Friday, September 02, 2016

Bambi (new poem)

This is a rough draft. 


At sixteen eye was 
the Prince of air guitar,
a lavender shimmer birthed
by a purple beacon
and nothing was real except 
your half-laced fingers on six strings—
which would not be boxed in.
Suppose heart as an empty room,
a kind of wooden box.
In the wooden box 
U then called home
there was Our Father’s piano,
forbidden as anything in Leviticus,
still U were bold enough to plink
its ivory keys while he was away.
Until he left like a Gypsy moth 
in the cruelest month.
Before U were mine “Skipper”
U were 12 years old 
and neither boy nor girl,
doe-eyed under the halo of an Afro
and crying to be allowed
to return home from a phone booth,
which is not a wooden box,
even in the dying northern light,   
especially since it lacks
the sound sculpture of pianos,   
even a piano warped 
by the purposed rain of memory.
And to be denied,
to sleep on an Aunt’s couch
or in Bernadette’s basement and hear 
Louisiana tease your tongue
like a bigger kid on the playground
and hear that all soul-sounds
even the bass below, 
can be guitar-sounds
because guitars are wooden boxes
with tuneable strings
on which the Grand Progression 
could one day mean your dovely strut 
up the ladder of the charts.
There is the missing kiss 
of your mother to sing of. 
How she tried to satisfy herself 
in the arms of another man,
her hair falling down
and her heels rising up.
Does down elevate up or up elevate down,
this question ping-pongs
into the paisley swirled sky,  
No matter. Baby, you're a Star!
Grand Marshal of a parade of women,
all that applause drowning out
the insomniac feedback of night.
A sound round as counterfeit Vicodin,
a hurt that craves the 24 keys of dawn.
Neither cocaine nor cold coffee
can hide the soft hammers
of the blue piano on your strings
but now U are an ocean of violets in bloom,
marshaled and amped up
because aren't amps boxes too?
U are amped louder and louder
into Jimi’s rising heir,
portrait of the Artist purple as paradox—
desire hums around your head,
bathes U in a sonic scent,
an untongueable symbol being brushed,
the most Beautiful One,
eyes lined with dark longing
until Daddy’s black piano 
becomes a mere wooden box of air
on an elevated stage,
although not the way
an elevator may sometimes 
be a wooden box. 
The paisley stage is empty now.
Filled with an air of Cloud guitar
the stage is dear and dearly beloved. 
The only home
U could always return to.
Eye never wanted U 2 be 
my beacon, or lover.
Eye only wanted 2 be
some kind of friend. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

I want to take this time out to thank everyone for your birthday well wishes. In lieu of posts on my wall though I'd very much appreciate it if you could just do one random act of kindness for a stranger. 

August afternoon-
The endless ripple
of a single smile

Thursday, April 21, 2016

When Doves Fly

2:29 pm at my boy Barry's house in Brigantine, and I grab my black Eddie Bauer jacket I got at Harrahs Casino and dash out the door because the 501 to Atlantic City is due at 2:30 and I rush to corner, one hand deep in my right pocket for my change as the bus trembles up, then realize I only have $20 bills which yesterday the Treasury Dept. announced will carry a portrait of Harriet Tubman on with Andrew Jackson's now on the backside and the bus glides past and I curse our 7th President, only it's the kind of day that Bill Withers sang about and the next bus isn't due for an hour, so I stride and revise a poem in my head which I read last night at the World Above reading at Dante Hall, one of the best open readings I've been to since Its Your Mug shut down and I change the poem's title to "Portrait of the Artist as a Starfish in Coffee" because my cousin Derri Dias (who is a gorgeous actress in LA) posted a video on Facebook of Prince on Sesame Street performing that song which grows on you like the hair in your ears and I decide to change the last two lines from a simile to a metaphor by cutting out the word "like" which I suddenly don't, and now I pass a brother out front of his house digging a hole in the grass between the sidewalk and the street as if putting in a new mailbox or planting a small tree or maybe just burying something we won't mention and I turn on to Brigantine Blvd. which is limited to one lane because a crew clad in yellow T-shirts with lavender lettering that reads "TCM Paving" is redoing the asphalt and I want to pull out my iPod but my Shure 535e earbuds are too good at isolating outside noise which is dangerous on this busy street and now I'm rising up one side of the bridge between Brigantine and Absecon islands and I peep white birds wheeling in the sky and that signs on the Borgata Casino and Harrahs are both purple and just as I crest the bridge and get buffeted by the gusts Brigantine is famous for, there's a notification on my iPod Touch that Derri has commented on her FB post,  "It's not fair that he's gone" and I stop to check Twitter and Prince is trending with over 2 million tweets and I peer over the railing and consider the sunlit water making its way to the Back Bay, but before I can click on the link I'm back in my room in Blanchard Barracks on Bolling AFB with Penny half covered in a military issue blanket and me with one hand cupping the back of her neck and the other pinning her head to keep it from sliding into the metal frame and us gutterral in the rhythm of the moment until "Do Me Baby" begins to unroll from the radio and she pulls her fingernails from my back and reaches for the knob and we turn it up, the bed squeaking and Penny and I just glistening . . .

Sunday, April 03, 2016

National Poetry Month 30/30 Haiku/Senryu

Light April rain-
Our lone purple candle
suddenly gone

Late April dusk-
The shadows slowly bury
a little red Corvette. 

inside the bottle
out of it

April morning-
Cherry blossoms pinken
the snow drifts

Thumb print
on a black fender-
Half Moon

Two weeks into Spring-
already a Cardinal
on the mound

Opening Day-
The Groundskeeper throws out
the rock salt

All hail
what follows the slow clap
April thunder

Back from the casino
with a single white chip-
April Moon

Last blaze of orange
at the Farmer's Market-
a robin alights

The long note 
in her last kiss
-Red Zinfandel 

At the start of the last verse
she mouths the words

Late night poker game-
She asks if I'm All In

Hibiscus flower-
The tremble of her sleeve
In the ocean breeze

My hairline 
the waters of the back bay
in sync

April sunset-
A last slice of orange
opens the lips

Friday, February 05, 2016

Latest Haiku / Senryu

After The Love Has Gone-
The empty mouth of
an album cover

August dusk-
A sandcastle melts
in the rain

Empty Starbucks-
The steady drip drip
of a woman's tears

Morning fog
While waiting for the bus
Fifty Shades of Gray

Filling the beach 
then all the benches-
Snow flurries

Winter storm Jonas-
Too much whipped cream atop
the hot chocolate

First day of Spring-
A robin pecks
crack vials

Shards of glass-
The glazed eyes
of a deer

Four AM-
Even the crack heads

First day of Pre-K-
His backpack crushed
by a hug

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New haiku senryu (and revisions)

Ziggy Stardust fell
Ground Control to Major Tom
Planet Earth is blue

your napping face-
Summer lightning

Post Burial
The old folk play

July sun
A new basketball
too big to palm

Autumn afternoon-
the mailman sorts thru
the yard

earthworms curl
on the sidewalk

Deep Insomnia-
A neighbor's 

Wine glass-
The long tilt of
Her lips

April winds-
Spending a new 

The white king 
rocks under attack-
March wind

Talking to herself
in two coats
July haze

White cat
under the Laundry’s awning-
Spring shower

Snow flurries
from nose to shovel
beads of sweat

country curve
A goose in the road

in the front yard-
frosted grass

A belly 
swollen with gurgles-
New Moon

into a smartphone-

Crescent moon-
A sliver of cake wanes
in the urinal

Under the moonlight
the serious moonlight-
Marsh reeds dance

The poet says
"No comma"

Morning fog
Lingering on the tongue
Earl Grey

Two Trains Running-
Boyfriend on hold
for the husband

Words wrap
around six croaker-
Muhammad Speaks

August afternoon-
The dog licks
an empty bowl

under the quilt-
Not my cat

in a long line for work-
Black ants

Cherry blossoms
glisten with dew-
New lipstick

Memorial Day-
Googling a knot
for the hanging chair

A railing

The last edit
written in red-
Paper cut

First trimester-
The kick of the shrimp

Visiting Room phone-
The long echo of that
last sentence

A quick-blown kiss
high heels its way into
the Etheridge night

Late students-
Missing the

Pine Barrens-
A buzzsaw cuts into
the silence

Full moon-
The sudden O of 
a Glock's muzzle

Low tide-
The ocean also has
Morning Breath

Call to prayer-
The transit bus stops

Both queens
off the board-
Chess widows

April drizzle-
The gutters gush with
cherry blossoms

Unable to shake
the strength of his hand-
Poker nemesis 

The descent of a tear
gas canister

Riot police-
A broken arrow of
overhead geese

Peeking into
the abandoned cars-
Low winter sun

Airport Terminal-
The morning sky dons
a blue cap

into the chairs-
Blind Date

New Years Eve-
Fewer and fewer cubes
in the glass

Winter Solstice-
The long blackness of
a Stretch Limo

Pebble in a puddle-
The moon under a scrim of clouds

Grayish beard-
Yet still playing 
with action figures
of speech. 

December night-
A little bit of Frost
on the syllabus

Hung jury-
None of the strung up sneakers
are gray

Full Moon-
A clean look at the rim
under the lights

Shrimp Gumbo-
Waiting for the flame
to rise

Casino exit-
Losing everything 
but my shadow

Half a crayon-
Our son gets a taste
of the blues

Brick wall
written in cursive-
His pee

December 1st-
Footsteps falling
in the rain

Trailer Park
A murder in broad daylight-
Crows on a branch

Outside the club
Stamped on the back of a hand
Full Moon

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

And Again

[insert name]

These are the lyrics of a hit, 
number 1 with a bullet,
pinned to the top of the charts. 

This poem is not 
a "suspicious" hoodie,
has not snatched any cigarillos,
is not in an illegal chokehold,
(although it may have
a toy gun tucked 
in its waistband),
this poem was shot 
on video
in the back. 
This poem may 
play its music too loudly,
or contradict
the police report. 
But this poem
will convene
no grand jury
to return No True Bill. 
This poem checks out,
so the only charges
will be on a credit card
for funeral services.

These words
possible because
while facedown 
on the concrete
of the righthand lane
at 10:37 AM 
on April 15th, 1987
at 19067 Greenbelt Road
my sternum
could bear the weight
of the knee between 
my shoulder blades,
and the .38 revolver
eyeing the back of my head
had a 15 lb. trigger pull
and not the 8 lb pull
of a Glock 9mm. 

Possible because
I did not
bet on black
while playing Roulette
by Cop. 

This poem
was not written
because angry, 
this poem
was not written
because "Self-Defense". 
This poem
was not written.
Because my hand
is two
behind my back
from having
to write
and wright 
and rite
this poem. 

It’s not true that
my eyes are red
as a bag of Skittles,
if this page is dotted
it is only Arizona 
Iced Tea
that was spilled. 

This poem mentions
no names,
not Amadou Diallo,
Sean Bell, 
James Byrd Jr. 
or [insert name]

This poem pertains to no crime,
it comes natural
contains many enwreathed flowers 
but no trees
with branches strong enough
to bear the weight 
of a black man or woman
or boy or girl,
no rope (to be at the end of),
or even a simple slipknot. 

But it does loop;
like a wandering moose,
a homeward goose,
or a four hundred year old