Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Poem: "She Showed You"

What more do you want from her? 
She showed you with her hips 
She showed you how she dipped 
She showed you with her lips.
What more do you want from her?
She showed you with her smile 
It wasn't any smile 
She showed you with her gifts. 
What more do you want? 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Poem: "So Thank You"

You say you don't know how to describe it. 
You say there's something between 
Heaven and earth that moves our spirit
Like the wind it moves unseen. 

 I agree with you, what you suggest 
 A world of mystic things 
 I feel it as I feel the air 
 Displaced by butterfly wings. 

 So thank you, thank you, thank you 
 Take this thank you, don't look back. 
 Here's to all our inside glances and 
 All the breakout laughs.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Poem: "I Guess That's Something for Her Vault"

I guess that’s something for her vault
Locked away and deep
Deeper than the cellar goes
And where the dead sleep. 

It will not get the shredder
It will not get the hearth
I guess that’s something for the vault
The chambers of her heart.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Poem: "Fire with Fire"

You have to fight fire with fire.
It's sad but true.
Fighting fire with fire
No choice but to. 

When sentiments are raw
And Jaws is swimming 'round
You gotta stamp your feet
And hold your ground.

You gotta look the beast
Deep right in the eyes
Whack it on its nose
The advantage of surprise. 

Do this and I tell you 
The fiend will come to you
And say it was its fault
And want to start anew. 

But you gotta look the beast
Deep right in the eyes
And fight it with an element 
Its known all its life. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Poem: "Another Day"

Another day
Another dollar
Another tie
Another collar
Another hope
Another dream
Sight unseen 
Aching feet
And aching back
Another tic
Another tac
Another chance
To say I care
And at a pretty girl
To stare
Another round 
Another go
Another reason 
To say no
Another day 
Another hope
Another love
Another joke. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Winning Shot

This shot by Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers to close out the playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder is truly the stuff that dreams are made of. Even if you don't like basketball, you'll like this video.

Poem: "Open Heart Surgery"

Open heart surgery 
She just had. 
Open heart surgery 
It's that bad. 
Open heart surgery
Open up the heart 
Put it on the table 
Hit restart. 
Clear the tubes of food and
Clutter, plaque and grime. 
Open heart surgery
Be mine.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poem: "No Day Shall Erase You From the History of Time"

"No day shall erase you from the history of time" 
These are words I really like
Powerful, concise 
Powerful and right.
In vain sometimes our lives do feel 
It's hard to know what's right and real 
At times like these I like to say 
Words of wisdom, words of praise
Words of solace, words of rage:
No day can take you back for good 
You are, you went, you will, you stood.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Essay of Mine on French Food

Below is a pretty cool essay I wrote in 2015 and tried to get published on a website called "France Revisited." The editor there said the piece wasn't for him. His loss. Enjoy. 

I’m a picky eater. Always have been. As a child, I took the cheese off my pizza and mostly ate olives during Thanksgiving dinner. But on a trip to France this summer, I was forced to overcome my pickiness and I’m glad I did.

Not only did I wind up enjoying much of the French food I ate, I learned how rewarding trying new foods can be and how much food can enhance the enjoyment of a trip.

My path to food enlightenment really began in Nancy, at the parents’ house of my girlfriend’s friend. My girlfriend and I were traveling from Hamburg, Germany, to Annecy, where we were going to go camping, and the parents of my girlfriend’s friend had invited us to stay with them for a night to break up the long drive.

Because I had only briefly met my girlfriend’s friend’s parents once before, I wanted to make a good impression on them, which meant that during this stay at their house, I would have to eat all the food they served me, even if I didn’t want to.

And so, that was exactly what I did. When dinnertime came and I was served a piece of Quiche Lorraine, a local specialty with onions, cheese and spicy bits of ham, I ate it, even though I didn’t like any of the ingredients.

When the Pâté Lorraine came out -- a flaky pastry stuffed with cold ground pork and veal -- I gobbled it up as well, even though I definitely prefer pizza to pâté.

And I did the same with the éclairs and the Religieuses, even though custard had always turned me off.

Though by no means was I a fan of French cuisine after our departure, I did notice something. I was less reluctant to try the French foods my girlfriend bought at several supermarkets we stopped at as we drove down to Annecy.

I had a bite of the readymade crème-brûlée my girlfriend offered to me. I didn’t refuse a few forkfuls of the shredded carrots in lemon Dijon vinaigrette.

I had become a little less picky, it seemed.

But the magic really happened when we arrived in Annecy, because that’s where I actually began to crave and savor French food.

Now, Annecy is a charming town in the French Alps. It has a fantastic turquoise lake that’s surrounded by mountains; it has walking trails, a delightful old city, even a castle. But, really, there’s not all that much to do in Annecy, especially if you’re camping, so most of our days revolved around our meals.

And, considering my new appreciation for French food, I’m glad they did.

Sitting on a bench in front of an old stone church with towering craggy mountains behind it seemed like such a more delightful experience while eating a flaky quiche stuffed with fresh salmon. Looking up at the hang gliders in the sky seemed so much more interesting while savoring the creamy, brain-tingling-good custard filling of patisserie-made Religieuses. Taking a break from swimming in the lake seemed like such a more luxurious experience while drinking champagne from Champagne.

Though I was clearly making strides in getting over my pickiness, I hadn’t realized just how much progress I had actually made until two separate occasions near the end of the trip.

One was when my girlfriend and I sat down to have a tiny picnic with the food that we had bought at an open-air market in Annecy’s old city. Instead of rejecting my girlfriend’s suggestion that I try a piece of the sausage she had bought, which looked very fatty and thus unappealing, I had a bite. And I’m glad I did. The sausage was like a flavor bomb of herbs and spices. It was so good that I kept on eating it even after I saw it contained many white chunks of pure fat.

And the other moment was when I was at a restaurant in downtown Annecy and was eating a salad. The salad was pretty basic -- with mixed greens, veggies and a light cream sauce -- but it had slices of hardboiled egg in it. Hardboiled egg was a mountain I had never climbed. But I tried it. And I actually liked it.

And so it went for the remainder of the trip. I kept on eating different foods and gaining more and more confidence. I was so proud of my new eating habits that at one point I told a French man at my campground about my pickiness and how excited I was that I now liked French cuisine. He said he was happy for me but quickly asked me if I knew that French cuisine varied greatly depending on the region of France one was in. “No, I actually  didn't know that,” I said. He smiled and went on: “These quiches here in eastern France are good, but I’m from Bordeaux, and in Bordeaux, we don’t eat that much quiche. We like duck. We love our foie gras.”

Admittedly, my first reaction was,  "Duck? No thanks. " But if I’m ever in Bordeaux, I’ll order it, or at least try a piece. My days of removing the cheese from pizza, I can now safely say, are well behind me.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Poem: "Do You Remember?"

Do you remember "two stars on the breast"? 
Do you remember "two kisses on the eyes"? 
Do you remember laughing long in bed? 
Before we shut the light? 
Do you remember that one phrase? 
“Under the indifferent sky”? 
Two kisses on the breast
Two stars on the eyes. 

Poem: "I Don't Know What You Think About"

I don’t know what you think about
I don’t know what you dream
I don’t know what you ponder
I don’t know what you think. 

You must have some thoughts
About the ordeal
I know you think
I know you feel. 

I know your mind 
Is fertile ground
I knew you then
A bit less now.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Poem: "The Sunlight is a Spiritual Bath"

The sunlight is a spiritual bath 
And I squint my eyes 
I tilt my head, the birds up high 
Dive and glide and sing their song
Sing their song like nothing's wrong 
I feel the sunlight on my face 
Its grace, its warmth, its love and strength
I feel my body come alive 
And forward look 
And squint my eyes.

Poem: "Think About Change"

Think about change in the frame of when you die.
Will you take change with you 
To the sky? 
Nickels, quarters, pennies, dimes,
The silver dollars on your eyes.
Can stuff you have in pockets deep 
Help you buy a better sleep? 
Or is change in the afterlife 
Like how a puddle dries? 
From water first to vapor then 
To clouds up in the sky.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Poem: "Half Dead People"

Half dead people hang about the train station
Looking for salvation.
It doesn't matter who they were
In another life 
They might have thrived
Now they just want to survive.
Bleeding hands and cracked up skin
Stinking body, scraped up chin
Coats with holes and coats with dirt
A veritable world of hurt.
The half dead people hang around
Run aground and running out
Of time, their bodies breaking down,
Cigarette butts on the ground.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Poem: "She Called Me Beauty"

She called me Beauty
Until she didn't. 
Good riddance.
She called me Beauty 
Until no more.
The door. 
She called me Beauty, she called me friend 
And in the end she stopped 
Like a swimmer halfway home 
Or the hands of a clock.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Poem: "The Swans Are at the Debutante Ball"

The swans are at the debutante ball
Answering nature's call
Floating in packs
Shy to dance
Then pairing off slow
Call it romance.
Watch as they go
Twinning their moves
Watch the rotation
Under and over, under and through
They need no instruction
They know what to do
Finding a mate
At the debutante ball
Pairing off slow
They answer the call.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Picture, Poem

Today when I was walking my dog by the Alster, I saw this here:

Which reminded me of the following poem. Enjoy. 

The Wild Swans at Coole 

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

Friday, April 12, 2019

Poem: "Do You Remember That Time You Told Me?"

Do you remember that time you told me? 
You said you’d never shared
What you were about to tell me 
And then said listen here.

You said you'd woke up in the dark
And it was middle-night,
Then swore me up and down, you did,
That she was by your side. 

You told me not to laugh at you,
You knew not what it meant.
But there she was, like she had been, 
By your side again. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Poem: "Is There a Coda to the Story?"

Is there a coda to the story? 
What’s the story, morning glory? 
There were chapters sure left out,
Redacted passages left out,
Dialogues that came to nought,
And asterisks about.

Did you choose to tell me, then, 
When all was said and done? 
The text was checked and sent to press,
The battle lost and won? 

Presented as a choice but I 
Couldn’t change a word;
The text was checked and sent to press, 

And that was all she wrote.

Poem: "When I Hear That Voice"

When I hear that voice
My viscera falls 
And my heart does somersaults.
It's the voice of a poet 
And an angel the same 
It tickles my ears 
And calls my name. 
How can a voice
Express so much pain? 
How does this voice know my name? 
A harp or a bass drum
This voice has such range
It tickles my ears
And calls my name.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Poem: "The Glow"

When the sarcasm levels were low
And we both felt the glow
Of the sun warm on our face 
And we had the space 
To breathe and see 
To breathe, learn and see
To be, 
We had what people yearn for
And search for high and low
To breathe, to learn, to see and be
And simply feel the glow. 

It Might Sound Crazy

It might sound crazy, but this is how I feel some days, split screen and all. Lol.

Poem: "By the Berlin Tiergarten"

Do you remember being by the Berlin Tiergarten
And that heavy feeling we had had
Because we were both a bit sad?

And then you asked me how I was
And I said sad was how I felt
Because the last time in Berlin 
I was with someone else.

And then you said you understood,
That in Berlin you sometimes too 
Had the ghost of melancholia come over you.

Yet our hearts were meshed
And the sky was blue
And our hands were laced 
And our love was new.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Poem: "Postcards"

Postcards have no return address
Think about that now. 
Postcards have no return address
I don't know how
To reach you where you are
To reach you where you stand
With dreams across your eyes
And a pen in hand. 
Which desert sands you stand in 
I do not have a clue.
There's no address, remember? 
I can't reach you. 

Another Poem from Razia

Sunday was a beautiful day in Hamburg, ideal weather. Around 7 p.m., I got a text from my student Razia. She told me as the sun was setting, she had written a poem and wanted to show me. I thought the piece was really good and asked her if I could post it. She said yes, so here it is. Enjoy. 

P.S. The English translation is at the bottom. 


Man sagt, es muss entweder weisser oder schwarzer Stifft geben!

Man denkt, mit einem grauen könne man keine Geschichten komponieren.

Es stimmt!
Denn so wäre sie für den Leser kaum lesbar.

Schreib nur einmal mit grau.
Lass es für alle andern trüb werken.
Sie müssen die nicht lesen können,
Denn du selbst kennst die Geschichte.


They say the pen must be either black or white!
They say that with a gray pen, stories can't be written.

That's true!
Because then the writing would be hardly visible to the reader. 

Write for once with gray.
Let it be not clear to the world.
They don't have to read it. 
Because you yourself know the story. 

Monday, April 08, 2019

Poem: "You Cried Four Tears"

You cried four tears
I counted them
For what I wasn't sure
I really was astounded when 
The tears began to roll. 

No gathering breaths or hiccups 
No stuttering,  muttering, slop
You cried four tears
I counted them
And wished you wouldn't stop.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Poem: "I Didn't Kowtow"

I didn’t kowtow,
I didn’t appease. 
Though I was on a trapeze
And tried to please,
I didn’t kowtow, 
I didn’t appease.

Journal Entry

This morning I was going through some of my old journals and found the following entry. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I'm going to share it here. Enjoy.

August 8, 2016
Kris Novaselic, the drummer for Nirvana, once said that after Kurt Cobain died, he would always be reminded of him when he would see a guitar hanging in the window of a secondhand store or pawn shop. 
Cobain often bought his guitars secondhand and what Novaselic loved was how stoked Kurt would get when he would start playing the newly found guitar. It was almost as if sometimes the guitar itself was the source of Kurt's inspiration.
I have to say that I understand what Cobain felt.
Usually, notepads are something that I just write on. But sometimes, the pad itself is actually the source of inspiration.
Such was the case with this pad [the one I was writing in]. Clairefontaine is the name of a stationery maker that I got acquainted with a couple years back.
I like the pads because they are sturdy -- and the paper is always very good and takes the ink very nicely.
Anyway, I hope this pad serves me well, just like those guitars certainly served Cobain well.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Poem: "So You Want to Read this Screed?"

So you want to read this screed? 
This paen and this dirge? 
You have the will and 
Have the urge?
You’ve set the world on fire or
You haven’t and you blanch
At the word “romance”?

Are you sure you want this now? 
All it is I’ve got? 
And all I’ve not? 
You want to walk through fields with me
And leave the world you know? 
And plant a seed somewhere and let
A garden grow? 

Pick your fights, they say, it’s wise
So think before you now
Bend and pick a daffodil
And blow its petals out.

Think of those before you and
What they did just when
The drug of love wore off and then
The pain of life set in. 

Friday, April 05, 2019

Poem: "You Think That You're the First One?"

You think that you’re the first one?
I can tell you that you’re not.
It may feel like you’re the first one
Because that’s all you’ve got. 

Think of her that night when she
Told you she got three.
Think of her there on the phone
Left broken and alone

When she told you hers was good
What thoughts went through your head?
That this girl had lost her mind and might
Be better off dead. 

But still it worked real well, it did
So you’re not the only one
Though you think you might be special
Though you think you’re number one

Though you think your thoughts and feelings
Are on the mountaintop
It’s just a game that people play 
And will never stop.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Poem: "She's Making a Nest"

I wrote this message to a friend after I had sent her the poem below: "An 'ode' to the power of women and females in nature."

She's making a nest
And saying fuck you. 
On those twigs
She's gonna roost. 
Men outmatch women
They sometimes say 
But come near that nest
And you'll fucking pay. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Poem: "Only Child"

That sweet sound is made with harmonics
And the guitar is tuned to "open D"
I'll tell you how I know such things
I had much time to me
Up there in my room alone 
Dad not calling on the phone 
Mom not home
No brothers or sisters in my ear
Just me and a CD player
And a CD from the era 
And a guitar too 
But I guess that you knew. 

Poem: "The Secret"

I'm in charge of a secret 
That nobody knows. 
It's like a light inside me
That warmly glows. 

It's mine for me to keep and see
And laugh at all the same;
I play it back, like on rewind
Whenever I feel pain.

So take my laugh, take my love, 
Take my patience, luck and time. 
But this secret like a light inside 
Is mine.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Poem: "Let Me Be Your Google Bar"

This poem went completely off the rails. But I sort of like it. Enjoy.

Let me be your Google bar
Let me help you search 
For what you want from life 
Let me help you find. 

Let me be your Google bar 
Let me help you learn 
About the life of ancient stars 
And wonders here on earth. 

Let me be your Google bar 
And share your secrets many 
A mirror for your fears, I'll be 
Your indiscretions plenty. 

Oh Google bar, sweet Google bar 
Magic 8-ball on the wall 
A teleprompter for our thoughts 
And daydreams come to nought. 

I'd love to see your Google bar 
And check your history 
And go swimming in a pool that's filled
With pages of your diary.