womb

good morning mother i’m inside of your womb this is

the first time that i’ve noticed it it’s blue with

gray cotton candy covering father Sun drenches me with Holy

Light and spindly arms grow strong my legs regenerated it feels good to be

cavalo branco

a

run i desire

freedom between the old bricks

legs bent pale tired

b

morning frost soft wind

my brittle neck is tied tight

my heart turns timid

c

freedom is the blood

gallop on fire of strength

now i won the race

two aging Fräulein

lenore/would you have fucked Bukowski (putting out cigarette butt)

grady/no (cracking knuckles)

lenore/yeah he wasn’t very handsome

grady/but he was like so fucking deep (blowing clove smoke)

lenore/i’m not a reader sorry i like a good movie (looking for American flag bic lighter in grocery bag)

grady/yeah no i’m not a big reader either (sipping diet coke slurpee)

lenore/i feel like a loser i should have been married by now (sipping fresca)

grady/i’m not worried about that (eyes melt over Brazilian guy’s round tight ass)

lenore/what do you want most of all

grady/(puckers up at sky)to feel

lenore/in control you mean i wanna be in control of everything

grady/no just to feel like feel the petal of a flower or of a beating heart or the pain of a tragedy you know like that kinda stuff

lenore/i wanna have fun and have stuff and go to a big church and have tea parties and furs and cute babies (lights a doobie)

grady/(sips diet coke slurpee and looks at dirty converse shoes) i spent so many years being numb

lenore/who’d blame you though (coughing weed smoke out at diet coke can)

grady/people we’re funny creatures contradictions i guess

lenore/(blazing) have i ever told you i don’t understand you most of the time

grady/my point exactly lenore i feel like i’m going crazy sometimes

lenore/you’re a brainiac always in your head live a little (offers doobie)

grady/(lights up a fifth clove declines doobie)i just have lots of thoughts lenore that’s all (smiles at pigeons)

lenore/you wanna get laid are you lonely my ex brother in law works at circle k he’s good in bed

grady/hmmm no and yeah (lets out a long clove smoke breath)

lenore/there has to be more to this

grady/it’s in you lenore dig deep you’re gold too

lenore/(smiles)wanna go to Med Men with me

grady/naw but thanks (gives homeless lady a clove and water bottle)

lenore/where you going babe

grady/downtown it’s dusk and the saxophones are waiting (dances a little makes lenore laugh)

hesitant

it doesn’t seem so long ago

that i smoked some cloves

was listening to the Pogues

and drifted into some world war

that i’ve only seen in film

over at Grauman’s Chinese theater

my blues are turning black

and though i opted out of methadone

it never meant that i was strong

will i ever say farewell and laser off the scars

of the circumstances of our battles

at two i’m getting up to pee

the midnight birds are wrapping up

the roosters will shortly crow their song

across the street with the old Japanese couple

i like to think that yesterday’s gash was really a fluke

but the book teaches that we must be quite honest

not being responsible enough to make a decision

i straighten out the linen closet instead

until the sun washes away my pain with her golden arms of fire

tallith

at moon’s end

i find myself

trying to stitch

back together

what i so vehemently

spent so many years

tearing apart

the light is subtle

too feeble for me to thread

needles of apology

remorse or redemption

yet i continue on

finger tips pale

pricked by bitter reminder

of gaping tears

i tore into the fabric

of decency and self-dignity

with offerings of woolen prayers

i attempt to mend and patch

a heart sullen with snags and rips

to no avail

on most any day

then every so often

the rays of light

knit me a magnifying glass

and in subtle ways

i toil at weaving

a better human fabric

for myself

of which i make offerings

of tzitzit embroidered with the shame

of tails in between my walking legs

with seams of hope

that mercy will be granted

at the ending of my new day

a prodigal’s tithe

i bring forth a gift

humble but frail in its heart

gratitude for life

…now sleep in it

in my age

i just learned

how good it

feels to wake

up in my

bed so warm

and soft and

inviting some say

it would feel

like the hug

of a mother

but in my

age this is

all i have

created by my

own unsure hand

Rooster

In 1993 I learned two things about Chinese culture. First that it was the Year of the Rooster and second, that “he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument.”

 In 2003 I sat in the Cecil’s lobby, putrid and rancid with depressive thoughts, but hoping to score; human companionship. No one was there anymore and I was an adult now. My mind meandered.

Rooster was my father. In his youth he was Billy-from-Easy-Rider handsome, cocky, and a womanizer. Rooster would never back down from a fight, ever. He drank enough booze to fly a plane, snorted mountainous amounts of cocaine, cursed, worked hard and partied even harder. I heard that in the autumn of his life Rooster wore scars and tattoos like medals, sped on motorcycles, and had no connection with the children he spawned in and out of wedlock.

Two blond women with big jugs stomped into the lobby and yelled at the janitor demanding that he produce a Roy Mingus. I’ve never forgotten that name on account that is sounds really cool. I imagined Roy looking like Hugh Hefner but broke. The ladies left into the back of the hotel and gassy breeze sneaked in; I thought about Los Feliz and me squeezing lighter fluid into the barbecue pit when I was five.

During the years of my short lived young life, my mother survived through ten years of battle and then my parents divorced. When sober, Rooster was verbally abusive and when high and drunk ultra-violent if anyone crossed him. Other than that, he had been a devout Sunday morning Catholic, chest pounder, and rosary wielding. Tithe giving included.

Rooster came to the brink of death a few times at the hands of his own brother, Gjeo and their motor cycling brothers when they got wind that he’d beat up some broad. It wasn’t in their intricate code of ethics to strike women or kids. The running joke amongst them was that Rooster was like Lazarus for having the longest record of recovery after having his ass and several other organs handed to him over the years. In some ways, I admired the resiliency in him. In other ways, I had always felt profound sorrow and tenderness for the old man.

I curled up and nodded off into the ozone of the lobby. It was around one in the morning that old Pike straggled in and woke me. He startled me and I swung, narrowly missing his crotch. After cussing and gasping he sat across from me in the greasy old easy chair. We started talking about lawn mower motors. He chattered away, but my mind was ten years back.

That 1993 spring mid-morning was fragrant as the moisture in the air teased out the green hopeful smell of ferns and pepper trees surrounding my uncle’s garage. I needed my uncle to explain catalytic converters to me. My mechanic wasn’t able to fix my Jeep and maybe Aces, as my uncle was called, could.

my way…

in 1993 i learned two things about Chinese culture first that it was the Year of the Rooster and second that he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument

in 2003 i sat in the Cecil’s lobby putrid and rancid with depressive thoughts but hoping to score human companionship no one was there anymore and i was an adult now my mind meandered

Rooster was my father in his youth he was Billy from Easy Rider handsome cocky and a womanizer rooster would never back down from a fight ever he drank enough booze to fly a plane snorted mountainous amounts of cocaine cursed worked hard and partied even harder i heard that in the autumn of his life rooster wore scars and tattoos like medals sped on motorcycles and had no connection with the children he spawned in and out of wedlock

two blond women with big jugs stomped into the lobby and yelled at the janitor demanding that he produce a Roy Mingus i’ve never forgotten that name on account that is sounds really cool i imagined Roy looking like Hugh Hefner but broke the ladies left into the back of the hotel and gassy breeze sneaked in i thought about Los Feliz and me squeezing lighter fluid into the barbecue pit when i was five

during the years of my short lived young life my mother survived through ten years of battle and then my parents divorced when sober Rooster was verbally abusive and when high and drunk ultra violent if anyone crossed him other than that he had been a devout Sunday morning Catholic chest pounder and rosary wielding tithe giving included

Rooster came to the brink of death a few times at the hands of his own brother Gjeo and their motor cycling brothers when they got wind that he’d beat up some broad it wasn’t in their intricate code of ethics to strike women or kids the running joke among them was that Rooster was like Lazarus for having the longest record of recovery after having his ass and several other organs handed to him over the years in some ways i admired the resiliency in him in other ways i had always felt profound sorrow and tenderness for the old man

i curled up and nodded off into the ozone of the lobby it was around one in the morning that old Pike straggled in and woke me he startled me and i swung narrowly missing his crotch after cussing and gasping he sat across from me in the greasy old easy chair we started talking about lawn mower motors he chattered away but my mind was ten years back

that 1993 spring mid morning was fragrant as the moisture in the air teased out the green hopeful smell of ferns and pepper trees surrounding my uncle’s garage i needed my uncle to explain catalytic converters to me my mechanic wasn’t able to fix my Jeep and maybe Aces as my uncle was called could

heart of the matter

i love going to the hills

atop Silver Lake

where i can see Hollywood

my home my western shore

my dusty concrete paths

winding with a promise

to all that we are alive

in the City of Illusions

and that life is no illusion after all

paradox is my goddess

and Los Angeles my church

my habit was my pope

and my grit was my curse

perhaps we all strive

to go back home to reconcile

the hemorrhaging broken vein

and that’s all we want

contrition

Indeed, it is very rare when I can feel the stillness of my spirit. It is a wild one. It thrives on diving off the highest cliffs of life and relishes the feeling of narrowly avoiding the jagged rocks of human pain below. I feel her today. She sits next to me silently caressing the gold of the elusive clear horizon.

Thoughts of worry flood me every so often. Will the stillness leave us causing my spirit to tear my natural peace a sunder? It has been much too long before I had the courage to go on my own. To walk away from the safety of the rock solid artificial happiness was terrifying. I did not want to wander in the depth of dark waters for so many years more.

the day dream

the news comes and goes

laughing children noises

frame the window to a past

that has no terrible value

perhaps I should leave it to the dawn

The time for the appointment is here. I have made a commitment to go outside today. How I wish I was  in Big Sur with him. He loved me how I was, but I didn’t love myself. Do I love myself now, I wonder? I laugh a little. The water hushes me and I smile. His shoulders wide and strong, my disease and madness a little stronger. It’s not that he abandoned me, it’s just that he believed in freedom. I believed that my sickness was an entitlement worth dying for.

my way…

indeed it is very rare when i can feel the stillness of my spirit it is a wild one it thrives on diving off the highest cliffs of life and relishes the feeling of narrowly avoiding the jagged rocks of human pain below i feel her today she sits next to me silently caressing the gold of the elusive clear horizon

thoughts of worry flood me every so often will the stillness leave us causing my spirit to tear my natural peace a sunder it has been much too long before i had the courage to go on my own to walk away from the safety of the rock solid artificial happiness was terrifying i did not want to wander in the depth of dark waters for so many years more

the day dream

the news comes and goes

laughing children noises

frame the window to a past

that has no terrible value

perhaps i should leave it to the dawn

the time for the appointment is here i have made a commitment to go outside today how i wish i was  in Big Sur with him he loved me how i was but i didn’t love myself do i love myself now wonder i laugh a little the water hushes me and i smile his shoulders wide and strong my disease and madness a little stronger it’s not that he abandoned me it’s just that he believed in freedom i believed that my sickness was an entitlement worth dying for

Photo by Sue Vincent