Absorption Into The Ocean

If I could wake up
every morning so peaceful
so many people still sleeping
the silence of waves
arhythmic meditation
a briny thickness
hanging heavy
opening up the lungs
deeply breathing
the heart swelling
like the spray of sea foam
in the distance
a flock of sea birds
in flight
the horizon lights up
a brackish pink
the receding waves
catching violet
reflecting salt
and purple rays

The way the sun engenders vision…
And gives birth to the morn…
It must be so easy to drown…

I get a cup of decaf coffee
with a splash of regular,
a small dose of pick-me-up caffeine

and the ocean feels less
like a womb and more
like an old crone
dispensing wisdom with each
ruffle of wave

arhythmic meditation
packed into the push
and pull of crashing

I want to jump in
but only get my feet wet,
for now

It must be so easy to drown

like falling asleep
or jumping off a moving boat

This is what I think about
when I think about absorption,
little deaths,
the facade of self
crashing against sand and rocks,
the stubborn ego
holding on
to a capsizing ship.

I always wanted to be buried
naked in the earth
My dead old body decomposed
by the passage of worms
But I can imagine
being thrown overboard
at the edge of a dark, dark moon,
maybe a star will shoot off
and you’ll know I’m gone to the sky
the way a bird takes off and flies
a fleeting memory swallowed
by the unanimous nature of time

It must be so easy to drown

Last night we walked out to the ocean
to catch a glimpse of the setting sun,
but a heavy storm cloud
met us instead.
It brought with it
a deluge of thunder and rain.
We hid under a pier
at a vague attempt to stay dry.
Maybe to wait it out,
but there were dark storm clouds
covering the sky.

We were only delaying the inevitable.

So we ran out
into the storm
small acceptance
and shrieks of joy


Reggaeton bouncing & bumping in passing cars, city blocks momentarily transform into dance halls and clubs. A simple pleasure fleeting.

It’s funny to see men doing roadwork on streets with yellow signs indicating children at play. Beneath the sign sit the workers’ empty lunch boxes. Meanwhile, they maneuver big yellow trucks pushing rocks and asphalt. A few guys stand off to the side. They admire the job and give words of direction. The world feels like a giant sandbox at times.

There’s a wheat paste of a woman with a simple statement written beneath her portrait, “You can keep your thoughts on MY BODY to yourself.”

Three old men sit on a ledge waiting for a bus. They look picture perfect, the morning light just right & angelic. I ask to snap a pic. One guy immediately says no. Another follows in suit shaking his head. The third gives me a boyish smile and a little shrug as if to say, “I don’t mind a photo, I’d actually enjoy one.”

The thunderstorms that roll in remind me of shadows from another world. The warm rain smells like Saturday mornings waking up late, drinking coffee, and reading old novels.

Some mornings we make breakfast. Some evenings we walk to dinner. I know she’s happy when she sings in the shower.

There’s a wall nearby with graffiti that reads loud & clear STOP THE VIOLENCE.

On the weekends, the neighbors around the corner sit outside and play dominoes.

I woke up the other morning to birds chirping & I saw for a moment the intermingling and connecting of hexagons

I don’t know how, but my mind’s eye translated the birds’ song

like a quantum beehive, or perhaps better described as a blueprint for lysergic acid diethylamide.

Whatever it was exactly, instead of those black notes dancing around, it resembled a molecular structure drawn on a living canvas; the hexagons breaking apart and reorganizing with every chirp, chirp, chirp until the sun came up and I was fully awoke.

Then off to work & I fall right into a city daze

a digital hustle
a modern day alchemical struggle
turning pixels into cash

sound systems reverberate row homes
arguments bounce off brick walls

little kids holding hands, cute as can be, going to & from school throughout the day

everyone moves like molasses

the skyline like a heartbeat
a lullaby of barbed wire & cracked concrete

feathers ruffle in heat
naked bodies ruffle in sheets

fire hydrants spurt water

ice cream trucks jangle a monotonous song of sweets

the smell of charcoal whiffs from backyards like stray cats appearing from alleyways

I eat mulberries off trees. They stain my palms purple like ink. Purple like the shit on picnic tables because the birds eat the mulberries too. It gives me a sense of communion: we share the wealth of trees.

Jazz nights at the local bar where I twist my hand into cursive. Beer foams, tobacco smokes. Tattoos cover the walls of souls.

Whenever I see fresh graffiti, it makes me stop and contemplate the banditry of artists. Like cave paintings or hieroglyphs, the symbols sneak inside the eyes and unlock creative places in the subconscious.

I go to the community garden an hour or so before sunset. There’s peacefulness during that time of day. You can feel the breeze. The birds flock in slow motion.

A portrait is painted on the sign there. Cesar Andreu Iglesias. I looked him up. He was a journalist and labor activist in Puerto Rico.

The tink of hammer against nail echoes off the surrounding walls. & I feel the spirit of Senor Iglesias smiling down as small acts of labor resound the air.

When I enter the garden, I water the pot on the head of the Mesoamerican statue near the entrance. It feels like worship, like I’m honoring those who came before. Comfrey is growing there.

I’ve been planting seeds.

I found a jack of diamonds

& a dead chicken with its head cut off. It smelled like voodoo, and maggots were eating at its flesh. I left it there. But the jack of diamonds, I put that in my pocket.

I biked up to K&A to get a few vegetable plants. Often, it’s where people get their drugs. On the way, the whole corridor smelled of herb, and the el rattled overhead.

I saw a man in an empty lot light up a crack pipe. On the same street, I saw a mom with her breast out feeding her baby.

On the way home, I saw a thief try to steal a power tool from a job site. The owner ran out with a rake and beat him over the back. When it looked like his emotional rage was getting the best of him, I yelled over, “Alright. Alright! That’s enough.” He let the thief go but not before kicking & busting up the rim of his bike.

The jack of diamonds seems insignificant now, but, on second thought, it’s a reminder of richness. Like the basketball courts filled with people playing, and the swings filled with children swinging.

I walk to the community garden again & again to clean up litter, to plant vegetables, to weed and dump kitchen scraps to feed the compost. I continue to see the dead chicken. It’s decomposing body tells more & more stories. Ironically, it takes on a life of its own. & Coincidentally, it rests under the coolness of a cottonwood tree whose seeds fly away like soft ghosts.

They say everything happens for a reason, but I’m not so sure I believe that. There’s an absurdity to life that doesn’t so much create a pattern, but rather, it paints a picture of what happens when concrete covers the earth and wires string up the housing.

I’m sifting through the harshness for the birds who sing at sunset and the break of dawn. There’s always a quietness to be found when you take a moment to slow down. Life is what happens between the cracks, like the span from our first thought to the last one. I’m sifting through the litter &

I found a jack of diamonds


When The Heart Breaks Into A Thousand Pieces, Know That Life Goes On aka Like The Ash Of A Log, Give Yourself To The Wind

from North Philly to Westville, NJ
passing ghost towns
dead as can be.
The kind of places
where the wind blows
and all you hear is
the wretched creak
of a sign.

Metallic symbols communicating both
direction & abandon.
Like industrial wastelands
speaking in
graffiti, linguistics of the local

working the land
on a suburban homestead
people talking of
(the cling of pitchfork
against wooden chips,
& a snake appears
shedding skin.

Another sign.

It must be
the age we’re in.

Traversing the space between,
from reclaimed warehouses
to reclaimed land
full of artists
full of gardeners,
like the time from sleeping
to waking,
a dream worth writing down

a mishmash of industrialized earth
a collage of decay & growth,
rustbelt visions

While building a tiny teepee structure,
starting with twigs & the tiniest branches,
someone said in a light of bemusement,
“Look at all the hands…”
and there were hands
grabbing leaves
placing sticks
so many hands
building fire
& in that moment
we decided (it was necessary)
to say a prayer
a prayer honoring
the four corners
the distant past
the present past
the here & now
the future tense
the generations
& dreams to come

As we honored the directions
in space & time, I
thought about my own ancestors
as well as those
who lived the land before.
A sadness,
tinged with anger
swept over me.
I apologize.
I do not know how
my bloodline is wrapped up in
mass genocide,
but we arrived in a white wave
shortly thereafter.
And working with the land,
the plants whisper
of the blood spilled
the terror unleashed across the land.
It’s in the herbs, it’s in the flowers,
the native spirit comes to life
in the trees, there are stories
in the meandering of roots,
there are ancient faces
in the bark.

When I am in a silent place,
I listen
I learn
I understand
to live closely
to live appropriately
to heed the call of wildness
to preserve the primal nature.

To honor the beast within.

The sacred rush of river
The vast expanse of ocean
The reflection of stars
hidden by the sun.

I had a dream-
I was on the outskirts of a village
living in a hut made of branches.
It stood on the edge of a forest.

And one day,
the hut caught fire.

I walked closer & closer
until I was inside.
People gathered,
worried I’d catch fire too.
I assured them,
It’s not a problem,
after all, I lit the place up on purpose.

I disappeared in the flames.

I woke up in the dream.

I realized
I’m standing amidst raging flames,
but nothing of me has caught;
& as I get to know
the lick of fire,
it’s not so angry
as it is alive.

Someone Needs To Dose The Water Supply With Acid So We Can All Start Seeing In Rainbows

I went to a queer poetry reading the other night. There were gay poets, latino poets, black poets, femme poets, white poets, & trans poets. So many wonderful spirits recounting a plethora of experiences, confronting bigotry, confronting racism, dealing with confusion, sadness, & anger at the hands of oppression.
It was dynamic.
It was dark.
It was inspiring.
I wish more people had a clue into these things, because it brings understanding to just sit & listen. To familiarize oneself with the unfamiliar. To make connections across boundaries. To cultivate sensitivity to the plight of others. To make space.

Disenfranchised people establishing rights & liberties need not be a scary thing. Really, it’s a beautiful thing. We are bearing witness to the complexifying nature of our species; our thought processes are becoming more & more complicated as reflected in the formation of unique, varying, & complex identities. And yet, it still remains so simple: this is being human. It’s a struggle across the board, but slowly, there’s sloughing off of what’s outmoded & crystallization of what’s future.