Wednesday, June 26, 2013

park city 2

She sat at her preferred table in the cafe on Main Street, right at the window, an eye to the passersby bundled and exhaling steam, some schlepping snowboards or skis from hotel room to shuttle stop. Two teenage girls walking out of a restaurant with their parents reminded her of her daughters, in Hawaii at that moment with their father. She thought to call but remembered the time difference. She wondered what they might be dreaming.

They would be going snorkeling that day, with his girlfriend. She remembered their honeymoon, the catamaran to Molokini, diving in holding hands, thinking about the current the captain had warned not to get caught up in - "they'll fish you out in Tahiti" - and seeing the sleek tiger shark in the distant deep blue outside the crater, a missile effortless against that same current.      

She apologized when the boy at the counter who'd taken her order walked the double-espresso over because he'd called her name three times but she seemed, he said, to be "watching a movie or something." She fished for a dollar and insisted he take it when at first he waved it off. She watched him take it back and drop it into the tip jar.

He wore his pants low on his hips and had tattoos all up and down his forearms. She guessed he was a senior in high school (and that he probably wouldn't prefer she consider him a boy).  She caught herself staring at his ass then looked quickly back to her laptop, wondering if anyone had caught her, wondering how obvious it might have been. And whether she hadn't heard him because she was indeed locked in reverie or because, as the girls' father had suggested more than once, she might benefit from a hearing aid. She remembered a particularly colorful discussion they'd had toward the end and how he'd surprised her with "because you're fucking deaf, that's why!" He'd never said fuck before, at least not that she'd heard, not even when they were fucking. She received it as if a slap and slapped right back with some of her own.  

A bomb went off, or so it sounded. Someone asked what the hell was that, and she listened to the counter boy explain that because it had snowed so much the night before, the conditions on some of the steeper sections of the ski mountain, "Jupiter, McConkey's, all that," were prone to avalanche, so ski patrol was "blowing it up so nobody dies." Unless they hit a tree, she thought. 

Then another explosion, closer. She decided then to walk to the resort and buy the fat skis she'd been considering and to go ski some powder before it got tracked out. The cold grabbing her face when she walked out froze her tears before they could find her cheeks. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lightning Dream

Looking up at heavy grey clouds. Then lightning. But not a bolt, it was a ball, circular, center of "frame," a luminous sphere of white fire.

edit, 6/19: today's hex, 51.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Joyce Baeckel

It's all her fault, pulling me out of class that sunny day and walking me to an exterior hallway to have a little talk about a couple poems i had submitted for an assignment. Mrs. Baeckel was my fifth grade home-room teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Costa Mesa.

I had submitted two poems, but one wasn't exactly written by me. Doh. Jim Sines (who was already smoking weed) told. Thing is, she'd thought I'd plagiarized the one I had actually written, not my "cover" of  Mercedes Benz. It's still embarrassing, as it should be.

Anyway, she was under the impression that I had plagiarized what I had in fact written, which had impressed her, to the degree that it was something of a revelation to her, and it was important I appreciate that I had/was this and that and I forget exactly what she said, but it was very supportive. She did not forget to finish, though, with some further thoughts on plagiarism.

That was an exceptional school district at the time, by the way, and Mrs. Baeckel an exceptional teacher. There was another kid, good friend for a few years, Mike Baird, also showing early signs of artistic tendencies, and she allowed us - instructed, actually - to design the set-up of the room, arranging desks and such. I remember sketching rudimentary floor plans at the time, so I enjoyed that.

Dave had her, too, a couple years later. 

the world is just a kaleidoscope
of ultraviolet rays
where the seconds pass like hours
and the hours dress as days. 

That's the beginning of the poem I had written. Funny it sticks in my head but none of the rest of it.

Friday, June 7, 2013


he stared into the eyes
of the beautiful river
serpentine siren
beckoning him

promising pleasure
she would deliver
if only he would
come for a swim

he studied the current
of the shimmering pool
whispering byron
hissing his name

in life he's the seeker 
in tarot the fool
confronted by should
and river at tame

his dive didn't splash
so easily she took him
straight to the bottom
as if through glass

so clear was the vision
of the fish as she hooked him
he thought he saw gold
in glittering brass

then up to the surface
just like a bubble
but fate had caught him
by his freezing balls

a few strong strokes
deep dark trouble
heart stopped cold 
the roar of the falls

Saturday, June 1, 2013


because now you know
it all slides through
water between your fingers

you learn letting go
and making do
with whatever lingers

everything dies
everything's dying
every single thing will leave

the stars in your eyes
the tears you're crying
the loved ones you'll bereave

so you will learn
or else you won't
to cherish every single breath

you take in turn
until you don't
have anymore to give to death


sometimes i find myself wishing
things were a different way,
like sitting on the riverbank fishing,
hoping to catch a different day.

sometimes i find myself saying
the things that should've been said,
like talking to god and by praying
i might somehow raise the dead.

sometimes i find myself thinking
things are perfect and as they should be,
like staring at the sun and not blinking
at the light i can finally see.