Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grandmother's Attic

Our lives are secrets

That lay hidden inside

Time-bent volumes of

Leather-bound manuscripts

That attract dust and decay

The way magnets corral

Wayward metal fillings,

Brush and blow the dusty tops

Of antiquated trunks

That harbor memories

The way the rich must

Harbor guilt in their gut,

Gold-flaked padlocks

Can only remain closed

So long as the dust forms unfettered,



Like skin that remains hidden from the sun,

Soft and serene

Gentle and smooth,

And, the more time rains down,

Wavers lethargically though elegantly,

To and fro,

As though to suggest indifference,

And covers these objects

With flakes of dead skin,

The more the dust becomes

A carnal shell,

An epidermis that hides

The truth from the world,

The more time passes,

The more it becomes like performing surgery,

Piercing through the dust

As though our fingertips were scalpels,

Almost hearing an anguish

Or moan as the trunk’s top creaks open,

And we children stare with

The same intimacy and calculated objectivity

That surgeons must employ

During surgery,

Our noses are hit with rank stagnation

That old familiar scent of decay,

That olfactory equivalent

To atoms and cells screaming

As they fade from this form

To another,

Organic putrefaction,

The inevitability that we are

Simply constructed to be deconstructed,

To realign,


To be reinvented,

Isn’t it funny that the skin that once

Hid me from me,

Now covers these objects

And hides their true radiance

From my eyes?

The masks of time

Are our own hidden regrets

Cast over the objects

That have become extensions of ourselves,

And we become confined and defined

By this net,

Yes, we are no longer

Simply arms and legs,

Phalanges and Phenotypes,

But we are the forgotten-furniture,

The clothes we have out-grown,

The photo albums and

Vinyl records whose covers

We ran our fingertips along

As though we were reading

Our own obituaries in Braille,

They decay along with us,

Their relevancy and utility

Fade along with our own,

Their integrity atrophies,

Their waveless appearance

Gives way to the pressure of existence,

Causing it to crumble and wither,

If revelation had a scent it would be death,

If revelation had a sound it would be silence,

If revelation had a face

It would be the image of

The young holding open a trunk

In Grandmother’s attic,

Enjoying that one last moment of life

Before the objects in their lives

Turn on them and begin

Their backward march

To imprison and confine the young

And reduce their life to

A secret letter hidden in a

Leather-bound manuscript



By: Marvin Gonzalez

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20 Poem: A Tale of Love and Lethargy


I used to get high in my room

And, pretend that I was conducting

Piotor Iyllich Tchaikovsky’s

Marche Slave Op. 31 in B flat minor,

An emotionally riveting march

That chronicles, amongst other things,

Ottoman atrocities endured by the Serbs,

And, I felt like I too was composed

In B flat minor

As I B a minor so high

I B lying flat on my back,

Bringing up the French horns

With an elegant swoop of the hand,

You’d think I were a figure skater

In a dark, desolate rink

Dancing with a spot light,

But no,

This boy’s just staring up at

The white topographic ceiling,

Blowing fumes like dormant dragons,

Or, like dust clouds that follow

Rustic wagons,

Lying thusly, divinely supine,

With my Hawaiian shirt popped open,

Kicking open the bottom drawer of my desk,

Whence I produce a glass and cognac

To accompany these

Dances of Sugar Plum Fairies

And half-smoked trees,

Normally, I am white-washed in worry,

But, to-day the weak interaction

Is on display as worry fades away

Like radioactive decay,

So, I suck in some more,


And, as the CD turns over to

The love theme from Romeo and Juliet,

My thoughts begin to swirl

Like spiral galaxies,

Or, instant coffee,

Leaving a spiral print on my mind

Like radial Whorl finger prints

Impressed over my eyelids,

My thoughts are these volcanic clouds,

In Spanish they’re called fumarolas:

Una mezcla de gas y vapor intelectual,

Ay güey no mames,

I realize I am so high I am beginning to

Think in Spanish,

Which is when the smoke

And my thoughts converge,

Producing slightly psychedelic landscapes

Fit for wandering minds,

I set fire to the tumble weeds

That litter my arid thoughts,

And walk through the heat-bent atmosphere

Toward an image of immaculate design,

A brown-skinned beauty,

With dark chocolate locks

And somehow rosy cheeks,

Which reminds me of chocolate and cherries,

But, not those disgusting Brach’s candy

That douche bags give their girl on Valentine’s,

But, more like just

Dark chocolate and fresh cherries

As a snack on a plate,

She is wearing a white dress,

Which flatteringly accentuates her rolling figure,

She waves for me,

In a fluid beckoning fashion

Just as the CD player switches over to

Valse Sentimentale Op. 51 No. 6,

Her sad eyes sparkle

Like that single wavering violin

Whose cries evoke the

Spirit of infinite sadness and glee,

Affecting the very vibration of my heart

So that it palpitates in rhythm

To its frequencies,

She is but a dream waiting for me


Somewhere in space and time,

I don’t know,

Maybe in Seattle or Berkeley, or something,

Taking me in and kissing

These undeserving lips,

Allowing me to retrace God’s blueprint

With my trembling hands,

Only to find my Dad kicking my foot

As I a grope my soggy pillow,

Which I’ve strangely courted

Over a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos

I’ve pulverized into the carpet

With my swinging hips,

Telling me that I need to get up now and mow the lawn,

Goddamn, I am stoned,

It’s going to be a beautiful day!

~Marvin Gonzalez