Saturday, July 19, 2014

this poem is a dream, a phantasm, and a note



this poem is a dream, a phantasm, and a note

this poem is a dream dreamt by a dreamer
this poem is a phantasm fantasy of fleeting
this poem is a wind-swept love note
she comes cloaked in grey, informal metaphor
responding to questions of why and how
with grins and shrugs of just because
darting from the grip of understanding
lingering only to flirt with possibility
this poem is a dream dreamt by a dreamer
she coalesces into familiar, coveted prize
her smile takes form, the red in her lips
incites me to steal her shade for myself, but
gripping her waist loosens our linked dominion
our embrace tightens, dissolving in morning sun
this poem is a phantasm fantasy of fleeting
leaving a wake of winding words
that form constellations and galaxies
I read and incalculably live lifetimes of lovers
smiling, I release her from our dance
she rises on our thermal current
this poem is a wind-swept love note

this poem is a flirty dream, darting from my grasp
this poem is a phantasm, evaporating on fingertips
this poem is a love note, rising to meet our lovers

This poem has been written for Sunday's Mini-Challenge: Boomerang Metaphors at imaginary garden with real toads.

This poem was also shared with my good friends at dVerse poets in honor of their weeklong celebration the site’s three year anniversary. As one of the first poetry communities I ever summoned the courage of contributing to, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the encouragement, support, and most of all, our shared comradery and passion for poetry. Sorry I couldn’t participate in the festivities, but I’m honored to help clean-up the pub at the after-party.

Other dVerse poets have also participated in the after-party. Go here to read their well-crafted, inspiring poems.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

riding shotgun one late summer evening



riding shotgun one late summer evening

the moon, heavy and fleeting
ignites mist, uncloaking midnight
air, humid, heavy with expectation

fixated on reflected
freeway guidelines and the way home
moonbeams reflect with her focused intent

as sunlight reveals the moon
moonlight refracted through damp sky
an aura for this goddess driving us

oblivious to her place
in my celestial temple
the stars can only twinkle with envy

they cannot hope to reach her
as I cannot bottle her light
or reach out to steal the moon for her smile

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Love’s Idiocy

Love’s Idiocy
I don’t understand love
But I grasp the need to obtain it
To wrap myself in its contours

To resist the need to cling to it
As it pulls away from my grip
To fail at resisting
To fail at gripping

To see it dissolve
Is to experience diminishment
In fraction and totality
To learn by unlearning

Pursuing its fading embers
Is to willfully chase
Certain idiocy, and
It would seem
Repeatedly, consistently,
I am that
Willful idiot

It would be so much easier
To choose
Wrath and vengeance,
But once executed,
The void left by
Love’s absence

It would be so much cooler
To live within
Apathy and cynicism,
A temporary toxic barrier
That reeks of
Emptiness and
The sourest of grapes

I don’t understand love
But I love that I can choose it
As many idiotic times
As I choose to

And sometimes be humiliated by it
But mostly humbled
And sometimes be exposed
But mostly revealed by it

And sometimes I love it when
Love chooses me


Inspired by the awful, tragic “honor-killings” occurring in Pakistan. Couples there are choosing to marry for love and their families are killing them for it.

For dVerse OpenLinkNight – June, 2014.

Go here to read the poems of other talented dVerse poets

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rage Quit

Rage Quit*

Confucius say you’ll pay for your beliefs;
to fuse your spine with ice to temper beefs
While tempers stoke the flames with no relief
Tank-Man is still in China, crushing ammo in his teeth.

I feel the pressure pour from the pores
Fate bubbles into hate; what’s mine is now yours.
Magnanimously ignite the shores.
My pulse pumps napalm, our palms embrace wars.
Retrace the state for these martial law tours.
Replace the blind scales with eye-for-eye scores

Fanatically release the shackled fiend
that berserkers usurp, we slurp-up the weaned
vanquished side of saber-rattle we battle, double-teamed.
We vanquish vandals, violins score the screams.
Ghandi felt economy of movement in our schemes.
Buddha blessed the bitches with stitches and shattered dreams.

This is for the DaDa, Daddy–dVerse Meeting the Bar writing prompt, which challenges most of what I consider to be conventional structure. To quote from dVerse (because I lack enough insight to accurately paraphrase):
“Dadaism was born of the horrors and brutality of World War I. Disillusioned artists of all disciplines, affected by the degradation of social structures, repressive cultural values and unquestioning acceptance of a War that led to so much loss of human life, rebelled against the status quo. A loosely affiliated network of artists and poets, originally clustered around Zurich, adopted a subversive and revolutionary approach to visual art, performance art and poetry. These artists did not so much adapt a common style or practice, but rather sought “to destroy the hoaxes of reason and to discover an unreasoned order.” Jean Hans Arp. The focus of their work was not so much on beauty or appearance as on the ideas the work conveyed.”
Normally, I would’ve skipped this prompt because it felt a bit too challenging. As fate would have it though, I was juuuuust grumpy enough to say, “Fuck it. I gotta vent some frustration. Let’s just see what happens.”
Also read the wonderful work of fellow dVerse poets here.

*Go here for the urban definition, if you’re unfamiliar with the term “Rage Quit”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stoney Clues

Stoney Clues

My mother showed me how to lead
Her voice was peace, her eyes were soft
I am the leader, following
The trail for clues to leave behind

The Titans devoured their seeds
Before they sprouted into gods
I am the undigested stone
Rhea fed Cronus, sparing Zeus

My father showed me how to fight
His voice was stern, his eyes were harsh
I am the spearhead, shattering
The psychological cages

Some sullen fear surpassing sons
While fading into past shadows
I am the keeper, father’s flame
Made brighter by new budding light

My parents showed me how to love
Their voices bold, their eyes, of pride
I am their imperfect vessel
Imperfectly leaving their clues.

Written for dVerse Poets: Meeting the Bar ~ Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Other talented poets are participating. Read their work here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Process

The Process


“What the FUCK do YALL want??!”

The room falls silent. The clock on the walls slows to millionths of seconds, and the winter sun alertly hastened its retreat over the western horizon, lengthening the already elongated winter shade. Youthful eyes, once full of cautious optimism are now flash-frozen in terror and fixated on the piercing glare of a man in winter working blues; a stranger yet to introduce himself -- and yet a stranger who I assume that no one should ever intentionally piss-off -- was somehow pissed-off by our very existence.

I gather myself, compartmentalize my emotions, and fortify them with the steel rebar and emotional calluses born from a lifetime of being bullied, humiliated, and disappointed. The immersion was jarring, as it was supposed to be jarring, but it was expected. With the others, I remain silent. And wait.

“Oh, don’t tell me,” the pissed-off man continued in an annoyed tone as the streetlights outside crackled and hummed into service, “You guys wanna be in the Muthaphuckin Navy!” That’s all I heard; the buzzing streetlights, the thunderclap of his voice, and the echo of those thunderclaps at the far-end of the hall and the back of my skull. Those were the first words a United States sailor ever spat at me in what I assumed to be earnest. These were not the words of a silver-tongued recruiter telling me whatever he thought I wanted to hear so that I would sign my life away and swear-in. These were the words of a realist who had shit to take care of in a short amount of time, and collectively, I guess we were that shit.

After this inauspicious welcome into the brotherhood of surface warriors, rolling his eyes, the pissed-off man walked smartly away, because as I would come to learn, everything in Recruit Training Command was done smartly, loudly, or it was redone to smarter, louder specifications, with sharp muscle-pain thrown in for those who settled for much dumber, quieter methods. Before we could process the initial encounter, he was back, flanked by other pissed-off guys in winter working blues (and one rather grumpy woman, from who I later learned that watching men quit made her pussy wet, which stood in sharp contrast to her dour demeanor. I didn’t learn this information from experience, nor did I intend on proving the accuracy of her confession. She flat-out told us that having a guy humiliate himself by giving up actually made her moist. You know. Down there. And as I had nowhere else to go if I washed-out of the Navy boot-camp, I quietly hoped she could find an over-the-counter lubricant.)

At this point, they began to “process” us, and nothing was ever the same.


Night casts long shadows

I’ve burned my ships behind me

The day must be earned



Today’s dVerse writing prompt is a form called the haibun. Head over there to learn more about it, and check out other dVerse poets’ exceptional work.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

willow's whisper


willow's whisper

conspicuous among other common trees
with no earthly reason of being there
there was a weeping willow
just beyond grandmother's window

a lilting waypoint to earliest memories
swaying in time with my fear of thunder
shaded solace from summer heat and adversity

slowly swaying with each passing, watching us
holding hands, momma and i
our eyes dried, with no more tears to shed
each breakup with dad met with the same
wind-rustled leaf-whisper

"grandmother's house is just around the corner"

i could almost predict the storms by each breakup
which didn't make either any less fearful
only expected, just like passing that willow

just like grandmother's sharp criticism
explaining exactly how momma failed at life
each time she went back to him

when they broke up that final, violent time
the willow's whisper still shushed at my sobs

"grandmother's house is just around the corner"

along the way, after the rain had rinsed our faces
as the sight of the tree eased the despair from
the pit of my stomach, i managed to talk with momma

i asked momma where weeping willows come from
she said that they're all descendants from Japan
and all from one beautiful Japanese princess
who fell hopelessly in love with a common fisherman

their divergent statuses prevented their union
so the fisherman gave her a mystical jewel
a lover's pearl, given to him by happiness goddess, Kisshōten
if he found the other pearl while fishing the Sea of Japan
they would be eternally-bound, transformed into koi fish
unencumbered by shackles of social norms

the fisherman set sail, fishing for the second pearl
his beloved princess waited at the shore, hunched over
clutching the first pearl, undeterred by weather
or by those who gathered to mock and ridicule her

the fisherman's hunt angered Ryūjin, the sea God
who mistakenly thought he was trying to steal
Ryūjin's magical tide-controlling jewels, and so
Ryūjin howled, causing a cyclone, killing the fisherman

her lover's fate unknown, the princess remained seaside
outliving all of her detractors, spawning roots,
her hair, unkempt, becoming long, leafy tendrils
her hunched, weeping frame,
now the bended bow of the willow

after some time, even the magical pearl shattered
it's sadness carried upon the winds to all earthly corners
finding fertile ground, they sprouted into more willows
each one, a waypoint, whispering solace to others
showing the way home through the storms


i could almost predict the storms by each breakup
which didn't make either any less fearful
only expected, just like passing that willow

when they broke up that final, violent time
the willow's whisper still shushed at my sobs
telling me to dry my tears of sorrows
and to distract myself by

making up an even sadder tale
about a princess and a fisherman

and to tell everyone that i heard it from momma

makes perfect sense if you think about it
how could she possibly make up such a story?
she could barely see through her own tears
and the pit of despair in her tummy
forbade her to utter a single word

there was only the sound of raindrops
the wind rustling the leaves of the willow
compelling her to whisper to me

"grandmother's house is just around the corner"