Ziffles

15 02 2010

More ziffles than Seuss would know
Lie sleeping inside the picture of where I’d like to go,
A place where all my dreams
scatter and play. They jump at the chance
to be held or hoped for and
they run in flashes of crimson and gray.
The ziffles and zaffes ought not to be mixed,
but who can tell until the zaffes start licking their lips,
ready to monge on the ziffles as they
lick the poppleberry walls of the poppleberry cliffs.
They grow up to be such strong zaffes!
But the mepps and the meeps can sometimes sweep in
to eat up a ziffle (and let it eat them).

Race without race

I have never competed for my race,
Or thought I had one at all;
I grew up Ecuadorian I suppose
Displaced and sort of connected
and apathetic about a theoretical home.
It comes as a surprise to see
that race sometimes counts for me.
Do I belong into a group when I don’t believe?
When I am too catholic for my religion,
Too queer about my straightness?
I am passing white, so fortunate
to have a colorful existence
to be privileged to embrace any race,
just like anyone of any race.
So should I check that box – will I be
brown enough to represent?
I stopped believing in emotions long ago,
so why should I act like they matter to you?
Is it because I know they do?
“But you don’t have a reason for that.”
“But I have a reason why that doesn’t matter.”
I am a little crazy when I run this race.
Even though I am never competing,
I am always tired, with a broken ankle, stumbling,
with not even a good word to write,
and losing.





Cabled

20 10 2009

Runaway

So I told myself I’d be a runaway,
And I’d do it from time to time.
Though it’s been fifteen years since the first go at it,
I still can’t get it right.

Woke up to a girl but I was feeling alone,
I’d never been one to care,
She got up and she left without a breath,
The words slipped out of my lips there.

Wondering about my part in the world,
I lost whatever I had left,
So I walked to class and I lifted my glass,
Chasing the good times I’d had.

Pour me a story
and I’ll drink to that,
I’ve your answers and questions,
An essay I pulled from a hat.

No, I don’t think you’re the answer,
Girl, you’re not a lie,
It’s just you and me, so it’s meant to be,
Which means that I’d rather die.

Dream if you want this to be a melodrama,
Paint over the criss-crossed lines,
Call my friends Thaler, DeLillo and Stinson,
And tell them to meet me at 9.

I’m farther from home than I’ve ever been,
I’m closer to giving into the sea,
I don’t know what’s going to change anymore,
What I’d rather be.





A 21st Century Rebel

10 06 2009

An Extra Ordinary Rebel

I’m so far gone, I’m going blind,
Can’t see past the hate that’s on my mind,
But you say I’m just an ordinary rebel 
The type that turns out fine.

Have you seen the pain in my spine?
Broken so many times.
Have you seen my friends inside?
Hearts of darkness, hardly alive.

Armed by the ones who’ve died,
They’d cut you down before you take their rights,
They’ll come on the wave of a coup d’etat,
They’ll come (they come) to eat you up,
They’ll run with their forks and knives,
You better run for your fucking life!

And the reign of terror will seem like a pacifist’s dream,
The confusion alone will destroy all our homes,
The good boys will sing about killing disease,
The good girls will dance with my guns in their hands,
Screaming we won’t die without a fight!

The kids on the streets tonight
Are dying in the worst way,
The fire sweeps right by
And the numbers go up in flames.

The darkest light you see
Is the one you spot in me,
I gave up on letting go,
Waiting was too slow,
I light the fires at night,
Tipping the scales, I try.

I might go to hell, hell I might just as well,
I’m the coldest bastard there was
Below the slant of the damned Western sun,
The apathy inside burned out in time,
And tonight, my friend, is goodbye.





Revolutionaries soon after

20 05 2009

Since

I was born included
with too much freedom.
I wanted to find words
in this (my) reconstruction
to say that I was your friend,
your lover, your soldier,
your brother.

But I  was too free
and picked this up
and I did not look back.

I took up arms to 
fight (betrayal).
I took up reading again
not to write (betrayal).
Though I had shouted and
screamed, I did not
write my history.
And those that did
betrayed me.

I have lost more since
and paid twice and
twice again
the price of too much freedom.





All was atwitter

1 05 2009

Wanderer

We are the wanderers, your tired and poor.
Filling desks unseen:
in the closed life,
agnostic aesthetics plan the plans.

The wanderers (I was once among them)
traverse across time, secret spillers.
Legion, playwright ballerinas,
so lost and disenfranchised,
they wander towards nothing, from nothing,
the makers of things made.

 

Swimmers

Swimming thoughts come to the surface for air,
Where they are seized, coveted and admired:
“I always thought this was extinct!”

 

Curious

I took it upon myself to be different today,
and so I wore a brightly colored hat.
Beneath that hat I became a man,
some charming fellow, no doubt,
but I was not him and have no recollections.
I suppose it was that yellow hat that
got me into this business with this monkey
and that girl, but such is the way things go,
I suppose,
When you start to grow old.





Nervousness in April

13 04 2009

Bankers

Is it a crisis if you like it?
Can you believe we’re so old,
stealing bigger things,
on harder streets, knowing things,
tasting the experience imparted
by the world,
running the world,
in our oh-so-capable hands. And
they don’t like us,
never have,
never had
a chance.
Because we’re running the show now,
and the crisis is something you can believe in
because we’re the ones you have to trust,
and the ones you have to hate.

Spinning, faster

She knows where she’s going, it’s the getting that’s got here down,
The world spins too slowly at times, too fast at night,
Unable to get her hands to make the things she’s got to make,
Talks to herself, can’t  seem to get it right.

The television blinks hello, her computer hot from her knees,
Concerned with who she is, what it all means,
Clocks ring with the same song in her head,
She’s driving a car and missed her exit again.

It all spins too fast to grab a hold of anything you can hold on to,
Too fast to recognize the friends you used to have,
Too fast to pull the hair from your eyes,
Too fast to do anything but burn out or fly. 

Fifteen minutes and a heartbeat from falling in love,
Too distant to make amends, under a gray sky, a gray poem sings,
Where a rainbow peeks to break her concentration,
The waiting for the weekend is just a complication.

It all spins too fast to grab a hold of anything you can hold on to,
Too fast to recognize the friends you used to have,
Too fast to pull the hair from your eyes,
Too fast to remember who you were when you were alive.

She sails to Japan every night in her dreams,
Plays for twelve hours to make up for lost time,
So she has the energy to read until she wakes up asleep,
Where she counts down the hours till the morning creeps.

It all spins so fast you can’t see where she’s going
Too fast to lend a hand,
Too fast to recognize the friend you had.





For My Country

24 01 2009

Some Tuesdays in this country.

A leaf falls waving,

            trailing, where rain

parts a day,

 

A new soul is

         born, it begins

a thought: stolen hope

        from a wicked witch

                    a bystander’s friction and betrayal.

Where these fractured roads split,

         is where the wheres run towards.

 

The sun spills, into the new dimension.

 

We, the oppressed

           hold a knife to our hearts

against we, the oppressors.

 

The America of tomorrow is a fiction.

Change and hope are just words.

The ground has shifted.

 

The cynics have had their say,

while spirits too frail were taken in

            and housed by the specter of the past.

Now, with joy

comes candor and diligent debate,

            colorless and insistent,

storied and statistical,

and meaning is kissed into words again.

 

The leaf falls to the ground.

Nothing is different.

The things that change can never be seen.

            They are believed,

                        made with weary hands,

                                    and they are listened to,

On a day like today.





Monkeybread

30 10 2008

the feeling of letting go

stolen from a thought in my mind I see you
slipping through a tree with your arms outstretched,
where are the mornings that I longed to kiss you,
by the banks of the ice river with our names etched

down in the study hall I write, between chairs
and the unworn ties
I watch a girl take eat her sandwich
while another boy catches my eye

cheated on the back of my hands
I take the test, where I am sent
to my parent’s high school
and left in a room with my finger clenched 

systems emerge like a corner
caught between two forced things
I find the rules where I meant to leave them
and I write things about the things I left

 

Hello, world! 

Life update: I am taking these classes:

  1. Justice, a Moral Reasoning core course that focuses on issues of applied philosophy, in particular ethics and political philosophy. Right now we’re reading Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. It’s outstanding; a defense of the legalistic moral attitudes (what mom calls the clear black-and-white) through this notion of the categorical imperative (i.e. should the principle you act on be applied to everyone and would that be good?). Delicious!
  2. Econometrics, a statistics course for Economics majors. We’re going over different methods to reduce omitted variable bias and, despite that this is the last required course for my Econ degree and I have a certain amount of disdain for strict requirements, I am enjoying this class. In particular, I feel more comfortable agreeing with the conclusions derived from Econ papers as I can attest to the reason behind their approach.
  3. Economics tutorial, a junior seminar. This class was once about diving into the research of our professor, Sendhil Mullainathan, while writing our research paper. The focus has shifted to studying our class’ research, extending and learning from the various approaches developed in our classroom in Littauer. I’m writing a paper on library late fees discussing rational reasons why people turn their books in late (e.g. it’s worth the money to hold on to the book as I am maximizing my utility) and psychological reasons discussed in economic terms (e.g. I forget, and when I remember in my room, the cost-benefit analysis leads me to procrastinate the task).
  4. Theories of Violence. Seriously, we take any theory of violence from parental abuse, drugs, psychiatric illness, biology, evolutionary psychology and study it from philosophical, literary, neurobiological, legal and historical perspectives. The broad approach is intended to answer the question: why does violence occur? So far, I’ve enjoyed studying the governmental abuses that occurred at Waco (emergent violence), Andrea Yates (psychiatrically ill), reading a transcript from Osama bin Laden and comparing it to the Battle of Jericho in the Old Testament (where the Israelites killed all the men, women and children in the city once they captured it as per God’s orders). I’m considering writing a paper on Dexter, the Showtime show about a serial killer who only kills other serial killers and the cultural significance although I’m interested in the question and might, should I come up with a good theory, try to answer it directly.
  5. Computer Science 50, a rockin’ class on programming concepts that I’ve watched many of the lectures online over the summer but am enjoying diving into the course, working to robustly solve the problem sets. Currently, the work I’m doing now is writing a program that reads a formatted (i.e. “erased”) disk and searches through the 1’s and 0’s looking for deleted photos (.jpg) and recovers them. We then have to figure out where the photos were taken around campus.

PS The links are _all_ worth taking a look at.

Life update, part two:

I’m working on developing my political and moral philosophy, working out the kinks alongside my reasoning in Justice class. I would like to start writing but am waiting for a breath of air as I have been working non-stop all day with lectures, sections, homework, midterms, soccer practices and games (captaining/coaching the team’s 2-2 season, scored three goals last game, dribbling through all of Lowell House.

                At some point I need to start thinking about where I am going to work next summer, which for the moment only confuses me. I’m also thinking about plans more broadly and am considering taking time off after this year to write down the political philosophy, write a few economics papers (might work with some classmates on this soon), and write a senior thesis that combines computer science and economics. I am currently considering a joint-concentration in computer science.

                Strange; while I was free with loads of time three weeks ago, adding CS50 so late meant I had to work hard to catch up, meaning everything has been on quicker feet since. Funny story: I had thought about whether or not to take the class all weekend and come the Tuesday (Monday was off as it was Columbus Day), I decided in the 0th hour, 5pm, that I would take the class. The Resident Dean wouldn’t sign off unless I took it pass/fail but since I hadn’t gotten the professor’s approval on it, she would either have to let me take it for a grade or not at all. At that point I saw the reluctance in her face and said, “Come on coach, put me in. I can play, just put me in, I can win!” :)

                So, these things being said, I very much miss all my readers in California (and family and friends elsewhere). I am working very hard on my studies and with renewed dedication to making the most of my undergraduate experience. Oh, and I’ve taken to making comic strips. I shall put them up soon.





Childthoughts

17 07 2008

WHAT CHILDREN DREAM

 

Last night I dreamed of an old

schoolroom. A wasteland,

and students edged into view

laughing and not laughing;

And one holds a bag

full of lily white powder.

A fight – a lunge – a yell.

I know what will happen.

The bag tears the room quiets.

I walk through and

I breathe it in.

And I know what it is.

 

I like it and I do not like it.

My mind clears. It is blue and

white, like orgasm and nirvana;

and it lies to me.

What is this feeling?

Even in my dream,

I question knowing this,

but I know what must happen

so that I can know this.

 

 

THOSE PEOPLE, 1.

 

People die everyday. They wither in their lowly graves as people whistle to music above them.

They like it and they like it.

 

 

THOSE PEOPLE, 2.

 

The dead care more for special interests:

Like being proud, burnt cloth and celebrating tyranny.

That is what wisdom death happened to afford them.

 

Me, I live, unwise and trampling atop these honorable graves. For I have yet to appreciate what pleasure there is in pain,

What freedom lives in the surrender of liberty.

The young in me vows never to learn.

The old know better.





Wanderer, Wandering

4 04 2008

Wanderer

The peaks lay with valleys in between
Where the daughters are thrown at night,
Thinner blood on the mortal scale
Hollow bones and a hollow life.

Faded

Camera lens, find me:
See my hairless skin, my soul
Touch upon my back,
With a hard flash.
The obscurities in focus,
A bargain model.

answers shortly thereafter

Frozen, in dim curtain time
Pale and black we wait, we pray
For company, in the parlor
A wrinkled toddler whines, aged
Whispers and breathing, mildly
Because death is among us,
Raspy and foreign.





We turn to dance

4 04 2008

Piano Keys

Quietly, we turn, we dance
To drown ourselves in a room so full of others,
I am blue, the saint of doting mothers,
For a porcelain world I could not see
So pale and wistfully passing
Cast to appeal, things on the side,
Listen to children because they have
Nothing sinking, only suffered cries.





Hopes

19 12 2007

Blood is red like love.





Untitled Poems.

17 12 2007

Untitled #5

 

And if Mary, you’re afraid,

Come home.

 

A summer’s stone throw,

Strikes me in the face – romance,

A woman’s appall, man’s appeal,

Illegitimacy and daring, run run deep,

Deep into the caves of our sinewy core,

 

And Mary, if it strikes you badly,

Come home.

 

—-

 

Untitled #6

 

Dreams, postmodern

Debts, quite real,

God indifferent,

A life sans zeal.

 

Love you too mom.

 

—-

 

Untitled #7

 

Did I become too much? Too much a fiend?

A student dancer, a striking scene,

Sigh, haven’t you realized?

I, girl, am none of these things.

 

—-

 

Untitled #8

 

Noises! A cry from a cell!

And she takes that call, anyway in the middle of lecture,

And the teacher, oh he’ll love this,

He laughs at her and drags her onstage,

And still oblivious she presses her ear to the phone,

And we all laugh and jeer and still she hears,

Until we and she are done and she returns to her seat.

From which she never came back.

 

—-

 

Untitled #9

 

All alone, a bone colored rose

Blends with the ground-up ice.

Left there by some wintered bride,

Some human being that could not embrace

That false solace brought by thoughts material.

 

—-

  

Untitled #10

 

 

You, integrate my hearts. Try.

The drippy numbers unkindly slip on by,

Making mistakes and the eraser has

already burned through my page.

 

—-

Untitled #11

 

Angry thoughts, sin, and tables Turned.

 

 

Altruism incarnate, God’s own flesh,

Did himself sin by his own admission,

And it makes him all the more human, see

I understand Him a fair bit more,

When I see some of God in me.

  





Variance

2 10 2007

Itio 

 

Cherished function, unknown variance,

Oh cellophane ripple and velvet fold,

Unbridled senescence and decaying adolescence,

Wet, sinewy dawn.

A character scorned, though through thinness passing

Through and through a simplicity:

Like the rules that govern our favorite colors,

Or those that create our portentous histories

Simple, like a gleam too soon in a baby’s eye.

The challenge, I suppose, is not by hands two’s creation

Or by minds some imperfect invention,

Instead to accept the fate of billions,

Whirling atoms becoming and unbecoming

For a brief moment to think! to render what dreams

We may so profess as our own. And it is not some lofty feat.

So soon we post upon the walls, having suffered the same scorn,

Taking photographs in these same places ..

 

To what if these spinnings are merely vapor,

They are to me, my complex. The question abridged

Is this, to pacify the mind’s fears of the mind’s fate.

There – there! listen! hear the wars and cannon-shot,

The quiet dagger spilt into a back, or that pistol fired,

Pumice-lidded eyes and crowny smiles, unsuspecting.

Terrible is the chorus posthumous, 

Peaceful are the sorrows of the survivors with whom rest

Still more years to study. Still I find myself edging closer:

In water, there! lies the wintered answer I now muse upon.

Something in the way we might be one.





inside the glass

23 06 2007

yes, you 

 

the ice begins to fall apart,

ellis island stories unlock

girls pressed out copy-made,

this one taking more time

 

the glass held drops shatters

your paperback novel surprises

children cobbled dramatic ways

this child less contrived

 

the reflection held dear

this homeless emotion

a shameless grace

this girl a city underworld

(the dreams hide me inside)





Authorspeak

12 06 2007

The Lover Writer

I am the lover writer
I write the poems that unlock hearts.
I can fold my kiss-words to taste like thoughts,
Their shrill chorus is a first-date’s perfume.
Where I dip my pen I melt the ice-
My papers could handle this waltz.

And there we begin to see,
That behind locked doors,
The story of a lover writer,
Is an untold tragedy.





Genocide

24 05 2007

Chasing

They came with machete justice,
Fingers, children, the soft parts of my face,
Knives and a grimace that hallows death himself,
Forty three then ninety four and on, races
Lives as the lives weigh less,
And less, and less.
Until the blood runs dry.





China

21 05 2007

China

A piece of china for your shelf, girl
Every time its broken you glue it back together
Until it is only polymers and dust.

Stir up a quiet river, ripples to the girl
Take a hand and don’t give it back all your life
Palms sweaty and still calloused.

She’s some song for somebody else,
Stitches in a doll alone in Batelle,
The woods lead somehow to Rome,
Follow the frozen vines into the cold,
I could not find it,
Maybe she could hide it,
Whatever the case, girl,
I need to find you.

Let your feet sink into the sand, girl
Toss a few stones until the river throws some back
Was it love, the stones so smooth.

She’s some song for somebody else,
Playing the piano alone in Batelle,
The road might take me home,
Like the dreams I have when I’m out in the cold,
I could not find it
Maybe she couldn’t,
Whatever the stakes, girl,
I need to find you.

The stones so smooth,
As they skipped across you





For Winter

28 04 2007

Untitled No. 3

I become Russian winter
When the children fall
As the incarnations of desire
Migrate to me to rock and roll
Despite the ashes settling by the way

Firmament

We are in a movie and your life is the plot
I am merely scenery, a member of the cast
As an extra turns to you and asks,
Why has winter gotten colder
And why don’t the stars shine anymore,
You look up and its my cue,
And I look like I’m supposed to.

Winter, Winter

This slant of light, oppressive-
Books too, align to feed upon the soul
Blessing wives who run out as
Respect’s icy mistress suddenly seeks love.
While some will don inky cloaks, and others
Bury their ineptitude amidst fellow prisoners,
They cannot bear the weight,
While huddled are your masses
They cannot bear the weight
As some break free to find a fire

Winter, Winter [Same thoughts, different writing / style]

While under the weight of winter
And reading some disarming books,
I thought about those who survive despite the bitter cold.
What clothes they hid themselves in,
What escapes they seek,
What efforts they make to huddle together,
(including making families),
And I thought that they alone,
These individuals amongst many,
Could not bear the task.
We cannot depend on them for the solution,
Because once they have found it they no longer bear the weight,
They become as fire,
Which leaves us confused, for which of the many men
Who appears so thawed, so convincingly content
Is not false like the others?





The Wind

28 03 2007

[In a Car]

My vision blurs as your distant words echo on,
My face did realize far before I knew, that this was over,
And you closed the door, our future children waving,
Disappearing into the crack of a light,
Like a wish stored as a dream never remembered.

My heart has a hand with which it reaches to grab you,
My mind has a way to stop these things
And yes, you’re right with the door,
Today it hardly matters.

My driving’s skewed as the road curves strangely,
White lights ahead flash and confuse me,
I can see that foreign creature comforting you,
Inside a car that likely as not is coming at me,
Today it hardly matters.

[Photograph]

Inside a picture there is a handsome man somebody captured,
Looking at it I peer into myself,
Oh, how pretty I may one day be.

[Voices, Children]

Softer the voices cry telling us not to separate,
More quietly they chant about fidelity,
Doubt springs quietly to drown them,
The voices themselves choking children
Not knowing how to swim.