Wednesday, December 2, 2009


reading about the guy
who 65 year sentence was
pardoned in one state
who then moved to another
and killed 4 cops
or the ones who get released
just to murder weeks later
on and on it goes
the jails and prisons overflow
people are mean and crazy
and it makes me wonder
what did the indians do in the old days?

tribes were somewhat small
maybe a thousand or two
and they depended on each member
contributing to the whole community
everybody having roles
hunters, warriors,
medicine men
women doing most of the work
chopping wood
setting up camp
skinning hides
making clothes and pots
grammas watching grandchildren
youth modeling adult behaviors
and what if somebody
acted bad?
did something that was understood taboo?
frequently ostracized
kicked out of the tribe
set to wander among wolves and
enemy tribes that could enslave them
or if they did something really bad
maybe beat them to death
done deal
their were no jails
but mainly there were few that every
acted bad
they would be shamed
values and morals of the village were strong
in order for the whole to survive
each human important
but now
people act independently
looking out for only themselves
greed sets in
taking money and lives from each other
'sad sad' as my grandmother would say
as the jails fill with indians too.

boomerang kids

they call this generation
boomerang kids
1 in 7 grown kids returning
to the parent's home
maybe while they go to college
maybe when they lose their jobs
maybe when new marriages fail
and now i find my daughter
with her 3 year old
sleeping on an air mattress
in the living room
of my small 1 bedroom apartment

today i ate my cereal
on my bed and didn't cook bacon
as my kitchen is where
their sleeping heads lay
i didn't watch the morning news
as that is where
their feet and clothes boxes are

today i will see about getting
wireless internet
so she can do job searches
on friday when i get paid
we will go grocery shopping
so she can pick foods she likes
maybe next week i will make
a doctor's appointment
to get valium my chill-pills
anticipating frayed nerves
though i love them both
i'm used to my oneness with myself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


he sat on a rock
in golden gate park
holding a sign that read
'free hugs'
hundreds nay thousands
of people looked
as they walked by
like maybe the crud from
his dreadlocks might
jump on them during
the exchange
like the dirt from his jacket
would smear their
patagonia windbreakers
like the small surge of
body energy might
take something away
rather than give it to them
but the hippy girls
surrounded him in a
joyous group hug
squeals and kisses too
i'm glad
cause hey
i didn't want to hug him either.

Friday, August 14, 2009


i know them pretty well
better than funeral homes
i have seen many tubes and iv's
coarse woven sheets and thick pillows
i know about the little side table
that hold toothbrushes and tiny black combs
if you don't use them
you will still get charged
so either use them
or take them
cause you get charged
either way

i know about the bed
which if you crank this
or step on this power button
will make the bed rise
and sit up
or raise the legs
the bed turning into
letters: w L v _
okay the last one
wasn't a letter
they are supposed to
make you comfortable
plus the tv remote
or the help me fucking help
me nurses button
or sometimes you get to push
your own morphine drip button
push jane push
push dick push

i've watched the monitors
so many times
the heart rate
the-i-don't-know-the pulse
is that different from the heart?
the breathing
the bells and whistles that go off
if you dip below the
accepted rates
or put a kink in your tube

i like the dry erase boards
when the nurses actually bother
to write in when they are on shift
some don't bother
i like the food
& that you can have popsicles & juice
if you are the caregiver
parent child
because you're loved one
can't have anything
except what comes in that drip bag

i always have a journal
of visitors that sign in
of the daily prognosis
these can be kept to remind
you or me of
that dream state
of hospitalization
of trauma and yes
terror not spoken not thought of
consciously denied
kept in this dream state
and not until 'the journal'
is looked at years later
is the horror apparent
this is a very
fucked up situation.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

make it go away

when the divorce is final
when debts are settled
when the last court appearance
can be done over the phone
so you are not subjected to
his loathsome person
his hateful eyes
his loud growling voice
and even though you got
nothing from the settlement
except your own attorney bills
and the shirt on your back
be grateful
you at least got out
with your life
cause it just as easily
could have gone that way
and now
the ink has dried
and tomorrow is a new day
but how can you erase
'it' from your memory
i know i know
time and alcohol
and don't even try to
placate yourself with
remembering only the good times
just make it all go away
and make it a double.

Friday, May 15, 2009


as you walk through the casino
your eyes scanning
you stop
and decide from the slot machine
that 'that' machine
is 'the one'
the one that will turn your luck
from poor to rich
raining coins from it's
loose slots mouth
your optimism palpable
later i find you
at the bar with a cold beer
and not much else to show
for this week's paycheck
'hey' you say
'there's still next week'
and wink and smile.

Friday, April 24, 2009

i like listening to motown

particularly when i'm sitting at the computer
at work
and the warm afternoon makes me lazy
and the glare of the computer screen
makes my eyes tired
quietly blasting the speakers
in my direction
trying to keep it from rolling
down the hallway
to other worker offices
i bob my head in time
to the beat of al green
dianna ross
and my forever favorite
barry white
and i dance while sitting down
it makes me feel like
i'm cool
sometimes i even
snap my fingers
yeah i'm old school.

Monday, April 20, 2009

the weekend

the weekend---for ‘shooter’

drove back to the rez
with just enough gas
to get there and back
my lover lent me money
so my checks would stop bouncing
and we painted in rose and cream
the freshly mudded sheetrock
of the bedroom my daughter
accidentally burnt down
the only radio station being 80’s rock
i haven’t heard those songs
since college
all the while ‘his’ name
kept popping into my head
freshly suicided the day before
and i wonder why
and how life gets so bad
that a seemingly passionate about life
person loads the shotgun
and grand funk railroad plays
and cream from disraeli gears
led zeppelin you know the ilk
the sun pours through the windows
i add a little rum to the coke
clean the brushes and trays
drive back to the city
his name keeps popping in
the gas gauge is almost empty
and his name keeps popping in.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


3rd day of spring
snow flurries and whipping wind
i see a mama pushing a stroller
barefoot baby no hat no gloves
i circle the block and park
go looking for this mama
and say 'where's your baby's socks?
where's your baby's shoes?'
she says 'you don't know me'
i say 'i don't but i'm a gramma of
a 1 year old and a 2 year old and a momma of others'
and this isn't right
and take off my gloves and put them
on his feet
he's not fussing or crying
he's just accepting the freezing
'what's his name?'
'jeramiah' how old? one.
i say come with me and she does
i go to my car where i have my
baby car seat and rummage among
the toys to find a hat and blanket
and snackie foods and a toy
she says bless you and goes off
i run up to my apartment find socks
find a warm coat and run back down
but she's gone
i drive around looking for her
all gone
i stand on my balcony looking
over the city blocks
jeramiah may you find warmth
in the cold
coolness in desert heat
and food for your tiny belly
give your momma strength
to make a life beyond homeless.

Monday, March 2, 2009

trying to shake sad

trying to shake sad

a dreary cold monday morning
first 2 emails
high school girlfriend dead
medical care and severe depression
was all that was mentioned
so I wonder if she suicided
never married no kids
and at the last few high school
reunions when I saw her after many
year of not seeing her
I thought she looked anorexic
cause she looked so tiny
'our' group is now in their 50's
too early to be dying

2nd email about a
fellow burner that I do not know
in a motorcycle accident in India
her last email home said
how crazy the driver's in india were
and how she's learning to drive
a motorcycle but not to worry
she's playing it safe and always
wears a helmet
a bike in front of her wiped out
and she swerved to avoid
but ended up with a handlebar
thru her visor into her head
her boyfriend was following and
began cpr despite blood in mouth
ears nose for a half hour
before german tourists stopped
frantic boyfriend trying to understand
the indian doctors
lots of blood loss she in a coma
hooked up to a breathing machine
her mom flew in wants her back in
the states for better care
her boyfriend updates blog
so everybody knows what's going on
somebody snagged her an indigent bed at stanford medical
friends in san francisco having FUNraisers
cause that's the way she'd want it
trying to raise funds for a air ambulance
that cost $150,000
the dj hosted shake yur booty party
plus other donations have raised $5,000
so they begin to pray more fervently
for her for an air ambulance for a good outcome

and this all sinks me down to sadness
as I recall my hospital bedside waits while
my son was hooked up to everything
but at least he was conscious and alive
and I knew he had most brain function
the coma thing is scary
reminds me of the other kid down the hall
jarrod same 18 year old age as my kid
jarrod bonked his head in a truck accident
and was in a coma
10 years later...he still is
I know cause whenever I pass through
that small town of gerlach on my way to
burningman I stop at bruno's bar
and ask the bartender
'how's jarrod doing?' cause jarrod's family
was from gerlach but has moved away
'the same' is what he always says
one day I want him to tell me 'he woke up
and smiled'
you read about those kind of stories

yet I still feel like crying
about jarrod, about my son
about the burner girl
and about my high school girlfriend
who was severely depressed
I'm so sad that she was so depressed
I remember her best as smiling and having a
caring and sweet disposition
and wishing life could have always stayed
that innocent
our silly little high school life
when all we worried about was our hairstyle
or clothes
and that we laughed a lot
at least that's how I remember it
and I'm going to keep it that way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

braking for pigeons

in these trying times
when all the news seems bad
when son-in -law loses his job
along with 3 million others
when co-worker loses house
to foreclosure
all the headlines come
to roost

when nevada's stats
for elders show
twice the national average
in suicide
and heavy alcohol use
could cause a
non-smoker to light one up
down a shot
and think of ways out
of this life

the car next to me
slows to a stop
as a pigeon struts in
that lane and then
crosses to mine
i do not slow
as he takes wing
knowing full well how
to negotiate downtown
i am amused at the driver
expecting an exciteable
teenage girl
or old peta member
instead see
a middle-aged hispanic man
a toothpick clenched in his teeth
no doubt freeing a
chunk of meat wedged
in his cuspids
and i laugh
cause now
more than ever
laughing is important.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


the cool thing about living
in the country
is you can see animals
and land
and changing leaves
you can sing
old mcdonald had a farm
and time it
so when you say
he had a cow
there they are
with a moo moo everywhere
and when you say
he had a goat
there they are
and you can throw in tigers
with a roar roar here
and a roar roar there
and the landscape is
so much more interesting
specially if you're on
a long road trip
and your mom says
she'll give you a quarter
for every white horse you see
with a neigh neigh here
and sometimes
you can pull over
to stretch your legs
and get up close
and pet the animals
feed the goats
and you're dad says
he'll give you a dollar
for every elephant you see
it keeps you on your toes
scanning the countryside
singing old mcdonald had a farm
instead of mcdonalds has
fatty foods.