Mind Wide Open

Mind Wide Open
Lost in translation are the fragments of this beautiful life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Window Seat

Pocket Notebook, Entry 1

Window Seat

The city breathes through a flicker
of clouds, sighing Welcome home.
And I, with my temple pressed
where countless heads have rested,
feel the ground weighting me down,

plucking my feathers
            thread by        intricate thread.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Peep Show, a Tango

First Place Winning Poem in the 2012 Oakland University Department of English's Ekphrasis Contest
First published in Oakland Journal, September 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Triptych: His and Her Perspectives

This ekphrasis poem was inspired by Michael Dec's poem listed below. To ever understand the angles of perception. Here is my attempt at decoding and recreating two unique perspectives during a moment of simultaneous experience.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

More than One Word Could Contain

We watched, mouths fixed in the horror of an O,
only our eyes willing to say what our mouths wouldn’t.
And we waited

knowing in some far off thought bubble lodged
in crowded dark corners of far off recollections
that we should flee this volatile moment for safety.

But we just stood like conditioned soldiers in waiting.

Maybe we wanted to feel rooted in some distorted
sense to the heart of this raging, eruptive force
that was larger than the excuse of life living within
each and every one of us in our relative smallness.
Just maybe we wanted to feel important in the larger
picture that was painted upon each of our imaginations.

So while the earth trembled and the waters raged,
we stood in our unity, waiting for what was coming.

Maybe we’d forgotten how to seek our own shelter
in moments of crisis. Or perhaps we’d grown to enjoy
the pain birthed from disaster in all of its pounding,
bleeding glory as it never quite mastered slicing us
as deep as we cut ourselves in our self-destructive ways.

So as the womb of that mound gurgled and churned,
dislodging its earthy indigestion of dissatisfaction,
we did nothing but stand there, our curiosity growing.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad when Vulcan unleashed
his full fury and wrath. How many of us pondered
how the volcanic¹ streams of oozing lava would even
flow over layers and layers of fossilized molten ash?
Or if, when unearthed, it could even penetrate
the crusted foundation of such a hardened humanity?

So as the pits of Hades chewed and spit its spawn
seedling offspring into a numbed, frozen society,
testing the spirits and boundaries of the atmosphere,
we continued to stand as one bleeding, breathing organ.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, October 8, 2010

Road to Eden

There’s a road I wake up on. 
It always leads to loss. 
I recognize the road by the faded flowers
that litter the adjacent footpath. 

Today I woke up in a nightmare;
I found myself crossing that road.
The roses were spent; the daisies were dead;
and the footpath was tangled with weeds.

Stumbled alone on that desolate path,
while others phased by in a blur.
My hands, they reached out; my heart
shriveled in; my hope flushed out with a sigh.

I traced my finger on an ashen trail
and painted my face with the black.
Wandering faerie or warrior maiden?
The river reflected deception this day.

Nothing to lose but a last thread of faith
I wandered the pasture of trust.
Now down on my knees, my hands twisting
grass, I coughed up some fibers of fear.

The fibers grew legs; they traveled away –
I watched as they marched out of sight.
Exhausted, I rested my head in my hands,
blending into the dew and the earth and the night.

When morning arrived, I sheltered my eyes,
and tightly wrapped up my weak heart.
A fluttering feeling danced on my chest:
‘twas a sensation born of a virgin bride.

The weirdest scenario played in the sky
as butterflies danced and dipped in the breeze.
Their glittery fibers were painted with care
as if they had been since the dawn of creation.

The roses and daisies were painted as well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It’s a ripe, juicy apple on the tip of your tongue
The way the morning smells when the sun first appears
It’s the bite of fresh cut tears that never hit the ground
The accidental brushing of hands in passing
It’s in the tucking of hair behind nervous ears
In the meeting of lips to cheek in a warm embrace
It’s in the awkward silence of long goodbyes
From the depths within the eyes of new love
It hides in the things unsaid between friends
Lingers upon the moist skin of intertwined bodies
It can’t be summed up with mathematical shapes
It’s warfare, camouflage, the casualties of cause
Tucked into the gain of someone else’s loss
More than a feeling, it’s the fibers of existence
It’s in the ice cream sundae shared with one spoon
Passionate, enduring – it knows no boundaries
Complex to the nth degree, compounded to infinity
It’s the best puppeteer that money can’t buy
A sea of drowning swimmers struggling to shore
It’s much more than can be summed up with letters
A plague, an epidemic – its infection is for life
And when the day is done, it begins all over again

Friday, October 1, 2010


Built him into a statue that day
right in the center of town. A monument;
forever memorializing all he encompassed
Regal, a real intellectual; he looked good
in a tie. We visited him often, stroking
the stone of genius or simply to say hi
His eyes were frozen in a warm smile;
that same smile we grew to cherish,
the one that let us know he truly cared
The windows to his soul were dressed
in a tone of sadness, though, like they held
onto our worries with his. Light resonated
from our statue when we did something
pleasing. We couldn’t help but bathe
in that radiance, cleansing ourselves
of our iniquities and basking in the afterglow
Just below his feet rests a bronze plaque
It reads: Here sits the orphan father;
our mentor, our refuge, our friend.
Cherished and valued is the guidance
of such a respectable man. He waited
for us through all seasons, no matter
the weather or storm. An embraceable form,
while set in that stone, his pliable ways
still could nurture. It’s hard to say what
the future holds for our immortalized gem.
Can he stand the test of time forever
while enduring the force of our elements
as they erode and chip away at his armour?
Will we ever tire of probing his gifts?
Would a new day dawn where we’d forget
to stop by, even if only to extend a “hi?”

Monday, September 27, 2010

BAC Street Journal Semi-Annual Submissions

Just a reminder! We will review all submissions in October for a November magazine release. Guidelines below.
The Editors

BAC Street Journal is accepting submissions of poetry, short fiction, black and white photos, and black and white drawings for consideration. BAC Street Journal will publish twice a year. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 1, 2010 for the fall 2010 issue and March 1, 2011 for the spring 2011issue. The magazine is a project of the Beverly Arts Center, a not-for-profit fine arts facility, and funded by the Beverly Arts Center Auxiliary Board.

There is no payment for accepted works. All works must be original. First consideration will be given to works that have never been published; previously published works and simultaneous submissions will be considered. If you are submitting a work that has been previously published or is currently being considered by another publication that must be disclosed at the time of submission.

All submissions of poetry and fiction must be typed, single spaced if emailed, or double spaced if sent as hard copy. Please use standard, readable fonts in at least 12 pt.

Publication rights revert to the authors/artists once their work has been published in BAC Street Journal.

All styles.
Max 50 lines.
Submit up to 5 short poems or 3 long poems at one time.

Short Fiction
All styles.
Length 250 to 2500 words.
Submit up to 2 short fiction works at one time.

Photographs and Artwork
Black and white (grayscale) only.
High resolution jpegs only. 
Please make sure that images are no larger than 8x10 inches.
Submit up to five works at one time.

  • Type “Magazine Submission” in subject line
  • Save ALL text and image files with author/artist name AND name of work, i.e. John_Smith_Summer_Day.jpg. (BAC Street Journal cannot be responsible for files that are emailed without being properly identified).

Email submissions
  • Poetry and fiction should be copied into the body of the email AND attached as Word or RTF documents.
  • Photos and drawings must be sent as high resolution Adobe Illustrator files or jpegs (at least 300), with max size of 8X10 inches. Black and white (grayscale) only.

All submissions should be accompanied by:
·        A short (25-50 word) bio, suitable for publishing if work is accepted.
·        A self addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage, if work is submitted via mail and is to be returned. Manuscripts received without and SASE or sufficient postage cannot be returned.
·        Name (last name, first name), address and phone number or email address of author/artist, and date of submission should appear on all works.

Send submissions:

(email preferred)


BAC Street Journal
Beverly Arts Center
2407 W. 111th St.
Chicago, IL 60655

(Copies are available for purchase. Send check for $6.75 made out to Beverly Arts Center to the address above, attention Grace.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010


The passion in those hands –
so capable of reaching into
my soul and unlocking doors,
windows, and stock-piled chests.
The butterfly has found her wings,
yet her flight isn’t as graceful
as the glory days of old.
I try not to focus on that image
lest it scare away the magic
of this frozen moment in time.
The wrinkles and moth holes:
A tattoo reminder of the bondage
and chains that still gaze up
from the cobweb infested depths
where they lie in wait.
Won’t those hands collect these
up before they leave the battlefield
of this over-broken heart?
A flutter in their dancing ways:
I shudder with the tempo
of their omnipotent rhythm.
If I let go, will they let me fall
farther into the depths of despair?
Or will they swim with my singing spirit
as I’m released from this captivity?
I open my eyes at the sound of your sigh.
And seeing those smiling sun-kissed eyes,
I know that my song has blessed
the labor of those loving hands.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girl Next Door

Hand-picked, an eye
for every last detail –
another one’s tossed
in the bin. First rinsed,
erasing all traces of birth.
Gotta remove the skin; there’s no
need for that anymore.
Now, straight for the heart,
that core must also go.
Ah, reduced to pieces:
What can be done to piece
it all back together? A bit
of sugar and a handful
of spice should suffice.
Turn up the heat; the pressure’s
on to make something beautiful
from this melting pot conglomeration.
What’s done is done
and it’s never smelled so sweet.
Good ol’ red, white and blue…
…As American as apple pie.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Falling from grace 
one pearl at a time 
Once      strung      along, 
all elegance and poise 
Now the stockings and stilettos 
leave a corpse in their wake 
A memorial 
of simpler days 
The little black dress hides 
in the back from my view, 
right next to the long 
shoe boxes 
It recoils from my touch 
and redirects me to the grey 
one toward the front 

Of course, I shake my head 

At the edge of my bed 
I sit looking at my things – 
all the while feeling like a stranger, 
an intruder in my own world 

Just above my head 
I sit looking at me 
looking at all those things, 
feeling like a stranger 
intruding on this world 

At the back of the closet 
sits the little black dress 
Peeking its long forgotten eyes 
around lace and cotton 
looking at the stranger 
and intruder now looking at it 

None of us noticed
the shadow on the wall 
lurking in timelessness 
Sliding the last pearl 
from the string in her hand, 
she grins and shakes her head 
“Interesting,” she says, 
extending her hand.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grasping at New Life

Carried Away

Full of new life 
And bursting at the seems 
With a felicitous spirit 
To live 

In borrowed air 
Among pillow-shaped clouds 
And a visa of borrowed time 
She soars 

With each fresh breath 
Laced with lavender hope, 
And a desire to drift on 
In peace 

She squints 
To see a world 
That’s floating from her reach 
With just one stroke of a finger 
She sighs 

It all made sense 
Now it just grows smaller 
So small, when she blinks, 
It’s gone 

In borrowed air 
Laced with lavender hope 
With just one stroke of a finger 
It’s gone

The Cry of My Soul

Dear God, 

My plate is full. My cup is running over. 
My heart is heavy and is pushing on my lungs. 
My spirit’s burdened. It paces with unrest. 
And although you remind me how I’m blessed,
this pressure in my chest in closing in. 
I don’t know where to begin, or how to put to words 
the chaos in this mind – but it’s a wreck. 
I’m overwhelmed and riddled with self-doubt. 

I’m standing on this pier of piled rocks. 
The water’s rushing in from every side;
I hide my face to spare my ego’s pride. 
The tide is rolling, swelling on the chase. 
I watch with horror while I shout your name. 

“Where are you, Lord?” I’m feeling so alone. 

It’s closing in. It’s threatening my very life. 
Look how fast it’s closing in. Where are you? 
Your silence is maddening! I can hear it above 
the thoughts and fears racing through my mind. 

There’s an echo to this silence like a battle drum, 
drum-drumming: da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. 

The water has closed in and I don’t know 
which way is up. I’m drowning while I struggle: 
scratching, clawing, kicking, screaming. 
If I let go, will you bring me back to solid ground?
Please answer me! I’m out of air; I’m going down. 

So, although I’m blessed, I’m feeling so alone. 
Where are you? Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. 

Please answer me, Lord, and hear my cry, 
Your child that you call Jenifer

Saturday, July 24, 2010