Monday, May 31, 2010

Just Two Turntables and A Son

Scratched in the heat of a Kingston love song,

an introspective bass line so guttural

it sometimes drowns the world out with a rumble,

so I let it listen to the bleed,


Crafted in an instant,

a wriggling demo between two soundtracks

close to their big time

but just couldn’t make it


a coffee-colored mixtape from two records

one you played if you liked your songs

to hit the track drinking,

he was soft rock

on rare Sunday brunches,

the other rocked me to sleep

she was like Al Jerreau in the mornings

time for school was the hook


Never matching each other’s

beats per minute,

they complimented each other

when played together

he sounded like the blues

dipped in a Johnny Walker Black hue

that’s all I knew about him

his favorite drink,

his favorite song,

that famous refrain

from Clapton’s Cocaine

and liner notes filled with excuses


I made an effort to listen

but craved distance


from his lost album

and am afraid to request it,

fearing I'd hear the chords

I'd inherit.


Hers are the songs I'm less

reluctant to spin,

the sounds of cooking against

the din of all the nicknames

and 2-minute tag games,

her chorus some days was Sade

and some days Marc Anthony

sometimes she sang to me


sweet and halting just to make

me smile because she wanted

to see me happy and catchy

like Swedish pop

even when she was sick

from chemical breakdowns


her own lymph nodes sold out

and ended like every Behind the Music

for anyone famous in the 70's,

despite missing her sweet melodies

I still carry them within

proud to be the son of

a black magic woman.

Cutting Board

The pork chops sizzle angrily

in the pan as they try to spit

hopping grease into my eyes,

watching my hands move

intently over the stove,

I am reminded how this used

to take presence of mind to

mind the meat,

I had a great teacher.


Mercilessly, memories come

unbidden of my mother in

our cramped kitchen,

the vision of culinary

expertise as she hunched, workmanlike

over many meals,

her zeal inspired by our shared hunger

furrowed in her brow

as she between pinches of adobo

and stirring gurgling rice pots

would turn a smile at me and say,

I don’t feel like cooking tonight

take over for me, son!


We’d laugh as I continued to

watch her constantly moving hands

whirring over the gas ranges,

the contents of the bubbling bowls

mystifying in how they became dinner,

stirred, sazoned, prodded into place

with an expert fork.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Kiln

Her Micron,

a wiggling beige battle standard

zigs and zags

a frantic attack on the last inked tendril

of an eyelash,

corner of the creator’s mouth curled up

in mute concentration,


Sitting across from her,

I feel the backdraft from her hands scrawling,

white hearths in their efforts suddenly

pause to cool as she checks

her Mac screen for reference

giving her black sketchbook

a brief reprieve

before the next incisions

of color spill from her pens onto

the defenseless paper plain.

To Sleep

We are becoming a latticework

of teeth and tongues

of pulses and thrum

but it’s all just the sum

of static recollections

playing the old favorites and dreamy remixes

I want so bad to be fresh premonitions

so our “mmms…” can be foretold.


I can feel the sweat

running into my collarbone

rippling with the bang of

a headboard slamming like a screen door

in a storm,

somewhere far away,

my name is whispered

creeping over the shadowy curve

of her shoulder, rolling down the spine

against my flexing fingertips

gripping hips that slowly twist

in time with her sheet-grabbing fits,

linen clawed in balled fists.


We are kissed by the building fury

that causes our gasps to hurry

because our throats

can’t contain the force, a hushed Morse code

tapping the backs of our lips

I admit,

I love it when

these images persist

then fade, signaling the end

of my rapid eye movement

guiding these segments

like a subconscious maestro

fingering the trigger

on his magnum opus.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Myrtle Manuevers

Crisscrossing sparse streets,
I am a low-riding streak,
creeping shadow slides

Along jigsaw roads,
junkyard dogs hoard cans to hustle
in the morning's grey stretch,

burning away the sweaty
May stench sticking humid slides
down stinging vision,

the pulsing fission
in my pumping legs beg eager
for my silver door,

Rapidly approach
Dekalb, the sloping curve home,
yellow stone rest stop,

I earn the rest long postponed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Handbrakes and Headaches

A chartreuse claw twists
in the hissing May night like
a spring loaded trap,

legs churn to burn the
fingers of speculation
out of my bloodstream,

my steed black and bent,
chain threatening to skip,
from ill-fitting teeth,

flitting through the seams
of Brooklyn to the music
of the clicking spokes,

nearly getting lost
keeps the furnace burning till'
it blasts on Wilson

hands less tense the pace
now slowed, relief replacing
rage, the night less cold.

Tonight...You.

She visits me in the sea of my subconscious,

a smiling collage of kisses and curses

interspersed in her hair

like wild overgrown wheat falling

in a golden brown

sheet about her shoulders.


Owner of an affixed stare,

twin emerald snares

that groped through many

untold doldrums and left

me stunned dumb

whispering for her

pawing, bleary-eyed

through Dutch gut ruts.


Longing for her,

I still smolder in the furnaces

of what could have been,

partially melted down,

I am a molten boulder,

buckling under the memories

of symphonies made after hushed

I love it when you have me on my hands and knees

to curled-lip arguments,

slag-hot snarled statements like

You don’t love me enough to call me your girlfriend.


Although our time together met a rough end,

there’s no malice I wish

although plenty I would repent,

but I miss the nights we spent as

intertwined constellations with

stellar intent.

Rigorous (Feast of the Cathartes Aura)

He saw fit to leave

me, a two-timin cretin

close enough to town

so I would see it

hazy and indistinct,

taunting me on

the squirming horizon,

a dark speck that would

come to be the

exclamation point on

a sentence composed of

nothing but bullet points,

bar fights in reeking saloons

innocent men who died too soon

cast their last curses

at me from gurgling mouths

their favorite parting shot

was calling me a coyote,

snarling, I was a trigger-happy

stray.


So I paid for a rabid life

with a merciless death

by a greedy innkeeper

and a reward seeking rifle,

all I remember hearing

is the sharp crack

of the Winchester,

the splintered snap

of buckshot against headboard

and the faint punch

of lead boring into flesh

“You looked meaner in the posters,”

He’d said as my deathbed blackened

with my vitals.


Motionless,

I was dragged like a prize fish,

dripping and limp

to the sheriff’s cells

much to his chagrin

my eyes glassy and narrow,

frozen in half-blink,

mouth curved in protests

never given sound

the sheriff thanked the inn keep

with a small stack of crumpled bills,

muttering jovially to his

stained mercenary,

“glad we

didn’t have to raise

the gallows”,

I tried to smile,

thankful for a death of

gunfire instead of garroted

by the raw and burning

squeeze of the noose.


All I could hear next was

The crunch of prairie under

useless shins as I was

dumped on the outskirts

like a bale of slop

by a clean shaven deputy

scowling at his grisly task,

the only pall bearers there were

the vultures and the lonely squeak

of the wheelbarrow I had been tossed in,

a decaying parcel for the collected gullets

of the desert skies.


Under the slow tread of seconds

ticked off by a buzzard’s wing beats

beak snapping expectant

for the me, a platter of

soon-to-be carrion,

the ambrosia of the scavenger

held in a steadily rotting castle,

ligaments like crumbling mortar

in knees

now mortified,

when it hits me,

we are all someone else’s victim

someday,



I try to laugh, but only a

chuckle of flies escapes me

heralding the rush of feathers

just to my left

a subtle click of talon against

parched land

I am no longer able to gird

for the end of this plunderer’s life

has gone to the birds.

Humid Noose

Skirting on the edge

the meager circumstances

a pensive razor,


cuts the humid promise

of summer, a sunny time

to get on one’s grind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Procrasturbation

I once read somewhere

that procrastination is

a lot like masturbation,

it feels great until

you realize you're

screwing yourself,

if this is true,

we all move at the

speed of a wet dream

and productivity is not

what it seems,

if this is true…


I am the master

of cumming minutes

and spraying time

with defiance!


But I found out

time doesn't like that,

she prefers a man

who can handle

her with an

appreciative planner

because she's got

a schedule fetish,

an essays in two hours

don't get her in the

mood,


Time wants someone

who can work the

sands in her hourglass

along with her supple

seconds so she'll

spend years moaning

her thanks,


Speeding up the

bad times,

and slowing down

the good times,

time plays favorites

but she plays games

too,


one moment she's

faithful,

the next,

she passes you by

for someone who

ages better

and isn't a minuteman

haiku writer,

not that she favors

marathons,

because time ends up

wasted,

and as we all know,

she hates when

you try to beat

the clock


So a little advice:

don't say

"I'll do it tomorrow"

don't let tasks fester,

because when time

runs out on you,

she leaves one hell

of a Dear John letter.

Fire Escape Snapshot

The back view from my

building is less busted

whilst buried deep,

snow-encrusted,

everything outside my window

seems more silent

under the white inches,


the dusty hand of winter

at the throat of this scene,

squeezing Bushwick’s larynx

pinching tight the thick drone

of bus groans, cop patrols,

and Puerto Rican telephones

between it’s thumb and forefinger,


leaving only a swirling howl

to carol in the air

over the bare expanse of broken backyards

littered with tangled brush and trash

over cracked patios turned icy battlefields

for twilight combatants clawing each other

at an even keel with such guttural hissing,

displaying their feline zeal,


This tournament goes unnoticed

by my neighbors,

their eyes on their pots gurgling

with bubbling meals,

the affairs of the cold most

unwelcome in the tiny warm cells

in which they are sealed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Through the Illuminated Grates

Tonight our skin has become a flitting checkerboard,

Geometric slices of streetlight creep

through my window,

sliding along the wall,

wary intruders coming to rest along

the middle of my spine

like cascading escapees

from a cracked kaliedoscope,

orange against black.


Your fingers strive to take me in totality,

making traces in the

florescent diamonds

crisscrossing our bodies

making us into twilight jesters,

twin fools reveling in our gasps

and quick glints

in my teeth,

shooting stars to her

swimming in the dark

when I throw my head back,

with intent eyes that widen under

the cover of shadow,

an open mouth swathed

in the dull pomegranate of the streetlamp

waiting for the next thrust to blink.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sketching

She is tantalizing.

Her small mouth pursed

In mute concentration,

I could only watch her

as I stood there,

a conduit of rushing blood

and ravening sensations,

she was a relaxed canvas,

tattooed curves splayed

under the crinkling sketchbook,

I imagine running my hands over

crooks in her knees to

the blades in her shoulders,


Something primordial prays for

me to pounce, pin, and bite into

her blue veins pulsing as

her pert breasts rise in

breathy exercise of artist’s pride,

I try to hide my sliding eyes,

nearly panting,

all willpower focused to make

the shuddering want subside.

Bathroom Mathematics

I count the white tiles carefully,

as if it’s the most

important task in the world

by twos and fours

before it sinks in that my life

is forfeit as it bleeds out

from forced slits,


I contemplate the benefits

of oblivion as the tattoos

of my mortality seep,

black and unbidden

from trembling forearms

into the cracks of the bathroom floor

staining the spackle

with bright crimson rivulets

I continue counting because it is

all I can do anymore

count the reddening tiles by twos

and fours as if it’s

the most

important task in the world

with nothing but a small clink

of a straight razor against porcelain

to bear witness to the

end result of

sorrowful dissonance

coupled with midnight listlessness

stirred with the stark instance

of life kept at arm’s distance


What’s the difference?

no one will care about the reason,

only the crime scene

of a life that seemed

simple and fulfilled

not at all the victim

of a blade

now fallen

from a windowsill

as I sit still

the film of lightheadedness

sliding over my vision

like milky eyelids

I’m gonna surrender

my last few ounces of will,

some do it with ropes,

others with pills,

I slashed vertically

so my last serrated seconds

could be spent

counting the blackening tiles

by twos and fours like it the most

important task in the world

the widening scarlet pool of my essence,

the work of misery’s plan unfurled.