During covid, I set this intention —
to write one poem a day for one year. Regardless whether it was good, bad or otherwise, I'd just write one. And then write another.
After, I'll cull through the 300+ poems and publish a bilingual (english + español) collection of my favorites.
Until then, enjoy a few poems below or watch a video of me reading on youtube.
If you have comments or questions, I'm always listening here.
Mary Oliver spent her days lying in the blueberry patch staring into the river and marveling (again) at the small stones
What if her wife stayed home, a sink full of dishes, a dead car battery, a pile of bills on the kitchen counter
Returning home ‘I’ve written ten more sentences — mostly I’m happy with 3 of them’
The wife, overwhelmed, hands on hips
'Well then', she says, 'that's good I suppose'.
Pray God I Remember This
A full belly, music from my youth, a favored pen from Turkey (though I’ve never been)
a heart light with love for Mary, now gone, Bruce Springsteen on the overhead speaker mixed with energetic spanish
a small cafe, perfect for this writer, reader, wonderer
with only 1 small prayer —
pray God I remember this
if only later tonight, perhaps tomorrow
a slight distraction from the day
as if I needed one.
After Reading Patti Smith
I sat for long hours
reading her M Train
strong black coffee her only nutrition
'a spillover from her japanese poets' I told Eli
She traveled to lands I can't find on a map
to wash headstones of poets I can't pronounce
leaving stones collected at prisons a lifetime away
Is that the wrong word —
Should I choose something else?
Poetry's only commodity is words
I don't want to fuck it up
we have the japanese to consider.
Life as Punctuation
There are days
I want to live my life in italics,
More likely an ellipses…
And always, no matter the feeling the day the weather
always my beloved dash —
Poetry Of Course
Alone near the pond
a warm cup of coffee
days before my 56th birthday
is it melancholy I feel
If I could I’d throw it in the pond, drown it
But that would poison the well
Did I tell you?
it’s early morning
this part of the world soaked from a storm — hail and rain last night
thunder I believe
Poetry of course, helps.
And then to have a distraught child — angry, addictive, argumentative, adopted
how long do you love?
is there a time when you say I’m done I don’t love you anymore
or the extreme —
I’ll love you forever, no matter what
your face and heart bruised like a soldier
no medal of honor, only
a sickness in the stomach
I sit here most mornings, crossed legged, beige couch, dogs and quiet.
Word after word on the page.
No need for full thought.
Just one word, simple, direct, then the next. I have no demands of words.
Earlier ‘I have no demands of words’ and today that feels untrue. I do have demands —
make me whole
comfort my suffering
seek out my incompleteness
That’s all I ask
And it’s worked.
Hundreds of times words have healed me
and they will again.
Demand is a strong word, instead
to the healing power of words.
Tell me everything you know
of those you've loved
I will then tell God.
Where does a poem come from
word after word.
A gift, no doubt, from the gods.
We haven't cum together in forever,
it was sublime
After, this poem.
Teach me all you know of love
for your Self
and I will show you your Life.
I remember using my muscles to climb the path
kicking up dust beside the raging waterfalls,
photographing tiny flowers (I never bothered to learn their names)
I remember working at Assisi House on Red Hill Road
summers I'd spend weeding at the other house (I don't remember the name)
sneaking into the nuns' rooms when the heat became too much
'they don't want you in there'
'you won't be going back'
thinking 'I did wrong' or 'I shouldn't have done that'
I was am forever will be
stupid wrong or worse unlovable
I remember feeling unlovable
carrying that around
like a weight of stones, boulders maybe
too heavy to lift my leg
the boulders in my front pocket
(did I forget to tell you that)
and now, Monday morning, mid August beside the presa
daring to take out one stone
throw it in the water
tomorrow or Wednesday or next week
to be called heartache
or god forbid
name it (I won't forget to name it) and toss it in
let the water remember for awhile —
I will carry you no longer.
Death comes in a few minutes
now how will you spend life?
What will you do with that breath you just breathed, now gone
it cannot linger
neither can I, you.
To have poetry in my veins like inherited blood
who else in the lineage wrote or spoke or sang or danced?
Is there a poet among us? Who was she, and where are her words?
a part of me longs to hear her speak in rhymes
where did this yearning come from? Was it passed down like a favored casserole dish
or blue eyes
if so, who do I have to thank?
Let me thank all —
brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, family as far back as ireland and england
and the sioux indians according to Grandpa Bennett
Thank you all.
I Will Miss
I will miss the taste of coffee, how it warms my mouth early in the morning, mixed with quiet and meditation.
I will miss diving deeply into my dogs' fur, their ears, kissing them over and over, Luna moaning (I suppose with love, but she’s an odd duck so who knows what she’s saying).
I will miss words — the ones that are printed and spoken and sung and sprayed across billboards and sent in texts and emails.
I will miss Eli of course, and how he is the very essence of me.
Our bodies and worlds and words and food and sleep flow into one another, not knowing where one stops or begins.
We are, most days, one.
I will miss that.
I will miss the afternoon sky, how it’s mostly full of huge fluffy clouds here in México, huge expanses of blue.
I will miss my fantasies — the sexual ones and the fame ones and the ones where I have glorious sabbaticals in distant cities and eat at delis and invite strangers to eat with me and strike up surprising conversations.
I will miss surprising conversations.
I will miss friendships, both the tried and true ones, and the new, just-out-of-the-gate ones, where it feels like intimacy is free-flowing right there at the buffet table at the neighborhood potluck. Those times when a stranger feels like a long lost pal —
I could love you forever I whisper under my breath.
I will miss that.
Here, minutes before the storm
tiny ripples in the pond
a hummingbird sits for seconds
before diving into the bright orange llamarada flowers
the clouds dark grey, mixed with light
(the perfect setting for a poem)
then wait —
A part of me thinks
I can't be a real writer
a great poet
this far from the Sea
the magnificence of it.
I am in the desert,
a neck full of pain, a broken pen, cheap coffee —
where is the poetry there?
If I'm missing, you'll find me on a bus, heading south
There's something inside, a longing perhaps
to play smaller —
I can't compete with the others
they're beautiful well traveled well heeled
Me: a battered t-shirt, sagging neck wounded ego and knee and arm and skull
so much is broken down
a huge void
don't look don't notice
I'm almost not even here.
I need to eat.
>> Please subscribe to my youtube channel, where you can watch videos of me reading my words.