Dead Sea Scrolls

summer
In this house
We gather around
All things round and square
Anything that meets
At the rightist angles
We prance all night
Like garden faeries
Running in loops
Until our feet are weary
And eyes blinded
By the sun
In this house
We sing like superstars
Hitting the high notes
With no problem
Using one dollar words
Without cringing
Without blinking
And, sometimes
Without even thinking
We chew our faces off
Until it bleeds
Spilling hot sauce
All over the coffee table
Making terrible messes
In broad daylight
But, in this house
We never leave the dishes
Overnight
In the kitchen sink
Mother won’t allow it
We never sweep things
Under the rug
Forever
Father won’t accept it
We never stop trying
To douse our differences
In incense
Scenting the air again
With hope
And drowning our defenses
With intense faith
We are merely creatures
Of habit
Quietly praying for love
To like us again

Who let Detroit down?

Ferriswheelfog
Someone on the television is asking a question
These people…
What they can’t understand, they try to discredit
And, round and round they go
Like a brilliant Ferris Wheel
Shooting fireworks out of ruby lips
Shaking their fists in feigned outrage
What they can’t recover, they try to ruin
By challenging each other in Pig Latin
To discover the nuances hidden
Beneath their spoken word
These people…
What they don’t burn, they hope to bury
Six feet into the ground
And whatever they can’t buy with money
They deem unworthy
Of basic human rights
What they don’t know, they claim doesn’t exist
With no respect for the divine
Standing in front of them
What they haven’t learned, they keep repeating
Like a deafening chant
Without realizing its proper significance
These people…
What they fear in themselves, they fault in others
And whatever they can’t accept as moral
They proclaim as sin
Someone on the television is asking a question
But sadly, it isn’t the right one…

Not yet, Bukowski…

Bukowski Tat
I didn’t have to read you
To understand
That life is a series of heart breaks
With some tremors lasting longer
Than others
And the broken people
I meet along the way are the ones
Who haven’t allowed themselves
To be killed by their pain
I didn’t need a drunkard to fill my head
With more doubts
About the purpose of my existence
Or about the Gods who don’t care enough
To save me
From my own extinction
Or did they?
I have no desire to be reminded
Of my frivolous pursuits
Of goodness
And greatness
Sitting in the confines of an eight foot cubicle
Suffocating from the cold air
Forcefully blowing on my head
But, I surely didn’t need to come face to face
With my nothingness
No! Not today!
the shame of a deliberately wasted life
Resigning to a plan of curated boredom
Planning my next adventure online
When I’m riddled with a condition so severe
That it hurts to even talk about it
So, No! Not yet!
I don’t need you to predict
My fate
To pronounce that I will never recover
From this illness
I already know that my love
Is slowly killing me every single day

Detox

picnic
Remember when we would make juice
During the hot summer months
Transforming our mother’s little kitchen
Into our playground for the afternoon
We would take turns
Adding pieces of vine ripened tomatoes
One by one into the blender
With spoonfuls of pure cane sugar
Not realizing the inherent sweetness
Already part of the fruit
Still, we drank the syrupy concoction
Like ants…

Ah, we were only children back then

But, just the other day
I came across a poem
Written in a little bound book
Its seams frayed with obvious use
And the dulling pages folded and smudged
From the dirty thumbprints of the universe
And the word, tomato, caught my eye
Highlighted in fluorescent green
Sweetheart, I felt a lump in my throat
The size of a big green tomato
For all I could think of was seeing you again
In our mother’s kitchen
Being together like we used to
Grabbing a carrot and some leafy kale
Maybe an apple and a mashed banana
A little bit of orange juice
Pulsing over crushed ice, until
Everything was naturally delicious again

Monkey

snow monkey
It doesn’t pay to be sentimental anymore
There is no use wondering
How you could live so close yet so far away from me?
Or how the days between us grow like reeds
Yet, the memory of you clinging to my back
Like a book bag or a little monkey
As we walked in our neighbor’s courtyard
Playing little made-up games
Scrunching our noses up in the air
Is still so green like a patch of poison ivy
And the sound of your loving voice asking me
Am I too heavy?
Still clinging onto my back- you little monkey!
Can trigger a violent eruption in my soul
Breaking me out in hives
Darling, even if you had been
In that moment
Even if my bones had been too weary
To carry you
And my muscles completely drained
I would’ve never let you off my back
And, nothing could’ve torn us apart
But, there is no point in rehashing old memories
And, there is no use wondering
How I could be tracking your planet
With a giant telescope
And still not hear a single beep?
But, it really doesn’t pay to be sentimental, I swear!
Another year older but none the wiser
What else can I say?
Except, today you are so fucking heavy!

Hudson

lake
…in the middle of the river
with salt water splashing
and the current pulling us
towards the farthest shore
we can experience
everything decent about life
even with the harsh sun
breathing down on our fresh faces
and sticky sweat beads dripping
down the vertebrae
reacting to the muscles
working overtime
we can comprehend the truth
about the entire universe
in a single afternoon
we can restore faith in ourselves
and calmly pontificate
about planets aligning impeccably
in a continual orbit
conspiring to deliver us
from and to our destinies
with only a paddle in our grip
and a partner to row us away
from the rocks and debris
we can sense the hidden pulse
of the amazing human spirit
right here…

Jello

bee eaters
In the beginning, we walked together
Hand in hand
Into the thick of the night
Until the stars washed out of the sky
Without ever looking back
Maybe because we worked really hard
And hardly deserved it
Still, we somehow convinced ourselves
To roll up our sleeves
Day after day
To produce an intricate maneuver
To discover everything we had sought
Without asking why
Without knowing how
By simply choosing to mingle
Around the sturdy Maplewood desk
Time after time
Making room for things that we once dreamed of
Finding ways to make them fit
Inside the jagged crevices of our lives
So, we crammed ourselves
Into the mold, like Jello
Jiggling side by side
Wishing we could quietly suspend in place
But, in the end all we ever did
Was make excuses for the things we lost
And danced like mortal fools
Cheek to cheek
Watching the taillights vanish into the dark