Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Open Letter to My Younger Self (inspired by Shay Fireblossom)

First off,
stop worrying that
you’re too fat.
You aren’t.

that most things your parents
are going to tell you
have been rinsed in fear:
they just don’t want you
to live like they had to.

When they tell you
forget about the music,
don’t try to be a comedian,
they’re not trying
to discourage you,
they’re just scared
you’re going to be
living in a car.

But here’s a little secret:
like so many grown-ups
in this world,
they mean well,
but they’re wrong.

I see your creative spark,
your recessive gene of madness
and no,
I don’t think
you don’t talk too much.

You crack me up.

To be who you really are,
you’ll have to be
against the wall
and alone.

It’s perfectly fine
that you’d rather
stay inside and read
and listen to Beatles records
than go outside
and play football.

Don’t let people
who are afraid to sing
keep you from singing
and writing your song.

Don’t work too hard
to fit into this world:
be yourself
and make the world
come around to you.

It’s not always
going to be this
gray and flavorless.

those roses
Mom planted
out back?

those didn’t bloom

and neither will

Moskowitz, circa 1965

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Turn the Telescope Around [based on Amy Jo Sprague’s prompt: self-contradiction]

I love the caustic fire
of the 1980’s
Dead Kennedys
I love the 101 Strings.

I love the explosion
Spicy Cashew Chicken
at the Best Thai Cuisine
I love those dusty
cellophane packaged
cinnamon buns
with the congealed white frosting
sold at anonymous roadside
gas stations.

I love how Christians
cannot convince me
that the
Eternal Conscious Torment
of Hell exists
I love how everyone
will come
to see Jesus as God
of their own volition,
(just don’t ask me how).

I love how atheists
require proof
I love that
they cannot
reduce the splendor of life
to mathematical formulae.

I love peacefulness
I love upsetting

I love that
I frequently see
my deceased father
in the mirror
I love that his baldness gene
hasn’t kicked in yet.

I love
that I don’t
fight correction
like I used to
I love being
provably right
every now and then.

I love art
that comforts me
I love art
that outrages me.

Look at me
through the strong end
of the telescope,
and my inconsistencies
are glaring,
threatening to tear me
into two,

but turn the telescope

and from a
less threatening

and all you see
is one
with infinitesimal

that is me.

[Posted at ##OpenLinkNight at - a poetry lovefest online!]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

White-Feathered Pirates

bruised cotton clouds,
the seagulls circled
in a pattern that
I couldn't explain
but existed,
mysterious and ominous.

If they possessed
a greater intellect
and these damned
opposable thumbs,
they might converge
upon me,
stealing my groceries
like noisy
white-feathered pirates,
pecking at my eyes
and skull
just for atavistic laughs.

“That’ll teach you
to be one of them,”
they’d mock,
meting out their rough justice,
their entertainment,
against me,
guilty of humanity.

They’d be as arbitrary
and dispassionate
as evolution,
as natural selection.

After the attack,
they’d flap away
in drunken, loopy circles,
laughing their way
to their next victim.

they've only
the gift of flight
and not anything
human intelligence.

[Written for #OpenLinkNight at - the swingingest place for poets on the ‘net!]

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Eve

1986: Darra

Wet Thursday morning.
My senior year of college;
we didn't use protection
so we were fixing the problem,
The nurse called for her,
I waited
pretending to study.
She returned
forcing a reassuring smile.
As she got in the car
she vomited
before we sped away.

1988: Stacia

Bright Saturday afternoon.
Tomorrow I'd be introduced
to her family
but I didn't love her
(even though I said I did
so I could sleep with her).
We met at the park
I told her there was someone else
(which there was).
Her green eyes went gray:
"then I'll just disregard that
Valentine you sent me, right?"

1994: Lan Anh

Black Sunday afternoon.
I whistled in the dark
and vowed a naive "I Do,"
unaware she was still
in love with him.
I resisted the impulse to run
as our two-tiered
wedding cake fell
during our first dance,
just before she told me
to stop kissing her
so much.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another Day Laborer

It’s 6:15am
at the coffee kiosk
in the AM/PM 

with the other day laborers,
dirty orange shirts
and dark almond faces,
fueling up,
some with coffee
some get the
2 for $2.29 hot dogs
and slather them
with every possible condiment,
for reasons I suspect
are part culinary
and part budgetary.

They talk and laugh,
a quasi-fraternity,
in fluid Spanish to protect
their privacy,
their dignity.
I view and respect them
from a distance
because even though 

we are all Mexicans,
I don’t fit in with them.

I arrive at the college
where my title is Dean,
and sit in sterile conference rooms
among the academicians
each holding an iPad,
properly groomed
in blazers and ties,
except me in my
rolled-up shirtsleeves,
sans neckwear,
listening to
esoteric rhetoric
about pedagogy
and student access.

Around the conference table
the array of fleshtones
(mostly pink)
possessing impressive titles
(mostly ceremonial)
congratulate me
on my latest
and never suspect
that I work double time
to banish any suspicion
that I am just
a misplaced day laborer,
and I realize that
though I’ve been here
twenty years,
I still don’t fit in here either.

Returning to
my quiet office
I hunt and peck,
with feelings of doubt
and inferiority,
trying to shape
something poetic,
maybe even heroic,

tap tap

but finally
fitting in.

[Written for #OpenLinkNight at - a poetic oasis in the internet desert.]

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Doubt Awakens

We meet in the fog,
cool and soft.

Lost in

and glances anew,

doubt awakens:

will I still be
once the fog

[Written for #OpenLinkNight - home for wayward internet poems. Written in the Soupy Sales Format (in 25 words or less).]

Monday, February 04, 2013

Baby, I'm a Star! (Sort of...)

Thanks to the great Kimolisa, for featuring an interview of me at her blog:

If you like my writing, then do yourself a favor and check out her website!

Thanks again, Kimolisa!