Monday, April 30, 2012

#30 the end

This is the end of new beginnings
false and mushy promises that ring in a high tone, 
full of hope and farce, lacking in action or truth

This is the end of tuning in on an idea,
a way to articulate that moment or way of being,
and slavishly returning to it to frame all that comes next

This is the end of personal development
as a concept, and a true beginning of allowing,
opening, screaming, crying, and finally, really laughing

#29 poem for a man I didn't know well enough

The long dark lashes half-mooned,
those black pools scattered with sparks
appearing, then disappearing,
a wide bright white half moon curving 
the other way, completing the circle,
edged with a jutting canine echoing his father's,
showing a questioning teasing skeptical 
joyfully deliciously devilishly wonder
and the perfect beauty of our human imperfections
A quiet bear hug, focus attentive 
on the moment like a little one, spirit strong
springing and flowing over the fluctuations of time
and his melancholies, resolute,
an unbelievably ancient long jaded face 
animated with the joy of living, and wondering

When he left too soon, it seemed,
his family doesn't deserve these sorrows,
these gritos again sounded to the thunderclouds
And sister friend found her words of response in this,
not soothing but in the way only of truth,
that ego is that which doubts and questions and refutes god,
that our faith is more than blindness, it's surrender to the unknown
including a surrender to what seems wrong, out of place, too soon,
undeserved. How do we know he didn't chose that very moment? she asked
Work with that very person to help him leave this plane?
Why would he want to go? Why leave his family with these gritos?

The last time I saw Berto
he was removed, dreamy, grounded,
he wanted to be allowed his space, but not disdainfully.
So I thought, though now I wish I would 
have gone to get that last bear hug.
He who said that his big brother, who took his own life,
could help us more from the other side.
How can we say it is not divine order,
even as we cannot see that it is?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


a day behind but a dollar up
how perfect when I took a children's trip
into the world of musical theater
and fell into wonderland,
witnessed the white rabbit in me
scurry and hurry and worry and
get nowhere, but he drew the whole world 
with him into a magically alive land 
full of irreverent wonder

coming back up through the hole in the tree trunk's roots
the journey complete
it's also just begun

Saturday, April 28, 2012


some people hang their mornings 
on the idea of a new beginning
while the radiance of day shines 
clarity on the night before

in the present, that luminosity reveals 
deeper understanding of the dark path 
we walked down to get here
at the lake side
so that our view of our recent footsteps 
is woven into right now,
to be turned around in wonder 
and enjoyed as much as the 
sunny day and cool water

Thursday, April 26, 2012

#26 scum

the tide brings out all the scum
the bottom feeders start wondering
how those big rainbows of fish 
near the light taste, and slide eerily up into 
worlds where their ways clash against 
every surface, stirring up tornadoes
in smooth sand paintings,
breaking up zen schools of one mind fish
and sparking to the surface, blinded,
as these creatures can't see in light -
so unaccustomed to its truth they are

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


new ventures await
in the opening of tomorrow's eyes
and the butterflies of tonight's core
peeking over the edge into the darkness
discerning forms like cloudbusting on a windy day
keep those eyes open, until relentlessly
they close

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


How is she still breathing?
She never knew she could without him
on this earth, beside her or away from her, 
but somewhere, breathing. 

Having been told that only birth and death are a guarantee
She looks around and can name one more, the deepest sorrow
of losing one's person, other half, touchstone, reason, heart.
In the wailing of grief, it is hard to remember
that all are connected to you, have gone
through this, in a way
How is it possible that all the people walk around
so screamingly torn apart so they no longer 
occupy three dimensions, and yet they walk.

All those she thanks who have come before her,
each one sent up this cracking, tearing, hollow,
explosion through the entirety of someone,
or many someones. Each left a hollow hole forgotten
as now she feels the wisdom of what's really left behind
over time, wrapping a shawl around her shoulders,
whispering in her ear, even as she never gets up again
in this moment.

The giant gray moth, who whipped his wings
around him in a fan dance before dive-bombing
into soft things all around, dove into his last light tonight,
the candle on the ancestor altar por la Virgencita.

Monday, April 23, 2012

#23 nothing

the best thing to do is nothing
all the time, every day
second best is have your plans
but let them dissolve into nothing
when they can

nothing is the great act of doing
things which seem logically unproductive
analytically consumed with inertia
but in truth, are not things at all
in truth, these anti-acts of nothing
are the glue that holds all life together,
allow the blooming of generations,
the real reason life continues to recreate itself,
the positive proof that we are all connected
and life is wonderful, and there is more to do
than run, run, run from it

there's making art, appreciating beauty,
making love, appreciating a friend's presence,
making peace, appreciating the quiet within
making pathways with no destination,
appreciating the wildness of the earth and ourselves


the slenderest of crescents
low slung on the horizon
over the sinuous mountains of hips
she promises a new beginning

Saturday, April 21, 2012


The spirits laugh
at how the living
call ourselves that, and envision 
their airy light beings, removed from this world 
by an impermeable barrier keeping
the floating from the solid

In the canyon valleys
spirits' echoes sound and play off
the human voices laughing
coyotes gathering their hooting howls
the wind making their rushes by plants taller with each spring day
water weaving their slight but steady path through arroyos
the sound of a mirage of ancient village women walking down to the creek
is a sound of murmured conversations and a vision like an anti-shadow
a reflection of the glint reverberating off the pool of eyeballs into the hot springs
and beaming out again in the form of an ancient aunt
walking down the dirt path, wearing the way
where one day truck tires would be inspired 
to make one too

not separate from any of these elements
or others, the spirits play and dive in and out and through
catching an ear here, the side of a shoulder there
alive and not just airy
or light

Friday, April 20, 2012

#20 cracking open

cracking open
not at the seams
right in the middle

everything falls apart 
and falls away
making space for a new day

that's what the coming sleep hopes
as it lets its worn eyelids fall
its tensed muscles give in

the dream of marriage, career, 
family, passion and purpose
seems to not be what it seems
and the subtle sensations
of dreams that whisper
at the edges, the seams
will come into being
carrying an endless array 
of questions relentlessly persistent
to drop them off the cliff's edge
and continue up into the dark mountains
not to the warmly lit saloon
or cold clear campsite under the stars
or even to the inertia of the driver's zoom
up that dark mountain road 
only into the mystery of what lies beyond
moving towards true north
only because that's the way to go
the only way to go home
though home isn't north
only the momentum towards getting there

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#19 my things

i've always had a thing for necks
and collarbones, red hair,
the arch of feet and the shape of toes,
aching soulful singers, poets floating in a cloud,
great intellects that excite and invite, a touch like silk,
a passion unswayed by emotion
or the presence of interesting people

no one's going to run off 
with all of my things
not all at once
i'll be feasting on the delicious many
and opening up to be feasted upon
in a reciprocal sustainable delight,
another one of my things,
for whatever remains of this life

ok one more sardonic haiku...

irreverence is
a virtue, see between blind
faith and chastity

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#18 décolleté

summer's simmering
readying the senses for
a hair-raising hide and seek
the season's array of décolleté wear 
draped lovingly over these 
vibrant parts of her
trumpeting her heart,
expanding her voice
and the tall thin lines 
chords which dive from the skull and jaw
into sumptuous circular horizons
to invite a reclining feast
never want to end with a peek 
over into the other side
when plush presence 
is fully here, here

* According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, décolletage (or décolleté, its adjectival form, in current French) is a French word which is derived from decolleter, meaning to reveal the neck or, more literally, "without a collar." The term was first used in English literature sometime before 1831. In strict usage, décolletage is the neckline extending about two handbreadths from the base of the neck down, front and back.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

#17 sardonic haikus

there's something that sounds 
so wrong about bowling for
kids to help them out

why must you kiss some
you know what's down there don't you
in your position?

sardonic haiku
can't keep my mouth shut and then
nothing nice comes out

where is spring's flower
when I want to knock you down
or upside the head?

happy trees thank you
Bob Ross for reminding me
of beautiful cheese

Monday, April 16, 2012


the quagmire of contradiction

in a family of intellects and bookworms
a less analytical creative dreamer who submerges 
occasionally into the great mystery is a lightweight

to sit in the discomfort of opposing thoughts
is nothing, really, but to sit in your mind
not with a three hundred sixty degree view
being human and all that's impossible
but with a pretty good scan of 
at least the horizon ahead,
jagged, uneven, rolling up and down,
as the horizon never foretells the path
as it shows all the potential ways to go

discomfort is a signpost pointing towards
an area where perception has exceeded 
the boundaries of beliefs and thoughts, 
is pushing up on through, 
though the gateposts
are still up
so the tension 
is uncomfortable

a good thing
to have signposts
on the way

#15 I can't resist

"Temptation..." gargles through the jukebox speakers
in a way that could make only Tom Waits sound clear
The dark wood beams and brick of the bar peek
into the bright lantern lit dining room
where families absorbed in their good life ignore
the eyeballs rolling around the floor,
peeking up the skirts of girls
who choose to still not know better 
and into the hearts of the weak-willed,
finding the easiest dinner catch,
and striking bravado in the the inflated chests
of men without a bone in their bodies
The eels swim around each other
throwing stinkeye and squinty sidewinder eyes
and raising antenna of an ear for an opening
Tired professors refute every drunken argument
with the casual wave of a suggestion for a better research model
and the desperate boost up their fading confidence
with continual reminders of 
the joy of hedonistic debauchery
so they can ignore their desperation

If only a fool knows what temptation is
the rest of us, well we hope that's us,
sit in it, admiring its views, 
caressed by its contradictions
Having given ourselves over to it
in body, while mind and soul were
on a smoke break together
we've come to know that its draw
has much more to feed us
than its fulfillment

Sunday, April 15, 2012


the nights are long and rich
with rushes rising and subsiding
feeding the tabula rasa as it fades
again into nothing, open to sound 
or heat or line to mark the time

daytime's shadows give pause
to a raucous rush of noise lacking
meaning, order for order's sake
while the natural world, collective mother
falters in the shade and dry, under highway signs
and clouds of gathering chemical blowoff

and at the still point after wake, before sleep
the old woman hums, the busy mother
sings a soft song that swirls down the drain
the boys sighs, the bulk of man groans
diving again into the way out and in

Saturday, April 14, 2012

friday the 13th

i wanted to write a blues song
of love lost from a child's dream of family
but a gospel uplift rang out instead...

Where is the dream? 
Sweetness and childhood magic
don't have to be banished
though the path is tangled 
the story, not straightforward
when mom and dad aren't Cindy and Charming.
There is still a soft miraculous place called home
there may be two, or more.
Strong people bigger than you
will hold you in your best light,
with most respect, and help feed all parts of you
so you can grow, grow, grow,
a vibrant medicinal weed,
a flower of waving direction,
a root hearty and deep.
And from that place, we grow, grow, grow
til one day we're the big people
facing our little ones with most respect,
kneeling humbly to their tiny greatness,
and walking the path together, 
finding how the tree struck by lightning
still grows as long and strong,
just in a different direction.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

#12 guerrero pequeño

the gold-gloved boy with the midnight blue helmet
landed a punch in my son's face
behind his black helmet, he never winced
he didn't step back, but threw his arms up
kicked out a leg, his eyes sharp
never leaving that boy's form

this warrior is little now
dabbling and exploding through
all the lessons which grow 
the pathways in his brain, the peace in his heart
his calm stance, unflickering eyes
he who seems so small among those his age
is greater than the ocean inside, 
he knows he's strong like the ocelotl,
the jungle's messenger doesn't need to be king
his wide circle knows a wise diplomat, 
the charming kind who never has to put some down 
so he feels up, but uses well his wit 
and perception to ease the whole room,
the whole world.

and when he was two he liked to say,
'I'm peacemaker,' again and again,
with that mischievous toddler delight diverted and
summoned by a calm knowing inside

little warrior's next steps
will be some kind of gift to the world
that only he can reveal
with strength and grace

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#11 mirror ease

I soothe many souls but never my own
how I wish I could feel that ease
oh someone's going to take care of me
soothe and bathe my body with delights
stimulate and challenge my mind,
always with a resolution that feels
somehow peaceful, even in
the middle of absolute contradiction
someone's going to ease up to me through the nights
and hold me just how I love,
whose every touch will be perfectly soft
and fierce, both together, at the right moment
I will be at ease because this person gets me
and when the telepathy's off,
she will rise gracefully to a recovery
of our merging
and I will meet her
and so we can just be
and so may I meet me beyond the mirror
my self that I project on my vision of a perfect lover
is already here

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


dammit i'm tired
thank goddess haikus exist
or what would i do?


Could you really know how much I love you
in the ways that poets and philosophers comb 
out this deep high divine love,
articulating the nuance, essence, idiosyncrasy
of this merging, growing, beautiful heart
that binds us so freely

In your moments of doubt, when the world is dark
do you really wonder if the love that surrounds you 
is within you, for you, kissing 
your footsteps, whispering for you to grow,
do you really wonder if it exists,
is it possible, or is the reassurance that thing, 
maybe that one thing, that brings you back
to yourself, so to hear it spoken
is to remember

one soul comically separated into two bodies
magnetized to lean into one another
soften into wrapped arms
breath into breath

and even the hardened skeptical
perhaps even literary souls
wincing at another tiresome love poem
will be moved to hear 
softly, ethereally, gutturally
whispered, through cries of
sorrowful joy of reconnection of what was once
spiritually but also physically one,
"I love you mommy."

Monday, April 9, 2012


RAGE against the machine that gave a man reason to hate parts of himself
and those parts again when he sees them outside him
Rage against the machine that says find a babysitter when your child is sick
Rage against working all day and all lifelong
to try to buy your health back when you lose it
you may still be young
Rage against the machine that finds derivative justification
for seemingly endless cycles of violence
against humans, animals, all beings and our mama earth

Gives us reason to scream 
Fuck that I won't do what you told me!
And then we see that we're screaming 
at another human being who
has chosen to be the machine

Rage against the machine in myself 
the part I chewed up and took in,
festering inside like a man I never wanted there
A violent cancer
The pill we swallowed in the desperate hope it would make us better
When all along, the love inside is there
And shines, sometimes more brightly, through the rage

Saturday, April 7, 2012

the poem a day pressure is getting to me

"Behind again,"
that bitch with the stopwatch says.
I wonder how she'd feel if I picked her up
and punched her down into a tiny little ball
and stuffed her into something really small
besides my head.

PAD #6 a lil late

Whiskey stole my poem last night
The hummingbird's thirst endless 
Forget nodding heads like you was too cool
My fella Jersey-spirited girls 
nodded booties and shook walls
over the waft of North Carolina barbeque 
Conversations ranging from 
the philosophical foundations of the American military
to parenting with the airplane oxygen mask theory
to declaratives negating some man's chance with some woman
to what small town gossip has been ripping up
our ideas of what we do
and some revealing tidbits about
what makes us quiet
and what makes us wiggle
This poem was not brought to you courtesy of Maker's Mark

Thursday, April 5, 2012

#5 Aunt Teddy and Villa

Aunt Teddy was here before the twenties roared,
before voices leapt off the screen
Just after New Mexico and Arizona became states of the union
she passed through one of them
an ingenue not yet twenty
to make a film forever gone
that helped fund Villa's revolución
The history books will never find aunt Teddy
to be Villa's hermana verdadera,
will never really tell the story of northern Chihuahua 
in the mid-teens of the last century, a hundred years ago
Imagination declares that Villa was fierce and abrupt
Teddy bold and observant
and they worked together
oh yes 
trabajaron juntos

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

pad #4

I write cuz what comes out of my my mouth unthinking discombobulates me
I write cuz making sense of the world is like being a cartographer
I write cuz my modesty prides itself in having an art that's nearly impossible to make a living off of
I write cuz I'm not as narcisstic as a musician plus I can't sing in tune

They tell me 'Spit poet!'
Well I already spit whenever I talk
like grandma Shirley and Nana, great-grandmother Eve, did
so maybe I can put that saliva to good use
Will I get something off my chest?
Will I change the world just a little bit?

I speak cuz words move things
I speak cuz I'm from Jersey
I speak because egos wrapped in towers of power rarely chose to listen
on their own

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

4.3.12 his totem animal is a woodpecker

The woodpecker's last tree
hums softly as the red-crowned fellow
zips over to his next exploration.
To him a vast adventure will be had,
mysterious nuggets of nourishment will be found,
as he proudly continues his regular tap-tap-tap.
'But I know' thinks the tree,
'That he leaves holes in the being that offers him food,
his rhythm is regular but lacks a rich texture,
and he cannot go that deep.
How could he that leaves holes
in those who give him sustenance?'

Expecting no answer, the tree hums,
gathers sun, lifts water slowly up her roots,
feeds and gets fed by and dances with
the many beings in the world of her body,
Rich, deep and whole.
The new holes on her body 
tell the story of her life,
Rich deep and whole.

Monday, April 2, 2012

poem a day #2

ode to you for not being in my life

So many thanks to those who are not my friends
any longer
As I breezily leap past others entangled 
in your narcissistic neuroticism
Sit back and drink tea in the sun
while others struggle to stay awake
through your neverending lectures 
about bands no one has ever heard of,
and for good reason, but somehow
that makes them oh so special to you
I am grateful that you discovered
how much you can't be around me
enough to shun, lie, judge and
even become indifferent to me
So that in my infinite hard-headedness
I could still realize that you were only stimulating
in all the wrong ways
Breathe deep and laugh voraciously
as I realize I will never again breathe in
your particular brand of superficial
Thanks for not being here.
If you show up I really don't care,
as long as you go on your own way,
your favorite way anyway.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

poem a day #1 - can I really hang? we'll see


the night slides slowly and smoothly
a rowboat through the lake of dreams
ripples breaking through the perfect mirror of 
the starry starry sky, alive with the dark

underneath this subterfuge of calm beauty
in beds little hearts beat at top speeds
and words and tears of deep sorrow
odes to old times in young eyes
perfectly beautiful memories, full of forgetting
golden and bright regardless of  
the fights that punctuated those days 
with flames relentlessly
but this yearning back from big sleepy sad eyes
keeps a slightly bigger heart up 
through the night, beating at top speed