Friday, December 1, 2017

The Orient Express

A wind rattles thru the palm trees
making a sound like a seagull
suffering from sleep apnea

((( the provisional )))

"One more sip & this half full cup of
coffee will be half empty..."

Meanwhile the marine layer flattens out
as light & shadow trade places

You look for the "tell" in the poet's eyes
having flunked the personality test
as well as the re-enactment staged on the
wrong side of the beach just before the fog
rolled in


She was reciting something she lifted
from a mad-libs version of the King James bible
& I was digging my way to China w/a plastic spoon

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Zulu as Kono, or The Parable of the Stolen Pipe Truck

Alternate possibilities like
       sunset in a parallel universe
              filthy with your fingerprints

Reasonable Doubt
1. The sky was the color of beach pavement
2. Descriptions should always be misleading

Catch & Release
If I was talking to you
I wouldn't have to say a thing

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Water on Mars

I swore I heard Sweet Jane's kid sister
calling the little red rooster
& the foam
rushing up across the sand
was like a game of Chinese whispers

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Surfing by Candlelight

I tripped over my first bloody nose
& landed here
                       57 years later
beneath a dark sky getting darker
         clabbering up to rain

& I played that clawhammer ukulele 
like a champ
         just so you'd know what it felt like
confessing to crimes I knew
nothing about

It was late summer on the coast
& you were like a brain surgeon
         smuggling a pipe bomb
                  into my most cherished memories

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Steel Pier Freeze-Out

Nothing left now but the
soft caress of a breeze
edging ahead of the fog
rising off the beach

a kind of psychosomatic bait & switch
within the confines of our souls
each to the other

& if my heart is like a 
hand grenade exploding in a field of grass skirts
it's just what some call love

out there beneath the swaying
fortune palms

& following the roach of "whatever"
a late summer bend in the sky might be
just the thing we need to
reverse engineer the ocean haze

but gnawing on a beer can
one step closer to amazement

with that number 4 expression on your face
& those empty swimming pool eyes
like nine pound shadows

Friday, September 1, 2017

Confessing My Tattoo

The ocean shimmers
like a thin line of
bluegreen neon lip gloss
smeared against the sky at sunset
& I'm feeling as responsible as a Hawaiian cocktail
spilled on the sidewalk
in front of the pier
sinking beneath the weight of
pale pink angels who
talk out the side of their mouths
& carry guitars zipped up in body bags

I'd like to trade in those scrap iron halos
for a primer gray belch-fire El Camino
then gun the engine while chasing down the
starlet who wears crooked shoes

I'm burning out the clutch
& she's got black silk eyes

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sound Check

The Sky is Glued Shut
A faded pink nevermind of concrete
& the pearls she wore to remind herself
mementos then of all that brought us here
& all that will drive us away

Brings Us That Much Closer
You had to work to get those lost
empty eyes I know it wasn't easy but
like blue headlights on a deserted 
highway once you're gone

In Advance of a Leadpipe Reckoning
A voice on the radio says
"Accept nothing less"
but it sounded to me like
"Accept nothingness"

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Like Driving to Chinatown for Tacos

Seafoam, Sand & a Sky Crushed with Clouds
Part of the repertoire of a sunset
distantly in which
all I had was yours

Less Than a Mile from Here it All Turns to Glass
A dime bag of silver linings reduced to 3 chords that
rattle in the palm leaves when the wind shifts

A Blue So Pale It Tastes Pure White
Drifted out beyond the point, left in the
backseat of a stolen Corvette, buried
out near the tideflats, translated into
church Latin, tattooed on her shoulder

Shredding the Opulent Ocean Air
You're knocking at the backdoor of my heart
& I'm fading like a sunset in another time zone
my eyes like pins stuck into a pair of voodoo RayBans

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Guide to Underwater Photography

Excavating the protocols of redemption
excluding leadweight epiphanies in the green room

striding through the alakazam beach grass & seaweed
the world in a tidepool diorama

& like an emotional response
set alongside a prophetic socket wrench
the wind spoke a fluent Spanglish
understood by eucalyptus trees above the beach

The real work is done in dreams
the way your eyes change color & you turn your head away
& I'm trying to make sense out of
messages scrawled in lipstick on the pavement

actionable evidence of good intentions gone awry
the dust that never settled & the loaded dice