He is ancient steadfast
I am sure he was here when the world was created
I am sure he will be here when it ends
His gentle face carved with hard lines
He poured forth knowledge in his native Persian tongue
He called me Shohre
I learned it was his sister's name
He looked at me like a granddaughter and treated me just as sweet
“Ghabl az enghalab...”
Before the revolution...
After which would follow painful reminiscing of
The days before the current regime
When wine bubbled out from Shiraz
Men and women danced late into the night
And soft voices wove love songs in street cafes
“Ghabl az enghalab moalem dar daneshgah boodam.”
Before the revolution I was a university professor.
“Yeki az daneshjooyanam Ahmedinejad bood.”
One of my students was Ahmedinejad.
And in English, clear as hate,
“He was a bastard.”
One night I stayed back for extra lessons
We ate cherries from Costco and
Read excerpts from his autobiography
Pages crafted from right to left, vignettes of
His military service in Mashhad
And consequent teaching career
“Ba'ad az enghalab...”
After the revolution...
Was always followed with war stories
Political dissidents lost to Evin prison
Sharia law imposed on moderate minds
Escaping Iran by night with a phony visa
“Ba'ad az enghalab dar ketabkhane bayad kar konam”
After the revolution I had to work in the library.
“Khoastam yad bedahm, pas man o zanam be Amrika raftim.”
I wanted to teach, so my wife and I came to America.
He has not been home since 1981.
On December third of 2009 he walked smugly into the classroom
Setting a tape player happily on a desk.
He opened a folder from right to left
Produced a well-worn cassette
And played Happy Birthday, in Persian, for me.
He smiled at me with hands folded throughout the song
As I’d imagine he had smiled at
All the other special women in his life named Shohre.
He never played Happy Birthday for any of the other students.
Or gave them cherries,
Or went to their weddings,
Or held them while they cried when their grandfather died.
I do not know what he saw in me
But in each other we found family years and miles away from home.
You were a queen and I was a dunce
You wanted things and I gave you none
You had dreams and I had drugs
You bought a degree and I bought 'dubs'
You liked boys and I liked you
You broke my heart and I broke yours too
You wanted out and I wanted in
You began to pout and I began to grin
You left me and I left town
You wore a smile and I wore a frown
You moved on and I moved out
You hooked up and I went without
You are doing well and I am feeling miserable
You like being logical and I am nonsensical
You are growing up and I am growing old
You like making rules and I like to not be told
You think you're really awesome and I strongly disagree
You seem a little like your mom and I find that rather scary
You stay home and be happy and I will go out and be free
You have a wild ride ahead and I have plenty myself to see
You have said your parting words and I am now writing mine
So this is goodbye baby girl, I will always remember our time
he wakes up
from a bad
and he'll go
in tiny gray
at the figure
in the mirror,
then he'll dress,
into a suit,
gray and sad
to his kitchen
a dull meal,
and lock his
then to his
off to his prison,
his gray job,
a thing he hates,
until the sun goes down,
followed by home
where he'll have a drink,
watch the gray news
and fall asleep,
the same thing,
day in the life
of the fool.
I don't wanna end up like the Fool and it depresses me, the thought of the same thing every day. Getting up to work at a job I hate, every day 'till I die. Terrible. A nightmare. And it hurts to see so many trapped in that process with no way out but death. You see them out sometimes, you can tell by looking at their defeated faces and posture and the way they speak, monotonous, a bore. And they'll fake a smile, maybe they have a kid with them, but you know that in their heads they wish that the kid doesn't end up like them. A father, a mother, who doesn't want their kids to think of them as heroes. It's sad really. They've got a wife, a husband, they hate each other. Or perhaps you saw them at a bar, face down on the wooden counter, an unfinished beer right in front. And those ties, like nooses around their necks, slowly choking their life force away. Maybe, at some point, in the beginning of their working lives they thought things through like me. "This won't happen. I'll notice when it does and I'll change things. I won't be a Fool." And the moment of transformation comes and they don't notice until it's been years too late and they've dug themselves to deep and it's over.
I guess that what I'm trying to say is, don't be like The Fool.
Five more days.
Dear god what do I want?
I think I want money,
bundles of it,
to buy you a plane ticket,
so you can come home.
Or maybe I want
Like keys to the truck,
so I can drive to you,
and take you home
I think generally
I know what I want.
I just you want home.
But that's in more
than five days;
Happy birthday to me.
15 Days & Counting
To pass the time
that I have to wait
I read street signs
and count the miles
between the states.
I hope when you arrive
I'm enough for you
I hope you still feel alive
I know that I can make
these hopes come true.
So now it's only fifteen days
which is still a lot and it's still
about two months late
but I can handle the hesitation
because I have the power and will.
When you come to me for the first
time on June 26th, I promise
to kiss you until my lips hurt
and I promise that everything I said
in this poem is completely honest.
I love you with all my heart
Angelface, you've made it all worth it
I hate the times apart
we had to spend, but that time
wasn't enough to make me quit.
Here we are, four months down the line
after the first official moment we met
(disregard the first not-so-happy time)
I was happy that day, it was the best
but, with you home, the best hasn't came yet.
I would come home from school and sit in the middle of my bed.
I would stare at everything in my room.
I closed my windows and shut the curtains.
I listened to my parents talk.
I watched the one I fell for love another girl.
I never loved him
He always loved me.
So he would always come back to me because he said my love was the best and the sweetest.
I never really understood that because I never loved him.
He said then its natural for you to be so sweet.
I hate it because im no longer sweet, im so bitter.
I used to tie scarves around my neck to see if my mom understood what I as trying to do.
But she had no clue.
I used to go to catholic school.
I hated it.
How can I worship God if he wasn't fulfilling my wishes on being dead.
I really hoped he would save me the pain and ink so that I wouldn't have to write a suicide letter.
My dad was so abusive and I thought that if he didn't love me what man will?
So I never cared for these boys.
I made them fall in love with my words.
Never even touched them.
They would fall for me and I would run away.
I had so much heart and soul in me.
and im happy no one took that away from me.
Its just hiding in there.
Im scared to fall in love because love is crazy.
Love makes you crazy.
But im already crazy.
So I want to fall in love and I want it to be amazingly crazy.
if that even makes sense.
this is a
song for the
brothers who survived
too much and
too many and
too long ago
it was written
what was written
this was written
what does it
mean to face
reality and accept--
hope some forgiving
some company all
of us need
to quiet the
mind and turn
up the music
take it easy
this is home
find the truth
of a truth
in a sea
of chaos, all
love is art
you are art
the world is
art and god
Fireflies in the park late at night
She whispers something in my ear
(abstract gluing tiles on random surfaces)
Jagged edges sticking out everywhere
Weird and for the most part bad haircuts
Punk rock shows and punk rock moshing and punk rock girls
Actually pretty good at playing guitar when I'm in the right mindset
Not easily proud
Classic rock blasting in the car, too loud for most of them
In the screeching highs of Plant and Rose
And in the deep low cuts of Slash and my heroes
All the birds in the world, all the time
Not over-dramatic, just dramatic enough, as he winks
Both impossibly ignorant and secretly wise (graced infrequently)
Words, words, words
Babble, ramble, gabbing, loquacious
Wordless, hungry, quite voracious
for any definition at all.
I'm the reaching summit and falling the who
ole way down, mister Sisyphus to you
I'm random dancing home alone
Singing my favorite songs in the shower and I can't help
Mouthing the words as I ride my bike
The burning desire to suddenly burst into song as in a musical!
A dream and a dreamer
A wizard in many ways
A jack of many trades
And a deuce of even more
I'm scratch-scratch-scratching at the door
...knob? oh, there it is
There is a place called Pampanga
Home of the word's famous sisig
Where people are called kapampangan
And lanterns called "Parol" are big.
Pampanga is where I live
Just outside Manila, capital of the philippines.
Joy and happiness I recieve
When I'm with my family and kin.
I wrote this one to let the world know
A place called Pampanga I called home.
Last Night I dreamt
As most often do
It was so very vivid
I could've sworn it was true
I sat up and gazed around
At the morning in my home
A little voice whispered in my head
I was not alone
So I laid back down
I took a deep breath and then
Closed my eyes to think back
To the Dream and where I'd been
I sat alone with Van Gough
So I could watch him paint
His life splashed upon the canvas
So he could forget his pain
The world seemed to disappear
As he he sat with a brush in his hand
He wasn't called mad by a world
That refused to understand
I stood beside Hemingway
With a strong drink in my hand
He told me stories of his life
Of war, women and Cuban Land
A large smile sat on his face
As he spoke and forgot about his strife
I drank his scotch and thought
Could I be as great in my life
I laid beside Elizabeth Short
And I watched her as she lay
I heard her speak of fame and stardom
And that she would know it one day
With stars in her eyes, she told me
Her name would be known far and wide
And it pained me to know
That she'd be known for only the way she died
Then I sat back and gazed upon all three
With which I had shared my time
I took their words to heart
And stashed them within my mind
I could be like Van Gough
And focus my pain and fear onto the page
My blood is ink and I can wield it
Like some unholy Mage
I could be great like Hemingway
Forever destined to destroy myself
I could hit the top of the pile
And drown out the future with top shelf
I can be like The Dahlia
Forever dreaming of the day I'll be known
Chasing fame until the end
When my final fate is finally bestowed