Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My Heart Sees

I'm not looking
for new wrinkles;

my eyes
just don't focus
that way anymore.

These days,
my heart sees
more
clearly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Incomplete America

“They're bringing crime. 
They're rapists. 
And some, I assume, are good people.”
- Donald T(he )Rump on Mexico

Make America Great Again?

Nothing screams
Clueless White Male Privilege
than pining for
“The Good Ol’ Days.”

Anything
pre-1965,
pre-Civil Rights Acts
pre-Voting Rights Act,
is an
Incomplete America.

I piss on your nostalgia.

I shit on your romanticized
Hollywood fantasies
of a sanitized,
White Protestant
America,
where everyone
had their place,
and they knew it
and they kept there
and they were happy.

Their mythology comforts
for there is
no conflict,
no desperate, hungry pleas
to distract
The Exceptional, Chosen Americans
from their enviable dreams.

I’m an American
and my country
needs me,
and the rest of us
who have been left out
on the sidelines,
in the boiling kitchens,
under punishing sunlight
in the fields,
wiping the asses
of the royal offspring
of the rich and pampered,

to register
and vote,
vote,
vote.

Don’t let them
“Make America Great Again”
because we know
where that led us.

Vote and
“Make America Complete, At Last.”
Moskowitz voting in California Primary, June 2016


[For Poets United suffrage prompt.]



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Refuse

I refuse
to believe that darkness
will vanquish the light
permanently.

I refuse
to distrust you
just because
we do not look alike.

I refuse
to believe
that my side
is infallible.

I refuse
to join others
out of fear
instead than love.

I refuse
to dogpile on the
lone,
dissenting voice.

I refuse
your negativity,
your avarice,
your pessimism.

If you offer me
your friendship,
your time,
or your love,

in exchange
for my belief
in the inherent
good of my fellow,

then,
I refuse.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

No!

“No!

She cannot be
gone!

She is my light,
my food,
my breath.

Without her,
this life will be
a gray, unrelenting
sentence.

She’s still
just a baby,
my baby.

Perhaps, God,
if I held her
strong enough,
close enough,
You would
trade my life
for hers?

I won’t ask
why.

No answer
will suffice.”


Inspired by K├Ąthe Kollwitz, 
"Frau mit totem Kind" (1903)














[Written for http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2016/07/words-count-with-mama-zen.html ]

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Infinite Palette

In black and white
photography
there is rarely
any pure white,
and rarely is there
any pure black.

Most images are in
subtle shades of gray.

Different skin tones
are gray.
Snapshots of the sky
are a different gray.
Spilled blood
reflected in the sun
is a yet another variation
of gray.

I used to think
using black and white
in a colored world
was an affectation,
a pretense.

Now I see
that truth is like
a black and white photo:

a little black,
a little white,
and an infinite
palette of gray.

[Written for With Real Toads - go and read and praise.]

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lost in The Moment

If you're worrying
about what
I'm thinking about
while we're making love,

then
you can't be lost in
The Moment
like I am.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I Couldn't

“First, she told me
her name was Ashley.
The next time
it was Brandee,
and then,
it was Millicent.

She was young
and firm
and flexible,

with clear blue eyes,
and a nape made
for her
long
blonde
hair.

I kept feeding
her singles
and she ate
like a dirty city pigeon,
out of my hand.

I‘d have her lean in
as I pretended to listen
over the mix of
rap-metal
and classic rock,
but I was actually
breathing in her
heady mixture of
stage perfume and
overpriced alcohol.

I learned
she dropped out
of school when
she got pregnant.

She told me
she had the kid,
and a pimp,
and a coke habit,
as she slid her
lingerie’d torso
up against mine,
straddling me
during one of the
many table dances
she performed
under those predictable
red and purple
pin lights.

And I wanted
to rescue her,
to take her away
from all that decay,
to tell her
I loved her
and that I would
always take care
of her,

but I couldn’t.

So, eventually
I left that
smudge
of a town,

and told everyone
when I arrived home,

the agency was wrong,

and she wasn’t
our long-lost
second-cousin.

Now,
I just wish
I could
forget her.”

[For Fireblossom Friday @ With Real Toads ]

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Negotiations

Love,
as an action,
is unilateral;
a velocity moving
outward
in a specific direction.

Loving relationships
are always
bilateral negotiations;
at worse,
unwilling compromises,
at best,
complementary
sanctuaries.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

In The Temple Between My Temples

I always start
in the produce section,
and soon I am lost
in the beauty
the splendor
of it all:

inside my head
Elvis Costello is still writing the book
and pumping it up
and the New York Dolls
are dancing like monkeys
in spandex

and Dusty Springfield
tells me it’s a sign of the times
as I compare prices
on frozen pizzas

down the snack aisle
Curtis warns me about
the Pusherman
and I look to see
if he’s watching me
from his funkyfine heaven

and I try to remember
if we need milk
and Prince bumps up next
to the Carpenters
next to Public Enemy
next to Bob Dylan
next to Julie London

and I’m no longer
just grocery shopping:

I’m having a divine
religious experience

in the temple
between my temples.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Caveat Emptor, Prospective Believers

The deal looks simple:

just say you believe,
take a dip in the baptistery
and come up a new person.

So many agents sell it as
After Life insurance,
trying to earn their share
of that great
Great Commission.

Caveat emptor,
prospective believers,
before you sign:

remember
taking on the Christ
means losing yourself
and all your pretty things
for the sake
of Jesus.

If words like
obedience and discipline
scare and intimidate you,

they should.

To follow
is the hardest thing
and the days when
the cool water soothed
my aching, burning soul
are rare indeed.

It’s not as simple
as saying
“I believe, I believe.”

It is in denying yourself
the delicious pleasure
of self-righteous hatred and anger.

It’s in feeding your neighbor
with the last piece
from your pantry.

It’s in the very Un-American idea
that says
“I am not self-reliant,
I am weak,
and I need someone
to show me
right from wrong.”

It’s humbling,
but far easier than being hung
naked on a cross
to show your devotion to God
and nowhere near as
humiliating.

It’s not about being “saved”
from the Hell of the future,
it’s about living through
the hell of the present.

So, before you say yes
think it through,

and if you still can’t
rationalize it
or explain it

but you still want it,
really gotta have it,

then
you’re ready.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Slowly

To resist the temptation
to jump to the end of
the paragraph

to make the meal last
almost until it is too cold

to make love with fiery passion
and intensity
and to do it slowly.

Is it that the world
moves too quickly

or is it that I am blessed
by so many treasures
that I zip from one
flower to another

speeding like a hummingbird
with a two-minute warning?

I decide
I haven’t the time to ponder this
as I wrap this poem up

and speed home.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Why There is No Poem Today

This is not
a difficult question:

should I sit at the keyboard
bending thought and word
weighing simile and metaphor,
vainly trying to scratch out
a hitherto unheard phrase
on the off chance
that some anonymous reader
might comment positively
and feed my voracious appetite
for approbation and
self-aggrandizement,

or

watch another episode
of “Curb your Enthusiasm”
sitting next to
the most beautiful woman
I’ve ever seen
and feel the
comforting glow
that only comes
from finally knowing
true love?

I’ll be right there,
babydoll.

Friday, July 01, 2016

No One Wants Another Poem

No one wants another poem,
obviously it’s way too easy to grow ‘em.

Writers with insight are numerically few,
true artists are rare (the sure sign that they’re true).

Too many claim a literary profession,
thinking that art is merely confession.

Mistaking the insular as a merit unique,
they fill MA programs with empty technique.

With words they dig a verbal excavation,
but many of us think it’s just masturbation.

I’ve gone on too long, for now I just realize,
I’ve done the same thing that I came here to criticize.