Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The last sinewy fingers of sunset
stretch over the hilltops,
begging me,
“I’ll stay two more minutes if you stay too”
And so we stay,
and as I begin to leave
suns golden fingers plead
just two more minutes—
stay and twirl your skirt
in the white foam of the breakers!
Two more minutes I stay,
each time I turn to go,
one last sunny ray reaches,
stretching for me to stay and play.
As the path I’m walking
lights with the brightness of sunset,
I turn to say goodbye,
and watch the last finger of dark
slip over the sand

I Miss You

I miss you—
oh how I miss you.
Listening to songs
that used to make me cry—
because they reminded me of you.
Your photos in my house,
those blue eyes
tell a thousand stories
from a dozen picture frames.
Maybe we’re strangers again,
maybe we’ll start over,
but I can already feel
that you’re moving on again.
I never thought it would be like this,
so short,
I wanted forever,
but you knew it would never come.
I hate that you knew it.
I hate that I miss you.
Oh how I miss you.

Tied To You

In my dreams
I’m tied to you
‘cause I look to you
to make me beautiful.
I wait
to find someone
who will look at me
the way you used to.
It’s been months
but still I remember
how you feel.
It’s just too bad
we weren’t real;
there was no us
when the bed was gone.
I think of you now
and wonder
what I liked about you.

Just One More Time

Just smile for me,
just one more time
look at me like you love me,
like there’s no one else here.
I could wander this life,
alone and small,
and contented so,
just as long as you smile,
just one more time.
I’m not meant for you,
but I never asked more,
all I ever wanted
was that darling smile.

Betty Crocker

Little Miss Betty Crocker
cooked my dinner, and fed me spinach.
She moved around my kitchen,
like she knew where she was going.
I love to watch her move;
when she dances to Janis Joplin,
it’s just like Love.
Betty Crocker closes her eyes,
and sings along as she makes cookies,
and licks the dough from her fingers.
Little Miss Betty Crocker—
my favorite cook and mistress.


Each new face passing by
looks mysterious and scared,
wary of me, the stranger,
spouting ideas never heard.

My blinking eyes stare,
searching for a human connection
where all I see are lies
and scared restrain.

I feel alien here
in my own home,
where I recognize every face
but I’m even more alone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Missing Marbles

Tuesday night--
Happy Hour.
One hot pink,
patent leather
vintage, rhinestoned clutch.
Left on the bar
at Bartini on twenty-first
next door to the  fondue place.
Contents include:
twenty-seven dollars,
one obviously fake i.d.,
a Yellow Cab business card,
and one Tri-Met bus pass.
one "Blushing Bride" pink lipstick,
a Swiss Army knife,
and two apparently invaluable,
but priceless marbles.
If found:
you can spend the cash,
use the i.d.,
keep the bus pass,
throw away the lipstick,
and sell the knife.
But the marbles...
send my marbles back to me.

I Outside

I small featured
I stark naked
I cold shaking
I empty handed
I wide-eyed
I knock-kneed
I lurk out
I gaze in
I long gone.

The Origin of Blues

In the deep, dark, dank
of a sweaty, swanky swamp
where the bodies roil and toil
day in and day out
the melancholy alto
of the creole saxophone
moves the bowels of a  party
to a good ol' foot stomp.
The wooden porch shakes and quakes
while the music rocks and rolls.


high heels tip tap tap
click clack clack
in chartreuse ankle straps
with one strap come undone

click clack clack
she dances and prances
with one strap come undone
teet'ring on tip toes

she dances and prances
in chartreuse ankle straps
teet'ring on tip toes
high heels tip tap tap.

Safe Space

I press my face into the tightened flesh
(of) her pregnant belly where I find my safe-
ty from the world of violence, wars, and hate.
I am protected here, within the space
of padded tissue where her baby grows.
I wish I was her infant swaddled by
the feeling of invincibility.

She sends her mother's care through veins of blood;
embraces the life she carries in her womb.
This new-found mother's love gives her the glow
of inner peace and health that I will nev-
er have. Instead I wrap my arms around
her pregnant belly and press my face into
the safety of the space where her baby grows.

Solitary Streetlamp

Turn me on in daylight hours,
just once I’d like to light a lighted path
and sleep in darkness.

I’d like to stand on a desk
and cast a dimmer light–
to feel dwarfed by my giant sidewalk size.

I dream of strolling the cement paths,
hand in hand with lovers and friends,
uprooted from my cement block jail.

Always wondering what the rest of the world looks like,
wondering from my solitary street corner–
I am forever unmoving.

Dreaming of Love

I met an ex-lover last night;
we made love once again.
He told me I broke his heart
when I walked out on him.

I said I remember things differently,
that he pushed me away
when I lost my mind,
he lost interest when I went insane.

Then he got excited again,
told me about his new wife,
all the children she wants,
and their whole new life.

He could have had that with me!
But he told me Not one child more,
‘cause two was too many,
and he never wanted marriage before.

I felt so out of place in his new life,
so I faded away silently,
wishing—despite all his flaws—
that he had chosen me.

Only A Dream

i pretended his face was
that your rough hands touching
            were his.
i woke at sunrise today,
and forgot why i’d dreamt
                        in the first place.

The Ensenada Groom

So hot—too hot—
to be wearing his captains uniform,
but of course he wouldn’t be married without it.
He took my breath away,
so handsome.
He wore those medals
like badges of honor,
so perfectly shiny I believed
the metal could protect his heart,
and maybe even mine.

Haiku Series: After My Uncle's Death

Fingers on the tree
grasp at the passing wind
while my sun sets west.

            Life will never be the same—
            my uncle is dead
            the past is now a dream.

Finally I’m free
to roam this world on two feet
with my eyes open.

Dear Laura

To think of you as an action instead of an emotion. Impossible! Or maybe...

There would be Ani DiFranco, there would Camel flavored smoke and an abundance of chocolate. There would be no meat, there would be no boys, and yet...there would be no sex. There might be a sex book, or an independent film about the stereotypical homosexuals, and later that night, there might be a sex oil massage. But our giggles are only light tickles. I’ve seen you nude, but modestly looked away.

In the end, every action with you is an emotion, every moment with you–a nostalgic cue. Because every action comes down to it–I miss you.


We gather in Denny’s
demanding nights darkness
denying dawns presence
until we’re ready for today.
Dancing our words
between the plates
giggling girlishly at history, and
speaking through the silences.
We are discovering, secretly,
our endearing future,
by driving out the doubts
of a dying past, while
the madness of morning
drowns in a basket
of delicious cheese sticks.

Untold Love

The meat of our romance
is an untold love affair.
My broken heart
—speared and deflated—
is the relevant storyline.
And the fallen fruit of my confidence?
a testament to when relationships grow…

Pretend Daydream

I play pretend,
make-believe a lover.
Usually that lover is you.
Sleepy Sunday mornings
and breakfast in bed,
the way my hand fits so well in yours.
The last words of the day
whispered over our pillows,
our secret gazes
met with smiles
across a crowded room.
I fill my daydreams
with only a version of you–
a version that’s not you at all.

Morning Love

While we lie in bed
your hand brings me the slow dawn.
The reflection of morning in your eyes
glows above the hum of sunrise.

Between our sheets
the dimpled texture
of your nude skin
becomes my personal canvas.

You shiver like gasps
to watch my hands
pull at the air
that floats over your body.

Your cold touch
heals my warm isolation.
The sigh that escapes your lips
keeps me staring and still.

Drinks With Dad

with Dad
at a loud
blues bar.
He paints
himself a smile
with his
cutely crooked mouth.
We flirt—
he with the men,
I with them all.
He drinks
a blood-red merlot,
I like Mike’s
Hard Lemonade.
My envious friends
love my dad—
“he’s so cool.”
They want dads
to take them out
to buy
not their love
but their drinks
at a loud
blues bar.

Hot Day, Ice Water

It was a summer day,
that’s why she did
what she did; because
the heat was too much, and
the air was too thick.
She ordered ice water,
no ice, only water,
from the poolside waiter
dressed in button-up shirt
and thick black trousers.
Sweat pooled on his brow
in the midday sun
while she spritzed herself cool
and jumped in
to swim a few laps
in the turquoise pool.
The glass he brought back
was crystal clear clean,
ice water, no ice, liquid
filled to the brim.
Her lips touched the rim,
sipped the cool liquid, nice,
but her tongue tasted metal,
tap water, she knew
and detested the taste.
Spat it out at once,
at the waiter’s sweaty face,
his surprised sweaty face,
now covered with distaste.
Humbly he apologized,
asked her forgiveness, she
smirked and admitted,
free drinks would be nice.

The Right Words

You said all the right things
 at all the right times,
and I’m charmed with your words,
until those words lose meaning.
I’ve forgotten how it sounds
when you say something real.
I study your hand instead;
pudgy knuckles nervously flick your cigarette.
You keep talking,
but your blue eyes refuse to meet mine.
You talk until I forget what you’ve said.
I nod my head,
provoke more words,
so I wait for them to make sense;
I wait for you
to finally say something worth hearing.

Orange Juice

An unattractive garbage bin
stands at attention before me.
I punch ineffective fingernails
into the tough rind of an orange.
I expose the pulpy meat:
juicy, sticky–sensual.
Sweet pungent orange soaks my skin,
my hips grow aware of their shape.
I bite, I nibble, I suck,
this bin itself is not my prop;
I abuse its shape, its height,
maneuver the air between us
while I lick the juice of my arousal
from my fingertips.

Young Fruit

Love, captured when young
--like fruit—
is apt to bruise
and turn to meal
for lack of cultivation.
The young starfruit,
kept in warm humidity
and rotated weekly
can produce delicious results
but the high school crush
grows bitter on the tongue
poisoning the heart from within.
Guard your heart
behind protective walls—
wrap it up in temperate climes
to avoid spoiling you love
with the heat of passion
or the early freeze of disappointment.

Three Cranes

I drove mother home the back way that day.
Connected roads that wind their way
past pastures and country, large
open fields that students call watershed.
Winter began to dwindle that day,
and start losing it’s heavy, cold weight,
made way for the springtime twilight.
As I made the last left turn onto Bell road
we continued our discussion.
I subconsciously slow down the car.
A sheep farm sits there on Bell road
where the smell of onion
permeates the hot summer air every year,
when the sheep are left outside to graze
on the piles of the rotten vegetable.
We both look to the yard
where the sheep graze, even now,
and their tan wool is camouflage
as my eyes jump into the next block
of green green spring grass.
Three white bodies
stand equally apart from each other,
white like bright teeth,
in an otherwise toothless mouth,
each on one leg apiece.
Three egrets–
though there are more likely to have been cranes,
with long thin necks
holding up impossibly heavy beaks,
stretched higher to watch us
slowly passing to watch them.
Nearly stopped on the curvy road
in front of the sheep farm,
I took the photo in my mind,
knowing the creatures would be gone
upon my next return, surely
they’ll have continued their flight,
and perhaps grace another farmers yard
with their awful beauty.

There Was War

First there was peace.
There was a garden,
and there was quiet.
There was woman and man
but there was no child.
Then came the sin
and from sin there came anger.
There was hate
so there had to be war.
There was war.
There was blood.
There was fear.
There was war
and hate.
There was war
and anger.
There was war
and violence.
There was war.
There was a bomb,
and then there was no time.
There was a pause,
there was a peaceful, silent moment,
there was silent peace.
There was peace in all that silent death.
There was a forgiveness,
there was an abandonment of anger.
There was heaven, then.

The Shortest Kiss

It was the shortest kiss in history
but my toes curled and spine tingled
and it opened up your mystery.
Now it’s been two weeks,
plus twenty-six hours
seventeen minutes since we brushed lips
and I miss you like you were mine.
I’ve been drawing your eyes for days
my margins curve into your smiles,
because I miss the way it felt
when I told them you were with me.
Now it just hurts too much
to talk to you like it never happened,
because that was the happiest I’ve been
since I don’t know when,
and I can’t see you the same,
like any other girl I’ve kissed,
‘cause your kiss meant something more to me,
and I can never let you know.

Softly, Softly

Softly, softly,
step softly on my grave,
don’t let me go,
show me you’re brave.
Speak softly to me,
softly, softly,
tell me secrets,
tell me lies,
so long as you don’t
say goodbye.
Carry my heart softly,
softly, softly,
don’t let me fall,
I’m in love again,
and feel so small.
Love me softly,
softly, softly.

Porcelain Anger

A cold china dish breaks
against black pavement
into sharp white shards;
            like fragile raindrops
            splinters suspended in midair,
            in a frozen moment.
Porcelain chips cut
through a motionless breath
while the action loses its anger;
            a beautiful symphony of sound
            crashes in on me,
            quiets all other noise.
Like a sigh of relief,
the shatter leaves behind
one fulfilling silence;
            awe at the crunching underfoot
            pieces of my anger,
            swept into the dustbin.

Oil On Canvas

Gray horizon meets golden morning light.
I watch days dawning,
and feel a part of the painting;
I’ve become a piece of foreground.
In two sparse dimensions
I long to smell the salty morning air,
to feel a cool shiver rush on my veins
to meet my shaky bones.
Every sense smothered,
I feel the absence of reality.
Nothing is real.
I’m just oil on canvas;
the edge of a silvery seascape.
Lost inside two dimensions.

Like Sex

The white girl
with blond hair
who wears a dozen
cornrow braids
presses like sex
her hips
against the pool table
in the student union
where she smiles
with blue eyes,
bites on her lips
nibbling like sex,
shyly staring down
the young black man
with an afro
whose only interest
is the 8 ball
and the corner pocket.


The jazz that sounds like
neon lights:     blue     red     and orange
sweeps me out onto the sidewalk
where the city
and moves
and all the music lovers
are out be-boppin’ on the corners
where color and faith and sex
are just more reasons to perform.

Frozen Fingers of Heartbreak

My icicle fingers
break over the rough land
of my lover’s heart
which I hold in my hand.

I hold in my hand
a foreign coin from Canada
which someone gave me
for being Amanda.

From the day I was born
I was weary to sight
for my face was all mangled
and shied from the light.

Ping pong ping
the other kids were so mean,
they teased me and beat me
ping pong ping.

Now that I have a lover
I have nothing to fear.
No more taunting,
not one more jeer.

Comfortably Awkward

The promise of your presence
arouses my anger.
I’m tingling with nervous excitement.
I’m rehearsing what I’ll say.
I’m deciding on a demeanor.

before too long
we’ve fallen comfortably
back into our old patterns.

And still the awkwardness finds itself
edging in between our words.
All the things we left unsaid
appear in the sidelong glances;
those knowing asides
that everyone sees
but no one understands.


An August day turns into night
without the breath of a cool breeze.
The warm air,
humid against their skin
chases two sweethearts indoors.
The reddened bodies sit
with flesh that aches
the way sun faded leather is taut.
The girl hisses short breaths of pain
each time she moves.
Her pink skin exposed
he skims an aloe covered hand
across her shoulders and tender back.
Beneath his fingers
her skin feels like
the hot hand of passion
reaching for his groin.
Barely breathing beneath a sunburn
an ecstatic smile scorches
across her peeling lips
the delight in her eyes
meets the hunger reflected in his.
Her image of intimacy fades
like the white imprint
of his touch on her skin.

A Living City

With my eyes open
I am looking upon a living city of

... the bare purple nipples of women
feeding hungry babies,
sky-clad children
playing in the cold air.

... men in their official meetings
pretending to take a casual break,
keeping their trained ears open,
to any business opportunity.

...women walking off their mochas
in their clashing skirts and sneakers,
never missing a window shop sale
or another chance for coffee.

... a quarreling couple
oblivious to everything else,
about to find the end to their unhappiness,
in a humiliating public fight.

...the noisy din of cars
that are speeding past us all.


I dreamt I went to my funeral naked
and roll upon roll upon roll
of my fat was bare
for everyone to see.
Every inch of my soft, elastic hide
lay open to public inspection,
and I could not escape.
You so-called friends
and loving family members
whispered and pointed,
poked the pale pudding flesh
of my well endowed breast,
and tried not to see
the stretched expanse of my belly.
You were all so inclined,
to compare your physique to mine,
that in later evening hours,
I reveled to see you all,
naked and blemished,
standing before your mirrors
brushing a hand over the flaws
that upon your funeral,
will be the signs of life you miss the most.

Breast Envy

The sight of her breasts was impeccable
through the thin white material of her blouse
and jealousy filled my own large chest
for want of fleshy perkiness like that.

My own pendulous breasts hang low on my chest
wearing downward pointing rose nipples
that no one ever gets to see but me
and only when I lift them upwards
one at a time by hand in the mirror.

I was a naïve 12 years old
when last I had small B cup boobs like hers—
what I wouldn’t give of myself now
to be that small chested again.