Thursday, April 25, 2013

mars in aries

mars in aries
spat me a storm
that buried the berries
and foreclosed the farm.

did i create
unnatural disaster,
or was it my fate
in the hands of the master?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

mars in cancer

mars in cancer
baked me a cake.
i didn't answer;
was that a mistake?

or perfect paralysis
dropping a bomb
that in later analysis
stopped contretemps.

Monday, April 8, 2013

put it down

put it down
walk away
it's got nothing
left to say
you didn't hear
the day before
and on and on
the keeping score
more time gone
put it down
do it now
don't look back
that is how
you put it down

Saturday, April 6, 2013


she is serious and quiet
but burns like a riot
when friction sparks her to fire.
her secrets are deep
and steal from her sleep
the dreams she fears may expire.
so she does laps of the block
and has the same talk
with herself day after day.
she is melting just like kerrygold
in a desert too far from days of old
and those nights above donegal bay. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Celebrity Story

She's famous all over the world. (And has made cameo appearances in several vivid dreams over the years.) 

One Sunday afternoon a almost exactly a couple years ago I was walking in downtown Los Angeles, heading north on Grand, approaching MOCA. There was a crowd spilling from the ticket office to the sidewalk; lots of kids, teens.
I got to them, weaving my way through, and she almost ran me over as she hurried to her double-parked hybrid. The odd thing about it is that I knew it was her as she sped by - I felt the breeze, she almost bumped me - even before I turned and followed her blue jeans and white blouse to her car.

I waited, she got to the driver's side door and turned as she was about to get in and stood, staring back at me through those same amber sunglasses she'd been wearing in a photo taken just weeks earlier at South-by-Southwest. I said aloud, "too damn funny," then turned away, not wanting to spook her.

As I continued on my way I decided she must've just dropped off her kids for whatever the function was at MOCA.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Outpost 7

They were on the couch, him sitting up, her lying down under a blanket, head in his lap, asleep, both their forms ghostly in the pale blue television light. The heroine in the movie died in her lover's arms.

And he wondered why he'd not been stricken by anything other than the heartbreak that came to all who roamed long enough to learn their name, the same heartbreak that in fact had taken him by force into the maturity that allowed him his marriage.

He looked at his boots propped on the coffee table and thought, all limbs intact. able to speak, hear, see and taste her lips. A  good tomorrow a good bet.  He stared at her, wondering why he had been spared any of the maladies or accidents or rogue waves that are simply there in the door oneday as you walk out, but do not.

Why me, he wondered, and then she turned, back to the television, finding and holding parts of him closer to her, like drawing in a pillow. She smiled. Then farted. And it was a long time before they stopped laughing, though elsewhere as the smell chased them into the hallway.

He said Jesus the way that he did, long and drawn out eeeeeee, which always made her laugh harder and defiant as if his were anything other than worse, which he protested, and on, their occassional routine, stupid, sophomoric, but glue, too.

Later in bed as he slept she watched him, the cat on his chest, and hoped for the first time that she would die before he did.


I'm the first one in, I get it started. I drink it too, strong and black. Once in awhile I'll make a double-espresso with the machine in the lunchroom. I find them to be not to the strength I'd prefer.

This morning's first pot is brewing now.

I also made the coffee at  my job my first year in college, working for the city of Costa Mesa. It was a cool job in parks and rec and I got to drive the white Ford van with the city emblem on the door and other cool things like putting up and taking down the risers and the rows of seats that sat upon them before and after each weekend of whatever was on stage at the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse. I was under the supervision of Pati Tambellini, who directed all the shows and had other non-theatre responsibilities as well, although I don't remember them. I do recall that she smoked fiercely.

Things theatric and such had yet to occur to me - I was going to be Tom Brokaw if not pitching in the bigs - but years later I did write to ask for a critique of something I'd written and she was generous with her encouragement and honest, helpful critique. She was a unique and special woman whom I'm glad and fortunate to have spent a blip of time with.     

(Assembling and taking down the risers and rows of seats was actually not so cool to do, though it made the day go and I'm glad for the task for reasons that have nothing to do with coffee.)

Anyway, so, yeah. Tall, barrel-wide pots of the stuff, Maxwell House, whatever. Yes. I am a coffee snob. I did have a (styrofoam) cup once in awhile, the blechness treated with a packet of sugar and some half-and-half. Pati went through it.    

But I didn't discover coffee - which is to say, caffeine - until maybe twenty years ago when I started dropping by a Diedrich in Orange County before driving to my tempjob. There were several of us in a room doing the same menial task (that I didn't mind at all, my mind could wander), ordering sheets of receipts or something, chronologically, that kind of thing. Drone work.

But somehow a coffee thing got started and the buzz was pretty evident after everybody'd had their tall cup of whatever I had brought per their orders from Diedrich, sometimes served by a beautiful redhead opera soprano from Fountain Valley, named Andrea. 

So, the buzz and its amusing chatter made for a more pleasant day, and I was surprised at how verbal I could become given a copious dosage of, finally, good coffee.   

The rest is history. 

The best coffee I've had I had was this stuff when in Costa Rica.

The best diner coffee I've had I have at The Pantry, near where I live, practically under siege, by the way, of a few neighborhood Starbucks. I live a half-block away from mine. My former "mine," that I'll occassionally revisit, for a change, is two blocks away. Neither are my favorite, which is on the other side of the freeway. It's just where it sits, and the interior, an aesthetic thing. The "but" is that it lacks exterior seating ('cause who'd wanna?).

The best cappuccinos I've had are made at the Peet's in Pasadena.

It was good to have that Starbucks in Jackson while at Glen's. That was a good vacation.

The End.