Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Angels

Angels

memories of the girls, the women that I’ve loved
not ones that lasted weeks or days or an hour
but ones whose lives I’ve touched
whose memories, but a shadow,
haunt me with their smile, especially
their laughter, their trust
and lust, those too

where are they now
who do they love
my hopes, a better man
a better man than I

memories, warm and mysterious,
intoxicating and full
above all, spirit-filled and lasting
somewhere out there, still

their touch, a pleasure
the love I felt and feel,
undiminished,
undeniably for real
to wish they knew me now
to know that I am better
less handsome, more appealing
debonair or so I thought
doesn’t matter anymore

these lives, these angels
appearing in my path
along the way, in my youth
in my unknowing and my haste
to discard, a waste
companions, the best
each, true loves
abandoned for myself or another
but never for them

until…

until the moment
this moment
the moment I realize
I am alone

-J

 

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Each Day

Each day

Each day, I call a friend
just to see how they are feeling
to find out what they’ve been up to
silly, I know

mostly, unavailable
sometimes I leave a message
they often text me, they’ll say
I’ll be busy for awhile
Perhaps I’ll call you next week

Disappointed
they missed the moment, their moment
when I thought of them
thought of them as someone special (to me)
and as my friend

no worth in my endeavor
no worth for them

a special time (for me)
something I might have wanted to tell them
unable and, most likely, forever forgotten

too busy or uninterested to bother
never mind the extraordinary moments of pain, glory, and love
we shared before

never mind the times, the thoughts, the stories
all but forgotten
thick, now thin,
all for not, mostly forgot
but why not for me?

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Promises

Promises

Disappointment
No reason
So often
an illusion
A season
of forgotten promises

not kept
Words repeating
Said without meaning
Fleeting expectations of truth
Just teasin’
for no apparent reason

A change
in courtesy
Common decency
no longer a trait
Just words spoken
Just dribble, just bait

“Oh yeah,
Let’s get together
I’ll call you tomorrow
We’ll go to the show
I’ll see you on Sunday
We’ll have a blast”

I wait, then wait
for consummation
Never straight
The words
The lies
Just deception

An epidemic
A new social disease
Expectations created
with absence and ease
No thought of the other
Nobody to please
A selfish endeavor
for them but not me

My word, my bond
My words to you
to demonstrate
To honor these
and not forsake
Just as hard to ever break

A promise made should always be
enough for you to make it be
The present time will not concede
to not, a liar, a traitor ye
You build me up then let it be
I wait and wait, just wait to see

Then, nothing.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Until That Day

Until That Day

She would have been heartbroken
if she was still around
to see what has become
of this life I have begun

Alone in my space
and in my head
Her troubled mind
would reach and say
Honey, please!
just come to bed

Too long coming
Too late to say
I love you
just one more time

She waits until,
‘till she’ll be mine
and me, hers to see
and love so

The end of time
approaches the unreal
when heaven opens
and once again
she is here, completely

Until that day,
softly, she touches my soul
with her arms and her eyes
and comforts me, delicately,
from beyond this world

That day may come
that day, surreal
but knowing that one life
our Life, perhaps a dream
will be the same
and never end

-J



Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Shine

Shine

She came and brought me light
She came and brought me vision
She came and brought me life
And wonders
And shoes

And now, she’s far from me
Now, there’s no one to hold when I am alone and scared

When the day is bright, I see her
When the day is long, I feel her near
When the day is steeped in trouble, she reveals herself
And takes my hand
She leads me to some place
A place unfamiliar to me where, without her, I can’t stay

She shines and then she’s gone

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Solstice

Solstice

She is my sun.
She shines bright in my being.
She is the one upon which I revolve.
She is timeless and hot.

Without her, there is darkness.
With or without her,
I will always love her.

She passes
like a comet through my dreams
only to awaken without her.

Quietly, I wait…

She rises
burns bright and her light
covers me with awe.

-J

Categories
of Reminiscences

People

People

People
people with big hearts
people with real smarts
people with lots of cash
people, like white trash

people with no money
people who stay hungry
people who run scared
people who are impaired

people with no father
people who don’t bother
people that wonder why
people who don’t cry

people that get along
people who don’t belong
people who stand strong
people who do wrong

people of another color
people out in the cold
people without a cover
people bought and sold

people who do harm
people that strong-arm
people without a conscience
people full of nonsense

people who have to eat
people who walk the beat
people we vote to seat
people all in the street

people who get around
people all over town
people without a sound
people we’d like to pound

people with no retreat
people we’d like to meet
people that they’ll defeat
people so called the heat

people with no self-worth
people who hit the dirt
people with no understanding
people here, just demanding

people incapable of love
people unacceptable to gov
people with one white glove
people we’re afraid of

people getting shot
people throwing stones
people on the streets
people who don’t know

people with a gun
people on the run
people with a view
People… nothing new

-J

Categories
of Reminiscences

Dragway 42

Dragway 42

Don’t know much ‘bout racin’
Seen just a few
They were a thrill my daddy liked.
I even met Paul Newman once.
The biggest deal, for me, wasn’t he
but was Dragway 42.

Somewhere south of me
Don’t remember quite
Perhaps New Philly,
Could be wrong, don’t care.
Memories are like that.

One sunny Saturday
in my bell bottoms and tank top
my dad’s head covered in Merthiolate and a ball cap
took me there for the thrill of a lifetime
a spectacle that no three-ring circus
could ever have provided.

We arrived after a bit of a drive and walked around.
We looked at cars and the trucks that hauled them in.
Don Garlits, perhaps the only name I remember
from the side of a truck except one.
One that I will never forget
It was red, on the side it said, “Evel Knievel”
I stared and wondered what the day would bring.

We eventually found our seats along a quarter-mile track.
There in the middle were 21 buses side by side, ready
for my hero, the real-life superman to take flight.
Lights changing from yellow to red, from red to green
the dragons breathing fire, leaving smoke
left their mark with a roar and scream.
Ten seconds later, a winner gleaned
as he emerged from the belly of a long slippery serpent.

We watched one after another
with no real sense of danger
‘till one jiggled, then wiggled out of control
flipped like an acrobat end over end
then skid to a halt as did my heart, beating.

It burst into a ring of fire.
Rails and wheels seemed
hundreds of feet in the air
bouncing like balls on a trampoline
down the track and into the stands
no safety net at all.
What a show!

The driver escaped but in flames,
extinguished by big red cans of white ice
carried in a stretcher to a white vehicle
with colored lights and winding sounds
like clowns, the crew piled in.
Twelve seconds and gone
was the dragon screaming.

Then came the stock and the funny-cars
the crowd standing, dots on the board marking time
the applause, the excitement, as the unseen ring master
announced each driver and each blazing-fast winner.

I saw a clown on top a V8
all engine, two wheels, and a seat
lay rubber, burn-out
for half a quarter-mile
smoke and rubber choking me
as handkerchiefs flew out and
covered the noses and mouths of every
man, woman, and child
coughing and gasping for more.

Then a man and woman, naked as jaybirds,
running from the stands to across the track,
around the buses and into the back
Yellow, then red, then green, again,
but this time, on a bike, another just like
naked and tan, made it down the track in no time flat
when suddenly the place exploded in streakers, galore.
So much more fun was this racing than any animal act I’d ever seen
I just kept looking at my dad as he smiled that smile
then laughed that laugh and I knew everything was all right.

I saw a man in the distance
dressed in white, wearing a cape, walk to a bike
and mount its leather, its steel, its oily guts
he rose and dropped with a stomp
so to start its cold heart to pump and its tail to gurgle
a plume of smoke and a snort of its throttle,
a shift and off he rode, wheels on the ground
he circled around, rode through the gate,
stood up on his seat, pulled the bike back
and rode the entire length of the track
on one wheel, a one-man act, a devil,
duly known as Evel Knievel.

He waved as he rode back, still standing on his seat
then a repeat, not one but several and the crowd,
ten thousand if one, cheered aloud
with thunderous approval and anticipation
never mind the other acts, the amusement, or occasion
The show had just begun!

I watched his every move, every glance,
every expression that I could make-out
he was a man determined
he set out to do what had to be done
what no one should have ever expected
known as a “man’s man” and well respected,
daring, brave, fearless, true, and principled
his duty to show the rest his best
He seemed much like the man in the stands
sitting next to me.

He rode a distance from the ramp and took off
only to stop just before the top and surveil his fate
I sat and wondered what he saw and what he thought
He looked straight ahead and was still,
he took this moment (and mine)
before the chance of death, before the chance of glory,
before the result of his decision and its consequences
Was he afraid? Was this just part of the show?
It was eerie and for a moment I was scared
scared, not for him, but by any eventual consequences
In this case, my own.

He glided back down the ramp and out of sight
I could hear the throttle turn and the engine rev
the motor whined as he appeared, this time, all out
up the ramp, he and his bike accelerated
suddenly, the bottom fell out where he had stopped before
then time slowed.
the silent crowd, the silent flight
he and his bike, without wings, soared and leveled.
the sound of shutters zeroed-in on his fate
he looked all right but as he dropped
his wheel in back looked slight home plate.

thump and the wheel landed barely on its mark
the man, his bike as if fired from a rocket
gasps and awe’s abounded
hit his target and settled down to earth
a short silence, then mayhem
as the crowd went absolutely wild.

Triumphantly, he let go
to throw his hands in the air.
He made his way back, over to the track
where he stood up, again,
on his seat and rode that back wheel
the wheel that saved him
thousands were stunned in utter amazement
astonished fans, wild, and jumping fences
jumping for joy without containment
they reached for the man as he rode just out of sight.

As the roar of the crowd began to subside
I heard the throttle turn and the engine rev
the motor whined as he appeared again
and repeated the jump six more times
each time, riding over to the track and to the stands
where I stood with my dad, astonished!
As we left the track, my dad, while holding my hand and smiling that smile,
made me marvel again as only he could and as only a boy, that age, can
Dragway 42, the circus I most remember because of a superman, flying,
named Evel Knievel and another just holding my hand.

-J

Categories
of Reminiscences

Sister Lil’

Sister Lil’

Let me tell ya ‘bout my sister Lil’
A darn good story, some would say
Happened over Ohio way
perhaps as good as ‘Jack and Jill’
Listen, while I tell you ‘bout a boy,
his sis, Friday night, and her drill
the skill, the thrill my sister Lil’ gave
and the thing that she made of me
forever, and for real!

1964, our daddy had a wagon
Seats in front, seats everywhere
seats facing backwards
so many seats and I was little
I rode in the middle where I felt best
brothers looking freakishly out the back
and Lil’, by herself, with her purse and her will,
lipstick and sweater, white make-up, painted brows,
and my daddy’s frown.

Lilly, sixteen, went by ‘Marlene’
with her up-do and flats
her frilly blouse and skinny pants
brought me down, down to the basement
to the rec-room where she’d have a clown
a Freddie, a Phil, or a Eugene
and set me outside the door
with a record player and a box
a box filled, filled with records.

You see, I was the youngest,
considerably younger, perhaps a mistake
fortunate to have siblings much older
able to spend and collect
They had no idea what they had
Boxes of my memories, given to me
before my memories ever existed
A lifetime of memories at four years old,
the beginning of my development and of my Achilles heel.

Back to Lil’, my sis
a pretty, sweet thing, stubborn
starved for attention and affection
would’ve won a beauty-contest if she ever smiled
growed-up on the wrong side of the tracks
fashionable, sometimes funny, loved to laugh
pursued at school, by the wheat and the chaff
confused but extraordinary, driven to succeed
in love, the thing she wanted most
in life, the most elusive and difficult thing
as I have found.

Yet, in the basement, there was Lil’
with her date, just behind the recreation room door,
I spun for them just beyond
Record after record after record
as she explored, then exploded,
and danced
the Freddie, the Mashed Potato,
the Shimmy, the Watusi,
and Hitch-hiked across the entire universe
of that room and its checkered floor.

I peeked as I did my own thing.
I danced and sang
to Smokey, Marvin Gaye
to the Temps and more
to the Beatles and the Stones
and even Tom Jones.

The melodies rang out from inside the room
They sent me somewhere, somewhere else
I was intoxicated
Only now, do I realize that it was my future
I rocketed to during those minutes and hours.

Now, still listening.
I must have done well
for I have lived each song
that I loved in ’64
when I was four
and my sister, Lil’, danced the Watusi.

-J

Categories
of Love

White Light

White Light

Out of nowhere
like a dream she came
to brighten my darkness
a white light in the distance
drawing nearer to me
as she approaches
I am nervous and coy
like a ship, she sets course for my heart

to rescue me from my loneliness
my isolation
my madness
to make sense of my world and my waiting
I have been waiting
to make sense of this wasted life
this unmanageable time spent lifting a weight
too heavy just for one

to replace the joy, I once knew
to awaken me gently
with her heart and soul
to caress my face
touch my shoulder
to let me know
I am loved and allow me to know peace
and to finally understand

she is a white light
she is a brightness
who leads the way to my destiny
some are not meant to live alone
some are not complete without
the love of their God-given companion
she will lift me to a higher place
where I can function and become a better man

I will know love
this wilted flower
will awaken and grow toward her light
the moisture of her kiss will revive me
a day in the sun will be mine
and the glory of God’s glow and warmth
will be ours tomorrow
and forever

-J

Categories
of Love

Without a doubt

Without a doubt

Where does love go?
Why does it wane?
Why does it hurt so?

Like a candle burning, shimmering
our hearts were full and bright
Now snuffed out, just the darkness
and the light’s nowhere in sight

Forever is such a long time
Fires just burn-out
When we said I’ll always love you
it was said without a doubt

Now we’re both so lonesome
Was it worth it, all the pain,
to take the chance on love, well
nothing ventured, nothing gained

To have loved and lost
To have taken such a chance
To allow our hearts, now broken
for the chance at true romance

Was it worth it? There’s no doubt
As we go our separate ways
Was it worth it? There’s no doubt
and that’s all I have to say.

-J

Categories
of Love

How do I decide?

How do I decide?

How do I decide
not to be bothered by the want
the need of another?
To live this life alone
To control my time and my desire
To liberate my being and transcend my loneliness
To be more near a power that guides and shows mercy

Or, to reenter the chaos of another
To thrust the whole aspect of my madness onto
an innocent being in hopes that my madness translates into their joy
To learn from one and that one from me
To join in a common enterprise and live fully as a part
or to live partly as a whole

To take the chance, again, of losing
losing at life and at love
This question, a matter of pride and of principle
will yield to my need and my imperfection
as I am one who depends on a love
a love of another to prop, suspend, and behold me
Shame be damned. I need to love and to be loved
even as a fool.

-J

Categories
of Love

What is Love?

What is Love?

Is it a feeling? Is it appealing? A dealing? Is it an action? A satisfaction? Is it knowing? Trusting? Glowing? Is it blowing in the wind? Is it forever? Is it clever? A romantic endeavor? Is it elusive? Obtrusive? Is it caring? Or sharing? A little bit daring? Is it fleeting? Or needing? Or pleading? Does it need feeding? Does it lie, bleeding? Does it bend? Does it lend? Does it send? Or pretend? Does it lift? Perhaps, a gift? Does it shift? Or grift? Does it lose its power? Does it climb a tower? Is it only? Is it lonely? Is it red? Simply said? A grand illusion? A ball of confusion? Or just a delusion? Is it amusing? A choosing? Two boozing? Roses? Touched noses? A box of chocolates? A ring? A song? Is it wrong? A so long? Or a friend? What is love?

-J

Categories
of Humor

Chinga Ringa

Chinga Ringa

She was a little senorita
way down from Ensenada
Came here with a Visa
missing nothing, I mean nada!

I was lonely little hombre
Didn’t know she was about
to play me like Miss Charro
Coochee coochee
There’s no doubt.

Hot Tamale, extra sauce
She cast her spell upon me
Like voodoo, that was boss
She danced la cucaracha
And that’s when I got lost.

Chinga Ringa, Chinga Ringa
is what she used to say
Never quite explained it
But I swear until this day
I remember Chinga Ringa
and the girl who talked this way.

She said her name was Blanca
I understood that to be White
She may have been some sunshine
but her heart was black as night.

She was charming
She was pretty
Plastic magic on her face
She tripped the light fantastic
Then she left without a trace.

Chinga Ringa, Chinga Ringa
I tried to look it up
There wasn’t a translation
Just a question in my mind
Still, the phrase still haunts my memory
and To me, it’s so sublime.

She said it when excited
She would just erupt
Chinga Ringa, Chinga Ringa
A phrase that I just loved
To this day, I have no idea,
surely, what she might have meant
doesn’t matter anyhow, as she came
as so she went.

The moral of this story
If you should so inquire
Take a little trip
if you should so inspire
down to Mexico
Ensenada, California
Listen for the sound of the one you so desire
singing Chinga Ringa, Chinga Ringa
A certain qualifier
to let you know
and let you play
with something called white fire.

-J

Categories
of Humor

“The Like”

“The Like”

A most important
good look
Sparkly and cheerful
The look of success
A test of enormity
My public persona
in all its conformity

Soul searching,
awareness,
true meaning,
eroding
An affliction
An addiction
A cancer exploding

Distraction
This faction of posting and tweeting
Compelled to check-in
A delightful reaction
On and on
Still, no satisfaction

‘Round and ‘round
with no end in sight
Over and over
A merry-go-round
Wonderful colors,
sounds, and “THE LIKE”

STOP!
Not so easy
for someone like me
Effortless engagement
or so it can seem
Spare time, yeah right
Even now, as I ponder
Even now, as I write
The need for a fix
is well within sight

No time to do
what has to be done
The excuses
The ruse
“Oh, I’m just having fun!”

I’ve seen it in others
I see it in me
The grand illusion
So important are we
The egos abound
Self-glorifying neglect
of one’s growth and real needs
Self-indulgent displays
of selfish good deeds

Guilty am I
Now time to be free
Freed of compulsion
so, to do what I please

To learn and to grow
into what could be me
I’ll never know that
until I am free

To sit by the pond
To sit and just read
a book with my dog
or even, just be

No thoughts
of what I might miss
or where they may be
or what they may think
of you or of me

The last of my poems
The last of my vids
The last of my pics
of fish and grandkids

To wish you well
Is not quite enough
so, until I relapse,
please remember my stuff.

-J