Poetry

Amplitude Modulation

Published Poetry:

Verse-Virtual

Poetry Pacific

On the Eve of 35

It’s not the threat of growing older
that concerns me.
It’s realizing that if I could remain 34,
then you will always be a baby.
But nothing is meant to last.
We only get older.

10 Years
How can it be so long ago,
when it still feels like yesterday?
The day that bgan what we
thought was the beginning of
the rest of our life.
All the dreams that were never reached.
All the plans that never materialized.
All of it is gone now.
Yet, it still feels like yesterday.

Cap

I saw a picture of you the other day
With your new man.
I recognized the hat.
Pink.
Old English D.
With the missing button
That an Amazon parrot
bit off with his beak.
In Cozumel.
When life was good.
And breezy.

Christmas Eve, 2008

The house was still empty.
It was just officially our house,
but not yet our home,
awaiting future Christmases to come.
A small, artificial tree blinked in a lonely corner.
A placeholder for Christmases to come.
We stopped by to wish our soon-to-be-abode
a Merry Christmas.
And promised it less lonely Christmases to come.
And we put together the new table
in the empty living room,
which would be so full at Christmases to come.
However, it stood crooked.
It was cheap.
so we decided we would exchange it for something
better.
More deserving.
More stable.
Much like ourselves.
When our house stood empty again.
When we walked away
from the house.
from each other.
From Christmases yet to come.

GPS
I have learned to navigate you.
The physical terrain took no effort.
It was your interior terrain that proved most difficult.

October 2014

Xs and Os

“Put me in Coach. It’s alive.”

I didn’t know what I meant when I said it.

But the coach must have in his own peculiar way.

Because he put me in. And it.

And we both did what had to be done.

To annihilate. To destroy. To resurrect.

And to win.

Shedding our collective demons.

And shining its light toward heaven.

For all who went before us.

And blazing a path for what was to come.

June 2014

Roses

We were running late (as usual).
And she stopped,
distracted (as usual),
by the bloom of a pink rose.
“C’mon!” I said. “It’s time to go.”
But she ignored me, lifting
the rose to her nose.
It wasn’t time to go.
She was doing exactly what
all of us should do more often.
Somehow, she had figured that out.
But I had not.

2013

Time Traveler

I time traveled today.
Back to the places
of my youth.
Back to where it all began.
My birth.
My childhood.
My adulthood.
And then my marriage.
Everything looked the same.
My birthplace still looked the same.
The place we called ours even more so.
I felt as though I could walk
right up to the doorstep of
my childhood home.
And see my childhood self.
Watching The Flintstones,
Or perhaps cascading down a Slip ‘n Slide
in the backyard.
That I could show up on the doorstep
of our honeymoon.
So in love.
Watching TV.
Making love.
And then I realized that I can’t.
That I hadn’t time-traveled.
That everything looks exactly the same…
But nothing is the same.
I want to take comfort in everything being the same.
But I’m not.
We’re not.
In the constancy of things.
A reminder that something can last forever.
But all I see is that the past survived.
But present tense and future did not.

2012

Shallow Water
We stepped into the warm, shallow pond
a few feet from the cold, frigid shore.
Hand in hand, guided by our shadows.
Your legs, coated in a milky white layer of suntan lotion.
Making you look like that of a ghost, as your
little feet melted into the water.
The ghost-like features amplified
by the ghost of what this memory now is.
Trapped in time.
Never able to return to a time
when it was all real.
At least, that one, small, significant moment
that meant everything.

Feb. 2012

Adaptation

It’s amazing how quickly we adapt,

to new homes,

to new relationships,

to old relationships.

But it is because we adapt

that proves that everything

from the past still lives in us.

Anchoring us to our new reality,

anchoring us to our forgotten past.

For better or for worse.

10 Years

How can it be 10 years?/so long ago?

When it still feels like yesterday?

The day that began what he we thought

was the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Our life.

All the dreams that were

never reached.

All the plans that

never materialized.

All of it is gone now.

Yet, it still feels like yesterday.

Feb. 2012

Reminiscence

It’s hard to reminisce about things
you thought would last forever.

Like us.

The one reason why I left you
is overshadowed by the million reasons
why I shouldn’t have.

If things were so bad,
then why can I only remember the good?

Newborn

You came into our life,

an equally

expected

and unexpected

miracle.

A cherubic

angel.

A bundle of

joyful

innocence,

washing away the

sins

of our

past.

A beacon of hope

paving the way

for both the

present

and the

future.

A miracle

in its

purest

form.

Jan. 19, 2012

All Yours

You can keep our photo albums –

not because I don’t want them,

but because I don’t need them.

Not with the ghosts of our memories,

haunting every moment of my day,

swirling in a dust cloud

left behind by the implosion

of the life we built together.

Brick by brick.

Frame by frame.

Album after album.

Until we tore it all down.

Brick by brick.

Frame by frame.

Album after album.

Yet they remain,

like a film on

continuous

loop,

or random photos

popping up

in a digital frame.

Yes, they remain

as they always will.

So, no, I don’t really need

the photo albums.

I have no space

in my new apartment

anyway, Which smells like

the apartment we first lived in.

When our love was real

and new. And immortal.

My mind will never run out of memory.

So you can keep the albums,

even though you are more likely

to toss them, if you haven’t already.

But if you haven’t,

may I suggest

you hold on to them?

So that maybe one day,

you can enjoy them

like they were meant to be.

Like I’m doing now.

In my mind. Now and forever.

Till death do us part.

It is hard to get by when the person

you planned a future with

exists now only in the past.

Jan. 2012

Sticky Note

Life is a tattered sticky note,

stuck on the heel of our souls,

caked in dog feces,

drying under a tired and neglectful sun,

abandoned like an orphan,

until gone.

Dec. 2011

Ornament

To my surprise,

I pulled out an ornament

from the Christmas box

that I thought was already weeded out

and stored along with

all the other evidence

buried in my parents’ attic.

But somehow, this one lingered behind.

“First Christmas Together, 2002.”

A ghost of Christmas past,

a reminder of what is lost.

In my sadness,

I was reminded that

as much as we try to

pack away our past.

nothing will ever change it.

The fact remains that our

first Christmas was in 2002.

And always will be.

The ornament tells me so:

“We said we do in 2002.”

But that was then.
And this is now.

In conclusion:

to make the present more relevant,

perhaps Hallmark should make

“Last Christmas Together” ornaments.

Then again, if they did,

I’m certain they would be sold out.

November 20, 2011

Time Machine

If I could go back in time,

I would be sure to tell you

how much I really loved you.

If I could go back in time,

I would listen to you more often.

laugh at you more often.

agree with you more often.

protect you more often.

If I could back in time,

we would do all the things

we talked about for so long,

but never did.

If I could go back in time,

I would live more in the now.

rather than the future like I did then.

and the past like I do now.

If I could go back in time,

I would wipe away all your tears

I didn’t cause.

and prevent the one I did.

If I could go back in time,

I never would have hurt you like I did.

and none of this would have happened.

If I could go back in time…

April 25, 2011

Holiday House

Today, I passed by the house,
where we spent the holidays.
Everything looked the same.
But nothing felt the same.
(Nothing ever does).
After I passed the house,
I turned the corner
and pulled into
the parking lot
of your new home –
a cell of cinderblocks,
the scent of fresh urine,
left unattended by aides.
A nest of neglect.
a living ghost of
the woman who
carved countless
Thanksgiving turkeys
and Christmas hams
that you fed us,
so long ago,
in the holidays
of our youth.

April 25, 2011

The Return

Last time I was here,

home was something different.

A different name,

A different place.

A different life.

But this place is still here,

a much-needed reminder

that some things last forever

or at least longer

than some things.

Some things

aren’t meant to last at all.

No matter how hard we try ,

(or don’t try)

No matter how much we think

things will always be the same,

no matter what we do

to try to keep the place

we call home,

before we find another,

even if the other

is never the same.

The Other Side of Sadness II

Thanks to you,

I’ve returned once again

to where I most belong.

To the other side of sadness,

where I once roamed free,

and can roam free again

A place where I never thought I’d return,

a place I never should have left.

April 25, 2011

The Other Side of Sadness I

I want to go back,

to where I most belong.

To the other side of sadness,

where I once roamed free,

before I crossed the tracks,

to where I now reside.

After we turned our backs,

to the other side of sadness,

where there’s no going back,

as much as we think otherwise.

April 17, 2011

Dream Poem

I wrote a poem
on a page inside my mind,
as I lay awake,
on another sleepless night,
awaiting the Sandman
once again.
But I didn’t get up
to write it down.
And it’s gone.
Just like you.
And just like me.

April 17, 2011

Drive-By

I headed home today,

even though it’s no longer

where we live.

And saw shadows moving inside,

where we once stood.

And loved.

And laughed.

Then cried.

Which is why we no

longer live there.

But shadows do.

And shadows never die.

April 4, 2011
Homey-Home

It was what you called the place

we used to call home.

For example,

when it was time to leave,

It was time to go

“Homey-home,”

Where we lived.

And loved.

And cried.

Until the time came

to pack the bags

and close the door

of the place you once called

“Homey-home,”

which now stands

a house divided,

a house alone.

Our former, glorious

“Homey-home.”

April 4, 2011

Dry-Erase

Everything was packed,

but one thing remained.

A dry erase board and

a message I wrote long ago:

“I love you,”

Even though everything

else was packed away.

(or gone for good)

I could not bring myself

to erase those

three simple words

from the past.

Because I knew once I did,

It would all be gone,

as though it never

existed at all.

As though we never

Existed at all.

But the time had come.

So I took a dry cloth

and prepared to bury

my final proclamation.

But once the cloth was lifted,

lo-and-behold,

there it remained.

Those three simple words

from our living past.

So I added some water

to my cloth,

but the results were the same.

And that’s when I realized,

the board was right.

Some things never change.

Some things can’t be erased.

No matter how hard we try.

April 4, 2011

Waffle House

It was a game we played

on road trips down south.

“Waffle House,” we’d scream,

when we saw

the yellow signs

with the black lettering.

“Waffle House,”

the true song of the south.

It was a simple game, really.

Whoever said it first, got

a point.

She always won,

as she did at most things.

But now that she is gone,

So is the game.

But the signs remain.

I passed them the other day

on a road trip down south.

But this time,

I played alone.

And even though I won.

It just wasn’t the same.

Nothing ever will be.

February 22, 2011

Photo Funeral

Today, I packed away

our photo albums,

of which you so

routinely.

meticulously.

and lovingly

inserted

the photos of our life.

One-by-one.

Album-by-album.

Until there was nothing left

to put inside.

You were smart to

leave them behind,

like how I left us behind.

For me to pack away.

in a cardboard coffin.

Never to be seen again.

Our entire life together,

packed into

one used box,

sealed with packing tape,

unlikely to see

the light of day ever again.

The past left behind

for the future to forget.

Yet hoping to one

day be discovered,

to remind the world

that love once existed.

Feb. 21, 2011

Now that the Fury is Gone…

Now that the fury is gone…

I think of our wedding day.

and our honeymoon.

and the days that followed.

Unaware that our days

were numbered,

set to a timer,

counting down

to our

sad demise.

Now that the fury is gone…

all that remains are the

good memories,

forever preserved in the past.

Like the time we

walked to the tip of the Cape

or sat on a beach until dusk.

or played badminton

on the front lawn

And rode our bikes

around the old neighborhood.

And our vacations,

and the parties

and when I would take you

to feed the ducks.

Now that the fury is gone…

all that remains is regret

and the realization that

If only

we

gave ourselves

more time,

there would still be

us

and not two ghosts

of our former selves,

separated by one

chance mistake.

Now that the fury is gone…

I realized we could have been

what we once were.

Before it was too late.

Before we threw it all away.

Before we said goodbye.

When we knew how to forgive.

And before we even knew

what fury was.

And what it wasn’t.

Feb. 21, 2011

The Return

As I

return to the

site of

our

honeymoon,

I know now for certain

that

everything

that once was

is no more,

even though everything

remains as it did then.

And will remain so, unlike

us,

whose memories

are like ghosts

making their return

to a place where

we

once roamed

so freely,

so in love

and so sure that

we

would never be

alone

again.

Yet here

I

am,

without

you.

In the only

place where

we

can live forever.

But as ghosts.

And only as ghosts.

Feb. 21, 2011

The Pen

I’m a writer.

But …

am I a poet?

a playwright?

a novelist?

a memoirist?

a short storyist?

Everything at once?

Or nothing at all?

Or somewhere in-between?

My mind has the questions.

But only my pen has the answer.

In words both written.

And unwritten.

Nov. 27, 2010

For Sale

A house once so full of life, so alive

Is now a lonely graveyard made

Even lonelier by ghosts.

Ghost memories.

Ghost objects.

Ghost meanings.

Each day a reminder

that I’m nothing

but a ghost myself.

No longer full of life.

No longer alive.
Dead inside.

And dying outside.

And waiting for what can

Never return.

Deconstructing the foundation

of our lives,

brick by brick

and

frame by frame,

until nothing remains

but vacancy,

a vacancy once filled

with so much promise.

A promise now for sale.

Nov. 7, 2010

Last Night

I wanted to say goodnight

On our last night as husband and wife.

Till death do us part.

So this must be death.

So many good nights taken for granted,

and the one that means the least

will be remembered the most.

As only good memories rush back,

Pushing back the tide of the ones that

led to this to begin with.

Is it the mind playing tricks on me?

Part of me says yes,

but most of me thinks otherwise.

Even forgotten memories long forgotten

are suddenly dredged

out of their deeply buried tombs

seeing the light of day once again,

but realize they are now only

faded photographs in a burning

photo album.

On this night,

we stand on a precipice dividing

our lives into what once was

and what will now be.

An eternal separation.

Forever we part.

Leaving behind

A smoldering union,

Turned to ash.

And blown away by

A harsh wind.

Erased from the reality

Of the world.

Two unknowns,

No longer one.

I can’t help but wonder

why did this happen?

How did this happen?

How could we let this happen?

Why can’t we go back in time

And warn ourselves of

What would surely be an undesirable outcome.

Yet, despite this sense of gloom,

This final night still holds promise.

That somehow, we can change our minds.

And puts things back to where they were.

That you will walk through the door again.

And I’ll make you tea.

And we’ll watch TV.

And say goodnight.

In each other’s arms.

Where we promised to never let go.

That somehow, we can tear up the unsigned

Contract and bring back to life

The Lazurus of our vows.

Till death do us part.

As sun sets on the last night

That I can call you my wife.

As separated as we have been,

But not as separate as we’ll be.

Our new eternity.

Brought up on by the promising of

a rising sun – the true eternity.

A day that will erase “us” and “we’”

And “you & me”

Where you will just be you

And I will just be me.

‘We’ is gone,

Replaced by two strangers

Sharing nothing but memories

Seared with pain and regret.

As we attend our own funeral.

Unintentionally responsible for

our own deaths.

Murder in the second degree.

Where the weapon was neglect

and indifference.

So while I still can, goodnight my

Sweet wife.

For the last time.

Goodnight.

I love you.

I always have.

And always will.

Till death truly do us part.

8/28/10

C for Miles

Water shimmers on the bay,

sparkling and dancing

and full of life.

A Monet come to life and in focus,

accompanied by a symphony

of wind chimes

and gleeful chirps.

The hum of distant boats

forming an arrhythmic bass line

and whipped cream wakes.

A portrait imprinted in my memory,

unchanged through time,

providing a loyal refuge

from lifetimes

of regret.

8/24/10

Precipice

Adrift between

what was

and what can be,

in an airport,

where this feeling is

always lurking,

always king,

a new set of circumstances

creating a season-ending

cliffhanger

as we sit on a throne of precipice,

awaiting the final verdict,

where there is no jury,

aside from us.

A decision far from final,

despite what we thought,

teetering on a delicate precipice.

The gray veil not yet lifted,

but only a lighter shade

and still overshadowing us.

Waiting for the precipice

to finally tilt us into the

right direction.

Whatever that may be.

Teetering …

Teetering …

Teetering …

July 6, 2010

Clocks

We are all clocks,

always moving forward,

fixed in one spot,

hung on a dirty wall,

ticking,

ticking,

dying.

Replaced.

July 5, 2010

Phantoms

Each time we meet,

memories are made,

but no photographs

will ever prove it,

except for the ones

silently stored

in the photo album

of our minds,

following a burial

and an eulogy,

swept under

the rug of reality,

stored in a purgatory,

along with every torn receipt,

waiting to be released

into a reality that only

we can create,

and a future that only

we can forge.

Erasing the present,

where each memory

is forced into a lie,

a truth buried inside us

a mere phantom

outside us.

Not out of want,

but necessity.

Waiting for the day

when lies are resurrected into truth,

where receipts can be filed away,

or let loose in a shared junk drawer.

Where memories are no longer

imprisoned as silent phantoms,

but stored in a photo album,

not of the mind, but on a shelf.

Free to be seen.

Free to roam in reality.

Free from shame.

A place where each memory

doesn’t end with goodbye.

Where uncertainty

morphs into certainty,

and phantoms

transfigure into truth.

Letter

Dear Hollywood, damn, you’re as fake as your rep. So step and get wrecked. Before I go wack and attack. Signed, your most miserable fan.

Butterfly

Trapped in an outgrown

cocoon,

she sleeps

sheltered

from herself,

from her reality,

from everything she once was.

from everything she can be again.

Waiting

to soar,

but

longing

for wings.

Longing

to sing.

Longing

to unfurl a flag,

that has collected

dust for far too long.

Drying in the sun,

setting deep within her.

Waiting

for the

cocoon

to open.

Waiting

to see the light.

Waiting

for

wings

to spread.

Waiting

to take flight.

If willing …

Gone

Gone is myself,

ripped apart by your hands,

by your angry heart,

and your bitter words.

And in her is a mirror,

where I see myself again,

But it is a mere reflection.

An optical illusion of reality.

But yet, there I am. Myself.

Restored. Renewed.

Still unreachable,

but somehow smiling.

If I Took Acid…

Rabbits will feast upon the alligator lemon drop as I seek an inner turmoil to feed my spinach pie into the best of my burden.

Beware the clown with the whipperwhirl magical bean stalk. He will not only torment you until your are tickled pink, but he will luge himself into the quagmire of lost souls.

I am the pigeon who flummoxes the hidden agenda that try men’s souls. As the women watch the parade, dreaming of a future where all Hummels are equal.

If a dove had no wings, would it still reach for the stars, or would it simply slope like slithering thugs, hopeful, but despondent nonetheless?

Do you like riding on the wings of wild crows on a crisp, winter day, while searching for a golden alligator to call a goose?

I’m rising to the surface, looking for a purpose that is likely a flotsam of serpents.

Coffee Shop

She stands transfixed,

Inviting the tired. And the poor

And the failed dreamers

who never give up.

Whose well never runs dry

of coffee’s eternal flow.

It is here I discovered

a portal into

the fiction of my mind.

A creative refuge

from the stifling home front.

An oasis for every starving artist

who sipped on coffee

and drank their dreams,

last but not least was me.

The me who had it all figured out,

until the day the fiction dried up,

forced into oblivion by

a muse gone spoiled.

But the portal remained open.

Inviting a new fiction into my mind.

A new refuge,

which took me by surprise

that day in  the

rare, warm, golden November sun,

drying the remnants of my creative

self. My true self. My only self.

It was that day I discovered

the gap between

what one thinks,

and truth.

And before we knew it,

we turned the portal

inside out, giving birth

to a new reality.

Opening my mind,

as our little fiction

blossomed into a

new, forged reality.

The barren landscape of

my creative desert,

soon showed signs

of life, despite winter’s arrival.

A new muse,

emerged,

to cultivate all that was

left behind to rot

with neglect.

Not to die. But to live.

It is what every artist

already knows.

Failed dreamers and all.

Finding refuge

in the coffee house.

And pouring not the last cup.

But the first.

Seven Year Itch

Forgiveness meant

I could put up with

what most would not.

Being nice meant

I could put up with

what most could not.

For it is my greatest weakness.

As I’ve been told.

But my strength was taking the

insults, slaps, hits,

to my body, my heart, my soul.

And turning it inward,

and burying it behind.

And I know you didn’t mean it.

Because you have shown me love.

You have shown me faith.

You believed in me.

But I let you down.

By letting myself down.

A stillborn promise.

And I convinced myself

that I deserved it.

That this was normal.

That it would get better.

That I tore you from your home.

That you lost so much.

That you had to adjust.

That you were young.

That one day,

things could be normal.

That one day,

I would deliver on my elusive promise.

But I don’t blame you.

You grew tired.

Of waiting. Of hoping. Of believing.

Until there was nothing left.

The endless stream of

rejection

letters

has turned what you once

though was so appealing

into  the stomach of despair.

I’ve become delusional,

rather than hopeful.

Naive,

rather than idealistic.

Untalented in my undiscovery,

rather than the

undiscovered talent

that defines my entire existence.

I used to get right back up

time and time again,

absorbing your vitriol like a sponge

and then left out to dry.

And I assumed

and you assumed

that I would keep getting up.

That I was the stable one.

That I could take it.

Because loves means you can take anything,

no matter how many arrows are slung.

Because love conquers everything.

But now, the hole you drilled into me.

Has been filled by something that

waltzed into my life,

hitting me with more force

than you were ever capable of.

By something that I never

believe existed.

Pounding out of me,

all the vitriol

that you pounded into me.

By something that I now

more fully understand.

Love.

I am drifting through an endless sea,

but I really have to pee.

But no matter far I drift,

I fear my pee will make me itch.

No Man’s Land

Stuck in a no man’s land

between what’s right

and what’s wrong

And realizing the difference between

the two have been turned upside down.

And realizing what’s right

is not impossible to obtain

And realizing

— ever so slowly —

that it’s in our reach, that it’s up to us.

And realizing the hurt it will cause,

and the guilt that will follow.

But realizing that it will not be forever.

And realizing that we could be forever.

And realizing that we are otherwise

living a lie,

living in an exile of make believe.

A no man’s land where true happiness

will always be within sight,

but beyond our reach,

if we don’t do

what our hearts are telling us

is really right.

Despite what we once

would have thought

was so wrong.

In our little self-imposed

no man’s land.

Where the only way out,

is clear as day.

Despite everything else

being dark as night.

Waiting

I used to think I had it all figured out.

I used to think life went according to plan.

But this is perhaps life’s greatest myth.

And as heartbreaking as it might be

on the surface.

the interior of this realization

is a red carpet to the unknown.

a golden ticket to adventure,

where nothing is certain,

yet where everything is possible.

And that is life’s one true certainty.

While the former me would cringe at this thought,

the new me realizes it’s who I was all along.

And who we all are.

If we just give ourselves a chance.

Eulogy for a Mug

We are here today to mourn

the loss of a great friend.

Who we filled up time and time again

But now it’s the end.

Of our former coffee-filled friend.

Forever.

Looping Life

I’m taking an escalator, not up, not down,

but sideways through a looping life.

Waiting for me is a one-way express train

to a destination known only to me,

and unknown to the world.

I wait at the station,

with a one-way ticket in hand,

smeared with the sweat of my palm,

and containing a map to a place

where no directions are necessary.

For I was there all along.

And despite this realization,

I still don’t know my destination.

Even though I’m already there.

Jan.-May 2010

Portal

I rode a wavelength on the potassium express,

And next thing I knew, we were having sex.

Not just once, or twice or thrice,

Each time, is so fucking nice.

It didn’t take long,

to give new thought to every song.

And now the future seems clearer than ever before,

While the past and the present is simply docked at the shore.

We’re certain we never had this feeling before.

As we wait impatiently, for what fate has in store.

7/15/09

Unavoidable

Life always seems to move too fast,

no matter how much you try to slow it down.

The more you try,

the faster it goes,

as though it were trying to run away,

pulling away from the fingers of a desperate grip.

Eager to never return.

6/25/09

Stadium Eulogy

One

light tower,

perched above

one

remaining section,

the

sole survivor

looming over the

twisted wreckage

down

below.

Realizing that it will soon,

be joining the rest

of what used to be–

One,

unified structure.

Where families gathered,

to cheer and to pray.

And players played,

day after day.

Soon to be a barren field,

Unremarkable. Unnoticeable.

And though it remains

in memory,

one

unavoidable thought remains:

no

new eyes

will ever lay witness

to what once was.

No

new eyes

will share

in its existence.

And for them,

And all who are to follow,

it might as well have

never

existed

at

all.

Going …

Going …

Gone.

When we Part 

They’re always the same.

When we part.

Time turns memories into dreams.

When we part.

Always burns.

When we part.

Bright joy turns to tears.

When we part.

No matter how many years

When we part.

It’s always like the first time.

When we part.

Piercing the heart.

Goodbye.

Goodbyes

Hard to swallow, sure.

Always sad, sure.

But it’s better to get sad saying goodbye to good memories

than having no good memories to say goodbye to.

8/15/06

Immigrant 

two Homes

two Worlds

two Halves.

apart.

then . . .

now . . .

forever . . .

Little Sister

When you were 3,

You took my hand

as we walked

into the sea.

When you were 6,

I wasn’t surprised when

You took my hand

as we walked

into the sea.

When you were 9,

I was sure it would be the last time

you took my hand

as we walked into the sea.

When you were 12,

I was surprised when

you took my hand

as we walked into the sea.

When you were 15,

I watched from afar as

I took my hand

and waved goodbye

as you walked into the sea.

I carry the burden.

Fate

Summoned by fate

we answered the call.

To find faith in the notion

that love conquers all.

We learned that time

can do nothing but pass.

And that a love like ours

is destined to last.

We believed in our dreams

and held true to the truth.

So two daring souls

could tie the ends of the earth.

We’ll beat the odds

time and again.

For a love born in fate,

is a love without end.

2003

New Address

New number

New wife

New life

Old memories

So nice.

Faith

Two souls divided by half a world,

know that the depths of a timeless ocean

can be reached,

if two are willing to reach for it.

May 14, 2002

Holland Casino

Travelers and

gamblers

Pass their time

Sleeping.

Drinking.

And listening to the sound of an

invisible

piano player,

holding a weary traveler

hostage.

October 2001

School Window

I stare out the window from the school of innocence.

I see the house that holds the memories of my innocence.

First dance.

First kiss.

And it’s across the street.

In more ways than one.

9/18/01

One Month Later

Just one month removed from the

highlight of our life,

and I can’t escape

the ghostly notion that

it’s still the past,

just as it will be the past tomorrow

a century from now,

and an eternity.

It’s all the same to time.

Although the memory is still fresh,

it’s still the past and both

the present and the future ensure that we can’t go back.

And that’s sad.

Because we know what the past has brought,

but know so little as to what the future will bring.

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Democracy.

Democracy attacked,

Democracy challenged.

A nation forever changed.

As the buildings fell,

so did our tears.

So many tears.

Physically wounded,

but spiritually resurrected.

Freedom will be avenged.

Drowning Thoughts

My ideas drown and

they save me.

They are my pain

and my pleasure.

They keep me alive,

and make me wish death.

I think about everything,

and I think about nothing,

And that’s when I realize,

that ignorance truly is bliss.

Freedom will not die.

Freedom.

Last Night II

We held onto each other

the whole night through,

dreaming it would never end.

But the night isn’t so compassionate,

or maybe it’s just indifferent.

Because it couldn’t last forever,

even if it tried.

The night smiled and winked

as it brought us the day,

when it knew I had to go away.

Goodbye, my love.

Goodbye.

Last Night I

As our bodies drowned in a

sea of tears,

our souls stayed afloat,

calm in the understanding

that

what we feared was a

dream

was truly

our reality.

Night Tears

I can still taste your tears

and still feel their warmth

from the night we begged

time

to stand still.

And though time tried,

it also failed.

And that is why I can still

taste your tears.

And still feel their warmth.

Unwelcome Transition

The boast stood still

as summer was

swallowed by autumn’s unwelcome arrival

on the night we became more one than ever.

Through moist eyes,

we watched the gray wind and waves

deliver fate’s uninvited message.

And all we could do was succumb

to what we knew couldn’t be avoided:

Goodbye.

Champagne

It’s a potion

that turns you into a

Sexual Jeckyl,

locking the conservative

Miss Hide

in a

cage.

Watching the leather’s

Z

I

P

P

E

R

dance downwards

is to be tempted by

Eve

herself.

Not even

Adam

had it this good.

Country Road

We plotted plans for our future,

on that summer stroll through the village,

Where cows and sheep listened intently

and chickens crossed the road

to get to the other side.

9/16/01

Ghetto Island

Rusted slide.

Rusted swing.

Rusted ping-pong table.

The island is creepy,

there’s no doubt about it.

And whose brand new sneakers—

may I dare ask—

were left on the beach—

the beach long ago

adored,

but now so often

ignored.

Inkraine

So insane is

Ukraine.

But of course, it is understandable.

Making sense out of the nonsense,

only drives one to insanity.

But I’m not complaining.

There’s something about insanity that I like.

Who R U?

Who r u?

I will ask you again.

Who r u?

Who allows this?

What do you want?

Why do you do it?

“Who, what and why,” you ask?

Because you pierce my soul

with slender tongue of prose

and stab my heart with poisonous icicles.

So who r u?

Answer me please.

Before I get upset.

Sept. 2001

Peek-a-Boo

The moon played peek-a-boo with me today,

Or so I’d like to think.

Because everything has an explanation,

unless it’s a secret link.

August 2001

Au Pair

A friendship condensed,

With the day of departure determined on the day we met.

The visa says so.

I sometimes wonder why we met.

And sometimes I wonder why we met so late.

And as you prepare to depart,

I realize I regret meeting you in the first place.

When a painful goodbye was a certainty.

And another hello an uncertainty.

Rushing Summer

Impatience beckons

the summer to end.

For with the end of summer comes you in my arms.

Only I fear that moment I hold you,

I will awake once again to face the darkness.

Night Walk

Like a child discovering a whole new world,

I step out in a drunken haze

into the balmy night of my neighborhood.

A rare full canvas of stars welcomes me

on my aimless journey.

They are usually hiding.

But they didn’t come out for me.

They came out to see the harvest moon,

majestically painted and ready to lead me on

little told journey down memory lane.

The occasional murmur of automobiles and

the lonely barks of dogs

is all that

separates

me

from a true still of night.

But for this city boy,

this is as close to the still of night as it gets.

And all one can do in these situations is think.

I reach a clarity of thinking rarely achieved.

Thinking about thinking.

Accomplished even while the remnants of

alcohol

from a more lively part of the evening

still call my veins home.

As I stare at my shadow, it reminds me that

I am not

alone.

At least not

alone

in the way I thought I was.

Old Friend’s Wedding

For one evening,

it was perhaps as though the past had never passed us by.

Each step of our dance bridged the separation

between us

as we danced on the dance floor of our old friend’s wedding.

If we allowed ourselves to shut our eyes long enough,

we might have been tricked into believing that the

future was still waiting for us.

Perhaps this is the present’s way of reminding us of the

past.

Before we said goodbye once again to await a tomorrow

that can’t promise another hello.

June 2001

Ode

Your embrace is a fantasy

that plays over and over

in my mind like a

movie that has no end.

Your kiss a dream,

a dream so real

that the mere thought of your

lips against mine

sends shivers of ecstasy

down my spine.

My longing for you is

an immortal desire.

The power of my fantasies

will transform

illusions into reality.

To hold you in my arms

in reality will be to

capture

lightning in a bottle.

To kiss your lips

in reality will be to

taste

eternity.

I long for the reality

of your pleasure.

Yet at the same time,

I live for the dream.

The dream that defines

our reality.

Faith

Two souls divided by half a world,

know that the depths of a timeless ocean

can be reached,

if two are willing to reach for it.

May 2001

TeKno KlinK

No humans in sight

No humans in sight.

KlinK!

In this factory that sits on the river,

towering over a park

Where children play

and lovers play.

It has a mind of its own.

It has a mind of its own.

KlinK!

Just like nature—the majority to its minority.

The emptiness of this strange klink’s echoes

Echoes

Echoes

KlinK!

Is enough to send a rabbit towards its

treasures of coal, wondering what kind of animal factory this is.

Wondering what is making the KlinK sound

That somehow fits in as much it sticks out

And somehow sticks out as much as it fits in.

12/7/1998

Charlie Brown and Garlic

Judging from the way

we moan and groan and bitch and whine,

you’d think you’re a horrible father.

Even though you come home with what we

like to call the “Charlie Brown” tree-

and your garlic stench,

there are worse things a father can do.

You could come home drunk every night

like Johnny’s daddy,

or sore as a whore like Suzie’s mommy.

But fortunately you only come home with what

we like to call the “Charlie Brown” tree-

and your garlic stench.

Grandma claims its healthy,

but we claim, what’s the use of being

healthy if it makes us all sick?

12/98

Love Baby

Baby, you say that I don’t love.

Baby, you say that I don’t love.

But baby, it’s just that I don’t love you.

11/25/98

Even Though I Haven’t Met You Yet

Even though I haven’t met you yet,

I know you are living somewhere in this

world we share, and I just thought I’d let you

know that we already have quite a few things

in common.

For instance, we both get up each morning,

ready to face the trials and joy of yet another day.

We both wearily climb into bed each night.

We both breathe, we both eat,

we both laugh, we both cry,

we both dream, we both face disappointment.

We both love, we both mourn.

We were both born, we’ll both die,

but by the time our time has come,

we will have met,

and we will have said “I do,”

we will share a lifetime, a bed, a family,

laughter and tears, dreams and disappointments.

Even though I haven’t met you yet.

9/12/98

Swiss Jazz Impressions

I part from my friends.

I want to be alone in this paradise so far from home,

where majestic mountains protrude into the purple night sky.

The lake is a black shroud,

contrasting with the warm festival glow.

I walk through the multitudes- the smiles, the laughter.

I can’t speak the language. Please forgive me.

At this venue, the only common language is the music.

Swing, be-bop, and the blues.

Music, filling the air, intertwined with the

sweet Swiss scent of chocolate, nuts, and cheese.

The Montreux Jazz Cafe. In front of me. I enter.

A wonderland of red and orange where

cigarette smoke, perfume, and alcohol fill my lungs.

The music never changes.

Dancing.

Not for me.

Not tonight.

I’m

alone.

But that’s okay (for now).

I circle the floor,

music pumps,

drinks drain.

I watch.

Not a participant-

an observer.

I go upstairs. Nothing.

I go downstairs.

I think I liked the view upstairs better.

But it doesn’t matter. I have surrendered free will.

I circle around again

It’s nice to be free.

A column.

I sit.

Against it.

I see her.

Ten feet away, placed just for me.

I like her hat.

I am drawn to her.

But, I’m scared.

Is this a movie?

I stare. I can’t look away.

She stares, too. But not at me.

It’s now or never. I stand up. I take one step backward,

then two steps forward.

Will she speak English? I don’t know.

Will it matter?

Newly obtained courage. I like it.

I sit down. Next to her.

Will she walk away?

No. She stays.

I say hello.

She says hello.

She speaks English. Good.

I mean it’s good that she speaks good English.

We talk. I buy her a drink. I buy myself a drink.

We sip. We talk. We sip. We talk. We talk. We sip.

We talk. We talk. We talk.

We sip.

This isn’t reality. It’s surreality. I like it.

I pinch myself.

I like it because I am no longer myself,

but the person I always wished I was.

Talk. Sip. Talk. Sip.

Sip. Talk. Sip. Talk.

She has to go.

We say goodbye.

And I say hello to what I have finally become.

Buried Footsteps

I walked on the beach tonight, like we did so long ago.

Only this time, I walked alone.

Our footsteps, now buried deep in the snow,

exist as a memory.

Like the ocean, they are forever.

9/16/98

Memory Box

I open the box.

“What is inside?”

Nothing much, but everything.

“What do you mean?

You know, ticket stubs, cards, pictures, uneaten chocolate . . .

“But what is it?”

The past. Because, my friend, there is no future.

“Oh.”

You see, this box is all that is left,

for these are the memories poems are made of.

Ocean Memory

Sometimes I think back to that night on the beach,

when we walked barefoot on the cool sand,

the cool sea breeze kissing our faces

as the waves gently caressed the shore.

I dream of that day time and again,

because it is in dreams that we are happy.

Like a painting frozen in time.

March 1998

Ghosts

What are photographs but merely the ghosts of our past?

Images composed of faded memories

and celebrations of yesterday’s glories.

Where else can time stand still, but in a photograph?

A love that has ended remains frozen in bliss,

forever preserved and eternally ours to admire.

In photographs, youth is forever and vacations never end.

They survive as ghosts of our former selves,

and the lovers that we once loved,

but now only cherish.

1/31/98

A-Z Confusion

I’m Angry,

yet happy.

 

I’m Bold,

yet timid.

I’m Catholic,

yet Protestant.

I’m Dead,

yet alive.

I’m Energetic,

yet listless.

I’m Foolish,

yet clever.

I’m Goofy,

yet serious.

 

I’m Hungry,

yet full.

I’m Intolerant,

yet submissive.

 

I’m Jolly,

yet doleful.

I’m Knowledgeable,

yet dumb.

I’m Looney,

yet tuneful.

I’m Moody,

yet upbeat.

I’m Nothing,

yet something.

I’m Omniscient,

yet nonexistent.

I’m Pampered,

yet abused.

I’m Quirky,

yet mainstream.

 

I’m Radical,

yet conservative.

 

I’m Strong willed,

yet passive.

I’m Tired,

yet exuberant.

I’m Undeveloped,

yet overdeveloped.

I’m Vain,

yet self-conscious.

I’m Withered,

yet youthful.

I’m X,

yet PG.

I’m Yes,

yet no.

I’m Zzzz . . .

Garbage Disposal

Eating food like a no-good sloth,

you gargle and sputter with your

rubber mouth.

The children of Africa cry,

as you gargle with

impartial difference.

1998

Stalemate

Disillusioned angst

tears at my flesh,

making me a dichotomy

of two halves I hate.

Stalemate is my only

existence.

Insanity,

please pass the butter?

1997

Nostalgia on a Rickety Bench

The old man sat on his favorite

rickety bench in the park,

Observing his surroundings,

reflecting on his timeworn existence.

The sun filtered through the trees as the sound

of sparrows spread their unending happiness.

The gleeful laughter of children

softly heard in the distance,

enjoying a game of baseball

As the wind delivered the familiar

summer smell of barbecue.

The old man became absorbed into his surroundings,

which, in his eyes, could have been painted by Monet.

A young couple sat on a bench parallel to him.

There was something about the girl, with her soft

brown hair and beautiful eyes,

that sent an overwhelming sense of nostalgia

through his withered body.

It brought back memories of ages ago

when he first fell in love.

In the young girl’s face, he could see his past and he

felt an immediate sense of sadness and loss.

The couple kissed and the sadness deepened.

It wasn’t that she looked so much like his love.

There was just something about the innocent

look of her features and the way she gazed

at her boyfriend.

The young couple noticed

the old man staring at them and smiled.

Embarrassed, the old man turned away.

However, he couldn’t resist another glimpse.

He felt as though he was watching a piece of his past

Come alive right before his eyes.

He had observed countless young couples in the park,

But never one struck him so warmly.

The young couple noticed the old man was still staring,

so they got up and walked further into his painting.

The old man stared at the now empty bench

And to his surprise, felt a tear running down his cheek.

The following day, the old man sat on his favorite

rickety bench in the park, observing his surroundings,

reflecting on his timeworn existence.

Striving

The more I do, the harder I try, the worse I feel.

Insomnia

Hopeless attempt to fall into

the hands of sleep.

I feel tired, but yet awake.

It maddens me to suffer this.

I fear I will never sleep again.

Nucleus

I was once part of a nucleus,

so strong and so secure.

But time, my faithful enemy,

has deemed it so obscure.

7-11

He woke up feeling depressed.

He couldn’t handle the pressure

of being master of the Slurpee machine.

He was found hanging from a noose.

The Way it Is

Science makes the world go ‘round,

the arts keep us sane.

In My Dreams

In my dreams, I am looking for something.

I have no idea what I’m looking for.

Maybe it is love.

Maybe it is success.

Maybe it is the meaning of life.

Yeah, that’s it.

Just what is it? Why are we here?

I will continue looking until I find the answers.

In my dreams.

Mask of Truth

Every smile, every laugh

masks a hidden truth.

A mask that looks so real

tends to fool all who see it.

What lies underneath?

A crypt of lies, worries, and depression

belonging to the saddest of fools.

 

Fishy

Swim away fishy,

for I am harmless.

I only contain the

deepest mysteries

of the universe.

Though I speak in

silent tongue.

1995

Snowflake

Dazed snowflakes,

meet the dead of autumn

in an absolute mist.

The transition of seasons

spreads a blanket of

pure whiteness.

1994

Bonnie’s Hair

As golden as the goldest of coins,

it is beauty at its richest.

The way the sun shines off her hair

sends shivers down my spine.

As I reach for it, I begin to tremble.

When I finally reach my golden destiny,

the universe engulfs me.

I fear the day she cuts it off.

 

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