A one way ticket

[I am given a one-way ticket to anywhere
What would I do and where would I go?

I am given the possibility to be free
To create my own universe
Defying the laws of physics and of time

A one-way ticket to ride
The rollercoaster of life]

In the shallows, in the thicket, in the forest
Along the barges of the Hudson River
Down to the center of the Earth
Out onto the Yellow River
And over the Himalayas into the Ganges

The possibility to see corpses cremating
People gathering to celebrate life
—and death also—

I am given a ticket to be me

To glorify this moment
To find the shining gem
To grasp it and hold it
To carry it with me in this soul journey
Over the purple mountains and into the valleys beyond
The shadows of civilizations

To discover the principle dear to Man
That we live and love and create
For each other and with each other

I am the bird that flies in the sky
The fish that swims under the hull of the boat

The ticket is a piece of paper—and yet—
It represents the past and the future
It is the threshold that becomes now
Through which I step into the sundrenched hope of tomorrow—
The way I see life as a seashell unfurling inside and out

I step on the sand
Creating a footprint
A small vanishing form
Shaped by particles into particles

My shadow unfolds
I bend and pick up the seashell
Inside it is pink and shiny
It sings of an underworld that I have seen only in dreams

I listen, in solitude
I hear the sirens, the whispers
Hoarse and clear, laughing and crying
It seems that the boundary between the two is ethereal

A ticket to ride without a suitcase to hold
I stare at the sky
There is a plane
Where do all those people go?
How many lives exist in one life?
How many times do we get to reinvent ourselves?

I waged a war against nostalgia
And seemingly I have won
It is but a meager surmise
A summersault into thin air

I am the clown and I am still walking
On the same tightrope
At times it is taut, at others it lolls and swings
And I see the world upside down
Right side up

The sheet is white and lying open before me
There is no way back—
Or perhaps is it a circle¬—
Is that the ticket?
To circle through time?

To swing in the full of things
Hoping for more
Wishing to survive and to dive deeper
Into the blue
Into the ocean of time
Of life

Where does it start and where does it all end?


All today’s funerals… all tomorrow’s parties*

tangled fibers mixed with tousled emotions

i long to drink in a dark stream of pure water
to watch wild horses running across the plains

the loss of moral code makes everything relative
but inside my heart it is not so

red is red
and blue is blue
and i know you

so long the stars have linked us
it is not up to us to break the bond

the mind an unstoppable maze
in which the flowers of evil spread and bloom

can the core of beauty be re-established?
has unity been destabilized?

i long for the breadth of things
to be together
because of choice

sounds become muffled
as do beliefs
in my dreams
i hear names called millions of times

i have repeated visions
rapping the inside of the hall to my brain

does it all have a meaning?
do things happen for a reason?

the world tumbling down the drain
like Alice down the rabbit hole

i want to be able
to look in your eyes and dream
to have faith in my visions
and to call them ours

i want your skin grafted on my nose
my geography navigated by yours

to hold the key to my heart
is heavy like water
and angels wings do not fear to tread

the key is heavy and leaden is the door

as i fear to look inside
purple clouds arise in gusts of doubt

can you hold the pebble of my life
in your hand without destroying it?

Atlantis sunk for the third time.
i know that the fourth it will drown forever,
sinking to the bottom of the sea.

* “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, The Velvet Underground

In the depth of the under-world I plunge

Speak to hear the limit in my voice
Love holds no barriers
Encompassing the nature of all

Strive to reach the swaying branches
To grab hold of the acorns
Light filters through the finger-like leaves
Creating sun-blemished cone shapes
In the rustling thicket

Leap of time and of faith
Riding the subway capsule in to work
Part of the plugged generation
“Talk to Her” accompanies me
The train lunges and breaks at the stops
Dividing me and East Williamsburg
From my destination in Union Square

9 A.M.
After the huff of rush hour
I have a subway seat
From where I can watch the faces
of the beautiful people
Caught in thought, sleeping,
Listening to music,

Faces coming from everywhere
Telling many stories
Of history, of class,
Of struggle and ambition

People carry coffee
Large gym bags

They stare beyond me
At a forlorn point
Outside the moving window

It is a personal dialogue
With an inner friend

Thoughts on dishes left at home
Groceries to buy
Xmas cards to write

The feeling of lack
Insufficient time to accomplish it all

No one talks
No two people have gotten on together

The solitary passengers
Pursue their course in silence

The loneliness and absent-mindedness of their stare
Endears and incorporates me

Next to me a young African American woman
Is playing solitaire on her palm pilot

The picture is complete

Misty and blue

the train chugging and hooting
sliding past an expanse of water
misty and blue
with purple fringes

my heart belongs to the city
the inter-textural fibers of my soul
are made of concrete, glass and steel
my wings float and soar
on the thudding notes of saxophones in the tunnels

the many faces of people
the freedom to be yourself
un-discriminated and accepted

this is the center of the volcano
where the magma churns the energy
for the past and many to come

summer in the city
yet i try to escape
to see the trees waving at me in the breeze
limbs outstretched toward the sky
nodding to the world
in a short moment of bliss
i get closer to the urban compound
travel in under-passes with graffiti-inscribed walls
pass factories and smoke stacks
mounds of blue and red containers next to the water
the sky is white
monotone and unstreaked by clouds

Time capsule exploding in the night

Splicing words into the core of being
Are you afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Sleep a long lost melancholy
Don Quixote de la Mancha, where are you?

My heart is pounding
Teaching me to listen
Can I find the gate to my breath
Can I feel its flowing stream
Is life a miraculous magnet?

Force of will. Will of force.
The fire next time.

I long to run to the center and back
As space widens and
Time shortens

To swing full force
Into the wave of time
Of being and of life

I arrive to sigh
I scream, jump, think, love

Colors over shadows
The russet leaves rustling
in the autumn forest

Notes alive in the mind and out
Colors and questions
Whose answers lie
In the pool
Limpid blue yonder

Does the child play out there
She is small and has round eyes

The eclipse is here and
It may be tomorrow

Alive I feel the hunger
And the pain of change
To be yielded to by the passage of life
Nothing is permanent

A kaleidoscope in time
People and objects
In continuous mutation of form

You cannot hold onto a process
It’s like a wave
A cycle of energy

I miss New York

I miss the skyline, Brooklyn, the factories
the urban and industrial disaster
the no-man’s-land where the hoods persist
the intensity and the grime
the faces and the relentless expressions
the smokestacks and the bridges,
the islands and the boroughs.

Chinatown, the vegetables, the signs,
the pushing mobs and the putrescent odors;
I miss the beautiful, the hip and the cool,
the feeling that everything and its opposite can exist
as long as you believe it or enact it.

“only in New York….”

I miss the nights, the lights, the taxicabs
on Houston or Canal Streets;
the Villages, the East and the West,
Greenwich, SoHo, and Nolita,
Alphabet City, Tribeca, Williamsburg and beyond;

I miss riding the train to Coney Island,
Bensonhurst and Bed-Sty.

I miss going to Harlem on a Sunday
seeing the church-goers decked out in dazzling,
rightfully outrageous hats and shoes;

trying to imagine the Renaissance of the Jazz age
through the broken windows
instead the upcoming white ‘gentrification’.

the Angelika and the Film Forum
where movies came and went
that could be caught nowhere else
the bars, the nightlife, the music, theater and dance
the variety, the freshness and at times even the harshness.

the people, the people, the people
the acts in the subways, the fast-moving throngs, the parades
namely the Mermaid Parade.

the parks, rivers and train-tracks
the subway, the one truly democratic place left,
carrying each and every one to her destination;
where we tend to forget who we are
and in a moment of displacement
we let go to pure feeling of expression
caught in thought.

city in action, city of energy, city of differences,
the people’s city.

no matter who you are,
you can be that person there—
absorbed by the miasmic mass—
the force of movement,
the toiling of the waves,
the swirling of the spirals.

accepted—part or piece of a puzzle—
with so many chips that each one is indistinguishable,
a pixel in the whole,

like those collages made of people’s faces
where, if you stand at the right distance,
you see a larger image.

do I digress? In a moment of passion.
have I failed to express myself?

city of lights, city of wonder,
where you dare to gaze
and never cease to amaze.

where angels don’t fear to tread
where night is day, and for so many day is night
where skyscrapers are lit by neon-light.

Stark running rain

Stark running rain
rivers of thought
rolling to rip the crossing
skipping to cry the waves
sliding on the sky
slipping in the sand
sundering on the ripeness
skewering on a bony branch
timing the minutes of abstinent words
that crawl out of cloudy wet streets
where train tracks lead to orange glass bells
tinkering and chiming
humming in tunes of hoarse hushes
thudding notes on a cracked palette
swimming in a limpid pool
searching for mosaics of fragmented thoughts
as descriptions of fleeting images
as stories reminiscent of childhood
dreams of circuses
of elephants and trapeze artists
suspended over autumn rays
of landscape distending under one glance
that encapsulates the thought and its primal seed
as the movement that was created
as a breath from rhythm and life
white foam on watery tide
governed by the moon
watching seagulls flying
listening to the dove cries
white against a blueness
of mind strapping desires
soaring out of wondrous
summersaults that double spin
into crispness of air
ripping clean
from scarlet valleys
of leaves in shadows
windows opening into a void
of open illusion remembering
the Rose that grew from tears and dust