21. March 2014
the c is as insidious
as a paper cut
as pleasurable as a paper boat—
if you happen to know how to fold
one and let it ride
the u of it lies between your legs
look down lovingly
lucky you if you happen to have one...
13. March 2014
The mayor comes over to my table and says I am invited
to join him and el jefe ICE agent for a drink. I walk over
and sit down as the mayor pulls out a small black book
and hands it to the agent. He begins to read aloud:
Richard Vargas, born in Compton, California. Members
of your family came here from Mexico, and you are one
generation removed from picking grapes and cotton.
You went to school, the university, and now call yourself a
07. March 2014
When I think of water spilling from a green bottle onto a wooden floor and the danger
it poses to a carpet and the Moroccan women I met once, Berber women with kohl
lined eyes and mehndi on their hands, who made carpets from wool they sheared
themselves, and who ululated on request for pictures because outside of Morocco that’s
what they were, ululating Berber women— ...
27. February 2014
light of our journey across this
the cerro indio moon’s pale
Oñate north across
the river into mud, the
bosque disappeared into
14. February 2014
the big bomb to win
the war of wars, the big
one, how many times
do you think, Doctor?
The Army wants to know!
Dr. Oppenheimer says he knows
the gadget will work and be one
big blast (in his doctoral
opinion), a dud would not win
us anything, we need more time
to develop a device that’s big
enough to blast a whole city...Continue reading...
24. January 2014
Up near the northern border of North Dakota
the third day of an arctic blizzard, a social worker
loads her hatchback with jackets and coats
and drives the frontage road beside a frozen river.
She comes to a man wrapped in a hospital blanket
seated on cardboard on top of a bed of snow.
He doesn’t want the jacket she offers.
“Then I can take you to shelter,” she says...
15. January 2014
Sitting on the train,
clickidy-clack, clickidy-clack, clickidy-clack,
hour after hour, after hour,
towns slip further and further away
as the ocean rises to greet us.
I watch the waves grasp the coastline,
spew white fingers of foam over tops of stone,
and I am pulled from my green coach chair...
27. December 2013
He took a frayed hat from his head,
And “Peace on Earth” was what he said.
“A morsel out of what you’re worth,
And there we have it: Peace on Earth.
Not much, although a little more
Than what there was on earth before
I’m as you see, I’m Ichabod,—
But never mind the ways I’ve trod;
I’m sober now, so help me God”...
19. December 2013
I am the faceless man
The empty hand
And left to stand
A stranger on the corner
The friend in the mirror
That you didn’t find
A reflection of your hidden mind...
14. December 2013
The towers on Sandia Crest transmit
through sunset in some other home, Smokey
Bear is dead like a pop song
on a distant radio I keep
toying with the dials flipping the brights in a code
here no one remembers the first fire,
distant suns or one close star...