Another Day in Paradise If Jesus lived now his mug shot would be on the AP wire as the face of the man who attempted to throw a live alligator into a crowded bar in Florida. He’d have done something criminal on the tail end of a three-day binge like driving a stolen car into a line of charity bike racers, taking out bystanders, competitors and a utility pole then, undeterred, backing up for another go around despite a steaming, leaking radiator, detached bumpers and caved in windshield. Deployed air bags don’t count. His stained t-shirt would have an AK 47 decal, a slogan like “My rights doesn’t end where your emotions begin.” In his next life he would be a Shotgun Judas with a sawed off, infiltrating a political rally, church fundraising event, for the homeless. His chest tattoo of a screaming eagle with a US flag decal in its beak is where the service revolver bullets go.
No Man’s Path Fewer footsteps these last few months Less trash from a foodless land Empty backpacks left behind Not a grave mound near Songs no longer whispering Behind the far trees lumps of decay and bones Dust covering most of the bent grass The path a thinning trail Scavengers’ fur lies in lines from starvation The wind dying The dimming sun blends into the night moon Man or woman hasn’t left a dream here Something like smog in the air The scent of losers everywhere As a few of us still chase the glories of heaven Birds have not flown high for years Swirls of feathers lace the treetops Tiny eyes like pin holes full of sand Ants cover hilltops like dry beads moving Swarms taking their time Silent with their billions of mini legs Scent of far cities crumbling Hum of drums on the skin of earth Now a nothingness of importance No man’s path from one dead-end to the other The way is not by foot But by heart.
Tapestry Tightly Woven So is there a ‘how & why’ of it, A life history writ in failure-ese? Poor choices or no choices? Genes, geography, lack of luck? A tapestry tightly woven in woe. Is it all down to kismet and fate, Wholly the will of deranged gods? The future revealed by moments. Perhaps, the best is yet to come. Perhaps not. But, as ever, we try. Boldly try in the face of adversity, Fools driven on by blind ambition. In essence, is not the very struggle Just as exalting as the end goal? The fight as regal as the crown. The warrior as revered as the king.
burrowed in the rhododendron burrowed into the rhododendron the spiked drink gets me in a gravitationally bound state barfing towards sagittarius a* and rolling in the yellow dandelions to dodge sun baked syringes where the crocodiles die in lake mead good great fantastic marvelous burrowed into the rhododendron i throw up big macs and shermsticks to a wackadoodle studying calculus and the black hole takes its time forcing my two halves together like mismatched puzzle pieces in a pot of bolied chicory the world will end bad awful terrible horrible burrowed into the rhododendron i come out of the other side with eight arms i come out of the other side wanting to shit i come out of the other side talking to the seventeenth coming of jesus a toothless salvadorean man who runs a botanica in south central the guy i talked to for five minutes 11:15pm, christmas, lan kwai fong i remember stone lions, furious perched outside the crimson mansions “i am waiting for my girlfriend” said the young man pointing to the mouth of the hungry club hyperventilating “she won’t reply to my texts” “she won’t answer my phone calls” “she won’t talk to me” “i’ve left 20 voicemails” “i’m going crazy” “here, drink this” i offer my bottle of peach flavored soju he takes a pull while russians fight outside 7 eleven people crowd the street like doves “are you sure she’s in there?” “how do you know?” “are you sure?” “you want to go in?” he won’t go in the cover charge is 200 hkd i tell him, “love is worth more than money” well aware he has neither
THERE, THEN I was there when the light burnt eyes for the first time, when love was felt, I was there when it turned ugly and vicious and compassion was near death, when we had almost destroyed the world’s beauty and natural resources, I was there when we turned and looked at each other and wept as our children played games long dead in our hearts. STEPPING A step away from victory heaven hell beauty, a step away from war peace loneliness perfection tranquillity, a step away from grace harmony failure murder fucking riches satisfaction uselessness, a step away from hopelessness genius beginning, always one step, a step away from grasping the preciousness of this life together. TAKING AND HOLDING I knew by taking her hand I’d end up in places I’d rather not, but I reached out anyway: ‘Hold on tightly’ she said with a smile: for a decade or more our hands were intertwined, our heads burnt like roman-candles and then she closed her eyes, forever and now they shine behind mine.
Finding Treasure I used to see sounds, Hear colors, and feel, Quite deeply about things Most folks thought unreal. In those days I learned things I never could tell, Like ecstasy hearing A robin bird sing, Or the depths of desire That a longing could bring, Or finding an answer That could never explain, The caress of the sunlight, Or the sound of the rain, Or the feelings that come From sensing your touch. So much beauty In such a short time, More here than any Could see or could know, And more to be found Wherever we go. A Breath Gone By So your tears were silver, And your smiles were gold, And you laughed and cried, And watched your life unfold, And the hearing of silence deafened you, But the silence made you bold, But before you ever said a word, You found you had grown old, By the time you could have spoken, To tell the tale you knew, Your will to tell was broken, And the time came that you flew.
I Hate Winds Simply Cuz (for Qi Hong) They are always bullying, preying around Wildly & invisibly Upon the weak on the prairies & Swooping down on Every tree trying hard to meditate While trespassing the territory of My most private feel & thought About everything, or about you alone (R)e.volution: Scissors of Nature/Nemesis Not really randomly But always resolutely Ready to prune the trees of life Plant or animal With one blade as blunt as the human brain But the other much sharper than the edge of time Self-Semantics: a Bilinguacultural Poem 1/ I vs 我: Denotations The first person singular pronoun, or this very Writing subject in English is I, an only-letter Word, standing straight like a pole, always Capitalized, but in Chinese, it is written with Lucky seven strokes as 我, with at least 108 Variations, all of which can be the object case At the same time. Originally, it’s formed from The character 找, meaning ‘pursuing’, with one Stroke added on the top, which may well stand for Anything you would like to have, such as money Power, fame, sex, food, or nothing if you prove Yourself to be a Buddhist practitioner inside out 2/ Human & 人: Connotations Since I am a direct descendant of Homo Erectus, let me Stand straight as a human/人, rather than kneel down When two humans walk side by side, why to coerce one Into obeying the other like a slave fated to follow/从? Since three humans can live together, do we really need A leader or ruler on top of us all as a group/众? Given all the freedom I was born with, why Just why cage me within walls like a prisoner/囚？
la vie en rose In a former life, she imagined she’d become a rock star like Janis. An icon with a household name but Southern Comfort gave her migraines, beer made her sick as a shit house rat, and the one time dropping of acid, made her feel as if her hair was on fire and her fingers were tongue depressors that needed to be continually shoved down her throat. There was a special place for people like her and it sure as hell wasn’t Cleveland. Spent six months in an alien nation called Catatonia where bread and water was considered fine dining. When she finally returned to a place she once called home, everyone asked her where she’d been and she replied, “Bergen Belsen.” No one disbelieved her.
the human body is a nightmare She said, “the human body is a nightmare“ and I thought of my body embracing, laying relaxed on the chair like a ghastly cartoon The human body is a nightmare and I thought of my body waking with blood between its legs, stretching decaying I see my ancestors, ghost, and spirits my body that asks, “how else should I behave— when I know the body is the home for our shared stories?” The human body is a nightmare And I stick my finger in the wound think of my body swaying like a stuffed animal occupying even mundane spaces in the most fascinating ways the simultaneous disorderly beauty and sublime embarrassment of having a human body She said, “the human body is a nightmare” and in that moment I almost believed her What I mean when I say that I love you I want to unfold like the raft that carried me through the deadliest storm like your mother’s face like the everyday mug I want to unfold and be true before you when I tell you that I love you I mean that I love you infinity I love you like it’s written in the stars I love you like I can trust that what leaves will come back like I didn’t meet the God of my seaside city on a dark night and watch all the stars burn out in the sky like instead I looked up and saw a smoke signal shot into the sky and it was you and the compass of your hands I love you like although I am perched on the very edge I do not know how to plummet I love you despite the prepossessing tragedy that we are given this one life and told nothing beyond I love you like it’s my birthright, like I wrote you in poems before I met you I love you like a neither one of us will ever die
Her Taco Tasted Like Rain Our love making was like a spaghetti western; good, bad, and ugly Her freckles were devil’s kisses showering down from purgatory She used to striptease, while a monkey played viola and the organ grinder did just that Stumbling through time, I wished I’d never eaten her shit sandwich lies She drove stakes through my obsidian oblivious soul Slipping and melting through my fingers like mawkish snow and raging wind. My cheeks were wet rivers, tears swimming from Nagasaki My heart imploded and exploded in the fiery pain of Hiroshima Blood in the salt, lime, and tequila I know now I should’ve cared more for you.