Tuesday, June 30, 2015

how I breathe

I will insist on writing even though very few are reading. Writing is how I breathe. An artist simply creates. Good or bad, he creates. Writing is not my trade, not yet. However, I will forever insist on writing anyway. “Real” life can be as real as it can get and art may never have a part to play in this “realness”, but it is a part of me. I will continue to create because I am not yet finished. Because I have a dream. I will continue to work for it, and work hard, which means I will not wait for inspiration. I will work! With schedules. With patience to endure every daunting task that needs to be undertaken. I will hustle through the gruntwork and the research and the continuous learning and the endless honing. I will not forget to create. Indeed, I will continue to send my writing out, in what sometimes feels like a void, for a possibility of an audience, no matter how flimsy that possibility may be. That is why I am here. I have a process and this is a part of it. I have an identity as an artist, and this is a part of how I am: stubborn, imperfect, driven. I’m also here because I have to be read. Because you may not have anything different to write about, but it is something, and the way you write it is different from how I would. I may love or hate it, but I will learn either way. Because I am a part of this tribe and acknowledging it is important to my growth.
I may be a voice which is largely unheard, nevertheless I am a voice and will remain here because I can be louder. Hiding my writing is not part of how I am. There are people who read me, and that is enough. I will continue because there is a chance for the number to build. And yes, I believe it will.
An artist creates art to share it. And these are the things I have decided to share. Each piece is something I am ready to let go of, so I can create more. And believe me, I have more. I am a feast, and when you realize this, you will wolf me down. 

Monday, June 29, 2015


I stood in the door to the manager of the mission’s office. We chatted casually about the upcoming Star Wars film. The pro’s and con’s, our opinions shooting back and forth like seasoned internet nerds. My attention was caught from a shadow blocking the main entrance. He was in his early twenties, athletically built in black t-shirt and shorts. He wore a black baseball cap which covered equally black and closely cropped hair. His dark, Mexican features where boyish in a machismo kind of way. He attained that look that so many desperate old fags from the States fight and quarrel over down south of the border.
He smiled at me and said Hola. He thought I ran the joint, but in Spanish I directed him toward the manager. I gave his appealing torso a once over and returned to the dim coolness of my bunk.
I must had dozed off for a bit from the heat of the day, because when I awoke, the guy was lying across from me smiling. He inquired in Spanish if I worked for the mission in which I stated I did not. He introduced himself as Ramone and he came over from Mexicali to gain employment harvesting the local fields for melons as did the other residents of the mission, sans Your Author. We chatted casually of things: my travels, writing, his wife and child and how to attain better employment within the States. He had a positive attitude and it did lift the bought of depression I was currently fighting.
Thirty minutes before dinner, I decided to take a shower and wash off the day’s sweat and grime from the humid climate of Calexico. In the shower, as I was lathering up, I noticed through the slight break in the dingy shower curtain Ramone standing there watching me. I peeked through the curtain, smiling, to ask what he was doing, yet he quickly and wordlessly returned to the dorm.
After my shower, I went to my bunk and Ramone began a stilted conversation concerning his wife and how he missed her. Okay. Ignore what just happened then. Play it cool.
Ramone and I ate dinner sitting across from each other, silently watching the boxing match on the cafeterias television screen amid the slurps and chatter of the other dozen or so clients. Intermittently, we would comment on the match, although other than that, he said nothing.
Later, Ramone lay in his bunk, listening to ranchero music through his headphones as I scribbled notes for my novel in progress. Promptly at 9pm, the lights were shut off. The standard orchestra of snoring and farting escalated as the clients fell asleep. In lieu of the heat, Ramone stood and disrobed down to his boxers and lay above his blanket. In the dim, green glow of the exit sign attatched to the opposite wall, I noticed his hand was down his shorts and rhythmically moving. I stood up and hissed, “Ven.” And nodded towards the bathroom.
Quickly, we found ourselves facing each other in a mildew splattered shower stall with curtain closed.
“Why were you jacking off?” I whispered.
He smiled, “I was thinking of my wife. We had such good sex the day I left. I miss her.”
I looked down and his shorts were poking out. He noticed my lurid gaze and I was surprised when he didn’t flinch as my hand languidly brushed across it. The stiff organ throbbed in waiting anticipation.
“You like?” He asked in Spanish.
I sighed yeah or some mundane remark as I yanked his shorts down to his bare ankles. His penis was short, thick, and un-circumcised. A pearl of pre-cum formed at the tip. From my view, I glanced up and noticed that look of acceptance in his eyes. I devoured his erection, swirling my tongue along the shaft as I slid my lips up and down along the shaft. I massaged his sagging testicles with my hand as my other hand grasped his flexing buttocks. He must had been pent up, because after only a few quick minutes, his penis sprung up in my mouth and ejaculated his semen. I swallowed. No need to leave evidence.
Quietly, he pulled his shorts back up and returned to the dorm. Not before a whispered gracias from him and a casual hand through his hair de nada from me.
The following morning, when the lights snapped on at six, Ramone's bed was empty and his bag gone. I felt somewhat saddened. I rose, washed my face, brushed my teeth, dressed, and got ready for another day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

walk to ceres

The American Astronaut (2001) or, How to Make a Film for About Twenty Bucks. Through sheer force of creativity, apparently. One of the joys of the film is watching this guy overcome his money obstacles, one by one, with a simple elegance that approaches art. If you're thinking of seeing it, watch this first. If the style here escapes you, you haven't a chance deeper in.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015


To me you are really beautiful.
His words drew me in, like a slurping – soul gone, my bones with it. Yet as soon as I heard you speak those words, I knew I wouldn’t believe them. For a second there, you seemed like a blind fanatic, heaping praise at the wrong pedestal.
When has someone ever said those words and meant them to me? A person who looks at the mirror and sees only disarray. See, there’s a movie which can explain this. Filmed in the scale of 33 years and archived in my brain. Watching it is akin to seeing a god wield an axe to sunder the Tigris.
Flashback to childhood: a beautiful boy. Wide-eyed, hungry for the world, a fearsome inquisitiveness scorching behind the face, an old soul interred underneath chubby cheeks, always sticking his nose in magazines, drinking up the colors of their silken doors that opened to sleek universes. Plump-faced, huge steel-blue eyes, lashes like taffeta, a little nose, and lips to rival the angels’ in Boticelli’s paintings. And would you believe, skin that was flesh-colored fair?
What happened to that boy?
He discovered the beauty of men’s bodies. The hardened jaws of older males, their masculine mouths, their unapologetic brashness, the curves of their labor-muscled arms, the fullness of the serpents concealed between their legs.
And how these men hated him. The boy, now a young man, becomes a fragile vat of absent self-esteem, open for the Harpies to descend on and befoul whatever goodness existed in him. A cowering nerd, victim to unsolicited appraisal, repeatedly under-assessed, maligned, and verbally abused: Deviant. Possessed. Maricon. Pervert. Faggot. Cocksucker. Catamite.
And the once pseudo-fair complexion turned burnished, crimson. The little nose turned stout, the lips fleshy, the eyes weary and darkled deep.
The words were attacking physical attributes now. Words became harsh, with the malice in their resonance, and they stuck like gospel: Negrito. Charcoal. Midnight. Black Hole. Abyss. Bushman. Mixed with the subtext of faggotry, the words took more creative forms. Above this, one word stuck, a single word to surpass and encompass them all: Ugly.
To me you are really beautiful.
To hear these words from someone as beautiful as you - as nonpareil, as cultured, as timeless - is like listening to a siren’s deadly song. Terrifying yet addictive. A gorgeous destruction.
I want to believe you. I really do. That love can look beyond what the eyes perceive, or that I actually possess the beauty that you see. I look in your eyes and I am enthralled, spellbound by my reflection there, mesmerized by an image that sadly I can only accept as fantasy.
To me you are really beautiful.
How? How can I compare to the gods and goddesses that surround you? What is it that your eyes absorb when they fall upon my face, my insecurities, my painful past? What curse has been cast to erase my hideousness from your sight?
I want to be trapped in your fascination. But when you’re gone the mirror returns the same unsightliness. How can you love someone who cannot reconcile a love for himself? How can you see beauty in someone whose belief in his repulsiveness has been so deviously ingrained?
I weep. I don’t see anything in that mirror. The glass only echoes me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

spokey dokey

I am the third drag of a cigarette midnight observing the moon traverse navy sky blinking stars like rain on a windshield fading in and out in and out in and outside there is no one else for miles the world stopped to watch the smoke curl like clouds around my trembling fingers and I don’t know when I’ll shower wash the disease from my skin but I smell like the wafting cow dung of Calexico hot damn I’m craving explanations giving not receiving let me write all the reasons I deserve love I can justify my entire existence if given the chance just oh god hold me for a second I’m sorry I haven’t slept in a while perhaps years I can’t remember however I can almost feel a voice deep and kind like a blanket covering my shoulders while I lie there body shaking leaving messages in Morse code and hoping someone can tell me why I don’t just open my mouth to call back I wonder how long it will take to find my center how can I make peace with this sickness this sorrow I mean how much mourning can a man take come on it gets better it has to get better right?

Friday, June 12, 2015

past-midnight insomnia

As authors, as poets, we are often criticized for saying ‘I’ too much. For starting and ending every sentence with 'I.’ However, I’m not writing about Elizabeth from Oregon or Dan from Kentucky or Ernest from Barcelona. Don’t you get it? I’m writing about my bones, and my blood, and my heart. Because this is all I know.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


When it comes to writing, I don’t believe in bad guys or good guys. A story is all about perspective. From one side, a guy wanting power is viewed as a villain and must be stopped. In my eyes, all I see is a person stricken of control as a child and is making up for it in adulthood. It’s a tragedy. It’s sad because this said character had no experience of control or leadership and so they feel they have to prove to others that they are strong and will do anything to reach their goal. I believe that there are no bad guys or good guys but instead, people driven by different reasons and beliefs to do what they feel is right and anyone who disagrees with that are the enemy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

the merry go round broke down

Trying my hand at flash fiction for an online writer's 'zine.

Octavio was a writer of class conscious poetry. Born of an illegal immigrant father and a mother who he’d hardly known, he crossed the border into the States and toiled the heated, dry fields of southern California harvesting broccoli and writing in sloppy long-hand on anything he could find. So far today he’d written sixteen sonnets, a play, and about a thousand haikus – mostly concerning a meat pie named Sebastian. Fred and Alice – owners of a vast empire of locally sold produce located near El Centro - worried Octavio would never pay his rent, they opted for the only thing which made sense and tossed him into a nearby lake while he was asleep.
Over dinner the following evening, Alice found a note slipped inside her trout. “I poisoned this fish…with feelings.” Fred chuckled and thought it was somewhat amusing, but he still felt it was a good idea to eat vegetarian for the time being.

Monday, June 08, 2015

down in mexicali...again

I decided to take a Sunday excursion into Mexicali. Firstly, I simply wished to check it out and secondly to finally dig up a bowl of menudo and a pack of Luckies. Once in downtown Calexico, I sat momentarily to smoke, when a ragged hobo approached me and offered to buy a cigarette. With an extended hand, shiny over the dirt, he presented thirty something cents in nickels and pennies. Momentarily I glanced down and noticed he wasn’t wearing any shoes – blackened toes poked from ragged, sooty socks. I inquired were his shoes were and he simply shrugged, smiled, and stated they were stolen. I handed him a smoke free of charge and invited him to sit and chat.
At that moment, a shiny, black Lexus pulled up and some old codger obviously richer than fuck poked his head out the window and snarled, “Hey, buddy, I’ll give ya a dollar for a cigarette.”
I agreed and after the rich old fuck took off, I handed the dollar to the hobo and mumbled something to the extent on going to the 99cents store and at least picking up a pair of flip-flops.
As it were, I said goodbye to the kind gent and made my way toward the international border. I always liked the Mexicali crossing, a winding tunnel of decaying concrete running under the main street lined with farmacias and dusty curio shops. Once immerging onto the other side, I hit full turistas mode and shuffled around el centro snapping pictures. Mexicali seemed a vast expanse of crumbling, graffitied structures infested with a million chop suey joints.
Meandering over smashed sidewalks, I continued through the humid heat keeping one eye out for any sign of the elusive menudo. I do not know if it was either Sunday or too early or both, but many of the shops still had their steel shutters down. I did find some whores working the morning shift as I quickly bopped by, they languidly hissed psst-psst! grudgingly realizing I had no time for their shit.
I darted through the glass fronts of the Hotel del Norte and sat in the cooled air sipping hot coffee and attempted to down the biggest goddamn bowl of menudo I had ever been served in these long years. I ate it all, though. Trust me, you would’ve too. It was that good.
Afterwards, I purchased said Luckies from a corner Oxxo and relaxed in the shade of a nearby park, sitting and admiring the legion of weary campecinos lounging in the grass. Their faces, though ruggedly attractive, were sad and forlorn as they patiently anticipated to cross that great fence which separated the haves from the have-nots.
Becoming bored of this tripe and somewhat over heated mostly on account of the sun, I made my way back stateside – I even purchased a local newspaper in a half-assed attempt to perhaps rent an apartment. Fate, that old bitch, deemed it no as the classifieds only displayed one single add for rent.
As I was crossing, the custom agent – a rather handsome Asian with a shaved head, asked me the usual questions followed by: “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a writer.”
“What do you write?”
Apathetic shrug. “Stuff.”
“What do you mean stuff?”
“I write about my travels…the people I meet…”
“Are you one of those beat writers? Like Hunter Thompson or…uh…what’s his name? Kerouac?”
At that moment I realized I was conversing with not simply your average border patrol pit-bull, but actually someone who held a glimmer of intelligence. The skies opened and followed by a chorus, we were bathed in golden beams of light.
“Are you published?”
“Yes. Seven books…so far…”
He retrieves a pen and pocket notebook, scribbling, “I’ll take down your name and look you up. I like reading that stuff.” He smirks.
I left the border inspection station with a slightly higher regard for the human race. I am oft quoted as saying that there are still good people in this world, they are far and few between, but they’re there.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

the way it began

The sunshine was golden and honey colored as ever when it seeped into your bedroom window, peeking out between the clouds, endeavoring to caress the world again as it did the previous morning, like it did every morning since the beginning of time. However this morning, the clouds eventually told it to be quiet. A performance was about to take place, and the sky required all the attention it could get.
Unfortunately, you were still asleep and only awoke to shifting next to you in bed. He was getting up and stretching his arms, covering you in his size. You blinked at him, vision not 100% clear yet as you rubbed your eyes in the shade of his arms and torso.
“I’ll wait for you.” He smirked while he dressed and began downstairs.
You got up too, lured to the kitchen by his warmth, sitting abnormally as you ate. When you finished, you two simply sat and looked out the window, entwined under the roof as rain began its abrading symphony.
It was a slow rain, one which filled the sky with great grey beasts grazing the air above your heads. Eating only to eat, the sloppy pieces of cloud which descended from their mouths turned into tiny raindrops as they fell, hitting your roof and the ground, filling the air with a conforting hiss.
All you could hear was his breathing, the rain falling, and the radio. It buzzed about traffic with the same volume of the rumbling of thunder outside. You sigh. Look into your cup of coffee, the cream slowly turning, the wisp of cigarette smoke trailing up toward the decaying ceiling and you wish you were anywhere but there with him.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

across the mojave wasteland

Positive change in your life should scare you a little and excite you a lot. With that being said, I find myself flat on my ass in Calexico. Again. I boarded the Greyhound in Yuma and dashed the short hour trip across the vast Mojave wasteland toward that small metropolis across from Mexicali. My plan, such as it is, was to reside at the Guadalupe Mission for a month and conserve money in lieu of next months pay until my eventual destination into Tijuana. I could had continued to TJ, except I found I held insufficient funds to make the settlement in relative comfort. An extra thousand dollars would come in handy.
When I entered the small community, I hastened through the heated, crowded streets of overhanging arches and shuffling commuters and weary shoppers toward the mission. Yet, I was overcome in cautious paranoia and rented a room in a hotel which lay on the way. (I recalled the last two dives in both Yuma and Santa Fe there was a several day wait to receive a bunk) However, that was a waste of forty dollars, because the manager remembered me and since we acquired such a good repoire on my last stay, I was offered a bunk without incident.
So…one month here and I will continue on to Tijuana. Maybe. However, during my time, I plan to knock out a rough draft on that Burroughs book. I guess I have a title, now. Faded Photographs. I like it and will run with it.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

sprinkled with lucky stardust

For an entire month I waited in the heat and dry climate at the Crossroads Mission in dead-end town of Yuma mired in continuation of my search. Search. Search for what? A home? A stable life? I should rephrase that and state existence. The small sunburnt burg offered nothing. Through caseworkers and do-gooders. I was offered a tiny apartment in the historic pile of brick called the San Carlos. A 30’s deco joint remodeled into an apartment complex catering to deranged derelicts, cockroaches and onslaught of bedbugs. No. I cannot, will not, go out like that. I know myself, I need some type of diversion – diversions of an explicit nature and this town offered nothing. Everyone was un-attractive and flabbily out of shape. Sweat stained and covered in a fine layer of dust. With the exception of a lucky few.
Anyway, I sat in the shimmering heat of 105 degrees and in lieu of four weeks I thought and plotted all the while passive/aggressivly associating with the burnt biscuits and occasional handsome Lost Angel (wings pruned long ago) who in despairing patience waited for something…anything. Marvin, the lanky Latino of classic Aztec features who would rather sleep in his oil-burning jalopy than lay on a thin mat in the warm nights surrounded by a hundred farting hobos. He would sit long hours in the mildew encased shower room and drone on about his mythical Thai girlfriends. Ernesto, the stout and ruggedly attractive field worker who wholesaled his cock for bus fair to the oil fields of North Dakota. We occasionally jacked off one another under the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge spurting our frustrations into the foul smelling murk of the Colorado. Nick, the mad filmmaker who lived in a surreal dream of the faded Silver Screen obsessed with phantasmic Hollywood nostalgia. Old Gary, the sad sack who constantly hacked up putrid gobs of reminisce concerning past World Wars and passionate hatred for all things American. Most of the others shuffled in a daze about the grimy, foul smelling halls waiting for their probation to end so they could go home or expire all together.
I did chance meet an old black character named Art. Long and lanky with yellowed teeth and scraggly goatee. Soft spoken and of high intellect. Fellow traveler. Been all over the world and then some solely off his meager pension and as I sat wide eyed enchanted with his stories of faraway lands, I arrived to the conclusion: I will spend a year in Tijuana saving what I can as I pen that Burroughs novel, afterwards, I too desire to waywardly journey the world. And why not? I have nothing left. No dreams. No ambitions. I only crave to move, to keep going and experience all this planet has to offer. I want to travel and travel I will without goal or direction.
Want to come along for the ride?