Thursday, October 1, 2015

A History of Violence

The amateur hunchback at Clyde's Richfield U-Haul
corner of Venice & Lincoln
& the out-of-work hairdresser
w/the Jack of Hearts hidden in her kimono sleeve
raking the church parking lot w/eyes like stolen flashlights
begging to be seen & forgotten

Music piped in from Arcturus pre-recorded for broadcast
at a predetermined time no matter how the light bends

A single word read sideways
yr ticket to "Da Poemz"

& the next thing you know you're walking tiptoe
thru the ruins of Western Civilization

with headphones on

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let Me Know When You Get There

A sense of balance thrown off-kilter         a vector inversion

Gathering up all of the holes in your alibi takes time
& the time it takes is GOLDEN

which is to say
askew         lopsided         crooked         & perfect

You were all decked out in silk brocade & egret feathers
a dozen long-stemmed geraniums cradled in your arms

         It was either sunrise or sunset
                  ocean the color of an abalone shell
        & the blonde sand plunging into a hush of foam made it all
         easy to forget

One could possibly learn to be translucent in that type of light
so if you were to say "I'm looking through you" it could be taken literally

We were riding the same karmic thermal
drifting from one side of the beach to the other

one grain of sand at a time

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It's Not Rocket Surgery

Transparent reflections on the window glass
are reminders of the illusory nature of existence

A dusting of clouds in the beach sky

No one notices how the color changes but it does

Try to remember the sound of a leaf
blown skittering across the pavement

Other colors are playing mah jong & chainsmoking Newports

going to El Segundo, metaphorically

All of it explained, extrapolated & expanded upon in dreams
LET US HAVE THOSE (blinking off & on
behind the eyes

Monday, September 7, 2015

Water & Power

Where was I then?  What was I listening to?  Oh, myself, no doubt, alone & humming a tune I can't remember.  Did you say something?  Of course you did. I understood every word I pretended to hear.  Low end torque & rumble of mid-tide surf wrapping in around the point, foam washing up across the sand, late afternoon blue haze of sky gone gold around the edges.  Your eyes were like damp footprints evaporating on the sidewalk & I was feeling like a flashlight on a moonless night the power gone & the rain sweeping in from the south.  I've seen dusty palm trees genuflect in barefoot alleyways leading down to the beach.  It can be like that sometimes.  The sky melting like a box of crayons in the Painted Desert riding in on the shattered chrome drainage of the rising tide.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

No Shoes No Shirt No Service

The wind kicks up late 
"stirring the eucalyptus kool-aid"
is one way to say it
though my head is bent on the rhyme implied
which is sure to change someone's tune

not necessarily set to music because what
is music? other than the measure of syllables or breath
vibrating molecules of air & at what frequency
in the mind when words are not read aloud
still renders a tone & rhythm & shape
as much in image as sound or whatever claims that

          As for me I'm convinced it all has to do with the
                    bubbles in Mexican glass
                              fucking with the way perspective
                                        grinds against the grain of perception
                    but it only makes me thirsty

Digging the breezes as they go
          steeped flowers & devastation
                    "slow kisses on the eyelids of the sea"

                              I seem to be practicing reverse meditation
                              not even to see the way the mist hollows out
                              strumming the drumroll sand

You could ask who's voice it is this time
& remember how the guitar came in a step behind

& you're counting horses on bingo night
just around the corner from the end of civilization as we know it

& yes it does matter how you say it more than perhaps you know

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Casual Mythology

Exculpatory Evidence
Can anyone ever really give or receive a "blessing"?
Confessing my tattoo
Fuchsia, nasturtium, cypress & eucalyptus
Show me the way to go home

Low Tide Low Life
That was me then as now
tunneling to the beach by way of China
singing I Shall Be Released
& checking to see how much is left

No matter what you say or how you say it
Wind rippling thru the Venetian blinds
rhymes w/the potted palms imitating Samoa
tossing shadows like spare change across the
sidewalk outside the Kung Fu Taqueria

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Learning to Live Without the Survival Instinct

The gray-white blue sky isn't exactly shimmering
above the beach where
seagulls dive into their own shadows

It can only happen here but only when I'm watching

A quick glance back over your shoulder
& the moment is no more
                                                 is gone

"Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder" (quote from

I can pray but I probably won't
as memory frames it
briefly for you or for me or some other guy
who doesn't know any more than we do what any of it means

The poor sick cat in pain unable to move
the vet injects a lethal dose of pentobarbital
the labored breathing stops

It seems I'm not such a tough guy after all
bringing sad broken Earle home in a cardboard box

We'll bury him out back among the nasturtiums

In the dark of the next morning I thought I saw his shadow
moving with that distinctly mincing step thru the living room

bright green eyes flash

then are gone

                                                                                  22 Aug 15

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hart Crane Sleeps with the Fishes

Not the Dark Rose but the CHRYSANTHEMUM

sea anemone

an illustration from The Western Book of the Dead

You ask me who do I consider to be the greatest surrealist of all time
& I say Busby Berkeley

Surrender the spilled drink

put a fork in it

The earliest maps show California as an island

Hazy blue afternoon laying flat on its back
beach pavement running all the way to Yokohama beneath the
variable shade of windswept cypress and tortured rhododendron

On ancient maps sea monsters represent the Great Unknown

"The most fearful of monsters is a well-known friend
slightly altered" (Kobo Abe)

sashimi tacos, two for 5 bucks

Not the fortune palms but the eucalyptus grove slope
just before it rains

& not the Garden of the Hesperides but Zuma Beach
when the seaweed is in bloom

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