Some advice from me

Sip smooth and
swallow slowly
the cold air
(static hair).
Touch soft and
stroke tender
words unsaid
spoken with fingers.
Breathe people
Tend friends
Grow them to show them
temporary ends
and expected futures.
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a poem about a boy

mentioning big brown eyes in a poem has become a cliche

much like identifying a cliche in hopes of absolution

but some brown eyes demand to be mentioned

and I’m going to steer clear of steering clear of cliches

because if they capture what I need to say,

why should I?

the effect those brown eyes have on

(everything)

demands to be captured.

another cliche: eyes are windows to the soul 

that one I won’t use

because he doesn’t need a window.

his soul can’t be contained to a window

it seeps out of his skin like a hormone

it fills his voice

it rubs off on everything he touches.

some people are just made up of their own damn atoms

others compose selves of brands, groups, tribes

identity through association

but he’s pure soul.

if you’re lucky enough to get close

he lets you have some

and you take it and wrap it around yourself and feel like a kid in a blanket

or maybe you sip it for a little like a mug of hot chocolate

(the thick kind. not the powder that makes a joke out of chocolate. the real stuff)

and you’re restored.

 

he doesn’t demand anything

but there’s something in him that demands to be written about.

Fat Ladies in Paris

Some Parisian women are slender

like you picture when you think of them sashaying their stilettos down Parisian streets

but not all of them are.

Many of them are streaked and marbled with

soft and airy fat

which they carry effortlessly abreast their hips

Across their stomachs

in their chests

and straddling their thighs.

It is a fat that looks sweet-tasting,

a fat made of converted croissants and cream sauces.

They don’t carry their fat with shame or embarrassment,

they don’t attempt to tuck and hide it away

but rather let it float around their bodies like Chanel Number 5

because they know it is beautiful.

Tongues

The waiters at Cafe Lisboa give me free coffee

With hearts drawn in the foam

Because they think I’m nice to look at

I guess.

 

I kissed one of them last week

And he murmured something in Spanish

And I had to ask him to repeat it

Because I study Spanish but sometimes

It’s hard to understand it mumbled after a kiss.

 

I liked the last boy I kissed a lot better

But he only liked me for the length of the kiss.

We spoke in Spanish, too,

Even though it’s native to neither of us.

 

When we kissed he spoke to me in badly formed English

Until I asked him to speak his Portuguese instead.

I didn’t understand it,

But it was sweeter to hear.

I missed the Portuguese in my ear when I kissed the waiter who spoke to me in Spanish that I asked him to repeat.

the boy who loves Lorca

he loves loving Lorca more than he loves Lorca

instead of masturbating, he underlines phrases of poetry in stubby pencil and sighs aloud so everyone knows that

he is a boy who

loves

Lorca.

he carries Lorca around with him tucked under his arm

bound and inked and translated

or sometimes he walks with Lorca open and his nose buried in brown and deep

but his mind on the eyes of everyone who sees him absolutely

loving

Lorca.

sometimes he sits outside by himself with the book open in front of him

thinking that he is reading Lorca

and very pleased to think so.

He snaps a picture of his open book and sends it to a girl

believing for some reason that she truly gives a shit

that he is a boy

who loves

Lorca.

 

 

Get it together

Get it together!

She screams in her own ear

And she takes all the pieces of her shattered expectations and

Ties them up all neat in a bundle

Ribbon pressed against the sharp broken edges

And she is together!

She adds a pretty bow.

Ambiguity

It’s hard to write when you’re all crumbled beneath emotion of either extreme

Too happy and you don’t need a damn word.

Devastated and what’s the point?

It’s that spot in between

Where you don’t quite know what you’re feeling

Where there’s nothing to be all too sad about

But there’s something missing, something that keeps you  a notch under all right

That’s where you need the words

That’s where you need poetry

To put a name to whatever it is that lurks inside you

If you can carve it out of yourself with words it won’t start to rot into despair.

Or at least,

That’s the hope.

pretty

the things i will do for a pretty face and for no other reason.

the things i will do for two brown eyes over a smile that shouldn’t matter

because boys aren’t the only ones who like looking at things.

the pretty on him isn’t what listens

it’s not what holds me, not what warms me, not what kisses my neck.

but the pretty is what fills my thoughts and writes my texts.

 

it’s odd, really, a weird universal

that something with no effect on anything but a portion of your field of vision

(that’s all that pretty is)

can matter so much.

pretty isn’t really something to think about

but it sure writes a lot of poems.

brigadeiro

brigadeiro is usually eaten cold but he stirred it up to warm us

and we ate it hot with a spoon in between laughs and sips of cheap red wine

and I told him he was changing my life with the brigadeiro

but really that’s not what I meant.

when it was time for me to go he sent me off with the thick sweet stuff

still warm from the stove pot

heating up the inside of a square tupperware container

(he asked me how we say tupperware where I’m from. it turns out we say it the same.)

It’s cold and congealed in my refrigerator now

and every morning I pull off a piece

it stretches like silly putty

and in it I taste the condensed milk  that he fed me with a spoon

then kissed off my lips.

it was sweet and good in his kitchen.

it is sweet and not good in mine.

Bukowski

Bukowski writes to the greats

All the while hoping in the back of his mind

That someone will similarly write to him

Which would make him too a great

And maybe it’s not in the back.

Here you go, Charles.

He writes love letters to Van Gogh, Bach, Haydn, and all these other names I don’t know

And can’t remember them without looking back in the book which fees like cheating

And Haydn I didn’t know until I read his name on bukowski’s page.

He writes them love letters that aren’t full of love at all.

And can you even call something published, bound and sold for the consumption of masses a letter?

A letter means intimacy.

It means using paper to put my thoughts in your head, your head specifically.

For it to be a letter I must think of you while I’m writing it

And you cannot write a letter to a general audience because for it to be a letter

You have to picture the reader’s response to every word you commit to.

The ones that will impress him

And the ones that will roll his eyes

The ones that you will write anyway.

And you must be able to see exactly what his eyes look like as they roll in his pretty head.

And boys can be pretty

And men especially can be pretty

Because pretty means delicate

And really what is more delicate than a man?

A man is held together by his need to not be delicate

And this doesn’t hold him together at all!

You knew that, Bukowski, but you didn’t know it the way I know it

And I can tell That

From the way you write about women.

And Bukowski was obsessed with death and he died and I wonder what it felt like when life finally left his body.

I wonder if after all of those words

It was kind of underwhelming.

We will never know because he can’t write a poem about it

And he will never know because after you die you don’t find things out and you don’t even know the things you knew before.

You don’t anything.

To die is to don’t.