Wednesday, November 30, 1983


from an Edward Hopper painting

A green Ford hugs the driveway. 
Adobe walls collect warmth from the sun.
Inside, the waiting woman’s maroon dress
vibrates, sunlight divides the room into shadow,
and sand scatters across the vast dunes 
in random patterns.

No idea when, in my Napa Poetry Conference journal. Probably written in class. added 2020

Wednesday, November 23, 1983



As you breathe in the light,
softly fallen 
from your face
reveals these burnt wings
in your eyes.


Tuesday, November 22, 1983


Jack was the ultimate myth,
a movie star of politics.
Marilyn was too demure
with the older hero played by Reagan.
We headed for Nam willingly,
Some say, we were led by the stars.
We’d do anything for that smile, those eyes.
And what did Marilyn do besides smile?
Somewhere, someone sings
a song of three oranges.
Women wilted in the heat
because they opened up too soon.
What eyes reflect this desert thirst?

People keep talking of Kennedy 20 years later.
How they were afraid to go out into the streets.
How Kennedy’s eyes followed them home,
as if that link were responsible.
We travel from place to place.
Someone asks, where were you
the day Kennedy was shot?
I feel like I’m falling back into the 60s,
searching for a joint and a dry country.

I painted my binder black with shoe polish
the day Kennedy died. I was in the third grade.
Ginny, a dancer, cries as she describes the art of ballet.
Women on a pedestal, kept in the boudoir.
So, keep up on your toes ladies.
Uphold a 200-year-old tradition.
In the aerobics studio, women stomp to the music.
They don’t want the tradition.
Ginny weeps in the isolation that is Chico.
We huddle around the table,
more alone together, than together alone.
It drizzled the day Kennedy died.
An Air Force man from Oregon tells me
about cross country skiing at base camp.
We need to keep the Hamilton Air Force Base
in the military, he says, in case of attack.
As if a tidal flat surrounded by coastal hills
would ward off a nuclear blast.
Some 20 years later, I can still see Kennedy’s eyes
reflected green off the water, in the streets,
and people hesitate, afraid to return a smile.


Monday, November 21, 1983


A row of red trees, a cerulean bowl
rolled between upturned palms.
The weight of the bowl, like an ocean.

A man in a red jacket
ride his bike up main street
with a large blue parrot
clinging to his shoulder.
Blue feathers like tide pools
on a bright red sea.

The dark room wraps itself around you.
Your eyes, darkness falling from your face
as you breathe in the light.
Your eyes gather in the moths,
and irregular fluttering of hearts
fanning the flames,
burnt wings rekindled in your eyes.

One of the few poems I dated. From NPC journal
I think that last stanza become Mothlight

Waiting for what?

Sometimes I wake up mornings wondering why I’m still waiting and what is it I’m waiting for. I am afraid to look into the eyes of old people because I don’t want to see what is human in myself. Too many things make me cry. I avoid looking into the eyes of the world because I am reminded of what is human is in myself. My heart is a door, the red rimmed eye of the clock is pushing us ever onward.

1983, no date November? Next poem is 11/21.

Tuesday, November 1, 1983



Waiters silent mouth cowboy songs
a silent croon, unintelligible, forgettable.
One of the good old boys
butters his toast up the local law,
the biggest, and the only game in town.

added 9/2016