Red Candle and Dark Whiskey

I called you
with living blood and lived memories,
with feet dancing to your laughter;

are you flirting with angels
and drinking heavenly mojitos?

I’ve called on you
with bawdy jokes
and ribald songs;

perhaps it isn’t your time…

I’m calling
with red candle and dark whiskey,
with open heart and closed—

“You said whiskey?”


for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and Poets United

Process Note: Today marks the second anniversary of my little brother’s death. Gregory Guerrero’s flesh and bones left this world on February 28, 2013, ten days before his 27th birthday. But his spirit continues to grow in the hearts of those who love him as he was, in the memories of anyone who speaks his name and summons his smiles…

The poem above came to life after my friends, Jonquil, Sharon, Rommy, Kim and Gina replied to a message I posted on my Facebook wall. I had been working on a short story that celebrates my little brother’s life, when sadness began to creep in; I wasn’t ready for it. So I shared a portion of the first sentence of the story: “I’ve been calling on you, with living blood and lived memories…”, and asked friends to cheer me up by completing it. I said to keep in mind that the words were being spoken by a living sister to her dead brother; that he loves a good joke… and she adores the sound of his laughter.

Thank you, my ladies. May the song of our words warm my little brother’s soul… ♥


Gregory Guerrero

You will always be loved, mi Gordis…

The Day Lady Liberty Ran Off to Join the Circus

On the winter Lady Liberty threw herself into the Hudson, her abandoned Torch exploded, setting a Staten Island ferry and three Asgardian skinny-dippers on fire.

The museum guide waited for everyone to finish reading the introductory slide, before she began addressing her audience. “There was nothing but talk of hot Norse skin and overheated bronze balls. The New York Harbor and most—”

“No,” said a small balding man, “that’s not what happened. I watched it live on Fox. I know brass balls when I see them.”

An old lady, who sat next to the man, told him, “You’re embarrassing people who don’t even know you, son.”

Pretending half the room wasn’t snickering, the museum guide moved to the next slide. It explained that the Torch had been approached by Fox, and that her reaction suggested that something they said offended her. “I don’t care for your French or for your dull guesstimating of obvious facts,” the Torch said to Fox.

The next morning, Fox reported that the Torch was related to a legendary Burning Bush, and that the Torch and her Bush cousin would be delighted to bless Fox and all their descendants. “It’s our given right,” the news reporter announced.

Moving to the next slide, the museum guide aimed a laser pointer at the screen. “This is one of the most memorable moments captured on that day of fire and terrible news,” she said. The photograph showed a weeping man in a black Armani suit, missing a shoe and a chunk of skull. He stood on a cracked sidewalk, aiming his fist at a group of college girls, who were taking selfies with the Wall Street Bull’s half-melted balls in their hands.

“That’s not what happened.” The small man stood up and faced the gathering, his fingers tapping the screen of a tablet. “Those were good girls who would never get their picture taken with balls made of anything other than their city’s best brass. And Lady Liberty didn’t drown herself. This woman’s saying that because she doesn’t love her, she doesn’t love you, and she doesn’t love me. Ah!” he said, turning the tablet towards the people. “See? Fox ran an exclusive with Lady Liberty. They said—”

So calmly that no one saw her coming, the old lady smacked the small man across the face with her purse, and said, “Shut up.”

The tablet flew over the man’s head.

People tried not to laugh, but failed in bursts.

The museum guide picked up the tablet, and took a look. It framed a shopping mall, which had been swallowed by a devilish clown wearing a crown made from slashes of emptiness. The caption over the image read: Lady Liberty isn’t dead. She ran off to join the circus. A Fox exclusive!

Devilish Looking Clown Entrance

This tale is the hybrid child of Magpie Tales 259 (the image above), and “Real Time with Bill Maher: Rudy Giuliani’s Fifty Shades of Black”. Afraid of clowns? Oops.