Thursday, October 23, 2014
still has claims on me. But there's no room any more
for even coffee and blue agave, when love, swept in like a storm
moves the broom.
Re-moon-eration of a moth-eaten flame.
The butterflies, at least, seem happy to be born,
— no longer in pain at what is lost — no fear there's
no path, just flight. Incandescent they lift
limitations with ease and grace, evade time and space,
seeking something not seen.
The brown leaves turning purple now.
Maybe someday I'll stop fearing these things,
and reserve my terror for myself alone,
who makes a giant dissolve in his boots.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
One must not leave the island
to hear the waves of grief
waiting on the outside
to be healed
— so the rainbow rooster cries
like a pure slack-key guitar
to the lava people: lush black rocks
made love to by forever's new white
ocean, that honors every singular
with a flower
in the moment of merger,
the breakers touching home
then, just as insistent, receding,
desiring no desire
— so the awkward palms might say,
swaying in no direction but their own.
The grasses stretch their arms.
Long roots hang down like earth's raw nerves
from the giant empty heads above
in the koa, in the stone,
in emerald gold, blue cloud.
They seem to want a voice
from something that is lost,
not the red dirt river of life that takes
from place to place;
this endless wave of beauty wants to hear ... us,
just as endless
but blessed with the curse:
a sense for
The sound of rain on the page
as the children are washed away.
The white hibiscus like a sniffing bee.
A boy, too sober, carries his wood surfboard to the waves.
A naked French baby runs away from his parents to the surf.
But all of that is lost, in the light
of the clouds so close you can dream of touching them
and the mist upon the green
like no one can fit in.
Monday, September 29, 2014
and we pass
Spanish to English to French
as if we have too few faces to assume.
five pages of hipster bistros
in Dublin alone!
"like a glass of water for your skin."
Is this what it takes
to help us forget
there is no time?
That all of history lingers
like this sunset
and nothing is at stake
beyond this moment
crackling high above the clouds
like a suspended chord
as rich as chocolate lava
you don't care how the choir
for the end in sight is not
where you are heading.
you have to break it open
but you want some hands to tear you first
and pull out your insides
you trade hands with the future
as if you'll be redeemed
in every crafted taste
as if it lives above you
not apples merely beautiful
like a fashion model fools
the woman by the perfume counter
and by fooling
steals her beauty
as she sits there smiling
while gloss is applied
the model came to sell.
in the dreams of Patagonia
served on a platter of snails
by prostitutes of commerce
in eccentric orbits
tossed by brutal gales,
meanings made by you
from someone else's menu?
comes your consciousness
to feel what's not expressed
but shared in interstitial
flatterings from nothing's tail.
almost simplifies to meaning
but the hills of mottled green
recall too much a something
too bright against the eye,
the mind is darkened,
sees only God.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
By blue Vancouver's living clouds
A junky sleeps in brown wool shrouds
The city of hydraulic lifts
Holds up a falling sky
The poles connecting life now mark the grey
For love has found its way
And everyone's an Inuit
On this Autumn Equinox
With gem eyes looking
That is to say
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
on the hippest street
to the coolest flat
and the dankest beat
where the microwave dishes
of the world's eyes stare
at the glitterati
as they share
all they know and adore
and be colossally
Or you can go to any desert
some meagre collection
of half-alive plants
watch the catclaw
and brittlebush tangle
the mojave asters
poke through flannel bush
as dune primrose joins
with desert marigold
with wooly daisy
smell the white sage
fill the sand plateaus
with a blaze of scent
sense the structure of love
as every limb connects with others
of harmonious colors
in immaculate design
It is too much for the senses
this feast that never ends
as insatiable to give
as our souls
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Dry rain of sticks
on brown summer grass
puts the mind in its place
with the stones and acorns
more still than the grass
and nervous branches
without the dry leaf's tongue
like every other thing
for an unnatural connection
that will work so seamlessly
who knows it isn't real?
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
are sleeping. It's mid-day.
Michael lost the keys again. So his last mechanic job
ended, on his anniversary.
Lynn's bike chain broke, and her dead-end job
was far too far away. And Clete had to take care first
of the cigarette and affection needs of his woman,
so he won't be welcomed back at that fast-food gig.
And these are the lucky ones, who have some work
to look back on, not just bouncing balls
or toxic jive, or rich-man's hip-hop hanging fire.
Cast out like purest angels from the best establishments,
they leave their cardboard homes and plastic chairs
to squat with all the spent life on the forest floor
safely under a red-corned pepper tree,
away from the shame of women and children.
Still they leave in the sun their bent Modelo cans
like all the best tales of decay.
Tree roots like exposed nerves hang down their dead riverbed,
butterflies on droughtgrass, spiderwebs on dry-leafed trees
like their cobwebbed film-noir nightmare
in a kaleidoscopic breeze,
mesquite bean shells emptied of what food was once
ice plants grey and lifeless, holes poked full of leaves.
Here I run from past and future, breathe in dirt like any bum,
pulled in to the same gusts of nothingness,
the whisper they call silence,
but I find a shaded log — and fight so hard to believe in it;
its perfection's too elusive,
that I should be free, receiving
not some semi-sheltered creature watching leaves fall
from the eaves
like a shuffling of cards.
The butterfly glides away. The trees go silent.
A hawk swoops close by, glares at me, at least enough
to say: "You think you've got a problem, friend?
I'm a hawk!"
Monday, September 8, 2014
like an unrelenting consciousness
with nothing to hold on to
O why could I never say the things to you
that should never have been said?
The coastal sagebrush growing in the sand trough
throws a million tiny buds against the sky
how many inchworms disguised as branches?
O why was it your dark happiness I chased
and never your fair sadness?
Fuzz forms on the strand like a gift to the wind
while a man runs his cars along the dunes by hand
dirt blazing as the wheels move
O why is there no memory of you
only a me I still can't understand?
The birds are all moving toward the sunset
where the orange ball takes the sky along with it
and the pond current stills to receive its color
O why is moving on so slow I must pause
to give tribute to the moment for your rage?
Birds walk in peach water
the rust buds glow with a knowledge not my own
but bequeathed in fragile gold
O why was your gift so cruel
that I never will forget it?
A sidewinder call the Gods to his magic winding tail
and slips too slow and perfect to the brush
just as the moon takes control of the night
O why, when the love you gave, my own, was real, there's none left,
from what you stole, for you — are you and I both ... invisible?
Saturday, September 6, 2014
than that tree
— but I can see
the waves of feeling
flow in timeless beat,
the sound of clapping
while roothands hold to loverearth
as if there are no
But these I also see
Dana Point Buckwheat
so I am
salad tossed by wind
not in one
The crows descend
like an equation
and I fly without thinking
to solve them
dissolving once again.
runs from the strangeness
Friday, September 5, 2014
to be shared by a creature so light
she seems to float instead of fly through the air
and so wise
race-car precise she knows where to find
the inner red, the warm rich substance
that is nectar for the young
and when she bites ah
there's a pain I can finally get to
not hidden in the mind's denials
like Copernicus was addicted
to a circle
and had to scratch
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The cat says "God help me", the dog says "I'm mad".
No woman alive will really back away
From even the steepest, iciest crevasse
Though that is one of the things you can not say
If you want to stay sane, or value your ass.
The rabbits are happy, the chickens are sweet,
The dog rests in fleece, cat perched in high seat.
No man ever works when there's play to be done
Though that too seems another conspiracy
When the world and its Lord regard having fun
The same as or better than drudgery.
So we disagree. The frog needs more crickets.
Love is only love 'cos we can't resolve it.
Monday, September 1, 2014
The sound of laughter, blood red glasses rung,
And voices of unthinking cruelty (humor),
One gotcha and we're through.
If you're wounded you will have to play the fool.
The Jacuzzi steam is like a war zone
As the infinity pool dribbles like a machine gun
To water the Mandarin lime trees down
The hillside pomegranate red.
They're stealing the view from the sacred mountain
On the terraced marble of their great mausoleums
That would give the town's homeless a place to live.
All it would take is some real gratitude.
But despite the laughter and the perfect weather
Only sorrow echoes on the cold stone.
I tried to be mortal, really I did
But "the end" was never a reliable answer to any of my questions.
Love was just too endless, grief too immense.
When we held on to life we were clinging to much more:
A one-minute egg, the smell of fresh timothy,
Old magazines left on streets for the junk dealer,
Compassion for one's lover -- besides, death was always
What happened to others, like a Little League trophy
That changed not a thing but remained in the basement
For owner after owner, 'til when the house was torn down finally
It seemed something timeless, a variant of mercy,
With a persistent and meaningless glow all around it.
The door hit me on the way out
Like cactus at sunset as the sandbox turned to dust
And the puppeteer laughed,
At the thought of another fool
Like yours truly, as disposable as razors
But never nearly as sharp,
To grimace under her fingers
And call it a dance.
While the players writhe in pathos
At my poor, unfathomable fate,
The take back of the golden handshake,
My emotion is not hate, but crazy love,
That she thought enough of me to cut me off
Like an alkey at three lime-green gin philosophies
Before the madness set like concrete,
And she was sweet to kill the light
So I didn't have to see leftover faces nursing miseries
Their soft, unfeeling hands
Rehearsing their own ghost limb shake.
And I wish that she and I could meet
In a nicer place, where time has healed
Enough that together we could laugh
At the gift we concocted in limitless love
Instead of this head let loose from the bag at parting,
This waiting for the black hole our legs will soon fall into
As if we are illusion, not the trap doors each steps through.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The most despairing yellow sun
Across the Virginia Avenue bungalows
With the gun not pointed to my head
By the strangest hand of all: my own.
For once the horror seems resplendent,
Tomorrow we go to Santa Anita
Watch horses fresh as dew
With friends made new in hats
We have waited far too long
Spraying with bullets the possums and raccoons
As if that makes them go away.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
was louder than my mind,
Its madness of no words
in pearl clefts' stillness surging
To land's grey ends, the seeds of sand,
mounds gathered for veiled burials.
The overwhelming sound, that strips out
raucous children, the masticating gulls,
A man on fire with summer's rough desire...
all tossed like shells in madcapped froth
Brought in by the blue stranger, who churns to
other chimes than these we knock around,
The gourds we have collected, from a giving
The furnace spits. This thing too small to be,
the mind, rises like a reddened thumb,
Engorges on our brutal flaws, too much to bless
when we must do the blessing for ourselves,
The way we are, imbued with all the dust
of pilgrimage, the waiting water
For our healing too indifferent, too like God,
for what's left when we clean the grit
And watch it go like hats of defunct sports teams,
mirrored glasses, lucky stones?
How much that we could lose that isn't there.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
No one is as pure as California light
And the cool become old in this wind
That carries the egret like a gaunt moth
On the venting of dry phantom tides.
The red cactus came here a long way to die
Where the half-alive stalks cry in unison
To leave this last russet of earth alone.
But what else can we touch when heaven's this close?
We're squeamish as the estuarine mud,
Silently making each day from clay
Til the pictures are framed and stories playacted
Like a fish that leaps without need of a bug.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The devil is only as evil as we are,
As wounded, as cursed -- his coyote chuckle
Echoes through the night a kind of kindness --
After the blows have landed, on what remains of our flesh,
All pretense of dreaming torn clean, all reasons
Not to love.
The clamoring herd moves like clouds past the stage
And an eerie quiet of light resumes
The candle now
still bearing light after war.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Still they try to learn to fly,
The present moment flow
Not alone enough for mind
In eccentric orbit glow
Thinking of the Icarus boy
Emblazoned on the sun,
An afterimage mote
That makes the hot earth come alive
In perfect sequence -- as if it is now dead
In vain sense clinging, finding something
Because nothing still is too much to endure.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Iconic rocks seen from an infinity pool
Warm as the ocean is cool.
I play volleyball with Mexican children
While my love in a bikini water-stomps to country tunes.
There's nothing to prevent heaven,
Not even a cloud beneath the kind sun,
The mission light, the palms saying something
You have to be slow enough to hear --
All you can eat papaya.
In sprouting palms a yellow wren
Poses for a snap,
Purple balloons float across the pool
Like there could ever be too much fun.
The cactus shines in the sun.
There is no sense to anything anyone does
But the birds speak the impeccable logic of the palms.
Trouble in paradise -- a blue drink --
"What's in it?" -- "It's delicious!" --
The fix was in on the poolside trivia game --
All relaxation stopped and the faces
Became those who can't win.
Annabelle sells bracelets by the seashore
In a white robe and straw fedora,
Patiently waiting behind the rope
For tourists to cross, the few
Who are unafraid
To negotiate her down to pennies for her day.
She faces away from the sea,
Toward listless luxury
On a beach that's burning.
The joker laughs -- ruido --
The cards always tell a joke --
But the tablecloth is neat
And the breeze from the veranda fans
Will make you forget
Whatever it was you willed yourself
The streets of no mind;
Where all is sensation
As a king is kissed by a fool.
They wait all night and day
For the birds Americanos
To light again their dream corners
And fall in the sinote
Where they play.
At the pink hotel
St. Michael slays a lizard
While the Spanish virgin looks on in wood
And a blind parakeet named Adolpho
Sings at every opened door.
Schools of fish spawned from the chum thrown on the bay;
The death boats drop from the landing;
The Mexican Navy plays drum reveille less than crisply;
Dolphins are kept in a concrete house as therapists for children;
You can pose with a marlin as the captor or the captive;
The big fishing boats (owned by Microsoft, Walmart, Exxon Mobil)
As grey pelicans wait grimly for food.
The worlds are so far apart they don't even collide,
The well-rounded views of wealth
And the half-completed skeletons
Pass like ghosts exchanging pesos --
All they know of each other is the sea.
The rhythm of the waves,
Desert clouds, palm fronds,
The shadows on the rocks --
The only things that stay.
The mission garden
Hard feelings softened
By the yellow tulip lights
Until a few sobs drop to the tiles
From the skies
To baptize the lovers
Before the monsoon starts
And fills the water glasses,
Clears the tables, sends the still
Smiling hostess on a mission of mercy
To gather all the cushions
Before they float away.
The customers have given up
On Campari umbrellas
And detach to the oak room
And its orange light to sip
Incandescent green drinks
And watch the streets turn to beaches
In sheets of surf-glow black.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The peacefulness of flowering weeds
Draped along the waterline
The green that reaches through all grime
I see they're all not there now
To be seen
They're paintings of the train
That stays on rails
Its cargo is too fragile
To look within -
And Willow Auto Sales
Will do for now
Sunday, June 1, 2014
A concrete metaphor: chainsaw days.
In Harlem a rooster sells mulch beneath the train.
Marguerite has holocaust eyes.
Black vanilla from Antananarivo.
A new Hemingway story: Men Agreeing About Women.
So how's the money?
The low road to Fresno.
Rotisserie chicken baseball.
A lurid lack of sleep.
The suffocating perfume of the rich.
The Aristotelian death cult strikes again.
We disappear in the sun now so they spray on the clouds.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
These trees move much too quickly
Like thieves in the night
When the leaf vale finally flows
A softness far too perfect
To ever compensate
For the hard-luck lock-down winter
Where all was lost, all forsaken
This new thing at the gate
Has no pain left but the future
It must, like a spring, await
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
The dispossessed they cry
But it's never quite as real
As those who're crying for them
-- The anger out of line,
The victimhood unseemly --
What has all of that to do with me?
The watcher understands.
Yet the specimen parade, in cages
Is the only voice of freedom
We're supposed now to attend --
The loving touch of those outside
Too much like us
Thursday, March 27, 2014
"The contradiction between ethics and aesthetics in Western society is symptomatic of a dying culture." - Larry Neal, Director of Education for the Black Panthers and Guggenheim Fellow.
The cool passed all their tales to us
Like a bag of phony dope.
Toasting by the dozens,
The dominant jazz
Oppressed the printed Miltons
In their ghettos.
A child sees only this,
How pale his own skin is,
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
hums brighter now
I cannot hear its
- the clock, the keys, the glass.
Our comfort God asks nothing but
to serve It like a woman
And drop the petals of my soul
upon Its black faux-metal
Without a trace of will or
pause of doubt.
push pictures for the weather -
As if I was betrayed by trees and grass
for turning yellow.
vast honeycombs of texts,
For knowledge was a secret then,
a sacred thing that blessed.
Now all that humans grasp and know
is just one more addictive pull
To keep the wolves away
outside the fire line.
empty all this
striving for the
- the me that I've abandoned
for fear I'll be abandoned -
Monday, March 10, 2014
The skies are finally thick with a silvering grey, not like every otherwise blue day, when all manner of thin etchings balloon in gassy sick criss-cross in the sky, back and forth, up and down. The skies that would break the silence of God to us forlorn mortals are now sprayed with human waste like some vast and secret dog marking impossible territory. So we evolve, beyond the shapes and thoughts that brought us here - to new visions of what's real and true and right. I begin...with you.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The gaslight is not real
-- people say --
but they can't really know
if saying "you've taken my soul"
saves or loses it.
I'd like to think
there was a voice
you stole from me;
your total lack of honesty
let me believe
But now I know
there was no you
only me --
even loneliness was feigned,
it took every piece of
the city of lies I built
to fool myself.
Your gift of nothingness
I thought was life itself.
Friday, February 28, 2014
what never was life - oh -
hold the warm beads by the fire -
feed your heart now something more.
All things must live -
passing cannot change that -
the list of things to forget
grows larger every day.
It seems so easy to release one's grip -
until the will fails -
and decay alone opens the hand
to let nothing fly out like a bud.
The councils that watch this - with pillars and eyes -
are no more real than we are,
trying to live in homes we've built
- we pilgrims never lost.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The false hope - becomes real
With a wave of one handkerchief
- For you remember how you feel
At each turn of love's leaf.
If the thing - underneath
Merely fills the echo of space,
The face of God's the form bequeathed
- Fixing your gold from its base
Like any altared Lord
Can't exist without thankful breath
- Something later nailed to a board
That won't die a real death.
Heaven's in you - now Hell,
As if it's from something you've done.
The pictures you know all too well,
Subtracting one to one.
That thing you remember
Is not your old life, well disguised,
It's barely the flare of an ember
Pops the dense seed - outsized.