Monday, August 31, 2020

Torching the Pier by Kevin Opstedal


Just released from Blazing Stadium, this small 27 page chapbook/pamphlet carries 15 of my poems. This is a very limited edition, so if you'd like to purchase a copy visit

Monday, August 3, 2020

East of the Sun (& West of the Moon)

Summertime blues
my speciality

                             pasted to a dogeared page of the
            heavy gray sky
                                        w/silver mists retrieved

but who'll push the buttons?
who'll spin the dial?

                      - I fear for this metaphor -

Ono no Komachi
Joanne Kyger
Art Pepper & the Hollywood All-Stars

          summoned out of chaos
                       as one would summon their familiars

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Spin Cycle

Anyone's permutations anymore than my own
sleepwalking from Tehuantepec to Kubla Khan
loaded to the springs

Early morning spillover of pearl gray light
wind cold off the water
too greasy to surf Purgatory Point

               The specific gravity of a rainy day
                        charting alternate routes to nowhere

Practicing the old soft shoe as they used to say
old wounds, telepathic radio & paraphernalias
a kool-aid bubble w/a sea scum shine

& all of it riding off into the sunset
behind the wheel of an El Ranchero hand grenade
as the credits roll up into the bruised pink haze
drenched in gasoline
bottled at the source

Monday, June 8, 2020

Bending Like a Spoon to the Flame

On an empty beach
just me & the
bitter angels of my nature

it could have been anywhere
after sunset

but w/pale neon blinking in the mist
so that it was like Chinatown 
under water . . .

         I have stood on the street there w/my
         chow mein & notebook
         as the weather swept up the coast
         from the south
                                driven it would seem
                                by sea creatures
                                         who resemble devatas
                                                     from an ancient sandstone carving
but w/seaweed in their hair
                                         & wearing damp sunglasses
to hide their incendiary eyes
                                         from those like me who would
like to know

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Saturday Matinee

It's springtime now that it's almost summer
not like but is
as a family of trolls
tumbling out of a dirty green Dodge van
folded into the sound of traffic on Mission Street
rush hour

The bright sunlight takes me somewhere else entirely
goatfoot tapdance across the sand gravel path lined with
native grasses, lupin, young thistle

                               to think that the roots bite down
in this hard & rocky soil
                                               & outrageous blossoms burst

               the birds & bees & cigarette trees

                               harmonic diversions

Leaf & petal slice a corner off the sky
                                               a small blue corner
pick it up & take it home
                              another piece of the puzzle

Monday, June 1, 2020

Some Assembly Required

The music was piped in on a
ship-to-shore set-up
bouncing off a satellite east of Arcturus
sending ripples across the estuary
w/sea mist & pearls dipped in sunset
blue yellow red green & turquoise
w/chrome inlay
repeated in the windswept cypress & wet sand
when the tide is almost full

& as if to resume the distances
the weight of California leans on Mexico
just a shade past suspicion
downloading the Dance of the Mollusk & other
psychic disorders on a scale of 1 to 10
last seen carrying a slingshot & a blanket

skip the gutter / shoot the breeze

A voice from on high
but not high enough

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Echo Beach

Dealing in the sub-rhyme
(Word is saving "The Poems"

i.e., the white noise of dueling tambourines
in the kelp grove)

around here this is considered a "lifestyle"

Now I am free to be driven to distraction
in a gleaming sky blue Cadillac El Dorado

Clouds sliding past ruin'd Ilion
somewhere in Baja California
around the corner from Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

Dog Days (underlined in red) & it's not even June
banging around in the rearview mirror
w/a measly palm tree or two
& those subliminal green waves

endlessly rocking

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Circling the Drain

One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three...
a timing device
(leading w/the middle finger)

The difference is different
trembling as it would be a certainty

Those colored squares & the woman that
holds them there
                                       in the mind
patterns built of patterns

The real biography could be found in the footnotes
"machetes on the mezzanine" comes to mind
pursuant to & not for nothing
exploring every vacant lot from Santa Cruz to Eleusis

I once had thought I'd live out my
final days in Big Sur or Bolinas
a one-room shack filled w/books, empty
picture frames & a wood stove

but my final days are now
& always have been

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Next to Last Tango

The first part opens w/a simple melodic phrase
establishing a theme elaborated upon in the second section
the third part is a duet for clarinet & fuel pump
while the fourth & final section 
takes us on a detour thru a wind tunnel
begging indulgence
                                        without vows or refuge

                    LOVE TRIUMPHANT

                    a roll of the dice

                           such as would secretly engender
                                     a tender sense of desperation

H e a r t  &  S o u l
A silver spoon (blue w/rust), dengue fever, & the legendary
paradox that left you untethered somewhere in the vicinity of the
lesser Antilles

          clouds rearranging themselves 
          in anticipation of the next million dollar idea
                    dimension evoking divinity in hindsight
                              heaven for those who watusi in their sleep

& even if my heart's a boomerang w/yr name on it
I'm pledging my time & fancy footwork