Wednesday, October 25, 2017

all my lost fathers

Red sings on the 3rd Street Promenade. Regular hours. Something like 8 pm to 11 pm, Monday through Friday. Red must be into his 70's now. The American flag behind his chair gives him the look of a veteran, whether or not he served. He plays his guitar seated. Mostly folk songs in the vein of John Denver, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan. When he's playing I can't help but be drawn in. These are the songs of my childhood, and Red's steady voice wraps around me like a long-awaited paternal hug.

I'm not the only music enthusiast this evening. A homeless man has joined the ranks of Red's orphan audience. His white-yellow beard reaches down to his chest. He sits on the same kind of walker my grandmother used. She called it her Red Racer. When it's not aiding in that unutterably tedious task of walking, it substitutes quite well for a chair. I watched him gently slip a blanket from beneath his seat, unfold it, and place it neatly across his lap. Though the gesture was wholly dignified, when it slipped askew moments later my impulse was to help.

I am not repulsed by your sunburnt fingers or back-alley cologne my fellow listener, my friend. Nor am I frightened at the prospect of another thwarted act of love.

I have not forgotten you, John Denver. I have not forgotten you, Bob, Paul, Art, Cat, Leonard, or James. I have not forgotten you, my lost fathers.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Baba Yaga

You can hide behind another, like a bairn behind its mother's
skirts, but you're still scared of me. And you should be
for I've shed my earthly status for the realm of fantasy.

In the funhouse mirror of your eyes, I'm difficult to read,
as deformed as Baba Yaga sharpening her teeth. But the
bony one is hard to kill, I won't die easily. Not because

I'm supernatural or impervious to your swing. It's
simply hard to win a fight against your own psychology
(and it began long, long before I was ever on the scene).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

You were beautiful unmasked.

Naked to the bone, the burdens of your sisters
gone. The strapping youth, a hero sojourner fighting battles
(but mostly monsters in the closet) = (Father).

If I could but strip away the husk and free the golden seed
of pestilence, of fear. But I can't. Unadorned, you were
my Adonis. In costume, just some ugly child of his.

Monday, January 30, 2017

In a few days, my understanding no more enriched than now, I place myself in the center of a green crater off the coast of Maui.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

one, two

it's ok, really
no judgment
just numbers
like 4 follows 3

you're simply not 
strong enough yet
in yourself,
not for me.