I sit in the abandoned vehicle and ponder what I have become.
Category Archives: Poetry
In the night I lose my breath thinking of your hands on my back
Your smoky lips and long eyelashes
Your deep voice that sometimes you recorded
In the night, you come to me in clips of dream and memory
I learn to sleep often, in an attempt to find you again
In the night, I read a card you wrote me many months ago.
Title: “All that is good and sweet and true came to me because of you”
The hills are rocky and steep, jutting out like knives. Reminisce of others lay cracked and dull at the foot. Looking up I can see her, even through the clouds. So peaceful, gracefully floating like mist between the valleys staring at the snow-capped peaks. Her sky dance around the sun is a hot and cold one. One you can feel. An eclipse of a goddess, moves freely above oh so high playing with light and shadow. The breeze oh so gentle for her-lifts her hair like those lifting the train of a wedding gown. I see parts of her flash before me as if the wind carried her down piece by piece. Her blessed feet, so tender so soft, so perfect, untouched; floating foundation. Her palms, so clean and healthy joined to an unscared wrist. Her hands never closed, never flinched. Two open empty hands. White veils blow against my face as she gets closer. Flowers lean, trees point and stare, leaves come and join. Unveiled her eyes, soulful eyes was all I could see. The goddess and I wrapped in silk, cocooning us, diffusing the world around us. Her eyes blink slowly like a resting butterfly. I watch her breathe, floating, moving, as if in deep waters, I can see dreams of peace and harmony through the woven orb we now live in. Sharp sparkles ricochet her brilliance in the distance. Oh how far we seem. We dance, we spin, we twirl. She whispers “This is love.” My empty soul absorbs the beauty she gives. I whisper back, “I love you.” I held her hand, she held the void in my chest, corking her beauty inside me. My eyes flourish, my hair lengthens, ears hear birds sing. So clean, so pure, oceans of milk below fill the valley. Legs wrapped around me, we kiss, I cradle her, my hands fit perfectly. Holding life, an angel, I hold her tight as she spins us like children on a tire swing. I whisper, “I’ll never let go.” She opens her face with a smile. In heaven again. Open arms, fingers on harps, my love, my love. I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself. Ready when you are, for you are the one. Blissfully yours.
Back to sleep.
Drifting dreamer I’ve become.
We walk through the heat at midnight
He makes a fist with his hand when I try and hold it
Says he likes his hands free
He folds his over,
The blocks of cement we pass
And like a gymnast on the beam, I tiptoe across
A black open gate with gold spikes
Someone’s red lace up shoes and a stained blanket
We pretend someone enters the gate
He closes it after them
I-open it up again
A shadow on my wall of me and his basil plant that sits on
the window’s ledge
He points it out
And in the film section of the bookstore
James Dean photographs
He’s doing ballet
We both wear our glasses
Blowing smoke outside the door
We move outside and forget about the spider
With the spotted legs that later we’ll photograph
In the morning we’re both bit
I check outside
Spiders in the same spot
Rain now and extra blankets
Clean and laundered fresh
On the outside porch of the Coffee shop
We read each other
For a long while
And browse the antique store with all the keys and cameras
And other people’s lives
And their stories
And come home to hold your hand and snooze
The spiders gone on vacation
Soon, we too will be in a vast desert
Each others red moon sweat
The books our blankets
Covered in thoughts
One shadow; two us
(The basil plant needs a new pot you say,
A different home-you say you’re learning to love)
And even if the basil plant went brown and all the leaves of
my life crumpled to dust
I would still open the black gates with gold spikes at
And love the shadow that’s silhouetted in the darkness
Like unfinished hems
The threads of canopy trees hang
and line the pathway above my head
We walk in silence
I try sour sap berries along the way
I gather medicinal leaves to make a sedative tea
Another fruit, like a potato is supposed to cure sixty-five ailments
Three stray and hungry cats meow for food
A deserted restaurant
A vacant beach
When we get into the water
We come together
We walk in silence back through the path with hanging
threads that stop before they reach the ground
And the potato fruit we cannot reach to take home
The sour sap berries are supposed to taste like lemonade,
but they have seeds and are bitter
Nosium and mosquito bites make mini-constellations on my
The cats grow irritable
A tourist throws a Pepsi can outside the local taxi driving by
I sit slouched, writing this poem
Watching the dark blue uniformed men and women wondering
what they’ve been up to today
Was it a birth? A bleeding spleen? Maybe a gun shot wound.
But here in the cafeteria you can smell death from their
The hand sanitizers and gloves and headpieces and surgical
And the little girl, the newborn,
stitches down the side of her skull
The wheelchairs and the diabetic
The sickness and sterility
There is madness here in this place of lunch dining
There are flowers in vases on each of the tables
Lilies that wilt and have started to turn from yellow and pink
The chairs are wooden and uncomfortable
There isn’t much warmth in medicine
My mother-a nurse, my father-a doctor, my boyfriend (at the time)-sells medical tools
They understand each other
Hugs are pats on the back
Kisses are irrelevant
I love you is please and thank you
Things are just like the people here-cold, utilitarian
And the most ugly painting in the world hanging high above
the cafeteria ceiling
It is a canvas of brown and blue, jagged puzzle pieces
The most boring painting in the world
There is no meaning that could come from this
Here is where true hell lies.
You said I love you
And the thong hung on the door knob
And smoke clung to the walls
I held the light in the right place
For the photograph
You said I love you
There were peppers and sauce
And as much as I tried to cook, it wasn’t right
And then you said do you know that I love you?
The room like a refrigerator
You say it’s more of a summer house
But I can’t feel the cold
I’m sweating and dancing and loving you back
It’s more of a hazy dream
With you and with me
All the words in the world would fail to describe
When I look in your eyes and know
That it’s not just me, or you, but we
And that perfect night we love forever
We brush our teeth outside the truck
Mini mountains of toothpaste foam soak in the grass
Strolling through the park we reach concrete and city houses
Etched names in the concrete
You show me yours next to the coffee shop
We have some quarters to share a cup
Down the streets we roam
And find the place we first kissed
Up against the wall
I was in a penguin suit
You didn’t dress up that year
We see the Cherry Blossom petals float off into the wind like a first snow
A strange dog in a Jesus van with bibles and crosses
A man with brown teeth who asks if we’re engaged
There are flowers blooming in the night
And sayings on the bathroom walls
And you carry a burning incense stick around with us
Musicians sing to you and me and play the harmonica, drums, and guitar all at once
And all at once we wake up in the back of the truck and you open the side hatch
And it is our window at dawn so we can see the Oaks and elms and redwoods
The light shines through and side by side we laugh, we lie, we scream, we fly
And you that morning, behind the camera, shooting me-the one eye I could see
Told me all at once I love you
And once, I loved you too.
Outside the window, children’s laughter
Bright sunshine melting the ice in my mother’s sweet tea
Yellow roses, orange dahlias, giant honeysuckle climbing up the wall
When I lost you, I lost me.
I saw you underneath veiny ropes
and twisted nets
in the summer of 99.
Where old sea ships lie
Myths of mermaids
A black shoe
No, breaching acrobat, you were lobtailing.
You were logging.
I remember you now.
My feet are in the sand.
I hear you Monday, Sunday
Your sea songs at first I thought laughter
Now I know your eerie high-pitched tune
You lost your daughter
I’ll come in. I’ll come in again.
I want to hold your dorsal fin
and ride beneath the wind.
Next to the hillside of lilies
And meadow of dawn
lies our blue vacant house.
How I want to go inside and sleep,
Next to you
on yellow carpet.
I peer over the broken fence
walk along its edges.
You stand on the oak patio smoking,
“Darling do you mind if I smoke this joint?”
“On our patio? Darling, why of course.”
We tiptoe to the roof with
and sloshing blue feet.
underneath red falling sky.
It’s just me. Me and the sweet oatmeal cereal bars, French toast at midnight with syrup and whipped cream, walnuts, fontina, goat, brie, cheddar, provolone cheese, a banana, no. A banana smoothie with strawberries and fresh squeezed orange juice, blueberries. Me and chicken enchiladas, spinach lasagna, cheese pizza, root beer, cashews, leftover meatloaf, lemon yogurt, tortilla chips, potatoes, a six-pack of beer.
There’s no more exercise, unless you count the steps to the refrigerator.
I look in the refrigerator, but you’re not there. Only the fresh cream cheese, baker’s bread, leftover French onion soup, grapes, a mango, two eggs. I touch a kiwi, the texture is like the stubble on your chin. Fresh cut cilantro, like your breath on Saturday nights.
The feeling of consuming each tart little grape, the crunch of peeled carrots getting stuck in between the back teeth, the molars. For a moment, a rush, like I’m back in your arms, like Christmas with the kids, like washing your back in the shower. The rush of you, opening our blue door (you painted it), coming home from the market with sunflowers.
The toilet’s overflowed, but all I can smell and taste is the fresh cut cilantro, like your breath, and the kiwi, like the stubble on your chin.
Dozens of sunflowers wilt in the windows.
Yesterday our youngest took the food out of the refrigerator. All of it: potatoes, eggs, blueberries, bananas, the dark chocolate stash, the lemon yogurt, leftover meatloaf, leftover quiche from the service now molding green, salmon, cookie dough, pickles. She threw it in the trash.
“Mama, your belly,” she said. And as I felt my throat tighten, she kissed my hand. “Mama, I love you. It’s okay,” she said, patting my stomach.
If my hands were silly putty, glossy and movable, the miles would be fantasy. If my hands were like this I could stretch to pet your cats, iron the ties, hold onto your shoulders, piggy back down the lavender field at dawn. One hand could touch your lips, the other grab the sides of your hips.
If my legs were steel or iron, they could move me thousands of miles, and bring my fleshy upper half to you. Maybe they would start to forget the destination. Maybe I would have to remind them of you.
If my fingers could pick up a plane ticket and pay green bills, they would, to see your home with the oil paintings of meadows, pines, and dunes, your bed with the silky, enveloping sheets, the leathery chair with your lanky legs resting on the footstool. They would dance across a counter to pay. They would act like spiders and crawl all over your back, legs, stomach, face.
But there is nothing left. I am immobile in Texas with people who piss themselves to sleep. The rancid smell of shit has fastened itself inside the walls. People fall asleep in their mashed potatoes and celery sticks. The families have forgotten or the people have no family, or they’ve simply chosen this existence because they are crazy or depressed, or too fat to move. It’s true they bring you three meals on trays here.
I too, cannot move. My body has forgotten what my brain has told it to do. And this will always, sadly prevent me from seeing you.
The lights, languid movements, bright city sky and roots of farm country life, the factory, used, radiant color, speed, black eye liner, bones, starlet-supreme-celebutante, an artist, years cut, infusing the master’s brilliant strokes with just a glimpse, a head cocked back, and a riveting wide open smile. For Warhol and Dylan, the muse, an ill one-winged butterfly, a lost balloon sailing above far too soon.
A lost hermit crab looking for its shell. Used and discarded like a bad hand of rummy. The factory enforced her drug use. It enforced addiction. The needle poked. Warhol called her a poor little rich girl, but all her money was going to his advertisement, his film, drugs, art, sin. Dressing like each other, he called her the queen of the factory and she called herself Miss Warhol and they posed together on the streets of New York, the film glitterati, a new Marilyn Monroe. She paid for his artistic progression and she ended up broke, an addict, a thread on the floor of the fashionable scene. Dylan tried to lure her away, songs were written, the Chelsea Hotel steamed up with hot blooded creativity, it was a break away from the factory. The needle poked.
Falling down, broken hearted girl, shattered glass, ash and char, burnt out, 63rd Street, candles caught fire.
Warhol filled her in after he’d spat her out. He let her know her crush, a white feather, a streak of something different, Dylan had married a woman named Sara.
She disappeared from the underground scene, the spotlight, Warhol, the glitter and speed. The films, underground, she never got paid. Wrapped up cold girl, sprawled naked, lost reflection, a family of mental illness, addiction. She didn’t really disappear from the speed. The scene of the factory. The enforced drugs. The enforced dependence stayed long after Warhol spat her out, long after Dylan recorded the song Sara, which was for his wife, not Edie, not what she wanted. Dirty girl, used needles, pricked bruises, motorcycle gangs, calling her “princess,” calling her for sex when she needed more drugs. Selling grandma’s antiques for drugs. Selling herself for drugs. Selling out. Selling songs for Dylan, a used up muse, inspiring “Like a Rolling Stone,” and “Just Like a Woman,” but where was her name? Just Like Edie. Why was she never named? Her artwork. Her sketches of horses and bodies and Andy probably never did see her work. Selling film for Warhol, musing his iconic figure locked in time. Time until October. This time I’ll be sober. Spending a trusty fortune, 80,000 dollars in just six months. Try again, resuscitate, renew, revive. Rehab. Recovery. Repeat. Rehab. Recovery. Repeat. Nothing. Nothing matters. Blank. Empty. A party, a short life line reflected in her hand. A fortune teller’s magic, foreshadowed early death. Accident/Suicide. Only a short October, sober. A name, Edie, an etch in time, a wide, riveting smile, a head cocked back, a lost balloon, dead horses, a stone, bones.
1. You put on more makeup than I do
2. You didn’t get me a birthday present
3. You claimed ownership of my black ring
4. You locked me in your room so I wouldn’t see her
5. You made me waste the day because you did drugs the night before and needed to sleep Nexttome
6. Your black ribbon
7. You refused to get tested
8. You didn’t get home until 9 am
9. You told me to put on my makeup with the foamy wedges and not with my fingertips
10. You got in a fist fight and you broke the bracelet I gave you
11. You told me that you might have kids back in your country…You said, “I was young and irresponsible”
12. You took your cell phone with you in the bathroom
when you showered
13. You said you liked to see my ribs…I still feel the
seams ripping from my jeans
14. The black ribbon was on the bed…You said it was
part of a costume…You said you were a Catholic school
girl, but it wasn’t Halloween
15. You asked me to get tested
16. You made me drink too much booze…When I waited for you to come home at night and you never came, booze became my substitute man
17. You told me if I didn’t use the foamy make up wedges my skin would start to look greasy and old
18. You said, “I lost my puppy when I was seven”…You kept a blanket with cartoon dogs printed on it on your bed, and when my feet were cold you pulled it off with force
19. You hid the picture of my favorite DJ behind my closet door
20. You told me no, not that dress, no, not the black pants, the black pin-stripped pants. And I felt like you were saying not these arms, not these legs, not this girl