Posts in Category: Poetry

And, lo, there was a bird

And, lo, there was a bird

outside the picture window

of the living room

where my father-in-law died.

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It was a day of peace

and happiness.

I was entertaining a friend

with dinner in the living room,

and the bird was

just being its bird self.

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It had nothing to do

with what happened

to my father-in-law

in that living room,

but being there

made me think of him

and whether in some way

he was in the bird

and looking in

on the home of the life

he left behind.

(Photographed in Brisbane, California in September, 2020. See my other work here.)

On New Year’s Eve, 2019

On New Year’s Eve

I always get weird.

I think about my failures,

for there’ve been more of those

than successes.

I think about my wife,

her gentle, enduring beauty,

and about my life

and how it’s going to unfold

in the next 20 or 30 years.

If I have that long.

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I’m closer to death now

than I ever have been before.

So are you.

You know that, right?

Every little day

closer to the big sleep.

And when mine comes

I hope you’ll be at the party,

a big party,

for I will have raged against dying.

Raged hard, obstinate, and fiercely.

Hell, I’m fighting death now.

I mean, aren’t we all?

I’m fighting it all the time.

Because it’s going to be 2020 in about 12 hours,

and, you know, I have shit to do.

(Brisbane, California, November and December, 2019. See my other work here and here.)

Christmas Eve, 2019

The blade runner time

didn’t start this year,

no flying cars,

but we have more artificial people than ever.

Many of them are running our supposed country,

for example.

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So I’m sitting here, smoking,

waiting for the demons and imps,

the ones I usually hold at bay,

to come beating down

the walls of my mind

and demand their Christmas presents.

The bastards, they think

because they have a place in my head

they’ve earned a place in my head.

They think

it’s all about me,

but it’s all about them,

and how I’m going to try again

this year

to evict them by drowning them in eggnog.

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(Brisbane, California, November and December, 2019. See my other work here and here.)

Let’s skip life

It’s how we practice flying…

Some people

are able

Sometimes it's good to skip life...
Brisbane, California, April 2019

to just

skip through life

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and look good

doing it…

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(Brisbane, California, April 2019. See my other work here and here.)

Be the moon…

Nocturnes,
nighttime,

My neighborhood under nighttime sky...
Brisbane, California 2018

short lives,
long crime,

NocturnesNighttime 89-2

the moon is the vampire
because the sun is afraid of the dark.

I'm a vampire shadow in a picture of my own house...
Brisbane, California, October 2018

Be the moon.

(Brisbane, California 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Ink jets and heart attacks

She ran the dead’s carpeting
throughout the office supply stacks.
She wanted a toy, not pencils nor tacks.
She was bright, shiny cuteness
in an Office Depot®,
or was it an OfficeMax®?
You know,
wherever the corporate types go
for overpriced ink and free heart attacks…

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(At Staples in South San Francisco, California, February 2016. See my other work here and here.)

Nakano laundromat

At a small laundromat in Tokyo

I loitered outside to see how people go.

They were slow.

It was November and they were slow.

But in Tokyo slow is much faster

than what seems fast anywhere else you go…

Laundromat in passing, Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo, November 2015

(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo, November 2015. See my other work here and here.)

Cupid’s Valentine moon

Tonight the moon was less than full but more than willing,

the kind of moon that inspires killing

lovers, hearts, and alcohol,

this versatile moon can do it all.

And if the moon isn’t worthy, it’s still better than you.

It never killed for a temple or pew.

So sleep your dreams, and dream of sleep.

The moon is never ours to keep…

Tonight the moon was less than full but more than willing, Brisbane, California 2018

(Brisbane, California, February 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Glow shop

Before my face scraped the road,
I saw a shop that glowed.
I couldn’t get inside,
So the tender ghost without me died.
This freed me to further travel,
And continue to unravel
Secrets that I sought.
Truths that can’t be bought
In illuminated shops,

A shop of glow in the night, Brisbane, California 2018

Found at bus stops,
Or drunk in bars of great divinity.
My secrets aren’t within onyx superstructures of great art,
Or in the meat sack we call the human heart.
So resting overnight I watched the shop glow.
By morning the sun rose so fast
It seemed retrograde slow.
There were places I had to go,
People I had to be.
More ghosts I had to fetch,
And a love I longed to catch.

For decades this place was a bodega (the Coca Cola sign), then a retail shop (the India Rose sign), now apparently it’s a private residence.

(Brisbane, California, January 2018. See my other work here and here.)

The hope at the end of the year

I wish I could say
the end of the year
will erase all your pain,
make disgraces and crimes disappear,
kill the hatred on sale two-for-one at Safeway,

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flood the streets with winning lotto tickets,
give us the heart to be ourselves,
let us forego religion in favor of reason,
and install a second faucet
on everyone’s kitchen sink

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from which flows on demand
the finest Belgian chocolate sauce.
But that’s not going to happen.
America won’t get fixed,
won’t be America,

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won’t be great or even passable,
until people like these,
good people,
sweet people,
American people,

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are no longer sleeping on
concrete pillows on the streets,
seeing bullets and unicorns in their soup,
and eating manic-depressive tacos
from the labyrinths inside flaming dumpsters.

(Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, December 2017. See my other work here and here.)

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