Enter Home Planet News Poetry of Issue #6                        Page 31
Table of


& we remained	it wasn't too late
				spilling air
We talked about	what Buddha meant
			in the stagnant night
Going back to our women	he said
				In our underwear
The watermelon eating	fizzing stars &
			global warming before us
			we were sixty-three
on the wooden chairs	silent &
			California was
			drying up
On an Echo Park stoop	he & I sat
				It was the summer
he had the chemo	hoping for a breeze
			It was the summer lawn
turned to straw & we were
burning down		side by side
				He told me
O the watermelon	how sweet & icy it was

  Michael Dwayne Smith __

All Those Ideals of Rivera’s

Some mornings throw open, inexplicably, like unguarded prison gates, and there he goes, a what-we-can-accomplish-together conversation machine, so certain he's fixing everything he broke yesterday. In his teens, he pissed on wall— school, police station, museum, hospital, library, church. Painted murals and talked to Diego in his head. Walls didn't matter. Separation did. He taunted barricades, and he danced atop the cinderblock that corralled neighbors' homes. It was better than a movie-house matinee, all those candid backyard snapshots. He glued the Polaroids to his parents' rooftop, a mosaic only he and God and a few Cessna pilots could view. From up in the air, we look all get-along, related, familial. Eye to eye, we be all racist, rapist, murderous. How to hide our bodies. But they're so heavy full of brokenness. To drag them out. To hop the wall. Give ourselves up, cop a plea to what seems fixable.

  Michael Dwayne Smith__

Set me free
©Patricia-Carragon: Set-Me-Free (1)
At Sixty, a Young Woman Can Be Mistaken for a Spiritual Experience

He thinks about life after death, decides not to believe—
once around is enough. Decides secretly to be a large
hibernating mammal waking up to call himself “B. Curious.”

He stopped talking to Santa late (at eight), though Saint Nick
seemed realer than Holy J.C., who was really kind of a drag.
Nothing worse than a lecturing hippie. Television

did in a pinch. But now! Sleepy time is over. Mother died,
then he only had sister, and she died, too, so together
that makes Two Wolves and a Bear. Coyotes hang around

bungalows once occupied by contract actors. What sort of
paradise was that, one wonders, during those golden
reeling years. And what are poets thinking, anyway,

optimism always giving in to gravity because we need to
believe in the kind of everyday falling we do, as a matter
of course, obvious, and in need of a song. He wouldn’t have

flapped homemade wings except for poets falling, too.
At this Hollywood bar and grill, he thinks you are glamorous.
He thinks you are in his price range. That you are either

mysterious or a case of buyer’s remorse. Either way,
he’s going to regret not regretting you. You’re so beautiful,
he growls softly, How do you even have to pay rent

in this world. He sees right through you through Jeffrey
Lebowski shades. Outside, coyotes crowd The Strip
to watch you drive your new white Lexus right into the sun.

  Michael Dwayne Smith__
Jackson Healy Turns a Corner

From the backseat of John’s Prius
Jackson can hear both Ken Kwan,

breaking down the five indisputable
reasons that The Stones are the greatest

rock and roll band of all time,
and driver John, always agreeable

by way of an indisputable
Southern charm—him answering

Ken’s string of idiosyncratic
assertions with “yes,” and “absolutely,”

answers syncopated with swigs
from the leather-encased flask earlier

filled with a particularly fine bourbon
(whilst worrying about Democracy’s

impending demise, how the worst
of the South has indeed risen again,

like a petty, sadistic Jesus). Jackson
turns his head to the left, to the right,

and can feel late California summer
afternoon passing both of them by,

sunsetting his life, a moment not
unlike when one first realizes a small

happiness, after a great many years
grieving a particularly cruel death.

  Michael Dwayne Smith__