Author: steeleweed

Sorting through

Sorting through the collection of our lives
having decided on
a rummage sale of the soul
we gaze curious and disremembering
on joys and pleasures
pricing them by whim
til all are sold.
We will not sell our pain
at any price.


Time is the burglar to whom we all
open our doors. Casually
we watch him
rummaging through our lives,
examining with his commercial eye
our lives
bits and pieces that are
our lives.
What a puzzlement when he chooses
inconsequential knicknacks
we haven’t looked at in years.
What fear when he scrutinizes
a cherished heirloom of our past,
polished religiously, kept in a place of honor.
What disappointment
when he tosses it aside.
“Take it!”, we want to scream,
“It’s important!”.
Expressionless, he looks at us
and shrugs.

What if

decided to ?
shit ?
in the middle of Fifth Avenue
& 57th Street.
At High Noon.
On a Monday. Imagine
thousands of bare
on the State/state of the world
(and commenting on 5th Avenue and 57th St.)
and making their comments on
5th Avenue
and 57th Street.

I wake up

I wake up in the middle of the night
speaking bad French or mediocre German.
I don’t speak French at all
except when I’m asleep
and little German
at any time
except when I’m angry.
When I’m very angry
I speak Russian.
When I’m absolutely enraged
I shit in English.
there I was
being philosophical in French
and my philosophy
(my French being what it is)
Or rather, it remained unexpressed,
like anger and love and other
things I could mention.
Sometimes I think I do that
deliberately – philosophize in French.
It reminds me how much is
in any tongue.


I urge my roses on,
coaxing reluctant blooms
from bad-tempered stalks.
They naturally resent it and impale me
every chance they get,
but I’m afraid if I left them alone
they’d never bloom again.
What a shock to find one wild in the woods,
covered with a carpet of flowers.
In their own good time…

Still life

Still Life with Lemon
with sour grapes and rue,
with sorrow and tomorrow and you,
with choices
buds never to flower,
an unpassed past,
the future always in the future,
and no Today. No
Living still

They say they care

They say they care, and cynic those like me
who doubt that they are very much concerned.
And then they die and do not care again.
I have seen a thing to haunt my sleep:
Eyes that mourn, in a face too proud to weep.