October 2017 – RIP

October ends with treats and tricks
With a day of managed fear
But Halloween has lost its kick
We are scared throughout the year

And while much today is abhorrent
There’s a beacon in the distance
It’s time to look to what’s important:
What to buy for Christmas

But worry does not apply to all
For some holiday angst is over
There are those who took the Fall
And left us in October 

Tom Petty is free fallin’
Let go and became unmoored
Fats Domino done with walkin’
All is silent on the Ninth Ward

Grady Tate hard bop drummer
Connie Hawkins out of bounds
Scott Putesky, Marilyn Manson strummer
Bunny Sigler – seventies Philly sound

Maria continued her devastation
Due to lack of prompt relief
He still thinks it’s a separate nation
The band plays on –  “Fail to the Chief

Giant fans mourn Y.A. Tittle
While reliving every pass
Try to bring him back a little
With the iconic photograph 

Richard Wilbur met with peril
The Pulitzer people liked his stuff
Not so much Randall Jarrell
“Never goes too far but never far enough”

Dave Bry who wasn’t done yet
His book title is its best line
A Man Grapples With Regret
One Incident at a Time

The Dubliners’ Eamonn Campbel is “the late”
Seven Drunken Nights” their biggest hit
What would the song be for number eight?
My Wife Left and Took the Kids”?

Al Hurricane made thirty records
Godfather of the New Mexico Sound
Robert Guillaume, was anyone better
Bringing dignity where little was found

Fallout shelter – that ominous sign
Which we’ve been thinking of lately
His design fits these times
Goodbye Robert Blakely

How could I not mention
The star of the Tokyo Zoo?
Grape-kum, a Humboldt penguin
Who stared all day at Hululu

Who was sort of a penguin too
Anthropomorphic animation
If you were caged up what would you do?
Oh the power of sublimation

An artist, writer and activist
Amy Chiang died of cancer
Suffering – she had a match for it
Poetry was her answer

          still walking
          all hours of the day
          the streets of this city
          of my birth;

          Chinatown, the Lower East Side,
          And East Village my home.
          wind, sun, rain, snow sleet —
          elements against my open face
          still alive.


I am writing a poem a day throughout November in an effort to raise funds for The Center for New Americans. You can pledge an amount and find out more about the great work of this organization by going here.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *