A Letter to my Parents


I had a cigarette and a soda on the deck with both of you tonight. We sat on the deck and I swear for a moment a saw the two of you. Time really stopped there, for a moment. I pictured you daddy, sallow skin and sea eyes, looking at for me for a moment, while I studied the two of you. As I sat there, on the deck, a clear night with tousled hair and a satin strappy blue gown, one strap off my shoulder.

Ma, you still had that crazy papers look in your eyes. Looking at me like you would a dog with three legs and patches of hair fallen out. A sympathetic gaze. Sort of, with a tinge of hostility. We could have lived an eternity together and you still wouldn't understand me. If I even understand myself.

Hey dad, remember the time we walked Sheepshead Bay together, on a cold January day back in the early 70's? We drove there in your brown duster, smelled of Lucky Strikes and day old coffee. I had a small knit cap on my head and a blue vinyl coat. Funky look, like predeveloped Starsky and Huthch. I remember we saw floating tires on the shore and I wondered where they fit into the ecosystem. It was so cold I felt a tear falling down my cheek, unaware that the cold could do that to you, but aware, cognizant that I would have many tears. The shit kids remember. Why didn't you call Tuesday nights at 7:00 when you said you would? I still look at the clock on that night and at that time, now at 40, and feel sad and abandoned, sure that if you knew that that time, on that day for the rest of my life would be a sore spot you would have put the race sheets down and stopped muttering aqueduct raceway and called. Perhaps you would have stopped fucking Abby and made the call.

I fell in love a few times and it never worked out. They say I can write. I still like the water. I take my Zoloft every night and wait for the stream of sleep to wave over me like the water brushed rubber tires on the shore. Never bought a lottery ticket. I remember our last father's day together, when you left the hospital, your IV, your guilt back in the hospital bed and put yourself together and dragged your medicated ass to see me. I bought you a small cake with black and white men's dress shoes; you know the kind you never had. I married someone that looks like you. I had a small change purse that was red plastic and was in the form of a mouse that I got from the hospital gift shop. I guess my mother bought it for me as I waited for you to come down for our come visit me before I die afternoon. I hated that change purse, but I wish I had it now.

Sometimes I feel very lost. Not your fault but I don't understand men. I somehow wrote my graduate theses, I struggled a long time without it and finally abandoned it, so frustrated that I felt like driving to my thesis director's home and tossing all 132 pages of it on his lawn, expecting that he would call me and appreciate my artisan temper. Didn't do it though, no balls.

I remember the day you had the blowout with Carol, asking me at six in the middle of our urban renewal housing apartment, so many square feet per person apartment, if you could take the radio. What the fuck?

Some days I am a mess, disordered. I cook you know. Collect small porcelain dogs. I do math in my head, counting years, struggling to get the days and times right. Some days I just sit and stare off, whishing I was home again, me feet buried in cheap shag carpet. Eating marshmallow scooter pies and watchching the Flintstones. Waiting for the turtles from Woolworth's to move. I remember we had these little powdered drinks that I would mix up. Delicious.

I haven't gone out to see your grave Carol. Why bother? I have no reason to visit, didn't when you were alive so what is the sense now? You know, I donít want to get into a battle with you, as even though you are dead I can't win. It always bothered me that you never had pictures of me around the apartment. Was I so much work to dust? I often tell the story about me cleaning out your life after you died and finding that well worn book you had entitled "How to be A Parent and Like it." Bet you wished you threw that one away so I wouldn't find it. Certainly gave me pause to realize that before I descend into sod I better get rid of my porno's, secrets and shit so my kids don't have to shake their heads at my gravesite. I thought I was in love a couple of times, that feeling like you are levitating off the bed while they are in you, as you wonder why life doesn't have a pause button like technology.

I have many conversations with you both, wondering what I would say to you if we had five minutes. Probably wouldn't bother to tell you all of this, how I run to fill prescriptions to make sure I don't run out. How I am inconsistent in laundry practices, sometimes it is sorted and other times all the white socks look pink. How I overstuff the garbage can and scream at everyone else about it. How I can spend hours putting on eye makeup and taking it off. That is the shit you missed, my quirks, my desperate in the middle of the night phone calls. We have hardwood floors and they are a lot of work with four dogs. I am sorry that I bought a white kitchen floor but it looks nice when I clean it. I send out letters without proofreading them. I sometime never fill out the amount enclosed on a utility bill. Why should I have to?

I have to go now; I have a sleepless night ahead of me, in front of the 54 inch blue screen. Nice chatting.

Fall, Just the word itself


Fall, Just the word itself.
In every season, in every year.
That I care to remember,
I can remember a fall.

It is this time of year, that I remember starting school.
Every year, fall, another school district, fall.
Falling and falling into fall, the bottomless pit.

These days I catch myself from falling and being consumed,
By this stranger and instigator, we call fall.
This fall is different; I am not going to fall,
Rather I am going to watch nature, and accept
The falling of the leaves.

Nature seems to know how to handle fall, and
Nature is determined to see it through.
The climate, fall is a matter of science, to
Fall and get up, in fall and other times,
Is an art.

I have written this poem


I have written this poem
A thousand times in my mind
Working it all out
Over and over.

Sometimes on one of the I90's
Driving to a destination
It all becomes so clear
Presents well, broadened visage
New horizon, where I feel courage

Sanity as well
I muse as I drive, thinking
About my weak days, that
Lasted 36 years.
Do the math, many days.

It is kind of amazing
How two people, whose DNA is so closely assembled

Can grieve; mourn one death so differently.

This experience we call grieving is also fortune as something
Else, perhaps it is intimacy revealed.

To grieve requires intimacy
Comfort, comfortableness and
Oneís ability to stand emotionally naked
As I imagine death requires.

I hugged you today


I hugged you today, I felt you
For a moment, I was able to forget how you hurt

I held you and pressed you to me, maybe forgiving
Maybe starving
I don't quite know

It really doesn't matter, it isn't that important
To dissect
Operate and conceive the meaning of every little thing

I hugged you today
That's all.

I look back


I look back, briefly on a spring like
Winter day
The weather and sky a gift to soothe a broken
Have a cup of tea, perhaps orange to soothe
Kleenex for tears, as I carry my
repair kit to fix those mascara smudges.

I slept poorly and heard your words
In my head
Another cup of tea
Losing myself in those leave, elixir

Hurts to care, hurts to love and pain to
Remember. On those frosty days, remember
Those warm touches and caresses
On a hot day I remember the passion and
Heat, of his weight, his body. Eight months,
The birth of a heart, passion, eight months,
Premature delivery but with enough
I will come to flourish.

I think often, in solitude


I think often, in solitude
How I don't think of you often
And I find relief like tonic being cut by bitters

I don't miss you telling me what I think and how I feel
And I don't
Miss you saying "thank you" after they have spit in your hat
Proclaiming that it fits even better now

A mastery, talent, spideresque web that you wove
Employing every needle
With every knot and turn and grind
So tight
Rung as if you are getting burns on the palms
Of your hands-correction
My hands

I usually like people


I usually like people, but
I see I have little tolerance
Today for some.

Little black girl, whatever
Your age, I know your kind
You want to be part of mainstream. Secretly
Angry you
And black.

Standing in a cafeteria line
Sampling everything in your cheap clothes.
Holding up
White progress, looking cheap and amateur

You catch my eye, as I
An visibly staring at you
Disgusted by your animosity
contempt for all that is

I glance over at you,
And see that you catch my
Judgmental stare.
I don't care, I know your
Cheap shoes and designer handbags.
Expensive lipstick and knock off cologne.

In pen and pencil


In pen and pencil
I find myself lining it all up
As I write my knuckles, stiffen
And my shoulders raise tense

Under dim light, transfused
And transfixed
I get close to the
Paper as possible, in content

Mechanics surprise as I learn
That my words in pen are shadowed by those in pencil

Just as a surgeon, with delicate hands


Just as a surgeon, with delicate hands
I must cut a new way
Lucid memories, vivid transactions
Of people whose hands greatly splintered
Required my tender fingers to tweeze.
I too, mass, human, frail, weak, strong,
Pass through the illumination of decades
Of past, present and future.
For what I had done yesterday deserves
The Grace that I live in today,
A reflection of tomorrow.
For only if I had a shiny penny
For every calm
And a nickel for every bit of strife
I would still have no wealth in anything
Other than myself.

No Title-Just a Memory


In the middle of nowhere
At no particular time
I can be brought back

Memories, shaken
Of Antiseptic and Aramis
Days spent in Sterile spa
Wondering if you would die

Sometimes I think I see you
And then reality
Like plasticine in fire,
Cosmos and meteor dance

All of those feelings
Scattered throughout my being
Stirred and rounded like leaves caught
In a small wind

How time can go so quickly, yet draw slowly
Like thickened bike
Memory that is opaque
And feelings, translucent
With tears that are burning scarred skin



Romance, feelings, oppression and
Such a mixture, a cocktail
Spring is coming in as I come
Into myself

I wish I had completeness
And wholeness an academic and
Intellectual intimacy, physical to

I relish in your flesh, my memory
Of your touch as I know it is
Possible to feel and receive
Your midnight pleasure.



There was a small bird in a small cage. Her wings were clipped, and her feet tied. In her mind, she was far, far away and she could fly.

The small cage, which housed her, was inadequate. She urinated on the newspapers strewn on the bottom of the cage, wanting to read the words. She could not read anything, because she was forced to destroy it.

Large hands, with pellets would drop food from the top of the cage, onto her. Those pellets hurt, hard and fast, against her smooth feathers and thin skin. After some time, she didn't feel the pellets attack her, and when she did, she became numb to the pain as she ate to survive, and sustain.

The bird saw other birds, in her mind. She would look across the room, at a small crack of light and gravitate to that light, as if it hypnotized her. That light, the small bit that it was, was everything to her. The light was her warmth, from across the room, and a glimpse of bright power. When she was brave, she would frantically jump up and down, with her feet tied, hoping that the cage would somehow move towards the light. And never did. In her mind it did.

People would come to see the bird, and if she performed as expected, little masterful tricks, she was rewarded. The reward was her being able to stay in that cage. I guess. When she wouldnít perform, her cage was ignored. The stench of urine would overcome her tiny lungs, and coat the bottom of her tied feet with a paste like coating. Her food, once whole morsels were also covered with urine and feces.

The bird slept most of the time, as an escape. She would remain awake at night, and fake sleep if necessary during the day, so nobody would approach her to "play" during the day.

The bird really couldn't fly, or walk or jump. But she could sing. Ever hear a bird sing with their mouth closed? I don't suppose so. But she could sing and she did.

The bird died in the cage, but everyone thought she was pretty. They thought she was alive. They made it so she was. They propped her small lifeless body on the splintery stick, and would say, "Oh, she is just resting."

The Borrowed Farmer


What is must be like to be a borrowed farmer?
To sow seeds, on land that you won't see every morn.

The farmer, and his hands, both his and that of his team
Must work feverishly to adjust methods to yield a hearty crop.
This team, compare it to the storm, underfoot, of wild horses tamed
During daylight,
That gallops through all conditions.

The borrowed farmer, has gotten his hands and feet wet,
Must return to his own farm and continue to till and plow his
Familiar land.

The farm hands, and other laborers stare outside the window
And wave till he is our of view, to turn back
and drink with one man short, while looking at the one cup
sitting on the cobblestone well.

The Easter Bunny Loves Me Too


Growing up in projects, I could see
That Christmas, Easter and Valentines Day was for me,
My father said, "Good things come to those who wait"
But, the bunny, St. Nick and Cupid were always late.

Springtime, Easter, birds and trees
Rabbits, flowers and bees,
Hardly penetrated concrete walls
The city so dirty, with expensive malls

Wait patiently because the Easter Bunny never forgets
While my father secretly struggled, many regrets
Bunnies and candies for Janie and Sue
But how would you feel if the Bunny brought nothing for you?

And about St. Nick, who was also late
Standing by the tree, only to wait
Joseph will marry Mary
There is room at the Inn,
My father waited for work, so his shopping could begin

Valentines' foiled candy
All dressed up in red, feeling dandy
Flowers and admirers plenty,
I didnít receive anything until I was twenty.
As I grow older,
The chip smaller on my shoulder.

Now every year St. Nick, Cupid and Bunny are on time
No expense spared, as in this rhyme.
I know the Bunny real, real well,
And he brings everything that the store might sell
Candy for Tabby and Toys for Ted Jr.
Oh that Bunny can't wait, they wish he was here sooner

And what does the Bunny, Santa and Cupid bring me?
New memories with my children made under my tree
And what does spring have in store?
A mother who enjoys every shopping chore
And you may wonder about my relationship with Cupid?
I have found that in loving your children, you realize that
Celebrating holidays isn't stupid.

The inefficiency of efficiency


The inefficiency of efficiency
Has gotten my attention

All of this preparation, details
Magnificent sculpting and coiffing

Where you find pristine condition
And mental sharpness.
How vulnerable it is to be
Inefficient, just inefficient
Making lasting mistakes
And finding delight in
Creative spontaneity

I've trained over and over,
The intellectual decathlon
Finally giving up on unrealistic
Premise that planned
Plans are as good and necessary as rubber sheets at 2:00 AM

Two of You


I served my time, painfully
Moved around like a bag of dirty laundry
That nobody wanted to wash.

I used to hear the words of a song
and they sang of only freedom.
I am free as a bird now
Today I know it was to protect you, not me.
Both of you, not me.

Moving, lying, as I stare into the bell jar,
An emotional vacuum,
Where you single-handedly, yet in unison sucked and
destroyed dreams.

I speak to both of you,
Of both of you
With equal calibrated measure of contempt and malice.
My sword found in word is never bold as your deeds.
Still hurt, I am charitable.

Both serving their sentence, together,
Yet apart.
How sweet it is to taste the sugar of victory,
To revel in every pillar of salt
As it falls on the floor,
As I did, but you never cared.

Viewing Hopper's work


Viewing Hopper's work about the
Over exaggeration of loneliness
Gazing outside a picture window
Large, massive and sullen
What separates me from the world.

A city, defining image,
Ecstasy in height and carbon
Pollution and consumption

Not different really, two people,
Enjoying parallel lives
Perhaps parallel performances
I don't know

What separates you from me
Is fear, facts and responsibilities
What separates me from you is
Time, distances, 45 months of
Expectation, deliberate
Silence, expectation.

Our two paths - distant yet
So close, like magnetic field
Drawing us nearer. Despondent, you
Only communicating when
You need to with your charms
And passion filled dialogue.

I wait, trying to have you
Give way or another.

Walking on Dekalb Avenue


Walking on Dekalb Avenue, trains overhead
Soot and heat like angry clouds expelling gas and noxious gasses
We would walk down the long street. Most people fair skinned, or thin and pale, as if they immigrated from somewhere that is no longer on the map.

We would go into a bakery, large cookies, pastries and large breasted women.
Breasts that seemed in charge, larger than life itself reaching into the bakery cases, pulling out a cherry covered delight. Free of course.

We would buy a bread, maybe a specialty cake, not the whole cake but a few modest pieces and I would wait to see the magic of the string.

Spinning a yarn, tale or poem could compare to the art of the red and white cord like string that came from overhead vis-a-vis a bee hive like cone.
The women, immigrant nature, poetically, timed, ballerina like, graceful, commanded the cardboard boxes for the treats into soldier like statues awaiting morsels, napoleons, marzipan cookies, tarts placed like small infants in the womb.
The string. I was more fascinated by it than their breasts, my mother's brand of crazy, my father's secret heroin habit which everyone knew about, my grandmother's ability to weave half-truths into 'bet your life it's true what I tell you' bullshit.

It was methodical, theatrical and almost musical to see all of these women wrapping string around boxes in unison. With authority.
When we would get ready to leave, as I savored the remnants of the free flavorful cookie I would try to take it in, the string, the taste of Bavarian heaven, small talk, kindness in a cookie, the magic of a piece of red and white string that shoots out of a beehive ball from above.
To open the door, hear the small bells of 'Open for Business' knock against the door.

Go out fools with your boxes, the orderly containers in your disordered world.
Eat it up, as you are always going to be hungry for that free cookie, the sight of that string dance in the air, the red and pink glazed lips of old women's smiles, truth and noise of Dekalb Avenue.

When I count how many times


When I count how many times
I have locked and unlocked my office door
I suppose I could look back
And realize that I opened minds as well.

Through corridors and hallways
I have looked, I have seen
Lost people whose whole story
Could be seen in their eyes.

Perhaps some of the most difficult
Yielded the greatest rewards
And I will never take for granted
The enlightenment that I brought to

Writing you charming little stories of intimacy and passion


Writing you charming little stories of intimacy and passion
As if we are entwined in conversation together,
Communicating and connecting on some other plane

Passion, and intensity of my words,
My body and myself
My spirit and body is still empty cup waiting for you to bring it to your lips and realize that it is no longer full
Missing that fullness as you find it in my lips and breast
Feeling your head buried on my lap

Punished are we? Are you? We both have memory and position in mind
Of where we were, together clinging to one another like a stone close to shore
Clinging to life, soul


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The Wolfley Aberration is an ever evolving website as new items will be added and subtracted when time permits.

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