Monthly Archives: May 2013

My Blue Body

My father brought my brother a beer
They left my blue body on the moldy mattress
I tried to get up but I couldn’t
They made up funny jokes about me being lazy
They walked away smiling


Bomb Threat: Los Angeles: 2013


No one is moving away from the free food table any time soon
There are few seats and the cement ledges aren’t comfortable
I flirt with a woman who is concerned about her curly hair
I tell her she looks beautiful – she smiles – she doesn’t hear that enough

We decide to cross Jefferson Street and go into the temple to get a good seat
We decide to cross Jefferson Street and go into the temple to get out of the sun

We are stopped by a chubby young cop who explains there has been a bomb threat
He postures like John Wayne and tries to wrest the most out of his badge and uniform
No one is buying- but everyone is listening – he relishes the audience – he is so LA

You gotta go around he says You gotta enter on Pico – this is where the event is.
(By event he means this is where the caller said the bomb was hidden)

Brave and crazy – the mass of humanity moves toward Pico – impervious to the threat
We are AMERICANS and these are our kids and you won’t ruin their special day

Did no one learn anything from Boston?
Did we forget in one short month what was at stake?

We move as one under the California sun – the police woman politely lifting the caution tape
We have to get into the temple before all of the good seats are taken

I wear a flimsy black bag on my shoulder – no one checks it
I hold my coveted ticket out for scrutiny – no one checks it

They simply herd us into the storied theater with the magnificent chandelier
We settle in and prepare for the speeches and the processions

Somewhere – someone is waiting for CNN coverage – hoping for attention
Somewhere – someone is wringing his hands – staring at the phone on the kitchen table

We walk and we sit politely together because we are AMERICANS and these are our kids

Los Angeles: May, 2013

It is a slapdash city thrown together with an eye for cacophony
Somehow it still lures lost souls and lonely hearts year after year
They come from farm towns and sepia hollows dreaming of glitter and magic
Los Angles is like a cheap whore trying to make the best of herself
Los Angles is like a cheap whore putting her best face forward
Deep down that golden heart is tarnished and wearing thin

Ancient palm trees mingle with thumbprints of commerce and fast food
So many signs in so many languages and so many colors
They are urban lilies – the kind only Georgia O’Keeffe could have imagined

The history is as thin as the celluloid it is printed on – still the people come
Still they are seduced by the slapdash whore sleeping fitfully on the beach

The Hero

I am like the angel-savior guy – he said to me
He was standing in line at the liquor store
He hoisted his twelve-pack of babysitting fluid
off of the counter and under his arm
It’s like I can take his kid to the park and buy him a hamburger
That’s going to have impact his life – on both their lives

The bottles were sweating inside the cardboard case
But I gotta use his phone – man – that’s how I work
I work with a lot of paper and stuff and the telephone
But I want to be a hero to this guy and his kid
If his kid recognizes me when I get there tonight
I’ll be the hero for the whole family

You Want Strength

You want strength
I’ll give you strength
I’ll wrestle my demons
And I’ll nurture my angels

You want strength
I’ll give you strength
I’ll wage this war alone
And I’ll conquer what faces me

You want strength
I’ll give you strength
I’ll fight for myself
And I won’t stand in your way

Mr. Phillies

Stubby finger caresses
the shot glass
vintage Phillies cap
contains the matted mane
more spaces less teeth
shriveled gums
sweat drips down his face
sweat drips down the bottle
soaking the cardboard coaster
cigarette burns stain
between the knuckles
My old lady never did love me

After Phil’s Party

There is something deceiving about how the stark snow-whipped highway
Pulls me away from the safety of your arms – the warm of your embrace
There is a lie in her eyes – in the sparkling streetlights that guide me home
They promise me safe passage but what they deliver is distance between us

The heater in my car dries my lips making them sting and crack
Music pours out of the stereo not so much mollifying as stupefying me
Someone else found the words – the keys to unlock what I need to say to you
If I tried to speak now – you would laugh – and I wouldn’t blame you

My soul feels like that bending spread of Interstate 94 heading into the city
It is lonely tonight and cold and no one seems to notice it – not tonight
You could have taken a minute or an hour or whatever time you wanted
The road would have waited for you like she always does – and always will

19 December 2004