I Never Knew Them -poetry

I Never Knew Them

I sipped lemonade from a mug
on a lazy Sunday in late August.
Jess opened a bag of chips
while Albert found a good radio station
that played music instead of news;
we were so sick of news,
we couldn’t escape the news.
Everyone wept, the whole world wept while we
sang Sugar Ray and snacked on
chips and dip and laughed at
the irony that Di…died.

No one stopped talking about the unfairness
of a princess so young, so popular, so saintly being
killed, murdered, martyr-ized by Paparazzi.
We didn’t understand why people
cried for a woman they never met, never knew
aside from what they read in the paper or saw
on television. I never knew her.

I won’t cry for a woman I never knew.

Three years pass and the mad-lib in my mind
erases Diana’s name and replaces it with
Daniel Lee.
Broadsided on his way to school,
killed instantly. Students around me cry
and sob and call home. I sit stoic. I won’t cry.
At home Mom asks if I’m okay. I say,
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
We watch the news and they show his car,
it’s silver instead of Diana’s death black.
They show his picture and I can see him now.
Gym class, he wore green socks, we laughed.
I never knew his name. I only knew his socks
and his picture on the five o’clock news.

I cried for the boy I never knew.


Maiko -poetry


Among the satin blush petals of the cherry blossoms
like snow cover atop a lush sage grass
eclipsing a garden in Kyoto where foreign ivy
and a drove of prismatic blossoms
bring artistry to the dull blacks and grays of the city
she sits a dowager queen amongst the flowers
who are apprentice to her beauty

She is Geisha

Were I to compass her siren splendor
parody a taste of her lustrous allure
share but a little of her sway over the
Hanamachi, flower towns,
I could caress the concept of deathless fame
and know what it is to be more than just merchandise
to be a cardinal prize whom which men
outbid and outdo their brothers and comrades
to spend a night with the essence of dreams

But I know not the power she commands
with a slight exposure of her rarefied wrist
or the coy enticement of her flicker down eyes
as her dahlia lips part for a sigh
and she reveals the draw of the Geisha girl

I am only Maiko

I join the regiment of men who flock the Okiya
with gifts of Obi and Kimono
to hear her pluck but a note on the Shamisen
to hear her sing but a verse of Yuyake, Koyake
to hear her whisper but a word of praise

For if she were to praise me
imbue the ways of the Onna Geisha history
down upon me
I would rise to the vocation of discipline
and tedious tics of compulsive demands
of the culture of my foresisters before me
I would come to learn and make
the karyūkai, the flower and willow world,
my own world, my own home, my own dream
and one day I will sit among the fallen petals
stealing breaths from the men who lay their
eyes upon me and know they will meet no other
woman who will satisfy their company the way I do.
One day I will be where she is.

One day I will be Geisha

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All The Things You Do To Me -poetry

All The Things You Do To Me

I open my eyes when you’re near me
you give me air when I suffocate on stress
drown in depression, choke on nonchalance
when Jack and Jim and Jose
delude my senses and send me into a
trippy, blurry, no holds barred mind fuck
you’re there to hold my hair
as I puke apologies into the toilet
You sober me

And when I think I have nothing to offer
when I’m nothing more than a speck in life
a blemish, a sore, a spot
Out Damn Spot
you hold me and you hug me
and somehow in the end we’ve found a balance
between sinking to the bottom
and floating so high, so high we’re dizzy
we’re dizzy, dizzy, dizzy
and down we go, but not us
because we do lunch in the middle
and order ourselves a fat helping
of sautéed self appreciation
with a side of fried worthiness.
You settle me

It gets so dark when you’re not around
when you’ve gone away and I
screw things up and slip
and find my way back to the bottle,
back to the lack of air
back to dancing to ugly music
pretending I’m happy with a waltz
when I’d rather have a boogie
and in the dark, when I get lost in the dark
and everything’s dark
and repetition is dark
I need you there to help me see
to help me open my eyes
because I open my eyes when you’re near me
and I need you to see
because I see what we see
and I need you to see
You illuminate me.

I Watch Her -poetry

I Watch Her

she rubs the sleep from her eyes
welcomes the day with a yawn and a groan and a sigh
she showers and dresses
puts up her hair, paints on her face
brushes her teeth, cleans out her ears
lathers her legs, shaves ‘til they're smooth
and I watch her
as her eyes linger on the razor
maybe four seconds too long.

she comes in at lunch to wash up her hands
leans against the counter too tired to stand
stares at her face with wicked contempt
puckers her lips, mashes her teeth
her cheeks quiver, her throat whimpers
he yells from the couch
‘til his voice is too hoarse
and I watch her
as she straightens her blouse
and puts on a smile.

she comes in at night after he’s gone to bed
to sit on the tub as she lowers her head
she sobs and she cries
she yells and she swears
when she stands it’s not straight
when she walks it’s not smooth
and I watch her
as she covers the bruises with blush
and tries to pretend she smells like a woman
instead of his beer.

and I watch her
as she hides her pain with a mask
and wishes she could tell someone other
than her reflection in the mirror.