nice + cozy
nice + cozy (Photo credit: ali edwards)



-why is mommy not here

-mommy is following an ideal

-daddy said she lost her mind

-he didn’t mean it

-I think he did

-close your eyes

-I don’t want to take a nap

-but I do


-auntie are you asleep

-no     what

-what is an ideal

-it’s something worth fighting for

-is mommy fighting

-no      yes              she is fighting           it’s hard to explain

-is she going to get hurt

-no       maybe         no

-my friend’s dad got hurt          daddy said he got what he deserved

-daddy is very sad     and angry        mostly sad

-why doesn’t daddy have ideals

-he does       he thinks he does                I don’t know

-do you have ideals

-I did but I let them die


-so that they wouldn’t kill me

-are mommy’s ideals going to kill her

-they could            ideals are dangerous things                   they can become monsters

-I don’t like monsters

-no one does

-I don’t want to have ideals

-are  you happy

-not always      I miss mommy

-do you like the world and everything around you


-that’s how ideals are born             you can’t help it

-how do you kill your ideals


-you said you let your ideals die     how

-you do nothing

-I don’t understand

-ideals need to be cultivated     like our garden          you need to water them and weed them

-I don’t like weeding

-no one does    that’s how they become monsters

-weeding them doesn’t  kill them

-no       it makes them more specific      that’s why it’s dangerous

-I don’t understand

-I’ll explain it to you later


-after the nap

-how long is that

-I don’t know       a while

-I don’t like naps

-you will miss them when you are older

As I shower, this comes to mind.



Adrenaline rushing through her body.  Enough to keep her heart and lungs working.  And her brain.  Her thoughts, re-living the most tender moments of a life, shared. Re-imagining a torturing death, but not her own.  Blood and tears intermingle.



This pain, her only connection to life. If she were able to see these  imagined swollen digits through her bulging purple eyelids, she would  marvel at the mangled mess of fragmented bones and shredded tendons delicately held together by a meat paste. 



Her body a giant black and blue.  Green and yellow.  And purple.  She giggles, through her toothless bloody mouth a guttural shriek.   The pain returns.  This time, crushing through her brain, a blinding light flooding her consciousness, quieting the imagery of her inner voice. 


reckless (2007) – revisited

You call to see how I’m doing, and ask to meet me at our usual place. I long to see you, to feel your soft stubble on my cheeks, but decline. You coax and persuade. I yield, as expected. But I don’t want to. We have been down this path before.

I think of you during the day, while projects and goals fall by the wayside. And as I raise my glass to welcome yet another drunken evening, my mind wonders where you are, and if you could be thinking of me. Life goes on with a veneer of normalcy that only I see cracked and ruined.  I want to blame you, but this one is all on me.

As I park my car, I spot you, awkwardly leaning on your truck, like a delivery-man desperate to be somewhere else. My knees shake, I can’t breathe.  I try to regain my composure, but feel foolish. You wave hello, I wave back, strangely happy. We chit-chat for a while and off we go into the not so rosy sunset.

When we finally say good-bye, you seem relieved. I feel empty and lost. You offer one last hug, meant to make things better, but your skin sears mine – I let go quickly, and you ask if I‘m OK. “Yes” – I lie.

You say I feel warm, might have a fever. But I know it’s just the me that you knew, dying.

On this Labor Day Week End

RANT, this way
Image by Nesster via Flickr

This week-end of rest and recreation marks the end of our Congress‘ summer recess.  Fall approaches, and with it, a new season of heated debate about our ever-increasing deficit and the measures needed to improve our economy.

With this in mind, I propose that our public servants consider raising taxes on the super rich.

Semantics and demagoguery are the reasons we are in this socio-economic mess. The super rich don’t pay the standard income tax rate that us mere mortals pay on earned wages. Instead they pay dividends and capital gains taxes, which have a much lower rate. They get to offset their losses (euphemism for calculated bad investments) and benefit from the many loopholes our skewed tax code affords them.  It’s no surprise that many of this élite end up paying zero dollars.

And no, they are not job creators. This is at best fear mongering. Their corporations are holding the middle class hostage by declaring they can’t afford to offer or sustain jobs in an “adverse” economic environment. Meanwhile, these corporations and their super rich minions have never had such an advantageous fiscal situation.

Our elected officials are decimating the middle class, expanding the poverty rate and eliminating social safety nets in one fell swoop. All this to ensure the pecuniary well-being of 400 individuals.

The members of Congress have made this travesty legal. The people elected to defend our interests, are instead assisting in our financial slavery. Congress no longer represents the average American citizen. This is unethical, immoral and a crass affront to one of our countries basic tenets – no taxation without representation.

I am glad that the members of congress get to enjoy flowering roses, blooming pomegranates and fig trees during their well-earned four-week vacation.

Paid for by the people they no longer represent.

Ramble (2007) – revisited

A very dense labyrinth I made by hand.
Image via Wikipedia

Is it because I ramble
On and on about the first idea
That pops into my brain
That unwillingly I stumble
Onto uncharted territories
And forbidden realms

Where things I would rather
Just not know or acknowledge
Live quietly within
The confines of my thoughts
Savage beastly notions
I seem to have acquired

Most of them obsolete praise
Heaven for small blessings
These are easily discarded
More disturbing are however
New concepts and extrapolations
That seem to rise from thin air

Maybe because I seek
Solace from what happens here and there
And what passes for a living
That often I tend to think
I am anything but human
And more an abomination

But in this my re-creation
Of Eden and Hades past
One hope remains eternal
If not by act by sheer omission
That I will redeem myself
While I still have time.

Under construction (2007) – revisited

Image via Wikipedia

The house I build has many rooms

Only I live in it but people can come visit

For a while

Thimbleweed grows under Moorish arches

that long to be graced by the sun

There are rooms without windows

Rooms filled with sunlight and children’s laughter

Rooms that hold within a flood of tears

Empty dance halls grey with cobwebs surrounded by flowering hope

There are two stairwells

On opposite sides

One leads to the coffer of lies

The other to the soul of innocence


Everything is dusty, but most of the dust is new.

I’ve started construction of a third wing

Connected with bridges to the present occupant of my soul

The Actual Dream

Escher, The Encounter
Image by tomo(+) via Flickr

Nighttime.   A bungalow on the beach.  Everything inside the house is white.  There’s a screened back porch and I step outside to enjoy the breeze.  Moonlight illuminates the ocean and I notice a bonfire under the palm trees.  Around the fire, two circles.  The larger one of men playing drums, the smaller one of women dancing and singing.  Their silken black skins shimmer in the firelight.  

On the bungalow to my right, a young man wearing a white linen suit leans against the porch door and lights a cigarette.  He says matter-of-factly  “Dont stare.  They don’t like it.  They’ve been known to attack onlookers for the affront.”  His words confuse me.  He turns around to go inside the house and I see that he looks like my husband when younger.

I don’t mean to offend the dancers so I decide to close the screen door.  When I kneel to engage the bottom lock I see before me the hem of  a multicolored kente skirt.  I look up.  A female dancer stands above me, her face full of rage.  She starts yelling words I can’t understand while repeatedly slamming her fists on my head.  I retreat and curl up near the french doors that lead to the living room.  I call to my father.  “Papá!  Papá!”   My voice is weak, but I persevere and remember that in my dreams, when I need to scream or yell, I lose my voice.  As I uncoil from the fetal position, the woman starts hitting my head once more. 

I summon strength from within, and as I rise I say “Mira, hija de la gran puta…”

I woke up saying the words and feeling her fists on my head.

A dream revisited

Palm thanksgiving stars

Palm trees sway in the breeze, entranced by the rhythm of drums.  Silky black skin summons gods in the moonlight.  

Warm sand, bright stars. 

Caribbean nights resemble a far removed ancestral home, reminds them of an ocean passage marked with tears and blood.  

Anger and Joy, entwined.

Everlasting freedom refuses to be snatched or caged.  It thrives in adversity.  Transforms hatred into love.  

Humble soul, triumphant spirit.

We watch from a distance, bewitched. 


In awe.


An ocean of green beneath him

He soaks up the sun

Joyful he crawls and twists smelling his surroundings


Ducks and geese momentarily catch his attention

But they are no match for freedom

Or little twigs on the ground

Or pinecones


I call his name and he runs in the opposite direction

Glancing back every few steps to make sure I’m not gaining ground



Look back



Look back


I stare


Remembering that once

Not so long ago

I too ran away from my name

Thoroughly enjoying the sun