Michael

Shortly after Christmas, a young man in our local community took his life. Although I did not have the fortune of knowing him personally, the memorial service given by his family revealed just how much was lost with his passing. This illustration and haiku have emerged from my feeble attempts to make sense of the loss.

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His feet leave the ledge
and the boy begins to see
how close the sky was.

When in Madrid (revisited)*

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Here
I can swear on
my life with a word
as juicy as ¬°gillipollas!
Like its edible kin,
la chirimoya, it bears the
distinguishing marks of
Madrid: the austere
anarchist.

Today she spits at me, aghast that
one would foil her efforts at picking a pocket.
Tomorrow she serenades me with all the precious
truths at the bottom of her cavernous chest.
I suddenly find my face wet with emotion,
finally at peace with my grotesquely
comic Goya self.

So I decide
to let it all go. I eat standing up,
sleep in the middle of the day on a
full stomach, stay out all night dancing,
and ride the very last metro back
at 6 am to sip coffee in a bar
that somehow feels just
like home.

 

*New accompanying artwork and revised version of an older poem.

The Trip (revisited)

On a long road trip a couple of years ago, I wrote a poem and made a rough sketch to accompany it. I had always wanted to paint something more substantial to take that drawing’s place. Now that I am preparing for a local exhibition in January, I have been inspired to do just that. Here is the result -a vertically-oriented diptych- plus the poem that started it all. Thanks for taking a moment to look and read.

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We have cut her open, forging
long and winding wounds of asphalt.

We deem ourselves warriors, devouring
her prize innards, ravaging her verdant
lungs, sucking from her aqueous veins,
taking in her life force as our own.

Mile after mile we gorge on her
sprawling vigor, until grains of sand
begin to crunch between our teeth.

Because she, too, is mortal.

A desert lies low in her womb.
The faces of her progeny are dreamed
in rock and hover in clouds of dust.

Yet the warmth of her gaze persists.
A humble glow stains our cheeks.