Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stumbles (for Sarah)

It doesn't matter 

how often
one of us
stumbles 

on the trip wire,
waking the dark, 
unmovable monster,

and you scream at me,
cry in your room,
slam doors,
and I sit here,
heartbroken and defeated,

I still love you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Come Back

I've stopped waiting
for Jesus
to come back.

He never left.

I have to
come back.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

If a Poem Falls in the Forest

If a poem falls
in the forest
and there is
no one there
to read it
is it still
a poem

and,
more precisely,

can I still
even write
a poem anymore?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Naked Selfie Collection

I’m trying to collect
all my stray poems-
the ones I’ve sent here
and there
and way over there-
into one definitive collection.

However,
I know there are
a few naked selfies,
literary self-portraits,
that could come back
to haunt me-
and just because
I tore and burned up
my copies
doesn’t mean
they don’t exist anymore.

So, this is my plea
to Laurie, Bonnie,
Jean, Gracia, Kim,
Darra, Teresa, Cyndie
and the handful
of others
whose faces
I remember,
but not
their names:

If you’re holding on
to any of my poetry,
I’ll buy them
all back,

$5 bucks apiece,

no questions asked.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Playlist 2017

Every year, I make my lovely bride, Anita, a mix CD of songs for Valentine's Day.  Here's this year's playlist. Enjoy it with someone you love, naked if possible.



My First Love

My first love
was music,
comforting, exciting
and mysterious.

As I grew,
I put myself into
the lyrics of the song,
as though they were
a script for my heart
to follow.

Years lumbered by
and as I fell into
what resembled love,
I would hear the music,
look at the women,
and knew
they were disconnected.

Then I met Anita,
and all the songs
were new.

I couldn’t sing them
anymore
without my voice
cracking
with joyful tears.

She was the one
to make all the lyrics
true for me,

all the melodies
poetry for me,

and because of her
true love,
she was able
to improve upon
my first love.

[Go to https://dversepoets.com/ - it won't hurt much.]

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Vietnamese Ghost Bride Confesses

My Vietnamese ghost bride
from 1994
confessed
through a dream:

“Yes,
you followed the rules,
kept your promises,
waited years,
but I was
bound to betray you.

I’m sorry,
but neither
your scrawny penis
nor puny
credit card limit
could satisfy
my avaricious
vagina.”

[For Dverse, you know, right there: here]

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Capitalization Counts (for Sarah)

The search for
Happiness
is elusive, illusionary.

However,
happiness
exists in smaller,
more modest
forms.

So,
have a donut,
look at the rain,
remember
I love you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Her Wedding Prayer

As she stuttered
her vow
“for p-p-poorer,”

she prayed
the semen
of the man
she eventually left me
for

wouldn’t
trickle
down
her
white-laced
leg.

[In commemoration of Black Sunday, February 13, 1994, wherein yours truly plays the part of the Biggest Schmuck in The Universe.]

Monday, February 06, 2017

Micropucker

Her moist,
yielding lips,

twitch and
micropucker,

waiting to be
answered,

filled
and fulfilled,

by this warm,
and slippery friend,

so firm,
uninhibited
and ecstatic.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Buzzing

In our afterglow,
she radiates 
serenity, satiety.

I roll over,
confidently 
drifting 
into slumber,

as a buzzing 
emanates 
from her side 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Christian Agnostic Speaks

So,
if God
"gave us"
free will,

then,
couldn't God also
"take away"
free will,

and what the hell
is so
free
about that?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Numb (A Rehearsal)

I walk these
faux-comforting
corridors,
past loss,
elation,
birth,
death.

Numb.

Someday
I’ll walk these
one last time.

Last night
was just
a rehearsal.
Madre Moskowitz, awaiting dialysis

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Casual Beauty

There is still
a rosebud
waiting,
dew-moistened
for me.

In this miasma
of  fear
and uncertainty
and mistrust
and doubt,
I remember
that casual beauty
exists,
often hiding
in plain sight.

Ignoring
my cold,
scared
jittery stomach,
I turn
and keep my eyes
forward,
scanning the horizon
for the edges
of the dirty-grey clouds,
squinting hard
looking for
that reluctant,
explosive blue
that I know is still
out there.

Who put all
these treasures
there for me
to find?

Never mind,
it doesn't matter.

Just slow down,
be quiet,
exhale gratitude.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Walk Me Through This Darkness, O Lord

Walk me through
this darkness O Lord,
I do not know
where You are taking me
but my faith tells me
I must follow and
I must be with You.

Walk me through
this darkness O Lord,
because I feel afraid
and I need the help
of something
bigger
and stronger
and wiser
who knows the ending
of the story.

Walk me through
this darkness, O Lord,
and guide me to where
there is light,
guide me to where
I can give her
some answers.

O Lord,
there's so much that
we do not understand,
like why you put
this malignant worm
inside of her brain,
inside of her soul,
and yes, I know
why
is a fool's question,
but I must ask.

Walk me through
this Darkness, O Lord
because I want to say
you owe me at least that
because I can't think of where
this Darkness came from
and it's so fucking huge
that no doctors in my HMO
can fix it.

Walk me through
this darkness, O Lord
and please forgive my anger.
Please forgive my questions.
Please forgive my doubtful heart. Please heal my daughter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Her Greatest Gift

Through the smoke
and patches of blaze
still smoldering,
I see her
and I cannot help
my movement toward her:

I must be
by her side.

That is where I belong,
where I thrive.

Christmas after Christmas
we collect memories,
all our own,
that no one can touch.

Every year,
I gratefully remember
her greatest gift
to me:

I have never
wished to be
anywhere else,

never envied
another’s coupling,

since I found my place
beside her.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Off-White Christmas

One Christmas
I ventured far from
the West Coast
land of my ancestors
and spent the holidays
in Maryland
where the people
were pleasant
and surprisingly
multicolored.

On Christmas Day
as I strolled the boulevard
with my white companion,
a warm blanket of security
and belonging
and perhaps universal
love
surrounded me,

and as we walked past
others I greeted them

“Merry Christmas!”
“Happy Holidays!”
“Season’s Greetings!”

I was thankful
for the profound effect
the birth of Jesus
had on peoples' kindness.

It felt good.

Two young white men
approached us
and they appeared to be
more than a little drunk
and carrying a few more
6-packs
back to their home
and as they walked by
they said something,
and I answered them with
“Merry Christmas”

but something didn’t feel right.

I stopped and
looked at my companion
whose face betrayed
a puzzled expression.

She asked
“didn’t you hear
what they said?”

“Didn’t they say
‘Merry Christmas’
or something like that?”

She said
“No, they said
‘Happy Beaner Christmas.’”

Shit.
Really?
On Christmas?

I shrugged it off -
what can you expect from
a couple of
gabachos borachos?

Perhaps they had their fill
of love and brotherhood
this holiday season and
my appearance afforded them
an unexpected chuckle.

Perhaps
they saw me as a gift
from their twisted
and diseased god.

Mercifully,
I was scheduled to return
to Southern California
the next day

and I’ve decided that
I’ll spend the rest
of my Christmases here

just as my ancestors
always have.

(Notes: "Beaner" is a derogatory term for Mexican-Americans, which is what I am.  Gabachos borachos translates to "drunken White men.")

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Enemy, Defined

To people like us,
the enemy is clear:

creativity,
the flight of the feather
is weighed down
by the brick
of perfection.

It can never
be attained
by human hands,

so stop trying.

The quest for
perfection
arrests the dreams
and ambitions
and freezes them
in a cycle of review
and rewrite.

So, stop trying.

Rather,
burrow deeper within
and find the
soft
sweet
center

and then
go back there
daily,

taking everything
you see,
dipping it inside
and then
bring it out,
let it dry,
buff to a high polish,
then put it
on display.

It won’t be perfect
but it will be
yours and only yours

and you won’t be
paralyzed
or feel compelled
to make that

Big Statement,

but you’ll make
of lot of
small honest statements,

sometimes
30 days in a row.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December

I’ve no rustic,
romantic imagery
of cabins
in the snow.

No,
December is cold
and wet
and harsh,

but when experienced
under warm blankets,
against the soft skin
of a loved one,

December can be
a quiet respite,
a sacred prayer.

December softly
compels an accounting,
demands
a grateful response.

Days run out
the calendar,
hours run out
the daylight.

With certainty,
there will be
tomorrows,
and blooms
will dot
the near-naked
branches,
the chill will
escape from
these bones,

and I’ll await
December again,
trying to love it all
not as a memory
nor a mirage,

but rather
as a moment.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to Live Forever

“Well,
not every experiment works.

We try and learn from the stuff
that doesn’t work as well.

Not everyone can discover penicillin,
you know.

So,
even though you still
have not unlocked
the mystery of mortality
perhaps,
you amused  yourself,
and that’s something.

The captain said
“the reward is in the doing,

and if that’s not the truth,
then you
better find something else
to do.”

Whatever you’ve got
in front of you,
lowly and modest
though it be,

experience it,
live it,
inhale it,
jump in it
and splash about
and from that

make something
that will outlast you:

the best would be
if you made
your life
a glorious gift,

freely given
to everyone.

It would be
so beautiful,

that your love would
outlast you,
outlive you,

and that’s’ how
you live
forever.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bequeathed

"Here's how we're
going to do this:

take all those boxes
labeled
"Writings: 1977-1994"

make sure they are
double sealed and
and put them in
the archive stack.

No one's going
to want to read
those,
besides everyone
he wrote those for
are either long dead
or married.

Then there's that
plastic bin
of cassette demo tapes.

I don't think
he's ever going
to bounce those
to digital,
so I think we can
archive those too.

Then,

all his stuff from
online....sheesh 
it's scattered
everywhere.

It's like he had no
discretion
just because he wrote
under a pseudonym.

You have all the
passwords, right?

OK, then
here's what you do:
go through
each site
and take each one offline.

Don't delete them,
just don't let
anyone see them
until his daughter
has had a chance
to see them,
to review them.

Well,
since he
bequeathed
to her
all the rights
to all his artistic
(yeah, right)
artistic products,

until she decides
how to proceed,

I guess we can consider
Buddah Moskowitz
offline indefinitely.

For now.

Wow,
it just hit me
that he's really gone."

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Consultation

"Hey, Danny,
listen before
the girls get back,

I gotta
ask you something:

I'm thinking about
marrying Anita.
What do you think?

Great.
Yes, I agree,
she's a phenomenal woman.

Yes,
I love the kids,
they just sweetened
the deal.

No, no tonight,
but I'm planning
to propose
on my birthday.

Yeah,
great, thanks,
and obviously,

don't tell anyone.

Thanks, Sh!

Here they come."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Gold Experience

"Of course,
we can make that
happen,
silly.

You're one of
my favorites.

Ok, let's make sure
we're on
the same page:

So, you're looking
for the
"Silver Experience?"

Oh, "Gold?"

That's a better deal
because it starts
with a warm stone
table bath,
including the
pomegranate scrub.

And we'll follow
that up with the
full-orifice lubrication
with imported
Middle East
saffron oil,
including all-digital
full prostate gland
stimulation.

Following that
you get the
full-body
45-minute
skin-on-skin
Swedish Massage.

And
by that time,
if I've done
my job right,
you'll probably be
ready for
Arrival Expression.

So, let me total
that out,

just a sec...

So, that comes
to $740,
before tax and tip.

We take all cards
(except American Express)
and, of course,
cash.

Yes,
cash is
best of all."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Last Words

"I said
everything
I needed to say.

You found me
guilty anyway.

I don't expect
any mercy,
any understanding.

That's beyond the scope
of what you mere mortals
will ever  understand.

So I leave you here
but my blood is
on your hands,
my death is
on your head.

Someday
when the evidence finally
exonerates me,

you'll see.

But,
how are you going to make it up
to my kids?

You're taking away
their father,
and you know it was all
circumstantial.

You will have to lived
with this.

I won't.

I'm free.

That's all."

Friday, November 25, 2016

Do You Have a Hotline to God?

“No, she didn’t make it
today.

Well, she’s been having a lot
of ups and downs lately.

Mostly downs.

Yes,
she still sees
Dr. Emma,
but she’s kind of lost
faith in science and
medicine.

She has
what they call
Treatment-Resistant
Depression.

She’s tried pills.

Yah, she’s
tried that one…

and that one…

yes, and that one too.

We just got
the name and number
of a psychiatrist
at Loma Linda
who performs
ECT.

Electro-Convulsive
Therapy.

No, it’s not like
in Cuckoo’s Nest

It’s more controlled
than that.

Yes, we know it’s extreme,
but so is
having my 19 year old
daughter in constant
psychological pain.

No,
I don’t think
she’ll want that.

Because she’s been
praying for respite for years,
and what makes you think
your special prayer group can help?

Do you have
a hotline to God?

I’m sorry,
I’m not trying to be rude,
but I have a daughter
who hates being alive
so much
that she’s
investigating countries
where they have
assisted suicide.

Yes, I know.

Look,
if you want to pray,
don’t let me stop you,
but

after all this time,
I admit I’ve lost
some of my faith.

Who wouldn’t?

Maybe you should
pray for me
too.”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Day After Thanksgiving

"Thank you
for coming and
helping out.

Well,
you probably can
help out
in the kitchen,
but honestly...

at the moment
we've actually got
more volunteers
than we need...

yeah,
but that won't be
for long.

There'll be another
wave soon,
but I'll give you
this tip about
volunteering:

on the big holidays,
especially like Easter
and Thanksgiving,
people always come
out big to help...

but do you know
when we
really need help?

The day after Thanksgiving,
the week before Christmas,
the month preceding Easter...
you get it?

No,
we don't need your help
just on the days
when you remember
the poor,
the hungry,
and the homeless,

they need your help
on ordinary days when
they're forgotten.

OK, I see some folks
just came in,

you, find them a place
to sit
and you,
follow me
to the kitchen."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Our First Thanksgiving

"From this
vantage point,
all we can see
is a peaceful
bluish planet
in silent orbit
in a stardusted
dark infinite.

We have our
freeze-dried turkey,
and the reconstituted
cranberry sauce,
and some
pumpkin pie paste
we can suck out of
this tube.

We're going
to try and make this
as close to home
a possible.

Our first Thanksgiving
in this floating
space station,
and we have much
to be grateful for,

but the nagging thought
persists:

who is already
out here
that we're preparing
to displace?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Since the Turkeys Took Over

Can’t catch
my breath!

Since the
turkeys took over
it’s been
RUN!
RUN!
RUN!

No, I don’t know
how it happened
but damn it,
it’s real!

They don’t care
if you’re Vegan,
they’re out
for blood!

For God’s sake,
stay in
on Black Friday!

[for D'verse Quadrille Challenge.https://dversepoets.com/2016/11/21/quadrille-21-take-a-breath/]

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bad Timing

“Hi Stacia,
thanks for meeting
me now.

What?

Oh, it already
came in
the mail?

Good.

There’s something
that I need to tell you
and I don’t want to
wait any longer.

I don’t think
we should
see each other
anymore.

There’s someone who
was in my life
for awhile and
now she’s
come back into my …

no, it’s not Darra.

And, well, I think
I want to pursue
that relationship,
and I don’t want
to be unfair to you,
and…

I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean
to…

ok.

What?

Uh, yeah,
just ignore that
Valentine’s Day card
that came today.

I’m sorry,
for the bad timing.”

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How Marriage #1 Ended

“Hey, Lan,
I know what you did.

Yes, the management company
give me a copy
of the cancelled
check.

Right, I
can see that you forged my signature.

Were you not going to tell me
that you got it?

No,
no,
no, you’re not entitled
to all of it.
You’re not even entitled
to half of it
if you ask me.

Hey, I didn’t fuck up
our marriage
only two months into it.
That was you.

By the way, how’s Steve?

Does you read you
his bank statement
when he’s fucking you?
You’re such a
money-grubbing whore,
I know that would
get you off.

Ok, whatever.

Look,
the bottom line is that
you forged my signature
and took my half of the money.

Listen,
listen,
listen!

Lan, I’m give you exactly
one chance to
do the right thing
and stay out of jail.

If you don’t deliver
my half of the money
by tomorrow night at 6pm,
I’m going to
the Corona Police Department
and having you arrested
for grand larceny.

Hello?
Do you understand?

Do you understand?

Ok, whatever, I’ll give you
a 15 minute grace period,

but if my money isn’t left
in my mailbox
by 6:15,
then at 6:16
I’m going to the police.

Do you understand?

Good!

What?

Ha! Don’t worry,
after this is done
I never want
to see you again
either!

With friends
like you...

look, just get me
my money
by tomorrow
at 6:15.

Nope, that’s all,
we’re done.

Goodbye, Lan.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Voice Mail from December 24, 2001

"Hi,
this is Teresa.

I just wanted
to leave you
this message
on your phone
this Christmas Eve.

I know we're not
together anymore
but I wanted
to let you know
that my Christmas gift
to you
is that you don't
have to spend
anymore Christmas Eves
with me.

That's my gift
to you,
and that's how
things should be.

So, I hope you
and your new girlfriend
have a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year
together.

OK, bye."