Photo of broken ground at  sunrise


The Broken Bridge



Migrations that must needs void memory,
Inventions that cobblestone the heart,-
Unspeakable Thou Bridge to Thee, O Love.

Hart Crane’s “The Bridge”

PROEM: Divorce

Love Letter to a Memory
Photo of rose with alabaster head
Death in a Winter Sky
Photo of city night lamps
Photo of man's eye
Another First Date
Photo of woman with pearl-like tears
A Random Phonecall
Photo of hand on phone receiver
Reflections Upon Rejections
Photo of woman standing in ocean
Girl Before A Mirror, 1932
Photo of Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror
The Lost City Revisited
Photo of Atlantis Harbor

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Photo of cloud with appearance of someone flying


Never again the finite twilight gazed through opium fulcrum of
languorous indifference.

Never more the barren scratches on well-creamed flesh, the harrowing
banality of marriage.

Not the possibility of life engendering life, the cyclic delusion of
evolution, the compress of comfort in the union procreative of

Nor the love from one who loves what one loves leading to new loves
unforeseen in the ebony of sleep.

Never again a promise, green in pride, the nodding grace of virgin rice
beneath a rainbow craning oe’r the heart of cumulate sky, a clutch
of wild grass combing clouds clearing from inhuman sun.
Photo of orange sunset with arch silhouette in foreground

9:10 PM 05/10/90


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Love Letter to a Memory

Proud Alabaster head angular taxi searching
tilt to a horizon ever impeding
the grey bleakness of perpetual morning,

Photo of person gazing toward neverending grey horizon

Image of alabaster face on pink roseCold Winter claw tracing rose petals
from her tight cheeks an image:
closed within me forever, closed within

me like eternal love forever crushing
within me everything, everything that was
or is beautiful that was is
tender gentle in its sacred bliss,
Sanctified by the noblest pain, that
pain crazy in its trashed delirium,
like her long flowing flaxen hair
a veil across my delicious face
full in a dead dream, like
her light pink smooth aureole promise
to be kept in ever-adjacent pasts,
like my tanged tongue flicking perpetually
her erect clitoris as my tears
helplessly caress her strawberry hairs, as
my fingers swirl in her wet satin
buttocks, as I suffocate, suffocate
in my love for you.

9 AM 12/15/89
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Photo of cyan colored snowflake



Death in a Winter Sky

Photo of city snow scene with lamps lit Snow flakes tread down the lamp glow night sky – her soul tattered
scraps float into my tears – the snow is her love, she, the night,
hiding just above the city night’s light. Come to me, oh come to me
my love! A flake melts in a tear and I know she has died forever in
that past I unconsciously destroyed and consciously protect from forgetting.
Yes, each snowflake is a kiss, an embrace from her. She sends me her
yearning. The ceaseless march of snow slowly falling falls from her
immortal need. How could I leave her? How could I destroy her? How
could I twist her into a deformed contradiction of what I so tenderly
once loved? And how can she, now the winter night, forgive me so gracefully,
calmly, with such gentle compassion and slow excess of mercy? Are not
these melting snows the stains of my own sins? And yet I know she rests
there, behind the night above the street lamps’ glow in the snow fall,
she lies there in a languor replete with the absolute fulfillment of
my perfect love for her, however late that love has come, and yes it has
come for thee my love, so that each dot of pain and
Photo of ice blue snowy country road with arch of trees worry that might
once have seemed like an insurmountable sun scorching the sinuous sands

shivering under North African serpentine wind, now calms and fades and

dies like my gasps as I tilt my flooded face up towards thy beatific,

incomprehensible, invisible smile.
The glistening of the snow must be
the glint in her happy eyes for I know she loves me through the arch of
time past she loves me still. Oh God! I hug the night and bend it like a
spent dancer collapsed in my arms. Yes, the snow is her miraculous love!
Let me bury in the snow till there is none left of me, till I am one with
her love again!

Photo of cyan colored snowflakePhoto of bright blue snowflake
2:20 AM 12/30/89
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III TenebraeImage of woman's eye

Photo of a woman's green eyePhoto of large hazel eyePhoto of man falling out of an eyeImage of tearful mans eye

Through every woman I caress I search for you, not in a look, but in a
pouring of myself into her eyes, not in a kiss, but in a drink of tongue
and lip to fill the empty cistern that is my aimless confusion. Thus in
losing you have I gained every woman. For in each there is that essential
hint of you, somehow. While each love is unique in its failure, so too
is it one and indifferent in its success. And every love I have for every
woman is thus rendered true by my infidelity to you. And every loving
regard followed by the same cracking heat of desperate desire towards
the never-ending feminine sequence, enshrines the permanent monogamy of
our past faith in each other. How can I rip your bosom from my confident
but yearning face, as I still suck the immortal milk of your critical
loyalty? In your perfect beauty, fixed on the edge of my eye like a
beacon drowned by a buoyant noon sun’s ghastly shadow, have I emprisoned
my future with rapturous memory, my glistening eyes tenebrous in the
tentative shelter of my tears.

Undated but before 3/1/90

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Another First Date


Image of a woman crying tears of pearlsMuted maiden Magdalene, night tears slow-silvered desire ripe from my
stigmatized eyes which, sliding, glower over-ripe. From my wrent chest
spasms (in a futile clutch towards some love, towards some woman,
each a repetition not of another but of myself, an incantation, a dirge-
like list of what I am, say or do to barter for these words and such
entertainment as a night’s extravagance might offer: the desultory kiss
good-bye from some tenuous potential not advantaged by any comparison of the actual her to the unreal, dreamt of you) the last clot of hesitant

No, surely you are less a mythic posture, less a petulant memory, and
more a feigned foretaste of my doubting desire, which, not forlornly
fabricating on earth what I might fashion with febrile fingers through
till gawking dawn, filters through these hasty conjurings and confused
musings and avid reflections, a farcical paradigm of fealty inferred
from what perhaps I once loved and still must seek, however heavily my
limbs drag this future corpse across the near waste of my fortune and daily promise.

As Irene slowly culls from flourished flesh the fluttering arrows of
disdain, again and too much again I flounder for the possibility of a
you distilled in me, half-projected into new forms and tales and manners,
such that even the exactest count could not total love voluptuous sagging
from the cross of my Romantic judgment, not tear from me by her that
great crimson leap, that rush into the eyes that glower or beg or delight
in a confused mockery of seduction.

Woman dancer leaping in a twirling crimson dress

Coiled cancerous within a transient flirtatious phrase simmers a nothing
from which my freedom springs. This empty love, infinite in its voided
echo, finite in its reference, a calculus towards the limit of resignation,
this freedom within nothingness, engendered from non-being, from failure
failing failure, this sentimental form without content destroyed by the
matter of feeling, this from her I to her return with weak, fumbling
lips already bored by their contraction in formality.

And where am I now?

Am I more than this question?

Photo of man alone staring out to sea on a bleak morningImage of odd shaped tunnel with repetitious rings of lightImage of woman in white dress looking out towards sea

Surely the sheen of her polished, loosened, gently curled hair like the
gleam off the dew of a chestnut lately fallen to the soggy stench of
delicious ground, engenders within me some hope of a future love. Surely
the exact, wide arch of so charming a smile, surely the tilt of so
affectionate eyes, shaded with the final hues of leaves lingering on
young oaks stalled in cooling dawns, beg for a tenderness without which
I am less than an idea of anonymity gently curled within the furling
waves of Galilee.

Yet the steady tone of her clear conversation belies an ambivalence that
cools any ardor. Yet the very fact of our separateness confirms the
disjunction across our motives, unknown and simple

Ah, let me love thine alien soul, for I am too much of love alone! What
worth this gift of no receipt, this inchoate passion without weight to
set its center? Shall I dissipate towards the dull morning star like
the cooing of a dove’s initial pronouncement towards its blank future?

And shall you decide the logic of our marvelous disunion without even
the half-measure of my sincerity.

Alas must I love towards the real to be real, and shy from morbid
memories that cull only choked gasps towards heaven, never securing
that wrap of earth on which, as guided blood, I must expire, that pray
to mere celestial swirl, while evading salacious summer winds woven into
my wistful fingers, winnowing through streams of your jersey-soft hair,
As we embrace on the ruins of dank ramparts, rigid before a verdant
vista of precisely tended farms lashed by the maelstrom of our sun burst
breaching the worn, yet distant, still supple hills.
View of green valley with sun burst in distance
11:30 PM 3/1/90


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Photo of hand holding phone receiver

A Random Phonecall

Photo of rotary phone with receiver off the hook

N: “Why are you the only one who understands me? No one else who ever
professed to love me or care for me understands me. They just criticize
and ridicule me.”

H: “That’s just because they don’t understand you.”

N: “No.” (Pause) “They just didn’t care.”

I felt this to be the most horrifying, ghastly vindication of my beshocked
love for her. For I began to recognize her. The old her that I loved -
hideously deformed, frighteningly so – yet there in some haphazard,
schizophrenic hypothesis – that I still deliberately rejected, while
steadily advising her, listening to her complaints and distresses in a
pleasant, bland filigree, or while mute in thunder – like anguish over
her forthright conclusion that I must still care so much to understand
so well, or while tacitly affirming the tacit syllogism of our despair,
or while numbly though quickly shunning her frail yet valiant, honest
yet macabre offer of a tour through the West.

Image of man in pain near tunnel of windows with light coming in

Pain is the basis of sickness, for it is pain that engenders the sickness,
weans the disease with despair, and swaddles collapse with misery.

Happiness is freedom. Yet freedom is complex.

To replace love with propriety, longing with measured concern, desire
with bleak north winds tossing a soiled skull through savoured midnight
mists, her injunction by insanity with my indifferent liberality, all
for freedom, for control over my own destiny, over myself, over the
absence that is my life, surely this rarifies the success of my emptiness
and the fulfillment of my postured self-contradicting negativity, the
harness for my ambivalence.

Photo of lamp light at nightNo, I no longer want her, but want the wanting of her. Desire as its own
fulfillment cancels the object of its desire. Can this be the last,
perpetual sacrifice to solitude?

I count five dim stars pulsing behind the St. Vincent’s School of Nursing,
a school usually empty, relieved to see at least some light beyond the
city, beyond my studio’s compress of lamp light licking the pelt of cat
curtained in black and white fur, refracting from his imperturbably dim
witted apple green eyes confident affection and boredom.

Photo of my cat Mishima

1:00 AM 3/17/90
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Reflections Upon Rejections


Perfect confinement there is no loss to the losing of loss alone upon
alone . . .

What is this futile, contorted dance, I with broken knees in fact and in
need, the arms pass from one chilling hug to the next, a seventeenth
century reel, the wax candle burnt smoke shifts in the rose champagne
drunk nostrils as sky blue satin squeaks against cloud white satin,
as lashes of lace hiss past rushes of silk, my poverty of means an
irrelevant confirmation of my paucity within execution, the benumbed
ritual of formal romantic indifference?

To waste the wasting wastes not the waste of my apparent potential, a
charmed possibility of sardonic regrets sound within discomforting good
manners. The aristocracy of alienation encompasses good humoredly the
narrow focus of dislocated harmony, a triad within itself consistent to
itself, but beyond its confines, misplaced and worthless. Yes, to be
polite to the empty and silly to the dumb, in need to the lender and
sensitive to the numb.

When will it stop! this immaterial loss of meter, this shameful sonata
of exhausted confessions, superficial and strained observations, the full
force of the most superior intellect to sift through some morass of
lifeless topics for some pithy, ill-fated remark?

How can I sing to the deaf? How can I paint a portrait with an empty eye?
Is this the innocuous coda to my most florid counterpoint?

Yes! The goal then is to reify my aloneness, to decline towards the open
plain as supply as the tulips bend to brush with their torn petals the
dusty plot in which their bulbs lie buried. Or perhaps to flee from the
slimy arms of negation as hurriedly as her normal lips disgustedly flinched
and jerked away to avoid my pessimistic labials! For why should I with
the seducer’s graceful ease gently conduct the cacophony of atonal silence
after insult to my love confessed tongue?

The reproach of the benignly mundane, a castigation that merely consoles
the safely dull rather than conforming the worn romantic, taps a steady
rhythm to this arrhythmic duet.

But what proud arabesques I, a failure, compose! Perhaps, after all,
union is a function of relaxation, not passion. Great love is perhaps
more akin to gratitude and constancy than to my silly pleas. Perhaps,
though, the simple are simply simple together, two easeful tunes in
parallel motion. Then how can I, a man who is himself a double fugue,
enhance my polyphony gracefully? Yet is not all music the expression of

And so now to you, teased, blond tinted hair bursting from a square
Ukrainian head, broad, honest face with charming, dark blue eyes, eager
and direct, plain sweet and attainable in your gaudy yet drab business
attire, shall I ignore our lack of common interest just as I try to
ignore your largish, somewhat ill-shaped nose and puffy eyes engorged
with labor and middle age, shall I therefore seek only the relief
of simultaneous orgasm from urban loneliness, or, in mordant variation,
Shall I justify the seduction of what is not a conquest by a feigned,
mock-delighted, pseudo-macho disgust, or, in retrograde motion, shall
I toast to our first and final drink?

Silhouette of woman standing knee deep in ocean at sunset

8:30 AM 3/24/90
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VII Picasso's painting, "Girl Before a Mirror", 1932 Girl Before a Mirror, 1932

Love that transcends forgiveness, that transcends time’s lurid melody,
you before the mirror, arms towards your own future, hands lean heavy
on the portal of decay, on the orange grain of reflection’s frame, beg
for the indifferent truth without hope, in confession for no one.

Dearest Lamb of God, slut of humanity, who steals the sins of my own
history, whose mercy lies upon me like the gilt-laden drapery of Byzantine
Shroud, in self-sacrifice to the lip-less voice of prayer, my sweet,
how can I save thee but in the self-indulgence of poetic raiments?

A flaxen leaf of hair, the cool lilac on your stoic profile, jut of chin
and nose defend the small, taut lips of fasting, the stamp of Constantine
on dull bezant, teeter on a self-contradicting pyramid of pearl then
pitch, on the fulcrum neck of the purity of innocence and the purity of
loss, the thick jet outline of your back an awkward bulwark against the
claims of sex, the coarse, coal vertebrae rigid, regular against the
lily flesh, emprison only the abstract possibility of a circle’s light
green gestation, the impertinent potency of ignorance, detached from
curiosity, suspends intent as sheets of a cathedral’s alabaster
windows imbed Ravenna’s pasty light within their amber veins.

Yet behind that girl’s frieze-like gaze burns a jaundice sun of decadent,
life-engendering, sympathetic aphrodisia, the fevered lips and fired
cheek painted with superficial vermilion cosmetic to signal wanton intent,
the facial outline a round curve of no impression, an obsidian eye that
knows itself but sees nothing save perhaps the finitude of satiety, body
now teeming with biomorphic progress, supply and curvy like veins of
volcanic ivy, one lavender arm aloft like a phallic spire from St. Sophia,
the burgeoning breasts firm and full like the balls of a sacrificial bull,
the other arm draped through Mercury’s sheet of time, through the limpid
mercury of the mirror face, relaxed in its liquid transcendence, both
arms a narcissistic engagement towards self-consciousness, the guts of
love now loosened in a distention towards the rolling sensuousity of
birth, an easeful musing on the soft paradigm of lust bursting forth
from the alienated stricture of chastity, yes, you have I chained
mercilessly to my coiled muscles in the crushing monotony of my desperate
perversions, shredding your succulent flesh like a frenzied lion a
gazelle’s gut in the farce of his final kill.

The virgin harrowed in glass, a gasp from death, breasts disengaged
in a Bosphorous blue, the droop of cancer-filled belly, and the face
behind the face the humblest brown death, the dried ejecta of a once
effluvial love, a glowing realgar dot of a hellish eye, the blot of a
forgone vision, dead sockets longing for the life that ponders them, the
mirror a tomb, the ultimate repose for the self containment that sex
unravels us from as surely as your lips paused before bitterly stroking
mine for the last, as absolute as your anxious eyes in their complete
disillusionment broken the course of my enigmatic promise to linger in our
shared mendacity.

Twist and shun this imaged demise before those calm, unblinking eyes,
and turn if only your musings toward me once again, or better, towards
the very-widening expanse of the fertile Thracian plain, its torrential
wars now becalmed by the grazing sheep pregnant with their clumsy progeny,
or best still must I forget as well as I have forsaken, must I be freed
not merely from you but from the regret of you and your reflection upon
the thin, opaline pane.

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The Lost City Revisited

Broken bridge, skeleton of conic breasts on slate blank sky-line,
observe this art which escapes each rape of a glance chance passes
between our thoughtless sighs:
View of NYC from the World Trade Center
Image of Atlantis heart flutters like a crack baby trembling under an oxygen tent, mind
roams like a homeless man pan handling for change on any corner; thoughts
as confused as the rummaged garbage, my debts honing down money like
hungry cocaine whores on any corner; lungs full of the thick sooted smog, eyes tear in the urine stench on any corner:
oh, Atlantis! This cancerous
ravine’s noxious nausea grasps our blood-sac-somas like HIV protein claws
clasping onto T-cell buds on any corner; the conflicted calls within my
skull kill against kill like the gay-bashings and race-slayings and
gang machine gun spray, the blight the self-hate like the incestual
child rape, like the rotting dripping flesh off every corner: oh, Atlantis! thine broken sewers the neurons of memory, thine wrecked roads the
transversals of time, thine abandoned walls the shields of democracy!

Monastery of myth, is thine maudlin maneuver as universal as this
particular kiss? While the simple mind finds a rest in the finitudes of
answers (go forward and do and pray to do! The non-symbology of the
pragmatist in action, the cold heat of deliberation manifested in blind
movement) but what is life and love but a guess

Sloops sail the spangled swill like slugs sucking through the shallow
sewer sludge beneath that upper lip, the bracing bridge, entwined
strands the scars of caresses, the cracks in labial flesh fold, the
tracings of temptations, sail the sleek sleep like slender sleds sedulous
through selachian sluices, seldom selecting selenite selves from the
sequined seltzer, slovenly sequacious they settle in circles round the
bridge staffs, beneath its cantilevers, like sentinels before a seraglio,
while their sheets slacken in unison to form unfolding sepals to stamen,
while serval traffic trespass sibilant above on the slim slope of shuttle
that commutes the conscripted from the swamps of Brooklyn and Indian
Manhattan, while seagulls like stylites pose on pillars before Stygian
sun, stooped to plunge into Silurian shoals the shallops shrug – Oh
Sibylline arc of the Siren’s smile! Shall I shrivel in this shrive before
the seneschal’s sickle slashes this corporeal shackle from my sifted soul?
View of several ships sailing under and around the Brooklyn Bridge in 1885

Image of man looking into a fogged mirror Disgust shields the monk as solitude silkens disappointment. In the
stinging aftershave of a fogged mirror, no love, so final possible
of two human conditions, no mythic comfort or distraction. The bland
business man before me must not give way to the maniac myth-maker, but
both must dissolve in the heat of individual obsession elicited by a
particular sensuous catalyst imbued in the fantastic dream of another,
for variation across individuals lends rise to universal illusions that
instill into humanity our only solution: an artifice born from the particulate.

Goodbye, Adieu. May you reach the repose your death demands:

Photo of Crane taking flight
Quiescent slow blue grey flap of wings
Photo of Blue Grey Crane wings fully extended uplifting from lagoon
uplift from the grim lagoon,

Image of hazy lagoon

the crane’s heart stops madly in startled ascent through humid frozen
haze . . .

10:30 PM 5/22/90

Photo of Hart Crane by the Brooklyn Bridge


Face of Hart Crane peering through the broken bridge

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Last Update July 8, 2005
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