Thursday, January 31, 2013

Michael J. Cluff
Those days of gloom
left the room
when Allie reappeared
and warmth ever neared
the lack of something dearly missed
the brighter edges of life seldom kissed
until she blurted
"you never flirted
with me, no way
that is not until today."
Now joy exist
weeds no long desist
the harrowing pain of isolation
she gives now constant exaltation.
Bob Branaman
I love her skin on my hand
Rolling smoothing curving
Gently massaging her back
My hands so happy on her skin
Mussel bone and tendon
An epidermal delight
Golden Light and Splendor
The candlelight last night
Revealing a lovely sight
The smiling sweetness
The timid touch
The land, the sea
The traveling all
Coming together in that golden candle glow
Now this morning
I love her skin
Under my moving hands
To waken with soft cress
The sun comes out
The Glory lingers
Our toes touch
She said
She just had too much on her plate
(There was no room for me?
How come there was room for me earlier
When she thought I was a heartthrob?)
And I understood
I had known since Monday, this was Friday
It took me a few daz to get the picture
I am sort of slow but I know.
Kept trien to justify it
I knew all along it was all-wrong
Never love a Blonde
Yet I just had to hope
I wasn’t a dope
This time it would be
I’m pretty sure
She faked it
Usually she conked right out
Now she wanted to talk and watch TV
O the apocalyptic signs were there
I just don’t want to see them
Denial, Denial it’s not a river
It’s an Ocean
She told me it was over
It was like a door opening out of hell
I didn’t want to leave
I had grown accustom being there
The way you Smile and Jump
And Your HAIR!
One could get lost in the black flowing midnight
Filled with curling stars, your hair
Endless flowing Blue/black River of lava soft as scented hummingbirds wings
Your fiery eyes like the Menoan maidens
On Greek vases
Alive sparkling pools of mysterious Secretes
I Love
The way you walk
And Hop and Skip
And jump and flip
And sometimes give
A kung fu kick
Of your lips I’m afraid to talk
Lest you think I just want to kiss them
Bight quivering enigmas
Made of pink Carmine Flower Petals like a
Soft changing Dawn
Your Smile
Like the brilliant gold sun coming out
And your Spirit (that thing with in you)
Is like a freewheeling whirlwind of beauty
A tornado of holy energy
Spinning unnameable and Glorious!
These are some small attempts
At reasons of why “you are Loved by me”.
My mediation book suggest we write moor and moor love letters
That we sleep with them. That we write them on sheets with colored markers, etc etc.
Well this is the first love letter I’ve written in many years and I hope I will write Moor We need love letters to everyone to run on and on like a beautiful brook or river bubbling and singing through our lives and dreams
Forever moving like a
Rina Rose
a sharp needle sews together
pieces of my shattered heart
it binds a litany of haunts and hurts inside
– not even one thin thread runs between us
i always knew my patience ran behind yours
i remember how you redid clothes and projects
until they looked so perfect
now i had to learn that virtue too quickly
didn’t i? there was no revision of care expressed 
as my practice during the rest of my life
you forget what i’ve said
so once again i repeat the answer or question
listening for the voice i knew
looking for the person i once hugged
hoping what was between us
will come again – knowing it would not
in this echoing vacuum i speak last words
of affection
we are so different now
this shadow over us leads
the old to be young and the young to become old
we’ve switched roles
i’m the parent you’re the child
my patience does not hurt
as much as the love
i know i will not be able to express
i did not see this lesson before me
although i expected it yet came before i was ready
you are being trained for your own message
if there was one more thing I could say to you
it might be, “don’t go, I’m not prepared to miss you yet.”
red ribbons
bind the roses sitting on the counter
the water needs to be changed
a wonderful guy sent them to her
he loves her just the way she is
she opens her eyes
stares at the white ceiling
and gets out of bed to make
breakfast for one
It’s not as if we were really in love
when you proposed marriage.
We were both high on weed
you provided and I was so impressed
that you worked as a narc.
Those were the beginning days,
in the years my knowledge about the Hollywood
where I lived was self-centered.
Pretending I knew myself, I understood only
after sobriety made existence clearer.
Fountain Avenue had no upscale condos like it does now
merely a row of houses where people
lived, smoked dope, drank,
and shopped at the Hollywood Ranch Market across the street
During those years, I crawled into six-packs of
Olde 800 English Malt Liquor, margaritas,
and smoked fat joints
We lost touch with each other.
Years later I still think of you
what you might be like today
what our lives might have been if we’d actually married
what I’d be like if I’d given birth to your children
whether we’d still be smoking weed.
As far as I knew you had never been to New Jersey
and when I went back there,
you were in my mind
for quite a long time.
I could have stopped to live anywhere along the way
– Albuquerque, Texarkana, Memphis –
with the possibility of meeting someone like you.
Still, more than thirty-three years later
and what feels like a lifetime, I still see your face,
hear your voice,
remember the times we shared
Even what I had in Ohio wasn’t as meaningful
as the way you held me.
I can’t understand
why I made the choice not
to be your wife
when it’s what I’ve always wanted
to be to someone
I know weed clouds
not only memories, but  also decisions
that might have made a difference.
Christy Ramirez
I close my eyes
My breath tastes your scent
As I drift on to you
The memory is amazing
O the taste is amazing
Your scent keeps coming into my mind
How strong was the feeling that existed?
And how strong it left so sudden
It followed you in your distant absence
As I open my eyes
And my breath exhaled
Thinking of you is only a stimulation
One last time
I smell your scent

Monday, January 28, 2013

Julia Stein
He brings her a black calla lily amidst
Green leaves that sit dominating her living room.
He’s Mr. Plants, raises a hundred flowers
And tens of cacti in a tiny backward
greenhouse to house a green jungle,
opens up the green world to her.
His pink orchid perfumes his bedroom.
The purple iris unfolds on her kitchen table.
He says this is only the beginning of the
flowers he will bring her this spring.
Her heart begins to unfold like the lily.

You are gold water. I’m
Afraid you’re a mirage, will  return to your ex-wife.
It happen to me once before—
I was broken down before I was
with you:  this evenings I knitted together
by your warmth.
You are bright yellow.  I’m getting sucked
into the golden whirlpool of you. I give up:
your tender eyes sucked me in.

She wants to unfold with him like
an orange cactus flower blooming,
wants to trust him like falling into daisies,
wants to reach toward him, a yellow rose
opening all its petals toward the suns,
wants to move toward him, a bee
buzzing around a purple iris,
wants to be with him on the first night of a
ship heading into a Carribean ports,
wants to fly into him, a parachute
landing on a field of feathers.
Norm Milliken
in this dream
his fingers linger lost
in hair that smells of sleep
and soap,
hair like linen hung in wind,
thick and straight
as hand-combed flax,
hair that feels like sex
and breath
and promises kept
and unkept,
hair undone and dreamt
in moon night,
pulled across palm
and pulse.
she imagined herself
with him,
silk-sheeted sounds
with no words or sense,
tangled limbs
and eyes wildened
with wanting,
heat of breath and flank,
fingertips raising flesh
in rows in
gardens of desire.
she imagined herself
with him,
gowned in moon-silk sheen,
no clock-chime time
to interrupt
the dance
of lips and legs
and hissing blood,
of teeth bared to bite
and taste,
of hearts hammering ribs
harsh and hard,
to have him in her,
wet with sweat
and sex.
when the prince woke
in the night,
he turned sheets down
and watched Snow White
in sleep.
her face floated
out of black hair,
her skin like moon
that washed the room
and spilled across the floor.
the ivory geometry
of her body
changed with each breath,
challenged definition,
drew his eye
down breast and belly,
and shadowed itself
in tangles of legs and night.
Joe Gardner
I'd like to take a sharp knife
and carefully cut off my face
so you'd have no reason to look at me
so you could never see me
so i could be hidden forever
behind your own revulsion
so  I  could  be  invisible
behind my own horror
so i could blow you goodbye kisses
with no lips
or blinking eyelids
to funnel tears   down my cheeks again...
all this and more
I would do
to just enjoy
a little
I have grown wise and decadent
depending upon what I drink tonight.
There are no comforting arms to be found for me now...
I should’ve married you and made my misery complete;
you were always good to me
really you were,           till I wasn’t looking...
what is this thought brewing in our heads; what delirium for the future
You lie you conspire you connive
with practiced hands you break my heart
with sharp words you bare my soul
with sweet kisses
you have destroyed me you have completed me
what is this thought brewing in our heads; what delirium for the future
I lie I conspire I connive
with practiced hands I break your heart
with sharp words I bare your soul
with sweet kisses
I have destroyed you I have completed you
You should’ve married me and made your misery complete;
I was always good to you
really I was;          till you weren’t looking...
And we never knew enough to be afraid
unexpected and seductive, enraptured, entranced
we forgot our eyes adrift in this sea of confusion
we hoisted anchor and set our sail
on a journey without a name
and we fought furiously against the changing weather
a terrible storm...
an endless wave...
without a second glance our Atlantis was gone...
Sunlight pierced my eyes
bringing sharp and painful focus
to the words she spoke with resolve.
Sunlight pierced my eyes
and showed me her broken heart...
and my harsh ways
I like the feel of night time grass
brushing beneath my feet
sneaking between my toes…
      We reminded each other of Hollywood 1989
At the Troubadour
I swung on the lead singer
      I was lucky to get out alive
I never had felt so alive
as I did on the ride back
in the back
of Pat’s pickup
            You snuggled close to me
            I spread my leather like a blanket
            over us
As we hurtled back to Lakewood
Chellina Myers
It feels like...
I'm fully charged
I want to be better
For you and for the world
I feel that really warm feeling
you felt when you were a kid
sitting next to a Christmas tree
I feel that nervous feeling
right after you get off the ride
and want to do it again
The scent
right when you know
it's not summer anymore...
But most of all I feel
That someone like you
came into my life
right before my eyes
Sean Hill
synapses collapse
just to reincarnate
into more thoughts
of you
letting go of disbelief
about what bed I'm in
what bed I'd feel better
in, a veteran in trenches
of kisses, blowing my mind
reaching my pants
we rock our bodies
dance delightful waltzes
in conversation
heart races in laughter
or silence
overly romantic at times
I know
but I let go of that every
and still you're a friend
a great one at that
but so new to feel you
and touch timeless truths
you're like a phone booth
I collect my calling in you
secure in your space
you listen
and speak instructions
in how to operate with you
I know it's been said
when a woman like you
feels something beautiful
towards a guy like me
you just don't let it float by
so I'm aiming at being
a buoy
holding onto you
without any rope
while just enjoying a swim
any stroke
smiling, giggling
hurt throats
from working out
as sand gets in
our hands reach into
one another's skin
feeling stories never told
boldly sharing 
creating a new world
a new place
where we can
just lay
and stay
"I just got inspired to make you a delicious sandwich"
Yeah, she says things like that

matters and facts
get less meaningful
when she shoots me with straight truth
loots my brain of my mind
so I get outta my head
quicker than ever
whenever she's around
she looks at me
wish a woman
would look at me
so I guess
she makes my wishes
come true
she's sincere and silly
but with such confidence
in her love of me
in her faith in me
in her love of this world
this universe
isn't big enough
to hold her love
and dreams
her lovely dreams
dreams that whisper
beauty into every ear
that hears them
or bears witness
bears are witnesses
to how much she loves nature
naturally she loves learning
she memorizes happiness
speaks the language of love
fluently, bisexual with honesty
and understanding
our three-ways are amazing
talking about anything
everything we've experienced
we think have made us ready
for the realest love possible
the love that wants what best
for the other
but doesn't need to enforce it
the love that is free to be
and loves individual choices
the love that enjoys the other
but doesn't depend on
we thrive
nicely knowing loving
that each other
Alexandra Hohmann
when I touch your ear:
my absent-minded fingers
playing between the crevices
flushing pink
from attention and maybe
Soft, pliable lobe,
and ridges like an unexplored planet’s
cratered surface.
A warm refuge
I want to crawl inside
and sleep
in your flesh
so I stroke and nibble and


I press my hand against your sharp cheek,
my fingers splayed on your caramel skin.
I want to remember:
Your expressive eyebrows and the fuzzy space in between
I insist you groom;
Your chocolate eyes, those deep pools of truth
that crinkle when you smile;
Your ears’ uneven ridges leading to the unattached lobe
I nibble in the middle of the night;
Your dark whiskers, the stubble a rough brush
against my fingertips.
I trace around your hairline to
the furrows in your forehead,
down to your cartoon mouth
and tiled teeth.
A thousand words unspoken
in the rhythmic quiet breathing
of the moment.
I refuse to lose this image
as we retreat into us
and the rest of the world
ceases to exist.
The words come easy to you
freely flowing
cool, refreshing
like a coursing river
whisking me away
from the crowded restaurant
or gridlocked traffic
your satisfied smile
achieved by affirmation.
I nod
too simple a response
for the importance of the phrase.
The guilt comes later:
it wreaks havoc with my sleeping pattern.
I don’t speak it as often as I should.
The words catch in my throat
weighted by the commitment of the statement.
I still struggle to wrap my head, my tongue around the
sharp consonants, the  round vowels,
the powerful magic imbued in that four-letter word.
I say it in other ways:
My body entwined with yours in perfect harmony,
my eyes
communicating my feelings in moments
when words won’t suffice.
I love you.
This phrase requires an alignment of my whole self,
mind, body, soul.
I can only speak it in those loud silences
competing with your pounding heart.
Only when I find the courage,
and the timing is sublime,
can I say those three words sincerely
surrendering to their power
knowing you will catch me.
Robert Rodriguez
I love the sound of rain
The smell of rain
The drops on my head
Sticking my tongue out
And tasting it
I love the rain
Unless I think of him
Then I get antsy
Watching him get worked up
Go behind the counter
To make sure his machete
Is where he left it
I stop enjoying my talks with him
When it rains
I stop enjoying the sweet
Smell of his cigar smoke
When it rains
He tells me of how much
He hated the rain in Vietnam
He oozes hatred when it rains
When I think of him
And it's raining
I think
How many more are out there
Just like him?
Good thing it doesn't
Rain very often in Los Angeles
By tomorrow or the next
It'll be sunny again
I know you're thirteen
And poetry is not your thing
And this might embarrass you
I apologize in advance
While it may be uncomfortable
It won’t hurt
I just want to thank you
For being a nice kid
And want you to know that
I’m proud of who you are
And what you have accomplished
There will be challenges ahead
Like in the past
We will disagree
I will have to repeat myself
There will be lectures
And I will strongly share my opinion from time to time
I’m not going to promise
That this will change
I will promise that I’ll be here
For support and love
And advice when you need it
I want you to know
That watching you grow
In Body and mind
Has been the coolest
Thing ever
And to know you is a pleasure
I love you
A toast
Happy birthday to
You Eddie
Can’t wait to see what the next
Lucky Thirteen will bring.
How did this happen
To a kid
Who grew up poor
Who was born into
Verbal and physical lashings
How many times did the belt
Come off?
Ending in
A striking of skin.
Now hot fresh welts
On the exterior,
Hate for him,
Hate For self,
Trust for no one,
bitterness on the inside.
For years this went on.
Love for myself, for my son.
Love and forgiveness
For pops.
How did I get here?
Sitting in a car on Inglewood Avenue
Pulled over,
No Butterflies, more like wasps in my stomach
as I wait listening to the longest drawn out
Buzz, buzz, buzz
To hear his voice
"Dad, do you have a moment?"
He heard it in my voice,
"Hang on, Let me pull over"
Full of fear, "Dad, don't worry
I can call you back"
Wanting to avoid,
yet again,
Run away,
yet again.
Compassion and concern in his voice
Something I never gave him.
"Ok, mijo, I pulled over. Is everything OK?"
I Let out a deep sigh
Of fear and dread of the conversation
"Dad, I'm calling to apologize"
"For what?" He asks in a confused voice
"I apologize for blaming you all my life.
I blamed you for anything and everything that went wrong,
For everything I don't have or couldn't get.
I blamed my fear of failure on you.
When I was 3
You yelled at me
And I thought it meant
That you didn’t love me,
That you didn’t care
I made up a story that day,
That if you, my father, didn’t love me
That must mean I am not loveable.
For 30+ years I’ve been living a 3 year old's story
Today, I take full responsibility".
Will you forgive me dad?
“Yes, I love you and I always have”
"I didn't know how to express it"
"Oh my God, I can breathe again, Mijo.
I have lived in shame for the way I treated you.
Now I don’t have too, Thank you!”
I pictured him looking up at the sky
With a tear in his eye
Like I had in mine.
Connected again
Like the days
When he was my hero
Teaching me how to work,
Or asking me to teach him,
By translating music
From English to Spanish
Brief moments in time
Between his two jobs
Now I see,
He is love
Always has been
Words never heard in my childhood
“I Love You. I love you too”, as we hung up.
How did this happen?
The plan was
to hate you forever.
Good thing
I failed.
Wanda VanHoy Smith
My Mom spends her last 25 years alone
Dad was the only lover she ever had.
At sixteen, she stole him from her best friend
and another beautiful girl named Bessy.
He never touched another woman and gave Mom
affection and devotion
Every time he leaves the house for the America Legion
club or pool hall he gives her lips a kiss and can't
resist patting her ample fanny.
While Dad hangs out at the pool hall, Mom spends
her leisure time in the movie house with
cowboys like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
She and Dad spoon every night in a double bed
It isn't another woman who steals my Father's heart
My mother is no match for his mistress tobacco.
His friends, Prince Albert and un-Lucky Strike
make 3 on a match and smoke blew out his flame.
They hand Mom the folded flag at the Veteran cemetery.
Too soon the undertaker gives Mom a call
He invites her to the Funeral Director's ball.
A year earlier his wife died and left him rest in peace.
Now he is hungry and his bed is cold so he
calls the prettiest widow and best cook around.
He is nice and owns the biggest house in town .
More like Woody Allen, he isn't my mother's type.
She rudely hangs up on opportunity with only a
memory for company
To her Dad is Clint Eastwood and John Wayne all rolled
into one and she only cooks for those she loves.
She spends a few moments alone on a bench
under a couple of trees
in the little park between her house and the sea.
Eizo the gardener is an artists who
paints his love with grass, paths and trees
in memory of his wife Kay
Like a wee corner of Monet's garden
Eizo Etow's landscape provides a private place
for lovers and a gallery for trees.
She resumes her walk alone near the end of day
not expecting or searching for anyone
to fill the vacant spot where love thrived.
After a glorious sunset she returns to the park
in twilight with dread of the lonely night.
A man in black walks up from the glowing horizon
says, “ I hope you don't mind,” and joins her.
It is a steep walk from the beach so she moves over
thinking park benches are meant to be shared.
He looks up at trees and comments
“these two Eucalyptus seem to be embracing.”
He softly sings an old Spanish song to the evergreens
She doesn't know the words he sings but understands.
She gazes up at the leafy limbs that touch and realizes
the trees are holding one another as the moon rises.
He stands holds out his arms and they join the
Eucalyptus bolero in Etoe's park where love thrives.

Pantuns are love poems from Malay
Songs from Malaysia not Edna St. Vincent Millay
A form centuries old as Shakespeare's sonnets,
recited at Malay weddings adopted by western poets
Songs from Malaysia not Edna St, Vincent Millay
A pantun would burn it's candle first and last
recited at Malay weddings adopted by western poets
Love is a theme that Edna and Will knew very well
A pantun would burn it's candle first and last
Say“I love you” first at dawn repeated at night
Love is a theme that Edna and Will knew very well
Romeo did not say his first line again in the end
Say “I love you” first at dawn repeated at night
Shakespeare is not famous for penning pantun poetry
Romeo did not say his first line again in the end,
Willy was too busy writing plays and sonnets.
Shakespeare is not famous for penning pantun poetry
The bard would not chew his cabbage twice
Willy was too busy writing plays and sonnets
fourteen lines of rhyme are enough for any poet.
The bard would not chew his cabbage twice
He and Edna would be an interesting couplet
fourteen lines of rhyme are enough for any poet.
Pantuns are love poems from Malay.