Posts tagged ‘Poetry’

Help Wanted (2015)

See also “Help Wanted (2010)

This California Professional

Feels like Tom Hanks in Big
Dreams of flying and purging
Is at once worldly and naïve
Lacks bargaining power

Needs agency.

April 1, 2015 at 11:26 am 1 comment

Help Wanted (2010)

This California schoolgirl
Feels like Tom Hanks in Big
Dreams of purging and flying
Is at once worldly and naïve
Lacks bargaining power

Needs agency.

August 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

Happy Trails

May your snacks be delicious

and your orgasms

patriotic.

April 7, 2010 at 8:25 am 2 comments

Celebrating “Semi-Charmed Life”

In the summer of 1997, my girlfriends and I camped out in a backyard tent and listened to “Semi-Charmed Life” on repeat for several hours. I’m the kind of person who tires after hearing a threshold amount of even the best music (How many times can a person really stand to listen to The Joshua Tree or Thriller?), but this Third-Eye Blind hit has never ceased to astound me.

As thirteen-year-olds, we only somewhat understood the sexually and chemically charged lyrics. Also, the breezy, fast-faced tempo made it difficult to decipher what lead singer Stephan Jenkins was even singing. It didn’t help that we couldn’t just “Google” a line from the song and retrieve the lyrics. I recall mistaking “And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse” with “And it speaks to you like the birds in the forest.”

Now, of course, I realize that “Semi-Charmed Life” is the seminal anthem of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. It was also my brother’s theme song. We played it at his memorial service, and it was awesome to hear “Doin’ crystal meth will lift you up until you break” and “How do I get back there to the place where I fell asleep inside you?” blast in a room full of relatives, young people, old people, Christians, atheists, and floral arrangements.

I went to Newport Beach this past weekend and had a great time slowly running my bare feet through the sand. I thought, “I believe in the sand beneath my toes / The beach gives a feeling / An earthy feeling / I believe in the faith that grows.” I thought about how hard it really seems, sometimes, to get through this bittersweet, ironic, defeating, gratifying, semi-charmed life. I thought about how I can’t not believe that there’s life after death. I simply cannot accept a reality in which I will never see Alex again.

I’m not listening when you say goodbye…

April 1, 2010 at 6:14 am 1 comment

Shades of Grey

He stared into his cup, noting that the black coffee was not black, but deep brown. Not many things of the world were really black, not even the night, not even mines. And the light was not white, either, even the palest light held within itself some hint of its origins, in fire.
– James Baldwin, Another Country

brown, not black,
is the antithesis
of white.

December 31, 2009 at 3:38 am 1 comment

Feminormative

el, los, don, señor, padre

not qua doctor
or professor
lawyer
boss
President
lover?

No
not in any
of those capacities
will i consult
you (Uds.)

Unless i have to

Why do i so often have to?

December 13, 2009 at 11:44 am 6 comments

Lighters Up

Lighters up
like at a Queen concert
if Freddie Mercury were still alive
if you were still alive
singing Bohemian Rhapsody

Mama, just killed a man
a lot like Miss Jones,
I think I just shot her son

I think it just snowed in East Texas
Who knew
memories of you would get me
singing Randy Travis
higher than the pine trees
that grow tall upon the hill

The one in the summer
where we used to smoke pot
I thought, what’s wrong
with this neighborhood?
urban life decay

I look for you everywhere:
in crossword puzzles,
clouds, thin air, Rumble Fish,
katamari damacy, Disneyland, flour bags,
snow, the Aurora Borealis, grocery stores,
dreams, nightmares, everywhere
Wouldn’t you?

Lighter’s up
its flame
cathedral champaign
and my bleeding heart
A most beautiful ruby red.

December 9, 2009 at 6:50 am Leave a comment

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