Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This is the last poem of the NaPoWriMo 2014

This is the last poem of the NaPoWriMo 2014


thirty days
of morning showers—

am I to be
for you like the rain,
or shall I sleep

amid a yoke
of silence?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

the house of souls tanka sequence

the house of souls
a doorway stopped by clouds
inside my dream     
he lives alone, the wilderness
will not let him go

I come
from the wilderness
I awaken
in this body broken
like a sword

I ache
thinking of the seasons,
how they pass,
and how I change
into Tiresias’ weathered sex

Monday, April 28, 2014

a triumph of light tanka

a triumph of light—
the sun soared into view
in its own splendor, the mask
of darkness fell

it's clear
as a veil of light
I knew                  
I had felt the freshness
of dawn

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Él limpia
con esponja tersa
la arena
de la soledad
sobre mi piel
y aplica el agua salada
de la autoestima
a mi cuerpo.

Bashō and his friends

Bashō and his friends
gaze at the moon
the sky with rules
for their linked poem

Friday, April 25, 2014

Remembering a tanka sequence


he sponges
the grit of loneliness
from my skin
and dabs the salt water
of self-esteem over my body

I carry my life
like a stone  
in a tattered pocket,
yet I have a weaving song,
a healing tone, inside me

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Barrier

The Barrier

I would barricade
myself inside a poem.
Becoming increasingly critical,
I would see my own image everywhere
and hide my enemies
on that side of the mirror.
I would fall in love twice a year,
buy 1000 roses. With no gift of abundance
inside me, I would  worship
the penuries of sobriety,
allow them to catch up
to my sorrows. I would wake
his stony heart and give him one of flesh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

tanka de una sola linea

Para Gabo

despierto sobre flores de rododendro amarillo--Cien Años de Soledad

yellow rhododendron tanka for Gabo

for Gabo

a hundred
years of solitude—
I awaken
to a blossom
of yellow rhododendron

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Young & Old tanka sequence

Young & Old - tanka sequence

here I am,
at 63
for the rain…
I am old
a dry head
among breezy spaces,
yet I feel young,
in the midst of leaves

to the Titans
in the land
of enchantment…
here I am

Monday, April 21, 2014

transcendence tanka sequence


in the middle
of the sunflower
I call Your name
and paint
the migration of geese

some things
breathe, exhale
and puzzle,
reminding us of vast
blue skies

grant me
laughter's bounty, and eyes
filled with affection
for the sun touches
deeper than thought

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I listen Tanka

I listen,
hear nothing, only
the lion, the lion of such  
hollowness, roaring
down my bones…

It must have been love - roxette (lyrics)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Death and Royalties

Death and Royalties

In India, the high costs of seed and chemicals 
have produced a debt trap, and 284,694 Indian farmers 
have committed suicide. Why is putting a toxic gene 
into a plant cell “creating” or “inventing” a plant? There is 
no intellectual property in a seed. The “Life Lord” of our 
planet is collecting rent from farmers.

seeds of suicide— 
the dark stain 
of engineered 

Gabo has passed away

Gabo has passed away
March 6, 1927– April 17, 2014

From Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I learned there are old men
with wings,
drowned men so gorgeous
they must be named Estéban,
women so stunning
that when they die
they ascend to heaven
in plain sight,
and banana companies,
like Monsanto, are always ready
to steal, or contaminate, our lands.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

something has come between us tanka

has come between us—
it will not sleep
it whimpers
settles in the interstice


bailing out--
no parachute
beside my bed

in la Belle Epoque tanka

in la Belle Epoque   
of the imagination, 
the egg came first...
a box without corners
an isolated oddity

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jolts from the not too Distant Past

Jolts from the not too Distant Past

no way to bail out,
no parachute
beside my bed…      

I wrapped myself around the AIDs epidemic in the 80’s.  The fear grew well into the 90’s, when I saw a man on a starvation drip. (no more Lazarus for him) He had had enough of needles and ventilators and AZT and gauze and scars and tubing. Suddenly my fear was gone, and there was a raw sense of militancy. I was determined to give him a dignified burial. What else could I do for a person who had starved himself to death rather than go on fighting a lost battle. One really needs to be brave and distinguished to accomplish such a deed with honor. I knew that, the nurses knew that.  His family knew nothing but the looming gossip around them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

come as you are tanka

come as you are
before it snows again—
chrysanthemum shaped
explode over the sky

Monday, April 14, 2014

Each to his fidgety revenge

Each to his fidgety revenge 

It was you 
who threw away 
my name.
Where were you 
when I was burning alive 
with duende,
to love myself 
too much?

Sunday, April 13, 2014



in the house of chaos—
my place
until the sun
is in my window

I listen
to the things I own,
the murmur
of an empty mattress,
the steady accusations of the clock

my factory
where decay's silent armies
clock in
to steal the grace
of sleep

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Remind me to kill you later

Remind me to kill you later
of who I am
of my country
Remind me to look-up the name of this cancer
to cuddle
Remind me of my own dear friends
                        my hunger
                        my suicide
                        to levitate
                        and fill my pockets with rocks
Remind me of the clouds
                        and the daffodils
                        my grandmother’s orchids
                        the history maps my aunt would force
                        me to memorize
Remind me of me
                        waiting for you to return
                        of wanting a kiss and getting nothing but a slap in the face, the truth, no nonsense, a piece of reality, a postcard from Willie Perdomo saying: the cheese is melting, put it back in the fridge, baby 



The last time
I saw the place
where clouds
are formed
was from my
Rich moisture
moving through
the saguaros,
touching them
from head
to toe. Once
I saw the place
where clouds are
formed in your
eyes, high
above the stars,
wet, damp,
I had nothing
to say, no story
to tell, just a sad

Friday, April 11, 2014

He is what is left of my life

He is what is left of my life
a blizzard of one snowflake
the lies I tell him are different
from the lies I tell myself.

When I walk, I part the air
between us, and "air
moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been."

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe
August 5, 1962

the nightmare
a tortured poet
the manic fear
an imperfection

half-drugged eyes
under the lids
of teal shadows

Marilyn’s face
dissolved in ink
by men of ambiguous

hers was no common
her self-consciousness
was really her infatuation
with her own fame

in perfect solitude
there is a lasting fire

Thursday, April 10, 2014



I was a hippie
a secret heard for the
last time,
a song moving through the city
like a widow.
I was snow shredded with gunfire,
and roseflower petals
on a black dog.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Three Tanka

an obsession
its poise unquestionable,
voice unsteady?
it praises calmness
but adores upheaval

I walk alone
across the floor of my life--
a spider                   
wrapped up
in a simple obsession

in the days
when my obsession
was only a wound-up toy,
intractable as the world seemed,
I was happy

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Song of Ice and Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire
“Fear is for the winter… when the snows fall a hundred feet
deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north.
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

What is the most precious
part of your body,
your house of stillness?
Do you remember
that your fingers
are places of prayer?
One never knows
where the body is going.
Concentrate on what you might
acquire. A mate, a pilgrimage
to somewhere distant
in the heart, a brain
unlocked or left to ruin,
and ears for music:
A Song of Ice and Fire.
Is it that thing
between your legs?
Bowed down by words
like firewood, clenched
with words like ice…
language is for the coward
who thinks a rule
is nice at any price.
Oh my Ariel, you are in your
eighties now, a universe apart.
Seven realms in long summer days,
but soon will winter come.

Sunday, April 06, 2014



Half asleep and wrapped
in a blanket of nightmares
I pass through all the broken
windows of the world
with an appetite for cake.
It is the medication struggling
to wear off, the dew-haze blurs
of an autumn sky.  I yearn
for a day without a fix, a day
with the realization of who
I’ve become in the tall grass
of my imagination.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Silence tanka prose

And in that city the houses of the dead
are left empty...

Debora Greger, The Dictionary of Silence 

The cold war has not ended. Its architecture of loneliness 
became as widespread as the silence between the sun 
and the moon.

a battle of gestures,
this silent doomsday,
is our last chance
to open a bottle
of good champagne



Meadowlarks sing
to the dead man who got sick
with sorrow.
Covered in death’s icy mosses
the dead man lies flat, laughing
sardonically at heaven.
He wants to read the headlines to
ponder and resolve the riddle of his days.
For his brain is not swamped
with the poisoned blood of lust.

On the day of his death he read
news items about what’s happening in Iran.
Suddenly the Ayatollahs of the revolution
piled in his heart and they suppurated
in his soul and he knew he had been cheated
by life, so he died and meadowlarks pleaded
for his asylum in heaven.
The Ayatollahs laughed, and then there was silence,
except for the hiss of his rotting body.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sex at sixty-three - Tanka prose

Sex at sixty-three - Tanka prose

It’s been years since the color of my sex is red. Nothing 
seems to interest me. Is it fear? Those old lovers stay away; 
the new one’s lie, no, vie for my paycheck. Salt and pepper 
hair, bald spots, and I am so fat that who would want me anyway. 

to all the boys 
that are so smart, 
I have let my anger pass, 
so while you’re down there
kiss my ass

and I will love again at last. This is not a promise. I’ve begun 
a scrapbook with the sole purpose of pinning my sex drive. 
You can’t hear it, or see it, or read it, or sing it, specially sing 
it, since I don’t rhyme. But you can feel it, my crocodile skin. 
Please don’t laugh. It’s not a laughing matter. I’m so lonely 
my shoulder bone hurts.

what illness 
do I think I have—
the warrens of
my brain dry 
and crackle

let's pretend I came to swim tanka

let's pretend I came to swim,
hands spread apart,
in the wet sands 
of devotion 
scraps of music cleanse me 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

painting a wave tanka

painting a wave
is a lot of trouble—
water under water 
with its thin mascara 
of buoys and corks

A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963

It’s been a long time coming

It’s been a long time coming

I’ve had to reach deep inside my shipwrecked city to say
 goodbye to my dead.  Now, I am a morning mutant, calling
 out His Name from my nuclear abyss, ninety-five times a day. 
 I’ve lost all my images to the moon, to the doorways that
 promise answers, to stories of old wars, and I bury my
 head in the piñatas waiting for the sun to shine brighter.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Se acabo, it's all over, baby...

*Se acabo, it's all over, baby...
blackbirds smash their heads
against a window, dragonflies
of mythic proportions sink in water.
"*Why, sometimes I've believed
as many as six impossible things
before breakfast." ¡Se acabo!

*it’s all over, song by La Lupe
* Wool and Water,
Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

I’m Cantinflas tanka

I’m Cantinflas
I taught you how to cry a verb,
kill a moffie,
set his body on fire
in a tent performance

a new beginning

a new beginning 

I who am something else
enter your mouth unafraid 
of kisses...I try to make 
these wretched words 
line up again across this paper 
that can feel no pain
a new beginning 
starting from shale 
scuffed by wind
the survey of a condor’s eye

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