Showing posts from April, 2014

This is the last poem of the NaPoWriMo 2014

This is the last poem of the NaPoWriMo 2014 Rain thirty days of morning showers— am I to be for you like the rain, or shall I sleep alone amid a yoke of silence?

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

a triumph of light tanka

a triumph of light— the sun soared into view rejoicing        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


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 threading  the sky  with rules for their linked poem

Remembering a tanka sequence

Remembering 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

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.

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

Young & Old tanka sequence

Young & Old - tanka sequence here I am, at 63 waiting for the rain… I am old                        a dry head among breezy spaces, yet I feel young, drunk in the midst of leaves whispering to the Titans in the land of enchantment… here I am

transcendence tanka sequence

transcendence 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

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)

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. Monsanto’s  seeds of suicide—  the dark stain  of engineered  cotton

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.

something has come between us tanka

something  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

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.

come as you are tanka

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

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, learning  to love myself  too much?


insomnia living 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

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  


Clouds The last time I saw the place where clouds are formed was from my window. 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, tearful. I had nothing to say, no story to tell, just a sad hum.

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 used by men of ambiguous capacities hers was no common emptiness her self-consciousness was really her infatuation with her own fame in perfect solitude there is a lasting fire


Vietnam I was a hippie apprentice, 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.

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

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.


Medication 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.

Silence tanka prose

Silence 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


Headlines 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.

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 

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.

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