published in my 2nd book, TRAVERSALS


mr. ritchie valens – playing in my head…

you’re mine – and we belong together

somehow makes me miss you less.

yes, we belong together
for eternity..

you’re mine – your lips belong to me
yes, they belong to only me
for eternity..

writing – in the dim LED green glow of the bus homebound to my city – staring out from the back to fluorescent stripes flashing along the highway, road stretching out into pure midnight black – press the button for repeat, somehow it makes me miss you less.

you are the surprise burst of inspiration i scribbled out in a fervor and ripped out the page so i could hold you in my hands – and not forget.. there is something so pure about you i keep trying to grind my matchstick fingertips against – all your smiles and strangeness lighting fires in me.. and here i am. i’m slipping irises and daffodils into all the cracks i’m finding in the walls of your heart.

it all mends, bird. even right now. can’t ya see? remember that time we split a bottle of wine and swing danced alone in the dark of your living room, old hardwood floors and green wallpaper – out of breath and out of reservations i whirled and whirled around, catching and releasing your precious hands – laughing loud in disbelief – how i could be so far from home and feeling something as perfect, as alive – as this.

bei mir bist du schön
please let me explain
bei mir bist du schön
means that you’re grand

day after, my jaunty outfit gave you a rise – you dressed me up in your trousers when you went to play jazz and when you sang –

i could say bella bella
even sehr wunderbar
each language only helps me tell you
how grand you are
i’ve tried to explain
bei mir bist du schön
so kiss me and say you understand

when you sang – i smiled and took the kind of breath into my lungs that made me question whether or not i’d been breathing all along..

sometimes you stumble unexpectedly into what really matters – and the fall leads you to such a wonderful and wonder-full place that you pretend it was a step in a dance you used to know

or maybe are

just learning for the first time –

the way expectations can be replaced with

sheer joy for experience – hey do ya remember that time i closed your precious hand around my compass and anchor – because since the first time i saw it i wanted you to have it – instead of telling you how in love i really-kind of-sort of-seem to-am. sometimes, though, you just don’t need words. remember that time you helped me remember pure life is also true poetry – all rough around the edges, open doors falling off hinges, blankets and art books and sheet music, houses all lived in and exploded out of, nights you can never remember falling asleep and days in which you wake, ears ringing with gratitude for that beautiful body lying next to you that warms your bones, yeah – it’s all jazz, it’s all poetry, but it’s also just the
life you can have if you want it – never bothering to look back over your shoulder cuz you’re too busy smiling into the sun and you’ll be damned if you let those silly ol’ hurts and haunts catch you this time..

these words are keeping me alight just like i thought they would – in this place where my heart can swing and sway for days, because –

when you’re smiling
when you’re smiling
the whole world smiles with you
and when you’re laughing
oh when you’re laughing
mm and the sun comes shinin’ through

suddenly – you know – you don’t need anything besides what you’ve already got – right here – and it doesn’t matter if you’re the only precious two in that whole dang cavernous room – dancin’ and laughin’ and smilin’ so wild – because.. it’s really just as gloriously simple as that dixieland band made it out to be –

when you’re smiling
keep on smiling
and the whole world smiles with you.

* lyrics from “we belong together” as performed by ritchie valens, lyrics from “bei mir bist du schön” as performed by the andrews sisters, lyrics from “when you’re smiling” as performed by louis prima.

%d bloggers like this: