Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Notes for an Interview with Sarah Palin

What are you thinking about when you stick
your tongue between your teeth and smile?
When the sun rises on a cold Alaskan morning,
does it warm you or do you feel a disturbing chill?
Sarah, when you take off your glasses to rest your eyes,
does it make you feel like a different person?
Sarah, when you look out the window of an airplane,
do you sense a distance that can never be overcome?
Is it hard, Sarah, to tell the difference between
the stories you tell and the things that are real?
Sarah, did you know that whenever I see you
on TV I give you the finger?

-Jose Padua

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To John McCain

Your odd almost twitch
as you wait for Sarah Palin
to finish introducing
you reminds me that
while she is the religious
right's latest asshole,
you are still the Republican
Party's scariest bitch.

-Jose Padua

Thursday, June 26, 2008

September Song

When I was a kid in grade school
the teacher once made us repeat after her,
“The key to success is hard work.”
Years later, in college, another teacher told us,
“You have to work hard to get an A
and you have to work hard to get an F.”
One thing they never told you
was that sometimes you could make it
without any effort at all.
This you had to learn on your own.
And though it’s true
that most of the time
you have to slave away
to get anywhere,
the most beautiful moments
are those when you find yourself
in the right place at the right time,
or when, after doing something easy,
you find yourself suddenly
on top of the mountain.

It’s like when you’re at the racetrack
and you forget about the jockey,
the odds and past performance
and bet big on a horse
because you like its name,
and you go home with a hundred dollars
you didn’t have that morning.
It’s like wandering the streets aimlessly,
looking for nothing,
just walking like a zombie,
when you run into a friend
and end up drinking and laughing,
ready once again to look
at the world that surrounds you.

It’s the beauty of the moment
that comes alive without artifice,
the beauty of the mountain
that is built without industry
without business,
without blueprints and guidelines
and a right way
and a wrong way.

It’s the beauty of being human,
of not always making sense,
the beauty of falling and getting up
not because there are things to do,
but simply because you have fallen
too deeply into the realm of the possible,
and it’s time to do
what you were told
you couldn’t do
and you do it effortlessly
and easily high
and wide
and running on these
still golden days.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Waking Up In Rock Springs, Wyoming

The store at the
old bus depot here
sells about
a hundred different
pornographic magazines,
and though the fat guy
behind the counter
smoking a cigar
seems friendly enough,
I can tell
this isn't the place
for me to hang

Walking The Dog

I met a woman
from Tennessee
who licked my fingers
in the back of
a taxicab.
Her hair was blonde
and her lips were apple red.
We didn't look
and we didn't talk.
Sensing the steady rain outside,
her hips
couldn't keep still.
my free hand.

Square Biz

In the record store
one day this
girl with spiked black
hair picked up a copy
of Teena Marie's latest
and said, "God, she's
so ugly."
I walked over to her
and said, "Hey,
Teena Marie
is a
Fucking Genius.
And she's not ugly.
You are."
It was the only
pick up line
I could think of.

Other Afternoons

At the matinee
movie in Utah
the curly haired kid
taking tickets
stands stiff
and looks at me
like I'm some sort of
I liked it better in
Atlanta, where they
checked my bags for
guns or knives
before letting me into
this gigantic
old movie palace
to see a bad horror
film starring
Oliver Reed.


The clear glass
on the floor
and the
Sunday morning mass for
shut-ins fills out the
dusty TV screen:
when I wake up
in the morning
I often feel
a sense
of loss.


The painted doves
on the corner
walls coo
softly in
a summer

Ask Judd

Judd had a
head full of
bong hits.
He was sitting
straight and
tall in liquid filtered
slow motion.
When I asked him what
he wanted to do
when he got out of school
he said,
"Fly planes."

San Francisco

I don't know
I didn't
give the girl
with the gold

The Kamikaze Kid

At my 10 year
high school reunion
Carl Jackson
walks up and tells me
he dreamt
I was a Japanese torturer
in World War II.
Just then I remember
why we
didn’t speak much
in high school.

On the Road

Watching TV
in my hotel room
in downtown
New Orleans.
I'm by the freeway and
my room feels cold.


Get the money
Try to score
Grab the blanket
Meet the bus
Go to hell
Drive that truck
Talk that trash
Knead the bread
Dig the street
Buy the meat
Meryl Streep

The Dynamite Kid

Like a
perfect rainbow,
nothing can match
a flying
for insight
into the lives of
the billion and one
we call our


Driving down
the Verrazano Bridge
the Earth slows down
its colors
through its
very swiftness.
I close my eyes
and when I open
them again
I discover how
the thickness of the universe

81 St. Mark's Place

Ice ceam
in noisy glass
the TV's on
in the dark
and the phone
and doorbell keep

My Own Like Poem

I like you.
I don't think you're
a jerk as
Michael does
why I even like
the way you eat

You interrupt the silence
the way Tahiti
interrupts the ocean.

Don't change

I'm going away for now
I'll be back soon

bye bye.


-Jose Padua