1. Accept everything just the way it is.


(from Dokkodo, Volume 1; The Way of Walking Alone)

He said he wanted revolution.
Went to school for it and everything.

Took Chicano Studies 101, 102, 125,
the course on México’s history.

He said revolution.

Spent hours discussing local politics
with Albert, whom he considered a coco
cuz the “o” at the end of his name became


He wanted revolution.
Tutored at-risk kids who
wound up pregnant anyway
going to Valley High School and graduating
a trimester early.

He said revolution, writing
poetry about jaguars, “Joaquin”
and how he’s unique.
A regular “social” man seeking “social justice.”

Wanted revolution, scaring
white girls and attracting white
girls with guilt
identity crises
the luxury of being Italian
at a drop of a line.

He said revolution.

Eventually got tired of
tortillas and abuelitas
bullshit sage burning ceremonies
and cliched lines about spirits and el chupacabra.


Because Dolores Huerta and Frida Khalo
are the only symbols of Chicana feminism,
and all Chicano men should be Cesar Chavez
or Che.
Non-violent and threatening.

Symbol of virility and change.

But he said
he wanted

A chance to be that
Batman: Animated Series-watching
Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ To Fuck Wit’
Murs 3:16-loving

He said revolution,
but the more he sought it

the more things stayed the same.

Ethnic “cleansing” of neighborhoods.
No longer able to live
next to the park, ironic mustaches
taking over.

Return of the

Brown kids diagnosed quickly with ADHD,
suspended from preschool and parents
yet to learn the effects of Hot Cheetos
and Arizona Iced Tea on developing psyches.

A foreclosed home means nothing
more than opportunity for
the lesbian realtor to attract
gay money to the ‘hood
and el paletero can’t ring his bell
after 3pm no more.

He said revolution
and learned that inland is his
place. Not the beach
he grew up next to.

It became private property.

And private trumps public.

But he said
And just couldn’t revolution anything.

This poem is part of my last poetry and photography chapbook, “Dokkodo; Volume 1—The Way of Walking Alone” available online at http://mkt.com/smiley-faze.

Dokkodo–The Way of Walking Alone


(from Dokkodo, Volume 1; The Way of Walking Alone)

alone we walk
amble, trudge
mosey, open gait
wide stance
low stance

alone we walk
gallop, skip
hop, stroll
leap, meander

alone we walk
shuffle, trip
dance, rhumba

alone we walk
glide, fly
run, hide
flee, along
a string

alone we walk
travel, disperse
exodus, diaspora
march, migrate

alone we walk
speed, free
occupy, breathe
consume, motorized

alone we walk
see, come
leave, controlled
diseased, limp

alone we walk
conceive, alive
moving, pull
tug, relieve

alone we walk
trot, step
block, impede
stampede, horizon
receive, obtain
gain, complain

alone we walk

This poem is part of my last poetry and photography chapbook, “Dokkodo; Volume 1—The Way of Walking Alone” available online at http://mkt.com/smiley-faze.

National Poetry Month, 2015


What’s good? In case you didn’t know, in the U.S. we celebrate National Poetry Month from April 1st, to April 30th. That means a lot of local bookstores, libraries, museums, and other literary organizations will be hosting special poetry-related events. It’s worth your time to check out these events. William Carlos Williams said it best:

“It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.”

In honor of National Poetry Month (#NaPoMo), I’ll be following my usual post schedule, except that for this month, I’ll be posting my poetry. I’ll go back to posting my illustrations and photography soon enough, but for now, enjoy some poetry. Who knows what you’ll personally find in mine.


P.S. In case you missed my poem-a-day posts from last year, I highly recommend you visit my archived posts now.

Smiley Faze is Going Home – San Diego Zine Fest: October 5, 2014; 12pm–5pm


As you may or may not know, I come from sunny San Diego; North San Diego County, the city of Vista, to be exact. While North County may be a distinct experience as compared to the city of San Diego, SD is still my home.

All that said, I’m coming home on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 to represent Smiley Faze and my nonprofit, DSTL Arts, at the 2nd Annual San Diego Zine Fest.

San Diego Zine Fest 2014-flyer

Taking place from 12pm to 5pm in the Logan Heights neighborhood of San Diego (2196 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113), the San Diego Zine Fest is going to be the venue in which I will be debuting a new poetry and photography chapbook that will be released in three volumes over the course of the last 3 months of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, I shall introduce you to “The Dokkodo.”

Don’t think you’re going to get a sneak peek right now though. You’ll need to be at the SD Zine Fest to be one of the first people to see and buy Volume 1.

Debuting a new chapbook alongside me that day will also be my beautiful fiancé, Jennifer Fuentes, of Crayón Literati. Her latest collection of short, memoir stories is being designed by me, and you’ll be able to buy a copy soon via my online store.

In the meantime, enjoy the rocked out video the punk-rock-happy people at the SD Zine Fest sent us all to help promote the event.

Peace, y’all.


Why Even Ask?

Love Poetry, Poetry

I could’ve told you
the same way Al Green does.

I could’ve said it
the way other couples do.
You know
looking deep
into your eyes and shit.

I could’ve even told you
the way greeting cards love cliché
but I decided to tell you
by washing the dishes and doing the laundry.

It was easier that way.

The End of the World: December 31, 1999


Ocotillo flames licked my face
leaving dried saliva and tribal tattoos
in the form of coffins and nails.
Ashes floated amongst butterflies
and I flied
dancing on embers
mixing stardust
with cherry-flavored Kool-Aid.
It became the drink of the decade
and raver kids enjoyed
the orange glow of my light sticks.
It was the new Burning Man.

We tripped on people
worrying about Y2K,
buying tent supplies and flash lights.
I laughed in the aisles of Target
watching middle-aged white women
yearning for my colored touch.
They wanted me to paint their
linen canvas skins
with my obscenities.
I partook in their laughter,
nervous and wild.

We had a good time, my friends.
We had a good time indeed.