The Chinese Woman Across The Street


Please Paint Me


Butterflies In Life


Said The Wise Man


I Didn't Use You


Two Souls


Welcome To My Country


Dark Horns


The Path Of Truth




I Don't Care If You're Only An Illusion


Attracted To Falling


Who Are You To Tell Me?


Your Own Morality


To A.


Crimes Were Committed


An Esoteric Poem:  August 13, This Time, That Time


All She Wanted Was Love


A Miracle For You


True Love


The Birth Of Angels




The Chinese Woman Across The Street



What happened to her?

The Chinese woman who lived across the street?

The one who looked like once she was a

singer in a pageant too bright to look at, or shut up in a box:

the one who looked like once she was a dancer,

who could trace the life and death of a leaf

in silent grace,

like a cat stalking the beauty of a tear

no one else was brave enough to shed?

I saw her, for months disheveled,

lost among her kids,

out of place in her comfortable home,

cruelty like a whip in her eyes sometimes,

the anger of having been robbed

spilling out of her like blood out of a wound,

other times sitting alone,

like a runaway orphan,

puffing a cigarette on a curb out of sight of

her home.

The last time I saw her, she was

wandering down the street like an almost undetectable trace

of wind,

a strange vacant look in her eyes,

drifting, like

a corpse drowned and carried away by the sea,

the tiny mark of a tear below each eye.



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Please Paint Me


Please paint me

into the picture of your life.

Make me be a tree

bearing fruits for you in the summer,

or an empty tree

with the fire of all his fallen leaves around,

the tree who missed you by a season;

or put me in the darkness of winter

wearing ice that sparkles like a jewel

giving refuge to the one black crow

who is my voice,

my little trace of wisdom

at the end.


Please paint me

with the eyes of a woman in love

as you

give birth to my body

with the colors that youíve mixed,

my dancing Leonardo.

Create me

with the gentle kisses and whispering touches

of your brush,

or paint me with a storm of feelings,

like a wild rush towards ecstasy,

I need not be a tree,

I can be a sky filled with lightning

or an ocean

as seen by a drowning sailor

or just an empty black space,

like the void

we all come from.

Or paint me as the reddish sand

of the desert

where I have been waiting for you to rain.

Or as a barren wasteland,

waiting for a bandit or a prophet

to come

and cherish me for what I lack,

which is what makes me be

what he needs.


Paint me any way you wish.

If you want, as a bird in a little bush

outside the palace where your heart lives:

a bird who

has all the sky,

yet waits, with wings folded, by the door

that all the sky leads to.


Please paint me

into the picture of your life.

Paint me,

if you wish,

as the spirit of the almond tree,

that canít stop loving you,

or paint me

as the blind manís eyes

that are in love

with something he will never see,

in love with a voice in the dark

upon which he hangs everything beautiful

in his soul.


Paint me as a fire

and let me burn your painting and everything in it,

or turn me into the ashes of a fire spent,

or into a lake that will never burn.

Paint me as a frog

who might one day become a prince

and hold me up to your life-giving lips,

as close as Adamís hand to Godís hand;

or paint me as a frog who

will never leave the swamp,

yet, even so, could still

give Basho a poem.


Please paint me

into the picture of your life.


I donít ask this as a whining child,

but as a searching pilgrim who does not want

to be left out by God.

Please use me in your creation.

I give you my red blood,

my dreams of fire,

my tears and my wounds,

my whole life,

as paint for your brush,

to use or not to use.


Please paint me

into the picture of your life,


some way.

Please give me a little space of color

in some corner

of your canvas,

something that will let our lives mix

together just a little,

something that will leave at least one speck of orange

where your yellow

met my red.



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Butterflies In Life



Everyone is a butterfly in death.

Why canít we be butterflies in life?

Why do we need death to

finally open our eyes

to see what matters?

Why do we need sickness, tragedy,

the pain of losing everything

to finally take the pollution off of love

and set it free?

Why canít we talk to each other

before our last words,

why canít we be kind

before the separation,

why canít we accept

the people who we banish,

before their beauty

is finally shown to us by their


Why canít we enjoy them for who they are

when they are with us,

instead of missing them

when they are gone?

Why canít we get over

these worthless illusions

that keep us apart

before we are a universe away?

Why do we

only wake up to the treasure that was right beside us

when it is a million

miles from us,

on the other side of time?

Whatís wrong with

growing these brilliant butterfly wings

on the earth,

whatís wrong with flying in the world,

whatís wrong with being half a flower and half a bird,

a hovering jewel, a floating hope,

a secret angel,

before the night

destroys the lies of pride

and releases our hearts from bondage?

Whatís wrong with that?


Everyone is a butterfly in death.

Why canít we be butterflies in life?



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Said The Wise Man



Said the wise man:

Greatness comes

from being able to be alone.


I guess that means I will never be great,

because she is

hiding everywhere in my solitude,

haunting me wherever

I go.

Whatever emptiness,

whatever wind,

whatever sea I seek,

she is in it.


She is cruel to me,

but still I keep her with me.

She is indifferent to me,

but still I hear her voice.


I go to the edge of the world

where people find the answer

by falling off,

but she pulls me back.

I try to empty myself to

be filled by the truth,

but she wonít let anything else in.

I call out to the darkness of the Beyond for help,

but the candle of wanting her

keeps the spirits away.

I come to the end,

and open my eyes,

expecting to see God,

but all I see is her face,

trapping me in the eternal pain

of losing her.



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I Didnít Use You



The sky did not use the sun

to adorn itself.

The sun used the sky

to seduce the earth.

I did not use you

to make my poem.

You used my poem

to make the world need you.

You used my blood

to announce the coming

of your light,

my poem to turn all eyes

to the place where the dawn of you starts:

the dawn that is for them,

not for me.
Who used who, I ask?

You have a world.

I have a pen

that is nothing but your shadow.

Who used who, I ask?

My art

gave me nothing,

it was only my way

of losing you.



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Two Souls



Two souls crossed paths.

They thought it was forever,

but it was only for a moment.

They thought it was everything,

but it was only a part.

They thought it was who they were,

but it was only what they were becoming.

They thought they would die if it ended,

but they were reborn.

They thought they were lovers,

but it turns out they were each otherís


They thought the other was their wealth,

but the other was only there like a light

to shine upon their

own treasure.

They thought they had separated,

but they had only united.

Rivers may be continents apart

but they are still working together,

bringing water to the sea.

A lost loveís gifts

never stop flowing.

Sometimes, a bee

keeps the strength it has gained

from a flower, by leaving.

When loveís hour is gone,

save what was

by giving it up.

Enter the world

of a higher love.

A new ecstasy is waiting there for you.

Everything you dreamed of

looks so different from how you first dreamed it,

but once you stop expecting

your illusion,

at that moment,

your dream will

finally be free

to come true.



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Welcome To My Country



All your pain

was your way of coming

to me.

I am so sorry

that you suffered;

I wish the road of happiness

could have brought you here.

But you know

as well as I:

disaster was the only path

that led to my heart.

No one who was whole

could have arrived here,

no one who had not lost everything

could have found this dark country

where I live,

turning other people into suns.



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Dark Horns



He grew dark horns

when the golden light

lied to him.

It was after Love came

with a knife,

and the rapist came

with the face of his father;

it was after he peeked

into the hall of


and saw nothing there

but the bones of those who

had believed.

It was after he saw

that the trail of brotherhood was covered

with thorns,

unused for years,

and he felt like a lonely fool

spit at by the dream

he would have given his life for.

"Come, wear our clothes,"

they told him.

"Come, live in our house."

That is when

the dark horns sprouted from his head,

like plants coming from the earth

of something real.

Now, because he has

broken his allegiance to hollow things,

they call him a sinner.

They do not know

how long he waited for them

to come to their words,

how long was the winter,

by that empty house,

the one boarded shut,

in the woods,

far from where anyone lives.

But now

the spring of truth is here.

And the lies are dripping

off of his life, releasing him

from the ice that binds the rest.

Now, all that is left

is the anger in the holes.

And the blooming

of a whole season of anger.

They will hunt him now

because he is real,

because he once

believed in the things they only said.

And he will not last long:

he is doomed,

by knowing.


But while he lives,

truth will live.


He has grown dark horns:

all that is left

of his longing for love.



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The Path Of Truth



The more you see

the harder it becomes.

Black ceases to be black

and white ceases to be white.

And your heartís desire

to help

seems to fall into a spiderís web,

because suddenly

the difference between helping and harming

begins to fade

and everything begins to seem

like a butterflyís wings

that one touch

could destroy.

And you find your gift

could kill

and discover that one manís food

is another manís poison

and what you thought you knew

is only the lens you were wearing.


And you see that, just as

Zeusí fiery embrace burned Semele

into nothing,

so love is not always



When you jump into the car of action

to try to drive away from this terrible knowledge,

little children get in the way.

When you flee from

doing nothing,

you can hear the cries of thousands,

injured by your zeal.

When you finally stop,

then you can hear new voices,

the cries of those who are waiting for you,

like patients calling to a doctor

to bring medicine

to kill the pain.

Everywhere you want to go, there

is a reason to go,

and a reason not to go,

and your heart struggles

like a wild horse that wants to run free,

held back by the cruel hand of complexity.

"God," you ask, at last,

"where can I find the path of heroes?"

And God tells you:

"First, find the path

of truth."



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I am ugly in o so many ways.

Wounded, strange,

rusty from hiding,


unable to change a social light bulb,

longing for secret places

to be buried

with my wild dreams,

more wild than anybodyís tattoos

(my tattoos are all inside,

but all the wrong people

see them anyway).

Yes, I feel ugly,

like a misfit with no

dark skill,

with no outlaw way out,

no mad ascent among the angels possible,

no guitar or voice

to transform the lonely night,

just this deadly main street

forever piercing my heart,

asking me for answers

I knew years ago

and can no longer give.


Where is my dark angel?

Where is my Valkyrie

to carry me away

on the wings of my

unread poems?


Where is the Buddha of

my defeat,

to tell me I didnít need

a palace, after all,

not even the palace of a book

opened only after I am dead?


Yes, I feel ugly,

for I have seen the highest vision of beauty

and cannot compare to it.

Yes, I feel ugly because

I didnít want the beauty of all of the others,

and mine was too hard to reach.

So I left it hanging there

like a coat nobody takes home

after a party.

Like a star left behind by the night,

lost from the darkness

that makes it shine.

And I became ugly.

Not because I look different than they do

on the outside (though I do),

but because my inside doesnít fit with my outside,

and everyone can see it,

like mismatched colors.

In the end,

I became ugly,

because I wasnít strange enough,

or ugly enough,

I was disfigured by their influence,

by the one step I took

in their direction,

trying to be something

I could never be.



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I Donít Care If Youíre Only An Illusion  



I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

Iíll take the joy

of being a fool.

Itís worth the pain

of waking up.


I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

What is life,

but one long string of illusions,

winding through the desert?

What would we do

without these oases of hope

called mistakes,

these wells of a single day

that quench the thirst

of years,

these cruel sorrows

that fill the emptiness

with the beauty of longing,

with the treasure of things

beyond having?


I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

I want the thrill

of standing by your door.

I want to hear

the heart of life beating

even if I never get any closer

than that.

You do not understand

how priceless is the fantasy,

in the moment it seems to be


You donít understand

how willing I am to be broken

by a vision

that does not fit in the world.


I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

Some remember, forever, the lovers that they lost.

I remember, forever,

the lovers I never had.

Come, be my illusion for a moment,

death is in seeing clearly,

life is in becoming lost

in the hugeness of oneís heart,

which blindness can turn into a palace.

Come, be my illusion!


They say the camel needs

but a drop of water

to walk for months.

This dream is my drop of water.

Let me have it.

Donít worry about my pain when it is over,

your beauty will be mixed in it,

Iíll take the pain

to keep your beauty.


I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

Illusions are the atoms

of life.

Illusions are the flour that makes

the bread of the world.

Illusions are like the jewels

a little girl plays with

when her mother is away,

they turn her into a princess for a night.


Come, be my illusion!

Come destroy me with the beauty of my

dream of being with you.


I donít care

if youíre only an illusion.

For this moment,

you are my life,

and my life is made of moments.



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Attracted To Falling



What an awful part

that wants to fall.

Right off the cliff

of everything respectable

down into the deepest, darkest pit.

What is it

about falling

thatís so alluring,

what is it

about losing everything you have

thatís so erotic,

like making love to your opposite

at the place

where the world ends?

Maybe itís the fact

that they will let you go then.

That they will send you away

like a leper

into the wilderness.

Into the wasteland of not wanting you anymore,

which is the only free place left,

the only place

where a person

can crawl back into the womb,

and come out just the way he wants,

with horns, or wings, or

a mad love for women who wear black.

Maybe falling

is only the secret way

of rising, in an upside-down world.

Maybe life,

not death, is behind the deadly attraction.

Maybe itís because by


you can have another chance

to land on your feet.

Maybe an angel is

putting this

insane idea into your head.



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Who Are You To Tell Me?



Who are you to tell me

who to love

and how?

You, who drop bombs

on cities of infants,

you who

have made lying a way of life,

you, who talk of freedom

while you make people pay for the air

that they breathe

and the water

they drink,

you, who are always looking

for someone to stone?


Stay away from my heart!


I only need to look at what you have already done

outside my door

to know that I do not want to let you in.


Stay away from my heart!


You own the world,

and thatís enough!


Leave my heart

to me.



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Your Own Morality



Act with honor from within,

be driven by your own engine

of understanding; stand by

your own pillar of morality. Donít second guess

the pilgrims, or walk

cramped by their perversion,

twisted and hidden within its flight from itself,

donít be eaten from within by

their termites.

If your action sounds

reproachless like a clear bell

ringing to your soul,

walk strongly and

breathe in, deeply, the air of

your desires,

a purer form of being.



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To A.



I saw you in a dream last night.

What a beautiful meeting!


When we met in real life,

it was just like last night,

as though I were having a dream

of somebody I already knew,

as though I were seeing the ghost

of someone I had loved before,

the shadow

of a past

I could not remember,

yet never forget.

You mesmerized me

on the very first day,

in the very first minute,

you frightened me

with your beauty I did not want to lose,

even before I had it.

Honestly, I was scared of you,

like a man is scared

of a goddess who burns down

every possible refuge

with her fearless gaze.

I was scared of what you could do

to my heart

in an instant

like a child who hurts the toy

she discards.

I was scared of you seeing my helplessness,

my inexplicable love; I was scared

of becoming a joke to you

and your friends

like an old man at a party

who, dancing with young girls,

mistakes their pity for his own charisma,

until he hears

their laughter as the door closes.

I was scared of

straying too far

from what was supposed to be,

like a fish

who jumps out of the water

and canít get back.

At the same time
I could not banish

the attraction,

you were

like gold left lying on a table

which I could not take my eyes

from; like a place beside the road where I had lost something


a place I could not leave,

but had to remain in,


Searching your face,

searching your eyes,

searching the body that seemed to be

your eyes

in another form,

searching the mystery of

why you came so little,

and why something about your beauty seemed to


which is what prevented me

from losing hope.

I could not tell you what I was feeling

as you began to fall apart before my eyes:

not everything,

only a part,

which was not enough.

Still, I begged you to let me help you,

though I did it in my own way,

a hint,

which I thought

would be enough

for someone like you.

I would have let you through the door

for next to nothing,

just the little that was needed to

get you past the eyes of others

who would not let me love you

so unconditionally.

But you would not

break the spell

by becoming only human.

You wore your shining pride

to the end,

following your wound

beyond my reach,

to the old you

who no longer existed

but who you would not give up

in my eyes:

the greatest honor you could give me,

greater than your physical love,

yet also the greatest heartbreak.

For you gave me no choice.

I had to leave you there,


like all the others did,

as though I saw you with their dead eyes,

as though

our hearts had never

met in

that secret inner place

that is more real

than the world.


Forgive me,


Every night I pray for you,

and beg God to let our paths cross again.


This time,

there is a throne waiting

for you.



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Crimes Were Committed



Crimes were committed.

They werenít in the books

but every heart knows.


The law is a wasteland,

the depths of the heart

are where right and wrong live.

You violated nothing


something so


that it canít be seen.

Just like gravity,

that something

binds the planets and the sun

to each other

and gives order

to the immensity

which has no up or down,

no top or bottom,

nothing but nothing,

going on forever.

Just like the air we breathe -

utterly invisible,

utterly indispensable -

this something is what gives us

life, and gives life its soul.

Didnít you ever see a feeling?

Do you expect a heartís eyes

to work the same way

as the eyes

that read a book?

As the eyes that can see

someone dying

by oneís own hand, even,

yet find no page,

no law

that says "No"?


My friend,

your book is a


that means nothing,

your laws are maps

that leave out

what matters most.

One day you came into my

heartís country,

and destroyed it

because you wanted

another life,

to turn into another rung of your ladder,

reaching upwards towards

your private stars,

your jewelry of

stolen light

to wear for all

the wrong eyes.

You murdered me within the vast

empty space

you call the law.


Crimes were committed.

They werenít in the books

but every heart knows.



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An Esoteric Poem: August 13, This Time, That Time



Two weeks before you returned

is the day I died.

(But itís OK

because I was born again

before you left.)

On that day

everything fell,

but its beauty also

became clear.

In the moment of losing it

I knew

it would have to return

because the world needed it

more than death needed it.

And so the pain

became a force,

a flood

bringing what was no more

into the center of

what was,

and washing away

what could not be.

And what was gone

struggled back

through the earth that

had received its defeat,

to hide in the flower

of a new day.

Behold the flower!

Smell it!

Who would think

that it came from so long ago?



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All She Wanted Was Love



All she wanted was love.

She got a bullet instead.

All she wanted was something sweet in

the middle of the rock.

Instead, she got a drop of poison

and that is all it took.

The soulless days

of being thrown out each minute,

the jagged edges of broken dreams

that cut her

every moment she spent

away from her heart,

that is where the

incautious nights

came from,

the deadly nights of trying to win life back,

all at once,

to rip it out of illusions

and the highs of drugs and drinks,

in the shelter of

music and lights

that hid everything that was outside,

away from the center of hoping.

And in her beautiful mind

she was able to turn thieves

into the golden visions

she alone could create,

as Verdi created Violeta,

as Bronte created Heathcliff,

companions blossoming

from herself.

She fled

from her longing

with impostors

disguised by her imagination,

into the exhausted night

that cannot judge,

and does not care,

that only waits for

needing to give way to

yielding, to consume the pain

with the blindness of forgetting.

And she opened her delicate, unfeeling


numbed by all the blows,

and buzzing with her fantasies

that masked

the hungering assassins,

whose crime was not knowing

they were a weapon,

and not recognizing that

she was different.

She opened the


whose petals had never turned into a


since she had not yet

given up.

And into the flower

came the drop of death,

just before the sun arrived.

And she slept alone

that morning,

the shade drawn down

as the secret shadow

began to cover over her hope,

something she could not

sleep off,

like one too many rums.

Until, months later,

the doctor said,

"Now youíre one of them,

in deathís waiting room,

which you entered

through the only door

that said ĎLifeí.

How unfair!

That your love of life

has brought you to lifeís end.

That running from lifelessness,

you ran

straight into Deathís hands!"


At that moment

she felt the sky come crashing down on her,

and all the missing dreams of life emerge to say

"We were not gone, only hiding,

if only youíd seen us!"

And as soon as she saw them,

they disappeared forever

because she had guessed wrong.

And rage like fire filled her heart

for all the things unjustly taken from her

that she had only been trying to return to,

when she had been ambushed

by the final defender of the


And then,

after the rage had lost its power,

because there was nothing it could do

except burn itself into oblivion,

regrets came,

like endless falling

into the middle of everything lost.

For one mistake in

the darkness,

a life was taken -

not only from itself,

but from everyone

who was searching for it.


All she wanted was love.

She got a bullet instead.

All she wanted was something sweet in

the middle of the rock.

Instead, she got a drop of poison,

and that is all it took.



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A Miracle For You



I believe in miracles

because I believe in beauty:

the beauty of the flying bird,

the beauty of the crashing sea,

the beauty of the apple on the tree,

a generous fruit grown around a need,

offered by Godís branch to you and me.


But we donít need rhymes tonight, do we?

We have arrived at the point in life

where nothing rhymes,

and everything is sacred.


As the star is offered to the poet.

As the wind is offered to the sail.

As the mountain is given to he

who has yet to rise above the valley,

so the pain is given

to shake life

out of all its hiding places.

And the tears that stain your cheeks

have changed your face,

as cherry blossoms awaken a sleeping orchard

turning the whole world into light,

with their torch of pink.

You are radiant

because it is near the end,

yet too radiant for the end!

Even the shadows

want to release you now.


I believe in miracles

because I believe in love,

and I am not done

loving you.


I believe in miracles,

because the world is filled with them.

Everywhere you go,

it is because of a miracle,

surrounded by them, witnessing them,

but never knowing it

until it is almost time to die.

Even an ant, even a piece of dirt

is a miracle.

We walk on top of miracle-dust,

we breathe in miracle-air,

our days are lived under a miracle-sun

and our nights beneath a miracle-moon.

How could I not believe in miracles?

How could I not reach out for one,

along the path of miracles

we travel every day?

A miracle for you,

picked by the hand of my prayers

from lifeís inexhaustible tree

of miracles.


Why not?

I believe in miracles because I believe in you.

Because you are a miracle to me,

I want to bring a miracle to you;

to gently shake the tree of

lifeís miracles with my

love for you,

until the fruit of a new beginning

falls, and you are saved for

your rightful time.


I believe in miracles,

because I believe in us.


Because I believe in usÖ



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True Love



If I ever stand in the way

of who you want to be

or need to be,


I have been hurt too much in life,


to bear the wound

of seeing your dead soul

lying in the middle

of the road

of my love.


My heart burns

to see the picture of the slave

in chains

with whip marks on his back,

his country so far away,

on the other side of

an uncrossable sea.

Please, never let my arms become your


Never let my

need for you

become your uncrossable sea.


I am strong enough

to endure your freedom,

to survive you living your life.


They say that true love

is when you release the captive bird,

so that she may

come back to you

of her own free will.

But, I say, true love is releasing the captive bird,

knowing she will never come back.


My love -

all my loves -

I open the cage forever.

I rise above the false love

to the true love.


Though it could be

(and you deserve it),

itís not just for you.

Itís also for me.

I never want to look

into my mirror

and see a killer

looking back.



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The Birth Of Angels



In the loneliest time of your life

an angel will come to you.

Sheíll come

not to save you

but to be saved.

Sheíll come looking for her own angel,

and seeing the halo of your wound,

ask you to touch her with your

healing hand.

And you will be healed

by the faith

she has placed in you,

by the way she has bent down to

worship your frailty;

just as the reverence in your eyes

when you are in front of her,

the wings your need has given her,

will allow her to fly

away from her


When two people play the role of angels for each other,

angels are born.


Pray, when you are hurt,

but donít expect a miracle:

expect something ordinary to suddenly

seem like a miracle.

Or better yet,

donít pray at all:

just cry,

just let your broken heart

fall into a million pieces

on the floor,

because that is what will

make you beautiful.

Beautiful enough

to attract an angel.


It is

from the Heaven of our wounds

that angels descend.


Needing light,

we become light.


Great sorrow

also makes wings.



awaken angels.


I wonder if she

has recognized herself

in this poem,

if she knows yet,

that on the day we met

two more angels were born.



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