Don’t get married on your favorite holiday
Unless you want to meet the shades of Charon
Every time you cross the damned street.

You’ll start seeing that boatman everywhere.
He’s in costume at every party.
Reminding you of the journey to come.

This holiday represents the end, remember that.
It is a hallowed time.
Glamourized, but still monstrous.

Our childhood treats are someone else’s trauma.
Our jack-o-lanterns used to serve a purpose.
When their febrile toothy grins were enough.

He waited there, but we didn’t notice.
We were too innocent and naive to be truly scared.
Not like we ought to be.

The adult version isn’t much better.
Cheap imitations of a sexualized zeigeist.
Party city wigs over dancing bones to be.

Now he’s just waiting outside the party.
Skimming his ferry ever closer.
Just outside the revelry’s reach.

The older we get, the more we lose.
The worlds draw closer.
One parted veil at a time.

And always he waits, that grim boatman.
Waiting patiently for his fare.
Grinning because he sees what we will become.

The older we get, the more we remember.
As we see glimpses of that eternal shore.
As we watch our loved ones go.

By all means, celebrate.
We build bonfires for a reason.
We glorify our cormorbiditys across the gap.

Tonight, we gather on the docks.
We pay homage to past voyages
And await our turn.

As he paddles ever closer,
we throw one hell of a party
because we are celebrating our final transition.

We are daring him ever closer.
We are taunting the monstrosities with our reveries.
As he propels his inevitable skiff.

It’s a bad time to make forever plans.

Good Time Gals

They are the good time gals.
They are the women who make the world,
Who come in many forms,
Who cross all boundaries,
And struggle against stacked odds.

They are mothers born and goddesses chosen:
Some warriors, some healers,
Some brutal, some savage,
Some kind, some rude

  • All equal.

This is an ode to the feminine form
in all its guises,
To the women who made my world.
Not all of them birthed me
But all shaped me
All equally,

Equally beautiful
Equally monstrous
Equally stormy
Equally righteous

Some were a passing light
Flittering across smokey windows
Some were lingering lanterns
Guiding the way down twisting corridors
Some were pragmatic nurses
Closing the dead eyes of fathers.

They are the good time gals
The women who remake this world
Who propelled us as a species
And might help us tear it all down.

Do It Yourself.


In Belize, I saw a “DOITYOURSELF” heart-shaped slogan decorating the walls of a San Ignacio coffee shop. We took a much needed break there during the afternoon of the Shoulder season when the heat lingered and the humidity concentrated in the shift from summer into the rainy season. While ideal for exploration with few crowds, the oppressive weather warranted periodic lazy days when the only agenda was comfort. The sparsely-decorated coffee shop had two main attractions - air conditioning and decent coffee. The longer we stayed, the more we realized how it emblazoned the very loud and proud Belizean culture. At least, the small subsection that we saw running through the veins like brilliant calcite crystal snaking its way through this country’s Mayan bones. The coffee shop stands out like a yellow plume against this country’s lush backdrop.

The decor had the theme of a foreign entrepeneur who visited an indepentendly owned coffee shop in Fargo, North Dakota, and returned inspired. After all, they chose the brown plasticized booths with accent stripes in browns and cross-hatch textures of every shape and size. While the cushions felt like bus seats, they invited you to torment your spine and collapse like a preMahogany tables designed to allow maximum sprawl ate up so much space they could have doubled their occupancy and still feel spacious. The huge aluminum and glass window belonged on any dollar store trying to keep costs low They mounted power outlets mounted in the middle of the wall so each table traded function for easily-accessible form. All of the design decisions preferred practicality over aesthetics, but the deliberate wall art and the Chinese characters depicting the shop’s name in gold, polished glyphs with hammered filigrees set admidt a field of symmetrical, shining stars, left an indelible impression of a cultural conversations even more than the four different groups of customers and employees having four conversations in four separate languages before conducting their business in well-practiced English.

The matron of the establishment held court from her supervisory position fenced off by a wall of cafe supplies and the Simonelli espresso machine. In rapid, loud Cantonese, She ordered around her children employees who carried the mixed heritage of strong Asian decent mixed with strong Kriol descent. They, in turn, enacted her every command with the scurrying promptness reserved for the children of military parents or stereotypical old Asians. The kind you don’t want to generalize but then who publicly model themselves like Mrs. Kim from the Gilmore girls. Whatever her motivations, she ran a tight ship and her children make one hell of an Americano.

Enumerating this woman’s bold aesthetic rev

I Love You, Mom

I love you, Mom,
As you panhandle for golden lollies
and scab cigarettes off passersby.

You were beautiful, once.
You were as pretty as the faded floral dress,
hanging, gimballed, off your bony shoulders.

Unlike most sons, I see you every day.
I watch you bleach and fade and loosen.
I watch your flowers go a little more gray.
I pass by your usual bench
as I walk to work.
You still wear the fuzzy, mint green slippers,
From a Christmas,
eight years ago.
You occasionally bark crude solicitations at the young men.

Yet, you never solicit me.
Even, if your milky eyes only perceive
a motion blur of pinstripes and briefcases and silver wrist watches.
You never bum a smoke.
You never ask for change.
You never say, “Thank you,”
when I press a fifty into your thin hand.

I love you, Mom.

Creator of Worlds

Creator of Worlds

You make art.
You summon emotion from a featureless plane.
Your slender hands guide indelable ichor.
through unforgiving curves
Where perpective means everything
And assuptions nothing.

A picture is worh a thousand poems
Regardless of the brevity of the imagery
I can describe a hand with allusions and allegory
But you start with a base of originality
You can sketch a hand that people can see
The same way we all see hands.
You can stipple in textures
Showing the callousness of over worked fingers.