I. L. Y.

Maybe it was out of my loneliness?
Or the phantom he left behind, ever day?

You were here when I needed most
A face that smiled when I smiled
Got all nervous and shy, whenever our eyes met for longer than a pause
Or just a single breath
That’s what drew me into you, I think.

That and our rapport that could segue from nothing more than a look
My look, as I walked past on my day to day routine
While you sipped your coffee and smoked
Staring back over the rim of your cup and your glasses.
A smile. My smile.
All for me.

I remember the first time we kissed
At the pier, in the dead of winter
Freezing and shaking
Though I shook for more than just the cold

I still have that shell you found
The one you searched for
Just for me.
The inscription you wrote
It’s still there
But still there.

As am I.



Chicago Calves

My calves have always been my best feature, I think.

I can thank mom for that, with her “Chicago Walk.”
As she always called it.

Never in a hurry, but always on the run.
That was just her way.
A speed walker at 9, I was going to train
Whether I had a race or not

I can thank Mr. Blue, too.
That one time in 5th grade, when he made me do squats for an hour straight
In the back of the classroom for being a smart-ass

At least it felt like an hour

I ran home that day, because my legs burned if I went any slower
Feel the burn, indeed.

I don’t run as much, these days
I catch myself “Chicago Walking”, sometimes, though.

My calves still look good.

A Summer of Saturday’s

Saturday mornings were my favorite
Not just because of the cartoon blocs on ABC

Though, it’s certain I would be upset if I missed them

It was the Saturday’s of summer that I relished
Above He-Man, Loony Toons, and Garfield

On those warm Saturday’s
Powder Horn, Lake Michy, and on the odd occasion, Cal Park
Were above even the best of my animated wonderments

The fish were always glad I visited on those days
Being 5, and prone to striking up conversation
Without so much as a whim

The fishermen, not so much

One day, Dad bought me a rod and tackle
Tried to show me how to bait the hook
Weight the line

The sound, was funny.
And I laughed.

Standing at the pier/shore/dock
Whiling away the summer Saturday
Rod in hand
Mind, on whatever it was 5 year old me would dwell

“Hi! I’m Marty. And I’m 5!”

The Place Where Cranes Dwell

Good morning!

That look you get, you know, the one that says, “Be honest.”
Without ever actually opening that beautiful mouth of yours?

Of course, how silly of me.

And I chuckle to myself, though I do so loud enough
So you can hear
Not to draw ire from you, though
I chuckle for you, too

I know you would do the same
Were I in such a state as you are in now

The state of wondering
How could someone be so damn cheerful
So early?

My secret?

I wake long before you do.

And as I lay next to you
After hours, sometimes, of waiting
for that telltale sound you make

You know, the one where you say, “Good morning!”
Without ever opening that beautiful mouth of yours.
Somewhere between a sigh and smile

It is something of a small miracle that I do not attempt
To guile out of you those words, so that I may hear them

So I have my lips
Talk with yours

A good morning
Without ever having to open that beautiful mouth of yours.


To See the Sea, I’ve not Seen.

I was never much for the sea
Though I’d never seen the sea

Lake Michy is as close as I could ever want
And as close as I may ever get

Though I should hope, one day, to see the sea
And die many years later, able to say

I’ve seen.
I’ve heard.
But, I did not venture.

I hated the idea of having the phantom that kept me at bay
To capture me.
Confirming yet another fear.
The anchor.

The First Step is Always Spontaneous

When I was 12, I came across a copy of Seasons in the Sun in my mom’s book collection. I leafed through the first couple of pages and found myself instantly intrigued. I asked her about it, and she told me that it wasn’t meant for kids. In fact the way she put it was, “Mijo, the things he writes about you won’t understand. You’re too young.” And she was right. I didn’t understand. Still, I read that book so much it fell apart after a year or so. It was during that time when I began to try my hand at writing. Before long, poetry became a quiet hobby that soon grew into a passion. It was a passion kept buried deep for many years. Now, 22 years later, I’ve come to the point of my life where it’s no longer a question of whether I am a writer or not, but rather a question of whether I’m ready to take a chance, for once.

About 5 years ago, a former classmate of mine had her poetry published. I went to her book signing at the local library with every intention to congratulate her and ask her how she did it. As I recall, I shook her hand, fumbled out a congratulations, and then walked away. I spent the next couple of hours reading a book on how to get published. All I could think was, “That could have been me.”

So here I am. About to take part in a 12 hour poetry marathon. I would have tried for the 24 hour marathon, but I think I’ll take it easy the first time around. Perhaps this will be that spontaneous first step into this world I’ve had such a love for, but never confessed? I’ll not lie and say, I am not the least bit nervous; cause I totally am. I am new to something like this. Up until now, I’ve left my poems to $0.99 journals from the dollar store, my notes on Facebook, and a blog I’ve not logged into for almost a year. Nervous as I may be, though, I plan to have as much fun with this as possible.

Good luck to everyone!

1 5 6 7