Friday, September 11, 2009

Of a Certain Sort of Pressure

My bladder throbs.
It throbs, bellows, burns,
groaning whispers. Whispers

"Ssss. Ssss."

Three cups of green tea, sloshing
bladder walls.

But there you sit, winking hair
and curly eyes. So damn engaging.
Mid-story, you make me laugh
and we are at a crisis.
Now or never or puddle.

I stand to navigate little
round tables. Gravity grasps
at liquid weight. Past the first
door, into the next, on the left.

I'm inside. Is this right?
Pinkish walls. Photograph of a
child tongue-catching rain drops--

Ah, I see the raised toilet seat.

I stand relieved at the raised toilet


There he lays, the gurney-bed,
head bowed down, weighted,
like a parched flower
creasing over a vase brim;
or perhaps as a piece of over-
ripe fruit--heavy, soft, pulling
inevitably downwards on
its stem.

He lays. He lays content
as compost. His heart is strong,
they say, Its beat a boom.
His mind is mush, however.

They feel betrayed.

The strong heart, the dull brain,
still carry on a conversation,
while sons and daughter and
hand-wrung mother sit silent,
in hard, plastic chairs.

There he lays, intravenous,
mind drawn deep within,
to some undefined empty space--
a void, devoid, unavoidable--
until the stalk grows brittle,
weary with the strain of rotting
pear. The sigh the snap.
A swirling fall to black.

The Red Duck

The picture shows a red
duck, swimming along an
invisible pond path. Its head
cocks intelligently to the side,
curious of something outside
the frame.

Imagine his thin legs and
webbed feet, kicking franticly
just beneath discordant
aboveward calm.

Trace the wavering V that
builds behind him: an arrowhead
pressed to his back, prodding him
towards some unknown. To what?
Discovery? Redemption?

Unknowable beyond the red
mahogany frame. Forever
undefined. Perpetually indistinct.
But still he kicks.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The old women form a circle--

Babushkas escaped from Stalin

To East Los Angeles--like buzzards

Around me: hunching shoulder

Blades, flapping neck skin,

The hopping excitement, the

Bulbous greed-stricken eyes.

Squawking claustrophobic crush.

Kissing lips peck flesh from

Ligament, suck marrow free

From deep, sluice lipstick-stained

Saliva, pinch skin to oblivion.

"Ohh, the little grandson of Moisi!"

I am bones; I rest in a pile

On the salt flats of California:

Baked brittle, old sock white,

And dry like cinnamon.

Somewhere a jet turbine

Flames a converted sedan

Into a cotton candy plume.

Rivets strain. Cracked rubber

Tires skitter off the sand into the sky.

A happy moon bobs in the acid

wash afternoon. I fall from above,

Land back on the rigid, oak, church pew--

I struggle softly to unzip my flame-

Retardant suit, with the cape and the blue

Stripe; the metal tear, conspicuous

As candy-wrapper crackles.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Fruit Flies

Ahhgh! Fruit Flies
in the oranges again!
They were stacked
so nicely--Giza
in the wicker basket.

I had a bar of Ecuadorian
chocolate to go with
them. 77% cacao.
Mmm. Right there!
On the coffee table.

You'd've sliced them
when you got back
this weekend, and
slurped the juice out.
The chocolate could've
slowly melted down
your throat.

But oh! Oh! Those
fruit flies mucked
it up. They're in there
now, screwing inside
your Welcome Home

First Kiss

Curt's first kiss
occurred in second grade,
in a schoolyard,
at recess.

Swooping red pig-
tails, puckered lips,
shrill giggles, the thin
swash of spittle.

He didn't wipe away
the wet evidence as
he sprinted. It

Hidden, between
the cafeteria and
a pine tree, he
curled himself.

The horror. The
. The ten
absurdly long minutes.
The bell.

The Cynoclept

Poodles are my speciality,
but I hunt beagles too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


1. I have been pulled over 3 times, but I've never been given a ticket. I am like a hot blond.
2. I was born with eleven fingers...
3. ...Later, when my permanent teeth grew in, I had an extra one. Super means extra in Latin, so I mean yeah. I am superman.
4. In Jr. High and High School, my friend Jeff and I would routinely have 3-word phone conversations. Those three words were most often: "Hey." Skate?" "Yeah."
5. I have 16 cousins.
6. My first time in a classroom for a actual class was in Clark Hall for Vander Laan's Intro to Philosohpy.
7. I have been to more foreign countries than states in the US.
8. Digging holes was one of my favorite childhood pastimes.
9. The first time I met my wife she was cleaning melted ice-cream out of a refrigerator.
10. I always swore I would never teach high school. I am currently enrolled in a Master's of Teaching teach high school.
11. I used to be the drummer for a Christian Rock band. Our best gig ever was getting asked to play at a youth event at a park in Upland. We arrived at the park to find a congregation of African-American Southern Baptists. No youth were present. We played to a crowd of two elderly women sitting in front of us on metal folding chairs.
12. One summer I worked as a stable hand at a horse ranch.
13. My Great-Grandmother gave me and my dad a signed Nolan Ryan Baseball. When she gave it to us she said, "I got you a signed Ryan Nolan baseball, but I think they messed up his name."
14. In Kenya I was asked to preach a sermon on half-hour's notice.
15. The only languages I have studied have been dead.
16. I have always known lots of random facts. When I was young and one of these facts was questioned (i.e How do you know that), my answer was often: "I read it in my science book." To this day, "I read it in my science book" is a running refrain within my family when they are trying to disbelieve what I am saying. I've got news for you people...I am right...go check a science book.
17. To the question, "If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be?" My answer is always the same--Vin Scully.
18. I love rain. I hate wind.
19. I am proud when people are surprised to learn I was home-schooled K-12.
20. My brother and I once played in an African soccer tournament. Our nick-name was White Lightning.
21. I like obscure things: bands, restaurants, books, people.
22. My first car was named "Rustang." The driver's-side door did not lock, and you didn't need a key to start the engine. The Rustang was stolen. The thieves hot-wired it.
23. I have undergone a dental procedure rare enough to warrant the Loma Linda Dental School filming the event to show in their classes. The procedure was a wisdom-tooth-extraction-reimplant (That is not the official name). Basically they cut into my gum, took out my wisdom tooth, and then implanted the tooth back into a different place in my mouth.
24. When I was little I my mother made me Superman and Batman costumes that I would wear all the time. To this day, if I see a little kid running around in the supermarket wearing a superhero costume, I think to myself: "That is a cool little kid."
25. I like the word "peculiar."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

People in Starbucks

The man sits cross-legged, news-paper reading, too old for his skull-and-bones-slip-on-Vans. Sips his latte. Some foam slicks to his beard. I think he must have been a hippie at some point. Now he seems to be taking fashion cues from his fifteen year old son.

Oh yeah. Look at this guy. Cool guy in tie-dye.

Two ladies are frumpy.

The businessman wants a muffin. He needs to iron his shirt.

Lady, nobody believe your hair is that color (or ever was). And take off those Uggs.