Walls

December 17, 2011  :: 0 comments

she climbs
skips on
jumps down
runs back
to start the adventure all over again.

On the day they laid to rest
my mother
along side my Papa
she hop scotched
on nameplates of service men, women
whose best dances of life
reverberated on battlefields
from the Civil to the Middle Eastern.

The three year old never noticed
the dates of birth, departure
but enjoyed the words, the community
who paid tribute on 11-11-11
to her Nana
her playpal
who surely gazed upon her
from a distance
and remembered
what it was like
to run on the grass, pick flowers for the fun of it
and return to the loving arms
of her parents…

Control

featured in the poetry forum December 17, 2011  :: 0 comments

was my problem
– lack of it
and need for it –
according to my Pop
psychologist who paid the bills
with child-like scribblings on checks from crazies
worse than ME
but submissive enough
to believe her daily diatribes.

“So, you think you’re cured?”

“No, but I believe you’re insane.”

The White Jacketed One,
glasses steamed-up with rage,
pounded my chest
before punching me
in the crotch. After my ass-kicking
she waved, “Goodbye,”
through the tiny door window.

I would have given her my best
one-finger salute
but with my arms tied
criss-crossed in front of me
all I could do
was stick out my tongue
and drool…

editors note:

Lost yours, restrained by theirs? Be Houdini! And, wipe your chin. – mh

Dignity

October 14, 2011  :: 0 comments

is what he’s all about.

Struttin’ his stuff,
twirlin’ his gentleman’s cane
tippin’ his top hat
to all the neighbors, seniors
and children jumping rope in the blazin’ heat.

Doesn’t matter to him
– they’d roast his nuts
honey-glazed, dry-roasted
but he’d still rescue
cats in
overgrown trees
dogs in
burning buildings.

Hell, they’d even name
a snack
after our hero
worshiped by movie goers everywhere
in his honor.

Yet, on one dusky evening,
a new crew invaded the hood,
eyed the one of distinction
knocked off his lid with a baseball bat
kicked his walking stick to the curb
and slapped his eye-piece to the sewer grid.

Before their belly laughs died
the over-sized, crazy eight shaped victim
jumped in the air, kicked two gang bangers
in the throat, before landing on another’s feet
crushing toes, breaking ankles.

Limping back to the expensive ride,
the leader pulled out a .32 snub-nose,
shooting the bulbous one in the ribs,
propelling him to the stoop.

Draggin’ his right leg, the leader of the pack
clicked the gun. “Adios, freak!”
but fell to the steps with a groin kick
Jackie Chan would be proud of.

Top hat, monocle, and black stick retrieved,
the urban myth walked towards the sunset
before saying, “You don’t mess around
with Mr. Peanut, Slim.”

The Man With the Jack-in-the-Box Bag

featured in the poetry forum October 14, 2011  :: 0 comments

slid it over the table top, greasy trail and all,
to the edge, next to my over-sized envelop
with his boss’ name on it. He reached – I covered the manilla 8×10
before saying, “It’s all here? Exactly
what I asked for?”
Cowboy hat tipped down, the words,
“Aren’t they always? Don’t you ever trust me?”
This time, the drop off location was more lively
than usual amidst the biker gang
bangers throwing packets,
open HOT secret sauce hand grenades
at the fry cooks beyond the counter.
Applause from the patrons
jeered the especially bad tasting Tacos.
“But this is the last one, amiga – no more left
in the desert or the safe,” he added before slipping his hand
to my inner thigh, rubbing me down as if we were on a date
at a drive in. Learned in the YWCA Defense Class, I bent his index
finger backwards
until he cried, “Uncle!” and I slipped my package
across the chipped table surface
into his lap.
“Never call me again, Bitch, or I’ll set the Doberman’s after you,”
he muttered, rubbing his middle digit
before using it on me
as he stumbled out of the joint.
Turned away, staring out the picture window
towards the parking lot where my old man told stories
of the road as if he were Kerouac himself,
I uncrumpled the easy-to-carry paper carry all
scooped the gel from the unmarked jar
that radiated like the Sun on a 100 degree day
in the Barrio, rubbed it across my sunburned face,
and closed my eyes…

editors note:

Much ado about sun block. There must be an easier way for a girl to protect herself. – mh

There’s More to Wet

August 20, 2011  :: 0 comments

than your tears
show me.

Reservoirs filled to capacity,
levees breaking
no one can control.
Nature overpowers
human emotions
but both find harbor
safe
as thunderstorms throttle shorelines
powerboats, gondolas pulled to safety
on village streets in sea
towns where life depends on
trade of crabs, lobsters and abalone.

Tilt your glass to mine
savor the red
leave the hurt for another night
press your upper to my lower
lip, drink the drops
from my eyes
as we say goodbye.

Hard Times

featured in the poetry forum August 20, 2011  :: 0 comments

has so many meanings
transfixed on difficulties, times of
economies in dumpsters,
ex-CEO’s dumpster diving
finding remnants, crumbs of existence
once given to them on silver, platinum
card, platters filled with heads
of enemies vanquished.

For the working class,
heartache spreads to field workers
picking, squatting, bending over
taking it in
the behind
from bosses Cool Hand Luke
would smile that charming grin
before fleeing to parts unknown
only to return to entertain his mates
with grandiose stories,
eggs, dozens and dozens of eggs,
before taking his final reward
right between the eyes.

If Gabriel ever asks me
to play my trumpet
I’ll tell him I don’t blow it
anymore for I blew it
on Earth when
I left her in an alley
behind the all night cafe
in a nice, tidy lettuce box
filled with cooling green leafs,
hot sun rising across the valley.

On my deathbed, as I float away,
my heart will be with her
– if she lives
in a simple adobe,
fancy mansion tall,
or workin’ through the hard times
on the streets, short skirts, knee highs
in fear of abandonment
from lovers,
haters
and God.

Places

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2011  :: 0 comments

I am hiding
can you see me
walking to the dances
where singers rejoice
lovers unite
preachers pointing fingers
to the heavens and hells
rings of glory, rings of fire
predicting the end
to everyone
but them?

I see you hidden
between the cold sheets covered
with her perfume, cheap, like the woman
who wears you around her waist,
bumping in rhythm
on the market streets
sellers of all that glitters
for lovers and losers.

I tried to write a song
but my fingers bled
black and blue thinking of you
until I asked him to write it for me
as I caressed his shoulders strong
torso muscled, eyes focused
on the prize hidden in between
the Crack Jacks remains
of sticky, stubby caramel corns and rancid peanuts.

Eyes closed, I twirled my index
finger until it hit the village on the border state
Thomas Brothers promised
with mountains taller and valleys lower
than you.

With four to the floor,
I’m motoring around the bends
up the winding roads,
a new place
to hide
but only from myself
and never, ever
from you.

Inside Us All

featured in the poetry forum May 30, 2011  :: 0 comments

resides the Devil
the leader of the dead condemned
who tells us to hear his voice
obey his commands
to do the taboo
the unthinkable
the irresponsible
only once, then twice, even thrice
until the distinction between
right and wrong
dark and light
remains indistinguishable
to those who should know
the difference.

Hear that sound?

It’s opportunity knocking…

Hurry-up and Pee

featured in the poetry forum April 2, 2011  :: 0 comments

is something I’ve thought of a million times
well, maybe only a half million
in so many different situations.

“Take this into the bathroom, sir,
and fill it to the thin blue line” said the uncaring technician
while I pray the poppy seed muffin from last night’s dessert
doesn’t disqualify me from another job
– even though it’s only an online teaching gig.

“The cops are comin ‘- finish already!”
whispers my fifteen year old drinking buddy
as we piss in the park woods, like all bears would,
after downing a half case of beer.

“And there it goes – another towering homerun for Gonzales!”
shouts the broadcaster through the radio speaker mounted above my head
as I struggle to wiggle any drops out
in a standing room only stadium men’s room.

“I can’t stay in this position forever, darlin'”,
purrs the kitty in the cozy bed
as I rush to little boy’s room
to alleviate fluid build-up
of the uncomfortable kind
for the more kindly type.

And right now
as I frenetically type away
I need to finish this
before I . . . oh shit
never mind.

Behind Art

February 14, 2011  :: 0 comments

Is the creative spark
to push individuality
non-conformity into unity
in merely a few words, images
that explain everything
but says nothing
beyond the ordinary
experiences of men, women
who fight to survive
against wars, economic collapses
bosses, big and small,
and lovers scorned
who see anger at every turn
and strive to stifle, squash
any and every attempt
at one person’s attempt to explain
pain, love, brutality, compassion
in the corner of one’s mind.

So the next time you see
a homeless, hobo, bum
climb out of a dumpster
ten yards away from a work of art
by a harborside dock
in my hometown
– like the ten foot tall black hand
holding a multicolored fish called Wanda
in its vice-like grip –
open your wallet, pull out a Jackson
for his/her lunatic rantings of ownership
of art such as this
just may be true . . .
. . . and the artist
may be me.