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A little before midnight

on my way back

to my bachelor apartment


her perfume still in my nose

her heat still on my skin


my mind replayed

the evening:

we sat with the kids

laughing at

“Spongebob Squarepants”


and after they fell asleep,

we did likewise

in each other’s embrace.


It felt like home,


but there I was

driving back to a place

I called home.


As I came up

to the intersection of

Alessandro and Moreno Beach


an idea I’d banished

long ago


floated in


like a leaf

through an open window


and suddenly,

it was clear,


and I said it aloud:


“I’m going to marry that girl.”



My Demise (prompt: end of the line)

It won’t be

like anything

I have planned:


with my luck

when I get that

final shove

off the cliff

into eternity


I’ll probably be

straining too hard

while sitting on

the toilet,

a well-read Sam Ash

music catalog

still in my hand

and my heart will say


“Check, please!”


and I’ll fall forward

in a crumpled ball

my ass fully exposed,

forehead on the

cold hard tile,


save for some drool




and I hope this happens

on a day

when everyone is out

and hours pass

before I am discovered



in rigor mortis

in this royal pose,

much like King Elvis.




now that I’ve described it,




don’t let it be

like anything

I have planned.


Some people went to

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

and memorized it.


I was always too timid

to venture out that late

among all the self-congratulatory



But when VHS came about

I was in seventh heaven:


memorizing the rhythm

the cadence of

Groucho and Chico

bantering in “Duck Soup”


William Holden

leaving Faye Dunaway

with pithy eloquence in



Dustin Hoffman’s

grand deception

unraveling with

masterful despair



Richard Dreyfuss

and Marsha Mason sparring

and falling in “The Goodbye Girl”

set an ideal for dialogue

rarely encountered

in real-life,


almost every Woody Allen



schlmiel neurosis

giving a defiant voice

to this misfit teenager


Ray Liotta as

the amoral narrator

in “Goodfellas”


Bert Lahr in “The Wizard of Oz”


Zero in “The Producers”


Linus explaining

the true meaning

of Christmas


I’ve lived in

and through

these movies

more than five times



and now I want

to see them







I Come Here for Hope (Prompt: hope)

Laying on the floor
of my walk-in closet,
it is the darkest
place in my house.

Between boxes and
piles of dirty shoes
I lay myself down
listen to myself breathe
and pretend
I am all alone.

I come here for hope.

I know there is a way
out of the present morass
but I can’t see it
in the light of day.

I need the comfort
of the dark
where any obstacles
are hidden.

I am limitless
and aware of my
connection to all
living things:

I don’t see
one thing ends
and the next thing


I open my eyes so wide
they hurt, but all I see
is the monolithic,
black .

it reminds me that
there is no me
and there no you
and there is even
no us.

It’s all one infinite
and since it cannot
turn back on itself,

there is only one way
it will all turn out

but I can’t see it

and I like it that way.

Night (prompt: evening poem)

Night used to be cells of
unsolicited solitude
but I put the time
to good use.

I read,
wrote songs
and practice
all the clever things
I would say
if I was ever lucky enough
to get a date.

I stayed up
late into the night
beside a static-filled
AM radio
and I imagined
I was the only one
tuned into this
distant AM station
paying old country and western tunes.

Night always told me
Someday man, it'll
all be different.


at the end of the day
filled with
my family
who have no hesitation
in claiming
my every waking hour,

I revel in my solitude,
as I troubleshoot computers,
listen to old C&W songs over
the internet,
write the occasional poem,
and sink deeper
into some library book,

I look out
at the blue purple sky

and realize night
was right.


It's Still Magic (prompt: song)

I've studied

Burt Bacharach's

"Bond Street"

for 40 years -


the quirky, uptempo

funky saxntrumpet

Hammond B-3 riff

that strange Eastern

flavor and the

soaring orchestra


aural transcendence

- even the Gypsy



and it's only

two minutes long.


I've played it

a million times

since I first heard it

when I was 7

and it still makes me


stop everything

and surrender

to its mystery.


If you know how

a magician

does the trick,

does it make is

any less magical?



it's still magic.


Long-Ass Days (prompt: exhaustion)

Long-ass days

as my father

used to call them,


days full of

graceful sunclouds

boiling tears

serving others

and undeserved laughter


and every night

I lay myself down

to recharge my batteries,

but as with

all batteries

as they age,

my batteries aren’t

holding their

charge so long.



in between

the morning alarm

and the last


there is so much

to do –

more than can be done

or even listed

in a day.


So, it’s not a


but rather just a note

of gratitude

for the privilege

of another

long-ass day,

as my supply

of them

sadly and





to add to my exhaustion

I must post this poem




Cool Saturday mornings

in spring

I weed the planter

in blissful silence.


It’s simple,



I break the

cold hard ground

and sift the dirt

through my fingers

plucking the weeds

as though they were

errant gray hairs.


The same ground

worked and farmed by

my Mexican ancestors

and the Mestizos before them

and the Indios before them

and the Aztecs…


I am connected

to that eternal continuum

of hands digging

into this Earth.


It is almost

a mindless activity,


this private haven

that I own


and I smile

at my self-deception

and audacity:


to think

I own this land

that was here

long before

all my ancestors


and will outlast us all.


My name’s just

on the deed


for now.



"Everybody wants to be
a musician
but how many actually
get a job doing it?"

"I really want
to read more books
but it hurts my eyes."

"Nah, it doesn't
matter to me if
you don't wanna
have kids. 
You can't miss
what you've never

"Sure, I believe
in God but
I just don't want
to go to church.
I did all that
stuff when I was
a kid."

"If you're gonna
get married
you have to know
how to take
a punch."

"To apologize
to your mother
is the biggest
mistake you can
ever make."

"One of these days
you're gonna meet
a pretty little girl
and you're gonna
start dating her
and before you know it
she's gonna be
pregnant and then
how're you gonna
pay for it all?"

"Go into electronics.
I know about that
field and there's all
kinds of jobs there."

"Do you know why I
bought this carpet colored
Because I want you
to treat it like

"Don't waste your vote,
Vote for Perot!"

"What you eat in private
shows in public."

"Thank you, mijo,
your reward will be
in Heaven."