little generational differences

laughing a little in the dream i had a roasted turnip with paprika for breakfast maybe that’s it it’s noon on Alpha Omega how does that work for you there is loneliness in her jeer but she keeps at me i’m not beautiful like a spring breeze i’m not delicate like a feather i cannot be a ballerina with two stone feet i am nothing and i cannot write pretty words like the zenith is your eyes i write rusted words like hurt me with your tongue knife and my ideas weigh like mercury on mars but she the Venus does not mind when i do her bidding our way of seeing life is very different i smitten with the downtown proletariat she with uptown well to do’s i can’t believe you are my daughter i know i say that i agree with you it’s too late momma i’m half way gone it’s best this way no hard feelins’ right i know punctuation and the grammar rules real fine but my lips shoot out the poisons thought of in my heart perhaps if reincarnation does abide the cosmic rules she’s supposed to follow i will come back as a super model just for you but now you’re gone and i see you in the clouds above in periwinkle linen and jewels the color of God’s eyes i heard you mother all of our unhappy life together and while on earth your words did bite me i also learned to use their teeth to cut my noose i ran away and did it my way it nearly killed me too but rest assured that in your way as a mother that you were your raising helped me through

la princesa guerrillera de la sur central

pequeña niña un sol con cara

triste que a la misma vez sonríe

porque así dice la ley paternal

florecita de todos colores

tus pequeñas raíces se esconden

detrás de palabras que ahorcan

tu garganta por no poder decir

lo que sientes en la casa

en la escuela en la telenovela

siempre debes de ser

de una u otra manera

pero cuando nuestros ojos

se estrellan los tuyos morenos

llenos de vida

los míos verdes escurridos

porque han visto mucho en la vida

tus labios se parten en dos

arrancas de tu mami y me miras con valor

oiga porque tiene esos dibujos en sus manos

y con mucho miedo me haces responder

son tatuajes quieres ver

y dices que feos tiras tu mirada al cielo

vuelves a la mano extendida de tu madre

pero solamente tú y yo sabemos

que un día vas a disparar tus propias palabras

a los cuatro vientos

mientras que las mías se quedan trabadas

en mis pasajeras manos

a princesa guerrilheira do sul central

menina um sol com cara

triste que ao mesmo tempo ele sorria

porque é isso que a lei paterna diz

florzinha de todas as cores

suas pequenas raízes se escondem

por trás das palavras que pairam

sua garganta por não ser capaz de dizer

o que você sente em casa

na escola na novela

você deve estar sempre

de uma ou outra maneira

mas quando nossos olhos

seus pardos quebram

cheio de vida

meu drenado verde

porque eles viram muito na vida

seus lábios se dividem em dois

você arranca da sua mãe e olha para mim com coragem

ouça por que você tem esses desenhos em suas mãos

e com muito medo você me faz responder

eles são tatuagens que você quer ver

e você diz feio você olha para o céu

você volta para a mão estendida de sua mãe

mas somente você e eu sabemos

que um dia você gravará suas próprias palavras

a quatro ventos

enquanto o meu fica trancado

nas minhas mãos que passam

south central warrior princess

little girl with a sun for a face

sad but at the same time she smiles

because that’s what the paternal law says

little flower of all colors

your tiny roots hide

behind words that stick in

your throat not being able to say

what you feel in your house

at your school in the soap opera

you must always be

one way or another

but when our eyes collide into each other

your brown ones full of life

my green ones drained

because they have seen so much in life

your lips split in two

you tear away from mommy and you look at me courageously

hey why do you have those drawings on your hands

and with fear you make me answer

they are tattoos you want to see

and you say their ugly while you look at the sky

and run back to your mother’s extended hand

but only you and i know

that one day you will launch your own words

at the four winds

while mine stay locked

in my aging hands

ain’t Nutbush City

1989 was a period in life when all back doors of an imminent hell opened to me my loved ones were self-deceived and in their view doing well so i let them linger in their truthful lies

the Cecil was really falling apart at that point a metaphor for the characters in my life i being a bit player young addictions mushrooming everywhere with most here and there would be one character more sophisticated than the other that player was Amos

the other being my mother she fancied herself a feminist with her valley feminist friends me i wasn’t sure what i fancied but  started to steal more of my folks booze and pills it felt good to be honest about my thieving it took the edge off the lies that we told about how bad ass we were in controlling our demons

Amos’s demons would wear pink hustle old has been business men for a suck that never seemed to happen they were rolled here and there after falling asleep taking their pants off on the faux zebra stripped bed

my folks never knew about my life in the city i was just a latch key mess 4.0 gpa high school back door graduate i went to college i don’t know why or even how or how i got a 4.0 shit just happened growing up i had to think faster than your common drunk or cokehead or devious spoiled beautiful caged in their superiority women who struck me as being in horrible painful relationships what was heart breaking was that in their fantasy of being happy and better than thou they were murdering their true potential with worthless crap

Amos wanted to be so much like those women but she just couldn’t go through the medical change or even tell her mother back in Haiti whom she adored i was ignorant as hell when it came to identity i just loved Amos and wanted her to be happy i saw a lot sex violence addiction pain tears orgies more violence but in a way i’m grateful to Amos she did the best she could to raise me if i happened to go by the Cecil drunk or high and she was home i’d had to stay there and get lectured until i passed out

for Amos life had to go on and the hustle continued i’d pretend to sleep or if a fight broke out i sneaked into the bathroom or the murphy bed on the wall no biggie i was a pro at hiding and by that time swinging the punches too on account of my folks and their way of life in a very twisted way sword life might not always kill you

in retrospect i somewhat owe my life to Amos she taught me many things such as using protection don’t go home with anyone don’t walk the street alone “be good kid for Chris’ sake” don’t ever leave your drink alone stuff like that

spiritual something

as far as little girls went i was not very normal i read and understood language on a different level i could imagine with my mind’s eye seeing the words float up from a page or sign or billboard or holy book like smoke when the Vatican has chosen a new pope

i thought i could genuinely speak to non human life forms through my thoughts and at a young age the whirlwind of the lives of the adults while in my Topanga canyon years caused me to believe in the spiritual something that was always there invisible but tangible only to my soul ever present warning me hide the keys flush those pills down the toilet before they get them and die for the day don’t go home with that man don’t touch mommy’s things hide by the creek

always the presence during the part of life when the soul seizes to be tender and becomes a little hardier the spiritual something became overbearing not like Joan of Arc’s but just getting in the way i wanted to do my will even though it wasn’t the right thing to do for the sake of my soul and well being i followed the human aspect that surrounded me and forsook the spiritual something

now that i’ve traversed several planetary rotations i know it’s there and sometimes i can feel it most often i can’t or i can’t tell if subconsciously i refuse to feel it however the mortgage of my misguided self agency has come due

Dr. Spock forgot to mention

launch

painful

fists at me

i don’t care that

it leaves a blue mark

i’ll just put ice on it

besides skin gets tougher with

time and i’ve got lots of it to

have patience and learn from your mistakes

take it out on me whip the love i have

for you into hell i won’t need it much

just don’t tell me that i’m useless rot

your tongue has a way of killing

a wide eyed love i have for

myself and the Spirit

and it will only

cause my will to

chase demons

in the

dark

nolo contendere

some Sunday mornings early at the park the ducks would waddle toward him with shaky hung over arms he’d lift me above the quacking wonders the giggles floating up like bubbles some summer times long ago i’d get to stay at his home motorcycle parts in the bathroom and nightly a different ‘aunt’ to make me food some days after his brothers would roar out of his garage in the afternoon i’d make a dollar for every bottle i scavenged from his oily shop floor and i finally had enough to buy chutes and ladders there were certain times i didn’t trust him his glances were an empty page don’t act like your mother he’d say when i offered to do a chore just to strike up a conversation like Sammy and Ginger my neighbors next door did with their Da when it was their turn to water the lawn i guess he thought i wanted another board game as i grew older and farther away i saw no use of trying my hand at rewinding time with the old man being a Da wasn’t his suit and being parented is something i’ve always sucked at

private runt

another flame in the distance of a repetitious page

alarms my blood into a flow of fast thinking

she comes in the storm of her own pain

a slow thick fear the only match i have to counter

i now know not to longer linger by the crusted ashtrays

or lean on their solid walls of past injurious indiscretions

but rather crawl out of the darkness of the closet

a charming foxhole a Neverland of sorts with Barbies GI Joes

water colors and a one eyed teddy bear called Mike

after the storm lulls herself to sleep

and the lightening goes to some other town

to launch his cowardly thunder

we are all less than triumphant in dignity and resolution

and when all is calm the mirror under the storm

confirms that there is life yet

another successful recon mission

a blue awareness baptizes me

today i survived again

and am still breathing for a home

where did Opa go

accordions were not of import to me

until you were no longer there

the caramel and gray plaid La-Z-Boy chair

sat gaping at the ceiling wondering as i was

where did Opa go

we didn’t really talk no one taught me how

instinctively you knew though

that i loved your oversized navy blue trousers

and your red suspenders

except for the lederhosen not my style

regret burns hotter at night

while i sit silently on the kitchen counter

alone in the dark sometimes with pained wrists

and old cracked ribs dislocated in my youth

sit along beside me good times

where did Opa go

time rippled down your face

porcelined and freckled

both by illness and by cure

you would stare at mom’s cat

as the din of Lawrence Welk

seemed to echo from the corners of the room

where did Opa go

remember when i was 13

my socks were old and dingy

five sizes too big

and as you shook your head

you took out $50 from your wallet

and motioned me to get new socks

i just shrugged and smiled

turning my back on you

Mutta’s fancy mirror

stabbed me with

your puzzled dewey face

at my ignorant rejection

why did i let go

Opa

ornithology

timid

green

eyed child

limp wheat hair

falls wet in the cold

rain tucked safe outside while the fire of

hate rages inside the walls of your land tenderly wilting all hopes away

a woman red hair blue suit white badge warped picture no passion picks you up silently both walk down the pebbled

path by the time Wilshire Blvd. is reached the bird nest is out of sight and you mature again manila files County words where are the crayons and Raggedy Anns pink Buster Browns forgotten

the clouds bright against tan butcher paper sad faces for the judge of the cages in my heart smile we must

fire suffocated unhappiness averted for a night or two little bird strains away

to reach those pink pebbles and pumpernickel bread

Canter’s chicken soup mummy’s black

eye gone for

now both

conditionally

freed

photo courtesy of Kristiana

Sun Valley ’77

rocket pops blue tongues

raspberry lemon salute

sweetness in my soul

bitter beer hot dog

smoke woodsy lingers in my

pony tail swooshing

the hogs growl as the

jean and leather veterans’

eyes well up with Taps

the leathery feel

of my uncle’s tired hands

while i trace his scars

a little young girl

did see the poignant pain in

his tribulations

for ever brothers

gone away heroes to the

Elysium Fields