Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Overheard at Table 3: Birthday Gift

C: It was the best birthday present they could have gotten me.  My kids came to take me out to lunch.  They picked me up at work and they took me to Fadi's, and Sarita had that little fruit tart that they sell at La Madeleine and she put on a little candle, and my son actually PAID for the lunch.  From his OWN money.

... For the rest of the day I was just "la la la" at work and NOTHING got me down at all.  It was 5:00 and I was still just plugging away. 

... My favorite birthdays are the ones with my kids.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Song fragment

we sat up all night
drinking and talking
striving to stave off the dawn

but dawn broke anyway
sent the night packing,
whimpering back into the gloom.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Overheard at Table 4: Dual Syllabic Blues

Dual Syllabic Blues

Blues from the last world
Blues from the last time
Blues from the new school
Blues from the future

Blues from the arcane
Blues from the insane
Blues from the arcade
Blues from the strip mall

Blues from the highway
Blues from the dance halls
Blues from the dirt road
Blues from the blue sky

Blues from the back door
Blues from the screened porch
Blues from the wheat fields
Blues from the rain storm

Blues from the nightmare
Blues from the lost love
Blues from the soft cell
Blues from the long haul

Blues from the pipe dream
Blues from the lost cause
Blues from the front lines
Blues from the back seat

Blues from the hard fall
Blues from the sunshine
Blues from the long run
Blues from the handgun

Blues from the blue-ray
Blues from the hairspray
Blues from the foray
Blues from the moonshine

Blues from the campfire
Blues from the stop sign
Blues from salt mine
Blues from the sundown

Blues from the dark knight
Blues from the midnight
Blues from the morning
Blues from the day break.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Notes from a National Emergency Day 91

Day 91 Scene: two men on bus stop bench, eating hot dogs from nearby vendor. One wears a hat. One wears a DREAMERS shirt. Each tries not to look at the other. Each wonders whether to say something. Each considers what the other might answer.

In further news:

Overheard at Table 3: Social Media Blackout

think I'm gonna go on a social media blackout

why's that?

getting too dark out there.  Twitter's nasty.  Facebook just makes the whole family hate each other.  fuck, even Instagram has goddam trolls everywhere you turn.

use WhatsApp.

only Bible study groups use WhatsApp.

Oh.  Really?

you in a Bible study group?


You're in a BIBLE STUDY GROUP!!!

I never said that.

And here I thought I knew you!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Overread at the Counter: Saraí


Her name is Saraí because she is like a princess.  Not a princess, but “like” a princess, and she is astutely aware of that fact.  Her last name is Caudillo, from her father.  Her mother is very proud of her father’s name.  It was from his grandfather, who came to Honduras from Spain.  

Her mother is dark and her father was light.  Sarai takes after her father.  Her mother is very proud of her being light.  Sarai doesn’t really know how to feel about that.  Her father left them when they came to America, for a gringa.  She hasn’t heard from him in years.  She thinks her mother is beautiful.

Sarai has one older brother who joined the army and is now stationed in Afghanistan.  She doesn’t hear from him as much as she would like, and she worries about him every day.   She has heard stories from her friends about their brothers who have returned and can’t find work and can’t get help because some of them are also undocumented.  One of them was even deported last year: after two tours in Iraq.

It is May, 2019, and Sarai graduates from high school next week and she doesn’t know what she is going to do.   She has enrolled in the local community college but she doesn’t know how she’s going to pay for it.  She is working at Fiesta mart as a cashier because they always have the light-skinned young bilingual girls working as cashiers.  All the ancienos y morenos they have working as stock clerks or cleaning crew or in the tortilleria.  She will try to pick up extra shifts but she doesn’t know if that will be enough.

Her mother is a shift manager at a nearby Sonic and cleans houses on her days off.  Sarai thinks she might help her mom out.

Her father is with his new family in Georgia.  She thinks she might call him and ask for some money.  Last time he sent her money was for her quinceañera, she thinks he might send some for graduation.  She doesn’t know if he’ll respond.  She doesn’t really care what he thinks, but she hates to beg.

The bell has rung for the last period of the day and she walks out to the parking lot, where all the kids are jumping into their cars.  She starts on her two block walk home.  She wonders what is going to happen to her. 

Saraí thinks to herself that uncertainty is the true killer of the spirit.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Poem of the Day: I Will Walk with You

I Will Walk with You

I will walk with you in the sun,
in the rain, through lush gardens and
the streets of Milan, across hot sandy beaches
in resort hotels, I will walk with you
through the darkness of days, through
hospitals and nursing homes and
cemeteries and back to the car afterwards.

I will walk with you down wedding aisles
through shopping malls and courthouse trials,
down jogging trails and alleyways,
through black nights and sunny days, I

will walk
with you.

[first draft]

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Overread at Table 2: Notes from the 23rd Edition of Slam Words

#23rdEdition #SlamWords

Prompt: There was a time when

There was a time when she laughed at everything I said and now the laughter is dead, dead like the light that's gone out of her eyes as she sits at the table drinking tequila and telling me "Vete, pinche comedian! See if you can make HER laugh!"

Prompt: Keeping secrets

Cops popped in to the washateria to ask if Paquito was around. He was wanted for a break in. Rita said they hadn't. When the cops left, Maria opened the lid to the washer where they'd squirreled the boy. The sisters were good at keeping secrets

Prompt: What would have happened

"Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Dad had made that big break in college?" I asked Mom this as Dad played trumpet on the balcony. She smiled and had this faraway look in her eye. "You wouldn't be here," was all she said.

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Prompt: Where do you go to escape?

Crystal sat on the roof of the brownstone, looking out across the night, the city lights scattered like fallen stars. He had texted her earlier, "Where do you go to escape?" She almost texted back "here" But she knew if she did, she would be caged.

R10 (I think): #23rdEdition #SlamWords
Prompt: 3AM confessions

David and Scott and Matt and Mike were glad to cut out of the reunion and find a table at hole in the wall called the Raging Lion, where they could have a few beers and reminisce about their high school days were filled muscle cars, mix tapes, and 3AM confessions.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Written in Booth 4: new song tentatively titled "Front Porch"

Front Porch

Sitting out
on my front porch
Thinking 'bout
carrying this torch
Now you're gone
You've moved away
Sun's going down
Skies are grey

Laying back
in my rocking chair
Smell of your weed
In the air
Yeah smoking the last
joint I found
Thinking of you
heading out of town.

You're in his car,
bare foot on the dash
Sure hope he don't
run out of cash
'cuz if he does
you'll take the wheel
& go looking for
new hearts to steal.


I'm looking out
on my front lawn
Just a patch of grass
but at least it's home
Feel the breeze
in my hair
Smell your weed
in the air

The smell of your weed
 - fading now -
In the air.