half hearted

violet sky soft feather wind

on shore at the foot of the valley

cactus tufts where birds will nest

upon the arrival of the spring

i like the granules of sand

monochromatic browns and blacks

the tiny pebbles silent lay

in them frozen codes of time

and how i got to be here

in a universe so universal

bowing my head

mantra in brain

sacred sounds surround the plains

my thoughts interrupted

as a dusty Slurpee cup blows by

greatwestern

the hospitals are the same all over i now believe except for the revolving doors everywhere and the river beautiful pigeons and other birds look like they were spit shined and then the river crossed on planks made of steal with tug boat Cadillacs full of salty earth the buildings tall old bones new skin i grin at the sun rays coming at me hard but the old grandfather wind swoops me from the light and in three hours it gets dark and i walk around the park and back to the clinical round of someone who knows nothing of anything beyond the cereal box patients waiting all the time looking tired worn out sucked down pulled up by the soul and sick of heart like the ladies looking out from the Amsterdam house mine eyes search for invisibility and the wolves follow me with teeth and i a fox in sheep’s skin look the other way i don’t want idolatry tonight the French baguette is hard and stale but i get it anyway i want to feel other than myself the urges come like thunder but then all of a sudden it dawns on me that i’m in Illinois and that Abe was a member of the Whig Party tears are salty anywhere we go and why in the fuck isn’t Pluto a planet

social worker

in the dawn

when bodies intercross

that stage of simultaneous

exhaust and regeneration

my mind becomes of another plane

where the primitive fears

gargle up before i can close my third eye

my getting beat or a fork in the road without its tines

i wake for a few millennial seconds

then heavy weariness weighs me down again

smelling Jewish rye bread toasting

i’m at the house on Rodney street

wearing my mother’s clothes

and my lips sewn shut

phone alarm buzzes on

and the cats start to call me mama

slowly i rise

unconsciously tap my lips

while dragging my feet

to the bathroom mirror

another day in hell

and all i got is a cup of ice chips

for Earl

Dear God

how are you

it’s me your creation i think

i was walking around the Skid

i felt afraid

i saw people laid out

and i noticed the pigeons

with missing little toes

feathers crushed and greasy

competing for food

i felt as if i was falling

up in a spiral a void

and the world laughed at me

chest beats hard dry mouth

look out i gotta run

and my feet became lead

30 pieces of silver

called anti-anxiety meds

Dear God

in the midst of my panic

an old black man

stood by me

you ok baby

you sho’ don’t belong heah’

then i cried and i sobbed

and i said i’m real sorry

he said is ok baby

lemme’ git you some hep’

the light it swirled

bullying me

but he was my rock

my Psalm eighteen

Abe Lincoln blues

I loved the balmy Monday mornings, skipping school and eating candy bars for breakfast. I loved sitting on street corners and watch people beg and drink and carry on. Some would scream and yell at invisible entities. I, a mere ignorant child, would laugh at them.

On some Tuesday mornings I might go to some classes, English and Art. Nineteen eighty six was also a year of self decline and so I would become an internal rager. I’d scream in silence and yell very quietly, almost apologetically and like a mouse. I was my own entity.

It was around the cold season in LA when I met Taino at the Cecil. He was a friend of spare cock Amos. I suppose by today’s social and political standards Taino was a transgender person. A male to female.

There were discussions about the Iran-Contra affair at school. But, I was too high to care. The internal me was asleep in a bigotry of soul, intellect and spirit. Something in me was hurting awful bad and illicit street medication provided a wave of relief like nothing else I could have ever imagined.

My city was filled with anger and deep pockets of despair and poverty. My city was also filled with anger and discontent and profound pockets of despair, pain and prosperity. I quickly deduced that money does not necessarily hurt or help, but it never brought happiness. Not the kind you feel when you hug a puppy or your mom sings to you or your Da stays up with you when you had fever. I’ve always remembered the first time I hugged a puppy. Taino and spare cock did the best they could with the other things I sorely wanted.

During the cold season in 1986 I also began to feel something toward God. It was a cartoon I saw in The LA Times. The Challenger blew up in the heavens and it was televised. It appears that the astronauts had touched His face. I was high and sad and uneasy. Internally, I began to cave into myself, to think too much, to question and to doubt myself. I began to imagine that God felt we were becoming too bold.

On a rare occasion, I was pleased to be challenged by my school principal to write a report on Abraham Lincoln. For years I thought he looked really bitching; all Emo before Emo was a thing.

Grady learned different perspectives of global political history that 1986. I understood that in some ways human nature and our own personal choices would always drive the civilization inside of us before any collective could flourish.

That year, I had my fist brush of psychological testing. My principal felt that I was confused for being of the opinion that the Union wasn’t aiming at freeing the slaves first, per se, but rather in uniting the country. My folks never got wind of the situation and if they did, they probably thought I’d grow out of it.


my way …

i loved the balmy Monday mornings skipping school and eating candy bars for breakfast i loved sitting on street corners and watch people beg and drink and carry on some would scream and yell at invisible entities i a mere ignorant child would laugh at them

on some Tuesday mornings i might go to some classes English and art nineteen eighty six was also a year of self decline and so i would become an internal rager i’d scream in silence and yell very quietly almost apologetically and like a mouse i was my own entity

it was around the cold season in LA when i met Taino at the Cecil he was a friend of spare cock Amos i suppose by today’s social and political standards Taino was a transgender person a male to female

there were discussions about the Iran-Contra affair at school but i was too high to care the internal me was asleep in a bigotry of soul intellect and spirit something in me was hurting awful bad and illicit street medication provided a wave of relief like nothing else i could have ever imagined

my city was filled with anger and deep pockets of despair and poverty my city was also filled with anger and discontent and profound pockets of despair pain and prosperity i quickly deduced that money does not necessarily hurt or help but it never brought happiness not the kind you feel when you hug a puppy or your mom sings to you or your Da stays up with you when you had fever i’ve always remembered the first time i hugged a puppy Taino and spare cock did the best they could with the other things i sorely wanted

during the cold season in 1986 i also began to feel something toward God it was a cartoon i saw in the LA Times the Challenger blew up in the heavens and it was televised it appears that the astronauts had touched His face i was high and sad and uneasy i internally i began to cave into myself to think too much to question and to doubt myself i began to imagine that God felt we were becoming too bold

on a rare occasion i was pleased to be challenged by my school principal to write a report on Abraham Lincoln for years i thought he looked really bitching all Emo before Emo was a thing

grady learned different perspectives of global political history that 1986 i understood that in some ways human nature and our own personal choices would always drive the civilization inside of us before any collective could flourish

that year i had my fist brush of psychological testing my principal felt that i was confused for being of the opinion that the Union wasn’t aiming at freeing the slaves first per se but rather in uniting the country my folks never got wind of the situation and if they did they probably thought i’d grow out of it

shards

rain and Halloween 14 lost boygirl

LA let’s play East H is the oyster

let’s go nowhere what have i got to lose

streaks of time fingers and others touching

what was part of a dowry gone poisoned

my turn to burn the cancer of this pain

rage shame weakness and hate

the mark of incomprehensible

where did it go wrong

i’ll say it plain

they took my innocence

my sense of self

spirit and mind

and you expect me to shut up

the weed is grown

and life takes course

confusion sets the stage

and the ocean swallowed me whole

shoreline

the nutty wafts of kelp breeze

wrap around my body

looking at the waves they crash

the little crabs shake

their tiny pinchers at them

they all just laugh  

their foamy locks behind them

my fingers remind me

that i’m digging in the sand

i smile on my left side

two young lilac gulls screech

over some meaty mussels

my attention zooms in at the ferris wheel

closing my eyes

subtle waves of nauseous panic come

but you’re gone

your arms not there to hold me

your lips can not whisper

your hungry desires in my ear

your wandering finger tips caressing

the nipples on my breasts

as i whispered i want you

we both laughed

the piercings in your lips

they caught my hair

we clasped tattooed hands

the deepness in your voice

only for me

subtle wind moans

only to be cut by youthful laughter

holding my knees

those demons prick at me

your notes didn’t answer my questions

mommy issues

it drips and mingles

marries with the blood

soothsayer to what comes

slashes through the confusion

of the heart ethics

of good and not

so much evil is

her delicious name i

a groupie of her’s

claimed soul punch the

mirror to break the


soul it’s cloaked in

tones of luke warm

vengeance clouded in the

wine and chemicals entwined

don’t need your knife

to stab my back

i can self destruct

in searing pleasure do

you know what love

is i didn’t think

so and words fall


from your corpsely lips

corrupting my intentions to

provide a safety switch

to the runaway train

that is my conscience

rage and anger exotic

sisters of pain and

trickery demons extraordinaire in

the doctrine of auto

annihilation i rebuke myself

turn to junkydom cliff

inventory

It took about three hours to get back to Los Angeles Street from Mission Avenue with its grandiose blocks of junked cars and guys who waved flags like bull fighters guiding you into their shop driveways to get your muffler repaired for $75. I thought about Hemingway’s story. Looking down at the dirty greased earth wondering why I wasn’t dead that afternoon trying to find the lesson or the meaning of that particular event in my life. I became aware that at some point in my journey I would have to take control. My higher mind would have to take control of myself come hell or high water, against all gods, all demons, against all angels, against all saints, against myself, against the world.

My body hurt and the concrete was harder than I had remembered. My feet were pulsating with exhaustion. The worn sole of my right Chinese girl shoe mouthed slowly at every step as it “peeoed-peeoed” at me like baby birds demanding food. My left shoe was now a casualty strewn under a fire escape at Werdin Place. I imagined my shoe embalmed with bum urine and cigarette ash. My shoe had served me well. I just needed to get to the Cecil.

I never felt pity for myself until that moment. My one black sock was still on my left foot and I stank like cigarette and latex. My navy blue hoodie was torn at the nape where the hood connects to the body from where I was pulled. It had scabby matted clots of blood and snot on the arm cuffs. I could smell the blood iron sickly sweet rubbery odor ground into the fabric mesh of my clothes. Memories of how well-groomed and perfect my mother and sister always were wafted over my mind. Impeccable make up, pressed clothes, matching jewelry and exquisite scents. Jasmines, roses, spices, musks; all offerings to the heavens and here I was dirty deep into the marrow. Blood, spit and skin ground into the tar. My body and feeble sanity violated.

I consoled myself by tearing the bandages off my throat and my left ring finger. The bandages caused me to admit defeat or worst yet, victimhood. I felt guilty thinking about my mom and her baubles. Those were her drugs and her costumes hiding scars my dad gave her both inside and out. I sat on the curve of Sunset and Spring St. amongst the scent of Peking duck and taquitos. I cried for my mother. I hated myself for crying just because I needed her. I didn’t deserve anything, so I just allowed myself to feel her pain like I did when I was a kid. I needed to punish my stupidity and my addictions. I didn’t like silks or jewelry anyway. I was too ugly. My mom never liked my nose, eyes or my boyish body. I was too short for her taste. I guess my father’s Portuguese genes were stronger than my mother’s German ones.

Dedicated to my friend Nick Reeves.

three sun girl

at seven months utero blue washroom

the fists pummeled my mother’s face

she never knew i felt it too

in 71’ there was a great earth quake

they ran out and left me in

she never thought i felt it

a tiny tot no older than three suns

the girl with more suns you left me with

shoved my little hands and face

into her secret universes

nobody cared that forcefully i ate them

often told to talk about the greatness

of your perfection as a guide

remind me if you can what were your triumphs

with this backwards crazed unparentble child

other than your abandonment

for many years and as i developed into a self defined

grotesqueness of abomination

taught by the punks the junks and queers

they are my kind they know about the record

not knowing then what i know now

this feeling i snorted it in chugged it

down with lots of gin that other feeling

i shot it up to the Lord above and took it

in the front and back from any boy as lost as i was

i took the punches curses put downs and secrets

too unsavory for the family name sake

there was a time when i yelled fuck you to

everyone around i cut the cord called you both whores

and headed into town and here i stand until the

end that nears upon me nuzzling my throat

with words in nature cleansing

i now move up one more step of wisdom

understanding that the spark of love for you

unrequited as it was never tainted

the three sun girl can go to rest

her eyes no longer brimmed with tears but hope