Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gone Postal

“No, no, no, you stupid bitch. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a mass murderer.”

“Then what happened?”

“You know what happened.”

“No, I don’t, that’s why I’ve come here. I want to know. Really.”

“You just want to see me in here. I don’t care. I’m glad.”

“Are you going to tell me?”

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me why.”

“Look, it’s as simple as can be. Before today, no one at that place knew my name. They didn’t even care. I was just the asshole that made copies and typed and answered phones. They didn’t know me at all. Hell, they didn’t even see me.”

“And that’s why you did it? Because they didn’t pay enough attention to you?”

“Fuck you! Pay enough attention? To them, I didn’t even exist! I was invisible. Just like I’ve been my whole life. Invisible. Nobody ever sees me. But they see me now. You see me now, don’t you? And before today, you didn’t even know my name.”

“How can you say that? I love you…”

“Oh please. Don’t even start. You never paid any attention to me. There was always something else, another kid, another job, another fucking reason why I wasn’t important. But hey, it’s cool. Things have turned around now.”

“What do you mean? Your life is ruined!”

“What the fuck do you know about it? Have you seen the news? People know my name and they know what I did!”

“What did you do?”

“Listen, don't think you can trick me. You want me to admit it. Okay, fine. I’m glad I did it. People will know my name today. All over the world they will know my name. I’m the one who got sick of that fucking job and I knew what I would do if I got the chance. As soon as they asked me to make the coffee, I was ready. Coffee and cyanide. Ha! Two whole pots of it.”

“Oh my God! Do you know how many people you killed?”

“Twenty-two so far. Right?”


“Really? Wow, this is turning out better than I thought.”

“Are you crazy? They are going to execute you for this!”

“So what? There are worse things than dying.”

“Like what? What is worse?”

“Being alone. Being invisible. So I’m fine with everything. People will be telling stories about me for years and years after I’m gone. And maybe, just maybe, some big shot working in some downtown office won’t think he’s too good to fucking say good morning. I made it better for the next one.”

“I have to go."

"Will you come back tomorrow?"

"Sure, if you want me to."

"Will you do something for me?"

"If I can. What is it?"

"Bring me a newspaper. The headline is gonna be kickass. Can you bring it with you when you come back? Please?"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bus Stop

I swear I can’t resist that smile
That becomes a smirk at the slightest
Challenge, whistling air escaping pursed lips
Right before you say
Man you must be crazy

You will never know the fantasies
You fuel with your walk
Hips that move to the rhythm of love
Making me forget you’re just waiting
For the bus licking your lips cause
You know I’m watching

But don’t mind me baby
That’s just the sound of me
Digging your vibe
I’m just a woman happy to share
This bus stop and this moment with you

Don’t mind me, that’s just the smell of me
Digging your flow
Maybe tomorrow I can share
A moment at this bus stop with you.


He couldn’t have known what I was praying for
When the doctors said that God cursed me
Because of my sin
And took my money anyway

He couldn’t have seen how it pained me
To walk or how I had to hide
My shame
For 12 years

He couldn’t have heard what the other women
Said about me
No longer having the good manners to whisper
That I’m a whore
And this is why my husband left
why my child died
why I’ve had this shame for 12 years

But he knew that I believed
When I touched him
And knew the
Shalom of God.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pouting Over Coffee

I don’t know why but his pout always made me laugh. Not in his face, but away from his gaze I crack up just thinking of his protruding bottom lip and bowed head. Like no other he played the impatient child, bouncing from one emotion to the next and I sat still.

“I’m mad because you didn’t call me once, not one time all day. You never think of me. And I think of you every minute.”

I said nothing and reached for the coffee mugs that we bought in London last fall. I never put anything on the top shelf. I stood on my toes trying to touch the handle of the blue one. Failing, I exhaled, exasperated.

“What kept you so wrapped up that you couldn’t call me once?” He stood behind me and grabbed the mugs. Smiling and feeling vindicated because I needed him for something after all, he placed them on the table, the blue one for me, the red one for himself.

“I don’t know why you take it personally. I talk to you every morning and every night.”

“So, I guess that’s enough for you.”

For me, it was more than enough. His love was at once every color of a million rainbows and every shade the mind could conjure. I always assumed he’d burn himself out with such intensity. I expected him to lose interest, like a child might lose interest in a his new train set with the arrival of a new action figure, which doesn’t seem like much fun when the new video game comes, which is great until he remembers that he hasn’t played with his train in a long while. When he didn’t lose interest, I feared I might lose myself in such ever-present and consuming passion. It felt unnatural and dangerous, like base jumping or playing in traffic. Now I know that it is just his way.

“I know what it is,” he said. “You just don’t love me the way I love you.”

I ignored the statement. It was his favorite, engineered to make himself the martyr in our love affair that in his mind was just about to end. So I said, “The coffee’s ready,” and he got the milk. I poured coffee in his cup and then my own. He poured milk in my cup and then his own. I sat down and pushed the sugar toward him and he pushed the cinnamon toward me. We performed this coffee ritual, sacred, intimate and in perfect rhythm, every evening after dinner.

“You’re right, my love.”

“About what?”

“I don’t love you the way you love me.” And there it was his sweet and disarming pout. I smiled. He looked as if I kicked him in the gut and laughed about it. Laughed as he sunk breathless to his knees.

“You love me desperately,” I said. “And I love you certainly.”

We drank our coffee and we were silent for a long time.

When I Die

Dying is the hard part
To exhale every desire and dream
Every love and hate
Every memory and grudge.
Better it would be if
Death just comes
Like love
Surprising and complete
Then dying isn’t necessary.

Death itself is a mystery.

But I have hope
Hope that I’ll be free of all struggle
Hope that I’ll be greeted by my ancestors
Hope that Tupac still has voice
And an eternal rhyme
Background for a game of spades
That never ends.
And to those left to commit
What remains of me to earth
And memory
I don’t ask much of you.
Just that you keep it short.
Keep it sweet.
Let one saxophone play
Precious lord take my hand.
Let one person speak
And say only this:
She Loved.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great Love

The gods only exist because there is one who believes.

So I will take my rightful place in the divine pantheon
Only because you believe
That the mysteries of the moon are revealed
In my kiss.

And when I leave this time and place
I will live forever in the hearts of those who dream
Of a great love

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Third Genesis

He asked
Did God really tell you that you can’t eat from any tree you want?
Because he knew she was smart enough to understand.

She corrected him
We can eat from any tree except one
Because she wasn’t one to be toyed with.

He said
You won’t die if you eat from THAT one
Because she was already thinking it.

She asked
You mean the forbidden one
Because she wanted to be clear.

He said
You won’t die, but you’ll be awake
She asked
Awake to what
He answered
Awake to choice.

But she knew that was a lie

The choice was present
Before she ate.
She could wake up
Or sleep forever
She could grow up
Or be a child forever
She could be strong
Or weak forever
She could know
Or be ignorant forever.

So, seeing that the fruit
Was good for food and wisdom
She ate.
And she died.

She died to illusion
And rose to truth
She died to fake
And rose to real
She died a woman
And was reborn a Goddess.

Hagar's Blues

I am the outcast.

You have seen me before
But you don’t recognize me
Or you pretend not to

I’m your shame
Your failure, alive
Walking and talking
As if I’m just as good as you.

Cover your ears, or
You might hear the truth
Cover your eyes or
You might see yourself
I am the outcast

I don’t know your language
I don’t know your god
Yet he blesses me just as
He blesses you.

Praise the Lord
Praise from the lips
Of an outcast
Worthy to be the mother
of a nation.

El Roi sees me
And sees you
Sees you cast me out
Of your family
But you can’t cast me out
Of your mind
Out of God’s sight
Out of the world

I am the outcast
You can’t face me now
But you will
You must
For we are a family
God’s family.

THIS is a love poem

I don’t want love

If I have to wait for it in a slumber
Unconscious, as time moves on
Never becoming a whole me
Only awake to his presence
A slave to his kiss.

I don’t want love
If it is just a ticket out of poverty
And I have to be happy to let a man
Dress me up in pretty shoes
And move me into his big house
Even if he is a charming prince.

I don’t want love
If I have to find it while I’m lost
And in distress
It would be better to learn to slay
My own dragons
Lest I’m accused one day
Of bringin’ drama.
Even a knight would get
Sick of saving my ass.

I want love with a friend
A partner, an equal
A buddy to share the ride
And the cost of gas
As we travel the highways
And winding roads
The beaten paths
And the hidden trails.

I want love that is free
A sweet surprise that costs nothing
Something that feels good
Too good to be true
So good it has to be bad
So good that I don’t care if it’s bad

Love without limits
Love without hangups
Love without regret
Love without caring if
It lasts forever

I want love that
Lets me be
Love that doesn’t require
That I wear a ring or change
My name

Love that doesn’t give a damn
Where I learned to do that freaky thing
I do
As long as I never stop doing it.

I want love that forgives
Because even I fuck up
Once in a while.

I want love that stretches and bends
Because everybody needs room
To grow.

I want love
That comes down and stays a while.
I want love that I can feel
When I’m far away.

I want love
I don’t want it half way, half assed
Or half the time.

I want love that sneaks in
In the middle of the night
And swallows me whole
Taking no prisoners.

I want love that demands surrender
Without a single threat or command.

I want love without judgment.
I want love that tells a joke once in a while.
I want love that holds on tight
Especially when I’m trying to get away.

I want love. And I won’t settle
For midnight booty calls.
I want love. And I won’t
Play games or
Jump through hoops or
Sell my soul
To get it.

I want to find love unexpectedly
Want to trip over it
And fall into it
And drown.

I want love that gives me no choice.
No choice but to

Remembering Rain and Chocolate

The first time I met him, he told me his name was Victor. He was watching me buy a painting from a street vender, a painting that still sits behind my sofa, covered in dust and nearly forgotten. He said he liked me before he asked my name. He scribbled his telephone number on the back of a take-out menu. I called him that same day. He was clear about it all. Nothing heavy and don’t fall in love because Victor doesn’t do love. Victor does women. It was the simplest thing I’d considered all year, maybe all my life. In his cluttered apartment over the souvenir store in Chinatown I forgot everything. I forgot all of my overdue bills, my shitty jobs, my indifferent husband and my screaming kids. He was an escape, he was my holiday and he never asked me a single question. He just knew. He knew who I was and what I needed and that I was just a little messed up at the moment. And he didn’t care.

And each time he sensed that my body was on the verge of ecstasy, he put a small piece of chocolate on my tongue before a scream could escape my lips. Each and every time he did this and each and every time it felt like he pushed me off of a cliff and sent me freefalling into abandon and oblivion. When I would get up to leave he would say not yet. Sleep for a while. Then it would start raining and I slept. I slept so perfectly.
For six months I visited his cluttered apartment to hide from the world and eat chocolate in his bed and then he was gone. I longed for him for a year, but never heard from him at all.

Until a rainy night last Spring after I’d been alone for a long time.

He told me after that his name was Drake and he missed me, so he came in through my window with the rain. He said he hadn’t intended to wake me, he thought I would believe it all to be a dream. He wasn’t wrong. I did believe it all to be a dream at first. I thought I was dreaming of Victor. I felt his hands, and his tongue and his long hair brush against my back. And I woke up expecting to see him, but I saw no one. I only heard a voice that felt like a cool breeze on my neck. And then I tasted chocolate all over my tongue. I called to him and he told me Victor was merely a prop. He said his name was Drake. I said his name was Bliss.

He told me he dwelt among mortals infrequently and I was the only one he couldn’t forget. I asked him to stay and he said no. It wasn’t where he belonged. But he stayed for a while. I slept with him playing about my body, wrapped around me like warm mist. In the morning, my skin was wet and chilled and he was gone again.
Now, I leave my window open when it rains and he comes in like a storm, overwhelming me completely and I surrender to the invisible and the real. Then he leaves just as suddenly and I return to the illusions of my life. This is what it feels like to be in love with a demon.

Customary Thing

Only women
Never to inherit
Flesh and bone turned to wages
Payment in full for years of labor
It’s the customary thing with women.

A slave to birthing
Good hips on this one
A slave to sex
That one so pretty
Brief reprieve
Thanks to the customary thing with women.

Struggle to rise
Before the grinding foot
Dignity saved only by
The customary thing with women.

Breath of God
Rain of Justice
Fall down
On marriage bearing wealth
Children bestowing status
Treaty becoming safety
Ratified at Gilead
Should be a customary thing for women.