Poem: Awake at 4 AM

I am awake at 4 am despite exhaustion in my bones. The mattress springs have rusted from the tears I cannot cry.

I am awake at 4 am because my body craves a poem, a witness to the mourning in my soul. A quiet death, invisible butterfly.

I am awake at 4 am as white supremacy digs its nine-inch heels into my flesh, insisting its innocence while demanding absolution.

I am awakened by the sight of the seemingly endless distance between shades of skin and the realities we live in, miles I cannot close on my own.

When cognitive dissonance tastes like wine, drunk, we await our savior while entertaining fantasies of Utopia and vomit our medicine.

Not me. I am alone on this bridge. I built it, but they didn’t come. Somewhere a child understands they are not anymore.

I am awake at 5:30.

I am awake at 6 am.

I am awake, here gather all my strength.

The Lion roars at dawn.

Portland at Sunrise. Photo credit: Ritza Garzia

Mi Abuelo Muerto

25 grams of melatonin, three nonfiction chapters, a bowl of chicken soup, and four hours of tossing. Not much has changed since the second grade…

Too tired to sleep, I require a deep dive, bobbing for ghosts and ancestral hosts of these haunted homes…

Past lives and nightmares, if I’d learned this, then why here, the creak of the floorboard, awakening shadows…

Familiar tune in my glass, power, privilege, and caste, Abuelo, I ask, why?? “Mijo, it is meaningless….”

Unravel the lies, like American pie, white picket gallows, profit, property, I don’t want to be the king of hell…

“Walk away while you can, Mijo. You want me to make it rhyme? Why? Okay, I will try, when you die, you can fly, how am I doing? I am not a poet.”

That was perfect.

“In your heart you know what is important and what is bullshit. In your heart you know who you are. Te amo.”

Poem: Marriages & Peace Treaties

The day I married my best friend.

I woke up in the East and spent my day playing with the Salmon fry, while the Lion crossed the Sky.

The ceremony, our hands tied, crowns switched, my wine and her chalice, like Alice, and one sip, just one bite, vegan cake, love, and my wife, and this life, well, it’s just beginning…

I went to my Father

to ask for a blessing.

She was baptized by Mother

creating, expressing.

The scientist’s cat who could be and not be.

Moonlighting portals to new realities.

The trees hum a lullaby for those who have ears.

The warm sun browns my skin,

I thank God for my melanin.

Time-tellers get lost in the River of Womb.

My best friend and I chase pink rabbits.

The war in your soul is over.

Over.

OVER.

[echoes faintly]

I have signed the Peace Treaty.

So have I.

And I!

The war is over but hasn’t yet been won.

Suit up, Peaceful Warrior.

The darkness falls quickly on the lost sheep.

Beat Poetry: Stream of Consciousness

Back in the cemetery with invisible friends, feeling nostalgic again, revisiting dead ends, and dead friends, with dead pens, and garlic and obsidian

I keep the zombies away, please keep your ego at bay, I got a small child at play, the part, the world’s a stage, if love

is war, then your heaven is forged, in the heart of Mordor, and haunted corridors, of my mind, nevermore, quoth the Raven, one more,

time, the rhymes, white lines, sweet poison, the noise and, hard times, all these are lies, my old life, has died, and here I rewind, pay homage, pay

tithes, to the darkness, why lie, this black rose, it knows, torture and bliss, dark rituals, holy ceremony, and true love’s kiss, horcrux, es, true stories, this is

illusory reality, I’m losing all duality, entirety, inside of me, something just done died in me, quite possibly, I’m approaching singularity, event horizon, scaring me, but where, I need to

know, excuse me, sir, how far does this ship go, to the Pleiades, oh, for fact? the eastern breeze, please, carry me back, to my second home

Earth, I know, they’re needing me, they’ve seeded me, I’m on a mission, and I’m bleeding, see, it’s still all g, big G, in me, and Love is free, I see

through walls, these dimensions, solid matter got me stressin, humanity depressed and, I think that it’s a bless-ing, and everything is fine, but the fluoride, third eye blind, confusion, feel used and

when winning feels like losing, I’m choosing, to put my heart on the line, and they got this thing called time, just a concept of mind, man, it’s a

vacation, here in space, and, embracing, the freedom, from chasing, my own tail, my own reflection, I am facing, introspection, this perfect imperfection,

got me feeling alone, healing my bones, my choice, alone, my voice, pick up the phone, ET, how do I get home? When Krypton’s just a fic-shon, get grounded, but still fly-on, through purple skies and true lies, like twin flames, in disguise, like friends at

war, 3+2 makes 4, makes sense, for sure, in dense, environments, I’m bored

but since I’m here, I’ll adhere, to the crude atmosphere, and marry the dark with the Light, Sacred Union, within, it appears, as it might, a certain shade of grey, ish white.

Uh. Okay.

Read it again later. Goodnight.

–AT

#inmyhead

Poem: The Question of Love, a Shakespearean Sonnet

Tis sweet defeat to love, says Lo
Answers Vick, thine sugar is rancid
Am I then dunce, asks I, or no
For defeat cannot be tasted.

Vick, he laughs, at I, and bends
Young knave, if defeat is thine candy,
Then retire thine tongue, or now, perpend
Thou death is thy life’s own fancy.

Lo, she fronts, thou fear the child
With thine zany words, I shrift
Love is unsure, unsafe, and wild
Yet without such Love, is one adrift.

The two undergo such testy balk
While I abhor their argued tenses
For Love is silent, and fools do talk
Neither doth Love to sit on fences

And still my mind doth will to capture
Such honest and absolute, thus rapture