What have I done?
What did I get myself into?
What did I create?
There are so many complications with the little situation.
So I’ll just tell you the story.
there was a girl who fell for a boy
(isn’t that always how it goes?).
She fell for him in the spring.
She fell for his friendship.
Then his smile
and she learned how to make him laugh.
What a reward that was.
She fell for TV marathons,
and fort building.
She fell for brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles.
She fell for nerdy adorable.
She’s never been able to get over that type.
In the summer it continued.
She fell for their rhythm and sass.
In the fall it strengthened.
She fell for the idea of him.
That very idea kept her alive through stress and tears;
bitterness masked by sarcasm.
In the winter it faded.
That boy went
and turned his life to shit.
He drowned any pain or stress with copious amounts of
drinks and drugs.
He drowned the scent of those drugs with copious amounts of
In the spring he was the same.
And she knew better than to change him.
In the summer…
Oh in the summer it all crashed down.
In the summer she saw her chance.
In the summer he made a choice
and she would be there to make sure he kept his promise.
She tried so desperately to help him.
She spent her time and effort to wake him up to the reality that
fun can be had without the life he tried to leave behind.
Instead of taking the summer for a much needed cooling period,
she smothered herself with his dirtiest depths.
The ones he had only confessed to three people before.
And she felt honored to be the fourth.
She didn’t judge,
because she too had made mistakes.
Why judge somene for a past they are leaving behind?
No, she didn’t judge.
Instead, she fell even harder for that boy
and his scars.
She fell for evolved hide and seek in the dark
and last minute volleyball in the sand.
She fell for Saturday night board games.
She fell for healing.
She told herself that he could be healed
and it could be by her.
She read stories of heroes
and now was her time to be one.
In this story, her story,
for once in her life,
she was not the damsel.
She was there for him through his own low points,
and his friends darkest hour
that cast swinging shadows across his life.
Her boy shouldn’t have had to deal with that alone.
No one should.
But she did,
She dealt with everything alone.
He pestered her for those moments of truth.
She’ll tell you now that he was only trying to dig up her dirt,
because she knew so much of his.
She will tell you this because she can’t bear to acknowledge that
maybe he really did care,
but still left.
He had sent her songs that she ‘just had to hear.’
Introduced her to new movies and shows, videos and music.
They had learned from each other in such different ways.
Each had their strengths
and oh too many weaknesses.
But they had complemented each other.
He wanted to hang out at all times.
Of course only to distract himself from the cravings.
And of course she gave in every time.
But he never wanted her,
he only wanted a crutch.
And when that crutch left,
he couldn’t stand alone.
But that’s not her fault,
He never really needed her.
He was only under an illusion.
And illusions are made to be broken.
False mirrors that will eventually shatter,
good things she never believed in bad luck.
From the full hearted laugh,
to the bittersweet smile, to the tears in her eyes,
to the rage that now fills her voice,
on might even say she fell in love that over those seasons.
And she took far too long to fall out of it.
Instead she ripped herself apart.
She tore out the pieces that reminded her of him.
But she was unwise.
Instead of throwing those far, far away like she should have,
she kept them close to her chest.
She held them tight and crushed the life out of them.
When she finally threw them out,
they were crushed to ash.
Nothing left but the marks of destruction
because that was all that was left of her.
With a clamor of disorder a raised voice heard,
pompous and prig it begins to emerge,
he starts with,
"I don't understand this obsession with television
you're numbing your brains with perfect precision,
vegging like zombies consuming mind corrosives
numbing your senses with cabbaging explosives.
You are passive and dull clapping like a seal,
have a word with yourself, IT'S NOT EVEN REAL!!
It's nonsense intended to diminish your soul
makes you pliant and supple, never breaking your mold"
He pauses and sips then gleefully splurges,
"My head would never be satisfied with the basest of urges.
I spend my free time reading or immersed in the arts,
i cleanse my essence and strengthen my heart.
I visit wonderful worlds full of joy and compassion
where people love well what's front and what's past them,
the flaws and the soars of the human condition
are painted out in strong and perfect position,
So while you glaze your iris with images galore
and turn your mind's eye from vibrant to snore
i have beauty coming out of my pores.
But you stick with your idiot box"
he knowingly mocks,
swings down his drink
and finally stops.
There is silence for seconds but then somebody says,
"I disagree with your there in quite a few ways."
"Although i think reading reveals amazing truth,
enriching life with strokes drawn loose,
conveying love with all that it brings,
grief and stillness and magical things.
And i concur that art is a window into the soul,
running with life and filling the holes
but telly can also tell the things that they told.
He guffaws with derision and says with pride grown fat
"pray do tell what TV show could do that."
"There's a show where a girl is given a tremendous burden,
her present hectic and future uncertain,
she stands between the world and inevitable doom
while going to school and being sent to her room,
she worries about hair and being the object of mirth
while still being scared but saving the earth.
She has people around her who are courageous and clever,
and stand by her side whatever the weather.
One would feel useless and small
but then buy the dress so you can go to the ball.
The other sent to watcher and keep his distance
but for the pull of affection there is no resistance.
Red held the fate of the world in her hands
when her world ended and crumbled like sand,
but she used all her magic and not to float a pen
but to stand back up, to love again.
Her sister was a key and her duties a lock
sometimes she began to rock
she had a day that we will all have
where something is lost and will never come back,
outside it's sunny with hoots of oddity
inside it's seconds from mommy to body,
and this happens,
unlike her it will not be gentle,
it will invade everything
and evade courtesy
But this is because of love,
and what it does.
everlasting and there to see,
and in a show on TV."
She has a slight pause and then remarks
"It could be drenched in sadness and resplendent with larks,
many vampires slain and demons destroyed
moments of weakness, feelings to avoid.
She could plough the fields and never till them,
admit her mistakes...i'm sorry William.
She could be class protector
she could be surprised
she could lie with you until sun rise
she could die for the world and take out the glory
she would run from her problems but always finish the story,
she'd get you down from a tower
with words not her power,
her screams send the bad gentlemen away
because she is stronger then them, everyday,
she has kindness
and a best and a worst
can burst into song and be effulgent in verse,
told she's a a hell of a woman and the one
and returns the i love yous on the day that he's gone,
and through the screen and this TV plot
is written with love how she saved the world...alot.
You might like books
but Buffy is great
an endeavour of joy, an affront to the hate."
The man composes himself and then says without regret
"It sounds fucking brilliant, i'll get the boxset!"
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez room. It was not a heavy frost, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.
He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.
"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "Booze and Johnny Cash."
Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.
Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.
Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his ass would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.
Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.
Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.
"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.
Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"
"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.
"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.
"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.
"That's good, that's good."
"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.
"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, dirty dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.
"Take the dogs out to pee," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."
"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.
"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."
Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to pee. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.
"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.
Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.
A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.
On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.
There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.
After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."
He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.
I just called to say hello to all
my friends on Hello poetry
How are you feeling today.
I hope you had a wonderful day.
I did i spent it with my Granddaughter.
And got mistaken for her Mum.
Lucky me, I guess i still look younger for my age
Well i certainly don't feel it.
laugh out loud.
Well it's time to watch my favorite TV soap .
See you all again and hope your evening
brings you peace and quiet..
I wish you were here...right beside me...so we can watch Michael dance in concert on the tv.
remember the time I showed u the bitchen dance that he does.....when I watch him I see myself like the cartoon when theyre in love and you see the little hearts popping all around their heads.....that's what I feel like. But I don't care.....I love Michael Jackson and if I had my choice id have his pics up everywhere. I liked that I showed you that and you watched it and seemed to enjoy....but that was before I knew you would be the one who would cause my pain and steal all of my joy. Only because u wont ever be beside me again and that cant bring out smiles filled from the utmost desire that I can get from no other boy.
I need special radiation to restore my power
It (the radiation) comes from TV
There’s radiation in concrete
I have to wear special shoes
Nobody has any faces anymore
Every time I cross the street
It causes at least two people to explode
People are reading my thoughts
I can tell because they get in their cars and drive away
Once they get five miles away
They can control my mind for
Five out of every twenty-seven seconds
Sometimes they make me scream
Or sometimes fall asleep
When I’m sleeping someone replaces my clothes with new ones that are the same but dirtier
It’s usually the same guy
One guy waits behind the toilets and saves my poo then sneaks up when I’m asleep and puts it back in my Butt
Sometimes he leaves it in the pants that they will put on me that night
I often sleep on the loading bay of the Circuit City between 3:13 and 5:21 a.m.
This is the time when dump-trucks are powerless against mind rays from space
And the dormant TVs
Feed on the evil mind beams
That scream in my ear
I usually can’t tell what they are saying except when they tell me to stomp rats to death and then eat them
One time I ate my toes instead but they grew back and I just had to eat more rats to make up for it
I wish you would leave me alone
Why won’t you let me think?!
Switching off the lights feels
like a gate has been opened,
Echoes of the past haunt the room,
Hearing clips of the past
over and over
Like a bad rerun of a sick show
I saw on TV 30 minutes ago.
I see an old monster peering its eyes
From the corner of the room.
I think of closing my eyes to escape
and pretend it's not there
But even the monster knows
how to cause me more
Advance or attack.
It sits there
And I remember
closing my eyes forces me
to look at the darkness inside.
Better grab some while you can.
Remember when you said "no, you ain't my man?"
Years from now you'll be alone,
and I'll be writing novels, my talent full grown.
A single tear from your eye will fall,
but don't even bother wasting time making a call.
You made a decision, now you gotta live by it,
and they'll be paying me to speak, tv and shit.
Someday, your boyfriend will by a book,
he'll read you one line from it and you'll know its me without even a look.
You have a man, he's on your arm,
when you see my name on the shelves, I'll be long gone.
You'll realize what you had,
but you threw it all away, you must've been mad.
Someday, you'll see that it's all true,
no need to debate, I'm the best at what I do.
You might be thinking "damn, this boy's arrogant"
but you gotta fake it 'till you make it and then a little more.
But for now, I'll sell my shit to buy drugs
and when I'm all out of shit I'll start stealing
and when I've stolen everything, I'll start earn it.
And when I've earned the highest accolades
I'll just smile
because I told you so,
and you told him he was the one.
Someday you'll cry because there won't be a sunrise,
and you'll realize the mistake you've made.
I may be a loser junkie right now,
but the next bump will be last
just like the one I blew five minutes ago
just like the first time I ever tried it a high school bathroom
just like every bump in between.
She couldn't stop throwing things out.
First, the this's & that's
her husband would not even notice:
old bras & panties,
buttons & bobby pins,
cans of okra and baked beans.
Her lens homed in
on stray packs of condoms, mooshed tubes of toothpaste,
china cups, slightly chipped on their rims,
a scrabble board missing its vowels.
Couples gone single:
one candlestick, one earring, a three-fingered glove,
a single darned sock,
one rubbery shoe.
She made one complete pass
from attic to basement,
then started all over again.
The designer tags her mother had chosen,
too loose when she looked
in her elegant floor-length mirror.
Parts of her functional world were next:
things for holding & measuring:
bathroom scales, adding machine,
the silver decanter & some of the silver.
Then even that floor-length mirror.
Noise was easy:
the telephone & stereo & especially the TV
set curbside one rainy day for Good Will.
On a third or fourth pass
a delicious silence was hers.
When she turned to the essentials
she knew she was on
an irreversible roll:
tampons & washcloths,
beds & plates,
the credit cards they lived on,
the pens & computer
that made up her mind,
the half-eaten bottles of Prozac.
Coins, first foreign mementos,
Europe, pre-euro, tossed in a bowl,
then jar upon jar
of pennies & dimes.
Things others had saved
were next on her list:
her grandmother's shower cap, for instance.
Things that reminded her
of what she couldn't hold onto.
photos & love letters,
beginnings of poems,
stale & spent.
Even her bookshelves
went Spartan & bare. She kept Joyce,
she kept Gluck, she kept Marquez & St. John,
until the fewest words possible were left.
When she was at a loss for much else,
she tossed Bitten the cat
because of her penchant for eating too much
& not being able to stop.
She cut her long, straight, luminous hair,
chewed her nails down to the quick, went on a fast,
lost pounds she couldn't spare, even her
pubic hair had to go.
Her husband, just getting in from work,
a look of relief on his face as he noticed his wife
wasting away, thinking they could finally start over.
"At last," he said,
his coat & hat still balanced on her arm,
a single mote-filled ray of light,
slipping across the empty room, slicing them in two.
"You're next," she said,
handing them back.
Ignorance has become a new fashion: the dresses on the red carpet and the
Black mascara on the TV screen. We write things as epiphanies come,
While they are out there making fools of themselves in their transparent or
Nonexistent clothing and neon underwear.
I imagine all of the people in Tome Square, even though I have never been.
The daily routines and mechanical gossip about the bastard celebrities that run their lives
And the stench of portable hot dog carts. You are a numerator of what you could be.
Wake up... You're dreaming. Try harder, you can't run faster after you have
Stepped in quicksand. You are so stupid! Look ahead! Watch for things before they come,
You are too impulsive!ay attention to others for once, it is not all about you.
Truth has become a new fashion: faded jeans and thick sweatshirts. Those of us
Who understand and seek nothing from others;
They are not worth it.