Henry was brilliant; at least he had me
believing he was. He read at the Coffee
and Cruellers, the place with the sawdust
and peanuts on the warped wooden floor.
He offered a cupful of courage and got me
to read a few there. His poems were eclectic
perfectly pitched, quoting the classics but
lacking a pulse..clinically cold, like his kiss.
Mario wooed with his freeverse. Our poems
would make love to each other. He got me
to get on that last train from Philly on a three
hour treck to Astoria; the moon of Manhattan
smiling big in his bay window. One night we
drowned in tequila and Mario went on a two
hour rant about ‘the black and the brown, the
jews and the irish.” Hence, Mario wrote his
I met Paul in the city; we met on a lunch break
in Thompson square park. A boy from the Bronx
with the Mick on his Mantle. He was the unpoet,
Mr. meat and potatoes. But he’d print up my
poems and make heart poem collages for me.
He knew I loved birding; he gave me my first
“Field guide to birds,” just because. Paul was
the keeper; the one to come home to. The one
that still wakes before dawn, when the snows
blow at midnight, drawing hearts on my canvas
of car windows.
Perhaps Paul was the poet of all.