Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Night used to be cells of
unsolicited solitude
but I put the time
to good use.

I read,
wrote songs
and practiced
all the clever things
I would say
if I were ever lucky enough
to get a date.

I stayed up
late into the night
beside a static-filled
AM radio
and I imagined
I was the only one
tuned into this
distant AM station
playing old country and western tunes.

Night always told me
Someday, man, it'll
all be different.


at the end of the day
filled with
my family
who have no hesitation
in claiming
my every waking hour,

I revel in my solitude,
as I troubleshoot computers,
listen to old C&W songs over
the internet,
write the occasional poem,
and sink deeper
into some library book,

I look out
at the blue purple sky

and realize night
was right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

VHS Seventh Heaven

Some people went to
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
and memorized it.

I was always too timid
to venture out that late
among all the self-congratulatory

But when VHS came about
I was in seventh heaven:

memorizing the rhythm
the cadence of
Groucho and Chico
bantering in “Duck Soup”

William Holden
leaving Faye Dunaway
with pithy eloquence in

Dustin Hoffman’s
grand deception
unraveling with
masterful despair

Richard Dreyfuss
and Marsha Mason sparring
and falling in “The Goodbye Girl”
set an ideal for dialogue
rarely encountered
in real-life,

almost every Woody Allen
schlmiel neurosis
giving a defiant voice
to this misfit teenager

Ray Liotta as
the amoral narrator
in “Goodfellas”

Bert Lahr in “The Wizard of Oz”

Zero in “The Producers”

Linus explaining
the true meaning
of Christmas

I’ve lived in
and through
these movies
more than five times

and now I want
to see them

[Posted for .]

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'll Take Reality

I do not believe
in happy endings
or dreams coming true,
because nothing
ever really ends
and dreams
are not real.

I believe in
spontaneous music,
idiomatic orgasms,
laughing pizza,
trusting puppies,
falling asleep
beside her,
her soft, sweet exhale:
these are real.

[Written for]

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Outside in the dark,
warm summer night breeze
streaming Don Rickles
on YouTube,

high as a kite
from year-old
Lemon drop;

we're both laughing,
and me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


A flurry of activity
will not make up
for a life unfulfilled.

This moment
came unbidden
and will leave

unless you

to matter,
to count,
to touch,
to hold,

to love. 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Hey, Pimp

Hey, pimp,
I ain't fooled.

You ain't never
been cool
despite your
shiny, freezer burnt
and the badass
you wear like
a shitty prison

You're the
of all the worst
of amoral capitalism
and atavistic masculinity.

You're nothing but
a goddamned slave owner,

and shame on
anyone attempting
to glorify that
wretched ugliness.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Two Promises (for Oliver)

I was gifted
with two grandfathers.

One I saw regularly
but never spoke with
because he spoke
only Spanish
and I didn't.

The other grandfather,
because he
divorced my grandmother,
I saw less than
10 times in my life
Including his funeral.

I promise these two things:

whatever language
you end up speaking,
I will learn it,


I will never divorce
your grandma.

Welcome to the world, and
welcome to our familia, mijo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Exotic Flowers and Ethereal Memories

I hail from
Boys Only

On the
televisual dataport,
I saw
from another galaxy
with curiosity,
open-mouthed wonder.

They smiled
and sang,
they reminded me
of exotic flowers
and ethereal melodies.

For the longest time
the only one of them
I knew
was our Queen Mother,
who was really just a man
with wide hips
and a bullet bra.

I snuck
off to the
launch pad,
years before
my scheduled
puberty flight,
and crash-landed
and tried to
infiltrate their

I watched
from a distance,
but timid:

they were all
too smart,
too strong,
too capable and
too beautiful
for me.

All I wanted was
their approbation,
their approval,
their recognition,

all things
the Queen Mother



Monday, July 24, 2017

Trust, Spittle, Dreams and Sweat

This unpredictable
and glorious collage
of blood-splattered memories,
semen-stained butcher paper,
tear-fueled promises,
depends so much
on spittle
and dreams,
and sweat.

When you finally
the horrible truth
hiding behind this
smiling harlequin mask,
I hope I am long gone,

a memory
of ashes spread
into the murky
blue-black sea,

too far gone
to retrieve.

May I be
past the point
of all redemption,

save for Jesus,
who I hope
keeps His promises

and saves me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Really High

If you hold
the vapor deep
in your lungs,

long enough
to quickly recite
"The Lord's Prayer"
in your head,

by the time
you get to

you will get
really high,

and really high
just means
you're closer
to Heaven,

closer to God.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Vape Playlist - June 28, 2017

Note: These are the songs I listen to as I sit outside in the June night and vape into relaxation. 
Vape along, or have a nice glass of wine, smoke, or just enjoy!

Cash in Your Face - Stevie Wonder

Stand - Sly and the Family Stone

In The Stone - Earth, Wind and Fire

Hip Hug-Her - Booker T and the MGs

Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy) - Al Green

Turn Off the Lights - Teddy Pendergrass

Creepin' - Luther Vandross


It feels quicker than a blink
since I first saw you
and took you to raise up
as my very own.
Through laughter, patience
scrapes and tenderness,
I readied you for
a cold and undeserving world.

Through the seasons
you blossomed
and the world became
resplendent with possibility
when seen through your
naive and limitless vision.
I knew the world
would sing your song
once you taught them.

You asked if I was ready
and I snapped awake
from my reverie.
With a weak, sincere smile
and moist, quivering eyelids
I face my hardest challenge
as your stepfather:
to smile bravely
and not let you see my loss
as I walk you down the aisle
into your destiny.

[Posted for Dverse Open Link Night.]

Monday, June 26, 2017

What Would Atticus Do? (For Sarah)

We get in the car,
my 20 year old daughter
who suffers with depression
and I,
driving around
looking for normalcy.

Her moods,
dark and bleak
marinate in her room,
her hospice cell
she calls it.

So, everyday
I try to get her
out of the house
out of her own head
out of her sadness.

Some days,
we have errands
but some days
all we do is
aimlessly drive
the freeways
as she reads to me.

Right now,
we're in
the middle of
"To Kill a Mockingbird,"

and as we drive
her mood lightens
(being outside will do that)
we talk,
we share,
we get a soda.

I'd like to think
Atticus Finch
would do the same
if Scout had
suicidal depression.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

and Suddenly, it was Clear (for Anita)

A little before midnight
on my way back
to my bachelor apartment

her perfume still in my nose
her heat still on my skin

my mind replayed
the evening:
we sat with the kids
laughing at
“Spongebob Squarepants”

and after they fell asleep,
we did likewise
in each other’s embrace.

It felt like home,

but there I was
driving back to a place
I called home.

As I came up
to the intersection of
Alessandro and Moreno Beach

an idea I’d banished
long ago

floated in

like a leaf
through an open window

and suddenly,
it was clear,

and I said it aloud:

“I’m going to marry that girl.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

When the Fruit is Ripe

You have to trust
that when it is
to spring forth,
it will.

It does so
out of necessity,
because that
is what it was
made to do.

When the fruit is ripe
it will fall.

When the faun is ready
it will walk.

Don’t try
to predict when.

Just try
to be ready.

Life presents
all that
you need.

The trick is
to know when
to reach out
and grab it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oliver's Inheritance (for Sarah)

It's not going
to be found
in a stack of books
you leave him,
no matter how carefully
you choose them.

the real legacy,
his true inheritance
will come from
you'll make,

the part of you
left behind

in the cluttered
emotional attic
of another.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Foggy Unknown

Just as we
cannot predict
which hue of blue
the sky will be today,

or how the really
best films
are going to end,

or how sweet
the red-black cherry is,

no one knows
how this will
turn out.

I couldn’t predict
my world changing
-thunder loud and
lightening fast-
with a phone call,
telling me Pop died
two days after
his own mother died.

My world was
not just thrown,
but cosmically fucked
off its axis,
my compass pointed
in every direction

and each way ahead
was soft, foggy
and unknown.

Some paths were bright,
some dark gray,
a few even black,
but none of them
were clear.

I got lost trying to find
my way back
to my life before,
until eventually,
I gave up that

his death
also erased
who I thought
I was.

Only when I accepted
I couldn’t go back,
then I started moving


Be not afraid
of what the world
and this life have
waiting for you.

Stay open to
the foggy unknown
for one day
it will be
your turn,

and then you’ll be

and it’ll all
make sense.

Right now,
it remains
a heartbreaking

Written for D'Verse Poets's prompt: Poems To Save a Life

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Neither Condition nor Profession

"To be a poet
is a condition,
not a profession." -Robert Frost

To be a poet
is neither
condition nor profession.

It is

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stray Strands

Years after
she committed

we keep finding
stray strands
her long, red hair
throughout the house, 
painful reminders.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Monster in the Mirror

"Yes, I know
why I'm here:

I'm scaring people again,
but listen:

I'm trying to save you
from a terrible monster,
an inescapable, ubiquitous threat!

They're all around,

You don't
even notice
them anymore!

Yes, I know
what it looks like, but
when I break
those mirrors,
I am not
just smashing
someone's private property,

I am slaying the monster!

I has hospitalized,
once in 2008
and again in 2011.

In every reflection
I see
a hateful monster,
a creature of ignominy,
proof of
no God and
proof of
a God Who Exists But Does Shit Work.

Don't you see
a monster
when you look in
the mirror?

You don't?

You're lucky,

and I feel
a little sorry
for you."

[Inspired by "We all go a little mad sometimes.” - Psycho - for the with real toads' Monster writing challenge. ]

Fixing (for Sarah Lynn)

To fix something

usually requires

un-fixing something

[Inspired by Poetic Asides prompt and dejackson.]

Monday, May 22, 2017

Better Than Music

Blood pumps
my veins,
loud and strong.

Breaths come
shallow, ravenous
in heady

The gentle
slurp and kiss
of tongue and lips
on the skin
of a lover.

This lubricated
finding home

These are
the only sounds
better than music.

[Written for Dverse - Quadrilles with Sound]

The Perfect Idea

In the haze
of my

I had
The Perfect Idea.

I don't know
from where it

but I was alone,

I figured
I made it.

"this thought is
so good,
I don't have to
write it down"
I luxuriated
in the in
thick warm glow
of satisfaction.

just as mysteriously
as it arrived,

it disappeared.

I despaired
until I realized
it came from
so the ingredients
are still there,

and then I remembered
the wisdom
of my teacher

"Don't Try."

I stopped frantically
trying to recover
this cloud-memory,

just accepting that
The Perfect Idea
will come around again,

and when it does,

I'll write it down.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Come Here for Hope

Laying on the floor
of my walk-in closet,
it is the darkest
place in my house.

Between boxes and
piles of dirty shoes,
I lay myself down
listen to myself breathe
and pretend
I am all alone.

I come here for hope.

I know there is a way
out of the present morass
but I can’t see it
in the light of day.

I need the comfort
of the dark
where any obstacles
are hidden.

I am limitless
and aware of my
connection to all
living things:

I don’t see
one thing ends
and the next thing


I open my eyes so wide
they hurt, but all I see
is the monolithic,

It reminds me that
there is no me
and there no you
and there is even
no us.

It’s all one infinite
and since it cannot
turn back on itself,

there is only one way
it will all turn out
but I can’t see it
right now,

and I like it that way.

[Posted for Open Link Night at]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


It’s a tightrope,

only it’s not tight
and it’s not a rope
and it’s more like
a straight line
on the floor

and I walk it,

It really isn’t
life or death
if I slip
but still I know
it’s under
my feet

and one end is tied
to my past
and the other is tied
to someplace
I can’t quite see yet

and veering to my right
may be too little
and tipping to my left
may be too much

and sometimes
when I follow the
beat of my heart
I look at my feet
caught like fugitives
in a searchlight
and I find
I’ve jumped the track.

So I resume the practice
of my loopy walking zazen
respectful of all
that hangs in the balance:
my sobriety
my self-respect
my soul,

but I still try to enjoy
the cool sweetness
of the morning dew
and a tune
is always on my lips
and the cotton clouds
delight and awaken
my heart.

It can’t only be about
self-denial .

I could be easily pulled
from my path
from the sensual
toward the ascetic

but every one of my
courts future regret

and I’ll do the walk

in my own time
in my own way.

Too slow for some,
too swift for others

because I know
this time
on my feet
is so brief
and lightening fast
and to walk it
solemnly and prophylactically
seems hardly worth it,

a death sentence.

So I smile
and I continue
on this line
of mine
at my own
jagged, jaunty pace.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Do That (for Erica Falk)

In the 11th grade
he wanted to be loved
or invisible
but he was stuck
somewhere in between.

He failed another
algebra II test
and stood there
in the stairwell
as the flood of students
rushed around him.

He dreaded his fate:
“Pop’s going to be mad.
He’ll think I’m a bum.
How am I ever going
to get anywhere in life?
And what the hell’s
the square root
of -1?”

A disembodied voice
came up from behind:
“Don’t worry about that.
That’s not who you are,
a numbers guy.
You’re a writer.”

It was Erica.
They were just friends
as she was too tall
to be anything else.
She must’ve seen his grade.

“I remember that poem
you showed me.
You’re a writer.
Do that.”

Continuing down the stairs
she passed by
and out of sight
unaware of the fire
she’d lit.

Right there
he rearranged everything
in his life
and set out to be a writer.

He wrote
love letters

and it comforted wounds
preserved victories
reified dreams
and it gave him
a place in this world.

Erica Falk
if you Googled
your name,
and found this poem

please know

David says
“Thank you.”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Long-Ass Days

Long-ass days
as my father
used to call them,

days full of
graceful sunclouds
boiling tears
serving others
and undeserved laughter,

and every night
I lay myself down
to recharge my batteries,
but as with
all batteries
as they age,
my batteries aren’t
holding their
charge so long.

in between
the morning alarm
and the last
there is so much
to do –
more than can be done
or even listed
in a day.

So, it’s not a
but rather just a note
of gratitude
for the privilege
of another
long-ass day,
as my supply
of them
sadly and

to add to my exhaustion
I must post this poem

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Draw More Blood

Here I go again,

secretly picking up
my favorite blade
and cutting myself.

I don't know
what I'm chasing
but sometimes
I find it.

Perhaps someday
I'll no longer need
to pick at the scab
and feel the sting
as I tear
my beautiful brown skin open
to provide a canvas
for all this pain.

if the skin is intact
I will swallow it
in a shameful communion

"this is my body
broken by everyone"

and as the full rich red
slowly drips
down my forearm,
I taste it
and am not surprised
that it is flavorless.

"This is my blood
drink this in remembrance of me."

I replace my bandage
and roll down
my long sleeve shirt
and rejoin the party.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


After I shoot it inside her
I float on a morphine cloud
and I swim with dolphins
through banana pudding
and I am warmed and soothed
by her warm and sticky skin
as her breathing lulls me
into a lucid dream where
everything moves slowly
and nothing is in focus
it's blissfully soft
with every sense engaged
and I do not exist
because there is no place
I am needed right now
and I peer over a cliff
spread my arms and shove off
and fearlessly glide
back to the meadows
of green marshmallow clover
where pan flute breezes
guide me to the only
person who wouldn’t ruin
this moment and I
close my eyes as we embrace
and open them only briefly
to find the blankets
to cover ourselves
and complete the cocoon
we started with a kiss.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Her Moaning Assent

The memory of
her moaning assent
echoes forever.

The echo bounces
off one block
of memories,
onto another,
ad infinitum.

they do not decay
as naturally occurring
sounds do.

they loop
at full-volume,

a supernatural siren
ever distracting me
into lustful dizziness.

[Written for De Jackson's quadrille prompt.]

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Raindrops Applauding

In the
flash rain storm,

I sit on the swing,
under the patio cover
listening to 

millions of raindrops
applauding my decision

to sit outside
and enjoy it.