Thursday, November 25, 2021

Total Zeitgeist

24 November 2021

Her gift was to have

Friends who disliked each other

Ignored each other

Her sainthood from fear

Of being orphaned again

“I don’t want to talk”

For she might offend

Those of us so easily

Offended  micro

Chips of difference

Embedded in Brain, as he

Said it, Jakobson

I    stuck in wood desk

Giggled, lack of definite

Article    left side

Of Brain, right side of

Brain, its company we keep

Unable to see

Any traffic but

In front or behind, inner

Vehicles get lost

On roads, those nearer

Home moving far away    he

Pulled out a map she

Said, landing small plane

On Moloka`i and she

Wondered if he knew

One from another

Island partitioned by sea

Turtles, flying fish

Breaching whales, private

As our friend until the need

To breathe draws us out

“She drew me in,” he

Said, after she refused to

Talk    his voice breaking

At memory which is

Absence ill fitted with words

Like hammering nails

Where there are no boards

Old pianos ironic

Practice makes perfect

Wednesday, November 24, 2021



23 November 2021

The shift of tenses

“Her avocation chemo”

Didn’t want to quit

Violence in the verbs

“She wanted to drift away”

Not to want again

Won’t want  can’t want  want

Not in death  verbs stop working

Retire to watch sun

Rise and fall  “she was

A terrible steersman great

Stroker”  loved shoulder

Muscles (about which

None of her wry ironies)

I would want to hear

Those again  sonic

Waves of “I don’t want to talk

About it” with her

Constant querying

Affective shadow boxing

“You want me to lie?”

Hitchhiked Austria

At 17  not to have

Parents frees you to

Fear their past exile

Terrorized by audience

Pretend they’re not there

We both forgot what

We read  read it again like

Time didn’t unspool

Banana peels stuck

To the cement of foreign

City streets  she could

Breathe from belly to

Chest  connect heart to shoulder

Hour glass over.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Kaʻōhao Beach


22 November 2021

The first time I walked

The beach with Miriam, it

Was wider, empty

No dog on paddle

Board, no throngs be-thonged strutting

By, pug with pink ball

Purple petal off

Lei washes up: scattering

Of ashes, wedding

Strange baby photos

The opposite of candid

Moses in rushes

Posed in small basket

Taken for a small profit

To be adopted

Later for wall or

Album, memento mori

Before the mori

But after memory

Of life’s short lease, ocean’s leash

How the making small

Makes us beautiful

As (not because) the water

Licks sea walls, installed

To stop the tide from

Taking land away from real-

tors, she dropped her guard


When she lay on floor

Sangha on her legs, gentle

Hands around ankles

Watch on left wrist, he

Fails to remember save as

Photo I search for

Not yet digitized

Another scattered object

Tiny crocs on beach

Saturday, November 20, 2021

In Memory


20 November 2021

He got word today

(As if words can be gotten)

She died this morning

Lines of begetting

Follow the Fall, linear

Time imitating

A mirrored edge

She stationed frames at the beach

Ocean selfies, sand

Having run its course

No one to turn it over

Hourglass facade

The ongoing still

Photo of her with Sangha--

One--hands around wrists

He sits on her legs

He looks at her eyes looking

At him, not typical this

Joe says, must be old

Sangha so tiny and her

Hair longer, not posed

Cannot escape frame

Of photo album of his

Adoption, her joy

Glued in place, covered

By warped clear plastic

You have new memory

My iPhone would say

Take picture of her picture

Post it she returns

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

My mother myself


17 November 2021

Cat One pushed hole through

Screen door; Cat Two, who never

Leaves house, slinks through on

Deck while Joe and I

Text about our dying friend

She eats, she doesn’t

“What do I know?” Joe

Asks, semi-rhetorically

Young hospice worker

With flashy small car

Told me how to know active

Dying from passive

Where darkened skin spread

From foot to leg ascending

My mother’s body

(Though horizontal)

Who chose nothing life or death

She knew none of this

But her body took

Its stubborn council   to die

Is not to resist

Suffering   anxious

Love spilling over skin’s dam

Into my heart’s cave

Before I became

Her  or at least her mother

To sign a check is

To be someone   she

Knew, I’m not there with my friend

(We drifted apart)

My breath prayer flies

On mosquito wings a buzz

Before she dies turns

Alabaster white

Is taken out as matter

My mother my friend

Slip out the screen’s slit

Put paw in water puddle

Drink from mud circle

Turn toward living room

Push in, hiss at Cat 2, 3

Run out of living



Monday, November 15, 2021

Bits of coin


15 November 2021

Stately, plump (without

The stately) Steve Bannon smirks


His new brand, sells coins

Of what remains of the realm

Word begins with R

Says Radhika, it’s

Getting reputation back,

Not reparations

I say    when we said

You trill your r’s in Spanish

She trilled every sound

Sold toilet paper

Like old lady at the door

Someone returned cents

To me, and I walked

Table to table, my act

Of restitution

To who’d played the game

Imagine boundaries dissolve

That you are carried

Safe inside a cage

Shark’s face like a French cartoon

For a gallic nose

Prose is noisier

Than this   more externalized

Time for plumb da depths

The haiku’s a net

Flicks her wrist and it lands, graph-

ing turquoise ocean

As if, organize

Your thoughts in salt squares, fluid

Riotous remnants

Account for us, the

Dying octopus sheds skin

Saddest scene I read

Species siblings wept

Their salted tears redundant

 Beget the ocean


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Pin the man on the map


14 November 2021

Out, said the mountain

Fuji-san in Seattle

Bow at train window

Out, said the woman

Loving the mountain for its

Hiddenness  like hers

A break in the light

In cloud in reason   broken-

ness is also joy

The cave of the heart

Open, one cat on railing

Nose raised   birds are out

In cave of the ear

They twitter, another form

Safer to fight

Through sliding glass pane

Two cats scrape transparency

Claws mirroring claws

Miming violence

Images without plot lines

I can’t remember

No interior

Visual sense: see blue diamond

She says, I see none

Usher up baseball

Diamond and blue sky at mid-

brain like flag on mail-

box: layer with scotch

Tape, child’s collage, magazine

Remnants on poster

Board: life, my friends, is

If you tell me to, I see

Says my son, who sees

Ghosts projected on walls

Your other mother and I

I said are pulling

For you, family text-

ures, ghosts and non-ghosts, do you

Talk to your parents

He asks me and I

Say yes, all the time, somewhere

Between monologue

And song, between in

And out, through doors etched with lines

To navigate light

Folded umbrella

Flowers my son bought for me

Pale anthuriums

Still life as chance op

Chance ops adding up to plot

Google’s little men.

--for Sangha

Friday, November 12, 2021

Lilith Walk sans Lilith


Judy was out gardening, as she often is, a small local Filipina woman in her late 70s(?), looking under milkweed leaves for caterpillars (she has a screened-in butterfly birthing ward in her garage). Lamenting how few she'd seen lately, noting that where the leaves were chewed, lizards had gobbled up the little ones. She gave me a lovely purple flower, butterfly-pea, to put in water. Good for anti-oxidants. I stopped, said, you know I'm giving a reading today with Bamboo Ridge ("wass dat?") today and you're in one of the pieces I'll read. She looked at me quizzically. It was a walk I took with Lilith where we talked to people about Trump, I say. "Oh at first what I liked about him was he didn't say any bullshit," she said. I suggested that he was a liar. Oh they all are. And Biden! "He falls asleep. Why can't we have one young active type president?" She showed me some of her new flowers, the purple ones and the less purple ones. Said she's got Africanized snails. I suggested buying some cheap beer and letting them drown themselves in it, then found myself telling her about my other neighbor who picks them up with tongs and puts them in the dumpster. What I didn't say is that she's in the same Bamboo Rdige vignette as Judy. The pea petal is in a glass of water. I'm allergic to peas, but it shouldn't matter.

Loving Yourself Workshop


12 November 2021

How to love yourself

And then how to love yourself

More: font a loud pink

Flyer promises

Self-love swag bag, coupon for

Coffee, karaok-

E bra, howzit den

Life been treating you good or

Not so good lidat

Time for self-love bra

Time for sing the song major

Key, you know, happy

Kine sounds make happy

People, pigeons in the grass

Alas, myna on

Concrete, be concrete

Mrs. Katz told me, and not

To read Paton’s book

Was it the unfixed

Cleft lip (reader, I read it)

Or race trauma, old

South Africa be-

fore Mandela gave way to


Even the word has

Too many syllables un-

true haiku lengthened

Like a supply chain

Link broken by accretion

She’s finished her book

On cows, there’s toxic

Nature for you, food for thought

Methane gets you through

The night nattering

Raucous thoughts, she said, kept her

Up but only in

The sense of being

Awake, not woke like young kids

These days, purified

Water levels drop

Atmospheric river e-

vents erase cities

Full caldera of

Water, if the world ends in

Fire we can watch from

There: anthurium

Lit from behind, haloed red

Pencil sticking out

Come back again to

Image, let the background fog

“Leave me out of this,”

My son says, climate

Change like this early morning’s


Singing dogs follow

They love us and we love our-

selves, so deal with it.


Editorial response to Loving Yourself Workshop announcement.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

On the fence


10 November 2021

Oh sunflower past

Prime, oh lawn mowers and saws

Seers’ vacations

At cemetery

Below Koolau’s hard scarves

Sun paints, clouds erase

I saw William Blake

Beside the pitch, peering in

Smooshed aluminum

On road looks like coal

Sangha says, or metal lace

The virgin blesses

A plastic bottle

Plastic lei, not yet shipped off

On barge, to elsewhere

I take my photo

In a Little Tykes mirror

Left beside the road

I am nose below

Pink buttoned eyebrow

Cyclops as bulk trash

No pick up without

Phone call to junk purveyor

Else mirror sit like

Abandoned Buick

Sheaf of moldy tickets on

Green windshield   I am

Walking away from

The day’s subpoenas, tears

For young man’s self re-

gard on stand, he killed,

Hallucinating self-de-

Fence: sitters ideal

Man in woman’s dress

Leans on fence in Joe’s

Kitchen or woman

In man’s dress, only

The glasses remain fixed on

Hidden fridge, hidden

Cutlery, a lamp

That charges phones, window slit

Offers mountain view

On Cleghorn Street, an

Abandoned black couch spits out

White foam   stranded wave

A gay man heckles

Two blond men walking by, “Hold

Hands!” he demands but

They meander down

Kuhio toward marketplace

Where Joe buys shampoo

For dog, tourists pose

By lit ALOHA next to

Banyans that aim at

Skyscrapers through hole

In roof, wishing to be trees

Heading north to cold

Sun birds flying out

Pitch your tent in cold corner

Watch Waikiki flood

The old paintings come

Back to currency, marshes

Where the malls had been

Egret follows lawn

Mower stink, trans-animal

Dreaming of its gears.


--for Joe and Anderson O'Mealy



Saturday, November 6, 2021

All in One App

6 November 2021

It was a day like

Any other, daybreak lip

Caldera’s fire lake

Self revising self

In syllables count them each

Punch drunk violin

The killing makes them

Tired, say the genocidaires

Cramp in his right wrist

Had no memory

Of carotid arteries

Only chicken necks

A knife to slice them

His eyes tunnels lacking light

Lava rock pincers

It’s indifference not hate

It’s wanting to stay at home

Not be refugee

Of conscience (Calais’

Liminal shelf by Channel)

Ethics is what moves

Fluid as gender

Precarious as homeless

Under Chicago’s

El, there he was, man

Wraithed by steam, what we see of

Trauma like aura

The world’s violet

Violent, fuchsia, my friend tells

Me is spelled other

Than I did, her face

Carved, swollen, now cancer free

Knives, two edged, free us

Leo mugs for zoom

His face resembles my dad’s

Gone 29 years

If we use it time

Ceases to exist as such

"Lake a lilac cube."


Note: Richard Rechtman, _Living in Death_; John Ashbery, "They Dream Only of America."

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Virginia is for lovers


3 November 2021

“If it were a dream,

What would it mean to you, this

Odd, engaging, Day

Of the Dead mask, shield

For the already almost

Deceased, painted eyes

On the half-skull, a-

live to being leaving

Earth, a flagrant bone

Arced in triumph at

Boondoggles written into

Contracts, diminished

More identities

In word-shifters, trans-nouns, verbs

It’s stasis in drag

That drags us out of

Our so-called selves, fuschia

Bellies hang over

Like red umbrellas

Over Tibetan bells, girls

Dance in red-stringed hats

Day I will have died

In wool forest, slanted light

Blunted by water

But there is water

Not fire, a politician

Carries her semi-

Automatic gun

Used to run homeless shelter

O say can you see

O non-sequitur

O logical fallacy

The president’s son

Will reincarnate

In the plaza his father

Died on, there was grass

So there was water

So there was fire from the gun

Shot from the warehouse

Books now banned, disturb

The peace imposed, silences

Like silicon boobs

Seen but not heard, big

Like Loa, shield volcano

Achilles’ heel, hell

Limitation is

The art of the deal, if cards

Are your currency

He is the shadow

Behind each shiny object

Welcome Fascist-Lite.”

Monday, November 1, 2021


1 November 2021

Crossed paths with couple

Who’d said my dog walked behind

Republicans, oh

I tell Pam and she

Does metta for them

We ascribe suffering

To them, but that’s what

We assume that you assume

Bad to have a lawn

Here, too wet, grass grows

No one to cut it but you

And it’s metaphor

For us in a crowd

Crowd is to community

As autonomy

To autocracy

So many things are auto

Pilot slurs Biden

In code. Brandon says?

Notes toward a supreme argot

Whatchu got, Bible

On pick-up dashboard

I can no longer say I

My friend says, nor my

Yet there is no we

Asylum of weed whackers

Leaf blowers, dead stink

Ill-firing machine

In Savasena by road

Hunkered down drivers

Zip by orange vests,

“What is your dog?” passers-by

Happy urine stink

Pulls me toward dead ferns

Lilith pees like a male dog

Tutelage of Jack

He was born in box

Walked out of the womb, said it

Was not fitting to

Feel aversion to

The old or sick or dying

It so becomes you

Do not pick the o-

helo berries, nene eat

Them, another death

By tourist auto

Rushing to take the photo

Phone says, “new memory”

Cells regurgitate

New memory of a memory

Fuck algorithms.