Pages

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Christmas on TV

The musical cues
are perfectly timed;
the actors, beautiful,
the Thomas Kincaid lighting.

TV houses remain
impeccably decorated,
with wadded-up
wrapping paper
strangely absent from
the living room floor.

Any tears shed
are because
the two principals
finally found
each other,
and (of course)
they found love,
their cynicism replaced
by a sentimental gesture
that reminds of them
of their lost innocence.

No, Christmas on TV
lacks the wailing, moaning
and unremitting sadness,
longing for loved ones
long passed over
passed by
or passed away.

Christmas on TV
proves no loneliness
goes unanswered,
and everyone
has someone looking in
on them.

But life isn’t TV
and there are
dark, lonely quiet
living rooms,
with lone strings
of half-burned out lights
and dusty, faded nativity scenes,
valiantly trying
to imbue festivity
with warmth.

Christmas on TV
isn’t anything sad,
it sticks around
playing and re-playing
familiar fantasias
that rarely happen
in real life.

For some,
Christmas on TV
is the only Christmas
they know
as they wait
for December 26,
when it will all
vanish,
seemingly overnight,

and everything,
for better or worse
or same,
goes back to normal.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Prowess

At the red light
a crow,
oil-slick black,
swooped in front
of my car,

laser-focused
on a dingy white
fast food
wrapper

that had blown
into the busy
charcoal
intersection,

snatched it
and flew
to places
unseen
with the
speed and grace
of a jungle
cheetah,

in the
sliver of time

before
the light
turned green

and his
athletic prowess
was forgotten

in the rush
of drive time traffic.






(not a crow, but you get the idea)

















Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Anita (November 28, 2017)

So much
has changed;

the obvious:
hairstyles,
waistlines,
selfishness.

Less so:
contentment,
momentary peace,
blissful pleasure,
a security
deep inside
a shaky heart.

Kids are a constant:

with two kids gone,
one still here,
a new generation
starts with Oliver.

What hasn't changed:

she is singularly
the most beautiful,
breathtaking
woman I've ever seen,

and the love,
this mammoth adoration,
never dissipates.

Simply put:
she came into my life
and made everything

better.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bra Straps Akimbo

The end of a Thursday,
she’s undressing
in the closet, and
I’m in the adjoining
bathroom
vaping, listening to
America Top 40 re-broadcasts
from 1981,
my senior year
in high school.

All Jarreau’s
“We’re in This Love Together”
comes up,
and I remember
wanting
so desperately
to have someone to love
back then.

I wanted to be able
to hear that song
and think of her –
whoever she was.

Instinctively,
I rise and
go to her
her blouse off,
bra straps
akimbo,

she is casually,
authentically
sexy.

I tell her,
“don’t fight me”
as we melt
into each others’ arms,
as we have
countless times
during the previous
decade and a half.

We close our eyes,
hold each other,
sway to the music.

Anita,
thank you for making
this dream come true,

a dream
I never had
before.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Glory HalleStoopid!

Glory hallestoopid!

Kick that nozzfoggle
monster
to the back
of the drearidome!

Someday she'll
wiggle the tiggle
the way you want her to,
all wet and slippery,
sticky as teriyoku sauce.

No,
the way forward
is strewn with
hibblefly mooklers
and they've not come
berating gifts.

So, try not to feel
all persnucka-reefal
just because
your yarblebarbles
are filling with
pus-like sploosherinka.

Your day with come,
little gonche-felber
and you'll ride
that flesh covered,
love masheeeen
late into that
silky, dark
milkimoonlight,

oinshkle-bobbing
and friztle-rippling
until Morpheus
drills the
sono-mushke
deep inside


and you finally
cum
literal buckets,
which has to
be seen
to be
bereaved.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Indoctrination Begins

When it’s just
him and me,
with no one else
around,
he is my captive
audience,
the indoctrination
begins:

“Since I Met You Baby,
my whole life
has changed…”

“Only You
can make this world
seem right…”

“So darling, darling
Stand By Me…”

I perform
my private concert
complete with
doo-wop group
dance moves
for my grandson,

so he’ll know
what’s important
in this world.

My Little Friend, Oliver

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sometimes a Cigar

Freudians,

sometimes a cigar
is just a cigar.

It's not always
a penis.

Sometimes
it's an warm nipple
forever out of reach

everyday of our life.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Scenes From a Marriage, Part 62

(After the fight.)

Her: Have you seen my wedding ring?

Him: Yes, I put it right here.

Her: Why did you hide it?

Him: Why did you throw it?

(Silence.)

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Stop Saying "God is Good"

When your Lotto numbers
come up,
the surgery was
a success,
your kid
was found alive,

stop saying
"God is Good."

You sound insipid,
immature and stupid
but moreover,
you belie any faith
you profess to have.

When your
beloved puppy
is hit by the car,
or the layoff comes
on the same day
as your kids
are sent home
with lice,
or when
you find that final
bit of corroborating
evidence
that confirms her
unfaithfulness,

that's when
you must say
"God is Good."

Faith without works
is dead,
but also
faith without adversity
is empty.

God doesn't just
love and defend me
only when I do
what God wants,

so we shouldn't
love and defend God
only when God does
what we want.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Long Curved Blade Thingy

"Look at him,
that old fuck.
He sucks on
that vape pen like
he's a fucking baby
with a bottle.

What's he
trying to prove
anyway.

He's a Dean
at the college.
Not the University.
The community college.
No, the community college.

Right, not really college.

My favorite part is
about 4 songs in,
this lame ass
mother fucker
starts to dance.

It doesn't matter
the music,
could be rap,
heavy metal,
that shitty
country music,

he has one move:

grooving like
a fat 50 year old
trying to feel
young again.

He sees the skeleton,
the one with
that long curved blade thingy,
and he sees
his coming death,

with the certainty of gravity,
and he's trying to grab
a little fun before death.
His death.

And I also know
he can't get her off
either.

Yeah, I can hear him
snoring and
she's in the bathroom,
bzz
bzz
bzzzzz

late into the night."

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

I Am the Nostril Monster

I am
the Nostril Monster
and even though
I’ve a huge snout,
sharp, jagged teeth,
a mountainous girth,
and stink of
swamp water,
I still want,
no, need
love.

What I love most
are beautiful,
delicate flowers
with soft wisps
of fragrance,
and delicate petals
exuding all things
perfect and divine.

The problem is
because I am
the Nostril Monster,
my claws are rough,
and my grip
is crude,
my movement,
elephantine.

Mine is a
cruel fate:

everything I
try to love
I end up
unintentionally
destroying.

I am
The Nostril Monster
and I need love.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Warehouse of Unanswered Prayers

The vapor,
white and slippery,
snakes its way
toward Heaven,
and with each exhale
I offer my petitions,
prayers and requests
for friends and family,
for problems
too big for these
mortal minds.

I see the fruit
of my
answered prayers
in this world,
but where do
the unanswered prayers
go?

The Warehouse
of Unanswered Prayers
is why the heavens
stretch into infinity.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Thank You, Raechy

Thank you for being
the first one
to convince me
that becoming your father
might be a good,
no, great idea.

Thank you
for always asking
how I'm doing.

Thank you
for the memory
of you and me
getting our first
tattoos together.

Thank you
for teaching me how
to use a bong.

Thank you
for my beloved grandson.

Thank you
for every second, Raechy.

Happy birthday
and happier tomorrows,
love, Pop-o

Friday, November 03, 2017

The Sealed Box in My Closet

I have a sealed box
in my closet.

In it are emails,
greeting cards
with her
deceptive cursive
begging and pleading
for my love,
the initial police report,
the restraining order
granted against her husband,
for threatening to kill me
because she told him
I raped her.

She cheated
on her husband,
didn’t want to
take responsibility
for it,
and tried to make me
the Fuckboy Scapegoat.

She dropped the charges
when confronted
with all the
contradictory evidence
I’d saved.

I have a sealed box
in my closet,
it is labeled
“Shit”
and I’ll keep it
forever,

in case
I ever need it
to save me
again.




Thursday, November 02, 2017

This Wine (for Anita)

Emerging from
the shower,
she wraps herself
in a warm towel.

I revel in
her soft skin,
the smell of
her wet hair,
our comfortable
years.

Before she
demurely
slips between
freshly laundered
sheets,
I kneel,
slowly tugging
the towel
toward me,

exposing
all that is perfect
on this
November night.

Starting at her ankles,
my lips tease
their way up
to her intoxicating
lubricity,

which reminds me
of the first time,

only now,
the years have made
this wine
sweeter
and much more
potent.


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Unworthy Victim Speaks

I still jump
when I hear
that phone ring,
unbidden, harsh.

I won’t turn down
the ringer,
nor change the ringtone
lest I forget this feeling.

“I know what you did
to my wife
and I’m going to kill you.”

Just because
my actions brought it on,
doesn’t make my
PTSD
any less crippling.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fondly, Like a Pop Single

Whenever I hear
that song
“Walking On Sunshine”
I remember
she said it described
how loving me
made her feel.

Eventually,
she left
when she could no longer
tolerate and wait
for me to stop
sharing my life
with someone else.

Decades passed,
roads diverged,
different paths taken,
families sprouted.

I hope I am
remembered
fondly,
like a pop single

and not regretfully
as a shiny,
impermanent
impulse buy

made from the
“As Seen on TV” aisle
at the Walgreens.

To All My Loyal Readers

I apologize in advance
for the weakness
of the most recent offerings.

Life has been
throwing hell
at me
and I’ve been
waving a white flag.

Give me enough time
and I’ll try to turn this excrement
into gold
but I make no promises.

However,
to all my loyal readers
who see me
and steal my invisibility,
your slightest notice
sends me into a drug like high.

Merely being seen
keeps me going
when I cannot understand
the  point of any of it.

Nothing is better than
someone telling me
I have touched them.

It’s the ultimate triumph
of my spirituality over materialism.

I am transcendent
typing mad fury
these stray thoughts knowing
there is some understood
underlying code
in all this spilled blood.

I keep trying to make connections
because it doesn’t matter
if you’re in public library in New York
or a jail cell in Texas
a bakery in Oregon
a pub in Australia

for a moment
we are in the same place
and it feels good to me.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Skeletons

The skulls
the bones,
lie in the dirt
in the desert,
among lonely cacti
against hot,
unforgiving skies.

They were once
alive with ambition,
inflamed with passion,
wracked with worry.

Now,
they are but
silent reminders,
mute witnesses
to the sheer folly
of empty bluster
and shiny objects.

Skeletons
bring the wisdom
that even the richest
among us,
those most privileged,
will share
the same
exact fate
with the humble.

Who will leave
a richer legacy,
the humble
who shared freely
the fruit
of their grace

or those
who lived
in opulent vanity,
clutching every crumb
to their bosom
lest it be stolen?

Skeletons
remind me
of what is
important.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

That Moon

The moon hung
big and buttery and
close to the Earth.

It didn't say
anything
or try to mean
anything.

It was just
there
to tug
at the tides,

to give lovers
something
to make promises
upon,

to be witnessed.

I wanted to
pull over
and savor it,

but there was
a reason
I didn't,

something
I thought was
more important
to do.

So,
like a fool,
I pressed on.

I can't remember
why I passed
that moment by,

but I'll never
forget
that moon.

[This wasn't it, but it was like this.]


Friday, October 06, 2017

The Siren D├ęcolletage Mocks Me

Don’t confuse
their ubiquity
with mundanity.

Sadly,
in the employ
of marketing,
they are profaned,
on slick,
air-brushed
magazine covers.

Different hues,
fingerprint creases
and folds
and curves
curves
curves
in magical, mystical
sacred geometric
shapes.

“Save the Ta-Tas.”
“Squeeze your Boobies.”
Change your avi
for the month
and flash them
to the world.

Self-exploitation
for the greater good
is advocacy.

Still,
the mystery
of that delicate skin
upon the breastbone,

the hint of
shadows falling
in between,

still cast their spell
on me,

as I remain
in perpetual
outstretched
hunger

for connection,
for communion,
for restoration.

My lifelong desire
for embrace
to the eternally
warm, soft
female bosom,

to correct the deficiency
of a non-breastfeeding
mother,

remains unrequited,

as the magazine cover
silently mocks “no”
and you’re just
too tired.

[Written for Fireblossom's Challenge at http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/10/fireblossom-friday-i-put-spell-on-you.html.]

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Death Will Not Be a Surprise

It is the only reliable thing
in this world.

When armed
with the right lens,
the specter of Death
does not hide:

the opossum frozen
with the shriek of death
on its face in a tidy
pool of dried blood,

empty wrappers
littering the streets,
reminders of
everything that was taken
so that we the living
could be nourished,

the putty-colored
misshaped used condoms
employed to halt
or at least delay
the continuum of life,

even these modest
and ill-conceived ramblings
are written so that
when Death comes
to redeem my ticket
I will have
somehow
beat the game.

But any fool knows
that’s another losing
proposition.

Death will not be a surprise
and it will not take
“No” for an answer.

Until that day,
drink in the roses
dive into the orgasm
with eyes wide open

swim in the melody.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Father's Pearls

"Everybody wants to be
a musician
but how many actually
get a job doing it?"

"I really want
to read more books
but it hurts my eyes."

"Nah, it doesn't
matter to me if
you don't wanna
have kids.
You can't miss
what you've never
had."

"Sure, I believe
in God but
I just don't want
to go to church.
I did all that
stuff when I was
a kid."

"If you're gonna
get married
you have to know
how to take
a punch."

"To apologize
to your mother
is the biggest
mistake you can
ever make."

"One of these days
you're gonna meet
a pretty little girl
and you're gonna
start dating her
and before you know it
she's gonna be
pregnant and then
how're you gonna
pay for it all?"

"Go into electronics.
I know about that
field and there's all
kinds of jobs there."

"Do you know why I
bought this carpet colored
gold?
Because I want you
to treat it like
gold!"

"Don't waste your vote,
Vote for Perot!"

"What you eat in private
shows in public."

"Thank you, mijo,
your reward will be
in Heaven."

[Actual quotes from my father. Posted for https://dversepoets.com/2017/09/21/open-link-night-204/ ]

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cherubs

We sleep together
face to face,
like the cherubs atop
the Ark of the Covenant.

However,
I lay my head
closer to
her breast,
eyes closed
my sleeping gaze
pointed up
to her placid face,

a telling distillation
of our relationship:

me,
ever worshipful,
her,
ever deserving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hands Digging Into This Earth

Cool Saturday mornings
in spring
I weed the planter
in blissful silence.

It’s simple,
tactile.

I break the
cold hard ground
and sift the dirt
through my fingers
plucking the weeds
as though they were
errant gray hairs.

The same ground
worked and farmed by
my Mexican ancestors
and the Mestizos before them
and the Indios before them
and the Aztecs…

I am connected
to that eternal continuum
of hands digging
into this Earth.

It is almost
a mindless activity,
peaceful,
this private haven
that I own

and I smile
at my self-deception
and audacity:

to think
I own this land
that was here
long before
all my ancestors

and will outlast us all.

My name’s just
on the deed

for now.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Untethered

When you’re free,
you become
weightlessly untethered
from the ground.

Though I am
a willing slave
to gravity,
I remain
a wisp,
a scent,
a flavor on the breeze.

May you
catch me
in your hair
and hear
my whispering plea:

“Go,
be free!”

First Poem Published, Fullerton Daily Tribune, 1972

I was eight years old
and my local newspaper
solicited
a variety of
student submissions.

Here is what I sent in,
inspired by
an late night sermonette
on KTTV channel 11:

"God made
people to love
and things to use.

Some chefs
use people
and love
beef stews.

But God
made us to love,
with the love
from Above,

So, remember,
God made
people to love
and things to use."

Not bad
for a third-grader.

I forgot about it,
until it was found
in my Grandmother's purse
after she died in 1994.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Spark Joy

I bought her
the book
on tidying
your house,
your mind,
your life.

"Look at every
object
and determine

if it
doesn't
spark joy,

throw it out."

I'm trying
not to read
too much
into her decision
to sleep
downstairs
last night.


Monday, August 28, 2017

My Greatest Challenge (for Oliver)

I can’t
smell that
“New Baby”
smell,

but there is
overwhelming peace,
warm, breathing bliss
in holding him,
my grandson.

This is my greatest
challenge:

to be
completely present,
and enjoy him
now

instead of
dreaming of
all the times
we have
to come.

    Pop-o Moskowitz shares fine literature with Oliver.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's Still Magic

I've studied
Burt Bacharach's
"Bond Street"
for 40 years -

the quirky, uptempo
funky saxntrumpet
Hammond B-3 riff
that strange Eastern
flavor and the
soaring orchestra
representing
aural transcendence
- even the Gypsy
tambourine

and it's only
two minutes long.

I've played it
a million times
since I first heard it
when I was 7
and it still makes me

stop everything
and surrender
to its mystery.

If you know how
a magician
does the trick,
does it make it
any less magical?

No,-
it's still magic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Night

Night used to be cells of
unsolicited solitude
but I put the time
to good use.

I read,
wrote songs
and practiced
all the clever things
I would say
extemporaneously,
if I were ever lucky enough
to get a date.

I stayed up
late into the night
beside a static-filled
AM radio
and I imagined
I was the only one
tuned into this
distant AM station
playing old country and western tunes.

Night always told me
"Someday.
Someday, man, it'll
all be different.

Better."

Now
at the end of the day
filled with
my family
who have no hesitation
in claiming
my every waking hour,

I revel in my solitude,
as I troubleshoot computers,
listen to old C&W songs over
the internet,
write the occasional poem,
and sink deeper
into some library book,

I look out
at the blue purple sky

and realize night
was right.