Saturday, February 25, 2006

This is the first poem I wrote after Hurricane Katrina changed my life.

The Next Day? (A Storm Poem)


By yielding overcome

By bending remain straight

By emptying be filled

By breaking become whole

By losing gain…


Choose emptiness to find fullness

Embrace the formless to master form

Practice humility to attain greatness

Claim nothing to receive the bounty of the world

--Lao Tzu, from Tao Te Ching, #22 (traditional numbering)--


for Madame Katrina & for Gertrude Stein

What did I lose?


Did I lose?

Did I loose.

What did I loose?

What did.

I lose.

What did I?

Lose loose.

What did I loose lose?

What did I lose?


I did


Did I lose.


for Michael Stipe/R.E.M. & Adrian Belew/King Crimson

A way not to look at it

& a way to look at it.

A way not to think about it

& a way to think about it.

A way not to talk about it

& a way to talk about it.


for Liz Waldner & Dylan Thomas

Did I gain? Could

I have gained?

Would I do it? Who

could do it? Pained


did it.

Did what? Painted

what picture of hell?

Descent into water?

Fall into what well?

Did I


Lucky. Lucky? Was

who lucky now storm

is over. Past blows

are over. That form-/



Flowered? Not yet; soon,

I think. I swooned yes, yes-/

-terday. Who is someone

(within, without, with none), yes

no one no



for Emily Dickinson

A something happened. It

happened to me. I saw

it, felt it enlarge my

horizon. My eyes &

ears filled to brimming of

a monumental size.


for Miles & Tiffany & Robert

The next day, the next day,

The next day, the next day,

The next day, the next day,

The next day, the next day;

The next day, the next day,

The next day. The next day

The next day I awoke

to amazement on the

faces looking into

mine. The funny thing was

I was looking at them

with the same amazement.


for John Berryman & Liz Waldner

“Huffy Henry hid….”

From me. From him. –From Hen-

ry. My writing is rife

with quest(ion)ings, on(i-

on)/r/ings, goings on, on-

going abstractionisms.

–Keep it up; see what hap-

pens. See what hap ends; how.


Moss Point, Mississippi

days 9-10 a.k. (after Katrina)

(September 7-8, 2005)

Note: Lao Tzu lines adapted from Ray Grigg, page 89, The New Lao Tzu:

A Contemporary Tao Te Ching, 1995, Charles E. Tuttle, Boston.


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