fatherly advice #17

it’s not wise to nuzzle the muzzle of a gun. it’s best not to practice electric guitar while standing in the bath. sometimes silence is golden, other times a ruckus makes for big bucks. wherever the compass of compassion tells you to go, follow. if you cook up a heaping helping of hogwash, you’ll have a mumbo jumbo jambalaya. don’t mistake the colors of the homeland security advisory system for skies after a rain, otherwise you’ll consider every rainbow to be a terrorist threat. if you eat your dinner with a tuning fork you’ll have a pitch perfect meal. if you speak only money, you’ll miss all the good things in life that are free.


Children Playing Chicken With Destiny

These daily White House insanities singing love songs to oblivion. All their cryptic sound-bites that are really dog whistles to racists. Bullets smuggled under their tongues when talking about how to make America great again. Hear the night wind howl. It’s the ghosts of our forefathers moaning how the Constitution has become a doormat at the front of Trump Tower. Truth & justice should trump that corrupt power. Compassion & promise should trump that disruptive power. I don’t want a world where our children, or our children’s children, are playing chicken with their lives, speeding towards some tragic destiny, wondering which one is gonna swerve first.

Optimism’s Abattoir

When fire becomes too hungry; when the dreamer’s eyes roll snake eyes; when evil cogs and faulty wiring transform Mother Teresa blessings into Torquemada stressings; when nouns no longer nurture and every person, place, thing, and idea we’ve ever cherished is stripped of its significance—this is when we revolt. This is when we refuse to become beasts of extinction. Things wither and die too soon when they never had a chance to be young at heart. Our optimism’s abattoir slaughters all savageries and sorrows, saves their bones for better wishes.

What the Three-Legged Dog Will Tell You if You Care to Ask It

Find the bullet-mauled mailbox, the books pulled from a bonfire, the heartstrong hero circling the drain of the last hoorah, the woman with a supernova smile, the uncrying man living in a spilled-milk mansion. Find the heads-up penny, the fulcrum between dishonor and dignity, the record playing backward, the three-legged dog running forward, the politician with the alphabet tattooed on her tongue who knows how to use it. Find them all, and they’ll say: “I don’t know what kinda sex some people are having these days, but it sure seems like a helluva lotta folks are suffering from sexually transmitted ignorance.”

In Consideration of Those Last Burdens Placed at Death’s Doorstep

Listen as another track plays shackleless on the funk-toothed jukebox. Witness joyful days move supple as laundry on a spring day clothesline. Better to join those days now than to lay any heavy regrets at death’s doorstep. Not to worry if your voice sounds more like broken glass and wilted flowers. Intoning oblivion’s interval on the musical scale doesn’t mean you cannot sing your way back into the light. Just like being quiet doesn’t mean you’re not alive. Just like being in mourning doesn’t mean you cannot shine your way back into morning.

By malice and man’s hand

the bullet finds its way to the gun. The bullet sleeps soundly in sulfur-stenched steel, dreaming of shattered bones and bullseyes, until it is awoken into the world of bloodsport. If only this could be a story told in reverse. Victims shedding lifelessness to, once again, step into the unbruised breath of the alive. The dark moons that are their eyes, brightening. The staticky radio waves that are their final words, grace singing. Death’s eternal gravity overpowered by love’s labor, rising.

Forget About It

Not on your life. Not even in another life. Not in a million years. Over my dead body. Nope. No can do. No siree. Not for all the tea in China. Thumbs down. Fat chance. N’uh-uh. Negative. Under no circumstances. Absolutely out of the question. Not possible. Nah. No. N to the O. Veto. Nix. Nixie. Not for Joe. Not on your Nelly. Not on your tintype. Nay. No way. No way, José. OK, wait. What was the question again?

Truth, Community, and Human Decency

are three ships lost on the tumultuous seas of a declining democratic society. Those whose hearts are filled with more goodness than ghosts stand at the shoreline. Their dreams, bearing no grief or callousness, serve as a lighthouse navigating the three ships safely to shore. Threats of war and epidemics of deceit will not extinguish their lambency. Apathy and agony will not undo their ambitions. The three ships continue sailing forward, guided by the glow of all that is cherished and strong of heart.

A Disclaimer

This poem was a Van Gogh painting in a past life. It has rocked Budokan. It is a signatory for morning glories. This poem is bilingual & omnisexual. Longs to splash around in a swimming pool filled with the DNA of Whitman, Wanda Coleman & Bruce Lee. This poem refuses to serve as propaganda for politicians. Has a title only a mother can love. It can be sweet as honeysuckle or dangerous as an apocalyptic chainsaw. This poem has hung out with old San Francisco bohemians, dreaming until the acid light trails of dawn. It is sensitive to all matters concerning race, gender & class. But it has no stomach for hate. This poem loves to hate hate.

A Shoutout to Moms

This one goes out to all the Mothers: Single moms and singing moms. Gay and straight moms. Moms that wear black and others that are pretty in pink. Pet moms, pampered moms, religious moms, and rock ‘n’ roll moms. Heady moms. Mani/pedi moms. Those that are extremely present, and those whose minds have wandered off into the sad and dense fog of forgetting. Om’ing moms, home-sweet -homing moms. Moms that can set a lovely dinner table, and moms that can drink you under the table. Teaching and acting moms. Bus driving and book-writing moms. Moms fighting addictions and moms always willing to listen. To all you moms, Happy Mother’s Day!