I Fell in Love with a man from Mars


I fell in love
with a man from Mars
He was ten feet tall
He was ten feet tall

The Earth would shake
when he took a step
or at least
that’s how it felt when you’re small
that’s how it felt when you’re small

The hair on his chest
was purple and blue
his nipples were green, his fingers gray
and I used to bite them all
and I used to bite them all

How I desired to take him to bed
to lay him down
and make him MY man from Mars
but he just wanted to visit the mall
but he just wanted to visit the mall

“Look at these prices and models!
Look at these colors and brands too!
You can’t find any of them at the Martian stores
These shoes won’t come out until next fall!
These shoes won’t come out until next fall!”

MY man from Mars liked to dance
He’d put on extra extra extra extra large pants
Turn the radio on, shake his hips in front of the mirror
And ask me to take him out to a ball
And ask me to take him out to a ball

He used to caress my little boyish face
and give me that stupid grin
all the rows of teeth out of place
How my heart flew when my name he would call
How my heart flew when my name he would call

When my enemies would see us pass
with their devouring eyes and their eagle sharp claws
I’d always shout, “Between us
there has never been a wall!
there has never been a wall!”

Machete Dance

Oh lord I don’t understand
I couldn’t explain

You used to be so quiet
Our invisible angel
Working your magic
While we slept

You labored so hard
We were so proud
We thought you knew
We thought you knew

I know we never went
Down to see you
We didn’t need to
A relationship built on trust

Why would you come up?
The light’s bad for your eyes
Why would you come up?
A place for everything and everything in its place

I could see it in your eyes
You were not well
It wasn’t hard to tell
We told you to rest

Who could have predicted?
Those eyes
Those perturbing red and green eyes
Lost in a sea of white

That horrible nose
Hair sticking out
Snot falling out
Bulbous, porous, yellow and red

Not a pleasant sight
But not a monster either

Those hands
So much kindness in those hands
So much cruelty in those hands
What did we ever do to you?

Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!
Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!

Say good night!
I am not afraid, Sir!
Say good night!
Lead me back home, Sir!

A giant snake
Slithered out of your right sleeve
And devoured my daughter
Devoured my daughter, cruel fiend!

A pack of bats
Flew out of your left sleeve
And devoured my son
Devoured my son, cruel fiend!

Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!
Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!

Say good night!
I am not afraid, Sir!
Say good night!
Lead me back home, Sir!

Crawled out of your pants, Good Lord
They crawled out of your pants, cruel fiend
And devoured my wife

But the machete
You pulled it out of your belt
Oh, you pulled it out of your belt
Yes, you pulled it out of your belt

A flaming machete
It lit up your face
No skin or blood at all
Just sunken empty dry bone

Was God punishing me? Oh no!
Was Satan punishing me? Oh no!
I treated you right
You demon-dead-man-maniac-ghost

Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!
Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!

Say good night!
I am not afraid, Sir!
Say good night!
Lead me back home, Sir!

The cemetery is calling
The cemetery is calling

A rusty old machete
You pulled it out from your belt
and hacked me up
You hacked me up, cruel fiend!

I had done nothing
Just trying to help
I didn’t deserve
Degenerate jealousy, madness, no faith

Was it all a bad dream?
Are you still laboring below?
Tell me, oh Lord
Are you still laboring below?

I should beat some morals into you
or bury you in a hole

Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!
Oh, follow the swing of the machete and dance!
Oh, hear it strike, hear it strike!

Say good night!
I am not afraid, Sir!
Say good night!
Lead me back home, Sir!

Forever Walking

Walking and walking
You can go nowhere

Stares and frowns
Rushed closed and locked
Doors and hushed voices

What are you doing here?
What am I doing here?
What a bother

Walking and walking
Nowhere you can go

If we talked to everyone
Would we still be alone?

The door’s open
Come in
Have a tea, fix my shower

Life is a series of transactions
But we only fake it half the time
Assuming you can cleave halves and haves

Life is getting screamed at
In a parking lot
Without knowing why

People just want assurance
So shut up
And give it to them

Walking and walking
Forever you can go

There’s so much I know
It feels like I know everything
Until I leave my bed

I want to see you


I want to see you
So I can greet you
I want to see you
So I can greet you

It’s the thunder
Hear the thunder
So I can greet you

It’s the fire
See the fire
So I can greet you

It’s the mother
Feel her rivers
So I can greet you

I want to see you
So I can greet you
I want to see you
So I can greet you

Why are you calling me?
Why would you bother me?

The rumble the rumble roars
The flaming the flaming flares
The serpent the serpent swims
The people the people sing

Tell me tell me your name
And I will dance
Tell me tell me your name
So we can drink

Tell me tell me your name
Earths will open up
Tell me tell me your name
Skys will open up

I do not want
I do not want to fall in
Protect me
Protect me from the edges within

Come come come to me
And we will dance
Come come come for me
So I can dance

Dance dance the darkness out
Dance dance the winds out
Dance dance the devils out
Dance dance misfortunate out

I call on you to stop the shivers
I call on you to hear the moon
I call on you to calm babes’ cries
I call on you when mountains shout

I want to see you
So I can greet you
I want to see you
So I can greet you

Good night good night
It’s the night
I want to see you
Tonight tonight

I want to see you TONIGHT!

Never trust a poet

This talk of equality
sounds so very beautiful
but would you not sell them all out
for a brick of French cheese?

Would you not chop up their toes
and toss them in a stew
if someone offered to serve
your head on an album cover?

You speak to me of
challenges you’ve faced
I believe you
I do

But challenges come cheap
in this fucking world
and some people have a pile
a goddamn mountain collection

Maybe one day you’d give up the cheese
and the vinyl
but would you relinquish a suffering past
fucking would you?

We’re all Superman in our heads
we may even rage like Batman
but in our hearts, our stubborn little hearts
we’re still trembling knights of banality

When the queen is dead
we’d probably be moved to tears
but we’d sooner fight for prestige
than honor

We’d sooner lock ourselves in a cage
than free the world
and we’d rather live off death
than die living

It’s too cold out for odes to equality
so put a jacket on
and go back inside
or you’ll catch something

Far from books and desk
shivering, is no place
to long to be clever or original
it’s why they say: Never trust a poet!

Owl of Freedom

Jean Francois was the first black to rebel in Haiti
Take me to Haiti
I wish I was there now
put me on a boat
throw me on a plane

send me off to Haiti
send me off to Haiti
my mind is too weak

I couldn’t say how
I wish I knew how
something in the breeze
I feel it shaking in my heart

sweet airs of freedom
free me from the weak
and cowardly face
looking out of a mirror

I don’t see how
courage will find me
but it might, Papa
when I set foot in Haiti

like an alligator standing in a forest grove
waiting for the blessed blood of the future
I’m shivering, Good God
and the owl of freedom eludes me

as they play the drums
boom boom
as they play the drums
took took in the mountains behind the mountains

paint me a picture of Haiti
sing me a sweet song from Haiti
that’s all I have left, Good God
an image, a sound, a poem, a dance

a dream, my dream
or yours?
What are they worth?
What am I worth?

a student, a pilgrim, a loafer or a thief?
am I lying to you and myself?
no matter, leave some rum at the crossroads
and wait

hearing the train go by
hearing the wind go by
hearing the rain tap tap
and longing for Haiti

tell me again about victory
Papa, tell me again
I am nothing alone
we are nothing alone…

Looking up at the Moon

I remember looking up at the moon
bright yellow wondrous light

I remember looking up at the moon
and longing to cradle it
and say

My dear everything everything
is going to be alright

Why are you crying so
you who birth the day
mother to life?

I can’t explain what I saw
looking up at the sky
a chill?

A sadness a loneliness
a burrowing fear
I don’t know

But I felt deep inside me
all of love’s pain
in a glow

Preoccupied we forget
oft neglected orb
as you grow

You show us memories abandoned
other days other times
other eyes at play

We forget too many important things
understand too little
and suffer

how we suffer

Yet the moon is always there watching my dear
so shed no lonesome tears
just look up

She won’t take pain away
nothing or no one can
but she knows

Kabuki Sundays: Dancing on a Big Wave under an August Summer Moon – Act II

(Click here to read Act I)

Esmeralda and Diamante both enter from stage right in a hurry. Esmeralda takes off her blonde wig revealing short brown hair. She slips out of her black gown to reveal a white t-shirt and black and purple shorts underneath. She takes off her high heels and slips into a blue pair of flip-flops.

Esmeralda: My name isn’t really Esmeralda, it’s João.

Diamante: I didn’t ask.

João wanders back over to the bench, sits down, crosses his legs, places his elbow on his thigh and his chin in the palm of his hand and lets out a sigh. Diamante takes off her wig as well, revealing slicked back black hair. She tosses her dress and socks to the side, so that she is now only wearing a snug sunga bathing suit and quickly runs her hands down her body.

Diamante: My real name is Filippe.

João: Grand!

Filippe: I didn’t ask.

João: I was staring at the moon the other night.

Filippe: You shouldn’t do that.

João: Why not?

Filippe: I dunno, the light or something. It’ll make you go blind.

João: I’m pretty sure that’s the sun.

Filippe: If it were the sun, then that’s what I would’ve said.

João: Ok. Well, I was staring at the moon and it got me thinking…

Filippe: This isn’t going to end well.

João: Can I finish?

Filippe: I wish you wouldn’t.

João: Filippe!

Filippe: You’re so sensitive sometimes.

João: I was thinking, well, you know how beautiful the moon is right? I don’t have to say it, do I?

Filippe: No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the moon before. Please tell me what it looks like.

João: You’re a gas, you know that, Filippe?

Filippe: That’s not how I would describe you…

João: So it’s so beautiful, and I was thinking romantic thoughts, and suddenly it hit me: I should get a new job!

Filippe: I told you this wouldn’t end well.

João: I was thinking maybe that’s just what I need. A new career, a new start, a new…

Filippe: Who would hire you?

João: I’m a very talented young man. Want to see what I can do with my tongue?

Filippe: Ewww, pass! Why would I want to see that nasty thing?

João: And you know how passionate I’ve always been about money. This could be the break I need!

Filippe: And what kind of work did you have in mind exactly?

João: Oh, that part doesn’t really matter, does it?

Filippe: Umm…

João: Ohh, I know, a star! I’m going to work as star!

Filippe: Maybe you should think about something that’s a little more in demand at the moment.

João: Good idea! I could be a computer star!

Filippe: Of course…

João: Filippe! Go get out your phone and start filming!

Filippe: You were serious?

João: Hurry up!

Filippe sighs and pulls his phone out of his pocket. 

João stands up and turns his back to Filippe. He puts his right hand on his head while extending his left hand outwards, twirling it around his wrist. His hips slowly start rocking back and forth, up and down. Gently he brings his hands back down, brings them up and down, back and forth in waves until his whole body becomes an ocean, moving at the whim of distant lunar objects, moving to the call of a clarinet.

João’s hips thrust forward and then stop. His hips thrust to the left and stop again.

João touches the top of his head with his left hand as his right hand nearly floats away.  First his left than his right leg fly out to the side and come back. His knees contort into fantastic angles and come back. He throws his left shoulder down to his hips and comes back. He throws his right shoulder down to his hips and comes back. Then he lowers both of his hands back down again and stops suddenly. 

His head drops all the way down to his knees, and he sweeps the ground with his hands. The tambourine and drums start, and then he really gets into. He slowly raises himself again grinning, tears off his t-shirt and lets go altogether.

His hips go wild. His arms just barely stay out of the way. This is when his chest and shoulders start: POP-boom-boom, POP-boom-boom! They’re out of control; they’ve got a mind of their own. João is still grinning. 

Doesn’t he notice? Isn’t he at all concerned? What if his hips go this way and his chest goes that way, and they completely detach from each other? But João doesn’t look the slightest bit worried. 

As if this weren’t enough, his legs go flying out from under him again, first one then the other and he starts spinning in circles. Each part of his body seems completely independent from and uninterested in what the other part is doing. His stomach looks like it’s caught in a never ending earthquake; he bends backwards and shakes his short hair so that it almost scrapes the ground, then suddenly he vaults forwards into a front flip and lands in a split raises his arms into the sky and screams out with joy. 

Life is beautiful!

Filippe doesn’t say anything. He turns off the camera and puts it slowly back in his pocket.

They’re both silent for a few minutes.

Filippe: Hey, João! What school did you go to?

João: What do you mean?

Filippe: I mean where did you study?

João: How should I know?

Filippe: Because you went there!

João: It was a long time ago…

Filippe: You’re not that old, João!

João: I’ve had more important things on my mind!

Filippe: I doubt it… Why don’t you check what you put on your resume?

João: My what? I don’t speak French, Filippe!

Filippe: Your resume! Jesus, João, you do have a resume, don’t you?

João: I’m a beautiful young man in my prime, and everybody loves me! What more could I possibly need to get a job? A suit? Do you think I need a suit, Filippe?

Filippe: I don’t think that’s your first priority.

João: I bet I’d look good in a suit, don’t you think? Where’s a mirror when you need one?

João gets up from the bench and starts looking around in bushes, behind trees and in a trashcan.

Filippe: If you find where I left my ouzo, let me know!

João: I know I left it around here somewhere…

Filippe’s phone starts ringing.

João: Don’t answer that! It might be Leon! I can’t talk to him like this.

Filippe: That’s great… Did you find my ouzo though? Try checking if I buried it in the grass behind the water fountain.

Filippe’s phone is still ringing. Filippe looks at it calmly before answering.

Filippe: Hello? Yes? Yes? Uh huh. Really? One minute. Yeah. Sure. Yeah. Ok. Hold on. Yeah. Uh huh. I’ll go get him. He motions to João. It’s for you!

Filippe tosses the phone to João who almost drops it and glares at Filippe before answering.

João: Hello? Yes? Uh huh. This is he! Uh huh. Yes. In five minutes? Uh uh. Yeah. Sure. Where? Yeah. Yeah. What? Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok. Thank you! Ok. Ok. Ok. Great! Bye.

Filippe gets up from the bench, crouches down on all fours and starts looking around.

Filippe: This is going to drive me crazy.

João: This is crazy. I don’t know how they found me.

Filippe: I couldn’t have drank it all, could I have?

João: Do you think they saw the video you posted on youtube? Does this mean I’m going to be rich and famous?

Filippe starts digging up dirt with his hands and tossing it aside. João is pacing.

João: I’m kinda hungry… Oh, but I can’t wait! I can’t wait!

Filippe’s head is now buried in the grass and his elbows are pointing out to his sides.

João: Filippe? …FILIPPE!!

Filippe turns his head slightly towards João.

Filippe: Yeah?

João: What are you supposed to say at an interview?

Filippe: How should I know? Just don’t be too honest, ok? Make yourself look good.

João: I can’t lie at my job interview!

Filippe: Look, like the French poet Steve Jobs once said: Earnestness is for books.

João: I don’t get it.

Filippe lifts himself up from the grass, walks over to João and calmly but forcefully slaps him.

João slowly shifts his gaze from Filippe to the sky behind him.

João: Ummm… I gotta go. Bye!

Filippe: Bye!

João starts walking towards stage left. Two green lights appear in the sky and get bigger and bigger. As the lights get closer, it becomes possible to make out what appears to be the dark outline of a spaceship.  

Filippe’s head is back in the grass again. The lights on the stage dim.

Burning Snow


I hate the white snow
Falling down on me
I hate when it gets cold

I hate your snowy city
Bearing down on me
I hate the chill before a storm

But it’s coming
Warmer airs are coming
Some 500 years past their date

The snow will stop falling
I’ll burn it all up
In a steamy bath for the sun

I will render dreams ash on the ground
Crispy charcoal will I make their gold and cry
Smoke out the lies! Smoke out the lies!

How I miss the tropical sun
How I loved its warm embrace
How it would swallow my fears

But it’s gone
and I’m gone
Lifeless paste no more

Happy to feel snow on my fingers
Ignoring the white ice inside
The moon died within, the sun dwindled within

Exu let me in
Ogum grant me a sword
Xango at my side I will strike

Let the snow be gone
May their horde of saints run
So our city might shiver no more

It is right to burn the snow
That torments us
It is right to turn the ice into rain

Thoughts on an Old Man


I think about the old man a lot lately
What must have been going through the head
of that desperate wrinkly hairy sweaty mass
shoveling flesh of flesh blood of blood down his gullet?

Was he thinking about the taste, neither salty nor sweet?
Was he struck by the texture on his teeth?
Was he pondering the world gradually slipping away?
Was he overcome with jealous paranoid relief?

Relief that the future wouldn’t overcome the past
Relief that the taste wasn’t so bad
Relief that the babe hadn’t made too much noise
Relief that salvation exists for those willing to seize it

Did he know who or what he was eating?
Or had he just grown accustomed
to thoughtless alimentary consumption?
there’s no time to look anymore — down it and go

Or had he done it for their own good?
The world belongs to the strong and the brave after all
kids have to learn the facts early on
or they’ll never make it

They’ll never make it
they’ll never make it…

…maybe I’ll ask him one day when I’m strong and brave
after slicing his belly open and tossing him in a cage