what is more powerful

the refusal to be labeled

or acceptance of that which you can’t change?

am I strong because

I’ve learned to live with my scars

embrace them, even

or does that make me a coward?

all the darting strobes of Pain

leaking slowly from the

cracked box Pandora left ajar

plant their mark upon a soul

with the burnt black grip

of a nightmare’s fingerprints

there are days when

i don’t even know how to breathe

all I can see in the mirror

is a corrosive landscape

cooing as it twines its way through my veins


for all that

i am not content to fade

slowly into the night

it is not enough

to endure in the face of suffering

to stagnate in the pool of survival

i will spark, i will blaze

i will rise from my ashes


Earthen Heart

Love this.

Elan Mudrow


Sacrifices are in plentitude, fruits are abundant, mist will always hang on highest of ranges. But, to promise another your heart indefinitely takes an acceptance of the ground, feet steady, smart eyes, and a heart like earth.

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Unbroken Bones

a candied misnomer

laden with false saturated sweetness

they are paintraders

merchants of malady

swapping out the boulder crushing you

with an easy smile

displaying relief with an open palm

so you

don’t realize the other fist

is closed and hidden

until the next day

when the shoe drops

+ the pain returns, ecstatic

wearing a different face, a different mask, a different cloak

knocking at different doors

but not gone, never gone

how can you kill something that is immortal?

all you can do is endure

ignore the grin gleaming promises of

chemical cash-soaked gurus

+ decide how much you will let

it define you

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Dedicated to Linda Castro, Linda Solanes Castro and their incredibly wonderful family

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my thoughts tornado through the

suddenly too-close air

i’m trapped in my skin

pupils rolling, searching

for any exit

any relief

from the endless waves of pain

and then

like a ship adrift, i see a light

in the distance

your eyes, fixed on mine

reminding me

that i am never alone


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what dreams live inside your skin

i wonder

are they twin or perhaps cousin to mine

do they giggle + slink murmur into

the middle of a sunsoaked algebra class

dancing around decimals to bestow upon you

the vibrant violet chimera of crush fantasy

do they rise + surge darkly overhead

red raw viscerally surreal

until all you can do is howl + sprint

searingly across bare blistering fields

are they born from haughty, haphazard Chance

primly sifting through the Sandman’s file cabinet

maybe they are all part of the standard

subliminal messaging from your resident guardian angel

or even the prolonged patchwork evolution

of a sunken shipwrecked spirit set adrift

whatever they are, without them

there’d be less wonder

in a wonder-starved world












untethered leaves


with all the shades of sunset

dance across the breeze,

not caring about yesterday

or tomorrow.

frictionless fluttering messengers

winking me closer

with effortless freedom

+ the heady haunting beauty

of their gloriously doomed flight,

swinging each other around

in nature’s oldest waltz

whirling + curling close

to whisper slip

a shivering copper taste of change

onto our tongues,

signaling another season

of life + death

love + tragedy

remembrance + renewal

 fragile newborn questions with

ochre spotted stems

lazily twirl fingers

through my hair

will i take the

ripe cycle challenge

our earth offers,

let myself go

close my eyes

+ wander in the wind?


It hasn’t always

been easy between us

There have been

as many fights as good memories

we’ve been worlds apart

and long, hollow silent


but when I close my eyes & hum

to the opening strains of

‘wish you were here’

Taste the salt air on my face

as it beckons me to dive in the water

laugh way too hard at the

timeless antics of Peter Sellers

or take a road less traveled

that I may have otherwise missed


It’s because of you.

I’m my own person

But in your way,

you helped to shape who I am,

and for that,

I could never thank you enough.

I love you, Aba. 


Why do the movies

make betrayal

seem so glamorous?

Sleek, lush, potent, dramatic.

Heightening a lover’s quarrel

Dropping the jaw of a best friend

Snaking in to upheave a family

until it’s resolved in a 

highly comedic fashion.


But the reality is different.

No sexy emotions or overdone gasps

Just an unseen gut punch that 

flash fries your soul

robs your desire to breathe,

and spears you in half


Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Spin the world on its head.

The ancient eavesdropper

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