SEA LION PARTICLES
sitting at the ocean with my friend
under the purple blue sky and the white moon fading
alongside the most famous golden gate,
watching the birds to and fro
and the slightly decomposed creature bathing
in gigantic dollops of cappuccino froth,
my butt against the damp rock,
i imagine that last night’s rain could erode
the whole cliffside, wonder where
all the time goes, wonder where it’ll all go.
DOORS ARE OPENING
doors are opening
but i’m just sitting,
staring out a window
at the bleary reflections
of red and yellow
LAST NIGHT I DREAMED
last night i dreamed
i couldn’t write a poem
but then i woke up,
bathed and dressed
in wet slate shadows,
and went for a walk
in the early golden light.
all the beautiful people
the cool NY people
the melting pot personified
the poets in the bookshop
sipping freshly brewed black coffee
cracking tall cans of Miller
milling about in quiet anticipation
to hear lines lifted from online chats
to hear lines about, dogs, death, and moms
to hear with straining ears
thru choking heat they drift
outside for brief respite
the sky colored city orange in september haze
they drift inside to hear
another young woman
in her large love red blazer high
above the crowd like someone emboldened
by a secret
everyone in love
she bequeathed the stage to the final reader
the sheets of paper in her hands
“will you marry me?”
shock, ecstasy, he
with golden hollywood passion
shocked, ecstatic, a
dozen balloons tangle themselves in the ceiling.
outside it’s cooler
sobbing has ceased
gentle falling rain
cool cool night
everyone in love.
THE TALL BLONDE GIRL
the tall blonde girl
walking down Polk from Turk
in the fitted charcoal jeans
and the fitted chambray shirt,
effortless and lithe.
the two silver wheels spun in the dim light, a mosaic of Christmas colors—red, green, orange, yellow, magenta—flickering, fading, flashing, and blinking through the small, slowly dying tree in the living room. reflections on the ceiling looked alive, needles and branches forming snowflake-like shadows. Santa had yet to arrive, so the base of the tree wasn't overflowing yet and my attention wasn't there either.
sensations flooded me, most immediate of all the mini marshmallows melting in hot chocolate in my hands, warmed by the space purple mug my dad had received for free at some software convention. classic holiday songs filled my ears—Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland—clear and voluptuous voices emanating like a bonfire from the spinning wheels of the reel-to-reel. the machine's face looked sleepy, a dim blue screen muted by the spiraling stringed lights on the tree.
sensational as the chocolate and the music and the lights, but also muted, my dad sat content on the couch next to me. sometimes he hummed to the music, sometimes he tapped his feet or quietly murmured a few lyrics, but mostly he twirled a tiny spoon in his cappuccino cup. he took sips, taking his time.
france won today.
yesterday i lost my favorite hat.
we had technical difficulties.
friday was the 13th.
thursday the car wouldn’t start.
who gives a fuck. bullets
flew, said my phone, two blocks from my cousin’s house where we feasted on vigorón a year ago the day i was feverish or hung over from celebrating with family and friends in the streets, in the clubs, in rum, pride of the country, brown blood. now
Annette was there in the basement with her family and her kids and her babies on the floor wondering when the bullets would stop. but france
won today, and my curls look spectacular.
i brushed the dog.
contemplated the vacuum.
a kaleidoscope of primary colors—
reds, blues, oranges, greens—splashed
across mass produced backpacks, massive
and light as balloons hanging off the shoulders
of a busful of children chattering
and sporadically laughing and whining
about everything all at once.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FOOL
sin city behind, matrimony
all around. i am 30
years old and know
and commitment are essential
to my survival. the only mistakes left to make
could prove lethal: drown
in bottles of expensive vodka
and wake up a week later,
fired. chase a hooker's tail
and wake up with children, grimacing
in aged judgment. punch a police officer
in the face
and wake up behind bars,
wishing i'd been lucid enough to see
the damage done.
yesterday i saw quiet lightning,
today i hear Manhã de Carnaval,
waiting for some god to disperse
spurious summer into fog.
why do they favor me? what have i done
to earn their blessings? i know
cannot always depend
on their good graces. the gods
are fickle, and luck is not love—
one can run its course,
like a pint of beer in the hand of a hard time.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MUSIC
after a long spring evening of love
and psychedelic dreaming
and african-inspired disco rhythms mingling
with valerian root and fine wine, with
pretty women exchanging dresses
like black and white mages, making
how many roses can bloom on a table
how many glasses can break on a table
how many sides a wooden table can have
and how many people have actually seen
the famous films that have inspired us all
to languish in arcades
and to laugh on rooftops
and to recite famous choruses in creaky hallways
and to brr
embracing the windy night, one
can find nothing more
than walking to the bus stop