Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spanish Word

It’s mid-morning between tides
& my heart’s another nickel in the
jukebox.   I’d like to break off a corner
of it on that mushy left dropping in on
the lip of bowl.   That kind of passion digs
in on the dark side of bliss like an aquasonic
boom rattling the cathedral glass that lines the
tide pools just north of here.   I felt like I was
embalmed in the ocean haze.   A bar of
tombstone wax turning into candlelight
in my pocket.   The sky wasn’t the color of
your eyes although it blinked & turned away
as you do when I’m being stupid.
My resumé fit nicely onto a grain of sand.
A grain of sand the size of your fist
your left fist which is roughly the size of
your heart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Opstedal/Guravich Reading at Moe’s Books

Tuesday, August 2 at 7:30pm.  

Donald Guravich will read from World at Large.   I’ll read a few poems from California Redemption Value and Drainpipe Sessions, and maybe a couple of new works.   It will be something.

Moe’s Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Somewhere beneath the beach

The late summer sun
as it might have been in counterpoint
              guitar & bulldozer
                              You remember the middle of the
              the beginning & the middle part
as it doesn’t matter how it ends
                                                if it ever does
end & when
                              as anticipated
                                                                the ending
loops around bending eternity
              before everything goes blank
there’s maybe a primer gray ’56 Chevy towing the tide in
I wore the commemorative t-shirt
                              while seagulls were busy slicing up the haze
pelicans paddling in the water near the end of the pier
in meditative posture
              predators are more inclined to meditation it seems
& your heart already vaulting condensed sea shadows
where with ever moving thereby in measure to the tide drops
a saltwater hammer
                              lovingly soaked in gasoline
A sea nymph I guess
                              she licks her green lips
              with a silver tongue
                                                as a million sunsets ripple in her eyes
the pale blue octopus
& the pearl-handled squirt gun

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Under the Volcano (darkslide to pop-shuvit)

Something about the late afternoon breeze

takes me back but I’m still here

              hosing down a westsuit in the backyard
or cooking tortillas on the pavement
                              when I ought to be drifting
                                                like a beer can on the tide
              donating my sunglasses
                                                                to science

& whatever else the wet sand opens up & swallows

              & the chrome grillwork of the summertime sun
like the consolation prize that got
                                                lost in the mail
as I guess one more dented fender of surf
more or less
                              tucked away in a corner of my brain
along with the phone numbers & names
                                                whispered in the rattling palm
leaves like a haiku
              with a hacksaw in it

& what is your piety compared to my deference
              when my wheels lock up on the wall of the
snake run & the sky tips back
                              & everything you thought you knew
is gone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EXCESS SPACE by Christina Fisher

Grace to be born & live as variously as possible (saith Frank O’Hara) & I believe that means as singularly as possible as well.   Which is something Christina Fisher strums in her often ecstatic Excess Space, a terrific new chapbook just published by Micah Ballard & Sunnylyn Thibodeaux as part of their ongoing Lew Gallery series.   Christina’s poems are often awestruck & always carefully turning on a pinpoint pivot that might be a place or a moment or a word or image that catches in a halfbeat what several volumes of metaphysical inquiry can only hope to explain.   These poems run on the smooth rhythm of interlocking gears along with the shiny wrench she throws in here & there just to keep them honest.   The subtelties inherent in her capable attention, the light in the dark & the dark in the light, elicit a rare music.   Excess Space has "Room for everyone".   Check it out at Auguste Press.

Monday, July 18, 2011

One day I may truly learn to drink like a fish, but in the meantime

We get that golden aura off the
late afternoon sun & we’re several bottles past
the trembling blue agave light
as at Playa San Pedrito
previously breathing fire & sea-mist
the initials carved there in the half-light
explaining nothing as I can only remember
the taste of her lips & the smooth transition
strumming the wet sand the precious stones
& the smoke even if only reflected
in the dark mirrors that are her eyes
sworn to an almost perfect thirst

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Slipping the Glimpse

My favorite color
                              a full-rail cutback
wind dragging the slope
              the terrace also carved from the rain
& ringing at the center of it
as a shadow would remember some former shape
              on your right a waterfall
                              on your left the glow over China
& one last rusty pipe where you score an 8.5
on a floater that nobody saw

The green silver ripple sound
from the eucalyptus in place of memory
por favor
                              from nerves, with meaning
north of the point
              if you say so
emerald & chrome
                              not to be found in chorus
              or psalm alone
                                                but that it lit fire in the tidepool
& the sunlight bending that way at Venice pier
no different

I still have the photograph
& the scars
                              & the silkscreened cover art
in full color
              even black & white
inked on a wall in the fifth chamber of my heart (the
echo chamber)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No More Nothing

How often have I answered the call by
    consulting the tide charts to
preempt the shimmering liturgy
    with a slab of beach concrete
from what substance contrary
    running the same tropical diversion
under the influence of wet sand
    but to carry those bare oceans in your eyes
lingering like a puff of Papal smoke
    an inquiry into the motive of the wrong-way driver
no comfort to take & none given
    edging out the better angels so as to claim your
corner of despair with something like gratitude
    & always the same answer flickering
in the shape-shifting haze of
    an otherwise empty sky

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Limited Edition

Because the rainy season eclipsed the spring
this year, the garden spiders got a late start.
It’s July & the little guys have got their tiny webs
set up all around the yard, perfect concentric
circles, so classic & reassuring.   Last year there was
one garden spider the size of a quarter in the fuchsia
on the side of the house.   A most venerable spider
to be sure.   His web was so hardcore & sturdy I thought
he could snag a hummingbird.   Maybe he did.
But winter locked down & he checked out.
This new crop has got quite a way to go to
attain that kind of majesty.   I note their
progress every morning before I head to the beach.
The garden spider has eight eyes, each of which
glitter like a moonless night at the bottom of the sea.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Shade Past Turquoise

Late & early
sea-mist & shadow
thumbing through the glass
pages of a narcotic hymnal

babbling (silence)
inside a veil of metallic palm leaves
transparent medieval tapestries of
claustrophobic beach scenes

The sun burning out like a cigarette
I wrote the tune
a duet for dyslexic seagull
& steel guitar

Except the flapping damp wings
& neon eyeshadow
my job is to remain semi-conscious
for a little while anyway

counting every blade of sand
blown whispering across the pavement
beneath an alka-seltzer sky

Poems in Good Times Santa Cruz

The local weekly paper Good Times Santa Cruz printed a few poems from California Redemption Value.   It's online, but the online version fucked up the line spacing & layout.   Alas.   Fortunately the poems appear as they should in the print version.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slip Stream

The sky dissolves
ocean whispers
something I guess I thought I heard
paddling through a bead of mercury
as the standing moon
rattles like glass fingers
in the early morning fog

I’ll never be here again
although I’ve never left

knowing every ripple in the pavement
& where every shadow falls & when
with tattletale bells & pipes
carving your name on the wind

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Marooned in Sunset Rust

Nothing like nada
                              a drip of blue be-drizzled
                              of green
                                                & galvanized steel

              beneath the dark of the summertime
                              bombing the coast highway
where I get paid in cheeseburgers
              & Mexican beer

Thinking about the seagreen Yater pocket rocket
& the baby Yater spoon
in Dale Herd’s basement
in Beverly Hills

relics not of this world but the next

& from there I drove my mom up to Zuma
for a late lunch wondering how many times I’ve
taken this road or has this road taken me?

All those times I drove it with my eyes shut
so as to feel every bend in the pavement
as it coincides with every wave that curls
in around the point

rippling through the file of polaroid snapshots
in my head the palette of faded colors
reaching from there to here