cooking, poetry, and unapologetic intense moments in a life

Category: Politics

Two years of a march (Portland, Pulse, Memphis, the Sun)

It was nine in the morning that first year
JJ and I had tied one on, dancing with beautiful women
Deep into coastal night
(only after walking into that curious little store with many rooms)
I walked the Mile, flowers in hair, colors of the rainbow.

I loved all of us. The sea. CALL JOE blazing on the time and temperature sign.
And it was there in the bed of a truck.
It was slick and shiny, blazing rainbows in all directions.
I was new, but you wouldn’t know it. We all had a job.

Just unraveling it took an hour. Hundreds helped.
It covered the whole square and then some.

It smelled of coffee, revolution.
late-night fits of artistic frenzy.
The AIDS epidemic. Harvey Milk.
Brandon Teena. Matthew Shepard.
Backstreet Cafe. Otherside. Upstairs.
Augusta. Montreal. West Virginia. Moscow.

By touch you could feel Dale McCormick, Gia, Nancy.
Baldwin, Polis, Frank. Michaud. Maloney.
You could feel the tangent of hatred interwoven, turned to deep blues.

You could taste Portland rigor. The sweat of activism.
The nerve, the nerve of this tiny town in the whitest of states.
The Oddysean journey for voice and a patch of land.
40 blizzards, a kiss, the grace given by old white men to marry.
A child was cradled there too. Surrounded by love, and the purest of songs.

We carried it, danced under it, wept into it.
Let go of it for another year.

The second year there were different names.
Stanley Almodovar III, age 23
Amanda Alvear, 25
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Antonio D. Brown, 30
Darryl R. Burt II, 29
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Luis D. Conde, 39
Cory J. Connell, 21
Tevin E. Crosby, 25
Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Deonka D. Drayton, 32
Mercedez M. Flores, 26
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Juan R. Guerrero, 22
Paul T. Henry, 41
Frank Hernandez, 27
Miguel A. Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Jason B. Josaphat, 19
Eddie J. Justice, 30
Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Kimberly Morris, 37
Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
Eric I. Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Luis D. Wilson-Leon, 37
Jerald A. Wright, 31

We carried that flag amidst SWAT teams.
We were not afraid, but really, we still looked.
Over shoulder, behind.
The police did too. We all were reminded of how
the carrying of this, this symbol
this mantra, this, this multitude
is a blessing, a gift, and act of extreme love
it’s so threatening, really.
All those rainbows and hearts, all the beautiful people,
screaming with pride and adoration for their bodies,
their beats, their bravado, their babies.
More terrifying than bombs, it seems. Scarier than the rapture itself, it seems.
This love is infectious, liberal, whole.

Run for the hills, they are coming. And they are probably well dressed.

A year more, and in Memphis I sit calmly, not knowing my town.
feeling smaller than before. Feeling subdued.
Without the invincibility of Portland.
Without the ocean, stripped of the joyful nights of that town.
But I know what it is to rebuild, by God I do know that.
But I do think I want to feel it in my fingers again.
That gorgeous emblem. My friend’s hand in mine.
The awe and majesty of it all. The many tears wept in vigil.
The candle of protest dripping wax onto my palm.

Well, at least we know there are people available for impeachment.
they wave another flag, wear different hoods in secrecy.
There are injustices that still appall,
and poverties beyond imagining.
Right. Here.
Right in this 901 snatchy homeland of the blues.
So it’s time to get back to fucking work I guess,
and leave the pining for some other whiny freckled short girl.
Roll up the sleeves, and write some anthems.
No rest for the lonely, they say.
and for the wicked, it is only a matter of time.
There’s shit to do, and parks to clean.
Kids who don’t eat.
The action is all. It’s like molasses here,
but the guns are quick, the hunger quicker, the trafficking quickest,

the homicide meter running.

so, dignitaries, I’ll see you on the court.
make sure to bring a snack.


A Prayer for us

A prayer for us

Let it be us, I say.-

Let it be you and I and she and he and them

The ones we know and

The ones we trade with

The ones who fill our coffers, fill our coffees fill our bowls fill our hearts fill our shit lists fill our short lists fill our long nights fill our good nights fill our moons and suns and books and nooks, Greek Gods, the critics, the poets, the hot heads the pot heads the bi-polars the fur toting patrons ,the broken kids the token troubled ones the actors the lovers the basketball stars that tower taller then trees, The Flyers, the whores with constant bruised knees the moms who don’t know why or how, the guys who trim our trees, the ones we’ve loved in our dreams, the ones who’ve been to Rome, The ones waiting for injections off of Martin Luther King, Fathers who don’t know better, sisters who love ferociously, lovers, cadavers, workers, bankers, lunatics and all of us in-between

Let’s have this night

This one night. Let it be us.

let’s put on our finest array and have cataclysmic food fights on the white house lawn-

let’s bring back Burroughs and talk about Fletch-

let’s laugh out loud at funerals to celebrate life-

let’s hover over the freeze dried nun, tight in starch tread black and white trench . Let’s fly after the largest group of them we can find with 50 kids with 50 wiffle ball bats.-

let’s make a church built of crayons that melts whenever anyone talks of fire-

let’s fall in love until our heads burst-

let’s kiss strangers in the only the darkest of music halls-

let’s kiss strangers only in the darkest of places

let’s kiss strangers only on the darkest of nights

let’s run naked through the bible belt with Jesse Helm’s fresh face tattooed on our buttocks- Screaming Judas was framed.

let’s get a gravesite for Jeff Buckley in the middle of Moore square and put Grace on repeat-

let’s buy a thousand hungry cats and set them free in a Peter Max show-

Let’s paint ourselves, smash against canvas kissing and sell us for thousands on e-bay-

Let’s wear dance belts only to the ballet on Thursday-

Let’s Paint a bar code on the Saturn and take a drive through a Kmart check out-

Let’s paint Ray Charles on every Bible-

let’s wear boy’s clothes to bed, only if we’ve stolen them-

let’s wear girl’s clothes to bed and take only the most tasteless of pictures-

let’s run Ben Nye Blood all over white hands, stand in Abercrombie and scream out damned spot to every passerby –

let’s say I love you to every telemarketer, ask them how they fall in love, ask them what a sigh feels like, and ask them to the show-

let’s do Shakespeare, and do Shakespeare, and do Shakespeare, because he really knows where it’s at-

Let’s put a velcro wall in every gallery, throw an art merchant up and try and sell him-

Let’s name a dog after every beat poet-

Let’s name a cat after every rock in Virginia’s pocket

Let’s close our eyes at stop lights and let go-

Let’s crank call the white house asking for the good bush-

Let’s stop under every street light to get a better look at each other’s hands-

Let’s see every play-

Let’s eat every storm-

Let’s count every raindrop, believing that each is a planet hitting the earth and every moment is the last we have to kiss-

Let’s notice the wind, and the wild, and the words, and the wary-

Let’s fall in love with people too young- people too old, people who live, people who fear, people who write, people who know us as shadows, people who die, people who are dead, people who are willow cabins at our gates writing loyal cantons of contemned love and singing them loud even in the dead of night- (and shakespeare wrote that, not me-)

Let’s drink red on a Wednesday, White on a sunday-

Let’s go to the show, sit in the house seats, discover Tilly, Fall into Connor, and leave the other band behind-

let’s do our acrobatic act in the lobby of the Performing arts center, just after the Russians-

Let’s idolize Icarus’s Blind Flight, knowing he plummeted, but wishing he would have burned because burning is closer to the gods-

Let’s be Touchstone, and Jaques, and Oliver, and Orlando-

Let’s be Coriolanus, Marc Antony, Hermione, and Perdita-

Let’s be Leontes, Dion, Amiens,

Let’s be those great men of the Globe,

great God, Let me Robert Armin or Will Kemp, just for a day, I would sell my soul for it-

Let us be all of these,


warriors of the night, the day, the hush and hum, the blood and bones, the in-between, the solid sun and the moon-

let us ride razor blades and drink whiskey to welcome the new day and the day next and the day next and the day next-

let us celebrate Arthur and Ray and William and Hunter-

Let us sing unto their bones-

of Glory, Glory-


Seraphim, Gabriel, Mother, Father, skyward we all will rise as

We guide the spirit of dead men glorius

We are warriors for the waking day

We will with eyes open mouth open thighs open heart open

Eat this whole

Eat it entire, flesh and bone

You, you and I

All of us

We sing a song of glory

cantiamo una canzone



Let it be us I say-

Oh Comrades, Moloch Moloch…




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