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

& the bleached blonde with liquid eyes
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

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Robinson Jeffers with a Surfboard & a Bad Case of Attention Deficit Disorder

The latest incoming via telepathy
like an outcrop of granite turning to sand

I guess I understand

         The sky a shadow that manifests itself in
                  liquid crystal
                           though knee deep in mud

Palm trees knocking together in the cypress grove
         gull wing propaganda
                  the rain was expecting something epic perhaps?

         He said "My favorite poet is Jerry Lee Lewis
         aka The Killer
         used to surf the Salton Sea on a feather of acetylene..."

& here in the surging rain the
waves rise up, crest, & fall
dark w/foam & the thunder of hooves
charging up from the vast plains of the ocean
floor & across the rippling gray 
pavement of the onrushing tide

(Do I have to say it?)

The roan stallion was a seahorse

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Automated Liner Notes

Tidewater Intrigue Among the Submersibles
I drove 500 miles
just for the chance to
leap from the edge of your
pure white bliss
into a spoonful of
broken concrete

Buy One Get One Free
The morning sun ignites the
sky as scattered clouds drifting in
off the ocean go from silver to
crimson & back again like it
never even happened

Tapping on the Pavement w/a Spoon
Putting the blue sky on hold for a moment a sideways glance
allows you to see a little less than you saw first time around
all of it drenched in radiance & apprehension

Steel Pier Freeze-Out
Broken waves displace the tide
            & the sun tightens up like a fist
say whatever you want it's all true
                                          even when it's not
                              & there's 20 miles between you & your
                        mind (a distance
                                          you'll probably not cover today

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Return of the Native

All things must find their proper time,
So why is it that you have come so late?
                                                      - Mi Fu

The day rides in on hydroponic murmurings
             adrift expendable, teeming
                      w/a little rust discoloration around the edges
                               lit up in Chinese neon
& whatever else it takes to download the shop manual
under ideal conditions
             ever adrift in the commerce of light & shadow

I was thinking of reinventing
the Mariana Trench while strumming the
latitude & longitude of a crooked smile
             as though it might cure the common
yearning love leaves in its wake
                      as we're still learning the shape the sky
             takes inside jagged cumulus smoke rings of
haze & broken shadow wings that
rake the sand
                      testing the pulse of Spanish guitars
                               that sleep in the palm trees

I never but momentarily retain 
             a pretense of having walked this far
resisting like orchids in the rain
                       these defining moments
         gone as soon & trembling frail
                       beneath a pale blue-green silver
                                     eye-of-albacore sky

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dividing Now From Forever

You have the choice to 
double up or double back

living inside a comic book
version of The Odyssey

with lots of CRASH, THUD, KA-BOOMs
& dialog balloons stuffed with those

dactylic hexameters that still ring like
stones in the sun

but outsourced to California 
where the shoreline has a memory that's 

always going to be deeper than
the history book you lost in high school

or that dry dive into the abyss
when no one's looking

Friday, September 9, 2016

Confessing My Tattoo

At sundown the Hollywood
sign sinks 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