Jun 16

pride month

Apr 04

ars longa vita brevis

i bet no one ever told you
that poets are liars.

they are gifted with the curse
of spinning tragedies into fairytales,
like straw into gold.

because before blood was beautiful,
it was brutal.

it was the animal desire to survive,
scarlet rusted on wolf fangs,
a deadly tapestry dyed on fur.

because before hunger was attractive,
it was abuse.

it was a half-dead city rat
with bones like blades,
starving under a starless sky.

because before addiction was normal,
it was neglect.

it was broken bottles and cigarette stubs,
craving and carving,
thoughts like curdled milk rotting inside a skeleton.

because before mental health became a competition
pain was not coveted.

what poets do not tell you
is ars longa, vita brevis:
art is long, life is short.
Jan 23

the curse of knowledge

Dec 20

What Almost Happened

There was a police car parked outside the school.
It brought rumors spreading like ink in water, twelve adults in the cafeteria, classes starting with hushed discussions, rumors, officers gazing through cloudy windows, students hesitating just before stepping out into the hallways, emails at 11:00 PM, forced jokes shouted in a crowded room, rumors, newspaper articles, fingers trembling from frustration, what

“For the second time in a week, a potential school shooting was thwarted by a tipster who gave authorities a heads up -- this time in the town of Middlebury, Vermont.” (McLaughlin, Eliott & Chavez, Nicole, CNN World News)
Sep 30

Painter's Sun

You think you know
the color of the sun
until you sit down
to paint it.

You reach for the yellow,
yellow of sunflowers,
of a cliché crayon drawing you did,
a perfect lemon in the top right corner.

But your hand drifts then
to sparks on the crest of a wave,
to that glimpse of melting iridescence
in a friend's eye-white.

Orange is the bottle you finally seize
to squeeze autumn leaves,
the setting sun over a lake,
onto your impatient palette.

But soon, all those colors
(plus a few more)
are spilled on the canvas
(plus your fingers).

You think you know
the color of the sun
until you realize
you don’t know colors at all.

Who else can validate
that your ocean is truly blue,
that your sun is the gold
you’ve always been sure of?

After all,
everything is perception
Audio download:
painter's sun recording.m4a
Sep 17


the stairs don't creak in our new house.

in our old one, they did.
i can't tell you which ones

but if i were to go back,
i have a feeling
my feet
in the same reticent places they used to
(to aviod unwanted attenton)

back when i had something to hide
from anyone

besides myself.

Sep 02

The Boy Who Danced With The Sun

    Once upon a time, in a village like many others, a village who danced and sang, a village with traditions and myths, a village of stories and magic.
    The village was nestled into the crook of a mountains’ arm. It was a charming destination. It was filled with violet-covered wooden cottages and cobblestreet downtowns where people sold eggs and bread. The villagers loved each neighbor dearly. They provided for one another and never let anyone go hungry. Every one of them loved and laughed and sang.
    Except one little boy. He was of fair, dark skin hair and raven’s eyes. Other villagers seemed disinterested with the boy’s blandness, and the feeling was mutual. He was a quiet child who rarely joined in on hopscotch or make-believe. But he was very good at pretending.
Aug 21

lessons from a wannabe god

you would not make a very good god.

gods can do whatever they want,
be whatever they want to be.
but for you, child...you only want one thing.
you want to want.

looking out at hundreds of miles
of mountains, every inch covered
in emerald pine, you want
to be an eagle.
you want to breathe the air
above those pines.
you want to weave in &
out of the wind.
you want to disappear
into the horizon.

& if you were a god,
that is exactly what you'd do.
you'd grow wings as strong
as the mountains themselves
& make a home in those
soft green and brown needles.

but that would not be enough.

i have found
that even the most incredible,
inexplicable things
are better in the imagination.

yes, you
want to fly,
want to escape,
want to be something else,
Jul 01


Musty muggy Washington June evening:
A bedraggled begging man is sitting
on the side of the road, styrofoam cup
in hand, bgging for a way out of his life,
following the people passing by with eyes
like a flyaway receipt caught
in the wake of a speeding taxi.

My sister and I brought over our Mediterranean
leftovers, handed it to him with a smile, expecting a heartfelt
yet hasty thank-you, but no. He met my gaze
with unwavering veracity and crammed
60 years of his history into the minute I stood to listen.

I’m a retired alcoholic (good for you),
but didn’t play my rent this week (oh), it’s alright
but looking to get rid of my possessions, take
this baseball hat, original wizards’ cap (thank you very
muich sir, are you sure-?) yes yes no problem-
er, do you have a dollar for the subway?-
you see, I’m a poet, write for the local paper, I
have a copy, hang on, yes, here-