Thursday, December 07, 2017

Christmas on TV

The musical cues
are perfectly timed;
the actors, beautiful,
the Thomas Kincaid lighting.

TV houses remain
impeccably decorated,
with wadded-up
wrapping paper
strangely absent from
the living room floor.

Any tears shed
are because
the two principals
finally found
each other,
and (of course)
they found love,
their cynicism replaced
by a sentimental gesture
that reminds of them
of their lost innocence.

No, Christmas on TV
lacks the wailing, moaning
and unremitting sadness,
longing for loved ones
long passed over
passed by
or passed away.

Christmas on TV
proves no loneliness
goes unanswered,
and everyone
has someone looking in
on them.

But life isn’t TV
and there are
dark, lonely quiet
living rooms,
with lone strings
of half-burned out lights
and dusty, faded nativity scenes,
valiantly trying
to imbue festivity
with warmth.

Christmas on TV
isn’t anything sad,
it sticks around
playing and re-playing
familiar fantasias
that rarely happen
in real life.

For some,
Christmas on TV
is the only Christmas
they know
as they wait
for December 26,
when it will all
seemingly overnight,

and everything,
for better or worse
or same,
goes back to normal.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


At the red light
a crow,
oil-slick black,
swooped in front
of my car,

on a dingy white
fast food

that had blown
into the busy

snatched it
and flew
to places
with the
speed and grace
of a jungle

in the
sliver of time

the light
turned green

and his
athletic prowess
was forgotten

in the rush
of drive time traffic.

(not a crow, but you get the idea)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Anita (November 28, 2017)

So much
has changed;

the obvious:

Less so:
momentary peace,
blissful pleasure,
a security
deep inside
a shaky heart.

Kids are a constant:

with two kids gone,
one still here,
a new generation
starts with Oliver.

What hasn't changed:

she is singularly
the most beautiful,
woman I've ever seen,

and the love,
this mammoth adoration,
never dissipates.

Simply put:
she came into my life
and made everything


Friday, November 17, 2017

Bra Straps Akimbo

The end of a Thursday,
she’s undressing
in the closet, and
I’m in the adjoining
vaping, listening to
America Top 40 re-broadcasts
from 1981,
my senior year
in high school.

All Jarreau’s
“We’re in This Love Together”
comes up,
and I remember
so desperately
to have someone to love
back then.

I wanted to be able
to hear that song
and think of her –
whoever she was.

I rise and
go to her
her blouse off,
bra straps

she is casually,

I tell her,
“don’t fight me”
as we melt
into each others’ arms,
as we have
countless times
during the previous
decade and a half.

We close our eyes,
hold each other,
sway to the music.

thank you for making
this dream come true,

a dream
I never had

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Glory HalleStoopid!

Glory hallestoopid!

Kick that nozzfoggle
to the back
of the drearidome!

Someday she'll
wiggle the tiggle
the way you want her to,
all wet and slippery,
sticky as teriyoku sauce.

the way forward
is strewn with
hibblefly mooklers
and they've not come
berating gifts.

So, try not to feel
all persnucka-reefal
just because
your yarblebarbles
are filling with
pus-like sploosherinka.

Your day with come,
little gonche-felber
and you'll ride
that flesh covered,
love masheeeen
late into that
silky, dark

and friztle-rippling
until Morpheus
drills the
deep inside

and you finally
literal buckets,
which has to
be seen
to be

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Indoctrination Begins

When it’s just
him and me,
with no one else
he is my captive
the indoctrination

“Since I Met You Baby,
my whole life
has changed…”

“Only You
can make this world
seem right…”

“So darling, darling
Stand By Me…”

I perform
my private concert
complete with
doo-wop group
dance moves
for my grandson,

so he’ll know
what’s important
in this world.

My Little Friend, Oliver

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sometimes a Cigar


sometimes a cigar
is just a cigar.

It's not always
a penis.

it's an warm nipple
forever out of reach

everyday of our life.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Scenes From a Marriage, Part 62

(After the fight.)

Her: Have you seen my wedding ring?

Him: Yes, I put it right here.

Her: Why did you hide it?

Him: Why did you throw it?


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Stop Saying "God is Good"

When your Lotto numbers
come up,
the surgery was
a success,
your kid
was found alive,

stop saying
"God is Good."

You sound insipid,
immature and stupid
but moreover,
you belie any faith
you profess to have.

When your
beloved puppy
is hit by the car,
or the layoff comes
on the same day
as your kids
are sent home
with lice,
or when
you find that final
bit of corroborating
that confirms her

that's when
you must say
"God is Good."

Faith without works
is dead,
but also
faith without adversity
is empty.

God doesn't just
love and defend me
only when I do
what God wants,

so we shouldn't
love and defend God
only when God does
what we want.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Long Curved Blade Thingy

"Look at him,
that old fuck.
He sucks on
that vape pen like
he's a fucking baby
with a bottle.

What's he
trying to prove

He's a Dean
at the college.
Not the University.
The community college.
No, the community college.

Right, not really college.

My favorite part is
about 4 songs in,
this lame ass
mother fucker
starts to dance.

It doesn't matter
the music,
could be rap,
heavy metal,
that shitty
country music,

he has one move:

grooving like
a fat 50 year old
trying to feel
young again.

He sees the skeleton,
the one with
that long curved blade thingy,
and he sees
his coming death,

with the certainty of gravity,
and he's trying to grab
a little fun before death.
His death.

And I also know
he can't get her off

Yeah, I can hear him
snoring and
she's in the bathroom,

late into the night."

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

I Am the Nostril Monster

I am
the Nostril Monster
and even though
I’ve a huge snout,
sharp, jagged teeth,
a mountainous girth,
and stink of
swamp water,
I still want,
no, need

What I love most
are beautiful,
delicate flowers
with soft wisps
of fragrance,
and delicate petals
exuding all things
perfect and divine.

The problem is
because I am
the Nostril Monster,
my claws are rough,
and my grip
is crude,
my movement,

Mine is a
cruel fate:

everything I
try to love
I end up

I am
The Nostril Monster
and I need love.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Warehouse of Unanswered Prayers

The vapor,
white and slippery,
snakes its way
toward Heaven,
and with each exhale
I offer my petitions,
prayers and requests
for friends and family,
for problems
too big for these
mortal minds.

I see the fruit
of my
answered prayers
in this world,
but where do
the unanswered prayers

The Warehouse
of Unanswered Prayers
is why the heavens
stretch into infinity.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Thank You, Raechy

Thank you for being
the first one
to convince me
that becoming your father
might be a good,
no, great idea.

Thank you
for always asking
how I'm doing.

Thank you
for the memory
of you and me
getting our first
tattoos together.

Thank you
for teaching me how
to use a bong.

Thank you
for my beloved grandson.

Thank you
for every second, Raechy.

Happy birthday
and happier tomorrows,
love, Pop-o

Friday, November 03, 2017

The Sealed Box in My Closet

I have a sealed box
in my closet.

In it are emails,
greeting cards
with her
deceptive cursive
begging and pleading
for my love,
the initial police report,
the restraining order
granted against her husband,
for threatening to kill me
because she told him
I raped her.

She cheated
on her husband,
didn’t want to
take responsibility
for it,
and tried to make me
the Fuckboy Scapegoat.

She dropped the charges
when confronted
with all the
contradictory evidence
I’d saved.

I have a sealed box
in my closet,
it is labeled
and I’ll keep it

in case
I ever need it
to save me

Thursday, November 02, 2017

This Wine (for Anita)

Emerging from
the shower,
she wraps herself
in a warm towel.

I revel in
her soft skin,
the smell of
her wet hair,
our comfortable

Before she
slips between
freshly laundered
I kneel,
slowly tugging
the towel
toward me,

all that is perfect
on this
November night.

Starting at her ankles,
my lips tease
their way up
to her intoxicating

which reminds me
of the first time,

only now,
the years have made
this wine
and much more

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Unworthy Victim Speaks

I still jump
when I hear
that phone ring,
unbidden, harsh.

I won’t turn down
the ringer,
nor change the ringtone
lest I forget this feeling.

“I know what you did
to my wife
and I’m going to kill you.”

Just because
my actions brought it on,
doesn’t make my
any less crippling.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fondly, Like a Pop Single

Whenever I hear
that song
“Walking On Sunshine”
I remember
she said it described
how loving me
made her feel.

she left
when she could no longer
tolerate and wait
for me to stop
sharing my life
with someone else.

Decades passed,
roads diverged,
different paths taken,
families sprouted.

I hope I am
like a pop single

and not regretfully
as a shiny,
impulse buy

made from the
“As Seen on TV” aisle
at the Walgreens.

To All My Loyal Readers

I apologize in advance
for the weakness
of the most recent offerings.

Life has been
throwing hell
at me
and I’ve been
waving a white flag.

Give me enough time
and I’ll try to turn this excrement
into gold
but I make no promises.

to all my loyal readers
who see me
and steal my invisibility,
your slightest notice
sends me into a drug like high.

Merely being seen
keeps me going
when I cannot understand
the  point of any of it.

Nothing is better than
someone telling me
I have touched them.

It’s the ultimate triumph
of my spirituality over materialism.

I am transcendent
typing mad fury
these stray thoughts knowing
there is some understood
underlying code
in all this spilled blood.

I keep trying to make connections
because it doesn’t matter
if you’re in public library in New York
or a jail cell in Texas
a bakery in Oregon
a pub in Australia

for a moment
we are in the same place
and it feels good to me.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


The skulls
the bones,
lie in the dirt
in the desert,
among lonely cacti
against hot,
unforgiving skies.

They were once
alive with ambition,
inflamed with passion,
wracked with worry.

they are but
silent reminders,
mute witnesses
to the sheer folly
of empty bluster
and shiny objects.

bring the wisdom
that even the richest
among us,
those most privileged,
will share
the same
exact fate
with the humble.

Who will leave
a richer legacy,
the humble
who shared freely
the fruit
of their grace

or those
who lived
in opulent vanity,
clutching every crumb
to their bosom
lest it be stolen?

remind me
of what is

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

That Moon

The moon hung
big and buttery and
close to the Earth.

It didn't say
or try to mean

It was just
to tug
at the tides,

to give lovers
to make promises

to be witnessed.

I wanted to
pull over
and savor it,

but there was
a reason
I didn't,

I thought was
more important
to do.

like a fool,
I pressed on.

I can't remember
why I passed
that moment by,

but I'll never
that moon.

[This wasn't it, but it was like this.]

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Siren Décolletage Mocks Me

Don’t confuse
their ubiquity
with mundanity.

in the employ
of marketing,
they are profaned,
on slick,
magazine covers.

Different hues,
fingerprint creases
and folds
and curves
in magical, mystical
sacred geometric

“Save the Ta-Tas.”
“Squeeze your Boobies.”
Change your avi
for the month
and flash them
to the world.

for the greater good
is advocacy.

the mystery
of that delicate skin
upon the breastbone,

the hint of
shadows falling
in between,

still cast their spell
on me,

as I remain
in perpetual

for connection,
for communion,
for restoration.

My lifelong desire
for embrace
to the eternally
warm, soft
female bosom,

to correct the deficiency
of a non-breastfeeding

remains unrequited,

as the magazine cover
silently mocks “no”
and you’re just
too tired.

[Written for Fireblossom's Challenge at]

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Death Will Not Be a Surprise

It is the only reliable thing
in this world.

When armed
with the right lens,
the specter of Death
does not hide:

the opossum frozen
with the shriek of death
on its face in a tidy
pool of dried blood,

empty wrappers
littering the streets,
reminders of
everything that was taken
so that we the living
could be nourished,

the putty-colored
misshaped used condoms
employed to halt
or at least delay
the continuum of life,

even these modest
and ill-conceived ramblings
are written so that
when Death comes
to redeem my ticket
I will have
beat the game.

But any fool knows
that’s another losing

Death will not be a surprise
and it will not take
“No” for an answer.

Until that day,
drink in the roses
dive into the orgasm
with eyes wide open

swim in the melody.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Father's Pearls

"Everybody wants to be
a musician
but how many actually
get a job doing it?"

"I really want
to read more books
but it hurts my eyes."

"Nah, it doesn't
matter to me if
you don't wanna
have kids.
You can't miss
what you've never

"Sure, I believe
in God but
I just don't want
to go to church.
I did all that
stuff when I was
a kid."

"If you're gonna
get married
you have to know
how to take
a punch."

"To apologize
to your mother
is the biggest
mistake you can
ever make."

"One of these days
you're gonna meet
a pretty little girl
and you're gonna
start dating her
and before you know it
she's gonna be
pregnant and then
how're you gonna
pay for it all?"

"Go into electronics.
I know about that
field and there's all
kinds of jobs there."

"Do you know why I
bought this carpet colored
Because I want you
to treat it like

"Don't waste your vote,
Vote for Perot!"

"What you eat in private
shows in public."

"Thank you, mijo,
your reward will be
in Heaven."

[Actual quotes from my father. Posted for ]

Friday, September 15, 2017


We sleep together
face to face,
like the cherubs atop
the Ark of the Covenant.

I lay my head
closer to
her breast,
eyes closed
my sleeping gaze
pointed up
to her placid face,

a telling distillation
of our relationship:

ever worshipful,
ever deserving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hands Digging Into This Earth

Cool Saturday mornings
in spring
I weed the planter
in blissful silence.

It’s simple,

I break the
cold hard ground
and sift the dirt
through my fingers
plucking the weeds
as though they were
errant gray hairs.

The same ground
worked and farmed by
my Mexican ancestors
and the Mestizos before them
and the Indios before them
and the Aztecs…

I am connected
to that eternal continuum
of hands digging
into this Earth.

It is almost
a mindless activity,
this private haven
that I own

and I smile
at my self-deception
and audacity:

to think
I own this land
that was here
long before
all my ancestors

and will outlast us all.

My name’s just
on the deed

for now.

Monday, September 11, 2017


When you’re free,
you become
weightlessly untethered
from the ground.

Though I am
a willing slave
to gravity,
I remain
a wisp,
a scent,
a flavor on the breeze.

May you
catch me
in your hair
and hear
my whispering plea:

be free!”

First Poem Published, Fullerton Daily Tribune, 1972

I was eight years old
and my local newspaper
a variety of
student submissions.

Here is what I sent in,
inspired by
an late night sermonette
on KTTV channel 11:

"God made
people to love
and things to use.

Some chefs
use people
and love
beef stews.

But God
made us to love,
with the love
from Above,

So, remember,
God made
people to love
and things to use."

Not bad
for a third-grader.

I forgot about it,
until it was found
in my Grandmother's purse
after she died in 1994.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Spark Joy

I bought her
the book
on tidying
your house,
your mind,
your life.

"Look at every
and determine

if it
spark joy,

throw it out."

I'm trying
not to read
too much
into her decision
to sleep
last night.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Greatest Challenge (for Oliver)

I can’t
smell that
“New Baby”

but there is
overwhelming peace,
warm, breathing bliss
in holding him,
my grandson.

This is my greatest

to be
completely present,
and enjoy him

instead of
dreaming of
all the times
we have
to come.

    Pop-o Moskowitz shares fine literature with Oliver.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's Still Magic

I've studied
Burt Bacharach's
"Bond Street"
for 40 years -

the quirky, uptempo
funky saxntrumpet
Hammond B-3 riff
that strange Eastern
flavor and the
soaring orchestra
aural transcendence
- even the Gypsy

and it's only
two minutes long.

I've played it
a million times
since I first heard it
when I was 7
and it still makes me

stop everything
and surrender
to its mystery.

If you know how
a magician
does the trick,
does it make it
any less magical?

it's still magic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Night used to be cells of
unsolicited solitude
but I put the time
to good use.

I read,
wrote songs
and practiced
all the clever things
I would say
if I were ever lucky enough
to get a date.

I stayed up
late into the night
beside a static-filled
AM radio
and I imagined
I was the only one
tuned into this
distant AM station
playing old country and western tunes.

Night always told me
Someday, man, it'll
all be different.


at the end of the day
filled with
my family
who have no hesitation
in claiming
my every waking hour,

I revel in my solitude,
as I troubleshoot computers,
listen to old C&W songs over
the internet,
write the occasional poem,
and sink deeper
into some library book,

I look out
at the blue purple sky

and realize night
was right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

VHS Seventh Heaven

Some people went to
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
and memorized it.

I was always too timid
to venture out that late
among all the self-congratulatory

But when VHS came about
I was in seventh heaven:

memorizing the rhythm
the cadence of
Groucho and Chico
bantering in “Duck Soup”

William Holden
leaving Faye Dunaway
with pithy eloquence in

Dustin Hoffman’s
grand deception
unraveling with
masterful despair

Richard Dreyfuss
and Marsha Mason sparring
and falling in “The Goodbye Girl”
set an ideal for dialogue
rarely encountered
in real-life,

almost every Woody Allen
schlmiel neurosis
giving a defiant voice
to this misfit teenager

Ray Liotta as
the amoral narrator
in “Goodfellas”

Bert Lahr in “The Wizard of Oz”

Zero in “The Producers”

Linus explaining
the true meaning
of Christmas

I’ve lived in
and through
these movies
more than five times

and now I want
to see them

[Posted for .]

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'll Take Reality

I do not believe
in happy endings
or dreams coming true,
because nothing
ever really ends
and dreams
are not real.

I believe in
spontaneous music,
idiomatic orgasms,
laughing pizza,
trusting puppies,
falling asleep
beside her,
her soft, sweet exhale:
these are real.

[Written for]

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Outside in the dark,
warm summer night breeze
streaming Don Rickles
on YouTube,

high as a kite
from year-old
Lemon drop;

we're both laughing,
and me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


A flurry of activity
will not make up
for a life unfulfilled.

This moment
came unbidden
and will leave

unless you

to matter,
to count,
to touch,
to hold,

to love. 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Hey, Pimp

"Hey, pimp,
I ain't fooled.

You ain't never
been cool
despite your
shiny, freezer burnt
and the badass
you wear like
a shitty prison

You're the
of all the worst
of amoral capitalism
and atavistic masculinity.

You're nothing but
a goddamned slave owner,

and shame on
anyone attempting
to glorify that
wretched ugliness."


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Two Promises (for Oliver)

I was gifted
with two grandfathers.

One I saw regularly
but never spoke with
because he spoke
only Spanish
and I didn't.

The other grandfather,
because he
divorced my grandmother,
I saw less than
10 times in my life
Including his funeral.

I promise these two things:

whatever language
you end up speaking,
I will learn it,


I will never divorce
your grandma.

Welcome to the world, and
welcome to our familia, mijo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Exotic Flowers and Ethereal Memories

I hail from
Boys Only

On the
televisual dataport,
I saw
from another galaxy
with curiosity,
open-mouthed wonder.

They smiled
and sang,
they reminded me
of exotic flowers
and ethereal melodies.

For the longest time
the only one of them
I knew
was our Queen Mother,
who was really just a man
with wide hips
and a bullet bra.

I snuck
off to the
launch pad,
years before
my scheduled
puberty flight,
and crash-landed
and tried to
infiltrate their

I watched
from a distance,
but timid:

they were all
too smart,
too strong,
too capable and
too beautiful
for me.

All I wanted was
their approbation,
their approval,
their recognition,

all things
the Queen Mother



Monday, July 24, 2017

Trust, Spittle, Dreams and Sweat

This unpredictable
and glorious collage
of blood-splattered memories,
semen-stained butcher paper,
tear-fueled promises,
depends so much
on spittle
and dreams,
and sweat.

When you finally
the horrible truth
hiding behind this
smiling harlequin mask,
I hope I am long gone,

a memory
of ashes spread
into the murky
blue-black sea,

too far gone
to retrieve.

May I be
past the point
of all redemption,

save for Jesus,
who I hope
keeps His promises

and saves me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Really High

If you hold
the vapor deep
in your lungs,

long enough
to quickly recite
"The Lord's Prayer"
in your head,

by the time
you get to

you will get
really high,

and really high
just means
you're closer
to Heaven,

closer to God.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Vape Playlist - June 28, 2017

Note: These are the songs I listen to as I sit outside in the June night and vape into relaxation. 
Vape along, or have a nice glass of wine, smoke, or just enjoy!

Cash in Your Face - Stevie Wonder

Stand - Sly and the Family Stone

In The Stone - Earth, Wind and Fire

Hip Hug-Her - Booker T and the MGs

Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy) - Al Green

Turn Off the Lights - Teddy Pendergrass

Creepin' - Luther Vandross


It feels quicker than a blink
since I first saw you
and took you to raise up
as my very own.
Through laughter, patience
scrapes and tenderness,
I readied you for
a cold and undeserving world.

Through the seasons
you blossomed
and the world became
resplendent with possibility
when seen through your
naive and limitless vision.
I knew the world
would sing your song
once you taught them.

You asked if I was ready
and I snapped awake
from my reverie.
With a weak, sincere smile
and moist, quivering eyelids
I face my hardest challenge
as your stepfather:
to smile bravely
and not let you see my loss
as I walk you down the aisle
into your destiny.

[Posted for Dverse Open Link Night.]

Monday, June 26, 2017

What Would Atticus Do? (For Sarah)

We get in the car,
my 20 year old daughter
who suffers with depression
and I,
driving around
looking for normalcy.

Her moods,
dark and bleak
marinate in her room,
her hospice cell
she calls it.

So, everyday
I try to get her
out of the house
out of her own head
out of her sadness.

Some days,
we have errands
but some days
all we do is
aimlessly drive
the freeways
as she reads to me.

Right now,
we're in
the middle of
"To Kill a Mockingbird,"

and as we drive
her mood lightens
(being outside will do that)
we talk,
we share,
we get a soda.

I'd like to think
Atticus Finch
would do the same
if Scout had
suicidal depression.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

and Suddenly, it was Clear (for Anita)

A little before midnight
on my way back
to my bachelor apartment

her perfume still in my nose
her heat still on my skin

my mind replayed
the evening:
we sat with the kids
laughing at
“Spongebob Squarepants”

and after they fell asleep,
we did likewise
in each other’s embrace.

It felt like home,

but there I was
driving back to a place
I called home.

As I came up
to the intersection of
Alessandro and Moreno Beach

an idea I’d banished
long ago

floated in

like a leaf
through an open window

and suddenly,
it was clear,

and I said it aloud:

“I’m going to marry that girl.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

When the Fruit is Ripe

You have to trust
that when it is
to spring forth,
it will.

It does so
out of necessity,
because that
is what it was
made to do.

When the fruit is ripe
it will fall.

When the faun is ready
it will walk.

Don’t try
to predict when.

Just try
to be ready.

Life presents
all that
you need.

The trick is
to know when
to reach out
and grab it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oliver's Inheritance (for Sarah)

It's not going
to be found
in a stack of books
you leave him,
no matter how carefully
you choose them.

the real legacy,
his true inheritance
will come from
you'll make,

the part of you
left behind

in the cluttered
emotional attic
of another.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Foggy Unknown

Just as we
cannot predict
which hue of blue
the sky will be today,

or how the really
best films
are going to end,

or how sweet
the red-black cherry is,

no one knows
how this will
turn out.

I couldn’t predict
my world changing
-thunder loud and
lightening fast-
with a phone call,
telling me Pop died
two days after
his own mother died.

My world was
not just thrown,
but cosmically fucked
off its axis,
my compass pointed
in every direction

and each way ahead
was soft, foggy
and unknown.

Some paths were bright,
some dark gray,
a few even black,
but none of them
were clear.

I got lost trying to find
my way back
to my life before,
until eventually,
I gave up that

his death
also erased
who I thought
I was.

Only when I accepted
I couldn’t go back,
then I started moving


Be not afraid
of what the world
and this life have
waiting for you.

Stay open to
the foggy unknown
for one day
it will be
your turn,

and then you’ll be

and it’ll all
make sense.

Right now,
it remains
a heartbreaking

Written for D'Verse Poets's prompt: Poems To Save a Life

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Neither Condition nor Profession

"To be a poet
is a condition,
not a profession." -Robert Frost

To be a poet
is neither
condition nor profession.

It is

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stray Strands

Years after
she committed

we keep finding
stray strands
her long, red hair
throughout the house, 
painful reminders.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Monster in the Mirror

"Yes, I know
why I'm here:

I'm scaring people again,
but listen:

I'm trying to save you
from a terrible monster,
an inescapable, ubiquitous threat!

They're all around,

You don't
even notice
them anymore!

Yes, I know
what it looks like, but
when I break
those mirrors,
I am not
just smashing
someone's private property,

I am slaying the monster!

I has hospitalized,
once in 2008
and again in 2011.

In every reflection
I see
a hateful monster,
a creature of ignominy,
proof of
no God and
proof of
a God Who Exists But Does Shit Work.

Don't you see
a monster
when you look in
the mirror?

You don't?

You're lucky,

and I feel
a little sorry
for you."

[Inspired by "We all go a little mad sometimes.” - Psycho - for the with real toads' Monster writing challenge. ]

Fixing (for Sarah Lynn)

To fix something

usually requires

un-fixing something

[Inspired by Poetic Asides prompt and dejackson.]

Monday, May 22, 2017

Better Than Music

Blood pumps
my veins,
loud and strong.

Breaths come
shallow, ravenous
in heady

The gentle
slurp and kiss
of tongue and lips
on the skin
of a lover.

This lubricated
finding home

These are
the only sounds
better than music.

[Written for Dverse - Quadrilles with Sound]

The Perfect Idea

In the haze
of my

I had
The Perfect Idea.

I don't know
from where it

but I was alone,

I figured
I made it.

"this thought is
so good,
I don't have to
write it down"
I luxuriated
in the in
thick warm glow
of satisfaction.

just as mysteriously
as it arrived,

it disappeared.

I despaired
until I realized
it came from
so the ingredients
are still there,

and then I remembered
the wisdom
of my teacher

"Don't Try."

I stopped frantically
trying to recover
this cloud-memory,

just accepting that
The Perfect Idea
will come around again,

and when it does,

I'll write it down.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Come Here for Hope

Laying on the floor
of my walk-in closet,
it is the darkest
place in my house.

Between boxes and
piles of dirty shoes,
I lay myself down
listen to myself breathe
and pretend
I am all alone.

I come here for hope.

I know there is a way
out of the present morass
but I can’t see it
in the light of day.

I need the comfort
of the dark
where any obstacles
are hidden.

I am limitless
and aware of my
connection to all
living things:

I don’t see
one thing ends
and the next thing


I open my eyes so wide
they hurt, but all I see
is the monolithic,

It reminds me that
there is no me
and there no you
and there is even
no us.

It’s all one infinite
and since it cannot
turn back on itself,

there is only one way
it will all turn out
but I can’t see it
right now,

and I like it that way.

[Posted for Open Link Night at]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


It’s a tightrope,

only it’s not tight
and it’s not a rope
and it’s more like
a straight line
on the floor

and I walk it,

It really isn’t
life or death
if I slip
but still I know
it’s under
my feet

and one end is tied
to my past
and the other is tied
to someplace
I can’t quite see yet

and veering to my right
may be too little
and tipping to my left
may be too much

and sometimes
when I follow the
beat of my heart
I look at my feet
caught like fugitives
in a searchlight
and I find
I’ve jumped the track.

So I resume the practice
of my loopy walking zazen
respectful of all
that hangs in the balance:
my sobriety
my self-respect
my soul,

but I still try to enjoy
the cool sweetness
of the morning dew
and a tune
is always on my lips
and the cotton clouds
delight and awaken
my heart.

It can’t only be about
self-denial .

I could be easily pulled
from my path
from the sensual
toward the ascetic

but every one of my
courts future regret

and I’ll do the walk

in my own time
in my own way.

Too slow for some,
too swift for others

because I know
this time
on my feet
is so brief
and lightening fast
and to walk it
solemnly and prophylactically
seems hardly worth it,

a death sentence.

So I smile
and I continue
on this line
of mine
at my own
jagged, jaunty pace.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Do That (for Erica Falk)

In the 11th grade
he wanted to be loved
or invisible
but he was stuck
somewhere in between.

He failed another
algebra II test
and stood there
in the stairwell
as the flood of students
rushed around him.

He dreaded his fate:
“Pop’s going to be mad.
He’ll think I’m a bum.
How am I ever going
to get anywhere in life?
And what the hell’s
the square root
of -1?”

A disembodied voice
came up from behind:
“Don’t worry about that.
That’s not who you are,
a numbers guy.
You’re a writer.”

It was Erica.
They were just friends
as she was too tall
to be anything else.
She must’ve seen his grade.

“I remember that poem
you showed me.
You’re a writer.
Do that.”

Continuing down the stairs
she passed by
and out of sight
unaware of the fire
she’d lit.

Right there
he rearranged everything
in his life
and set out to be a writer.

He wrote
love letters

and it comforted wounds
preserved victories
reified dreams
and it gave him
a place in this world.

Erica Falk
if you Googled
your name,
and found this poem

please know

David says
“Thank you.”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Long-Ass Days

Long-ass days
as my father
used to call them,

days full of
graceful sunclouds
boiling tears
serving others
and undeserved laughter,

and every night
I lay myself down
to recharge my batteries,
but as with
all batteries
as they age,
my batteries aren’t
holding their
charge so long.

in between
the morning alarm
and the last
there is so much
to do –
more than can be done
or even listed
in a day.

So, it’s not a
but rather just a note
of gratitude
for the privilege
of another
long-ass day,
as my supply
of them
sadly and

to add to my exhaustion
I must post this poem

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Draw More Blood

Here I go again,

secretly picking up
my favorite blade
and cutting myself.

I don't know
what I'm chasing
but sometimes
I find it.

Perhaps someday
I'll no longer need
to pick at the scab
and feel the sting
as I tear
my beautiful brown skin open
to provide a canvas
for all this pain.

if the skin is intact
I will swallow it
in a shameful communion

"this is my body
broken by everyone"

and as the full rich red
slowly drips
down my forearm,
I taste it
and am not surprised
that it is flavorless.

"This is my blood
drink this in remembrance of me."

I replace my bandage
and roll down
my long sleeve shirt
and rejoin the party.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


After I shoot it inside her
I float on a morphine cloud
and I swim with dolphins
through banana pudding
and I am warmed and soothed
by her warm and sticky skin
as her breathing lulls me
into a lucid dream where
everything moves slowly
and nothing is in focus
it's blissfully soft
with every sense engaged
and I do not exist
because there is no place
I am needed right now
and I peer over a cliff
spread my arms and shove off
and fearlessly glide
back to the meadows
of green marshmallow clover
where pan flute breezes
guide me to the only
person who wouldn’t ruin
this moment and I
close my eyes as we embrace
and open them only briefly
to find the blankets
to cover ourselves
and complete the cocoon
we started with a kiss.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Her Moaning Assent

The memory of
her moaning assent
echoes forever.

The echo bounces
off one block
of memories,
onto another,
ad infinitum.

they do not decay
as naturally occurring
sounds do.

they loop
at full-volume,

a supernatural siren
ever distracting me
into lustful dizziness.

[Written for De Jackson's quadrille prompt.]

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Raindrops Applauding

In the
flash rain storm,

I sit on the swing,
under the patio cover
listening to 

millions of raindrops
applauding my decision

to sit outside
and enjoy it.

Friday, May 05, 2017


This hunger
doesn’t sate.

I drink in
her sweet skin,
my private treasure,
face down
and naked
in our bed,

perfect in hue
and contour,
spilling like silk,
and cool
and luxurious.

She looks
over her shoulder
in my direction
giving that
beaming smile,
a lustful mix
of consent
and encouragement.

My eyes glide
to her feminine curves,
as I
fit myself in
perfectly snug,
mounted skin to skin,
rocking and swaying
to the rhythm
of the cosmos.

I grab
sumptuous handfuls
of her thick
and pull myself down
on her,
front to back,
sticky warm
skin to skin.

I proceed,
faster and deeper,

part of me
fearing I may have
a heart attack

and part of me
hoping I do,

as this is
the best moment
of my life.

a momentary
heavy silent bliss
hangs over us,

until I feel
another hunger

Tuesday, May 02, 2017


I sit in the cool spring air,
rocking back and forth
on the patio swing,
trying to put myself
into a trance.

I inhale
the cannabis vape,
and play the recording
of Liz Damon’s Oriental Express
singing “1900 Yesterday.”

I am drawn
to this hopelessly dated
anachronistic for 1971,
it must seem positively
prehistoric now.

“Where's the love 
that we knew, 
is it gone, 
or have you 
thrown it away?”

Something about
those voices,
that 1960’s Hollywood sound,
takes me back
to my earliest memories
of something beautiful,
someone unblemished.

I perform this ritual
hoping one day
it will be
the key
that unlocks
who I really am,

who I really was
before the crash.

[Written and posted for the Tuesday Platform at the Real Toads.]

Monday, April 24, 2017

Still (A Quadrille)

I believe you’ll triumph
even though
the torture
continues unabated.

What are
the magic words,
the black market
black magic
to still
your raging wildfire
of sadness
and wholesale
emotional immolation?

I just wish
your plans
for your
threatened suicide

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Life's Job and My Job

You can only do
so much,
stop killing yourself.

That’s life’s job.

In the meantime,
find some meaning
and don’t be mean.

That’s my job.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Enemy of God

"Fear not,
we have God
on our side."

Realize how
that statement is.

Show me someplace
where God doesn't

You can't tell
a believer
"show me the
and believe what
they tell you.

Show me the
enemy of God?

there's a mirror
over there.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I stand on
the precipice,
looks like
a cliff,
but I choose
to see it
as a launching pad,
a runway.

I peer over
the toes of my shoes,
shifting my
body weight
ever so slightly,
gravity takes over.

I do not

I do not

I extend my arms,
as if on a cross,
and I glide,
carried on
the currents of
the wind,
trusting that I will

where I am
supposed to be.

Monday, April 17, 2017


At the moment
when it all kicks in,
and I follow
the natural rhythm

I dance
to whatever is on
the tv,
most likely old sitcoms.

It's not quite
a dance,
but rather, a sway-

back and forth
like a backup singer
in a black and white
kinescope loop -

forever groovin'.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Be Here Now

This world
doesn't stop
or even slow.

To keep up
I must run
alongside it,
as catching a streetcar,
running with guilt,
knowing I am late.

there is no timetable
that says I am late,
but I have agreed
to the world's sense
of time,
and forgot
that this time is neither
fleeting nor dripping.

This time
is my only possession
and even that
is an illusion.

To be here now
is the only appointment
I have to keep.

what is now?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Blank Pages

All my dreams
began with paper
because as a kid
that's all I had,
and some pencils.

Once I embraced
the freedom,
this uncensored liberty,
the world was mine
and there was nothing
but potential,
tantalizing potential.

Now I have
cell phones,
unlimited space
in the cloud,
but in my mind,
it's still
just a blank sheet
of possibilities.

May the excitement
and the thrill
of a blank sheet
of paper
never diminish
in my soul.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Show me
your most private places,

where you dream
and where
the unfinished surfaces
of your soul
await your touch.

Loosed from these bodies,
we can float and dance
like the essences we are,
light and graceful
as smoke
snaking upward
to Heaven.

I am not what I seem.
None of us are.

Each one is
and part-illusion
to the other.

Let’s spend
the rest of our lives
each other,

there is no you
and no me,
only us.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


A day of grace
National Poetry Writing Month

a day off for me

a day off for you.

You got
the better
of the deal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


and berry-sweet,
the essence of you
is not possessed
by any embrace,
but rather
in memories,
some cherished,
some embarrassed.

I don’t know
where your
Earthly home
is today,
but I know where
I can always find
in the first scent
of spring,
wafting on the
with the saxophone intro
to “What’s Going On”
playing under
my memory
of you,

in an image
that all great
romantic movies
in vain,
to emulate.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hope and Optimism

"OK, so the
didn’t have
the answer.

Don’t worry,
we’ll find
the answer

I know we’ll find
the answer
because if we don’t,
you’ll die,
simple as that.

So, do you think
we’re going
to just let you die
just because
you want to?

It’s just
a problem,
a puzzle,
which implies
it has a solution.

you know
how Mom is
with puzzles.

She doesn’t stop
until it’s solved.


I’m selfish
and I just want
to keep hanging out
with you.

I know
you're tired
of holding up
all the necessary
hope and optimism,

so you can
put down
the hope and optimism
for today,

but we

Monday, April 10, 2017

Quality Time: Vaping in the Early Spring Twilight

We vaped
in the early spring

my adult daughter
and I.

I opined,

"This is
quality time:
me talking to you
and you texting
on your phone."

In spite of
her treatment-resistant

she smiled
said "Yup,"

a drizzle of laughter.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Bake Your Cake

You don’t have to
bake a cake
that everyone will want
or that everyone will eat.

Just bake the cake
and feed someone.

somewhere is hungry for
what you have to offer,
and to deny it would be a sin
and a tragedy.

Yes, bake your cake
and share it with someone.

Someone, somewhere
is starving
and needs

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Please Don't Follow Through

you may
break our hearts
and finally
follow through
on the threat.

all the doctors,
all the pills,
all the talk therapy
have failed to
bring you
out of the darkness,
you may plunge us
into even more
with one

You might feel
but you are not

We are here.

You might feel
but you are not

We are here.

You might feel
but you are not

We would grieve
your loss forever.

Please don't
give up.

Please don't
break our hearts.

Please don't
follow through.

Friday, April 07, 2017


Take me back
to in the world
that was smaller
where my children
were smaller,
my worries
were smaller.
In my memory
things were
the right size,
but that's just
my memory,
which, as I age
is also getting

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Can You Remember the First Time Your Heart Was Broken?"

“Can you remember
the first time
your heart was broken?”

The cold emptiness,
that unfriendly clammy feeling
in my soul
has been there

I knew the world
wouldn’t end,
but I also knew
there was no way
to make the suffering go

I learned to
accept the suffering,
try and make
a friend of it.

Things are mostly
the same since then,
some good days
some bad,
but always suffering,
with some lapses
for laughter and music.

can I remember
the first time
my heart was broken?

Makes me laugh.

I can’t remember
the first time
my heart was broken

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Always Looking Forward

The anticipation,
the waiting,
the hunger:

these things drive me,
propel me
because I am
always looking forward
to the next thing,
the next meal,
the next high.

it is an optimistic view
that holds promise
for everything
that hasn’t happened yet.

I have no defense
for this faith,
so don’t ask.

I just keep punching,
keep writing,
keep trying.

No one can live this life,
wear these mistakes
like I can.

one day I’ll be wrong
and there’ll be no more

but until then
I breathe in the sweetness,
exhale the sadness,
live with hope.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

You'll Fly (for Sarah)

Little bird,
come on out
of that nest
made of sadness
and fear.

Tiptoe out
onto this branch,
you won't fall,

but should you slip,

your life instinct
will kick in,
and you'll flap
and flutter
and eventually fly.

You'll fly
that's what
you were
made for.

[I hope this fits the prompt:]

Monday, April 03, 2017

Keep Moving

If you keep moving,
and do not stay 
anywhere too long-

you'll resist roots,
which are only 
more things 
that keep you bound 
to an illusion
that there is something 
worth being bound to
or for.

If you keep moving,
more and more
you'll grow 
weary of the ritual:

finding a storage spot, 
and then,
picking it all up,
and moving 
to new location,
beginning all over again.

carry forward 
memories in your heart,
facts in your mind,
music in your torso,
caresses in your fingertips.

these are 
the only things worth
the only things 
of value.

Anything more,
and you're just 
a pack rat.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Small Pleasures

It is tempting
to overlook
the small pleasures
of life.

So unstoppable
is the weight of
this life,
that we can
become lost
for the grand

At the end of the day,
all we really have is
the laughter of others,
the warmth of good food
in our bodies,
good and restful sleep
holding on to a loved one.

These little things
in this otherwise drab
and indifferent world
really are
the big things.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

April Rose

The rose
came out again
like always
in spring.

It was brilliant,
with orange and red
spread on its petals,
against a smogless,
blue sky.

I enjoyed it,
this moment of
surprising beauty,
before this bubble
was pierced
by the wail
of my suffering

This was a cruel
April Fool's joke.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stumbles (for Sarah)

It doesn't matter 

how often
one of us

on the trip wire,
waking the dark, 
unmovable monster,

and you scream at me,
cry in your room,
slam doors,
and I sit here,
heartbroken and defeated,

I still love you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Come Back

I've stopped waiting
for Jesus
to come back.

He never left.

I have to
come back.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

If a Poem Falls in the Forest

If a poem falls
in the forest
and there is
no one there
to read it
is it still
a poem

more precisely,

can I still
even write
a poem anymore?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Naked Selfie Collection

I’m trying to collect
all my stray poems-
the ones I’ve sent here
and there
and way over there-
into one definitive collection.

I know there are
a few naked selfies,
literary self-portraits,
that could come back
to haunt me-
and just because
I tore and burned up
my copies
doesn’t mean
they don’t exist anymore.

So, this is my plea
to Laurie, Bonnie,
Jean, Gracia, Kim,
Darra, Teresa, Cyndie
and the handful
of others
whose faces
I remember,
but not
their names:

If you’re holding on
to any of my poetry,
I’ll buy them
all back,

$5 bucks apiece,

no questions asked.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Playlist 2017

Every year, I make my lovely bride, Anita, a mix CD of songs for Valentine's Day.  Here's this year's playlist. Enjoy it with someone you love, naked if possible.

My First Love

My first love
was music,
comforting, exciting
and mysterious.

As I grew,
I put myself into
the lyrics of the song,
as though they were
a script for my heart
to follow.

Years lumbered by
and as I fell into
what resembled love,
I would hear the music,
look at the women,
and knew
they were disconnected.

Then I met Anita,
and all the songs
were new.

I couldn’t sing them
without my voice
with joyful tears.

She was the one
to make all the lyrics
true for me,

all the melodies
poetry for me,

and because of her
true love,
she was able
to improve upon
my first love.

[Go to - it won't hurt much.]

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Vietnamese Ghost Bride Confesses

My Vietnamese ghost bride
from 1994
through a dream:

you followed the rules,
kept your promises,
waited years,
but I was
bound to betray you.

I’m sorry,
but neither
your scrawny penis
nor puny
credit card limit
could satisfy
my avaricious

[For Dverse, you know, right there: here]

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Capitalization Counts (for Sarah)

The search for
is elusive, illusionary.

exists in smaller,
more modest

have a donut,
look at the rain,
I love you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Her Wedding Prayer

As she stuttered
her vow
“for p-p-poorer,”

she prayed
the semen
of the man
she eventually left me


[In commemoration of Black Sunday, February 13, 1994, wherein yours truly plays the part of the Biggest Schmuck in The Universe.]

Monday, February 06, 2017


Her moist,
yielding lips,

twitch and

waiting to be

and fulfilled,

by this warm,
and slippery friend,

so firm,
and ecstatic.

Friday, February 03, 2017


In our afterglow,
she radiates 
serenity, satiety.

I roll over,
into slumber,

as a buzzing 
from her side 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Christian Agnostic Speaks

if God
"gave us"
free will,

couldn't God also
"take away"
free will,

and what the hell
is so
about that?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Numb (A Rehearsal)

I walk these
past loss,


I’ll walk these
one last time.

Last night
was just
a rehearsal.
Madre Moskowitz, awaiting dialysis

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Casual Beauty

There is still
a rosebud
for me.

In this miasma
of  fear
and uncertainty
and mistrust
and doubt,
I remember
that casual beauty
often hiding
in plain sight.

my cold,
jittery stomach,
I turn
and keep my eyes
scanning the horizon
for the edges
of the dirty-grey clouds,
squinting hard
looking for
that reluctant,
explosive blue
that I know is still
out there.

Who put all
these treasures
there for me
to find?

Never mind,
it doesn't matter.

Just slow down,
be quiet,
exhale gratitude.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Walk Me Through This Darkness, O Lord

Walk me through
this darkness O Lord,
I do not know
where You are taking me
but my faith tells me
I must follow and
I must be with You.
Walk me through
this darkness O Lord,
because I feel afraid
and I need the help
of something
and stronger
and wiser
who knows the ending
of the story.
Walk me through
this darkness, O Lord,
and guide me to where
there is light,
guide me to where
I can give her
some answers.
O Lord,
there's so much that
we do not understand,
like why you put
this malignant worm
inside of her brain,
inside of her soul,
and yes, I know
is a fool's question,
but I must ask.
Walk me through
this Darkness, O Lord
because I want to say
you owe me at least that
because I can't think of where
this Darkness came from
and it's so fucking huge
that no doctors in my HMO
can fix it.
Walk me through
this darkness, O Lord
and please forgive my anger.
Please forgive my questions.
Please forgive my doubtful heart. 

Please heal my daughter.