Monday, August 31, 2009

Chickenfoot = The Coolest.

Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam = I own copies of their cd's now.

The show was great. We stayed for most of it, but I've been fighting a cold. Overdanced, I guess, lol. Couldn't sit still, though. Bitten By The Wolf, not on the cd, was an awesome surprise. So was Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. =)

Some things in life are more important than others but most have significance sooner or later. As I listened to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, I realized it was the "other side" to Till We Have Faces. All of the participants and their actions "unseen" in Lewis's novel are explicitly apparent in Sinclair's. Amused, the thought occurred to me that many hardline capitalists adopt socialist views when the topic of discussion turns from economy and profits to sin and redemption.

Anyway, I have been thinking about illegal immigrants again after watching a program on HBO (and after reflecting upon The Jungle). I agree that people who have waited longer for legal status should be first, but right now our country has a larger problem - we can't even keep kids from crossing the border. It is a sad, dangerous path for so many children. I was thankful my husband let me know that some people were using their resources to bring attention to the many children who risk their lives trying to come here, to the United States.

Which Way Home. That is the name of the HBO documentary. I knew I would cry before it ended, but I did not know I would feel so afraid when the boys did not meet up with the crew when they were supposed to. I am still angry and upset that no one knows where Olga and Freddy are. I wish I could tell Juan Carlos that he is doing the right thing. Kevin, that I am proud of his Level 4 and that he does not hurt others. Jairo has his head in the right place – my husband has done pretty well as a mechanic. Yurico is too happy and naturally good, letting the younger ones go with him, telling them to not goof off too much. He is too good to end up on drugs. Fito, a dreamer with a big heart. He lied when he said he did not care what happened to Kevin. But he was too scared to say so. I wish I could do something for them. I understand their desire to follow their dreams, to have a better life, but my heart breaks at the idea of them losing their lives on the trains or in the desert.

I want to help kids like that. They are here, too, in the U. S. Most of them have never needed much motivation to achieve, just someone to believe in them. In fact, many of them have inspired me. The documentary made me think of a child I had not thought of in a while. I don’t remember her name. But I went to see her at the hospital about ten years ago. When I still waited tables, some familiar guests, who knew that I speak a little Spanish, told me about a girl who had been in an accident. She had no family here and spoke only Spanish. When I went, I was torn to see her so small and pitiful. Sad, scared, yet somehow still proud, tubes were sticking out of her everywhere. The nurses said that she was paralyzed from the neck down. She was in a pickup truck accident and was not wearing a seatbelt.

The girl tried to smile back at me. She was 15 years old, she said, and had come up here to earn money for her family. She had a cleaning job. The worst part for her was that her mother and father could not come see her. I recall trying to imagine how I would feel if that were my daughter, ten at the time, but I could not. She had her faith, she told me. Feeling a little awkward, I held up the box with the necklace that I brought her. Slipped it onto her slender, feeble hand. She wanted me to pray with her. I am not good at that, but she wanted it. I was not allowed to stay long because of her condition. It was hard to leave, but the nurses said that someone else who spoke Spanish was coming tomorrow. Gently, I kissed the girl’s head, said goodbye.

I do not know where the girl is now, only that she is a grown woman and not a girl anymore. Or did she lose her childhood long ago? I do not forget ever when I meet people whose light shines no matter what happens. This girl who kept her dignity, did not want pity – like the beautiful girl in Which Way Home who lost her legs under the wheels of the train. I do not remember her name because I was struck by the determined pride and beauty in her face. Certain people have something internal that drives them. Something that people will try to take away or beat out of them. But children need to be children. Documentation and legalization of immigrants – different from citizenship – would not entirely cure but help to decrease the number of illegal child laborers in this country. Our America.

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is a metaphor for so many instances. Note: I do not agree with Sinclair’s treatment of certain minorities in this novel. However, he correctly assessed the need for regulation of the food industry at that time and the need to protect immigrants. I have always been thankful for the Food and Drug Administration but now even more. The lessons learned at the turn of the last century are being learned again as we breathe. The parallels are uncanny, even to the trainhopping, the danger, the oppression that drives people of poverty to extremes, and the apathy of too many others. It’s about being human. It’s about being a world economy. It’s about peoples’ lives. Children’s lives. It’s about whatever you need it to be about, as long as you want to do something.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Complaint against the gods

Led others

Encouraged abuse

In the name of God

Have I survived impossible


Failed tasks

Serve past, present, future


Givings, receivings of suffering


Open windows


Doors become walls

Crumble beliefs

Birth sleeping childhood faith

Cry stony tears hurt



Crash falling


Sound like hell through the gates

Judgments come and go


My fault

Overlapping with weighted under rising above


Peace -

See my face

* Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis is the source for the first and last lines as well as the idea of court convened for the complaint against and judgment of the gods.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Para Mis Amigas

Mexican woman,
You are beautiful,
With your dark, knowing eyes
And your thick, wavy hair
I wish were on my head.
Your salsa English flavorful,
Your native tongue a Spanish opera
I’ve yet to sing, though I’ve tried.
I’ve worshipped the sun,
Sweated and burned,
To glow lesser shades of your brown.
Mexican woman,
You seem not confused for your
Sense of purpose,
Your mission.
Confident in your strengths,
Intent to abolish your vulnerabilities,
Proud in the face of scorn.
You inspire me.
“Independent woman”
You call me.
“Intelligent woman”
I call you.
We kiss each other’s cheeks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Driving home,
Music fills
Only my ears.
“Roadhouse Blues”
Rhythms drill
A hole in the dampening valley
between my thighs.
Rolling hills,
Curving fences with matching treelines,
Pointed, rounded, protruding,
Rise and plunge
With the silky, smooth bassline,
The thumping, humping
heartbeat of drum.
of piano adrenaline,
Intermittent guitar
grunts and groans
Of harmonica
Stroke the skin along my
Naked arms, shoulders,
Creep under the seam of my
Tank top, waistband,
Crawl up inside my pants' legs.
My hips tilt back in the
Driver’s seat,
Responding to
Jim’s command to
“Roll, Baby, roll,”
And I wish you were here.
We’d do it right
There by the pond,
The cows,
The tin roofs,
The old cemetery behind the trees,
You scattin’ my name
While we rolled,

Life along the river looms
Blood red, phallic blooms,
White blossoms like tender lips,
Others with milky tips
On French manicured petals painted pink.
Thirsty, lapping, rhythmic waves drink
The banks, covered in rooted greens,
Beautiful, tall, wheat-like weeds.
The river dances under mild summer glows
To a musical breeze, plays lively, then slows.
Vines, bushes, thorns approach my toes at rest,
A tiny invader seeks shade of my breast
Though small; he needed no invitation
To invade. I gladly return a mild flirtation
To glorious Picasso and Onassis,
Silver kisses flash across the surface
Of their leaving me wake,
And the sun begins to take
Notice of my existence,
My skin burns at its insistence.
I stand to leave; sweat trickles
Down my back, my chest, cool tickles.
My mouth inhales the river’s wet
Drops, tongue knows taste of its bed.
Clouds spread a wide exit, as if to say
“To fully treasure this, you cannot stay.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

chains with locks.
i have a universal key.

chastity belts
for the mind and spirit.

freedom within unhindered
passion incinerates doubt.

crosses dragging people
line the highway.

i cruise.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The phone rang. It was Commander Hamilton, chief of security at the prison. Short, well dressed, very intelligent, this African American lady was full of confidence, not someone to mess around with when she started asking questions. That went for corrections officers as well as inmates. Hamilton wasted no time in quizzing her.

"Do you remember when you had visitation duty with C.O. Richards during your training two months ago?"

"Yes, I remember."

"Did you see him take any food from one of the inmate's parents."

"Yes, I did," she answered. Her stomach began to tighten, because she did remember the uncomfortable incident. Other relatives had witnessed the overly friendly exchange between Richards and the mother who brought him lunch. She had been embarrassed when one man looked her in the eye. She had even questioned Richards when he was pushing her to try some of the food.

"Did you eat any of the food?"

"No, I did not," she replied honestly.

"C.O. Richards told me that you took some food."

"He was correct. I did finally let him put some on my tray, but only to get him to shut up about me eating any of it. I never ate a bite."

"Why didn't you report C.O. Richards?"

"Because when I questioned him, he told me that he did it before and that other people did it, and that it was 'okay'."

"Do you remember signing a paper during your training that stated you would not accept any kind of gifts whatsoever from inmates or their families or friends?"

"Yes, I do."

For the first time during the exchange, Commander Hamilton hesitated.

"C.O., do you know that you are the first person I have talked to about this who has admitted that you remember signing that paper?"

"Well, of course, I remember. It was very important, and I see how I violated the terms of those rules. I understand if you have to take disciplinary action against me. I'm sorry. But if I do something, I am not going to lie about it. I'll take the consequences." And she meant it.

"I respect that, and I know you are telling the truth. Your story backed up what everyone else said about you. Did you know that this was an ongoing problem? No, you probably didn't. This is what I am going to do. Since you are the only one who admitted your own fault and accepted the responsibility for your actions, and because you were in training and looking to a superior officer for guidance, I will let you off with a warning this time. But remember that paper you signed, and do not let anything like this ever happen again. Do you understand what I am telling you, C.O.?"

"Yes, ma'am, I do. I promise to not let that happen again."

"Thank you." Commander Hamilton hung up the phone. She sat there and thought about the conversation. Thankful that the chief of security valued honor. Realized that she could not trust everyone in authority, had to think for herself. That she could not afford to make mistakes that would cost her integrity or her job.
Color me stupid,
but I don't understand how the isolation of a soul
improves it,

except to weatherize it,

leatherize it,

toughen it to impenetrable.

Do most become so clingy
that they readily receive any form of friendship or affection
thrown their way?

Is that how they become


when the alternative is to be
with the wonderful beings they are?

Had I not already experienced,


as a child,

to reside with only myself for


when the alternative was to experience


suffering at the hands of others,

then I might succumb

to that

lifestyle of obligating my earthly existence to others to fill my needs.

Color me different,
for I fail at being


find it foments insecurities,

relationships are earned,
souls unceasingly tested,

integrity does not seem


loyalty can be bought,


Others know things, and I laugh at myself, at my lack of comprehension,
inability to conform to

what I know not.

No longer suffering,
still curious how society works,
how I am here,

kind of,

happy with myself, with my resilience,
my strangeness.

Pondering your strangeness.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bury it deep, deep
Enough to forget about it,
The longing,
The want.
Remember the first moment
I began to think about it,
About being with someone
To love without care,
Without regard or fear,
Someone to love me back,
To feel, to share,
And not hold back.
No fa├žade.
No white picket fences,
No prettily painted shutters.
My finger bare.
Bury it deep,
Cover it with
A truckload of cement.
Smooth it over real nice,
Drive a handsome car over it,
And park it.
Post the wooden planks
All around the yard,
Paint them white.
Paint the shutters, too,
Hang them up right
On the front of the house.
It sparkles under the lights,
This ring on my finger.
I see it looking at me
In the kitchen,
While I am driving,
When we make love.
I see it. Them.
The stones.
My heart is buried,
Like a lump of carbon,
Turning diamond hard.
Getting used to wearing a mask,
Growing more comfortable daily.
Not really.
But I am learning to fake it
With you,
Cover the unfulfilled,
The hole
That is we lack.
Our missing piece.
Not a disease, not death,
Not the end of the world.
Just not everything
That we could be.

Unnerved by my eyes,
Where you used to find
Comfort, you now peer
Into unfamiliar sights,
Friendly, warm,
Yet you feel alarm
Slightly, by the absence of fear,
The presence of metallic charm.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If you know the secret
to holding sand,
then you know everything
and nothing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Does one notice the new mountain being born,
pushing its way from under dirt and grass,
destroying intricate, pastoral existence,
giving way to formidability,
to future hard earned life
where only the strongest survive
intense conditions, rugged, harsh,
and the mountain knows it will outlast
everything except itself?

"Guitar Art 3" by Lluvia, 11.5"x14" (Photo taken w/better lighting)