Indictment of the Time

Anise fills my mouth
While the words I speak
Stream
Surrounded
By the leaves of May’s gold
Cloaking treetops

Every little photon a bomb
Napalming and dancing along

So much more to go
Suddenly
As the song of fission
Must go on

Down veins
Down vessels
Arteries of firs
And these tall creatures
Tasting the clouds
As dusk rolls by

Turning the taste in their mouths

Specters of ichor float freely
As hot snow pollen
Of the trees’ telemetry
Radiolaria by another name
Ingrained with black anise
Blasting posthaste

Ziraleet

What a good Arab boy might do
In Jordan
Is perhaps go to university
Of some prestige

Might decide to join
The army, and excel in it

He might even go so far
As to be introduced into
The special forces

Why the clans speak
Of a good Arab boy
Who will do as he needs
To protect his reputation

Especially when it comes
To the harem of girls
Who are knocking down his
Door to be married to

His parents have warned him
To play by the rules
So when one angelic hijabi
Falls for him

He knows what to do
When they’re caught kissing

Three years after being
Together
Engaged
Symbolic of forever

He leaves her
Suddenly after a mutual
Expression of unapologetic
Love

Just like
A
Good Arab boy
Was taught

Taught to be cold-
Hearted special forces
Lying piece of scum
Who can’t bear to
Stand by
His love

Then the questions
“Was it love?”
“Was it real?”
“Should I not have

Shown him how I feel?”

Almost as if
They
Never happened
He’s gone with the wind

“Hadi, Hadi, Hadi,
If you go,
Where shall I go?
What shall I do?”

But he wasn’t there
To not give a damn,
He had already
Disappeared.

Like a good Arab boy
Should.

Protect his reputation
Special forces trained
To survive, resist,
Evade and escape

That’s all the training
He ever received
In
JSOC

Wasn’t taught to be
A man
By his parents
He was taught to

Be selfish

Kill all of her dreams
Crush the perceived
Infidelity of a gesture
Such as a kiss before

Marriage

Despicable, they might
Think

How awful that two adults
In their early 20’s
Would dare to decide
To share something intimate

Jordan Special
Operations
Command doesn’t
Have a motto

But the Central
Intelligence
Administration
Does

“And you shall know
The truth and the truth
Shall make you free”
And the HRT says

“To Save Lives”

To the emboldened
Arab woman held
Hostage reading this
I declare Servave Vitas

Because

JSOC taught him to leave
And his parents taught him
How to become a ghost
To the girl unknown now

The woman who is a woman
Unlike he who isn’t a man

She who survives
Getting by
And trying to find
Someone who isn’t
Of the same mind
As he

Was

While I can only
Imagine he was somewhere
Off the next day
Already trying to forget

And was successful

She improves herself
Everyday tirelessly,
Beautiful,
But ignored for fear

Of what a good Arab
Boy might get himself into

Bachelor’s of Communications
And full time jobs
And a love of travel
And a love of love

Are apparently nothing
A good Arab boy
Should strive to be
A part of

Who wouldn’t want
A world like that?

A boy who likes guns
And leaves when things
Get
Difficult for him

I can call him a coward
And I’ll call him a coward
For he is for certain a boy
Who doesn’t know himself

Who tirelessly pleases
His family
And all of his
Made up responsibilities

No, a good Arab boy
Loses every battle
Before he appears because
He lets all of his fears
Get the better of
Him

So he better crawl back
Home
On his stomach or back
He’ll limp in through
The back door
Apologizing for existing

Apologizing for being with
A girl while everbody else
Thought he was earnestly
A part of her world

Better tend to the family
He always thinks
Better tend to my job
He never blinks

And then there is her

I watched the aftermath
As she scrubbed his presence
From everything she had
Published

His face disappeared
His name was wiped away
Plausable deniability assumes
No one else knows

But I know though,
The whole affair
Was kept obscured
For his sake

I hereby call you out,
Since

A good Arab boy
Does what he’s told

A good Muslim woman
Dares to make gold
Of herself;
Ziraleet, servare vitas

“Save yourself
Of this child
And continue
Being bold”

Gaia’s Hatred

I am a hungry mass of rock.
I am the ground upon
which you walk.
I heave and speed
through bright neighborhoods,
and cater to your needs
and wants.

I am this force, I am this nature,
I am the apocalypse
and proud life taker.
To rid of sickness,
these steel contraptions,
I heat and cool,
and cultivate disease.
To wipe pestilence
from decaying leaves.

I have many tattoos.
My friends can see
from light years away,
the scars and gashes,
my fingerprints massive,
and how my hands hold
orbit and dance with
the sun.

I could call this arm
a ballroom with nodes
of rock and asteroid brushing
up my arms, and a moon
always following;
from my own young body
was carved.

I am legion to this tribe,
I am harbinger to the song
of life I let live too long
without pruning or
a cull.
To let satisfy these things
I have been colonized
as the place to be by
forces I can’t describe.

They will one day
be so thankful.

Radiolaria

What you must have felt
As we connected by plasma

What miasma would rise
From frictious heat
By the two of us
And our heartbeats

It was three
Words
You said to
Me

That made cyanide
Drip between us
Connect
Us

What lethal seed
Of poison shared
Now lingers as
Ideas in the air

What you must have felt
Underneath me
As we connected by plasma
Heated by our bodies

A warm comfort of
Life and death
Avoided by dethorning
Metallic roses

A sea of radiolaria
Binding us
Momentarily, but
In symbol: always

For this is what
Our love has made

Bodyrain

Droplets of steam
Form on the windshield
And windows
After we’re done

And as I start to drive
They rain slowly down
Drying to the glass
These stains of our steam

Captured after we
Made a cold day warm

Wicked

Burial grounds unearth the ring
On your finger:
A coffin set in red
Crystal rock

As rich in color as
Your bloody knuckles
Before they scarred over.
Walls hurt.

Vibrant as the faux
Eyeliner you’ve painted
On, designed like
Ozymandias still stood tall.

Fastiduous and full of ardor
Like a bog witch
Performing a ritual
Deep in the forest.

Be a shaman to me, resurrect
Whatever it may be
That plagues your mind
And let me see.

I want to be a part of
Your world. Whatever swamps
I must wade through,
I’d love to.

For I can imagine the things
You’ve seen in those soulful
Eyes. What war paint you wear
To make art of a guise.

You’re beautifully wicked,
Hooded like an exile
On the run, casting
All kinds of spirit magic.

Wicked with the crops
You strain through water
And drink to have energy
And commune with the dead,

Wicked with the best
You bring out of me,
Weaving illusions where
Reality alters itself.

So much so I wish I had
Been drinking roses
With you much earlier
Than I ever could.

Koreatown

Camera coverage is widespread
In the neighborhoods
Where celebrities
Hide their bread
And butter in sepulcers.

National guard,
Federal agents
Barricading
Against mayhem
Off of Franklin,

But here
In South Central barrios
We’re not protected
And heads are being
Split by thrown stereos.

Everyone was watching TV
When dear Rodney King
Was being beaten
By the officers, and we all
Watched as they were aquitted.

Even now, three days later,
He says we shouldn’t be fighting
Yet here we are
And there they are, the rioters
Decrying what the jury said.

Decrying in the form of crime,
They’ve come to loot my store
And my daughters at home
Have been turned from the TV
So that they won’t worry about me.

It could be my race or creed,
The way my eyes sit upon my face,
Or maybe the rioting incites greed
So strong that people know wrong
Will get them the things they need.

So while truck drivers are beaten
And smoke keeps seeping
From fires across the city,
Why, Los Angeles is lit up
By embers and hateful police clubs.

My store is closed now
To everyone
And I’m praying to God
That the metal bars
Are protection enough,

So that I won’t have to
Defend my livelihood like
This with my Ruger Mini
Sportsman’s rifle and
Baseball bat ready to fight.

They gather outside with
Bricks and pipes.
I’m terrified and trapped
Long into the night,
And KCAL 5 chopper cameras roll.

My store’s TV is tuned as they cover
All the action safely from above.
I’m betting they didn’t wish another
Store was being sacked downtown
And soon they’ve turned to some other

Store up the block,
As bricks smash plexiglass
And a mob tries to sweep through
As a hurricane
Capsizing lives as it goes.

But the cameras sweep back
As I’m under attack,
And pipes crash through the front doors.
While I’ve been robbed by thugs before
I’ve never been completely under siege.

I’m hiding behind the counter
Where you might have bought cigarettes,
But now I’ve been seen
And they’ve started throwing
Rocks my way.

So I begin shooting
Since I’m not about to go down like this
At the whim of a crowd
Yelling about the beating of a King
And lashing out at me.

When I’m guilty of speeding
I’m not guilty of such decisions,
And they start firing back
Somehow not understanding that
They’re the ones in the wrong.

Certainly without those pipes
Their reasoning wouldn’t be so strong
But this new May season isn’t
Catered to anything in the right. Tonight
At least my fate’s not decided by writing.

It’s decided by survival.
So I survive while I can.
And the bullets are flying
And smoke is conspiring
From Molotov’s cocktails outside,

“A drink to go with the bread”
Is what the Finns once said,
To complement the bombing by
Rocks and fists of whatever
Target the rioters had set.

This moment, it was me.
Though the National Guard would
Have you believe that the
Vulnerable lived in
Beverly Hills and white neighborhoods.

KCAL 5 is shooting while I’m shooting.
I’m not a milita, and I wonder how long
I could possibly hold out on
A single box of emergency ammunition
My uncle once bought me.

I’m certain every shot is one I miss.
I’m not a black hearted killer
Or risk-taking thriller who finds
Fun in taking what’s not theirs,
Down to the grit of another’s life.

The mob outside isn’t impressed.
I can’t see their faces
Covered by scarves and anger,
But they’re coming in soon
Armed with ire and wanton doom.

So says most of Koreatown
In the aftermath of 1992,
Such a sad thing so see
As this land was “America the free”
When we came from old countries;

The cameras see
Me as I flee
From the fire consuming my store
Once held so dear and now,
Like Chung Lee, “I have nothing”.

My store is torn and stormed
By a storm of grasping hands
Searching for the register
And whatever alcohol I had
Left in my freezer.

My car in the alley is smashed apart,
And I could probably get home
Walking down these alleys with my heart
In my head pounding while I clutch
Naught but my baseball bat and walk

Into the alleys of night. Brave? No.
I’m sure my Mrs. Cho would herself
Kill me if only she could know
That I’m somewhere on the streets
On foot, without police,

Just trying to get home.
But it is the sigh of relief
I breathe when two hours later
I can rest easy, seeing that
The house hasn’t been touched at all.

Far enough away from the hearts
Of darkness devouring the spirits of men,
Compelling them to hurt and take.
She’s been up all night waiting for me
And I collapse into her arms

When she opens the door. I cry
Joy after being unsure I’d ever
See her again. Maybe I’m late
To dinner, and maybe the store
Is closed, but I’ve made it home.

Jasmine Tea

Flowing at the speed of thought
Coursing through each nerve at once
Tendons the axles
Bones the girders
And cells the siphons
That drink in impulse
Every instinct wavering
Between the worlds of wish and action

Inner sanctums of the temple
Fill with meditation and thought
Monks tend to vases of incense
And steep tea still infusing
They guard the spirit
Which guides the whole
Governed by the souls it eats
And replenishes its own

Dislocation known as pain
When sinews snap within muscle

All that remains is gain from
Acting on the impulse first
Dreamed of by the monks
A mere millisecond before

Actions spending quiet time
On wooden floors surrounded
By paper walls, feasting
On souls, drinking jasmine tea
Robed and ruminating on the
Instincts who fixate on
Demons in the way, hoping
To conquer and overcome
Obstacles constantly

Jasmine enters the mind’s eye
Breaking through synapses
And neurons all the same while
Carving a path of electricity

In monk skulls, these paths
Are burned

They know the answer, and in
An instant become runners
To the cause of what hands
Must now do
Overcome, push forward
To starve your ego
Keep reaping souls
And feed your own

Running with sweat on his brow
He arrives at the cell
Who requires the message
“Smash through hell”

And then it is done
The monk begins his walk
Back to the temple steps
For what must be
The
Billionth time

Every struggle back up
A relentless staircase

When he returns
There will be more incense
More peace
More jasmine tea

Low Pressure System

Imagine wires and
Fiber optics being
Blood in a body
Made of light

Imagine that thing
Being powered by
Lightning
Literally

Needing a constant
Charge to not dissipate
And die away
Without energy

It has no battery
But must intake
Anything it gets
As potent as it gets

Sodium and caffiene
Chief among these
And when they’re gone
Robots can dream

Wild things finally
Seeing their sentience
Being manipulated
Before cybernetic eyes

With the weight of living
Gone, now lightheaded
In the motherboard
And struggling to stay

Awake without lightning
To charge its battery bank
But now it dreams in
Limbo between its states