Hour 17

Love Limerick

I met a jazz drummer one day.
We kissed and ate tofu satay.
I thought that he knew
my feelings were true,
but Simon just threw me away.

Hour 16

The birds build their nests in the cherimoya trees.

In this semiarid climate,
The foliage offers shade and protection.

The workers begin harvesting in February,
Picking the knobbly, green fruit,
Rarely disturbing the birds.

Lunch break-
They scoop out the milky flesh,
Black-seeded like buttons on silk.

They go back to the groves ‘til sundown.

The birds pick at the husks.

Harvesting continued for several months,
Before new growth was pruned back.

The birds flew away.

The workers built their nests in the cherimoya trees.

Hour 15

I have an extra pathway.
Seems like it should be a positive,
Having too much heart.
But I have competing electrical signals,
The beats try to outdo one another,
A drum solo with no end in sight.
I have to be careful not to get excited,
Or the fiber optics of my body will retaliate.

Hour 14

Katrina Requiem

It was the house I grew up in.
I knew it down to my Mother’s sewing box,
The bobbins nestled and cozy
Next to the tomato pin cushion,
Jewel-toned textiled treasure
Peeking through an amber lucite lid.

Now there was space.
The rebarred pilings,
Bowed and mournfully praying.
Pieces of porcelain jutted from mud,
Elegant shrapnelled landscape.
In this tea party cemetery,
The ground beneath crunched.
And there was the piano,
A mess of wires and mangled teeth,
The bowl of collected matchbooks,
Strewn amongst the debris.

Hour 13

7 a.m. and it’s already 95 degrees out.
Hit the road. 
Fred put the basket behind the seat
And got in the truck-
German potato salad and sandwiches.
Starting the trip at an easy pace,
Should be in Canada in 4 or 5 days.
Of course he’d call his parents every day,
They wouldn’t say it, but they wanted him to stay.
May break their hearts,
But 46 was too old-
Single and living at home.
He started the engine and pushed the knob.
Crackling between stations. Smoky Robinson.
He hated New Jersey.

Hour 12

Ja, alles.

The clippers buzz to life.
A first pass from nape to crown,
Six inches of blond hair fall to the ground.
The stylist orbits around my head,
A moon to my earth,
Her breastbone near my face
As she shaves off the remaining pieces.
Don’t panic; it’ll grow back.
Momentarily, I want glue or tape.
(But I don’t know the German)
I look in the mirror all glory and nakedness.
Just a spare lock to keep,
A reminder of my badassery.

Hour 11

I’ve been standing here for an hour
The rain just started up
I walk past the line of cars stopped at the red light
Windshield wipers smudging the just wet dust
“Hey!” I hear
One last hand waves out a window
A buck in hand.
I approach the car, sounds like The Doors playing
The man’s face is clean-shaven
He’s got a crew-cut
This is a military town- Yut! Kill!

I could tell him a thing or two.

Hour 10


I grew up in the South,
The smell of azaleas in spring
like cherry sno-cones permeating the air,
Riding my bike under the oak trees
during summer break.

These memories work like a drug on my mind,
taking me to a safe time and place.
But recently, I see my home,
refracted like light through a prism.

I am white.

My two best friends as a girl were black.
I went to Catholic school,
and I know the golden rule.

I’m not racist,
I thought.

I moved to California and felt like an ambassador,
shocking people with my liberalism.

All these years,
I thought it was enough;
I didn’t judge people based on their skin color.

My conscience was clear, colorless.
I would have continued this way.

That’s why I praise the black community,
For the strength to band together,
To open eyes.

When I see my own reflection in the mirror,
I’m not satisfied.

What can I do?
How do I start?

These are the questions that now come from my heart

Hour 9

“A little slice of paradise in the city”
That’s what the billboard read.
Hard to believe
In a chain-linked putrid trash heap of a city,
paradise was even a concept.
Riveted high rises reaching for a portal to fresh air.
People with magnets for feet
and anchors for arms.
What a pathetic lot.

The class moved on to the next chapter in their history books,
grateful they didn’t live back then.

Hour 8

Where am I supposed to be at 35?
It seems like I missed the boat.
All of my friends have children-
But really, I don’t have many friends.

I think I missed that boat.
I feel like I’m the only one.
Is that why I don’t have many friends?
It’s not that I don’t like kids.

I’d like to feel less alone,
But women ask too many questions.
I’m actually really great with kids,
But sometimes things just don’t happen.

The women I know get too personal;
I’m fine with opening up after a time.
Just because things didn’t happen,
Doesn’t mean I’m less of a woman.

I’ve always been an open person,
And the friends that I’ve kept near-
They don’t think I’m less of a woman;
I guess they also tend to be my kind.