Saturday, December 31, 2011

haiku


old calendar… 
a museum of Mayan 
tapestries 

Your Name


Your Name

It is time
for me to crack open
my skull,
see what’s inside,
invent a new way of looking at things. 
I know I am dying
but why should that make
a difference?
People die one day at a time.

I shall build a house
that will stand forever,
with a smile folding at the corner
of my mouth, and a star sitting
on my tongue
like a stone around which
your name blossoms
distorted

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Haiku


old calendar …
I let the dead sleep
as they deserve

Sunday, December 18, 2011

For the days when the lights switch on and off by themselves


For the days when the lights switch on and off by themselves

and all the voice messages are from enemies
or other people
Only the good old days
lie
between verses
we have already written
For the fruit of fear in each December
Will this be the year
earth refuses
to forgive us with a blush of green
For the assumptions
of next winter’s chill
and for the quiet days in between
Your face mingled
in the poinsettias
after a brief rain  

haiku


waning moon
trying to touch
what matters

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On my Bed Thinking About You


On my Bed Thinking About You


If I could touch
without hurting you
I would run all the way to the river
and back. 
But nothing has changed.

You are voiceless,
crouched
in some long-forgotten childhood
hiding place,
a dark jungle where every tree
looks like every other tree.

I long for your scent,
your knees pushing against
my thighs,
but what is asked for is often destroyed
by the very words that seek it.

My bed is a fossilized prison
where I learn to make love to you forever.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

haiku


window shopping…
the conversations we won’t 
be having

Haiku


shrouded moon— 
feeding a chicken 
to the boa

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eulogy


Eulogy
For Yorelys

Beaten, raped, and murdered,
our child lies in a coffin
brutally deserted.
What monsters with nightmares
hidden in their eyes
do things like this?

Neither day nor night
can heal her now.
Soon the heat will fuse
her lurid eyes 
to diamonds
her sullen tongue
to quartz.  

Then she will fly
and never bleed again. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ghost



Ghost 


A dark jungle, 
looking like a dark jungle,
is where I am never quite myself.
I don't want to trip 
over its silence.


I don’t want a life apart 
from the pain I conceal 
from portions of myself,
from your voice crying 
to someone else 
come play in the rain, love.
This is not the same summer rain.


Our first season of separation
I counted dead roses 
in the back yard.
I didn't write our names on the mailbox.
You couldn't listen to my dreams.
I couldn't question yours.


The scars are there. 
I don’t know how many years I spent 
trying to forget, afraid of how many years 
I spend trying to remember.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Haiku


twilight— 
a hawk builds its nest 
in a windy place

Thursday, December 08, 2011

haiku


new year’s morning...

the hawk builds its nest 
in a windy place



Seasoning


Seasoning

My eyes are rehearsing
for when the winter solstice ends.
As the light wanes I see
what I thought was reluctance covering
my face.  I want to expand
every moment into an emotional chemistry
that includes the smell and texture of
every lover I’ve had.
But the solstice is ending,
old recalled lovers who look
like glasswing butterflies
stretched across other summers
find the pot of gold at the end
of my rainbow.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Litany for Survival



A Litany for Survival
For A.L.


An elephant walked into my bedroom
reciting a litany for survival  
She spoke about her brown mother
and sister having died too many deaths
that were not their own 
She spoke about redemption
and a new religion
She spoke about winter people
taking off their blood masks
and monuments for the children of war
She spoke about hunger and blind feet
trying to find their way to the sun
She spoke about a greedy black unicorn
that was not free
She spoke about having two faces
and a frying pan to cook up her daughters
She spoke about two men with stone eyes
making love in the hallway
they were lying like felled maple
Soon the hallway was covered
with these beggars
and I couldn’t pass over them
Perhaps I wasn't meant to survive

Monday, December 05, 2011

Caetano Veloso


Published Haiku



fading light…
the steady thrum of rain
on the windows




plowed earth…
bullet-riddled boys
littering the streets






vacant sky—
a graveyard angel rising
above the pebbles




hurricane season…
the severed branches
still green




autumn rain...
I collect my thoughts
and turn a page




moonlight moiré …
autumn waves foam
on the sand




shoulder to shoulder
we stand at his wake...
autumn rain




boarding windows
the hurricane moves closer
to my island




autumn twilight...
crossing the river
stone by stone




sloping hills
now and then
a crow caws

Sunday, December 04, 2011

At the End of Night


At the End of Night

I exist
to be conquered
I, set against all other I’s,
even nature, am a stillborn
poem taken out
of  my mother’s pain. 
Once I was immortal
beside the sea
condemned to endless mornings,
empty of the knowledge
of manmade rituals
until out of my mouth that knows
came the shape I was seeking
for reason.  
Now I am lost among 
the stiff trees.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Haiku



autumn deepens …
the taste of rain
and sunset

Friday, December 02, 2011

To the Survival of Lizards


To the Survival of Lizards

Call me
Narcissus for I complain
of being lonely
call me what I miss
whatever it is
call me lizard and arrogant  
nightmare on your blood moon
your itch to destroy
the indestructible
faces of important men.

Call me diseased
with problems of original sin
because of my worries
call me your myth of father
and son
your determination
in the most conceited image
within me
for I am you
in your most moral
assumptions
scuttling through the cracks
created to admit me
in your living rooms
my honor
comes with your hate
by imitation
and your refusal
to live on.

Haiku


red moon 
summer falling away 
from the trees

Thursday, December 01, 2011

That Side of a Shade of Sorrow


That Side of a Shade of Sorrow


My daily crucifixion
is to be alone.  
My voice has that side of a shade
of sorrow,
it is calcified.  Perhaps from the anger
of both
my father and I. 
I dream incessantly
about us working in unison,
but my dreams
eventually turn into nightmares. 
I just realized
my home
is not his house
I am free to come
and go as I please.  The altar
has fallen,
and I shall learn to conquer yes.  
I never loved you,
so free me
quickly
before I destroy us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Paper Thin Walls


Paper Thin Walls

He speaks
in a scorching voice
inventing what he cannot promise.
I wonder if my neighbor
listens
to my toilet flushing,
believing
the other is always lying
in wait.

Nation


Nation

Look mother,
I peeled away your anger
and stopped building
sand castles
by the sea.
The nation
is riddled with thieves
and no door opens easily.
My childish dreams?
Fulfilled, and laid to rest. 

poem was entered into a competition


poem was entered into a competition

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Deadly Mirror


The Deadly Mirror

Inconclusive thoughts
are what I hear inside my head:
because the mind’s eye lit the sun. 
Must I give up the world
to be saved?  Shall I forget
his lips on my nape to write
what I perceive to be a new earth?
My imagination flutters like a swallow,
and cries like a hungry baby.
I sit and play the saxophone
in self contemplation.  The mirror
tells the truth, but not enough
to merit constant thought.
I am folding inward over
and over.  Six inches of words
and I am betrayed, hypnotized into
believing I have achieved
all there is to achieve in this art.
Therefore, I start a new contemplation
of the swallow and I listen to the fragment
of phrases like Imitations, Life Studies
and Notebook. I will never find the one
flower that sustains all the earth.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

at the hospital


at the hospital


a sudden change
in temperature, malady
of autumn

I am utterly empty
only a name tag to identify
me as survivor

tulips search for me
but in this winter light I have
wanted to efface myself

the air is calm
yet tulips fill it like a loud noise
I must concentrate

commit myself
to rest, place all my attention
on taking it easy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Headache


Headache


Soon I’ll be a fugitive
of my own skin, raw.
I’ve chosen the rare
sensation of  tainted
blood to outfit my
bow of thorns.  Today
I will not clutch a fist
in the wind’s sneer,
nor will I disenchant
my examiners. I will
wait for the postman
to deliver the world turning
from my rented attic;
wait for the headache
to ease, or go away
all together.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Rain and Sound


Rain and Sound

Listen to me as one listens to the rain:
we are distracted once again.  Night
approaches with its dense cloak of fear,
an assault for which there is no cure.
It is never winter here,
yet the hibiscus have been censored
like men trying to show their affection
for each other.  Air, water, and flower
there is no weight in these words.
Night has the figurations of mist.
Listen to me as one listens to the rain:
(Censor my desire for writing you poems.)
Not attentive, not distracted, only as if
I were the rain. Hear me out until
the asphalt is wet.  You are you
in night steam.  You enter my eyes
as your steam crosses the street. 
The sun does not varnish the curve.
We are both steam.   Steam of another
censored flower, lotus.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Haiku


city of enemies…
wet hibiscus glisten
in the light

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haiku


love crimes…
the imprint of a fallen angel
in the line of fire

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deep Within


Deep Within

The alchemy of inner worlds,
Can I possibly explain it?
The chemistry of silence
Hidden deep within to protect
The unborn word from the lions
Roaming about the middle earth.
The comatose twin that does not have
The speech impediment and writes
Riddled poems in shorthand.
The rapture of inner worlds,
Can I possibly clarify it?
The strength is there, yet the will
Waits peacefully hidden from the mind.
A day like today I will find
The strength to sharpen the pencils
And sit down to write.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Haiku


summer night… 
the heady scent of gardenias 
and mown grass

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Haiku


summer night…
the heady smell of gardenias
and mown grass

Un Solo Dolor


Un Solo Dolor

El sol se destroza en pequeños arcoíris para cruzar mi piel
y hacerme sudar como si estuviese acostado cerca de una tortuga
en el piso de un jardín botánico.  No quiero seguir viviendo,
solo espero que se apague mi corazón de un solo dolor.  Luego
me iré a dormir con alguna serpiente mansa en el casco de la ciudad
para no aburrir a los gallos ni provocar tormentas.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haiku


autumn dusk . . .
the creak of broken beams
in bamboo coves

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Curled


Curled



Soon my heart will stop,
and I will balance my affections
against a different feather.
You won’t anticipate the pain
that rocks me, my soles curled
like a sleeping infant’s.
I will gather the lilies and set
them on our bed, but you will be
missing, absent, gone; going up,
going down, with a stranger
brushing your arm in a hotel
elevator.  Yes, stuck with another
man cruising and brushing his
arm against your elbow.
And I will not be there to save
you from all the gossip.  You will
slip away with him into a corridor
until you reach a door that he will
open.  Then you will enter the room
and I will be missing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

deleted


deleted

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

haiku


tiene credenciales 
callejeras, gata sin tejado
madonna de barrio

Monday, October 10, 2011

Haiku


butterfly kites flutter
against the ocean air
El Morro

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Haiku


plowed earth
bullet-riddled boys
littering the streets

Friday, October 07, 2011

haiku



sloping hills
now and then
a crow caws

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Haiku


the steady thrum
of rain on the windows…
late autumn

Friday, September 30, 2011

haiku


brisa salada sopla
sobre nuestros cuerpos
noche otoñal

The key you have not lost


The key you have not lost
                           

is there between those spaces,
not by or in, but flanked between
the 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 doors,
or a listing for all the vacant walls
on which we'll scribble our graffiti.

haiku


from the text of a
slavers journal, words that give
history an iron taste

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Illusion


The Illusion


You punish me to provide
a spectacle of excess—tamp

my testicles with affirmations
of your power. Your mannequins blow

and breathe urgency
like naked bald-hydras morgue

between Santiago and Lima
where desert sands are voiceless.

What is different between us
is the intensity of our attraction.

Oh, how many nooses
I've stretch around the necks of gigolos

at cul-de-sac social clubs
where cellos moan

and mouths wilt as I listen
to tangos and pick up sugar

dropped on the table
trying to ignore the blood
on my recently buffed shoes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Family Days


On Family Days


You don’t try hard enough, she’d say.
All the while, his thoughts grow increasingly gray. 
She can’t smell the fear he inhabits,

a macabre work of art from which he comes and goes,
the run of wind at a deserted murder scene. 
She forgets, as he forgets, control

will arrive soon enough,
and that brachiated spectacle of blame
and praise will dissipate

like hurricanes dispel after they touch land. 
They’ll both be left wondering about the pieces
of debris, the river’s current,

and how much to fix of whatever comes undone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

haiku


we stand shoulder
to shoulder at the wake…
days of long rain

Quilts, Flags, and other Wrappings


Quilts, Flags, and other Wrappings


I started the quilt
when the only reminder
of civility I had was a stuffed doll
whose button eyes fell off.

Sewed while bathing
under the moon’s eclipse
and watched you throw my porcelain spoons—
a collection of gifts, against the wall.

I stopped stitching
when you drove that bulldozer
in sight of all those present

at Jose's welfare funeral
just because he was gay and my friend.
I glared at the tangled patches of quilt
as they threw me into a paddy wagon
took me to jail for protesting
that unwinnable war.

I climbed into bed even as Allen lay
covered with Kaposi’s sarcoma
to calm both our fears, his and mine.

Studied you when a signature
to keep your only brother
        from becoming homeless
made you shudder
at the funeral expense if he died
while the blotch of endearment you gave him
was still warm on that piece
of white insignificance.

Then I added the names.

Mr. Morris


Mr. Morris


Mr. Morris was a tenant
in my house, and a friend.
He wore the night
on his skin, a panther
copiously sprinkled with stars
draped in spider webs.
After a long day's work
he’d sit by the phone
in the kitchen
and counsel dying men
I’d never see.
When the virus spread
and independent living
was no longer an option
he wouldn’t complain, show fear
or pain, even when I’d rush him
to the emergency room.
It was in a sweat lodge with Mr. Morris
that my feathers dropped as he rose
above the cornfield like a vision. 

Lucas


Lucas


We met one last time
before his corpse was washed. 

I couldn’t get past the odor
of medicine, the skin and bones talking
from the wheelchair stopped me cold. 

Lucas?  Lucas… I didn’t recognize
the proud man I once knew.
He said: Come, give me a hug. 
I held on to a chair worried
I’d faint, but I couldn’t betray
the hope invested in an embrace.

He found substance
in the gathering of friends.
I know because I am acquainted 
with my sins, and all the ways
my fears have killed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

haiku


our Sunday feast
at the water’s edge
autumn evening

Dead Willow


Dead Willow


[There is a straw mattress
full of bedbugs under the dead willow,
where the tears of every whore
in town are as open as red hibiscus.
It is the only place left to wait.]

We went our separate ways,
but when I reached the train tracks
I picked up a few rocks to throw
at the racemes of trouble hanging
in the meadow orchard ahead.

My feet, undefined wanderings
of a bite, were in pain
as I suspect they will continue
to be until my time spills over.

I knew there was a mystic
in the ordinary—(à la Rilke) that would carry me
(Oh Orpheus sings!  Oh tall tree in the ear!)
through the rest of the day,
like that first cup of coffee,
or a prayer said in the
distant past.

Blog Archive

Followers