22 January 2011

McCarra/Poetry Reading Number Nine


what she loved about you was
the way you folded the

daily news and set it aside
when you looked at her, the

seven-and-seven in his hand
and Thurber's comic dogs

still capering on the wall for
all eternity, barely held at

bay by dowagers made of
curlicues, staid witnesses to

long-ago afternoons, the
ink fresh upon the paper,

words still unread

Because You Never Know

because you never know
what you might find--
keep your bag open to
receive those unwitting gifts
falling from heaven

heavy as rocks, weighty as
oranges arranged in a
pyramid, or, equally,
cardboard boxes, squared
and brown, at repose

in the closet, the accidental
words seeping from them like
jam from the jar, the
stickiness forcing you
to contemplate how it was

they were strung, one after
another, those pearls grafting
each to each, phrases awkward
as a foal, yet, somehow,
standing on their own


the only contstant, change, the
sureness of the seasons we

mark off on the calendar, careful
in our commemorations of those

unmarked dates, your birthday,
the driving rain that stopped

our shopping, the first and
last speeches graved on

the tablets of our memories,
dredged back to first-freshness

by a taste, a smell, a look,
the grey color of the sky before

snow, the particular groovings in
the cut of a key, cold in

the hand, the sound of it turning
an echo of others

New Eden

yes, to be sure, the other
side of the fence has

attractions, the magazine layout
cropping out the compost, the

chipping of the brickwork, some
less than sightly branches,
leaning, sickly, to the ground,
the chorus of sparrows waking one
from rest

....until all appears as a
new eden, the apples hanging,
rosy, on the tree, the sheen
of the page, pretty impossibilities,

still, so pretty to survey


the selection box of sweets,
each sweet word of yours coated

with high-grade confectionary, laced
over with script in darker
chocolate, thick with
corn syrup and chemicals, the
rainbow tints of candied
creams, gussied up with red
foil and cellophane wrappers

morse code of chocolates: sweets
for the sweet--a hundred
corny valentine's day jokes in
sugary reverberation
til the last mouthful is
swallowed down

18 January 2011

Reading at the Blue Door Gallery, Yonkers, NY

MaryAnn -- and others -- will be reading at the Blue Door Gallery's "Open Mic" in Yonkers, NY on Sunday 23rd January.

Location: Blue Door Gallery, 13 Riverdale Avenue (between Main and Hudson), Yonkers, New York.

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There is no charge, but they do say that contributions will be appreciated.

For more information: 914-375-5100

Email: info@bluedoorgallery.org

13 January 2011


here is the receipt for it
all, the paying out, the
words spoken, the words written,
the stamps licked, the books
bought (and read), the men loved (and
lost, too) the hundred thousand
tiny remembrances written down in
desk diaries: today I did, today I
went, the shoes for a
wedding, christening, burial (check
their heels for signs of wear) the
receipt for all consumed, the tea,
bread, butter, meat, vegetables

the time, too, consumed in blocks of hours,
eight hours, two hours, the commuting
hours of rain streaking down the
train windows and the collective sigh
when, stalled and darkened, newspapers
rustle in unison......we shall not
have this time back, it evaporates
as steam from the pot, as if it
never were

Hot Coffee

it will come to that
and better to face it
with force than to take
that other line,
pale, dreading
that telephone call or
this encounter, the
awkwardness of wooden blocks
as I stumble, thick-soled,
towards you, a pot of coffee
in my (hospitable) hands

better, so, to bite off the
matter with a smile,
after all the revisions,
indecisions, to drive a
stake through the heart
of the thing, looming large
in your mind, no greater
than a gnat

Last Chances

grasping, with the tips
of her fingernails to that
last, imagined chance, she
has the sensation she is
floating slightly above the
ground, so focused she is
on that long held ideal,

the elusive, eluding, winking
wolf who passes her in the
hallway, nips at her heels,
scratches at her door, then,
just as suddenly, gone.

missing his warmth, the
bulk of him, his eyes, but
not his tearing teeth, his
scratching nails

and last chances going the
same way as lost prayers,
written out and used as a
marker in a recipe book

Break Room

this day we mark, not so
different from all the
rest, yet it has candles, and
cake, and plastic goblets
of cheap champagne so harsh
it burns the throat, the
cake a slab of flour, butter,
sugar, eggs overlaid with
thickwhite cream graced with
fragile roses crushed by a
spork (no forks being
available) in the dim dark
of the break room, the
sad coffee-colored carpet
fraying under our feet and
she lifts her glass, yes, before
returning to struggle with the
copier, thrusting her hands
deep into the warmth of
the machinery to retrieve the
paper folded, fanlike, between
the rollers


to find the way out
is not so hard, the
blueprints having been kept
handy by the previous
owner, the markings on
the wood, beneath the
plaster, easily spotted
by your x-ray eyes--

and what will you do,
when free? what
indeed......his list, marked
out in curious characters, is
a mystery even to him,
the long riddle of his life
a scarf placed this way
and that, to ward off
the cold from around
the corner