Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Air Guitar (8 & 9)

Torching the pier with
Su Tung-p’o, Mayakovsky, little John the Conqueroo
& the Jesuit surf team as light filtered down through the
sweet summer smog
& Mexican rock & roll made the sidewalk crooked
on a re-direct from aliens who were handing out popsicles
Ocean Park the summer of 1975
& I was wiping the rain from my drugstore RayBans
like Rimbaud at Punta Baja
The sky blue ’64 El Camino had a backstory that would
make Coleridge weep into his sharkskin wetsuit
with trouble in mind blues tipping the pagoda stool
I wonder where the sea breeze goes
when it isn’t here?
She said Love is not a dream returning
beneath a sky the color of a sea stone
drenched in corrugated steel
I need a surfboard shaped like my life I said
She hands me a speargun
& a dose of drizzling fog-
mist from an early Sunday morning in July
so promulgated between tides
There’s sand in my ear & a million reasons
the air was seasoned with salt-
mist & car exhaust & your heart was like the T’ang Dynasty
edged in rust & Mexican turquoise
bending like a spoon to the flame
It’s always summertime somewhere
                                                            June 27 - July 14

Monday, August 3, 2015

Air Guitar (6 & 7)

                                     When it’s your dice or mine, all
or nothing,
                          that she be there in all her splendour
(Charles Olson) reminding me of how warm the pavement could be
         at night in Ocean Park the summer of 1975
                  released on your own recognizance . . .
A damsel in distress drifts past, unseen,
her sad tattoos & pedicure,
3:45 p.m., back of Taqueria Vallarta, knowing every step
including the slide & pivot & exactly where that might take you
         as sunlight filtered down thru the sweet summer smog
on a re-direct from aliens who were handing out sun glasses
                  & Love is not a dream returning she said
It will never leave us when it goes
“Do you know at the offering of which libation
the waters become endowed with a human voice
and rise and speak?” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
From the beach it looked like Victory at Sea conditions out there
Sky the color of a sea stone cradled by the drizzle tide
Everything wet, trembling, waiting for you to make the next move
The haze of smog that lingered in yr veins
all summer long when the seaweed was in bloom
& you were bending like a palm tree in the breeze
I still have the photograph & the scars
& the silkscreened cover art in full color
(even black & white)
The light the air as yet unbruised
They call me Pagliacci but my real name is Mr. Earl

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Air Guitar (3-5)

The hand is quicker than the eye.  Okay, but
what about the speed of thought, the swift-
ness of emotion, the sudden recognition--
in a flash it’s gone.  “Fare thee well . . . ”
Sky the color of a sea-stone
drawn with blue-green T’ang Dynasty crayons
somehow rhyming with the remorseless passion I’m
attempting to skate through
The light the air as yet unbruised
was silver sometimes was emerald
but from torn canvas spilling rust
revealed to us the numbers of the heart
arranged as if by chance
& so we strike another match & pour the amber slow
because it is the only dance that you & I will ever know

Wet sand          beach tar        seaweed           
silver           emerald          rust         & salt mist
“It’s only a head wound, Ma”
(nothing that can’t be fixed w/a little nail polish)
darkwater             sunset                albacore   
Your eyes like neon burning in the streets of Tijuana, Japan
broken glass         sea foam                 
T’ang Dynasty cigarettes soaked in gasoline
“Please list your name, address, & permutations”
Cormorants in their feathered robes huddled on the rocks
above tidepools edged in rust & Mexican turquoise
“I can drizzle & quake with the best of them”
shark tooth         bird shadow 
flower of Michoacán

Sometimes the mist drifts past like a great whale
other sometimes it’s more like a Martian landing party at 
        Oxnard Shores
MORNING TWILIGHT        in letters 20 feet tall
The roadside ferris wheel & opium vendors with
trouble in mind blues tipping the pagoda stool
The light the air as yet unbruised
was silver sometimes was spraypainted with Paleozoic graffiti
to explain why the ocean is wet
The process of dreams without language
to bridge them from the reef to the shore
reflecting stones like clouds etched in glass
the wet pavement too much like the sky this time of day
but from torn canvas spilling rust
revealed to us the numbers of the heart

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Air Guitar (1 & 2)

It’s always summertime somewhere
& you’re walking back from the pier in someone else’s
Tijuana tire-tread huaraches
beneath a sky ripped from the tide book soaked in gasoline
& though our hearts remain pure as sunbleached pavement
we all have our dirty little secrets
& even if we don’t we can always pick up a few along the way
just to say Love is not a dream returning
& this is where your heart knocks to break
as if it was me tapping at the glass
& little John the Conqueroo lit a pipe
like Lopez at the Waimea
on a re-direct from aliens who were handing out cough syrup
as sunlight filtered down thru the sweet summer smog
The light the air as yet unbruised
with vinyl upholstery & tinted windows
transports me to Ryoan-ji via iambic pentameter
& the Tijuana Sloughs
What about the speed of thought the torn canvas spilling rust
crepuscular Vermeer albacore bottlecaps
w/antediluvian puddles (poodles?)
Her darkwater pearls & Mexican silver
folded into sand swept by foam
reminds me of how warm the pavement could be
at night in Ocean Park the summer of 1975
released on your own recognizance . . .
& just as in the tragic relationship between flamingo & flamenco
the truth kind of sneaks up on you like a perfumed cigarette

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Morning Glory, Beach Glass, & the Deep White Blue Haze

Your sins (those
that are secret & those that are less so) are
quite lovely this damp mist-laden morning
Transcending the particular
whereby generalities are permission to mediate invention
itself transcendent
I’m thinking of Rebelde Radioactivo (1965)
by Los Sinners
as well as the dark silver of the sand this time of day

dark blonde I’d say
a dark
blonde                        streaked w/tar
set alongside the heavy green glass of the tide
warmed by small fires buried beneath stones underwater

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tunneling to the Beach

The smoked glass of tidepools on the last day of summer
mirror the midnight sun at noon
as in the Palatine Anthology
& the light falls it doesn’t fail you can switch it on & off
I had an idea about bent crystal altho I guess it’s
only the light that bends
as at the Venice pier at dawn & later
down the Speedway up around Pacific & Windward
grinding the curb
Somehow near seems far away
Pick it up & set it down
Times when the light just seems to crumble
& the day gets away from you
whatever you are this time
Take a deep breath & let it go
& then it’s night & the TV’s on it’s
The Tattooed Stranger (RKO, 1950)
In the flickering light I keep reaching for a phantom ashtray
the moon gently tapping at the window

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ode to a Buick Skylark

Another drizzling gray summer morning
I wake up to cold pizza and a cup of coffee
“the breakfast of champions”
         & so the daughters of Memory
                  riding in on the pale light
                           perform a little bump & grind
sworn to green scenes right out of the tide book
         w/bubbles & like glistening
                  catalogs of subtropical flowers
                           printed on silk sleeves of fog
         If I wasn’t there you’d have to
         dream up someone else to talk to someone
         else who wouldn’t listen because the song the
         wind sings in the eucalyptus is cranked up to
         10 on the voodoo dial & if you had wings
         you’d probably make a similar sound
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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Limited Engagement

Giotto’s sky versus some kind of oceanic symphony
by Jackson Pollock
Tracing patterns that occur deliberately
which is to say completely by chance
“He was all the time talking to himself”
“Couldn’t get a word in wedge-wise”
“They said he had a bi-polaroid personality”
All you really need are EMERALDS, PEARLS, & aspirin
(325 mg, a bottle of 300 tablets)
peacock feathers
When the dime stops spinning we could trade transgressions
(I had always thought the denouement was a
call to double down motherfucker)
Heartbeat.  Footsteps.  Rain.
The transition from one to the other to the next
Shadows within shadows as in a film
I called it Romance with Opiates (A Limited Engagement)
Now playing at a theater near you

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Check to See How Much is Left

Each Day Spills into the Next
Heaven’s Ghostly Refrain
behind a pair of mirrored aviator shades
– Is that bad feng shui?

End of Summer Sale
Chalk it up to nerves & a feeling for
dark corners where there aren’t any.

I’m assuming it was systemic
as it lead to all kinds of fancy slide-step action
while wearing a lucha libre mask.

The hot wind from inland was dry & scented w/ozone
like an old library copy of Pliny.

4 Wipeouts & a Funeral
The Colonel told me that I had eyes crazed from
a thousand years of killing whales.  I took it as a
compliment & put on my sunglasses.

Remember the Shadows
The Chumash were one of the
few native nations to
bury their dead in a prone position
A single grave would be used for
more than one body
over the years.
The bodies were separated by
layers of whale bone.