Friday, May 22, 2015

The Crow with Heart

Waiting to turn left
I spied a crow
in the opposite lane,
valiantly attempting
to pick up
a brown paper bag
from the Del Taco,
most likely discarded
from a moving car.

The bag was as big
as the slick black bird,
and he kept
grasping and dropping,
grasping and dropping,
the rumpled bag
from his greedy beak.

He kept trying
frantically,
until an oncoming car
turned into his lane
and he fluttered off
with only a scrap
of a used napkin
in his possession.

In my car
I cheered this crow,
because even though
he didn’t win,

he played with heart,
passion,
and determination,

which is the only way
to play this game
of survival.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Translation

Sugar is my kryptonite.
Anger is my pilot light.
Booze is my funhouse mirror.

Music is my fruit.
Time is my mockingbird.

Sex is my glue.
Writing is my revenge.
Groucho is my long lost uncle.

Silence is my prayer.
Desire is my serpent.
Jealousy is my jailer.
Gluttony is my downfall.

Television is my comfort.
Hope is my tomorrow.
Fear is my bully.

Memory is my curse.
Lenny is my prophet.

Forgiveness is my love.
Scars are my receipts.
Life is my material.

You are my mirror.

[Posted for OpenLinkNight #149 - go to http://dversepoets.com/2015/05/21/10429/ and link up!]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Richard Pryor Saved My Life in 1980


Back in the late '70's
before it was the OC,

stuck in a high school of
blonde, born again Christians,

I was the Mexican outsider.

Every June
I sighed relief
which lasted all summer
until I returned
in the fall
feeling very Mexican.

Until the summer of 1980.

In a used record store
I found a stack of
Richard Pryor albums
for 25 cents apiece.

Something about those
album covers,
that face,
brown, comical and dangerous:

"Bicentennial Nigger"
"That Nigger's Crazy" and others.

I didn't know
what I was looking for
but it damn sure
felt right,
and I immersed myself
in these sacred texts.

He taught me
and that brown had
its own feel
its own soul
and it was good.

He was my supercool prophet
rarely bowing to authority,

dismantling hatred with ridicule,
especially my own self-hatred,

and he made me laugh
so much and so hard.

So, wherever you are
thanks, Richard.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Drunk (A Magnetic Poem)


A challenge from AngieInspired - go make one yourself at http://magneticpoetry.com/pages/play-online .

Charity

It’s never a question
of whether I’ll give.

I remember His words:
“that which you've done
to the least of these,
you do to me”
and with a grateful heart
I perform my Christian duty.

My policy is to offer
the bill on the outside
of my money clip,
regardless of denomination
(as I trust the Lord
and He will not leave me
penniless).

I try not to feel too good
about my modest act of charity.

Lately I've taken to
asking the recipient’s name
and telling them I would
pray for them,
presumably later.

As I hand them the money
and say “God bless you”
I shake their hand -
a token gesture of humanity
so it’s not just
about the money.

While the warmth of their
handshake is still in my palm,
I return to my car
where I keep a bottle
of hand sanitizer,
squirt a gelatinous glob of it
in my palm,
and furiously
rub away any germs.

I feel a pang
of guilt:

what are you so afraid of?

Eyes Everywhere

What do you crave?
Make up your mind.

A fake
Jean Claude Van Damme
ass-kicking,
a heartwarming scene
hidden in
a Hallmark card commercial,
the cold hard dirty truth?

Pick your poison
because there's a world full
of meaningless
garbage
all waiting to distract us,
take our eyes off
the true deserving targets
of our vitriol.

How many
sit in quiet offices
wondering how to
to fuck up this corrupt system
and leave no fingerprints,
realizing as I type this
my boss may have installed
spyware
and is reading this
before you all do.

Never mind Google sending
every search to the FBI,
I keep looking
over my shoulder
and peering into
the air conditioning vents,
wondering "is that a camera?"

Is this the way a
patriot acts?

There are eyes everywhere
in every corner
of the rundown
mom and pop store
to the highest court
in the land.

Not only is
big brother watching
but we are watching
big brother
as he is watching us

and as long as
we are watching
something
then nothing will ever need
to be done or undone.

We are a nation transfixed
by smartphone screens
and television teats,
narcotized and pliable,
the true objects
of our desires.

The happy distraction machine
and the eyes of big brother
finally married in a culture
where everyone watches
everyone else,

keeping us all in check
so no one gets out of line
so no one does something
different,

as the rows of
black half-domes
peeking from the
Wal-Mart ceiling
watch us
and all eyes are distracted
from the wholesale sell-off
of civil liberties
in the name of fighting
terrorism.

We find reality tv
entertaining
because reality isn't,

and blah blah blah

and you're all probably
fucking bored by now.

So am I.

Change this channel.
I want to be amused.

Monday, May 18, 2015

KC

Just about everything
about him is
in transition,

not yet arrived.

Still wet and unformed
but I can sense
the outline
the nascent adult profile
and his unimaginable future.

His eyes are bright
and he sways from
left foot to right foot
unsure in most situations.

He is an odd admixture
of musculature and braces
and he has big dreams
big ticket dreams,

and I try to show him
that big ticket dreams require
big sacrifices
and long pants.

I know he’ll be
just fine and
maybe I don’t need
to stay on him
every second,

but that’s the
same way my dad
stayed on me,

and he earned my lifetime
of gratitude
love and
respect

and deep down
that’s what I want
from my son.

Love is not always
hugs and nice words

often
it’s honestly
showing your son
how the world works
enough times
so he’ll remember
the lesson
long after
the teacher
is gone.

Mount Rubidoux

I rode my bike
to the top of
Mt. Rubidoux.

I hadn't done
it recently,
so I wanted to see
if I could
still do it.

All the way
my quivering legs
my rioting heart
were both threatening
to desert me,
but somehow I made it
up that bastard
and I pulled my bike
into shady corner
of the mountaintop landing.

I was dizzy
lightheaded,
sucking in as much
oxygen as I could possibly inhale.

I laughed as I lied down
to keep from fainting,

"such a small mountain
and still it kicked your ass..."

my heart
kept raggedly pounding.

I have many other things
to tackle today
but I'm going
to savor this moment
up here.

As I enjoy this view
of my neighborhood
from a mile in the sky
I smiled

knowing the only way
to get such a view
is to make such a journey,

and often
the only way
to do it
is just
to do it.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Soul Mates

"Look!
There he is, Eddie.
Every morning
same time
he leaves the house.

Don’t worry,
this’ll be easy-
he’s predictable
like a Timex.

Yeah, I know,
he looks like a real
tightass.

Yeah, I got your money.
You know where
he works, right?
Just give me
15 minutes.

She never needed much time.

Did I tell you I saw her
at the store
the other day.

Naw, she didn’t see me.
Looks great.
She always looks great.

What?
Naw, he ain’t
gonna give you no trouble.
Kick his ass if you have to.

Just bring him back here
so he can watch it
with his own two eyes.

Of course she still wants me.
We were soul mates,
she said so.

She’s just with
him for his money.
Yeah, she always was
kind of a whore.

I called last night
but when she answered
I hung up.

There he goes, man.
Follow him.

Okay, I’m hanging up now.

Yeah,
got to reclaim
what’s mine."

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Teardrop Indictment

After decades
of male socialization,
they sneak up on me,

sometimes during
a tv rerun
or after hearing a story
of true altruistic love,
or if I hear an
especially perfect lyric
to an especially perfect
melody.

Something in my belly slips
and knocks something loose
in my chest
and it rises and catches
in my throat
and
down the tears fall,

and I should hate them
as my training dictates
but I cannot,

because I have known
tears caused by fear
and adrenaline
and despair that weighed upon me
like cement shoes,

but for the first time
I see life clearly
and I see how beautiful
it can be
and how sweet it can taste.

I also know how
fleeting it all is.

She brought all that
to me
by her touch,
her love,

in a place
far beyond words.

So I stand accused,
indicted,
and convicted
by my occasional
teardrops,

proof of my inescapable
humanity.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Losing the Good Fight

Surveying the front line,
the inevitability
sinks in with an
undeniable gravity.

The General confesses:

“You soldiers deserved better –
you were furious lions in youth,
each with the strength of Samson,
and standing high and proud
as a rooster’s comb.

However, we are locked
in a war of attrition
and time is not
on our side.

But it’s not in our blood
to hire mercenaries
or sacrifice ourselves
in mock-heroic suicide.

No, men we will stand here
staving off the enemy
until there is
not one of us left standing.

History will not forget
and our children
will long tell the tale
of our resolve and true grit.

We never bowed,
we never surrendered,
but rather died
with courage and honor
on this battlefield of

male
pattern
baldness.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I Brush Her Hair

I brush her hair
because it relaxes her,

and I am transfixed
as I watch the waves
of long silken honeygold
sway with each stroke
of my hand
at my command
like a sorcerer-king.

I silently marvel
at my good fortune
as she watches the TV
unaware of my rapture,

thousands and thousands
of strands
each one
beautiful,
perfect,
strong.

I pray
my luck holds out
and that I am given
one day with her

for every hair on
her head.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I Play With Broken Toys

I play with broken toys,

the dolls with missing eyes
and three wheeled fire trucks.

I don’t go looking for
broken toys
but they seem to find me:

orphaned teddy bears
with stained bellies
and torn seams.

I collect my broken toys
and refuse to honor
our disposable culture.

I play with my broken toys
enjoying them,
accepting their shattered dignity
and trying to see the grandeur
of their former nobility,
but I don’t fix my broken toys.

I can’t
because I’m a broken toy too.

The Fires Always Come Back

Years ago, I asked
the wise Dr. Warren:
“in therapy, what happens
when the insurance money
runs out?”

She smiled
to soften the truth
spoke in jest:
“We say,
it looks like
the patient
is cured.”

This week
Sarah graduates
from her
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
program
at the world famous medical clinic,
and at least this time
the therapists spoke the truth:

“The insurance company
believes she’s met
enough of her goals
and they don’t want to pay
for any more.”

At best,
every therapy has only
given her two-thirds
of what she’s ever needed:
they spray water
on the fire,
but never actually
extinguish the flame.

The fires always
come back.

So, on Thursday
I’ll proudly celebrate
her hard work
for the past eight weeks,

and reconvene
the search
for a therapist who can
complete that missing third,
and
for the faith
to believe a miracle
is still pointed
in her direction.

[Note: Lest anyone misinterpret, I am totally grateful and thankful for the compassionate and skilled mental health providers at The MEND Outpatient program in Loma Linda, California.  In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, please consider making a donation to Loma Linda University at advancement.lluhealth.org.]

Monday, May 11, 2015

For What Binds Us (Mother's Day, 2015)

For what binds us
are not the bonds
of blood and heredity.

It is the mutual
care and interest and love
freely given:

Earth to animal,
animal to human,
human to Earth.

Love is nothing
if not volitional,
and the phone lines
go both ways, Mom.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

My Surprising, Deceased Father

My deceased father
surprises me
everyday
by where he appears.

He shows up
in the music I listen to,
in the crinkled
corners of my eye,
in my impatience
for all things
faddish,
adolescent,
transitory.

I find myself
gently surrendering
the spotlight
to the coming guard,
the reckless,
seemingly bulletproof
youth,
quietly watching
them,
like he did,
sometimes lost in
private reverie
and memories.

If my dad were
still here, I'd tell him
I bought a book
so I could finally
understand electronics,
and fix those broken,
buzzing things
like he used to do.

Even when I spy
the arrival of
straggling stray
white hairs,
I laugh,
and I am comforted
because it is his laugh.



Wednesday, May 06, 2015

My High School Prom Prank, May 1981

In our prom portrait,
gazing off
into the distance,
we're wearing competing
500 watt smiles,
and in spite of my rented
cinnamon-colored tuxedo,
we looked like
a happy couple.

We entered late,
and surprise rippled
through the ballroom
as I entered with a girl
who wasn't from our school
who pretty enough to be
a model,
which, she was.

We danced,
we laughed,
we made small talk
with the popular kids
who play acted at being adults,
and for one evening,
high school wasn't bad.

The prank was
she was just a good friend
and nothing more,
partly because she was
a good Mormon girl,
but mostly because I didn't
light her fire.

So,
for her selfless collusion
in humoring my delusion
to help create the illusion
of my desirability,
I'm forever indebted.

Thanks, Bonnie.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Cripple (For Johnny Masuda)

This world is stocked
with misery and sickness,
suffering pustules
and weepy abscesses
that don’t heal.

We've social leprosy
infectious paranoia
and contagious fear.

Limbs are broken
by greed and distrust,
backs wracked with
painful memories
and regret.

We've gone deaf
from cranking up the volume,
drowning out
all the advertisements
calculated to exploit
the unspoken suspicion
of our innate worthlessness.

We are blinded
by too many things
bronzed in covetous flesh.

We didn't start out
like this
but this world corrupts
perverts and
convinces us
there is no other way.

But I've found my way
out of this madhouse,
one desperate prayer
at a time.

My detractors try
to discourage me
but they speak the truth:

“Christ is a crutch.”

Yeah?
Well, I’m a cripple.

[Posted for Poets Pub at http://dversepoets.com/ -where we are to write on a poet that influenced us to write.  Johnny Masuda was my friend and colleague, in writing and in life. He died last year.  This was based on something he said to me. Rest in peace, brother.]

The Eternal Transaction

The rose,
the flame,
the babe;

these living things
exist
temporarily
and then
pass away
from this plane,

and this
reminds me
to not hold on
too tightly
to that which
I have now,

because
either I will outlive
that which I hold
or it will outlive me;

and this is
the eternal transaction:

freely given,
freely taken,

and what I want
isn't part
of the equation.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Remember Me

“I know your world
is full of
noisy details
and there’s always something
or someone trying
to get your attention,
but, please,
remember me.

When you see
a rose,
breathe in
its sweet scent
and remember me.

If you see
a skating chimpanzee
wearing a tuxedo
and smoking a cigar,
laugh and
remember me.

When you hear
“The Tears of a Clown”
by the Miracles,
remember me.

If you remember me,
then I’ll always
be with you,
alive in your world,
neither gone
nor forgotten.

Remember,
this wasn't my idea,
and don’t blame the
public defender;
we all know
I was framed,
but that doesn't matter
now.

I know
I have to go now,
but,

remember that impossibly
bright summer day
when we went
to Newport Beach,
and we just watched
the waves,
and we breathed in
the sea breeze
until the sun went down?

Well,
thank you
for letting me
love you,

for letting me know
how sweet
it all could be.

I’ll wait for you
on the other side
of that sun.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Burlesquing My Soul

I started out
wanting to be
a song and dance man,
an entertainer.

I haven't
the hubris
to assume
you'll follow me
down the
rabbit hole
of vague,
inscrutable
imagery and
poetic conceit,
so I just try
to amuse
with the
workman's toolkit of
humor and pathos,
sex and violence.

I need
an audience
for confirmation,
so I'll sing,
dance,
and in desperation,
burlesque my way
into a motley strip tease,
revealing my
naked soul,
every hairy orifice
and unflattering bulge
on freakish display,
hoping you won't
turn away
and find someone else.

I don't write about
the horsetails in Asia,
or a church bell's lonesome tail,
or anything noble
like that;
its most just about
me.

Seemingly, in humility
I don't describe myself
a poet,
but rather a documentarian
and my only subject
is me,

which,
upon reflection,
is hubris
in its purest form.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Masuda is Dead

Masuda is dead
and I am sometimes
caught off guard
knowing that he isn't
in his wheelchair
somewhere I Oregon,
a phone call away.

I mourn because
sometimes I avoided his calls
because I knew he was going
to ask me for money
and how do you say no
to a man with
an incurable illness?

When I was an atheist
he told me I was
one of the most
Christian people he knew.

We went through
graduate school together,
he also wrote poetry
and he was able to crank out
entire books
thanks to the manic part of
his bipolarity.

He was Vince Neal
until 18, when he
accidentally learned
he was adopted
from a Japanese-Norwegian
couple named Masuda.

He was a red-headed
mountain of a man
who loved Jesus
and still considered himself
married, a Catholic,
even though his wife
threw him out
a decade ago
for philandering.

In many ways
he was a cautionary tale,
but he was also
just another broken kid
who wrote brutally honest poetry
about social injustice
about the challenge of the Christ
about getting raped at five years old.

Now
he’s free
from the vasculitis,
from the diabetes,
from the poverty,
from this moribund
life sentence.

The last thing
he told me
was to read
“Ragman and
Other Cries of Faith”
and I told him
I would.

It arrived
months ago,
but I haven’t
opened it,
as if somehow
my reading it
would somehow
close the door
on him forever.

I’ll get to it
someday,
when I’m not so
weepy.






















Me and Johnny Masuda, August 2005.

[If you want to buy Johnny's book, I think it's still available at lulu.com .]

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Secret Recipe

Take a beautiful,
unique child
and unfavorably compare him
to everyone else.

Buff out his unfinished edges,
sand off his spiky angles.

Paint him ghastly colors
(because those are the colors
that are on sale),
and dress him not for
aesthetics,
but rather
because they fit
his bulky girth.

Feed him daily
three squares of
shame, guilt and self-loathing.
He’ll balk at first,
but he’ll get used to it.

Make him a bookworm,
call him a sissy,
give them a ringside seat
at the glorious childhoods
of his joyous, unworried
classmates.

[Extra Spicy Option:
Make him Mexican,
but don’t make him
dark-skinned,
that would be
too obvious.
Make him
light skinned
so that he thinks
he’s one of his
white classmates,
until they start
telling Mexican jokes.]

Let this concoction
stew for 15-16 years,
and then
when he’s 5 foot 2
and 210 pounds,
with greasy skin,
an erupting face
and tumbleweed hair,
make him suicidal
after the girl he’s been
writing love poems for,
tells him that she only
likes him as a friend.

But
don’t let him die yet.

No.

Give him
a pen,
some paper,
and the loneliness
he’s known for years,
stretch him into
a full-grown man,
and whisper in his ear:

“It’s ok to be angry.
Now, write.”

Teach him how
to deny
everything he
used to shove
in his mouth
(because he’s so
orally fixated)
and teach him
to begin running
obsessively.

Awaken him
so he can
write his own destiny,
paint his own paradise
and then enter it.

Guide him
through college,
through losing
his virginity
(wherein an angel of mercy
took pity and
deflowered him
a month shy
of his 20th birthday,
just so he could say
he had sex at least once
as a teenager),
through college
and into adulthood,
where he will become
a nervous-stomached,
130 bpm pulse pounding
faceless, over-achieving
college dean.

Then,
he’ll crank out
these poemonologues
to miniscule acclaim,

never really triumphing over
his guilt, shame and self-loathing,

the secret ingredients
in the recipe of his success.

My Lord's Prayer

Lord,
please.

Please help.

Please help me.

Please help us all.

If it be Your will, help, please.

You know what I need,
hear my pleas,

please,

please,

Lord?

Sadie the Cat is Missing Haiku

Dirty gray cotton
threatening, menacing rain;
find a warm place, cat.

Friday, April 24, 2015

For Adults Only: An Incantation

When the tiggle-de-biggles
go bump-bump-bump,
and the mischkel-lee-fishkels
go glump-glump-glump,

don’t look an oopy-dee-doopy in
the eye-yi-yi,
lest your dingle-mack-shmingel
might die-yi-yi!

No, better bratchet your fatchet
with a wee small small-wee,
and don’t fobble your dobble
under the brown globble tree,

just grab your sexi mac-lexi
and squish-up your dish-up,
forgot the blah-lah-ders
and mish-up your frish-up,

by the zizzel of kizzel
I invoke Lord Snapwaggle,
does any of this schmizzel
make you want to persnaggle?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Love Poem Recipe

1. Decide if you want
it to be
abstract
or representational,
as this will
determine the
poem’s trajectory.

2. Pick three memories
of your beloved
(two obvious ones
and one almost forgotten one),
and set them aside.
Later, scatter them
throughout your work
to suggest
your beloved
has casually become
the center of your
universe.

3. Write something
about your beloved
that you cannot say
about any other person
in the world.
Do not despair,
if necessary,
fabricate something credible
and trust that the person
will grow into that.

4. Make a positive comparison
about one of your partner’s
physical attributes
to something non-physical,
“your lips
hold the promise
of a hundred
Christmas Eves.”

5a. (for men only),
if you must write
about her body parts,
do not use slang
or the anatomically
correct Latin term;
either of these will
kill the mood,
5b. (for women only),
if you must write
about your future plans,
do not mention marriage
or wished-for children;
either of these will
kill the mood.

6. Dump all
these ingredients
into a word processor,
hit the start button.
Turn it off
when your words
begin to look
like mush.

7. Do not present your poem
in calligraphy
or have it center-aligned,
both of which
imply insecurity.
Simple handwriting
or a plain font,
left justified
should suffice.

8. If you realize
that your poem
doesn't adequately
convey the expanse
of your love,
that means

a) congratulations,
you have a love
for the ages! or

b) your poem
needs a rewrite.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Gentle, Wet Kiss

Gray mist envelopes
the valley,
blessing everything
with a gentle, wet kiss.

This fog
makes everything
soft and beautiful
as if I were driving
through a
soft-focus photograph.

There may be
disappointment and
despair waiting
somewhere in
my day,
and I can’t change that,
but for now,
my heart is near
bursting,
my soul,
silent but electrified,
gliding through the dawn.

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Name Is Buddah Moskowitz (and I Am Funky)

Self-abnegation
brought me to
Buddah Moskowitz.

My teenage plan
was to be a sitcom writer
when I grew up.

Growing up happened
when I realized
there were no sitcom writers
with last names resembling
Reyes or
Martinez or
Garcia or
Ramirez or
Gutierrez or
Torres or
Salas or ...
...you get the picture.

Also,
I didn't look like
anyone in
Hollywoodland,
and I didn't have
the self-confidence,
the flamboyance
to bust out as
the fat freakshow
that I was.

I wanted a name
that would confound
these prejudices
and be all my own,

Q: Why Buddah?

A: Because Judas was
already taken
and I tend to be
a non-dualistic,
non-materialist.

Q: Why Moskowitz?

A: Because even though
there is nothing but
gentile Mexicans
in my lineage,
I know my soul
is Jewish,
plus
I think it looks
very cool.

So, when you see the name
Buddah Moskowitz
do you picture
an overweight 52 year old
Mexican American?

Neither do I,

and I like it
that way.

Anita (April 20, 2015)

I see her
on the treadmill
focused
and determined,
her stride
controlled and
graceful.

I watch her from
the weight machines,
wanting to
catch her eye
but not wanting
to distract her.

Her chestnut hair,
bouncing like
children on a hayride,
makes me smile.

She cannot see
herself
the way I see her,

but she is perfect,

and for her
I will lift a little more
run a little faster,
try a little harder,

and I cannot believe
the good fortune
that she wears my ring.

Mindfulness Exercise

Feel the crush
of the grass
beneath your feet
as you
inhale and exhale.

Take note
of the breeze
how it kisses
your face and
tousles your hair
as you
inhale and exhale.

Witness the
many shades of green
and the blues
in the sky
as you
inhale and exhale.

Be grateful
for every moment
because you know
each one is a miracle
as you
inhale and exhale.

Know these things
are true and remember
life is sweet
even as
you scoop
the dog poop
as you inhale and exhale.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Eternal Challenge

No two heartbeats
thump exactly alike
and no two sets of eyes
perceive the same thing
the same way
and so it is with
the self.

So,
tear open your soul,
not neatly as though
you were unzipping
a windbreaker,
but madly
as a thirsting man
in the desert,
guzzling it,
too lustful in
consumption
to worry about
appearance.

Remember,
the Infinite
does not just move
outward
but once you recognize
that it penetrates
inward
you will never
be bored again,
as you dig deeper,
revealing more
layers of mystery
hiding in your DNA,
interwoven in your soul.

I cannot tell you
how to access this,
but I know
once you understand
that everything
has been building
up to
this
very
moment
right
NOW!
then your days
will be made as
fine masterpieces,
universal yet personal
works of art,

that no one else
can teach
and only you
can inspire.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Folly

I have guitars,
both electric and acoustic
including the
Yamaha Guitalele
the ukulele;
a Korg microarranger,
my other Yamaha keyboards
and synths,
assorted samplers,
midi controllers,
my Novation MiniNova
synthesizer
and a variety
of effects pedals;
the Korg Kaossilator
and the KP Mini
grooveboxes,
a handful of
microphones,
and a few
multitrack recorders,
some analogue,
some digital.

Thousands of dollars
all spent in the service
of making
musical recordings,
still hoping I will be
“discovered”at 52,

the World’s Oldest
Child Prodigy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Broken Girls

I see broken girls
everywhere,
trying to hide
behind polished smiles
something secret
and shameful
that was born
so long ago
and was pushed
down so deep
it is almost forgotten.

Almost.

I see broken girls,
frantically flapping,
always trying to
win approval
from parents
who have long since
departed this realm.

Broken girls
never rest feeling 
that they did 
enough.

Broken girls
possess hearts
ever weary,
muscles exhausted
from always holding back
that sadness they keep
in the dark,
lest it see the light
and multiply
like malignant cancer cells.

Broken girls
can see each other
and in their
invisible bond,
they make silent prayers
for each other,
knowing that
even they 
are entitled
to a bit of happiness
now and then.

I see broken girls
in line at the supermarket
at evening prayers
fighting with the insurance company
waiting out colorless marriages
in drunken, half-naked stupors
frozen and stuck in therapy
writing poems no one will see
stroking cats in silence
worrying about the future.

When I look 
into the mirror,
I see a broken girl.

Monday, April 13, 2015

No Overarching Narrative

I attempt  
completing the puzzle
even though
my soul knows
many of 
the stray pieces
have been hidden.

There is no meaning
in these random occurrences,
no overarching narrative.

It's just grasping 
at disparate shards
of perception,
those meandering clouds
of feelings
and assembling them
into something
recognizable.

The spider in the bassinet,
the ice cube in the ashtray,
the eyelid closed in slumber,
the Bowie knife in the pew.

The story is not
that they are related 
in some meaningful frieze,
but rather it is
that they were
never disconnected.

There is meaning
in this world,
but it is not ours to
know,
so why ponder.

Enjoy the drink,
breathe in the air,
savor the meal,
fall asleep in
a naked embrace,
chest heaving
in the afterglow.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mussolini the Crow

Every morning
perched atop
the three storied
steel and glass office,

Mussolini the crow

surveys the filling parking lot,
squawking declarations
and orders,
his ranting lost
on human ears.

I always stop
and smile
as he berates me
with all the others:

"You fools!
Don't you see
you're just wage slaves!
Your life is being
traded away for mere
millet!
Don't go in there,
they'll take everything
from you, and won't stop
until they have your soul!"

Nobody listens
as we all dutifully
single file in
with quiet resignation.

Still every day
he is there,
taunting us
without mercy.

Perhaps,
he isn't even a crow,
but rather
a mockingbird.

Balance

Balance
is an illusion,
only because we think
we need to achieve
equilibrium
to achieve peace.

Remembering
to breathe
completely in
and then
completely out,
forgetting the past
and the future
resets everything,
wipes the slate clean.

It is as easy
as it sounds
and
it is not as easy
as it sounds.

Now go,
and
become balanced.