May 25, 2014

Pearls or swine

Is it my turn
To compose soft words at daybreak
With hand flourishes that compete with morning birds
To tell stories of the night before
Of days forfeited
And what it means to be “on the mend”

Shall I?
Keep my regal shoulders dignified
In this longest check-out line of
Paying dearly for what you’ve got
Like molasses, emptiness is slow, and thick
And catatonic, and quiet

Is it my turn
To be quiet in the face of the past
So beautifully completed
Free of debt
Its own dignified cenotaph
Pretty to think so

Is it my turn
To count the anomalies that came before
To be wide-eyed
In the face of this entropy of which came first
Sitting in the eye of a most undesired storm
Of spread and swiped human dearth
Dripping from dirty wings
Running out of absence.

May 23, 2014

Ladybug llamada

“Holy crap, you seem to have this natural sway to your hips.”


If I had a nickel.


Yes, I do. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know where it comes from, and I can’t control it. It’s just there. People tell me they recognize me by the way I walk. I have no idea what that means.


We have been practicing walking in dance class.


Yes, walking. That thing where you put one foot in front of the other and the rest of you follows.


I keep comparing the farruca to how I imagine military ballet. Staccato. Proud mourning. Homesickness. Tense containment at the verge of insanity. Anger and atonement. I do not relate to these things, I am them.


Except, apparently, my hips refuse to comply. I am also told that my epaulement is too graceful for this choreography, and that I should keep it tougher. We watch the video of our practice. Some of my motions are incomplete. My posture still sucks balls. The llamada and chaflán look very much OK, though. But, mother of God,


I. Am. Soft.








Too soft and too gentle for this dance. I have been called strict, and tough. Also, magnificent, intoxicating, pure evil and a tease, but that is neither here nor there. Too graceful? I have the subtlety of a freight train. Have I been hiding behind my yang all this time? I keep waiting for the camera to lie, like Lucille.


I have a thick rubber band wrapped around my hips to keep them in place, and my hair pulled back. This disciplinarian business is really amusing, and I find it even more hilarious that it doesn’t seem to work.


On my way home, a ladybug lands on my shirt. I let it climb onto my forefinger (index is such an ugly word) and carry it with me through one of the busiest streets, straight to the main square. I must look like a demented Marie Antoinette, my arm up in the air like there should be some invisible nobleman eye candy hanging off it, flamenco elbows, insubordinate hips and all, among the noon trains and the smell of summer in the air. Only those who looked carefully could see the tiny creature that hitched a ride with me, if only for a few minutes in the crowd. Trying to keep track of my marbles, I forgot to count her dots.

May 16, 2014

Ain't the same

It’s raining in May
I am shamelessly wearing winter boots and a coat
A mutt runs eights around my legs
Seeking shelter from the wind
A cab driver yells to me from his car,
That’s no stray, ma’am. That’s our boy from up the street.
We take good care of him, don’t you worry.
I smile back and give him a thumbs up, reassured that there might just be hope for this world
Because there are people that watch out for others out there
As a friend’s quiet words from the night before
Click like marbles in the pockets of my coat

“Mikey ain’t the same”

Four simple words
To rattle my cage
As I catch up with friends in the evening
We have dinner and crêpes and cuba libres and smoke weed and watch movies
And just for a few hours
I curl up on the couch
Lose myself
In the safe and warm company

“I guess he misses you”

I don’t know that anything could have broken my heart
And lifted it up at the same time
Like this soft, sincere appeal from across the ocean
From someone in the inner circle

I know, buddy.
Mikey’s holding his breath
Sleeping with boots against the door
Watching airplanes
Studying the tides
Counting the feathers in his wings

Mikey’s racing ospreys
Playing the chess game upside down
Fixing every broken human trinket that crosses his path by rote
Like a good angel
Tipping the scales between test and penance
Taking the measure of this world
Waiting for life to begin
For the big music to speak

He ain’t the same, no
But it gives me comfort that you get it
Big hugs to you and your lady
Can't wait to come home.