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In 1986, I was an exhibiting artist who wanted to work in the print media.  On a morning local TV show they spoke about LA’s best kept secret – Chicano art produced at Self Help Graphics in East Los Angeles, a non profit art organization run by a Catholic nun.

I called Self Help Graphics and to my surprise the nun answered the phone.  Short, direct weary but not unfriendly she suggested that I schlep my portfolio down, never making any promises.

My vo...

July 19, 2018

Sitting inside the black car

In the company of men

Boys in uniform

Looking good in blue

Revolvers out on spree

Taking their time

Flirting with red lights

They're taking me 

To the station

Underneath the criss-cross of the freeways

Where prison guards

Look over their shoulders

Ignoring the action

They make me stand

Smile in black and white

Pinning numbers

Blinded by the bulb

I can still hear the ringing of the gun

The skid of the tires

The slump of the body

That night

Wa...

July 13, 2018

lying

first instinct

setting free

words

jumbling up

scrambling

flowing

painting all the what ifs

easy

trained early

to read between lines

smoke signals

and detours

curbby turns

seductive plunges

safety net

woven

from half truths 

and bitter memories

July 9, 2018

Oven at 350 degrees

rice pilaf slowly bubbling

I'm back in Germany 

in the large decaying kitchen

Luba cutting,mixing 

slow dance of repetitive motion

void of feeling 

just the need to feed and nurture

a group of convoluted characters

I'm the child with the golden locks

nestled between the hot oven

and a string of decayed rooms

hoping but afraid that Roman 

will appear 

slightly drunk

charming yet vindictive

Lanky and chiseled

matinee idol hitting bottom

guaranteed a...

July 4, 2018

one night on the boulevard

across from the Jaguar

I stopped pretending I didn’t see

cars slowing down

circling headlights signaling

giving me the right to choose

taste power

did I think then of father

sitting alone in the kitchen

body collapsing inside his clothes

hands tightly wrapped around his power

I didn’t figure then

that our thirsts were the same

nineteen and all I wanted to do

was master the steps

so I could join the dance

move to a tune

that I somehow

always...

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