Thursday, July 23, 2015

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


He painted daylong
in the ash can school
flicking his dotty cigarettes
by the yard
where we play bocce
in the fresh air
kicking the ball
and he not being cynical
to children at all
but cool when I was at ten
one afternoon
he was doing a red pattern
with geometric shapes
of Manhattan
on his spread out canvas
listening to jazz songs
from his radio in the sun
the principal wondering
if he were alcoholic
what a teacher called "sick"
one day
we were told to stay away
yet he was draped
in his drip dry cape
and friendly to me
in every way
learned later the fact he was
the abstract expressionist
Jackson Pollock
who soon became famous
here in Greenwich Village
in my own bailiwick.


In the clearing
a breath of summer
on the sand castle
by a sleep house to rest
bonded on living hands
in blankets and tents
by a shivering eventide
away from the boardwalk
near a landscaped watering hole
listening to the gulls cry
searching for bread
in the high tide surfaces
of wandering souls
near a hospital ship
docking for a rescue at shore
asking for wisdom
without complaint
as unhooked runaways
cruise waves like blue fish
expecting a twice lived time
of a surfer's endearing love
amid the shadowy sea
between deck chairs
on the vagrant gazebo
and a still caressed sky
full of songbirds
by fragrant sunlight days
as a poet dives in between
the docks of passing boats
with good sound approaches
and weighed from memory
from jazz notes floating
in scales and in these words.


Reaching out on my pad
when everyone is sleeping
hearing a few birds
in the alley way
of my old Manhattan building
it's July's restless fleeing
of star dust out to the suburbs
in a whistled pace of time
chance handing me
an Indian summer shirt,
towel and snorkel
as an angel neighbor,Gertrude
puts me in a better mood
lets me borrow Stan's telescope
questioned in an all night hope
of a Beat poet
heading for the gazebo
to hear the steamships dock
on trained ears Staten island gulls
circling over rocking waves
flying by tree branches
in the humming bird morning
my pea jacket shadow leans
over an uncertain kayak
in the silhouetted wind
embracing dawn's flight
of open city grackles
trail me in the waters bush
near the outback rivers
to sway to smooth jazz
playing as my collected words
always return alive
in these hallways
from a rush to my memory.

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