Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cackles and Endings

You wear wings, I wear wild.
Your soul whispers of endings,
my spirit cackles at the moon.
We dance unlived dreams
real--in them, you
never drive your life away
and I scribble
no tears.

Today is the 11th anniversary of my little brother’s death. My heart is heavy with memories and music and food and laughter and tears… I’ve heard people say that grief lessens with time, but I think that’s just a well-meant lie. The shock and pain (and the way we deal with them) evolve, but the sorrow remains raw. Say his name with me today: Gregory Guerrero. He loved music (bachata and reggaetón); he loved food (rice and beans and carne guisada); he loved helping people (even when they didn’t deserve it); he got in trouble often; he laughed with his entire heart and his joy was contagious… I miss him.

photo by Tim Mossholder, on Unsplash
for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #116: Lasting Impressions)

Sunday, February 11, 2024


Pain eases
its grip on my spine,
when I feel
you spilling your heat
on my throbbing flesh.

If your mind jumped head first into the gutter, after reading my tanka, then your sense of humor and mine would get along just fine. You see, I did an indecent amount of snickering and giggling and chuckling while I wrote this poem bit. Still, it was inspired by a more literal kind of heat: my heat pad.

At first, when my sweetest and dearest Rommy asked us to “write about our favorite modern convenience or invention”, I thought about my smartphone. Then I felt the soothing warmth of my heat pad relaxing my back muscles, while I wrote, keeping my glute and thigh and calf and foot and toes from total sciatic agony, and I realized that there was no competition: my electric heat pad is my favorite modern convenience. Nothing against hot water bottles--I have one of those, too--but not having to refill your pain soother with hot water over and over and over… is pure magic.

So, what’s your favorite modern convenience or invention? And what makes it so?

borrowed from the Alpha School of Massage
(Not exactly a heat pad, I know. But I love my electric heat pad
in the same way I delight in heat therapy after a deep tissue massage.
Hm… delicious!)

for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #113: Modern Marvel)

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Violently Cheery

not-quite Journaling, 65

1/16/2024: Winter has spread a snowy blanket over New York City. Inside my home, an amaryllis gets ready to spring. Don’t you just love how Nature balances herself?


1/25/2024: New York City has been stuck on Stephen King weather (thick fog and wet gloom) for a day or five. Things are supposed to stay that way for about another week. So, here is a violently cheery Montauk daisy (blooming in self-defense). Climate change? What climate change? *cough *


Neglect is a sickness,
and it spreads.

1/29/2024: I spent some time with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We ran into one of her relatives, and the person told her that she should “stop wasting time running her mouth and go home”. At first, I thought the other individual was joking. When my friend just lowered her eyes, I was shocked at how little of the strong woman I used to know remained in her.

Since tact and I barely exist in the same reality, I asked her: “What happened to you?” She sighed and said, “I get more peace when I let her have her way.” She grabbed her bag and left, so I didn’t have time to contradict her statement. But the whole thing left me thinking about how self-neglect can tear the spirit to bloody pieces. And after the spirit is crushed, dreams, confidence, joy, hope, and self-love begin to die.


Art is
not just for show.

1/31/2024: Right after my mastectomy (some years ago), I was craving fresh fruit. My surgeon was of the nasty jello-and-even-more-disgusting-hospital-food school of thought. Since my Piano Man knows me better, he smuggled some of my favorites: lychee, longan, strawberries… so fresh you could taste sunlight in every bite. The green ‘flower’ in the blackout is the calyx from one of the strawberries. The memory still leaves me smiling (and craving strawberries).


30 extra pounds:
my own gym of flesh and bone
for calisthenics

2/1/2024: Some silver linings are difficult to appreciate. So, I wasn’t surprised that a workout buddy failed to see the benefits, when I told her, “Look on the bright side, these days I don’t need dumbbells for strength training--my weights are built-in”.

for Poets and Storytellers United (Friday Writings #112: Silver Lining)