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.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Kiss


And so,
after all the words
have been spent,
this is
how love is:

the lover
adores from above
and does not need
to show his face,

his beloved
bathed in affection,
eyes closed
in holy rapture,

both lost
to this world
and
both lost
in each other.
Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1908–1909. Ã–sterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, 180 cm × 180 cm

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The One I Threw Away

I've kept damn near
everything
I ever wrote,

just in case
the Smithsonian calls.

The only one
I threw away
intentionally
was the whine
written for the
deranged and depraved
married woman
who pursued me
after my newlywed bride
abandoned me
and my heart
was oozing
pus all over
our still-unopened
wedding presents.

In weakness
I wrote it
and in weakness
I dishonored
her marriage.

I secretly wish
every poem I ever
gave away
is still somewhere
secretly tucked
inside a memory box,
yellowed and folded,
treasured beyond
explanation,

except the one
I threw away.

I hope that one
was unceremoniously
dumped along with
wadded candy wrappers,
sticky, spent condoms
and other detritus
born of regret.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Where is Sarah’s Miracle?

When the Lord’s Supper
is shared in our church
lights are dimmed,
and I was grateful
for the darkness,
because I was doubting,
despairing,
wondering why
the Lord
saw fit
to scratch
my daughter’s brain,
in utero, 
marking her with
cerebral palsy,
mild enough
to prompt the
well-meaning,
but ignorant
“well,
at least
it’s not
that bad.”

(Never mind that she
has been diagnosed
with depression
since she was 7;
anxiety and OCD
as a teen.)

I sat with my head
in my hands,
hiding my tears,
thinking,

“where is her miracle?
Do You even perform
miracles anymore?”

Sensing the usher
standing by,
I looked up
and it was Bill.

Bill should have died,
when he was driving
that two-lane highway
through the Badlands,
and was struck
head-on
by a Mack truck.

He was in
intensive care
for half a year,
rehabilitated
for a half more
and now
here he was,
smiling and offering me
God’s grace
in the form of
an unleavened cracker
and a plastic
cup of grape juice.

I ate the bread,
drank the juice,
and patiently
kept on
waiting
for her miracle.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Just One Star

I look into the
limitless purple black
trying to focus on
just one star.

I am dizzied
and humbled.

I don’t have the right
to look up
and examine them
as though they were
specimens
in a laboratory,
for I am temporary
and replaceable,

inconsequential,

while the stars
are unreachable,
indestructible,
lasting longer than
the stones we use
to understand time.

I look up
into that massive
dark silence,
wondering if
someone
out there
is trying to find
me.

Easter 55

Virgin birth? Life after death?
Have you been smoking meth?

At attention, in your pews,
straining for any good news?

Heard not in any church,
hidden books I did search.

Hanging there, as a wraith,
not demanding assent of faith,

seems not a divine plan;
more likely by profane man.

Remember:

Jesus’ death saved everyone.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Nonfiction Books

Nonfiction books
bought, stacked,

possessing the
truth of
the world;

more than
I can
read in
a lifetime,

staving off
The Angel
Of Death.

Fiction books
remain superfluous.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Just One More Cup of Coffee

When we met at that Starbucks
I didn't think it’d change my life
I didn't think I’d find a wife
but there you were.

Now we sit by the fireplace
in this home that we both share
in a love I’d never dare
dream would feel so pure.

Through the years so many memories
put smiles upon my face
and time will not erase
how you answered every prayer.

But lately you seem somewhere else
and the question that I see
have you lost interest in me,
do you have something to share?

Let’s have one more cup of coffee
and we’ll sort everything out,
like we did when we were new
and we didn't have a doubt,
let’s slow down and just remember
the dreams we made back when,
just one more cup of coffee
could make everything right again.

I know that time has changed my body
by it hasn't changed my heart
like I knew right from the start
and I let him lead the way.

What can I do to make you feel
the way you felt when you said yes
that excited hopefulness
grows fainter every day.

Perhaps there’s nothing I can do
to re-ignite that spark
where it now feels cold and dark,
something here’s amiss.

So we’re polite but we don’t face it
knowing something isn't right,
we fall asleep each night
without even trying to kiss.

Let’s have one more cup of coffee
and look each other in the eye,
fixing this might be painful
that doesn't mean we shouldn't try,
but if you've already decided
please don’t tease me with a lie,
just one more cup of coffee
then you can tell me goodbye.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Anywhere but There

I shared a room
with two brothers -
a bed with one of them
until I was 16-
so I learned not to expect
too much privacy.

My earliest memories
were sitting with my brothers
on the couch that my father
reupholstered himself,
(partly
because he could reupholster
and partly
because we
couldn't afford new furniture)
watching Warner Brothers cartoons,
memorizing the voices
and the jokes,
on the color TV
that occasionally died
and my father would
resurrect with his vast
collection of glass vacuum tubes
he kept in a shoe box,
again,
because he knew how
and because
we couldn't afford
a new TV.  

The kitchen
had a breakfast nook
upholstered in pleather
(again, my father)
that made our thighs
stick as we slid in
wearing shorts
on hot summer days,
and my mom would concoct
things that only now
I have the words
to describe:
her go-to meal was collect
all the leftovers
and throw them in a skillet,
bind them all together
with egg
and serve it up in a tortilla.

My favorite place,
my only sanctuary,
was the spot on the floor
in front of the "stereo"
where I would
plug in my Pop's
over-the-ear
gray and black
plastic headphones
and listen to the FM radio,
or albums I borrowed
from the library,

and I would
escape from my world
of patched-up furniture,
hand-me-down clothes
leftover recipes
and my unspoken
Mexican inferiority complex

and I would dream
I was in a New York high rise,
or a Los Angeles bachelor pad,
or a Chicago recording studio,
anywhere but there.

Decades later,
I still consider it
home.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

About Sandra

The first poem
I read was
in the volume entitled

"Love is a Dog from Hell."

The perversity of the title
hooked me
and I opened to the section
about Sandra

and read about the temptress
who brought her
naive, young boys around
to show off to the author.

I had been
one of those boys
and I was red-faced
as him
caught me
in his descriptive grasp,
looked me over
and summarily dismissed me
as the inconsequential
youth that I was.

I read more
and more,
each poem
defining the man
and resonating
in me,
at once idiosyncratic
and personal.

I took it home
and Bukowski became
that unreachable standard
that all who create
must have.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Inadequate Keepsake

This is
the best day of my life.

I'm not fooled
by its mundane patina,
its ordinary facade.

It is a golden day
because
it is not a memory
nor a dream.

It is real,
and I am awake,

and this is not
a poem,
but rather
an inadequate keepsake
of an ineffable grandeur.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cornerman Pep Talk (In Between Rounds)

"You just have to do it.

There is nothing here
to fear
but fear,
and you must
stand that bastard down.

Besides,
what are you afraid of?
Looking stupid?
Looking pointless?
That's not gonna kill you.

Get in there!

Remember,
don't be your own
worst enemy,
be his worst
bloody nightmare,
and beat that monster
worse than
your dad beat you
and worse than
life beat him.

Listen to your cornerman:
all you can do
is re-enter the fight,
keep punching
and refuse to
stay down.

When that bell rings
don't look at his face,
just kill this ugly animal.

Forget that he is
your evil twin.

He's trying to kill you
but damn it,
kill him first!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bill Cosby Rape Accusations Have Me Very, Very Afflicted...Right!

1. She was raped
at knife point.

No question.

She reported it
immediately
but justice was
decades away.

I believed her
and lived with her
and her hyper-vigilance
and her PTSD
and her inability
to emotionally connect
with me.

2. Did I ever tell you
that I was accused
of rape as well?

She was
an angry married sow
who wantonly pursued me
right after my wife left
and she boiled
when I didn't beg her
to leave her husband
after we fucked,
stupid and sweaty
in a hazy, August afternoon.

She couldn't bear
to be discarded
as easily as I did
(which is why you
don't fuck
newly divorced people)
so she told her
hillbilly caveman husband
I raped her.
He threatened to kill me.

Three months
after we fucked,
then came the
vengeance
wrapped in a false accusation.

3. Lessons Learned:

Time is of the essence:
if you're raped,
report it immediately.

If you're falsely accused,
defend yourself immediately.

Don't give any one
any time
to make up
their own versions
of what happened.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holy Ritual

If you light a candle
as part of the ritual,
without thinking,
without devotion,

then it is just that:
a ritual,
an empty ritual.

If you light a candle
and you feel the connection
to the eternal flame,
to that which commanded
let there be light,
it is also
a ritual,
but,
a holy ritual.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Following

If I strike out
on my own
and get lost
I am alone.

If I follow you
and you get lost
then we are both
lost.

I love you
and I trust you,
so I say
let's go

and try not
to get lost,

but if we do,
at least
we won't be
alone.

Not Optional

From the beginning
I had no doubt:

we are to love
and take care of
each other.

Liking them,
however
is optional.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Unseen Three Haiku

They cannot be seen
but each one, Air, God, Music,
make this life real.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 12 and January 6

Every November 12
I remember,
thankful that they found
each other
and eventually made me.

If he didn't die
they would have hit
54 years on
November 12.

This coming January 6th
my Pop would have been
80.

Between these dates
came Christmas
the best time of the year,
a time my mom said
my father was relaxed,
different,
maybe happy.

They seemed happiest
at Christmastime.

It was always
the best time of the year,
many years
it was the only good
string of days
I knew.

So, every year
I start playing
Christmas music
November 12
and I end 
January 6,

thankful
for the precious gift
of memory,
which becomes more
fragile with each
holiday.

Muse Trouble

Poised to write







come out , come out
wherever you are








reluctantly,
I admit defeat.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Weather Report

The national weather map
with its colored waves
purple, blue red
produce
in an inverse bell curve
of temperatures
that will dip from
the mid 70s
down to the teens.

In just one day.

Our nation
will be one
prematurely shivering,
freezing monolith.

Except California
and Florida,

where it remains
sunny and perfect.

So,
how's that news?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Blind Faith

Who suffers more
from blind faith,

the one who believes
in what he cannot see

or the one who only believes
in what he can see?

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Itch

There is an itch
in the middle of my back
just out of reach
and i scrape myself
like a pathetic grizzly bear,
against trees,
stucco walls.

Try as they might
no one can get right at it.
Either it's the wrong pressure
Or the wrong location.

It's maddening
this unreachable nagging
that cannot be answered.

I used to fear it would
drive me insane,
until I realized
it was the thing
driving me.