With/out permission


People invade

the smal

lest th




A Season for Living


Why is it
I can’t afford
a season living here?

The lights that gleam
elude me
                    the last rays
off glass windows
in the traffic of debris
outside my faded window.

Bright men and women ​
                 briskly return
the heavy jaundiced heat,
one leg stubbornly
pushing  just before the day breaks

No one finds the end
And in breathing
they live in loops
of what is next and old
old and next

You Can’t Help Yourself



The anger that grows from

upstairs neighbors’ overheard disputes

    leaves you longingly looking at the windows in front of you

    you can’t help yourself


You can’t deny that the monotony

makes you a little sad

     you focus on the details

     that blur the image of everyday


And though you might say cynical,

the cynic pities everything


All you ever wanted was to feel good

   but there are wishes

   that never leave the body alone


While at the station, you stand like a bear

frozen in the summer exhibit

    while the world piles all around


Nothing is shabbier than

worn dreams that hang

    like an old man with an upturned back


You can’t help yourself

when the new moon and sun make you shudder

    though your eyes are almost shut

    they still flutter at the sight

Rude Awakenings


Rude awakenings
come in threes
so why is it I
was left with
nothing in this world

Even the bird knows
nature lingers in ephemeral
winds, broken
like a piece of chocolate
into fourths, then halves,
further burrowed into halves,
stubbornly shearing specks
of halves and halves

And then, what’s next
I asked the announcer,
whom I still can’t see,
what follows when
the whole is stolen?
who can I complain to?

Life’s worst bureaucracy,
leaving me with
endless questions,  
dragging me in
line and in time,
living the worst tragedy,
my impounded love
lost to an extraordinary moment
I, puny, could not fight it

All I Need


Sometimes, I forget
how I’m built, unable to listen
to the ticks
the slow mechanism
shifting away from

Sometimes, I search
for my mother, now laying in bed
under the bright lights,
her slow mechanism
frightening my nightmares
“This is reality,”
she said.

Sometimes, I don’t care
of the world, but I see her
back bended
a U not built for elasticity,
and underneath
eyes locked, hands firm
working, sewing
fabrics of years

But every time, she’s all I need
she’s all I dream, and each time I cry
for her, only her words
of comfort
of acceptance
of everything the seas, children, cities, and lovers
cannot give me
is all I need.

Happy Mother’s Day, out there!

Events, Poetry
Happy Mother’s Day to all those caring, hard-working, and (above all) loving moms who deserve respect and adoration any and all days – not just today!
In honor of them, we’d like to share this poem by Ken Nesbitt* on a mother’s unconditional love and unexpected love.

Lunch Love Note

Inside my lunch
to my surprise
a perfect heart-shaped
love note lies.

The outside says,
“Will you be mine?”
And “Will you be
my Valentine?”

I take it out
And wonder who
would want to tell me
“I love you.”

Perhaps a girl
who’s much too shy
to hand it to me
eye to eye.

Or maybe it
was sweetly penned
in private by
a secret friend

who found my lunchbox
sitting by
and slid a note in
on the sly

Oh, I’d be thrilled
If it were Jo,
the cute one in the second row.

Or could it be
from Jennifer?
Has she found out
I’m sweet on her?

My mind’s abuzz,
my shoulders tense.
I need no more
of this suspense.

My stomach lurching
in my throat,
I open up
my little note.

Then wham! as if
it were a bomb,
Inside it reads,
“I love you – Mom.”

*you can read more by him at Poetry Foundation.

I Must Go


I just
can’t see
the whole of us

I must go
up the
slippery moon

and maybe leave for a month or two

This thrill
swells full like a balloon

This love
it’s my

for soon I hope to be again with you

Bring down the dank sky
my chest
trembles for your

– Yes, your steady hand
pull me down
before I show
that my life washes off without you

A Study of Flowers by the Naked Eye


Aster looks like a sponge
Calla like a flute
A kinky set of Chrysanthemum hair
Mums freedom all over town
When Fuji, wild and careless, jaunts

But who can forget the daffodil?
For years and years it does not cease
Calling my name
Though I’ve only seen it closed
Those lazy eyelids give me bedroom thoughts all day

Buzzing around my Gardenia
Bird songs implore for a white petal
Placed casually by my hair

Hyacinth, the toilet brush
What can I say of first impressions?

Anything Egyptian of Iris
Remains lost in the regal purple
Meanwhile, under a canopy of shade
Lily, the vengeful queen
Hurts my teeth each time I look at her

So I leave at evening with
One incomplete whisper, given to
Orchids, those shapely ears
Erect for some private thought

My secret here I see him

Narcissus, how I do love you
I love looking at white
Flying – No, falling, unrestrainedly falling
Like a poet on the verge of disappearing.

Gentleman Friend


‘It doesn’t mean
I don’t love you’
                            I looked at him with my frail eyes.
I felt defeated
               standing before her resolved eyes.
               ‘No. It just means
                               you can’t take it anymore.
    You’re done
                        and I can’t even make you happy.
    It’s too late to pull
                               you back through here, with me, right?’

Running my hand
through his hair, I merely said,
                            ‘I don’t want to hurt you.’

The silence locked us in —apart in rooms across each other.
The sunless day
slogged through
and our time together
held the contentment
of a patient walking for the first time.

‘I feel normal with you.
                There was never the need
to make my days grand
                 or wild
                 or different with you.’
He smiled.

I took his gaze

and held it, smoothed it out,
until I realized,            
                                ‘I gave away tricks and cheats,  a long while ago’.

The Day of Princesses


The day of the falling princesses
everyone felt the beginnings
of the rumble. Though they came
from the sky, most were sure that
the earth shook.
They were relentless- looked
like white tulips, but wielded
swords, mercenaries of undying strength,
underneath tiaras, debris, sludge, and broken
walls. Dirty tiaras pierced the empty sky.
The rumor went these
girls were a vengeful God, reaching
a long forgotten place with fair
faces to seduce us with suffering.
Still, we live in bliss
looking at their lying eyes. Rumor
had it they watched themselves
obliterate us.