advice i’d give me if i was my mother

go ahead eat the three cup cakes

jay walk across the mischievous waters

buy Big Mac’s for the street kids

ask the hookers for beauty tips

church hop if the Spirit insists

wrap your thighs around whichever boy you wish

on your terms and not his

go against the family tradition

ride the Ducati instead of the Harley

crank up Led’s Black Dog as you’re lighting a fatty

stay home and read books and howl at the moon

at 3:30 past doom if that’s what makes you happy

talk about the Bard by the water cooler

turn the page when you’ve mastered your spirit

nurture your brain and balance that heart

if you punch punch with your left

but remember they got to swing at you first

if you look wicked good don’t hide it

and every compliment offered to the sisterhood

should come from the heart

don’t disrespect tit for tat the brotherhood

flash them your smile as you’re crushing that Zen

shameful irony

after a long afternoon nap on USC’s lawn i lift my arms toward the heaven in crucified form there’s hair in the grass and my skateboard is gone i sit there still wondering what happened to me was i just walking and then crashed to sleep or was i doing something i’d later regret people my age future doctors lawyers business men grounds keepers maintenance crews walked slowly on by talking about this or that getting up i fell down twice no one looked a second time maybe it was the grass stains on my shirt makeup runny laces untied LA Kings jersey hair in a nest from my left eye i catch the PD stares i smile a dainty coy like smile and they ride their bikes toward the black guy who’s finely dressed reading the medical text book

in the room

the edge of summer is always rougher in down town the garbage cooks in the hot August sun and the mango pits baste in the pigeons’ bath water but i can’t help to be in love with the complex and undeniable lived in beauty of the city

as soon as i step into the lobby i see Mr. Petrucchio’s grand daughter with a mile wide smile because granpa will be moving in with them today i agree the Cecil is no place for an aging refined man or anyone else who didn’t have the junky sickness or the negotiating with the devil credentials

half of my life has gone by although i count my birthdays in dog years so old in my soul and experience but too young in some circles a gen x’er with no money too many bills the last of the missing generation child of war birthday cake candle blower outer low brow collector little girl but i still have me rickety cracked me

sitting in my bed room with my cats and dog we laugh and talk as i finger bang the keyboard i think about smoking a cigarette but i don’t i miss the Cecil the old Cecil full of the residue of Adam’s sin i miss a phantom childhood you know the one where we become our parents’ parent yeah i’m not bitter i got to play with real barbie dolls mainly holding their hair back in my mom’s bathroom when they were throwing up too many cocktails diet pills and i guess too much cock that made them pregnant who knew i was just seven

its August 2019 the edge of summer again its rougher now we have placeless people stewing in the system stewing in the tents waiting for a breath of help the Cecil has cleaned up mostly serves to house tourists looking for the LA experience i shy away from their questions like where’s the best Mexican Food where can we find parking how much are you asking for a blow job baby and being me i have to answer back i’m too big to fit down your throat sweetheart i’ve learned to disarm some but not all yet i love my city it’s my home and she’s disarmed me any way she’s wanted to my sweet Sensei i’ve been a good student though she can’t deny that

where has life gone and my summers and popsicles hot dogs and fireworks on the fourth where has the magic gone i’ve missed much so the Fall is coming along with the adverts of pumpkin spice everywhere the new Fall collections the new laws that question the very validity of what the Gods have created and the pangs of sadness come but also the reminder that life goes on in spite of decree or tears or me i’m learning to love something greater than the world at long last hobo girl i say don’t worry you can still smile a mile wide

English class

oh hey teacher no i’m no poet

         no need to give me your Conklin pen

i’m just a kid from down the nickel loud mouth

     skidded knees cigarette boozer

         blood upon her sleeve

reveler of sunsets  procrastinator in the dawn

i am the honey of her thighs

       and the pulsing bang bang of his gun

    but hey psssst mister i ain’t no poet

bawdy as all hell quiet when i need to be

      if some angel fell in hell

i’ll go fetch em’  Darla Hood impersonator   feeler of the waste

      inside their eyes corny graffiti kids

         longing for the it apps to arrive

liquor store dwelling social services auditor

      of her majesty the street  but mister

i assure you mister i ain’t no poet

     AC/DC cranker upper Curtis Mayfield fuck play it louder

poker player chopper rider star watcher  little fighter

     hey man call me foolish   lady riff raff   heart on fire

          but hey seriously   i am what He says i am

            so yeah mac i ain’t no poet

restraining order blues

vicious gunfire you look older she said

i thought i’d never see you again

you look beautiful he said

coughing looking leftward

i’ve been here and there she said

roaming the streets counting the birds

magnolia trees sure bloom a lot he said

yeah their scent intoxicates me she said

can i get a cuddle he said

she smiles and looks westward

sliding hair behind her ears

your gray streak is bomb ass she said

my ex-wife likes it he said

i gotta go i’m late for church she said

balls! gimme something better than that he said

they both laughed out loud

biting her lips heart in her head

i wish i could kiss you she said

that was the past

the clove under her worn white converse

stuck to the sole and toes still wiggling

as the clouds formed from the south

he folds in his lips and gives her a smile

i wanted to be your husband he said

she lights up another

you were always so wild he said

i don’t like cages or negotiations she said

life is not like that he said

let me give you my number

she feels the droplets on her lashes first

honey don’t waste it she said

your time on me

i’m older and wiser

some truths i can see

i had to walk away for the sake of us both

looking at the lake he nods in agreement

have a nice life he gnarls as he scampers away

she holds her head higher after today

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

dear Hester

dear Hester i have to go keeping you has cost me a fortune worked my body down to bones selling my soul for you for one faint kiss and giving the devil iou’s was no good

i finally admit that your fingers and aura gently crept into my blood brook driving me to unfathomable pleasure only known by kings but when i couldn’t feed you more and more and more your anger at me was like a riptide

dear Hester you thrusted and thrashed my body against the anguish i caused others because i was a slave to you when you read this letter i will be rolling in it the unholy pain of heart break for having to let you go

fever itch spasm vomit crying out for air

as i sink into the black hole of my own doing because i thought you loved me

Hester i have to Hester don’t you understand don’t cry Hester you have offered me comfort and euphoric happiness when the world turned its back on me you never lied to me and you even let the nay sayers preach at me and how you were a no good harlot beast

but in exchange for your mirage like generosity i turned over my freedom to you i have a sickness Hester i have to keep running there’s a demon stronger than us Hester i have to leave

the time has come for emancipation from us three

my dear Hester

das lebewohl

it’s just a phase

the drops fall warm

like a resentful first kiss

placed crookedly on my lips

two broken children

dressed in archaic cloaks of sinful fathers

embalmed in summer rain

clasping hands in the park

you pointed at fancy bricks laid by FL Wright

your hero

we heard laughter from in the trees

we filled our heads with fantasy

of being greater than dirty jeans

booze coke

and motorcycles

what fools we were

but happy in our foolery

we’d stomp round town

wild haired green eyed queen

to her mohawked crowned king

while in the dampness of the night

we went our separate ways

on the dimly lit corner by House of Pies

to harvest broken proper mothers

up from their latest shag designer carpets

flown in from Rome

and as we punched our way through

explosive broken fathers

on Monday morning

we’d all pretend that our lives were wonderful

first grade interpretation of the Old West

pausing by the pond 7 feet away from the peach trees left there by the chuck wagons of 1881 and the gingham bonnets stain upon the rocks placed there to dry in my western sun the Borox box is empty ma’ as the echoes of blond pigtails before the dawn of braces and Barbie dolls flowers dressed in yellow chipmunks draw a crowd and daddy presses on upon the kneeling giant mountains picking day and night sapping land from its sickled blood doing what men do but today my toothless grin will lend itself to draw a sigh from spirits past 1855 in the cavern of the snake


my mother and my father would fight about the air around them or about Jimmy Carter and about their marital problems tired old words leadless bullets that i took for them a meek child called to be King Solomon at 4 the trees and blocks and baby dolls were not enough to free me from the painful heavy feeling in my post toddler soul an orphan in the house of everything meaningless clean sanitary and paid for but not love i had 30 pieces of silver 7 times more and i kissed no one and no one kissed me when i bruised my knees or when the Armenian kids beat me up after school or when i cut the rope and wandered off into the womb of my city the yellow brick road didn’t exist but there were miles and miles of pavement where gentle hands and toothless grins had my best interest at times and at times i grew up the hard way but between stolen 4th of July Fireworks shows OD visits to the ER home cooked waffles at Astrid’s house boys with rainbows in their eyes and a few good angels i learned how to love