Friday, August 29, 2008


The following poem is my first attempt at an idea that I think has great promise. The poem is a quotilla where the seed phrase is also an original poem of mine. It's a haiku like micropoem that reads "Your eyes are almonds whose shells my sharpest glances cannot seem to crack." What I'm going to try to do here is to leave all the drafts posted, so there will be a paper trail of the revisions. The initial version is below.


Your eyebrows arch. But those
eyes brown as groundnut shells
are what stun, like almost
almonds set in dark chocolate.
Whose polar stare have you stolen?
Shells of Brazil nuts aren't tough as
my questions seem for you. The
sharpest barb I could shoot
glances off. Its point
cannot pierce your porcelain mask, you
seem so sullen, I struggle
to discover what could
crack the code of your mood.


I'm really feeling this new form, the B-Bop Solo. Here is my second effort. Hopefully I'll have another one started soon. The first two were failed Quotillas, but soon I'll start culling lines just for this form.


(B-Bop Solo #2)

We could interlock,
in need of only ourselves.
A magic morning
once birdsung,
now caressed by whispers.
We could breathe in sync
if in need of a rhythm.
The anagram of silence
spells license.
What wild letters
would our embrace be?
B is the first letter
of beginning,
an initial sound almost
sacred as any word
we might whisper.

We might hum
like bees in need
of a honey song.
A magic buzzing
softer now as we nestle.
We could search
each others mouths,
in need of the tongue
that spells the final prayer.
What syllables
would be sanctified,
what sound sacred,
what word
as worship?

We could gasp
"Oh, God"
in need of air
in magic mouths.
Now kissing,
we could coil,
in need of more heat.
Our sweat beads,
spells exertion.
What place touched
would tingle most,
be the trigger of
that first moan,
more sacred
than any word
we might imagine?

Here is a Spanish version, some parts of the poem (like the anagram) don't translate well since they are based on intrinsic elements of the English language. Many thanks to Leo Lobos of Chile for this fine translation.

Al amanecer
(B-Bop Solo # 2)

Podríamos entrelazarnos,
sólo necesitamos
de nosotros mismos.
Una magia al amanecer,
cantada por los pájaros,
acariciada por susurros.
Podemos respirar
en la sincronización
en la necesidad
de un ritmo.
El anagrama del silencio
nos deletrea
¿De qué cartas salvajes
está hecho nuestro abrazo?
una explosiva carta,
el sonido inicial casi
sagrado de cualquier palabra
acariciada por susurros.

Podríamos zumbar como abejas
en la necesidad
de una canción de miel.
un sonido de caricia,
ahora situado más cerca.
Podríamos buscar
otras bocas,
que necesitan de la lengua
para la oración final.
¿Qué sílabas serán santificadas?
¿Qué sonido sagrado pronunciarán?
¿Qué palabra será adorada como un culto?

Se podría susurrar
"¡OH, Dios"
en necesidad de aire
en gritos de mágico asombro.
Besarnos ahora,
entrelazarnos podríamos,
en necesidad de más calor.
Nuestro sudor se une,
en enérgicos hechizos.
¿Qué lugar
ese primer gemido,
más sagrado
que cualquier palabra?

Translated by Leo Lobos

Leo Lobos (Santiago of Chile, 1966) poet, essayist, translator and Chilean visual artist. Unesco-Aschberg Laureate for literature 2002. He has done residences in major creative artistic cultural centers in France and Brazil.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A poem about a woman I really need to stop writing poems about.


I was in a nightclub
chatting with the drummer
while the band took a break,
when someone pushed
a jukebox button.
A sax riff swirled,
exquisite and haunting
as fog in an open field.
The piano rumbled ominous
as mallets bounced
like acorns off a tightened tom
into a bassline deep
and dark as an open well.
When the tune ended,
I walked over
to learn its name.
"Alabama" by John Coltrane
read the label.
I stood stunned
in a corner of the club,
knowing this song
was the most sad
and beautiful thing
I'd ever know.

Last night you paused
in a doorway,
hair furiously spilling
over an exposed shoulder,
lips freshly glossed
and fraught into a frown.
You asked if I had
any last thing to say
before you turned . . .
I thought of our first kiss,
your tongue frantic
as the outstretched hand
of a drowning woman.
Recalled you whispering
"You can take me, however you wish,
but never have me."

I looked silently into those eyes,
sadder than the surface of a dammed river,
beauty frozen like a willow in winter.
I come here now
thinking of "Alabama,"
to speak three words
I thought I’d never say:

I was wrong.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More fun from the felt

Ace on the river,
Damn, did it help him?
The dealer looks bored.

The board pairs-
on the TV above us,
a shiny new boat.

Scary river card-
I stare at his sunglasses,
staring at mine.

After betting,
he looks up at the ceiling-
I'm down.

Dealer daydreams,
everything is so quiet,
Oh, it's on me?

The perky blonde,
who won that massive pot-
has a full rack.

On the button
I raise five limpers-
without looking.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Flushed, but still drawing

Been wondering when the two great loves of my life (Poetry and Poker) would meet. The dam appears to have cracked, here is the first trickle through.

After bluffing-
I watch a cute asian chick
stack my chips.

On the river,
a flash of red-
my heart?

All-in with a flush,
another spade turns-
I dig for more cash.

After betting big-
his chest rises, falls,

Betting AK
on a nine high flop-
lint on the felt.