Monday, November 30, 2009


And so the poet says
"140 million light years isn’t that far to swim /
when you’re looking for a lover".   These are roadhouse blues for heartstrings & streetlights, a mix-tape loop of smogged-in desire & loss from the city of Bent Angels.  The playlist is 15 rock solid poems by MacAdams with a brilliant cover painting by Ed Ruscha.

5.25” x 8”, hand-stitched.   $10.00 from Blue Press.

Pier Pressure

for Lewis MacAdams

All the hours spent watching
pavement turn to sand
& the lights at Echo Beach
burning out one by one
to find yourself tweaking
in a dry bone arroyo
at half-past doom
wearing a pair of elevator shoes
not sure but that cement
clouds don’t crumble

& the wind it sounds like

as seaflowers rake the sky

the mileage & the desecration
of that compromised velocity

a scratched-out name
in the Book of Hearts

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Morning Twilight

5:15am it’s 68 degrees out
side & the Santa Anas are kicking
in the palm trees
I’m somewhere in southern
California sipping coffee
on someone’s patio watching
the static electricity sparking
off stars set deep in the dark
sky (deeper at this hour I imagine
& raw from dry winds (a tin
can tumble across a stretch of empty
pavement (headlights on the
Ventura Freeway & the heavy
self-conscious pulse of morning
searching for something to be
thankful for

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was nodding out over
20 pieces of silver
in Ensenada
beneath somebody’s
with bloodred skid marks
& a stolen surfboard
while a skeleton
hand drew tiny x’s on
a bottle of Carta
Blanca inside a
throwdown neon
planted in leaning
whispers that fill cracks
in the seawall
running parallel to
tunnels dug into the sand
by beached pianos
at land’s end with
knock-kneed bamboo
windchimes rolling their
bones in the surf
as I paddle out just
that much closer
to nowhere

Thursday, November 19, 2009

El Vacancy

Drawing a blank then
where a sloe-eyed madonna
performs a striptease to a recitation of
the Communist Manifesto

the swaying palm trees keeping time

like the rail of banjos at
the Needle Beach Medicine Show
reading west to east
w/poems tacked to the walls

the inventory & the pace

shattered chrome & clarinets
knocked from the loop
w/a bent trailer fin

buried in dry leaves on the bottom of an
empty swimming pool
at the Deep Blue Motel

a shadow in the window there
doing the wah-watusi

as one untouched by tears

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shadow Surfing

Violet indications lean into the sand
& a tear perhaps
so carefully placed there
dissolving like the Tijuana Slough
into a turquoise sacrifice
on a gray marble slab
w/veins etched in rust
but suppose we
skip these persuasive
crucifixions & shattered clouds
to defy the grace bestowed
as only a remnant remains
turned inward compiling
an index of beach pavement
for eyes like crushed beer
cans on the darkside of the tide

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Audio Witness

The early morning fogmist
dark from the Pacific
dragging a blade thru the sand
like a 90 day suspended sentence
in rainbow colors
w/a beard
only to fall one day beneath the wheels of
El Paradiso I said like
John Keats robbing a liquor store
w/a speargun
drenched in the pale sunlight
you left in your sketchbook
                                                salt milk foam
                              & the seepage
in thin blue cables
                              as if to sign the confession
              in invisible ink on a sheet of concrete
crashing like an abalone scrap-iron accordian
into a pool of stained-glass violins

Friday, November 13, 2009

Liquid Assets

The sand plunges beneath the waves here.   Tidepool mirrors exaggerate the emptiness of the washed out sky.   Plastic bottles tangled in dried out garlands of seaweed & copper wire adorn the water’s edge.   This is either the beginning or the end of something, take your pick.   The light is fluoresecent & saturates the beach so that there are no shadows.   Underwater you’ll find the shadows of those that have drowned & the light is turquoise like the windows of a Mexican church.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Double Down

Breath’s journey into sleep infected by too many cures still doesn’t mean we’ll spin the residual jolt gone hollow where your silk-weaving eyes torqued the lyric vibe.   We found our way out by the light of your cell phone, the indigenous lord have mercy, & painkiller grade Tecate.   As soon as you realize where you are it’s where you were & there’s no going back.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bird Symbols

on Alison’s birthday

One day a year
the past speeds up
& tomorrow’s shadow
jumps out ahead of you
& you really ought to
set aside that pack of
Lucky Strikes
for a rainy Tuesday in
Buenos Aires
where the music of a
steam powered guitar
sounds like a great white shark
chewing on a late model Buick
which to me always seemed
closer to the truth than this
feather climbing
into the pale blue heart
of a brand new sky

59 and holding

for Nettelbeck on his birthday

The trip was worth the colors
24 ounces for $2.10 & a seagull’s wing
cutting the cord
California skies shipped in from
Chicago via southern Oregon? (Yeah,
I don’t know how we got here either)
Mainlining ‘The Poems” in a vacant lot
born (or borne) to this debris littered
chronicle w/broken mirrors like
broken bottles all the way to the edge of
another tear-stained tattoo
burned into the lucid pavement that
still manages to catch every
step you take

Friday, November 6, 2009

Modelo Especial

for Miguel Price

Just that I swam through
miles of rippling concrete
w/effrontery & a ‘68 Impala
in storefront episodes
(for medicinal purposes only)
cosmic buttons & tattoo redundancy
occupying more of my narrow attention
sent to St. Project’s rag special
as it were The Day of the Locust
between sips of swampwater & the poems of Hart Crane
when a guy walks in w/a duck under his arm
a wild surmise on the replay
"Whoremones & whore moans are
two different things?"
It’s all this early morning darkness
& wind-tunnel foglight
that has me doing a barefoot tapdance
right out the door into the wet sand of
Hollywood not unlike standing outside the
Del Taco in Ventura on Chinese New Year
in the rain

Thursday, November 5, 2009

ROOM SERVICE CALLS by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

An absolutely brilliant lyric dance with all the humor, intelligence, and heart that are the trademarks of Sunnylyn Thibodeaux’s poems.   This great book is a miniature tour de force assembled for our instant & everlasting wonder.   When ROOM SERVICE CALLS, will you be ready?   Maybe you can get yourself a copy, you’ll be glad & made wise if you do, from Auguste Press.

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 94)

I could feel my whoremones raging in the belly…I relaxed with great vigor and the convertible ride through light and action brought back the sweetest memories of cruising the streets of LA with the poet Lefty Hyerdahl in my ’68 Impala, me in my Giants hat, he in his Dodgers blue, both in shades…all the post-Angelians looking at us like Frisco Queers as we sped by in that run-down bucket of bondo and verse…

I put away all my effontry and put matchsticks between my eyelids for maximum optical intake…We obviously had no agenda, just the mild feeling of our slashing movements and the continued cannibus we smoked like Vikings, passing from front to back as our heads turned to watch a pack of women samba by, street vendors hawking the parts of the sow, and my favorite bacon-wrapped hot dogs…it was a city, by God, and this city wanted to stay up late…Oscar parked the rig and we humped out onto the well worn sidewalk, briefing ourselves on degeneracy in order to corral some female admirers…we had landed in an oft-tracked borough and the first club we came to looked promising enough…it had a line ten people long and each time the door opened to let someone in or out, the great rush of hot air and noise, a breathless cocktail, would intoxicate our mouths and eyes like manna…finally, after 20 minutes, we were ushered in by the bouncer with a dent in our change purses…the immediate let down was a collective grunt…the place was a hovel, and wall to wall Mexico.   Being assuredly cooked, the last place I suddenly remembered I would want to be when this stoned was a claustrophobic, windowless mansoup with very little English speaking to speak of…most of the women wouldn’t speak a lick of my native tongue, and my Spanish was only good in light, wind, space, sand, sea, or six foot waves…I was doomed to sip drinkies and hope that David would feel my pain, while Jon and Oscar got busy (and they had already picked out their conquests)…We put back Jack and Cokes and looked around like fuckheads, caught inside, rolling in the green room with no rudder…It was clear that San Pedro had spoilt me, for in the small beach town, everyone was looking to make it, where sometimes, and as you will see when I get back there, a woman comes up to you with nothing more than the intention of taking you somewhere to take a few pumps…but here, back in the ditch we were in, it just got more crowded, more tight, and more boring…

- Michael Price

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The stain of persepctive
exonerates marathon recitations
of the sea & sky

just as rain is buried in the ocean
the variegated murmur of dark branches prevailing
& the bells (if we take the time to dissolve
              against the pink skin of pelicans & gulls

So much the better that we held our breath then
seeing how that shadows fell
to form the skeleton of a
Mayan temple
in a crevice of the tide

The wingspan derivative
in twilight steel like
tuning the fencewire
beyond the widening reach of wet sand at
Needle Beach

where these inverted footsteps
were meant to lead you

Monday, November 2, 2009

Somehow Lifted

Drifting through the drugstore parking lot aching for a little voodoo face-time I had assumed the role of a no credit editor of silence inside a forklift catalog of sunsets.   A hybrid Day of the Dead tattoo fading into a sunburnt shoulder.   I could still feel the kelp-bed tremors & cold knuckles, the blue press blob & ringtone resurrecting a phantom pain.   And then I remembered that I always wanted to end a poem with the word “polyurethane”.