Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Past Is In These Boxes

—Photo by D.R. Wagner, Locke

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Silence on an early sun
leaving my bicycle
a basket full of boxes
page after page of poems
by the thousand-year elm
full of orange and red leaves
for a cooling uncanny run
covering the trails
with a quick insight
by the Blue Hill Falls
and haze of brambles
on paths full of blackbirds
echoing by the gazebo
on a shadowed shore
by refracted first light
on the home harbor
where my kayak
is in a seasonal absence
anchored to the sea's wind
awaiting the next summer.


—B.Z. Niditch

Cutting out early
with my boxes
of a sax-playing gig
running off
within the center
of the Big Apple
on crowded streets
taxi horns
scream by doors
of wild tongues
at the city
that never sleeps
gasping a jug of beer
by a 24/7
rundown pawn shop
my boxes fall down
on forty-second
all my secondhand
rosin bags
and fair-haired
country fiddles
given away cheaply
feeling my zigzag life
of a once teen runaway
makes me hard up
for one love's touchdowns
in this football season,
call up an ex
and a wonderful painter
now I'm a foreign body
in this abstract world
rev up a borrowed Harley
and take off.


—B.Z. Niditch

An acorn snaps
on your right shoulder
with diving butterflies
in neon and gold sparks
along the wharf's docks
here in a humming dawn
of the home harbor
taking out boxes
of friends' pictures
from Frisco and the Bay
like friendless leaves
taking you by surprise
gliding into memory
the past is in these boxes
reading love letters
as my golden retriever
does cartwheels outside
near the diving board
of my orange kayak
anchored at the shore's
wriggled edge
my mouth is sealed
except for song sheets
of Schubert's lieder
echoed by myself,
I'm picking up
large boxes all day
by this veiled seashore
even by Fall light porch
of a full sunshine,
knowing a Beat poet
keeps moving on.

—Photo by D.R. Wagner

—B.Z. Niditch

The air is cushioned
on a drowsy noonday
I'm here in the Sixties
with my boxes
full of my past life
from West Coast to East
by empty resting docks
now an injured hovercraft
rumbles out to sea
climbs from abysses
to a friendlier horizon
near white peaks
and you spy a swan
painted in the waves
feathers sailing
by a lost Spanish passport
plunging us to memory
on a coastal surface
printed on a daring back.


—B.Z. Niditch

My lips are motionless
by the last telephone booth
on earth
I have stored boxes
of books and plants
here at the bus stop
my friends are exiled
or gone to war
the Sixties are ineligible
for a moving runaway
even for a soccer pass,
flames from a houseboat
from a wood stove
float upstream
by a red-eyed runaway
losing her bus schedule,
Joey, a part time actor
from summer stock,
still hangs around town
in the dead mimicry
of winter on Cape Cod
the tattoo parlor guy
winds his bicycle
near the gazebo
for a frozen-in-smoke moment,
the pawn broker
eating lobster salad
darkens an alleyway
by the fish pier
to make a deal,
and a champion chess player
with a stutter
craving company
who cannot pay today's rent
slips an indifferent smile
to a woman in the wheelchair
who makes him a donation
for a meal at the fish shack.


—B.Z. Niditch

Restless as the wind,
I'm moving again
outside the bay
to a quieter place
emptying out boxes
of my bequeathed life
with notes from plays
and novel cards
written for the holidays
packed up my stuff
against the latticed door
thoughts now buried
as a cold sepulcher
by open windows
of still-fresh plants
as thistle gorse light
winks to me early
and a first rain
lets me in
on nature's laws
as intimate shadows leave
my cold limbs
with old work clothes on
preparing me to escape
miles of a new Fall
the sky has frost balloons
resembling sunken clouds
swarming by sky gulls
unearthed and moving South
and feeling boxed in
and out as a poet
on the road again
transporting himself
on a borrowed u-haul
with a suitcase full
of riddled proverbial words.


—B.Z. Niditch

A second glass
becomes grape ripe
one cannot forget
migratory streets
passages of melody,
myth or math
here in these boxes
like alembic distills
of lost memory
at the right hour
on the leaf jackets
spilling its secrets
singed by time,
these books of verse
signed with lips
of anticipation
burning through
historic and Doric
revolutionary times
on once-blind alleys
now here in this box
are foreign translations
or initiate tongues
of my poems
which still remember you.


Today's LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Glistening white counter-tile as backdrop for still-life of blaze-red and golden tomatoes in a ceramic bowl. You prepared lunch in the blender: mother-lode of healthy minerals with zucchini and chunks of bakers chocolate.
        Quick-pulse erosion as you pressed Ice-Crush. An eon in the annals of Tuesday: overload— electronic? psychic? plastic-fatigue? gremlin? Lateral blowout of the blender-jar, eruption of frozen chocolate lava, an unpredicted event.
        Chocolate-glazed everything, chocolate-lace curtaining your face reflected in white tile, caught in the wonder of how things happen. Lunch: clean-up; a photo in muted tones of autumn-fall. Disaster longs for Art.


—Medusa, with thanks D.R. Wagner for his beautiful photos, to B.Z. Niditch for riffing on our SOW: Empty Boxes, and to Taylor Graham, who writes that the Grahams had a Blender Incident at their home this week. Early Friday the 13th? See photo below. Yikes! 

Chocolate EVERYwhere...
—Photo by Taylor Graham