Celester In Oakland

The bus was crowded
The air conditioning on the Greyhound
But the air was
Like the pot of gold
She always hoped to
Find in the new city
Her first time there
Her first time anywhere
Outside her life
In service
To her dream
She could finally go there
Finally see the bright shining city
Near the coast
Near heaven
Near the sea
No more meals alone in the kitchen
With the lawn mower
This was her journey
Her time
Her destination
Now in that mercy she could rest
And she slept the sleep of Gods

The Pharmacist


If you fall in love with a poet, she will pen great verses of love

And elegies for an asshole if you break up


If you should fall in love with your pharmacist

She knows about the viagra and the blood pressure medicine

And about all the things you put in your system to get through

Another day

And if you fall out of love

Watch out for what she puts in the bottle the next time you get refills

And watch out for your heart

There’s no prescription strong enough when it breaks

To The Daughter I Will Never Have



How I want you to be known




Take no prisoners

Badass but kind

True to your essence

And always searching for your essence

Be anyone you want

Be with anyone you want

Become anyone you want

Even if that image is different

Than what we all think we know


You have so much potential

Even at this stage of imagination

You can be like all the brave women I have ever known

Whose stories may also never be told

Even though they were here

Or maybe no one listened


You have the opportunity to create worlds

You have the opportunity to tear down walls

I want you to lead

To never doubt yourself

To never doubt the good in you

To never let any man say you are not good enough

To never let any man take you for granted

Either as a colleague

Or a lover

Or a friend


Love your brother

Who you will never know

Because you never were

And if you think of me

Think kindly

And know that I tried

To bring you here

To take your place in the world

And your presence is reflected in the great sisterhood

That glass is being shattered every single day

And each shard reflects your light.



I need to take my camera

To a repair shop

All pictures are dark

And faded

No light gets in

As if the camera was sucked into a black hole

Where it can’t breathe


I see everything through the lens of death

I can’t see light anymore except as

The absence of darkness


The absence of you

Is what turns my eyes inward


The absence of you

Is the absence of meaning

And the absence of quiet

And the absence of rain upon my face

After a long hot summer day

Or the absence of applause

When the music ends


The lens of death is a lens that can never focus

Except on distant objects

On distant times and places


Darkness is sandpaper

It rubs off my resolve

To breathe


You were a soft cloth

That could keep my lens clear

And help me see

More than the darkness in front of me

Wide Open


Mouth agape

As if to say

No one is home

And you, steadily

Rocking back and forth

On your heels

Waving goodbye to me

And I

Steadfast like a mountain lion

Watching prey approach

Look in the mirror and

Wonder when my soul left my body

And why the wind blows through

My heart


But still open

Graphic Hearts


A cat running from the kitchen with grease all over its fur

A dropped cigarette

An early morning audience

These are the signatures of the artists that I’ve loved

I’ve had designs

Theirs were better

One didn’t love

One wouldn’t love

One probably never knew

But I couldn’t tell her anyway

I could never even tell myself

These are those whose works hang

On the hooks of my soul

Like the stars outside

That the astronauts

Now earthbound

Now making a final inspection

Of their vehicle to the heavens

Just touched

And like them

I look up longingly and say

“I was just up there”



A paramotor pilot

Runs across the field

With a motor on his back

A wing above his head

A world waiting to be seen

And I run into trouble the same way

I have climbed into the unwashed skies

But with eyes closed 

Head on a pillow

Trying to rest

After I’ve given away

My legacy

For naught

My wings are tied to my past

If I let go

I may not fly

But I might walk away



He moves fast as a whip, she said

Which means that he avoids conflict

And barbs

And quiet walks in the square

Where people can see him

But somehow, he moves through the world

Without fear

His hesitation is his savior

And his countenance his shield

He doesn’t remember the last time he loved

That’s a whole lot better than me

I remember how the sun shone on my face

I move slowly through the universe

I don’t want to be seen

Because they might find out who I am 

Deep down

Where the whip lands

And never stops flailing

I never stop flailing

I never stop wanting

I did for a while once

With her

But then I was whipped away

Too painful

Too sharp

Too fast



The sound of the tape being peeled off my skin

Keeps me humble

I don’t want to be ripped from you the same way

But you say it’s for your own good

And I say it’s an ill-considered fate

Like putting on the wrong size skates

Or standing on the edge of the train platform in your bare feet

Or spending all your money on a lottery ticket

The day after the jackpot has been awarded

You were my ticket

My prize

Not because I had you

But because I gambled

And I lost eventually

But for one moment in the sun

My name was called

And I had the fortune of the Gods

In The Wilderness


If God looked at me

And saw that I am nothing

Like She imagined

Would she still reject me

The way some women do?

Would she say,

“No, You’re a lovely guy,

But I am looking for a different type

To partner in the work of creation.”

Such is my spiritual dilemma.

No Tinder or Match or eHarmony or OKC

(Well, maybe JDate)

For this type of relationship.

Just a walk in the fields

And a prayer that I find my way