Monday, December 15, 2014

For the Guilty

I write this for the guilty
For those whose pockets
Are too rocky with dirt
Whose hands are weathered
Whose hearts are calloused 
I wish I could sing to you
Slip into the tender side
Of your nature
Like the Man in Black
I wish there were more songs
For you
I can not pretend to understand
You-- the how & why of you
And sometimes
I hate you
But more & more
I realize
That what makes
Somebody one of you
And how much
You deserve
Cruel, stupid things
And if I were to measure myself
When I measure myself honestly
I am guilty, too

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 1980

My parents' record collection
Already beloved
His face
Seen daily
It seemed.
So when his face appeared
On television--
The smart Beatle
Who loved Yoko
Without apology--
When I saw his face

I knew he was gone.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Laundry List

Drag racing
Underage drinking
Underage sex
Date & Gang
Child molestation
Of money
Of jewelry
Of tapes/CDs
Of Identity.
Drug use
Drug dealing
Drugging food & drinks
One on one
Ten on one
Skater Punks vs Stoners.
Carrying &
Using weapons
In cars
On foot
Torturing animals
Killing animals
Gun ownership
Bad checks
Black market:
Buying & Selling
Smuggled, or
Resisting arrest
Evading authorities
Domestic violence
... I
Witnessed it
Knew about it
Was a victim of it
Or did it.
Were rarely arrested.
Never killed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The World

I am tempted to ignore all I see.
I am tempted to ignore all I hear.
No, do not tell me. No, do not tell me.
Do not show me Pain. Do not show me Fear.
It is not my wish to cover my eyes
To pretend all is well when it's Madness
Or wish the wish true with comforting lies
No such trick has ever fooled my Sadness
But you, finite, yet full & filling still,
Have more than I, infinite, yet brimming,
Can stand. The stem will break. My heart will spill
Into the deep end where I am swimming.
Raining, yet the ocean is blue-- but why?
It's like the water has hope for the sky.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Meanwhile, people

So the final creep
Of Tyranny
Has unlocked 
The prison door
In Egypt
A dozen
Or so
Have been raped
And have been 
Saying so
For awhile
But it takes
A man telling jokes
For people to
A man
Just admitted
He was raped
And people
Noticed right away
If only to roll their eyes
Blame him
Shame him
And likely 
Not believe it
Still shoot
Their ex-girlfriends
And people
Still punch each other
In the face
For TVs & purses
And people
Are saying the things
"America" said
When sheriffs
Also wore sheets
And people use 
The word "Freedom"
When they mean
I will still have to 
Walk the long way
When somebody 
Blocks the path
It will be my fault-
Long pants & three layers-
For being out
And people still
Don't understand
How stupid it is
How dangerous it is
To insist the oppressed
Keep oppressing themselves
Because it is safer to
Just comply
It is unfair but
You'll be safe
Until somebody
Decides to 
Block the path
If my favorite
Sports team was playing
I'd set a car on fire

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lost Omni

Does anybody remember that show Voyagers! ...?
Or Quantum Leap?
Both shows portrayed Time
As finite
A modern rendering
Of the Fates' tapestry
Only sometimes
A thread would
Be out of line
Pulled loose
Or broken
And the voyagers--
Phineas Bogg &
Jeffrey Jones--
Would need to 
Weave it back into place
Or Dr. Sam Beckett
Would repair the tapestry
And leap to the next
They put things back
To the Way They Should Be
And I feel like
That there is supposed to be
A Jeffrey Jones
Or Sam Beckett
Or somebody with
A mysteriously impressive
Pocket watch
(or screwdriver)
Fixing things
Somebody with nimble fingers
And a handlink 
Leaping to those spots
Where our leaders failed
Or died
To those places
Where everybody is heartsick
Battle worn
I am sure
That some of these knots
Are not supposed to be here
Maybe Phineas
Stopped listening to Jeffrey
Because he fell in love
Hard enough 
To let the threads tangle
And break
Maybe Sam really
Did leap home 
Maybe he needed Al
In order to see the 
Maybe we need
Our time travelers
To be heartsick
Never resolving their pasts
Never correcting mistakes
Maybe we need them
Tangled & broken
With threads pulled loose
Maybe the Fates
Do what they can
Gnarled fingers poking through
Taut, twisted yarn
Maybe dreaming
Of time travelers 
Has ruined us.
We are Time travelers already
Going one way
Going forward
Forgetting the picture
Woven behind us
And no Ziggy
(or doctor)
To put us right.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tell Me "Merry Christmas"

Let me say,
As we usher in
The holiday season,
That I am totally OK
With the phrase
"Merry Christmas"
And if you want to
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
As a tiding of goodwill
Then yes, of course
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
I will likely say
The same exact thing
Back to you
But please, if I slip
And say
"Happy Holidays!"
Or if I greet you first
And I am in a
And I say to you,
Dear Christmas adherent,
"Happy Holidays!"
Please do not be angry
Please don't assume I'm
Missing the point
When I was young
"Happy Holidays"
Meant "Happy Thanksgiving
After which, I hope
You have a
Merry Christmas,
Followed by a festive
New Year's!"
Truth be told,
It means more
To me now.
It also means
"I don't know exactly what you celebrate
But I hope it is joyful & lovely"
And yes
It also means
"Happy Hanukkah"
And "Happy Solstice"
And other holy observances
That sometimes coincide
With the Christmas season
It applies to atheists
Because they actually
Love their families
And getting a day off
And I want them to
Have a good time
So yeah
"Happy Holidays"
Is a sort of loaded phrase.
I can not speak for everyone
But I know for myself
And the people in my life--
The ones who like
"Happy Holidays"--
This phrase is not loaded
With animosity or contempt
We do not say it
To spite you
And any request
For schools or businesses
Or public figures
To consider
"Happy Holidays"
Or "Season's Greetings"
Is rooted in our love
For each other.
I still have a hard time
The holiest days
Of some of my friends
Because, growing up,
My school
My calendar
My neighborhood
Didn't care
Well, I care now
There is nothing wrong
With kindness mixed
With brevity
And what's wrong with being
A little generic--
"Hello, stranger.
I am extending kindness
To you, no matter
Who you are or
How you worship."
What is wrong with that?
I believe you
When you say
That "Merry Christmas"
Means that also
I believe you
When you say
That Christ is
The Reason for the Season
You are celebrating the birth
Of the Savior of the World
So I WANT you
To say, "Merry Christmas!"
I want to hear your joy
Thank you for sharing
Your joy with me
You like saying, "Merry Christmas"
Then say it to me!
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you love Jesus
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you grew up saying it
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because "Chriss-Muss"
Is sing-songy and
Fun to say
Merry Christmas!
I trust you.
I trust your goodwill.
This time of year
We are encouraged to
Be kind
So, when I
Or somebody
Shares their joy
And says
"Happy Holidays!"
I hope you trust me.
I hope you trust them.
At the very least
I hope you are kind.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grateful & Pissed

It will be Thanksgiving in a couple of days
And there have been all kinds of "Be grateful" memes
Ticking past my eyes
Oh, sure
I am grateful
I am grateful for hugs & I love you's
And "All the Things"
I get it.
I know.
I am also grateful that
I am white.
Oh, I deal with 
And homophobia
And classicism
And religious bigotry
All those things suck
But whew! What a relief
That I am wearing
A potent dose of privilege 
Thank the fucking gods!
I am grateful
God damn it.
I am grateful.
I am not ashamed.
I don't feel guilty.
I feel pissed off.
Fuck this--
I will not entertain debate on this--
I will not boo hoo about the times
My day sucked a little
Because a brown person 
Was mean to me 
As if that's proof
That "they" don't have it so hard
And just need to behave themselves
And stop making this about race
Because it is about race
It is about race.
Every day.
All the time.
It has never been about just one boy.
One boy is not enough
For us
And oh my gods! I am so lucky--
The times I misbehaved
The times my white friends misbehaved
Fire, fighting, fucking
And got away with it
Or didn't
But lived to tell the tale.
I am grateful
People lived 
To tell the tale
But being thankful
Does not change the fact
That too many people
Are dead
Some of us
Will riot about
Football coaches
And Pumpkins
But uncapping Rage
Because of Injustice
Is for "savages".
One circumstance
That can be 
Parlayed into
"He deserved it"
Does not dismantle
The reality
Of why
I feel gratitude.
I will not delude myself
With hypotheticals
That will never
Be tested in court.
I am grateful
And that pisses me off.
That I am just that much
More likely to live
My husband and child
More likely to live
While some people
Are more likely to die
No matter what
More likely to die
What a relief
That I can be this pissed off
And safe

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Love Letter to the Goblin King (from 2010... or sooner)

Love Letter to the Goblin King

You are everywhere to me
In every myth. In every dream, be it false or true
Along the labyrinthine underground
All pathways lead to you.
I used to cry for mercy
And plead I had no choice
As rose your chariot from the Abyss
And I heard your threatening voice
"Sweet child in the meadow. Come with me just awhile.
Ignore the changing landscape
That arrives with your exile."
Enveloped in the darkest tomb,
Inside the blackest cave,
You implored I need only fear you
And you would be my slave.
Bend to your will at every turn
"I promise. I'll behave."
I did come to you and I did despair
Eventually succumbing to my hunger.
Yet even now I would yield
As I did when I was younger.
Oh, Goblin King, Devil, Darkness, Hades
Worry not. I will not forsake Thee.
But understand, my Tyrant Love,
You have no power over me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Trigger warnings
They're a thing now
Because we are no longer
Discreet with our words
We are no longer keeping 
For Tyrants
We are testifying
We are accusing
We are confessing
Trigger warning
Because the footage
Is disturbing
The death
The details
The details
Are triggering
The details 
Send little shivers
Through the neural pathways
That curve
Like fingers
The details
Bump the trigger
Of an already-cocked
Triggering, see
It is the essence of 
What will fire the gun
What will play with our hearts
Send the bullets 
Through our heads
Maybe if a 
Priest & a Rabbi
Walk into a bar
Or tinkling piano music plays
Or another black boy dies
The details
To laugh
Or cry
Or give up
Some of us give up
And some of us 
Run for our lives
Run and run
And some of us
Are cocked
And ready
To explode
We are on fire
The details
On the ground
Everything you fear
Everything that hurts you
You are triggered
People are dead
We are still sorting out
The details

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gravity Works

I was one wailing cry away from a breakdown today
I was in tears & choking & fretting
And threatening to just leave
Just leave
Fuck work
Fuck you
I'm leaving
And I knew it was unseemly
But the dam was broken
The tears were falling
Is like that
I wanted to
"Take a break"
Leave the room
I couldn't speak for myself
I was too busy
Hiding my face
My throat kept closing
For when the wail
To come
It would have been better
To have that moment
In a discreet corner
Rather than the shop window
Oh, well
I managed to get on with it
So many steps
I can't take alone
So I go nowhere
I was nowhere
Before the swell
Comparing Mork
With Spock
My daughter needs
To see Dead Poet's Society
I was nowhere
When my throat closed up
And the tears rolled
And nobody else said
"Let's go, just for a minute."
I was nowhere
Wearing that cracked face
A wail poised for release
A rambling monologue
Filling my head
When somebody
Asked me if
I liked comedy
Because that is the perfect lead-in
To a comic's death
The thespian's mask
Turned upside down
Funny, yes?
Your fragile heart
Which resides inside a weak, mundane shell
Will love this one
A sensitive, tender genius
Is dead
Suicide maybe
How do you like them apples?
I nearly cussed the guy out
For BSing me on a day
Like today
I don't know how
I made it home
I was falling
The whole way

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Damn you, Brett
Damn your beauty
Even the clothes yield
The hair yields
The unladylike
Airs of your language
And lilt
Drink themselves mad
For you
I am too shattered
By the tumult
The world is sick
We don't need
World Wars
To make it so
But we are
At war
No authority
Has announced it
So we think we are
At peace
We think it is all
Over There
And not here
And not us
But it is
All Here
And all us
You don't know
What your beauty
Does to the world
I still see it
As I blink these tears away
And pour myself another drink

Saturday, July 19, 2014

code ah

I could be
Transcendent, free
Ones & zeros
No eyes, yet See
No soul, yet Me
Self. Still myself?
No water, yet sea
No locking, yet key
Windows? Doors? None.
Think it. Flee.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Into the ether
The Silence
The Void
The continuity
Beneath the
White noise
From here
The horsemen
From here
That's not the ocean
In the shell
That's blood
No Quiet
Only echos
Of the flood

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Have you ever heard that saying
If you meet more than three assholes
In a day, then you are probably
The asshole
I am pretty sure
That I am
An asshole.
The sickest part
Of realizing this
Is that I don't mind
Not really.
I sort of mind
That I don't mind.
But it seems
So rude
To pretend.
I can actually
Bite my tongue
For a long time
My mouth will be
Filled with blood
Before I tell you off
(If you're the reason)
But when I do
Blood will
Spatter your face
And I will not
Feel bad
My affection
For people
Or it fades
I am honest
But I choose my battles
Perhaps that is the problem
Maybe I should put up
A fight
Every. Fucking. Time.
Fight every thing
So you never think
I agree with you
When I don't
So you never think
I believe your lies
When I don't
So you never think
I admire you
When I don't
But so much of it
Is made of little things
Trivial things
Why fuss over that
Again and
Again and
It chips away at me
All those little things
And some of them
Are not so little
At all
But why fight?
Why not
Enjoy each other's
There it is!
Do I enjoy your company?
Your humor?
Your kindness?
Your confidence?
Your friendship?
Is it mutual---
This company?
Oh, dear---
I do hope you know the answer.
Most of those in my heart
Know the answer
Because most people
Even assholes
Pay attention
To more than
Their own interests
But if every thing
You pay attention to
Is about you
Only you
Even those things
You're learning/doing/whatever
Are about you
And your friends
Are about you
And why you
Do anything
For anyone
Is about what you like
What you get
What you want
To the point
That even the world
And its problems
Hone in on you
And ruin your good time
Then you
Might want to
Cover your face.
A wise asshole
Once told me
"Don't work at working!"
Framing everything
In nice, inoffensive
Is too much work
Biting my tongue
Has become
Too much work
The results
Don't justify
The effort
I am loosening my tongue
And letting the blood

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Wild Thing

Mr. Sendak
I want your heart
I would eat it 
If I could
Even now
I would gulp down
The ashes
Of your rage
And roar a 
Terrible Roar
And manifest
The spikes
Of your sensitivity
Your pain
Your madness
Your aggressive
Of almost
I would 
Impale the world
With my honesty
And the grumbling
Of my love
I would remake you
And hurt through it
As you hurt through it
Hurt every day
I would revel in the pain
To be as strong
As you

Sunday, June 8, 2014


I used to work at a little store in Berkeley
I didn't work there very long
The owner told me to keep a closer eye
On the teenage black girls
In. Fucking. Berkeley.
Right up the street
From Berkeley High
I did what many white girls do
I gaped at him in disbelief
I think I said something about
Teenage girls in general
(No much better a view)
But I needed the work
So I looked for a new job
I got hired
At The Gap
Of all places
And weirdly
The climate was better
I wish I had been a customer
In that other store
Instead of an employee
It would have felt so good
To tell the owner
To fuck off
Go out and tell everybody what he said
But instead
I was hustling
And needing to stay
On his good side
After I left
I did often tell people what he said
"Off the record"
Because I didn't know
How long I might
Need a good reference
From a former employer
Needing a paycheck
Needing a reference
Jesus! I didn't even need it
As bad as some
Just enough to
Bend over
The fucking 99%
Of us
Bend over
In some way
In some shameful way
And it pisses me off
That I actually had it better
Than many
It's what masks
Are made of
I still have a smile
On standby
For bosses like that
Just in case

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Perils of Being a Browncoat

I don't even know how many
Browncoats notice
How hard it is to be a Browncoat
Because well, c'mon
We are only Browncoats
In the cosplay sense
Aren't we?
Because The Independents,
The Outer Planets
Aren't really a thing
Difficulty #1: 
Being so passionately 
Invested in something
That is not a Thing
OK-- Most Browncoats
Know that one.
So maybe you, like so many
Fans & Fellowships,
Idealize the Thing
That is Not a Thing--
Many Browncoats'
Love of The Black
Is rooted in their familiarity 
With the Final Frontier
We are Boffins
Bouncing about in Boxes
That are
Bigger on the Inside
We get that.
So we turn
Follow the Prime Directive
And Aim
To Misbehave.
I wonder how many
Browncoats have noticed
That Browncoats
Were Libertarians
Or Jeffersonian
In the very least
Vying for autonomy
From the large central
Nationalized Nothing
"You Can't Take 
The Sky From Me"
Difficulty #2:
Reconciling Values
Here we are in our
A mass of 
How many of us
Would fight against
How many of us
Would brave the 
Hardships of Liberty
For Liberty's sake?
How many of us
Would vote with our
And move away
From laws we didn't 
How many Browncoats
Would put a gun
In that holster
And fight
The glittering ships
Of the Inner Planets
With their medicine
And education
And pretty temples?
Would you even want to?
Would you be willing to let
The zealots burn their witches
So you could homestead?
Would you let the fires rage next door
In hopes the witches 
Came knocking and asked
For Amnesty?
The Alliance is a 
Beacon of Democracy
Maybe just tattle on the zealots
And let the Purplebellies handle it
Difficulty #3: Being on the
Losing Side
Oh, sure
We play like it is "so cool"
To be the weathered
Against the grain
For the rest of our days
Aren't we cool?
Dressing up as
Rebel soldiers
Veterans of a pretend war
That we would never actually fight
Because we are not willing
To take risks
And be free.
How many Browncoats
Are Browncoats
How many
Of us
Would fight
To keep the sky
And nothing else
Nothing. Else.
But the Sky