• A Vision This Day

    A vision had I this day in a flash
    Of my one true love held close
    Sharing for shelter a woolen blanket
    Atop a snowy hill at sunrise... more »

  • All I Could Get

    Roaming one Thursday with reluctance
    Amid the smog and noise
    Amid haste immaturity irresponsibility
    Amid the rude sound of telephones... more »

  • Allied Forces

    Anyway the instructor seemed sound. That was good because sometimes they’re not and they think they’re all salty and are just God’s gift to the gun-toting community and you just haven’t been around long enough to have seen the incredible things they have seen and they are so much more than you will ever be. The funniest is when they are veterans and have had a combat tour and seem proud about that enemy marksmanship badge. My friend has a Purple Heart but will never admit it and neither would I if in fact I had one, which I certainly do NOT.
    But this guy was modest and later we got off the subject and the military topic came up. He asked the class had any of us ever jumped out of an airplane before and my old friend just looked at me and pointed with his eyes to his breast pocket where the whiskey was and smiled and I remembered that cherry blast we had together when we got to Vicenza.
    It was back when we were friends and peers and we said good-bye to each other just in case we should not make it to the ground alive and they made us drink a certain amount of beer beforehand for traditional reasons. I remembered how on that night I was so scared that I couldn’t get out far enough and so I bounced along the side of the aircraft a few times as I fell and how later at the bar all we could stand to drink was water and he told me the same thing happened to him. He winked at me and we didn’t raise our hands. Then someone made the old remark that they always make.
    “What kind of a man is stupid enough to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? ”... more »

  • Almost A Poem

    Her name was Beautiful and if it was not then I care not nor
    render apology because I called her that constantly for it
    was true. And I before you standing here this blue morning
    while the moon pales away lean forward to touch your cheek... more »

  • As I Lay With My Head On Your Breast Camarada

    As I lay with my head on your breast camarada,
    As I breathe you inhaling your exhales,
    As I feel your heartbeat,
    Slow,... more »

  • Ashcan Rantings

    Scandal, craziness, lack of patience, most of all
    violation of trust led me to cold water bumper pull
    trailer minus bath. Leaky and swaying during
    storms when dust arroyo changed to raging river... more »

  • At Captain Zack's In Hawaii

    She was a not large Japanese woman of an age that you should check her ID before serving her an alcoholic beverage. She wore a melony colored bikini top and God only knows what underneath the skirty, beachy thing she had wrapped around her round little Asian bottom. Her boyfriend sat next to her on her right and I was on her left and when he wasn’t watching she would turn slightly and bump into my right leg with a foot or a knee or the back of a hand. I never knew Japanese women were so flirty or fresh or came with such light colored hair but then that was probably like all the blonde Mexican women you see in the border area trying to be whiter, I suppose. Don’t they know how attractive they are in their natural dark state? If one asked I would tell her but so far none have.
    I could see her boyfriend was a little dizzy from drinking and she told me she had never been to the mainland and asked me was it true what they said about how the ocean is so cold there that you need a suit. I thought about a few days prior when me and the troops were on one of our last days together and even after a week they never tired and kept going like some kind of Special Forces Kids Branch, if there ever was such a thing. We were at Imperial beach and Pretty Lady Tasha read prettily, however silently, to herself and considerably overdressed, on the lawn chair next to me in the sand that I sat on. Maria and the landlady’s kid were in the water on the boards for the first time with the waves pushing them into shore like they had been body boarding for years and Tasha next to me but higher up, me on my butt Indian style on the sand hiding my toes, and we smiled at each other when we saw Maria and Alberto ride the first wave in, giving us a thumbs up.
    Malachy, youngest troop of the day, in front of me trying his damnedest to create a likeness in the sand of the pier stretching into the Pacific and needing water but not having a bucket to tote it with and he was being so modest about the whole thing not wanting to cause any trouble. He still doesn’t realize that he can have almost anything he asks me for. So I emptied the cooler and fetched some water and my toes were icy cold when I walked out into the surf. He got to make a more accurate representation of the setting and the feeling on his face when I said I liked it was heartwarming. Even though we joke about how he might be part shark, and even with my freezing toes and Maria and Alberto’s goosebumps and shivering lips, and even with Tasha in the jacket and my nipples hard and hair standing up, no one but Mal and I would admit the water was cold. I wished I had bought wetsuits.
    Back at the bar, I told the touchy flirty Japanese woman without touching her back, “It’s kind of cold I guess, compared to here.”... more »

  • Just Before A Rain In Arizona

    in Arizona,
    sitting in weather
    before a rain,... more »

  • Kiss Me Hard

    When I’m with you baby I feel totally mad and out of control,
    I feel deep in Indian territory with a full head of hair,
    The insanity of love and lust grabs me and jerks me and throws me around,
    At once I surrender to you and am completely vulnerable,... more »

  • Fire In The Hole

    Well this little boy came up to use the bathroom and had to wait because someone was already in it. The women started flirting with him because oh he was just so cute and they found out that he used to be five and now he is six. He was going to San Diego where he used to live but now he didn’t. He was going to see his Dad. The woman I could partially see was eating a sort of trail mix that had chocolate in it and she gave him some. I was hungry and wanted some but no one offered me any.
    Then the boy went on talking and I got that feeling I sometimes get. It’s like going down a roller coaster hill when your insides try to stay where they are and to you they feel like they’re really trying to go up. Well this feeling was close to that except my insides were trying to go down. My body felt weightless on the outside and heavy on the inside and I tried to distract myself by wondering was that where the expression “with a heavy heart” came from.
    I’ve learned to deal with it though and that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be pretty tough sometimes. You know my son turned six last month and before that he was five. And he keeps telling me every time I see him.
    Then the headache came back. I was doing so good in the campaign and then the perimeter just began to fall. I had been dealing with that headache for at least a week. My reason called it a police action but I knew what it was. It was a war. I had won every single battle but some of them took a while to win and the allied forces suffered a few high ranking casualties. We had almost equal body counts though. I didn’t know how I forgot the pinche painkillers in the car but I did and so I asked the girl if she had anything for a headache. She said, “sure, ” and smiled and gave me two aspirin and a glass of water but she didn’t tell me to call her in the morning because she wasn’t a doctor she was a flight attendant.... more »

  • One Rainy Day

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  • Sergeant Major Shotgun

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  • The Forest Floor

    ... more »

  • The Love Of Your Life

    The love of your life lives not too far from here. Really, she does. It’s just out the driveway, to the right a few minutes, then a left, and another left. You see the bar on the left, and if you’re like me you remember and smile for a second. Then you make two rights and pull over. You can see her truck there below. It’s ruggedly pretty. But you can’t get too close. So you park above and walk on down the grassy slope and press the doorbell, ding. She answers wearing a white robe. You’re nervous. She does that to you but won’t believe it when you tell her. She didn’t always do that to you. But that’s how it goes. It's that way now that you do not have her. I guess you never really know what you have until you no longer have it. That’s what they always say anyways. And I hate it but they’re always right.

    Then “Time, time, time… See what’s become of me…” That’s from an old rock song.... more »

  • He Wandered Through Sunlight And Laughter

    The headline read HE WANDERED THROUGH SUNLIGHT AND LAUGHTER. And it was all about me. And bathing in this my sun and laughing in this my laughter realizing solitude and nature and accepting it kicking up musical leaves I walked north and came upon the trail that leads to Canada. And at that moment a summer breeze so softly blew so I stopped to take it in. And glancing a moment for novelty back at Mexico listening in that clearing I heard a small something. It was just me out there carrying rations for one and notebook and camera but I heard something then I’m sure of it. Like a poem. Little bitty poem upon the wind. And it almost just came, almost. It was just almost right there. Something about a spot against a wall where my old friend my lover I held dear did first hold me tender. And unfastened buttons and plunged her dark face and pressed sweet lips to my bare chest and my neck on this side and on this side and on these two very lips. And said the wind to me: Do you see? Do you understand? Do you see where she kissed me? She kissed me here. And I kissed her back and it was good.

    And as I reached for the notebook easy as that soft wind whispered to me that poem and easy as I stood on the trail listening and recalled those moments the wind ceased falling silent and that tiny little bitty poem went away. So with the notebook in one hand and the pen in the other I kept on marching toward the unknown place on some high hill where I hoped to make fire and sit and eat and rest and be. But as I walked I was saying where did it go where did it go what happened to it. And thinking and breaking it all down I remembered again how I discovered long ago that the place where poems go when they die must be the same place they were before they were born. It has to be. That’s where they go. So wandering through this sunlight I no longer laughed. But I say to you dear reader whoever you are that you will be when you die exactly where you were before you were born. As is my dear old friend my lover. As is the soft poem whispered to me by that summer wind while I kicked up leaves. As are these words. As am I and as are all other living things.... more »

  • I'M Gonna Kiss Her

    Outside a hotel in San Francisco
    I am shivering
    Cheap cloth jacket, black
    Grey cotton hoodie... more »

  • In The Company Of Baboons

    I was raised in a wet forest by a small troop of baboons who picked parasites out of my nappy hominid hair and screamed and gave me fruit to eat which often gave me diarrhea. “Do not forget that we are not apes, ” they said. “We are not like the black chimps or gorillas. Nor are we the same as the orangutans. Certainly not. Remember we are baboons.” Besides this there was little instruction. Often I remember how I used to fling shit and shout obscenities at the other primates because they were inferior, or so I thought, and this was what I was supposed to do, and in this way I would be safe. Much of the rest escapes me, I’m afraid. But at some point I began to question. And the same answers and accepted instruction made less and less sense. So finally I dropped down from those swaying branches. I wrote the beginning of a song and sprinted out the green brown woodland, singing.

    So help me I will never go back.... more »