Sunday, April 17, 2022

Touch

Curled up by the fire.

Paws touch hands. One last blink. The

sound of flapping wings.

 

 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Senseless Dream


One night I slip and fall inside a dream:

Here people sigh, they groan, they shake the trees,

but branches never swing and nothing falls.

Until at last I hear a throbbing scream,

then stars begin to drop like fruits. The breeze 

dissolves, the blood congeals, and roar the squalls.

And then I notice how the senseless lights

are rolling into seas, with grace and ease,

but stay afloat, illuming sleeping dolls

that dream this dream their lonely endless nights—

morn' calls!

Saturday, April 9, 2022

An Act of Courage

Open the body's gates. Now, let fear

come, up those steps of bone and down

pulsating halls, to the room

decorated with love,

chamber of the heart.

Offer your breath.

Softly say:

Welcome

home.


Monday, April 4, 2022

Goddess Panacea at work

He spotted the goddess Panacea,

in the superstore shopping for popcorn.

Are you making healing popcorn? He asked.

"No, regular," she said. "Well, with sugar

and cinnamon." But why? He demanded

to know her secret. "I'm watching a film,"

she responded, looking vexed. Will you cure

someone after the movie? "No!" she raged,

"I have a life outside of work, you know?"

And so this is how it happened that she 

punched the annoying man and then had to

heal his bruised lips, which was, not, at all, tough

except this all happened on her day off.


Thursday, March 31, 2022

"The End"

Each one of us is a story with a beginning we did not write and a conclusion we cannot predict. I remember, back in my school days, a young lady named Marissa who didn't like being a story. She wanted to be the author and force her story to conclude in a particular way. A way that made sense to her. Marissa even wrote a note, which ended with "The End." But that is not how her story ended. People still talk about it, changing the narrative, drawing new connections, discussing other possible endings. It should not have ended that way, some say. It really did not have to, others agree. I remember once Marissa told me how her grandparents met on the Titanic. The next day she said, I made it up. How happy she looked, for a very brief moment, for having fooled me.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Sound Asleep

I’m the guy, you’re the girl

I am the bivalve and you the pearl.

I the habit, you are the choice.

I’m the lips, you’re the voice.

I the muscle but you the pulse.

You’re the desired, I the impulse.

You the shepherd and I the sheep.

You’re the dream and I sound asleep.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Something Black and Red

Walking to work

Covering my ears as always

Past the scream and grind

Of savage machines

My feet deep in heavy snow.

Suddenly I saw:

By the construction site sat

Balanced on the edge of a curb

Something black and red

Under a thick layer of ice

Immune to the December sun.

In those days I didn't know

what a scarlet tanager 

looked like dead

or sounded alive.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

That Mythology of Paperwork

It's the thirteenth time.

Torn (no, ripped), taped back together, 

bleeding ink,

signature-tattooed,

official, regulated, proper,

destined to arrive there,

at the wrong time,

the wrong department,

in the wrong hands.

The white envelope dark

like Hades, smirks,

mocking my inability

to follow elusive instructions.

I must have sinned.

The form's my boulder.

Why do I bother?

Why do I bother?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Human Thoughts Before Departure

Fluorescent lights reflecting off the floor

Painted with jet-black but faded arrows 

That point

Not at the jasmine-scented night

Leaning against the giant glass

But soothing lies beyond guarded doors


Flyers overhead asleep in the sky

Flyers afloat with nothing—naught—to flap

Going nowhere quicker

On greedy dreams and fiery throats 

Metal swallowing beaks and souls 

Inside fluorescent lights flicker

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Traffic-Jammed Intersections in the Brain

Traffic-jammed intersections in the mind. 
The cause: Again, multi-car crash. 
The cause: Again, Anger tailgating Fear, 
Surprise 
unconscious, half under and half behind 
Happy still asleep at the wheel, 
with Disgust 
ahead repelled by Sorrow and Sorrow
feeling the cracks in the pavement where shards
of glass encircle a dandelion, 
headless. 
A hollow voice from deep inside the stem: 
Could have avoided this. 
Could have avoided this.

Monday, April 27, 2020

My Old Bedroom

My old bedroom, a rotten apple,
a museum for clouds, a long knife
made of torn cotton, an empty bus,
a Godless chapel.
My old bedroom, a door with no lock.
The window with a screen to keep out
monsters. A bed for nightmares.
A voice that cackles.
My old bedroom. Posters on the walls:
Wheels, cartoons, and words. On the floor, toys,
books, and pages of poems.
My soul in shackles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Air

One day you may touch what's wrong.
I've wrung my dreams out in verse.
Drip drop drip drop drip drop drip.
Grip strip trip—I saw a soul inside a hearse
singing of seasons past, a silent song.
Sat up, sweat pouring, gasping for air.
Sylvia, many a night, I've touched what's wrong
but woke grasping only the silvery air.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Some Nights I Fear Going to Sleep

I don't recall my dreams, at least
not the narrative: Saw a priest
wearing a cape, fluorescent green,
and warning me that West's now East.

Another dream: A vile disease;
it kills none but weakens the knees,
so people crawl along the streets
and weep sometimes and hug the trees.

Some nights I fear going to sleep;
stay up for hours just counting sheep.
My day's odd but I make it mean.
At night meaningless terrors creep. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I die, until the subsequent morn.

Deeply thankful
for the curved edge
of countertops,
coffeemakers
than those stovetop
kettles, homeworks
done, keys in place.
I’m the morning
rush: mismatched socks,
chewing fast, tense,
skimming the news,
checking the watch,
anguished rocking,
forgotten lunch...
and then I’m gone.
Silence. Silence.
The sun star throws a ring of saffron light
that cradles every heart and calms each soul.
At night, people return and later rest.
 I die, until the subsequent morn.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

May You Be Sunny

May you be sunny in this Christmas snow
And shine on me and help me brighten up;
As moon reflects the sun, so I, your glow.
Your face, my greatest gift; your smile, the bow. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

That's What I Remembered

The fluttering feelers
of a fattened cockroach
beneath the sink....You say
traditional healers
still use their powdered flesh
when making facial masks.
That's what I remembered
now when kissing your face.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sleep

An ox plows a hillside field
A farmer harvests wheat
A shepherd leads his sheep
And your ghost haunts my sleep.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Goodbye

Clip clop clip clop clip clop I hear
Goddess Maia approaching.  Oh,
It's time once more to change horses.
I bow and smile at Maia.  No,
April, allow me to kiss your
Glistening fingers, and let my
Tears vanish in your cool showers.
Sniff sniff goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Anger, My Love, Protector, Enemy

Anger, my love, protector, enemy:
Did you force yourself on me
or was it I who chose you
while blind drunk on my weakness,
wishing to replace my dread,
pain, guilt, shame, to stop feeling sad?
You, shielding me from the pain of abuse,
from malice, unpredictability,
neglect, incompetence, stupidity,
and universe's cool indifference.
When you take my hands to dance
the fire around your heart scorches my skin
and the ice at your center freezes mine.
How my heart burns! I sometimes
wonder if this is what love must feel like.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sonnet IX (Bastardized)

Is it because you think you can, that you
engage in so much bow-chick-a-wow-wow
to bring to life another human who
is but a poorer version of you now?
A selfish, ugly, stupid, clumsy thing
that eats and sleeps and burps and pees and poops?
You think yours will become a queen, a king
who will some day rally a million troops
to war and win, a doctor, judge—what bull!
What you been smoking? Just listen to Will:
Homie, the world's already much too full,
what is the rush for having babies? Chill!
And when you do the nasty don't forget
I'd three of them and each one I regret.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Come Find Me

Wrote you a nameless note, said I love you.
Is that enough
for you to come find me?
Perfumed it with the scent of freshly picked
weeds and stale tears. I'm hiding,
will you one day soon come and find me?
Never sent you the letter. It'd said I'm lonely.
Crossed out very and always. Crossed out I. Then
Tore it. Burned it. Spread the ashes. I feel—
Won't you come and find me?
Was always good at hide-and-seek.
Once I hid myself so well even
I gave up trying to find me.
Like a shadow that has lost the sun,
a dream with the dreamer dead, an echo, a memory,
a place gone and a time past, a swamp—
if you are a river, flow this way sometime, find
me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Summer, with You

My amour, I hear your sultry voice now
in the breeze over the wave-kissed hot sand,
in children's laughter, humming of the fans;
in the soft thud when sun-soaked trees untie
their gifts—cherries, peaches, mangoes, grapes—
and let the love-parched fingers of the ground
breathe them. My amour, I can hear the sound
of your footsteps nearing. But I feel blue:
Wish I could keep you, hold on to you—how
cruel you are! Won't you stay—say you do—
here a little longer this time around?
Or else, Summer, my love, take me with you.
Take me, take me, take me, with you. With you.
With you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poem as Empty Words of Love

We are dead words equipped with sounds,
like pretty mannequins with guns
propped up against the parapets
fake-protecting a fort called love
and not even knowing it. The
susurrus of silken kisses,
neck on neck, breast caressing breast,
naked, exposed, but not undressed,
dead words touching, promiscuous,
lips feverish—mellifluous
gibberish, beau geste.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Lion

Silence then the grassy plains
tremble as
a roar slits
the naked air
It
stares down the afternoon sun
Those eyes orange brown
indifferent beautiful tameless
innocent terribly so
The deep-chested giant growls its mane
moves wild about its head
its four-inches long
canines flash
a deep-throated yawn
follows and all's
silent again

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Soulless Creatures

Seattle:
The Space Needle from below looked so tall
I closed my eyes fearing it might fall
Washington, DC:
From behind the black fence
White House looked so imposing
I felt it was approaching
San Diego:
In San Diego zoo I watched a lion
in its enclosure
sick or sleeping doing nothing
then finally a yawn
Las Vegas:
At Palms the Demon With Bowl
bent down with a terrible cracking
and I stepped into the yawning hole
where its head had been and I let go
into the darkness of its soul.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

So Weird

I was thinking about a recent breakup, feeling
gloomy, drinking coffee, leaning back on my chair,
but my mind began to wander
when I heard a young man swearing, shouting,
"Where my people's at?" They said nothing.
Nothing, I thought, nothing....
"My people humble people who expect nothing."
"Nothing gold can stay." "The lover is crying cause the other won't stay."
"So dry your tears I say."
"No, woman, no cry."
"The woman is perfected." "Her dead."
"Let me die a youngman's death." I heard
now the young man's people laughing, one saying, "Why
you copyin' my style? Dude, you're so weird."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Chain

As I came in and quietly sat
Beside her Persian cat,
Chloe walked in, glared at me, remarked,
-Did you know the cat once barked?
-Even gobbled, clucked, and mooed?
“Few times,” I played along, not wanting to be rude.
-Good, you still remember how to lie.
Have you ever wanted to but felt ashamed to cry?
I did.  I swallowed hard and then whispered, “Okay,
Just what exactly you trying to say?”
-Kindly go back to your selfish life.
-Lowly men like you never deserved a wife.
Men like me? I wanted to object.
No, I wanted to demand respect.
Oh, how small and stupid I felt.
Please God, I thought, let me just melt.
-Quiet suddenly, no retorts like old times?
“Reminding me yet again,” I said, “of old crimes?
Seven years have passed,
This pain, trust me, will always last
Until I have fully paid
Victims I have betrayed.
Why do you think I’m still alone?
X’s all over my life. I feel in every bone
You and the kids and everyone else I’ve caused pain.
Zing me, fine, but don't think I'll ever be free of my own chain,”

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Mistake

Yew rote
aye halve maid
"a mistake."
Butt yew mussed
byte you're tung.
Eye'm nut
rung!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Magician

We laughed
When right away he pulled a rabbit out of his hat,
when he pretended to saw a stranger in half,
made disappear my friend Mathew Graff,
when he mimed eating a distressed fat rat,
spat
fire and drank blood-red wine and became a bat,
swallowed a sword and threw up a cat,
then flew away on a winged giraffe.
Now I no longer heard anybody laugh.
Then a man came in, as we had begun to nervously chat,
and said "I'm the magician." We shouted, "So who was that?"

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Black Mug

My black mug sits on the table, watching me,
holds my drink, my cold water and hot tea,
my coke, milk, and coffee.
My humble mug: Silent, patient, loyal, lovely.
Fit for a king or queen.  For heaven.  To hold the sea,
the air, the creation.  You will always be
an anchor in my life, the hero behind the scenes, the kindly
soul who offers to feed the need in me. 
My ceramic wrinkled with cracks, filled with memory,
of touch and trust, you are as real as any
other meaningful reality.