PLEASE HELP BLUE PRESS STAY AFLOAT

Monday, May 1, 2017

This space in time, this focus, of articulation & where that might take you

Shady gray radiance
& damp at first light
sidewalks splashed in silver

            as a way to reverse engineer the ocean haze

& like the Ten Commandments in a gorilla suit
            knocking at the screen door
a 12-string seabreeze serenades cypress & eucalyptus
            spent dreaming still so by their restlessness

                        w/all the requisite shadows in place

I had to reach back into my archive of auditory hallucinations
to find the right tone & pitch but the sky wasn't right for
that kind of self-incrimination

Except for the sound of waves the beach was quiet
            & the drumroll sand was like Mexican silk
                        driven beneath the foam

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Some Reviews of PACIFIC STANDARD TIME


Michael Dennis in Today's Book of Poetry

Mike Sonksen in Entropy

Elaine Equi on the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog
(You have to scroll down a bit to find Equi's mini-review)

William Mohr on the Poetry Loves Poetry blog


Thursday, April 20, 2017

This is How We Talk to Each Other Now

Where I am in time I wonder where
you might be         this side of the full moon
or that

Reality is too cumbersome & has been forever
unmasking the existential diatribe

"Excuse me"  "Is that you?"  "Be quiet"  "Don't go"
"Listen"

folded in half now like a blank sheet of paper

& talking to you on the phone in a dream
it was a bad connection I couldn't hear you
static cutting in & out

"That's funny, I can hear you just fine"

The future of one moment vs the future of the next
already packed into the big Cadillac of the past
that never stopped to pick me up that summer afternoon
hitchhiking on the PCH

& later I'm on Agate Beach at dawn
skipping stones across puddles
at the bottom of the sea

                                                                  April 19, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Raking the Valves & Hinges

"All the vibes hit me different"
- Joanne Kyger, Trip Out & Fall Back

The tide all drizzled in tinsel & mist

It's springtime on the coast

            The seabreeze
                        full of sighs
                                    & accumulated loss

                        the memory of which is
                                    rippling in the eucalyptus

I thought to roll up my 
            sleeves but the light had been
                        encrypted
                                    & my tattoo didn't translate...

The hazy blue sky is tilted at a 45 degree angle
which makes sense if you don't think about it

                        & you're tapping at the glass
                                    asking if they can turn up the volume

as a hummingbird pauses
            above the torch aloe

                                    just hovering there like
                                    Eternity         revving its engine

March 29

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Something Joanne Told Me

"There are 4 voices in your poems
            but there should be at least 8
                        & one of them should be mine"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Joanne Elizabeth Kyger


November 19, 1934 - March 22, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Drinking From Puddles

Riding on the promise of a rusty hinge
in the pale gray light

the lark & seagull sky
falling between shadows
on the pavement

but if like me you're water damaged it's
all a blur

One foot in a tide pool the other
                                         in The Forbidden City
where one might peruse the take-out menu
               if only to search for secret messages that
tend to drift in on the brilliant
                                                         blue gray silver fog

(If you were asked what color it was you'd
have to say "dark"

& situated in that uncertain area between tides
she wanted to know the preliminary
parts of whatever
empty rules of heaven

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mariachi Night on Squid Row

She steps out of the skintight laundromat
but like Bo Diddley
behind stained-glass Ray-Bans
strumming tombstones in the rain

& I said "You furnish the
delicata & the ocean of pain
I'll handle the employees"

It was a case of what you believe versus
what you set fire to in the backyard

& wading through the knee-high beach grass
nothing adds up but it doesn't matter

x equals delirium which is what it felt like
down at the Discount Karma Store

"You get what you pay for"

at the corner of Easy Street & Kamikaze Blvd

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Revving It Up Between Su Tung-p'o & The Notebooks of Shelley

Knuckle Down
Out on the pier at twilight
with a ballpeen hammer
& a moaning bottle of mariachi

1971
If I could remember that far back
I wouldn't admit it

Million Dollar Bash
I'm down with the mysteries of the universe
"You walk in the front & walk out the back"
Just don't fuck with my car

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spilling the Kool-Aid

You can count your blessings 
if you have any
or shut down in the neon haze that invades
the parking lot & changes the way you think about
moonlight rusting at the bottom of a rain puddle

even when it hasn't rained

& the way you might say it your voice
trailing off into the ozone 
& how I follow it there
like those who know or those who don't but wish they did

a block from the beach 
          where the sky sometimes is like
                              a polished spoon 
& the tripped-up sidewalk
conversant with eucalyptus leaves & damp footprints
is often swept with a whisper of tar-streaked sand
not to mention misty catalogs of ocean sunsets

embalmed in vaseline

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hostage Drama

Inside a cascading sunset the
            bongo relevance
                        staggers the poor mind
susceptible to the incidental
            revery not to mention hosannas
                                                        & epiphanies
spot-welded to a fender of midwinter beach logistics
            bedded down in a swarm of nasturtiums

& the light
like a borrowed kimono falling onto the sand
as the tuning fork lays down
                                           a weary doo-wop
bending the way the sky does
            above the cypress & eucalyptus
                        that rake the pavement with shadows
                                    articulated by the sea breeze

& as though summoned from 
            the liner notes to a 
                        mariachi version of
                                    The Lankavatara Sutra that
                        washes up on the one fell swoop I forgot
memories of other skies insinuate the uncertainties we've
accumulated
                          along the way