Avenida de Mundo

Avenida de Mundo

(what a world!)

has a pulse, amigo

this asphalt is alive—

skaters are fearless

in the no helmet zone

long boards, Penny’s

carrying their surfboards

slingshot behind racing

bicycles, rusty Beetles

and the shaggy beach horses

 

there are tables along the

Avenida de Mundo

(what a world!)

grab an espresso

or a ceviche taco

and watch the mongrel mayhem

in the no leash zone

the free dog, surf dog, always moving

not fixed dog

San Pancho dog

gotta be heaven for a dog

dog street

 

from Federal Highway 200

to the Playa San Pancho

Avenida de Mundo

(what a world!)

has all you need, amiga

good food, wine, musica

the dreaded hippie

the surfing turista

in the who cares zone

it’s a one-stop street

in bare feet—

on the Avenida de Mundo

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Tell me about yellow

It turned out yellow was all around us and the irony had not escaped me. It did not get by Bando either but very little escaped the blind man. And it started like this—

 

“Tell me about yellow,” Bando asked me.

Sitting outside Chica’s Café in the warm October afternoon he looked toward my voice.

“Aaah yellow… that might be a tough one,” I said.

“Why should yellow be so difficult?”

Thinking about color I looked at the tilt of his head and the sunglasses covering his empty eye sockets. After a moment watching him I started seeing it. Yellow everywhere.

“The warmth of the sun on your face is yellow, Bando.”

“Is it now? Sunny yellow, eh?” Bando smiled and touched his cheek.

“The lemon squares Chica put on the table when we sat down are too.”

He felt the plate for one and brought it to his mouth.

“Hmmm, yellow is delicious!” Bando said.

“The daisies in the flower boxes are yellow.”

“I smell yellow every day, my friend!” Bando exclaimed.

“The fallen leaves of October are yellow.”

“I hear and feel them crunch under my feet, ha!”

“Oh, and have you ever sat here in the dark evening, Bando? The patio lanterns glow with yellow light.”

“I have always been in the dark, my friend. I cannot even imagine light,” he laughed again. “But it must be comforting for the sighted.”

“I apologize for my oversight,” I said, and we burst out laughing at my pun.

“But there are sad and sick yellows too, Bando.”

“You do not need to tell me of those. That is the nature of things, the yin and yang,” he said. “There is always sour near the sweet, my friend.”

His hands came up to his scarf and he unwrapped it and put it on the table.

“Take this and cover your eyes,” he said. “What do you see?”

“Nothing, it is dark.”

“What do you smell? What can you touch and feel?”

“Many things, of course.” I told him some of the examples that came to my senses.

“And you can imagine all kinds of things as well, right?”

“Yes.”

“Can you imagine living in total blackness?”

I thought for a minute or two, trying to feel the darkness and said that, no I could not. I took off the scarf.

“Is it possible, my friend, that color, including black— is an illusion of the sighted?” He said. “Could it be that color only exists because the human eye is created to see it?”

I looked at him trying to comprehend his statement.

Bando felt the table for the plate of lemon squares and smiled.

 

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why Saint City?

why Saint City?

a ghost of a saint asks me—

because of yoga

namaste

 

because I meet a woman

in tight Russian track pants

in hot yoga in Saint City

and she is hot

she takes me to an amazing Thai restaurant there

through the Pad Thai we talk about life

she is wise and I fall in love with her eyes

she calms my monkey mind

and we live on Mission Avenue next to the mighty Sturgeon

 

why Saint City?

because my childhood friend

has lived on Desmarais Crescent with his wife

for twenty years

taxes are high, he says

it’s a good place to raise our kids

he says

although our house has flooded twice

and Desmarais means swamp in French

 

why Saint City?

art in public places, man

with our public money, man—

sand mandalas that should blow away

but are kept under glass, ass

expensive paintings on roadways

that wear away, ‘cuz it’s the road, man!

1.5 million dollar traffic circle art, what?

but Lavoie’s mural of a girl

well spent, well spent

 

why Saint City?

because there are

big city things with that small town vibe

because I want to live in a place with

a grain elevator and a museum

and an old downtown that paints new parking lines every year—

with new cross walks on St. Anne… every year

 

why Saint City?

synchronistic traffic signal speed—

six lane snail trail or drag strip?

yeah folks can be conservative

but the earners are progressive

they drive fast, especially the women

and this city likes their black boxes

that’s why I paid $1,200 in photo radar one year

 

why Saint City?

I say

amen—

because the saints are here

on Mission Hill

and planted soldiers stand tall

on Gate Avenue

because I walk through

the old cemetery and read history or ride

down along the river to the trestle bridge

and still smell creosote

 

why Saint City?

because a flock of pigeons

live under the Perron Street bridge

and believe it or not

they control the city

with the monster goldfish

who’ve grown legs

and can’t be killed

 

why Saint City?

he asks—

because when we move to Nevada Place

six of our new neighbors help us build a fence

that we don’t need

because good neighbors

become good friends

 

why Saint City?

I say

I do—

because we were married in

Father Lacombe’s log chapel

on a sunny June day

and live

happily ever after

since

 

that’s why Saint City

 

 

 

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this Manhattan

this Manhattan

is strong

and sweet— I’m not blind but

I don’t have to see

the New York skyline

to taste the big apple promise

take a bite, tempting vermouth

as Prince shreds Purple Rain

frozen cherry and lemon rind

Kentucky bourbon kills my pain

“Purple Rain, Purple Rain”

 

Captain Jack he has the bitters

brown eyes they look like smoke

his amber liquid soliloquy

makes martini glasses choke

 

I can’t stop sipping

got polka dots on my mirrors

this is my fourth for your

information

and I’m crying

at the moon

 

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los pelicanos

los pelicanos glide and soar

like pterodactyls

without the screeching—

twin sentinels roosting on our roof

and mi amor says she loves them

like guardians

protecting our hut from banditos

from other turistas, from other chaise loungers

 

los pelicanos on guard or

fishing—

take offs and dive bomb splashes

the only sound with lapping water

and mi amor says she loves them

likes the way they eat

protecting our water from fishes

from creatures that might touch her legs in our waters

 

los pelicanos with yellow eyes

half blind from fierce salt water

entries—

and mi amor says she’s sad for them

sad that their lives are short

how will they fly when they’re blind?

how will they fish when they’re blind?

 

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old mexican divers

old mexican divers

on the dock with gray hairs—

viejo rico

with their young

diving lovers

on the clock, the sexy stares of—

nuevo rico

 

scuba suited pro

she’s from the city, pale

where’d she learn to dive?

did he teach her? did he pay?

the other darker, with the rich accent

must be from the country, she’s a pro, a

nuevo rico

she laughs at the sun

stretching her wet suited butt near my face and

the gray hairs lick their lips—

viejo rico

 

nodding at old mexican divers

I wipe sweat from my gray hairs

and they look at my wife

who’s looking delicioso

the gray hairs lick their lips—

rico canadiense?

no, me no!

 

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that first time in Provence

that first time in Provence

bled through

to stain my heart

with you— and wine

and crusty loaf

torn into delicious chunks

carving up the Brie

with a jack knife

on that rock

in the southern sun

so sublime—

sky sea blue

sea sky blue

reflections in sunglasses

two scarves of coral

you with wine lips licking

me, some cheesy kissing— it

bled through

to stain my heart

that first time in Provence

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bebop beat city

fifties scene so hip

a bebop beat city trip

is beat bop whack?

look out Jack

you’re a hep not a schlep

you lucky duck

quack, quack, quack is

beat bop deluxe

 

twenty-first century beat city tripsters

snap, snap, snap is

beat bop reflux

flow back

to a throw back

chinos man or, dungarees woman

horn-rimmed glasses are black

canvas Chucks are black

counterculture is back

so hip

flat flip

flies straight to reach

a whamo ka-blamo on Pizmo Beach

khakis, white tees and goatees

mano a mano—

the words don’t hurt

go holler

go change the world

 

Jack K.

loves mad peeps

the crazy peeps

like Paul Kane slammers

counterculture jammers

never yawn, snap!

just burn baby

diggin’ their beat

daddy-O—

the words that don’t hurt

go holler

go change the world

 

Dizzy and Dexter blew

their beat gen too

bebop for me and you

fast tempo altered chords

spliffs for riffs

harmonic sophisticates

with counterculture solos

diggin’ the sounds of

Charlie P.

blow your horn as I

blow my mind—

there are no words so

go blow

go change the world

 

Blossom Dearie

light and girlie

“peel me a grape”

jazz and beat

take shape

’cause she’s hip

a Greenwich Village

to Paris trip

diggin’ the sounds—

her words are suede

go sing

go change the world

 

twenty-first century beat city tripsters

snap, snap, snap is

beat bop reflux

flow back

to a throw back

counterculture is back

stinging verses attack—

but the words don’t hurt

go holler

go change the world

 

 

 

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impermanence

I rake this sand because I think that that’s zen

it seems zen-like to rake sand in my new zen garden, right?

then Jack runs through it barking, wanting to play, making a mess with paw prints and holes

freshly raked sand is his play box

and I wonder, what’s the point?

is ten minutes of raking perfect rows for one whole minute of permanence— zen?

I’m momentarily angry

 

his eyes dance, his tail wags and he barks

I smile at him

I love Jack

I love this moment

 

zen is temporary

zen is impermanence—

it’s raking for Jack

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pieces of Lars

tough guy Lars

Lars full of muscles, whole—

bulging at his seams with

snarls, sneers and plastic squeakers

proud of his hairy back

snarling at the puppies

 

plush puppies

love his smell, are

crazy for squeakers—

teeth tear, claws tear

furry plastic tubes, they

rip at helpless squeakers

ripping and crunching

a deafening, squeaky death

of still snarling Lars

 

Lars once full

tough once Lars

Lars once whole is

full of holes—

flat

no plastic tubes

eviscerated

no squeakers

silent is

still snarling Lars

 

pieces in a box

pieces on the carpet

pieces of Lars

still snarling Lars

 

 

 

 

 

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