Something a little different

Working on a bit of art that’s definitely my style but a different subject matter. Lately, the image of the ‘gun’ has been in the forefront of my consciousness. My views on guns are a lot more complicated than one might expect, and the symbolism of guns is something that I find endlessly interesting to explore and use to illustrate ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with guns.

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.”


bloody things become bloodier
with cracked bones for each idea
with lost shells flying
until they land in flesh

bodies on bodies, death on death
for the sake not of life
but of the possibility of control
man over man

there is no meaning of life
in the midst of revolution
there is only blood
and fear
and loss of humanity.

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