Dangerous Job

lift the whole room

with one hand

use the other

to hold them back


while you check

your notes

you get each other

under control


when they feel safe

you let the world in

through a space

between vents


take their questions

replace them

it’s a dangerous job

lookout for America


they come at you

when you’re down

adding on

a thous...

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Popcorn Ceiling

Staring at this 

popcorn ceiling 

thought I’d be 

higher somehow 


I follow the patterns 

its lunar surfaces 

feel too familiar 

to me now 


as you push down

the weight of your body 

I feel weightless 

in your warmth 


gazing at the night 

sky filling around me 

alone together 

in this dark 


painting around 

this popcorn ceiling 


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Lower Flowers

Look at the art 
but don’t fall in 
it only leads to 

and death

 just remember
 these visions 
your entire life
leave them  in a corner 
of your mind 
while you work 

yourself to the bone 
heaven might come 
to resemble them

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Live Texting The South Bronx Middle School Parent Teacher Conference

Ms. Carla: Juana is chewing too much gum.

Juana’s Mom: Thank you, teacher.

Ms. Plaza: Hector is such a bright child.

Hector’s mom: Thank you, teacher.

Ms. LaRue: Darolyn is using the bathroom a lot -he needs to stop.

Darolyn’s mom: Thank you teacher. I’ll hit him with my sandal.

Mrs. Lorenzo: Vitor must change his attitude about social studies.

Vitor’s mom: Right away.

Ms. ...

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Cops Come in All Shapes and Sizes

There are

good cops

and bad cops

black ones

and white ones

straight ones

and gay ones

All dedicated

to upholding

law and order

but the baddest

one of all

is the one

that lives

in your head

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Pink Coast

Pink Coast 

we set out for the pink coast 
we had been warned 

everything shining isn’t so bright 
seen from up close

sea feels soft and warm 
up to our mouths

taste of our own blood 
cut with sea salt 

your pleasure only treasure 
your whims billow sails 

men meet their fates with 
clenched teeth and cut nails 

drowning in 
inches of water

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Polite Company

we’ve been waiting for you 
somehow you always knew 
no matter how far you ventured 
you’d be bound to the earth 

although you felt different 
you’re a piece of a set 
the institution can’t function 
without a change agent 

your stomach mixes 
wonder and disgust 
in equal proportions 
at the sight of it all 

despite the monologue 
in your head 
you’ve always been polite 
to th...

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there’s less to me 
than meets the eye 

these moments 
you see 

aren’t representative 
of anything 

most of my life is spent 
staring at things 

and chewing 
with less efficiency than a cow 

you could fit any number 
of exciting moments 

through the empty spaces 
of my existence 

without ever touching 
what I feel 

I find that comforting 
for some reason 

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A failed martyrdom

history would prove him wrong 

he made everything up

marveling at his own insistence 

at what was simply misunderstood 


he felt empowered to say ‘no’ 

to the TV and telephone

disappointed when no one answered

In Morse code 


he’d like to remind you he’s still there

and would like to get a beer 

he’ll tell you approximately 

when and where 

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I could see it 
from several 
different angles 

a Pyrrhic victory 
or the start 
of something new 

it really depends 
how you’re feeling 

or wanting 
to choke 
on the blues 

I could imagine 
a new sort 
of start
the bones 
of yesterday’s news 

the scale 
of the trauma then 

taking an 
evening out 
to dance barefoot 

it co...

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take off your coat

take off your pants

off come scarves

and the hat


I remove my shoes

I lose that watch

stripping off jewels

biting gloves


in this dance

the planet spins

we lean back

in light years


I kiss your hands

you scratch my back

we eat our flesh

sucking on nails


removing skin

chewing bones

piercing eyes

with the on...

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Competing narratives

sometimes I forget the time 
and it could still be 
early in the night 
then the alarm corrects me 

sometimes I forget 
where I am and then 
I quickly switch accents 
to ask, “how can I help?” 

sometimes I forget who I am 
feeling like I can do anything 
then you kiss me grounding me 
in these four dimensions 

narratives compete 
against themselves 
they become sharper 
more c...

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The official art has been unveiled 
and by replacing its predecessor 
assures us the state has made progress 
in the treatment of its peoples 

it was created by a formerly 
oppressed member 
now aided by generous grants 

being rigorously scrutinized 
before its installation 
by a committee of volunteers 
prominent in the recent relief effort  

it sits in the main square 

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Personal Spam

Poems turned into songs: https://lnkfi.re/Dcuvbmm9

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she stops in line

stops feeling time

memories triggered

by banal associations


decades crash

into each other

staring at moments

embers of a fire


just like A.I.

it’s all simulation

everything said

scripted autopilot


while the music haunts

her pretty little head

nine, nineteen, or ninety

she can’t feel the difference


it has a weight


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Lower Case “a”

Nothing exceptional 
just life itself 
on a small planet 
corner speck 

two bodies 
chemical plans 
having only 
a small request 

a little more light 
a little more time 
a moment to breathe 
a touch more kindness 

revolutions in mind 
extinction behind 
any options left
maybe we’re past that 

something incredible 
one lifespan 
eight billion 
ways to go on with it 


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Sex + Pizza

I want to be happy

you seem to be happy

we could be happy

for a while

I like your enthusiasm-


you’ve got a wonderful

sense of style

do we deserve to be happy?

I don’t know

maybe a moment

between worlds

theres a lot of crappy

beyond our control

that we’re tangentially

responsible for

I’d like a medium

mushroom and olive

with a side of r...

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This is your human

As the future unfolds 
does the wonder hold 

the predictability of your life 
silenced by a touch of the dark 

As the daybreaks 
with that familiar ache 

are chances more than 
one to one 

that life still offers
mysteries promised

that tomorrow comes
with some kind of hope

if we can rule out 
happy endings 

can we at least 

something grotesquely 

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In the hold

In a changing world 
you stand still 
as if this proves 
something true 

you just got this 
feeling from childhood 
nothing since 
has felt as good 

And everyone is cursed 
everyone condemned 
you expect the worst 
sent from heaven 

and one day will come 
the love and vindication 
sent from god 
or other places 

in the meantime
we have to work together
you the blessed

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I’m not what I used to be

I’m not what I used to be
everything moves me

I begin to feel 
life differently

I’m not what I think I am 
I look for experiences 

they change me 
In ways I don’t understand 

the truth is messy 
it doesn’t get explained 

it lands on us binds us; 
these feelings remain

there’s a lot to chew on
we chew on each other 

feeling a satisfaction 
until we’re hungry again

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You fuckers

must be good 

without tomorrows 

every pleasure 

running through your mouth 


ignoring history 


the mirror 

your only window out 


I wouldn’t know anything 

walking in the rain 

tightroping pavement

dreaming of love 


avoiding crowds

eating books

making this 

little art  


your supporters 

teach me 

something deep 


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Quantum Reasoning

yes means no 
except when it doesn’t 
we build that bridge 
over the fountain

not a game nor a romance 
just a lifetime 
mimed like a dance 
in double time 

quantum reasoning 
to get through this wall 
quantum reasoning 
saves us all 

abandoned by senses 
logic fails 
hope holds out for 
particles of god 

I can say confidently  
everything is clear 
the mystery shines  

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Material Needs

find me on the hierarchy
between cellular and divine 

half-baked, half-complete 
half-missing what’s mine 

find me under your feet 
working my grind
paying dearly 
for these strange desires 

feeding material needs 
I’ve long stopped questioning 

ethics, morality, 
contradictions, and pain 

feeding material needs 
keeps me guessing 

providing the raw goods 
for lucid d...

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When I was terrible

nobody told me

I found out later

when it was too late


when I was a monster

we were making good money

I never heard

any complaints


now that it’s over

out come the experts

with their maps

and million-dollar words


now that it’s over

there’s a new theory

perhaps I can jump

into the future

after the pendulum moves

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everything encourages me 

everything improves me  

while I sail on these hardships 

with a crew of reprobates 


we make meaning 

making sense of everything

casting our nets wide

over a sea of metaphors and clichés


I keep working on myself 

a body of perfection

cuts tumors and scars 

polised to a fine finish 


I'd do the same for you

I’m completel...

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My Fellow Americans


we’re alone together 

in this fight 

holding onto 

ourselves despite 


centrifugal forces 

pulling us apart 

blown strands 

of cotton candy hearts


our desires have

never felt so close

our fears never  

so overdosed


we catch ourselves 

holding our own throats

hoping it’s 

just a cold


my fellow Americans 

my billion distracti...

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Sex on my face

The fire trucks 
don’t stop for me 
the cough 
reminds me 

the investigation’s 
in my head 
I’m writing a hit 

rearrange me 
my love’s 
a distant screen 

the robots 
are polite 
they never lose 
their patience 

how the mites 
enjoy my environment 
not to mention trillions
 of microbes in my stomach

if I could just shake 
their little paws 

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Loving Strategies

the male of the species 

exaggerates his claims

enlarging his body

by dancing on stage


employing techniques

mimicking other males

engaging in tool making

with limited success 


female of the species 

remains unimpressed 

performing daily rituals

with mystical content


looking on patiently

he struggles in her trap

waiting for him to tire 


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Is there some kind 
of twist I missed
the irony’s rich
just try and guess how it moves

all the changes
they don’t stick
back again to that familiar 
same old solitude

what smells exotic
is just incense
what strange behaviors
feel like happiness

things that surround me
all mock me
bench me demonstrate me
as a textbook fool 

you can get pretty far
you’ll be back soon

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American Miniatures

they file in 
tired, hungry, optimistic 

into a poorly-maintained 
eighty year-old frame 

a sea of humanity 

that anything you can do 
can help this mess 

a tiny portion 
of the spectrum-

to anarchistic 

might be the only hope 
to deliver the day

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The last act

for my last trick
I’ll make 
the past disappear 

my best illusion 
will make you forget 
previous disasters 

girls sawed in half 
will get their 
mojos back 

volunteer from
the audience won’t feel 
any embarrassment 

as lights come up 
on an empty house 

there’s  promise of 
losing all fear of the dark

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On my app

Panera Bread is preparing your order,

to be delivered between 4:06 and 4:16pm.


Roderick Velloza is putting salad

on your chicken sandwich


while imagining banging Clarisse Mendoza,

who’s bagging the chips


Your order is on the way,

driven by your currier Tareq


who fears his children are being corrupted

by the new “Strazz” dance


and Taki’s extra ...

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With free moments

I make sense of the past

stringing moments

into designs of progress


ones chosen

like stones or crafts

set off against

failure, humiliation, and loss


I feel pride

like any enthusiast

child lost in their

own puerile excess


I desire new experiences

to appraise and collect

skating on the curve

between nest and crypt

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Meeting of Minds

what we can agree on

what we will fight for


what we can do without

what will take us to war


the meeting of minds

has been cancelled


we’re trying

to reschedule


we seem to have

a faulty connection

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There will always be something else

just when you think it’s done

there’s something more different now 


you adjust finding something new 

in yourself there’ll always be something else


never thought it’d come to this 

here you are with those old emotions 


surprised to learn they still exist 

unchanging against new challenges 


there will always be something else 

you embrace it with the h...

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The situation

The situation is changing by the minute

we can't locate ourselves in it

i hold onto you with just a notion

you look at my device for floatation

when we hold each other 

something connects

and things beyond grow distant

when we hold each other

as the weather changes

we find shelter

in these kisses



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New music work

...sometimes I get this horrible urge to produce songs instead of poems: 

Don't click me

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Naming It

Swirling the darkness like a smoothie 

Hovering just out of reach

Pricking your attention-what’s it doing

Filling you with a vague sense of fear 


You grasp for it with both hands

As it starts to materialize 

Should you run fuck it or eat

This can’t be decided


Until you can name it 

Understand its taxonomy

You can’t frame it 

Can’t round it completely 


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i’m great 

I needed to tell you that 


since obviously 

you don’t know


you dropped me 

for an idiot 


now we can all see 

the stupid things you do 


and I thank you 

for dumping me 


as we’ve both learned 

nothing since


as your silences and 

my desires for you let me know 

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their little minds 

gang up and decide 

to jump upon 

your tired shoulders 


you know what to do 

but it doesn’t soothe 

to know there’s 

millions of others 


you’re gold 

I’ve always known 

as we go full blown 

into tomorrow


your gold fills 

cracks of my soul 

making strong 

what was broken 


their tiny drives 

lustful eyes 


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tell me again the year 

why am I here 

who am I supposed to be

who’s sleeping next to me


am I at a cafe with Jean

back at school with Steve 

playing pool with Nousheen 

eating vegan ice-cream 


I thought I had an advantage 

slipping out in time 

now I’ve been scrambled 

I don’t know what’s mine 


what are these things in my place

how did I buy th...

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Bad Actors

Bad Actors


we'll gather all the bad actors 

for one last performance 


feed them all the attention 

they’ve ever wanted


stand on our feet 

for waves of applause 


remain in our seats 

as we open the jaws 


feeding them one by one 

into the thing 


making recordings 

of their screams


as they’re stripped 

of all dignity 



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everybody (but us)



You’re crazy 

you’re my friend 

what an amazing 



we can talk 

the blues away 

we remember 

everything said 


it becomes 

our syntax 

we go over 

the lines again


hitting the beats

Behind the count

what we mean

What we’re about 

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I fight for a future

I can’t see


for people

I’ve never met


for a world

that might include me


then again


I don’t know

what I don’t believe


I want to see

it all happen


but I recognize

tyrannies, clocks

and boredom


and I fight

with all my life


against that

deadness inside



disappointments sour...

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Bad Art Warning

The explanation doesn’t work

The label has fallen off

Your efforts to explain fall short

They’ve taken down the bad art


The censor bought a flat

In the room next to your heart

You check your impulses daily

Reporting to the grant committee 


Children sit 

Bored out of their minds

As the future designs

Billions of plans for their eyes


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Growing up alone


I don’t know why you talk to me 

You can see I’m on my own

Nothing you can say can change

Reality I’m growing up alone


Those people called family

Do their own thing they bug me

We share that house

Still looking for a friend in the world

it’s getting pretty dark


Putting up with you because I have to

Just punch me in the face 

Instead of torture academ...

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The Ugly Woman

leaves latifundia

votes republican 


in european 

social democracies

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Our Designs

Your line touches mine

Together we complete the design


It gets revised rejected

amended unfunded


then somehow becomes

real as law


You designed me better

I used a lot of paper


Until I reached a partial likeness

seen In the eye of the beholder


We feel a resistance against

Everything that’s said then 


Then inevitably we become 


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Now we wait

haven’t heard their response 

start to doubt the story 

everything we could count on 

has started to fall away 


re-examining the premise 

can’t prove a thing 

it’s gotten to the point where 

if others doubt us, we agree


we wait and we wait again 

practicing being ourselves 

bend and we stretch 

trying not make a mess


we rely on each other 

we b...

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You bother me

You bother me 

not in a good way

I think of you 

night and day


I try to predict your thinking 

I’m always wrong

I try to read your feelings 

I soon give up


whats between us

besides gravity and sex

whats beneath us

that hasn’t happened yet 


I could see this 

going pretty far 

but you bother me 

just because 

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