Communion in the Park

Men in the park

grip brown paper bags

certain as Catholic nuns

grasp their faith,

both counting one

by one, until neither

makes any difference

in the course of eternity.

Two paths, one park bench—

Angelic in their own rite.

Footnote: to Regardless of the election.

For the majority of my adult life I have lived in impoverished communities, mainly because it’s what I am able to afford. I have seen, felt, and heard the cries of both men and women, alone in gutters, pulling the arms of children onward to a life not many of us will ever lead. Some of course have made choices leading them down this path, others are facing hard times, but I see the majority of them, just as I see myself, as I see my loved ones, as common people. So regardless of the outcome of an election, regardless of the winning or losing side, I still see many men, women, and innocent children who will continue to suffer either way. I do my best to spare what little I have to offer, be it a dollar or two, a bottle of water, or even a smile which seems to go even further than the former because at least they know that they are seen, and like so many of us often feel, we like those less fortunate are not forgotten. So just be a decent person, treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their current standings in life. Do what you can to leave the world a better place than it was yesterday. And be well, my friends. Be humble and aware. And give more than you receive, when possible. With love, gratitude, and thanks to all who’ve graced my path, and who I continue to think of daily.

Regardless of the election.

There’s a sewer pipe

in the dark, by the L.A. river

like a grave in the ground

where people sleep

by the highway, by the neighborhood

where pumpkins soon

will be replaced by

feasts of Turkey, stuffing, corn

and carefully locked doors,

then to be replaced by balsams and fern

white lights and tender eyes

of Christmas morning,

regardless of the hole by the L.A. river

where people sleep

live, and love—and pray, regardless

of the election, regardless

of the president

I still weep.

Do you?

LA River. Nov 7, 2020

the LA river

Looking at the LA river

now, smelling it

more than I can see it.

There’s a pigeon

down there, drinking

down there, bathing itself

in whiskey and piss—

probably blood even.

Who knows really?

It could be the purest water

in the world, but I guess

only a choice few

will get the opportunity.

While the rest of us

get coffee, Dasani

and whatever else

man feeds the birds.

L.A. River

Ecstasy in bloom.

Santa Monica

city street bum

sits, full lotus

thoughts rampant

running through

his charcoal beard

wild, I witness his

ecstasy in bloom.

Mural, Santa Monica.

One Philadelphia Night

I took off my clothes

my skin suit

and rattled my bones

clicked my heels

and down the hatch

I went spiraling forth

into a bleak oblivion

where not even the dark

could hide, I

stood staring into nothing like

a Mona Lisa replica

my conscience hung midair

like a wine stained sheet

pinned neatly to dry

and there were no bones about it

I had completely lost my mind

stumbling down West 4th and Pine

crossing line after line, every time

after time just me, myself, and I

delirious in my delusion

picking homeless men off the street

with tears in both our eyes

I’m no different than you my dear friend

neither are you from I, he said

you’re going to be all right, he said

as for me well, I’ve lived a storied life, he ended

with a reassuring glance as I handed him two dimes

for it was all I had

collecting my clothes

skin suit and conscience

brave the winter, he said

spring needs you

I know you know what I don’t know.

I don’t know
which crushes my spirit more,

the heroin needles
outside my apartment building
or
the line of Ray-Ban wearing tourists
waiting for brunch.

I don’t know.
I
just
don’t
know.