The Porch

We play on the porch

our island
washed clean
by gentle air
and splattered rain

Rails hold off
the endless space
The porch receives
our footsteps
our brief moment

The porch stands still
long empty days
slowly cooling nights
passing cars
furtive raccoons
in raised nail heads
and lifting flakes of paint

This poem is included in my upcoming collection, “Circling Venice.”

Catching Fire in Downey

There is so much going on now in the Downey arts scene that it is nearly impossible to make it to all the events! Who could have ever imagined such a problem?

Here is a link to the Downey Arts Coalition Website, which gives you a feel for what is going on:

I read this poem at the Third Thursday Poetry Series, hosted last night at the Stay Gallery on Downey Avenue. It discusses two topics, stellar evolution and the Downey arts scene, which you might think have little to do with each other.

Catching Fire in Downey

our solar system did not evolve
               in a smooth continuum

clouds of hydrogen float forever
well almost, until
waves push together little globs
which now attract

                              and more

more and more ethereal gas
flows to the concentration
gravitation builds pressure

until bam!

hydrogen burning
nuclear fusion
out from the center in a

           glowing ring

leaving behind heavier things

helium      carbon

until it’s all spent

                   blown out

and light and heavy elements alike
float through the clouds of

                         space and time

mixing              flowing


until new perturbations
         form new globulations
                 and the whole formation
                            starts again

a lot of mixing going on
                      globular accretions
and traces of critical mass
                  in the downey region

trace remnants of the ranchos californios
         pio pico
                      anglo agriculturos

dying embers of
               aerospace prosperity

vultee apollo and space shuttle
               white haired
                          running out of time

the wind and tide of struggling mexico
                 and points south


ashes from cuba


lighting fire at the tropicana

nuclear fusion
          at downey and warren

skin tones
                  mixing to a thousand shades

getting grungy at the epic lounge
               and tipsy at downey brewery
singing in the churches
               making music in garages

cool at l.a.buns and
               buzzing at stay gallery

looking to the future
                catching fire everywhere

The Dell House


The large shade tree that darkened the front yard
offered cool solace to restless youths
who straggled down the sidewalks and alleyways
and opened the creaking gate
at the bulls eye center of the counterculture,
where restless Midwest runaways, pauper musicians,
bikers, authors, old Jewish pensioners
and wizened beat poets basked
in the summer sunlight, sandy beaches
and run down bungalows.

We were bleeding internally.
David could feel the blood filling his head
from the rat-a-tat of weapons
on the nightly evening news, his only relief
fast walks, head down,
through long painful nights,
then back to his job at the aerospace plant,

and Michael couldn’t stop his knee
from jumping as he sat, up and down,
the jungle always in his mind,
the night he and a single black pajama guy
scared the shit out of each other as they
locked eyes for an instant and slowly
backed their way out, 
and now his knee kept jumping and his long
blond hair flowed in heavy waves over his shoulders
and he lived with all these other folks even though
he really didn’t like hippies and
he talked of Canada all the time.

One roof       kitchen rules,
criticism meetings stolen from Mao
that didn’t go over too well with Michael,
but he sat there and took shit
and dished it back to all those who left their
breakfast bowls in the sink, and all this resulted
in a schedule for cooking dinners and a
kitchen devoid of dirty dishes
and floors that got swept up now and then.

One roof where the passing parade
drifted in and out and we didn’t
have to leave the house because the world
came to us with political perspective and
mystic meditation and sex and friendship
and love and alliances and plans for

People’s parks and food co-ops
and lay-out work for the local paper,
where the world came to us
with distractions and temptations,
Brown Sugar blasting in the large back room,
bodies                shadows in the dim light
up and down to the driving beat of a Saturday night.

The tide ebbed and the stragglers slept
on a Sunday morning as we sipped our coffee
and spun our narratives,
every story full of motion,
every path leading here,
this timeless instant in the living room,
David, Michael and the rest of us

catching our breath

                    on the way to somewhere.