False Icons

That night, we were holy.

Bathed in incense, leaking out the window

of your fifth story walk up

in the East Village, the

summer breeze carrying with it the

sounds of sirens and deep bass,

river breezes: the warmth

surrounding us, baptizing

us with the sweat of humidity

and being too close; enough to

feel our breath and deep surges

while we made vows to one another.

whispered at first and

then proclaimed before

the congregation of candles, for

just us. alone.

That night. Divine.

resurrected in memories

and when the nag

champa smoke mixes with

the smell of the East River,

processing in faintly through the

tiny place in Brooklyn I’ve

worshiped you, forgotten,

all these years.




The New England

When the children are in bed

and the dishes are clean

the porchlight dims to

hush the neighborhood,

snow falling in darkness

and the windows getting


Grandmother turns off her light

downstairs after saying her rosary

and the work is all done,

for the time being.

Even the dog and cat lie

curled up together in a peaceful

oval, mimicking the braided rug

beside the bed.

And there’s no one left

to care for.

tonight, instead,

pray for yourself,

and that life isn’t spent on

one more moment of simply

filling time and obligation,

but for forging boldly

into the forest of fate, fears, and

foreshadowing. If you don’t

pray earnestly for your own

deliverance from boredom,

then it just may be possible

that no one else will either.

and neither will anyone check to see

if you’re taken care of, too.

Ginger Snapped

Sources claim that it was a combination

of starvation and syphilis that brought

the red hair among the Celtic nations,

not the Viking conquests, which was

the previous rumor. So I suppose

the end result of going home

at the end of the night with the red-headed

fiddler from the Irish pub will be the same:

conquest or maybe syphilis,

but least likely, starvation.

Anaflactic Vanilla

How does the life I live

and the privileges I’ve had

keep others enslaved and



How is it that I can use

my small voice in the

world overtaken by the uncaring,

the apathatic,

to throw a motherfucking wrench in

the wheels of the mighty system

which oppresses and demeans

some while benefitting few,

stopping it quicker than me and the

kids down on San Pablo can yell,

“Uluru!” And mama in the back

sings Kumbaya.


My aunt and uncle moved

into a gated community

in a very wealthy suburb,

presumably to keep the brown

people away from their

precious Lexus, expensive golf clubs.

they had the good sense, though,

to give the spare keys

to the brown people who go right

through the gate

and do the lawn and laundry,

they are not willing to do

in their very busy schedules.