Friday, December 31, 2010



Oh magic, centrifugal current
of intrinsically abounding headsprings.
Water is liquid quartz,

rock that is already flowing,
shadow of the eternal minute
immobile its fleeting.



vísteme de auroras
que llego tarde a su piel

El Sur

El Sur

I envision a country without observers
and spies or frightening police
robbing children

I envision a city
with ocean wings
and drunken salt

southern cities
new appearances in search
of their antiquity



Esta quietud que mora en la imaginación 
calma mi marginalidad,
la viste de mujer para aproximarse
al lago y cantarle boleros a los astros.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

One More Shade of Gray

One More Shade of Gray

There is a way
lonely people twitch
when they find out
their friend has died. 
I should know,
he was a friend
and I just can’t stop
from crying.
One more shade of gray
to keep me blue.

Procol Harum - A whiter shade of pale 1967



Without stopping to calm your convulsions

I take advantage of you spilled

on my thighs
and embrace

I undo your dream

provide the answers
but do not form you

you break me open

I barely listen to your speech
you have so many voices

do not I know which one you are

I look into your eyes
and I raise my legs



No me detengo
a calmar tu temblor


que te has derramado entre mis muslos
suspiras y me abrazas

Deshago tus sueños

te digo las respuestas
pero no te formo

y me rompes

Apenas te escucho
no sé quién eres

son tantas tus voces
miro a tus ojos
y levanto las piernas

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

False Pride: Tango Dancer

False Pride:  Tango Dancer

You are the seductive arch
of a bay without roots,
a drop descending on the half-light,
sustenance of magic
footsteps at the moment
of the suicide. 

You dance with the white
and silent breeze of AIDS
where tango dancers
take their stilettos for a
stroll— broken-in Italian

shoes— then burn their tongues
nailed to a false pride. 
I spit you, not once or twice
but three times.

You’re female and male
neutered to frighten the
children at local holidays,
a simple invitation to dust.  



Eres el seductor arco
de una bahía sin raíces,
la gota descendiendo  
sobre la penumbra,
sustento de mágicas pisadas
a la hora del suicidio.

Bailas con el blanco
de la brisa silenciosa del SIDA
donde todas las tangueras
sacan a pasear sus zapatos
italianos rotos

y luego incineran
sus leguas clavadas
en el falso orgullo.
Te escupo, una, dos,
tres, veces.

Eres hembra y macho
castrado para asustar los
niños en las fiestas patronales,
una simple invitación al polvo.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Deseando un Santuario

Deseando un Santuario

esto quiere ser
una cascada de colibríes

que cubren nuestros cuerpos
con los números de las
páginas de mi libro

entre tu tiempo
y el mío
dejo ilusión

tu dejas soledad

y volvemos a
nuestros nombres

a veces yo te leo en
otros crepúsculos

a media luz tu voz
es diferente

abres las alas
y no te pareces a ti mismo
pero se que eres tu  

for want of sanctuary

for want of sanctuary

this wants to be a
of hummingbirds
our bodies with numbers
from the pages
of my book

between your time
and mine
I leave hope
you leave loneliness
as we return to our names


sometimes I read you
in other shadows

in the twilight
your voice is different

you open your wings
and somehow 
I recognize you

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I want to be phenomenal

I want to be phenomenal

honey pouring out of me,
no lies affecting who I’ve been.

But you’ve shot me with your words,
cut me with your eyes,
killed me with your hatefulness.

Men hurt down my juiced legs,
their presence lingers on
my fighting hands.

Yet I am bold and have no scent
of fear.  Too high a price…
Love set me free!

Dolphins and Moons

Dolphins and Moons

The sword of perfection is unworthy
of mention in my lovers presence

unless it be drawn with regret.
Bones wear out with age,

fire can be easily extinguished,
but simplicity is better chained to hearts,

like dolphins swimming around
the aura of a lunar eclipse, a pendant.

When my lover touches my hair
I shatter into dancing moons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nightmare Ku

Treat us 
to your nightmares,
become our guru.

The key you have not lost

The key you have not lost

is there between those spaces,
not by or in, but flanked between
here and there, living like a fugitive
on your skin. It is a prelude to our
memoirs, the text of a poem fused
with nectarines, an exploration
through Copper Canyon, visions
of Haiti’s angels licking my ears,
a hypnotic dance on sands
matching the colors that mesh
upon your hips, an experiment
we refuse to put down, an invitation
to cross the doorway of the home
I no longer occupy.

The key you have not lost
is not the manual for a digital
camera, or calendar entries
for next month’s readings. It is not
the Popular Mechanics article
you wrote to put food on our table,
or a classified add on craigslist.

It wants to be the bungee jump
into the pangs of a deer in heat,
the obituary of bolted doorknobs,
or a listing for all the vacant walls
on which we'll scribble our love graffiti.



Night, the beginning of day,
life parting on vagabond raindrops
and rented sound effects.
Gratitude was once a
cherry blossom gypsy robbed
of her effervescence,
lighter than roaming planets
with her moon weeping,
rumbling on happier shores.

The Alembic

The Alembic

Soft hair
and humidity
trickled from his torso
to his belly button
as I moistened my lips.

When the fruit ripened,
he placed it in containers planked
with scented Spanish Oak
and covered with moss; export
that would later be distilled.

But to me Jerez
was not what gave him
the fragrance of Montilla,
it only forced me to savor
the memory of his abdomen.



Long were the days
of sorrow when maps
were studied and
places chosen,
gifts bought:
Tin soldiers and
Rajasthani puppets. 
Gone are the days
When I believed
in blood.



Tu piel cubre
las dimensiones exactas
de mi deseo.

Deposito el tiempo
en tu cuerpo
y me divido
entre tu piel
y tus ojos.

Digo: será la última vez.

Las gaviotas
y el oleaje se acercan
y me tocan
Pero ellos
no son
tus manos.

Friday, December 24, 2010

To the rock of Sisyphus: North Korea

To the rock of Sisyphus: North Korea

: A tide, yes a tide of blood.
We say so weedy a race

only happens in mythology. 
There the famished plump

the bellies of their camels in wars
empty of complaints.

Unicorns thin out
in paper jungles

to survive the vinegar
of our contracted livers.

Uta’s stare, and the absolute silence
of slender bony people

wearing black cornflowers,
and purple cabbage-roses

on their surgically enhanced
lipped smiles at funerals

revive our fears.  There is no Shangri-La,
no forest, or canyon far enough

to stand guard against their stiff
lean assault on peace.



He used to wake me up at 5 a.m., 
8 every Saturday and Sunday. 
I’d stare into the eyes of that skinflint angel
caressing the most dull-witted features 
of my morning thoughtlessness. 

All sorts of miracles occurred
throughout the day, tricks of the heart.
Then he bought me an alarm.
I knew a rook had made its nest in his trunk.
It was as if he’d moved me back and forth 
through dosshouses.  I couldn’t sleep. 
My friends said I resembled a comma. 
That was, of course, until I met Omar. 

He’d call me up at 5 a.m.,  
8 every Saturday and Sunday, and grunt 
like a grizzly without constraints. 
Why, my teeth would actually chatter, 
and my skin sounded like the roasting 
of a crackling pig. 

But my heart never did get over 
those everlasting Monday’s when Steve 
softly poked whatever cheek he’d choose 
to kiss that day and say: honey: wake up! 

On the Sands of the Mojave

On the Sands of the Mojave 

Those forbidden twilights,
brandished balloons hanging
from hands fusing my horizons.
Your scheme, Medusa, wrecking
the tender years when wonderment
still struck my heart’s core, was
anchored on those midnight moons
that pierced time’s foundation.
Twenty years gone astray,
yet bees still sizzle and cymbals snap
at the thought of desire. Today I sit
and twang my concertina in the nude
on the sands of the Mojave
humming revivalist songs
for lack of any hearthstone affection.

The Lottery of Stars

The Lottery of Stars 

The great payoff is over.
Turn your mirror 
to the caterwauls 
of Satan’s bride 
if superbly round breast 
and two weeks’ 
vacation in the azure 
with Circe were your goal. 

Death has a first, 
second, and third prize 
in the lottery of stars: 
a rare rump, a magical orb 
sweetly rolling around 
your arm pits, and clouds 
on their way home 
along the seashore. 

The streets sing as well, 
to hydrocephalic 
politicians reeking 
of a haunt, a way
to bring back jobs.



I tend to overlook
the obvious.

Nothing wrong
with some skin covering
the exact dimensions

of my desire
when you are by my side
in a dream.

I deposit time
in your body, divide
myself between

you and your eyes.
I say: it’s the last time.
Listen, and self-destruct.

Seagulls and
the surf approach
and touch me

but they are not
your hand.
I watch you sleep

Among the far away oceans,
my Ulysses, and understand why
mermaids sing to heroes.

I approach you with my echo, 
but you remain distant,

fortified in your alliances.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Map of Amsterdam

The Map of Amsterdam 

What does love search for 
if not to grow wings 
and become a hermaphrodite. 
Is it not the obsession of the loved one 
to burn your summer
until you cook like escargot and die?

(I was kneeling in front of him,
my mouth on his hardness.
His knees trembled and swayed.
When I looked up 
his eyes were closed
and he asked: Do you love me?)

Love, immobile happiness 
of the swamp.
Who was he to my intimate places
to ask me that discomforting question?

Did his wings carry the same dark dirt 
as my map? Had he found my scent in Paris
and lost it in the canals of Amsterdam?
Had he found that place in me—
the where,
where he could always return?

I had fallen in love with a man 
who had a name to protect. 
I shut myself in the bedroom for days 
buried under shame.

Friends brought me look-a-likes,
but it only made me smell of bitter sweat
and dead gardenias. 

I’d listen to them speak
as if from a far distance, eyelids heavy, 
like stones swollen with salty wetness,
cheeks flushed as if with fever.

After a while, they’d find a hollow place
inside themselves and crouched there
until the storm around me abated.

Then I’d sing spirituals and tell stories 
of birds and people with thin hearts.

Meanwhile the man with a name to protect
would walk around the city punching 
every glass window he could find

until he’d reach my house. Friends 
let him in. He’d sit on the edge 
of my bed and trace his finger across the recess
of my ass. Everyone in the room would disappear,
leave the two of us together. No one ever
heard us talk— two lovers above time and space.

If you look closely, you’ll see a blood stain 
on the letter W on page 2 of my map of Amsterdam. 
And on page 10 you’ll find the same stain on the letter H,
page 18, the letter E, 19, the letter N, 22-L, 24-O, 27-V, 29-E, 
and D- O-E-S on page 35. On page 41 N-O-T and G-I-V-E, 
page 47 L-I-F-E, page 53, I-T-‘S O-N S-A-L-E.
What became of so much love?

It was 3pm and the pedicurist stabbed 

the corns on my left foot.

My skin 
was the perfect page 
for the imprint of your fingers.

Seventy Eight

Seventy Eight

He was about mother’s age and
stature when she died four years ago;
stout and short but graceful,
with the buoyancy of fresh foxglove
bursting forth in summer.

He’d hang a hammock and
go for a walk on the beach.
Wading to his hips as his feet 
pressed the wet sand; 
salt seasoned the expression 
of joy on his face.

Two bongo players
about his age,
black as his shirt,
struck a harmony
of rhythms
he could not ignore.
The sun reflecting
on his face emanated
the happiness of an old
freedom-song recaptured.

For a brief moment,
he eluded winter.
Soon it would be time
to return to retirement
and the hammock,
dream about a
good dance partner.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hombros Monocromos

Hombros Monocromos

Ven hállame cortando a tajos a través
del idioma enmarañado
con las manos arrugadas
por dirigir tantos destinos erróneos
definidos por diccionarios y números.

Apenas me queda cabeza
una tiniebla,
un viento frio,
o una fogata
sobre mis hombros monocromos;

Lo negro y lo blanco,
de la casa al trabajo,
del trabajo a la casa,
el gris de todos mis temores

Quizás los números
me hicieron tímido y pequeño,
o la guerra incivil con mi peso,
hasta que apenas estuviera aquí.

Sonrío mucho y sigo caminando—
el hombre desaparece, pequeño-pequeño
en un mundo grande-grande.

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