The rust-colored brick tenements
testify to the city’s history,
shifting masses of tenants
absorbed with daily drudgery,
jobs, errands, rendezvous.
Inside each apartment, walls
of mementos, souvenirs, prizes
down the long tube of lost memory.

It’s a precipitous fall into desolation,
a short fall into mistakes and error.
Those who have risen from the scene
into another, richer life, look back
to where their parents and siblings
are immobilized, prisoners of inertia.

They feel there is nowhere on earth to go,
but joy is there at times, out of the doldrums.
The silence of the aching heart
pulses with anticipation, with hope.
No one can dampen the enthusiasm
of the truly alive, yearning for a lucky hit.
There is a sense of relief and a future breath
on a rooftop, staring down the setting sun.​

Selected byRaymond Hufffman
Image credit:Daryan Shamkhail

I work with words, sounds and images to come up

with combinations that hopefully do justice to Socrates’

maxim of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

I do believe that the voice is a necessary part of the

full poetic experience, along with music and movement,

even if it’s a movement of the hands or eyes.