Monday, April 07, 2014

Sheer Poetry

Gears from a printing press owned by
Robert Dickover
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA and 
Photos by Katy Brown, Davis


In paper mâché letters
with invisible ink
pronouns and consonants
in grammatical form
do an uplifting dance
to jazz's dissonance
in confidence of spring
under a Monday sun
shining like crocus
yellow and purples,
my sax in focus
playing as a chameleon
at all landscape hours
near the Bay's edge
with new tunes
improvised as knowledge
as a skate boy and girl
bring me flowers
for my window sills.



Staring at a Van Gogh
print this spring
in the Metropolitan
on a still life room
even the lights
must be exhausted
here in New York City
they once traded you
for francs to survive
during the war
now I have located you
Van Gogh,
but will no one forget
your nature landscapes,
ready to take my leave
amid gray squirrels
and spreads
of biting fresh air
for a quick repast
and picnic in Central Park.



That impalpable sun
breaking under an aura
of many-a-year Evergreen
glances on
my poem bench
with distillations
among the Fall foliage
by Mr. Harvard's statue
along the Charles River
loses us in idleness,
students with art books
wait for their mates
by tall grass shadows
for the annual regatta
our minds bend
to pace our boat lines
of rowing passages
farther out to the ocean
in currents of our time
under uncounted rays
in our double lives.

Metal Stuff


With the copper sun
on our hammock
it did not take us
long to focus
on singing intervals
of sea grackle voices
turning our eyes
over my old kayak
by a reared-up shore
of blue sashay waves
more numerous
than water rings of fish,
making mirror moves
over our quiet crew
sizing up the Northeaster
cacophony of damages
from all our sailboats
now sinking in on us
yet we brush away
any churlish worries
by the coastal deck
as once flood waters
migrated on an Arctic
winter's wind
toward the cruise ship
we call Noah,
drinking in
a wavering world
secluded on the Bay
by our own nostalgic
cover-ups and secrets
of how to land
on coal-grey waters
over nearly drowned
tourist canvas bags
rods and tackles,
as we slowly pass by
The Life of St. Francis,
a lobster boat
hooked in oarlock
as ocean shadows
jostle us
by the home harbor,
a mendicant artist
we call Angelo
huddles on board
the leafless deck
keeping out of storms
in a monkish blanket
crouches on first light
wishes me strength,
draws from his covenant
of abstracts, portraits
or his stonework mobiles
suspended in currents
of beach air,
always asks
this poet for a title
for his latest abstracts,
or dazzling sculpture
as if were a surf cutter
of treasured rock,
I'm handing out
a groundswell
of illumined verses
for he translates
in ancient tongues
then captures them
in a sunset flair,
keeps a vigil
over the creative sand
by shivering reefs
off the Cape.



The unloosed viola strings
at my soundproof studio
hang on like clouds
with an outside glance
on this windowpane
preparing for my recital
at Aspen, 2000
when Fall foliage
was at its visibility
wishing to be
a decade younger
in colorful puffs of snow
like music notes
as floodlights action
always follow us
from the airport
to the concert hall
by tall orchestral trees
in a choir of songbirds
and departing gulls
in full day recital
of nature's
own sight-reading.



Not for a moment
to guess my future years
in the late '70's
here kicking
bottles, syringes
down a side street
once in an avalanche sun
of snow white,
now dusted
in a fog's haze
wearing his pea jacket
missing two buttons
on an April fool's night
when a somnambulist
silent with half-closed eyes
carrying a pawned sax
gloved in a haze
of sheltered blues
shows up here
by a musical haunt
as motorcycles and cars
sweep by Bay woods
now filled with jonquils
paces the dark club
toward this first gig
on Monday nights
for new talent,
a pacifist only armed
with his alto voice
to jam from a red eye,
improvisations break out
shielding all sights
by the lidless door
as budding sounds
over augmented notes
shine higher than waves
by the ocean outside
from unfinished songs
his fingers open riffs
on a furtive hour scene
by struggling exchanges
tangled by mystery
embedded in lips
burning like piles
of coal and fire.



We have been lost
at sea
on long winter days
watched the snowfall
from French windows
along blue hills
bathing on birches
in rough sprawling
shade buries the past
when household cares
vanish by sunshine
and early light silences
move veined clouds
as orphaned shadows
begin to open up smiles
we are like parchment
wishing to write italics
or splash our initials
as reverie on day skies.


Today's LittleNip:


Two brass candlesticks
from a winter in Grenoble
slides on
a fresh velvet table
as light in blue smoke
on an ancient tablecloth
from my exiled family
rests by pale anemones.



Flying press, as it is being moved
to its new home after Robert's passing