Three Poems by Richard Bloom

Dear Larry Levis

Every forty minutes, the baby birds cry out for food.
Their beaks wide open,
Their throats, pink and red, like the throats of flowers.

If a berry drops from their beak, they can’t pick it up.
They’re just like the old people at the Hamilton Senior Center.
They can’t feed themselves, either.

And when the baby birds are satisfied, they no longer cry.
The flower of their desert colored throats close.
They puff out their scanty feathers.

What happened to their parents? They’re always better off with their parents.
Now I guess, I’m their mother.
Dear Larry Levis, my spine remembers wings.


Ballet in the trees

The sky is a washed-out blue.
The grass, a sickly brown.
The un-raked leaves crumple
like first drafts tossed in a waste basket.
I sit on the porch steps and watch a spider
pull one long strand of silk from
gutter to rainspout.
The soil in the field sleeps,
wanting warmth for the coming winter.

The trees are but half bare. Beside
the golden sycamore in my neighbor’s yard
stands a red maple. Its’ scarlet leaves
diminish the frail gold.
The sycamore is Diaghilev.
The maple is Nijinsky.
One says to the other: “Astonish me.”


Dust and baseball

I am eating a chicken burrito in Sonora when two
outfielders from the Mexican Baseball League stop
in for a beer.

I ask them to autograph the glove I’ve carried with me
since childhood. It’s a Rawlings,
soiled, oiled, and blackened
by the plays of a thousand games.

The fields of Sonora are dry as a prisoner’s throat.
The buses from West Texas
roll past the supermercado
and the dinner plate of the moon.

The bus depot/luncheonette is open
all night for passengers, police, and traffickers.
It is the only place I ever saw a man kick a dog.

The two great institutions of Sonora are dust and baseball.

Paul, my best friend growing up, came to Mexico to play ball.
The Diablos Rojos signed him.
They called him Kid. He played catcher.
One day, in mirage inducing heat, a girl named Rosa came to see him play.
They had met at a bar somewhere in town.
He didn’t play well that day. He never played well again.

He and Rosa got married.
She took him to Guadalajara to work for her father.
He was a businessman.
He ran one brothel and seven funeral parlors.

A year later, his head was found in a ditch.
In his catcher’s mitt.


Richard Bloom has published in various magazines, including Seneca Review, New York Quarterly, Barnwood International, and Eunoia Review. He has attended Breadloaf, and studied poetry writing with several accomplished poets at the 92nd Street Y. He worked in advertising for many years. Currently, he is a substitute teacher in the NYC public schools.

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