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More Found Poems

Scattered about this blog are “found poems” discovered in  journals going back some forty years. I’ve been shredding all my journals, fearful of them being read once I check out. I only hope I get through all of them before the time comes.

Following is the latest crop of Found Poems.

Poverty I

When you’re poor
you live on the highway.
Every stop looks better
than the last.
You learn to decipher
blessing in disaster,
relate deeds of devastation
in six amusing voices,
cultivate several zany images
and one of deprivation.

Shielding your eyes from the sun
one day, you look down the highway
trying to see the last dangerous curve
you traversed
and discover that
the highway has become
your permanent habitat.

Your Checkered Hat

Your checkered hat
hangs jauntily
above my bay window
as once it rested
on the shiny bald circle
of your head:
an evocation of
comic humanity,
of the frail mortality
you hid so well.


Somewhere in this city
women celebrate each other
with the ease of pretty coeds.
They analyze their lives,
support each other’s struggles,
create a new reality.

You and I sit on the sidelines
no longer speaking,
preferring our own thoughts.

You are fretting
that you have no lover.
I am resenting the banquet.
I sit by your side
and hold your gentle hand,
marvel at your loneliness,
hate you with a passion.

Six Months Off Nicotine
and Two Weeks on a Diet

My youth was spent
shoving in substances:
food / smoke / drink / drugs.
Whatever dampened feeling
I swallowed.

each peeled layer
rage / sorrow / sorrow / rage.

I am raw and pungent
as an onion.

Eyes tear
Nerves roar
Pain screams
then silence
and peace
for awhile.

is as thrilling
as the tingle of nicotine
as amusing as amphetamines
as fascinating as mescalin
more satisfying than
a bowl
of hot buttered noodles.


I fight sleep as if sleep were
a dragon, sharp teeth and claws
waiting to snatch
the small gains made today.

I fight sleep as if sleep were
an enemy, my spine
screeching in defiance.

I fight sleep
and wear my insomnia
as I wear my suffering:
Psychic scars:
the only badges
women wear.

Stephanie I

I drink in your passion
and return it with my own
breathing heavy scented air
that fills me like a drug.

The thinner air of daily life
dissolves beside such passion
so we watch with vigilance
for signs of future sorrow.

Only at alloted times
do we drop our guard
to go swimming in that space,
deaf dumb and blind

as I drink you into every pore
and ooze you out my skin again.

There will be no one to touch

One day we will be lying
in the rubble of our civilization:
black and white, gray and yellow
stripped of all possession and diversion.

Our eyes will roam the length and breadth
of the dying masses, seeking another’s.
Our hands will claw the air
in need of grasp.

We will be peering into darkness
remembering our time on earth
imagining these thoughts unique and fine
and there will be no one to touch.

Like Salt Upon the Table

Flyers, newsletters, telephone lists,
the names of our congressmen
and a few good lawyers –
these on the table
with the school lunch menu
the doctors’ appointments
and the half finished poems.

The table a mosaic
of a life spent with children,
all of a piece:
the political was personal.

Now in dreams I meet Fidel
and respond to his reproaches:
I wrote my letters! I worked for revolution!

It’s all too much now.
I won’t march with strangers.

Back then it was just another
ingredient in the soup
like the carrots and the onions.
Like salt upon the table.


Away alone.
Away alone with the ocean.
Away alone with the ocean myself.
Away alone with what I know
with what I know
what I know best is
away alone with the ocean myself.


One response »

  1. I’m crying a little in heart for all your shredded journals! And more than a little titillated about what they must contain… hmmm…

    Tears and titillation totally inappropriate for the drivel in my journals; it’s mostly a relentless complaint. Tedious beyond bearing: the same thing over and over throughout the years. A lot of people, I think, use their journals this way. It would be most embarrassing if my heirs expected “a writer’s diary” and read this shit. I appreciate your faith in my writing, but it’s misplaced!–MS

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