Blowing in the Wind

The wind blows the sand against the door
and I sweep it away.

The wind blows the sand against the door
and I sweep it away.

Sometimes I have to buy a new broom
which get more expensive and more poorly made
all the time.

I could make my own broom.
Some people around here do that
with some straw and a stick.

It doesn’t work that well
but you do what you can.

All the time
wind and sand against the door

and the sweeping away.

Dry Tamales

The tamales are dry on the counter.
I throw them to Chucho.
He looks at me sorrowfully but then gobbles them up.
I got my cigs and coffee,
writing notes to some future me.
The fire-tree is sprouting new leaves.
The mesquite seems stunted but we still have hope.
The greats are gone.
Dylan is doing television commercials.
I tried to watch TV last night,
counted 17 commercials in a row.
I ate a whole bowl of menudo before the program started.
I turn on some music this stillborn morning.
Who’s gonna fill their shoes? asks George Jones.
I don’t know George,
I just don’t know.
I hope the ground isn’t too cold in Woodlawn.
Say hi to Elvis for me
and tell Uncle Neto thanks for leaving Leticia all that debt.
The world is still a big piece of crap, George,
in case you were wonderin’.

Uncle Juan

Natalia’s uncle Juan was a marijuana smuggler.
When she was little her and her sisters would go over to his house
which always had a funny smell.
The girls liked Uncle Juan because he would buy all their candy
which they sold for school fundraisers.
He would buy every single piece with his drug money
and then give the candy back to the girls.
It wasn’t until years later she figured out the truth
about Uncle Juan
but it didn’t tarnish her love for him.
She can’t eat candy now on account of the sickness she has.
Uncle Juan got beat to death some years ago.
His sister, my mother-in-law, found his body
in his house on the floor by the bed.
She’d phoned a few times
and when he didn’t answer she went over.
She had to kick the door in.
His body was bloated from a week in the summer heat.
They say he had a stash of money buried in his back yard
but nobody ever found it.
The city burned him for free and put him in a little urn.
My mother-in-law buried the urn in her tiny yard.
She planted a palm tree over it
which turned brown
and fell down the following summer.


I’m as surly as an Ottoman sultan.
That’s what happens when you don’t get laid for a while.
I have a fear of life,
of getting trapped in a passive and mediocre existence.
Somebody dropped a machete
on our dirt road this morning.
I picked it up and now it’s mine.
It begs to be sharpened.
It’s rusty but still strong.
It’s got an orange handle.
I hold it and swing it.
It’s good to cut stuff
like a path through the jungle or the top off a beer.
It makes me feel alive
looking at it
and thinking about what it can do.

Arctic Dream

I was on a cargo ship
traveling across a frozen land.
The only passengers were me and the crew
and the Sex Pistols.
To pay for their room and board
the Sex Pistols did the cooking.
For such a large ship the kitchen was tiny.
Johnny Rotten had several saucepans bubbling.
I was starving and asked when dinner was served.
He told me to fuck off and called me an arsehole.
For some reason I was allowed in the captain’s area.
Probably because of my white privilege.
The ship was heading right towards a cliff.
I warned the captain.
He said, I got this, mate
and took a hard right.
The ship handled pretty good.
Soon we came to the end of the land where the sea began.
We can’t go any further, the captain said.
I hopped out the front window and down
onto a chunk of floating ice.
A brightly colored bird landed at my feet,
then took off again
and exploded overhead like a firecracker.
I floated on that chunk of ice for a long time.
Finally I came to an island with a small community.
Natalia was waiting for me.
She was dressed like an Eskimo and looked very cute.
We went into a bar to get warm.
We sat at a table waiting for the server.
At another table sat a fat woman
drinking a tallboy and smoking a Pall Mall.
She was talking to herself.
That woman is smoking indoors, I said to Natalia.
Natalia said,
It doesn’t matter, nothing matters.
I love you Natalia, I said, please don’t leave me.
She didn’t say anything.
She just looked out the window at two children
trying to kill each other in the snow.