Richard Modiano

268215_10150371681064535_625544534_10414345_5990789_nBIO

Richard Modiano is currently the executive director of the Beyond Baroque Foundation based in Venice, California. He’s a rank and file member of the Industrial Workers of the World and publisher of the Moon & Sun Review.

At the Subway Station

…………………………………………A young man approaching
………………………………………and a woman, turning her back
…………………..on him without a word, and
going out to the sidewalk

A man in a sudden outburst of anger
………….at a woman who appears to
…………………….have come late for their date

A group of girl students, each
………..hand in hand with a friend, their free hands
separately
………..hailing a taxi

A plump middle-aged woman
……………………approaching with rapid
…………mincing steps

Every face looking totally intent on some
…………immediate intimate aim

What I noticed
…………coming from
…………the death bed of my brother

 

The Lid of a Jar

.

Pictured on the cover of the Museum of Natural History magazine
Is the lid of a jar

Except for the magazine’s title, the whole cover is taken
Up by the face of a young Egyptian noblewoman, drawn big
Against a vermilion background

This is the lid of an urn used in ancient Egypt as a container for
The viscera of corpses to be mummified

The noblewoman has a wig and
Her eyes are of obsidian and quartzite
A glass image of the
Sacred serpent had originally been attached to the forehead

Her loved ones left behind would have assembled before her
To mourn this dead woman
Some would have prayed, some would
Have waved incense censers, some would have made funeral
Offerings of great price

The lid of the alabaster urn would
Then have been removed and her internal organs
Gently placed within

What memories would have stirred then in those
People as lid met jar?

Two haiku, one senryu and one tanka

Late afternoon

Reading in the easy chair

No cat in my lap

 

*

Iron skillet rusting

In rank summer grass—

The peeling clapboard cottage

*

Eating warm peaches on a hot day

Eating pussy

*

In the bough of

the sick avocado tree

the feral cat cries for her mate—

Autumn nightfall

 

*****