Sunday, September 9, 2018

Temporary Tattoos

Thug Life, aka "The Poems"
          for Duncan McNaughton
I tried translating the inscription but
my Latin is rust & my eyes are blue
& if you read The Cantos backwards
it sounds more like a harmonica 
than a chainsaw does

Half Past High Noon
          for Noel Black
'The Code of the West
has the same zip-code as
the Heartbreak Hotel

Spahn Ranch Dressing
          for Ed Sanders
At McNeil Island Penitentiary
in the early 1960s
Alvin Karpis taught Charles Manson
how to play the steel guitar

Saturday, September 1, 2018

High Noon at Medicine Beach

Pale turquoise in the shallows
gets deeper the farther out you go
paddling thru rusty tidepool sessions
w/trembling Spanish interiors
never learning to ask why

as it would be the Ocean's view of itself
glass beads, tinfoil & mother of pearl
assuming you can pick & choose yr demons
a Tijuana version of Chinatown
sublime & unreasonable
like Thursday morning wrapped around a
self-conscious 12-pack in the fridge

& you can shrug yr hips at passionate accidents
if you want
giving all that has been taken
as you might expect a mist of revelation
spun from aluminum samples & a variable compression rate
welding pink shadows to laundromats

& so lifting the dimestore glitter off the tide
wings of pelicans feather the surf
crashing the beach gate grillwork of
sea foam, sand & kelp
& whatever else it takes to download the shop manual
under ideal conditions

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Date with Gravity

The final option is always the first to go
& I'm bouncing quarters off the sidewalk
among the sacred pyramids & taco stands
while playing the part of the eternal
red-headed stepchild
carrying a leatherbound volume of broken concrete
returning to the one true original premise
from which there is no escape

Once you felt just that pure I know but time
chips away at your carbon footprint & your dreams
are nothing more than a landing strip for seagulls
exhausted from hauling the rusted sky down the coast
day after day these many years while you keep score

We all want to say goodbye I said
& like a wine-stained tombstone cutback
w/a kamikaze crossstep
you tread the needle's spine
before dropping into a full metal bikini slide
dragging your knuckles in the sand

Something no one will ever remember
or forgive

Saturday, August 11, 2018

M'sieur Tarzan Buys a Record Player

Wrecked on telepathic feedback
behind the wheel of an awkward silence
leaving skid marks on the needle
whenever you drift past your
favorite tune

but bent listening to
those jungle drums
& sawed-off guitars

a real toe-tapper that
lit up the hit parade
ten thousand years ago

& the consolation prize...
wind in the eucalyptus & other voices
versus the exhaust note of a '56 Chevy
rattling the sunset windows of
los kahunas

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Keep the Change

A quick glance back
                    over your shoulder
& out
              to sea
                            whatever's there to be seen

It seems unlikely given the dark
primer gray fog that's
parked on the beach

& locked in on the fucking persistent dial tone
of Eternity
                    royal palms murmur
                             Sappho whispering to Homer
                                      what being means

it means
waking up at dawn
w/your sunglasses on

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Not for Nothing

Deep waves, pebbled foam, broken sand
eye of seagull, beak & wing

         starfish  /  tarpits

                           a lifesize replica
                  adorned w/sea mist & pearls
                                                     dipped in sun-
                           f  L  i  C  k  E  r  I  n  G
                  blue yellow red green & turquoise
                                                      w/chrome inlay
                  repeated in the windswept cypress & wet sand
                  when the tide is almost full

& you were there pretending you weren't
as the sky tipped back like a bottomless cup of pink lemonade

         such tenderness is a rare occasion

                  a dented fender of surf

                            a whiff of cheap perfume

& like a tune written for a guitar w/no strings
clouds rearrange themselves
in anticipation of the next million dollar idea

         dimension evoking divinity in hindsight

                  heaven for those who watusi in their sleep

& even if my heart's a boomerang w/your name on it
I'm pledging my time & fancy footwork

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Me Too Neither

You re still testifying at the Trial of the Century
one hand on the Manchurian Surf Almanac the other
describing an arabesque

& so the sky tips back into the redolent haze
a powder blue upholstered barcolounger

I tune in to a concerto for cypress tree & fence wire
a virtuoso of the plastic saxophone
the dented fender (blue w/rust)
steel drums            DIMINISHED CHORDS
a mandolin could be mistaken for a cement culvert

An early morning windchime sonata
w/clouds drifting in on a river of Liquid Drano
measured in intervals like beach tar
but only when the heart drops like a pelican

Parenthetically (I said)
you are the needle in my wing
& like a broken string on the 
fortune teller's banjo

but there's a place we can go
bypassing the relays
a place just outside your comfort zone
where the last black lagoon under the sea turns blue
& the fog echoes in silver

This day is beginning to look like Oscar Wilde in a bunny suit
The windows are halfway open
I'm reading a book about the Opium Wars

The rust-colored sun dips into the turquoise sea
& the ancillary bikini dolls confirms
Love's transcendence as well as the bitter after
taste in the classic sense

& like trying to parallel park a backhoe
out on the mainline at rush hour
(which should have a certain metaphoric appeal to
anyone w/an extended playlist)
her tiptoe tango sets fires in the kelp grave

Friday, June 1, 2018


A short set of 12 new poems published by Repo Press.
Buy Now via PayPal.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Love is Not a Dream Returning

Allegory as Evidence
Metaphor - not a brick wall but as a transparency like
window glass & can you sometimes see a refection?
R  E  C  O  G  N  I  T  I  O  N
"The Poems"
light & shadow distributed among undersea flowers
at dawn or a little after
(Rimbaud at Malibu)
that articulation
a genetic predisposition to vowel sounds
vs lead-based grammar
but the music intrinsic
valves, gears, & hinges as rhyme could be Memory
of phrase or Image & where/how it turns
is that
but say it like you mean it
a spillover from the Higher Mysteries
Her eyes are the color of bourbon
in a glass
w/the light streaming thru it