Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Polished Dancing Shoes

Still yourself
until you feel
the vibration.

Sharpen your senses
until you can hear
the thrumming,
pulsing life
in every living
being.

Listen to the world
turning on
its weary, aged axis
and attune your breathing
appropriately.

It may feel like
a night lasting a year,
but it is only
darkness,

and just when
you’ve adjusted
to it,
a flash will blind you
for a moment,

and out of the glare
a meadow will bloom,
the ocean will sing,
and your heart will know
the music
of the spheres,

this planet
whirling in
its blue-black space,
within a larger galaxy,
twirling within
this infinite cosmos,

and when that happens
you’ll be ready
to put those
polished dancing shoes
to good use.

[Inspired by Belinda's post at http://busymindthinking.com .]

Monday, February 08, 2016

Finding 1974

Climbing
over the mountain
of memories,
it looks more like
the city dump,
everything tossed
about,
no rhyme,
no reason,
no hope
of ever
finding 1974
and the
innocent skin,
the naive eyes
I once possessed
before the erections,
insecurities,
and self-abnegation
took me hostage
for the next
few decades
and refused
to let go.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

One Week Shy of 26 Years

I am the sexy line of
Long Island Ice Teas
and the salacious,
intoxicated solicitations
that never happened.

I am the morning
Bloody Mary
with raw egg and Tabasco
as a cure for the hangover
that never came.

I am the frosty can of
ice cold beer
waiting in the 90 degree
afternoon heat
that I never opened.

I am the nondescript
bargain whiskey
on self-pitying lonely
and moonless nights
that never left the bottle.

I am
one week shy of
26 years of sobriety,
but on days
like today,
I want her so badly
that I can only
define who I am
but what
I don’t drink.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Raincloud Haibun

She tried to process what he'd just said, but all she kept thinking was "it's not good having a 4 o'clock meeting on a Friday afternoon with your boss."  Breaking her reverie, she looked up and heard him say "I have to flatten the organizational tree in higher administration." What the hell does that mean?He proudly championed his commitment to diversity, but here he was telling here that in the upcoming reorg, there was no room for a woman of color who has been with the organization 28 years.  He spoke some more, but her shock left her temporarily numb and mentally elsewhere. Gathering her thoughts and her dignity, she waited for a break in his monologue, and said "I think we're done here," and walked back to her office.

Rain can fall or storm,
ultimately, it brings growth;
the clouds never stay.





[First #haibun attempt, photo by BusyMindThinking (many thanks as it inspired this writing).

Nightmare (Twelve Problems)

I awaken
in darkness
alone in my bed
(problem #1),
and I hear someone,
something,
slamming against
the front door
(problem #2).

The alarm wails
(problem #3)
and before
I can panic,
the familiar
beep-beep-beep-beep
of the code
is entered
which quells
the alarm
(problem #4).

I call out
"who is it?"
and there is
no response
(problem #5)
save for the sound
of breathing
and the opening
and closing
of kitchen drawers
(problem #6).

I attempt
"Who's there?"
but my voice
suddenly strained,
is whisper quiet,
(problem #7),
and I hear
the familiar squeak
of the knife drawer
(problem #8).

I try to kick off
the blankets,
but I'm inexplicably,
inextricably,
tucked in
(problem #9),
as heavy footsteps
plod up the stairs
to my room
(problem #10).

In the moonlight
I see the glint
of the blade
in the hand
of the approaching intruder
(problem #11),
as my body,
frozen in fear,
eyes closed hard,
awaits the plunge
(problem #12).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Un-Commented Upon Post

Inspiration wafted by
and grabbed imagination
by the collar
and they wrestled
and rode each other
naked and sweaty
until conception
was complete.

During gestation,
the second draft
brought needed
revisions
until finally,
this child,
their beautiful offspring
was ready.

Press “Publish”
and wait.

Every baby
in this nursery appears,
more or less,
the same,
and a hundred more
were born
since you started
reading this.

What did you expect?
It’s just a blog post.

It’s not like
you cured cancer.

[Written for http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/28/image-ine-dverse-meeting-the-bar/, inspired by your Hostess, Victoria C. Slotto]

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Night Watchmen

The night watchmen
see it all.

They slip into midnight,
their natural hue,
and witness the hunger,
the desperation
of those who live
and scurry by night,
but don’t do
or say anything about it.

Their slick black
trench coats
make each one
indistinguishable
from the other.

Last night,
they witnessed
a break-in
at the printers,
a break-up
after the bar closed,
and a breakout
from the county prison.

They betray no one,
they have no code.

In the dawn
they gather
in their murder,
but there is
no conspiracy,

each crow
searching the morning’s
detritus,
stray fast food wrappers,
uncovered garbage cans,
just looking for
something to eat.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Unacceptable Weirdos

Give me
the unacceptable weirdos,
those artists
sweaty, passionate
and forever
misunderstood.

I don't believe artists
who look like
movie stars
or fashion models,
because they always had
other options.

An artist
so ugly that
all they have
is their talent,
their lifetime isolation,
and their pulsating pain;
I find
in these outcasts,
succor
and understanding.

This is the story
I tell myself:
I'm not a pretty boy.
I'm an ugly,
unacceptable weirdo,
so therefore,
I must be talented.

Anyone else
see the flaw
in my logic?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lifetime Movie Haiku

Perfect male misanthropes,
doe-eyed, speaking mannequins;
I can't look away.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Room Service Banana Split Sundae (for Anita)

The only way
to improve upon
a room-service delivered
banana split sundae
is to slowly lick it off
the naked backside
of a freshly
blooming
paramour
in a furtive,
anonymous hotel room
in a city
far, far away.

[Written for http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2016/01/poets-united-midweek-motif-food.html ]

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Little Napoleon

Little Napoleon
ruled his world,
with an iron appendage
taking whoever he wanted,
whenever he wanted.

Although a stump
of a man,
a troll with bad breath,
a lazy eye
and a crooked nose
with oversized
nostrils,
word got around
that he was blessed,
gifted, as it were,
and the women swore
the rumors were
true.

For years,
it was an endless,
breathless
orgy of sweaty,
fleshy excitement
with an ever changing retinue
of hungry femininity,
who wanted nothing
to do with him
once they collected
as many orgasms
as they could carry.

Little Napoleon
didn’t care.

He’d rather read a book
than talk to 99 percent
of the population anyway,
but still,
there were some cravings
that a book would never satisfy,
like
who was staring back at him
in the motel bathroom mirror?

The end crept in,
covertly,
manifesting itself
in ever diminishing
performances,
softer and softer,
gentle like his
grandmother’s
skin.

In desperation,
he tried pills,
shots,
prosthetics,
even resorting
to cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Though he was found
in a most undignified
position,

hanging from a shower rod,
bathrobe sash around his neck,
extension cord wrapped tightly
around his engorged
junk,

he would’ve been
mighty proud of this
erection.

Monday, January 11, 2016

De-Christmasing

Before the
new year arrives,
I de-Christmas
the house.

Fold the festive linen,

exile those ceramic
snowman to their
cardboard Siberia
in the garage,

fade out all those
wall to wall
yule tunes.

The lights,
the music,
the handmade ornaments
from the children,
these things
stay the same
year to year.

We change.

I change.

As I re-seal
the yellowed boxes,
I relive
the blur of memories
attached to each
thing,
before I store it
away
with a blessing
and a wish:

"see you next year,
God willing."

One year,
I won't be so lucky,
and these things
will outlast me,

and I hope
I am part
of someone else's
Christmas memories,

remembered,
at least,
for a season.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Resolution (for Sarah)

Just on the other side
of the dawn
a new year waits.

It is
merely potential,
now,

waiting for something
or someone
to set it into motion.

Be that activity!
Be that energy!
Be that spark that starts
who you are to be!

It might take
a long time
to find your light,
but when you do,
nurture it,
feed it,
and then
set it on fire!

The world is waiting
for you.

It is incomplete
without you;
the day is incomplete
without you.

Bring who you are
to the party
that starts right now
and never ends.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Believe (My Testimony)

Nothing will prepare us for
that angel waiting at our final door
who'll beckon us to come explore
an afterlife we can't ignore.
Unlike the view we've learned before 
no flames are coming through the floor
and there isn't torture, fear or gore
only love everlasting and nothing more.

So listen now, as the truth I tell,
I believe there is no everlasting hell.

Your life unlived, full of regret,
you've dug your grave with a pile of debt,
as eternal challenges go unmet
and childhood dreams you must forget,
but please don't worry or even fret
this rollercoaster ain't over yet,
there's still time to change and get
all that cannot be lost on a bet.

So before this situation worsens,
I believe God will save every person.

Immerse yourself in sacred pages
decode prophecies of ancient sages
but literal interpretations so outrageous
can lead to justifiable rages.
Don't surrender logic in subtle stages
or let fear of death become contagious,
ask the hard questions, be courageous
and let God free you from any cages.

It doesn't matter how it is said or done
I believe, the Lord, our God, is One.

Cherry pick what you believe
and earthy praise you might receive,
a pious halo you might achieve,
but you'll be the only one deceived.
I've been called worse than naive
but I've nothing heretical up my sleeve,
for my Savior born on Christmas Eve
loves us more than we can conceive:

In His family I am your brother,
so Love the Lord, our God 
and love one another.

[Posted for Real Toads' Tuesday Platform; http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-tuesday-platform_22.html - Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year y Feliz Navidad, mis amigos!  Dont drink and drive! Don't text and drive! Love, Moskowitz the Humble]

Monday, December 07, 2015

The Lady Who Never Says No

The Lady Who Never Says No
whispers that no one will
ever know.

She's all dressed up
for the holidays
like a call-girl,
wearing her best
skin-tight
electro-amphetamine
frosting.

She knows how
to make that sound
with her perfectly
lipsticked
mouth
that makes even the
most innocent utterance
sound slutty
and tempting.

She's giving me that
"Take Me into
That Darkened Corner
and Do Whatever
You Want" look

and she's right
no one will ever know,

but I know me.

And one time
will tumble into 20,
then into a hundred,

and we'll go at it
cheap and angry
in my car
in the far end of
the Wal-Mart parking lot,

and then I'll be
sucking down mouthwash
before coming home,

and I probably
will only stop
when the red and blue lights
stop me,
and I lose my license
for a year.

Then,
everyone will know.

Fuck,
just keep on walking.

For Christ's sake,
it's just one aisle in the grocery store.

After 26 years,
ain't you got over her yet?

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Size Doesn't Matter

“Listen, brother,
you ain’t missing
anything.

Bigger women
got bigger everything,
and that ain’t always
good,
if you know what I mean.

Wear your size
like the badge of honor
that it is.

Besides,
there's always a few
who’ll do us
because
of our size.

That’s when you
show them
what a real freak is."



Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Andy Warhol's Quote, with an NRA Rewrite

In the future
everyone will know
someone caught
in a mass shooting,

but the wound
won't be forgotten
after 15 minutes.

So, Wayne LaPierre,
where the fuck
is that Good Man
With A Gun?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Like Magic (for Anita)

Like magic
the sun went down
and when it came back up,
the world was changed.

Like magic
he went from affluent bachelor
to husband-stepfather
with the utterance
of a few words.

Like magic
thirteen years whiz by,
faster than memory
can capture.

Life is sweeter
and richer than ever imagined,
and as I stand in the middle
of all this wondrous,
miraculous happenstance,

I know it wasn't
accomplished
by magic,

for there is no secret
to reveal,
only love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankfulness, a list from Moskowitz

Dear Colorful Ones:

Smarty Fireblossom
Mama Super Zen
Angie Inspired
Shadorma Girl Paula W
Difficult Degreed Amy Jo
In The Corner of My Eye Mary
Brudberg, wherever he is
Di Domino
Kimolisa
De Whimsy Gizmo
Sue the Laundry Goddess
Candy Bug
Clairey Love
Writing Outta the Mary Bachs
and Joanna the Tenth Muse,

it's easy to feel
invisible
in this virtual world.

Thanks for seeing me,
reading me,
writing me back.

Thanks seems so small
when your words feel so big,
and on many days
are the best part of being me.

So,
anyways,
thanks one and all.

I hope you know
how much your reflection
means to me.

Amen and
onward.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vanity

With a fierce determination,
these architects plan
and sculpt
and build
their bodies
into monuments
of self-discipline
and sheer will power.

They are temples
worthy of awe
and admiration,
but some display
their weakness
as peacock feathers.

Those who graffiti
their bodies
until they've no more
skin left uninked,
display the worst
kind of weakness:
vanity.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Today's High: 81

Rust in the trees,
turkey shopping
in short pants,
Thanksgiving
In Moreno Valley.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Brown Privilege

I can arrange
to be around people
of my own race
most of the time,
whether I
want it or not.

I can avoid spending time
with people whom I was trained
to mistrust,
mostly because
I’m unwelcome there.

I can go shopping alone
most of the time
at la carniceria,
la panaderia,
or any of the price-point,
mini-mall variety stores
pretty well assured
I won’t be followed
or harassed.

I can turn on the tv
or read the front page
of the newspaper,
and see people
of my race widely represented,
mostly in stories about
illegal immigration,
narco-trafficking,
and quinceaneras .

I can be pretty sure
of having my voice heard
in a group where
I am the only member
of my race,
as long as I am
amusing and
non-threatening.

I can do well
in a challenging situation
without being called
a credit to my race,
although I have been called
“one of the good ones.”

I can worry about racism
perpetrated against
white people
without being seen
as self-interested or
self-seeking.

I can take a job
that I am overqualified for
with an affirmative action
employer without
my co-workers suspecting
I got the job
because of my race.

I can be late to a meeting
of MECHA
or La Raza
without my lateness
reflecting on my race.

I will feel
welcomed and “normal”
in the usual walks of public life,
institutional and social,
provided I know my place
and stay there.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Queen of QVC

The parcels arrive daily,
like seaweed and shells
from the tide.

She keeps calling,
buying,
collecting,
gifting and re-gifting.

She’s hates if someone
calls her a hoarder,
and can’t understand
why she was prescribed
an antidepressant.

When I visit
there’s no place to sit,
and it resembles less
the home I grew up in
and more a packaging
and shipping depot.

In a rare moment
of lucidity and candor,
she confessed
she’s trying to find the
perfect gift
to give so people
would like her.

Digging further,
she knows
she’s trying to find
the perfect gift,
and I ask her
what’s the one thing
she wants.

I already know
the answer,
and she sobs
and I just sit there
unable to do
anything about
my father’s death.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Only Golden Time

I play these records
until the grooves
are etched deep
in my soul.

They remind me
of growing up,
when Christmas was
the only golden time,
the only magic time
of the year.

These days,
I often see my parents,
and my heart aches
because in my memory
they are together,
not separated
by an early passing.

"...through the years
we all will be together, 
if the fates allow..."

These days,
we have our own
private tradition,
and I live to fulfill it
every Christmas Eve,
and I look forward to it
because it is
the single best
moment of the year.

Everything after that
is just a
thankful exhale.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Weight (for Sarah)

When The Weight returns
just nod,
but don't try
to make friends.

He doesn't hate you,
but he sure ain't your friend,
and he especially loves
kicking down
your lovingly built
sand castles,
while sitting on your chest
making breaking difficult.

No one knows why
The Weight
chooses who it chooses,
but it's clear
it's tragically random.

I'll try to distract you
from it,
and even though
I'll probably fail
miserably,
I'm here,
and I love you,

and as best as we can,
we'll get through this
together,

eyes forward,
waiting out
The Weight.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Squint

Don't get
too comfortable
because everything
changes
all the time.

Everyday has
its own problems,
so don't feel like
you must
solve them all
upon awakening.

Don't forget about
the sweetness
In the breeze,
the music
in the flowers,
the kindness
In the small animals.

Hope is always
hiding in plain sight.

Just squint,
And you'll see it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Which One?

If I tell someone
"I believe in God,"

and they reply
"Which one?"

then I know
if I am talking with

someone holy
or merely
religious.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Strongest Fragile Person

Her injury didn’t happen
on a battlefield,
but rather in an unsecured,
off-site Army barracks,
with a poorly locking door
that she reported
immediately upon notice.

They did nothing.

She would have to replay
the memory of
her rape at knifepoint
everyday for a year
(that’s how it felt),
until the matter was
closed.

She wasn’t offered
psychological counseling
at the time;
it was 1968.

She quickly married,
and her husband’s only advice
was to try and forget it.

When I met her in 1994,
she was the strongest fragile person
I ever met.

Eventually,
she received treatment for
her PTSD,
and a partial medical disability
from the Veteran’s Administration.

That assault
cost her so many things,
including our love,
and Teresa,
I’m sorry
I couldn’t help more.

When you can’t see
the injury,
it’s hard to know
how deep is the wound.