Burial Day Poem

three                           we come in threes

                                                trace the third blood line                 tri-pah-let

and a one and a

            three days dancing staccato             losing I to the moment


lastyearthewords      came in song:             and I    know  that this could

be         our    last goodbye

we swung like pendulums

noting time    the passing of                                    tri-pah-let


how can we hold each other                         far from here

mourning sun haunts the dry earth

salt the sky with these ashes           I breathe         there               is an empty space

I long I go


dias de los muertos                           dancing duet

speak in tonguestwist                       grace reflect in the eyes pinch

leaves wilt      let go                                                                        


I ms.    how do you let go?

                                                            so many things to let go

days    memories        possessions                lovers             fears

there’s so many eyes    wishing love                                                           goodbyeImage



I remember

            Juniper burning coals

                        four directions

                        Garuda, Snow Lion, Tiger, Dragon

walk to the direction you feel drawn to                              


a child of spring—I walked West reaching for ocean, only to find fists full of sand


I remember

ceremonial garb           chants—prayers

I dreamt they were riding horses into the new year


It’s so difficult here—flashing lights point to adult super fantasy

my neighbor: bright pink desperate hellos

the strip: Padma’s ultimate neurosis  

wild flash:        humans are extremely loud—echoing ways to wake sleepy birds


                        another hole to patch

                                    sudden nose bleeds

                                                our fright makes living uneasy in this darkened light


            I refuse to fall down drunk—I sleep early, rise with the sun

            remind young men and women they are always reading

            I hope to reach the young pregnant teen who claims she feels nothing


I will slip slide up desert mountains without a sprain             

drink the waterfalls of Mt. Charleston


9,000 ft high I remember living

away from decadent debris


I will not stop collecting paper—remnants of trees—I will remain an outsider

Following the Snow Lion East

Karma’s calling summer                                   lush green creek paths


an inbetween space       where two minds meet

following the course of a mighty river


of course, all these words: foreign here


there is no meaning without community

beckoning us back

between forgotten roots

                                    frozen streams spring blossoms rain                hearts’ alive

Hey Ms. Are You Mexican?

I am surrounded by young men who ask, “Are you Mexican?” When I give them the rundown of my roots, they ask, even though they know.

“No, I didn’t grow up speaking…” I only listened to the way my Gram cursed or sang softly to the breeze. My ears picked up the “accento” pero las palabras… fall away. 


I’m ready to float on down stream. Stand on the shore and fall into the ocean’s embrace. 

We used to run. Bello, after sea birds. wishing he could flyawayhome… please take me with you.

With Mercury Retrograde: a survival guide is necessary. 

1. “Meditation teaches us how to let go. It’s actually a very important aspect of friendliness, which is that you train again and again in not making things such a big deal.” –Pema Chodron 


I remember sitting in circles. placing hands together. middle fingers slightly apart. as if offering a lotus flower with a bow.


There is still and always a resistance to say yes. I am not just Mexican. I am my Gram’s daughter. una mestiza. I am my father’s daughter. demons run deep.

and then. without an i… there’s only a sack of water, bones, blood… an orange scarf in desert February sun.

after redefining man for human

we write lists of wants&needs after Kerouac essentials

Harlem angels sing discordant notes of neon decay

what is said here, stays here

almost all the time

read the fine print

what other rules shall we [br]ake

when it comes to names

“address the teacher by Ms. something”

I Ms. something about you

the way you took my silences for meals

swallowing each sigh                                                   after longinhale

sweet honey drops salt                                                 tonguetip rosebuds       clench


flowers, tufts of grass               Om chants

I pulled a handkerchief from thin air, poured holy water over the plaque

            dark spots cut the synapse

create a pattern… where’d you come from? San Francisco.

where’d you come from? San Francisco.

memory’s frozen

I swept the dead leaves away from names

we placed her here inbetween two hearts


there is a clench

these words are strictly

jaw clenched                 grind tooth in skull

memory speaks fondly of growing up over the dead

spreading ash

speaking in tongues                 visiting ghosts

before three years

after  three years



*Lyon* wants to run

for Edward

runawayhome before home is no longer—warm open cavernous (w)hole—before home is too cold to bear—Lyon’s roar shakes inside indigo.


and why do mothers take the brunt end of time

watching babies nestle spoonfed golden ticket dreams disappear

who will read to the child when mother will not? cannot.


and even if they never remember in this lifetime

ms. can remember a lifetime ago when home froze

heart rose out of chest screaming

                                                beat me down



we forget to let go                                         jaw clenched

dreams only reveal struggle

how to lists: forgive yourself… forgive those who raised us

to forgive


our fathers

our mothers

the grands, the greats, and greatgreatgreatgreats



one day

I can breathe into my heart

center those memories of heart wrenching tears

as though we can feel the knife slicing bare pink

wide open


I can look them in the eyes and have compassion

can you teach compassion to those who lose their way?






call it out: yellow—a golden rod fade


proceed to verify your hunch

yes. yellow.

solar plexus

one step below heart

reach right in

aware and yet. not. mindful of mind control.


“I don’t think anymore”

smiles since the voices left

gradually come back

mother shouts “schizophrenic”



when will the words melt off the page? when will the text lift up and re-arrange itself?