DWP Haiku

Ten million wasted
Geysers right here in L.A.
Rainbows of money

Love is All They Need

Yesterday I got really great news: my dear friend Fernando and his boyfriend of more than 10 years Edwin are tying the knot and making the big step of getting married this September.

This morning, as I was driving to work, The Beatles’ came on my iPod and All You Need is Love brought tears to my eyes. I still get chills hearing this song, I feel as if every chord is an anthem of love on top of another and another until it’s overwhelming. Hearing this song I realized that love between two people is not just destiny, luck, fate or whatever you want to call it. It’s also about putting 100% into the relationship, trusting your partner so much that making it “official” should be as natural as signing up a car lease or buying a house together, making plans for the future for years to come, plans for retirement together, making every day about him (or her, it happens sometimes you know hahahaha).

Fernando and Edwin are ready to enter a new phase in their lives and I couldn’t see two people more deservedly of each other’s love as these two. Cheers to my dear friends on this new endeavor they’re about to enter, for everything they have to look forward to, in sickness and in health, in the good times and the bad, for richer or poorer may their love always bond them together. As I wrote them this morning: love knows no gender, nor race, nor political party, nor age, nor language. That and that All You Need is Love.

How Art Heals

If I didn’t have music
if I didn’t have poetry
if I didn’t have theater
if I didn’t have a art
my life would be meaningless.

Everyone has unlimited creativity
and can heal from it.

Writing poetry has taught me
that it’s okay to feel,
that I can jot dot down my deepest fears, secrets and insecurities.

I don’t write for others,
I write for my own sanity,
for my own sake,
for my voice to be heard.

I learned so much about myself
simply by writing out whatever is in my head.

And I heal with every word,
every sentence,
every written thought.

I heal from my past, the hurt and I build my future through poetry.

©2014 Victor Sotomayor

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time
There was a prince
and there was a knight
in shining armor.

All their lives
they were destined for each other,
all their lives
they longed to one day meet,
all their lives
they were told that their love
could never be
they were told that
their love was unnatural
their love was unholy
their love was abominable…

On bended knees,
the prince prayed to the heavens
he prayed and prayed that he’d meet the knight of his dreams,
the knight in shining armor that would come and claim his heart.
And rescue him from the tallest tower of the castle,
escaping the vigilant guards, fire breathing dragons,
and monstrous beasts that lurked in the shadows of the dungeons.

A kiss sealed their destiny forever
and the rest was history.

Now they live in the woods
away from the castle
away from the townspeople
the naysayers
the villagers with pitches and forks,
Away from the royals and the peasants.

And so the story goes
that a prince met his knight in shining armor.
Love at first sight.
Forbidden lovers.
Away in the woods,
they lived happily ever after.

The end.

©2014 Victor Sotomayor

Inspired by Madonna’s Forbidden Love

Mexican Hen and Chickens

Mexican Hen and Chickens, or scientifically known as Echevaria Glauca, requires full sun or part shade. The specimen I found had a real nice tan in the summer sun at the Getty Museum garden, showing a nice red color on its spiky edges as well as a healthy green color on the rest of the leaves.
Easily found all throughout California deserts, Echevaria Glauca grows up to 15 centimeters in height and width, enjoys an occasional weekly shower or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater since its roots may rot if it receives too much water.
Succulents retain water inside their plump leaves as reserve. In case of drought, like we’re currently experiencing all throughout California, succulents are the perfect addition to your landscape, providing bright and vibrant colors and even flowers that require one tenth the water supply lawns require, especially in summer. And save you a pretty penny on your water bill, so it’s a win-win!
Hen and Chickens are quite attractive, perfect for decorating your yard, or plant them in pots to place on your porch, even great for your children’s school projects since they require very little care.

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How I Met The Beatles

Writing Exercises:
Writing Prompt: Write about your favorite person and how you met, how has that personaffected your life– for better and worse.

I must have been a toddler when I met these four musicians from Liverpool, England: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. I heard their music since before I was able to speak. Their Abbey Road album must have been played countless times in my house, slowly but surely sipping into my subconsciousness. Thanks to my aunts and uncles I was fortunate enough that I was very familiar with the wonderful sounds that these folks created. I became inspired by their music and lyrics even though I didn’t completely understand the meaning back then yet I was able to receive their message of love, loud and clear.

Songs like All You Need Is Love, Here Comes The Sun, Golden Slumbers, Across the Universe and many others had a distinctive encoded message that I could not quite put my finger on. There was a message hidden there that went beyond lyrics to me. There was a song in particular that haunted me because it gave me a visualization like no other song I had heard before: A Day In The Life from Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band. Every time that I heard that song, I was immediately transported by the orchestration. Before I learned that the lyrics to that song were simply headlines from a newspaper, I knew the song had a much deeper meaning and a grandeur that could not be explained, a musical masterpiece that captured my imagination and allowed me to come up with my own conclusion, with my own lyrics, with my own dreams and hallucinations. I had a dream in particular where I was a small man in a giant dark room and saw these giant balls chasing me until they became so big and so real that became a constant nightmare of mine. So I also gotta thank The Beatles for the nightmare that scared the shit out of me.

John, Paul, George and Ringo also became my English teachers. I spent quite a long time in my high school years analyzing their song lyrics, translating them to Spanish, understanding their meaning, their colloquialism and intent as well. I liked singing their songs, trying to sound just like them and mimicking their British accent. I practically learned English because I loved their music so much that I wanted to not only understand their songs but be able to interpret their meaning and understand how influential they were for their time.

Even though I never really met them
in person, I have a connection with all of them through their work. I realize that sometimes the end result is what really counts. I never got sucked in to the scandal of their breakup, the drugs, the fights, random quotes like being more famous than Jesus himself, their sense of humor that was taken quite literally to the point that anything that came out of their mouths made headlines. I suffered for them. I understood that they constantly walked on a mined field and anything they said or did would be over analyzed, misinterpreted and taken around the world whether they liked it or not. I understood the meaning of fame and the sacrifices they were willing or unwilling to make to carry their message across. I also saw the advantage that they had, they practically had the world at their feet and they began choosing their words carefully.

Take George Harrison, for instance. He was influenced by the spirituality of the Indian culture when he was introduced to Ravi Shankar and taught their philosophy of peace and deeper love of oneself, finding the truth that everyone can achieve through meditation. His songs evolved and took off when he began experimenting with the sitar and Indian classical instrumentation that could not be further to the Beatles sound. When George came up with Within You Without You, he opened up the doors to Hinduism philosophy and made it popular and mainstream. I believe that George Harrison had a big part in creating awareness of this other realm of music that people would normally not listen to but he made it acceptable for the common man to explore something out of their comfort zone and either love it or hate it. He made his followers expand their horizons by introducing them to a whole new world that they never knew existed.

Last night I spent my Fourth of July listening to the sound of The Beatles. I listened to a Beatles cover band called Paperback Writer which is the title to one of their singles. As I wore one of my Beatles t-shirts, sported my Beatles tattoo that covers my entire right calf and sat on the grass talking to friends about The Beatles and their songs and how influential they were on other artists like Axl Rose or Joe Cocker or Michael Jackson or just about every pop artist. I was reminded that, even though I have never met them face to face and probably never will, The Beatles and I had met before, we shared the same dreams and aspirations, we shared the same ideals of peace and love. Nothing else really matters at the end but love. Love oneself first as well as loving everybody else. There is so much love to give and receive. Like they wrote on one of their songs from their iconic Abbey Road album and ended up inked on my skin forever:

the love you take is equal to the love you make.

And, of course, this is followed by All You Need Is Love. Need to say any more?

©2014 Victor Sotomayor

Escape

I wish I had a magic wand and transport myself to exotic places around the world, anywhere my heart desires and escape my reality. As I look at my life through a magnifying glass, I see the places that I’ve traveled to – Spain, Italy, Peru, Mexico and there’s one common denominator: I love unlocking my senses and allow myself to open up my mind to different terrains, cultures, idiosyncrasies and languages that are foreign to me.
It takes me a while to get used to my new surroundings which can be frightening but exciting at the same time. There comes a point when I forget the clock and just let loose and allow myself to have fun. I kind of forget my worries back at home and gives me a chance to face my reality, my existence and purpose of life. Sadly, I’ve realized that I live to work instead of being the other way around.
Whether I’m in Macchu Picchu surrounded by the majestic structures left by the Incas of Peru in the middle of the Andes, or on top of a pyramid in Tikal as I scope the Guatemalan jungle and feel as if I was on top of the world for an instant, or whether I simply relax by the crystal clear waters of Blue Beach, Puerto Rico, I suddenly feel elevated, lifted and rewarded for everything that I went through before getting there.
Then I come back to reality, back to the daily grind of things meanwhile there’s a thunder of excitement and joy inside of me that is hard to contain. I want more adventures. I want to drink from the eternal fountain of youth, explore the world, live life as if I jumped off a plane without a parachute. No safety net.
Once in a while I need to remind myself that I don’t need to be elsewhere to really enjoy myself. I realize by writing this out that nobody can take away those places that I’ve been to from memory. If I wanted to, I can simply close my eyes and be at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Big Ben in London, or the Empire State Building in New York. I have a thing called imagination and the power of suggestion. I can look at a picture, close my eyes and be there. I don’t need money, I just need to relax and picture myself there. And, suddenly, I’m there.

Story cubes: magic wand, magnifying glass, lock, clock, face, pyramid, thunder, fountain, parachute

5 Minutes Left

I only got 5 minutes since I spent all that precious time on Facebook, scrolling and scrolling and scrolling down some more… If you ask me what did I just read I’ll say I can’t remember a thing. World Cup, Obama, Hobby Lobby, who knows!
I could’ve doing better things with my time, don’t you think?

You Are Here

“You are here”
The sign says,
“You are here”
Marked with a red dot
On a roadmap.

Where is here
I ask
Where is here
when I don’t like I belong
Here

You are here
Is that even true?
Am I

really

here?
Or is my body here and my mind elsewhere?

A footprint
A breath
A cry
A silent scream
Nobody hears you

here.

You are here
feeling alone as ever
But you’re never alone
Remember?