Saturday, December 29, 2007

grey morning, transparent clouds

10 minutes

rolled out of bed way too early this morning or at least that is how it feels. it wasn't too early though. it was 8:05am. my body was no longer interested in sleep even though i wanted to drift back into lucid dreams. there seemed unfinished business or lack of recall from some of the dreams. the whole night seemed to be some sort of odd recapitulation of excerpts from my life, actual characters replaced by new faces in some cases. the brain trying to draw lines between the dots and make connections while the other-reality part of the brain was presenting mobius loops and introducing unlikely or impossible trails to follow.

the strongest and most lingering recalls:

a woman who was either completely new or a composite of several people (i was reading about herman hesse's novel damien. perhaps influence by the character of frau eva?); an ambivalent relationship somewhere between platonic and intimate; a man who completed the triangle with more ambivalence; distances traveled everyday––something about the connection between a rural place and an urban setting; a place where everyone knows you; restraint in my own natural urges.

a return to art center, my alma mater. it was not clear why i was there. there were many familiar faces. we all came with our "kits," ready to design, draw, whatever. perhaps thoughts about me starting to teach next month. something i've wanted to do for a long time and it is finally happening.

in any case, my head was active and clear on this early winter day and i have the instinct that the feeling of this morning will stay with me for a long time to come...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Sarabande

souvenirs of the moments of a year

Strewn across his vision
are fragments of hues
and luminance; souvenirs
of the moments of a year.

White pale light conducts
fragments of remembrance,
matching chroma and senses
like a kiss telling a truth.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Written from Al-Zahra

a found poem

From al-Zahra
I remember you with passion.
The horizon is clear,
the earth's face serene

The breeze grows faint
with the coming of dawn.
It seems to pity me
and lingers, full of tenderness.

The meandering waterway
with its silvery waters
shows a sparkling smile.
It resembles a necklace
unclasped and thrown aside.

A day like those delicious ones
now gone by
when seizing the dream of destiny
we were thieves of pleasure.

Today, alone,
I distract myself with flowers
that attract my eyes like magnets.
The wind roughhouses with them
bending them over.

The blossoms are eyes.
They see my sleeplessness
and weep for me;
their iridescent tears overflow
staining the calyx.

In the bright sun
red buds light up the rose bushes
making the morning
brighter still.

Fragrant breaths come from the pome
of the waterlilies,
sleepyheads with eyes
half-opened by dawn.

Everything stirs up the memory
of my passion for you
still intactin my chest
although my chest might seem
too narrow to contain it.

If, as I so desire,
we two could again be made one,
that day would be the noblest
of all days.

Would God grant calm to my heart
if it could cease to remember you
and refrain from flying
to your side
on wings trembling with desire?

If this passing breeze
would consent to carry me along,
it would put down at your feet
a man worn out by grief.

Oh, my most precious jewel,
the most sublime,
the one preferred by my soul,
as if lovers dealt in jewels!

In times gone by
we demanded of each other
payments of pure love
and were happy as colts
running free in a pasture.

But now I am the only one
who can boast of being loyal.
You left me
and I stay here,
still sad, still loving you.

~ Ibn Zaydun
(died 1070) (Córdoba)

The River

for Benazir Bhutto

There is this sadness and comfort
As if everything is okay
Today when I walked beneath sheltering trees
The shade gave me a grace
I never thought was possible

There was for a moment
That I really am not alone
And tonight the stars
Would break open for me
And shed celestial light

I stopped in my tracks today
And looked down at a fallen leaf
So rusty and coppery in the midst of summer
And I saw myself in its colors
Always in autumn no matter the season

And in that moment
I let a bite of hope enter my heart
As if I didn't have to walk this path
With only my footsteps as companion
The road to the river won't be so far

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


sometimes things have to be arbitrary or seem that way, sometimes enough is enough and you dust off your breeches, get up and go. the thing is you never know when it comes. last night, it came to me and from where i know not. maybe it was in the words of another but that is not as important as it coming...

I am the blue horse that runs in the plain

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things
You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
You see, I am alive, I am alive

–N. Scott Momaday

Friday, December 14, 2007


today was marginally better.

i had to cry. i had to cut new quills and scribble thoughts on paper but it made me continue. at an hour before dusk, i walked and talked to the dying light to give me some interesting images. i walked and looked and shot while listening to suzanne vega and the shins. it is funny how simple things can make minutes, moments, hours more bearable...

Turn me back into the pet I was when we met

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth.
Only, I don't know how they got out, dear.
Turn me back into the pet that I was when we met.
I was happier then with no mind-set.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I'd 'a jumped from my tree
And I'd a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries.
Hope it's right when you die, old and bony.
Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall,
Never should have called
But my head's to the wall and I'm lonely.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I'd 'a jumped from my tree
And I'd a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

God speed all the bakers at dawn may they all cut their thumbs,
And bleed into their buns 'till they melt away.

I'm looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find.
Without a trust or flaming fields am I too dumb to refine?
And if you'd 'a took to me like
Well I'd a danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

–The Shins

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ludlow Street


sometimes one has to go back a long way and find some fragment in the past that helps to make the present more bearable. today, i came across the lyrics and music of suzanne vega again after having been far away for years.

i am reminded of being a confused 17 year old trying to make answers of questions he did not even know.

i am reminded that in art, i found help.

today, i found it again. for a moment, it makes the winter sun a little less harsh.

Ludlow Street

Love is the only thing that matters.
Love is the only thing that's real.
I know we hear this every day.
It's still the hardest thing to feel.

This time
When I go back to Ludlow Street,
I find each stoop and doorway's incomplete,
Without you there.

Another generation's parties.
And it is still the same old scene.
I can recall each morning after.
Painted in nicotene.

This time
When I go back to Ludlow Street,
I find each stoop and doorway's incomplete
Without you there.

All of the people I once knew.
All of the ones I was close to.

Love is the only thing that matters.
Love the only thing that's real,
And when I think about you now
Love is the only thing I feel.

This time
When I go back to Ludlow Street,
I find each stoop and doorway's incomplete
Without you there.

Tim, this time
When I go back to Ludlow Street
I find each stoop and doorway's incomplete
Without you there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


it has been a restless day and it feels like the night shall be the same. there is a world of too much space around me and there is a universe too far away from friends i wish i were with; even if i didn't have the right words to say or the right song to sing to carry us through this strange season.

i tried everything to get me through these weird moments; scratching a quill on paper; drawing a brush across paper; taking photos of an almost empty sky all the while thinking of the friends i'd rather be with yet nothing seemed to work. if the value of a vessel is the void within then this vessel is full of void today and i wish it were filled.

for all that i have, i wish the best thoughts out to my friends so as to remind them that they are not alone. perhaps in this, i can be at peace below the yew tree and the pale moon

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.

it is that time of the year again. i don't know why death comes so frequently around the holidays but several of my friends have lost dear ones in a short time. or is it maybe we jus pay attention to it more? is it because we become more sensitive of how it is to be alone?

whatever the reasons, i feel for my friends. it is also because i have expressed the same, have known the thorn in the heart and the pebble beneath the saddle. i am a horse so all i know is to move ahead regardless of whether or not i know what direction i'm headed into.

unlike some journeys, some destinations can't be known...

This is the light of the mind

The Moon and the Yew Tree

by Sylvia Plath

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God,
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky——
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection.
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness——
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars.
Inside the church, the saints will be all blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness—blackness and silence.


The painter's vision is not a lens

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All’s misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

Robert Lowell

calling it quits

encounters and musings

it is late and i can't seem to fall asleep.

i keep thinking about our two conversations since friday. they were nice though now i'm really curious because you wanted to send me a letter via snail mail. i'm like a cat and seem to have just as many lives. i wonder what this next life will bring me.

the "you" i'm referring you know who you are. after all these years you step back into my life and i don't know what to make of it. i hope you'll give me a clue. i still think about the shakespeare sonnet you sent to me years ago in a letter. it is one of the most endearing things anyone ever sent me.

as i've said before, karma is a strange mistress.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

les temps pas perdus


it was a strange and rewarding weekend.

the expected things that were good were even better than expectations. to see old friends that you have had history together was even more than one could ask for especially when your connections multiply with new wonderful people. you can never have too many wonderful people in your life.

then to get phone calls from people from your past that you have loved and reconnect; that is so much. i lack the words to describe such feelings even though at times i think of myself as an artist with language.

so all in all, it was a weekend of experiences beyond expectations. or in the words of dickens, it was a "great expectation."

Monday, December 03, 2007


we wake and upon our turn of shoulders we move. we don't always know where we are going but movement is a good thing when you are a nomad in heart and otherwise.

sometimes when you cross trails be them old or new senses come alive. the smell of burnt cinnamon, the roast of coffee and the dying sage that has been in a bag too long. one would think these these things would past. one would think that once i've gotten sand out of my socks i would not feel this way.

sands grate at my arteries though like life pushes my blood. all that i ever thought was untouchable has become reality.

there are not enough moments in which i could share my broken life with and never enough to give full disclosure. perhaps this is the ZEN i struggle with. perhaps giving a child a meal is enough for the day but i find it so doubtful.

but i can't change it. i can only make little images.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


transform the sky

if she calls
if they call
if i call myself
what will it come to?

in the cold days
i love to walk in the shade
knowing the light might melt me
knowing even i have a limit

if she calls
if they call
what if i hide myself
what would that bring me

in distant cloud days
in days when they are shy
i sense they won't enable me
they play tag with the yellow disc

02 december 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

most days I cannot remember

most days i cannot remember

Wanting to Die

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death’s a sad bone; bruised, you’d say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love whatever it was, an infection.

–Anne Sexton

Friday's omens

Yesterday was an eventful day. Meeting someone you've known online for a while in person always is even more so when you have similar bent on this strange internet world that we work and live in. Oh yes, having a wonderful lunch and great conversation with them is even better. Thanks D!

The afternoon...oh the afternoon. First there was the crate of fuyu persimmons...

fuyu persimmons

In the afternoon, while strolling down an old familiar avenue and seeing an old friend/co-worker from years ago was a bonus. Even from 25 meters away, there was no denying who he was. I called by his first name but got no response (maybe because it was John). I then called out, Mr. H. and watched him turn around. I waived. There was recognition now. I crossed the street and we chatted and caught up a bit. I took his photo. When we both resumed our opposite paths, I knew it was an omen. Days like I had yesterday don't happen for no reason.

I smiled. I smiled a real full smile outwardly and inwardly in a manner that seemed antique. Can facial expressions really get that way? Antique? Am I old enough for that? It didn't matter. I knew one chapter had closed and another had begun.

Ten minutes later, I saw a store that had favorite acoutrements of someone I held dear. Without thinking twice about it, I went in and bought something of use (I knew for sure) for her. I'd mail it on Saturday. It didn't matter if it got refused or not. It was just the way I felt, my surroundings felt. I decided that was okay. Whatever was going on in my mind was okay because they were my thoughts and I could do whatever I did with them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


If I were in this night
To lose you to some uncertainty

There would be one less unknown
Like the ephemeral seventh color

Of Sir Isaac Newton's rainbow
Then I would have to learn to love

Another hue, perhaps magenta
Which when dark enough reminds

Me of crimsom that flows in
Our veins; a reminder of our sins

November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

it is relative

it is again late. though this kind of late is relative, it relative because i cannot be sure of my origin. how does one measure where they are from? by geography, by the last words said in an incident? by the last wreckage that you had started (and one where parts of you were left behind)? no matter, right now i know i'm not at home and it is not such a bad thing.

sometimes there is a wonderment in being lost in a city full of secrets and no map has ever been drawn of it. a city not made obscure by the mist or narrow alleys but by the hundreds or thousands of faces you pall by and you realize you can't tell them apart. yes, that is the kind of face that is most difficult to ascertain because of their homogenity it is easy to forget who you are.

perhaps this is what solitude really is

Floating World

floating world

Between earth and sky
there is a floating world
unseen by the likes of
who walk by day.

Beneath earth and sky
there is a kingdom
of ghosts of those
who haven't let go.

In the distance between
him and her, there leagues
that yet to be walked and
wows yet to be exchanged.

November 28, 2009


Saturday, November 24, 2007


Early November morning rays
of cool light turn warm as they

pass through the gossamer
veils upon the window.

I could almost imagine
the decay of autumn and

the dormancy of winter
are over but the frosty air

tells me a different story.
I know this to be factual because

I am made of water. Instead
of melting I am giving off winter's breath.

Instead of warming I chill all around
me with the reverie of my heart.

I'm impervious to frost bite.
I glow like a child's rosy

cheeks but within me are
icebergs for sinking ships.

November 24

Friday, November 16, 2007

nocturne, friday

sometimes, late in the night though not too late you are sitting there staring at the computer display with itunes running and the tv on but set to mute.

in such an event, you sooner or later wonder "what the hell am i doing?" then you remember that you were hoping to talk to someone before the medications your doctor prescribed for you to have a decent night's sleep are going to kick in. still, you find yourself defiant; "i can handle it."

yet there is not quite that level of determination you were hoping for. but you wait anyhow, you then start surfing the photostreams of people you like and your won then you stumble onto the epiphaby...

don't try to make too much sense of it, it is the nature of the wandering mind. don't try to understand all and don't try to remember everything. just let it feel you and then let it past...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The underlying cause is as absent as rain.

The underlying cause is as absent as rain

In a landscape of having to repeat

In a landscape of having to repeat.
Noticing that she does, that he does and so on.
The underlying cause is as absent as rain.
Yet one remembers rain even in its absence and an attendant quiet.
If illusion descends or the very word you’ve been looking for.
He remembers looking at the photograph,
green and gray squares, undefined.
How perfectly ordinary someone says looking at the same thing or
I’d like to get to the bottom of that one.
When it is raining it is raining for all time and then it isn’t
and when she looked at him, as he remembers it, the landscape moved closer
than ever and she did and now he can hardly remember what it was like.

–Martha Ronk

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Night Oleander

night oleander

Follow me to my true center
Find the true nature of this body
Reveal the honesty of your desire

November 6, 2007


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


A fragment found in one of my notebooks:

"Love is a maze in which the corridors are hidden within our own hearts that even we cannot see so we stumble through the hidden lanes like a blind person in the Minotaur's labyrinth. The only way to see it truly is to tear our heart apart and risk the price of death to see an ephemeral vision of our own love's truth."

November 16, 2006

I don't know what was on my mind at the time I wrote this but now I understand what I was trying to say.


For the second time in over a month, I actually was still in deep slumber when morning came – as opposed to being already wide awake or having not fallen asleep at all from the night before and/or from the night before that. In the midst of my emotional maelstroms I always lose sleep but never like this before. The first week found me going for 7-8 days with only half an hour or an hour of sleep a night. I'd almost stopped eating. A piece of fruit here, a little cereal, a glass of milk (and I don't normally drink milk), peanuts, ice cream. Yeah, really healthy considering my normal eating habits. One day I came out of the shower and weighed myself. I'd lost 9 lbs in a week (and I only weigh 118 lbs). I think it was somewhere around there that I decided something had to change or I'd disappear into thin air.

I tried to breathe the air again and see if it felt any different. There was the start of some musty scents that were sure signs of autumn. They are even there in a land with not quite real seasons and even in suburbia. My eyes could still recognize the beauty in the hues of fallen leaves, the hues of decay. Even in decay there is beauty.

I don't know where this is all taking me but I know autumn is a time for for many things to turn down, decay, go dormant in order to rise again. Whatever comes, I am sure it will be interesting, challenging, beautiful, heartbreaking and will irrevocably change me. Nothing is permanent.

Monday, November 05, 2007

October 30th

I cry and I cry
All the night is still dark
And all the stars are like your eyes

But I still stare into the darkness
But I still search for the star I had named
After you so long and drifting name
After your name that would rebirth

But I'm left with
The cold, cold dark night
I'm here beneath this moon
She tells me it will get better

But I only see the black of night
I only see beauty of what I can't see
I only see of what my words started

October 30, 2007


Touch me for a moment
Or just a glance
Touch me as if I were a glare
Into the darkness of your soul

I know I'm so not allowed
I know I'm so forbidden

But there is this image
But there is this taste
It is of your eyes so blue
It is of your lips so salty

October 29, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007


Tonight is the loneliest of nights
All I want to give and all I want to touch
All I want to feel that's ever been important
So distant from me, so far in this desert
Tonight I'll dream of blue seas of your eyes
Tonight I shall die in your waters forever

October 28, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

i wonder

i wonder if she misses me at all like i miss her like the ocean misses the winds that turns its crests into the spray of angels...

Friday, October 26, 2007


It is my left hand that reaches
Reaches for a form that is now
Only memory though so vivid

Reaching for bleached coppery
Wires above the warm pillow
Gentle breath against the linen

How I want me to be the linen
To be part of breath taken in
To be the life in melancholy breath

October, 25 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007


God I miss her...


for Hilary

She curls up into herself
thinking of this shape and position;
something of a more comfortable state.

She remembers the dark,
the slurred sounds and warmth
in another time, other place.

She is struck with a bright light, fire
and cry, the first loud sound of her voice
and opens bright eyes into a new world.

Birth and renaissance aren't too different;
in one you have no volition and in the other
you are of ashes building into feathers.



In september he found a bird floating
upon the ocean's winds in a distant place.
It had a heart so distant with strings
tied to the vessels of his soul.
There was a wandering soul
looking at cold seas but hoping
a warmth within and beneath.

He lifted letters, assembled words,
sewed them together and made a flag.
He flew the flag for the bird to see,
for the distant wandering albatross.
He plucked at hairs, assembled brushes,
wetted paper with pigment.

He held up longing images against his window,
wishing for the bird to find his beacon.
One day the bird came to earth, placed its feet down,
wrapped its wings around him and
he felt a movement beneath his ribs
for the first time in ages.

He touched its feathers,
his fingers always trembling,
he looked in its eyes,
it held stories and lives.
He tried to tell it everything that was him,
he wanted to confess the good and the bad,
he was still wrapped in a gossamer of fear
stronger than steel and older than rocks.

One morning came,
he woke entangled in the gossamer,
it was changing, he was changing.
He could not finish his whole story
so his voice was lost.
Stories yet untold, seeped out on their own,
turned into betrayal, turned into pain.
His hands; what were once covered in skin
now turned feathery;
His human form lost to silence,
he fell out of the window;
found the cold sea's wind.

Looking behind, she was curled up and folded in,
still with those depths in her eyes;
with such sadness in her eyes.
Looking below, he saw a string tied to his breast
but he knew it was not a miracle thread
to find the window again nor return.

October, 2007


It is that feeling again,
It is like being on that edged hold,
The rock cutting into your flesh
And the last solid saviour is six meters down.
You are on heaven's precipice.
It kills you to stay but you won't let go;
Better to die smashing all below you
Than to avoid pain.
Better to slash open your heart
And give it to the sky, thinking
There must me a star there that wants you.
Blood can't hold heart,
Muscles can't hold life
So you become best friends with Virgil.

October 24, 2007

In Morning Light

Pu-erh greets me in morning light
Her scent pulls emotions deep in darkness
Her scent give pulse to a dying muscle
She comes to me from a thousand leagues
She brings to me scents of mist laden havens
She touches me in a scant moment;
Thousands of years have longed for touch.

October 24, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It is like a bass line
That thumps in your chest.
It won't go away,

Its rhythm won't quit.
It is like an aria in your heart;
It sings until exasperation.

It is like a long drawn chord
From Jacqueline's hands.
It feels like dusk at mid-afternoon.

You find the moon where
She should not be, so many leagues
Before she will give you light.

October 24, 2007


And yes I do miss you.
Yes I miss you...
I would be telling an honest lie
If I said differently.
I know I miss you.
But the pearls of my words
Have turned into coal to you,
Even if they are shiny.
And yes I do miss you,
Yes I miss you.
The summer strands in autumn;
How strange you are,
How your colors stayed true
Through all the torment.
How you made me feel
(earth's magma in my heart)
And how I disappointed you.
Yes I still feel you.
Now I sit with a cauldron of molten tears,
Molten past and it is my function
To let all melt all into one.

October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Swords and Cups

Flip some cards, toss some stones

Write some words,
Make them soothing;
It's only morning.

Flip some cards, toss some stones,
Light the incense, inhale the smoke.
Drink the tea, it's much too hot;
Scalds the tongue but doesn't hurt

As much as what lingers.
There's the eight of swords
And three of cups;
The magician is so out of place.

Write some words,
Make them soothing,
Make them healing.

October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007


That red lump of flesh
It wants the freedom to go past
The fragile threshold of comfort

It wants to wander the Gobi sands
To find a warmth it lost because of words
Because it never really owned its vessel

That red lump of flesh
It wants to break the invisible line
The numbing threshold of pain

It wants stray on Antartic sheets
To cool its fiery furnace of longing
Because this body never knew moderation

It never could leave love for logic
Nor find logic in love's reasoning

October 22, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Outside the window the night is still cold

perhaps the hues will be warmer


From another point of view
perhaps the truth looks different;
perhaps the hues will be warmer.

Outside the window the night is still cold.
Sky hides the stars from me
so my thoughts don't stray to her.
Sky tells me, "Find the warmth in clouds
and I'll cleanse you with morning's rain."

October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007


Tip tip, tap tap, splat sputter, tap,
Sky pulls a grey cover over her pretty
blue face to hide her sadness.

She works to stay quiet but her crying
lets loose tears to earth sounding like
plucked harp strings or a struggling brook

in the midst of Winter's ice.
I feel the cold in her hands reaching
toward my face and into my blood.

She says, "I ask for little, just a little verse,
just a momentary touch as it is so distant
and cold up here. So ethereal is this

existence and I want to feel, for once,
something warm besides a shower
of fiery meteors caught in my hair."

October 15, 2007

Silentium Amoris

As often-times the too resplendent sun
Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won
A single ballad from the nightingale,
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,
And all my sweetest singing out of tune.

And as at dawn across the level mead
On wings impetuous some wind will come,
And with its too harsh kisses break the reed
Which was its only instrument of song,
So my too stormy passions work me wrong,
And for excess of Love my Love is dumb.

But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show
Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung;
Else it were better we should part, and go,
Thou to some lips of sweeter melody,
And I to nurse the barren memory
Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung.

Oscar Wilde

This poem was sent to me as a share by an acquaintance. I don't think she had any idea how close this is to the roilings of my insides as of late...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


The measure of depth in the season
is how low the morning shadows
are upon my neighbor's wall when I wake.

Even this far past sunrise the angles are low,
slanted, seemingly sharp. They remind me
of the sometimes sharp lines made by

light and shade cutting into Scottish fog
in early winter. The visuals take me
to another place; momentarily,

I escape the scraping feeling in my chest
(like a stingray's tail being removed).
I am still here and the angles are changing,

the day's light transforms as I am transformed.
bit by bit, the fleshy parts of memory
are removed and when I turn to the mirror

I begin to recognize myself less and less.
Soon, all those live cells with living memory
will fade and like a serpent I will have shed

my skin and be fresh to inherit another set
of this experience in each and every
moment of beauty, madness, joy and pain.

October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The bird being a medium of song

The bird being a medium of song


Air an instrument of the tongue,
The tongue an instrument
Of the body. The body
An instrument of spirit,
The spirit a being of the air.

The bird a medium of song.
Song a microcosm, a containment
Like the fresh hotel room, ready
For each new visitor to inherit
A little world of time there.

In the Cornell box, among
Ephemera as its element,
The preserved bird–a study
In spontaneous elegy, the parrot
Art, mortal in its cornered sphere.

Robert Pinsky

poised for autumn


all senses poised
for autumn
like a leaf on edge

october 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007


In the dim fall light
At the window eating
A fuyu persimmon
Thinking of one that I
Might have shared with

October 12, 2007

roiling dreams

i spent the night in endless roiling dreams.

in the dreams i rolled and tumbled like one she told me of once and she kept entering my presence, my existence. i found myself curling up like a millipede or pretending to be a shut nautilus to push her presence out. each time stung like a centipede's bite but i could not bear the allure and pain of her presence, her touch.

i wrapped her up in an imaginary membrane and tied it shut to rid her from my mind.

in the dream, i wept. when i woke, my pillow was damp and smelled of salt.

Like Gunpowder

tea like gunpowder

Below a splotched sky
He needs tea like gunpowder
To hold against images
Lingering from last night's
Dreams like she lingers
In his consciousness

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Feeling flighty

Feeling Flighty

Early morning
Chill of autumn
Tea grows cold fast

Feeling flighty
Feeling nomadic
Images of deserts

Turquoise then shells
Some place to find
Warmth for the heart

October 11, 2007

Pu-erh & Persimmon

and gazed at its dark liquor

I had my first persimmon
of the season today; another
sign of autumn's presence.
Its sweet, bitter taste
demanded a tea worth
its depth. So I made a
pot of Pu-erh and gazed
at its dark liquor. Its drifting
fragrance like a longing for a
lover walking beyond one's vision.

October 1o, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Today I Drank Jasmine

Today I drink jasmine

I picked up these artifacts;
they made me think of her.
that night I drank tea;
ginseng oolong with friends.
Today I drink jasmine
and choose a quill to suture
words knowing she is gone.

October 9, 2007

– equusignis

autumnal cycle

october is here again. this part of autumn is my favorite part of the
year though it is always associated with great pain. perhaps it is something i do to myself to match the season; everything decays and/or dies in order to have a rebirth again in spring.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I think of her
how could it
be possible

that she does not
walk in my mind?

The warmth of
her footsteps across
mazes of my dreams.

October 8, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007


i stood there,
watching the kettle.
waiting for the moment.
i wanted the hotness
of the water to brew
the tea of green but to
avoid the shriek of the
whistle of the boiling point.
why am i nervous?
with you in the other room,
covered beneath white and green?

september 30, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If I wound another

If I wound another

"If I cheat another, I cheat myself out of the person that I could be. If I wound another, I will eventually find the cut recalled to my own heart. There is no appropriate confession, only the will not to fail again so readily, perhaps because while failure can be forgiven it cannot be excused."

– Jeanette Winterson

Thursday, September 27, 2007


It is still early, before 6 AM and the warmth of you
is rushing off to dim morning streets
then onto the distant campus.
My nostrils still are in a dreamy head of you
though my eyelids are lifted to wakefulness
and my fingers fumble to grind coffee
and froth stubborn soy milk.
The apartment now half empty,
I watch the cool grey beyond the windows
turn creamy white as the sun casts its rays
across the waking city. Sounds of the streetcars
and loud clinking glass tumbling into recycling bins
are so sharp compared to the muffled and
soothing hush of me pulling a blanket
over your shoulders; so different then
the barely perceptible lento and largo
of my fingers brushing your hair
away from your face so I might find
a hint of a smile or soft grin on your lips
while you teeter between slumber
and the light of morning. In these hours,
in these expanses of time and distance
while you are gone, I must remind myself
of the other half of me. The one that is still here
standing in the damp footstep of
where you stepped from the shower;
skin warm and moist (and I had to restrain
myself so you wouldn't be late).
I'll hold these sensory experiences
like fragile magical icicles that
won't melt in the heat and sunlight.
And with these, I'll have prisms that will
guide me in the images I am to bring
into the world this autumn morning.

September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Indian Summer

indian summer

Beneath the indian summer sun
My skin wishes for the shadow of you
Standing above me; summer strands
Flicking stringy shadows across
My washed out, squinted eyed face.

Beneath the warmth of this day,
The salt on my skin dies to be tasted.
Crouched above me, flushed moist lips
Make me feel like a summer snack;
Hot trembling skin, smelling of autumn.

September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

At Dawn

through the glass hazy

Dawn comes through the hazy window,
Morning's blue tempered by aged glass.
Beyond, cold air of early autumn seeps through.

In here, the warmth of you holds me;
In here, golden strands bring me summer rays;
The slow rise and fall of your gentle chest;
The in and out of your breath that I breathe;

These mornings are new, so new to us
Though they feel like the stirring of ages
In the way we entwine in one another.

September 25, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anterior Superior Iliac Spine

I was momentarily distracted
by the protrusion
of her hip bone:
anterior superior iliac spine.

It is not that my vision is bad
but the clarity in my head
was not on the clarity
of the closed glass door.

September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

sister sea

i am sitting here eating tuna
and it makes me think of the sea;
its saltiness and its proximity to you.

i am not a jealous soul but in this case
i envy the sea but know it's pointless.
she will laugh at me and my impatience.

yesterday when i stared at her,
she knew what i was thinking
because we are both waters of sorts.

and she snickered and threw spray at me,
she left a briny film on my pale skin
and said that is what yours will taste like.

sister sea always knows what churns in me
and always finds cause to jest
of all the things i find irresistible.

sometimes she puts brine in my eyes
then asks what i'm crying for;
then turns and says gravely to me,

"think of it as a blessing, dear child.
you have crossed a threshold into a new life
few in this universe can even imagine of."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

an act of love

for love or art?

an act of love has only in it
total clarity like a cloudless night

an act of love has no judgement
like the wings of a hummingbird

an act of love holds the wisdom
of a million broken hearts

an act of love holds a universe
of emotions like a blink holds light

it gives up on nothing and nothing
can contain its expansion

it is the only virus in our experience
that was meant to be from inception

january 31, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the courting

standing still in the wind,
his mane flutters about his neck.
in the near distance,
he smells her scent.
he is pulled in like water
down a fall though
his genes tell him it is danger.

she crouches in the low grass,
thinking she can't be seen.
she sees an irresistible sight,
an opportunity that can't be passed up.
already she salivates,
already tasting an easy meal.

he stares into blades of ochre
and stalks of burnt umber,
sees the glow of her yellow eyes
she thinks he can't see.
he stomps his hoof
on the hardened soil,
throws up dust like whisps of smoke.

she thought she saw fire,
she knows she saw smoke;
it can't be real.
it's just a riderless horse, lost.
how hard could this be?
how dangerous is a lone horse?

far above beyond both sets of eyes;
beyond the common senses
of earthly creatures not of god
olympians chuckle in their mirth.

september 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nguyen Duc Dat

my great-great-grandfather

My great-great-grandfather Nguyen Duc Dat.

My grandmother had a tattered and torn wallet sized photo of him and asked if I could do something to salvage it. It took hours of minute repainting but today, I finally finished. Prints are to be made and sent back to the family altar back in Vietnam

Sunday, September 09, 2007

night songs

for when or why i don't understand
but there is this melody in my head.
there is a woman's voice in my skull;
she murmurs phrases in my dreams.

for night that comes without warning
there is an phantom songbird.
there is that voice again, a moan;
she tells me a tale, makes me shudder.

september 2007

from the outside

he watches himself from outside of his skin.

he stares intently, thinking there is a light in

there somewhere.

it just must be hidden. he sidesteps away from

the shadow of the trees looming behind him.

the trees of life he almost expects to abandon –

the way he feels.

the feeling inside of his chest.

it's what happens when you constrict

time and space by the force of emotions.

reality is distorted in the same way that

large bodies in this universe distorts space.

how does he deal with this?

how does he deal when he himself is the cause

of the distortion? did einstein think of this?

what if he called stephen hawking now?

what would he say?

it's happening again; the thoughts.

he remembers that he is supposed to breathe.

three slow deep breaths and he remembers he is sitting

on a cushion on the floor of this small room.

with three breaths as if each were a brushstroke,

he lets the cascade of thoughts splash over him

and realizes they are just thoughts.

*this is a repost of a piece that was in prose form earlier

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

questions of heaven

it is about the courage of questions.
to not smother our doubts for the sake
of tradition or belief or religion.
it is about the courage of honesty.
to forsake doctrine for clear perception
and empty space. so often we walk
in the afternoon light with the summer
breeze on our face and emptiness in our hearts.
it is a wheezing as if it was asthma.
that is the acceptance of beliefs
which trap eagles in canary cages;
a blue whale in a fishbowl.

august 2007


i came across your name by accident

without a face, i found your melodies
then i found your voice
full of melancholy with rhythms of hope

you spoke to me as if through a muse
and told me stories of a past
as if you walked through them with my eyes

and a feeling heart that bled my blood
for souls long gone that i've yet to meet
so i ask myself why this gift?

why this gift that i will never know?
in the afternoon light and the darkness of night
when your voice comes on in my dreams

Saturday, July 28, 2007

job description

i asked her what is it exactly
that angels are supposed to do.
she sat there across the small
granite table, smoking her brand-less
cigarette and exhaled. moments
passed quietly, neither one of us
uttering a word or squirming on
the leather cushions. she closed
her eyes for a long minute
and i could only pay attention
to her crimson lipstick. then she
looked at me and smiled,
"why do you always ask questions
that you already have the answers?
i mean shit, we work for the same boss
for god's sake."

july 28, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I am not a man; I am dynamite

a found poem:

I am not a man; I am dynamite
–Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes you are the single source,
the fist with all the flowers. Sometimes
you are the golden bass, a whisper-
revolution in this country of dust
stretching across the pond’s dirty
bowl. Like a razor through silk
bedclothes, your fin breaks through
the tunnel of sky and one vain cloud.
Sometimes the hostage next door, you
are Sunday every day, and at night
a teenager in Auburn, Nebraska,
slamming an aluminum bat
to a goalpost until your head can’t take it
to make something fucking happen.
Sometimes you are the single source,
the fist with all the flowers, a walking
iris, whose promise to die by late
afternoon makes you the word,
too much to bear. A syllable is
a latch, this word a door you shouldn’t
have opened on a room, its very air
unstable with history. In the wrong
hands and right conditions such
a word will detonate, the way Ambrosia
hides murder in its chest; to find
the brute, look for grieving; how
many souls packed themselves in
until Bethlehem beat them into bedlam?
You are the single source, the fist
with all the flowers—the bass, the razor,
the hostage, the boy, the bat, the ignition,
and yet we sleep on in this field of arms
where I am yours and you are mine.


Monday, July 09, 2007

evening greets me with a cool air
she takes my colors and stares at my ring

she breathes at me words
that only unicorns can understand

so i wait patiently
for the evening star, so bright

so i find patience
in this enigma i've caressed

and i wait for her to put me to sleep
i wait for her to let me dream

Sunday, July 08, 2007

and the sky
in the spaces
of its broken clouds
tell me stories
of a long summer
full of verses

and then the
violent rain comes
heaven's tears
pelting tender skin
angels kiss me
and leave violet bruises
afternoon streams in my window,
past the feeble shades
that try to keep the heat from
this tender skin.
they glow on their edges like
stray moonlight on a clear inky sky.
this tender skin that becomes
an ally with night,
struggling with the desire
to forsake the sun.
afternoon will fade, i know.
i wait for venus in the western sky
and jupiter in the eastern dim.
my world unfolds
like a box painted black
on the inside and
it is the darkness
i'll wait for some
presence i have no proof exists.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


the best thing about being human is that you never really know where you came from nor where you are going. you are utterly unpredictable. this, is human nature.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Themes, written under duress

something i found today. it seemed fitting for the mood and the moment...


My swirling wants. Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.

They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds.

I want you to see this before I leave;
the experience of repetition as death
the failure of criticism to locate the pain
the poster in the bus that said;
my bleeding is under control.

A red plant in a cemetery of plastic wreaths.

A last attempt; the language is a dialect called metaphor.
These images go unglossed; hair, glacier, flashlight.
When I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time.
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
I could say; those mountains have a meaning
but further than that I could not say.

To do something very common, in my own way.

– Adrienne Rich

Monday, July 02, 2007


it's evening and venus comes to greet me
on the low horizon. against the deep ultramarine
she tries her best to smile at me and to tell me
that sometimes in love there are casualties.
sometimes in love there are the brilliant hues
of someone's eyes that you cannot save and
it is part of the matter of this existence.
i cry and she cups my tears, she holds
my shed emotions in her hands and
they turn into green emeralds which
she casts into the cold, cold sea.
she lifts my chin and says to me
"these are not things under your control,
you must let them go as you did the black doves.
they will come to you but perhaps not in this life.
they will come to you but not in the form you expect.
you must remember that when you smile you give life
to the ones you had to leave behind. you must remember
that when your eyes come to tears you've given
a new ocean to a multitude of broken hearts
to escape from their shackles."

2 july 2007


an intact seashell

there are syllables missing, consonants misplaced
and verses left empty. they aren't mistakes.

they are lacunae.

they resemble the spans of unfelt emotions
that stream through his heart.
he is not trying to avoid the feelings.
it is the feelings don't feel like
anything from the outside.

an intact seashell holding the emptiness
inside with all the care of a minotaur.
an empty flute keeping its yet present
bubbles from expanding into the outside world.

they are lacunae.

when he sips his tea, the heat bites
into his tender tongue and then the pain
is absorbed. for a creature of risk, chances
have been taken away from him.
he walks in darkness without bumping

into odd things. he dances on the razor's
edge without ever being sliced.
having given to the universe,
his empty spaces and empty motions
have turned into emotional mobiles

that Calder would have killed for.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


the sun's rays are competing
with the deep blue of the early morning.
what starts as blue that turns to non color
in the deep distance of space.
what starts as blue that turns into an
inky night perforated with a million
phosphorus holes. it's the ceiling
above our heads, above our hearts and
holds our hopes that we can't ever touch.
these wispy clouds, they are so far from
our reach yet so close to our existence.
so close as opposed to the nebulae that
crowns Sirius the dog and Cancer the crab.
ironic how we name these celestial objects
so far from reach with mundane, earthly names.
ironic how we take things in heaven and
force them to our scale, our perspective.
so vast is the human imagination
yet when it comes to fear we always reach
no farther than the corner we are afraid
to look around. so vast is human experience
yet we find such lukewarm comfort in
dumbing ourselves down so no one else
need bother with our feeble effort.

1st july 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007


(in light of Firefly)

Violet and crimson bleed into the burnt umber
like a post torrent migration of emotions.
He stares into the darkness but the darkness
offers no protection. Colors intrude into what
otherwise would be a calm void.
Colors in their brilliance attack his retina
like hornets invading a beehive.
Purples taste bittersweet and reds burn
like cayenne on his emotional palette.
He wonders what might be an antidote
to these feelings that are like sharp crags
upon tender skin. These feelings that are
so beautifully vicious like a cheetah taking
down a gazelle in a blur of yellow ochre
and streaks of blacks.
Spots are only spots when stationary.
If you see them as a blur, then it is a forelighting
of death bathed in luminant scarlet.
Even with eyes closed the hues do not recede.
Light from the outside color the pink
of closed lids like an organic projection screen.
Light from the outside illuminate in detail
the creases and folds of his pain.
He is not allowed to shelter from them
even in blindness, even in darkness.
The only comfort he has is in the knowing
that eventually even the most brilliant hues
die into grey, into a lackluster that only time affords.

Friday, June 29, 2007

don't tear the silk

silence. he waits for it to come. he knows it will come if he is patient, if he waits long enough. is it enough? faith? does he have to have faith? perhaps. faith is not something he has ever felt he could be an owner of. it is not so much that he has no faith, he just can't seem to accept the concept that faith is something you can own. it seems or feels paradoxical. so he waits, he thinks that perhaps he can wait as an exercise in some kind of mental and emotional exertion. it is not about patience. he could think of it as a challenge, as a kata, a movement of non action. a stillness like in the motion of a calligraphy brush in the fraction of existence right before he plunges the ink laden head onto but imaginatively, into the rice paper. a splattering of blackness, stray drops throwing themselves into a pattern preceding the next movement of the brush, an extension of the hand, a linked appendage of the arm, an exploration of his mind, his vision, his instinct. all that power, potential and dynamism withheld so momentarily before the energy explodes. to know the degree of power that comes when the brush is released is to mirror and comprehend the stillness of its opposite. now, he feels the reverse. in this moment of waiting for silence, for stillness, his mind churns with thoughts with almost violence with the movement of a cyclone trapped in a funnel spider's web. don't tear the silk is his intent. flow with the surging energy, flow with the swing of emotive gyrations but don't tear the silk. just turn and bend and turn and whirl, and the quietness, the tranquility will come. it will come at its own pace in its own moment. for now, just sit. just exercise non action and the silence will come.


There is a place and a moment
out there is the deep blue sea.

Somewhere between floating and sinking
the water changes between support

and demon, wanting a luscious meal.
Somewhere the colors make a change;

between cooler falling deep below
and blackness, is really a dark violence.

Violent in her pressures to hold you;
violent in her loving crush of you into a pulp.


(for Hina)

Time ends at a place
where your heart ceases longing.
It gives up the painful desire
to fall into the waterfall;
to throw itself into the glacier.

Pain ends in a place
when a tired muscle starts pulsing.
It gives up the tired motion to die
to roll into an easy lulling sleep;
to simmer itself into a gentle hell.

There is a sign on the other side
where your soul finds a right place.
It finds a color to soothe your mood
to seep into your being like strong tea;
to release the flavor you've been hiding.

14 June 2007

a blood trail or a snail trail or just vandalism

(for suttonhoo)

there is a line sketched out in dried blood
it's not a geography of vengeance or sicilian intent
it's just a place where a lost, wandering heart once stopped
it stayed too long and when it left, finally
part of its soul wanted to leave behind a trail
a blood trail or a snail trail or just vandalism
of the place where it once parked what it thought
was a noble, court love, flamboyant love
no one dared tell it that it was just an infomercial
that its grandfather had bought into some years ago
but these were crisp lines you would have to concur
ghostly fine lines in the midst of a snowstorm
splayed out like toothpick fences in a indian monsoon
yet in those tiny yet to be washed blood lines
there is a lineage of smiles and broad confidence
there is a lineage of sacrifice until a daughter's blood
so look at this map all you want and remember its purpose
for all the brothers who have followed have given to mayan gods

Thursday, June 28, 2007

one god

there will be time. time enough. the words stumble around inside of his head. he is not sure what it means. he heard those words in a movie but the connection is nil. it is just noise. time shifted noise just like red shifted light. it stays with him or he stays with it though he knows he should just let it go. they are just thoughts and he should just let it wash over him and then they will be done whatever their purpose is. so he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath and lets out a sigh that sounds like the voice of an angel dying. or perhaps a demon, is there really a difference? is it really just a matter of point of view? one person's angel is another's demon. that thought is probably more accurate, use that one instead. can one believe in angels and demons if one doesn't believe in god? or a god? it occurs to him that he finds the idea of having more than one god more palatable than the idea of just one god. is that odd?


this morning a dark cerulean blue came to the horizon while the constellations were still telling me stories. orion was relating old hunting stories and cassiopeia was bitching how she got up there, upside down. they were refusing to fade into daylight with as much resistance as they showed when their exploits turned into myth. cassi said to me, just wait, it will happen to you too but you may not even have stars for people to remember you by. even upside down, hanging here, at least i've got multitudes looking at me. i glared at her and thought, i need a cup of tea. and there goes orion again, insisting i practice archery at night outside so he can correct my form. i tell him to chill out and keep his distance. i am of scorpius, after all. just tell me stories. that is all i need, stories to fill the restlessness which stirs a wanderlust within my chest; a wanting to go that can't ever be sufficed for how does one escape their own heart?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


i looked for you
there was this turquoise ocean
and i sat there, waiting for you

my friend who would have
come out of dying the glow
come out and give me me a hand

the hand needed to become stone
it's the place where we all end
and i waited for you

This is the silence of astounded souls

This is the silence of astounded souls
Crossing the Water

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

– Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

from the outside

he watches himself from outside of his skin. he stares intently, thinking there is a light in there somewhere. it just must be hidden.

he sidesteps away from the shadow of the trees looming behind him. the trees of life he almost expects to abandon – the way he feels. this feeling inside of his chest. it's what happens when you constrict time and space by the force of emotions. reality is distorted in the same way that large bodies in this universe distorts space. how does he deal with this? how does he deal when he himself is the cause of the distortion? did einstein think of this? what if he called stephen hawking now? what would he say?

it's happening again; the thoughts. he remembers that he is supposed to breathe. three slow deep breaths and he remembers he is sitting on a cushion on the floor of this small room. with three breaths as if each were a brushstroke, he lets the cascade of thoughts splash over him and realizes they are just thoughts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


a downward fountain

The beautiful morning and its pale blue sky
feels to him, like a ruptured spleen.
His mood far from the sky and its crisp air.

It's the color of blood escaping the liver;
a crimson turned dark and burnt like umber
awash in some demonic purplish gel.

There is a space around his corpuscles
that shimmers like Antartic borealis.
It's a kind of dangerous beauty that lures

the inattentives to a downward fountain;
his own personal Scylla and Charybdis.
In the kingdom of animals, bright hues

are oft warnings of malacious company
but inattentives are like moths to a flame.
Hot or cold, real or fake, moths don't care.

(June 12, 2007)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Americus Rain

sharpened points beneath

Moments of the South come to me
like soft rain falling on leaves.

Curtains of rhapsodies and
a choir of moaning droplets

Hiding sharpened points beneath;
an veritable arboreal punji array.

(June 7, 2007)

Monday, June 04, 2007

being productive

I'll die with wings

it feels like the first day i've been productive in over a week.

it's been longer since i've painted.

it was due time...

Monday, May 21, 2007

glaze and reflection

it is like a glaze; the way the fog comes in at speed unlike the breath from your lungs. air moves faster than your tissues know how to handle. temperatures seem hot and cold in interstial flashes; like dawn and dusk happening in sequential cycles but at the speed of an antique strobe. it is not the flash that gets you. it is the burnt piece of plastic and strands that look so beautiful after the light that leaves you wanting to say that it should not be over like that...not like a cheap flash.

it's never over like that. it's just you find it hard to believe that it is that way. it is hard for you to believe in a string of events, a string of anything larger than your senses can tell you. it is the source of our passion. it is the source of our love and hatred. it is the source of the entire spectrum of our emotions. we are lords to entities within ourselves that are and have always been larger than we can control. and that is the allure.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Limbs or crooked lines

Limbs or crooked lines


Thinness or is it shallowness?
Limbs or crooked lines
against a thick flat grey;
a ceiling that reflects
as much as it shelters.

Branch or forearm?
that have purpose –
how do such organs compare
with the spongy grey

that thinks or the red
pulsing lump that feels?
There are so many
extremities like a thousand
souls reaching out, each looking

for a new flavored Nirvana.
And they are all related to
two particles crashing
into one another in the vast
traffic jam of this universe.

(May 12, 2007)

Friday, May 11, 2007

To see further

a found poem (on


Telescope Psalm

Am I afraid to be forgiven?
I’d have to wear nicer suits.

By the time everything is fair I will
have devised a system to send word

via the birds on my roof. But I am
of two minds about most subjects

and, in turns, one mind must elbow the other
who is snoring. That’s why I thought I enjoyed

talking too much tonight at the brewpub
until the silence of the long walk home

made a better argument, better
company. The sky’s library of stars and dust,

whatever is possible remaining possible
even as it’s gazed at through the private

telescopes of an entire hemisphere.
It’s now. It’s not forever. And this

forever shall be true. To see further,
those without telescopes sometimes

cup their hands around their eyes.

believe it or not

"Believe it or not, I can actually draw."
– Jean Michel Basquiat

Thursday, May 10, 2007

bonjour à jeudi

a sea of fog

thursday morning in vista, looking northwest. the fog comes like liquid, knowing that the warming sun on the other side of the ridge will soon melt it into vapors ascending into the distant blue of earth's ceiling.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

twin tailed gazers

twin tailed gazers
lola and bo bo at the window this afternoon.

wish i had a video cam to capture the synchronized flicking of their tails...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

if only

lola on the window sill in the afternoon.

all our moments could be this serene...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

endless seeds

endless seeds

drifting yet stationary
flimsy stalks dream of movement
as endless seeds are sown
on the flight of sister wind

april 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007



she tucks me in and wakes me up

Because she is the last to stay up and wait for me to go to sleep, Lola is also the first to see me awake. Well, she is the first one to wake me with a purr and a headbutt at before 5 in the morning...long before the sun hints at grey or violet on the horizon. I don't fight it or try to go back to sleep. Sleep will return or not when it does, or not. Meanwhile, these quiet predawn moments are precious to me. They are as precious as sleep or perhaps even more so because it is not often that I don't mind being up so early. It is not often that I'm fightin to go back to sleep.

So I watch the #9 cool grey horizon seep through the early morning mist and filter past the venetian blinds accompanied by a thousand waking songbirds chattering this Spring morning's gossip...

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's a cloud, it's a broken boat

it was a rather dramatic sky in the late afternoon and at sunset today so i thought of this tune:

Drastic Measures

by Sarah Slean

I should go to drastic measures
Steal enormous works of art
Write a piece for eighteen violins
It's no march
But it's a start

Rub their eyes and wake, distracted
Frantically they fill their days
Please say I will never be like that
Politely dazed
Politely cra-azy

Don't you want my love?
It's a cloud, it's a broken boat
But it might make you laugh a bit
I'm like trees in the midnight parks
Oozing danger, igniting sparks
We've been left by the viaducts
With the last flame of the universe

I never held a truer notion
Then when my dear I held your hand
May your shadow always follow you
Our get-away plan
Out master pla-an

Don't you want my love?
It's a cloud, it's a broken boat
But it might make you laugh a bit
I'm like the trees and the midnight parks
Oozing danger, igniting sparks
We've been left by the viaducts
With the last flame of the universe


Don't you want my love?
It's a cloud, it's a broken boat
But it might make you laugh a bit
I'm like the trees in the midnight parks
Oozing danger, igniting sparks
We've been left by the viaducts
With the last flame of the universe

Oh, don't you want my love?
It's a cloud, it's a broken boat
But it might make you laugh a bit
I'm like the trees in the midnight parks
Throwing tantrums, igniting sparks
We've been left by the viaducts
With the last flame of the universe

is this clear?

out shopping with brian for ingredients to make chili. we'd been at this mercado several times but i had not noticed this sign before so of course i blocked the doorway and snapped a photo. i was hoping to at least get a dirty look from the proprietor but nothing, not even a glance. maybe i'll read a magazine next time though it's not like i am in the market for a car... :p

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

morning light

something that explains the morning sun to me the way this morning arrived...

Distance as the Story of Plenty
by Erin Lambert

If the landscape has a pattern then it begins with your wrist,

between the radius and the ulna where it finds the will

to consider the oak and the wheel before inhabiting your pulse,

the heavy signature of a river, or hollow stubs of cornstalks

left to winter. If the mountain wanted to write you

of the many cries concealed within its famed anatomy,

or the bold and plentiful vision inherent to trees, perhaps

how even light finds its valleys come morning, it would have to

begin by conceding that it still cannot comprehend

how the crow is in everything, the caw so essential to the air,

though it would know the decisive knife strokes imbedded

in the flight, and how it was first conceived from the violet

of the evening, then cradled by the cold’s incalculable distance.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday morning mess

saturday morning junkyard

I woke up to this mess on my desk. It looked good in the filtered rainy light though. I stared at the objects a bit and each one of them were telling me their stories. They reminded me of where and when they had come into my possession and by whom and why. They associated me with what was going on with me at the time of their acquisition. Even if I were not to keep a journal, little and large things around me always remind me of my own history in real time. They constantly give me points of references to where I am mentally and emotionally. Sometimes I come across something I've not seen for a while and either a smile will come to my face or the tears will flow...

on my desk. each item has a story. together, they could probably tell a novella's worth if i elaborated...

left to right, top to bottom: bottle of advil (essential); old but reliable iPod given to me as a gift from a very good friend; ink bottle (private reserve tangerine dream); edge of another ink bottle (lamy red); grandfather's old watch; dozier custom knife i bought right before a fly fishing/outdoor trip with mom back in 2000; aluminum fountain pen from japan given to me by an old friend after he went there on business; pelican feather quill pen i picked up on the beach on a camping trip with friends to the sonoma coast, ca in summer of 2006; insert from my most recently acquired moleskine; razor used to cut quills; red recife crystal fountain pen i bought as a present to myself in 2001; usb cable to scanner; top of orange juice can with screws from my old ibook that i just dismantled to take out the hard drive–the logic board died; buffalo horn money clip bought in vietnam during work trip in summer of 2005 with ican (; xikar cigar cutter i bought on chestnut street in san francisco in 2002; cell phone headset; keys; burts bee lip gloss; button from a pair of khakis that need to be sewn back on.

This photo reminded me of a poem I'd written four years ago.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

song birds

morning came to me in the chirpings of little feathery things.

in california, the birds are kind enough to wait til 6am or so. in south georgia there were birds that started at 4am, i love birds but then, i would have liked a Bellini shotgun then. but no point. i only kill what i would eat. no point in songbirds.

they say it's spring but there is for the most part nothing else

Monday, March 26, 2007

lit horizon

this evening near the time of sunset, i looked out at the view beyond the windows and saw an expanse of ocean lit up by a sunburst. though i knew the distance was at least 15 or more miles away, the horizon seemed momentarily close to me. it felt as if everything seemed tangible for a slice of time. it was fleeting but it was a good feeling.

soot and ash

to make soot and ashes of one's past.

today i read a poem by Jacob Polley. it was about how his father used his old diaries as fuel for a fire in the stove. it was a visual experience for me though i found it disturbing that someone would burn their old diaries.

would i do that? i asked and pondered.

would it be a sufficient way to purge your mind of those experiences and memories you'd like to forget? for me, probably not as the television screen of my mind is more vivid and higher in definition than the best plasma screen available. that coupled with a photographic memory, i would have to throw my whole self into the pyre.

makes me kinda stop and think, ya know? ;p

Friday, March 23, 2007


i once read in a novel that "i write now so that later i will have something to read." then later, i myself wrote the same thing. it was such a powerful thought that i kept it and believed it for so long. then one day i looked at the same novel again and in the ending it reads, "trust me, i'm telling you stories."

so i've been lying to myself. i don't write now so that i may have something to read later. i write now so that others may read it. others might even like what they read. but how odd is that when you are writing something that is so overwelmingly indulgent? what audience? am i thinking of an audience when i'm writing? hell no.

i have no audience because this is not a book for publication. this is a safe place for me to say whatever i want to say and there are a handful of people who look at it. and that is okay. it is okay because i trust them enough to say whatever i want.

so is this a story? am i telling you stories? good question. what does the masthead of this blog say? hah!

but there is a story here as all words contain some sort of stories, it is just sometimes we don't really want to know it so we don't pay enough attention. other times, we don't really want to know the real story so we pay the wrong kind of attention. perhaps this is how myths are created, quality assurance in storytelling. skin out the ugly stuff and leave the tasty, meaty stuff behind –– devoid of connective tissue. is that a little like the person who loves chicken but won't eat it off the bone? perhaps they ought to be vegetarians. perhaps they ought to just eat hamburger and nothing else. heh, i like that thought. perhaps i ought to press that on to someone!

so back to the story. i'm sure there is a story here but i doubt i'll start at the beginning. perhaps the fourth or fifth section of the book because if i start at the beginning none of the later parts will make any difference. it would be like having a nice dinner and being obsessed with whether the dessert you ordered is really going to go with the courses that are being served.

well, i lied. well not really. i just mean i'm not really to tell the story yet but there is one. just wait, you will just have to wait.

trust me, i'm telling stories.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

random crossings: Easter, 1916

i had thought of this poem in a long time. years ago, i chose it to recite for a storytelling class in which i was being videotaped. looking back, i must have been so nervous the emotional content of the poem was lost in the reading. but today, years later when i came across something relating to Yeats i went searching for it and read it again slowly. it was so vivid in feeling that i could taste and smell the words; the sentiment and the pain...

and i realized it speaks volumes to what is going on with me personally and in the world we are racing in – this crazy world of beauty and violence, sadness and laughter. so here it is:

Easter, 1916

I HAVE met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.