Pin me down, all the way to the ground. Hold me near, I'm not going anywhere. Occupy my time, it's no longer mine or yours but ours. Get a hold of it now. Take the sheet, I can't feel my feet; the blanket too, I cannot rouse another. I feel nothing, so let me do the touching. Pin me down, all the way to the ground. 


On the roof, there were pine needles. Not many at first, and then there were a lot. They concentrated above the porch, had swept down and packed the gutter, giving the eave a little visor. The weight of one pine needle is not that much. Like a tissue or a toothpick. But a bunch? Wet and in one place? Certainly looks heavy. The house and the tree were almost one until Ramon went up there and cleared the pine needles off.
There's a hole in the roof of house next door that's abandoned. Someone's boarded it up, but one night before they did I saw a family of raccoons pop its head up through the hole and look around. It was dark out and what got my attention was their attention if that makes sense. Their eyes aglow and all alone, they were like a light on in the attic. I scurried away, neck cranked the whole time, scared they were following me.
There's a house that shares the wall with the park that's up the way. The park's like this house's side yard. On the rooftop of the house a white sweatshirt hung from an exhaust pipe as if it was a coat rack. It was like the man who owned it had come back from somewhere he'd been and put it there. He was looking real comfortable up there in his short sleeves, putting on a new floor down. Made up of shingles.  


Sam woke up early. It was dark. He was awake but did not want to get up. He didn't know what to do if he got up this early. He had nothing planned. So he laid in bed next to his wife and thought. His thoughts jumped around to past instances, to probable futures. He took very little away, and, in fact, he was brought down a little by the missed opportunities of the past and the dreary reality of the future. The thoughts kept Sam awake for the next hour or so until the alarm radio went off and he got up to turn it off and went into the bathroom and turned on the light. After he went, he let the dog outside so she could go, he put on a green hooded sweatshirt, shorts and socks and shoes. It was still dark outside when he put the leash on his dog's collar and he stepped out the front door — turning the lock on the door handle to make sure he wouldn't be locked out when he returned.
Outside, Same stepped off his porch, walked down the pathway to the stairs that lead to the street  above his house. He waited to make sure no cars were coming when he committed to walking down the street on his way to the park. As soon as he turned to sidewalk, Sam heard a man up the street cough obnoxiously. Sam looked up to see the outline of the man and thought he was coming towards him, down the road to the intersection where Sam was to turn and cross the main road to get to the park. Sam walked quickly to create distance between he and the man. When he got to the intersection, which was lit better than the road above he waited for the light to change, and when he crossed the main road he looked back to where he thought the man should be so he could see him, but he couldn't. And after he was safely across the main street Sam looked back again, he kept his gaze on the other side of the street, but still the man was not there, which Sam thought was weird.
Sam got to the park and his old mutt took a poop where she always does, and Sam bagged it up and threw it away. Sam walked across the park and lifted his knees high, galloping to wake up his tired bones and muscles. When he got to the other side of the park Sam stretched up high, then down low, then in triangles like his father-in-law had taught him long ago, fully extending his right leg and bending his back to the right, then extending his left leg and bending his back to the left. All the while keeping his hips n line. Sam did this a few times being mindful of his breathing and looking up every once in a while in the dawn light to check on the old mutt. When he was done stretching, Sam called the dog over, put the leash back on the collar and left the park, going a different way than he had come.

The man with the cough spent no more than a moment thinking about the noise that had come out of him because he felt so alone in the early, dark morning. The cough broke an impregnable silence. The man thought he was alone until he noticed down the ways a bit someone walking toward the street light, a man with a dog. With a brisk pace, he man who coughed didn't think  the other soul had heard him— how could he not?—but either way the figure was walking away from him and not towards him. When the man coughed like that, which he did as a way to clear a thought or to get a new thought started, he was walking down the street that morning returning home from an early morning walk, one he regularly takes when he wakes at the early morning hours to become, as he put, anew. Everyday is a fresh start. A reboot. That was the cough that morning as he made his way home. That was the punctuation on that thought. I'm going to start over today and get things going. So, he slipped through the door he had left unlocked, took off his shoes and socks, his shorts and red hooded sweatshirt, and got back into bed with his wife.
When his wife awoke to the alarm radio she did not immediately get out of bed. She listened as National Public Radio's news broadcast discussed national politics, natural disasters and war in the Middle East. A science piece broke the rhythm of the otherwise depressing but captivating delivery of the voices coming from the clock radio, which read 6:05. The man's wife did not roll to physically wake herself, she laid in a comfortable, close eyed state, on her back, breathing calmly listening and waiting to mentally transform from the dream world from which she'd come. And the man with the cough watched her and waited until she did open her eyes and turn her body and notice her husband looking at her on this new day.


SAN FRANCISCO TO SAUSALITO FERRY TERMINAL — "Walk your bike. Hey." This is the authority, calling to a tourist no doubt, wheeling his rented bike off the ferry down the boardwalk, which is not that filled. There's enough time to write this down with some penacity with a Stylst. Those with tickets also have: an iPad, a Cannon camera, fedora. a throaty cough, and a bouquet of flowers. At the front of the line white earphones are in. Saddle Bikes are pushed off the ferry as we wait. Everybody's on the boat except the voice in my window ear. The redhead found her seat. 

PORT of SAN FRANCISCO. Oh, there's Coit Tower, the Pier and Downtown. The Warf. And waterfront lights. A can of beer opens in my aisle ear, and a conversation I can't make out. Chips from a bag crunch. 
Toes and legs–
... Blow up the place.
I can't make out the rest of the sunset that's Golden Gate's direction. Boat sounds up and to the right. Lights are blinking, light green and going. The broken conversation is not immediate but Roger. 
That's Alcatraz out there, all lit up and alone. 
"Who's Waterman, tonight?"
Double stripe. Double stripe. 
As far as you can see, Baby. I voice the images by the window.
Is that enough?
Yeah me, too.
He's as nervous as me. 
The redhead got the red wine. 
There goes Jail Island, a ghost of a place.
A rope wavers on the deck, white and outside. The water's a different layer: midnight, a texture, curved,  arcing below the Bridge, orange with light, connecting two lands where I live and work. 
And now, City sits back and behind. Lights in the distance. Forward in time.
"Go down to Vietnam." The conversation is lighter. Vietnam is mentioned again, and then, "SAUSALITO AHEAD." 
Hammering this in, One asks, "Is it CAR-uh-beaner? Or is it Ca-rib-een-er?"I miss what's next
"Now were talking, Ron."

"Get out of here.
And that and this and this. Followed by: "Yeah yeah yeah."
"Know what I mean?"Then, ?  and ? and ?
"So, whattaya gonna do next? another asks.
"STARBOARD ... I'm sorry, PORT SIDE ... Left-side exit."
We're not moving. True light, man. The engine stops.


When we were kids
it was boys versus girls,
cops and robbers,
lights against darks.

Only later did it become
inequality and injustice,
sexism and racism.

When we were kids
it was just a game 
that we were playing.
We were having fun
pitting ourselves against
each other,
fellow brothers and sisters.

If we only knew.

When we were kids           
we were young.
The World was our neighborhood,
our neighborhood was the World!

When we were kids
our voices were our voices.

When we were kids
we were captains and coaches,
the referees and the players.
We kept our own score.

Our memories are so short
When we were kids
we were of the same kind.
Creative and innocent,
equal pupils of life.
And now we are not.


The woman who lives with her husband up Filbert on Marie is having a garage sale. They're both in their late 40s, he's Asian, quiet and nice, and she's a big bosomed redhead, all teeth.

For the last 10 years, the couple has lived in their apartment in Sausalito — she calls this the banana belt. They've lived in San Rafael, and before coming to Sausalito to live, they lived in Point Richmond, across the Richardson Bay or North Bay.

"I thought we'd hate it here," she says. "We used to look over here and see it. But we like it, there's hardly ever any fog."

The items at the garage sale aren't just odds and ends. You'd think the couple was moving again. Artwork, picture frames, candlesticks, cutlery, pillows, an entire DVD collection, paperback books, and safari themed house wares that include elephant everything, zebra engravings, and leopard prints are neatly displayed in their dugout garage.

"We've gone modern," she says. "Redid the entire apartment.

"You find it weird deciding which of your things to get rid of. But where are we going to put it? We have no storage."

A car drives past the open garage, which is underneath the couple's two-story, wood-paneled apartment, and suddenly a deer crosses the road below — Filbert — and diverts its course as the car approaches.

"They come right up these stairs," the woman says of the deer. "We haven't seen them in a while, though, I wonder where they've been."

From their bedroom window, she says they can see the yard of the church next door often filled with deer — the church doesn't use the yard much, she says. Mothers and their young will walk right over into their yard. They come for little red berries that grow on the bushes back there.

The deer is the size of a large American motorcycle, its antlers are as long as a man's forearm. Right now it's hiding out in the ivy-heavy property, out of site, and below the deck where an elderly woman sits at a table. You can see heads inside the car that stopped, turned to the left, looking at where the deer must be.

"DVDs are a dollar," the woman says. Her husband says nothing the entire time and could be mistaken for a looker, two of which are passing by at the moment.

There's a shuffle in the ivy and a dog barks in that direction. The car, as if dog's bark was its ignition, continues down the hill.

"What is it?" the elderly woman from the deck calls down to us in the garage.

"It's a deer," the redheaded woman says.

Her husband puts his thumbs to his temples and wiggles his fingers to show the woman on the deck he's a deer. Then he drops his arms, looks at us, smiles and shrugs.


I am Miguel Tejada,
brought to San Francisco to help an organization.

Some moves had to be made for us to get back on track,

He was given an opportunity.
Did it turn out the way we wanted to in the end?
Obviously not.
But it's time for both parties to move on.

I just thank them for the opportunity.

We didn't know who, or when it was coming.
At some point something had to be done.

It just did not happen.

I am Miguel Tejada,
designated for assignment.


I wish things would have turned out differently.
I wish things would have gone better.
I think it's probably the right move for both parties...

I think we knew eventually it was coming.
This team needed some changes.

I'm not going out here taking parting shots,
And wish each and every one of them the best.

We felt this was the right time to set them free.
We appreciate their efforts.

I am Aaron Rowand,
designated for assignment.

Direct quotes made by SF Giants taken from and coverage.


We were invited to a pool party.
An email went around.
Burgers and beer would be served.
If you can, please bring a side dish,
the email said.

On our way to the pool party
we stopped at Mollie’s for
some chips and salsa.
We grabbed a chip bag and contemplated
the other guests.

What if there already are tortilla chips?
We could get salsa.
We could get Circus Animal cookies.
And so we did.
Also, a 12 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

When we got to the pool party,
no one answered the door.
There was noise coming from the backyard, the sound of
splashing from the pool.
I tried the gate but it was nailed shut,
so we decided to knock
before letting ourselves in.

Truth be told, we were late for the pool party,
beyond fashionably.
The pool party was from 12-4,
and we showed up well after three.

Near the entry of the house of the pool party,
bags of clothes were strewn about.
We stepped over them toward the kitchen.
Through glass doors I could see
the backyard filled
with people by this point,
most of whom were in the pool.

We didn’t bring suits to the pool party.
We thought we’d be too late, and
to be honest, I didn’t want to swim.
I wanted to drink PBR and
maybe eat a little something.

Now, however, in the backyard of the pool party,
shaking the hands with guests,
surveying the situation, living it,
I wish I had brought my suit.
I mean, I can drink a cold beer from a can
and stand in a pool of water at the same time.

Instead, at the pool party,
I ate quickly and drank quicker:
Burgers and chips and pie and ice cream.
PBR after PBR.

I moved to the corner of the pool party
to get into shade.
I took my shoes off and sat at the pool's edge.
I was partway in —
The water was cool and nice, and some folks swam by to introduce themselves.

At the pool party,
there were two-pieces
and black and white baggy trunks.
Geometric shapes
and floral printed patterns.
Back hair and long hair
and pasted down curly wet hair.
I was partyway out.

Someone at the pool party said, This water is merky.
I swilled back a quarter of the can in hand.
Do you know Joe Pytka? someone asked swimming to another topic before a response.
I drank another quarter down.
My brother designed a spiky chair,
I'm drinking.
I had my fantasy football draft yesterday,
I bring the can back up.
I have a 75-year old physicist as a client,
the rest is spit.

It was a pleasure attending the pool party,
thank you for having us.


Up earlier than usual,
I take Heidi for a walk.

The world is vacant,
we had it to ourselves.

We walked a familiar street,
up the hill we know so well.

Stairs lead
to the street
that takes us to
our private park.

Placed in a pocket,
jammed into the let, and
cupped into the palm
of the hand,
the park is ours.

Heidi squatted,
like she does,
the park was, you see
also her bathroom.

So, with a bag,
I go to pick it up
(a dog owner's main objective)
when I'm shocked,
no wait, stung
by a bee.

Shot like a shotgun,
the bee got me
behind the ear.

I felt it
before I say it:

Fuck me.

I swat
and spin around,
and come
face to wrist
with the accomplice.

Black and gold and,
Is it dead?
I knock it off.
It hurts, oh it still hurts.

I looked down
and notice
another shade of gold,
a yellow, turd-like finger,
a slow moving,
Banana Slug.


The knob is locked,
And the door shut tight.
I make sure of this before I turn
past the statue
of Saint Francis.

I hop up the stone steps
to get to street level.
A car comes quick
—you hear em before you see em.
I let it pass before I start
down the sidewalk
toward 7-11.

Another car passes,
opposite direction this time,
an old man goes home as I
head to work.

I wait for the signal to change
at a crosswalk, then I walk.
On the other side
there’s a shortcut I’ve been taking lately
—a jagged path down the dirt hillside.
The path’s quite steep and my shoes,
my shoes are slick and made for skating,
my laptop’s under my arm, and
the headphones are in.
When I slip, I fall
all the way back.

The angle isn’t much—
A mere forty-five degrees.
My free hand’s hits first,
then the middle of back;
my forearm falls flat
on the ground.

As I get up and pat myself off,
I hear someone laugh,
but can’t make out who—
perhaps it’s all in my headphones.

I walk off as if nothing happened, and
if you saw me just after you might
think I was just dusty

While I realize this:
There are shortcuts in life,
but sometimes they
dust you up.


Oh no.
I noticed we’re using the same towel.
Both are blue and in the bathroom.

I washed my face and now I’m
looking at these two towels
in front of the shower.

Water drips from my face,
There’s soap even on my neck and
around my jaw.

I rinsed, so
It’s not like I’m blinded
Still, I don’t know which towel you’d
want me to use.

I took a shower early this morning and
used one of these terrycloth towels
that’s within arms reach.

It’s not as if they’re exactly the same,
but they are a similar faded sky

We’re a lot alike, you and me,
like these towels, I think, as I let my face to dry

We make a pair
like these towels.
Not a perfect match,
But one and one is two.

I’ve been blue,
and I know you have too.
Not like these towels.
Just sad sometimes, I mean.

Damp. We’ve both been that, too.
Just like these towels still seem to be.
Inseparable these towels seem .

Someone left these towels in my possession,
I think, as I my face becomes not that wet.
you don’t claim them to be yours at all,
then why are you using one then?

These towels are ours now.
That’s a funny thing to say.
We have things that belong to us.
Not mine, not yours,
They both belong to both of us.

So why do I stand here using neither of them?
Just thinking of these two blue towels
I’ve let me face become dry.


I returned merchandise when I was young. That was my thing. Past 30 days, without a receipt, with no packaging, I was successful at taking things back.

Target was my favorite store. Their return policy was generous. My identification was innocence and white. My teeth were more crooked, my hair was blonder.

It started with a cordless phone. I was ten when I got one for my room. It didn’t come with everything. I wanted a new one. I waited in line by myself and Target exchanged it for me.

I became comfortable at the counter, and returned Gameboys games, electronic organizers, house fans, and watches I had. I got cash back and store credit. I was confident then, and became fearless at the customer service desk.

My dad doesn’t follow instructions like this. He can over react. Things break and words fly. When he wanted to watch TV without paying for it, he tried to install a coaxial cable to the antenna on the roof. He figured he could, so he bought the cable from the RadioShack up the street. He screwed one end of the cable to the TV. And on the roof, he forced the other into something wasn’t supposed to. He forced it. That paper clip wire inside got mangled to a curly cue, and then it broke off. Words dropped from the roof, and there was more yelling back inside. He asked me to return it for him, and said I could keep the money.

We grew up with RadioShack toys. I had a remote control 4X4 Big Foot. Rechargeable batteries. My brother and I had headphones, a boombox, a Walkman, handheld games, and all with batteries. The nice old lady that manages the franchise worked there a career. She was a pro, taking my information, my phone number. I had the receipt but she wanted the story.

I mentioned that the cable was too short and the wrong color. She wanted to talk to my father, so she dialed the number I gave her. I watched and waited. Dad picked up, and she asked him what happened. She held the phone for me to hear my father on the other end of the line.

The words, “my son, stupid as he is,” have long been quoted in the retelling this story. There was no mention of his faulty installation practices, or Dad’s lack of coaxial understanding.

I got the cash back. My dad called Jones Intercable, and had them install cable. It was immediately canceled when he noticed he could use their cable for the antenna, and my home didn’t have pay-TV again until I was in college, when my grandparents moved in.


Of the recurring characters
from the childhood stories my dad told
there is one I know the origin of

Carved in the wood of a gazebo
near the snack bar of the swimming pool
where my father and his brother went
were three names their fingers found


Names of some juveniles
from another town
in another time,
a far away place

A bond was formed,
their friendships made this trio
excited this day, I imagine
in the middle of a summer month
young and innocent,

One of them brought a knife,
or maybe got out a key.
It was one of their ideas to leave their mark
their first names in the wooden post of that place
and the others who went along with it

It was that instigator—the way I see,
that brought the blade, and
who handed it to the others
that was the last
to lay his own name down


His true friend, however
the way my father told it
isn’t mentioned in graffiti
but is clearly
in the stories
that my father told
me and my brother.
His name was Tipper.


I started documenting what I was doing. That’s not entirely true. I’d embellish some things because what's happening isn't all that interesting. That’s how it started. I’d do something at work and then turn around and write about it — me as the character I. For example, my new supervisor told me of a policy the company had that I wasn’t aware of — chain of command communication. I missed telling someone something, or I told the wrong person something in the wrong order. I listened to her and nodded my head and said, “Oh, OK, that makes sense.” She turned around and made an excuse for not being able to finish this conversation at this point in time and return to her office, and I, in turn, went to an empty word document and embellish the story into an insubordination of sorts, where the disagreements, lead to plotting, and arguments, and undressing, and where the situation resolved with me storming out early for the day, heading to the cantina, getting drunk, and returning the next day with a real chip on my shoulder. That’s how it started.


When you come to,
it’s dark but clear
like a Herman Miller Aeron Chair,
True Black

Subsurface heat is meets
the cold
refreshing air

And you’re like a baby,
and naked

You feel a vibration
that’s in that space
behind your surgically removed
wisdom teeth

Without thinking about it
too much
you’re sitting up
on top of your sheet-covered rock

Feet feel
hard on the ground

Your greeted by
the animal who slept there
she jumps into your
not-ready lap

Look into her eyes,
they match
the fog that’s outside,
and your mood

Walk down to the water
where land ends and relief begins
this is the clearest view
of the top

Without knowing it right off
and perhaps too quickly
—you rushed to ready—
you start running
to the clouds

There’s a drizzle
rain, that’s not really falling,
just there in the air
stopped in time
and in space,
captured in trees
you see
as you ascent

You go for miles
it isn’t easy

When you get there
you find a stack
of firewood—
the murderous remains of the lumberjack

Your pores open and feel new entry
As you descent,
to where you started

Home, where you’re heated
by the warmth of the stove,
which runs on natural gas