Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Ronin – a samurai warrior in feudal Japan without a master or lord.

I was supposed to fall on my sword
The Japanese call it seppuku:
honorable suicide;
when a samurai lost his master
he was supposed to die
for his knowledge of self
and his knowledge of the world
and his knowledge of the code
but without his master
made him dangerous.
But there were no swords for me
for I was not to be warrior.
I was to be a partner,
do my job and provide for my house,
teach the children well,
love my spouse,
and do this day in and
day out without complaints,
which meant the warrior that resided
within me had to die.
But I never committed seppuku.
I live my life by my
own standards, some learned
from elders and some
on my own. But that has made me
feel just like the ronin,
wandering about place to place,
causing some to be
uncomfortable simply by being
the man that I am
for the warrior in me is so many things.
A fighter and a lover,
a king and a magician,
dangerous and righteous,
sophisticated and vibrant,
living and loving fearlessly,
even embracing that hurt and pain
may loom in the distance.
But still I travel like a vagabond
hoping to find a place to call home
and be the samurai I yearn to be.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Look At Me

She developed faster than the other girls,
breasts and behind standing out like
neon signs shining at  night.
All the boys took a look,
including myself, the nerdy kid
hauling an oversized backpack
on my shoulders and an oversized
gut on my midsection, to and fro
across the middle school campus.
Look at me!!  Look at me!!
That's what I wanted to say,
the preteen experiencing his
first taste of infatuation, wondering
what I could possibly do
just to have a touch, but also knowing
that making honor roll and being
super responsive to a teacher's
calling out a question
would not do the trick.
Days in the fall were
the time for football, always noted
by the players wearing their
jerseys at school on game days,
baby blue meshings with white
numerals on the front and back.
Jerseys sauntered all around the
campus, dotting the student body
with blue dots, but these dots were not
worn by the players, for the jerseys were worn
by the girls, finding their boyfriends or friends
or soon-to-be friends, donning the baby blues,
making the players look like everyone one
as they simply wore their normal garb.
These girls pranced around campus,
princesses for the day, numbers
of the players adorned on their backs.
That girl I liked did like the others one day,
wearing my friend's number 88
all day, the eights jutting outward
across her young shapely torso.
And there I was with my
oversized backpack and
oversized gut unnoticed,
fading into the masses,
just another middle school student.
I cursed everyone that day.
I cursed my doctor for suggesting
that I shouldn't even play
for the simple reason that I was
going to grow faster than normal.
I cursed my parents for going along
with his opinions and
keeping me off the field.
I even cursed my friend for being on the team.
He was last string but on those days
even last string put you up front.
I cursed her for wanting to wear
a jersey from someone who
didn't even play.  And after
all that cursing, I felt this
surge of emotion swelling inside,
a force of nature that wanted to
call out to tell the world I existed
Look at me!!  Look at me!!
I got all my math problems right!
I spelled every word correctly
on my English paper!
I know where the cranium and
the clavicle are on the human body!
I know all about Jamestown!
Yo hablo espaƱol!
¿Como esta usted?!? Muy bien!
But the school bell rang.  Another period
done, time to move to the next.
Me and my oversized backpack
slung over my shoulders, me and my
oversized gut bulging from my midsection,
a kid lost among the masses, envying
the players on the football team,
wondering if one day somebody
would look at me. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Last Time

I don't know what it was.
It wasn't love.
It wasn't lust.
It wasn’t even sex.
I think it was one of those episodes
where two people were looking for
a physical touch just to break the cycle
of sameness in their lives. 
Feelings and intimacy were irrelevant,
just two bodies going through
adult motions all because
time allowed it.  But afterward,
I had to tell myself
We’re not doing this again.
Silence is what I need
as I drive back down the highway
trying not to think about
why I even drove up it:
Why did I converse with her?
Why did I even answer her
response on the online site?
Now I watch the trees

pass my forward vision and into
the sight of my rear view mirror,
no more memories to make.
Because I’m not going back.