Shadow Dreams


I do not see you

Though I have tried.

Yesterday, I went with Ourane

To smell perfumes.

I kept harping on Chanel #5,

Boasting about its nuances.

“It has layers,” I told her and the clerk.

But, we surmised when I actually smelled it again,

That it was passé.

I still loved Egoiste,

But then we smelled every

Jo Malone, but not before

I got to smell perfume on Ourane.

Her arms are slender.

I held one.

It was warm.

Plus, it had many scents.

It’s really nothing though.

She and I are friends.

We talk about her lovers.

And that long journey she is taking

To find “The One.”

She wants a child;

Her clock is ticking.

I feel for her.

I really do.

She is like a deer,

Runs for hours uphill.

Who can do that?

She claims to have a big heart,

“Which is dangerous,” she said.

I’ll say.

My heart lumbers through the afternoon and evening

Reaching out to passing strangers.

It uses its quiet voice.

With telepathic staging.

I am listening to music I have written and recorded.

It’s tender.

I get lost and disappear.

My friend Ourane too says that she goes deep into herself

When she listens to it,

Which is quite a compliment

For someone who wears Egoiste.

(I am talking about me, not her.)

She wears or wore Happy,

Which pretty much explains her.

She is the delight of energy,

A positive flow, non-stop and enchanting.

Her smile is a flame.

The kind that warms you,

Not like forest fires or Halloween.

There’s no trick, only treat.

You call his breath a “whim.”

And you try to steal it.

But, apparently it does not matter.

It’s like frivolity to him.

Or an unconscious undertaking.

How do you see him breathing?

Are you in the middle states?

Has the weather changed?

I hear you.

I am sure he does too.

But, if you are doubting it,

I bet he takes you for granted.

I hear you breathing,

And I don’t even know where you are.

Anyway, I like to think that I play like Yo-Yo Ma

When he does the Cello and Bach.

I too am alone like he is

On the stage.

I am playing the piano.

Little fingerings.

I barely touch the keys.

I want to drink absinthe someday,

And pretend I am famous.

I want that yearning you project.

I know it’s completely absurd.

But, Ourane says I play like Keith Jarrett.

I told her I have always looked up to him.

“He plays for hours,” I told her.

“Just him and the piano.”

He plays work, like that of Mozart,

But I simply play what comes to me,

And I can do it for hours, days, and years, I suspect.

Today, for example, I wrote and recorded about 10 songs,

38 minutes, and 45 minutes yesterday.

I tell you I am on the cusp.

I have to be alone and without any distractions,

Nothing to make me nervous.

I get in the “groove,” I told the audience

At Freight and Salvage.

My hands have to be soft,

Because my fingers stick otherwise.

Sometimes, I will put myself to sleep.

I have listened to music my entire life.

First, my mother took me to the symphony.

I was very young.

People probably wondered if I was going

To cause a fuss.

Instead, I was speechless,

Completely absorbed.

I don’t think I said a word to her.

I must have shown fascination with my eyes.

I still think of her, my run-way model mother,

The red velvet carpet and seats.

I am pretty sure she wore a long black cocktail dress.

Her hair was up and she had long black gloves.

My mother used to date a famous handsome Mayor

Of San Francisco before she met my dad, the doctor.

She did her own thing.

Anyway: “Do you hear me being here?”

I am somewhere near you and breathing too.

Every word you say.

I try to touch and keep;

Obviously, I am not being discreet.

I have no time for that nor decorum.

I believe in the truth of the heart,

To tremble in the shadows.

I lie to myself.

I like to think that if

I pay attention,

You will see.

I make a world for us.

I dream of shadows.

Inspired by:


  1. Wow… Is my poem really the inspiration behind your words? I don’t know what to say. I guess you found some of my lines absurd but then again isn’t love itself a mockery? Thank you for the mention.

  2. Lovely artwork and poem, Mario. I am glad you are combining all your artistic and literary talents now, especially after your iPhone piano performance at Freight and Salvage. 👏👍

    • That was a quick graphic I created to complement the poem. I got lucky. Thank you for noticing. I am even doing work on the condo myself, which I never thought I would do. I covered a gap between the kitchen ceiling and the cabinets, which I learned about on the Internet. And spackling is my friend. I am also going to change the switches in the wall, install new flooring, and paint… What’s next?! The counters? The cupboard doors? I am looking at furniture too. I chose an image for you and I keep seeing an image for your mom. Tomorrow I look for cupboard door material and low wattage cable for my track lightning. Lots of other projects. And you?

      • I am fine, constantly reinventing foreign language teaching, making it as enjoyable, imaginative and creative as possible because these three things are the essence of my soul. Thus I am able to help students develop these potentials. Actually, I do the work of a shoe polisher because I always try to make the best of every person shine.

        It is great you enjoy remodeling your home that much, especially because it is so creative and liberating, isn’t it?

        Looking forward to visiting you with Sergi in the summer, sometime between July and August. Mom says it is a too long journey for her. She is fine though, but getting older and having this bloody backpain that often hinders her from painting as prolifically, passionately and fast as she did before. However, she is still selling some designs of hers to put on clothes. She still keeps on creating. Thank you for thinking of her. Sergi is also a great creator, unveiling hidden truths about Catalonia’s history and culture. He also has a blog but it is only in Catalan.

        We hope you come for a visit again.- Marta

  3. I like the apparent simplicity of the geometrical figures, like two faces as if trying to kiss each other but not touching. This artistic composition illustrates your poem very well. As for the poem, I like how you describe a series of sensations: the smelling of perfumes evoking the senses, the past, childhood, the beautiful deceased mother, wanting to be near a person you are attracted to but not able to have a love relationship with and the passion for music.

    • I was flattered. Thank you for reading and commenting. Who has time these days? Not to mention, I often wonder, if these subtleties aren’t lost on others? Still, I know that I have been intelligently reviewed by a number of people and that I should’ve noted. It’s also one thing to have been noticed and another thing to be responded to, and another to make that notification eloquent. There are levels of response, an action, and qualities of response. Marta and Donald, among others, have done me a great service, to the highest level. Your insight, like theirs, for example, proves to me that you see what I am dealing with as a writer and illustrator. And as such, everyone involved is demonstrating a commitment to the journey of awareness and response, like telling the truth, that is apart of the artistic experience. When you have a President, for example, who spins the truth, and or blatantly lies, reality is no longer navigable. The People are violated. Time is exploded and made toxic. Being is inhospitable. Your response completes the citizens’ role in a democracy. Each person must tell the truth, in dialog, in partnership, if the body politic is going thrive in healthful union and progress. Otherwise, we descend into chaos and mayhem. I am sorry that I do not have time to commit to reviewing others’ work. I am constantly in a race against time given ideas I am tasked to attend to, my day job, and medicinal affect. A great therapist friend would positively review others, in general, and never have a negative thing to say, only support them. This is the greatest level. He knew that mistakes or apathy was known to the creator, and that perfection, was merely a commitment to telling the truth, eloquence of the idea. I find myself aware of flaws in others’ works, as well as my own, and while it is my responsibility to note those flaws, I must also do so in a loving and generous manner. (If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it.) The artist is certainly aware. Who am I? Well, I am a citizen. And I must participate in a manner that is truthful to the inner core of honesty and integrity. Marta has warned me for example, that she sees my flaws, as with my A Man Looking At Women book, where I objectify the female body, in an attempt to demonstrate the truth or reality of that position, and I believe she understands that while I am capable of objectifying and that there is eloquence in the observation/male gaze, this renders the woman being viewed as nothing more than a pretty face or body. This being the major problem of the male view. But, she deals with the eloquence and not the perspective or limitations thereof, which I think is where the problems between men and women lie. But, again, thank you for your time, intelligence, and eloquence. These praises also go to Marta and Donald, among others, for whom I am grateful.

      • Thank you for your extensive and reflective response, Mario. Lourdes and I are great friends. I also teach her English from time to time. Lourdes plays the piano.

  4. Thank you Tanya. I see we have a similar experience with our mothers. I am gladly my work is referential. I like that deepening with broader strokes of the pen. Isn’t that interesting about smells? I can imagine how women will do a lot of this kind of shopping. You can probably picture the perfume counters that are similar all over the world and how brands recommend the same set up, so you may have grabbed the same Jo Malone, which as you may remember is light and faint over a shorter time than this other brand that I can’t remember at this point, but which is $300, and also next to Chanel. I will have to thank Marta too. I am excited that you found my poem to be wonderful.

    • Yes we seem to have strong and enduring mothers despite adversities carried zeal of life, like you I never felt that I’m gonna fit in. Yes memories like perfumes have smell, I personally love Chanel 🙂

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