Tag Archives: rain

The Ugly American

I was the ugly American who told her she was brave to come here
When she could have stayed there – stayed in that faraway land

She said if she was truly brave she would have stayed there with her mother and sisters
There in that faraway land with no ugly Americans to breathe their bourbon in her face

I couldn’t grasp the idea of staying somewhere like that – that which I did not understand
Me the ugly American; she the stunning Polish goddess – a dream walking

She felt like she belonged in my arms as we danced to a nameless old love song
Her smell was as foreign to me as she – but she felt so natural in my heavy arms

Jesus Christ I have never seen anyone who looked that good to me – no one so flawless
She looked like an autumn dream I dared to allow myself to have against my own will
She looked like an angel coming down to illuminate the darkest corners of the night
She looked like the remnants of a piece of Italian art carved carefully in Caracas marble

She started to say something but even she knew her words would hurt me
The ugly American is a sensitive beast – somehow she knew that better than I

I’m sorry was all she was able to whisper in my ear but she didn’t let me go
She seemed to know she already lost me to her sigh – me the ugly American

1/1/2005

On This Cool August Evening

Business is brisk along Cicero Avenue on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like a monochromatic carnival ride
Familiar smells of frying meat and grilled corn fill the cool air
The language up here dances around our heads like spastic butterflies
One simple kind heart reaches out with cool water and warm love
Urban hieroglyphics share a story primeval in sun-baked flesh

Business is brisk out here on Garfield Boulevard on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like they’re rolling back the prices
Tinny – shitty music blares mercilessly but barely sooths the toothless tabbies
This scene plays over and over – night after night with little variation
It is cool tonight so that has to mean something – to someone – somewhere
It is cool tonight so everything is going to end well for those who let it

In Guam

The silence slices through me like a whale-bone knife
Rendering my soul two parts that no longer make any sense
We didn’t choose this – but this is what we are now
I can hear your voice like a hushed whisper across the beach in February
I can feel your touch but it is only a memory – a dream that is long over

The sadness brushes up against me like an old lady trying to get her pills
My body is jostled without humor or warmth against my soul’s will
We didn’t ask for the bridge that doesn’t quite span our love
You can feel my love rising up around you like a warm wet flame
You can hear me sing love songs of other places and other times

Te Quiero

Te quiero I scream in the middle of the night
Then I kick out the window to let in the light
Then I run down the stairs and out to the street
And I scream to the sky as I bleed from my feet

Te quiero mi amor
And speak to me of love once more
Te amo mi amor
And walk with me through love’s door
Te necessito – te adoro
And share with me loves glory
Te quiero – Te quiero – Te quiero mi amor

Te Amo I sing to the rainy summer night
There’s a fire in mi alma burning with the light
My heart’s a shameless flame that burns tonight for you
So I sing te amo and I scream I love you

Te quiero mi amor
And speak to me of love once more
Te amo mi amor
And walk with me through love’s door
Te necessito te adoro
And share with me loves glory
Te quiero – Te quiero – Te quiero mi amor

Te quiero I scream in the middle of the night
Then I burst through the sky to get close to the light
Then I crash to the ground and I kick down the door
Te amo – te adoro – te quiero mi amor

Te quiero mi amor
And speak to me of love once more
Te amo mi amor
And walk with me through love’s door
Te necessito te adoro
And share with me loves glory
Te quiero – Te quiero – Te quiero mi amor

Boat on a Lake

I found a faded picture of you
The creases and cracks obscured my view
It was something about that last mistake
I think you were sitting in a boat on the lake

I tried to reach out to touch your smile
You’d been there in my hand for a more than a while
I just don’t know how I made that mistake
I wish we were back in the boat on the lake

But I have something silly to prove
You have your pride and you’re not going to move
Still I wish you could see what I’m trying to find
Or get that last picture out of my mind

I found a battered Polaroid
It wasn’t that much but still it filled in the void
There’s this emptiness that wraps all around me
There’s one more puzzle that somehow confounds me

I found a faded photo of you
The grays and the white blended into a blue
You said there was something you were wanting to take
I think you were sitting in a boat on the lake

But I have something stupid to say
You and your thoughts won’t get in the way
Still I wish you could see what this all means to me
Will you take a minute and set the words free

I threw away my pictures of you
Probably not what you expect me to do
They were just too much for my heart to take
I dropped the pictures from my boat on the lake

The Great Blue Heron

for Kristina (again)
July 24, 2013

My love is like an in-the-park home run on a perfect evening in July
It is sudden and exciting and rare and everyone pretty much stands there – looking surprised

My love is like a Great Blue Heron in a Japanese garden on a perfect afternoon in July
It is rare and grand and graceful and we watch it fly away – but it always comes back

My love is like a perfect day in July in Chicago with a sweet song on the wind off the lake
It is soulful and rare and I promise if you spend the day there – you will never forget it

The Cracker Jack Guy at the Ball Park on a Tuesday in July

(for Kristina)
There is no one lonelier than the Cracker Jack guy at the ball park on a Tuesday in July
He doesn’t have the heart to call it out the way the beer guy does with evangelistic passion
He can’t deliver the overhand fastball-bag of peanuts like the old black lady with plastic visor
He doesn’t get the kids circling him – pointing at the pink clouds offered by the cotton candy guy
He just has a wilted plastic duffle bag full of waxy cardboard boxes of crunchy goodness
(A prize in every box – they say)

No one seems to remember how important Cracker Jack is to the game of baseball
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack is a mandate not an ambiguous statement
If you’re going to take me out to the ball game –you better buy me some Cracker Jack
I don’t want Dipping Dots or Ropes or Vines – or a helmet full of nachos and cheese

No one notices the tired young man trudging up and down the stairs wishing he it was peanuts
Past the optimistic kids with the oversized mitts and the red nosed ballpark vets in faded jerseys
Past the candy-wielding grammas who know how to save a buck and still get the kids sugared up
Past the stat-fan in the retro jersey and the pencil stub working the program – keeping score

Enough Cracker Jack has been sold to stack end-to-end more than 63 times around the earth
And the sad truth is this
There is no one lonelier than the Cracker Jack guy at the ball park on a Tuesday in July