Huevos Machacado

With the best tortillas in the city,
I like to wrap up a spoonful of 
beans and rice, salsa
and the salty beef egged mixture 
for a bite of all of the flavors
rolled together into one.

I guess that’s how I liked you too:
wrapped in my blankets
with a little of this and a little
of that, something for me 
to sink my teeth into and
feast on all afternoon.

I stopped by the restaurante
today looking for a little
nourishment. Don’t get me 
wrong, I loved the taste of 
pepper and egg and meat
tucked tight but

I’d rather have a couple
of hours wrestling with 
you, falling to the floor
in tumbles of spice and 
tequila like back in the 
good ole days.

Amigo, I’m hungry.

Death Mask

The lines on your brow
were not there last I looked;
nor was the skin as sallow.

I know that pounds are falling
off with each puff of cigarette
and spoonful of cottage cheese.

You lose it to lose the parts of
yourself that she touched,
that she gained in what soured.

But it has settled into a 
stubbornness; pride in a flat
belly, a brother’s envy.

For Lincoln, the Civil War
precipitated the process
of death-like countenance.

In his first masked sitting, Abe
showed a strong jaw-
muscled firmness. Aliveness.

Four damning years of conflict
cast a living face in bronze,
his world became statuary.

When I touched your throat
where your shirt shows loss, 
I felt your heart beat,

the skin was warm and the 
mark my finger made,
sprang back. Supple.

Your smile to me was
not of sadness. It resonated
through me electrically

defiberalizing my heart. 
Resting peace is not ready for
your brow- for me to bear witness.

a tickle

pulled my tail.
conversation scratched my ears.
am purring.
will roll over for a tickle.

Note: I just got off of the phone with a guy who cleans rugs. He asked about pets ... and I was reminded of my cat who gingerly walked around the rug from window to the outer boroughs of the living space. I don't know why he always walked around it. He was always deliberate in his movement. And he certainly wasn't shy about getting his paws and fluff on every other surface in the place. Sadly, he died. I can't seem to get around to getting another cat. No cat could replace the best one. And so I had to say to the rug guy: no, I don't have a cat ... anymore. I remembered that I wrote this little ditty when I hung up. Mister so loved to have his tummy tickled. I had wished that who I wrote this for would be as easy. Maybe I should've told the rug guy that there's no guy here either to muss up the rug. Just me.

amelia earhart's pancake landing

ocean sky stall;
cartoon belly crash
300 miles off course.

scuttling coconut crabs carve 
flesh and carry bits of bone
away from detection.

pocket knife shards
and cosmetic jar-
catastrophic castaways.

Note: Someone explained to me what an Amelia Earhart's pancake landing meant. He had written a poem, not about Amelia Earhart, with the landing as an image in it. Interested, I googled Amelia Earhart. Though a search and rescue was ordered when she first disappeared, it was eventually called off, and evidence of what might have been her remains were left to what searchers are now speculating were giant coconut crabs that tore at their flesh, Amelia and her navigator's, and scuttled  any other remains away. Back at the site, researchers did recover the 'pocket knife shards,' and what looked to be a compact. Interesting that this woman, ahead of her time and in the pursuit of a 'round the world dream, would carry powder for her nose. I imagine that was as much a part of her 'uniform' as anything else in that day and time. Did she apply it before the crabs devoured her flesh and carried her bones off, I wonder.


circa 1969
Note: I made this card for my dad when I was in second grade. I believe that it is the first poem that I ever wrote. I had learned how to make the card in school, and I was eager to try the technique at home. I made a mixture of glue and water. I laid leaves and sprinkled glitter on the wax paper, placed tissue over the top of the that, and then saturated the tissue with the glue mixture. I wonder why I had decided to make the card for my dad? Was it purposed? I don't know. But the card has held up remarkably well, and is one that I treasure.


You circle around me like girls in the schoolyard,
with taunts of ‘I don’t want you, I don’t want you;’
but I know that my mother loves me, and as much
as your words hurt me, my heart still beats whole.

Your mother did not give you forever. You count the chips in
cookies as the demonstration of the love that she could
find in one of twelve. You watched as the boy across the street
was sent off with a kiss- that stored away in to you.

You charge, you don’t need to be taken care of as if embattled,
on the defensive, unable to look love in the eye and take it;
know that when needed, wagons will circle, weapons drawn,
no part of the perimeter possibly penetrated. I can take it,

for you who led me on to a love that unbalanced me,
one that exploded across my expression, my smile,
my everything that anyone could figure out to see;
and I could not block anyone from seeing you in me.

I know now after you’ve healed from disappointment
and after I have wiped your brow of the residue,
you look to the other girls, the ones from your past
that waft like whispers reminding you of a former strength.

I don’t stand a chance against something that isn’t real time.
You’ll manufacture present with rosied leftovers.
I don’t have that need, I don’t have that desire, I don’t,
for now is what I long for: moments, minutes, hours.

And I will dream vividly as the present gives us that,
not haunts of the past, or fear of what’s around the corner.
Oh, I do have ghosts, and I let them talk to me when they appear,
but they cannot claim me as my spirit moves swiftly forward.

And so in this movement, I will live. I will do. I will try
to contain, restrain, wrassle all of the ideas of how I can still
keep watch. Knowing how to love wholly. How to lift up and
find what is best about the man who does not know how.

Botswana Grace

To hear poem, press play.

The sea spits me out to rouge’d hills,
Azure, cloudless sky covers me,
Ancient crocodile’s jaw holds me gently,
Bakwana lullaby me to sleep.

A girl, eyes round in wonder,
holds a stick and wheel
tied together with bush wire
and a paper parcel’s string.
It comes to rocks in clay with a mind of its own, 
moves West,
only to be blocked again 
until the marbled sentiment gives way
to bring it back home.

The winter solstice draws longingly,
embracing the day with warmth,
slow eyed donkeys graze across its shadow,
careful of nettles and makgoe.

The women flash through sorghum fields
sighting horned sustenance.
In clapped rhythm,
seeded ankle percussion,
the mighty rush in trophied skins
to stalk a tribal kill.
The beast fights – flails – flounders,
the pierce of the trajectory
too quick to save life.
Cocked chests are in a primitive paternal pride
while women tongue holla,
to embrace the victory.

The roosters wake the dawning day,
Wearied souls of our’s revived,
The land of clay and endless time.
Give us all a peace of mind.

the worm

my finger snakes across the table
demonstrating the path
that a dissecting tool would make
to split the skin of the worm.

its smooth, taut shape
I will slice and pin back,
careful not to cut too deeply-
severing ribless vulnerability.

the lowly invertebrate-
fish bait - earth composter,
the all’s clear after rains -
neither sex – both sexed

opened for discovery,
the guts revealing aortic arches-
five loops carrying the blood
of its five beating hearts.

five hearts, four more
than human, to torment
and devour the one lonely one
you so easily insinuated
your way in to.

my finger remembers
the smooth, sinuous skin 
that covers the cheek
I’ve kissed. how did you
work your way in and not fertilize?

Hasidic Love Lesson

sparkling aortic shards
litter the path
behind me-
woven into
the sinewy beat
of what is now
my whole heart.

Note: I read last year, in Hasidim, it is a broken heart that is whole. If that is the case, then mine has been made whole many times over. I will live eternally if it is only a whole heart that sustains me.

Sunday Roast on Saturday

the week saw an ordinary
pulse of work,
not standing still,
but in forward motion-
so, it was true.

but somewhere in it,
nerves were tested,
equilibrium shorted,
a sense that all
was not right, settled.

too long the wait
for the week end
serenic tradition,
I peppered and
salted a roast on Saturday.

the oven-warm room
and spit and sear of fat
entrance the appetite;
blood moves hungrily 
from brain to belly.

there, work dissolves-
gathered, filling the gullet
in conversation
and calorie, feeling
steadier already.

before the party

Clarissa turns
to think,
I’ve forgotten something
on this autumn day.
yellow roses
fill vases and
savories roast,
but something is missing.
like Septimus,
she hopes that he makes
a bold move
to mark, not death,
and the mystery
of what is not her's.

Note: having a few friends over for dinner, and will roast. I wrote this last year before a party of some note, at least for me. He did not make a bold move, hasn't ever. You will see this in my words ... and some will have a full belly ... often.

virgin mother whore

not untimely ripped
from my mother’s womb-
I arrive unblemished,
cherubic, innocent.
at birth, they are summoned-
virgin mother whore.
a dominant voice curses
its other with expectations-
marginalization, underestimation-
not a witch’s preordained prophesy:
a sexed fate.


on initiation to the sacraments,
holy is splashed on the soft spot
to re-born the infant from
sin-state to God-freedom.
she can be touched by Him,
but man’s Church denies her call
to orchestrate the ritual.
outside, the sun pulls pigment
to the surface.
marking it.
violating it in freckly bursts of failure.
she is not cleansed.


marked, a sham, shamed,
she carries on,
calls himself before all.
not the One who made
man in his image,
but the one who wants supper at 5
and grumbles at interference or care.
obedience in the asylum,
mother to the lunatic.
he is given license,
born of woman, grown- he commands.


the Son chooses this company.
exploited, desired, compromised.
he cleanses her demons,
knowing the etymological fork
toward endearment.
lighting caresses to His wounds,
in relief,
the last pulse beating at the Cross,
love for God, found in herself.
journey’s end-the sanskrit:
Kama Sutra.

virgin mother whore

the Lady walked the halls,
hands stained –
precursor to what befalls all women,
the assignation of virgin mother whore.
the notion that
one who is powerless
in law, in God, in man,
rises from the shambles,
to burn in the fire.