things in an alley

mbrazfield (c) 2022

the smile the face the walls the sky the trees the ideals the rules the drugs the wolves the women the men the youth the old the sick the grass the tombs the space the prison the haste the mastery the theater the church the vision the isms the rules the history the law the upper ground the under ground the groups the lone the sailor the whore the priest the angel the holy the devil the medicine the blues the reds the thoughts inside my head today and evermore

Gabriel’s boulder

and with the flash of lightening my heart stopped the anguish of a thousand needles in my arms the guilt of surviving what others had not came to me in a night of bad dreams

it’s always by the river where there is pain and fear flanked by genuine love created like a diamond is through tons and years of pressure

in the dream its always cold like a movie with a storm showing something deeply wrong earning us that satan comes trotting to destroy us

the thunder speaks in deep cracks shooting through the canyons filled with rage pouring through the vessels of my soul in darkness my pupils open wide gaping for any light but my consciousness goes under

and that white flash slips through the glass again to retrieve me from catatonia’s grace and prick me with memories of all those years wasted by the river’s bed

after the viewing of our father

it’s the hour in the rotation of the world when i don’t know why i think and i only hear snippets of what she tells me in between her gulps of coffee it has to be that i’ve lost my mind i think but i’m not sure she continues on to point out how difficult things are and how weak people are and i say they never stop to think that women like us have had it hard she agrees with hot coffee in her throat mid gulp gesturing a resounding yes with her thin eyebrows pointing up like a big foam hand at a baseball game he wanted masculine children and he cried when he had us but we had to be ladies in the midst of manly challenges how the minds were molded i think and i quip out loud there are no real man or woman challenges we get equal problems shoved down our throats and we gotta grow a dick to solve them and then chop it off when we’re done cut us a slit and put on lipstick and smile and stick out our boobs and then take it like a man all over again and again yet i’ve known so many who fold at the slightest breeze of uncertainty

and we laugh at the newest meteor hail storm we’re coasting through i marvel at our ability to be A Lincoln M Monroe J Dillinger and E Roosevelt all in one mind warp to answer and resolve the sums and restitutions owed by our father we are told girls don’t hold a quiver in your voice but it’s expected that when the crowds go home you should wither like a delicate orchid ripped from its stem and i see her from the corner of my eye tired a daddy’s little girl who is now the man of his house a mother and a father to us all she’s tired then i look down at my big boy feet my small girl hands my soldier’s soul my lost spirit angst and it becomes unbearable

Mr. Brando, take it from the top

Taino walked closer to me he wrapped his poncho covered arms around me almost twice and began to cry sharing with me that his mom had cancer and that he dreamt i died in the 3rd street tunnel  i cried for his mother too his words only solidified the reality of my having to stop being a junkie maybe i’d be a worse person for stopping maybe i’d be a better person for it that was the risk and the chance that i would have to take no matter how afraid i was i would have to learn how to live with this new sober self because the old junkie self was killing me i couldn’t die no matter how hard i wanted to there was something in me taunting me that i could not die and i would not die i knew every inch of this truth because i had tried to die many a time in the past and failed i failed for a reason that i didn’t entirely comprehend not logically like a scientist but like something a feeling walking in a dark cave feeling yourself through the black path with your fingers bloody and scratched up even in pain down to the bone you eventually crawl out into the light and the light will hurt your eyes for the first few seconds after my trip to detective Tate and several more visits to Taino’s apartment it took me seven years to crawl out of that cave and into the bull ring of life written about by Papa and even after all this time i still find myself maneuvering the symbolic lancets capes and swords needed to bring down the lingering bull-strength ghost of addiction

Dzunuk’wa’s companion

she green gold black red
mighty swift so small is she
her wings sing out loud

few places i get to fly where nectar is  plenty at dawn beyond the fog at the foot of the hills trumpets of flowers are hard to find have flown a mile industrial towers are where my forest is buried reduced to beg to borrow instead from flowers not wild that came from soulless bottomless mills Dzunuk’wa’s ornate companion was i teacher of the happy psyche freedom lover wild as thunder yet gentle like spring rain on tender ferns the vines of my Creator sky have turned to hardened wires criss crossing dividing my stars my wings fearless beating like the heart that dies so that new hearts burst out in glee through out the meadow floors of our collective imagination

the yellowing cranes

the riverbed is cool the cranes have a yellowish belly but are beautiful nevertheless there are bleached soda cans but the logos hang strong against the California sun i sit by the reeds and watch the Chinese couple dig in the mud for long lost jewels they explain the husband is originally from Kansas she says i watch on until pitch black leathery little birds with mean diamond tinged eyes and beaks yellow like egg yolks begin to crowd around catching tadpoles one stands on a mossy Takis bag on the trail bicycles travel north to south and vice versa i only see helmets from my shivering reeds somewhere by the train yard an old trash truck backfires and the mean little black birds lift up into the sky like a flamenco dancer’s skirt my eyes pause at the rim of Dodger stadium and out of nowhere my mind drags me to the summers eating sticky juicy watermelon slices with my sister as the grown ups drank howled and listened to the game on an old radio from their army days and now i wonder if they died knowing that some day i would be leisurely sitting by these LA River reeds sipping fancy tea watching treasure hunters and fancy bicycle helmets wiz by and are the yellowing cranes the souls of our lost boys from the Hanoi Hilton

a drop of water

a new year began with new decisions set into motion life has become as tasty as it is to bite into a drop of water going along for a cruise Sunday traffic as it should be nicer cars whiz by yet the wind in my hair with tinges from the valley we pass the Fortress of Hollywood’s mysteries pressing forth on the one o one music from your youthhood fits you like a stretched out girdle particularly where the lace is falling off but i say nothing i nod in support of your choices instead my face is made up mostly the eyes my scars and wrinkles the tattoos on my arms they make me feel something the hills and horses grasses and trees stand around me like pall bearers to be i turn my face to the right and my lips kiss the warmth of the sun instantaneously i wonder if i placed my breast in the light would i get that effect of feeling again

lunch hour prose

mbrazfieldm (c) 2021

right here in this moment on a cold Monday for LA midday sun peeks in and out although this morning he ran from his wife Moon and she stared him down because he rose late hungover from radiation
today on a gray Monday and the City of Angels we watch each other we don’t see but we watch i look past your shoulder you look past the whole of me eyes glazed over it seems briefcase knuckles curled on the handle white pink shirt slightly crooked walking stumbling in the mind the lunch hour we eat nothing we just stare across the freeway bridge to see the trucks and the cars of the other people who do just as we are doing but they ride on four wheels and to think as we often do not think that there is no connection between us although we are all in the same situation arm in arm in our disconnection
i walk four more blocks and i see the people i used to know
some slowly dying drinking poison others slowly dying puffing away oblivious to the universe
yet others collecting cans washing them out behind buildings stealing water from the dirty pipes
today midday lunch break my shoes dirty my legs cold my eyes blind hands tucked inside pockets that are empty
the whole world is empty yet we drown in debris
we cannot hang our thoughts out to dry those times are long gone
i walk another three blocks where i used to know of a 130 year old home two bedroom large porch she’s gone the only evidence that she ever existed are the orange cones left behind by the demolisher
next week i can bet they will have a high rise up
luxury apartments that no one i know could ever afford

when the singer dies

the laughter in between the rays of the sun was missing i only noticed three days back when no eyes had shown glimmer or soul all were downcast and on the path cutting through the park the brown quilted fuzz on the cattails had fallen off and the wind and bird beaks carried it off to pollinate and line the nests for spring but the gravel under my low top white converse didn’t sass back with the crunchy feisty sound spurting from each tired step today was the today i had been counting back thousands of todays to my early youth of pink cheeked days by the legs of soldiers brothers wounded in battle combating through life while my post toddler mind wondered why the choir lead was laying down asleep in the blue and silver box as his wife and daughters cried over the flag blanketing him and while my shadow creeps under the shade of the upcoming crabapple trees i came to know this is what happens when the singer dies