Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Bees and BeeZees

—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Heat from plane trees
even the moist rain
on a slow run,
in the reed of my sax,
from scattering seed
for the Fall harvest,
three children
ask for ice in a soda
anything to be chilled,
only red balloons
in the sultry sky
thrill them in the pool
hearing dusty laughter
when out of school,
a tropical heat wave
plays on the A.M.
followed by
Granados intermezzo
along the Bay area,
heat from runaways
feeling out of reach
from the authorities
along the salty beach
searching for water
in Palm Springs
away from parental
two navy guys
sweating in tee shirts
forgetting golf
and baseball betting
board a sailboat
playing backgammon
and dominoes,
on a hushed morning
dizzying first light
on exiled flagstones
as an adolescent
orphaned by solitude
cruises for a date
with his solo guitar
under a wooden bridge
somewhere in July,
and a fevered poet
now muted
from this high humidity
and temperature
ever recorded
stares into a newspaper
with explanations
for the next hot war.


—B.Z. Niditch

Heat out here
on Cambridge St.,
the forecast
hazy, hot and humid
across the Charles River
near Harvard
to attend my niece's
but here I am
in ninety-five degrees
still standing
in the auto body
repair shop
in old dungarees
taking off
in my James Dean
sweat shirt
one of my presents
for my niece
with a tie to no one
listening to Coltrane
needing two beers
swatting hornets
who try to shout out
and outshout a poet
with an autographed gift
of my new collection
always late
but never standing
on ceremony.


—B.Z. Niditch

Reading about
the highs
here in the sauna
amid bare-backed lava
of my own imagination
climbing up
in the old snapshots
on a heated dawn
with a dawn's raw egg
of conscience
with terracotta pasta
after a somnambulist
stay of adolescence
in a daily nightmare
from hours of allusion
about a jazz player
in his Greek cap
along the Aegean
playing on an alto sax
over a coverlet of saints
and music sheets,
with a poet's jackstraws
in a wooden game
of skill and chance,
now drawing prints
of anemones
after snorkeling
on the Pacific's new wave
over the weekend
parking my motorcycle
on the sidewalk
with an interior light bulb
of sparkling dust bowls
that out drifts the past,
remaking new pottery
and jars from the desert,
not bartering for any
cold comfort
nor losing any noose
for art around my body
or whims of my soul,
everything is electric,
echoes of heated silence
in a jagged narrative
by my music stands.


—B.Z. Niditch

Your mother reminded
you were waved on
the ocean kayak, "The BZ"
your best pal helped build
or at camp
you played sax
even in the outhouse
before the flag raising,
or how your were
a perpetual runaway
from family storms
how you once upon
a time
wanted to be a cowboy
soap opera star
priest, life guard
when you helped
the junkie on North beach
get straight for that day
even though
he hand-wrestled you
for a dollar.

 —Photo by Michelle Kunert

—B.Z. Niditch

Forgetting time
and watching the birds
on the hammock
stretching out
after a three-hour drive
on curious highways
evaporating miles
having to fill up
by two gas stations
burning up the roads
through deep ravines
and sink holes
in the far country
near the Green Mountains,
aging is not easy
yet we wish to grow up
and leave the nest egg
like the blue jay,
my mother's sight
slightly amiss
like the moving hankie
on her red eyes
standing up
bent over against the wall
of hemmed-in
yellow roses
by the Japanese yews
and rock garden,
in her familiar frock
to greet the family
each one like a petal
in her planted garden
feeling confused
but still covered
with delicate
reflections of the past,
we go inside
and I play a jazz tune
on the keyboard
she starts to smile
which makes the trek
for all of us
and love's pure power
suddenly on me
recite a poem
on the better years
and breathe out inconsolable
pent up tears for words
we all receive.

—B.Z. Niditch

The geranium plants
gave way to the sunset
watching Funny Face
with Audrey Hepburn
you in a sing-a-long
for a ravishing time
no one answers
the bell or phone
or questions where
we are terraced
or traced
in the open air waves
from Cape Cod
in adolescent memory 
numbed by night
or what comes next
to amuse us
in mystery or illusion
of an indoor outdoors
season eased by light
and close to home.


—B.Z. Niditch

A hot shuddering night
in July on the Cape
a hot jazz piano
playing outside of us
in spells of our search
for metaphoric tongues
in music grooves,
line drawings,
composed sentences
in boiling blood of ink
at a deserted desk,
easier than harboring
these love letters
embarrassed at hiding
in a black book bag
you bought me
at the flea market
with a cooled ellipsis
of new poems inside
as in well-tuned spiky
yet impressionist words
embraced by ages
of melodious sentiment,
not backing out
of this verse
with white-out
in a pageant of pain,
facing your landscape
like two rain drops
blinding on the window's
now stained glass
on an illusive meeting
from a skinny dipped fate
on an unlimited narrative
intertwined to an ocean
mirror deep in blues
of memory.


Today's LittleNip:

 While digging up grass weeds around the bases of grapevines
         I couldn't help but think,
         Every "sacred" poet whether King Solomon or 

         Walt Whitman
         ought to have honored weeds along with grass of the field
         (I guess someone else did their gardening that they 

         didn't notice—)
         Indeed are there no poems dedicated to Nutsedge 
         nor the Crab grass, Bermuda grass, or Dallas grass?
         These plants' roots dig themselves down deep in soil
         so as to not let themselves be pulled out easily by hand  
         and act as viruses to proliferate their seed
         yet are still admirable in a way for their resiliency
         as if trying to take over a dull status quo
         Real intellect should be likewise culturally inspired...

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—Medusa, with thanks to contributors B.Z. Niditch (from back East, where they, too, are in a heat wave) and Michelle Kunert!

—Photo by Michelle Kunert
[Michelle has a new album of photos from recent 
Sacramento poetry readings on Medusa's Facebook page—
check it out!]