life and then

poetry

streets painted with
blue lights glowing up through
mortar cracks through brick
holes next to old houses
mansions perhaps once filled
with concubines or slaves
but we stop for a nice
dinner at a ‘french’
restaurant just like life was then
red lanterns and all

now gone again

A Man for and With Others

poetry

I am no longer a student
But a scholar A follower
Of the teachings of Ignatius
My life is changing rapidly
To transform into a new
Being of competence
To show the world my best

What am I to become?
What am I in four short years?
What am I in my prime?
What am I when I move on to the other half of life?

I answer you now

I shall become
A Man for and With Others
I will be
A Man for and With Others
I shall succeed as
A Man for and With Others
When I leave this place I’ll be still
A Man for and With Others

My Father and the Reaper

poetry

Part I: My father shot me, bang bang

I was created a girl, you see, and
wantin’ to be genderless was my sin,
“My daughter, I’m send you back to your maker.
Only he can make you whole for you’re unnatural.”
Steadfast was his resolve as he pointed the gun at me,
I didn’t wish to be a boy, you see,
but he shot me before I could tell him;
I wanted to be genderless.

I was the garbage can
rolling empty on the side of the street
one shot through my wasted heart,
nothin’ but pungent darkness.

Tell my father, he fostered and killed an empty vessel.
Tell him,
Tell him,
Tell him, I had yet to be born.

My father is not an evil man, you see
he is a simple man with ordinary values
uprooting all he doesn’t understand.

I wanted grace
a heart, not bruised or calloused
a mind, pristine and free
and eyes, innocent and clear.

So that I could feel like it wasn’t too late,
So that the day I’d finally be born and alive, I could say :
I am not my mother
I am not my father
I am not a girl
I am not a boy
I am human

***
Part II: The Reaper

Dark
Dark
Father, it is so dark.

Ah, 17 years old…
life had the promise of a bebop dance at the neon lights.
I thought there would be more days
Days when I’d breathe stardust till the break of dawn,
Days when freedom would cost 10 cents a piece at the farmer’s market
Days when I would needn’t stop for the rain or wait for love.

Fly me away
Fly me away from my own mind
Father, it is so silent.

my beautiful mom took the night train,
she promised to come back,
when the night is beautiful again
when the passing wind needn’t flirt with the outside, with damaged stars,
and plastic bags that always float one step further.

The reaper came from the bullet
and into darkness it took me,
to the place of the unwanted children-
dark and desolated.

The fabric of life and death is too coarse against my soul,
it rubs the good stuff away,
and soon I will fade into darkness.

Wish me back
Have Mercy, Father
wish me back
alive and well
So I can finally rest in peace.

because sometimes we think microchips and nukes make us pretty tough

poetry

your torrential downpour –
wash us clean from our pride
to remind us
of things we cannot control

your voice alone is the thunder
your grace alone is the rain

no matter the price of gas
you will not cease to send your rain

people dying in earthquakes
those who will drown today in oceans
they’re as real as this house
this street, this page, these words

and my wife.

you created life
we try so hard to harness
you alone create.

how small i am and how big you are
to strike down,
create
destroy

remembering that you are not safe
but you are good

your rain
so thick i cannot see
you remind us who you are

and who are
we.

Damaged

poetry

Behind the glass window, she waits
for lust and obsession to pass,
for claustrophobic thoughts and the spasmodic soul to stop

In the living room shadows, nasty ogling beasts wait for her- to
crack, snap and break
till there is nothing left-
maybe bones or ashes scattered somewhere no one cares to look

At the bottom of eternity a boy waits,
amidst the tomorrows that never came,
the ashes of furtive passions,
for the second before he hurt her