Category Archives: Poetry

Poetic works.

If I Had Purple Hair

On Wednesdays, I would play with books
tell stories of a young boy
i loved, and of course reveal the drawing
of blood from thin little veins
into glass tubes for careful consideration
later. when the words were gone
I would sit in a dark room
considering the importance of groceries
and use all the best swear words
to explain the path I took
to get to this place where I think
I might be found.

The Day Papi left Hispaniola

In matching sun dresses
covered in big pink Bayahibe roses
they walked hand in hand.

The little girl, she said, ‘Mami,
why does the cao fly away
when I run up to kiss him?”

Her mother sighed,
“he does not understand
— he is a bird.”

The little girl nodded, “yes, Mami
but I understand.”

There were no tears,
only the flutter of black feathers
into the blue sky.

Freedom & Ketchup

I eat my burgers raw
as the full moon buggers down street
for a beer — life is simple
the blood can flow
or the flesh can burn

Some people are more perfect than me,
they eat their burgers welldone
damned be the full moon
and the beer — life is perfect
hopeless and full of laughter
smiles and despair

I drive a thousand miles
never considering my burger
never wondering who I am
who anyone else might be

Some people prove their point
they soar like wonder
up the hard gray stony sides
of some unsold product — moonless & quiet
hopeful and full of laughter
smiles and despair

there is no flesh, only bright eyes
and the certainty of a burger
somewhere raw enough to dream
somewhere welldone enough to be satisfied
and still, regardless the moon,
i eat my burgers raw

As I burn away leaving me

  the cigarette won’t smoke itself under this almost-moon
so the man in the shadows stands
there holding the orange glow of burning 
that reports the streetlight to the darkness

the smoke reaches from the cigarette
toward the nearest star – the one
the man doesn’t notice as he stands
in the shadows. If there is a question
between them, it remains unasked.

the man continues to smoke
the cigarette until it is done 
the orange glow fades
until only the stars are burning
with questions for the moon.

one day in Philly

i stood in Christ Church Burial Ground
in front of a familiar name
i could not place
how i knew him – or why
i was so moved.

the moss on his headstone
was deep green and older than me
and the accumulation of years
on the stone left the letters
difficult to read

we are not related, I’m sure
except that we are both men
who breathed, who loved,
who wanted and wished and needed
who hoped and tried and learned
who grieved and ached and loved

for that, i sighed,
it is enough to know we’re brothers.

later at the City Tavern
after a pepperpot and some braised rabbit
i knocked back Ben Franklin’s brew
and toasted that stranger’s name
that i’d already forgotten,
“To a life, that it might be remembered.”