a mix of commentary,editorial, fiction, and poetry.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Always

Always leave your bag by the counter, when you come in, so you can see where you put it and remember it when you leave. Always rise to a challenge with determination, and a need to see the battle through. Always see things from where you stand, remembering where you stand depends on where you sit, where you go depends on where you’ve been, how you proceed depends on what you know. Always be kind to small children, not only are they sharper than most people realize, but there is something tender in them that gets lost in the learning curve of life. Always leave your back door open, and always welcome your adversaries, your enemies to sit and chat with you: always leave your front door open too.

Never

Never walk into a room or by a person without saying hello, or by a child without waving. Never go longer than several days without contacting your parents. Never leave a garden, a sparrow, or an interesting word unnoticed. Never forget the wonder, the amazement you had as a child, the questions, the curiosity, the new experiences, the way you were held when you went places and the things people gave you, just because you were a child. Never forget the way the fog wraps around the golden gate bridge, the seal that bobs up unexpectedly, the ferry boat coming into the pier, the lava red sunset. Never forget to share your breath with this world.

Always

Always look in the mirror and be proud you even made it this far. Some people say I’m this or that, I’m too fat, I’m ugly, I don’t like the way I look. The truth is this: the fact that you are standing in that mirror, looking at yourself, means something. You are carrying on because you must. You made it this far somehow. You got out of bed, put on your clothes and shoes, and wherever you are in your day, you are looking at the parson you are. If you don’t like yourself, some way, something or someone gave you the impression and you heard it: maybe you aren’t good enough. Or you need to go on a diet. Whatever it is, it is okay: you can look in the mirror, see yourself for who you are, and say it is ok to be you again—and no one can take that from you or change it. You owe it to yourself. Always.

Never

Never give up, ever ever ever. Even when the odds are stacked against you and may bury you in an avalanche of evidence you ought to think otherwise, keep doing what you do. I will not tell you follow what you believe in—that is as trite as never give up. What I will say is, you have to do what you’ve got to do for the sake of doing it. Not just the destination. It is life. Yes, my friend, it gets hard, it gets trying, and you question if it’s worth it , the fact that you feel foolish and your hope decimated. What if I told you this: you’ve got to do what you do because you’ve got no choice. All you’ve got to do is find a way to do if different. Success comes in small steps, small does, small tiptoes. If you unleash it you will find it. Never let people tell you who you are—where you’ll never make it. You will make it, you will make it.

Ten poems: 1

Fields

The rows of vegetables

Burst from the soil

This hot, dry summer

Zucchini, tomatoes, corn

Stalks so high

This weather too will fold

The birds, people feeding

Themselves in the shade

Telling each other stories while

The sun looks on.

Empty lot

The empty lot framed by tall shrubs that make an alley by apartment windows is quiet except for the train echoes, car hums and singing stars the random footsteps by neighbors up late in pajamas watching tv you must take the world wherever you go don’t leave anything behind.

Dreams

Do you remember your dreams, when you go to sleep at night? Some people say, I don’t remember how can you forget the grocery clerk you made love to, the long bus ride, waking up in a different city—and a stranger how can you forget running from something that changes? The talking dog that no one believes but you

Morning

There is nothing like when the sun is on the verge of reaching the sky the stars going back to sleep it feels like anything is possible, your slate is clean you put out your hands don’t burn the sun

Afternoon

Long before twilight and the sky is something you try to save like the ice cube in the tea that melts in the heat, shrinking, you try to hold onto the day and the sky before the shards disappear

Night

The crickets swallow twilight and exhale the stars, tilting them in place throughout the long wild sky they sing you a story about you walking down the street—or how you spent hours with them as a child, on the parked car, people puzzled they sing about the long wild night and you--- do you remember me

The moon

A baby in mama’s arms I would howl at the moon, it’s the only thing that calmed me down. I return to this when I see people’s children point their fingers. Point up, the moon is up, do you see it, there it is. Walking up the street one night to talk with friends after a poetry reading, I looked up and she was there again, there for me still.

Wild children

Wild children up and down the sidewalks wherever I go—the thing is this: hot summer wild nights and I see people with babies everywhere—or women bulging watermelon stomachs a bout to pop anytime… summer’s here and it’s time for babies, new insights to come into this world

3 am people

3 am people are different than people who are twilight people, early people, daytime people. These are the people who watch tv

late at night, read, listen to music- and the world is all theirs. They are in their own dimension. Not much traffic, wherever they go they are their own secret, a secret they can keep, like being in a private club. Their own rebellion . everyone is asleep and I am awake, I am different. People working, partying, drinking, people coming home, getting ready to go to work—people just doing: and the world is theirs, on loan.

Summer

Typical bay area summer sky is overcast, at night a cloudy purple sometimes hazy orange, feeling like winter and I am trying to understand why I am so confused--- it is august and somehow I missed summer--- when I was young summer was all I had—three months of it, now I don’t know where summer went---just a few days of hot weather now, then overcast. The summer that never is and never was.

Ten poems

Pen

Late at night, my pen is leaking. Pen has been in my hand at least an hour—that’s the side effect from writing. I hear someone upstairs moaning unfortunately it isn’t exciting--- two guys want me to call them, my godmother’s neighbor said come see him. Tell people to get a number and get in line

Direction

There was a time in life I thought I knew—where I was headed, what I wanted to do. Then I didn’t want to do anything, didn’t know what I wanted to do. So here it is: I want to find my direction, and say yes I know what this is—and it is finally coming together for me, yes I’ve finally found it come sit down and be with me again because I finally found the way—I can sit and breathe again, I can stand and be again, I can sleep again, I can look up again--- I know the way and the way is high

Coffee

Always drink your coffee. Drink it once twice three times drink it early drink it often. Put it on your to do list, in your calendar on your grocery list on your black berry on your cell phone. Put it in your emergency kit. Make it first thing in the morning, the last thing you think of. In the hectic rhythms of daily life: traffic, birthdays, grocery store lines, concerts, poetry readings, writing, major league freak outs , dates, and the list goes on: we have to remember what keeps us going.

Sleep

Ink stained hands, pen leaking, snoring in the next room, and I’m fighting to stay alive by putting sentences on factory conveyor belts so I can package them, and mail them out, ship them to the masses, so people can eat them with their milk from a box, so I can clear my head, before I sleep.

Rejection

I’ve only had about five rejection slips. Not sure what I think—not fazed—not sure either if I want to continue on that route or just cut out and do my own thing

Words

Sometimes I’ve felt a failure, in the past I can’t do anything right, and now I am glad that at least I have words. I can do something with those I figure

Chapbook

When I first read my work in workshop, someone asked me if I had any of my work typed. No it wasn’t that serious. I wasn’t a real poet. Now I’m trying to get one together. I have poems coming out of my navel, my toes, my ears, my lips.

Submissions

I am still debating whether or not I want to continue submitting my work to journals, to see what happens, to continue getting rejected? Part of me laughs.

To do lists

Eat write sleep repeat. Sometimes I forget what I have to do or I try to remember I write a list to remind me—get coffee, take out trash, find a job, return that call, check my email, wash my hair, write that book, read more poetry, drink more coffee, figure out what I want to do with my life, draw more pictures, meet more friends, try to figure out what’s going on with the relationship thing, figure out what’s going out with the sex thing, drink more coffee, eat more donuts go to the grocery store have a bottle of wine try not to think morbid thoughts, pick a career, go for a walk, watch news, eat, write, sleep and repeat. Water plants

Writers block

Late at night cars going by outside and I am getting over the latest illness—writers block that some say doesn’t exist. Symptoms: listlessness, not understanding anything, empty headed syndrome, no idea brain, throwing up, headaches, occasional coughing, pen in hand—hand not moving, staring at computer screens, the sense that it is all leaving you, that every time you write something down it just isn’t happening. Coffee doesn’t help. The only cure is sitting on the couch and watching tv for 72 hours.

Letter to an old poet: a kitchen sink poem

I am in the cross hares of the noonday demon that comes like a lover, a twin proletariat with the stealth of a masked

Paramilitant

My body is writhing, my skin is raw

This darkness is more than I can stand

I wish there was a cure for this

One false move, a misstep and spring a psychosomatic biochemical landmine explosion shrapnel ricocheted

Damages for years

I wish you warned me of the noonday demon’s insurgent mind trick that springs on the defenseless dormant—casey jones you better watch your speed

While you wander these war torn streets eating papyrus and play the lyre I am driven by this earth’s music sucking on pens, staring into computer screens and baring my soul on blogs my feet are worn out from wandering these war torn scenes

I have seen the damage wars done to our ____, and the best minds driven to madness

In self imposed isolation induced by skepticism where are the voracists now? Casey jones you better watch your speed

While we rotate shifts with the enemies, once citizens we shifted into masked paramilitants inciting a rebellion, a literary jihad of my own defending my self from sciolists footnote this: a proletariat I don’t belong to the nine to five chain gang I need a lamp to spread to the furthest corners of the land I spread my wings and sprout new rhythms. I thought casey jones was just a coke buddy in a Grateful Dead song but now my head explodes with history

Cross out America, fuck you and your atom bomb—Ginsburg

America, fuck you and your bunker busters

America, I gave you all I had, 2.89 july 14, 2004

At Berkeley Public Library Al Young talked about Texas and sang about the midnight express, if they shone their light on you you were next to be free

Casey jones you better watch your speed

Some 3 year old kept turning to me and we talked to each other with our eyes and hands—we finger spelled into each other—and I finger spelled into her I wish a better world

William Carlos Williams MD

Write us an rx for a panacea--- he showed you have to break ranks and do your own thing—I aspire to my aspirations plus infinity

Where are the voracists in the face of sciolists now--- Casey jones you better watch your speed

The sciolist ann coulter who spews half thought over verbiage and wears miniskirts like me love you long time pick me up I pump international pimps up hoes down

I hestitate to go on dates because I sound a siren for better suitors: I don’t want to be some pimps up hoes down pick me up while I pump international

My birth canal is not an ATM

I’m trying to evolve beyond the beret wearing, finger snapping poetry daddy o’s scene in my semi- structured repetends

I’m desperately trying to seek someone at my level, who is serious but not too caught up in their clever---Casey jones you better watch your speed

Me and mina loy drinking cosmos in the space needle looking out

Diametrically opposite from the rest of the world

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

West branch

There was a little library hidden

Away down the street, a block

From the motel I lived in until I was

Thirteen, somewhere in West Berkeley

On University avenue among the Tulip

Poplar trees that cried aphids and made

The sidewalks sticky, leaves sticking to your

Feet, the trees anchored the sidewalks from

Floating away in a world of junkies, thieves

And prostitutes, it was my own place away

From the world, a world between worlds

Where I could be my own, slide myself between

A spine, hide underneath the covers, hidden

Away in the pages from it all, in a world where

Anything was possible, I wasn’t some girl who

Lived in a motel room with a crack addict

Half sibling, who lied on the ripped carpet underneath

Newspapers, who I never knew, who arrived one day

And disrupted our world, when my little brother came

Into the world, and carried a sense of possibility

Into us, where I got teased by kids in school

Our lives displayed on the parking lot stage, the cars

On the street passing a human fishbowl, look at us

While I chase the jersey cow in Anne of Green Gables,

The bookshelves beckoning.

Five bombs rip through Baghdad

--- West county times

Summer

Now the plain circle of dahlias

Explodes like fireworks celebrating the world

Patches of yellow and white, grapefruit, blood red

Each single unit exuding exclamations of color

Summer fills our days now, nothing like this

Nights of fajitas and lemon, pitchers of ice tea

Berries exploding in the mouth like sun

Thyme and avocado, lemon oil and greens

And rocks of feta mixed in, summer is celestial

For the mouth, for skin

And out in the cities they’re building towers

Steel columns, glass structures

Men looking like marionettes

Man the machines that go up and down, carrying

Building materials

Setting each panel in rows, precisely

Every piece fitting even and exact

They’re doing all this despite the bombs

That go off daily, the writhing images onscreen

Right there in out living room, knocking us around

Pieces that can’t be vacuumed

And we no longer pretend it’s imaginary, we admit to ourselves

This is real and go on tiptoes

Through the unity and polarity of people

In this bittersweet heat

And we go picking romaine and grapes—the wild live fruits of this earth

Grapes so thick and juicy they

Burst like black tears in the mouth

Their juices tasting us, they could slide away

They break us, but there is nothing like them

How to read a poem

Blink

When I am far away

will you remember me

come closer

I want to get to know you

the heart grabs aimlessly

erase this invisible line

between us

Blink

put your hand up to mine

I will talk into you

talk into me

Crossword

There is a man

And he’s looking at me

I got what he wants

And he’s got my needs, attracted

Afraid to get too close

Ambiguity

The dahlias explode in the sun, the rows in the patch giving themselves to us scarlet, gold, orange, white interrupt us

Everybody circles them, gawking

As we speak bombs are erupting in Lebanon and Iraq while we witness, unable to speak

So many people are saying things

If love walked into a room would you know it

Across or down

Silence is the river between us

What rises must converge

ohlone once walked these prairies

somewhere I’m trying to find perspective, clarity will I ultimately find my way

the theory of flight

starts with up

the theory of gravity gets lost

does a line stretch in infinite directions

what revolves must intersect what spins must funnel

keep your hands and lips to yourself, this friend joked.

What intersects

How has 9/11 changed your life

A poll in the newspaper asked

Muthafuckaz can’t go nowhere

Is my contention

Without being eaten by fear

We are in a modern day Jonestown

Being fed intellectual poison

TV anchors who make millions

By telling us nothing

Is sex everything to people

Darwinism: who would get left out

If I hold myself to you will you stay or walk away

The laws of attraction

If you look into my eyes

I will not be afraid.

Room full of people

Nights like these, words put you to the test. Words rush to your head – the room is hot from what you hear … your ears mind and body are hot from what you hear, being there. Should I get up, should I sit down. Who gives a damn, do it. You have nothing to lose. Runners speed jump hurdles, we vault over words. You are here, you are now, you are alive: let people know it. Walk to the clipboard and sign your name, grab the mic and take the stage. Tell fear to leave and let the words fly out. No prefaces, or this is about…

Just think it

Just breathe it

Just write it

Just speak it

Just read it

Just slam it.

An empty page

Days like this, the page puts you on edge. Your head is empty, the cursor on the screen is blinking, your pen is laughing. You are the only one in the room, or you are in a room full of people who have their hands moving furiously while you stare out the window, wordless. You start to think you can’t write like you used to. Maybe you are failing. Something is wrong with you. In these quick rushing free write minutes memories, subjects, and thoughts elude you. That’s what it’s about – the road to success is littered with blogs, rejection letters, and crumpled paper. So tell that empty page your bad attitude is going to be put to good use: fill that empty page, you have something to prove.

Just walk it out

Just talk it out

Just breathe it out

Just sound it out

Get on the keyboard and pound it out

Just think it out

Just spell it out

Just think it

Just breathe it

Just speak it

Just slam it

Just write it.

Americus

UN will vote on cease fire Thursday.

----KPIX 11 o’clock news

Bare foot wandering eyes blooming magnolia trees

Half naked bodies wandering through the streets

Mating season distracts me from life’s questions

If I give you something will you give it back to me

If I tell you a secret will you keep it

Hot august nights and mind blowing poetry

Crazy dreams and people right next to me

So tight I breathe heavily

I open the windows and unlock the poems

From their cages

The dry august heat

I’m sucking on ice cubes melting dripping sweating

All I can think of is ice coffee, honey taste of bananas

Cold apple juice and soybeans

Ants in the house, circling

Summer, the taste of a new flame’s saliva half searching half groping

People in bloom

Dessication, wandering in search of something saliva the taste of cigarettes and coffee

I want to post my 95 theses in response to

The world but I’m trying to respond to

What’s around me

You got to go to where the fire is burning,

Preacher says

Fanning myself hot august days hot august

Nights mind blowing poetry

Late at night

Ferlinghetti’s Americus spins through my

Mind, while words appear somewhere

Else before me, from the back of my head

I open the windows and unleash them from

their cages

lean over the ledge in the middle of

hot august afternoon looking for my father

a parasol comes toward me, looking like

beige sand dollar

a lazed half baked cat lethargic under

a neighbor’s car and I sip my coffee

a color from drip coffee with half and half

to latte

black pigeon white wings floats by, white tips

illuminate the sky

Pentecostal preacher preaches his notification

to me, his salvation --- I tell him to stay out

the heat he says look at these gray souvenirs on my head he was in army then came to Baghdad by the bay

he unfolded his whole biography in five minutes to me referred to Israel as God’s time clock and mentioned insurgents why does it take a vote to stop bombs rocks guns

he said with God you don’t need to sleep

with your fists balled up in Berkeley I run into someone who says he wants to lay next to me

hot august nights and mind blowing poetry

Friday, August 04, 2006

Acrostic: library
Life begins here. Toddlers waddle with story books,
cops line up with comics
Grandmas with mysteries, nursing cups of
peets.
Imaginations take us to kingdoms, underworlds,
Presidents and dragons. For the have and the
outcast
Books and magazines for everybody. Something for the
cook, something
For the catarpillar collector. Something for
the
Sheep herder, or masked adventurer.
Remember and listen to us, our stories, our ways and
evolutions.
Amidst ourselves, and transportation to different
conclusions.
Remind us
You belong somewhere. And yes, it is possible.


Being a woman


It comes out I’m tired of what I have to put up
with, as a woman
And it happens that I go into bridal shops and
bookstores
Iron strong, seismic proof, like a giraffe made of
steel
Clearing my way in a jungle of cobras and piranhas

The smell of victoria’s secret makes my body limp
with weakness
The only thing I want is to lie still like grass or
pavement
The only thing I want is to see no more
Clothes, no doctors, no more art, no spectacles, no
embarrassments

It so happens I am sick of my mind and my heart
And my beauty and my shadow
It so happens I am sick of being a woman

Still it would be marvelous
To titillate a construction worker with
An exposed leg
Or thrill a congressman with the turn of a screw
It would be great
To go through the malls with a bullhorn screaming,
half naked
Exposing my gaping wounds until they burned from the
cold.

I don’t want to go on being the dark cloud in the
sky
Maudlin, fear mongering, threatening with my
presence hovering above, over
everyone, sinking and swallowing, eating every day.

I don’t want so much anguish
I don’t want to go on as a cloud and a threat, alone
in this world, a circus
with mannequins, half frozen, devoid of personality.
That’s why Friday, when It sees me coming, with my
jaded face, rips up like
a jet, and it tears up the sky down the middle like
apiece of meaningless
paper and leaves a trail of dry leaves leading
toward the night.
And it pushes me into random walls, into some dry
closets, into pharmacies
where brains fly out the window, into tanning salons
that smell of burnt
skin and coconut
And certain parking lots hideous as bleeding
lipstick.
There are gold sequined birds, and hideous
Hair extensions on sidewalks of neighborhoods I
hate, and there are fake
breasts folded under shirts
There are windows
That cower from botoxed eyes and lips
There are sunglasses everywhere, and traps, and
pierced navels

I walk the streets wildly, with my eyes, my feet, my
insanity, remembering
I glide by, waving through offices and optometrists
spots, and Laundromats,
with clothes still tumbling: overalls, boxers and
shirts still spin rapidly
in their confusion.



On turning twenty nine

The grass comes up from the rains
And everything is new again.

I am in the place, don’t know where to go.
Forgetting the things I do and don’t know
Never settle for what others give you
They may hold something for themselves
Getting older is nothing to fear
All that matters is life is well
You have to wear big enough shoes to
Follow your big dreams
There are some things that will never make
Any sense, it seems
And when people treat you badly, there is
Always a place

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Poem 43 : a found poem


In the middle of the night, I am listening to tunes, my favorite singer Madonna.
Thinking about my issues. My limits. My many moods. How I don’t want to be
Labeled, because I don’t play by the rules. How I am not popular because I’m not on everybody’s list, because I’m not in their own little program, how I don’t copy anybody so I don’t get any credit for my own ideas, so I do my own dance, to my own deadline. I’m on my own deal, I paid my own debts. My originality circulates like compact discs and for a woman I am too direct, so I build my own door.

I have many gifts, if I was a singer I’d have many hits, and if I was a celebrity I’d insert my name into many lists.
I have many issues, because of labels and limits, because of my moods. I’m not with the program, I don’t follow the rules.

I value my own wisdom. Lord knows its been a trial. I am many people, many things, many titles, but out of time I feel like.
I talk into the telephone, send emails, sort things out and take stock of what’s there. I go shopping, and I look for signs. I play my own tapes, over and over in my head. In the past I spent so much
Time online. The past used to be something in a neat package.
I have to keep myself in check. I know what it all comes down to choice. It’s classic: you do what’s convenient, but make sure people give me
Credit for being a smart woman.
So I have to dance to my own deadline, I’m on my own deal, paid my own debts. I think about my issues, my labels, my limits. My many moods. How
I don’t want be labeled, because I don’t play by the rules.
It’s like I lived in a gallery, and my whole life has
Been on display. If I wrote letters to the living, what
Would they say.
Write to us.
We can’t afford to send a mixed message to a culture
That is terribly confused. Raise the bar in the advice you
Give. Rethink the comments you have made on
Several occasions.
Slow the spiral towards complete destruction of
Civility. One can hope anyway.
We are ready to rock steady, the dj says.
I have to keep myself in check.


Middle / writer's block

330 am in the middle of the night, what is
the middle, I ask
outside, raindrops tap like typewriters
writing me letters I have yet to
understand
like questions I have no answers to , like
why am I still awake, thinking
I don’t think my thoughts, my thoughts
Think me.
Qwertyuiop
I list the things that bother me
While raccoons and skunks tap dance underneath
Some house some where

asdfghjkl
I list what I hide really well
And the rest of the letters sit on telephone wires, washing away in the rain, down into storm drains
Who is talking outside, what are they doing
I am kept up at night, feeling like
Life is now a partly blank sentence
In a partly cloudy sky
I stay awake, trying to catch the
Letters that shoot across

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Drowning

Drowning in a glass of yellow tail
Blasted out of my mind
I am at a party that doesn’t love me
A mosquito on a wall ignored, not wanted but too damn big to
Overlook- big enough to go where I want and people KNOW I exist. Mundane conversations
I’ve heard before about miniscule junk- can’t you talk about something better. The art of war propels the need for the art of conversation I’m tired of people who think they know so much
When really they don’t know a damn thing
They always sit next to me
At every Indian restaurant
Every thai restaurant
Every Chinese restaurant
- one visit one place doesn’t make u an expert
- and just because you went to Martha’s vineyard doesn’t instantly make you someone

when you listen you learn
I am over here and you are over there
Like some great Gatsby thing about the haves and have nots
People try to attain what’s not there
And in this case there’s no there there
I am the outcast as usual,
The accidental idiot
The one that holds encyclopedias
In her head
Normally I party with kendall Jackson and
Merriam Webster
And shake my head at those callers to cspan

People think they get by on what they
Do or don’t know
So they try to fake it
---- once someone asked me if I
knew who William Buckley was
----Who the hell doesn’t know William Buckley
get real

real is what I look for on the wall
that I sit next to, in my glass of
yellowtail, watching people stand
on top of phone books looking down at
others
the social outcast
the accidental idiot
and I converse with Tom Friedman
and Charlie Rose in my head and Anna Deavere Smith
--- and talk about the insanity
and I tell them I’m studying the
human condition
and going in and out of the situation
I looked for someone in my old neighborhood
It was like a time warp ---I’ll take anyone, the old nosy
Woman- to tell me news about a kid that drowned
No one knew what I was talking about---
A couple at the trailer park told me
They saw his girlfriend---
Oh you mean troy and tiffany
--- I just saw tiffany at the dollar store she said
she drives a bmw and works at safeway ---she looks good
we make reference to El Cerrito as a small town
Safeway is making it. God damn.

I try to climb out of the glass of yellow tail
And hold on
Without falling back in
Looking around the room
Laughing.


Remember
Earth overhead sky underfoot
It’s written in the wind, in the way the object
Of my desire moves
Like a lightning bug u have to trap it
Don’t let it get away

Remember the ground you walk on and
The tales the wind tells you
Remember the stars that brought you here
And the water that ushered your birth
Remember the birds that call you daily
And tell you to set forth at dawn
Remember the sky opening up like a waterfall
And the lessons you have to let flow
Remember the times you left and travel
Towards
And the people, places, trees in them
Remember your mother, and the womb you
Danced inside of
Remember your father, and the way he
Soldiered
Remember where you came from and the
Journey that carried you
Through it’s umbilical cord
Remember the plants dreams animals
What it is to be ALIVE
Remember the wind whispers her wisdom
Imprinted into your name
Where you’re going, how you came
Remember the earth and the centuries
Of pillagement, abuse and battles
Remember the earth, and your
Time painted skin
Remember the stories embedded in the
Blood of your kin
They are living history in life made true
The lessons they learn are inside you
If you’re ever lost, diseased, or dismissed
And forget
Remember you can’t change these
Time made truths
Remember all is in creation, is
Evolving in you.
Remember you talk tree sky stars and wind
Remember you move sun moon
Earth and rain
Remember to put your heart to your
Ear and your
Ear to the wind
And it will whisper
Telling you this.

Poetry 101: how to write a poem /what readers want

Who gives a damn
Life is here, now, immediate
Pay attention
Or lose your mind
Don’t let the line
Slip away, unnoticed.
This poem runs through me,
An argument, a thesis, an ululation, a rainstorm
A river of clouds, that float by, on which I sit
Ruminating.
Something I need to get out
Something if I don’t tell you, it will make my head explode
Something you need to know
Poetry of place
Everyone is a laureate
Not one person in this world is unafraid. Or unembarrassed.
Or understood.
No one in this world gets by
On what they
Do or don’t know
Lies and truths and discoveries undulate
Everyone needs different directions
Interprets different directions
Linear
Circular
North, west, south, east
We all… come from…. Meaning …
Names and no names… definitions… truths.
We are all looking for an r x for ailment, a panacea
The need to examine
Death, god, infinity, the broken… inertia
We all look… rx is meaning
At a poetry reading, about transexuality
A woman poured her heart from page to stage
About anatomy, schemas, revelations and transformations
At the Q&A, a person asked her about surgery
She spoke of poetry of the human condition, and
He heard the poetry of the penis.
If you unfold the cerebral coils , and
Travel the landscape, there is a higher truth
Hidden between the lines
The human being as a natural disaster borderline mystery
Translation happens daily, we enumerate philosophies, re-arranging cerebral geography
What goes up must come down and around and around
Reversal.misinterpretation,misdirection, the
Occasional instant of looking for meanings not there,
Multiple meanings.
We want something tangible, not indecipherable.
We want news of human survival: that we are not alone and how they do it.
Breathe, be here now, immediate, impermanent, open to interpretation, intentional, the accidental.
We want philosophy for dummies
Survival as a multiple choice question
How can someone support themselves on minimum wage,
If it is only nickels and dimes?when does a hallucogenic effect from ingestation stop?what is real and what isn’t? do the distortions begin or become more acute?
Time chopped up, stretches, wraps around like a twister.
The world explodes minds peace many beliefs
The history of violence the evolution of the planet’s soul vs. the de-evolution of a species
The battle of interior monologues.
Grab me by the throat, and say, this is what you’ve got to REALIZE
Ask me questions, prod my arrival to answers
Agree with me there are problems with no solutions
If I dig, I will find, something for the hopeless, the despaired, the miseducated, the liberated the degreed and non degreed, academics and _the rich and the broke
That resonates
The need to reconfigure, re invent, re-imagine, and re-connect
In between language, talk to me in ideas as parts of a whole
A gestaltian vision- refer to my mind, my body, my politics, the state of the world, nature
Plains poetry for the urban jungle person and urban poetics for the plains farm person
Text messaging in a more real way , what is reality, our right to be , what you see when you see me, identity, gravity, images, choices, profound insights, realizations
Something that makes sense, not cents.
Let me taste it, touch it, wear it , eat it
We listen to interviews on cspan and npr
For genius, don’t wait for laureates to bring it, find it
In the cracks of sidewalks, the slots of phone booths with the nickels and dimes, in the twigs of bird’s nests.

From New York, St. Paul South Central Beijing to Bombay
Let us know what you’re trying to say
It doesn’t matter if you went to iowa or got an mfa
Slam the words, and let them flood the page
Breathe it out, don’t hold back, put it
All down, give me something real
Something I can scream at, something I feel.
Something that makes me say, yes I know what that is
Not what the hell are you talking about?
Remind me that sometimes there are only questions
Sometimes there are no answers.

Alienation in the promised land

An epistle for apostles --- this is a test of the
Reality check system --- I declare disaster all around---
This is what I found:
Our nation is becoming unfastened
By liquid images in glass castles
I am in a country that doesn’t love me
The revolutionary, the renegade, The American dissident
The stance that I can’t be bought or paid or made—In the shattered illusion mirror my bloody hands pieced together

I see that though I freed myself from chains
We are a highway nation of derelicts
Going 90 mph towards the apocalypse
Imprisoned by the illusion of
Impermeable social constructs

An elegy for a nation
We are now a conurbation
Forefathers in an equation of slavery, the
constitution and fractions
leave a civilization collapsed to derelict nomads.
Stars and stripes
For freedom like the sky
And idealism flown like kites
Black --- for the color you see when you
See me— and what you attach to my identity
Red white blue
Red for the bloodshed
White for the sheets flown as flags
Blue for the country I never knew

What color is alienation? Like water, it takes the form it fits

Lies my newscaster told me: or what they
With held – about the dream
Emancipation, the weather
The war and flags
The claims are flimsy, hold out for the Evidence – while they smile, with their fundamental lies omitting inconvenient truths
I ask, is a promise kept a promise made?
Are we a quicksand country that can’t be saved?

Self proclaimed prophets tell of a digital age
And forecast a world that can’t be saved
Refutations are our vaccinations against indoctrination
I am a conscientious objector to questionless complacency
Civil blood makes civil hands unclean


Lies my newscaster told me
Or what they withheld
They talked about ____
And forgot imperialism
We don’t know why ice falls from
The sky
And there are no connect a dots
Between
Local chalk outlines
Or questions why they don’t talk about drive bys and roadside bombs in iraq and the usa at the G8
The parallels between the violence in Baghdad,
Richmond, Oakland
How they are symptoms of an unexamined planetary disease – how we need an elixir
Cryogenics, cloning and antiballistics
IQ missiles are in need of redeployment
I wonder if Alduous dreamt
Of craigslist cyberpimps
And media conglomerate concubines
Bound by dollar bills bowed to as deities

The color green
Be all you can be – because you can’t be
What you were
They never told you what it is or what it was
what it did or what it does
I am looking for a high in the mountains
Desperate orchid thief
Or modern day Dr. Leakey – not louis but mary
--he took the credit for the work
she did – you won’t know that, unless you dig

so I can quilt a story, out of fragments
not the brady bunch kind everything is fine
when you turn off the cameras dysfunctionality reigns and the husband is gay and dies of AIDS
--- like the wag the dog way
like the women of gee’s bend
I quilt a story with whatever I find
Woven by bloggers and media dissidents
Npr, pbs, and amy Goodman
In a conversation about syriana
A mother talks about hopelessness
And I counter, to change the paradigm
You have to change the consciousness
Of an ambient and prozac country half awake
And pharmaceutical companies on the take
We muckraking dissidents are Pearl Buck’s locusts
Tearing it all up so we can start again



Rejection slip

Good luck, keep writing, makes me spit in disgust
How dare they slander new school poetics, my writer lust.

In a heat wave daydream
Bukowski appeared to me
You can’t write for publication
You have to stay true to the line
The line will serve you every time
You have to stay true to your mind
In my cerulean water night dreams
Ted Kooser said to me
Something about poetry—write and read
Somewhere, I hear Ginsburg shout
The first thought is the best thought
That’s what its about
You are not writing for…
You are writing for…. They remind me
You are better off where you are
Than being in a paper house with false words
Or looking back at what is an uneditable hieroglyph
And feeling like a fraud,
A crumbling no good façade.
When you get a letter
That reads
You need some despair and disillusionment
You are a hopeless fool
Castigated and relegated to the ranks of
Unrecognizable, unprintable, unreadable
Some talentless egodriven maniac who gets
Their kicks off scribbles
Someone without a name
Someone who won’t get paid
For their words
A worthless, poor excuse, ridiculous
Unintelligible, because you can’t fit
The trendy mold of being obscure
Inaccessible, human
Someone who didn’t pay millions
Of dollars to be in some program somewhere
Where all you do is turn out unreadable conveyor belt drivel… fame and bylines are hard core illusions
Don’t expect a star on the walk of fame
Because of that poetry acrobat brain
Of yours—
That can walk a tightrope
Between
Tigers clowns and cannons
Don’t expect a red carpet and
A limo, and screen time on entertainment tonight
Why? Because you think your writing is tight?
You execute meter, rhyme, form , simile and metaphor
You write what you see and what you know
And tell it to the rest of us – the poor man’s eyewitness
And that makes you a genius?
Don’t expect to shake hands with the president, to have your own country with its government, to have a sky lined with dollars and streets paved of gold
Why? Because your prose breaks the mold?
Don’t expect a harem, instant friends or a shiny new benz
Why? You think your metaphors represent?
Depressed drunken fool by day
And an incredibly obsessed
Insomniac that writes all night
Don’t blow your brains out
Or let the page walk away
Sit in the chair and stay

At an open mic – someone comes up to you and says
What you wrote is real, something I feel
You know, I was over the edge, and about to jump over the
Ledge, one step closer to done because I thought there was no place for me in this world ---it rejected me and what I represent, everything in me and meant, but there is something in your words that say I’ve been there too come over and stay, tell the rest of the world what you have to say--- and I am one step closer to myself

Remember when you were
Brilliant, everyone had
To hear what you had to say
That you’d be on a bestseller
List, famous one day
You would salivate between
Words, while you’d walk
Between typewriters for inspiration
Your typewriters cranking out dollar signs
That you’d write the next Wild Geese
And you would have the movie rights
If Hollywood DOES come
Calling be ready to walk
Away— faster than a
Room full of slot machines
That call your name
You can win big, they will say
After you spend it all
Maybe not today
Jokers to the left of you
Disappointed ones to the right
They bought into it— go
Find the nearest exit
But you can’t because you got
Lost – don’t know which way
Is which –trapped in something
You don’t understand – the best
Way out is to remember the
Way you came in – that’s how
You win

First thought is the best thought
Write and read
Stay true to the line… it will
Serve you every time
Good luck— and keep writing

Thursday, July 06, 2006

it is now thursday, in the bay area- in california, and yet, i am surprised to see the sun out again.
is anybody out there?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today don't know what

Hi,
this is my first post, thanks for checking in. I have no idea what I 'll post on here. Probably a mix of different stuff, poetry, editorial type stuff. Still trying to feel it out.
Going through quarter life crisis, so there will be something about that. Expect some issues about culture. Am mixed, black white japanese and native american. How about that? So my identity is definitely part of where I am coming from, whatever I write about.
I'm in the middle of submitting to lit mags, writing new material, a job search, getting ready to go back to school, and deciding- or picking- some type of career. which totally gets me. the whole career thing. I finally decided about a couple years ago, oh, i think i need one of those.
I just thought I'd get something on the page, and say hi to the blog community. that another cyber dissident is joining the ranks. hello, and i look forward to meeting you.
enjoy the sun, wherever you are.
in the part of the bay area where i am, where it is typically winter during these months, there is sun, for now.
signing off. be good to the people you know.