¨There are three archetypes for sociological autonomy: Pathos, Ethos, and Logos. The lust/love, pride/hate is the Pathos autonomy; the hate/love, lust/pride is the Ethos autonomy; and the hate/lust, love/pride is the Logos autonomy. Pride creates hate and destroys lust. Lust creates hate and destroys pride. Hate creates lust and destroys love. Love creates lust and destroys hate.¨ -John Patrick Acevedo, June 19, 2017, Synergy Press.
A Flanders December of Silent Speech
(for a poet masseuse in Moere, Belgium)
They say Marvin Gaye would only tell David Ritz unbanked lies
to help the inspiration of a masseuse and to heal hurt reputation.
In Maui, years before, it was comatose truth that kept Gaye alive,
as Cousaert gave Parisian bones to take on a Heavy Love Affair.
Odell Brown! What happened to the Motown crown?
Question not what Ritz put down.
Instead, question the waves that crash over Flanders shores,
as Gordon Banks hears a masseuse’s twist on the ascetic waist.
Yet here in Maui, years before, Gaye would sit on a bread van cliff,
just as he would look at the North Sea from his Ostend flat’s window.
The Ka’anapali palm trees stand erect like death.
And yet, I can still see Gaye’s born-again story in them.
Keep a heart for the lovers, they say.
Keep your heart open to what comes with the pain.
Yet I cannot give my own to the loveless world just beyond:
the one that leaves the father without the son. Mother without young.
Women are my friends, they say.
Yet I cannot look them in the eyes without them looking the other way.
A bird lands on my porch, looks at me, then flies away.
She leaves a secret the dinosaurs gravitated towards. Leaves a crater.
There was once a man who hid inside a room. Spent with December Blues,
the kind Odell Brown tried to forget along rye rocks of Flanders spent depth.
That day, Odell Brown gave his soul for journals to a man who did the same,
for the idea of spiritual love that suffers the heart to heal the mind of its pain.
They close each other’s eyes as the keyboard plays and smoke fills the room.
“Let them believe whatever they want,” Gaye says over the masseuse’s hook.
They never say how Moere had saved Marvin Gaye. How David Ritz got paid.
Yet Maui and London still speak of Gaye’s surrender. Of Moere silent speech.
-John Patrick Acevedo, Poet, February 25, 2018, 4:00 a.m., Ka'anapali, Maui.
"Give and take is my gnosis of January 1991. It is almost impossible to understand. Yet, the secret it holds lies in the active/passive natures of the two sides. In other words, when one is deprived in body and mind (hunger), there becomes the need for take's subjective salvation or gnosis. Similarly, when one is deprived in heart and soul (anger), there develops a wanting for give's objective survival or longing. However, the moment either hunger or anger are satisfied, there becomes a letting go of compromise and a holding onto competition. It is this very change in human nature that defines the Old and New Testament Zeitgeist of ignorance/arrogance (acceptance) overpowering will/reason (change). Furthermore, the belief in the "power of God" is based upon the renunciation of justice and the inevitability of egalitarian morale. I believe, nonetheless, that understanding give and take as gospel can conquer, as Jesus of Nazareth as Christ proclaims, death itself. For to recognize strength in eating's salvation of the spirit is to embrace strength in sleep's survival of the flesh." -John Patrick Acevedo, August 4, 2017, 5:20 p.m., Synergy Press.
It is with unreserved sublime gratitude that I announce that my first Poetry eBook entitled Moral Authority: The Poems (2012 - 2016) A Gnostic Outsider Sociology was released this April 2017 to various eBook online stores, including Barnes & Noble (Nook), Amazon.com (Kindle), and Apple (iBooks).
Featuring 52 original Ethos poems, a definitive conceptual illustration, 10 color photographs, and an in-depth author's foreword, Moral Authority: The Poems lays down a fascinating foundation to my Holy Bible Sociology, founded after 30 years of critical thinking and one comeback song from 1982 that won singer songwriter Marvin Gaye his first two Grammies in a prolific career with Motown and finally Columbia Records.
It was titled Sexual Healing, and, as an expert in its metaphysics, I applied the rehabilitative dogmatic karma of give and take (Book of Job, Old Testament) to the passive/active sides of human nature, the very first poet to make it a gnostic theme for the spiritual reconciliation of good work ethic with the artistic evolution of uncompromising faith.
Marketed and distributed by Mill City Press, it will serve to further promote my seven outsider poetry books by Synergy Press.
Thank you for your support!
John Patrick Acevedo, Poet.
May 05, 2017, 5:59 p.m.
WORKS BY JOHN PATRICK ACEVEDO:
Godzilla and Human Radiation: Global Poems (2012 - 2017) (Synergy/Mill City Press, 2017)
Moral Authority: The Poems (2012 - 2016) A Gnostic Outsider Sociology (eBook, 2017)
Covering the Underground: The Sociology of John Patrick Acevedo (2016)
Holy Bible Sociology! A Journey into the Soul of John Patrick Acevedo (motion picture, 2016)
Zen and The Carolina Clay: The Collective Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2016)
Waterloo Awakenings: The Gospel Stories of the Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2015)
Ice A.D. Apex Delivery: More Outsider Stories of the Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2015)
Weighing-In Authority´s Conversion Spin: More Outsider Stories of the Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2014)
Deer of the Crossing Last Ones: More Outsider Stories of the Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2013)
The Mad City Coffee Reading (spoken word, 2013)
Bad Technology and Poor Weather: The Outsider Stories of the Poetry of John Patrick Acevedo (2012)
Bubblegum, Slime, and Electro Man (original comic book, 2011)
"My book entitled Godzilla and Human Radiation: Global Poems (2012 -2017) is about the activity created by the lack of dependence, be it from the worker or from market, that results in so-called freedom. The importance of this freedom, however, is that it manifests itself within its partner. In other words, when the worker ceases to be productive, market will catalyze market values through human radiation, and when there is an effort to win for the market’s bottom line by the worker, market in turn becomes a kind of Godzilla. In both cases, abuse is used for marginal progress rather than use being abused for non-productive resistance." -John Patrick Acevedo, Poet, August 31, 2017, 3:03 p.m..
Godzilla Globals Human Radiation
I had changed. Work and pity parties had moved
my soul to be saved by the life I never knew.
It was just a fluke, a misfired chance I mistook
that sent me into the future with a past to be glued.
Tonight the end justifies the means
when memory reverses mirror inverses as a child’s tears
that scale cheeks to appear late enough to be redeemed,
as I fill a hole made whole like love, its crooked, tectonic plate ice.
She B-Line’s wait with double-date, tailgate griefꟷ
debunks the lost with unsaved costs.
Mourning is never late when dreams won’t overtake,
like arms muscling for a pillow to wake collect-called sleep.
I accept her needs roar to endure yet mine only horseshoe more.
I’m losing my waist to worries.
I’m laughing my ass off to hurry.
The weather feels more chill than a morning coffee killed,
until Godzilla goes global with human radiation tonight.
I’m raking up bitterness with overdone tasksꟷ
sipping soup because I did this loop way too fast.
I’m coughing my meds as my bumped-up microwave goes dead.
I’m only missed when I finally make others not want to ask.
I’m extending family change. I’m paying for interest not to Fed.
Smile your Hell all you want yet I must buy myself a shorter belt,
because the money don’t pool love when funny rules-out help,
for your Godzilla to go global with human radiation tonight.
Trials never beguile. The trouble lies in love’s double-standard miles.
Keeping to yourself, you may come to finish what you get, bet regrets
will leave you like worms thrown to screaming nests as Godzilla tests
the theory that conception is but God’s test, radiation struggle’s death.
I accept her needs roar to endure yet mine only horseshoe more.
From a cold heart and pastel style comes secret news in what I say.
She is many yet I see few. I hate the easy that smiles the hard play.
Yet Bowie’s road drives up class as I use The Force line under line,
won over by fine girls with finger snaps, burn their bittersweet denial.
Bad Technology and Poor Weather
I´ll be looking up meanings in my college dictionary
until I find out the mysteries the tallish borrow so that we can talk.
I´ll be jogging footsteps by a machine my father once sought;
puffing fog Rocky Balboa and I lost when my thoughts were soft.
They say art is the path of greatest ease.
Eventually, even fools realize that this world is all we got.
I say bad technology and poor weather work together
like a pimp with lust and love without a main squeeze.
I am the forest of fallen trees, a river of rolling logs.
I am the unbelieving Christian, holding a stick at a church picnic:
circling like a cat in a corner as children chase unrequited dogs.
They say art is the path of greatest ease.
¨Lover please don´t forget my lot.¨
I say it´s only poor weather that makes technology´s cure its own disease.
She was looking out of the limousine window;
impatiently waiting for her bridal door to chop.
Still, it was she who called up Daddy for the flowers
when my cousin´s casket was briefly opened for his Pops.
They say art is all about absent presence.
I say it´s in the present absence that moments seize
when danger´s poor weather becomes beauty´s bad technology.
If love were an accident, I´d be the first victim lost.
If love meant fighting, I´d be the soldier who moved the line only to be shot.
Life is no fish story. It´s always better told after the fish has been caught.
Mornings are for secret wishes; evenings for news the world has forgot.
Only want to say ¨I love you.¨ Don´t care what my favorite critic thought.
Every spring begins with a rain that brings the lessons painful artists drop.
Whoever said art is the price that gains from the greatest debt was never a boss.
I say art is compromise, not to receive from the poor the wealth that suffering gets.
¨Only imagined what they wanted.¨ That´s what a masterpiece used to cost.
Deer of the Crossing Last Ones
There is a lottery taking place in the world.
Most people forget that they have something to win.
Yet there are a few who make it across—
that road between closure´s deer crossing
and the mistakes made when we betray the last one.
Because, for every last one,
there is yet another saved by the ´parable of the missing claw´,
the lost story that tells of how Jesus, like Judas by him,
had received a vision of the kingdom of heaven.
¨In heaven,¨ Jesus said, ¨there is a king crab for every missing-claw crab,
foraging the sand for lost souls as the tide gives and takes away salvation.¨
¨Where will you go when God is no longer with you?¨ Mary asked.
¨Do you believe that I have forsaken you? Have I not shared with you
every vision but your very last one?¨ Jesus said.
¨Lord, I am unworthy of your heaven!¨ Mary wept.
Then Jesus lifted Mary, who was kneeling before him,
thanked her for her vision, knowing secretly that it had come from God.
I am turning the circle now.
I know not how many I have left from loss.
I wait like them, mate time until your headlights stray
from my face— realizing how your fear prolongs my grace.
Closure is not easy for me.
I know not where life fits in... only the exposure it begins.
I count my mail slow— flip my coins from tails to heads.
If there is yet another after you still to come,
I know I must learn to respect her decision,
randomly display the winning number from my TV—
behold her ticket´s success like it was always mine to bet.
I also accept that many deer may never cross,
many ´perfect´s´ never purr their way beneath my skin.
Yet I choose to not be among any of them—
trick myself into never allowing them to pop the question;
give myself all the second chances that take the hardest tests.
And so I round the circle once again—
watch you misplace my misbegotten innocence...
pray I´ll eventually mirror the light in your face,
believe in the crossing deer of last ones,
the fight that never quits and swallows spit like premature providence.
Weighing-In Authority´s Conversion Spin
This poem is for every saving bachelor´s resisted progress,
sitting in his car with fresh fries and soda´s lemon-lime escape.
He watches as she takes his change from his waxing means,
smiles as the patient manager presses lies like a tattoo dry-cleaned.
To understand the drive-thru is to apologize for static pride´s haste.
Catharsis is only unstable when the ecstatic experience weighs-in.
Hyperons stabilize catharsis when energy wanes transient ambition.
See anomaly in the eye-witness of a yawn´s uncensored entropy.
We pay off suns for atoms to beget orbits with electron spins.
The heat of its energy chills the past with empty tables.
The seats of now remind us of family suppers never had.
No one knows you when your salary´s refrigeration is constantly cool.
This land is your land as well as mine. Yet love grows old when still.
The flesh is a storm of doubt that tests heaven´s realm,
keeps reminding us of fears that hope for safety´s approach,
like intimacy finds opportunities in a cell phone´s chimed disclaimer.
Keeping thoughts dark close windows to pasts of rainstorm revelation.
We are loved because we keep apart. The road that opens is the heart
that hums sober when starch feeds rich and poor alike. Trust is a greed
far from the window fronts of swan lakes and smoke smog, conversion tips.
Watch the peeps as they walk along opposite sides of heaven´s sidewalks.
God is of Old and New Testament grace; charity passive fear; sacrifice active sin.
The mind keeps sharp what kindness blurs for retired men of suspected purgatory.
The book never closes for pedestrians. Wait for your hot fries. Let your life begin.
Ice A.D. Apex Delivery
Clunk, clunk, clunk. His footsteps descend my home´s vacuumed stairs.
I´m listening for an excuse not to listen. She sighs into her jasmine tea.
I´m the prodigal son, a security blanket tool— dry ice´s A.D. apex delivery.
I´m with her because she´s free. She´s dependent on exit´s subjective reality.
Could love be the trouble of getting from A to Z? I think even she would agree.
How we worry is of little concern. Movie night is but foreplay without the TV.
Inverse confusion. Envy thieves doubt of its charitable, sacrificial privacy.
Shave Judas. He betrays and murders like a mother compromises greed.
Trust doesn´t want you, you see. Take leave of her before meeting needs.
My father will yet call— even after hurtles curse meals with dispersed anomaly.
When friends lie, they do so only to make love to your father´s quiet immaturity.
Sit and talk with him. B.C. is as lonely as always. Overextend yourself, please.
Everything happens for a reason. Especially when we find the strange in the familiar.
She´s talking in bed as I toast to him. There´s a salvation to everyone´s reserved grief.
Purpose wakes feelings so we may shake the hand bitten by dream´s earned sobriety.
I am driving down the country road on 35 mph winds
that seem to match the speed limit as my father´s 65
seems to be my only crosscurrent, mile after mile.
I am calling myself to leave a message for someone
who is always home, because I know that being there
is worse than being called by salesmen pulling up outside.
It is to Waterloo that I drive, away from the grassy yards
needing to be cut. People pole Napoleon´s totem battlefield,
historians and military fanatics who pace back and forth,
trying to understand something my father once knew,
something about awakening, about being played for a fool,
about gifts that appear and disappear, like bird offerings
on your doorstep as your mower smokes when you hit a root,
as if spewed grass was but the spit for her to exit labyrinths
to no way backs, something like that spilling between hills
that filled soldier claps, as Napoleon surrendered his flag–
a world conquerer outwitted by the illusion of advancing troops.
Now I open the front door as my car hisses against the birds,
as if the morning curb had taught them something I´ve heard,
something about Waterloo and the mother of hurricane pants.
-John Patrick Acevedo, May 19, 2015, Synergy Press >8.
John Patrick Acevedo pauses to weigh-in on the Belgian fields where the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte finally surrendered his forces at the infamous Battle of Waterloo.
"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I say, life and art flatter themselves and that it is human nature to scoff at the powers that compete for what the world knows nothing about: namely, that progress and resistance, like learning and altruism, benefit from and suffer for the experiences of another, and not vice-versa." -John Patrick Acevedo, Poet, July 28, 2017.
Finding Zen in the Carolina Clay
I’m walking through the Clemson bunkers of Newton house dorms,
walking with blessed eyes, eyes once saddened by requested prayer.
I suffer for the sake of another’s hovered efforts at underground rails;
ride inhumanity like cold rides norms over Carolina clay like acid rain.
Evangelicals file the hard marrow of narrow minds, lead from behind.
A church member invites me to his car one night of night rain.
He’s a grape still attached to vines of virgins in flowered dress.
He left after I sat on top of a bunk bed as my minister read
of two brothers who died in car accidents with girls just wed
to his disciples of bleeding wine and family’s wounded cross.
He has me listen to ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’,
hopes I will find Zen in the Carolina clay without Bruce Hornsby
as I walk back to my dorm, my Gospel of John’s seedless wrong.
My song ‘Mandolin Rain’ plays over his as my brain’s temptation
learns what drinking lames, something almost lost in translation.
I walk the road as my stomach barks, purrs, and rolls
over a tray of three-bean oil and vinegar and chicken salad.
I join no one at a long half-empty table. My hands clench
as I force prayer beneath a pink dusk outside the cafeteria,
I eat my crow over a former roommate’s “better off” betrayal.
I sleep alone as Michael Jones pianos ’Seascapes’ like memory,
his solo moistens like my new professor with her photographic one
reads my freshman words until they crack beyond sophomoric,
until my Bible study leader’s voice opens a door 28 years will pass--
the way beards estrange us of our past, make ears for our undead.
A Reason for Nothing
We know the passive can close stomachs like desserts.
We care nothing for the lacking that compromises hurt.
Maybe there is a reason for the nothings we all ignoreꟷ
the needs we scrub against to scratch backs like concrete.
Her eyes are spent as she cups her hands to buy mine
with a moral authority that cries like babies without neglect.
My father prays for sumiso as the Native American exhibit
suggests that he line my seed with the lead of Puritan sweat.
The vices of parasitic demands, the amoeba comas hosting
the finals at Colleges every fool fears like a Jamestown plot,
finds the path of least resistance in epidemic, intestinal banks.
Dark is the corn of starched collarsꟷ Thanksgiving’s hired blood.
Something in the way she calls me when I’m holding out for Omega glories,
the holy uploads that rise and fall like prepared lines for near-miss mealsꟷ
the microwave serving for pocketknife graces said over hotel-covered glass.
Never leaves keys and forever sleeps, like love and war ends without beginning.
We are the exhausted air of fear’s fluid lives. Hope is a passing elimination.
Give yourself a piece of cake and the world may decide to eat you up instead.
She tells me by my gradual internal combustion that I am failing to avoid feelings.
Over my overpriced steak, she gets drunk, pays no dues for half-assed excuses.
She digs a tomb for her other blood-faced menꟷ afraid to be late, yet womb-loose.
God leaves us alone long enough to discover YouTube’s unprotected, TV-posting.
Its message is our untaken journey, the one that wakes, like my dream of a friend
who came to my father’s house. “I have an early doctor’s appointment,” he insists.
As his sleeping territory becomes snores, I relish our private cheer turned to shock.
There are many near-accidents. They enter shared, careless rooms, make you feel
like your mind is getting full with an ocean soup as you tell someone close, far away,
that you need to walk outside, show the rushing traffic that life, like art, never sleeps.
Yet in the beeping horns of opened window, dusk traffic, they tell you to *uck yourself.
You will gently reply the same to them someday. Only just pity them. Envy will rewindꟷ
will let us see when they were of any help; will decide who lights their memory cigarette.
LA Don’t Mess with my Old Man
I’ve seen my barber’s child claw his paper plate with his fingertips,
claw for Honey Nut Cheerios as his Old Man clips off the LA channel.
“Now that’s something else,” he says. He flicks O’s past straight hair.
The compact refrigerators sold well the two days after the hurricane.
The Korean did a Klingon salute, fist over chest, as my mother became me.
His wife tried to bring him over fuel loss clouds that kamikaze radioed plans,
cried in the way my eyes grew frightened as they smiled for something free.
I eat Farmer’s Cheese from the Middle Eastern grocery shelf. It tastes rich.
Takes me back again to the visions of Zen recovered from my Carolina year,
the year my professor left a gift around underlined Christian white out type.
“Yes… sometimes that’s all we can do” was her solution to meaninglessness.
Freedom is as arrogant as the vintage extension cord tangles relayed realities.
It’s like the homeless trying to survive without one attached to premature beds.
The compact units never keep a place on the shelf. I still smile at sudden loss.
Send your son to meet in LA, Mister President. Don’t mess with my Old Man.
The Cheerio chalk still O’s the foreign plate. Rope whips its yoke vinyl cement.
Chance Plane-Burns Provident Winter
(For my grandmother Inés Acevedo)
There beyond the carried loads of sacrificed resistance are the winters of frictionless static.
A man returns to mother thinking of what the rooster starts, listening to scratching-dog glass.
Her tears gather family as he speaks, hat in lap-- smiles of life not too brief, of suitcased loss.
Some say the blues plane-burn tire fears like suitcase winter.
And I have seen them lie, pretend to offer the hopes the spring will never get.
But there is something in the father’s love that I have learned while in its cold,
like the happiness of a hungry child depends upon the dependence of the father
and the happiness of the mother upon the sanctity of an angry son.
Drones are dropping newspapers from cargo hooks onto the driveways of undeparted cars.
Emanations of faith are but law and act to the first and the last, like girls fisting candy cash.
Can you see past the sidewalk dusk, past the phone booth where she returns to me?
I cannot answer her future’s present call. The dime she inserts has rusted way too thin.
Her hyper index finger cancels unatoned grief. A straight and narrow year has passed.
Her renewed doubt is burning faith’s tires in New Balance sneakers beside a roommate
as we cross her heated path, reminds me that chancing providence never gives pause.
Window Warming Epiphany
Windows growing wild with winter’s wind, my shirt spills work’s epiphany.
I am womanized by whirlwinds, treating myself by unwinding downstairs.
She spins a lesser wind, promises kept secrets by an eyeless thread and pin.
Yet tonight, I sperm for my wallet for blank paper to earn my writing pen,
earn the glowing pans of fatter men. I am holding the ink’s handle tight,
holding the sausage that burns in faces, slapped like demands for Polish skin.
There is a child in me that forgets the venom of aisle debates over poison cans.
The dusted grass blows against the glass. The sound brushes against my fear,
like Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Godless Sonnets redefined cats and dogs in her log cabin.
The wine is going back to the cellar, the Bohemian womanizing is going back to bed.
The attic string is just beyond my reach, the old jockey is returning to his prime.
The accordion bones of books are conversing on the shelf. A hope is taking hold of me.
I pull the string as my wallet wags fragments behind business cards businessmen have left.
I am looking for the light past the vacancy of the dark attic, looking past tomorrow’s oatmeal.
“Don’t close the refrigerator like a stud!” I have had to bear every night I need my art escape.
I step up ancient childhood stairs, get closer to a past as the wind dances outside like hate.
I sit after the bulb lights the cobweb beams, lights the box I sit down upon to begin the edits.
The poem has something to say about the way family pictures look from beyond the grave,
something to say about the smell of cigarette laughter choking inside chimneys, like Bruges
when I became another américainꟷ writing about a Motown legend who died near my hotel.
I raise my floor exit and am alas a part of the resistance whirlwinds of loss want me to rewrite.
The snow falling outside is giving me signs, giving me her blessing. She gives white space.
I am leaving the attic with her happinessꟷ the prayers of reconciled resurrection fill cold air.
I am shaking in the bulb’s death as my library of work is saved in my box chair of other lives.
There is no one to greet me as stairs touch warmer presence. I hear her curse my heaven.
Night coats our windows with sleep’s jurisdiction as another anniversary journeys back to heat.
She smiles at my thawing morning makeup as I finally unfreeze pillow, snooze alarm leaves.
Keeping it real, I must say: “It’s been a long day.”
The cold has been with my hands for a long time now.
The world has left me on the curb in the freezing of regret’s trash.
The grasses and iced branches wait to be consumed by the night.
I walk along the concrete on my way back to my garage, look at stars.
My past returns like cicadas race the mystery that musical chairs song
and feeds the chaos that closes escape and covers civility like drapes.
I rest in trembling beds as lovers nest germs, wrestle in dirt like seeds.
Market Perks the Grieving Town
Oh, yeah! I have seen the light,
calling like the father’s dreams leave pride behind.
He lives in a place far from here:
neither in heaven nor in the underground.
It is like the perks of market
that I come to return to who I was
and to let him know
that I am finishing the grieving he leaves this town.
He listens yet hears me not. For I am all
but here now, gone to where the Coquis are gone.
Where he speaks, this place knows not.
Yet he sleeps both above and below this street,
like market perks the grieving town.
Keep your heart within this world,
and you will find it gone.
Keep your thoughts within,
and your God will lead you on.
I approach the red brick apartment,
far from the Lares farm, the shirts of sackcloth.
The snow begins to fall as a child babbles on.
It lands on my Avalon windshield like upon its lawn.
I clean my eyes with my own wipers,
as my step-father seems to smile from his Virginia farm.
I am wearing my father’s khaki overcoat. My glasses are fogged.
It is the same as he left it, the same as she left him,
before my heart and soul began to outgrow sin,
like the weeds and grass so closely cut along its urban meadow.
My father seems to smile at my discomfort:
the way wannabe’s feel inadequate when they know they must bow.
Market perks the grieving town
without ever churching the unmarried child’s new crown.
I listen to the fatherless women as they holler down
to the motherless crossing my path like geese.
For my mother has tried to forget how she couldn’t back
this hallowed ground into overworking her Jimmy Mack,
couldn’t carry his grunts like slot machines spin fictional storefronts─
the way valets purse a girl’s lips, tramp dead end eye sockets.
There is a white nurse, a white angel deep inside me.
She family feuds my car’s new lot like greed double parks a spot.
The old brick apartment is endearing no soul but I.
Its plastic chair balcony now bears clothes from a family like mine.
I walk back to my car quick, say something that makes me smile.
Keep your heart and soul for the God you love.
Market perks the grieving town,
shakes the hands of ringed fingers
for crying wives to dinner chicken pot pie─
makes you shave less daily from the truth you fight by day;
wakes your son after nightmares return you to where you lie.
Behold the Silver Lining
Slowly, I saw the mountain snow melting.
Dared until my glowing sword declined.
When the Allies lifted the hem of her dress,
she knew the thread to my silver lining.
Each to each, we raised the ceiling:
withheld the bed that flowered fed good-byes.
She was above what I thought was my love,
till my arrows broke her rainbow disguise.
Behold, dawn is victory’s retreating
when greed becomes a trust redefined.
Keep in room as her iris fully blooms
and dusk shadows like longing fills the sky.
If she follows me, she will learn the way I walk.
If she loves me, I will talk beside her without a care.
Yet my heart gets sick of her living well when strong─
would rather fix comparisons, comb over flicked hair.
Bogart's Bar Menu Brews 22
Come on over my friend of yesterday and brave this here stool.
So sorry for my unforeseeable: “My, what do we have here?”
I’m about to leave for my crib, so leave this Semisonic single with me.
I was kind of “into them”, back when love’s weather was hot wing greed.
If you’re not over me yet, perhaps we can still dairy an engineered child,
piss them off, and go where wards Casablanca dreams like dogs shake legs.
Drunk doctors almost never choose Bogart’s 22 from the bar menu drinks.
They keep looking for the blink that reminds them of gallantry’s missing jinx.
Don’t hurt yourself, yet I’m not yet lame and could care less for X-Men plans.
Hurry before the evening news refills your last Kryptonite tab for your Shazam.
There’s one Frappe for every gal’s Seven-Eleven, wet-walked resurrection will.
Ingrid clears the perfect schedule, hears ‘As Time Goes By’ , cheers Federal Hill.
Spiders in the Fly Room
Someday, you may hear the fly as he lands on your TV sky.
Somehow the spider watches this and crawls without being seen.
I have lived long enough to learn that there are spiders in the fly room.
The spider in the house refuses to eat and sleep. He is trying to save the fly.
It is human nature to destroy one another and to create out of dying’s fear.
The man in the house is alone yet his son is trying to work out hopelessness.
The grass clusters and drops in unison. Yet each blade sings its song.
Acts are like flies─ they give blindly to be or to not be trapped.
And the spider, may he rest in peace, is nothing without the fly’s law.
The fly can never become the spider, yet sometimes the spider can become the fly.
Flies will consume themselves if the spider refuses to show them the way.
I feel my leather car seat stretch like a spider’s web as I sit and wait for him.
He no longer struggles within this earth, within the silent blades of grass.
I have seen the spider’s web that Leia lies to sell and buy for Han Solo to die.
A spider eats and sleeps beyond his means until he knows the fly can’t live without.
I too have become dependent upon the spider by freeing myself of his flying room.
Kill the web to save the fly and you kill yourself within the spider’s solitude.
Save the spider without the fly’s act and you kill the web within the fly’s law.
You can hear the fly only when he gets lost within the TV’s windowless high.
You can see the spider hide when the fly rushes to exit his webbed room.
It is the man in the house you never hear or see yet he always hears and sees you.
Skin spins kite winds all around you. Cocoon light is for the fly. The spider never dies.
Before Red Ray-Ban Skies
Before the L.A. hills of Hollywood;
before the air-conditioned rental gasoline,
I held onto my reversed recycled Ray-Bans,
took shots of popcorn bread Red Bulls at every stop,
as wheels along Ventura Blvd rang beneath skies like texts.
Before Californian carpets palm treed my wedding bed,
I heard from the Pacific Ocean that I was among the deadꟷ
still walking dreams gone blind, dreams filled with gold cavities;
still talking strong with bent wills, talking reversed recycled shells
emptied by strangers such as I, emptied by the L.A. morning eyes.
Stand beyond the sea, breathe in all the wasted lives gone by.
Smile as you visit the man showing you that life is seriously sweet.
Watch the buzz in the way you drive as the radio acts instinctively.
For faith is in the flesh and blood, in the way you poor mailed wine.
Antennas across microwave hills tell an even taller tale, of lead nights.
Did somebody just call for an amen?
Because here I am again wearing brand new shoes
as I prepare for something higher
than my thick head can comprehend.
I love women like Jesus hates the red light of possession.
I hate men like Gina loves the green light of the forsaken.
Just don´t hate me because my shoes are new.
Just don´t love me because my mood is blue.
Here I walk again, Gina´s Jesus.
Today the children sense my Pentecostal spirit,
as I cross Park Street in sunglasses and headphones.
They say instincts come from the gut,
just as complex thoughts come from fundamental feelings.
They say that on the day of Pentecost, language will undress you
like a salvation salad rolls cherry tomatoes around baby leafs.
I see Gina leave my mother as she and I enter Park Street Church.
She alone speaks to us of desire´s burning happiness for sin´s songs.
She alone takes us beyond the promises that squeeze hands and pray
as the pastor shares his personal stories only her melodies can deliver.
Then, if lucky, Gina will sell me the day´s CD amid the solemn portraits
of all the previous pastors in the fellowship hall as I take care to fill
my Styrofoam cup with the musical blessings of black coffee perversions.
¨Thanks for all your support,¨ she says as I praise her shining vocal skin.
¨It´s going to rain,¨ my mother chants as I close her door to my car.
She looks through the window to see the surprise on my face
as the sun suddenly appears through a twinkle in her eyes.
She´s learned that I can find miracles in the smallest of things.
Finding sacred joy is a journey she and I take every Sunday morning.
We take pride in listening to the worship of the choir´s symphonies.
Because I love God more than me, more than family, more than three.
I love God like destiny loves eternity, like sleep loves the calling of the sea.
At the eclipse of her heart, I usually see fate shift among the trees.
Now the rain begins. The song plays. Love kicks my car like a startle reflex.
It is then that I sometimes join her for a beer at the bar down the street,
where she confesses her sins, pulls her black hair back as our eyes salivate.
Passion doubles-up with chosen commitment as desire lowers resistance´s flame.
Come rain, come shine: distant applause always connects me with Sunday service.
My mother and I like to watch the dusk sky web its rose genealogies over dinner,
until paranoia no longer fathers Park Street goers with her freely-translated hymns.
Whenever there´s a danger, our smiling efforts win the goals
of battles created like a river—
where hearts solve questions like fish are game for the hooked answers of claim.
There, generations omit graceless imitations like the flow
that carries pride trespassed and transferred like war´s unwelcomed inevitability.
Whatever has a blueprint, lack of experience brings everlasting chemistry
to bare soles calloused by leaps of faith,
stretch family´s present net like a long-lost lifeline, gives ritual´s salvations a twist.
Heaven limits dreams like sheets cover abundance, beheads royalty´s pillared bed
while lovers groom for unwanted rooms that return the welfare that goes so poorly met.
Whenever material is lacking, we find gravity in the salmon memory of love making sense—
the two-way tide that blunders what trouble claims to catch before the blind´s ´little too late´s´,
when greed baits compatibility´s limitations until fear releases hopes like unwanted needs.
Yet, every heart and soul works to be eased. Every body and mind plays to please.
Just to be blessed and just to appease. Ever casting lots yet not foolish enough to seize.
Truth lies naked in the garden that is the big picture. The trick is in how well
you can clothe it with the details. Don´t give up just to get there.
The waves of exegesis are never fleeting. They are always there.
Still, from the mighty iceberg to the deep blue-dotted sea,
tears drop innocence like a first baptism´s debt— genesis Sin into crying all over again.
Shelling Loyalty´s Wishbone Break
Weekends curl his thinning gray hair,
shows him a world where particles travel
all at unpredictable speeds.
He´s become loyalty´s active taxi to red eye, wishbone breaks.
My two-day gallon of milk sits on my lap in a paper bag.
He´s debating in the rear-view mirror my mother´s pheromone guilt.
Why, on this Friday, she decides to stand half-naked by his car door.
Almost home, he smiles to himself, as I wonder why he slows down.
A heavy rain begins to hit his Porsche shell as he swipes
the paper bag from my lap and hands me back my sweating milk,
asks me to yell should we suddenly encounter incoming traffic.
A green and brown turtle has attempted to cross the street.
He runs back, his gray hair and rolled shirt sleeves drenched.
He slowly pushes the driver´s door along as I hear Russell bark
somewhere beyond the dark, just before the engine accelerates.
Russell has escaped from my mother´s kitchen back door tonight.
Too-high on popcorn, she is listening to Peter Gabriel live.
Her wired husband reads a book on the ideologies of humanism.
He has forgotten to give Russell his cold water.
Because of them, my father stayed in love with hate:
long after the preference of school, the child support, the Master´s degree.
Still, on this Friday evening,
Russell was returned in an empty trash can.
When I returned two days later with sour milk,
my step-father proudly shook hands with my father,
before wiping his face, yellow and blue flannel, jeans.
Apparently, my mother had thrown up from the mess.
As I began to understand, my father quickly agreed,
paid him for the gasoline that drove Russell all the way to the dump.
¨The empty school bus never looked back,¨ he laughed.
¨Russell was hit so hard even the morning papers printed an extra.¨
My mother appeared at last, her face scrubbed so clean from crying,
all I could feel was Russell jumping, circling the yard without a whine.
Walking Raging Dog´s Flying Itch
You give me joy and pain. They just come in two´s.
You leave my calendar stained in black and blues.
I remember the sideway cracks along the townhouse road.
My bike was my life. The weekends my father let me ride.
I´ve seen lost souls before. Ones that never die.
If I could have your love inside, my spirits would ride high.
I remember coasting down. Faster than a speeding bullet.
Until speed bargained with death. My pedal caught a bank:
that flying itch to race sent me backwards, my head impact
left me in that moment, like when ice took my sled instead,
clanged the barrel as step-father came running down the hill.
And then I looked at you. And I thought it was true.
You take me to closed door.
Flowers mirror tears. Silver golds band.
You scratch backs by needing more.
Brave chore sinks like rope rock demand.
But, baby... you´ve always been a friend.
But, baby... friendship has an end.
Walk your dog out of your cage. Cut your needled stitch.
What stops and goes like traffic ain´t the rage of Belgian beer.
Lady, find me. Lady tragedy.
Lady, blind me. Lost and found identity.
Wonderland waffles. The milking of babies with chocolate.
With scar on his scalp, my dog licks at ants along concrete.
Lady, sad me. Wooed by wishing.
Lady, had me. Nurturing´s cruelty.
Put on your double-knotted sneakers. Sugarcoat cereal TV.
Record a home movie with your phone, as toddlers smile jump
the step now reserved for SUV´s. A step once cranked to limits,
like father was waitressed by tip talk, his tragic joke´s Timbuktu.
Even Odds Redial More Than Once
Once, I saw the grass grow, saw the dying light turn dawn.
Once, I saw my friend move on, become a father to the old.
They´re departing sights I´ve had to learn from as I walked,
looking for trails to peak to cliffs, rivers to sweep over rocks.
Once, I reminded my father of how he used to redial my gain,
hoping my cost could cancel the even odds more than once.
Once, education became a weekend that made me roommate,
as the sun poured down, heat so heavy I had to sing in the car,
fenced Neil Diamond tennis, dug a tunnel with my bare hands,
as I stood sad in the grass, my penance for the family we lost—
the way of the Amazing Grace she came to see, the way he chased
his motorcycle after she beached Takoma Park, cheap oil and gas.
Crowds Tadpole Clouds Over Ohaine
The Belgian fields slope up and down, the grassy fields solar wind dust
into the boundless night and cascade light far from this hallowed ground.
I am looking for the father who towel dries my domestic hair and back.
I am searching for the Napoleon of Jerusalem. He has become foreign.
He is taller now. Standing behind a deli counter, he still serves time.
He has sold me the less affordable pork chop, the kind seasoned
for the mothers who come to buy their sons a more aristocratic beef—
the spoiled shoulders burnt so crisp they leave no bone chips unturned.
But on this day, Napoleon trusts not his enemies of crowded greed,
just as he knew not how to save himself from the cages in between
the young woman whom he loved and the poison wages of his defeat.
I am seeking them within myself now— their steamed crab Superbowls.
I am eating his pork chop to build my own castle, a much richer empire—
dreams of leaner ponds over Ohaine, of pretty, tadpole girls so clean
their midnight crowds dish the jobs of cloud overtime and bullfrog benefits.
Dirt is not for the moral. It is for morale´s suffering and healing amphibian.
Philosophy at the MVA
Business hours are a lot like life: late in opening and a little too early to close.
Evil propagates into indirect ´me´s´, good into relative ´you´s´.
Tired girls are dropping philosophies at the MVA today.
I only have damned souls to save tonight.
Because tonight I´ll pass the liquor store on my way
to marry straight the one with twenty-nine lays.
I love the bruise mascara she hides on her face like strife.
She loves the weeds of life I garden for her like a wife.
What can I say that hasn´t already been said?
What should she do that hasn´t already been done?
I´m pounding feet through my shadow´s invisible pavement on my way,
as hope sounds off trumpets through my beating heart´s 1982 first-aired art.
I could have copyrighted that book on the chili bar shelf—
the one about the sociological sketches across the rocks of Utah.
She should have bitten off the kamikaze idolatry I chew—
the one about the zealous artist who swore to finish a tour while in Baltimore.
I need her consent to get ´us´ right— unlike the matters that turn laughs to tears
and fail to smile back at the good-byes that make promises suddenly disappear.
May consumption extinction bring her back to my side— long to make me hold
her angry sadness that sings in me as her happiness feeds my hunger again.
So complain in vain— stomp your homesick foot while outside of Oz.
The people will only stick their ¨Sorry. But We´re Closed Now¨ sign on their door.
They keep listening to some nationalism that pains the aged into becoming young.
They keep preaching complaints that sell books that make them do what they´re told.
So finish your cake America. Prejudice has just declared my fifteen minutes a holiday.
Even the MVA has closed its doors at 4:29 p.m. for the fast cars of avarice to celebrate.
Pick the lock to the teacher´s desk with your half-finished test if you can.
The dog´s bark means your fears will well up and a deserving Martha will finally run dry.
Cocoa thirst, jogging sex,
Japanese star, photograph memory,
African smile, sensitive mercy,
I can´t put my finger on the map
but I´m in San Francisco
and I don´t know the hills.
I guess I´ll call you
somewhere on the way home.
Black eyes in expresso bars.
Black fingernails on corners.
Black caps on gray heads.
Look at the Italian waiters hustle.
Listen to young couples explain.
I may not reach my final destination
but I´ve known you here
in your black tights and high skirt,
walking your white poodle in Chinatown.
And if I now remind you
of the child you´ve outgrown,
look at the tipping glass overflow
when lovers steal hands where tears go.
If I can´t put my finger on the map
as it wrinkles into trash,
listen as boned girls cover their lips
as their phoned date growls:
¨He´s one of us... so why be different?¨
I may not meet you here again
but I´m getting to know the hills.
You see, it seems the crowd
needs me more than I want them.
For I take my coffee bubbling with froth,
not volcanic black!
I reciprocate their expendable polemics
with the hysterics of rage.
No. I may not see you again
but the waiters still slop oil upon my pants,
the couples still explain,
and the tipping glass still overflows
through the cartoon words: Tipping Grail.
I procreate with the new money
that dares to masquerade.
And if I flare my eyes and turn to face yours,
find omnipotence in knowing
that I walk a labyrinth of dissonance.
I might not belong to life
but I´m as alone as this art.
Perhaps all I stalk is a long hug
to remind me of love nearly gone.
Perhaps all I have is courage watered down.
But somewhere else you arrive
to a man who believes in good fortune
just because I said good-bye
to the forever you couldn´t live with
though you used to love the fog
like a streetcar loves the tension of a cable
or a stranger such as I
golden by the glow of sky stretching
Dogs Smack Gums in Cockroach Laurel
I'm taking off my white-laced sneakers with instinctual haste so rude.
My belt buckle clangs out mistaken premonitions as it hits my watch´s face.
I´m ready to shower off work sweat like cow grass changes underwear,
stare into the distance as ´the Batman´ governor pulls out his fat pen.
Yet, unlike him, you have a mission to undergo as he drives you home.
For the man you wish to know is me, how his bare feet are but unpainted toes.
You dog him as he chews eyes against your skin like a cockroach smacks gum.
Still, I think of you as I shower off my cold sweat, take him to my halls of fame,
send the State the picture you will receive as text— the one that speaks of thorny lies
as you towel dry my hair with his fierce face and deny his request to sow his cigarette.
The chime of jealousy sends you off to read your phone mail like traffic off´s a holiday,
pour milk into my night coffee like barn breezes make history out of corporate slaughter.
You wet the tip of your throat and I recite him this— he trips over your deadpan loyalty,
until I catch a glimpse of ´the Batman´ as sparrow news forwards skyscraper driveways.
Fishing to Keep from Drinking
((for Elizabeth Rodricks)
Tonight I´m talking ´bout a cure for scratching air,
the drive to drink that requires clean sheets.
Here I enter a grocer´s check-out,
weighing my license against the blush of the cashier´s touched face.
He says a total, hands me my receipt.
The sky is a cloudless blue.
Hundreds of parked trucks wait for business in the airport lot.
I´m not alone,
yet tonight I drink to my dying landlord and her Irish city.
She used to listen to my rhythm above her vaudeville memories
as she tried not to fall back asleep,
a price paid for night shift schmucks like her late husband and myself.
I watch my step as I enter steel,
place my valued carry-on beneath the seat in front of me.
My flight will not arrive on time. She will not partake of my sentimentalities.
I doze off for an hour,
say the Lord´s Prayer to the silent tenor of Mario´s Sigmund Romberg.
She used to count on my rent like the changing girls counted their tattoos,
had sex until they succeeded in financially hooking up men´s stares.
Only her grandson still remembers the antique acts
that packed laughter inside the comic books she collected
for a suitcase he knew his father would save for him fully intact.
Flora´s hope for catharsis was already gone,
as was the ever-longer growing day,
when I received news of her passing.
It was the smell of alcohol that covered my breath with sadness though
that made me call to book a flight within the cradle of ¨the T´s¨ heaven.
She used to love scolding me while we returned to her assisted living,
after I´d make her notice the artistic movements along Harvard Square,
yet not before I would find the hook to yet another Romberg song.
Flora and I must have sung every one of them a hundred times,
before she would finally kiss me, crying, outside her life of memories.
Her husband´s death was, for her, the final curtain.
Seems like I retired from driving trucks
when he ceased to inspire her with road songs.
She didn´t drive well when not under his protection.
When medications polarized her into charley horse drives,
I would pick her up to dine at downtown Boston´s finest.
Now I live off my family´s income as I drink off social security.
If only I had saved the comics she kept to stop my drinking,
we might now be celebrating the recovery of insatiable fishing.
Circling Logan´s runway like nurses park doctors at desks
while they make the rounds that keep them reviewing charts,
I pour vodka down the toilet to announce her long-made decision,
poison an ocean with her dearly-departed´s filtered past,
choose to be on her shore— survivor of this all too familiar class.
¨Before she died, she gave me this,¨
her grandson mutters into the corners of my eyes,
referring to a 20 cent comic book.
I point my shaking index finger pensively
at the green and orange heroes among its pages.
He finally explains how ´The Hulk´ lost his mind, ´The Thing´ his heart.
Laughing inside his wild eyes, she sleeps now as she did then,
unwelcome amid the flowered walls of bold names
that honor her widowed life with arrangements and sterile cards.
The freer one becomes because he wants to be loved,
the more dependently-evil he perceives those around him to be.
Love is a compatible dependence upon one´s significant other—
the extension of ´us´ that makes lust a part of the world God sets free.
As partners, we find it difficult to attract those less familiar with our flames.
Still, we wish to be there for others, help them to see themselves attracted.
Flora and I had believed that acceptance could be intellectually-based,
that one could grow closer to this world by learning to evolve from art itself.
I grab a seat in a far corner of the viewing room,
still tired from the journey from my married son´s home.
I watch her son ruffle the freshly-cut hair of his as he shakes hands.
Her death had much to do with his mutant life, I thought,
that she would allow her son to place such manic beliefs in him,
like our long drives gave her poetic license to color my drunk thoughts.
Looking between the hairspray of tree trunk heads
belonging to so many of her family... to so few of her friends,
I remember how free my operettas had made Beantown seem—
the forest she once briefly told me her husband had longed to leave.
I lived for her for over twenty years... she with my truck driver dreams,
when I hear a priest begin his eulogy, something about water and wine.
Breaking Hard in Allentown
She received my happiness.
I discovered her unaccepted gifts.
We brushed bodies, tenderly kissed.
At the very last moment, she said: “I’m so sorry.”
Found uncles bring gallons of milk to lost girls just starting out in life,
when you break too hard in Allentown.
She requested oil and vinegar instead.
I broke her several pieces of my own bread.
We remembered the bands, the tie-dye T-shirts bled.
As I insisted on paying the tip, she said: “Give it some time.”
Premeds strut malls before they open, hurry for drive-up Mocha rehabilitations,
when you break too hard in Allentown.
She got a text from her beloved son.
I went to the bathroom, just occupied by one.
We made excuses, loosened the belts and laces we won.
The manager came over, politely said: “Is there anything else I can do?”
Auto part barns become remodeled kitchens for tourist coal wars fought at home,
when you break too hard in Allentown.
She bought me a wallet, ‘a souvenir’ she sighed.
I wandered creaking floors, looked at my watch’s early time.
We spoke of antique wealth, porcelain breakfasts, love’s first blind.
Then, meeting two cages pets from another life, we said: “At least the weather is fair.”
Grief lifts calligraphy tears as valley fog reveals solitary cemetery, pyramid tree odds,
when you break too hard in Allentown.
So she leaves me standing there,
between her henna headlights and my unwaivering stare,
blames me for paternal spirits that lane family and pause affairs.
Her tires spin in the mud, wins nothing as she laughs with unstable eyes.
Her fears lift years later, like a broken feather licked over useless grounds,
when you break too hard in Allentown.
Defogging the Monsters of Shamrock
A tear’s salty acidity cuts through my frozen skin as base camp waves my return.
I am at the beginning of dying, yet a passive reality pinches beneath life’s cruelty.
I have seen the undiscovered mountains that almost drown lungs, crossed seas
swam by better men than me; beheld hearts saved by a bell I have come to hear.
Yet I must attend revivals of sweet reconciliation and she the avalanches of grief.
Defog the Parisian windshield of Marvin Gaye jaded, perfection-paid awe.
She smiles at you for a priceꟷ monsters are what men become to virgin eyes.
Versions of old politics filter air with the Eagles every ‘One of These Nights’.
If I could have woken low, punched myself as you regulated lover’s missed call,
I would have hiccupped your Senior Challenge, pivoted our steaming unknown.
Sudden light is woman’s praise as gradual darkness is prayer to a father’s sun.
What I wanted she could never take the placeꟷ the life of realized dreamsꟷ
the uninfected sight that gloves swipe as they wet air like an opened canteen.
I had wanted her to succeed, yet I am tired of praising her for mediocrities.
The masked man cheering her from inside the generational curtain is not me.
The tiny hand clenching pinky fingers is not the will of my claimed anonymity.
Wolves prefer unaged meat like men manhandled cheese.
Defeat dates selfless victory. Victory dates self-destruction.
Her Pearl Harbor plurality of worlds plays out singularity,
like Golden Age comic books back-second our critically happy dance.
Mentally sojourn the Dylan ‘diamond rust’ of Colorado Springs,
as your radio gentles Shamrock mountains with Baez radio, Excalibur hell.
The passive life she wanted me to write, she accepts as poetic justice.
She attempted the trail as her breath clouded her ever-clogging steps.
She ignored my requests to never take a break, to always make-believe.
I could smell the icy water cake around her scarf as she whined defeat.
She slept at base camp when I reached summit, began my slow descent.
Unexciting the Iguana Female Trinity
He searches for her leaving a foreign plaza as the movie crowd slowly exits.
She has yet to read the play’s poem, has yet to break her married ticket stub.
Her friend has opened her eyes to a life she is about to see as a compromise.
Yet under control is her touch and quick summary of The Night of the Iguana.
He grunts to himself as she comes up, smelling of third-party incense smoke.
A child greets them in a running Volkswagen Beetle. Their words sound old
as they argue the purposes of keeping one waiting, of keeping new jealousy.
Christ fills her mind with William’s exciting play while reciting Female Trinity.
A curious woman looks at them from the lowest step, covers her perfect hair.
Iguana scales close his eyes as the man in the car notices what is happening.
From his island he departs, arrives to Berwyn Heights, to his apartment brick.
She thinks of Mary and Martha as she draws out for him the priest’s dilemma,
draws out how flesh fought in vain, took ‘the long swim to China’ to fight drink.
He lights up for a moment as her Vaseline purse-breaks her ticket stub bread.
He feels his bucket heart buckshot desire as he watches cold eyes fill with fire.
The child replaces fears with burning hope as he observes this in his backseat,
like the poor observe how staple needs slowly burn a budget, burn rich plastic
without the rest of finger couch TV or two Three King's Day fried eggs on rice.
-John Patrick Acevedo May 19, 2015, Synergy Press >8.
Burning Sheets for Earthquake Slates
There’s a light-year, baby boom rising up from the cold ground and this sleet,
as my beating heart listens to the weather warnings against my date’s ipod.
I’m looking at her from my fogged windshield as her sloping eyes defrost haste.
We people ski blades that steeple our moving church─ Christ’s sleeping cross.
I ignore commercial pitches between the traffic advice as my tires earthquake ice.
I get past her music’s echoes, like stale coffee and fake-cheese pizza forgets taste.
I was there once. But now it’s college graduation, my American license to disagree.
A year has passed. Balmy sheets chill irritated, mosquito skin. My cousin knocks.
He reminds me of a promise. It’s two in the afternoon. My brain is a traveling Psalm.
My father is coming to meet me on a beach. He brings a towel, bathing suit, my meds.
“WKAQ: Radio Reloj!” My grandfather knows now where he sleeps─ his room is dark.
My cousin smiles at my plastered, barking eyes, burning from windy mosquitos and flies.
My toothpaste slips from my brush. Like Spring Break, it’s skiing. I’m losing my kidneys.
The sun fills the damp air as my lungs are rigged by appetite like dream’s unboxed fight.
I recycle my wallet against black hole gravity─ my bills trial and error memory like waste.
Unfolding Handkerchiefs of the Grave
There’s a peace I know that keeps the heart of gold.
There’s a soul that falls down upon a grassy land of snow.
And there’s a holy man who smiles with his fist clenched
on a book of prayer. There’s a black cat that strays away
as you cross the forbidden street unaware of your own haste.
There’s a damned man, and he ain’t no lamb, thinking of her lies,
the girl who thought she had him in her sweating hands.
She was in a bar with a unsuited man, telling her lies of who she was,
before her mother took away her wounded heart as he stood at the door.
His family moved to California when her children no longer adored her.
Her sons made Midwest money for the Daddy’s girls who drunk so funny.
Their kids can tell you true: in Florida their grandparents play Bingo for Good News.
I moved to Hawaii to discover something worse than the business they had dispersed.
My doctor listened when he saw the woman so rich and blue, walking her dog on his lawn.
If you ask, she’ll tell you it ain’t far, to the hotel in her heart: the island that never yawns.
I stretch my handkerchief across my clothesline, somewhere in Massachusetts out of time.
And I woke yesterday, looking her those clothes I forgot to unhang, fold, and put away.
Maybe you’ll buy yourself one in your confusing youth, keep it in a drawer for what’s in store
on the day of Sabbath as Texans and Indians stir a soup the Jewish deliver to your doorstep.
I list these things all for you just to wipe your eye over a person who once hugged you bereft.
Now it seems to feigned clean in my suit as you exit smiling about what I do because I must
for the ones who prayed for gold broken teeth were stolen from for a handkerchief God unfolds.
No One Can Serve Anyone
Tell the slave to go home at 5:00.
No one can serve anyone.
Tell the mother she can have her jive.
Where we go and what we say doesn’t hurt.
Tell the sister to stay off the streets.
No one can serve anyone.
Tell the brother his money can’t pocket heat.
Who you kiss up to don’t measure the reserve.
Tell the man to pay you for your overtime.
No one can serve anyone.
Tell the customer what they need and not too kind.
What you get ain’t always what you deserve.
Tell the stranger to pack up their plans and go.
No one can serve anyone.
Tell the guest to lay off your hand and nose.
Why we live is to freely give and to find a way to earn.
Tell the Maker His plans are better than the yearn.
No one can serve anyone.
Tell the undertaker his grass is your cremation urn.
If you let Satan love you, all the women will turn.
So keep your coffin, keep your Hertz.
The world is no oyster if your waves don’t fall for her.
Meet it with a smile. Pay it nothing but your respect.
Tell me something I’ve had ever since we met.
No one can serve anyone.
Call your boo, your lawyer, your better-than-average oblivious pet.
Only after he hits you, text me a little yum in the interim.
Ladies book because hotels are cleaned by interns.
The people know the power that sweats upon a single bed
and two polished shoes upturned.
Keep your water. The oil isn’t virgin enough to burn.
The butter verse is the morning poem I’ve forgotten to churn.
All she has is the nerve. No one can serve anyone.
-John Patrick Acevedo, May 16, 2015, Lares, Puerto Rico.
Roses on Valentine´s Day
Maybe isn´t good enough for me.
She calls me up Sundays after I fall asleep.
I tell her she´s wrong and only loves herself.
I hate to think of how unloved this makes my TV.
I was anything but maybe whenever you were around the world of men.
I´ve hated it ever since your friend called on-time and you began to laugh.
Perhaps it´s the black cat on shoulders that makes magic so unbelievable.
Rarely is one able to accept his own faults as well as be changed by them.
My friends are few yet all too real, like kicked dog declarations.
We judge either to instill needs into those who have-not
or judge ourselves when they seed more than mercy´s none´s.
It´s wanting another to be good enough that kills everything.
Dare to become all that you dreamed you could never be.
Better to have lost in life than to have unrequited gains.
There´s a joy that´s never lost, pleasures without pain.
Sorrow heals, not by accepting, but by changing, you see.
You may have known, yet I´ve always wanted to tell you–
I stayed only because you were better than me.
Maybe is only good enough if it can make a family conceive.
I soak your wetness through leather soles as my barber shoes.
I was, simply put, you. I kept it all to myself, frightened by reality.
So farewell until we meet again. Alone tonight, I drain Maui pebbles
from socks down a clogged small hotel sink as my Mai-Tai speaks
of something hard my son was working on, roses on Valentine´s Day.
My son sleeps in a make-believe world.
Some working nights, in my room, I cry for three;
hoping for tears that never came.
The past can leave never´s praying at the pew.
I put him to work, made him a schemer of second looks.
Gave him my story, cut the knot made for liars and thieves.
Still he buys flowers, avoids dying in my sleep. Misses rain.
I kiss his grief as he burns confusion listens while standing.
He heard me coughing once after Peter´s rooster gave him his exit.
Saw my walking-sex smile, like Papi´s, trenched in FM, red van news.
I came to bereft them both of incompetence´s scarlet letter dinosaur.
My Napoleonic war will go on, like Lucy ratings charge apartment air.
The Benefit of Being Old
You ask for favors, thinking
that healing will come.
There is a man
who wears a labeled shirt, pressed
by a hotel machine.
He believes in charity’s justice
that cannot make healing a sacrifice.
I am walking to my hotel room in a bit
of a hurry. The manager has requested it.
I look into my opaque room for something
he wants me to find.
It is something lost by his own
life, something found in the darkness—
his childhood’s heart; his bad grades: struggling
to listen to his Walkman,
a gift from his father on his birthday.
He is looking,
as I am now, for the words that can never
answer the question of damage, of cost,
For the market only asks him:
“Double or the other A?”
It is in the dark of my vacant room
that he awaits— the past that drinks unpay.
He is his father: looking for A’s,
the benefit of private education’s being named.
My shirt catches on my door’s metal hinge,
like war’s damage, the space
of some drunk dream’s after-that’s.
The man with the white labeled shirt is the man
I almost became, even without
the straight A’s,
the present mistake: that white space of some loss
that can never be repaid despite the seizing of compromise,
no matter which idol keeps you sane.
I go to his father’s place and hear him laughing.
Because his mother has taken all of the batteries
to iron one of his clean shirts for some other
man. One for his one work day: a job I will never know.
Easing Belief´s Convenience Factor
(for my mother Carol)
I´ve seen her belief open like an Easter tomb opens on a child´s Good Friday face,
seen her hands press her denim working skirt, lick her lips with a heedless heirloom pin.
She doesn´t remember my blind faith then, when the pale sky chilled the idle hours,
penned me in a build-in porch in Forest Glen, like my crossed-out verses began to end.
Yet I was a brownie and she a child then, free to wear sunshades at dawn, struggle for relief
when work collected my fall like farmer´s cheese rakes downs like Mariah´s lazy-lawn wind.
I had not known wisdom then, yet wise were my drowning words before I burned in the fire
that reigns foolishness like Seinfeld´s comedy father repeated that drunk night: ´give and take´.
We must believe in the hardest factor first, before we can settle on a convenient truth instead,
before mother can walk into waking´s forest, the Gospel I have yet to forget, of wanting´s death.
I can still feel her crying over me, feel father smile as stereo turned mono into Classical breadth.
It doesn´t matter that they had not wanted me there. Cream is poured to keep weak blood fair.
It is the day before Easter and I am practicing Hinduism as if all my desires could accept
that I am guiltless and she will leave but a few things, pray I will only need what needs reminding.
Taking Unknown Second Chances
(for my step-father Dr. Joseph V. Rodricks)
Tomorrow I go.
Ostend may be child;
Maryland may be cold.
Today I stay.
Lady you seem mean.
Mister, why so green?
Yesterday is passé,
like soupy fish and mussels.
Can you not cry should I hustle?
I´m sleepy, so weepy this night.
It´s my 47th birthday in Bruges.
I´m glad to have survived alive.
Where are you walking alone? By.
She tells her banker teller: ¨C´est domage.¨
She is also telling me to insert my new chip.
It´s not cold in the bar though.
Even though the bartender owner says:
¨He thinks he lives here.¨
Ostend, for now, is my home.
No. Not because of him or Him.
Because where I live has suddenly become owned.
¨Dancer or human?¨ This is the lyric on the radio.
I think we could both be both.
The hotel is not in my head.
My thoughts are simply steps back into bed.
My thoughts and you are brief.
Yet, to me, they keep your tears clean.
The darker the act, the deeper the chat.
I heard ´The Meaning of Life´ on a Bruges bound train today.
It may never arrive, yet goes something like this:
¨Take the unknown ouroboros gnosis and place it on top.
Yet before you do, make its base a second chance
by longing hard enough to strengthen it
by the piece that once weakened the egalitarian homeostatic sky.¨
Second chance, here I go.
You combed dreams out over the night.
To Moere I must alas befriend.
He has stayed in me up until now.
I pray he and I will speak again.
The waves, the dogs, the casino.
He was a Prince only to his boss.
Music and poem are now his in Moere.
I walk home with him. It is evening.
He sings of Terrell. Her memory stronger now.
He needs a cigarette bad, yet seems to be good.
Cousaert whisks by on his bikeꟷ a Hamill, Dean show.
We accept the injustice after hunger is gained from lust.
We accept the suffering after anger is lost to being loved.
Where going gets on, il ne pas ni agoge ni adroit.
Areté. Marché. C´est tout comme si, comme ça avec la tête.
Along dirt streets of Flanders, we connect and separate.
I´ve taken from the silver plate all that was leftꟷ
Marvin´s last supper had Frankie as the Judas.
Maybe London murdered Cousaert after all.
Yet there is nothing after the wild eyes forget.
He and I are here in a small cottage in Moere at last.
And even my father has to laugh.
When my father and I first hovered down Bourbon Street,
watched as others picked up still-burning butts, I loved not.
She brushes away bachelorhood like Jazz, wears my mask
as balconies receive our camouflage crowd, lift wet T-shirts.
She fills my palm with the same yet different New Orleans,
as we find humor in the fat hustler exiting his stripper joint.
¨It´s showtime!¨ he says, beading his beard with beer foam.
I never knew sweat could smell as slick as volcanic gravity.
We keep coming back for her to free my neurotic coup d´oeil.
Because sometimes flesh needs a psychotic Mardi Gras thrill,
the voyeurism that escapes sin like ¨the mysterious stranger¨
the Mark Twain asphalt of giant ground sloth reincarnation.
For isn´t this the fingering that makes wanting tongues bait,
scratch down hairy backs like crayfish shells give rice its taste?
What spices pleasure and joy with sorrow and pain salvations,
packs us into noisy beds like sardines― feed clam resistances.
Along with publishing five autobiographies, ´outsider stories´, that juxtapose the process singer-songwriters from the seventies and eighties took with his own ascetic approach to gnostic manifestations both within and without, Synergy Press books are the first to capitalize on the rehabilitation terminology of ´give and take´ John Patrick Acevedo founded as gospel.
His metaphysics introduced in the 1990´s to the general public through poetry readings define Good and Evil in terms of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, as illustrated in his landmark diagrams appearing here.
The 'Gospel of Give and Take' is one Acevedo began with his poems Gina's Jesus and Soul Attraction in 1987 and 1993. In it, he lays down the gnosis of passive hunger's alkaline and active anger's acidity: the struggle between emotional fear and spiritual hope and physical fear and mental hope. To merge both is to possess the power of God living within, the 'salt of the earth'.
Acevedo reveals how in the Tree of Knowledge the body gives actively while the soul takes passively and either gives passively to the heart or actively to the mind, which in turn takes actively from the mind or gives passively to the heart. In Acevedo´s Tree of Life, it is an active soul and heart which gives and takes to and from the body in order that the mind may passively take.
A graduate of Boston University, Acevedo has been featured at Barnes & Noble as well as at many poetry venues. His thought-provoking stories and beautiful poems lay down a fundamental marriage between the memory of prayer and the mystery of praise. "I believe that, with enough transience in the wake of entropy, will and reason can awaken arrogance and ignorance," Acevedo says.
Acevedo's poetry can be seen on youtube.com, facebook.com, and google.com. Four of his poems were exhibited at The Artists' Gallery in Columbia, MD from 2009 to 2013. He writes from his hometown of Columbia, MD and was a top-performer for the retail giant Best Buy for 20 years.
¨The Holy Bible Sociology of active/passive morality is that when one becomes consistently active, he will experience pain (body) and sorrow (mind) or Old Testament suffering. When one becomes passive enough, he will encounter pleasure (heart) and joy (soul) or New Testament salvation. Hence, to remain active is to suffer the lot of the worker and to become passive is to enjoy the fruits of one´s labor or market success. Yet, the control-sharing of market is one of worker sorrow and pleasure (mind and heart) whereas the freedom-dependence of the market is one of worker-market joy and pleasure (soul and heart).¨ -John Patrick Acevedo, September 30, 2015, Synergy Press >8.
Glossing Over the Goddess Eyes of Grief
There is no existence in humanity’s fallen Eden,
only the musk pulp that vortexes lust up from volcanoes
deep within the Devil’s inhuman, remotely-childish heart.
There within man lies unfinished progress.
I have touched the frayed edges between Heaven and Hell,
pierced completely through its seamstress depths.
I have seen how a Goddess’ eyes gloss over the surface of a man,
seen how she takes his hand deep inside hers as he double-takes
her fallen grace, stares into her well of grief, her dried well of affairs.
One midnight, one window quickly lifts along a sore man’s crossroad street.
A blinding kitchen light heals his swollen numb feet as they step over tiles,
heal his cold bare feet as his job opens his refrigerator to hunger and thirst.
Both call him there to sit and wait at its gate, fill his Omega gut with culture.
He waits for the sun to return, waits to wake lost lovers back to their seats.
He makes his table with toast, milk, and the fruits of Goddess grief gloss.
Leave behind the crumbs of your nonexistenceꟷ your needs will only satisfy
the jealousy that refills intolerance’s inhuman tank.
Drive off the early morning lacks with their taunt invisible reinsꟷ
the ones that join howling dogs to hissing cats,
as their avocado skin goosebumps with the pulp of their polluted skies,
peels back like your unrequited loves are unborn within your unlived past,
as clouds ripen with light, spoiling from red to brown;
as others vulture to learn the future’s all-too-familiar taskꟷ
the one that eventually rains down upon us with the sounds of bird song.
Moments of bliss and tactless hurtsꟷ the old man’s mind is a double-edged sword.
America’s ancestors call us back, to take our Roanoke Island broken toy hearts,
dig past the moss of the Devil’s dirt-cratered mound, find a reason worth living for.
Before dawn we will find out the truth, what really happened between me and you.
Neither Here Nor There
I could have cried for you,
since pushing through the rains of pouring train´s unrequited stop:
my traveling asteroids anchored; my oxidized thoughts sheathing by lust:
instead of sentimentalizing pain. The doors split as I tour the street I sit departed on.
I could have saved eyes for you,
since Monet´s paintings have been salvaged by Nag Hammadi politicians.
Instead I saw the snow blight his poppies, overextend parasols, numb cheeks with rage.
The Outer Banks lighthouse sage has me spoken for by limbless trees of solemn weight.
I see her smile struggle during the over-friendly visit,
imagining the suffering that keeps family fears in what the future dreams.
Yet work is all I can keep, all that drives her from and to nowhere.
Found that debts are bought within and walked dress shoes along a sea of moss.
I go to lies, distractions, mysteries of Black Friday reins and machine paid fares.
There is no time to force the child´s restraining tears or cake the iron board horse.
My wish for her is to save my spirit when she finds my soul neither here nor there.
Yet she leads me to desert lakes-- winds that angel wing footprints like lipstick hail.
I could have climbed down from her peak,
since she loosened herself from me; since I watched omphalos lower her string.
Yet drive rises and falls as fat clouds the nets of acid-milked tea--
the sour step that shoulders transparent needs and descends hunchback altitudes.
Really Naps the Maitre D
(for my grandfather Juan Acevedo)
At sea, we mask beneath the mirrored cascading,
the mask we don whenever we kiss and pass parading.
I see her tears like salt in the earth sweats a bed;
see her years outclassed by mine
a hair and a breath.
She climbs out of her mattress way,
way ahead. I am retired,
an uncrumbled wall of work fame.
At sea, really naps the Maitre D when pics keep asking
exactly just what grade of milk drowns
the silver pitcher, as he pours grease like a home plate
is run by El Nino's curving, checkered legged referee sliding catch.
I am listening to 'Red Red Wine' by Neil Diamond
like it was 'The Summer of '89'.
Somehow, he sings my sadness way too high,
leaves me laughing
like a serious, misunderstood clown.
Could I forget the slamming
morning door my Senior year by the Russian roommate?
Can I go back to the issues I've outgrown
like my unrepressed adolescence?
Stay with me an hour or two as 'September Morn' plays
in my stateroom's backseat.
I wrote you this note to say 'Thanks' for the year
God barely forgave.
The ship sways as I point
my text steering wheel into your finger paint, ocean moon.
Whatever you say, Dear.
I'm beyond effort, beyond the balcony's ballad spreading friendly fire.
'Heartlight' has E.T. phoning home after a much -too- long delay.
He found a friend. Maybe I can, too.
My cell phone gets weaker like your biological clock
loses charge of my battery unconnected.
What I mean to say, the Maitre D already said
by the justice shining in his front car seat teeth: God's eye
immunity parachuting, dropping lines
like lies shake us to our fist's church immunity.
Holding onto to love's return is like letting go of a life lived too near.
It means nothing but the regret
of forgetting all but that which makes us plain.
Don't explain the tragedy of unabsorbed misperceptions.
I feel your mercury lust in the lines I drop, like whispering dust
collects impersonal space.
Static Cling Across the Basement Rug
My head rests on the seat as my father drives with eyes fixed ahead.
He speaks of a Spanish place where young couples with babies eat.
Weaker than ever before, I think of others as he rethinks his strategy.
Blinded by graduation´s dead-end streets, I´ve moved out and within.
I´ve left a basement for his New Year´s treat. Its rug sparks against me.
It scares like uneaten bread. Last night, I sat up until dawn statued heat.
My sober thoughts leave him, as I ascend rented stairs and wave to him.
I hear glass and radiator breathe, mesh my bed sheets like flowers meet.
Pulling out of my driveway, he leaves me to my porch’s frameless mattress.
Looking to Lares, I shoe lace solidarity as my boombox plays Edie Brickell.
The freezing rain chills like adrenaline sweetens sweat with shingled sex.
I watch nurses graffiti time as walls virgin doctors with unfinished debts.
Emoji Love Call-Out Time
Ending my work shift never felt so New Year’s Eve.
The month has ended. I have won another month.
Yet I know not that these things happen for a reason.
The skateboard dude laughs just outside our storefront.
Perhaps fathers want sons to win forever in their lifetime,
cannot see that their moments are worthy and owed nothing.
Perhaps mothers are either Black Holes or firework sparks.
They curve human space like asteroids serve gravitational fields.
Her sick sweat is about to irritate my naked wrist. She laughs.
It’s been too slow and long a pace. My body begins to burn.
The weekend is young and I have nothing but Dad to please.
X-Ray his life and he may raise a glass to paternal invisibility.
Tired, she coughs at last. My growing interest takes her energy.
My father calls as she walks to her car. She flashes her abdomen.
We’re catching Emoji Love’s cold; scraping icons from our windshields.
Receipt paper holds numbers as I crawl Rt. 95, frog jump my driveway.
She is crying as she eats her old salad. Her city love-life untold.
She has just enough cash for gas, groceries, and cheap booze.
My father thanks me the next morning when I call-out to shovel;
Dan Rather’s Uncle Sam’s potential for turning over dissonance.
Absence Fills the Eyes of Restlessness
Devotion kills the lies of selfishness.
A man will spend his entire life waiting for now or never.
Yet only a woman’s plans can confuse his restlessness.
Find a way back to Vulcan, the ‘Search for Spock’ afterlife.
The phone machine answers as he turns over in his bed.
Her pouting lip dreads his good luck with jealous bread grit.
To praise a lover is to offer mercy in return for promised love.
He sits and waits─ keeps my mistaken’s; leaves his forgiven’s.
These months, he warms my kettle into whistling. I drink with him.
The morning rain ripples into streets as neighbors learn who he was.
Build yourself into a church. Connect the dots. Disobey all that moves.
It has been a year and a half since our eyes met at The Greene Turtle
with invitations to his returning memory. “I’m giving a hint,” he had said.
Guilt is the cause of excitement.
Desire is the effect of sorrow.
Sorrow is the cause of guilt.
Sanity is just enough depression
to close your mind to the aged.
Because sanity is the pearl in a shell─
each generation must try to pass it down to the next.
Until my brain becomes focused enough
to separate the destinations that come into view,
I will not stop here until my body has cast its shadow tilts.
As blue as love can be, you are still my angel.
You lift my limbs until I can almost float
between the sidewalk´s whirlwind of peripheral affinities.
Joy respects attraction.
Greed betrays trust.
Trust respects joy.
Compassion is just enough mania
to open your heart to the young.
Because compassion is the girl in a dress─
obsessed by the compulsion to grow into sex.
And just because the churches of guilt
have stained my soul with the burdens of the conscience,
I will no longer be ashamed to look you over like money.
For since accepting your claim of amnesia,
I´ve come to remember where expressions lie.
Since time has slowed my body and sped my mind,
I´ve gone to the only places you´ve left behind.
Where did you say you used to while away?
In the basement student lounge I heard you stay─
when you remember the man you saved for graduation day.
For again at dusk I know I must return
to the corners I´ve let unconquered fears squeeze me into─
because hope still trips me into confusion like a snake.
Perhaps continence is more like guilt than like love─
the more repressed the desire, the deeper the cut.
For emotions only prolong the desires sorrow forgets to wake.
And until I taste just enough sweetness in my tea,
I will continue looking for what´s already there.
Until your heart plays the tune that my soul can believe,
I will still feel the bitter rain of hurt in my parted hair.
And if by chance you see my name in print,
below a photograph of the ghost you resolved to save─
find me among ¨the T¨ passengers that came and went.
For many times I´ve been turning onto Beacon Street,
with your mother´s address in my memory´s safe─
hoping to send you a bouquet for Easter that year,
as I prayed my forsaken promises would become your faith.
Remember when they began to jog up and down your street,
as we meandered around puddles of rain like careful conversation─
before your mistrust would blow me off to second chance Lents?
Now you´re picking up your pace as I prepare a future here─
because I know that to care is to be close as greed to children.
Now my obsessive loss has made me as valuable as ´she´ to helpers─
because providence seeks to possess the misbegotten.
For I had thought that continence was love and sorrow lust─
the lonely nights I dropped you off when I was courting
the virtues my repressed desires had made into deeper cuts.
I had thought that my name in print after your maiden name
could hide sophomoric immortality, like my tears quickly swept
could earn the hurt your heart had spent─ preparing me for graduation day.
For every act of kindness done for the sake of salvation,
there are places that serve as beacons through which wisdom
may impart abstract locations with the details of personality.
They are the self-created heavens of imagination
that transform the inhibitions of relations into familiar paths─
to bound the heart only by the kindred spirits witnessed there.
For only on your street, do the sparrows think double-trunk tree academics,
until my father´s father´s arm hollows around my mother´s mother´s back─
for us to dare to dream the sentimental thoughts that do warm-wire tricks
like a messenger solstices angry guilt and hungry desire within orbital tracks.
Those who despise misery, come to crave unrequited foolishness:
like women sigh happiness along solitude´s slopes with such tender cares─
to slur the words of wise men who tear through the drunken darkness,
until weapons dull from the cutting of initiated promises and layered prayers.
The clock beside the Student Union seems to stop as she struts
along its wall and opens an industrial strength door to a flight of stairs.
Pant-scraping hands shoulder strap a book bag as her face total recalls.
Her eyes touch base with my Everest escapeꟷ my gee-whiz cataclysm
with an overexposed date, with a Dr. Zhivago, Lara Poem underground.
She gets stay. The game is for my own risk. She undresses patience.
So if I should make a toast for all to attend,
one Easter meal with the borrowed grace of a new seat,
remember the pride that used to raise a glass and smile─
the evenings dreams lit the miles as I looked for Beacon Street.
Dad´s Christmas Glass
There was once a man sold his heart and soul
before telling a girl how his sharing was all his own.
He was saved by giving up responsibility´s control,
waited until she told him the cost of cold over the phone.
If you ask me, I´ll be honest and true.
Let me explain how using eventually gets abused.
If I tell your family what I think of your missing core,
they´ll only want the free dust that settles beneath my door.
Because I´m off and on again with Dad´s Christmas glass.
I was looking out for Santa. I was guilty for seeming glad.
I was singing Cats in the Cradle to dead traffic lights fast.
Then came the time for Puerto Rican, Three King rhymes,
as my mother reeled in and out of his life like apple wine.
It was 1981. James Taylor gave up on heroine fun—
left Hollywood in a Carolinian taxi with born-again cash.
Yet I can´t stop crying, now that the borders are dying
and my mother´s undiscovered family keeps mine doing time.
So tell me if she listens while the townhouse is whistling
and the unborn baby I was so jealous of fades fast.
Maybe I´ll tell her tomorrow how she cleaned up the sorrow
and built a home around this signed heart like a collage cast.
Now will he ask his mother how to turn out yet another,
as she sings some hymn about a kite past its fighting prime?
So tell her that I´m sorry for thinking that she was married.
Ask my children to gather for the Big Fat Cat one more time.
There´s no road left untraveled, no glass filled, no genius ex-jock.
There´s no innocent kiss and tell, no simple hell in eternity´s tap.
I´m here staring at the hat to give birth from its hidden door-trap.
Still Dad´s Christmas glass lasts longer than a newlywed mocked.
Some die and never tell their sacrificial story.
Some fly only to land on a personal runway to glory.
Some ask their mothers how to lead with girlie questions.
Some ask their brothers how to follow manly suggestions.
Can you find the future in the palm of your hand—
the lines that run down genes and evaporate up again?
Do you egg on eyes that seethe the yolk of yeast lies
as they crack your mistakes, attack you from deep inside?
Because I´m off and on again with Dad´s Christmas glass.
There was a boy who had an airplane wire. His anger fueled the fire.
He spun it round arrogance like an adult child running too mild.
Until there was no longer the girl, who for him was a windy pearl.
Only dials between the ceiling and couch of her mathematical smile.
Now it´s 2013. I drink fast tea over charm-three´s pacing bed, heavily-bent
while the Tin Pan Alley Hawaiian troubles over late-night TV´s unforgiving—
used and abusing what overcharged use´s abused Wuthering Heights ring.
If you know and care off and on, you learn to earn enough accomplishment.
The Missing Hour
(for my father John Acevedo)
You will not return this prayer when you come to lay beside her,
speak to B-line´s holy brave, summarize to all what you´ve saved.
We learn to compensate when the world favors dreams to sleep.
I was the hidden seeker of your venting ex´s unforgiving needs.
You pleaded denial when I saw laughter in your suffering eyes.
She was the fire you never lacked, your resolution´s missing hour.
It comes to some in the repressed release of forbidden thoughts.
Some speak to distant relatives in the flavors of sleep long lost.
I was humbled smarter by the shared desserts of sandman desires.
I got arrogant the harder you pushed, dumber the more she pulled.
She would eventually kneel to your meager self, her devoured trust.
It´s hard to please hurt when ill profits from counterbalanced greed.
Lack of use creates intelligence. This increases intolerance.
Absent abuse encourages ignorance. Presence creates use.
Use creates arrogance; arrogance ignorance. Abuse envies pride.
You can´t steal salvation by murdering ego any more than ego can
steal charity by murdering compromise. Seize guilt´s sacrificial son.
A woman is only impartial to sloth laborers, impotence´s childless cow.
Will draws hope from within. Grace calls upon drought to forsake fear.
It is but the missing hour that we desire, a chance to work it out alone—
feel her adrenal lie crisis her inconvenience, marry the easily amused.
Wasted Runs Over Broken Records
Let your hair down tonight, but keep it neat for his Thanksgiving.
Because I remember living without, remember being second best.
Turn me on without him slowly. Only before it´s too late,
tell him how strong he is, tell him how he makes you weak.
And just maybe you´ll see that I´ve forgotten who I am.
Maybe you can believe your heart can be healed by my kiss.
For your love goes south for his mind to stay stable,
as my art splices this story like a reporter´s curious vice,
to embellish, not its context, but rather its irrelevance,
so that he may watch you wife the cherry pie you slice,
after holding my plate like an audio cassette snapped
of its tinsel wails by an empty parking lot quarterback girl.
Because I remember picking up my cafeteria tray at Clemson,
just because there were no sleds for my freshman snow.
I remember sketching a beard I would later grow,
until my separation year generated a protected ledge grave
above the mighty Colorado River,
before changing film rolls, look at Grand Canyon insignificance.
I care nothing of the spilled milk that cried but knew me not;
care little for the spring that wilts hope like a living fear.
Sell your wasted run for the unrecorded, unsaved selfie.
For those who will loss, learn how your gain never changes.
I care but for the lazy fog that beats hearts of impressed gold.
Care for the sentimental skip that shovels snow quick at dusk.
Stripping Coal´s Gold
The weather has been kind this winter’s day
on the pilgrimage to the place of my second chance rebirth.
Because the clouds held up their weight, I too tried to be brave
as I boarded the train for a destination at the other end of life.
With me is a picture that has taken me so far for so long
in spite of the hunch of my back and the gray in my beard.
For some reason my cabin is too cold and I find myself
leaving shadows for soup and coffee in the train´s cafeteria.
Out of the corner of my eye I watch as my waitress leans over me
to take my menu and, because she and I are strangers,
offer to satisfy her curiosity by telling her the tale.
Taking off her apron, she sits to take her break with me
as I ask her if she believed in ¨true love after false facts¨.
In and out of doubt´s rooms, women come on and then move out.
We need to suffer when alchemy marries disenchantment´s zoom.
I never banked on his crocodile smile, never thought it could make him
a better man as I watched his pride turn to her as they walked away.
Still, I had noticed that he would comb his hair more than once
on every go, drive spit down my throat whenever I dog-eared his bible.
I should have listened to my friend when all he did was shake his head,
as I dropped my right fist over the poem, told him I would never be through.
¨Janus is his god,¨ he had said, as my optimism blinded me into believing
that this manager then must have a warm side beneath his corporate cool.
Still, sitting in my car as my headlights documented their night´s numbers,
I couldn´t help but feel the ticking drive that makes a company lose its protocol.
Turning away from the moving night´s window, I met my companion´s lonely stare
and, for a fleeting moment, saw through her polite nod.
My hand grabs for my coffee only to feel hers stop it, then to go on.
¨It´s cold now,¨ she says.
I lift the cup as if to toast her empathy.
¨I know,¨ I reply sympathetically.
¨Next stop... Boston!¨ the intercom announced.
Giving my server a ten dollar tip, I thank her for her time.
¨I loved her too much,¨ I confess with a smile.
She seems to understand as I ask for the check.
¨You´ve paid enough,¨ she says.
I was going back now to my father´s New England college youth.
Going to where an apartment balcony waited with open arms,
as he tried to catch another round of plastic golf balls from a toy rifle.
Going to the grass where father had placed her kite string in my hand.
Yet as my netted maid decided to strip to pieces the check of my coal´s gold,
we left the tears then and there, like a love kept after getting too hard sold.
Wiping the Face of Venus
I forget not to think until she sleeps.
I care to know how much she can bear.
I learn by remembering when she weeps.
Nothing is present without procrastinating.
Procreation obligates with justification´s scars.
Arrogance hurts ambition for alienation to attract healing.
I think of missing pleasures she has hidden deep.
I hear her crying when her thoughts are lain bare.
I forget not to think until she sleeps.
Abuse excludes and use includes hating.
Dreams cage lost souls within golden bars.
Nothing is present without procrastinating.
Sweat weakens her like tears in speech.
Sorrow´s game is always played by two.
I learn by remembering when she weeps.
Loving sweats hunger with the moans of mating.
Lust angers men into doing regretful acts.
Arrogance hurts ambition for alienation to attract healing.
Her cave wells up whenever she senses my desire.
Her curves cut blues like a diamond woos.
I forget not to think until she sleeps.
Giving seeks guilt until danger is found.
Righteousness pays dues with population´s tax.
Nothing is present without procrastinating.
Then I string her with foam like the moon waves a beach.
We make out until I´ve taken all she has to share.
Afterwards, I learn by remembering when she weeps.
Hope wipes the face of hurt when we stop aching.
Fear remembers desire´s ever-fleeting stars.
Together, arrogance hurts ambition for alienation to attract healing.
Dirty laundry keeps lying clean. To wife is to grace a street.
Sin comes from knowing. Marriage is caring´s prayer.
I forget not to think until she sleeps.
I learn by remembering when she weeps.
Good deeds save punishment. Forgiving blesses betraying.
Charity compromises when Venus becomes Mars.
What is ambitious is arrogant. Procrastination attracts by alienating.
Nurturing the Sobriety Within
St. Patrick´s Day uncovers guilt´s self-convictions.
The law of inaction depletes elixir´s diuretic cans.
Accelerated needs keep one closing the door.
Love is an only child feeding on what he doesn´t own.
I line my dormitory shelf with wide-open intimacies.
I am as proud as I am sensitive. No one walks alone.
Absence calls for a fixed presence to bare what once was here.
When your world seems as locally-visited as a gas station,
empty your tank and fill your spare tire for upward mobility.
People may trouble differently, yet each tells a similar tragedy:
a child is conceived, a job doesn´t pay, generations separate the wealth.
As it turns out, the future reaches out for the past, makes us human.
Feelings are the arteries, thoughts the veins that run to the deities.
A woman knows this, how her window opens, her door closes,
when the house they belong to divides and her means are in question.
So pay tithes for the sober man. Prepare for the life after employment.
Stop earning only to be checked by the analysts that only tout companies
founded by pioneers who hire workers only their children can understand.
For not only are mothers that permanent stain on the brand new frying pan,
they are also the purple buds that bloom so sparingly along roadside trees.
I´m intoxicated with sober men´s wives whenever they point them out to me.
We are both somehow a part of their recovery, that reemerging innocence.
It values sacrifice, not for the individual, but rather for newborn existence—
not to enlighten the authorities, the institutions, the political establishment.
We may not wear a ring, yet our child´s synapses woo us like nature´s matrimony.
We might not be under the influence, yet we both limbo under dependency´s bar.
Though our tears only sell pride, we squeeze tighter, talk softer than melted butter,
let them stream around rosy cheeks until life confronts with the fallen´s festivities.
Still life´s celebration is only to accept the hell that is all around us
whenever we rejoice in finding that prenatal piece of heaven within,
hear the missing child´s voice, shed blood with the person we call our spouse.
Because it´s really for them that we pray, to gather for the purgatory that is without.
As in the ancient Chinese philosophy,
absent yin pulls me into your reality
by submerging memories into distractions.
Present yang pushes you into my dreams
by surfacing memories from distractions.
Hunger and anger circle vices like sharks in a tank.
Absence calls for a fixed presence to veer lies from what is clear.
You hold not what you think I possess nor what I really think,
though you confess only that we might quickly drink.
We are environmental beggars and hereditary thieves.
Who we mix with dictates what we follow and to whom we concede.
We are stumbling to close the deal— rain bullets our complimentary hats.
I am mumbling to my ball-pitching saints, standing drunkenly at bat.
You hold onto my battle that you may fall feet-first into my liberated feel,
though I show you only the imitated habits that you miraculously make real.
We are consumed by each other like their lies kill our jealousy for the obvious meal.
Paranoia cries for leg and butt-men to forever solve thrill´s perverted mystery.
Passive futures lead only to active pasts, public fears to solitary hopes recovered from loss.
Greed fists privileged envy into staged climbs while miners trap pity below trust´s gravity.
You suggest to my imagination that you kind of love me,
though I hold out to hold on out of fear of losing your sympathy.
Tangents twist complications into the games of friends and enemies.
Art is at best journalism and life at worst a genetic receipt´s faded experience.
I free your heart to scurry action and law from the ignorant indulgence of Christianity—
come up with accepted months of change for the redemptive points of society´s ´no return´
whenever your burning eyes take the chill out of my absolutes you smile into relativity.
We realize dreams when history is made out of bought memories and souls born to be free.
Yet love teaches us to sing life into its turning of art into momentary tears.
I no longer watch the Times Square ball fall, try to bring back melancholy cheer.
Do you hold out because I hold onto Magdalene grace and the wrath of God?
Some people love for a taste of life while others live for love´s struggle for monogamy.
So can you enlighten me as to the reasons true love must slowly rot—
lovers go for schemes while Mom and Pop design the family for loss?
Beggars live off what you make, thieves off the dreams that children outgrow like cribs.
We learn the price of success by forgiving another for their failed attempts at happiness.
May we steal not nor sacrifice for the foolish sake of divorce´s entropic company.
We fix marriages, not by incompatibility´s fidelities, but rather by finding joy in pain—
trust longs for love when sorrow´s pleasures live less and lust becomes more transient.
I sweat you because you dry bones and rust eyes for the kind cruelty of familiar strangers.
I don´t enjoy watching internet disasters.
Impatience causes my body to become overly-active
when your mind gets too passive.
I desire you then— wish to pull you into my life.
Pushed away, we possess an overly-passive body
and a mind too active, sorrow´s loaves and fishes.
Absence calls for a fixed presence to nurture the sobriety within.
I profit from heartaches like family plans diary wonder, recycle passion like anonymous choice.
I´m backtracking my steps down Falls Road. You´re praying greed will guide me to my car.
Trust overdrives fear´s cross-eyed addictions, wets concrete oblivion with drifting ambition.
Consumer wonder overworks half-lived, sub-city streets as job experience blinds suburbia.
The 45th Birthday Poem
In the words of the saints:
I needed the genes and so did she.
By faith, life becomes a glass ladder to salvation´s sky.
By doubt, love becomes a struggle to combine the Holy Trinity.
Piecing together the torn paper
of what would be my 45th birthday poem,
all at once I grow completely calm as she blesses the room.
And though she and I become confused,
I remember that indignation´s conception is a glass ladder to the sky;
I remember that the Holy Trinity is the human condition to combine.
Because Jesus said:
¨He who has no sin, may he cast the first stone.¨
Because Moses said:
¨The spirit is the foundation of the heart, not the soul.¨
Here I had been, trying to save myself with a past,
the future that got forgotten as her existence touched mine
with a love that replaced trust in myself with life´s ´everybody else´.
In the words of the poets:
I needed a scene and so did she.
Yet through acceptance, she existed in me and I in her.
Through change, there was an absence that called for progress.
And though paranoia made repression into perversion,
I found love in the presence of lust that forsakes the cross;
I found hope in the fear that pursued the reality of loss.
Because Jesus said:
¨Plant righteous seeds and a garden will grow.¨
Because Thomas said:
¨No doubt can blind an ambitious faith.¨
Yet on this birthday, I had forsaken doubt for faith´s cross.
With this generation, I had made new what the past had lost.
We each have moments and this was one of them.
¨You got a haircut!¨ I stutter. This was good news, after all.
News richer, more tangible than a spending man´s wallet.
¨Can you feel it?¨ she beams.
The womb of happiness is God´s force of habit.
¨Smarter than a wallet,¨ I attempt to please.
¨Your wallet,¨ she says.
Because Jesus said:
¨Time can heal all wounds.¨
Because Judas said:
¨Remove time and all is possible.¨
¨I could have waited longer,¨ I boast as she laughs at me.
Dishonest pleasure is a poor excuse for unheeding´s humor.
Only this time was different. Now she carried a generation.
I needed to bleed and so did she.
I have bought and sold the stand-up comedy of larger proportion.
I have wanted salt ‘good morning’ more that he wanted me gone,
wanted to see him smile up from his head down ‘goodnight’ end.
I used to sing to him as he returned our Sabbaticals for his work,
my mother’s merchant patronizing convincing him to buy me steak,
to wave the seas of needing to do one’s part, of finite significance.
As a child, I would stare deep into the Farrah poster in my room,
her smile as flat as Majors’ Mount Desert Island’s boulder pitches,
his slow movement speaking film reversals as he leapt his descent.
I used to tell my father such things until he fell asleep on the carpet
during his abandoned bachelor years, my agoraphobic nightmares
washing his drought handkerchiefs with my mother’s towel devotion.
Stepping onto the dock as the Navy Merchant Street’s her disembark,
I follow his index finger, waving obtrusive affairs into the innocent air,
follow rainy mornings to market dusksꟷ the destruction of indifference.
I’ve learned of outraged deaths, learned of gradual dawn’s “Enough!”
I remember where I’ve beenꟷ the undeterred greed that yawns stretch.
My thoughts dock along hierarchy’s pier. They are tiered and also not.
The Passing of Twelve
I´m in the habit of confusing what I have with what I crave.
It has been said that one creates the other and,
like wine to thirst, the more you get, the more you want.
For some reason, this is how I remember our rendezvous—
while I got nowhere fast, you flirted with disaster´s dysfunction.
I was not so much challenged by my classes as I was
by my convictions, a power struggle against the sexual drive,
taught by the fundamentalists in a small corner of South Carolina.
From the moment I had laid eyes upon your face, I had seen myself.
I had been so involved with serious destinations, I failed to appreciate
your severe sense of humor. Here I have learned to depreciate it.
For when a half-Italian, half-Puerto Rican angered me into seduction,
I began to lust again— before she too realized my destination was love.
Both you and she would listen to my talk of unresolved childhood issues,
how mother was to blame, paternal damage the emotional baggage we carry.
Then both betrayed their senior pledges by delivering me into work´s alma mater.
Yet then, your raised eyebrow, strange-tea attention had kept me from falling´s grace.
I chose nothing and lost everything. Now another holds my affections, walks in place.
Words unspoken by endless confessions have gotten me saved from that cafeteria,
though many years ago, I would have never learned how to temper patience with anger,
satisfy hungry risk to create controlled happiness, learn to adopt love to accept intimacy.
It seems to me that in the final analysis, all that matters is to stay the course,
cherish the dreams of emotional attachment, wake each morning to praise the light.
We may travel far and belong outside, yet all hearts remain fixed on the sensitivities
that reveal the deepest of secrets, the power of an honest kiss received and released.
All I want is to give you what you need. All I need is to get from you what you want.
And if we truly want what the other gets, nothing matters more to happiness
than understanding— the passing of twelve that balances the four seasons with sensibility.
I have learned that we must strengthen that which makes us weak, not repress propensity.
For to share expression is to find the mortal spirit within, the flesh that is of one proximity.
Bold sentiments may be sown, yet love reaps frail perplexity— life is but its saved morning.
Turning to Ravel at a Roadblock
I’m listening for the tune
that races beyond a roadblock somewhere in Forest Glen, Maryland.
A sudden storm hits my windshield until the cars ahead of me stop.
A police officer does not wave at a single soul, his covered head down.
One by one, we advance, as each car’s driver decides to circle back.
I am slowly thinking of a familiar song I could never outlast.
Boléro is playing on a local Classical music station I was about to pass,
as the road crossing Jericho’s dark wreckage seems to join the undergrowth.
A mother passes my car with an umbrella as the young victim’s father
crouches over his son’s stretched-out ashes and dust in the advancing rain.
Inside my car, Ravel begins to move my wipers like a Scottish marching drum.
His father fingers his son’s remains on the pavement as a familiar girl arrives.
I hear the crush of glass as I leave our brief past, leave my engine running hot.
She must not be happy because, to her, doubt clues her into my hidden signs.
She must be hurting because my ride seems to bridal an invisible weight inside.
Somehow I can see the fear on her pale, wet face as the officer asks her name.
Somehow I can still smell the undying seed beneath the victim’s khaki raincoat,
as I build a groom out of heaven for his sockless sneakers and annihilated face.
I can only hear my car’s Boléro as the officer asks me if I knew the dead man.
“I only came over to see,” I say, both of us a bit ashamed of the girl’s smile.
Still, the officer adds not her absent strife in the young man’s unresolved report.
Judge Ravel, if you must. Evidence pits wit against grit as mind and soul slowly fit
the crime as the other is judged for the thrill that baits for the kill of Boléro’s brass.
She requests that the officer move onto the task of dispersing the curious crowd.
Who does the competition turn to after seeing his flame burn his heartaches alive?
I’m listening for the tune
that races beyond a roadblock somewhere in Forest Glen, Maryland.
Where tarts peddle irreplaceable hearts and Sodom and Gomorrah settle to survive.
Manteo’s Mood for Puzzle Peace
See how the days turn to dust and all the sunlight burns like rust
inside of me.
Feel how the
darkness peels your heart when you are in love with another’s blood.
My anger is
only as strong as Coldplay speaking of feeling over thought.
Manteo has me
in a mood I can’t seem to place, like a puzzle peace.
On a Best
Buy forklift in ’99, I looked down upon the world of yellow hope as
fellow girls cat-fished.
‘The Scientist’ played on a silver stage as they said “He’s cool”
while I stacked
Sony Wegas like cans. My feelings were fewer then. Yet
here in Manteo
I can see the newer demands green bluer eyes and reason truth
with brownie lies
as I laugh tears like science. Here I can have anyone and hope
has no riskꟷ
just a hotel TV to flatter dry lips that cannot drip what White learned
when Manteo’s stones
sold 1587 Croatoan carved wood where a young Virginia had stoodꟷ
years before tobacco
hysteria brought trade to Jamestown; years before her dead fed a winter.
Boxing Legend Félix “Tito” Trinidad ‘gives and takes’ with John Patrick Acevedo.
-John Patrick Acevedo, February 11, 2016, Synergy Press >8.