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L B May 2018
Yellow is
a high-minded mood
the extravagance of sunlight
to be touched--
before long
by colors of play
___

It is of hair
tendering golden sun
brown pennies for lemonade
__

Yellow is
bumping into the screaming end
of a lit
cigarette
___

Yellow is
dripping from the eaves
onto an empty soup can
___

It is
spindling sparrow song
from highest perch on roof
his pitch can aspire
___

Yellow is
in rattled doorknob
an infant's sweet
voice wanting – in
Reciting menu
above mattress
edges into sleep
two dark eyes
plead
for yellow
waking
Mother into morning--
“juice.... eggs”

Yellow  _
__
is
opening a car door
at the shore's
unmistakable!
Smells of life  
warmth and breeze
touching strings
those kites  
of sense
harmonics
above the tone
octaves of excitement
to see to hear to touch to taste
to know
again –

the ocean of my mother
as she calms the waves,
ignores the pouts of us
with stuff to lug out to the beach
the towels, pails and shovels
Picnic basket, cooler
lotion, comic books, her magazines

Mom looks out
She is a good swimmer
Her glasses, dark
Preside  
reflecting beauty –

“Take your sister's hand.”

Yellow are the squeals
Feet thrashing sand
of cannot wait
For my daughter, Phoebe and my mother.
Umbrage ultraism infrangible extemporaneous incognito edition
Penumbral platitude platonic proxy photics rendition
Interface fenestration imbroglio pandemonium inducement sedition
Wretched infelicitous extant trajectory sordid intuition
Scandalous scavenger squalid anomalous punitive condition
Panacea chiaroscuro parallax emanate imminent perdition

Equilibrist revision exertion suborn temerity imbues
Indulgent zealous discrepancy apparentness cogitation accrues
Heuristic noumenal psychokinesis extrapolation incursion construes
Aura auspicious primitive prism processional reviews
Obstinate tenacious preeminent edificatory omnipotence eschews
Equivocal gumption ratification constitutional manumission ensues  
  
Delusory apparition extravagance peccavi verity tempestuous
Obtrusive obtusely overt indemnities sagaciously obliquitous
Ephemeral anxiety antonym existential exigency alacritous
Fortuitous emendation phantasm ontological ontogeny acuitous
Indemnify veracious infernal infidel impunities iniquitous
Meritorious fulham presumptive extrication expiation indigenous
Amalgamated anathema android sails.  (it's a wind up toy)  For though I would be the first to concede my gambits of alluvium aloof impunity sails, still immunity is Epicurean absurdity.
Megan Jones Sep 2015
“Put pressure on it, it needs more pressure”
Holding your wounds shut
That senseless force is what took you away
Pressure- to be... whilst not desiring to be
You saw the clouds moving in greyscale
I saw the hills below scattered in shades of green,
Cavernous, shadowed, cryptic, familiar-

We were advised to go as the crow flies
I cried to a nameless God that your crow’s feet
Were from insurmountable happiness, not the pressures endured
I’ve forgotten much since the storm some-178 weeks ago
Though my body remembers yours over and over again
My skin has yours imprinted, correlated
Forged into one point on the axis between here and there
You the X, I the Y

The Earth crept between the crevices, curling
Through the distance between the Right radius and ulna
Elbows breaking knuckles, blood remains to be spilt
Blood doesn’t connect, if anything it merely separates

Scarecrows don’t help much when the crops won’t grow this year
Ants crawled out of the barrel of a shotgun
Observing the process of cleaning bones after tragedy

Follow the moss to find your way North with no direction-
Sometimes on the other side it’s not greener,
It’s more terrifying than ever before
Terrain untouched, unspoiled, sacred-

Climb up the trees with me, find your quiet
We won’t carve our names but we’ll find our niche
You’ll have quills and I’ll have armor
Not even the thought of stolen arrows,
Lost time through distance,
Or perhaps a slew of chemical imbalances
Can reach us up here
I chose to glue your pieces back together with mud and straw
Taken from the fallen, the loved and now distant memories

You may be an abandoned military base offshore
What was once used by many-
Witnesses life again, life of a different kind
The vegetation will ease its way into the cracks
Constructed when the foundation began to decay
It has a beauty of its own, one of self-sustainment
An everlasting beauty that connects itself
To the surrounding extravagance, often times ignored,
Death isn’t the only way to be forged into nature, remembered

Fear doesn’t always win, nor death do us part so soon
I hope your skin and bones remember before the end

As a dear friend you care for me
Sure as the air I breathe
To love me anymore than this
Not sure if I believe
Each day anew the Sun will rise
But nighttime hides away
Thus, your love and affection
If here, will never stay

Was given Cinderella's ball
Before midnight's last strike
Must scurry from the pageantry
Else, face a certain fright
Extravagance would disappear
Revealing to the Prince
Her true self in the deepest way
The pains that made her wince

Afraid once she was vulnerable
Find out was all a lie
A ****** that would pierce through her heart
With certainty she'd die
Truth though, if given that moment
Each flaw the Prince could see
Each one a part of Cinderella;
Part of her beauty

Suddenly, she understood
She did not have to hide
What was closed off long time ago
And buried deep inside
Still with some fear, her heart she gave
And with a lightning strike
Fulfilled with happiness and love
And stepped into the light
I was toiling over the structure of this poem. I often like short succinct lines but almost every even and odd line are paired and could easily make four, four-line stanzas each with 7 iambs. Curious what others might think. Any comments are appreciated.  

Written: November 12, 2018

All rights reserved.
[Iambic Heptameter format]
Travis Green Nov 2018
When I look at you,
I can see the autumn
trees rising in swirling
emotions, earthly leaves
clinging to every movement,
soft beats intoxicating serene
creations, as the midnight
moon gazes at the cityscape,
masterpieces of brilliant
dreams, admiration and
appreciation, captivating
hues surrounded by
extravagance, as I breathe
in the depths of your
existence and feel the
kinetic energy sink
inside my heart.
TerryD'ArcyRyan Feb 2018
monstrous sound slashes silence
the bellow of a giant beast,
the flutter of a thousand wings
elevation and indiscriminate creed will not heed
sinister stirs the mix, the rise of wicked extravagance
black feathers flutter to bewilder against the pale frontier
the mock of a starlings flight, the fall in a sparrow’s might
countless sullen wings unfold, to rally their squadrons for show
a mobbing cry meets a redeeming sky,
their rising tones mimic heaven heralding high
contrast to the core, countless black rap-tor destroy
the fading blue sapphire display
a rebel twist in the storm suspends them again
harbingers dawning
a verge of wonder, stands close
the small dark outlines, bask a golden shine
peripheries slight motion, a graceful shimmer
perched as an alert, the slight snap of the fingers
a single feather cascades
turning in the elegant dance of a ballerina's descent
laying at the step vaguely pointing to the entrance,
the pride of a black bird,
there is no place for an Omen here,
one last frailty, is my secret near and dear

Terry D’Arcy-Ryan
Steve Page Jul 2018
When we prefer the narrow gate
And tire of busy highways
We see the Kingdom come

When the master is the servant
And kneels to wash our feet
We see the Kingdom come

When the straggler is given preference
And the first steps to the back
We see the Kingdom come

When we serve the poor, the hungry
And take the stranger in
We see the Kingdom come.

When children are given pride of place
And followed as an example
We see the Kingdom come

When brother and sister are reconciled
While our offering is left to wait
We see the Kingdom come

When the temples are cleared of commerce
And prayer takes it rightful place
We see the Kingdom come

When the Sabbath serves the worshipper
Not the worshipper the Sabbath
We see the Kingdom come

When fragrant extravagance is applauded
And noses put out if joint
We see the Kingdom come

When the Creator's light is lifted up
And the Son is no longer hidden
We see the Kingdom come
An old half finished poem from last year.
Travis Green Dec 2018
Down at the barbershop where the
upbeat finesse fills the scene,
hypnotic basslines and smoking beats
rise from the radio into the
jazzy air.  

Various boys and men come
by to get close haircuts, fresh
fades, and dope designs.
Harmonic flows travel across
the shimmering space, bright
waves of excellent taste, a
thrilling serenity of light,
as the barbers create magic
in the brilliant place.  

Biggie’s lyrical anthem, Big Poppa,
blazes around the room,
hip-hopping jams full of
deep spins and breaking booms.

Groovy barbers rap to the beat,
spitting fire flaming diction
in glowing dimension, marching
in glorious rhythms, as the
whole masterpiece becomes
a supersonic sea of incessant
boogying and wavy arms,
snapping ankles and dancing
feet, an engine racing extravagance
moving in high flight.
Travis Green Dec 2018
Groovy brown skinned brothas
hip hop to the smooth jazzy
beats across the starlight scene,
exhilarating eyes light up
the uptown extravagance,
as they bust a move in the
drumbeating room, rotating
and vibrating, grinding and
bending, breathing in the
singing saxophones and
trombones.

Flashy lights shine bright
and vivid in crystal clears,
as young sweet caramel
girls sway to the high
hypnotizing sounds,
spinning hips lost in the
night, gliding on waves,
shaking in the serene
breeze like swinging trees,
soaring endlessly
across the rings of Saturn.

Heavy adrenaline rises
inside the upbeat and
sassy melanin sistas,
stomping stilettos,
show-stopping arms
and thighs harmonizing
to the midnight rhymes,
while hard bassline sounds
sifts inside various dimensions
of extreme delight.
Deep Mar 6
I’m not quitting, I will not…
But I’m tired of visiting that market
Holding pages that shows others my worth,
Constantly reminds me my failures
In not inculcating traits of brighter mind;
Them alphabets and numbers mesmerized,
My all happiness, every dream revolved around a wooden bat
Father, always scolded me, saying;
“Time never returns, returns only regret”
My adolescent arrogance refuted it
But now, I know the price.

My life was straight
I meander it with my mistreating,
Of dreaming a dream that I couldn’t afford
Of not confining them in the periphery of countryside,
Letting time to stroll away sitting on a pew
Not making enough efforts to catch in middle,
Father, you were right
How I long to go back in time
And start again from the beginning,
With all the cautions and advice of your’s,
Accepting all that previously refuted;


Those afternoon walk in the heat of June
Shirt soaked in ‘rejections’
Clothing a dead Will that dies daily in Loo,
All absorbed in counting failures
I wait for a bus to come
With an unknown number
That could take me all the way to that ‘wish-factory’ place
I heard in childhood,
But the dust fly and settles in eye
To awake me from delving into another dream;


“Those who take long ladders to reach 98,” mother says
“seldom wins without bitten at 99.”
But my life turned out to be more mazy
Than the game of snake & ladders,
How I abhor to go back home and confront her
Whose trust in Gods diminishing by my defeats,
Whose every prayer is going unheard
I am the victim, she a sufferer;


I remember the days of my college
With immense dreams and a never dying spirit
And an age where everything seems possible
Where every person looks beautiful
An age with profligacy and extravagance
And complete ignorance of world,
Later when I stepped my foot into reality;
The clock’s hands had taken so many rounds
That a fastest run could not chase them.


I’m tired of answering the same question again and again
I’m tired of waking in morning anxious
With the fear of rejection,
That travel from bus to interview place seems infinite
With endless emotions heaving up and down
like a a tree on a windy day,
I’m tired of living a life that I do not control
I know, after one hour from now
I’ll exist no more,
And this is not quitting
I just want to start it all over again…
The poem is dedicated to a guy who attempted suicide because of not getting job- and many more who are daily fighting the battle to earn living.
Victor D López Dec 2018
You were born five years before the Spanish Civil War that would see your father exiled.
Language came later to you than your little brother Manuel. And you stuttered for a time.
Unlike those who speak incessantly with nothing to say, you were quiet and reserved.
Your mother mistook shyness for dimness, a tragic mistake that scarred you for life.

When your brother Manuel died at the age of three from meningitis, you heard your mom
Exclaim: “God took my bright boy and left me the dull one.” You were four or five.
You never forgot those words. How could you? Yet you loved your mom with all your heart.
But you also withdrew further into a shell, solitude your companion and best friend.

You were, in fact, an exceptional child. Stuttering went away at five or so never to return,
And by the time you were in middle school, your teacher called your mom in for a rare
Conference and told her that yours was a gifted mind, and that you should be prepared
For university study in the sciences, particularly engineering.

She wrote your father exiled in Argentina to tell him the good news, that your teachers
Believed you would easily gain entrance to the (then and now) highly selective public university
Where seats were few, prized and very difficult to attain based on merit-based competitive
Exams. Your father’s response? “Buy him a couple of oxen and let him plow the fields.”

That reply from a highly respected man who was a big fish in a tiny pond in his native Oleiros
Of the time is beyond comprehension. He had apparently opted to preserve his own self-
Interest in having his son continue his family business and also work the family lands in his
Absence. That scar too was added to those that would never heal in your pure, huge heart.

Left with no support for living expenses for college (all it would have required), you moved on,
Disappointed and hurt, but not angry or bitter; you would simply find another way.
You took the competitive exams for the two local military training schools that would provide
An excellent vocational education and pay you a small salary in exchange for military service.

Of hundreds of applicants for the prized few seats in each of the two institutions, you
Scored first for the toughest of the two and thirteenth for the second. You had your pick.
You chose Fabrica de Armas, the lesser of the two, so that a classmate who had scored just
Below the cut-off at the better school could be admitted. That was you. Always and forever.

At the military school, you were finally in your element. You were to become a world-class
Machinist there—a profession that would have gotten you well paid work anywhere on earth
For as long as you wanted it. You were truly a mechanical genius who years later would add
Electronics, auto mechanics and specialized welding to his toolkit through formal training.

Given a well-stocked machine shop, you could reverse engineer every machine without
Blueprints and build a duplicate machine shop. You became a gifted master mechanic
And worked in line and supervisory positions at a handful of companies throughout your life in
Argentina and in the U.S., including Westinghouse, Warner-Lambert, and Pepsi Co.

You loved learning, especially in your fields (electronics, mechanics, welding) and expected
Perfection in everything you did. Every difficult job at work was given to you everywhere you
Worked. You would not sleep at night when a problem needed solving. You’d sketch
And calculate and re-sketch solutions and worked even in your dreams with singular passion.

You were more than a match for the academic and physical rigors of military school,
But life was difficult for you in the Franco era when some instructors would
Deprecatingly refer to you as “Roxo”—Galician for “red”-- reflecting your father’s
Support for the failed Republic. Eventually, the abuse was too much for you to bear.

Once while standing at attention in a corridor with the other cadets waiting for
Roll call, you were repeatedly poked in the back surreptitiously. Moving would cause
Demerits and demerits could cause loss of points on your final grade and arrest for
Successive weekends. You took it awhile, then lost your temper.

You turned to the cadet behind you and in a fluid motion grabbed him by his buttoned jacket
And one-handedly hung him up on a hook above a window where you were standing in line.
He thrashed about, hanging by the back of his jacket, until he was brought down by irate Military instructors.
You got weekend arrest for many weeks and a 10% final grade reduction.

A similar fate befell a co-worker a few years later in Buenos Aires who called you a
*******. You lifted him one handed by his throat and held him there until
Your co-workers intervened, forcibly persuading you to put him down.
That lesson was learned by all in no uncertain terms: Leave Felipe’s mom alone.

You were incredibly strong, especially in your youth—no doubt in part because of rigorous farm
Work, military school training and competitive sports. As a teenager, you once unwisely bent
Down to pick something up in view of a ram, presenting the animal an irresistible target.
It butted you and sent you flying into a haystack. It, too, quickly learned its lesson.

You dusted yourself off, charged the ram, grabbed it by the horns and twirled it around once,
Throwing it atop the same haystack as it had you. The animal was unhurt, but learned to
Give you a wide berth from that day forward. Overall, you were very slow to anger absent
Head-butting, repeated pokings, or disrespectful references to your mom by anyone.    

I seldom saw you angry and it was mom, not you, who was the disciplinarian, slipper in hand.
There were very few slaps from you for me. Mom would smack my behind with a slipper often
When I was little, mostly because I could be a real pain, wanting to know/try/do everything
Completely oblivious to the meaning of the word “no” or of my own limitations.

Mom would sometimes insist you give me a proper beating. On one such occasion for a
Forgotten transgression when I was nine, you  took me to your bedroom, took off your belt, sat
Me next to you and whipped your own arm and hand a few times, whispering to me “cry”,
Which I was happy to do unbidden. “Don’t tell mom.” I did not. No doubt she knew.

The prospect of serving in a military that considered you a traitor by blood became harder and
Harder to bear, and in the third year of school, one year prior to graduation, you left to join
Your exiled father in Argentina, to start a new life. You left behind a mother and two sisters you
Dearly loved to try your fortune in a new land. Your dog thereafter refused food, dying of grief.

You arrived in Buenos Aires to see a father you had not seen for ten years at the age of 17.
You were too young to work legally, but looked older than your years (a shared trait),
So you lied about your age and immediately found work as a Machinist/Mechanic first grade.
That was unheard of and brought you some jealousy and complaints in the union shop.

The union complained to the general manager about your top-salary and rank. He answered,
“I’ll give the same rank and salary to anyone in the company who can do what Felipe can do.”
No doubt the jealousy and grumblings continued by some for a time. But there were no takers.
And you soon won the group over, becoming their protected “baby-brother” mascot.

Your dad left for Spain within a year or so of your arrival when Franco issued a general pardon
To all dissidents who had not spilt blood (e.g., non combatants). He wanted you to return to
Help him reclaim the family business taken over by your mom in his absence with your help.
But you refused to give up the high salary, respect and independence denied you at home.

You were perhaps 18 and alone, living in a single room by a schoolhouse you had shared with Your dad.
But you had also found a new loving family in your uncle José, one of your father’s Brothers, and his family. José, and one of his daughters, Nieves and her
Husband, Emilio, and
Their children, Susana, Oscar (Ruben Gordé), and Osvaldo, became your new nuclear family.

You married mom in 1955 and had two failed business ventures in the quickly fading
Post-WW II Argentina of the late 1950s and early 1960s.The first, a machine shop, left
You with a small fortune in unpaid government contract work.  The second, a grocery store,
Also failed due to hyperinflation and credit extended too easily to needy customers.

Throughout this, you continued earning an exceptionally good salary. But in the mid 1960’s,
Nearly all of it went to pay back creditors of the failed grocery store. We had some really hard
Times. Someday I’ll write about that in some detail. Mom went to work as a maid, including for
Wealthy friends, and you left home at 4:00 a.m. to return long after dark to pay the bills.


The only luxury you and mom retained was my Catholic school tuition. There was no other
Extravagance. Not paying bills was never an option for you or mom. It never entered your
Minds. It was not a matter of law or pride, but a matter of honor. There were at least three very
Lean years where you and mom worked hard, earned well but we were truly poor.

You and mom took great pains to hide this from me—and suffered great privations to insulate
Me as best you could from the fallout of a shattered economy and your refusal to cut your loses
Had done to your life savings and to our once-comfortable middle-class life.
We came to the U.S. in the late 1960s after waiting for more than three years for visas—to a new land of hope.

Your sister and brother-in-law, Marisa and Manuel, made their own sacrifices to help bring us
Here. You had about $1,000 from the down payment on our tiny down-sized house, And
Mom’s pawned jewelry. (Hyperinflation and expenses ate up the remaining mortgage payments
Due). Other prized possessions were left in a trunk until you could reclaim them. You never did.

Even the airline tickets were paid for by Marisa and Manuel. You insisted upon arriving on
Written terms for repayment including interest. You were hired on the spot on your first
Interview as a mechanic, First Grade, despite not speaking a word of English. Two months later,
The debt was repaid, mom was working too and we moved into our first apartment.

You worked long hours, including Saturdays and daily overtime, to remake a nest egg.
Declining health forced you to retire at 63 and shortly thereafter you and mom moved out of
Queens into Orange County. You bought a townhouse two hours from my permanent residence
Upstate NY and for the next decade were happy, traveling with friends and visiting us often.

Then things started to change. Heart issues (two pacemakers), colon cancer, melanoma,
Liver and kidney disease caused by your many medications, high blood pressure, gout,
Gall bladder surgery, diabetes . . . . And still you moved forward, like the Energizer Bunny,
Patched up, battered, scarred, bruised but unstoppable and unflappable.

Then mom started to show signs of memory loss along with her other health issues. She was
Good at hiding her own ailments, and we noticed much later than we should have that there
Was a serious problem. Two years ago, her dementia worsening but still functional, she had
Gall bladder surgery with complications that required four separate surgeries in three months.

She never recovered and had to be placed in a nursing home. Several, in fact, as at first she
Refused food and you and I refused to simply let her waste away, which might have been
Kinder, but for the fact that “mientras hay vida, hay esperanza” as Spaniards say.
(While there is Life there is hope.) There is nothing beyond the power of God. Miracles do happen.

For two years you lived alone, refusing outside help, engendering numerous arguments about
Having someone go by a few times a week to help clean, cook, do chores. You were nothing if
Not stubborn (yet another shared trait). The last argument on the subject about two weeks ago
Ended in your crying. You’d accept no outside help until mom returned home. Period.

You were in great pain because of bulging discs in your spine and walked with one of those
Rolling seats with handlebars that mom and I picked out for you some years ago. You’d sit
As needed when the pain was too much, then continue with very little by way of complaints.
Ten days ago you finally agreed that you needed to get to the hospital to drain abdominal fluid.

Your failing liver produced it and it swelled your abdomen and lower extremities to the point
Where putting on shoes or clothing was very difficult, as was breathing. You called me from a
Local store crying that you could not find pants that would fit you. We talked, long distance,
And I calmed you down, as always, not allowing you to wallow in self pity but trying to help.

You went home and found a new pair of stretch pants Alice and I had bought you and you were
Happy. You had two changes of clothes that still fit to take to the hospital. No sweat, all was
Well. The procedure was not dangerous and you’d undergone it several times in recent years.
It would require a couple of days at the hospital and I’d see you again on the weekend.

I could not be with you on Monday, February 22 when you had to go to the hospital, as I nearly
Always had, because of work. You were supposed to be admitted the previous Friday, but
Doctors have days off too, and yours could not see you until Monday when I could not get off
Work. But you were not concerned; this was just routine. You’d be fine. I’d see you in just days.

We’d go see mom Friday, when you’d be much lighter and feel much better. Perhaps we’d go
Shopping for clothes if the procedure still left you too bloated for your usual clothes.
You drove to your doctor and then transported by ambulette. I was concerned, but not too Worried.
You called me sometime between five or six p.m. to tell me you were fine, resting.

“Don’t worry. I’m safe here and well cared for.” We talked for a little while about the usual
Things, with my assuring you I’d see you Friday or Saturday. You were tired and wanted to sleep
And I told you to call me if you woke up later that night or I’d speak to you the following day.
Around 10:00 p.m. I got a call from your cell and answered in the usual upbeat manner.

“Hey, Papi.” On the other side was a nurse telling me my dad had fallen. I assured her she was
Mistaken, as my dad was there for a routine procedure to drain abdominal fluid. “You don’t
Understand. He fell from his bed and struck his head on a nightstand or something
And his heart has stopped. We’re working on him for 20 minutes and it does not look good.”

“Can you get here?” I could not. I had had two or three glasses of wine shortly before the call
With dinner. I could not drive the three hours to Middletown. I cried. I prayed.
Fifteen minutes Later I got the call that you were gone. Lost in grief, not knowing what to do, I called my wife.
Shortly thereafter came a call from the coroner. An autopsy was required. I could not see you.

Four days later your body was finally released to the funeral director I had selected for his
Experience with the process of interment in Spain. I saw you for the last time to identify
Your body. I kissed my fingers and touched your mangled brow. I could not even have the
Comfort of an open casket viewing. You wanted cremation. You body awaits it as I write this.

You were alone, even in death alone. In the hospital as strangers worked on you. In the medical
Examiner’s office as you awaited the autopsy. In the autopsy table as they poked and prodded
And further rent your flesh looking for irrelevant clues that would change nothing and benefit
No one, least of all you. I could not be with you for days, and then only for a painful moment.

We will have a memorial service next Friday with your ashes and a mass on Saturday. I will
Never again see you in this life. Alice and I will take you home to your home town, to the
Cemetery in Oleiros, La Coruña, Spain this summer. There you will await the love of your life.
Who will join you in the fullness of time. She could not understand my tears or your passing.

There is one blessing to dementia. She asks for her mom, and says she is worried because she
Has not come to visit in some time. She is coming, she assures me whenever I see her.
You visited her every day except when health absolutely prevented it. You spent this February 10
Apart, your 61st wedding anniversary, too sick to visit her. Nor was I there. First time.

I hope you did not realize you were apart on the 10th but doubt it to be the case. I
Did not mention it, hoping you’d forgotten, and neither did you. You were my link to mom.
She cannot dial or answer a phone, so you would put your cell phone to her ear whenever I
Was not in class or meetings and could speak to her. She always recognized me by phone.

I am three hours from her. I could visit at most once or twice a month. Now even that phone
Lifeline is severed. Mom is completely alone, afraid, confused, and I cannot in the short term at
Least do much about that. You were not supposed to die first. It was my greatest fear, and
Yours, but as with so many things that we cannot change I put it in the back of my mind.

It kept me up many nights, but, like you, I still believed—and believe—in miracles.
I would speak every night with my you, often for an hour, on the way home from work late at
Night during my hour-long commute, or from home on days I worked from home as I cooked
Dinner. I mostly let you talk, trying to give you what comfort and social outlet I could.

You were lonely, sad, stuck in an endless cycle of emotional and physical pain.
Lately you were especially reticent to get off the phone. When mom was home and still
Relatively well, I’d call every day too but usually spoke to you only a few minutes and you’d
Transfer the phone to mom, with whom I usually chatted much longer.

For months, you’d had difficulty hanging up. I knew you did not want to go back to the couch,
To a meaningless TV program, or to writing more bills. You’d say good-bye, or “enough for
Today” and immediately begin a new thread, then repeat the cycle, sometimes five or six times.
You even told me, at least once crying recently, “Just hang up on me or I’ll just keep talking.”

I loved you, dad, with all my heart. We argued, and I’d often scream at you in frustration,
Knowing you would never take it to heart and would usually just ignore me and do as
You pleased. I knew how desperately you needed me, and I tried to be as patient as I could.
But there were days when I was just too tired, too frustrated, too full of other problems.

There were days when I got frustrated with you just staying on the phone for an hour when I
Needed to call Alice, to eat my cold dinner, or even to watch a favorite program. I felt guilty
And very seldom cut a conversation short, but I was frustrated nonetheless even knowing
How much you needed me and also how much I needed you, and how little you asked of me.  

How I would love to hear your voice again, even if you wanted to complain about the same old
Things or tell me in minutest detail some unimportant aspect of your day. I thought I would
Have you at least a little longer. A year? Two? God only knew, and I could hope. There would be
Time. I had so much more to share with you, so much more to learn when life eased up a bit.

You taught me to fish (it did not take) and to hunt (that took even less) and much of what I
Know about mechanics, and electronics. We worked on our cars together for years—from brake
Jobs, to mufflers, to real tune-ups in the days when points, condensers, and timing lights had Meaning, to rebuilding carburetors and fixing rust and dents, and power windows and more.

We were friends, good friends, who went on Sunday drives to favorite restaurants or shopping
For tools when I was single and lived at home. You taught me everything in life that I need to
Know about all the things that matter. The rest is meaningless paper and window dressing.
I knew all your few faults and your many colossal strengths and knew you to be the better man.

Not even close. I could never do what you did. I could never excel in my fields as you did in
Yours.  You were the real deal in every way, from every angle, throughout your life. I did not
Always treat you that way. But I loved you very deeply as anyone who knew us knows.
More importantly, you knew it. I told you often, unembarrassed in the telling. I love you, Dad.

The world was enriched by your journey. You do not leave behind wealth, or a body or work to
Outlive you. You never had your fifteen minutes in the sun. But you mattered. God knows your
Virtue, your absolute integrity, and the purity of your heart. I will never know a better man.
I will love you and miss you and carry you in my heart every day of my life. God bless you, dad.
Julian Apr 20
The inaugural bang swiveled with the vacant expressions of a muted feral crowd indignant about ethnic identity and swift in the recourse of tyrannical thugs pandering withered abuse

I solemnly abided in a chirpy itinerant glower against the exclusive system for stranding the disintegration of lyrical integrity for the Potemkin cheers of the culmination of too many jeers

Withered words for the abeyance of silence I incurred with wistful pleas for resurgent clarity beyond   sheepish fears

So I loitered in the evanescence of words..

Watching with alacrity as the strident ignorance of grafted wretchedness writhed its last mustered exsibilation at the sound of windbags bloviating beyond prodigal extravagance without a visible tweeted word

I measured my pause…..as I considered the heft of poignant exposures to a dismal serenade of miscegenated politics and garbled breaths of wheezy mendicants seeking participation in the trophy of smothered compliance

But I marveled simultaneously at the extinction of the shriveled crowds as they sized up the minutiae of wastrels glamorously inviting a frozen recapitulation of sorrows borrowed and wasted on minced platitudes that swindle still the votive confidence of regimented sympathy pretending empathy for soured hearts professedly defiant at their bereaved will

My pulse I clocked at 120 as I wondered where on earth the 140s and 150s have frittered their patience on with such brazen alacrity for the garish snarl of a sojourn into the ineffable effrontery of aureate mutiny against the tyrant of deaf spoon-fed indignation without the luxury of shared ignominy of memorable cadence for frippery in sparse blurbs registered in braille rather than brawn

Then I remembered my vociferous persnickety temperament and the curdled hatred of procrustean swan songs to an etiolating standard of ethical entanglement in aloof issues delivered with a decisive swoon too swift in earnestness to outfox with a quipped rebuff or a calculus of classical spoof

Then I wondered with a problematic but inherent prolixity…..
I too could adorn the adoring moon with a lyrical lampoon geared for a clockwork punchline or a winsome rebarbative tune….OR…. enchant with an incisive acerbic rant about how pasquinades outstay their welcome because of the clambered insistence of happenstance years ago in a blinkered mirror but never rehashed too soon

But where would affection heap its laurels if I dared to swindle the spotlight away from frisky poetasters who proved a renegade inspiration for fluttered triumph in a seaside tragedy only the crestfallen waves of pestilent Idiocracy could steal from my outstretched tenacity in verse and verve

Boom went a fulmination of hatred at my labored words! And then I swerved to avoid potholes of tenuous gainsay…. and other miscreants littering the world with misappropriated labels for laments belabored with publicity for displaced enmity distilled from a cauldron of mismatched ignorance….tethered to the vagrancy of gripe plucked at the ripe time for a twenty-dollar prize give or take a dime

But that dime separating 1990 from 2010 meant more than anything to a life littered with hallowed word crimes…. against the sanctimony of syncopation with cheap bleats too arrogant to be sheepish at the lavish indulgence of the marginalized wines…. brewed in a castle flickering on fiat worth rather than the simplicities of minutes of warbled time

So I currently warp minds with the proctor of a gamble too garish to finesse the quicksand of attrition but jaunty enough to bypass the limitations of a linear self-referential memorial about the circular nature of irony espoused by divorced rhymes

Now I stand ascendant….waiting for the retinues of retinas to absorb the wavy rigmarole of the serpentine pathways carved beneath the buzzwords of race and division and towards soldered unity with a human race beyond racism…. and a class divorced from socioeconomic crass division

Just then I arrived at serenity…. as I realized that the BAR exams that encage so many aspirant hearts are counterfeit in the court of the highest judiciary art that believes that insidious artifice is an embezzled venture of frolicsome guttersnipes wallowing in division can never revive a lifeless heart…. even if quick-witted credentialism rattles the slaves to vapid artforms that any humanism would never deem smart

Ditch the agitprop as a human frailty indentured to endure the curated disease without a cure to make the snollygosters in Washington ever so cocksure with their cockalorum disregard of the palatable consensus to make news real again….Finally for the fraternity of an enlightened human race in a benighted world of trendy fatuousness that infests the planet with the debauchery of glorified urchins jerking the levers with severed brevity to promote infectious foofaraw with cultural indemnity

I leave you with this

What is ornate complexity without the luxury of concerted beatific bliss that the parsecs that flummox your minds throb vehemently with cohesiveness in my internal design are not remiss

And remember the benighted standards of kitsch for the kitchens of penury bewitched don’t stand a chance against the overriding itch to vanquish mountains one after another to cross them off the list
Rows of lavender lunge
against the plastered stone wall
that sequesters the brilliant,
purple bushes from
the ancient Provencal farmhouse,
standing stoically on the Plains.

The wall, almost as old as
the farmhouse itself, keeps
utilitarian flora in
and extravagant varieties out.
It knows no other function.

Lavender, in all its aromatic,
purple plumage, doesn't mind.
It will seek out each crack,
each empty space, each low
spot in the wall to slither through
to the other side.

Lavender knows, as the wily
farmer cannot, that beauty
will always prevail, no matter
what obstacles stand
in its way.

Beauty thrives, stronger than
the building of any wall.
It knows that all its fellow
plants think likewise,
stretching toward extravagance,
their whole life long.

Beauty is their destiny.
Victor D López Dec 2018
They also came for you in the middle of the night,
But found that you had gone to Buenos Aires.
The Guardia Civil questioned your wife in her home,
Surrounded by your four young children, in loud but respectful tones.

They waved their machine guns about for a while,
But left no visible scars on your children,
Or on your young wife, whom you
Left behind to raise them alone.

You had been a big fish in a little pond,
A successful entrepreneur who made a very good living,
By buying cattle to be raised by those too poor
To buy their own who would raise them for you.

They would graze them, use them to pull their plows
And sell their milk, or use it to feed their too numerous children.  
When they were ready for sale, you would take them to market,
Obtain a fair price for them, and equally split the gains with those who raised them.

All in all, it was a good system that gave you relative wealth,
And gave the poor the means to feed their families and themselves.
You reputation for unwavering honesty and fair dealing made many
Want to raise cattle for you, and many more sought you out to settle disputes.

On matters of contracts and disputed land boundaries your word was law.
The powerless and the powerful trusted your judgment equally and sought you out
To settle their disputes. Your judgment was always accepted as final because
Your fairness and integrity were beyond question. “If Manuel says it, it is so.”

You would honor a bad deal based on a handshake and would rather lose a
Fortune than break your word, even when dealing with those far less honorable
Than yourself. For you a man was only as good as his word, and you knew that the
Greatest legacy you could leave your children was an unsullied name.  

You were frugal beyond need or reason, perhaps because you did not
Want to flaunt your relative wealth when so many had nothing.
It would have offended your social conscience and belied your politics.
Your one extravagance was a great steed, on which no expense was spared.

Though thoughtful, eloquent and soft-spoken, you were not shy about
Sharing your views and took quiet pride in the fact that others listened
When you spoke.  You were an ardent believer in the young republic and
Left of center in your views. When the war came, you were an easy target.

There was no time to take your entire family out of the country, and
You simply had too much to lose—a significant capital ******* in land and
Livestock. So you decided to go to Argentina, having been in the U.S. while
You were single and preferring self exile in a country with a familiar language.

Your wife and children would be fine, sheltered by your capital and by
The good will you had earned. And you were largely right.
Despite your wife’s inexperience, she continued with your business, with the
Help of your son who had both your eye for buying livestock and your good name.

Long years after you had gone, your teenaged son could buy all the cattle he
Wanted at any regional fair on credit, with just a handshake, simply because
He was your son. And for many years, complete strangers would step up offering a
Stern warning to those they believed were trying to cheat your son at the fairs.

“E o fillo do Café.” (He is the son of the Café, a nickname earned by a
Distant relative for to his habit of offering coffee to anyone who visited his
Office at a time when coffee was a luxury). That was enough to stop anyone
Seeking to gain an unfair advantage from dad’s youth and inexperience.

Once in Buenos Aires, though, you were a small fish in a very big pond,
Or, more accurately, a fish on dry land; nobody was impressed by your name,
Your pedigree, your reputation or your way of doing business. You were probably
Mocked for your Galician accent and few listened or cared when you spoke.

You lived in a small room that shared a patio with a little schoolhouse.
You worked nights as a watchman, and tried to sleep during the day while
Children played noisily next door. You made little money since your trade was
Useless in a modern city where trust was a highly devalued currency.

You were an anachronistic curiosity. And you could not return home.
When your son followed you there, he must have broken your heart;
You had expected that he would run your business until your return; but he
Quit school, tired of being called roxo (red) by his military instructors.

It must have been excruciatingly difficult for you.  Dad never got your pain.
Ironically, I think I do, but much too late. Eventually you returned to Spain to
A wife who had faithfully raised your children alone for more than ten years and was
No longer predisposed to unquestioningly view your will as her duty.

Doubtless, you could no more understand that than dad could understand
You. Too much Pain. Too many dreams deferred, mourned, buried and forgotten.
You returned to your beloved Galicia when it was clear you would not be
Persecuted after Generalisimo Franco had mellowed into a relatively benign tyrant.

People were no longer found shot or beaten to death in ditches by the
Side of the road. So you returned home to live out the remainder of your
Days out of place, a caricature of your former self, resting on the brittle,
Crumbling laurels of your pre Civil War self, not broken, but forever bent.

You found a world very different from the one you had built through your
Decency, cunning, and entrepreneurship. And you learned to look around
Before speaking your mind, and spent your remaining days reined in far more
Closely than your old steed, and with no polished silver bit to bite upon.
from Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems (C) 2011, 2018
humanpluto Sep 24
Manila calls me
Asks me if i could go back
To where we used to be
I know i'd be lying
If I'd say I'm not in love with you anymore
And I'd be lying
If I'd say I'm doing all i can to be with you

Manila's missing us
She's searching for our footsteps
We became remarkable
To the place we were once alone
We marked our prints there
Left laughters and stories
We do not usually tell to everyone

On the busy streets we wandered
With your hands clinging on my arms
Our skins touched
And i was invincible by the rays of the sun
On that moment i felt like a fool
Coz i cannot stop smiling
It feels like im drugged or something
Intoxicated by your touch
Ecstatic by your smile
Euphoric by the entity of your soul

It seems so crazy to be in love with you
But the moment i saw you being so peculiar,
I started to question out if the existence of other people is even necessary
I am quite fond of making extravagance
But you give me reasons everyday to include your name on my yearnings
And even on my planned future
You exist without failure

Maybe i am stupid
But if stupidity means loving you wholeheartedly,
Then i guess that makes me the dumbest humanbeing on the planet.
I still love you since the 11th day of July 2018. And i will never forget that 1st day of December. I feel so insane.
Travis Green Aug 2018
I listened to the soft sounding consonants
rise above my foster home, swirling against
exuberant trees and iridescent leaves falling
in twisting rhythms on the scratchy gray pavement,
an indication of distant metaphors flickering with
no sound, a slow spiraling square root evaporating
into thin dust, as I gazed at the overlooking sun, how
its shining depiction cried for validation, scorching
light, harsh vowels twirling around galloping clouds
trying to discover perfection.  There was the crumbling
landscape lost in the background, shifting in smaller
silences and flaming depths, filled with complex thoughts
and stumbling languages.  As I sat on the silent steps
watching the various figures fade into each other, streetlights
and skyscrapers, scurrying pedestrians and corner stores,
my stained blue eyes crammed and slammed, drowned
and pounding, dying every second when I realize the essence
of reality, the way it burns bright throughout the night sunken
its own intensifying flames, endless shapes disguised in anger
and pain, like a raging moon vanishing away never to be seen
again, like a vicious galaxy burning everything in its past to
a satisfying defeat.  My heart is cracking and splitting in
expressionless puzzles, a puddle of solo soapsuds, a scraped
brick building resembling shattered walls, scrawny hands hung
in smeared surfaces, stuck in a blob of yellow paint scrubbing
away its flawless scenery, leaking subjects and predicates scattered
in misaligned pages, wet alleyways branching into quivering caves,
while I reminisce on memories of my mother, the way she used to
hold me in her arms, every touch of her thin fingers pressed
against my waist, its magical rhythm traveling around
my beautiful body, rushing down my angled spine.  I could
feel her smooth skin sinking into my ochre-tanned flesh,
how she embodied every glorious kingdom, a crowned queen
draped in extravagance, how the bright hues in her frame
made me feel all the serenity within the world, so magnificent,
igniting every imagination inside my being.  She was my hero,
a glorious gem that gleamed like an array of galaxies surrounding
earth and Saturn, a melanin masterpiece purifying the atmosphere,
a wheeling instrument strumming its enchanting melody across the horizon.  She worked hard all the time, trying to make my dreams come true.  Most nights she would grab a second job to make sure the bills were paid.  She never complained or grew tired.  She was determined that I would be somebody and make a difference in the world.  She was the inspiring teacher sitting on the floor beside the living room chair, demonstrating how to solve an equation, how to disentangle the numbers and simplify it into its equalizing state., the way she would educate my mind and unwind the questions in my brain, the way she showed me the value of an honest living, letting it seep inside my soul until I could breathe in the definition of a true man.  Now I can see how the warm days drift away into restless nights, how the hummingbirds that soar past my sight remind me that she is never coming back, the way the sinking flowers stand in confusion, crying rosebuds, trembling petals, stripped stems roaming in loneliness.

— The End —