Thursday, March 22, 2007

Portrait #41

To stand forever in the middle, or be
part of the usual episodes of amnesia.
Time in the dark, I find stones to throw, like words
spoken in my sleep. You can’t be afraid of thunder,
though I, at times, fear for my public image.
It’s easy prey for change, not being safe or
secure in a world of falling water. Sterling
silver cups, journeys up or down the river.
The meaning still isn’t clear, though in the end
it doesn’t matter, chance being of stronger substance
than intention, and swimming a way of life.

Portrait #26

This is for the space between words, the slow fall of mountains
leaving the remains of giants. There are wars we remember
that took place in our back yards, days when we thought
we moved backwards. The storyline has only been suggested,
through hints of color, and weather mentioned in passing.
Connections are left unclear, as in dreams you forget,
and people whose faces you can’t see but whose breath
you can hear and almost feel. The wind used to take
its time in coming, used to hide only to catch us unawares,
keeping the doors shut tight in uneasy sleep. The symphony
it brings rises slowly to an epic pitch, and falls, without shattering.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

World War III Will Start in the Minds of the Deprived and in the Hearts of the Depraved

lost in an ocean of shit
I'd gotten myself
in a discussion
of Fascism
with an ex-Army man
from Chicago at this bar.
He didn't like the way
the word got tossed around,
having something specific in mind.
I was trying
to throw the meaning everywhere,
from politics and law
on down to the Oriental practice of foot binding
and the excessive use of make up
by women who aren't hookers.
All the time my eyes were
on the barmaid's hips which
were squeezed into these tight black
spandex pants.

I knew I was too drunk
to be talking about anything
and too drunk to be
about anything but sex.
I also knew I was
too drunk to do
anything reasonable about it,
so I paid,
gave the barmaid a nice tip,
said goodbye to
everyone and

I got home,
walked upstairs,
and threw up
all over the books
on the floor of
my room.
There were some
good ones there,
some of which
I hadn't read yet.
I picked them up,
wiped them off
with a dirty tee shirt,
threw the shirt in the trash,
and went to sleep,
ready for nightmares
filled with Nazis
and no women,
all because
life is too short
to be spent
looking for
peace of mind.

- Jose Padua
Originally published in Big Cigars issue #1, 1986.