Backlit Tuesday Afternoon

Tall girl dressed in sleepy black
with the blonde sorta pom pom hair
sits at the bar
while I do work lunch
in a nearby booth.
A glass of wine arrives
for her.
She kicks off
her sandals
avoids the cold round footrest
and retracts
a leg under her young ass.

I wish I was her.

She mumbles with the bartender
and the wine leaves.


Couple minutes later the bartender returns.
Pinot Grigio, she says
and it appears.


For Erik and Suhaill As Max Approaches

I’m not one
for the divine
preferring to live
with the reality
that the road we travel
(the actual fucking road)
dips and meanders
not because there is a reason beyond
but because an idiot was in charge
of supervising the road workers.

I often ponder
the potential very imperative biological necessity
of the collection of stirrings
and machine gunning neuronal orchestra
that make up
what is known as
for one’s child.
In that bond
I think you may find
the very thin yet dense
gnarled and spiky
root of our social contract
if you search for reasons
to explain
how your child continues to survive
despite their constant assault
on the previously assumed
beachheads of normalcy.

in the crux of the machinery
that creates the seeming vast reserves
of parental restraint
must be the very spark
that prevents us from engaging
in the sort of behavior
that is only rewarded
in Grand Theft Auto.

I’m not trying to scare you.

I swear
this is about a hope
you have never known
that will break you
and fill you
the way colors can define light
the way fear falls with you
from a broken rope
into the relief of cool water
in a suffocating summer.

As you
strap him into the car seat for the first time
learn the noises that bring a smile
hear little knees squeak across your floor
follow tiny feet over sand
you will know true worship.

November 22, 2016

November 22, 2016

Cold on the way out this morning
well, cold for 305
at just above 65
driving with the rear window frosted
mostly with dirt.
Two pastries
and that just good enough Keurig coffee
for breakfast.
And the fiber pills.
We mustn’t stop things from happening.

At lunch I flew my quadcopter
the fat one with the ass
that slides all over the place
at that weird property with nothing but grass
oaks, tall pokey hedges for walls
and a road blocked at the street that leads to a cul de sac.
Like someone had a plan for tiny town
and said fuck it
or maybe they lost all their drug
related investment money
this being Miami and all.

For dinner we had potatoes
and meat bought from the internet.
I was told
it was a chicken, pork, and beef pack
and I was asked to remember
that they do not sell skirt steak.
I bet they’ll have a wifi enabled button
for that shit soon, though.
But hey
this steak was good, man.
And it wasn’t anybody’s birthday.
Some would call that Blessed
especially on a Tuesday
with nothing good on tv
or anything.

In the drive thru getting cookies and ice cream
and tweeting a joke about cocaine on
elementary school bumper stickers
“My child made the right choice”
my #Abuela died
as my son read a Pixar Cars book
in the back seat.
I couldn’t see him,
but I know he had his left leg crossed over his right.

He dressed himself after his shower
mixed his top and bottom pajamas
Star Wars and Batman equal bat wars.
I read Rumble at the Rustbucket
as his bedtime story
and went into the garage
to wait

I hate this place sometimes

I hate this place sometimes: the people it attracts, the things they throw in the streets, the paths they choose through traffic, the places they decide to park, eyes on no ball whatsoever. But this morning, in the shadow of one of the buildings at work, the air was perfectly kissing cool on my face, that Miami humidity drowned even though everything was wet. The sky clouded just enough that the sun didn’t get to say HEY LOOK AT ME I’M THE SUN! It peeked out just a bit, like a cute girl rolling out from under the covers, mumbling, “Hey, tiger.” Miami winters are the best. ‪#‎IGuessIHateThePeopleNotThePlace‬ ‪#‎FuckSnow‬

New Year And All That

Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

I’m going to try to write once a week this year, for a couple of reasons. First, I often struggle with the “who gives a fuck about this”-ness of the act, but it’s interesting to look back on these key pecks from time to time. Second, my son is getting older and part of me thinks there should be something of me in writing for him to have someday.

About a month ago, I found out my Abuela has maybe six months to live and I’ve avoided going to see her. My aunt said she hasn’t informed her about the predicted remaining time. Couple days later, she told me that she HAS told her and I can’t really get it in me to push the point and find out if she’s fucking with me or what, because it’s not MY mother this is happening to, though I’d trade my mom into my Abuela’s situation in a heartbeat. Man, I hope it’s not 52 posts of me being a complete asshole for a year…

I haven’t lost anyone close to me yet, so this sucks. Such a weird thing, being told someone has x amount of time to live. Predictor of the ax swing. The first thing I thought about was who the hell figures out how long the person has left to live? Is there an app that figures this shit out? Do you enter the weight and the height and the cancerous organs and the percentage or the kind? Is there a menu where you select the cancer by how it looks? Do they ask questions like, are you going to fight it? She doesn’t seem to want to. When my aunt asked her to take some sort of medicine, my Abuela said, “Pa que?” This makes me sad because I remember one time she threw a bag of beans at my head when I was a kid. I’m sure I deserved it. Now she’s all “for what?”

Whenever I think about it too much, I have to bite my lip or get up and pace. I figured if I don’t think about it or go see her, it’ll be easier somehow. But I went to see her the other day and she seems thinner. Maybe she isn’t. Maybe she’s been this thin for a while and it’s just the real life Photoshop filter called “she’s gonna die” that makes her look thinner. Her big gray fro has less volume in it. Even her big ass feet that she always shoves into tiny shoes look smaller. She sat in her big backed green chair and just stared straight ahead at her furniture.I wondered what she was thinking about. The tv wasn’t even on. She seemed to stare at the red laser point of the power light on her radio. I asked her if that’s what she was watching and she said oh yeah, she watches it all the time and then one of her little scoffs. She asked me to check the cable on her HD antenna and I did. I asked if she wanted to watch any movies and my aunt came in and said she’d never watch any modern movies. My aunt who said now she has to be like a rock. No bleeding. No tears. She is the strongest person I know. Puts all these broken crazy old people on her back and sticks them in her little Toyota sortaSUV and takes them where they need to go, with her one brownish tooth and her pretty eyes and her soft soft hair I cried in her neck after one bad break up and she laughed and called me pobresito. Laughed at my crying and made it better. And now she’s gonna carry my grandmother into her grave as best she can.

I feel like I’m not allowed to ask my grandmother anything. Part of it is I’ll explode into tears, but also it’s like if I go and open my mouth, I feel I’m being selfish. Like helping her or pretending to help her is more for me than for her. I want to ask her if she wants to go on a cruise. Or some restaurant. Disney! A beer! Has anyone asked her if she wants some rum? She’s Cuban for fuck’s sake! Maduros! A big comfy chair and a giant umbrella at the beach! She can go in her regular clothes! Pants and one of her flowery blouses! A floppy hat and her little annoying dog, Chispita, and a quiet spot in the sand, good sunglasses to stop the sun, it never snows and the best time to go to the beach here is in the winter when everything is dying everywhere else. She doesn’t even have to get in the water. But let’s say we went to the beach with Abuela in the winter and we didn’t just sit there in that room with the red light from the radio and no music. We could play some Juan Luis Guerra for her. 440 is the only Spanish music I know a lot of the lyrics to and she let me copy it off her cassette. Ha. Cassettes. Let’s fight it, just a little, with some sunshine and sand and sunscreen and a little Me Sube La Bilirubina.

My grandmother is going to fucking die and my piece of shit grandfather is going to outlive her all senile and not remembering the horrible shit and irresponsibilities he has delivered to people. Why not him? Why not that stupid fucking chihuahua? Why not anyone but my son and his mother, my father, my aunt, I’ve got a list, I swear, it’s not very long, I hate most people, look, take anyone but these, like, fifty people.


First Days and Stuff

First days

Dear Son,

This week had your first day of kindergarten. Or “real school”, as we called it, all worried about how you were going to cope with actual work and not just watching youtube videos all day like you seemed to have been doing at your summer camp. We walked you to your class and sat you at a desk. We watched to see when parents would start to leave, knowing that we didn’t want to be the people who left too quickly or stayed too long. At one point, I pulled on your mother’s arm and told her, “Let’s go.” We gave you kisses and hugs and told you to be good and then felt our hearts shatter and drop down our bodies and into our feet when you gave us a look that said, “You’re leaving?” Your mother did not want to go, but I yanked on her like a bandaid and we walked out, trying not to look back at your shocked face and outstretched hand. Outside, we watched you through the jalousie windows. You pulled your glasses up on your head, cried a little, wiped your tears, and pulled the glasses back down.

And, because I’m old now and my memories of things with you get to fall into folders in my head with memories of things I had with my dad, I thought of my first day of kindergarten. I did not want to go to kindergarten. Unlike you, I didn’t have several years in day care and summer camp to prepare me for the end of my freedom and my entrance into the system.  I just remember grabbing my father’s leg, those rough factory working pants with the dust on them from the metal grinder, and the teacher pulling me away, somewhere behind me. And my father, standing there arms and hands dead at his side, not knowing what to do with himself as I cried, dragged into that little two doored building.

So I think you did WAY better than I did and already I’ve made you better than me at something: the first day of kindergarten. And unlike my father, I didn’t just stand there. I grabbed your mother and I walked as fast as I could from the window, from the memory of my frozen father, from the tears that were coming for me. So everyone did better, yeah?

The great thing is you seemed to like “real school” and you were ok with going back the next day, and that’s something I didn’t feel like doing until summer school for third grade. So you’re winning, kid.

On day 3, apparently, you called a woman walking you from class “fat” and later, when we asked why, you said, “because she is fat.” That made me proud, to be honest. Not sure why. Maybe because I am evil. When we asked you where you heard someone saying that to another person, turns out you got it from Dr. Seuss and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

You also lost your first tooth. I am still actually a little worried that this didn’t occur naturally and you popped that thing off while chewing on a Lego and the real tooth is still months and months away. They told us when the tooth came out, you held on to it like it was gold and you wouldn’t give it to any of the teachers. I wish I could’ve seen that if it’s anything like the shit you pull when we take the iPad from you. You put the tooth under your pillow in a ziplock bag and your mother, I mean, the tooth fairy gave you fifty cents for your trouble. Her reasoning was that coins are cooler. I cannot disagree with that, but stopped myself from adding that they can’t buy you shit these days.

This week, you also got into the habit of saying, “Holy shit,” which I deserved to have to be the one to fix. I tried to do this by switching to “Holy crap,” but you shut it down pretty quick by telling me I couldn’t say that because it is a bad word. So we just say wow and oh my goodness, now.

A couple of days ago, you were singing the lyrics to Life is A Highway. Not the actual words, but your made up versions of those words that sound the same. It made me so happy because I used to do the same thing. Hell, I may still be doing that.

So that’s what’s up right now. Life Is A Highway is your favorite song and your bottom right front tooth fell out and the left one is wiggling like a fat girl trying to get into some yoga pants.


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.

That Blank Page Stare

tryin ta figger out what ta write
National Novel Writing Beard Month

I should’ve done a little bit more work on plotting. I really should’ve figured my ending out, which I never did and so there’s just all these disjointed scenes I have digital index cards for. I should be writing anywhere but here. But, NOW, of course, I want to go catch up on sketches. Or write poetry.

What I need is a year long reason to not write a novel so I can be creative elsewhere. But no, today I’m gonna get four pages down, even if they suck a big typewritery dick. I have no idea what that penis or typewriter would even look like.

One of those times bedtime changed

getting kicked and woken up
Blurry sleepy time

There’s a thing we do every time I put you to bed, (even when you’re not at my place and I have to say goodnight over Facetime) after I’ve done the Optimus Prime voice and the roaring car sound while hugging you, and I nuzzle your nose and rub my facial hair all over your cheeks to make them red, I say, “Sweet dreams of people” and you finish it with, “driving vehicles.”

But tonight you did not finish my sentence.

You rolled over inside your tent on the bed and cuddled against your Pocoyo, Shaun the Sheep, and Peelow and then the call was over.