Monday, November 6, 2006

One New York Summer Night

I watched you sleep
I let myself be taken
clueless and carefree
at peace at last
upon your perfect skin
upon that perfect road
between your neck 
and your shoulder
your body, limp and flawless
reminded me of nothing
and everything I've ever seen
before or after

Naked, motionless, helpless
like a dead bird
a dead puppy 
still warm, eyes shut, lips dry
heart pumping
reclining on its right side
as if clinging
to the side of God
the side of calm
of everything and nothing

The curve of your hip projected upward
bent and stretched at full potential
the arrow left the bow 
singing and trembling
towards the ceiling light, 
towards the eternal
towards the moon, into the night
and disappearing
in the direction of heaven
with its angels

A mess of fine dark lines, 
a revolution
in the shape of a crown
expanding black halo
a slow-burning black sun
exploding in my head
and on my pillow
your face, serene and calm
framed and surrounded 
by the mane of black sun rays, 
like a painting
of a renaissance virgin
of a martyr
a long-forgotten saint 
inside a chapel
in the town of San Miguel,
San Juan, San Pablo
by Giotto, Raphael
or Caravaggio

I watch you sleep 
peacefully, basking
my elbow firmly rooted 
in the mattress
in the glory of your presence
stiff arm bearing
the full weight of my skull
and all its contents
the full weight of my sorrows
with their secrets
with the weight of my thoughts
and my tomorrows
my eyes glued to your chest
to your tiny waist
to the rest
to the formidable arch
of your silhouette
in the space
in a trance
at peace 
with myself last

New York City, November 2006 (from an idea originally drafted in 1983)
© Copyright 2006 Alberto Ruiz. All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's Over When It's Over

A night and a day chasing each other endlessly
a young bird and a feeble imagination closer to the edge
instinct tells me, the odds are against them tonight
neither one can swim or fly but they believe in God
the optical nerve attached to the right side of their faith
couldn't predict the end of their world, nor could the plans they made.

The pains they felt were as bittersweet as the joy they shared
for the injuries they sustained were as self-inflicted as the love they gave
The young lovers trusted their hearts to an old song, big mistake!
they would have noticed their own lives collapsing but they were too busy living
they were careless in the face of oblivion, one could say arrogant even
nothing could have prepared them for the end to their auspicious beginning.

The sky darkened, the soil from underneath them started crumbling
they held each other's hands and it started pouring
one of them fell in the mud, the other one kept on running
realizing the obvious absence, he stopped all of a sudden
two steps short of salvation he looked back and hesitated for a moment
big mistake! the wounded one took notice
She closed her eyes and waved goodbye,
It's over.

Copyright © Alberto Ruiz 2001/2008 All rights reserved

Friday, August 11, 2006

Down We Go Together (Fast)

This one is for you, Susie
Tootsie, Lucy, Sprucie, Watoosie
or whatever your name is, Missy
This will degenerate, I guarantee you
it will slowly build into a crescendo
which will be hard to stop in regulation
but time has come and gone she's old and fragile
she broke her hippie boyfriend's purple bathrobe
wear, tear, fear, smear, keep the rhyming constant
but remember to do it on your own time!
This is neither the place, nor the swine
across the prairie, Mary dropped her left one
steady at the go but ready to blow
down the chimney she went job searching
stringing these words along and singing
following the path laid down before her
drinking the juice straight from the container
what was your name again? Ah! Laura
I must be at the wrong station, please forgive me
this train reeks of pretension and I'm stinking
Tell me, Dodo, do you do? or don't you?
you know, you do, do you? or won't you?
won't you do the do-run with the scissors
or have you forgotten our appointment?
how much more time before the big one?
is the small one any closer?
why don't you snatch that opportunity?
and tell the world about your father
he says hello, he rots in prison
for a crime he said was not committed
but the judge saw things much different
the money had exchanged hands in his honor
you're free to go wherever they have prisons
three squares a day and seven circles
two quarters make one half of half the total
add them all up at your discretion
make them pay, c'mon, you started it!
I could end this if I want to
but I'm way too selfish to deny it
Stop! OK, I'll say it:
the shoes don't match the hat your mother gave you
there! are you happier since the accident?
I am, I'm super static
I sing along with the TV car commercials
they bring back memories of Lillie
the way she ran across the backyard
and scared the scary italian neighbors
makes me feel inadequate and silly
but life goes on, you know, she's waiting
impatient and decisively reciting
the rules of engagement to a surgeon
can you believe her luck? the bastard!
her mother must be proud, they come from nothing.

Copyright © 2001/2008 Alberto Ruiz. All rights reserved

Monday, June 12, 2006

You Tell Me

This a tragedy and we should let the healing begin
You say "we must learn to love and tolerate each other"
You asked us to be honest and to do unto others what we wish to have done unto us"
How could we make sense of this tragedy if we can't even feel our hearts beating underneath this heavy armor?
How can we start the healing process if we can't even begin to understand the nature of our wounds or what caused them?
How can we tolerate one another if we fear our differences and hate ourselves for faking kindness?
How can we love each other when we're too busy procuring a brighter future for ourselves and failing at it?
How can we prove our honesty in an empty room?
How can I do unto you what you have done unto me without killing you?

Copyright © Alberto Ruiz 2001/2008 All rights reserved

Thursday, March 23, 2006

La Novena de los Santos Rieles

Bouncing around inside my head you wonder
in my dreams and underneath the full moon, hiding
inside the house you live in with your parents,
your siblings, your regrets and your misfortunes
Under the Tropic of Cancer forced to grow up
grinding to dust your teeth, in constant horror
unbeknownst to you the distant future
would fire her machine in your direction
with bullets made of pleasure and of sorrow

You sneak into my chest and to the far left
a locomotive, abandoned and defeated
left for dead, insane, schizophrenic
talking to itself without an answer
eternally condemned to rewrite stories
of halcyon days and youthful hedonism
of shiny chrome, sweet wine and tender fabrics
at its back the wet wind slowly eroding
its carcass once regarded as impressive

Like the train at the dusk of its existence
I fold in equal parts your yellowed portrait
like the pleats of your skirt, the one you hated
and I place it ever careful in my memory
alongside all the things I have neglected.
The ties are simply stronger than the area
between the two of us, the immediate compass
but never, as persuasive as the blood stream
which seems to rule the bodies with desire

Approaching a tight corner to the far right
a defiant tiny curve would rise to power
the metal wheels screeching, barking orders
to the pistons red with rust from unemployment.
The rails once separated by the humans
will meet at last to make love in the distance
although no one will see them in their bedstead
they will see themselves in one another
and they will love each other everlasting

New York City, March 2006
© Copyright 2006 Alberto Ruiz. All Rights Reserved