Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Orient Express

Stagelit streets descending
as in Tangier
or Todos Santos
or an Albuquerque by the sea
w/Jesus Christ
(or is it Keith Richards?)
riding across the beach on a crocodile

The salt spray
the stuttering neon archives
& the slow fade
bending harmonicas in the dark
concert hall of the heart

Even if the dance goes sideways
we know the spirit moves
has moved
is moving
though not perhaps as we had at first imagined

I no longer recognize the face that
stares back at me from the bathroom mirror
but that's okay
it's clear that whoever he is he
doesn't recognize me either
though we're both wearing the same Yater t-shirt
w/the blood stain on the left shoulder
as in the Palatine Anthology

Meanwhile the marine layer flattens out
as light & shadow trade places
excavating the protocols of redemption
dropping leadweight epiphanies in the green room
& I'm digging my way to China
w/a plastic spoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Shelter in Place

Trying to get as far away
from myself as possible
without leaving the room

Knossos, Chichén Itzá, or Zuma Beach

counter intuitive measures
& the bongo relevance
if only to put the proper
looney tunes spin on it

Polite Society:
They bare their teeth to show they're friendly

Nothing to lose & nowhere to go
but I can't be the last to leave

That doesn't explain anything I hope

The itch in yr sneakers too

Beneath the Panamanian moon

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

ACE of TENTACLES by Kevin Opstedal

The original ACE of TENTACLES manuscript was/is 130+ pages, which I ruthlessly cut down to 22 pages for this chapbook. Nevertheless, it still has a kick to it. Published by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux & Micah Ballard's Auguste Press. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Accordion Book w/a Pop-Up Heart

Any moment you could be there listening
or right here not listening
but hearing it all tumble
in one ear & out the other

An unobstructed view

Maybe it was the way the pavement laid down at her feet
the sky not quite as dark as her eyes
& the wind if there was any wind must've been cold

Wake up to find that I'm starring in this movie
a mistake down at central casting
a movie I must watch thru binoculars from the balcony section

What would I remember? The plot twisting
as the music swells, subsides,
dissipates into tinkle bells, sledge-
hammers, bird voices

That kind of carelessness
                              it isn't so easy to master

When I get to Mexico all her broken vows will be mine
our children will understand then & the rain will
step into the street & survey the damage
w/eyes of translucent silver

Friday, February 21, 2020

SELECTED PROSE (2008-2019) by Micah Ballard

Poems in prose clothing like Mardi Gras traveling incognito conjuring San Francisco street scenes through a Cajun filter with mystic Tarot reading kickflips and Southern Baptist backslides while a half-forgotten dream lingers somewhere off-stage fiddling with the dial.

Get yourself a copy today.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

I Heard You Paint Houses

The key to the motel room was a metaphor
rhyming with the allegorical sunglasses

which may be the point of it all

pointing due north

An ounce of nightingale
versus banjos in the eucalyptus

which I took to mean the prototype

& to lay it down then 
         w/a little 2/4 oom-pah beat
                  spinning the wheel of outrageous fortune

                           like taco Tuesday on a Wednesday

but knocked from the karmic loop
         whatever is going to happen
                  like it already has

& all of it leaning up against yr mind
like a bulldozer
leaning against a feather of mist

Sunday, January 5, 2020

HOW I MET JACK BUSWOLD by Stephen Emerson

Here's what the poet Ed Dorn wrote about Stephen Emerson's short stories in 1982: "Steve Emerson notices everything. At the center of his style there is always some detail which, when uncurled, reveals the story in its veins." That statement holds true with Emerson's latest, his first book in over 30 years, How I Met Jack Buswold, a new selection of nine short stories now available from Blue Press. Get yourself a copy today!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

They Call Me Pagliacci but My Real Name is Mr. Earle

All that I no longer am
yet carry w/me
an inheritance left unclaimed

         half buried in the sand
                  half washed away in the tide

w/I suppose Oceanities of misappropriated
                  shadow wings on the waves?

         Only the tender caress of oblivion
                  can take the guesswork out of mercy
                           is another way I could have said it

but if I was talking to you I
wouldn't have to say a thing

Thursday, December 19, 2019

After the Gold Rush

The sky its azure reticence
(azure residence?)

between rainstorms

The Dark Rose in her bed of thorns
pinwheels, springs, pendulum ghost shapes
& in the space between molecules
a tractor gracefully rusting

as I said to the lady behind the counter at the
gas station mini-mart
             a name that means "gift" in Greek
                     in mythology a sea nymph
                             geographically a mountainous region north of
                                      the Gulf of Corinth home to the Dorians

I said "Descriptions should always be misleading"

"Whatever" she said

             In French "d'or" means "gold"