Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A poem I read today
about a lateral lattice forging form
with the sun's shadows, reminds
me of living on Betty Circle.

My stepfather grew green and purple
seeded grapes on a white trellis
along a cinder-brick wall – terraces
separated by a chain-linked fence.

Diamond shadows shaped
by the sun, beamed through the fence,
made shade on the small garden
by the grapes and shadows on the wall
between the trellis's empty spaces,
leaves, and multitude of succulence.

I picked whole clusters, ate them unwashed
in the back yard until my belly ached.
Each bite a sweet juicy burst.
I didn't mind the seed's slight bitterness.


Remember roller-skating in El Paso,
two or three times every week?
Envious of local, competition skaters –
their speed and grace, strength, endurance,
I wanted to glide like them.

Did well to skate without falling,
cross one foot over the other
turning corners on the wooden rink floor.

Enjoyed playing games on skates.
"Put your left foot in, put your left foot out ...
put your left foot in and shake it all about ..."

My mother paid for lessons she could not afford.
I learned to balance, to push with one foot,
roll along the figure eight line, forward and backward.

I learned to Tango.

She remarried,
wwwwwwe moved to Las Cruces,
wwwwwwwwwwthat was the end of that.

Mayonnaise In My Hair

Ridiculous — that idea
about nourishing dry hair
with mayonnaise to help split ends.

Massaged it through my hair —
oily, slippery, lemony mayonnaise.
Let it sit — took forever to wash out.

Slipped, sliding in the bathtub,
sludgy as an oil slick.
Almost fell in the shower.

Legs flew haphazard.
Swoop! Swoop! Swoop!
Screaming — hysterical laughter.

Held onto soap holder,
faucet and handles for stability.
Hot water pelted my body.

Could have sprained an ankle,
busted a knee, hurt
my back, cracked my head.

Never do that again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Waving Curtains

First time to move away from home.
Not a good living arrangement,
but some place to stay.
A singlewide mobile home.
Wagon Wheel Trailer Park.
Doña Ana road.

Quiet, sitting in a corner chair,
in the living room
by a window,
double pane slid upward.
Pleasant, cool breeze blowing
through the screen,
blowing a thin, lacy white curtain
in front of my face.

In a void, a trance,
allowing the curtains to wave
over my head,
tickle my ears, neck and shoulders.
I think this happened
before -- déjà vu.

The wind, carrying me
through a mysterious dimension.
I waver between
worth and worthlessness.
Curtains stop waving,
snap out of the spell.
Why do these things happen
when I am alone?

Calling My Name

Flashed on a memory
xxxxx in my youth.
Too young to understand,
xxxxx or be aware of
things uncommon.

xxxxx A building.
A school? A public place?
I recall
a long flight of stairs.

xxxxx Alone, climbing
toward the top.
xxxxx Late for a class?
xxxxx Felt someone peck
xxxxx on my shoulder,
xxxxx calling my name.
Was it an angel's attempt
to prevent my going there?
xxxxx I turned around
xxxxx but nobody there.
Nobody there.

Green Stick

Haven't seen one in years.
Hey, preying mantis, how
did you get in? Get down
from my kitchen ceiling.
Quick! Think--
before he scorches himself
on that light bulb.

Shhhhhhh! Screeching ladder --
you'll wake the neighbors.
Open this wide-mouthed jar.
Schroop, schroop, schroop!
Ouch! Hit my knee on the ladder.

C'mon, Greenie!
Schroop, schroop, schroop!
Carry you across the parking lot.
Mmmmm! Kind of nippy.
Wish I had put on a jacket.

Schroop, schroop, schroop!
Dumping you onto the dirt.
Get out of there, sticky thing!
Shake, shake, shake!
There! You're not hurt.
Crawl up that post
to your light God.
Now I can go to bed!