the Politics of the ‘Here and Now’


the Politics of the ‘Here and Now’


portraits hang on walls; dusty | the ticktock of a clock in syncopation marks time | generations consumed in quarter notes; atonal rhythms of coffee cups and saucers; spoons and trays | parlors where they speak of the dead;  empty of hope—full of sorrow lamenting the passing of a cycle | spirits on their journey down the river Styx; pay tribute to Charon | “You May Pass—” into the abyss

cumulonimbus stratospheric perambulations fade across the sky | flames rise on hearths; embers of extinction glow; pop | leave smoke and residue on mantelpieces; sad | still the family portraits smile | music from ancestral accordions dispatch circles of blackbirds perched on musical staffs; time beats the drum | a slapping bass

exasperation sends word through ticker tapes and a news conference | plaintive cries heard over the din of emotion | radio waves echo the shattered glass of Cristal chandeliers and forced kisses  ::ribbon cutting ceremonies portend confinement; a bobble-head doll’s spring; broken | chocolate liqueur and heart-shaped confections with fortune cookie wisdom written in red ink; busted | waves break in confusion over the lot of a privileged class; love horns | destitute billionaires cast their lots on Wall Street | desperate for cash

a view from the top of an Empire below the sea | a heart warming global refuge | listless guardsmen on course to oblivion sail boats to a maddened horizon | empty sockets in electric mayhem ordered by stooges make a captain’s mess | the crew works the night-shift only to find the morning dew flooding the pantry; eating all the food | leaving behind dumb obscenities in a paradise they once called Borikén | keel-hauled

you walked out the door in a midnight drunken rage; the house still staggering from the slam of the door | crazy and still dreaming of fortunes that nest behind faux walls | a last testament to the abandoned child—a mill in Minnesota; a factory in Duluth; a farm in Massachusetts | a brick in a New York high rise worth it’s weight in gold; sand salt and a copper sea  ::but dreams are for waking—reminisce; as the Empire crumbles with the dust from falling towers | debris has become my currency as I scrape dogs from my shoes | scratch and sniff

no one brings salvation like a mad monk from the Palestine | but the sun beats down on the infidel and rocket ships send conspiracies to the moon | light-years get measured in dollars; astronauts circle the hemispheres and take snapshots of hurricanes; weather balloons | women stand against lamp posts and urinate on ivy-covered walls; a new cultural awareness abandoned on principle | we never gave a damn

shop for explosive devices during afternoon siestas in Madrid | empty-handed merchants hunker down in basements where SWAT teams break locks; piece together evidence; planted by detectives; “Shoot to kill—”  | buses transfer the homeless from the boroughs to the New Jersey swamps | lighthouses shine the way to nirvana; for equality is more than just freedom; it’s a fixation on the politics of the here and now | Selah

loan sharks send French postcards; threaten exposure in time-lapse; photography—black and white images tell colorful stories | a name remembered is like an exceptional vintage; the Champagne of fine wines | the Citroen of the automobile | the Dauphine of the dolphin  ::could the Place de la Concorde exist without a revolution; wheels turn without an emission; Marseilles exist without its port; or a face be remembered without a name? would an explanation be given without an embarrassing moment; preceded by southern exposure? an old song plays on the radio behind each scene | the answer? there never really was an answer


Corpses on the River Ganges


Corpses on the River Ganges

streams coalesce; levitate corpses | tunnels navigate conscious channels
bloated fetuses float in mercurial silica reflections
clean the Ganges with antiseptic; kill all the fish
and there you were bathing; drinking it all in

maternal patriarchs ride the caboose | lime and stone
calcified gruel hedging bets on survival | fishing lines and clothespins
hung out to dry; when all the money’s gone | and we’re too strung out for a ransom

in the courthouses of jurisprudence limousines chauffeur millionaires on drinking binges
President’s Port and Hennessy | inebriation in the aisles of Justice
hung up on red tape and graphite—get to go free

in soup kitchens and meth labs | on road trips to Reno
we heard the last of the errant mater pater entrepreneurs
too far above the summit to be concerned with the articles of faith
the doers of good works and the lame | the second act of the Apostles
written and sold to the bookmakers at the House of Poggio

lucre’s nickel-plated dimes spit on platforms | gendarmes 
just off the train from the Palais de la Cité | handcuffed and shackled
irons and leggings; yoga pants and stirrups | lambs to the slaughter in woolen
balaclava | dragged across Portland tiles and mop water; to the juggernaut
the High Priest of the Righteous—and the Law

suspect prescriptions go uncontested by local authorities in Trial of the Century
a pharmacist arrested while performing due diligence | in other headlines:
the druggist prescribed the coke; parents plant bad seeds in children
medical cannabis drives dementia patients wild

seductions awaken in the night | ensnare the naïve in hospital beds; sent home prematurely
to cold water flats in Soho—uptown to Harlem—before the sonic boom of gentrification
eyes closed and pregnant | nostrils intoxicated by the smell of grease in hallways
just this side of Purgatory | fabricated crime scenes; doorways to the morgue
a doctor’s declaration precedes birth—Cause of Death: Poverty
corpses on the River Ganges | mission aborted

Spoken in Silence


Spoken in Silence




a speeding car driven by booze
second-hand smoke is spousal abuse
the cracked pop of a semi-automatic rifle let loose; because
Freedom is a word hardly ever spoken without a catch

the right to smoke in a public
space; curtailed for the common good
an alcoholic binge behind the wheel preempted
by a traffic stop followed with jail time; check points on
the road to Abaddon are many; because Freedom
is a word that must be stopped

but a madman’s shooting spree
can only be curtailed
by other gunmen
good guys with guns; because
Freedom is a word that must be spoken in silence

Not Your Grandfather’s America

This is Not Your Grandfather’s America

Hondurans make our beds at the Best Western
Indians open our convenience stores from 7 to 11
Koreans sell our cars from the Hyundai Dealership
Mexicans farm our produce in the San Joaquin Valley
Japanese own our real estate from the West Coast
Pakistanis pump our gas at the Exxon Mobil
the Chinese handle our banking at HSBC
and the Russians run our Government

This is the New America. Get used to it.

This Is Not the Time to Talk About It

The five stages of grief:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

When a tragedy like the Las Vegas shooting happens our immediate gut feeling is “How could this have happened?” This is Denial. We become Angry: “We should have prevented this!” We start bargaining: “Let’s outlaw guns!” We get depressed when we realize nothing is going to change. And we accept the unacceptable.

When people say “This is not the time to talk about gun control,” they are twisting the grieving process to avoid the fact that immediately after a tragedy is the time to talk about it, while we are in denial of the event and while we are angry. This is when things need to get done.

To say “This is not the time to talk about it,” is a disingenuous lie. The best thoughts and prayers we can share with family and victims is to insure this will never happen again.

The Order of Law

The Order of Law

the rule of law is
breached; the current resident
mocks the course of justice with impunity
begs to know the difference between
Right, and White and Wrong

leaves no rock obscured
in the court of diplomatic confusion; obtuse
to the suffering of the victims of fact
regards the bottom line with
simplicity; eloquent of
inarticulate tact

the dishonored fight
his legitimacy rescind; masses
bamboozled by this hoax of incapacity
who laugh and cheer while chumped and Arpaioed
like whales to a Las Vegas complimentary buffet

we live in a new society
laws don’t matter; fight the good fight

Tristez’ Azul


Tristez’ Azul


A Bolero


cuando pienso
de la vida que deje allá perdida
en mi bonita isla ‘bajo el sol
mi aliento se ahoga
y las lagrimas brotan
en mi corazon un gran dolor

en mi ventana aquí arriba
de este piso cuarenta’y segundo
oigo el ruido de la gente alla ‘bajo

me asomo a velar
pero solo veo un mar
que me imagino en mi

aquí en este pais
donde nunca estaré feliz
si pudiera regresar allá a mi playa
no me sintiera tan triste y azul

ay Tristez’ Azul
para mi bella isla y tu
si pudiera regresar a la playa
hoy no sintiera tan
triste y azul



when I think of the life
that I’ve left on my beautiful
island in the sun

my breath chokes me
tears burst from my eyes
with a pain deep inside my heart

from my window way up here
on this forty-second floor I hear
the busy people on the street below
I lean out to look but in despair only imagine
an ocean for as far as I can see

out here in this strange land
where is the happiness I once had?
if only I could go back to my island
I wouldn’t feel so sad and blue

oh, Sad ‘n Blue
for my beautiful island and you
I feel so sad and blue

%d bloggers like this: