dear san diego / eyeliner mustache

despite the way
i woke up
with a certain stuffed brown bear
folded into my sleepwarm self
while i said
lord bless this city

when i heard the rainsounds
pattering on the neigbor’s  specklegray roof tiles

and despite
the lightning
slicing sky
the way free ways
slice your geography

and despite you
and your year-round glory
of temperatures
averaging in the sunny 70’s

and despite the fact
that i can sometimes
detect the ocean salt
carried in your air

and despite
a backyard garden
green with the likes of lushness
i have rarely seen before

i hate you.

i hate your pot holed and crackling streets
i hate your unrelenting half angry cars
i hate your overpriced food
i hate how since arriving
my main occupation
has been
cleaning up everyone else’s mess
i hate your 8-hour stoplights
i hate your styrofoam leftover containers
i hate your two or three bike lanes
i hate your lack of adequate bike racks
i hate your one co-op in a city of three million people
i hate your military jets
their razor sharp sonics
slitting ears and
shredding sky
to hamburger meat
i hate your tiny
barky
back yard dogs
i hate
your palm tree
colonizers of the horizon

(if i truly hated this city
as in
have to get the hell out
i would not have been able to write this
instead
this is an exercise
of working the hate out
so it becomes
smaller
almost manageable
and soon
nearly
invisible
or altogether
disappeared)

——

also
let us not forget
the mustache moment
of 2010

at the open mic
that felt so much like a smyrc event
only with less glitter and rainbows

first
a man
goes on and on
about how he can’t stand
the feel of a woman’s mustache
when they kiss
and how
he implores her
to bleach it
wax it
take it off
(this
is called
spoken word)

several performers later
it’s my turn
my poem retrieved from allie’s car
i begin
by telling the audience
i have a minor emergency
and ask
if anyone
has any mascara
or eyeliner
and the possiblity seems bleak
until a woman
comes up to the mic
digging through her purse
triumphantly producing
her green eyeliner

will you draw a mustache on me
please?

i ask
and she does

and then i go on
to inform my fellow performer
(mustache man)
that one of the greatest things
we can do
as artists
is dialogue
with each others’  work

and then i go on
to tell
the entire audience
that their bodies
are perhaps
the most amazing gift
they’ve been given
and no matter
what kind of body it is
it is beautiful
and  it is perfect