Friday, November 21, 2014

We Had a Shared Medical Condition

What it was held up to a patchwork sky
leaning in on the serpentine coast
darker than that god you used to pray to
at every roadside shrine we passed

I decided that you eyes were
like the pigeons of the Holy Ghost
roosting upon the Temple of Ephesus at dawn
or was it the Ventura pier at sunset?

Either way the rustling of wings
took me back to the palm trees of Venice
& the Egyptian labyrinth of alleyways I trekked
every day on my way to the beach

It never ends until it does like breathing
& to crisscross the furious tropic of dreams
I said Tell me EVERYTHING but
please be ambiguous

& the light fell like dust on the pages of our
sworn testimony as a warm breeze rolled
thru the fortune palms

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Today is November 19

Hey, Joanne

Happy Birthday

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


The bottle was half empty
that’s a fact
perception had nothing to do w/it
I taught myself Spanish
just so I could sing along
Doors opened and shut
The concrete steps that led
down to the beach were covered in
graffiti, blood, and seaweed
The wet sand was the color of your eyes
I was sipping the salt mist
you were sliding past all that
like a shadow on stained glass
The music was great
I did the Shuffle, I did the Stroll, I did the

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Water Music

for Alison

Remnants of summer still
layered in ocean fog
A butterfly, a seashell,
a guided tour thru the
entertainment capitals of the world

Saturday, November 1, 2014

There was a time I thought a thesaurus was a kind of dinosaur

Although I was hopelessly distracted by Water Moon Kuan-yin
& some rather naive local shrubbery it was the cloud pattern that
kept me guessing
& like those who know or those who don’t but wish they did
those empty waves at the Lane deliver news
of distant storms that died at sea leaving nothing but a soft
sigh to be picked up by a weather satellite & transmitted to palm trees 
along Beach Street
                        as they present an interesting tableau set against the 
hazy blue upholstery of a late summer sky
                            green entanglements notwithstanding
I had a stolen surfboard & a library copy of Songs & Sonnets 
my hands resembled my father’s & my heart was like a Mars bar
melting on the manifold of a ’56 Chevy

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hawaiian Noises

The green lipstick was a dead giveaway
& measured in intervals like beach tar
but only when the heart drops like a pelican
& the haze settles in behind your sunglasses
like something that can only be found in
Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series
though scarred like the underside of a skateboard
I took every possible detour getting here
any number of which could have resulted in
blurred vision or feelings of euphoria
but having mastered the art of walking Spanish
I was uniquely qualified to spill a Bloody Mary into
a Malibu swimming pool shaped like the pale ocean sky…
Such passion is usually reserved for those with some cachet
though peeling rubber in the clinic parking lot
certainly didn’t hurt any
it was kind of like a skin disease nobody wants to talk about
set to the music of a plastic souvenir ukulele
& the pale ocean sky, remember?
it was like a roll of film that had never been processed

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Breathing thru yr fingertips

Dropping in on one last mushy floater was
just going to have to be enough
knees slightly bent, arms hanging down, relaxed
Jack Christ on a mule a seabreeze rattling the palm trees
great blue heron heading east like Bodhidharma
signs & wonders or what little Jimmy found
on the tideflats I believe in the supremacy of rust
The Mask of the Redeemer
late summer nights that smell of burned fog
Sat right down in the middle of the street
talking to myself a trick I learned at the halfway house
it was the Feast  of St. Francis
The Blessing of the Animals
a final reckoning a photo opportunity
From the beach you could just make out
a rolling left break w/a bowl section
mas fina off the point shrouded in mist
Seafoam & adrenalin in a mason jar tucked under yr arm
ars poetica made of time & water hecho de tiempo y agua
to be exact following deer tracks in the wet sand
sworn to a sky of turquoise and of silver
iron rebar bleeding rust onto broken concrete
the roach of “whatever”
& the descending of the tide

Sunday, October 5, 2014

End of Summer Sale

It felt as though I was reliving the
chord changes of Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane

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

& 4 bald tires & a leaky fuel pump later
            it occurred to me that I may have only been
                        experiencing a flashback

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Evidently a Design Flaw

Listening to “The Water-Damaged Blues”
a real toe-tapper like
            rusted emeralds spilling against the
                        rocks cobbled along the shore

“Anointed w/seafoam”

I had acquired a very particular set of 
skills over a long & desperate career
last seen copping a couple of blank
            sheets from god’s prescription pad
which resulted in a decidedly Roman Catholic hitch
in my getalong

                                    & as my sense of morality was
roundly criticized I decided to concentrate on my
which she insisted on referring to as an
“exit strategy”
            but I wasn’t so sure of the rhyme scheme
                        in the third stanza
                                  entitled “It’s only a head wound, Ma”

(nothing that can’t be fixed w/a little nail polish)

& there was nothing left to do but drive
90 miles-an-hour in reverse
back to the beach
                        where I cultivated all the poise & presence
                        of a burned-out movie star