Sunday, September 30, 2012

Magpie Tales 137: Hidden Agendas


passing the plate Sunday morning,

along pews of stoic necessity is reprieve

to manic souls, hidden under six days 

of self-pleasure, self-ishness - "hidden"

the operative code no matter the effort 

of indulgence, or its intent.   

It Must Be Time For Lunch Now, 1979, by Francesca Woodman 
Shared by Tess Kincaid

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, September 28, 2012

City Scenes XXXII: Real But Not Really


beside you is a world you don't see, 

unable to acknowledge, for it is you.

a portal to parallels and tangents, 

one way becomes two, a common 

end/beginning.  that is a realm 

you cannot enter- will not live;  a 

world passed and now before your

eyes, wild dreams of silent reflection.

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker, September 15, 2012, Midtown Manhattan. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just A Poem


on your body of work

I am part of creation,

a droplet of sweat 

from the brow of 

your bosom - salt-stung

tongue feasting on your 

wet skin:  "drink slowly," 

you caution, "for lust 

transcends thirst as 


©2012 R. Burnett Baker

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Magpie Tales 136: Sky King To The Rescue - An Ode To Pop Culture

good ol' boys and 
Sky King to the rescue...

those were razzamatazz and sex

alpha-male conquests joined and 

disjointed, bold and bellowing 

milestones of hunted fowl  and 

fair maidens; every boast flying 

higher than the others, than you,

than anyone else; beer-soaked 

nights in dancing cat houses

south of the border, slang-sung ditties 

like "calle matar, polla calle matar,

polla!"  she, her, the one at home, 

waiting in the chill of bedroom lights 

is just another booze-fueled reference

to "my ol'lady ain't goin' no whure."  

Flying Down, 2006, by David Salle 
Shared by Tess Kincaid

NOTE:  The Spanish line is from a popular novelty song that was played in the dance halls of Honduras when I was living there in 1975.  Its meaning shouldn't be translated in polite company. I'll just leave it to the readers' imagination, but it did have a reference to, um, "scoring", if you will, with a hot chick!  

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day One: Mom, My Cousin, & Me in NYC

September 14 - 17, 2012, my mother Betty and cousin Sharon, both from Houston met me in New York City for a fun weekend.  Sharon and I have been to the City many times, but Mom was last there in 1958.  Just a few changes have happened since then!  Here is Part One, just a handful of several hundred photos we took.   

We all began early. My flight from Rochester, NY at 6am, Mom and Sharon had to be up and headed to the airport at about 3:30am.  Here's a shot of the fog covered valleys in the Southern Tier of Western New York:

Once we all met at JFK, it was check in at the Hampton Inn Times Square, and hit the streets!  Mom just loves David Letterman.  It's just one of the few points we disagree on:  I'm a Leno fan! 

We were all a bit tired from the early travel.  Stopping in Mid-Town to rest.

And, rest again.  But this time Mom found some heroes to keep her going! 

It was a mid afternoon lunch at Angelo's Pizza, next door to the Letterman show on Broadway. His show is in the old Ed Sullivan theatre.  

Honestly, this was the BEST thin crust pizza any of us had ever tasted! 

On the steps of the Plaza Hotel across from Central Park.

Another break......

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's a tall building.

Times Square early evening.

The lights and cameras......

Mom on the Time's Square Red Carpet! 

Then off to see Jersey Boys on Broadway.

I saw Jersey Boys in Toronto, Rochester, and now on Broadway. This was Sharon's and Mom's first time seeing the show.  I'll go see it any time I can!  

Late night meal here:

And looking out of the hotel window on 8th Ave. Our Cosmic Diner can be seen upper left on the corner of 8th and W52nd.  More to come........!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

City Scenes XXXI: On Death and Resurrection

Click to embiggen: 

Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Taken by R. Baker at St Paul's Chapel, 
across the street from Ground Zero and 
the rising Freedom Tower. 


there is no logic 

to our demise, 

destruction, or 

plans for such 

other than efforts 

to forestall it all; 

vicious circles 

confound my 

desire for survival - 

questions serve 

only to 

preserve hope, 

vacuous as that 

may seem.  

I seek logic:  

it may be 

the only sense 

to be had. 

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

City Scenes XXX: Disenfranchised View

Click to embiggen: 
Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Taken by R. Baker 9-16-12 Times Square, New York.


from your concrete bed to daylight, 

stare down the stark sky, 

passersby offering repelled glances, 

stooping over your life, 

judgment from every angle 

far far above the level of highest yield; 

this life, your life, never to afford 

Venti, Grande or Tall, 

desiring none of it, yet all of it 

yours and yours alone. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Post No Bills Series I: Torn

Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Taken by R. Baker, New York City, 
Lower Manhattan, 2012.


page upon page of city streets

every face is your face,

each dashed dream torn from 

someone's view, the ones that 

got attention, that got my attention, 

that got away, never to be 

imagined again. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Sunday, September 16, 2012

City Scenes XXVIII & XXIX: Two Photos, Two New Poems, New York City

Photo: Lower East side, near 23rd,
Lower Manhattan taken by R. Baker.


we forge the streets, the cities - 

we blaze paths in concrete and steel

our lives mere wisps of essence behind 

effort within time, underwritten and on

display:  we are view, we are days, 

we, the looking glass windows 

to nameless futures. 


Photo: New York City, 8th Ave and W52nd, 
taken by R. Baker September 2012.


as it was deliberate it was spontaneous,

movement planned, yet reactive; 

someone bade farewell another greeted 

and all who passed atop sidewalk and 

street departed between skyscrapers 

impersonal and audacious as open air. 

Poems © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photos © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Magpie Tales 135: Gaming Love

this race 

overt comfort in your skin

covertly denouncing mine 

tacking up with blinders 

shielding views (from you, 

from me);  dancing for a lark, 

this, our ritual mating game - 

I count a zero sum result 

on one life's landscape.

Venus and The Sailor, 1925, by Salvador Dali
Shared by Tess Kincaid.

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

Less than one month after the World Trade Center
attack I stood at the southeast corner of Broadway and
Vesey Street, in front of St. Paul's Chapel.  Looking
down Vesey I, and thousands of others, watched the smoke billowing into the lower Manhattan sky as firefighters, the military, National Guard, and other workers tried to contain the fires, remove debris, and recover the remains of victims.

Most of lower Manhattan during those weeks had been
closed to car traffic from Canal Street southward.  People
were allowed to walk around a tightly guarded area east
of Ground Zero.

It was the largest funeral wake I've ever attended.

In contrast to the normally robust sounds of cars, taxis, truck, subways underground, and the general noise of a huge city, that day and many other days in lower Manhattan offered visitors an erie silence.

St. Pauls Chapel has been at this corner since 1766.  It is the oldest church in New York, and the oldest continually used building in the city.  St. Paul's survived the great fire of New York in 1776 after the British invaded Long Island. St. Paul's also survived the 9-11 attack in 2001.

This Friday, I, my mother, and my cousin will be in the City for a long weekend.  On Saturday, we will go to the World Trade Center site, and the new Freedom Tower.  Although I've been to NYC many times since 9-11, I've not seen the new tower, and monuments.  I plan to stand on that same corner  and see a different picture.

Even through vibrant activity that now continues up and down that stretch of Broadway, it will be a sobering view.

RB. 9-11-12

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Magpie Tales 134: Love Interest

Breakfast, 1921, Fernand Leger
Shared by Tess Kincaid 


let me stand in rain

without cover, feel warmth

in its chill.  give me laughter 

for free, I'll pay for your 

tears.  reach for my hand,

touching fingertip to palm,

drawing nearer to one 

common breath.  your voice

is fetish, imagination heard 

in cadence and measure, and 

you, this ether-world vision, 

alive and unreal. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Moments Of (Re)Birth

Painting by Michael Patrick Slattery, 2012

infant rose

from every petal color is shed

to wind and breath, to every 

space-time movement our 

efforts perceive, for each given

moment of fetal brevity tethered

to heaven's rose - the Master's 

thorn - the mind's instant of 

corporal beauty - for fragrance

held between fingers and blood

of each life's stem: 

these, our seasons incarnate. 

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, September 7, 2012

City Scenes XXVII: Window Me


outlook eyes

view me



outwardly a 

transition of 


and an 


of evolution: 

alive unending. 

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Photo taken by R. Baker on University Ave., Rochester, NY.

It Is What It Is

Click to Embiggen:

©2012 R. Burnett Baker

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yet To Come

Poem ©2006, 2012  R. Burnett Baker 
Photo ©2005, 2012  R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken 2005 by R. Baker at Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall Prelude

September days 



I take, 
of dawn
to dusk 

the gloaming
over my
like a 

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Poetry Rewind: "behold my eyes"

Poem ©2009, 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo ©2006, 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Photo taken by R. Baker 2006 in Central Taiwan

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Magpie Tales 133: Those Dreams

Click on photo to embiggen.

Summer Night, 1913, by Albert Bloch
Shared by Tess Kincaid.

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Flower Gives

©2012 R. Burnett Baker