Rapegia

I was put together seven times.
in different shapes, sometimes square.
Once my head was on on upside down
(it explains so much).
In another, my hands were where
my feet ought to be and
my spine was bent like a racetrack.
Seven times I was assembled.
Seven wrong machinations.
But it only takes seven.
and then it’s done.
This is the last.
This is the coming.
This is rapegia.

Night Vision

The pill that tastes like mint
melts under my tongue,
and I am fearful
of what’s to come.

Nonetheless,
I close my eyes
and my lids flutter
as I dream
of impossible things
that are too real
to be fiction.

I hear the rumble
of granite boulders
rolling as lemmings
through a field of
yellow flowers,
wearing ugly smirks
that bring me
to my knees
as I watch a little girl
who is about to
be crushed.

I die on a rooftop
in a leather jacket
and black boots.
I wake on the same roof
in the snow
many years in the future.
Beyond the evergreen forest
and sloping hills,
is a frozen tsunami wave
cresting so high
it nearly touches the sun.

And then I awaken,
my eyes bleary
and head filled with dreams
of what dark worlds
may come.

Hold The Door

Lord Ganesha,
remover obstacles,
you sit near a draped window
in the sunlight.
where you drink the sky.
It’s where I put you,
but I thought you should know
I follow the Tao,
the wisdom of monks
and sages
to still my mind
and live in the present.
But I need you too, Ganesha.
Can you hold the door
to let them in?

Tomorrow May Come

The people who are dead inside
hang their heads like shameful dogs
in collared shirts of whites and blues
plaids and checks
clinging to worn bus seats
and greasy poles
on this sunny day
of strange warmth
and lingering summer.
I shout:
Don’t give up!
There is more to this dream.
It’s a gift,
but you have to look.
No — really look.
Don’t shut it out.
Open your eyes.
Chin up.
They blink under glossy stares,
their eyes aglow with phone screens,
tweets and hashtags
fake news and ads.
They thought they heard
someone,
or maybe not —
not today at least,

To Those Who Take

Stories
are whispers
heard in darkness.
Standing
in a black room
with walls ground of bones,
I hear them murmur,
telling lies
of how they’ve come
to be locked inside.
They talk over one another,
always asking for more
than I can give.
Their voices turn
into echoes
upon echoes
that continue endlessly
amongst the bats and the dust.
I turn away
and cover my ears.

Other People’s Windows

Central Park is closed,
but I stand inside
it’s gates,
holding my little dogs
as they sniff
and scratch
and pee.
A rat rounds the garbage can,
squeaking,
at the sound of a carriage,
hooves weary under
the weight of sneakers
and foreign tongues.
Street lamps leak
white ghosts
onto the sidewalk that turns
in Olmsted curves,
and light spills from
other people’s windows.
I see their shadows,
turning in salons of
gold and red,
silent,
and baroque,
like reveries
of a time that
once sipped
pleasure.

Photo by:
Sean Witzke

The Garland

In her hands
is a chain of roses,
linked together
by a thread
knitted by a chrysalis,
sewn with a needle.
The petals curl inwards,
touching each other,
warmed with rubies
and swirled with
the sky.
These binds,
these connections,
we make with our hands,
our faces,
our bodies,
we seal and lock
in our thoughts.
Now,
this really about the mind
in the present moment
where there’s a cosmic river
of minerals and time.
Without it,
there are no flowers.

Splendid Lushness


I will never see those leaves again,
not after the luxury rental units are built,
and the ads that sell marble countertops, stainless steel appliances and parking included invite tenants one-by-one,
to gaze upon the foliage
from their own kitchen windows.
Those leaves,
swathed in dew,
veins of chlorophyll,
papering the walls of the jagged palisades
where abandoned factories
and once-loved houses teeter.
Eyes of broken windows look down upon me, mouths a grimace of peeling paint.
And those leaves;
My leaves of unspeakable lushness mask the ugliness of this urban decay.
A breeze causes them to shake,
but I cannot hear the rustle,
for the sound is buried beneath
tires tearing on potholed pavement,
buses rattling towards the Lincoln Tunnel,
and the low hum of a nearby electrical plant.
Danger.
Hard Hats Only.
I am lucky to see the green,
so bright in the morning light,
like a patch of clover,
or a polo field before the hooves.
I’ll never see my leaves again,
and it brings no comfort
that someone else will.

Lady in Lace

I snap open the window
of the small airplane tipping to and fro,
and see the Sierra mountains.
Clouds pull across the craggy peaks like
a bride’s veil on a windy day,
her lips rocking up and down,
her eyes a drought of tears.
Hooves on stones drive
towards the white church
where a river once ran.
Some miles away, snow-knotted socks
lay upon a coal burning stove
as melted water taps onto fresh pine floors.
Fool’s gold rattles in a rusted pan,
falling between dirty fingers,
which grapple the breast of a whore
and long for the lady in lace
who he will never marry
since she is now with another.
I shut my window,
and the plane passes over
these time-trapped shadows.

Jane Says

This city’s madness,
a tapestry of too much of it all.
There’s always someone or something
that drives a steak into my personal space:
an angry man in a black car honking;
a family walking four abreast on the sidewalk, slowly;
my neighbor vacuuming the concrete on her patio;
the lot across from me a construction zone of cats, gravel and a “dust control” truck.
Cement and traffic.
People and skyscrapers.
I just want to get away from it.
And yet I have lived in the country
Where the absence of annoyance
is a peaceable kingdom
that can be dulling,
like a drill to my temple,
boring,
until I’m lobotomized and desensitized.
Because it’s easier to be average
than to step outside.
So never mind,
this wayward thought
of leaving my jungle behind.
I think I’ll stay.

*

But if I left where should I go?
To the lands south of here, perhaps.
The broad avenues and cobblestone quarters of Buenos Aires,
where I’d amble among the vendors offering silver jewelry and cups of perfumed wine.
Or maybe to the ocean,
where I’d stand at the edge of a Caribbean beach washing my toes, the sun heavy on my shoulders.
My little dogs would wrestle nearby,
their fur faded and salty, littered with sand.
Scratching, always itchy.
But would I be satisfied?
I don’t know,
for I’m not sure what I’m looking for,
aside from these abstract concepts of happiness, knowledge, acceptance
and love.
I have thought of evaporating,
to escape the disappointment
of these things I don’t have,
or that I’ve lost.

*

I seek an authentic life,
in its most abstract sense,
like devouring an apple to its core and swallowing the seeds.
If I only eat the flesh,
I will only half know the apple.
Why eat around the hard and bitter parts?
The problem isn’t my city,
nor is another place the solution.
That’s the painful part,
which causes me to swell
with tears.
And yet, I can’t help but wonder,
if starting over is such a terrible thing.
Perhaps it’s out there after all,
my home.
my family,
myself.
I can’t know the answer.
I can only hope.