Monday, December 29, 2014

Painting Toys

I bought a toy
every time
I went to the hospital
for every test,
for every all-day-waiting-room-excursion
for every
and prod
I bought myself a stuffed animal,
the ones
I used to have
                       as a child-
                                        that covered my bed
then and now
the toys are
used, old and worn, cheap, discarded
(found at
second-hand stores)
but hopeful, unique
    (in)animate? objects
 more desirable
because they withstood
always remained
by my side

Making arrangements with them-
 a still life-
   then a painting
-their portrait!
I imagined their unknown regality
                                                        I could only see
They sit on the shelf,
above me,
praising my name
on difficult trips
and I could never tell the story
as to why I painted the toys
until now.


"When you hear gunshots,
don't look out your window--
We've had bad luck with that..."
  the police officer looked to his feet,
followed by silence
    and police radio from their parked vehicles
surrounding the block
             in front of the apartment.
"We've been dealing with a lot of violence
and gunfire in this area."
9 days ago
two cops
were shot
in revenge
for Garner.
"Be very careful here."
 -ripples are greatest
   near the source.

Isn't much difference
between the teenager
from the scene
and kids that stand there
weekday mornings,
   waiting for friends
to go to school.
They are the same
  with slightly different paths-
     a few doors down.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Powdered milk
on Saturday mornings
was better when it was cold
and without clumps
alongside cereal
frosted with honey
no school
sleeping late
quiet house
warm heat, small vent
                                      on cold sockless toes

I'll Be Your Mirror - Lou Reed

One of my favorite Lou Reed songs.  I prefer this live version to the original with Nico--who I never really cared for.  There is something more beautiful about the acoustic older Reed, a little more rasp and grit, where the words become stronger and better because they have been validated through experience.  I don't like perfect takes or perfect lives and this version isn't either.  I can see the intensity in Reed's eyes and his tender-toughness as he repeats,"reflect what you are," a statement that he believed and proclaimed to that day, decades later.  Reed may have been mean or temperamental at times, but he always seemed to be nothing but himself.