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My Return to Genesis

My Return to Genesis

These posts and my blog are my second life as a poet/ playwright. Although I loved being a lawyer and starting the law firm, I have always wanted that second life.

Since March, I have grown increasingly despondent because the coronavirus has shut down the theaters and curtailed my evolving development. The quarantine made it darker, more claustrophobic and broke my heart. I stopped writing. I am too old now. I will never be what I had hoped to be.

But I have learned something beautiful. I returned to a sonnet cycle that a friend of mine suggested we write years ago. Both of us wanted an artistic life to be jumpstarted. Back in the mid-1990s, I didn’t have the courage to do it myself, so we began to exchange sonnets. This was the beginning. The Genesis.

The sonnets I have been posting these past few weeks are from that 1990s cycle. I went back to the beginning, and I want to say thank you to those that have given me a second life that I now better understand.

Although I love seeing my work performed, I have discovered that what I love most is creating, writing, and the discovery that entails. I delayed forever, but I owe a duty to Elizabeth Bishop (poet) and William Alfred (playwright, and my tutor), both my professors in college. They are gone now but the thank you is not too late.

From the start, they, along with Candace, my friend, taught me this real joy of discovery.

The Fireplace
(A Sonnet)

With two cords of hardwood stacked by the door
I’m ahead of winter again this fall.
All these years with no spark, no central core.
My art? To fortify’n avoid it all.

At Mount Auburn, my friend Candace and I,
Last winter, about this time, decided
To write a poem each week’n agreed to try
For e-mail delivery to the other by

Monday morning, coffee time. We would do
Fifty-two: Deadlines to keep us to it.
Miss Bishop and Professor Alfred too,
I hope these make you proud. Last night I lit

A new fire in an old fireplace
And dreamed I’d warmed your hands and touched your face.

For Father’s Day – Shaving My Father

For Father’s Day – Shaving My Father

(From the draft I wrote the day after my father’s death at 104.)

This is the last small room he will live in.
Every day I visit him at 4 O’clock.
We balloon the room with our forgiveness.
“Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.”
“Not funny for a man this close to death.”
We share what only dark humor can express.
The Marx brothers, for both of us, are the best.

The men are waiting outside the door.
The electric razor hums in my hand
As it cuts along the cheekbone and the neck
Like a harvester on pre-Winter land
Across the snowbank of white paper skin
I harvest thistle from earths intellect.
They zip their bag shut but leave without him.

I really miss him on the holidays.