the words escape me

today the words

are not cooperating

it is like they are reverting

to their feral state

in my mind

they bite at their leashes

gnaw off their limbs

until they have chewed themselves free

of my memories

and run off into the darkness to hide

and wait in ambush until

i go hunting for them again


it has been like this lately


i have been pulling out old

photographs as evidence that

these words belong to me and

that we belong together

how well i had caged some of them

for so long that they died

when they escaped back into

the wilderness


the way my father became

just another man before he turned

into a stranger is the same way

that words end up dying —

     eaten by others bigger and hungrier

than memory


when i go hunting tonight

i’ll be covered in blood

hoping to be devoured myself.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

7 or so

I was seven or so    

     when I awoke

     to the first time

I thought


     I was hearing

my father’s laughter


the air with hiccups

and high pitched yelps

like I made


     when someone was tickling me

and I just couldn’t catch

my breath

I heard my father


     and imagined him

     bent over so much that

it made me smile


     and I jumped out of my bed

to catch this hilarious

scene only to find

out that my father’s

                        father had died.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

Achtung, said the raven

(before the reverend arrived)

Cause this is when things
     can turn ugly…


200 laid off equines

from the republic

of windows and doors

took over the building

as its closure

meant that their living

was leaving

without guaranteeing

their severance pay

would surely be made

in exactly the same way

that the corporate dogs

from the banks

got their scratch

from the pigs

who are running

this animal farm —

but you have to remember

the addendum, my brothers,

     not that we are equals,

     but that some “are more equal

               than others.”


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

Anniversary Poem

One year.
One hundred and nine posts.
Almost ten thousand hits.


I sent out e-mails to everyone I know.

But very few ever noticed.

The ones that matter did, do

     and continue to visit.


Strangers from everywhere found me

     let me find them –

we drew a circle around us

     became voices without bodies

connected by a longing

     to say, share, be.


I didn’t think I had it in me.

     I had stopped believing

that others had it in them

     and was happiest to learn

I was wrong about everything.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.


(Thank you to everyone who has shared a moment’s time here. Without you … I might have quit long, long ago … A Special thanks to Tillona, Bryan, Bomi, S.L., SonofWalt, Jeannie, Barbara, Camille, Lo, Bluebethley, Christine, Julie, Norma, and my wife, Rose. I hope I have something left to say besides I love you.)