Saturn on Steroids

Published by Plum Tree Tavern:

An artist’s illustration of a dust disk resembling Saturn’s rings found around an object 420 light-years from Earth. It may be the first alien planet with rings actually found. The find was announced, Jan. 11, 2012

Up there with the endearing stars and the black pool of the sky
Up there with gravity and mystery and the sun and the moon
Up there beyond the sighs of earth, the chokes of earth
Past the pockets of rain and the
Clouds that are slow white syllables
Is the Winged Creature

Light years away, it peers down on us
Its red face brought forward
It penetrates microscopes
Pumping away with the red blood of celestial force
It defies our laboratories,
Astronomy, astrophysics

We are waking up to it
It is waking up to us
We are looking up at it
It is looking down at us
We sum it up
It sums us down
We study it
It studies us

We call it the ringed object
Saturn on steroids
It thinks of us as the trash steroid of earth and

Cradles us in its warm red hands

Covers us with the red blanket of anti gravity
We are the warm pot of pollution
We are the fumes of money and wealth

We study its rings
It searches for our soul
We study its size, its retrograde spinning
A possible catastrophic collision

We are lost, it declares
Our banks like gleaming objects
Our freeways like kings and queens
White boys at the white table of economy

We try to understand it
It tries to understand us

Maybe it is only our heart

Our disembodied heart
Spinning out of control



Or read it here, on Social Justice Poetry…

(Trump and Putin)

Attracted by sameness and difference
They love each other
He a big 6’3 with orange American skin and a hefty brown wallet
His first name a cartoon character, his last rhyming with funny things
His counterpart a short slight Russian whose name puckers your lips, blond, 5’7, a broad Forehead full of KGB

The first a hothead, a fun guy braggadocio
A charismatic liar you either love or hate
The second one severe
A judo black-belt poverty child in love with prisons

Both bullies as children
Bullies as adults
Both experts in the art of manipulation
Both hate the news, hate journalists, despise protests
One a businessman, the other a lawyer

In their respective cities,
They contemplate each other.
The first inside a New York tower, gold furniture fit for a king
The second inside St. Petersburg
The Venice of the North.

As little boys, they suffered
The Russian so poor it is written that he chased rats with sticks
The American sent to military school
To fix the unfixable

Across the continents they embrace
Their political arms entwined
Both supported by anxious citizens
Who look past their flaws, hoping for economic security.

#Boycottbocelli, a poem I wrote in response to Andrea Bocelli agreeing to sing at Trump’s inauguration…

His bedroom voice made our hearts soar before it made it sore.

His operatic notes filled us with joy before it sent us a sour note.

How could you do this, Bocelli? Take away all our pleasure of listening to you?

How could you sing your hymn for him?

Some call us liberal wussies for boycotting you
But it worked, keeping you out of the White House where

he said he would grab us by the pu**y

I can’t listen to you anymore. You’ve ruined it for me.

HACKED, a poem I wrote mirroring the news of the 2016 presidential election being hacked by the Russians…

This is how it happened.

I was 11 years old.
Two girls in my class pretended to be my friends.
They stole my diary.
They picked the lock.
Spreading my secrets across the playground like jelly.

I wrote about boys,
how they didn’t like me because I was fat.

I wrote about hating my mother, how crazy she was.

I wrote about hating my body.
Trying to lose weight, then
eating a half gallon of ice cream.

Those girls, picking the lock to my soul.

Opening it with a wrench

a straightened paperclip,
a pair of pliers,
a jackhammer.

Blasting it open with a stick of dynamite.

Pages flying.
Screaming everything wrong about my life.

I never kept a diary again,

learned to keep everything inside.
How I felt, what I needed,
who I liked,
all the sadness.

This is what I know. You can’t trust girls.

You can’t trust anyone. This is my motto.
I live by it.

The Ghost Ship

…for the victims of the Oakland fire on December 2nd

The ghost ship sailed off the end of the earth
Thirty-six souls aboard
Fire spreading in the cabin
Walls collapsing
Heaps of trash floating on the seas
The flotsam and jetsam of
Electrical wires washing to shore

Thirty six souls
One a 17-year-old student
One a young singer in a band
Poets, musicians, teachers
Sons and daughters

Collectively, we grieve
Parents remember
The child’s first words, their first step, the first time they rode without training wheels, birthday parties, holiday photographs.

Memories clutched to the heart.