Friday, June 30, 2017

Jazz night

imagine the crisp howl of horns
feel their welcomed vibrations 
how they make the night seem so still afterwards

a hot night under a big august moon
people inside mingling with the humidity
as it clings to dewey brown shoulders 

under the glow of soft yellow lights
we swirl our drinks slowly
such certainty in the rim of this glass

tell me no other place is real 
it is all in the past and tomorrow is so far away
the music insists on our attention 
and makes us close our eyes 
becomes more than sound to my ragged soul 

eyes shining like lights all around 

this has truth to it when not much does anymore

Monday, January 18, 2016

Crush by Richard Siken...a review

“Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
                                                                                and dress them in warm clothes again.
          How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
                    It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
          it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
                              how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
                                                                                                                        to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
          we're inconsolable.
                                                            Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
                                                                                          Tell me we’ll never get used to it.”

I love this poem because it has a  more abstract meaning with lots of visual and sensory descriptions.  Reading this poem makes me taste fresh cut apples and cold lips. Every word is like a clue, a little piece of a bigger picture. 

" the horses running until they forget that they are horses"  God I love that line. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Story of Us-- Something I wrote in my humanities class :)

Story if Us
Together, we created a world of destruction, you and me.
Built out of never wanting to fail
Our little dark house, dressed in grey
Filled with the ghosts of neglected houseplants
Filled with things that were yours and mine but never ours
Things that has seen the inside of suitcases
Been thrown from windows at 2 am
Broken and repaired and broken again
Placed back on shelves, never quite sitting the same. 
Hung back in closets overflowing with good intentions. 

Fading like a scar, healed but never gone. 
Memories frozen in flesh
They tell a story of how hard we tried
Draw a map to all of our soft spots
Places we cover with extra layers
Places we try to hide

One still night, when the wind could moan no more, we died
Gently rocking in deaths boney arms, we gave in. 
Both frozen in the winter of never wanting to change

Spring came after death was nothing new
We stepped out with new skin and long hair
Blinking eyes no longer liquid
Reborn as just patches of glare

Together we are like seedlings wrapped in fertile soil

Sprouting from the warm ashes of what we used to be.

Free at Last

I sat there, in front of the bay window facing the street until the sun began to set and soon all I could see was my own gaping reflection. Numbly, I sat just a shadow of a person, until finally I saw two head lights approaching. My heart sunk and pounded when I thought who it might be but only my sister parks in the middle of the street. I was anxious to hear what she had to say.

She was in the house in a flash. She flew through the front door and grabbed me by my shoulders. She shook me and exclaimed " You are free Judy, you are FREE, you don't ever have to go back there" Her grip got tighter, I could feel her red acrylic nails digging into my skin. The look on her face changed from elation to concern. " Do you understand what I'm telling never have to see those people again, You never have to go back to that place" She grew silent when she realized my enthusiasm didn't mirror her own. Her talons released their grip from my shoulders. "Aren't you happy? she said quietly. "Isn't this all we ever wanted?"
It was what I wanted. But I was unable to process it all. I was unable to reattach myself with reality after living so far outside of it for so long. I was relieved but I also felt overcome with guilt and sadness. I still loved my dad and felt bad for causing him so much grief.
In an instant I thought about all of the things I would miss about him.  Him sitting in his recliner after a long day. My endearing task of unlacing his boots for him and struggling to get them off. They way he would recline into the chair and read for hours. Chuckle from time to time and say "Oh that Louie Lamore!"
I missed when it was just him and me eating peanut butter and butter sandwiches after my mother had all but pulled the rug out from under us. We always had grape juice in our yellow tupperware cups as we ate our sandwiches and watched Perry Mason. Both sitting behind our ancient tv trays. Every day that summer we ate the same lunch silently while watching Perry Mason in all of his black and white glory.
These memories, the good ones, I held dear. There was a time when it was just us. Before he remarried, before things got complicated.
I wondered if things could ever be that way again.  I realized then that they probably wouldn't. I would never walk down into the back yard, gravel crunching under my shoes to him singing 16 tons by Tennessee Ford.  " I owe my soul to the company stooooore" The smell of hot metal and the incandescent red glow of the rebar he was welding.

My freedom was overwhelming. It felt like being lost all over again. The night was black and silent other than the sound of the trains thundering down the tracks and the boat horns from the bay. Their deep lonely tones echoing in my bones. 
Lynne and I left my hideout and went to the house she shared with my brother Ryan and sister Casey.
It was a large drafty house with stone floors and a big gaudy deteriorating stone waterfall in the back sitting room.
Lynne and I sat on her bed and planned out our new life together. All of the things we would do and see. All of our goals. What I would become now that I was out of isolation.
Lynne, acting as my new surrogate mother made a grocery list , set down rules, and made plans to enroll me in a new school. We went over our schedules and worked out the minor day to day details of or new cohabitation.
This was the first time I was truly hopeful. It was the first light I had seen in years. I was so excited about starting to live again. With Lynne as a new mother to replace the one who left me without even saying good bye and to replace the one who had hated that I existed.
As is life, there always is a dark underbelly waiting.  One minor detail we had discussed was that Lynn's boyfriend who was currently serving time in San Quentin, was getting released in two weeks.
With that knowledge I kept having to force down a sour feeling that kept rising from my belly up into my throat. I knew my sister. I knew the type of woman she was. Always trying to tame the wild. To fix the broken. She was not happy unless she had a problem to entertain her.  She always needed some sort of torment in her life. She always fell for the typical lost cause, the bad boy, she needed to be needed, to take care of people who couldn't take care of themselves, or so she thought. Like me and like Joe.
She had met Joe when she was 17 on one of his brief breaks from prison. He was of the reticent nature , one of those men who didn't feel comfortable on the outside. He had been in and out of prison since her was a teenager. Always finding a woman like Lynne to be there with a fresh start for him when his release date came up.
There are a lot of women like that. Women you wouldn't expect. Oprah is one. She once started smoking crack cocaine to keep the company of a man she loved.
With Lynne and Joe, there were no limits. It was all fire and sizzling ashes. Her good intentions sunk into a life of crime drugs and darkness.

Being young and extremely sheltered, I didn't understand a lot about human behavior. It was a frustrating and eye opening education. Watching her try and keep that man at any cost was heart wrenching. I had just boarded a sinking ship. I didn't understand things like love and addiction. I had heard about both things ruining peoples lives. I didn't understand why people couldn't just stop. It never dawned on me that people needed drugs and relationships to distract themselves from something far worse. That people had to escape the horrible realities of their minds at any cost. Unspeakable things that had happened to them or things they had done with their own hands. Bone chilling abuse and terrifying mental illness.  People needed to distant themselves from the dark and unspeakable. I would soon learn all about it. About how people collapse from the inside and the drugs and problems that hold their souls captive.

Joe was a drug addict among other things. A thief, a sex addict, a drug dealer, the leader of a criminal ring, and most devastating to me a violent abuser of women. But I am jumping ahead of myself. I will explain our ruin later. First lets start with our first apartment.

Lynne and I got a shitty apartment not far from her old house. A love nest in sorts for her and Joe with a room for me too.  It was to be a  place for Joe to start over, a place where we could all start over.  It was a terrible place for fresh starts. The other tenants were like characters out of books I've read. People I could not believe really existed until I witnessed it for myself.

The Crazy Ape
    In the first floor apartment lived an insane women. She sat on a bare mattress in the middle of her empty living room bare ass naked all day with the door wide open. She was a massive women with skin so black I often couldn't see her there in her blackened room. Just her yellow eyes following my gait. She sat there with her hair short and half torn out sticking out every which way with a vacant expression on her face. Heavily medicated, she sat on that dirty mattress watching tv with her massive black tits resting on her lap. Her thick tarry nipples like two tumorous knots at the bottom of each sack of flesh. Other than her exhibitionism or lack of inhibitions she never bothered anyone. I never heard her speak a word, grunts but no audible words or phrases. She reminded me of a gorilla in the zoo. I rushed past as if at any moment her knuckles would hit the floor and she would be pounding towards me. The only time I would see her out and dressed would be when she would go to cash her government checks. In these situations she should throw on a huge filthy dress and sandals. Her toenails hanging over the edge of the sandal and scratching at the asphalt as she lumbered on.

Lady Sings the Blues 

    Among the other residents of this colorful apartment community was a lovely couple name Carla and Ken and their two school aged girls. The children were sweet but ferrell as they come. I sometimes felt sorry for them. Their dirty faces looking up at me so shyly. Ken and Carla were drunks. They bickered constantly throughout the day.   Ken was a typical middle aged white trash guy who wore too much camo . He drove the girls to school on a suspended license. Who knows how many DUI's they had between them.  They both had unstable menial jobs. I would see them in various uniform polo shirts throughout my stay there.

     Ken was quiet  but would often be pushed into a white rage when Karla kept teasing him. Every night Carla would stand on the  6x3 concrete slab that was her porch in her finest negligĂ©'s. Her favorite was a long black slip with a sweetheart neckline and a matching black satin robe. That concrete slab was her stage after she had had a couple drinks.  Every night, with her liquor and her satin, she would howl out the blues. She reminded me of a modern day down and out Janis Joplin type. Long frizzy brown hair falling over her rounded shoulders. I can still hear the clinking of ice in her glass between songs, smell her boozy breath floating through our common area. I was amazed by her delusion, her shamelessness, her sadness. Night after night she belted out her songs of sorrow for the whole block to hear. I liked Carla and Ken. I thought their bickering was funny and found her sad singing to be a little endearing.
Years after we moved out. After everything crumbled and burned, I heard that Ken had shot and killed Carla and is doing life in prison. Their daughters were sent to foster homes in Arkansas and went on to be teenage mothers. 

Lady of the Night 

    As if that was not enough entertainment, there was a prostitute and her pimp "Bubba" living there with their small daughter.  Bubba was a huge black guy who resembled Biggie Smalls. He spent his days cruising around town in his white range rover, pulling over every time he saw a young girl walking alone from school. By night he was his girlfriend's bodyguard. I rarely saw his girlfriend  in the day light. At night I would hear her clicking through the common space with her ridiculous heels. I would rush to the window to get a glimpse as if she were a vampire shrouded in mystery. I saw her in various wigs, the bruises on her legs glowing blue and green under the florescent courtyard lamps. Lynne and I were very curious about her. We talked about her in hushed voices as if she was a ghoul who would appear in the mirror when we turned out the bathroom lights.

     One of the rare days she was out of her apartment before midnight, our paths crossed. She asked me if she could use the dryer in the laundry room first because she was going on a "date". Lynne had talent for getting people to open up to her.  Open up is the wrong term. More like spill everything about themselves to her. Grotesque over sharing.People would confess their darkest secrets to her for no reason at all. Looking back, Lynne just knew what questions to ask and when to shut up and listen. The hooker told Lynne about how easy the money was. How she would spend 30 minutes in a hotel while Bubba was right outside the door in case any funny business occurred.  She said it was fun and made her feel powerful and that she could get Lynne and me into the business. We sheepishly declined, shaking her heads, both feeling a little jarred by her blasĂ© attitude toward selling herself. We didn't like her talk of all of that easy money when we were so poor and so chaste. After that day whenever we heard her heels clicking down the halls at night we wouldn't rush to the window, we would both get a distant sober look in our eyes.

The Lost Boys

The other residents were a poor white family with grown sons.  The sons looked like men but had the maturity of boys. Their parents were hard working and barely scraping by. The boys were always drinking with their friends on their balcony. Assaulting us with their brainless conversations and embarrassingly lewd and simple vernacular. They actually saddened me the most. Night after night drinking plastic bottled vodka in their tattered wife beaters and Raiders hats.  The fluorescent porch lights revealing patches of  bad skin and rows of crooked teeth. Drunkenly talking about how they might have an "in" in the pipe fitters union. I cringed at the sight of them drinking, spitting, rolling blunts, smoking Newports and planning lives they would never live up to. Talking about pretty girls that they would never fuck, talking about working on cars that they would never actually get running.  In the morning I would see one of them slinking down the stairwell in his wrinkled work shirt. Stinking of menthol smoke and old english. Fastening on his name tab. " Carl"

Defeated once again by the morning after a night of too much cheap vodka and too many ideas that would never materialize. Maybe I judged them more harshly because they would young white men who in my mind were capable of being so much more.

I guess you can say that I was very aware of what was going on around me at this point. A little too aware. This was the first time I saw life uncensored. I saw what people really did when no one was watching. When there wasn't a god to fear. It was a great distraction from my new life that wasn't working out as I thought it would.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


They injected you with voodoo
scramble of eggs at age 52
the best parts of both of you

like a pair of siamese cats
programmed to purr in five languages
programmed to grow up and move very far away.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


It's like falling
It's like floating
So gently on a smile

I can hold heaven in my palms
Pale and round
Swallow them down
Magnetic to my bones
Magic to my heart

I don't ever want to leave
This state of mind

Letter to Joe

Ever since you left last year, nothing has been the same
I've stopped blaming you for all of my insanity.

I fell in love with a beautiful man
But your beauty was only skin deep
You are heartless and selfish and you
Never loved me.

We said we would never let this happen
Let anything come between us.
"Till the wheels fall off"

Did you forget that you told me that I was your lifetime love
Your love for life

I guess so

I should have never let this go on as long as it did.
Never should have let the abuse get control
But I was so scared, I could never stop shaking.
Just couldn't leave you

You cry in your sleep, do you know that?
I hope someday you find the reasons
For all of your sadness that you lock away

Remember when you throw me down the hallway
Landed on my neck
I was really hurt and you kept hitting me where I was hurt more

You can go spread your hurt and hate to someone else

I'm a new person these days, still damaged, but different.
The peace is gone , the puzzle is undone

If you knew how much you would damage me for the rest of my life
Would you still have done it

Slipping through my fingers

Fall like feathers
Swaying to the ground so slowly

I stand here and watch you
slipping through my fingers

Can't stop my face from shattering
Into a million gasping sobs
In front of all these strangers
Caught between here and there

I sit on the train
Red faced on these threadbare seats
And cry

Authors Note:
This is a true story. I cried on a bart train and was begging someone to give me another chance after I fucked up big time. It was so humiliating and what made it worse was I saw a Doctor I once worked with on the train when all of this was happening. Good News, he gave me another chance.