Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Tell me it ain’t a madman’s wind
Blowing off the bluffs
This morning over the town

A haint slipped off about dawn
From the roof of the ancient church
Went the way of a gull feather
On a winging current

He was like
The sliver of smoke
A dangerous woman
Knifes from one nostril

His was like
The departure
I did not get to watch
Of others, who never knew
The whitewashed walls and
Bougainvillea of this horseshoe bay
Nor the multiplicity
Of blue doors 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stirring the Fire

Dear readers,

My close friend Danielle Prince is currently on a mission in Cambodia with UN filmmaker Phil Borges, documenting the realities of survivors of acid attacks--a particularly nasty type of violence against women.  Follow her blog here, where you'll find inspiration as well as horror.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


For Pongo Teen Writing

I see my father in the eyes of an incarcerated teen

For nine years I’ve been without a compass, yet somehow
found myself

Standing in a predawn kitchen letting my son smear jelly on my forehead
like a blessing

I listen to late night traffic for counsel

And if wind takes my smoke sideways

I reach out a hand and close my eyes

But with a house and wife, baby and dog, university degrees and leased Subaru

The space for loss has shrunk

I’m glutted on ease and fortune

The domino effect of privilege has taken a hold of my life

The sweet stink of gore, the tangled limbs in the trench, the sheets of rain that cloak the enemy as he bears down

Have no place on this beach

Each year it’s getting easier and easier

Which scares me because 

I don’t want to wear a smile back to war

And I know it's coming

All at once.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The AK ammo on my shelf is called Silver Bear, and it’s from Russia.

The airbrushed sticker from a hip burger joint in West Seattle is of Lucifer, with pointed ears and pleasure in his face. 

The Blues Brothers in their powdered makeup stare the garage down with glasses and cigarettes and not a concern in the world for political correctness.

My medical marijuana license bears paragraphs indented dramatically and tamper proof seals and careful signatures.

The Suzuki seems to lounge more than stand, lean more than sit, canted at an angle with a shiny black helmet on its hip.

Pema Chodron smiles off the cover of a book the size of a box of smokes.

Knife, mace, mini video camera and flashlight pose on my shelf for someone to come along who needs their service.

Yellowing papers of poetry and Comcast bills sleep tossed about like the end of a binge by a cyclone no one else felt. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Occasion

When you exhale Marlboro red smoke
In my memory, I’m reminded of
How much was cloaked between us
We fogged the years with tequila and towers of music
Fine blue looping script between the lines
Was more of a plan than an action
I’m not sure which glow is the cherry of your cigarette,
Which the glow of your brake lights
Rolling down the long, sooty slope of
An Angeles mountain
I want a red
And one more night
When you exhale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MY Block, Circa 1993, 2011

I swing through the corner in my black family wagon that’s also kind of sporty; it starts with an ‘S.’ 

Can’t bear to say it. 

I’m sitting on the curb and my eyes are spiraling with lost purpose, my homies are popping ollies and smoking.

I’m kind of embarrassed at having nothing else to do.

I stomp the brake three times behind a raucous red haired skater kid.

Rolling past his seated homies I cast a look at one, level, but I realize there’s a spark fired there anyway.

Subaru driving motherfucker with a fedora and baby seat stares hard.

My shoulders jump and my eyes fire in a fake attack without my thinking.

Without thinking I stomp the brake again, once.

Window sighs down and my anger launches.

I figure he must be beefing to lurch his car like that.

I ask him if he is and my skin is popping but I’m calm too.

My fingers punch the seatbelt before simple math crowds around me.

Translate the rage as it tumbles out into something prone to words….

Boss of the pristine block he’d like to be.

I don’t blink at the holler about his cop neighbor and shit.

Nobody’s leaving and the redhead is on my window fake friendly. 

The crew is more laconically defiant than bristling, actually.

Punk’s off no doubt dialing the law. 

But Mr. Bitchass fucked up my high and now I can see how we might be blocking the street.

Park hard and dial, ogling the rearview.

But I flipped out like a man I never meant to be, want to walk down block and shake hands; I duck into home instead.