When the Wells Run Dry

Published July, 2015, South Valley Enjoy

California is in the midst of an historic drought, and no city has felt the effects of this drought more than Porterville, California. Here, residents are waking up to sputtering taps, toilets that don’t flush, showers that don’t run.

But residents are organizing to offer relief, and finding aid in unlikely places.

Read the article here.

Shadow Boxing

I’ve never been so
Incapable to communicate
While so many letters
And words rest at my disposal,
Despite the depth of feeling
The breadth of our experiences,
And all the moments we shared:
An endless well from which I draw
Now only blanks upon
The white, white page.
So love bleeds in every direction
Since having lost its permanence
And position in this world.
So where now should it go?
To some other holding,
Waiting or embracing,
For which it was never meant?
But restless and wandering
And wanting what
It can no longer possess,
This love goes nowhere,
And thus replaced by an effluence
Of poses and gestures that beg
For another chance,
Just one more moment,
One last lingering glance.
This love would have me fight,
But a shadow boxer
And unwilling partner
Stands at the farther end
Taunting me to wait,
Which to my impatient
And imperfect love
Is like the slowest death.

Building our Future

June, Inside Publications

Sacramento is on the verge of its own cultural renaissance, and local developers are paving the way. Construction for 700 Block – an eclectic mixed-use, mixed-income development – began earlier this year and and should be completed by 2016.

Read about the 700 Block project here.

New York on Main

June, Enjoy Magazine

In all fairness, I’ve spent more time writing in Char-cut-er-rie than eating there, but that’s only thanks to deadlines. Still, I made sure to take all the breakfast and lunch breaks – all of them. Anyway, the only thing better than eating Catherine Heaney’s fare, is writing about it, so…

…read the fruits of my labor here, and then eat the fruits of hers over there.

Sacramento Parent, June Issue

Usually I’m the one writing about others, but in Sacramento Parent’s June Issue, I found myself on the other end of the pen. You’ll find an article about me and my son starting on page 12. Just so happens that the same issue features an article I wrote about the Poodlums, a married couple who writes songs for children with learning disabilities, but whose performances rocks off socks indiscriminately.

Read the articles here.

History’s Dak Viewfinder

Published April 16, 2015, Sacramento News & Review

Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. captures the portraits and stories of his parents’ generation, of Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit displays his present portraits alongside past photos taken in the mid 40s by photographers Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams. While Kitagaki’s work gives voice to Japanese American men and women, these portraits and stories also hold more relevance today than ever, for all Americans, and offer a cautionary tale in this post 9/11 world.

Read the article here.

Perfection (I)

So this must be beauty, form, perfection
Embodied — no dull artist’s expression.
What of Raphael, what of Da Vinci
Then, when compared to her (compared to me)
Or what I shall work of her with a brush and pen?
You see, even Helen of Troy still needs
Homer to sow imagination’s seeds,
To flower into a beautiful bloom,
And to thread the gold through the broken loom.
But Homer, he never held my brush or my pen
And never with pleasure beheld this specimen.

Observe her body’s balanced proportion:
How it keeps itself in all its motion,
How every sigh of breath raises the chest,
How seem supple lips part to kiss and rest
And restless I interpret each possible end
That would send me in shivers down her spine
Erect and measured to make her poise mine,
Round to where she curves subtle as a swell
Upon an ocean, but moves me as well
To such depths where treasures lie yet unearthed, descend
Even further, where my mind’s eye would never mend

The cut of her skirt, well, the wound’s dessert:
Such an injury can’t possibly hurt
When from it flows legs that are white as milk
(And taste as sweet, i bet) and smooth as silk
Without a stocking (thank God) and long; leads me on —
But should ever her shape seem incomplete,
Well, where it breaks the mind will make lines mete;
Give the body harmony and rhythm
And when I match mine how ‘bout a dance, hmm?

But what’s this here, the pinky toe?
The most inconsequential point can pivot the whole
Course — how can this knobbed and gnarled joint
Unhinge all — this petty note but dissonant
Decompose her whole harmony?

But just one imperfection threads
Through the entire pattern;
A frayed and loose end
Threatens what I have strung together,
And unravels and unwinds — what? Time or Change?
Is it that damned toe or is it age
That tears down the image
And makes my Helen seem so old?
What makes the straight back slump,
The locks unfurl and hang
Limp, the lips parch
And crack, the colour of the skin
Pale to a consumptive pallor?
Where did beauty go then
And when did my rhyme
Become cumbersome,
Become an irreverant hymn?

Perfection (II)

Beauty.
Beauty is
Beauty is formlessness
Is what I don’t know what it is
But is definitely indefinite
Is neither that which cannot change
Which is the evidence of life
Is not what is afraid to be
Because a thing itself is
Always itself in all its ways
And she is herself in all her ways
And all her ways are beautiful
Is also why I admire
The imperfections –
They endear us because
Well, what is perfect
Is isolate or, perhaps
Is how the mind habits
Or makes a statue of the living
Because whatever pictures
Or portraits not themselves
Are dead and that is how
The marble mimics beat the breeze
And keep a body’s proportion balanced
Though always suffering the elements
Every mutable blow and buffet and yet
Is also how it stays and still
Is nothing more.

But when the wind
winds her hair into knots
And fans it to a brunette flame
Beautiful is wild is what I want
Is the wrinkle in a cheek
When her smile winks
Or her uneven curves
That turn me to her
These affections for flaws
These elegant imperfections
These cracks in the marble.

Because we’re not static beings but beings becoming
And surgery cannot keep us or make us
Lovelier than we already are.
What face would you frame or feature freeze
Forever or never to smile again, or frown?
Would you so quickly dam running water,
When damned a stagnant pool breeds filth.
So if we must age then let us age together,
And let’s be beautiful, because you know
What perfection is is, is letting go.