Monthly Archives: May 2013

Junkie in the Stairwell

He was nice. Friendly.
Hey, how ya doing.

He didn’t know I’d seen him
hide his works as I came down.

Smell of urine on concrete.
He wears nice, casual sport clothes.

I walk past heading to work,
to the stoney vineyard of commerce.

His eyes are set on a far horizon
where the ships come and go.

The sand is white and clean
and someone sifts the entire beach each day

looking for clean needles and China White
that may have been carelessly dropped by previous visitors

who now rest easy beneath the sand
while the waves roll their family’s dreams up the endless beach.

Where Are The Voices

If you preach tolerance
and believe all religions point to God
you are Ba’hai.

If you are Ba’hai in Iran today,
where the religion was born,
you are hounded, imprisoned, persecuted.

When did the persecution of tolerance
become the way to be a good Muslim?
If not, where are the voices of Muslim outrage?

Time’s Child Now

I walked up to your box-car-in-drag,
with the blue sapphire bunting,

you looked like a punk pirate girl siphoning dreams into the sea,
pulling in urchins and anemones around you,

your heart stopped but your head still wild,
a barrio street dancer in dream face,

mouth sprung and waiting,
clothes pinned on around you

snug in your new tortoise shell home,
with a new set of those cute little dimples you always wanted

you are spilling over waterfalls not yet born,
bent over time’s wheel, cascading–

don’t look back now, babe.

Occam’s New Razor

The simplest thing–

Cluck Old Hen

My old hen is a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men

Sometimes one, sometimes two
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew


The Sea at Night

The sea at 3:00 am
balances three yellow lamps
on the horizon
like balls at the edge
of a black pool table.

I watch from the upper room.
The lamps in the sea road
are signaling —
bring out your hopeless!
I will fire their hearts!

The velvety tips
of the blue spruce
at the foot of the driveway
are too busy washing the night air
to notice.

I fall asleep in Manzanita
and wake up in Mussel Shoals.

Charlemagne had his way
of making converts
at the tip of a sword.
The sea at night has its way too.

Swing and a Miss

Grown men playing a game for love
and maybe for money

in uniforms barely changed
since the 1920’s.

Men named Santana and Hernandez
play with a stick and a ball,

hitching and tugging at their clothes,
pulling at goatees, leaning, squinting,

scratching, digging a cleat in,
mostly doing little or nothing,

until it is time
to make gravity disappear,

and slow down time
for as long as it takes

to make me and every other man
remember how that felt.