Johnnie Walker
The Glass is completely not full

Where did the way go

taking with it my fine steel?
I used to
I could
cut you a picture of a kiss
with my words
and a little dancing town
with my lines.

I knew who I wanted to be
and didn’t keep track of the bodies.
Now I just wrote that sentence
like what the fuck
blundering through this
catching on the line breaks
like they were discount clothes carousels.
Here comes an old man
he thinks I work here.
Who would let a bearded fucker
like me work here?
No español
he says everyone in hialeah knows it
and haha
how can he help me?

Dimelo, viejo
como llegaste aqui
con una sonrisa
con cachetes rojo.
Templaste en el fitting room?

Ah. Name tag.

Dimelo, Orestes
Cuentamelo, consorte
o te tiro
con el cuello sangrando
en el monte
con los otros.

Ah, there you are
blue blade wet with whisky
and the right song playing at the right time.

10 o’clock on a Monday

I tried to find a song
didn’t know the name
or artist of it
just needed
to hit the spot
bring me down
to the llano
something in it
about a hundred phones
One of them
was calling for you.

Clicked through
the emo junk
painted blue fingernail crap
crude mascara painted tears
trenchcoats in summer.
But I stopped
Wish You Were Here.

I turned off
the music
one line blazed
on to the torn
and yellow
projection screen
in my crusty head:
And I’ll still think of you on cold winter mornings.

I remembered
Trains to Brazil.
My face went from
scrunched up concrete
rigid arched lips
to silk slack
gargoyle down.

I looked in
on the boy.
His pale skin
caught bits
of light
from the toys
that cast stars.
Today he busted his lip
first time taste
of blood
but he went to sleep good
sucking and chewing
on his bug eyed
pillow friend:

I sat in
my Cuban carved
rocking chair
Indios o diablos
etched into
the arch behind my neck
I closed my eyes hard.
Waves of words
rocked me
back and forth.
I said
your secret name
to the darkness
five times.

Eat N Run

Eat N Run

Orange haired
potato sack tricepped
bullhorn mouthed
Keeper of the cafe con leche.

She calls for hellfire
on the skinny Brazilian
who trundles over
to make the toast
(with or without cheese)
(provolone, Swiss, or American)

She rolls her eyes
at him
frowns her head
at the cameras
hanging from the ceiling
shows off
her freckled hot swollen hands
curses a fan
that should be there
cooling her off
threatens to leave
doesn’t need this.

This is how
she winds up
to slow down
makes it like waiting
for the dentist.

The empty spinning cages
of the hot dog ferris wheel
clink the seconds away.
Someone quits
the line.
She beams
a victory smile.

Brave black dude
makes it to the front.
Speaks to her in English.
Wears an Indiana Jones hat
but forgot his whip.
Doesn’t realize
he’s in
The Temple of Coffee Doom.

She wags her finger at him
trying to wipe his english
from the air.

I translate for him
for all of us

Between the Boards

I crawled under the deck today
belly up
unblue wood underneath
looking for the fount of wasps
and I discovered a party
in a corner
buzzing too big
for the holes in their nest.
Belly against wood
dirt in my hair and crack
something with wings
setting on my left shin
the women hiding inside
I thought
how nice down here
aimed and fired
“20 foot spray”
all hands lost
just their booger
of a nest stuck to a board.
Plopped it down
with a grout dowel
did the belly up backwards worm
caught a sharp rock
across the back of the head
came up
no one around
just the charcoal’s chimney
on the grill
fiery wavy congratulations.

Took a shower in the dark
this is important
to know one’s home
in blackness
the rug that slides on tile
steep steps to the garage
the towels
the razor
the soap
and the random blinking light
in the air over the yard
that flashes into the bedroom
like there is an invisible alien ship
taking pictures
reading my mind
knowing me for the devil
in the spaces
between the lives we live
ready to spray


You die in your sleep. Mid dream. Write a poem or short story where your entrance to the afterlife is dreamlike. Do not use the words dream, dead, cloud, or cold. You MUST use nuts, cargo, lightness, and pill. Call on the Black Lagoon, if you must.

Due June 26th. Fool… nuts…

Listening to: Famous Last words by My Chemical Romance

The Devil is in the Details-writing assignment

There’s an old story goes like this: The Devil, so old and long, so hated and reviled, often chose to forget parts of his life so he could experience things anew. Once upon the Devil’s forgotten memories, he fell in love with a woman from the day she was born. He saw her grown in the future, beautiful with long dark hair that would whiten gracefully in the winter of her life. He made sure her chest would defy gravity and that her figure would always stay inside an invisible bottle. Her father regaled her youth with great poetry and stories.  When she grew up, she didn’t care for money, ambition, an artist’s brush, a singer’s voice, or any art but that of the written word. As her beauty grew, The Devil watched her go through the world shunning all manner of men, fortune, and offerings and he truly felt her a kindred spirit. For he also shunned the desires of people far and wide: sicknesses on archaic, scribbled-upon altars. He appeared to her one day in his true form, that of the angel, and he read her the poem she always wanted to hear.

Write that poem.

Someone I know Died in Coho Square

Under the Sakura Tree by Lye Tuck-Po

The assignment was to write a poem using this picture as inspiration. I was instructed to avoid use of the word: umbrella. This was tough. In the end, I don’t think the poem sounds natural, though I like the idea I came up with for the story of the thing. Here’s the poem I wrote:

Someone I know Died in Coho Square

Remember nine
and walks in Coho Square?
Domo, your giant rot
yanked us on his leash
like wind through flags on ropes.
Then cancer put him down
and his bowl went
with dust in the attic.
After, you brought shade
under the cherry blossoms
even when the world’s ceiling
was blue.
You said Domo’s spirit
lived in that shadow
and the once you let me under
I heard nothing:
silly silence.

Another azure marble day
I find Coho Square again
barely a cherry blossom left
and you
Thin as the rod
that still holds your patched shade up.
A man carries your baggage now.
Shares your shadow.
Cold demeanors split by aluminum.
Shades on your eyes
Over your head
Coats in summer
and all it took
to turn a girl
into a vampire
was the death of a dog.