Monthly Archives: December 2015

December poems

New poems for December. ¡Feliz solsticio y un próspero año nuevo!

Everything else can wait

Midmorning glow
luscious warm
trade wind touch
silky cool
everything else
can wait.

Free at last

One morning wake
the floor flooded
water heater leaking.
Plans of playing
plants in the dirt
words at the desk
put on hold
mind fixed on
what’s got to be.

Simple job. Drain
disconnect replace.
Valve rotted shut
too heavy to move
tipped over a trickle
blubs from the top
until able to drag
the carcass away.

Two days later
new one arrives.
Santiago at the ferretería
says set old one out
on the street by recycle.
Two hours later
Rhythm resumes
morning shower
dishes laundry.

Free at last
the garden quiet
plucking at weeds
bugs hum and buzz
birds twitter and trill
woodpecker rap
up in the pines
deep drone constant
the Rio San Juan.


Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.


Test to take, drive the freeway, wrong city. Volkswagen Beetle, a faded red with the big back window, heads downhill, foot pumps brake pedal, nothing. Through a stop sign, a signal, traffic, onto a pier stretching over the Bay.

Oversleep, drive quick to Reno, arrive Chapel of the Bells, taped music starts, Here Comes the Bride. A haze, it’s done. Please not the video. Not now, not ever.

One last test, need credits to graduate. Haven’t read texts, gone to lectures, totally screwed. Befuddled standing in the quad. Don’t know which building, room number. Across the grass, wife blonde and freckled walks by pushing double stroller, professor’s arm drapes her shoulder. Enormous erection, tent pole stretching canvas at the fly. Pull shirt tails to veil. Girls grouped on the concrete walkway point and snigger.

Sharp bark, wake with a hard on. Get up, let the dogs out, pee, dogs back in, back to bed.


Green Fiat 850 Spyder flying the freeway towards Davis, the law school, the causeway straight, endless. Come to the exit. Keep driving on.

Working the line, the restaurant kitchen, tickets strung full along the holder. Nothing prepared, mis en place not done, no pots, pans, tools. Legs thick, heavy, feet glued to floor. Tickets piling up a thick stack at the end. Three boys sitting on the butcher block table in the back, faces sprout hair, grow grotesque.

Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe, American River Canyon, woman olive-hued and round-bellied sits in the passenger seat. Up into a blizzard, wipers freeze tight, windshield piles with snow. Car spins, spins a slow twirl, lands gently rear end in the bank thrown snowplow high along the road. Step out, the front end of a Peterbilt erupts from the swirl. Step back, float, truck scoops car and bride off into white nothingness.

White porcelain throne set on a platform in the middle of a large room. Sit naked, room fills with people paying no attention. Toilet transformed to a wooden chair, hole in the seat. Urine spreads across the floor, drips off the edge.

Awake needing to piss, return to bed.


Climbing a spiral staircase, sea captain’s mansion perched high on the point, West Seattle. Nose to woman’s rump encased in a tight black skirt. Widow’s walk, white lights of the city faerie dust around the frigid black of the Sound, wake of ships tangles glistening in the moonlight.

Well-groomed vine-covered slopes, walk through fields across the border the kilometer to Wissembourg. A bar, pungent smoke of Gauloises hangs thick, crawl hands and knees on the floor to breathe. Scrambling up a mountainside thick with brush, break out of the bramble, Frankenstein’s castle, a restaurant outdoors, paved with stone. Order Eiskaffee for two.

Château in the Languedoc, the tower room glassed on all sides. Swells of vineyards splosh up jagged limestone hills, skeletons of ancient forests. Stench of rotting flesh infuses the countryside. A duck in the mail box, roasted, rich with sweet orange.

Airplane sits on a runway, tires rotted as the lonely terminal. Fishing resort, wooden, high beamed, screened against the bugs. Jungle hot, humid, endless, waters stretch shallow, still, murky. Howler monkeys screech hidden high in the shimmering green. Open bar, ron Flor de Caña. At the buffet, a woman arm in arm with the pilot asking if anyone has a condom.

Awake to yip, yip, yip. Paws twitching dog dreams.


Funky market a maze of old wood, myriad small shops stocking touristy trinkets. The door of a store, supposed to meet someone. Keep on walking, searching a particular cribbage board. Should be going to class. One more week, then finals.

Joined by a friend. Outside, a road dirt lined with modest houses, a few straggly trees. Barefoot. Need to buy a pair of sneakers.
You can crack the books, catch up, he says. You’ve still got time.
Shoulders sag under dead weight of ennui. Just can’t make myself do it.
Then don’t, he says. You’ve the restaurant, plenty of work. Do that, make money, don’t need a law degree.
God I’m in a nightmare. Got a home in Central America, a life in Costa Rica. Go back, write, pura vida.

Ticket counter, hand over the money, passage for one. And one more, on the quiet. A speedboat, a flotilla, racing after one of the several cruise ships headed out for the open sea. Boat filling with water, start to bail, coffee mug in one hand glass in the other. Ease alongside a flat-bottomed river boat, pulled by a brawny arm onto the worn wooden deck as brack breaches the gunwales and the speedboat settles slowly beneath the surface, fades, disappears. Women and men, wizened by time and tropical sun, clothing faded and worn thin, crowd the shade under the canvas awning stretching the steel-pipe framework …

Tropical solstice

Five twenty-one sunset
latitude ten degrees
four minutes north
December twenty-first
longest night
another year.

Orion chases a moon
waxing close full
thin veil of clouds
streaming her face
trade winds howl
the pines quaver.

Sunrise five forty-eight
morning quiet blue
straggles of cloud
slip shoulder of Poás
drift the ridge line
dissolve in the clear.