Space, this is how I want to fall in love.

Space, this is how I want to fall in love.

I want
Utter closeness and respect, a safe assurance, and a trusted feeling of acceptance, rested in permanence.

I want
the sensation of new tradition, international beauty, mosaic art and century-old wood.

I want
the seduction of craftsmanship, the eroticism of a cal-king, the commitment of a waterfront view and the affection of dimmed lighting.

I want
the morning flirtation of rain showers, clapping music of tropical drops on elephant leaves.

I want
the contradiction of sand between my toes and the mediation of a coastal breeze on my back.

I’ll stand between the warmth and history of white stones
And pay my homage with shuffled steps of fine gravel, glittered walkways.

I’ll eavesdrop on murmurs of fountains
And gossip in the evenings behind the candlelight.

I will sleep with Adventure beside me
And dream of another day that is solved in this Space.

Space, this is how I want to fall in love.


Frantic for Change.

Change me! Can’t you see I need help?!

It’s about get manic and it won’t matter who’s hearing me after that.

I tried, everything, man..

That funny building on Sunset Blvd.
The cathedral place…
The temple with the returning multiple lives…
And almost half the aisle of the self-help, love-in-error, live-on-tofu bull*** at Barnes and Noble.
Nothing’s working!

And I’m the only one who can see it.
If I could show you the voodoo of my insides, you would run from streaming truth that

My email is bloated with
Every imaginable “Thought of the Day” and
Spiritual “Walk in your Customized Light,” fortune cookie craziness that I can get my hands on.
I could fill a festival tent with candles, incense, crystals, beads, stones and wood.
I’d make a killing if ebay posted second-hand souls
Oh, excuse me, “previously owned.”

I turned up the volume on the inner INNER peace.
And THAT noise was worse than the outside, bubblegum nonsense on the magazines and videos.
I even went to the sacred grounds,
Backpacking in my healing journal
Humming mantra, chant and breathing
Across the paths of the prophets…
I got the hiccups.
And I had to start that hike
ALL the way from the beginning.

I’m tired. I’ve gone everywhere from urban jungle meditation to mental warring in Serenity Hills.
No bell and dragon
Cap and tunic can ring and clothe me in peace.
I feel the thorn of uncertainty in my sleep.
If I die tonight, would THAT be relief?
I re-coded the entire inventory in my warehouse of positive mental attitude.
Barcodes for beauty-in-a-box still come up short.

I’m scared.
Something’s wrong and nothing’s changing. I’m a machine that won’t shut down.
My anxiety has a perpetual generator fueled by exhaustion.
My only renewable resource is
My own misery.
No one understands me and burying me isn’t good enough.

I know there’s something more.
Where the musicians get their ideas
Where the painter mixes color
Where they store the children’s laughter
Where the old, married couples go to retire
Where the seas and trees get their orders
Where the mountains and plains learn their borders
Where the poets scribe instruction
Where the tender learn seduction
Where the rainbows get their direction
Where soulmate’s touch is perfect affection
It has to all come from somewhere…right?

I think, if I have that, I would stop
Vomiting the contradictions
Gagging on the half-truth
If somebody would feed it to me whole
I’d swallow the sunshine message
Like a sweet summer orange
I’d spend the rest of my days
Digesting the Light.

If someone could just read it to me,
I … just … might.

Mr. Sixty-Something

Mr. 60-something, sitting across from me
With your Eisenhower book and black-and-white photos
As you mumble to yourself about a time past
In San Jose, waving dismissively at something you heard
A conversation lively in your mind, in constant replay and response

We are locked outside of your world, Robbed of the film that plays for you
The grunts and hmphs, the inexplicable nodding that seems out of context
And you explain, and explain again, pointing and directing
The coffee people take your order and for a moment, it’s called lucid.

Back to your seat, to the conversation that’s repeating, and going nowhere but still there.
The today people are standing in line, carefully calculating their order
Maybe they try not to stare or purposely take their gaze elsewhere

It’s odd that Mr. Sixty-Something has a finely pressed button-down shirt
Khaki pants, neat belt and decent shoes
But he mutters, gesturing to no one

Are you an estranged grandfather?
An uncle in the war?
A brother they couldn’t handle, a father with no stories?

Mister, where is your world?
Where in your mind do you go, when you would rather not be here?

He turns the page of his Eisenhower book
Taking a photo, as if to broadcast and preserve.
And returns to his conversation: nodding, directing, emphatic about his point.
Lively toward the someone in his mind
To no one in the room
Suddenly, I realize
I’m jealous.

Enter into life maimed.

Enter into life maimed.
This is a hostile environment for artists.
They want grind, production, grueling rules. You must present a deliverable.

I’m not much in contention because systems need to operate.
Yet I see how we all inadvertently influence each other.
We market the production.
We produce the market.

And where does the artist rest?

We are feeble, selfless, misplaced.

We are outcasts  *  orators

hurt with oil *  watercolor  *  acrylic.

We categorized it under

          “Arts & Entertainment”

           “ ***  & Recreation”

                    meaning, “secondary…..later, later, and after.”

But we are threads in this fabric, too!

Raw and unwoven, offensively textured

Unapologetically truthful

We come in yellow silk, yarn neon green

And gray from the bass of a humming cello.

Artist need not fight for their place in society.

We already  / merely  reflect it.

I Am Your Wife

A wife reflects on the history and evolution of her tender relationship with her husband.

i am your wife.

i am sweet smile at the party when we met.
i am exchanging phone numbers in the crowd.
i am listening to first message when you called the day after.

i am idle chatter before asking me to meet you.
i am timed giggles and clever comebacks on the phone.
i am counting down to lunch date – in ten minutes.

i am bold conversation over Chinese take-out.
i am reassurance that i’m single.
i am compassionate listener, noticing you’re not eating.

i am tentative to tell you truths you’re not ready for.
i am sobbing with ache in your car.
i am stuttered expressions of love.

i am fire with resentment.
i am not answering your calls.
i am exasperation to pursue this.

i am phone calls for $20.
i am revelation of your situations.
i am help without questions.

i am ensuring your appetite.
i am focus on keeping you comfortable.
i am rearranging my days to be with you.

i am observing your progress.
i am happy for accomplishments.
i am stepping aside to let you step up.

i am nervous about two carats.
i am ten cities apart from you.
i am holding down our fort.

i am war with illness.
i am stubborn to be defeated.
i am hoping you keep your doubts to yourself.

i am late night waiting.
i am three-day breaks, understanding.
i am groundless, sporadic debate.
and in all time, i am
and knowing
that now my smile is sweet because
i am your wife.

Your smears and sketches

I didn’t know that I could see in

Your sketches: torrential rain and fusion upbringing

Through paint strokes and finger-smudged corners

The clarity from adoption

Puckered through the wholeness of a mural.

It was new to me that I could sense

The rage and indulgence from your

Sobering peek at motherhood.

And here is your art.

Amongst pencils, canvases, spray cans and a foolish yet purposeful

Douse of glitter.

I am so proud of you, Sister.

This beautiful piece you have drawn.

July October

When I wrote poems in October
You kissed my fingers
With permission to write
And all such verses formed their allegiance to you
With those poems in October
Not once did I stutter
The blurbs and ramblings of uneasiness
Nor did you hear stories of when
My senses went mute and numb
And brown eyes and skin tear into a revelation
Your stillness suffocates pulse called “togetherness”
After those poems in October, the rains followed.

If July could be romantic,
With radio of medley and preoccupation
And disturbance and defeat
Instead, you compose with chalk of new
Erotic lullaby of visits
Drenched in July
Thrusts swallowed on vanilla tea tenderness
Pepper our time with futures pure
In oil
Blinded by glares of sunrise and confession, singed
From hostile observation
Remedy your tension
With ginger kisses
And blend violet forgiveness
I wish I could hold on to this feeling
With knowing and youthfulness
Forced impishly into a jar
When I start to fret and demand answers with abrasive conclusiveness
I will dip my fingers into that jar
Smooth on reassurance
Let it tingle like aloe or cotton
Sting like witch hazel and assign the astringent of confidence
Air out the cuts and gashes of misdirected angst
Engage in the refreshing ritual
I will sign the heat in July
Dress my penmanship with the rains of October
And I will love you
With calendared devotion
All the months of the year

Observing Highlights in Line

I was standing in line at a Filipino fast-food restaurant. In front of me was a young couple, perhaps slightly younger than I. She was Filipina and he was black. Okay, so far, I could relate.

She was asking him what he wanted from the menu. To show that he was familiar with the food (more so to everyone else), he asked a clarifying question if the entrée was fried or boiled. Because, clearly, he knew the difference and he had a preference.

I don’t know what it is about men when it’s time to order food. They seem to think it’s their cue to put on a show. It doesn’t matter if it’s the drive-thru or a restaurant. It’s like the little hamster took out his testosterone bullhorn and, in military shout, set off the performance genes, saying, “Go! Go! Go!”

Mr. Familiar starts pointing at things in the restaurant, as if to physically assert that he knew what that was and what this was. Okay, dude, we get it. You had it before. Look, WE don’t even know what’s in it, all right? We just eat the shit coz we grew up on it. Now it’s a staple.

I think the most impressive moment was when he start throwin’ phrases in Tagalog, turning to his girlfriend, revealing, “Aww, pstkk, hindi naman krispee.” At that point, yea, I was impressed. I wanted to pat dude on the back and say, “You even speak it! Biggups on blending.”

I stared a little longer at her blonde highlights and shoulder tattoo and lace-back tank top. And I realized, I turned out to be the same type of girls I talked about in high school. I didn’t understand why they got green contacts, dyed their hair  and drove loud cars. I used to think they were fake, pretentious and unsure of their identity.

Like I had to wave a reminder at them, “Hellooo! We’re BROWN!”

I realized it isn’t uncertainty of identity. Those girls were comfortable. If you’ve been here long enough, you start to feel okay to change. A little color here. A little skin there. Piercing. Tattoo. You start to feel at home. You start experimenting with things and situations that you wouldn’t normally have back home. Or it’s because we’re NOT home that we take advantage of these personal freedoms.

But I can’t help but take inventory of my highlighted hair, my Islander daughter, my full legal name on my resident card, my credit score, my Starbucks coffee and ask, “Is this really who I am?”

Then I see my Bible, my notebooks, my blueprints for business, my poetry, my sandals and small rice cooker. Yes.
Yes, it is.

Must Write.

Write until it’s exhaustively true. 
Write until it’s painfully genuine. 
Write so close, that you smell the ink, binding its arguments with the paper. 
Write so honestly that your soul runs out of sentences. 
Write meticulously so the DNA of creativity rearranges itself. 
Write repeatedly to leave no question of what you intended to say. 
Write cautiously, as if to calculate the next big word bomb. 
Write recklessly to shatter the old ideas of “can’t” and melt them into beautiful inspirations of “must.” 
Write with all mature possibility. 
Write with youthful conviction. 
How we are blessed and not the same – after and after, you write.