Skinnin' The Pachuco

I'm just happy to be here.

Month: August, 2014

epilogue of morning

every morning I make a decision
to wake up
or not

sleep has always been my way of
keeping my body and its proud insides
from spilling out the front door
gone with the garbage man
but today is different

I bought books, made dinner,
gulped water, sipped coffee,

drove with the windows down

shook hands
like rain clouds meeting spring, eager
like a trombone refusing to hold its breath

the only thing I am guilty of is letting go



when it comes to leaving,

there is a field in my chest

where my lovers voices refuse to rest

their overgrowth stalks my future harvest

& under all of me, 
a mysterious blue
ensemble of lost mercy,
refusing to
 levitate


will someone come away with me

anyways?



there are sundials on my feet

showing me where the 
dark is going to be

we do not have to go there, there,
where there are no bodies swinging through other bodies
in the name of dance


and no one knows this but

deep in the heart of
all my exes is an empty swing
dancing all by its lonesome
lost in a park where all the honest trees
forget to reach back for me

my dear, I have to tell you
if I am ever a stone’s throw away
from being swallowed by sorrow’s river sheen,
remind me of the consequences,
what happened last time
when I went down under
to bargain the air and
kept forgetting to say please

my dear,
whisper trumpets if you must
boil the brass off my knuckles
down to pearl dust,
cover this solitude with shiny rustlove,

shucks, shut me up,

the world is a chargrilled oyster
and every day I order
the lackadaisy wonder
that leaves my muscles morsels
we used to cusp like folklore
growing on our grandmother’s kitchen floor
the tile, a Miles Davis kind of blue,

every story I have is a jazz dream
where nothing rhymes with love 

but you

trust me when I say
do not sing me like a song

hum me like morning fog
recovering from all the night’s wrongs

hum me like a secret longing, a saxophone churning,
bird-jazz jabbering out on my front lawn

all those trees
practically impossible
when it comes to harmony but
how the branches sway homily

I wonder if the birds know
I am under their wing’s spell

my dear,
I could not tell what forces
the dark to melt off morning’s sundress,
whether trombones
or my bones
is what stirs up light
but the history of what happens in my head
has felt and been so much
of what I cannot tell or dispel

some things never leave until they’re ready
but this morning I left my bed with my head

and the world wasn’t dead
only dying
to see me

It Rains When You Leave

it rains when you leave
the sky’s only way of offering farewell
I suppose, but did you know
my skin precipitates too?
I cannot pretend
I see you
and the sea-level
inside me sings skyward
I say your name
only to sink back through you
You smile, and I swim.
We kiss, and I am brought back
to surface. Say, I don’t know if you
know this but blood is said to be blue in the body
but it is simply a myth. Like Icarus craving sunlight
and falling asleep in the sea instead but
the body is still seventy-percent water,
three-fourths of me is a storm so calm
I crave a sky to share it with.
My blood may not be blue in the body
but my body belongs to the blues.
All of me, what little room for improvement there is,
I woulda saved for you.

See, you left a breath on my neck
and all water leapt out, my skin
became a smacktalk of steam singing
against yours.
I poured the last of what’s left
remnants of a flash flood
float into your bed,
a puddle of laughs,
one thousand blue threads.

I’m Drunk and Having A Conversation About God With My Mother

“The body, sluggish, aged, cold–the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again;”

-Walt Whitman, “Continuities”

When I told my mother I did not believe in her Christian God,
that I wasn’t going to make it to Church on Sunday,
it was her birthday, and I didn’t see the question coming
but I coulda swore  I did see her smile tear off her lips like
communion bread ripping the body of Christ
crippled, the body of Christ compelling nothing but
stale silence.

I was already drunk, and what wasn’t angel
wings had already lifted my heavy head,
and what wasn’t singing sang to me anyways,
and what was tequila struck receptors
most unready for truths like these,
with my mother who built me,
questioning how God has left
her building, her neck,
creaking and heaven-bent.
My mother, she keeps a smile for situations
like this. Conversations like this. Confessions
like this. The one with her sons questioning
her God until she is at odds with her own maker,
her own making. Her brow, a wrinkled sunday blouse
ironed by a question I expect she is afraid to ask,
but asks anyways,

“Where do you think you go when you die?
What do you think happens?”

I look at my body, and realize now she is
concerned with the owner’s spiritual aftermath.
And I’m thinking she wants to talk about the soul,
refer to the manual,
heaven, hell or who knows so instead what I said was
“I don’t know where I go, but I hope it is beautiful”
and she didn’t say anything, the silence
stretched seconds longer than
Sunday sermons, but what was she supposed to say?
What was I supposed to say?
Sorry, dunno Mom. Guess I’ll just waste.
Perhaps my soul sketches itself into
some other waiting skeleton.
Suppose I’ll stay in the earth until something wakes me up.
You know when you’re exhausted beyond tired
your body lifts into a dozed off dove
repairing its wings by forgetting 
the ground, maybe it’s a bit like that.
I think I’d like the soil, with all its stories.
Don’t Mexican men always have the dirtiest hands,
anyways? How many Mexican men and women
have dug their fingers into the ground,
and made a harvest happen?
How am I different?

You know the Aztecs believed life did not end at death?
That’s why their deaths were so brutal,
because farewell doesn’t always have to mean
we are finished, it simply means
forever is the only thing a fire is fixed to
so we become stories told next to them,
regenerated in the retelling,
ritual promotes rebirth,
so why can’t I celebrate
myself until I am a Church?
If I cut my heart open
and ask for love to aggregate
isn’t that the same
as an offering plate?
I don’t always pray but
I write mostly every day.
Is that so wrong?

Yes, Christ was a good man
but I am too, Mom. 

What Ate Charlie Brown Ate Me Too

According to Charlie Brown,
“There’s nothing like unrequited love
to drain all the flavor out of a peanut butter sandwich”

What’s brilliant about this
has to be
how quick
Charlie learns of heartbreaks simple
taste.
How taste is nothing more than
the ease in which a peanut-swimming tongue
decomposes
watches love parachute
disappear
turns to brittle upon exit,
and the nuance of never
having what you want is
now a second language
you can never leave behind.
You chew it, only to feel familiar flavor
vanish with the saddest velocity
swallowed conjugation
changes the root of everything,
settles with meaning you cannot decipher
or dance with, for that matter.

What’s the point of being tender
if all you get is lost in translation?
What’s the point in saying love
if all you get is sad sandwiches?
You speak it, but your breath is left out
bad bread, bad heart weather brewing
the yeast into yesterday’s yearning,
your most precious longing
something you can no longer eat
long gone.

Why is it that we describe the missing
with length? As if losing someone
or something is a matter of rulers
as if losing someone is a matter of rules,
heart breaks break all rules,
despair does not care for the distance
between you and your beloved.
We all know the feeling
the feeling of star-gazing peanut butter
sleeping on the roof of your mouth
as if leaving was ever
an option, and we all know the
feeling of loving someone so much
we cling with every fiber of being
because holding is all we can remember when
we’re this close to being chewed up and swallowed
and we all know what the name
of our beloved does to the chemistry of our tongue,
the way it turns to peanut butter
hungry for roof, a chimney of umami
blooming like lunch time, 

I have counted each syllable of her name 
picked them up like peanuts
and no matter the sound, each fraction
of her still smothers me smooth
then lifts, coddles,
then composes, and I suppose
you expect the same pop rock sensation
to happen from the mouth that says your name too
but you think of her mouth, and what flavor
you bring to her teeth, if you are slush or much more,
so you become comestible, an easy conquest
until you are unrequired
until your love is nothing but quiet
until your love is no longer together
until your love is one unrequited meal

The peanut butter sandwich I made for
lunch has already started to stale, along
with her name still stuck to the roof of
my mouth, the palate being the only place in the mouth
that will tell you the truth. 

Charlie,
I make a peanut butter sandwich
and think of you, I think of how both love and heartbreak
are such easy recipes, and how this peanut butter sandwich
is simple like rain on a sunday
I always say simplicity is conditioned to be everlasting
but you don’t have to be a clock-maker to know
nothing lasts, and even if you love with no questions asked
what do you do when you make the person you love a peanut butter
sandwich, but both her heart and stomach
are fasting?