Tag Archives: money

each dollar slips away

each dollar slips away,
faster than i can seize and hold;
even if i can get a grip on it,
it rushes from my pockets like
it can’t wait to run away, loose
itself among the millions duped
inside some name brand store
where i didn’t care for the
purchase itself, only i believed
the tales they told, how much
i needed it and how better my
life would be if i had the
sixth item in the newest color.
this is how money shrinks, and
how i shrink after everything
liquidates in one irrational
moment to buy into a temporary
high of nothingness which
reflects me and leaves me
lost and abandoned, regretting
the aftermath of following
a trend, which never was so
welcoming, only i participated
over and over like it would
make some difference because
i too dared to fit into places
where i thought i might belong…
i just wish it didn’t cost me
an arm and a leg to stand this
close to your perimeter, to
access the inner parts of you

poem©mrg 3/30/17

$10 Bucks Too Late

When I’m not writing, I’m in the kitchen. This is, after all, what supports the poetry and the arts. Over the years, I’ve learned this place of knives and cutting boards, this space of ingredient-stocked walk-ins, is a place where I am constantly pushed and tested. Challenged for how good I can make certain items and always pushed, if not harassed, for time. The combination of speed and predilection for achieving goodness in every dish is most desired in a kitchen. It should be highly desired, but, over time, it has revealed politics too is a game changer in this environment. Do you sell your soul, compromise every bit of your integrity for a piece of the pie? It’s just pie… sold at a grocery store near you.

However, today I’m remembering a different type of test. The kind which I didn’t know whether I passed, but one I’ve always felt I failed miserably. Of course, food was involved.

College. Long Beach. Supporting myself for the first time. Money was hard to come by. Worked at the bookstore, studied at night. Every penny reserved for books and tuition. For dinner one night, it just so happened I had 20 bucks on hand just to get me some nachos with carne asada at the corner tacqueria down the street. So I walked over, got in line, paid for my nachos with $10 and some coins as change in my pocket. Just when I was about to walk back to my apartment, a man accosted me. He didn’t have speech to his name nor did he have money which is what he asked from me. His face was brown and wrinkled and his shirt was grimy. I gave him the change I received, but held on to the $10. Based on his facial features, this was not enough for him. I wanted to give him more, but I remembered how I could not part with that $10 bucks. I had to save it. I walked home thinking I had $10 bucks and it seemed wrong trying to save it. And when I realized I had to definitely part with it, I ran back to the corner tacqueria prepared to part with both nachos and $10 bucks. Only when I arrived at the corner, the same unkempt man without speech was nowhere to be found. I searched every street nearby, he couldn’t have gone far. But he was gone. Disappeared.

Throughout the years, the face of this man would haunt me. His gray, curly hair which matched his dirty shirt would enter in and out of memory. He was the one I wasn’t able to give to freely. He was the test and I failed him miserably. This moment in my past would be one my initiations, my rite of passage to food. What ought food to be in this world and, in essence, what ought riches to be used in this world? I’ve collapsed the two together, I know. Food and money are both currencies in this world which we shouldn’t hold on to so tightly, but what I’ve learned is that it must be shared. The path my life has taken, having hoarded so much whether knowledge, the amount of food I’ve eaten or even the amount of poems I’ve held back, everything must be shared.

how can i forge you

how can i forge you still
as i do in this great canvass
where streaks of my own blood
and sweat, the purple paint and
the red drip off the edge and
spill over into my dreams—
i know your struggle to be
mine, lost and undecided…
two outsiders left under the
pouring rain, drenched. by
tomorrow we’d catch cold and
in bed our fever shall rise
until we are sick with one
another, ready to brawl, ready
to fight for what’s at stake!
because what really matters
in our lives is not the empty
wallet in my back pocket

poem©mrg 9/13/16

Dream, oil pastel mrg©2016

Dream, oil pastel mrg©2016