Saturday, September 14, 2019

Torching the Pier

You didn't have to follow me there to
                               catch the sky repeating itself
tipping down into the sea like an albatross drumstick
                      marinated in phosphorescent kool-aid

                                            something imaginary & for keeps

A black tar reckoning & the slippery slope
carpe the shit out of this diem

                     the light squaring up between tides
                              copper & steel
                                        morning glory
                                                  Dreamsicle orange

& on a clear day you can see the Great Wall of China
shimmering in the distance
              like the Marquess of Queensberry rules
                                                                   in a space suit

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Down in the Groove

I'm only holding on so that I can
feel it all slip away

Pursuing several
lines of inquiry
not the least of which is
raiding the fridge

It either will or it won't
change the complexion of this
late summer sky
glimpsed thru a rail of mist

like all debts
                             real & imagined
a cocktail olive
                    no bigger than the South China Sea
a flock of electric eels
                            riding in on the tide
Death's big toothy grin

The wreck of the Hesperus makes a cameo appearance here
There's really nothing in the fridge
Leaps & bounds a measured response thick as a brick

Sparrows in the cypress hedge
           conspire w/the wind to
                      distract me & it works

           Subliminal Green Waves
                                           (some assembly required)

Driving north on the PCH the
ocean was there a minute ago
good to the last drop

Thursday, August 15, 2019

X Makes Y Sound Like Z

The cypress whistles from the cliff
            the blue sky turns gray turning pink
                        the ocean performs deep breathing
                                    exercises in the kelp grove

1. Trickle trickle
2. Blink
3, Mumbles                    alongside (parenthetically)
                                              Medieval French Verses
                                                  & The Principal Upanishads

The light the air as yet unbruised

                        & the truth kind of sneaks up on you
                                    like a perfumed cigarette

a long way from the sky garden
                        & its hydraulic chrysanthemums

Friday, August 9, 2019

Black & White & Blue Sky

for Miguel Price

Palm trees grow upsidedown in rain puddles outside the Chevron station on Hwy 1 but the Huichol they wear mirrors around their necks & talk about the bird that came from the underworld to place a cross on the ocean. Even though something may have been lost in the translation I'm sure that they meant every word of it. "That the poem will not abandon you is the one score that counts. Today's Bishop Sheen platitude." -Duncan McNaughton, Bolinas, California, somewhere in Dubai, Santa Cruz, later that same day, San Francisco. "Hope Springs Infernal" was how Philip Whalen said it. I wasn't sure if you knew that. Light / radiance / air. It's all right there. Hanging by a thread.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Ripple Effect

I was observing a
psychosomatic minute of silence
& she was drinking tequila from an abalone shell
absolved of beauty
& the unconditional ecstasy of loss

It's all a game of echoes
emotional sonar
done w/mirrors

& later in the morning the rocks north of
the cove will be under water
& a clean right-break will peel in around the point

"Love's Apparition & Evanishment"
if you want to get technical about it

"It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars
and then back to the tide pool again."
                             (John Steinbeck,
                                       The Log From the Sea of Cortez)

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

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Myth of the Eternal Return, or You Had to Be There

Orpheus vs the Doppler Effect
The sunset sky rocking
mirror shades
          & the fogmist
                  threaded w/colors
                            blue, green, orange, red,
                                      chrome & turquoise
suggesting the absence of a quorum
as the tides reprise a game of give & take
clobbering the eternal verities
           & just as in the tragic relationship 
                    between flamingo & flamenco
           you could ask whose voice it is this time
           & remember how the guitar came in
           a step behind

Butterfly on Canvas
Changing gears, watching the paint dry,
carving yr name in a wall of jello
                                         The indirect lighting
glimpses & winks
          where the rain slips between
                     but she doesn't have the words
                                 to circle or designate
I would if I had a minute to
think it over
          one minute later than that the
                     sky's a different color & she's not there
You might want to rethink the
spiritual calisthenics at this point
It's 7:32 p.m. & the pier is wearing a silk veil

Mariachi Night on Squid Row
The wings of a gull strumming the breeze
as maybe the whisper of car tires
on the wet pavement of a street that
runs right down thru the
central nervous system of the universe
a one-way street lined w/tattoo parlors
& the occasional roadside shrine
gleaming in the sun like
an empty mirror on the shadow side of the beach
like a silver spoon bending to the flame
like the tinsel light of stars
leaning back into the tuck & roll upholstery
of the evening sky

Friday, July 5, 2019

Suzie Q Does the Zombie Twist

Behind every dark night of the soul there's
a victimless crime w/yr name on it
& babies get tossed like kitchen 
sinks from 8-story windows
only to land w/a thud in the middle of 
yr violin solo

Expecting it all to rattle down into the sand
is one way to say it

clang.  wiggle.  crash.  blink.
The Art of the Fugue

& the band plays & the road hums
inside a cloak of sea mist that
thins out as the sun climbs into a flat blue sky
as though it was a litmus test gone terribly wrong

You could always just chug-a-lug a quart of Pennzoil
& go splashing thru puddles on the ocean floor
          listening to seagulls riffing on something
                    Fats Navarro played in 1950
                              recorded a week before he died

& the wind shifts off-shore to hollow out the waves
that Spring morning at Playa San Pedrito
as I drained the last of the tequila & w/numb fingers
unlaced my sneakers

Some things are given to you
while other things are taken away

Monday, July 1, 2019

Launch Angle

The pale green sky tilted in such a way the
hydrogenic haze slides off into
episodes of stained glass

            sun dazzle
            Madame Butterfly

                                                    Don't even try

The Garden of Earthly Delights like a bottomless
cup of coffee
looking for the pulse of Punta Baja

                        I'd say keep yr sunglasses on
                                    & lose the accent

Walking in on flames
like Mayakovsky
w/a dog named Snake Eyes

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Sunset Motel

The sun drags a string of rusty cans along the horizon & the onshore breeze rides in thru the cypress like Venus on a half-shell huffing airplane glue on the road to Xanadu. The bluish silver-green haze tied w/a pink ribbon & my hesitation to bail on the scene drifting like smoke rings under water, but it wouldn't hurt to read the footnotes. The supplication & the statistical anomalies dissolving in the mist of former expectations. I wasn't listening but I heard every word. The sky bends into flickering neon. The tuning fork lays down a weary doo-wop. The Coppertone girl rides a mule into a field of poppies.