Monday, April 5, 2010

Sari Fari (Ain't So Scary)

There are hints of purple circulating,
permeating effortlessly through the tides
of cigarette butts scattered like
collegiate confetti upon this
school-sanctioned festival lawn.

There are as many indications of the sense
of royal grandeur in the blueprint
of this biannual gathering as there are
teeth being exposed in the wide-eyed smile
of Sari,
Sari Fari,
the kind of girl who makes you query
if her way of living
is really that damn scary.

What about it?
How about optimism?
Have you tried that lately, Pedro?

Well, have no fear!
Sari Fari is here-
and if you don't finish
this fuckin poem
by the second deadline,
she's gonna be fuckin mad pissed, yo.

She speaks to all in clear sight
at the volume of a childhood friend
you haven't seen in a torturous
amoutn of months,
running around this tent-spackled turf
with feet cradled by sisterly affection
towards the indiscriminate expanse
of the lucky collective she has labelled "brethren."

An aesthetically pleasing smile
is something obtainable,
even if it requires dubious amounts of study,
but the spirit that's buoyed
by one with sincerity
can be supernatural in its grace.

Expose it to cynicism,
that overly compensated shadow,
and watch it become blinded
and stumble through the cracks,
removing itself from your new geography.

The most exquisite hints of luxury
can be found in a store-bought tent.
With such a small surface area,
it's easier to fill the place with laughter.

So how about it?
Have you tried seeing love
not as a single-celled organism,
but as a kingdom with multiple species?

That's the case
with Sari Fari,
who ain't so scary,
if you just try
being happy,
just try being happy,
and while you're at it,
find the fucking glue!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Guernica Years

I was once God's Picasso painting
(the Guernica era).
Chuck Jones' illustration
of the tortured artist,
laid out like a poolside vampire
on a bed of scalding rocks
and a white flag screaming "SURRENDER"
clenched with both palms.

If it were feasible,
I'd have dove head first
into the smoky center of the sun
if it meant my audience understood
the shrieking woes I had to bellow through
to reach their overwhelmed palates.

But Tragedy is the sitcom foil
that has long outstayed its menopausal welcome,
and I would much prefer a haunting.

To Hell with those
who repulse the flies with
the vinegar of exploitation,
gawking as their spit seeps
through seven layers of collected scars,
who ventilate the wrists
to keep the audience comfortable.

Real aesthetic power
comes from a shower
of light hail on the spine,
the moments a ghostly hand
pricks you on the finger
with quietly hidden truths
always whispered from a field away.

It's far more bracing,
the lump in the throat,
not the electrical gasp of shock.

It's a far greater sign
of a forthcoming apocalypse,
the angel weeping in pain,
not the footsteps
of the wailing banshee.

The wisp
over the wallop.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For Natalie Vega, On Her Vegalicious Birthday

It's something mystical in those
who bring us back
even if we met them in adulthood;
those with fully matured vocabularies
that have maintained the excitement
of semi-toothless schoolyard comrades,
little kegs of Pop Rocks and Coke
long after you forgot
the words to "Spice Up Your Life".

(You bring back the times
we saw daybreaking news
in the shapes of clouds,
when our dreams towered
like the scalps of older cousins,
and the obstacles we would face
were cloaked in daytime recreation,
late night inside jokes,
and evening dips into drag show tryouts.)

(Hi Mercedes.)

Broken Glass

Violence, violence
sweeps through the floor
like the hem of a rag
on a doll-faced hooker
as the lights are dimmed
in this conscience-distorted brothel.

To him, the raindrops taste like whiskey
so who's to blame him
for being a drunkard?

He will not take such condescension,
and so he shall pass it onto thee
like a hot potato;
just say the third-degree burns
came from hugging the stove.

For you, the days are a beach of intenstines
set alongside waves of toxic waste,
the moon now a mood ring
sitting atop the knuckles
of your vengeful king.

This decade of brutal purging,
atonement for sins not yet committed,
has been as grandiose
as his figure those Thursday nights
when he's stalking for his property,
and you're close-mouthed
under the bed,
looking through barely a slab
of this virtual reality,
the iron-fisted giant
who would nurse your neuroses
if he'd stop bashing your face in.

Your expectations for the outcome
laced with Disney Princess satin
swoop around like silk ribbons in a noose
(the "O" stands for optimism),
the pang of unknown futures striking
with each paranoia-ridden look to the side,
yet you still take the hot potato
and let your skin seethe itself inward
with your stamina and self-worth,
for it must all, at least,
lead to Eden.

You should just remember.
The men still pulled the lever
as Selma Jezkova sang her last song.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our Minds Are Mush

If I listened to every advertisement
hollering through the static
of my cable-hooked television,
I'd have a mammoth bottle
of Hidden Valley Ranch
sitting with the ego-quenching sheen
of recommendation in my fridge,
a Weight Watchers membership
(it told me to join as soon as possible
with the speed of a steroid-devouring treadmill),
Children's Tylenol
(despite being situationally barren),
and a Bowflex-shaped elephant,
ivory tusks slumping uselessly in the corner.

My living room would be the fraternal twin
of the American Smithsonian,
a faux-genuine quilt
of our Founding Fathers'
present day descendants
draping over my popcorn ceiling.

I return to the latest
sacred cow in the flea store
cartel of Lifetime Movie heroines;
it's "Vengeful Vixens Sunday"
and Elizabeth Berkley shooting men
and stabbing women in the back
all while eating buckets of Ben and Jerry
and getting addicted to crystal meth.

The dialogue is as freshly
packaged and slovenly edible
as the Minute Ready Late Night Dinner
with a cartoon grandma plastered on the logo,
all to remind you of down home,
or in the case of this Lifetime screenplay,
a time when the brain wasn't fully developed.
Same difference.

We all hide our guilty pleasures
as if our tolerance for the
secondhand existence of these favorites
were deemed malignant
by a cardboard kingdom
of young adult sophistication,
but I ask you:
who hasn't slipped into the comfort
of a mind turned to mush?


When a situation has exceeded
its date of expiration in the
weak-boned refrigerator of your memory,
the noxious smell that looms
from thick barrier to thick barrier
is enough to send your cat's hairs
dropping like branches of fake pine.

It must be, then,
this awkward moment,
or maybe this childhood trauma,
the smell of it,
that has caused this grimace
sealed by the cement of self-castigation
on your incongruously human face each day.

The past is our psychotic ex-boyfriend,
the kinds that breaks the windows
when your eyes have collapsed shut,
when our pretty little souls
were at their most exposed
and our frail little doors
were rocking on their hinges.

Save me from him-
rinse me clean-
help me ripen
and never rot.

Give my senses refuge
from the siege leering
in the Expressionist slabs
of my pitch black Memory.


Can someone tell me
why no one will answer their phones?

It must make a blender of
Alexander Graham Bell's grave,
seeing his great great great-granddaughter
exposing her barest necessities
to an LCD screen with
Easy Bake tokens of sweet declarations
(all the way from South Korea)
yet tensing up at the butter knife nudge
of vocal contact with the neighborhood friend.

I've written something new
and I'd really like to show you all
my baby,
for like an infant,
this creature cannot text you its thoughts.

It cannot even say the word "thumb".