Friday, April 18, 2014

Selling Books for Drugs

Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem
                                                          – Catullus

The octopus has eight arms
three hearts
& an internal combustion engine
but if you look behind the
beach tar mascara
you’ll find eyes that exhibit the same
variable high cloudiness that
defines the sky this time of day
reinventing the concrete
drizzled in pale light
hypnotizing seagulls
& even with the surf feathering out
& engines idling in the cypress
variegated syllables of sand & foam
reclaim the streets
& whatever is buried beneath the
kelp grove is going to have to stay there
& speaking of sea monsters
how is it that I find myself lurking
in the wavy depths of your eyes
when I should be breathing fire & devouring
whole sections of the coast highway
as palm trees rattle & sway
like love at first sight

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Case Sensitive

There are no perfect waves
               – William Carlos Williams

This ocean specifically
(ie, The Specific Ocean)
has ideas all it own
           Sun, sand, glass
                       seabreeze all dazzled with
                       blossoms & chrome
“Do you know at the offering of which libation
the waters become endowed with a human voice
and rise and speak?” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
           The wave breaking left off the point
                       & sectioning out
                                   like The Book of Nods
I said I imagine we’ll be here for a while
at least long enough to figure out the chord changes
           & in reference to the natural affinity
                       We were all altar boys once
the Jesuit surf team paddling out now
          In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
sipping the ocean haze through a straw

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CHURCH & STATE by Lewis MacAdams

A VERY limited edition broadside featuring a terrific new poem by Lewis MacAdams is now available for a mere $5 from Blue Press.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kool-Aid / $1.61 / Endless Refills

She said she could predict the
outcome of every
roll of the dice
although I was betting on the deuce
in a hand flush w/aces
tell me again what the odds are
I said I’d have the albacore special
w/a side of Valvoline
& we can flip a coin later
to see who gets to break the plate
Back on the street the
sunburnt palm trees were whispering
& I swore it sounded like
cards being shuffled or
a million torn up lotto tickets
getting swept away in the tide

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Poetikal Works of Dude the Obscure

A set of 9 poems published by Seven Fingers Press of Colorado and available for $10 from Blue Press.

The Poetikal Works of Dude the Obscure
by Kevin Opstedal

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pounding Nails with a Feather

Something tapping at the screendoor
Wind? Raccoon? Ghost?
It’s too dark to know for sure
& now it stops
I was languishing between the
bubble of her apprehension
& A Long Hard Look at Psycho
& it was like spilling a martini
in a shipwreck
with apologies to Rimbaud
who must have done it first
The law of averages like any law is
made to be broken or at least bent
but random chance just 
refuses to be fucked with
All of this was under water once
& one day it all will be again
& the moss will still know which
side of the tree to grow on
Choose one of the many faces
from the bathroom mirror
stick in on
& start over

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No Symbols Where None Intended

A string of brightly colored beads
wrapped around a wooden cross
planted in the sand
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
as uttered by Sister Edith Mary
or Marie Laveau
in the hush of the beach break at dawn
I put my shades on & said I’d prefer to
die with morphine in my veins
though I know it’s contrary to every
spiritual belief known to man
or beast
In dreams I return to those places
that are still haunted by the shadow of
who I was & I double-down
knee-deep in another deal gone wrong
on the eve of St. Samurai’s Day

Thursday, March 20, 2014

AGAINST WHAT LIGHT by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, and YOUNG by Christina Fisher

The intimate music that plays
by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux has
an effortless quality to it,
which is to say it is composed
by finely crafted poems that
reflect a dailiness that not
many poets can capture.
“Capture” isn’t the right word,
since this fleeting recognition
of being in the moment by its
nature requires that you don’t
hold on too tightly to anything except the particular 
awareness that choreographs the dance of the mind 
and the heart:

      Today is Saturday, sky clouded over
      Rain drops waiting for gravity to take them

Some leaps and pirouettes, one ear (one eye) on the daily news,
outside and inside:

      There are fragile things in the sky
      All miners are above ground
      They sent down the Virgin Mary with food

In AGAINST WHAT LIGHT it is the quality of the attention that
matters, one syllable at a time.

There is a similar attention, a similar engagement with the moment, no sooner here than gone, in YOUNG by Christina Fisher.  But this sequence of primarily short poems has an entirely different effect. 

      Everyday another way
      To fuck it up
      Or make it rhyme
            (from “Starter Set”)

Often lines break and twist the moment back upon itself, although 
the sense of timing is impeccable:

      Ya—kinda got that
      Wishing I didn’t
      Miss you
            (from “Intense Aspects”)

Fisher has a great ear, and YOUNG is a solid little collection of
tough tender poems “Not to be remembered and forgot / But
lived through” (from “Rock Star”).

You should be able to get a copy of YOUNG from
Bird & Beckett in San Francisco, since they published it. 

AGAINST WHAT LIGHT was published by, and is available
from, ypolitapress.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Way Down Below

Scene of the Crime
Talking smack about
running the table
against a wine-stained kimono
w/a troubled past
was like whispering your name
through a velvet curtain
in a dark motel room
down near Heartattack & Vine
Sometimes my heart races
like a vintage Corvette
w/a blown head-gasket
other times it’s more like a
rabid chihuahua
chained to a palm tree
in the rain
Love Minus Zero
If you asked me for a smoke & I bloodied yr nose
my bones would still ache w/longing
& my dreams like the wraparound wind
would lull you sleep as I unlace my sneakers
& cradle you like a fever