Poetry from Nothing in New England Is New
Location Is Everything
I am seated next to the bathroom door
in the very last row of the airplane.
The door doesn’t quite shut all the way.
This is the greatest day of my life.
A Salute to the Past
for Fred Condo
While driving north on I-287 through New Jersey,
I remember Fred who now lives in San Francisco
and has chosen sides.
It was the era of the bottle cap when men were men
and women were women which I guess you could
say about any era if you think about it.
I was only seventeen then, and other people
were other ages which was fine and all part
of the natural order of things.
Fred once said, “today’s cars are engineered
to get optimal fuel consumption at speeds much
higher than the posted speed limits.”
He said this in an exasperated fashion as if
it was the most important thing in the world.
I think of this and wonder if I am getting
my money’s worth in this mid-size rental car
as I drive the speed limit, not with fuel in mind
but, to avoid entrapment.
I only like to get tickets in the great state
of New York where my uncle the lawyer
can write a letter and make them go away.
I salute you Fred
from the other side of the country.
You have chosen well.
At Colby’s Breakfast and Lunch
The sign in the door says No Politicians, No Exceptions.
So I am here to report, America, that my only agenda
is to put coffee inside of me. My pledge to you, citizens
of New England, if you bring me eggs and anadama bread
I will put it directly in my mouth for the betterment of all.
My fellow morning diners, let me into your kitchen and
I will give you my credit card, as long as you promise
to give it back after conducting the transaction which
pays for my meal. The future is ours, Portsmouth.
God bless you, your mighty coconut, pancakes,
your vegetarian sausage. We’re taking back breakfast,
one vittle at a time.
Colby’s is slanted.
You feel at any moment you
and your breakfast might slide out
the front door onto Daniel Street.
Another sign says No cell phones, be polite.
I try to explain to the waiter I am just writing poetry.
He says it’s okay and tells us the story of the fist fight that
occurred when one patron was furious at a loud woman
on her phone at a different table. He doesn’t like it when
he sees a table full of people not looking at each other.
I spend the rest of the meal staring into Addie’s eyes
and hoping to God I can make the coffee into my mouth
Driving the East Coast
is miles of highway surrounded by forests
unlike in Los Angeles where the forests
have all run away from the freeways
like frightened little dogs
At Anthem Kitchen and Bistro, Fenueil Hall
Tonight we will sleep
in Providence where they set
the river on fire