“get out get out before some monster comes along…”
“May I rest a minute? I am not begging for you to share.”
“Better not, better go, better you will…”
Rosy brushes Clyde out of her winter stay with mace.
Clyde passes rocky ledges, finding a sheltered place.
Far riparian woodland air on the Clyde’s cape of his
Moon touches him with a crescent of turmeric upon his face.
In morning, without a mark, he sneezes flying through desert
Eves are lonely, but there are bugs to hawk near the
Days pass, time to return to the lake, boulders, and river
The trip north is faster, he follows in the row behind a
flock of geese.
Ignore the rare flycatcher, he makes it home to reconstruct.
When landmarks show the Kern River, Clyde knows he is at
There his true love sits in golden cedar called a pest,
Yellow honeysuckle dust, she has upon her throat a crest.
Courtship rubs their beaks to form the shape of a heart.
Magic flies safely in the afternoon they never part.
They build a cup nest in a wild rose.
Taking turns with the eggs, no robber baron shows.
Stolen marked as tattoos burned on their faces
Fever ghost without a glass of water graces
A wet suit airing in the rain, flowing sand bars.
Don’t dump here, it flows to the stars.
The last southwestern willow flycatcher lives on a glass
Mournful he waits for a mosquito singing his final call.
The memory of cottonwoods on the Rio Grande
I am performing this work in progress today at the SW Chula Vista Library Hispanic Literacy Festival today at 1:30 open to the public, free, please arrive early to practice with bird whistles or wind instruments that I will supply. Children, teens, adults all welcome for the fun. This poem is about a bird who is endangered only 80 remain. In 2008 he decided to grace my backyard in southern Orange County (not an area they were known to exist) this set in motion a series of connected events. Bird watchers came to stay in my yard, I learned he has no mate and the only place these birds nest are known to live is where my children's ancestors first settled in California near Kernville. My children are 9th generation Californian's and the Kern River Preserve in on land that their first Great- great Grandfather came as a trapper then was given the land from the King of Spain which he passed down originally as a cattle then dairy farm. The farm is gone and so are the thousands of this little songbird. This is a work in progress performed live today. A video game of this bird is in progress. Thank You,
SOUTH WESTern CHULA VISTA LIBRARY 389 Orange Avenue, and
telephone number is 619-585-5755 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15th
Take the 805 Freeway from either direction (north or south) and take the
Olympic Parkway/Orange Avenue exit. Go west on Orange Avenue for about 2 or 3
miles. There's a huge DIP at one of the intersections with a stoplight, so
watch out for it. The library will be on the left, with a very Santa Fe color
Thank you to Joy Whatley, the SouthWestern Chula Vista Branch librarian
Please note I have taken the liberty with the address usually referred to as SW
I am speaking on a panel about contemporary poetry. We
should be lively and ready for your questions. This is not a dead poet’s
I also will be reading from my book, The Lucky Boy
I am looking for audience members who are willing to be
part of my band to perform a work that I have not yet published and will be the
first time heard. No musical ability required. I will be providing recorders, whistles and sound makers for my band members to partake.
The Last Southwestern
Kern River Reserve California
To give you a background, I will publish the written piece
here Friday night. It is a work in progress. The story is about an endangered
bird. The particular bird came to my backyard first in 2009. I took a couple
photographs of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher in my yard and posted them.
This brought on a chain of events that is spoken about in the poem.
Birdwatchers contacted me and ended up staying in my yard to
document that the lone bird stayed in Orange County, as there are thought to be
only eighty of this particular type of bird remaining.
I learned that the number one place they inhabit is nearby
Kernville, California a place where my children’s great grandparents first
lived. My children are ninth generation Californians. This connectivity raised
my interest in visiting the private reserve where these birds settle and to
discover how events, places and our time can become part of something bigger
than our self. It is also about conservation. Not only conserving our ecology but appreciating every precious moment on this earth.
A video is in progress with a game for the Southwestern Willow
Flycatcher and I hope you will enjoy the debut of this poem.
Uniform man at the gate knew my name this morning.
Not Ms. Gerardo by my license.
“Good morning C. G. The boss told us to valet your car. They’re in the executive conference room.”
Shuffled into a golf cart, I fumble with my laptop case. Where are my reading glasses and the Burt’s Bee’s lipstick for chapped lips, in case they ask me to read again? I’m not wearing a suit. Up at 3:15 AM wearing a knit dress with a rose print, its silly and out of fashion. No nylons, no layer of makeup; only creative ideas.
Thinking about your message. I put it out of my mind, bury my head under my zen garden. Mountains are weak to water so the monks tend stone to make her sure.
I feel you are ashamed of me.
Beach Unavailable for the Umpteenth Weekend.
Kim, the assistant with an MFA from USC greets with enthusiasm.
“I got the Major Dickason’s café au lait, as you like.”
“Thank you, wonderful-”
Its warm in my hands as protection, familiar dust in the pillows on my bed, filled with feather biscuits of earth.
“I read your poem in Flannery O’Conner Review, or was it Atlantic? The one: coffee and grounds composting, it was beautiful.”
I don’t correct her about the magazine, “Thanks for reading my work.”
“We all did.”
I smile with my lips closed because my teeth appear horsey. The steam from the liquid in a studio cup meditates the meaning of life in my sinus. Her Anthropologie dress is one that I could not afford for my daughter and the wide smile the orthodontist failed to deliver.
“You pull off the Yoana Barashi dress with class.”
She giggles, “My roommate said the honeycomb gold was too loud.”
“You’re in a major studio and sound lot, you need to be noticed.”
“Can you help me?”
“Anything C. G.” She pushes her bangs back eager to please.
“Is the band in there? Who makes decisions and why did they bring me to the executive offices?”
“Band’s waiting in another conference room they want you. The bosses watched video of you playing word games and reciting haiku, ghazal, luc-bat to any topic the boys threw at you. Your drawing in Dry Erase on the glass enclosures mapping sounds pushed the band to write, not just your piece, but two other songs in one recording.”
“Was that bad?”
“Scares the f out of-”
She stops when the door opens, then whispers: “They are ready for you now. The Hawaiian shirts are the CEO and writer.”
Rectangle table created with one thick sheet of glass. Glass is silica heated in liquid suspension. It is turquoise on the edges like a cresting wave. The suits are lined on the right wall. Their elbows are permeating the watery surface, buried in sand. Two Tommy Bahamas shirts are at the head with one empty swivel chair.
A lingering feeling washes over me. I ought to have swum out past the kelp bed before sunrise today. The caress of heavy humidity wears on the spare traffic outside your window when we made love. Then rest open to the waves. Your voice is a blanket of freshly raked baby powder saying the tide will come caressing my feet. I am safe exhaling the ions of sea foam. Are you buried under the sand?
“Please take a seat.”
The suits inquire about agency and representation. Come ’on a poet cannot afford such luxury.
“But you had an agent.”
“Yes a famous one, we are friends now.”
“We know. He told you to stop using your talent for the sound- meaning- root- soul of words because poetry is wasted soup and the masses don't care for bouillabaisse.”
“He wanted me to only write long form-”
“Dam glad you didn’t listen. He says you’re the most creative genius he’s come across. Why are you not in the music business?”
“Text in normal language.” My kids say speak English. No Punjabi Spanish and Latin salads, I wish they were proud of me. I feel you are ashamed of me.
Muso Kokushi told me to continue creating ink landscape paintings in the garden. Tending the earth is my form of prayer; this is why my flowers and vegetables do so well. I don’t audibly speak His name and He watches my bent over back.
Contract ready, they are pleased with the word brain. I flip to page thirty-four; near the end there are dollar amounts. Then I ask for a note pad.
“A yellow legal pad,” I have my moleskin in my bag. Surely a suit has access to paper.
“Take my pen.”
“Do you want a Dry Erase?”
My lips offer an abstract Mona Lisa. They speak over each other. I take a few notes and draw a diagram of interaction, physics in black ink. On a clean sheet I write: I will have my attorneys review your contracts. You have my word. I offer first right of refusal on my poetry and will cooperate with musicians. I don't write a dollar amount. I sign it. The hand embroidered black Maui shirt smiles.
“We have a deal,” His hand reaches across the river table. I stand, which makes them all uncomfortable to rise and I hug Maui shirt.
The suits mumble, “We can’t let her work in the studio without a release-”
Maui shirt answers. “You heard the woman. I’d marry this girl if she’d have me.”
The taste of you saying you’re a turtle in the mud, and the part about not being a good mate is rough on my tongue. It makes me chuckle because I’ve pet desert tortoise for now 29 years. He and I understand one another better than rhyme or rhythm. Building a trench or wall will not change his nature, and he expects me to rake the ashes.
I wish you were proud of me From my iPhone waiting for the band to meet me in the studio To Paul McCarthy Mission Viejo Newport Beach Eclipse Messenger