his name
as george johnson but avoided
all inquiries as to his past
despite his eccentric ways
the hermit held the affection
of many people for whom he
did odd jobs and gardening
townspeople say he had been
disappointed in love if he were
possessed of wealth his garb
did not indicate it—he wore
clothes ofttimes ragged and unkempt
although he was always clean shaven
he accepted gratefully the small coins
which were the reward
of his odd jobs

Thursday, August 14, 2008


as i walked south on passyunk ave approaching reed, just before i hit rita's water ice, i passed a man as he said to another man, "somebody shoulda cut her fuckin head off and threw it at her."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


people ask, will you be around? i’ll be around. actually i like to walk around town and look inside people’s windows. things look so cozy in there with the lamp on and the bookshelf. you open a book to the middle and find the shape of someone you love, very fine droplets of water suspended in air. she calls you dear, as if that should prove you wrong. and you think, as always, deer in headlights, and say wait a minute, listen, i know what i am, i mean where i am. the couch, at least, is where it should be, jutting out from a wall like a risk into the center of the room, which you avoid at all costs usually, but sit down there now, hungover, flirting with absence. the noise loosens inside, turns to rain. you can see your wife cross herself as she steps outside this morning for the first time, in another city, and the windshield wipers waving hello to the roadkill in the margins, and goodbye.