Somewhere in You is a Glowing Strory

May earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires take anger-management classes.

May dogs and cats call a lasting truce. Rainbows donate their colors to the quarantined.

May there be a cross-fertilization of dreams, free speech, and almighty dollar—a new currency we can exchange through meaningful hellos.

May there be dependable road signs along the highways of our minds. Clarity and foresight dressed in easy-to-spot, polka-dot blazers placed at every entrance and exit ramp to ambivalence and obscurity.

May all our burdens, regrets, and paragraphs of scattered thoughts become far more manageable.

We’ll edit one another down until we’re radiant.

Our glowing bones, the blueprint for a better world.

My 2020 Bucket List

To play cheerleader for the doves outside my window as they gather olive branches for winter.

To try and convince nooses to untie themselves into shoelaces of graces.

To kindly teach kindness that it sometimes needs to wear a Kevlar vest when facing down the public.

To help the maddened voices within a puberty-stunted America stop cracking.

To offer my darkest thoughts an injection of optimism whenever they wade into muddy waters.

That despite the pervading insanity, I can realize there are days when my fingerprints can still be found on amazement.

To never overlook those continually innerlooking.

Sweet-Tooth Radio

The radio’s got one end of a string tied around its bad tooth; the other end is secured around my waist.

The radio tells me to slam dance so it can be free of its rotten ache and serenade me sweetly.

It’s good to have upbeat moments like these, especially when I’m continually kicked out of sleep for failing to count sheep correctly.

Or when the garden gnomes keep getting stolen from the front yard of my fortitude.

Or when the daily headlines made of deadwood leave splinters in my eyes.

My mind is an unfurnished room aching to be filled with pretty things.

Hopefully hoping despite the occasional hopelessness.

Atoms of Laughter, Atoms of Ash

You know how sometimes when you lose someone that’s not your flesh and blood, yet still connected as a kindred spirit, how their exit from this world feels like something suddenly missing from deep inside you.

And you’re left wondering who or what will fill that void—whether it’ll be a crush of gallows or a bright rush of sunflowers.

Times like these, you feel how porous you are, how all the good and bad of the world—all the atoms creating animals, flowers, and children, all the atom-bomb atoms, bullet atoms, breathable atoms—move through us.

It’s all so tragic and beautiful: like a lyrical angel locked out of heaven.

Second Thoughts in the First Person

I’m sick of the coronavirus. Sick of wildfires and hurricanes.

Sick of hate-mongers and a derailed America. I’m sick of Twitter tantrums and conspiracy rants.

Sick of days so bleak, it’s like a chapel of black cats is a safer place to pray.

Sick of flossing with barbed wire and counting the newly bloomed flowers along the boulevard of the bereft.

Sick of watching the walls close in, businesses close down, neighbors move out.

Yet despite it all, I still recall those stories written on your skin. All the stories written on my skin.

I still marvel at our shared storylines, all our mysterious twists and turns.

How they held me, how they held me.

In This House Called Body

That feeling deep inside you isn’t a world at war or another wildfire on the rage.

It’s not some rabid Lady Godiva riding Godzilla roughshod through your inner-city streets.

It’s not that feeling of being 100 miles from everywhere, and only inches away from a broken-boned nowhere.

It’s neither police sirens nor wailing dogs. Not some gallows music moaning through the cracks of an imperfect morning.

That feeling deep inside is a melody straight outta the Beethoven oven—

a glorious symphony of inner youth rioting against time.

It’s the epitaph written on an Etch-a-Sketch that you can shake off, shake out,

and start all over again.

What Monday Morning Whispered Into My Ear

Grow out your hair. Run a mile, run for political office.

Learn a foreign language. Teach your pet how to clean the carpet.

Play poker with a crow. Discuss Camus with an emu.

Go to Istanbul, or teach a bull how to behave in a china shop.

Floss with a strand of angel’s hair.

Wear clown makeup while breaking up with your inflated ego.

Allow your suntanned legs to grow white and rent them out to ghosts for pogo sticks.

Donate your toenail clippings to the guy that’s building a shrine to good hygiene habits.

Whisper in the shadows, dance in the streets, sing in the rain.

Just please don’t be mean to one another.

How to Unmake This Movie of Our Making

The ongoing soundtrack of fire and smoke transform these western skies into a horror movie.

Reruns of choked air stumble zombified before our eyes, casting the sun in an eerie Halloween glow, making high noon a vast jack-o’-lantern on heaven’s porch step.

Our shadows don’t even tag along as we wander outdoors amidst a climate that’s changed into apocalyptic clothing.

And so we bide our time, counting the falling ashes, waiting for rains whose every wet syllable is aria.

Rains unafraid to bed down in dark forests.

Rains unshy in the ways of turning burned skies clean.

The Face Behind the Mask

One face behind a mask has a voice like hummingbirds playing trumpet flowers.

Another face behind a mask has eyes lashed to a crucifix of worry.

One face behind a mask has a kiss like night swimming.

Another has a mind like a horse thief. Still another has a mind like a full-throttle Aristotle.

One face behind a mask has the offspring of electricity giggling in its cheekbones.

Another face has lines that are the drawing of a body free-falling from a burning building.

Still another person hidden behind a mask has a face that is a poem written in first-person hope.

Still Another Dali-Painted Daze

These quarantine days ooze over us. Hours blur, days feel like minutes, seconds feel like eternities.

I’ve never trusted a clock that acts like it’s tripping on acid, altering moments and memories, melting into mind-bending juxtapositions painted by Dali.

I keep thinking tomorrow will be the day when the exalted cosmic doctor issues us a clean bill of health, and we can get on with our lives—

attending concerts, going to gyms, yoga classes, feasting in boisterous eateries.

If not that, then at least not feeling like human hugs have gone the way of My Space.

If not that, then at least some peace of mind for the weary.