Sunday, August 21, 2016

Boxing the Compass

I saw the reflection & heard the echo

            put one word next to another & so on

Rebel Rebel meets Louie Louie
midway thru The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

Blue slab of sky tilted above & somewhat
behind the tortured Asian pear tree

            how so gently applied

                        cooking time 60 to 70 minutes
                        depending on your point of view

Accordions in the cypress
by way of a sonic investment

& those cold blue flames under the sea
like a crash course in Taoist alchemy

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Costa Azul

A haze of smog lingers in her veins
                  as she recedes into degrees of silence
Her eyes like shattered glass
         folded into sand swept by foam

Versus an ocean sunset embalmed in vaseline
I've got a love note scrawled on the sea-
wall in blue-green T'ang Dynasty lipstick


Slick waves tumble
                                     repetition of a pattern
heavily redacted
                                 by dawn's early light

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sailing to Tonga on a Wire Frame Mattress

The bronze sky tips down into the
swarming turquoise sea
         & you're prying your shadow off the sidewalk
                  or speaking in tongues like a seagull
                  in a trance

it's just what some call love

         & the wind machine in the eucalyptus has a
                  blown gasket & is burning oil

                           like my heart I guess

         Maybe if you could turn the torch aloe inside out
                  you'd have a better idea where all this is going

& dragging the kodachrome sunset behind you
you sew it all up with silver thread
         as the mile-long shadows stretch out for that
                                                                long haul into night

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Did you hear the one about the owl who married a goat

e  a  r  t  h  q  u  a  k  e
                                           "Did you feel that?"
            a blip on the Richter scale
                                                             tectonic shift
an interglacial hiccup prompting a tsunami warning
bearing down on a
                                         Bikini collision course

          (not the two-piece bathing suit
          but the atoll in the Marshall Islands where
          the United States detonated 23 nuclear devices
          between 1946 & 1958 imagine
          what kind of surf that must have generated)

Nothing out of the ordinary
                                                       Rocking the boat
High seas at low tide
                                                              Calling down the thunder

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mumbo Jumbo

It was a 20,000 Leagues Under the
Sea meets Sailing to Byzantium situation
seen through a Ziggy Starfish prism
on Topanga Beach

Footprints in wet sand

The sound of waves in a bottle cap

but like all the hydraulic lifts & power tools it takes to
fully equip a karma repair shop
& the Dalai Lama drops by to have a beer at closing time
all the angels, demons, hungry ghosts & sad-eyed buddhas
slip out the back door into the lemon light of a midsummer sun-
set filtering down through the abracadabra palm trees that
bow & sway in the parking lot

& you were there pretending you weren't
as the sky tipped back like a bottomless cup of kool-aid
& I almost forgot to breathe

Friday, July 1, 2016

Shiva's Little Grind

Silver-green eucalyptus leaves
shimmering in the wind
like a school of sardines in the shallows

         Another day it might be like the way it felt to
         read Confessions of an English Opium Eater
         in 1822
                              the fog rolling in from the beach
the sun an opaque disk of tarnished 
silver nailed to the sky

         & maybe she walks in beneath it
                  as I reach out to her
                           with two or more hands

Her eyes like dark stretches of intertidal static
raking the dust of Darwinian succession
in blue suede huaraches

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Stepping It Back
Satin & lace.  Seaweed
& foam.  Ripple.  Drip.  Drizzle.  Splash.
Like Venus on a half shell.
Walking tiptoe across the sand.

Behind Closed Doors
A coastal docudrama starring
Odysseus, Ishmael, 27 dancing mermaids
& an octopus named Louie Louie.

Shoes for Industry
You'll be there like water beneath the sea
like a shadow in the shade
like the word "like"
whispered into the wind

Friday, June 17, 2016

What's Your Metaphor?

for Bill Berkson, 1939-2016

I chewed my way thru the refrigerator
into the late & early sunlight
threaded with tinsel mist             a slow mo-
                                                            tion train wreck
                                                                            like divine intervention
all out of proportion
                                            transmitted via a telepathic
                                            call & response system
Streetlights, cars, wet
pavement from here to
ocean's edge
wrapped in a fogmist serape            better described by
                                                                 15 rhyming couplets
                                                                 written in Portuguese
If you keep real still for a moment you can
see your reflection in the
silver-green ripple sound of eucalyptus
                         which serves as a bridge between this world
& the one where you are now

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bleached Chrome

Tropical vines, bamboo palms, Bird
of Paradise

                  big kelp blossoms rocking with the tide

         alongside (parenthetically) Medieval French Verses
                                    & The Principal Upanishads

You were bedazzled by the lurid
                                                             smile of the invalid
& I was wondering who was going to
                           do all of the heavy lifting

The light changes I have my doubts about Western Civilization
high tide, 2.3 ft. at 5:47 a.m., winds light & variable

         burning out a few neurotransmitters

Knossos, Honolua, Oxnard Shores

B  R  E  A  T  H  E  

                           (a great swoosh of palm leaves, pine
                           needles, eucalyptus leaves
                           filling in gaps in the diatonic scale
                           seagulls carving up the fog mist)

Let's wait here a minute
right smack between where we're going
& where we've been
watching iron pipes curling in over the reef

         reflecting the end of not this world
         but the next

                  like a soundproof Malibu
                           in the cradle of Nowhere

or the eucalyptus alleyway
         & the steps to the beach below