the four letter kit

mind your etiquette and dress you tarty mess alcoholic in wedding veil left to rot in obscurity behind SS Kress dumpster fiendish queen of violent dream three tours in the cardiac desert come home we’ve no passion for your kind that’s ok i take what i can get karma super bitch with pretty face we get what we deserve my mind is just a wasteland one step two step five step six look down at the sky while the air hits my feet swirling up blood drops on the cuff rational decisions are best served late into the night the bats are hiding near in the tall and ancient magnolia trees with falling fruits into the stream of all thought that crosses here insanity wears lace and stirs that flames of cold remorse of atomic fences way up on the hill hashtags for all reasons but what’s the use if we all like to market pain for glamour and enrichment and my teeth go down the drain

on Hill st.

she knocked over the bottles but made it up the drawer to the mirror on the shelf my tabby is alive

the helicopters rumble through the smoky skies the news vans are ready for the close up the tents the chalks the body bags three hours after the big bang

right behind the liquor bank debris in the alley empty Old English bottles and some candy wrappers big hot Cheetos Big Mac box

i saw some guy take a noisy shit on the corner of King street and wipe it off with the LA times i closed the gray gingham curtains

i’m never really sure when the psych meds will kick in but i don’t care as long as i can hear the Garcia’s next door just in case they get drived by since mother had a stroke and lost control over her boys

i do have all i need i don’t mind the four am sirens at five am i’m still not sleeping looking out my fire escape balcony the LA Rams play tomorrow and Dignity Health wants to cure my everything


it’s not that i am being difficult Majesty

my people have no food to eat

not a pond to wash their tired feet

and my sons they squabble in vain

my daughters they struggle in pain

Majesty all i‘m saying is that my words

should not offend you as you have told

me always speak truth

but i have realized that i

do not agree that my tongue should be tied

and my soul deprived of freedom

to be who i am to soar to the heavens

or to delve in the deep

i do not agree that my limbs

should be caged if i have to

wage war against the enemies of my innocent babes

i don’t mean to be ungrateful

and rebellious at times

but when my children are cut down

by your Princes and clowns

i have to attack with my voice and my heart

through words that are poison

to your ego fueled mind

the sergeants of time

will slowly creep by

and carve out a zone

where i might just languish

in your punishing hate

but don’t turn your back

on those who adore you the most

because with every flower and offering

and purse full of coins

that they render to you

will only weigh you down

to a perdition of soul of spirit and crown

you can shut my lips and burn my body down

but it’s just a body a bag made of vanishing flesh

however Majesty you cannot neglect

the truth in their eyes

the strength in their breath

the beauty in their spirit

their righteous battle call

when the war rages out

the wicked will fall

et ecce mulier

omnipotent dawn shawled in gray and pink delicately kisses her on her scarred forehead as it rests against the bus bench advertising the most prestigious real estate agent in town while seven nylon bags each with a logo from a market or a high end store warehouse her last prized belongings one ragged blue Nike sneaker and paper cups filled with grime a broken clock and red wires

militant she is in body in mind she could be anywhere beyond the stars when she smiles the image in her eyes reveal the fires from hell in a most delicate green other times she sings in laughter and waves hello across the sky to the graces never seen by human eyes the locals with finery of wear wonder why she’s there and crown her as a public nuisance not meant to be part of this community there is just too much of a great divide between her prophecy and their brittle decaying reality

look the lawmen arrive she’s more despised and made to carry her belongings down Dolores St. and then the dusk with iron claw he comes and she can’t run away from the hand of fair and righteous rule the goodly people have unanimously decided through tax forms and priority that she must go away the jury wash their hands for the people have spoken and so she takes her fate with a tired brave face not understanding the hate or what she did and where it got her

for three days she’s placed on a hold prodded with instruments of scorn and judgment pleading for her thirst to be mollified she’s forced to take bitter pills as the keepers of the places gamble on her kismet now she’s subdued her gown is sheared down to her contorted waist lacerated feet and hands are tied to the bed of loveless nails for the sake of the most upstanding people’s protection system


on the last day of Hanukkah 2001 i was hung over from too many filterless Camels and clove cigarettes the night before i couldn’t sleep and i chain smoked i made my way to the cold bland bathroom to wash up the radio was on and i danced as i walked i moved like any skinny slinky Brit androgynous heart throb it boy from the 70’s i thought and felt kinda embarrassed after my ritual i went downstairs to chew the fat with Jonathon O’Mara from the coffee shop in the Tenderloin he wasn’t home so i went for a walk the sun was hot for a San Fran morning back then i was able to ride the bus for a quarter the drivers would mistake me for a high schooler it was easy i always wore boys clothes and black chucks my gay boyfriends always gushed over me as they tried to capture my femininity i loved having gay boyfriends we’d all have fun dance etc and i didn’t have to put out and if they needed an emergency fiancé to introduce to their waspy east coast family members they’d send out the beard signal and i was there we were all excellent fucking actors but behind the good times and the jokes we all lived our lives as prisoners in very painful cells some of the folks in our circle were even handed death sentences through illness or addiction as far as i went i had to fess up to my boys that men’s clothing might keep the rapists away and that when someone had the balls to tell me i was beautiful it would hurt very badly along with a litany of other issues most of my boys would gasp and then weep because they too had been deeply hurt continually for long periods of their life but we were a rowdy bunch we had survived our way and through those unfortunate passages we realized we were all connected and that race gender orientation and any other label didn’t really define us we were very strong and wise human beings with the capacity to love hard and relentlessly  as for Jonathon and i woe upon anyone who’d mess with his sweet pea for a portion of my life i was blessed enough to know such a human capacity existed and i can move forward with this evermore

Doña Margarita

now as i look in the mirror i see the scar on my neck where his ring ripped my skin off and wrinkles from all of the times i smiled before and after the event during that moment i fought back with everything i had i too was Jacob Israel in my bathroom looking down as my fingers blindly feel for eyeliner i think of Doña Margarita standing four feet tall outside of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church where i had gone that night looking for watermelon agua fresca i was thirsty for normal human contact she cajoled me about buying one of her amulets a little brown felt square with a saint on it or was it Michael i don’t recall anymore i smiled and shook my head no and as i walked away my mind was already boarding cloud nine but she followed me and said llevatelo es gratis i took her offering as her eyes turned stony with warning a few blocks away deranged in the annals of fifth street i lost it somewhere so into the bar i stepped had a few laughs saw a few flies guzzled a few vodkas and prepared to go up to the third floor to visit Taino another LA merchant turning the corner to go into the morgue like hotel lobby two arms wrapped around my 80 pound frame and into Werdin Alley we rolled but i swung with weak little arms i reached and i scraped faces arms noses tracers in denial that this was reality i focused on our collective flailing tattoos then ink covered my mind i woke up in County over hearing LAFD say she’s been a victim of a violent crime yet i could still feel the brown felt of Doña Margarita’s amulet in my hand it was anchoring


Taino although you’re not here anymore the Nirvana Arms still stand tall and even though our friendship was perplexing you taught me morality and how to see the goodness in the least expected people decency is at times not where we think it might or should be

And remember Waverly she’s a lawyer now but back then she was a lost kid we all hated you for calling the authorities on her folks for neglect although it was true we were mostly just tax exemptions religious guilt rescue pregnancies and a terrific pain in the ass to them but you saw us as diamonds in a very rough and unjust place

I learned how to walk in heels layer foundation insert a tampon and fill out job applications because of you and you sat me down to explain why i shouldn’t take my life all the while inside you were already dying against your will

No one came to say goodbye to you not even me and all i could think about was how you tore me away from rapists on Werdin Place and held me tight after the cops came never judged the look of my veins and gave me compassion at levels that until this day it’s so hard to take

Once in a while i see a strawberry blond wig at the Goodwill and smile or at Walgreens the cheap acrylic nail kits you were fond of tug at my very soul at Macy’s the tropical prints you admired and honored me in choosing for you and when we got into trouble and the hoosegow loomed in our future you were always a father and when needed for love advice calling off the school vice squad or a tender non judgmental kick in the ass you were always our mother

quae nunc, populi mei

where evils and torments hide

in the closet under boxes

inside urns of times forgotten

and disposed of like a bomb

glory be if it comes

by light but the night

is a begger and to hide away

her love she stabs me in my heart

the man will leave and take

away what will save him for

a day without noticing the silence

in the hills

of all the tools that have been

given by the only tree of life

depends on many factors writ in bloods

la llorona redux

children this is your mother city Porciuncula

calling and wailing when i feel your fall

i anger i ponder  cry in agony

i’ve watched you grow in my neighborwombs

i’ve watched you writhe in the pain of isolation

i’ve withstood you raising your hand in anger and murder

against your siblings    my streetveins flow through

your souls and while your spirits are still in the hearts

of your flesh ancestors your ache and loneliness

emblazoned on flags of blue red and black

demarking ancestral bruising

how can i avenge you my children

when i simultaneously incubate the demise

perhaps the answer lies

in my children rising up and punching with their brains

honoring themselves with their mind

and claiming your royal given right    to rise and be you