Category Archives: woodside queens

Nirvana Lost

Nirvana: destroyed/
In a flood possessions/
Purchased to please me/

My limitations/
Provide boundaries I need/
To make me better/

Ev’rything I want/
Pale reflection of ego/
And paltry desires/

Happiness requires/
Limitations’ Acceptance/
And self-denial/


Haiku Journal DMV-Manhattan-Subway Edition

new york sattelite 1

Yesterday I went to the DMV to get a New York License. I was dreading the waiting, but optimistic about finally getting my bureaucratic life in some sort of order. (Next I will try to get a passport!) I write my journal haiku or senryu throughout the day and today’s rhythm gave me a lot of time to reflect on events. There were three things that happened yesterday and I think this is a good “haiku journal” entry, so I am vainly sharing it. (Sorry I can’t format this into columns this Morning)

39. Computers are out/
Metrocards demand money/
At #woodside station/

40. Tollbooth clerk covers/
Window with impotent signs/
Backs them with ennui/

41. Most are just angry/
Ancient immigrants can’t know/
“Why no traveling?”/

42. Clerk tries to explain/
To ancient Himalayan/
Of “system failure”/

43. Palms up and head down/
The clerk gives up on language:/
Universal sign/

44. Mercifully my/
Soggy cash is accepted/
By god in machine/

45. Kindly Latina/
Money’s rejected by god/
Of electric eye/

46. She’ll be late for work/
While desperately begging/
For a crisp fiver/
47. DMV start time/
For attempt at an ID/
12:20 PM/

48. Bureaucracy makes/
Life together easier/
(Not always nicely)/

49. Pallet of people/
From which DMV’s painted/
Beyond the spectrum/

50. I love New Yorkers/
In their peculiarity/
While being tested/

51. Done with first window/
At a painless 12:50/

52. Alpha-Numeric/
Computer-read tickets called/

53. Slow but efficient/
Workers execute their functions/
While we demand more/

54. Man with pompadour/
Speaks formal Urdu to wife/

55. New Americans/
Seem more adept at these lines/
Then those born right here/
56. Subway ride back home/
Walked vanishing Manhattan/
Past places ʇɐɥʇ were/

57. Manhattan changes/
It is no longer my place/
It’s for others now/

58. City Landmarks go/
New places: new memories/
Mine Evaporate/

59. Walking those same streets/
Without friends I once walked with/
I’m slowly erased/

60. Memories miss me/
Youthful, lustful, desirous/
I’ve outgrown ʇɐɥʇ self/

61a. That city belongs/
To ambitious desirous/
Not contemplative/

61a. That city belongs/
To ambitious desirous/
Not the satisfied/

62. Lovers on the train/
Hungry hands kept to themselves/
Eyes feasting on eyes/

63. Thus it’s ever been:/
Youth revels in its beauty/
While the old look on/



Independence Day

26. “Independence Day”/
A bloodless simulacrum/
Of revolution/

27. Liberty’s freedom/
Requires the diversity/
That allows greatness/

28. Accepting others/
As they see themselves creates/
Free Americans/

29. Freedom’s true greatness:/
Equality before law/
(Free from OPINION)/

30. My equality/
Erases historical/
Privilege of wealth/

31. Freedom is diverse/
Allowing independence/
For everybody/

32. Our diversity/
Is unimaginable/
To ideologues/

2 Sad Sights


In the last couple of months I’ve seen two of the saddest things. The first was the paralyzed squirrel that had spent part of the fall scampering around outside of Building 7, pulled only by its front legs. I guess someone must have been feeding it, maybe the nice lady who feeds the cats also brought something down for him to eat, because he was there for a few weeks or a month. The next to the last time I saw him was right by the service exit. He clawed his way out of the bushes and looked up at me as I was heading out with my bike to work, He paused and looked straight at me and I thought, “hope it gets better, you’ve been scrambling like this for a while.” I got on my bike and pedaled off, hoping I’d be able to stay un-paralyzed.
When I was walking Lucky later that day I saw the squirrel about 20 yards from that door pulling autumn leaves up around himself. It was like he was making a little bed by one of the trees he could no longer climb. I guess I knew he was dying then. But why the cover of leaves? DId he want to stay warm? Did he know he’s soon be somebody’s dinner? Did he want to avoid being dinner? The wind blew and exposed his nonparalyzed upper limbs and head and he quickly pulled some leaves back over him. I said goodbye, because I knew this was his end. I was kind of sad, but also happy that I was aware of this struggle for life in nature.

The other calamity I saw was on recycling day on the Upper East Side the day I went to the Whitney with Linda and Mary from California. I was running to the cafe that Lennox and Chandler were sitting at to bring the Calvin and Hobbs book I was carrying to them. On 76th street between Park and Lexington I came across a jumbo clear recycling bad that was full of maybe 30 Kodak rotating slide carousels. I had to know what the photos were of, so I tore a small hole in the bag and pulled out two slides from one of the slide-show carousels that people used to give slideshows before the internet made sharing and collating images so east. (I remember when one of my parents hippy friends came back from some exotic trip (Dan Deitz to Germany? Judy Geisman to India?) and we were all dutifully assembled to see one or two carousels of that trip with their commentary (as the adults got high and drunk). It was boring, though the images were interesting, as they got high and drunk the adults were less and less interesting.
The two slides I got were of Sofia Bulgaria. One was of the “Church Alex Nevsky” (that looked like a mosque), the other was titled “rush hour, Sofia” Both were lettered in sloppy fountain pen writing. I would imagine that the 10,000 slides in those thirty carousels were all also titled in fountain pen. Someone spend their life visiting Eastern Europe (& other places), taking photographs and editing them into slide shows. After each slide was viewed, labeled, carouseled the photographer-traveler, tourguide and slide-show purveyor would invite people to live vicariously though his travels.
Alas, he dies and someone put these slides to the curb to be recycled. What treasures of a life were in those bags? What treasures am I saving for Mason or Chandler or Lennox to throw to the curb some day? Nothing so exotic as a trip behind the soviet Iron Curtain. Sigh.

Non Urgent Emergency Room

1. The Q18 bus/
To Astoria E.R./
Afraid of Doctors/

2. Dirty bus windows/
Obscure the present future/
Adding foreboding/

3. I’m afraid of this/
Emergency room visit/
I’m afraid to say/

4. Injuries remind/
Me of my mortality/
This life is finite/

5. This bus ride: noisy/
Conversations of others/
Matter to speakers/

6. E.R. Clerks are good/
Working for creaky system/
Insurance stays paid/

7. Little girl bleeding/
Another casualty/
Of Woodside sledding/

8. Father holds ice-pack/
Doting on his brave daughter/
In accented love/

9. We’re all refugees/
From our usual sound health/
In the waiting room/

10. Concentration camp/
People Waiting for health care/
From indifference/

11. Mother & Son wait/
Hijab & Hip-Hop visit/
Injured family/

12. Nurse turns son away/
Says: “you can translate” winking/
Letting both enter/

13. Old man tells story/
Angling for pain killers/
Spurious details/

14. Facts shouted indict/
Hospitals, projects & clerk/
An expert patient/

15. Russians, Brazilians/
Jamaicans and the forlorn/
In “Camp Waiting Room”/

16. Bengali man’s scarf/
Worn like a scott-plaid head-wrap/
Burberry hijab/

17. Unfortunate day/
Spent in crowded waiting room/
Small, slow tragedy/

18. Wedding ring removed/
Gold dust in the hospital/
From cut wedding rings/


19. Got a shot for pain/
This dislocated finger/
Will be re-wrestled/

20. Ketorolac shot/
Burns while injecting my arm/
Kills the pain quickly/

21. Three left hand Ex-Rays/
With an overworked techie/
And no lead blankets/

22. The X-rays can’t say/
How bad my dislocation/
Or where my day went/

23. Tiny finger fracture/
And a hand surgeon visit/
The day crawls forward/

24. A blind mother dotes/
On a cute nauseous daughter/
Explaining unseen/

25. Bus heading back home/
Hand throbbing insistently/
Glad to be outside/


Sledding in Woodside Queens 2013

35. Sledding in Woodside/
With the people of the world/
Human gravity/


50. The snowy hillside/
In Woodside’s Doughboy playground/
Is peppered with fun/

51. Here Colombians/
Bengalis, Tibetans as/
Americans slide/

52. Snowy experience/
ReCaptured digitally/
Are sent to tropics/

53. iPad made movies/
Of happy Americans/
Are sent far away/

54. Woman with hijab/
Gucci covered iPad films/
Her smiling children/

55. Korean father/
Roars down the tree covered hill/
Ecstatically loud/


56. Mexican fam’ly/
Unloads children & their sleds/
Then tackle papí/

57. Americans all/
We enjoy democracy/
Of our acceptance/

36. Sledding with children/
Overshot my playfulness/
Collided with age/

37. Clenching rope handles/
Spinning beyond all control/
Damaged ring finger/

38. Regretting my ride/
Because I injured myself/
Shows a lack of faith/

39. Staying young inside/
More important than safety/
For immortal* souls/
#haiku *eternal

40. Aging bodies recede/
To within our comfort zone/
Abandoning youth/

41. Aches and troubles/
Of old immaturity/
Are truly priceless/

42. Youthfulness’s worth/
Though dangerous to old men/
Keeps their spirits fresh/

43. Adventure’s value/
Is an internal journey/
Exploring within*/
#haiku *our souls

44. The pains in my body/
Temporarily remind/
My mind I’m alive/

45. This throbbing finger/
Beats the rhythm of my heart/
Where I can feel it/

46. I regret nothing/
Because I’m educated/
By experience/

47. While I don’t like pain/
It reminds me I’m alive/
Here to live for now/


48. Wedding tourniquet/
The ring keeps my red blood in/
The heart of my life/

49. Ring’s Symbol becomes/
An active agent in life/
I cherish it so/


Lovers’ Lane’s Litter

49Ib. Lover’s lane litter/
“Super Sensitive: Bareback”/
(Cold the next morning)/

49Ia. Lover’s lane litter/
“Extra Sensitivity”/
(Cold the next morning)/

49II. Commercial lovers:/
Free-enterprise of desire/
(Fugitive feelings)/

49III. Anonymous sex/
Along the #Queens #BQE/
Satisfies something/

49IV. Industrial “love”/
Monetized sex relations/
Indict emptiness/

49V. Erection assistance/
Cialis chemically/
Does what lust can’t do/