Today is Friday.  Good Friday.

I was driving up to New Haven to share Easter dinner with my father.

This coming Easter Sunday is on April First, April Fools’ Day.

I thought idly, “The Disciples must have felt foolish finally stealing away with Jesus’s dead body on Easter morning when he didn’t rise.”

I was alone on the road.

I was half way to New Haven when suddenly my car jolted.

“Holy shit!”

I was baptized in adrenaline as I swerved to the shoulder of the road and I stopped. I stepped out of my car and looked back down the road.

I saw him.

I called to him, “Are you ok?”

He was about thirty years old with long hair and he was holding up a crux with a sign tacked to it.

I trotted towards him, “Are you ok?”

I saw then that his sign stated: “Cruz Fuentes, you must decide.”

I halted.  I exclaimed, “How, how… do you know my name?!”

Then I noticed the phone book near his bare feet.

The man spoke.

“You see what you want to believe.”

I asked in disbelief, “Do you have a sign for everyone in the phone book, or something?!”

He answered, “Or something.”

I stared up at his sign and I asked, “What the hell must I decide?!”

He answered, “Exactly. Decide.”

“For godsake, who are you?!”

He answered, “Who do you think I am?”

I stepped back, saying, “Some fucking weirdo!”

I stepped back again, “What do you want?!”

“I want you to decide. The only thing that is truly yours in this life is this choice.”

I stepped back, saying, “I am out of here!”

I strode back to my car. As I opened the door I glanced toward the weirdo. He had turned his back to me.

I got into my car.

As I pulled the door shut I was awakened.


I am upside down inside my crumpled car. I am trapped. I struggle to move but I am in agony. I hear people yelling. I smell gasoline. Smoke! I cough bitter tears. I hear fire crackling all around me. I can’t see. I scream in darkness.





Rogan Scully wore his new suit.

Rogan had come from the bedroom into the kitchen with his bowling ball bag. He set the bowling ball bag on the breakfast table.

Rogan opened the bowling ball bag and carefully reached inside. He said, “Well, today is Day One at the new job, Brittany.”

Rogan withdrew a woman’s severed head and set it gently on the kitchen table.

“I still love you, Brittany.”

The woman’s head was decomposing and ripe.

“You were so sweet. I miss you.”

Rogan sat down at the breakfast table and leaned intimately toward the astonished head of Brittany.

“You know that I loved you since I first saw you on that tour bus. I was love stricken. I knew somehow that you would be love stricken too.”

Rogan suddenly noticed the flies now orbiting his Brittany.

“Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife!”

Rogan stood up swiftly and took a can of insecticide out of his bowling ball bag. He sprayed his Brittany’s face.

“We were always married in spirit, weren’t we?”

Rogan sat down. He stroked his Brittany’s cheekbone. Then he licked his fingers seductively.

“I didn’t have a purpose until we met. I was faking it. Suddenly I knew I would orbit your star as long as I lived.”

Rogan stood up and began pacing around the breakfast table. He fidgeted with his silk tie.

“Love-of-my-life, I even forgave you when you strayed. I knew you hadn’t lost that lovin’ feelin’. I know how you were frightened by the intensity of our love. You ran but I knew that you could never hide.”

“You reign over me.”

Rogan bent down and kissed the crown of his Brittany’s head. He straightened up and wiped her hairs from his lips.

“I owed that interview to you. I wanted you to have everything you wanted. So I was bold. I was motivated. You are my reason for laughing, for crying, for living, and for dying.”

“Without you I would never have gotten ahead.”



A YOUNG WIVES’ TALE – “Palmdale”



In the desert night a young mother is running away.

She stumbles over the edge of a gully and rolls down the steep slope. Her legs are bruised and they bleed but now she is hidden from the moonlight. She tries to listen but her heart is pounding in her ears. A powerful flashlight beam slashes above her and her eyes glisten with tears.

“She’s down in this gully, Son.”

“Careful going down, Dad.”

The two create little landslides of stone and sand with each crunching step. The flicking flashlight is like a serpent’s tongue probing the layers of darkness.


“Quiet! I’ll look in those caves. You look around those boulders and bushes.”

They are heading down the gully away from her.

She makes a foolish move.

“What was that?”

The flashlight beam is hurled upon her as she struggles back up the slope. There is a loud crack and suddenly she cannot feel her legs yet she is shuddering as if her legs were kicking.

“Good shot!”

“I’ll carry her, Dad! I can already taste her. Mmmmm. Nothing like a fat rabbit.”





Wind and Cloud and Ice
And Man who is the Fire
Claim the mountain top

Cock’s pride chortles forth
Dawning on humble mice
Cobwebs encompass windows
In gray doors peeling red

Morning ragtime worm
Cut cut orchard
Hot thick apples
Leaning trees
Amber apples
Savage love bites
Pollen weary bees

My head clock really buzzed
Wanting that gin whack
Suddenly sucking back
Lonesome blood
I asked love
To end me

Dark shore beckoning
Across brandy dreams
Desire whispers
In craters of anguish
Lanterns flicker
In abandoned white ships

Midnight deeds aroused the cherubs
Burdens churned unspoken sleep
My echoes forgot
Daytime devils dream my soul

Old bones restrain
False needs of love
Lords of vanity beckon
Deeds into stone
Ignorance proud within
Bonds old bones

Speech crashes my throat
Sober acid words
Guide my love up
Out the hot blue veil
Of half-digested empty skies

I myself thin soil
I am willing orchids
I am armored

Quivering faces
Half-closed eyes waltz
Innocent birds
Clutching wrinkled
Frail cane hands

Wrinkles slicing bony pate
Pleated gnarly rind
Eyes shuffling decades faint
Mortality’s past my
Suspender stoop
Sneakers wade molasses

Jackhammer testimony
Shakes aching man
Toward another
Sucking razor ledge
Above nature’s marathon
Perched women poised
Pushed back

You will laugh through blue smoke hues
I found a memory unused
We spoke promises not truths
Consistency unchallenged

Are you what you see?
Can you touch a reflection?
Who is listening?

Dull eyes toil
Down 50 women
Each born tourists
Hands preach plans
Tight jeans’ walk
Gyrates talk
Delicious designer illiterates

Hot arrows out eyes
Poked desire smothered
Smile weak worse advised
Silky tongue mothered
Lady summoned me
Sip poisoned tea

Tempting apples
On her hot kitchen table
Plunging teeth try to bite
Into her perfection
Bursting juice
I enter

Moon touching silky curves
Tingling floats soft fire
Stars crashing hot nerves
Strike long long desire
Beyond sane

Sitting sucking caramel
Rolling dewdrops on her tongue
Bittersweet baby doll
Sinking shadows sugarplum
Fairies twirling under lashes
Dance me to metamorphosis

Fierce hair snapping
Hips mud-brown fling
Silky legs fire dancing
Pagan secrets flare
Gods screaming stare

Diaphanous goddesses
Draping marble bodies
Pull Zeus in
To their catacomb
Osseous Acropolis
Clinging wrinkled wet
Bend Zeus

Love’s callousness
Amidst hidden carnage
Destroyed wisdom
Hammering solitary souls
Into a spaceless station
Of indefatigable enmity
Swallowing blazing stone

Celebrate sin with wine
Man fuse woman flash child
Knee ring wedding enslaved
Quietly trusting lying cheating
Door aha divorce

Cacti silent hear
Distant promises of rain
This is true praying

Mom’s breast smells sweet
Chile gonna cry cry
I’m your heartbeat
Whispering everything’s alright

Cherubs foretold
Rainbow meadows
Clouds of pear gold
Dear Lord’s way
Calming pure white
Allowed Holy
Evil’s twilight
Mortal play

Look well beyond
The breaking rain
That cloud of fire
Heaven insane
With loud desire
Out to love

Baby watch mother down the charcoal path
Cried love song
Mother smiled dancing to the nearest end
Kept silent music

Dissipating ran
Careless footprints
Now gone
Infant’s magic dream
Dim soft glow

My child fights
The darkness of freedom once
My words ignite
The soft light of ignorance

Young Leaves arise through
Litter of fallen Old Leaves
Embrace in passing!

Months burned slowly
In my town
Silence bars me
Out past two o’clock
Inside you
Another found
In rain drowned

Breath vanishes thus
Souls lost within vapors
Bide forfeited essence
Their pallbearers sway
Words hopelessly spurning

Death cosmetically at peace
Cushioned beatless soul
Tears in motorcades of grief
Families ominous
Unembalmed rolled
More yet-to-come
Child’s sadness lids this life

Books covered your faith
Lullabies played through your cares
Hope now bears you tears
Praying resounds years of pain.

Bronze melts upon desire
Into fire – and love dies
Self-sacrifice – the spirit
Feverish and mute – yet lies
To shape again the dust

Skies crack
Raven cries
Whales gasping
Salt scraps
Survivors of every desire
Run praying please favor us

To run from heaven
Rain crossed the moon
Crashing long drought
And never found love

From stimuli steel-toed
I play the floor cold
Extra harmony up my ear
I will taste decaying tears

Remember sweet treason struck angels protected
I am faithless reason whence spirits seize space
For His Holy Anchored Embrace

Before moonbeams
Before God’s despair
God’s newborn mouth
Soundless nowhere
Before God’s cry

Murderous from his cloudy chair
Over a cigarette nonchalantly
Staggered his mouth broken apart
Whispering ashes hot against me

We stand together
Frozen waterfalls waiting
For the thaw of death

I now understand
The best haiku I can write
Is the one that says…



“EL BURRO VIEJO” (The Old Burro)


The Sun
My friend
The hill
To lift
The edge
Of night
So tattered by the embers’ flight

The Man
My Friend
His house
To stir
With song
So sadness in my ear is sown

My eye
Is filled
The Man
My Friend
Now tithes
My trough
Sweet grain
With hay
Melaza means we work today

A blanket woven by his Wife Who Died
Adorns my saddle where he dare
Bestride me slowly with his beaten heart
And turn, as if to cry good-bye

I trot along the Trail My Friend once more
To bear all sorrow down to town
Where we will trade it for a day or so
Of work together dust to dust

The bargain struck by hand to carry goods
Upon my back up there somewhere
Beyond the pass where pumas hide the moon
Machete smiles did slice the price

My hooves the hours mull with dust and salt
That smolder from the pounded ground
The strangers grow impatient with my pace
And tell the Man My Friend to tend
My inclination, weighing on my knees
My coffin bones are spears of tears
The Man My Friend with gentle songs beside
My toil he shares with yet regret

Yet steep between the jaws of canyon walls
The waves of rocks in frozen pose
A shadow dances on my bleary eyes
My legs I lose, so quit and sit
The angry strangers my existence curse
But flying words can bring no wing
So stones are cast that gouge away my fur
I bray to heaven, then cries arise

The Man My Friend between the stones and me
Does intercede and begs my legs
To help me wobble, like a foal again
But he is struck by stones and moans
Collapsing with me back into the dust
The strangers leave us there aware
They take our chances with their own and go
The goods upon their shoulders rolled.

The Man My Friend is moving not at all
But grave injustice I defy
To find myself arisen and I bray
I bellow and I scream extreme
Damnation on the wicked strangers’ path
When one returns despising eyes
And draws his gun and fires amiss at me
I kick at rocks that fly awry
To clatter up the narrow canyon walls
He ducks his head his fellows yell
The canyon is an echo cauldron now
I hear a rumble, then again
When boulders fall and crush the strangers dead
Manojos de su dinero (Bunches of your money) share
The Man My Friend and I
Viejos juntos (Old ones together)






I did not kill the boy. But I did eat him. As I stripped the pungent flesh from his arm I saw the rifle and I growled but I did not stop devouring. That night I slept on his bones and I had my first dream of you.

I dreamt that I was the boy. I was close to your face. I could smell your hot skin and your salty blood. I could not stand it any longer and I lunged at your lips. But I awoke whimpering. I clashed my teeth and I growled.

In the morning I was drawn by the scent of the boy’s tears down the mountain. I came to a stream and I smelled where the boy had sat. I smelled where the rifle had been laid and I growled. I too sat and I saw my reflection in the trembling water my face black and my eyes yellow. Beneath the reflection of my eyes was a gold ring lying on the pebbles.

The tops of the trees swayed and moaned in the wind. I laid myself down and I had my second dream of you. I was again the boy and I saw you through a cottage window being devoured by another boy. I saw my reflection and it was the face of a deer whose throat I had torn out. I awoke howling.

By nightfall I arrived at the stench of the village. I felt like I could not breathe so I dug furiously at the earth to release the fertile decay and I laid myself in the pit to rest. I had my third dream of you. I was the boy howling and shaking the rifle at the moon and I could smell you in the wind but you were not there.

I was awakened by twigs snapping and soil crunching. My hair turned electric and my lips fled my teeth. Then I smelled you. You called out.

“I know you are out there. I am sorry. I am sorry. Come back to me!”

I rose up glaring in front of you and you screamed in horror. But when you gazed into my eyes you suddenly stopped screaming. You knew. I was he.

As you are now me and we are all together.







fast, fast


Your heartbeat


On my




fast, fast


Your lips

Spread soft,

Your tongue tastes




fast, fast






All the way







fast, fast
Ah, ah,





fast, fast
Ah, ah,



Mask, hard





We both




fast, fast
Ah, ah,



faster, faster
Ah, ah, ah, ah

faster, faster
Ah, ah, ah, ah

faster, faster
Ah, ah, ah, ah

Now we







Gentle rain smeared lights into the pavement. Jack Hackman, the short-story fiction writer, walked across the parking lot toward the Faber Publishing building. Jack took a final breath of the fresh air that had descended from heaven and that had subdued the city.

In the lobby the music system played Central City Sketches from the jazz station.

“Hi, Barbarella,“ he said to Barbara the Receptionist. She smiled like the Cheshire Cat.

Jack passed the elevator and walked up the stairs, thinking in cadence “prose, poetry, prose poetry; the two legs of literary ascension.” At the third floor he entered the hallway that led to the West Conference Room. He could smell that someone had already made coffee and that it was strong.

“Marie?” he smiled as he passed the little kitchen. “You? Early?”

Marie Lovall, the novelist, watched Jack swagger past wearing his open leather bomber jacket, V-shirt, and jeans and Marie muttered. “Full costume tonight, I see,” just loudly enough so that Jack could hear her as he was entering the conference room

On the huge wooden table in the middle of the room was a big cardboard box. Jack moved aside one of the plush blue-felt chairs and leaned over to peer into the box.

“Kittens?” he asked. In the corner of the box huddled six tiny balls of fur, each one trying to get under the other in fear of Jack. He couldn’t resist touching them but as he reached into the box two of the kittens turned to face him and raised their little paws in defiance. “Giving me the toe, eh?”

As he touched one, the kitten spat and rolled backwards.

“Hey! Don’t scare those poor little guys,” scolded Marie as she entered the room.

“They stink,” Jack retorted, hardening-up after nearly melting.

“They don’t have a mother and they need a bath.”

“They are yours, of course?”

“The janitor found them between some barrels of chemicals out in the storage shed. He told Barbara and she gathered them up.”

“What’s wrong with their eyes?” Jack grimaced.

“I don’t know,” said Marie as she picked up one of the kittens. “They must have leaned against a leaky barrel. I was helping Barbara cut some plastic-like stuff out of their fur.”

“Barbie should have been a vet.”

Marie smiled a little in appreciation. “Yes. She should also be a mother. She’s already given the little guys their names. This is Coquette. That’s Baby, there’s Boots, Tiger, Frisky Piglet. I think that one is Arnold, poor little guy. His eyes are really bad. And, good God, no wonder he looks so weak. Look at those fleas!”

Jack picked up the box of kittens.

“Hey! What are you doing?”

“Bath time,” he said as he carried the box into the little kitchen. Marie followed.


Jack took off his jacket and began adjusting the faucets to give warm water. “This is a deep sink. I’ve done this before. It is the only way to slow down the fleas or to even see them.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Don’t worry. I’m going to hold them under the running water with one hand and pick fleas with the other. The water stuns the fleas and the water mats the kitty’s fur so you can see them.”

Marie protested, “They won’t like that.”

Jack was unmoved. “Look, just get a clean box and some towels. They’ll hate it, but the water is warm, and if we don’t do it these damn fleas will suck all their blood. How would you like that?”

Marie saw that she couldn’t prevent the rude baths. “I hate fleas. They have no purpose on earth.”

And thus, as the other writer’s were heading to the conference room they were one-by-one recruited to help dry the kittens. Marie then placed the dry little fuzz-balls into a clean box and closed the lid flaps. She pushed the box to a corner of the counter.

The writers were all back at the conference room table when Mr. Faber of Faber Publishing entered.

Jack thought “Keep hammerin’ those keys, Jack”, and he intercepted Mr. Faber, thrusting his hand to shake.

“Jack Hackman, genre-ist. Not ‘artist’. Entertainer!”

“I’m not sure that I am pleased to meet you”, smiled Mr. Faber wryly.

Mr. Faber then nodded pleasantly to Marie, “Miss Lovall.”

Jack didn’t let up and he said past Mr. Faber, to Marie, “All the women I know love your stuff!”

Marie smiled sweetly and nodded, “And all the dick-heads I know love your stuff.”