Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I've Got Eras

I've got eras streaming out of my fingertips
music born from the womb of my ancestors-
words we've lost in wars.

I've eaten my mother's old 45's
put on clothes I thought would never fit me.

I've got eras in my legs that keep me moving.
Forgetting to revisit the past
I internalize it and sing it while I'm sleeping.

I wake up new.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Autumn never existed here-
unless the oranges and browns of your face constitute seasons.
I watch the leaves still full of green float off the floor and
look for trees they never came from.

You are Autumn sun and I am
cloud not covering your face.
Fix brightness on the sidewalk,
hum tunes of California.

I never knew what Autumn looked like-
I imagine purple with red
like blood bursting from veins of leaves

Heart burns
Sun burns
You burn like Autumn never has.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Don't Want

I don't want pictures of my favorite stars
stripped of their glamour.
Don't want black and white images distorted by color
blown up human size.

Take your close-ups and bury them in snow.
I want background-
autumn leaves and
rainfall covering your face.

We are pretty when we're moist and drowning.

Give me
images of Marilyn Monroe-
make perfections look like accident.

I don't want to see how her skirt is blown.
I want to watch it blow.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I'm okay with dying
because one day
Tyrannosaurus Rex's will nest in the spot where my bike used to sit
brand new and rusting.

I live in a time of domestication-
metal has time to solidify and we take for granted the ability to change water from cold
to hot and back again with a turn of the wrist.

Caging of birds stunts growth but makes sweet music in the morning.

I'll keep you-
cover you in blankets at night and contemplate setting you free
when your bird songs sound like wails and I'm trying to sleep.

Found this

I just want to be backstage with you holding each other's noses so that we can't smell the cigarette smoke
and the fear
and the stench of brand new perfume.
I just want to laugh inappropriately and not be ashamed of the pieces of lettuce between my teeth from the salad we shared but never finished.
I just want to tell you I have something to say and stutter and sweat and laugh even more because of it.

The concert is always overrated and we'll wonder why they scream,
why they get dressed up and dance without dancing,
without ever moving their feet.
We'll dance backstage- separately, but together-
touching the only way two people can.

It is too dark to see each other here, so we can relax our muscles.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 2010

Days can only happen once and yet we give them the same name as another, forgetting that the numbers change- though sometimes add up equally.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Swear I'll Do Something Some Day

I'll stop collecting things and call you on the phone instead-
tell you how I read your life story in the paper before it happened
how the words on the page are louder than you and I can't hear the phone ring when you call.
I envied the neatness of your life and the periods, sometimes before the end but always before the beginnings.

I couldn't help but cut you out
throw you on top of clippings of clippings
of lives I've collected throughout the years.

I will never miss you now, I promise.

I promise to promise to never swear until I swear to do something some day
like change periods to commas and never forget to use the dash.

I'll pick up the phone and call you some day
arrange numbers into dial tones that sound like words
and I wouldn't even have to speak-
just listen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I forgot to open my eyes when I woke up
and I went a day without sun.

Baby, baby, baby,
you missed the park, they said
and the balloons from all of those birthday parties.

Everyone grew up while I was sleeping.
Was it fun, at least?

I asked you if I enjoyed it,
if I was smiling in the dark
or lying in the grass.

You said you couldn’t pay attention for me.

So, I forgive you for leaving.
You were blocking the wind that woke me up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Katharine Hepburn

Fifty-four years old and a crusader for the heartbroken, I drove my Chevy Impala back to the place we had met and listened to sad songs.

We were just kids in the snow when we met; ambushed by sequoias we later called our protectors. I fell in love with the red of her hair. I saw her depths reflected in the snow- the myriad of reds attached to one girl. It’s as dangerous to be young as it is to be old; we could’ve missed a lot.

“Maybe if you met me now,” I said the last time I saw her, “we could’ve stayed together forever.”

“We wouldn’t have given each other the chance,” she said.

Jane’s father wore suits in every color, but nothing else; never had a day off even that January he brought me Jane; all of us voluntarily snowed in, his suit the color of coal, dirty against the white of the snow- our forever background.

“I remember poetry,” she said of her childhood, “Dr. Seuss and Rilke.”

Daddy used to read to her at night, causing her to laugh, a laughter that echoed- HA HA HA’s her entire life, and all those dreams she never could reproduce- dreams that evolved into “life-games.”

“It isn’t about success,” she said, “success is like the end-all.”

This when we were only ten, playing monopoly underneath the kitchen table where our parents sat, speaking in foreign languages- numbers, always some form of numbers.

Jane’s hair was bright against the snow, like I could squeeze juice out of it- never a brighter shade of red on any woman.

Martha T. Graham, the only other red-head I know and she wasn’t worth anything. She was Catholic and cute. I was a Presbyterian boy haunting the pews on Sundays, trying to get a peek under Martha T’s skirt when everyone had their eyes closed.

Jane didn’t believe in God, but she wanted to. She prayed and prayed that one day God would exist.

“You think God appreciates that?” I said.
“No, but my father does,” she said.
“You pray to your father?”
“I pray for my father.”

You would think that she wasn’t funny the way she said such things so seriously, but she was. I was in love with her funniness, even when the snow melted on our favorite spots and we could barely stand to sit next to each other because it was too god-damned hot; she made me laugh when I thought I didn’t have the energy for it.

Katherine Hepburn was her favorite actress. She made me watch Holiday eleven times projected on the side of her cabin.

“I want to be like Linda Seton,” she said every time. The funny thing is she always was like Linda Seton, all those big dreams and disappointments in people.

“You know you’re prettier than Katharine Hepburn,” I told her for the eleventh time. She didn’t smile or laugh. She pulled my hand from her hair and moved over to the end of the couch. Nobody’s prettier than Katharine Hepburn.

“You’re full of a lot of shit,” she said. She bit on the inside of her lip, not looking at me once, just watching Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn as they did their silly acrobatics. Our fights always started with compliments.

My car is parked where the cabin I might as well have grown up in used to be- where I kissed Jane on the forehead for the first time, and then later, the lips. This cabin in the snow where she taught me how to dance even though I didn’t want to, even though she didn’t know how to dance herself.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We Don't Know What to Love

I've opened my mouth for too many strangers,
pushed their broken wheelchairs across crowded streets
who gave me this job.

Let's write poetry,
sing-along to spanish songs and
forget that it's cold outside.

This isn't about the long-haul or
fixing broken shelves-

This is about poetry and foreign languages-
the only things to love because

[love is a never-ending game we seem to think we can win or lose]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


She is afraid that the woman next to her is listening
so she
closes her mouth
moves backward
races for the love seat and
sinks into it.

This party is going nowhere
like the bus rides to Nevada
or submarines.

Forget being abstract.

She listens to the humming around her-
the music she wishes she knew before it played.

Sharing is caring:
that is all she has to say and it isn't enough.

So she, becomes one with the love seat
sinks into it
clutches the velvet cushion in her hands and
listens to the songs she'll never hear of.

This humming is useless.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I remember awkward pauses the most and cold tea I couldn't drink while hot.

It was the information age
but, instead of being informed
I put holes in walls
then plastered them.

I read history books like newspapers and whispered current events in your ear.
My yesterday's are closer than your today's-
(nothing's happening.)

I'll sleep with the television on
and listen to the footsteps above us
or the fountains that sound like rain.

I'll dream in black and white.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Cake, Less Birthdays

There is too much I in youth,
who can do it alone?

If it were my birthday again,
I'd share it with you,
Happy Birthday Dear-
forget your name-

misplace it with yes's I should've said no to.

Let's do it again:

..................Sing Happy Birthday.
..................Lick icing off cake.
..................Keep presents we should've had but lost.