Friday, January 13, 2017

5,000 Light Years From a Cigarette

for Miguel Price at Le Petite Cheval

I've always wanted to
            bum a smoke from Ed Ruscha
                     in the parking lot of the Fatburger
at the corner of Venice
& Sawtelle
            but right now my car
                     sounds like it's huffing
airplane glue on the road to
                              Xanadu where the
stripped-down ambience
            lends a tender sense of
                     desperation that
                              eventually one might even
                              learn to dance to
speed shifting on the coast
            highway heading north
                     with no brakes
                              & a six-pack of larceny
                              beneath the seat

Monday, January 9, 2017

Street Glide Special

Thirty-six Immortal Poets
by Sakai Hoitsu
Edo Period, 1824
Handscroll; ink & light color on paper

"The Poems"
In the period we now call American Letters
Are Fucking Dead, a movement among poets
in the western states developed.  Known as
The Augustus Truhn Semi-Circle of Doom &
Rain School, or "The Poems", this movement
consisted of several poets and thugs whose
devotion to metaphor, automobile repair and
bad pornography was unparalleled in the 
history of American verse.

A New Theory of Prosody
You were sinking beneath the telepathic weight
of a late winter sunset
& I was the last poet standing

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hostage Drama

Inside a cascading sunset the
            bongo relevance
                        staggers the poor mind
susceptible to the incidental
            revery not to mention hosannas
                                                        & epiphanies
spot-welded to a fender of midwinter beach logistics
            bedded down in a swarm of nasturtiums

& the light
like a borrowed kimono falling onto the sand
as the tuning fork lays down
                                           a weary doo-wop
bending the way the sky does
            above the cypress & eucalyptus
                        that rake the pavement with shadows
                                    articulated by the sea breeze

& as though summoned from 
            the liner notes to a 
                        mariachi version of
                                    The Lankavatara Sutra that
                        washes up on the one fell swoop I forgot
memories of other skies insinuate the uncertainties we've
                          along the way

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Xmas Poem: Santa Cruz

Did you ever get the feel-
ing that you've been

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nowhere Near

I've never really listened to the
curvature of the earth which
comes & goes out here on the west
            further enhanced by a variable
compression rate that can only be offset by
learning to endure the kindness of strangers

& so to understand the relevance of monastic
palm trees standing outside the Kung-Fu Taqueria
requires the application of counterweights
along with enough saltwater tequila to strip the paint from
the walls of your soul
                                         or at least enough to skim the 
bliss off our inherent failure like mist 
                          sheering the pavement from the sky

& those trapeze clouds strung from morning 
to dusk with the cigarette girl caressing my indecision

There are other more expedient methods
I'm sure but
                   as for me I've
                                      always preferred the scenic route

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trying to Parallel Park the Theory of Relativity

Behind  every dark night of the soul there's a
victimless crime with your name on it

As Su Tung-p'o might have said "The slow
train stops for no man"

     & even if you could find the
          haystack in a needle
               would it add a new & different
                    voice to the chorus?

Thinking of the
lungs of Sophocles & the powdery rust color of the
sky right now.

            Voices in the eucalyptus?

                                                              Of chorus not

& the shark tooth
I carried with me for good luck
inadvertently left on a beach somewhere between Santa Barbara
& Bolinas

            a dark beach with pale neon blinking in the mist

so that it was like Chinatown under water

                        I have stood on the street there with my
chow mein & notebook
              & a 24 oz. can of Modelo Especial
                                                     in a brown paper bag
as the weather swept up the coast from south of there
            coming in off the water
                                                         (driven it would seem
                                                          by sea creatures
                                                                       who resemble devatas
                                                               from an ancient sandstone carving
but with seaweed in their hair
                                                        & wearing damp sunglasses
to hide their incendiary eyes
                                                        from those like me who would
like to know

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tomorrow I'll Be Stranger

Late on Palm Sunday
in November?
in the slop & mire 
of the larger narrative

                                              a muscle memory

like the bleached blonde with liquid eyes shim-
mering as she occupies the southwest corner of my

                           & so across the wet
                                                concrete & iron
the hollow stone steps that
                                    lead to fog plumes & forgetfulness
dark overcast skies drill down
                                    a spit of drizzle
                                                  & the gulls fly backwards

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Inside the Sound of Waves

for JEK

Sensitivity Training
The tide rolls in all
            neon-lit & trimmed with
                        chrome & abalone shell
glittering beneath a heavy
sky that
                  leans up against your mind
like a bulldozer leaning against a feather of mist

Airplane Glue
What's "real" is not seen

the magic flash of light & deviant behavior

you'll need to pick & choose...

Otherwise yes I have
among any one of our selves

C  a  l  i  f  o  r  n  i  a

Just as said the darker of the two

rippling in the sunlight

but from there to know
the hand sees what the eyes grasp

if you're listening

November 19, 2016
The little golden Buddha sits next to
            Our Lady of Guadalupe
                        on the shelf above my desk
along with a hula girl,
                        a sand dollar,
                                    a switchblade
by Joanne Kyger

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Exile on Beach Street

Everything is as easy as it sounds
although it may result in liver disease

            If I could remember the combination to
            the tidepools at Agate Beach would it
            even the score?

Always the minute
detail as perhaps these palm
            trees instinctively predict the apocalypse
            (do you think?)

                     & though my gods are crooked and maimed
I'm certain they must hold the clue
                                    deep red, black, silver & blue