8/14/14

well traveled


quietly,
she packed
her telescope,
so that she could 
search the night sky for the 
"constellation of consolations"

handing the conductor
her tickets of apathy,
she reached down
calmly
for the callous burlap bag
of soulful burdens -
the one
containing her 
barely beating heart

she boarded 
the train of determination
striving to arrive
at that 
old familiar destination
of
solitary contentment

7/3/12

celestial observations



i want to lie
with your feet on mine
under
the lilac sheets
and
count the stars

they are plastic
and
made in china
but
you make them
sparkle
anyway

8/15/10

what happened aphrodite?


today
i feel stone
nothing
not even restlessness
a cautious break
from usual angst
a bit like
the little boy
in the gilded red fez
near a crowded
moroccan market
monkey on his shoulder
catatonically turning
the small tin box
a dance
he is deaf to
wafting above
the persimmons and pomegranates
i tried
coffee
a book
hot shower
old photographs
the news
i’ve one last ploy
i’m leaving this warmth
straddling
the winter grass
palms up
bare body
beneath freezin’ rain
to see if
i am still
capable of cold
then
i’ll know
if
today
you won -
but
just today

the blue one

i searched frantically
through
this scattered chaos
that is my domesticity
for the
blue one
cornflower
it matches my eyes
gathers gracefully around
the ankles
caps perfectly
these mountainous
breasts.
there i sat
quietly
serenely
waiting patiently
neck scented
hair tied
- but no you.
blessed perhaps
had you been here
with
the blue
you'd want
to name
your next ship
after me,
when you stare
at the midnight sky
from the bottom
of a wide canyon
you would swear
the stars spelled
my name
and
on cold winter twilights
you
would ask your memory
a thousand
different ways
were they
hyacinth
azure
robin’s egg
or
royal?
it was
a near miss
of cosmic cravings
capable of
catatonic collisions
count your lucky stars
the gods
of vulnerability
have spared
you
yet again

8/11/10

undressed


she needed to be
treated tenderly,
reminded
that there were
emotions
other than indifference,
expectations
besides society’s
and
warmth worth
anticipating
instead of the
solitude
of flannel sheets
but
that would
involve
unbuttoning
carefully fastened places
and
allowing
her dressed up
emotions
to
fall softly
around
her
ankles of apathy

is there balsam in gilead?


you called today
fervently
about nothing
radishes
i think
that’s what we discussed
insignificant adieus were bid
we reminded me
of a story
about a girl and her raven
“i let him run free
he explored the gutters
picked at some stray leaves…
always he returned.
i knew i was as
necessary to him
as he was to me.”
i suppose
when we have
outlived beauty
and are
richly upholstered by life
we can finally recline
upon the divan of each other
i familiar with the color
of all your stray leaves
and
you always on my pillows
at ease


just mamas


i can see
by the
quiet hesitation
of your handshake
that you think
i don’t get it

i’m the white girl
in the black suit
behind the large desk
in a tall chair

you’re the single mom
with
five to feed
that he left
with no time
or money to spare

i promise though
we’re really not
that different
you and i

we hug our kids
each night
say a silent prayer
wait ‘til we reach
our pillow to cry
hope
the bills will get paid
things will be better for them
maybe one day
love’ll find us again
and
in the meantime
that they suffer no harm

i’m sure you’d
be surprised to know
it’s 3 a.m.
and i’m wonderin’
if your warm

i disagree kabir


stirring dinner
with little arms
around my knees
i think of
kabir’s ancient poem
“the fish in the water
that is thirsty
needs
serious professional counseling”

i have known much
wealth, poverty
guilt, innocence
unconditional love, undeserved rage
sunset from mountaintops, sunrise by the sea
a baby inside of me, a lover beneath me
inconsolable hurt, unmeasurable ecstasy
even after all of this
my lips
are still parched
i’m sorry kabir
despite your mighty mystics
i have to disagree
i refuse to believe
this insatiable thirst means
i’m ill -
instead, human
a
fragile
spinning
delicious
ablaze
human

in bed


there’s a loud concert
tonight
just outside the window
cicadas have gathered
in the camellia bush
singing loudly
to the moon
maybe
they’re telling her
how we sounded
the rainy nights
we left the window open
or
it could be
that they are complaining
i’ve been neglectin’ them
for
secret swappin’
with the fireflies
whatever it is
if the raucous doesn’t cease
i’ll have to take
my confessions elsewhere
- i am
considering
the silent
moth

determined


she was unsure
if it was the
earthy undertones
of the patchouli & citrus
sprayed carelessly on winter breasts
the whiskey & laughter pheromones
still bubbling from
last night’s reunion
or the
warm vibrating hum
of her boot’s zipper
but
the screen door
slammed behind her
as if declaring to
the crepe myrtles and the bees
she is here
not dismayed
ready for it
turquoise on black
white hair on orange sun
red lips on white skin
quietly screaming
‘Universe
you will acknowledge me
and
applaud my existence’

sunday mornin'


i am no Galileo
but I have
counted stars on my ceiling
while
i held the universe
in my arms
my folks were commoners
but i have danced
in the kitchen
with royalty
on the front porch
to the creakin’
of an old swing
in a simple language
with a soft twang
i have remedied
a few psychosis
without a pill, Freud, or alcohol
a babies hands on my knees
a shower in an old bath
a silent prayer by the clothesline
all reminders
i have known
more wealth than Solomon
in this
cathedral of holiness
that is
home

lunch


i have been
in the stiletto version
of where you are
so,
i offer my eyes
hand under chin
rapt attention
reassurance that
yes,
it will rearrange you
and
my mutual laughter
at the fragments
you will reassemble
to become
a tall tower
of steely soulfulness
that finds it
difficult to believe
a word
anyone says
especially when
their sentences contain
a bitter word like “love”
but,
i hope you believe me
when i say to you
here
by this wide window
in the crowded noise
your eyes are
the exact shade of amber
that i remember
shining
in your mother’s kitchen window
when
we were four

sometime around december


mama tried
to kill herself
24 years ago
this week
used to be
i thought about it
everyday
even after
i was grown
but here
this winter morning
buried below
creamy velux
curtain pulled tight
blocking morning sun
i realize
i hadn’t remembered
for a while
made me think
of some
other sadnesses i’d forgotten -
the way grandma cried
when they found
my cousin dead,
sylvia’s daughter
her name now escapes me
after sylvia’s man killed her
i thought of that little girl
every night at sunset,
sprawling cracks
in green concrete
spread beneath
as he came to say
goodbye,
the indignity of a slap,
the blur of trees rushing by
after days of
rape and silence,
the nauseating knot
of knowing
what others don’t -
in all this
ache of remembering
what time had been generous
enough to allow
me to forget
lies
a sweet satisfaction
an eager epiphany –
there
will come a day
when
a thought of you
will not cross
my
petal strewn
path

"'your clever mind will lead you"


think i’m gonna
go to the chinese place
for lunch
the turquoise one
down the block
with the
bad curtains
and
the good beans
get a fortune cookie
break it open
i need a new tao
a fresh perspective
maybe
i’ll pass the
homeless guy
that always suns
on the corner of
jackson and broad
and all the cosmos
will align again
to remind me
how lucky i am
for
breath, sight, home
when we walk
through the back alley
my friend’ll slip
his arm in mine
and remind me
that i am still touchable
perhaps
the owner’s daughter
will pat me on the thigh
with sticky little hands
like she did
when i took her photograph
in the spring
and
i’ll know
there’s still magic
buried beneath me
he and i will
laugh
swap stories
kiss on the cheek
finally
i’ll break open the crispness
carefully read
my six word future
ignoring the numbers
and
laugh at
my sloth like crawl
away from you

k's

wine
art
coffee
god

graciousness
death
diligence
basil
summer tomatoes

there is no menu
we can’t open our legs to
wrap our arms around
moan from the delight
of its flavors
and the company of one another
- finally
a sunday toast
in winter snow
to past life,
future lovers,
the despair they’ll take from our eyes
that is not yet there
and the indelible impressions
we left in their minds
a thank you
for the universe
that is our footstool
when together we sit
and
the
wind that
sings
to us of each other
when we are apart

8/10/10

epiphany


i’m no good
at mediocrity
finally
i admit it
after years
of
carefully avoiding
collisions with complacency
and
the roaring hiss
of those
with less
rigid requirements
i sit
contentedly
with the allure
of singularity
in the
quiet blue
of stillness
steadily
anticipating, seeking
recognizing, welcoming
amazingness

black pearls


i put them
on today
though mine
for years
i lacked the courage
to wear them
i always wondered
after
my enlightment
if you bought them
before
the whores
in shanghai
or after
if
they had been
a gift of
love
or
a token of
recompense
makes no matter now
on this winter morning
the ebony goes
perfectly
against my
ivory lobe
if she were here
i’d prepare her
a pot of jasmine tea
serve her
in my best jade cups
afford her some dignity
tell her
you named our
daughter
after her motherland
kiss each cheek
and
softly whisper
‘thank you

de pintar un cuadro


there was
wine
opulence
books -
of course,
no you
i carried on
anyway
lotioned
my ample breasts,
polished
my toes.
i know you well,
had you been here
you would have
offered to help
with the lotion
we’d have laughed
about
your generous nature
thumbing
the pages
i thought
how much you’d have
hated her -
kahlo
the vulgarity
of her honesty,
refusal to conform
to your feminine
ideals
wouldn’t settle well
we’d argue
as i straddled you
beneath the canopy
your palms
sleeping flat
atop my thighs
i’d remind you
she wore roses
in her braids
always returned
to a cad
that couldn’t commit
for no reason
other than love
and
finally
her art
came from pain -
you would roll
your eyes
in
a diego like fashion
swear
she was genius
smother me
with silent lips
and
exhale
as
the angels
grew jealous
over
our frantic
exchanges

ridiculousness


she said that
her dinner guests
had remember me as
‘the really beautiful one’
Mama mentioned that
he could never recall
any unkindness
being uttered from my lips
and you,
when you called today
remembered the places
we had been
the things spoken there
the tone of the clouds
so clearly-
someone less demanding
would be pleased with
with such pleasantries
but
who gives a damn
about being remembered?
i
long for
immediate consumption
an
inhaling of my here and now
each line read ravenously
breaths consumed rapidly
so
that you are too fatigued
for the mundaneness
of memories

grumpy


i’m sick of
finding
positive reinforcement
in pains
learning the valuable
lessons of heartache
valuing all the virtues
of endurance
dancing along wildly
with determination
always setting
a stellar example
of what one can do
if they make up
their mind
to hell with it
i want to roll about
in discontentment
sulk a bit
while someone notices
whine
into an empathetic ear
this morning
i will frolick
in the bitterness
of being
where i am
by noon
i promise
a steadfast return
to the
heady ideals
of hardship

now would be fine

the moon’s been
very patient
waiting
quietly, radiantly
every night
beneath my window
the cicadas sing
about you
the poppies are beginning
to grow weary
this is distracting
from their
red radiance
when the wind blows
the maple leafs
tell the moon our story
the rain has
cooperated
oh so generously
and
kept my lips moist
even
the quiet moth
is becoming impatient,
threatening
to leave this earthly realm
light a lunar fire
see if she can move
things along
so,
would you
for the sake of
them all
hurry up
and
kiss me
damnit

grateful


breathtaking
how could
one
hope
for another thing
after
i’ve seen this
but
i’m hungry
never satisfied
always seeking
i want
mama to quit crying
the checkbook to balance
my brother
to see
it’s no one’s fault
but his own
the plumbing to be fixed
her cancer to go away
and
to be loved
like the girl
in the old
tattered collection of poems
quietly sitting
on the bottom back shelf
of mr. worthington’s bookshop
not
the cheaply drawn blonde
in the
brightly colored blocks
of those graphic comics
disdainful
a blind man
would be content
with just my
morning view
humans
always seeking
never
content
thank you god
for making
my children
1/2
fairy

friday in winter


it snowed
for the first time
in her
adult life
she wanted to telephone
someone
but
her girlfriends
all had new lovers
her old lovers
all had new girlfriends
her potential lovers
all had wives
she opted
to buy groceries
instead
fulfill
her family’s needs
maybe
the produce guy
would once again
smile quietly
heavy with intent
while
she wandered
aimlessly
pondering
the futility
of self preservation
squeezin’ peaches
sniffin’ basil
samplin’ honey
dreamin’ of marigolds
and
hopin’ for spring’s
possibilities

anatomy



cardamon
that is the flavor
that my lips
cannot forget
as i sit here
head in hand
palms over eyes
comma in my throat
recalling the meal
we prepared together
you stirred
i poured
we laughed
at the wine's illustration
still
on a tuesday
all this time later
i'm tryin to figure out
from which part
of our body
betrayal comes
not our hands
i'm certain
they are for writing odes
to love
holding desire near
nor our hearts
that sacred dwelling
for all that
is divine
not our shoulders
they are for leaning
upon
the closes i can surmise
is our knees
for
they are the halfway point
between our thighs
that cavernous
palace for all that is tender
and
our feet
coarse
from walking away

12/30/09

travelin'


tightening her robe
against december’s chill
she counts out all her morning pills
at 35
two strokes
a career
two failed marriages
critically ill babies
a dead lover
an old house
on the edge of
a dying town
she’d done alotta living
by local standards
but
she’d yet
to see the sun in patagonia
have a stew in ireland
dance beneath the moon
on a paris side street
or
that ultimate destination
love
she’d yet to be really loved
a silent vow
then and there
given the chance
to make that journey
she’d pack lightly
all excess baggage left behind
bringing
only roses
for her hair

all that glitters ain't gold


this wasn’t what
i had dreamed of
there is no glamour here
other than
a few gilded pieces strewn about
i was
going to marry
the man in the moon
or
grow up to be
that glittering mermaid
on the summer billboard
outside Homosassa Springs
I realize now
that my celestial casanova
would’ve found the color of my hair common
my shoulders too broad –
been bored with
the roundness of my cheeks
it was
probably that mermaids
second job
the one she needed
as she raised her kids alone
in the trailer park
just beyond the orange grove
off Highway 19
but herein this
chaotic simpledom
you think my shoulders
the perfect width for nappin’
my hair ideal for plaiting
and
honeysuckle vines
make savory wreaths
for springtime mermaids
down at the river
I wrote this about a month ago. Most of the things I write, I never share with anyone that exists in my "real world". Rarely, if ever. A couple of weeks ago, after much pleading from my family, I decided to branch outside of my usual hermithood and go to a dear friends party. My girls were thrilled.
We were going to be princesses for the evening. Cloak ourselves in finery, perfume and our finest manners. As I dressed for the party, lamplight low, old perfume bottles on the vanity, I slowed down to inhale and enjoy the process. My girls sat in the middle of my large bed and watched me starry eyed. When I finally slipped on my shoes and clipped on the last rhinestone, my daughter clasped her hands together, inhaled and said "Mooommmyyy!!!! You look like a sparkly mermaid!!!".
What sweetness. I laughed quietly to myself and thought of this poem I had written just a few weeks prior. I was reminded by the universe once again to 'slow down, pay attention, inhale, look about' - fulfilled dreams are all around us. We just have to be awake to notice them.

8/21/09

a toast

I used to quench my parched places
with
the bitter juices
of your soured fruits
ever thirsty, I was
then
I came to my own ade
and
sipped the sweet succulence
that dripped
from my rims
here
I stir
with soothing gulps
of bold flavor
that can't be
bottled
or
bittered