Thursday, March 31, 2005


It sits
by time and by my father,
waiting for her return.

I would not say
but still neglected
and unfinished;
still waiting.

Unfinished projects
half-painted walls,
half-fixed fences,
half-healed hearts.

do not notice
(if they stop at all)
the stiff
the stagnate
lingering within.

The house
is her
and she
is dead;
yet remains
waiting for her return.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Let me ask you:
have you ever been
in love?
I mean, really in love?

Do you know what it is like
to wake up smiling,
to sleep smiling,
to need someone as much as
I do?

Have you ever gone outside
and smelled the sweetness of the air?
Have you ever tasted kisses
so sweet
that you become addicted?
Has a hug ever given you

I have.
I have loved.
I have needed someone
and been needed.
I have spoken her beautiful name,
and smiled
because I love her.
I have looked into her eyes
and seen my children
smiling back at me.

I love her with my whole heart,
mind, body, and soul.
She is here with me.
She loves me.

a reminder

Your smile warms me.
Your touch calms me.
Your kiss sets fire to my soul,
and quenches my desire.
Your look tickles me,
and lets me know that you care.

I love you,
for the way that you love me.
I love you,
for the way that you touch me
with your eyes.
I love you,
because you are mine,
and I am yours.

You are beautiful;
not the way a flower is beautiful,
nor a painting.
You are beautiful
in a way that words cannot describe.
You must be seen to understand.

Your touch warms my heart,
and puts me in a state of

I love you,
more than I love anything or
How could I compare
the love I have for you?
To do so,
would shame you.

I love you,
my love.
Never forget me.


The light from his nightstand
caresses his face and softly presses his
eyelids shut.
He lies on his side of the bed in the
familiar position of his marriage.
Years and years ago,
he and his love created this position,
and he will always cherish it,
if only in his dreams.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

cat scratches

A friend wrote this and asked me to read it. I was amazed. With her permission, I am posting this for others to read.

cat scratches

To them
I am a way in.
I am the connection they can’t make.
I know the secrets, and the lies.
I have to give them something—-- mostly
They make me give them something.
Hope that she is okay.

To her
I am a way in.
I am the connection to them that she refuses to see.
I can try to explain them.
I have to give her something--- mostly
Assurance that they love her.

But I have to defend her to them.
And I have to defend them to her.
I am always defending.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Why is she hurting herself?
Why don’t they understand?
Always, WHY???

They couldn’t handle it.
She wouldn’t handle it.

But all I can see is blood.

My head is swimming in blood.
Her blood.
Claire’s blood.
It moves in slow motion, but instead of her sitting there,
Looking at me,
Her face wet with tears,
She is lying there,
Cold and blue.
With all the blood.
I am standing here, trying to be strong, trying to defend,
But the blood is drowning me.

It looked as though she had flung her fucking arms around.
Intentionally spread her pain all over the floor,
For me to clean up. For me to hide.
And I did.

So I am standing in her blood, their blood, my sisters’ blood,
Trying to tell them it is okay,
She is okay.
She won’t leave like Claire did.

So I am standing in this pool of pain,
Trying to tell her that they understand,
That they are okay.
They know you aren’t Claire.

“Don’t fix me,” she says.
She also said, “They are only cat scratches.”
And they laugh out of fear.

But all I can see is blood.

Monday, March 28, 2005

all things beautiful

Ebb and flow throughout my short life!
Why must time be categorized,
filed away
into our minds?
Are you and I not one
in the same day?
Do we not exist,
but for the love and beauty
of all things?
Are there not an infinite amount of sunsets
(glories of life)
in the course of a day?
Can we not visualize our purpose
it has a deadline?

Closing my eyes,
the clock stops its tick-tocking;
the cars stop their honk-honking; but
my heart continues beat-beating.
In the darkness of my mind,
time is eternal, it is pure and is made
from my blood and tears.
Time does not exist
for every atom in my body
(My body, my soul
does not move back and forth.)

In sleep,
all things are peaceful,
In death,
the ebb and flow will stop,
and all that will remain
is love
(a love for all things beautiful.)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Under the apple tree

Under the apple tree,
the warm sun sets behind a purple horizon.
Patches of green grass
scratch our legs and
the knotted trunk itches my back.
We sit together.
80 years could pass,
all in one day,
and our love will be just as bright
as the sun that sets on
our lives together.

Under the apple tree,
we are at home
in our embrace,
and the apples ripen.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I'm sorry that you can't see
our love on TV.
It's not the way I am
to always get the lines right
or always have my hair combed.
Our love is not a music video,
or a country music song (I'm not that tragic).

To me,
our love is:
picking me up when I am sad;
kissing my nose in the dark;
biting my shoulder in anger;
Our love wouldn't make
a good TV show.
It's only special
to you and me.
She comes to me at night
when I feel alone
and want to be left alone.
I don't want to be touched,
but her warm fingers
dry the tears falling down my cheek.
She speaks softly and
holds me until
the world is a better place again.
Please, my love, let me hold
your hands tonight.
Let the snow fall softly outside,
painting a winter scene.
All the beauty I need
sits before me.
Let us celebrate our love
on this winter evening.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Focus on what lies ahead
as you wander afoot.
The horizon may look bright
and sparkle in the distance.
Many things might catch
your keen eye,
but lo!
sometimes what is most important
lies directly in front of you.
You don't think I love you
the way others do.
You don't think I need you
the way obsession needs
its fix.
You don't believe
what we are capable of.
You love me,
but its not magic or special,
just normal.
I don't believe a word you say.
You can't convince me that
I don't feel magic
when I look into your eyes.
I may not share us with the world,
or say what you want me to,
but I feel its special
inside of me.

I don't need to tell people
of your beauty
for it to be known.
I don't need to show off
our love
to be proud.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ah, Whitman!
The leaves of grass may be dead,
yellow and brown,
covered with a littering
of sharp pine needles,
but the ground is warm
and smells fresh and new.

I chose to sit in the shade
on this side of the tree
that slopes upward
toward the concrete school.
I want to face downward,
downhill, but I want to feel
the strong, rough bark of this tree
hold me in the breeze.
I feel safer here,
so I try to avoid glancing
at the school.

In order for you to understand,
I must look, but understand
I am doing this for you.

It's depressing, really, to see
the sun warm its cold, white walls.
The sun does not differentiate
between concrete and grass
(although it should).
It shines, warms every body,
tree, building, and child's head.

The juxtaposition of grass to concrete,
city to nature, warmth to cold,
is understood by us all.
Thoreau is not the only one
to notice the banks of Walden Pond.
Nor Whitman,
as he sat and cradled the leaves of grass
capturing their infinity
for us to understand.
The difference:
Thoreau, Whitman (and now myself, I suppose),
continue to notice and
continue to write.
But they are dead, you say,
They cannot write!
Ah! But they do, for
they write through me and in me,
and by me.
Thoreau: in every drop of water;
Whitman: in every leaf of grass.
They are still here,
and so am I.

I'm glad I chose this side of the hill.
I'm glad I chose this pen,
and this day and
this sun.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Oh sorrow! Oh depression!

Oh sorrow! Oh depression!
That which I hold so close to my breast
and dispel out of time and existence.
Oh sorrow! Oh depression!
From what cold, black pool
did you arise
to take me into your darkness?
I can feel you
sinking me deeper.
All that I see, feel, breathe
is your cold blackness
surrounding me,
grasping me by the throat.
Let me sing! Let me breathe once again!
so that I may rise
from your ash
and fly with the burning phoenix
over the dull horizon
toward the sun.
Let me feel my heart
beat again
so that I may awaken
the slumbering armies of the Northern skies.
They will march in beat
with my heart, and
shine with courage
down upon my brow,
and lead me to a place
of white light and heat
where you do not belong, and
cannot exist.

Monday, March 21, 2005

In the style of William Carlos Williams (or poems about nothing):

I have tasted
your icecream.
It was cold
and sweet
and wrong
to do.

I'm sorry
I slept
in the cool sheets
on the soft mattress,
under the warm blanket
of our bed.
I missed you,
it was nice
to sleep.

I know you are mad
because I am
I was distracted
by the pool
of slush,
blackened with soot,
outside our door.

I'm sorry I'm

Do not be mad
at me
for not paying
I was

I know you are
because I am
but sometimes
I cannot help














I am sorry
I let the candle
I like
flame flicker.

swirling water,
stained porcelain:
cool to touch.
It is beautiful,
but it comforts me,
rests me,
and swirls
when it flushes.

Behind the shadows,
next to the matted carpet

where stagnant odors
sit in waiting

lie pairs upon pairs
of dirty shoes

waiting to be worn.

I can smell its stench
floating through cracks.

I know that beneath
the lid
atop papers, bottles,
coffee stained filters,
and used tissues,

lie piles of soft,
pieces of a
dead chicken.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I am
a flame
for you.
My lips flicker
in and out
kissing your skin,
bringing warmth.
My eyes glow,
adoringly gazing,
casting shadows
onto your face
I am hot.
I am sexual,
I do not stop
until I am snuffed out
of existence
by a cold hand.
My passion burns,
melting my waxy body.
I drip
collecting on the coffee table.
My passion runs
I am bright,
I am brilliant,
I will love you

Friday, March 18, 2005

The teabag bleeds into
the hot water,
slowly oozing its nectar,
like a deep, red wound,
red river (split in two),
darkening--becoming pungent.
Hot blood in my coffee cup,
just below boiling point.
Who has wounded you?
Are the ripe, red strawberries
in my cereal your brethren?

Bobbing up and down,
the blood continues
without cries of pain
or shock.
I feel sadistic,
watching my tea bleed,
waiting to drink from its cup
as though ritualistically sacrificing
an animal and waiting for its
blood to collect in some holy, tin cup.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

While balancing an orange
on the round tupperware,
its lid blue,
stained with red chili,
I think of Jared
and how he still sucks his thumb.
He's nearly six
and once his lips have pressed
around the knuckle,
creating a tight seal,
he lapses into infantile reality.

It happens so easily,
how children (adults, too)
can lapse into childhood or childlike states
of mind
I wonder what he thinks of:
whether he was breast-fed or
whether he nursed for long?
He's a stubborn, whiney child,
but so are most adults.
Where can you draw a line,
separate the cognitions,
mark the maturity levels?
As a teacher, I can't make
him stop.
I'm not behavioristic and
he is not a Pavlovian dog.

I wonder if he feels
his mother's breast
pressed up against his cheeks,
her hard nipple
squeezed in his gums
providing him comfort, security, milk.
Or maybe he feels the rubber nipple,
soft and elastic,
squeezed in his gums
providing him comfort, security,
grainy, sticky formula.
Maybe he doesn't think at all.

No matter,
for if I push my orange
it will fall and roll onto the floor.

Within these walls

We've retreated to our corners.
We didn't fight;
We didn't yell.
We're trapped
within ourselves,
within these walls,
within this country.

We've bounced off the walls.
We laughed,
we cried, but
there's no where to go.

we just need to retreat
in order to save our sanity
within these walls.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

the waiting room

We enter
looking for fulfillment
and friends.
We are escorted
to wait patiently,
as they process our lives;
a year of our lives.

Our surroundings:
dull, polluted;
wet, cold;
crowded, uncomfortable;

We wait.

We're bored.

We're confused.

We're frustrated.

No one talks.
They come to escape, make money,
and immerse themselves
in China.

We still wait,
We want to stay,
be happy,
but we're lonely.

Should we leave?

We entered
looking for fulfillment
and friends,
and found nothing.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Sitting across from one another,
she speaks
of mundane intricacies;
he gazes at her.

Everyone notices
his affection for his wife:
his smile,
his iridescent look,
his patience,
his quiet

My eyes glaze over
as she continues.
I do not listen,
only nodding accordingly and politely.
Perhaps others
notice my rudeness
at the dinner table.

My mind wanders,
but does not stray.
I only think of
no one

Modest Proposal

We have discovered ourselves
in these past years.
We have separated,
only to become stronger,
We have loved each other,
with each passing day,
and felt as if
we have known each other always.

When I close my eyes,
I think of you.
I do not think of the past
as behind me.
It is a part of me;
as you are.
I do not reach for the memories,
because they are not forgotten.
They create who I am;
as you do.
we exist only for ourselves,
for today.
I see the woman before me:
your eyes hold our past,
your arms wrap around me.
I see and feel
the past in you.

We have discovered ourselves
in these past years.
The leaves will continue to change,
ripening colors,
over the years.
The snow will continue to fall,
dusting our hair as we kiss:
cold noses,
warm lips.
The world will continue to change
as we hold each other close.
My love for you
is as constant as change itself.
I will love you forever
as we change together.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

#1 son


I read a card that stated
some special Dad,
some particular Father,
is special because he helps his son
with his homework.
Because he plays catch
in the backyard; probably
on a hot summer afternoon,
when your skin is sticky with sweat.
Because he comes to his son's
baseball games, or
football games, or
soccer games.
It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter because
you have done all those things for me;
for all of your sons.
I'm your number 1 son, but
I could not get you that card.
I could not get any of those cards
because those are the wrong actions.
Every Father does those things.
I think it might be a law or something.
Every Father's Day,
I look at the shelves of greeting cards,
shelves of little boys' "thank you's"
for doing those things.
But I cannot thank you for doing those things.

Did you love me?
Do you love me now?
I'm sure you do (or did).
All Father's do;
every father loves their son,
especially their #1 son.
You must know what it is like
to have that title.
To be reduced to that number:
#1 son.
The pressure of holding it together.
You were your dad's
#1 son.
You were the only son to go to college,
to get a diploma,
to get recognition.
Are you satisfied?
Does Grandpa love you?
I hope so, because he is a Father,
and Fathers are supposed to love their sons.

I do love you, Dad.
This is why it hurts so much.
That your love is so
old fashion,
You do not show me your love
You cannot play catch with me
You may love me because you are
my Father, and I am
your son, but
I do not feel that I have won
your love.
Earned my title.

To love me is to know me.
To love me is to respect me.
You do not know me.
You do not respect me:
The woman that I love (her name is Ellen),
the life that I am (a school teacher),
is what you must love.
You must be proud of me,
because I am me.
The son who is a teacher, and
fell madly in love with his highschool sweetheart.
I may be making mistakes,
perhaps the same ones you made.
I may not be living the life
that you want me to,
but you must love me, because
I am.
I am living,
I am loving,
I am being a son.
Please love your #1 son.

You can relate to wanting a Father's love.
Grant me my request.
If not for a son,
your son,
then for a fellow
#1 son.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A breeze blows in the night.
With it, comes the inevitable
It smells of childhood memories past:
crayola crayons, glue from the teacher's desk.
It carries with it,
the wisdom of life, and
blows over us while
we sleep through the night.
We close our eyes a child,
and awake an aged face.
We inhale the cool breeze of life,
but we cannot let it age our spirit.
We must remain always a child.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Take me out of this moment,
this place in time, and
invite me to our home,
smooth and quiet.
We can take my boat and
float down this milky-white river
and pass the rows of yellow tulips.
I will speak to the raven
overhead and ask him to find me.

Take me to your cobbled streets,
and show me the wide buildings
crowding the shops. Let me
sit in the cool corner
under the giant basil plant.
I want to smell of mint and basil,
so let me bathe in your sun.

I can feel us nearing
the bright, green clearing,
and smell the stones
of the short, wide homes.
I can see the raven calling
and the rain falling.
I am here;
we are near;
I do not fear


Please do not let my last poem scare you from commenting. I promise: I don't bite.

on writing

I close my eyes and write.

How is it that you read my words and
mark up my pages,
bleeding across my poem?
How can you tell me that
I am no good,
when in the silence of an empty classroom,
I see shades of grass,
veins on leaves, frozen on the ground;
I hear painful cries,
joyous laughter, ink flowing out of its pen.
I taste my life,
and it lingers in the back of my throat
before swallowing.
I feel my poem.

I do not listen to you
talk, and
slap you in the face and
while you're stunned on the ground
kick you and spit in your eyes.
I do not rip out your tongue,
replace it with another,
and have you begin again.

I may not dazzle you
with my range, or
exhilarate you with my intimacy and grace,
but how can I express to you
when you do not listen with my ears?

I close my eyes and write.

what the heck?

I have had no luck publishing. I write something only for it to disappear and not publish.

mysterious country

Mysterious country,
why do I hear your call
across miles of deep sea?
You seduce my fiancee, and
she cannot help herself.
But I can; I can close my eyes
until I no longer hear your clanging symbols.

Mysterious country,
why can I smell your food, your people, your skies?
You entice my curious nostrils
with your ancient bean curd and your steamed
But I can mask your perfume (sweet as it is)
with American cuisine (not really American at all),
or by burying my face in the night.

Mysterious country,
why can I taste your salty waters?
The Yangze silt sticks in my teeth
and smells my breath.
I can taste your pollution
and it makes me cough.
I must wash my face clean of you
so I do not continue tasting.

I can still see you,
mysterious country,
in my fiancee's eyes.
You will not stop seducing
until you have me in your shops
and food markets.
I cannot kiss her
without kissing you.
I cannot make love to her
without you.
Why must you haunt me and
scare me?

I pull away.

Why do you touch me,
arms stretched,
when I fight you?
I curse you and run from you,
but you cradle me in your rivers.
You shield me in your ancient mountains.
Hold me, please! and do not let me go.
Seduce me until I love you.

Friday, March 04, 2005


What is going on with the spacing?

today, tonight

I awaken to a world of
familiar surprises and
sacred rituals.
Here, in this place,
time is not Time, but
the continuous smelling of
fresh-cut flowers on the kitchen table.
Poetry is our menu and
dancing is our trip,
strolling down each aisle
looking for tortillas, apples, chilies.
Sleep and wake are not defined, but
merged thoughts co-existing
with the fruits and vegetables.
Addicted to these feelings,
we prolong this world and
make it our own.
We cannot waste what is not real, and
today, tonight,
is a surreal expression of weeks past.



Wednesday, March 02, 2005

two children

It is human nature
to want attention
without showing it with others.
And how severe is this selfish nature
if we are civilized people?
Two children approach
the same wooden seat of a seesaw,
splintered and worn past the grain.
They fight for that sore seat
until someone gives up, (someone must always lose).

This may be innocent enough,
even a little childish, but
reconsider those two children
as siblings.
As time withers down, past its own grain,
the seesaw becomes unimportant.
Mom, who do you love the most?
Two siblings,
wearing down their poor mother
(who does it to herself sometimes)
until she is old and broken.
Even then, they compete
instead of time-share.

One child
now lives by the sea
and has forgotten poor mother;
one lives in the same old farmhouse,
harboring jealousy
over time less spent.

Both have memories,
polluted memories
reconstructed to include comparison, greed, jealousy.
Both, now, want their mother
close to them,
so that these ashen memories can be sealed tightly
in mother's urn.
To make room, they must split
between the two.
They divide her
because they love her.
But, they will never be satisfied.
One will always wonder which sibling
got mother's better half.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


A handful of sand, blowing in the wind,
distributes each particle on each
blade of grass, petal of a flower, droplet of water.
Hold me in your hands and let me fly
in Nature's face.
Let her kiss my face! and distribute me thus.
Do not weep for my body;
do not let me rot.
Release me from your touch,
and let me await your soft breath.
Let your tears quench my thirst
and cleanse your body from grief.
In a box, dark and damp, I cannot
feel the warmth of the sun.
Let not the grass grow from my decay,
but sway and bend from my kiss.

on writing poetry

I lie awake (sweat in my eyes)
waiting for images to appear.
I sit in coffee shops (though I cannot stomach coffee's bitterness);
at breakfast tables each day,
thinking between the crossword clues.
I search for wisdom, inspiration:
Sandburg, Hughes, Bishop, Pound, Williams
and Whitman! (Oh, what leaves of grass I walk upon
looking under each step!)
Bending the pages of these poems,
I try to absorb their passions, words,
by showing what I have read.
I write about love,
always love!
I have been defacing American poetry.
Spitting in the eyes of greatness
and expecting inspiration!
I have crushed leaves of grass
instead of placing my ear on their tips
and listening to their songs.
It is time to read, write, read, write!
Sitting in my chair,
writing instead
of waiting.

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