a thought to wrap your legs around
in the wood smoked Pescara air
as the green train snakes below the 
olive trees and the grape arbors which
adorn the terra cotta studded landscape,
a huge early moon hanging above
the twilight and the smooth Adriatic
rippling here and there across the wake
of its golden reflection as gulls dive
and soar, and hover as if this moment
is stalled forever in the thermal that
they float upon, and only a fishing boat
with one bell clanging moves slowly thru
the rising mist, its small red light winking.....


the last freed slave sits
on the edge of his chair
& sings into his shadow
darkened by the sunlight
feeding his corpulence
forgetting for a moment 
to chant the obligatory
banalities of his being.....

as the icy cold squall delivers
its fury out of the Balkans and
the white-streaked sea storms 
shoreward, hurtling wave after  
wave against the dark, gray rocks 
that line the man-made breakwater
a solitary fishing boat emerges
from the heavy mist just offshore
its beacon swinging haphazardly
from a clanging halyard stretched
from the top of the square cabin
to the undulating bow lifting and
sliding across each turbulent swell
as the wind and rain numb my face

The Homeless Shelter*

a hundred a day are dying in St Petersburg
  the incontinent interval
  between one surprise and another
One wan face in a great gray coat
gives way to gaunt regrets 
piled in the cemetery’s heartless cold
& immutable greed of incommensurate charity

a hundred a day are dying in St Petersburg
  the mullioned girders' shadows fall
  where the fey psyche stammers chic
& murmuring poets sing of solitude,
of self-scored nebulae fissured by hope
& in whose hopeless canned responses
each newly painted paradise collapses

a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg
  the intolerable degradation
  of one order into another
& lonely hearts insist on lavish words
that breed sullen calibration of a soul
not worth the witless carbon it consumes,
a fop that would more likely lie than not

a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg
  the balalaika stains credulity
  with scream and counter scream of violin
& in the finger-stirred Chablis
functionaries juggle continents and sympathies
while quasi semi studio types ad lib
the muted sign, the status quo

a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg
  conflates the neo-democratic twist
  with tyrant's assimilated turbid sketch
The backlit smiles dispel asperities
in discordant tenets where sensors drain
consensus from gamboled idiom to intersect
the blade with your expectant balls

a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg
  the ambient sneer flaunts cheap review
  of fallacies adjudged melodic perks
The mock reflection of emoted caveat
spurns the cavernous sense of loss 
distilled by hype to afterthought,
verbatim . . . unforgivable . . . .

*The March 16, 1994 edition
  of the Maui News reported
  that 200 persons were dying
  everyday in St. Petersburg,
  and that half of them were