Three of Hearts

I am a relatively reserved person. I keep my expressions calm. Yet I feel often lustful. Moments exist when I’m scared of my own heart. Not that it will stop ticking, but the wilds she speaks.

We spent a couple hours talking at the coffee shop. Mostly about relationships and illusions. The way people feed into one another and create groupthink. All these little cliques of belief. The masses. The contingents. Securing a particular language. A secret code only for the initiates. If you don’t speak it, or attempt to learn, you are as good as gone.

I kept looking at her lips. Kissing them. My eyes betraying desire. I try not to stare, or ogle, but I do enjoy welcoming beauty into the dark wells of my sight. To see souls. To see into, more fully, the life of a person. She has a little goddess etching of birthmark on the underside of her chin near her neck. I remembered kissing it and gently nibbling. Running fingers through her hair, scratching lightly the back of her head. Pressing forehead against forehead. Seeing her eyes. “What do you want? It’s okay. What do you need?” I fell headlong. I kept seeing her teeth, scrunched up like a groundhog close to the earth. The fragrance of soil on her lips.

“You love being a poet, don’t you? Everyone must want to know who you are writing about.”

Lightning sparks from foreheads. Thoughts kiss. Like the rapidity of electric currents. Third eye linguistics, enmeshed. Timelessly conspiring, the telepathy of ancients. Entangled in breaths.

Veronica went on an interview at a sewing & design school. She unofficially received a job as a professor within minutes of the directors seeing her work. She spent hours making a bra. This is magic! She kept yelling. Until it wasn’t magic anymore. And then she let out a string of expletives. Honestly. She’s probably one of the best stitchers in the city. I’m proud of her for that. And humbled by her craft. It’s not terribly difficult to spot someone who holds mastery of an art upon seeing their work. There’s not a certificate in the world that can do that for you. It’s a gift.

I get so frustrated when I read the news, especially international politics, the continued destabilization of countries for the sake of oil. Power. Money. Control. The willful blind eye, American as apple pie. I ask myself why? Why do I keep reading. It’s maddening. Yet I have this urgency to stay informed. To shout into the abyss. A drop in the bucket of worldwide corruption.

I’m all for lowbrow art. But the esteem for being a dolt, it breaks my heart. There’s so much at stake. How easily will people be swept off their feet?

How do we speak a common language without losing the cut of a subversive tongue?

She grabbed my hand and put my fingers in her mouth. Tasting them in the early morning. Wetting them again. We pressed into one another. Gently at first, then more roughly, I wrapped a hand around her neck.

The largesse of an artist. The utter frustration of the writer whose pen keeps running out of ink. How are we supposed to communicate with one another profoundly if we haven’t dug out & filled in our own trenches?

She stepped out of the car, and I could smell the lingering of blood.

Every night she stayed over, the next morning I dreamt of animals. Horses. A large goat. They nuzzled me. We looked into each others eyes. They, always much stronger than I.


There’s a lot going on in the world today. Like any other day. People are angry about the ongoings of the justice system, as they should be. But I’m not going to write about that. I may weave it in, but there’s only so much anger I have welling up in me these days.

My thoughts have been focused on a new chapbook called City Impressions. I want to write like the French Impressionists painted: quick, almost unfinished sketches of daily life. I don’t want to overwork the reader. I want to elicit the simple beauty that comes with urban living. There are days we forget about it. There are days it’s difficult to see. Like today, as I reentered my body from dreamland, I saw my thoughts all tangled up in electrical wires.

It made me think about oppression of spirit.

I sat in my garden meditating on space, especially unfound, open space. I’ve always had this crazy idea that we humans can manifest pockets of earth. I don’t know where such a wild thought came from, or why it continues to stick around, but every time I sit on the ground for a long enough period of time, I am reassured that this is a truth. On the flip side, it has occurred to me that perhaps we’re not all capable of such feats of creation, so I don’t take the thought too seriously.

As I contemplated the sacredness of earth, a mockingbird perched on a nearby branch and made a small racket, a consistent clicking chirp. He looked at me as if trying to communicate a little bird secret. I tend to hear what nature is telling me, but today it just sounded like a click.

Perhaps when I fall asleep tonight, the mockingbird language will unfold in my dreams. So often that’s where I find the translations to what I can’t understand during the day.

I emptied kitchen scraps into the compost and it smelled not very pleasant. It had a slight whiff of rotting food. The interesting part is- once it takes time to decompose, the kitchen scraps will become a fragrant mixture of rain, sun, & earth.

When I cook a meal and sprinkle in spices & herbs (especially the ones I grow in my garden), I feel like I’m preparing a spell.

An hour or two before sunset I went for a walk and found a large empty lot turned into an urban garden. A number of raised beds and flowers and fresh soil dumped in one corner gave the place a feeling of livelihood. There were no gates blocking people out, so I walked through. It reminded me of my earlier meditations: unfound space & manifestations of earth.

I picked a rose and kept it in my hand, sniffing it sporadically as I walked around. Down the street, there’s a warehouse with ART AND INDUSTRY stenciled above the garage doors.

A few months back, I collected herbs & flowers and dried them over the course of a full moon. I kept them in a clay pot and lit them on fire in my garden. It charred & smoked and filled the air with wisps of plant spirits.

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.