Untitled

Chicano poet sits down to write

Pluma en mano

Empty page

Heart full of dolor y Amór

Dodgers game is about to start

Chicano poet will write mañana

Try It

Just try.

I don’t want to.

Please.

Why?

Because I’m asking you to.

That’s not a reason.

Because I think it will help.

Help, what?

Help you.

But what if it doesn’t?

Maybe it won’t, maybe it will. But how will you know until you try?

I don’t know how.

I’ll show you.

You’ve done it?

I have. Lots of times.

And it worked?

Most of the time.

What happened the other times?

I just tried again.

And?

And then I did it again… You’re still thinking about it?

I’m worried it won’t work. I’m worried I won’t like it. What if it hurts?

Some times it does.

It does?

It does. But when it does, you keep doing it and then eventually it doesn’t hurt so much anymore.

What if I like it and don’t want to stop?

Would that be a bad thing?

What if I can’t stop?

Would that be a bad thing?

But… I don’t remember how.

I’m here. I’ll help you.

….

Okay, I’ll do it.

Are you sure?

If you’ll help me.

I will. I’m here.

… Okay.

Ready?

Ready.

Close your eyes. Breathe In… 2, 3, 4. Hold for 4.. 2, 3, 4. And, Out.. 2, 3, 4.

Again, In… 2, 3, 4. Hold for 4… 2, 3, 4. And, Out… 2, 3, 4.

How do you feel?

I think I want to cry.

Okay.

I feel… like I want to do it again. Is that okay? Will you do it with me?

Of course. I’m here.

Thank you, Heart. I missed you.

I missed you too.

Today

I just don’t have it today.

I don’t have the words to write something creative, or fun, or in any way at all interesting.

I don’t have the energy, haven’t had it for the last few months, to come to this page and these little black keys and let my brain unload. It’s just not there.

I don’t have the ideas or the thoughts or well thought out plans to complete a project, or a sentence, or pull a Yellow Pages commercial and “Let your fingers do the walking.” Dating myself much?

I know I should be here. I should show up. Here.

On this blank digital page and let the words type out in digital black ink and type away and let the words simply flow out of me and fly away forever. I know I can look at this page and create a sentence, a paragraph, all in a breath and leave it out there to take up space in the digital cloud. My words, digital rain in a digital cloud.

But I just don’t have it, today.

Because I want to write and let my voice be heard in your head as you read this and let you know I’m still here. I’m still writing. I’m still thinking and feeling and breathing. One breath after another. Over and over again. Minute by minute. I’m still here.

For a person who made his living standing in front of others, speaking and projecting and reciting, today has no energy to sigh.

But I’m still here. Watching the news, scrolling the feeds, scanning the horizon for, what am I looking for? Hope? Inspiration? A message from thundering clouds, sent to a burning bush, purposeful spring water from a broken rock telling me to keep looking up because we can still make it, til we make it. Just keep going.

Because even though I don’t have it today, tonight is coming.

So is tomorrow. Then the next day.

You got this. I believe in you.

This Is What Happens

This is what happens when you spill tea on your keyboard.

Your keys stick and you can’t get the action from them you used to.

Suddenly wat you knew when you hit the little keys and they bounced back at you

is gone

Because the sticky tea you tried to wipe up quickly and let air dry is somehow in the little cracks and grooves of this machine that was a buddy, a pal, a confidant who was there reliably every time.

Suddenly, things don’t work as well as they once did.

They stick.

They mess up and it all seems to go wrong.

It doesn’t turn out the way you wanted.

So you pound on the keys and try to wipe them down with the most gentle cleaner you can find, crossing your fingers you don’t do something you’re not supposed to do and suddenly you have a paperweight.

Do those even exist anymore?

So now, as I type this and try to get my keys to bounce back at me and let the misspelling happen while the program automatically spellchecks my words and changes them for me…

“NO computer, it wasn’t vociferous I was trying to spell. Why would I even type that?”

… I knock against my keys like Ringo Starr being “Atouk”, “Macha! Macha! Macha!”

This is why I can’t have nice things.

I Stay Home

I want buffalo wings too.
But I stay home.
I want to get my haircut too.
But I stay home.
I want to go to the beach, swim, take my son to a baseball game.
But I stay home.
I want to take my bride out to a nice restaurant, have a drink at a fun bar, go dancing.
But I stay home.
I want to work and get paid too.
But I stay home.
I want to see my family.
But I stay home.
I want to do all the things we used to do.
But I stay home.
Not for me.
Because I want to flatten the curve.
I want to keep me and mine healthy, so we don’t get others sick.
I want to not require testing, so it can be saved for those who really need it. Because there aren’t enough.
I want to stay out of the hospitals, to give the overworked – overstressed – overtired – over IT heroes a break from one more person ignoring the warnings.
I want to see you.
Healthy.
Safe.
In your home. Not in a hospital.
Laughing. Not on a ventilator.
Having a drink. Not fed through a tube.
So I stay home.