Monthly Archives: September 2014

Grey Fantasy: I felt ill–at ease in a suit, really?



A woman poses in front of a mirror in Hugo Boss
wool-blended, sharply tailored with trousers (not pants)
A ten-year-old girl stands on the other side of the mirror
She prefers riding swings at Booth Park
and catching crayfish in Nu’uanu Stream
Afterwards she’s polka-dotted a Mercurochrome red
Her legs can’t scoop blue skies and pump them behind her
while wearing these pants (trousers)
And she’s really really sorry for all the crayfish she tried to keep alive
in the Folgers’ coffee can
Even when everyone said, They not going make it
They (grown ups) lost their reds when their backs became fuzzy
and brownish and then a somewhat white
Dabbing them with tonic only made the water red and angry
Maybe if she could go back to Nu’uanu Stream
incant and release all the crayfish’s tiny souls:
before leptospirosis washed away her dreams
of taking her children’s children there
before dog kennel washings
before invading black fish
before it became never again
All thoughts evaporated as the woman slipped her arm in a red Armani
virgin wool, notched collar, with (flap) pockets

Containers of Misfortune

We used to resemble people, until we decided we were safer inside, where the air was always 73 degrees, and we never worried about money, only space. Purchases appeared on our desks whenever we woke up. For a time, the most popular commodity was Stuffed Trees©. Every time the store sold a billion Stuffed Trees© that oldies song, “Sinca-sigh-yo” would shoot out of the screen–didn’t matter if you were shopping at that store, didn’t matter what hour schedule you were syncopated for. After a while, someone bypassed their system and installed a complaint counter at the store. People began complaining just to see the numbers catch up with the sales.

The song stopped, and the trees continued to arrive in tinted browns and concrete whites; some no bigger than my nose. They didn’t really say or do anything. I’m guessing that’s what trees were like. In a blink of two, for some, maybe three generations, we lost our legs, but we were still happy. I read that the modern containments came with InstaVoice©. Soon some of us lost our index fingers, too. Of course, our arms went shortly thereafter. But those trees–what a mechanical genius!

Winter Lashing with its Tail



Brown spotted hands cracked in spring-less winter
Bent over skinfolds, hairier hair parts ripen with frostbite
Hunching over steering wheels on black black roads
While public restrooms whisper, hiding in mirror-full corridors

He tables her leaning, her elbow brittle and leafless
Stretched blue hospital gowns flap open and fluorescent
Her screaming white fingers wait under a thin sheet of ice
An oxygen leash trails into her nose–a horse stands in snow

Writer Can’t Read Her Own Notes

“Nothing says xxxxxxx like a chocolate boob.”

Did I write celibate or celebrate?


Seance: I Like to Think of Him as an Egg in its Carton Running in Reverse Utilization

I couldn’t find a box my size
a smaller bigger box because it’s Sunday
and all the owners of boxes are at church
sitting in rows of boxes in a gigantic box
Some of them are really thinking of their boxes inside their homes
more boxes in boxes
Some are dreaming of wondrous things to put in their boxes
a toy truck wheel, a black pocket comb,
a foot of nylon rope
Some are fretting over boxes too full
with corners torn off like a sleeve or a kneecap
skinned of formation

I want to secretly climb in their home
and squat myself inside their box
I want to rub my body with a golden tube of VO5
and spit smoke of an expensive cigar on the walls of their box
When the box owners return home
they will climb inside to sniff at my messy beautiful walls
When people at church come looking for the absentee box owners
they will all climb into our box:
the store keeper, the pilots, everyone except the postman
We’ll pass the golden tube and oil ourselves
and spit smoke of expensive cigars on the walls
No one would ever want to leave our box


Assignment: More Advice for the Student Writers

In preparation for my third residency, we were assigned with a welcoming task/event/gesture for the incoming MFA-ers.

1. Quote of advice: “I enjoy posting feedback because that was important to me when I started–before I knew faces, and families, and quirky quirks. We cared. We heard you. We encouraged and laughed. After we met, we laughed deeper and true.”

2. A visual piece: my abstract of a journey and family/ familiarity/inclusion. Toes reveal a lot about a person–where they’ve been or where they’re going, personal priorities, definitely personality, and definitely a heightened perspective of one’s future writing goals. (I am the fourth generation to inherit a hooked left ring toe…is there a ring toe? You know, like if someone were to get it totally wrong and place an engagement ring on your toe, yeah, it’d be that one.) I think my point was toes:  journey, starts with the first step, individually not much, but together you could evoke a deep humpphh from Michael Ballent when you landed the perfect kickball in his stomach during the second grade.IMG_0512



Writing Assignment: Describe What Indian Summer Means to You

I don’t know what it is or
what do you do with it
Maybe your stomach pitches
like hearing the intro to Otomi-san song
When you say hot is it
like a melanin platter of Duk Lee’s look fun rolls

We eat yamaimo (shaved) over nato beans on hot nights

I cover my inhibitions with nasal gurgling
and a plunking shaminsen
I dance
It’s winter and 85 degrees
It’s summer and 85
My mother re-plays Lionel Richie’s CD
one of her better days this week
I cry
Obon kimonos sway and pitch
sherbet foam skimmed from a punchbowl
It never quenches
the green flash at 6:35 PM tonight

What the hell is Indian Summer?