Naked Lady #28


Rain is coming down on the Naked Lady, the Amaryllis Belladonna, silently toxic. The pink fleshy pastels of the Woolworth postcard drip sap, frighten the young girl child, her thumb deep in her mouth. The Naked Lady, caught in a globule of air, is put into suspension until other arrangements can be made. All you have to do, is wheel the naked lady on her flatbed into full sun and bring her back to life. But she does not want to be resurrected, just so she can fit into another young woman’s life. You scribble your post cards and send words, words, words, not necessarily in orderly fashion.





The Ace of Spades #27

Dressed as the ace of spades
You know what needs to be accomplished
Four more days to cut
Through prompts of b.s.
The grand slam will succeed over resentment
You will soon be unburdened
Although your words more clear, more penetrating
Will certainly survive a new beginning.

Instructions to the Poet (or Cook) #26

Use what you have

~in your refrigerator

~ ~in your icy frozen chest

Don’t reject wilting greens

Don’t fill up the rotting wormy compost

First wipe the steel covered island

~brilliant with silver polished thread

Is she a poet or a cook?

~the cook never slows down

Her studio, a mile away, out of sight,

~in fact, is merely 35 steps away

Long ones, leaping ones

The cook insists: knife needs honing

~with that sharpening steel tool

she temporarily stands firm

Slash, slash, off comes the head

~the lettuce and brain melt into ghee butter.

The poet tries on different gloves

~not hers

She cuts      like an invalid

one too big     the other too small

Enough says the poet.

Enough says the cook.

~go sit in the studio

~do nothing

She stares at the Cooked Poet

~swipes at the Crown of Thorns

Sometimes getting it all wrong

is the next best thing.

Burn it all down


An old woman built a refuge for herself to practice poetry. She had food, clothing and a husband. She practiced for seven years but sent no news to her relatives. The relatives sent their youngest son with special instructions. When the son arrived, the old woman opened the elaborate gates. He gave her new clothing and ancestral grains from the relatives to renew her energy. “Thank you very much,” the old woman said, “the relatives are very thoughtful.” Just then the son said, “How does this make you feel?” She replied, “The wind is moving, the mind is moving in mud, it’s a proverbial chaotic concert. My time is filled with tedium.” The son returned to the relatives and relayed her words. They were furious because the old woman had not bowed and displayed her wisdom. She must be a demon, better go back and retrieve the clothes and food. But when he returned to the refuge, the old woman had burnt it all down.

(Inspired by a koan from “Seonmun Yeomsong Seolhwa, dated from the 13th century)

Eulogy to Efrain Jara Idrovo (1926-2018) Ecuador’s Poet Laureate #24


Feet shuffling, shrunken spine

he greeted me with outstretched arms,

Efrain Jara Idrovo, beloved poet of Ecuador.

His eyes reflected an ocean of love

beauty and sadness weaving

over and under unexpected illusions.


He asked me to read his poem

“Sollozo por pedro jara”

~ weeping for his son Pedro Jara ~

“Pedroagelessrock made to endure


Pedro made of basalt”

But the stone cracked

Pedro hung himself in the bathroom.


After the suicide Efrain leaned forward

a lone horseman over a bare horse

his itchy wool blanket unraveled

the roads Pedro had traveled

Gently probing, words crying

he searched Pedro’s bones of rock

translucent, porcelain, his polished son.


He cut across a bridge of crystal

through precipices looking for stars

with veins that hurt from too much effort

Like a leaf cutter ant, Atta cephalotes,

he slowly carried each piece of Pedro

back to his soul and chewed it

delicately into his fragile heart.


He dug into yawning clefts

where half-baked clay caked

and could not be washed away.

Efrain’s words, full of tears

streamed down my face, full of love

streamed into my heart

burned flowers on my breath

in one deafening blow.

How will I survive this old man’s smile?

Undone by Grace (#23 NapoWriMo)

You said you are this close. How close the guru asked. Very close. How unfair of the mind, he said, to let you so very close, not far enough but a pinch close and it will not let you in. You are in a state. An imagined self, this other self, this other important self. Yeah, but the Great Self is not as tangible as I am, you say. I am so near, but I am not there. But, he says, you cannot rub the Great Self out, by saying I can do this or do that. The one who is trying to do is quietly being undone by Grace. And the one who begins asking questions will not finish but will be finished by it.

Know this #22

You would like to know this
the trees, the grass, the insects, the soil
the night very still before
the wild-pink pig screams, before
it gets killed, before loneliness
is ingrained on a white sheet of paper
crossed out too many times