Sonnet For A Friend

I drove you out of my life. I’m sorry.

The last thing I wanted was to hurt you.

My love was unrequited. Forgive me.

You don’t love me that way. I never knew.

 

Obsession? Perhaps. Infatuation?

Of course. I thought you were off the chain.

I acted out of sheer desperation.

Something about you made me go insane.

 

I made you ill at ease. Apologies.

I never had any friends as a kid.

And then I kissed you! I had weakened knees.

And to this day, I regret what I did.

 

It’s been years since, and I think of you still.

A second chance as friends? I hope you will.

 

(dedicated to Evan Steven George)

Thoughts As The Sun Sets On Vallejo

Orange is the color of fire

Fire is what the firemen put out

Firemen are the ones whose blazing salaries have helped to make Vallejo a city in flames

The flames of fire do not come from a stray match

But are the results of missed opportunities in the City of Opportunity

WalMart, yes, but no BART

Mare Island is a bare island

Downtown has gone downtown

Six Flags flutter; one is that of surrender

I flee the burning city every weekday

Only to come back and see and smell the smoke

That comes from the raging flames

Of an orange hue

The same hue of the sunset

For the sun has truly set on Vallejo, the City of Missed Opportunities.

I’m numb to the flames and the smoke.

I should be dead by now.

 

(written in 2008, around the time that the City of Vallejo was declaring bankruptcy)

Dream Home

A high-rise apartment

Two bedrooms

Two baths

A breathtaking view of the city

Energy-efficient appliances

Stain-resistant carpeting

Top-of-the-line kitchenette

Living room with flat-screen TV

Cable or satellite (preferably cable)

Top-speed Internet & WiFi

Framed posters of pop icons on the walls

Substantial closet and storage space

 

Me

Lying in bed

At 8:30 a.m.

With my dog sleeping on the bed

What to do today?

Work out?

Write?

Attend class?

 

Whatever it is

At least I have a home of my own

And I don’t have to worry

Because everything is within a 30-minute bus ride

No carpools

No carpool fees

No having to budget your time too strictly

No having to skip meals to save money

No one yelling a you

Enough time

to sleep and sleep in

to do chores without being overloaded

to walk the dog

to go out on the town

to be happy.

 

Welcome home.

It

It is why we are here

From conception to reality

It is our currency

Hot chicks on covers sell more copies

It is our calling card

For a good time call 1-900…

 

People have misused it and then died

You can’t be too careful

It brought down the British government

 

Long before Monica brought down Bill

The Church condemns it so

Yet a naked man hangs on a cross

 

It is why things are the way they are

But it gives so much joy

It is what it is. What’s it to you?

Two Minds, One Car And Nowhere To Go

What he is thinking:

 

Let’s get the fuck out of here!

Time is of the essence; there’s no turning back!

Greener pastures await, dear

For in life, there is no slack

A better life awaits us, and that’s a fact!

 

What she is thinking:

 

How did I end up right here?

I’ve left everything behind; I can’t go back

I’m living in mortal fear

With him I got in the sack

This is my penance. Good taste in men I lack.

 

(inspired by the painting “In the Car” by Roy Lichtenstein)

Dear San Francisco

Dear San Francisco,

 

It’s been almost seven years

Since they took me away

From everything and anything

That mattered to me,

And placed me in a hellhole

Thirty minutes away on a good day

But an eternity removed

From the rest of the world.

 

I’ve watched you grow

From a distance

While I’ve regressed

Before my very eyes;

You’re not the same place

That I left so long ago

And when you see me

I’m a shell of the person I was.

 

I make the odd journey

Whenever it is deemed possible

And I pretend that I’m a local

And that the City is mine;

But it comes with the knowledge

That things have changed

And our relationship is such that

I wonder if we still belong together.

 

I love you, dear San Francisco

From the fog-draped neighborhoods

To the golden strand of sand

And every place in between,

But do you love me back

From my emotional travails

To my intellectual prowess

And everything in between?

 

I left my heart in San Francisco

And I hope you don’t break it.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Sarmiento.

 

(written on a late spring morning after taking a walk through Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, California)

Good Friday (Vendredi Saint)

In Canada, it is a national holiday

The start of Easter weekend

In America, we are mostly Christian people

But nothing is closed today

The Great White North is mostly secular

America was founded by pilgrims

Above the 49th parallel, 3-day weekend

Below… day off? Yeah, right.

We nominally celebrate it, but up there

They have a good Friday.

 

C’est une fête nationale au Canada

Le début de la fin de semaine pascale

Aux États-Unis, on est pour la plupart chrétiens

Mais aujourd’hui, rien n’est fermé

Le Nord Grand et Blanc est pour la plupart laïque

Les pèlerins ont fondé les États-Unis

Au-dessus de la 49ème parallèle, une fin de semaine de trois journées

Au-dessous… un jour de congé? Mais non.

On le fête ici nominalement, mais là-haut

C’est eux qui s’amusent bien vendredi.