The Cave (Portrait #8)



The lamps bob in between echoes. They can only reverberate for so long, then disappear around a curve.

So we tether together, in small groups of nonsense

It is our belief that we will come to the end, turn around, and find the hole that led us here.

The darkness frightens as it exhilarates. Light belongs to the outside, unless we fake it. We bring it in, a one-sided light, to see death.

But not the kind we know.

We have little recognition of what was swept away inside this tube, the greens, browns of them all.

Once, birds flew to eat them, colors, when the sun revealed reflections, before the lava carved a new direction.

Now we are birds who cannot fly, fluttering about in a search. We don’t need to eat, we are filled to the brim.

Candy wrappers litter the cave floor like plastic feathers, stepped upon as we crawl…. hands and knees if needed, sniffing for remnants of milk chocolate, almonds, the sugars that keep us hanging on to our lamps, that we always seem to lose.

And like prized gullets….

We clean the darkness, then analyze our refuse.



Young Words



There is a temporal space

A frozen lake, where words

From heated thoughts spill,

Into symbols upon ice

Slip, fall, even from sure palms


The stilled linear water

Layered out into oval

Fed by streams and sources

Have been slowed

By brave swimmers


Their heads bob

With white swimming caps

Protecting them from

Elements that cut and draw

Fissures into their hearts


There is always a fear

Of falling underneath

The crackling, heard by all

No one says a word, for

Words are to be written


The cold, cold mirror

With fractures and weak spots

calls me by my only name

Reaches silenced ears, mine

Threatens by incessant scrawling


Tells me of so much more

Of water, a liquid realm

Yet, I cannot see how it runs

It is really two worlds

To know is to drown, twice


I watch words tumble

Through a skater’s figure 8,

By time they travel, to

And return iced, always

Younger than I will ever be



Honey Bunches Of Woes



Cap’n Crunch is part of

Military-industrial cornplex

Shredded wheat is, well, shredded

Post Toasties are shy

But, very modernist.

Life should not be simply cereal

And taken more seriously!

Wheaties get wimpy in milk

Lucky Charms ain’t so lucky

With those alien marshmallows

Rising to the top of the cereal hierarchy

Has anyone really cheered for Cheerios?

No wonder there is a Honey Nut

You can’t just frost a flake

Once a flake always a flake

What’s so special about K?

I’m sure J is special too

Are Bite-Size Mini Wheats

for small mouths?

What is Total adding up to?

Corn should not be a Pop

Or a Mom for that matter

Corn Moms?

Who would turn Trix in their stomach?

Cocoa Pebbles is like

Eating a baby Flintstone

Apple Jacks are drugs

Kix are boring little balls of cardboard

Don’t let Raisin Bran fool you

Into thinking it’s a goody two-shoes

It’s into getting frosted and toasted too

Alpha Bits.

Don’t spell with your mouth full

Chex should practice contraception

Never listen to Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

They’re corporate whores

Does sugar really need to puff?

Grape Nuts.

Only some parts are edible

Franken Berry, Boo Berry

If berries crunch

Don’t eat them

No wonder, there are toy surprises

Honey Bunches of Woes



I Have Known Your Lips


Ones that have touched me

With a smile

Soft and warm


Lips that have spoken

Of concerns,

Straight talk heard


The shape of a cry

Salt river, running down

To each end of your kiss


Sternness crumpled up

In a wrinkle

Of anger held in


Laughter submerged,

Bursting out

Into raw eruption


Hiding a tongue

Who dares

To search for my inner secrets


Bitten in frustration

Then licked

Back to life, healed


Brushed by fingers

Insecure, then

Trust built of tender breath


Lips heated, a hotness

Quenchless allure

I have been opened


Hushed by the myriad

Articulate silence

Speaks outside the turn


Lips form our orbit

Impressed upon

Paper notes from distance


The Freeway (Portrait #7)

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We were underneath, before it crossed over the river. Tires sizzled above us like a new form of electricity. These were sounds of an alien world, our planet. Our arms glued on to it, tentacles. Yet, we couldn’t follow it.

The kid was on the freeway now, the river and dock still washed his body up to the shore, continually, forever, it seemed.

I was frightened of nowhere, of being nowhere. Living had strange sounds attached to it, like the kid’s voice as he passed over us. It shook me. There was no stopping the rush over the bridge, the sound of relentlessness. I swear I heard the kid laughing. I couldn’t tell whether that laughter was aimed at me.

Yes, we were dreamers and on occasion we threw ourselves in front of the traffic. But, we would only lose a limb or a head. And they wouldn’t stop! Why would they? The river doesn’t. The bridge doesn’t. The pavement… well it’s a different type of ghost. It looks like it stops when it’s alone, but it is eternally never alone, therefore, always moving.

I told him the bridge held two states together. Two kinds of worlds. He laughed, the little murderer. “That’s what they’re doing,” I told him. “changing states like beings, souls switched upon crossing. It’s like it’s a bridge of the gods.”

He told me the kid murdered himself, not suicide. That was a clue. Now, the freeway was so heavy, I couldn’t listen to it without my back bending into an arc. I thought I was experiencing age, but I was mistaken.

Sometimes, though, I think it’s the ocean, tides upon tides, luring me to somewhere I can never be. And the bridge is a snake, coiled in, upon itself.

Courtesy Ray Spallone. Former San Jose city councilman Joe Colla as he appeared in 1976, when he paid to have a car lifted by helicopter atop the not-yet-completed flyover interchange between U.S. 101 and Interstates 280 and 680. Construction of the interchange had been halted by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 1975. Colla's stunt prompted the Legislature to approve funding to complete the interchange . There is a resolution in the Legislature to rename the interchange in Colla's honor.

One Day Only



I look through the window

The store was, my shop

Isles of numb

Sprawling endlessness

There are no eyes anymore

We shop only for a deal

Priced for less than it’s worth

Bargain and sliced, a mantra

One day only


Coupons shine like the sun

Food is a box

Pizzas are frozen

Hamburgers are forbidden

I am now chicken skin

We eat labels, warnings

Our stare, altered desire

In hands that were warm

Reaching into the frozen section


How can this throbbing

Extend so far up?

Where are our skulls?

I am made in the image of sex

Wet on demand, curved

Fingers thumb through

Discounts posing as books

Containing only images.

Ads are now read as words

Our lovers must learn the gaze


My pants have blood on them

Spicy tomato pasted on me

We are spilt, pungent, sweet

Wiping frantically, away,

But the smell is here

I am forever, almost,

In my ability to grab.

Our strangling reaches

expert levels of covering up

Realness, a nest hidden

among a marked down reason