Monday, March 31, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 23)

So after this first night of exploratory mash-up, we only had one more night together but it was a thrummer...we went to Foreign Cinema to share the Dionysian night...we drank wine for our nerves and feeling quite loose I kissed her at the bar in this spindizzy new outdoor/indoor film noir hepcat spot, and it was a beautiful night for hanging out in a subsonic tavern of late human evolution in a dark kalpa rainy night in November in the cufflinks of nowhere...

I only had this last night with Tanya because I was driving the microbus across Wyoming to Boulder the next day...And here I was getting to spend it with her and I trembled again at my good fortune...this was a beautiful woman.  She was mine for a forthnight of hours and all I had to do was follow her back to her tiny apartment and will our garments to the floor...And amazingly enough, Tanya, after a few more glasses of wine said   “So, you’d like to stay over...”  and of course I had been asking by prehistoric telepathy for over two weeks if I could stay over...and quoting to myself the Spiritualized lyric  “All I wanted was a little bit of love to take the pain away”  I gently steered us out of there and upon arriving back at her flat, laid my body down on her bed while watching her move and clean the contents of the bedroom, from piles of briefs to brief piles of panties and business woman suit skirts and button down blue oxford shirts...she was obviously nefariously slight on edge and was making time to the bed down, but eventually she got down to her hip covers and tee-shirt...

We wasted no time digging in to the mouth-to-mouth resurrection and got deep and passionate and I saw bubbling volcanoes from Hunan Gardens, red lava rubies on my eyelid screens as Tanya moaned and squirmed under me and I slowly removed her shirt bringing to the dark of night the presence of her salt-angel skin in the Missouri light coming in the window, across from the hilled gorgeous Dolores Park where dogs romped and their owners digitized and discussed the hostility of the Germans to Enlightenment while most of the City shut down in its puny and early 1:30 a.m. curfew...

But that I touched the gentle hair of her below it was only once and brief...for as hot as she got, she never forgot that tomorrow she had to be a lawyer very early in the morning, and that allowing me any more foolery was to risk a guilty conscience, and a ticket to feel directly the permanence of my absence...A spectre was haunting our night, shutting it down with full blood realization, making Tanya hesitate and neigh when she needed to moan...she told me with heated breath that we could not go on, that she needed to sleep, that I was leaving for at least a month and she was no whore...Could I argue?   All she said was true and tho’ it bored me to death I couldn’t offer a manifesto of sage repose nor could I convince her that the formula   “History=Penis in Womb”  had any year 2000 credibility...but my member throbbed I succumbed to a mild fit of melancholy and took to watching her sleep in the drinkable half light of the eleventh month...sleep,  “the regression dream,”   her mother present in each out breath, tiny deaths slipped through that wonderful gap in her much she probably looked like her young mother, a landlady of south American was I to know that Tanya would foreshadow RAMONA and Ecuador!   As I slipped off into my own sleep I had another raging case of uterine hysteria in my jewels and no release in sight...

-Michael Price

Million Dollar Bash

The light
just so we know where we are
              & brief like eternity in a bucket
                        signing off to thin blue lines
to make a sky that’s
                        silver in my dreams but
                                  from here on out
              hula-hoops its way to the pearly gates
                                  & beyond
(primarily at sea-level & beyond)
                        eventually to reach that
whatever it means this time
                                  “The Golden State”
but as w/Lefty Stordahl in a Cal-Tiki fog
too often made that same bad turn late in the
              the damp
                                  the close-out drizzle
& crush
told its own story about how morning was nothing but
a tangle of flame
              under a rock
                        beneath the sea

Sunday, March 30, 2008

For Medicinal Purposes Only

Take that last hit of whatever you’ve

              hollowed-out green ocean steel

polaroid night

                                Apollinaire’s helmet

so to replace all that’s possible
& install a tunnel thru yr cortex

All of it glistening

              silver coins
                              glass beads

I counted them
              they had different colors
                                & were carefully flawed

like shadow wings

in the mind of the sky

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 22)

I was to pick Tanya up at her house...I was driving a white 69 VW Micro Bus which I had just bought in Sonoma from a groovy Black breather named Jimmy, a mechanic on the Golden Gate bridge, the ribald and rust deco wonder that connected the hills and trellises of Marin to the gates of sin in San Francisco...Jimmy put up scaffolding for the painters, those lifelong back-and-forth blue collars whose job never came to an end, except in the case of the Big one, and he fixed anything broken...but what the hell could break on something as large and extra terrestrial as the fame Golden Gate? Pins and cables, rivets, lives pitched over the sides, 60 foot sway in the Pacific winds, annual poetry readings on the fort point for surfers frostbitten by catechism and supposed hobby...this bridge inspired all types of madness, but mostly a madness of pride...Pride as thick as blood in the glorious San Francisco...where the local news proclaims it the best place on earth each night at six...where cool becomes simply cold, and there isn’t a real woman for bindlestiff city confused by its mediocrity and forced into the defensive posture of constant gloating...long live dynamite!  Oh but what the earthquake will take care of...

I had to climb two flights of stairs to the apartment of Tanya, who met me at the door with her amorous gap-toothed smile, the kind Chaucer made famous, the one that affirmed that sexual desire could be measured by dentrics and and dentrics alone... we had decided within the first ten minutes of small talk not to go out, but rather sit amongst her clutter of books and records and CDs and an acoustic guitar and drink red wine and get loose, get to know her rather lanky, universal-jointed limbs, let her size up my rooster-short hair, black preen pants and foil-mesh socks...

And that’s how it went for the few hours I spent lounging on her floor, her couch spinning cds and drinking pretty decent wines which she poured one after another...The night was beginning to look like it could get off the hook, the air was heavy with cattle and jonquils...I was getting the feeling, that timeless jocular bliss-is-coming feeling that there would be some out came the monologues, my best being my motel-room rise to the abstract POETRY CAREER story, which, given I was destined to either engineer things or SELL some load of crap or another, was pathetically enough, quite remarkable in this day and age...a conversation with my father recently confirmed this, that I had broken away from the money curtain of grandfather, the kindly lamp of   “make-a-living, suffer greatly”  bore it straight ahead American venereal corporate cunt-all life that both my uncle and father had been forced to pursue...and pursue would be a strong way of putting it for what burned in them was killed off when the choices were laid out in dollars, and more rightly, lack thereof if an acting career or public indecency were part of the plan...So I told Tanya how I made it to poetry, how it found me longing to make midnights of accelerandos, retardos and it was a miraculously described pair of breasts that pushed me to sign up for a writing class, SHAM that they are, and that there the shocks and bruises heretofore indescribable in advertising slogans...

“So how is the lawering?” And Tanya told me enough in very little time to make me realize how bad off we are, that her dour and uninspired occupation was no different than 98% of Amerika, but worse for me, and this had been the case all my life, was how uninspiring SHE was in the face of getting up and Carpe motherfuckin’ Diem, how uninspired playstation/shoppingmall/un-French and boring we had all couldn’t or wouldn’t dare to be original beyond the label of a shirt or, or, or, a motorcycle...I’m bewildered by the mediocrity! I ask, “How are we supposed to heal if all we can feel is time?

Tanya didn’t know any better, that there was little to risk in any of her conversation, much less her everyday life..

We had some good talk despite it all as the wine was loosening up the grip of Luna...I knew I had to move with all the caution of a barracuda, that one move out of context could produce physical pain or a hasty exit out the door and I thought maybe T and I could make this a regular thing, that in spite of the booby traps of ego vs ego, there might be grace and supplication present and that maybe there could be real chemical or tactile means to an end...And so I kept moving so slightly closer and every once in a while I could reach out and touch her leg or play with her outstretched toes...and she seemed ok with my overhand spectacle...she said she needed a massage and I quickly explained that my skills in that area had increased to the positive lately thanks to my brief affair with Stacy, the Aspen L.A. guru-ess masseuse freak, whom I had been lucky enough to receive some teaching all had to do with pressure and patience, areas where I was either applying too much and didn’t have enough of...

Tanya clothed on the floor...between piles of good books I had barely heard of, as she had an eye for good world literature whereas I knew poetry like a pro in a blizzard of butterflies looking for the elusive painted lady and then there would be a tremendous explosion of beads and the jewel thoughts of a thousand emperors would be at my disposal...running for my terrified baby, awakened by the bizarre impression that we were fully clothed and would say that way through the course of the rub, tho Tanya did take off her sweater and I became aroused as I sat atop her jeweled buns...and so it was...I think we ended up on the couch and I roused the mettle to kiss her and rather violently we went into what I would call a VMO (violent make out) and up went my hand to the land of breast and beast and remarkably there was no backlash or rebuttle...she was hot to death but she would hold back from copulation and oral organization as we barely knew each other and what woman in the continental United States wanted tit to be known that she gave up the nappy dugout on the first date...and so it was time for me to exit with the point being, the point pertinent to the failure with Ramona was this: it was late November and I had become tremendously aroused, to the point of the leakage common to dry-hump, and there had been no release and I refrained from masturbatory indulgence because I was gifted a book on Tantric love practices and had always at least five years been interested in finding a way to last for hours and not lose the precious seed known as the essence of man...the potent process of spermatogenesis...the subdivisions of spermatocyle four ways into the spermatozoa which have the amazing morphological value...the fluid that can and has produced world power, carburetors, the yogi, the portable Nietzsche...I want to forever hold the juice within, steam it up the Kundalini spine, awaken the potency, burn on the helionic level of superna, the desire-less transformative modus operandi of one unmistakable, slightly nauseating sense realm of enlightenmentation, the spin dizzy screen of no single fear or caution, six pillars of glowing white for forty one miles or years, the age of my rebirth, the age of my first death...Man made and madness and moving day began...The pillars lunged, roaring, into the skies thermite azul history being big ideas...sperms and ideas, theories oh rotten theories I’ve always hated a good theory...and philosophers too, I don’t think much is me or you...mothers...So this was the first instance of the phenomenon known as sorrow balls, or backlogged thermocouple ball halt, or just plain blue balls...the first...

-Michael Price

Liquid Smoke

Apart from the fact of night
crashing down
& your own excuses the
rain drumming the streets each
raindrop inscribed w/a Latin phrase
(if it wants to fall that way it will
& in stereo)
when the spell is broken
& though you can’t see them
lost souls fly in V-formation
in a part of the sky
dreamed on either side of that
humming interference
the trees their branches full of voices
revving it up between Su Tung-p’o
& the notebooks of Shelley
all rain-spattered now
on a cold night in
Surf City

Friday, March 28, 2008

This pen will write underwater

Asleep & gazing up thru the tide
                                        outside the liquor store
dim lit Byzantine I
suppose an azured
tint you walk away with
                      Malaguena Salerosa
& a bucket of worried mind
              falling thru cracks
                                        in the sidewalk

t  r  a  n  s  m  u  t  a  t  i  o  n  s

              Lonely arms the flowers pumping
              sanctuary I sidestep air beginning
              breath as soundless & a photograph
              taken in Mexico just this side of

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Inventing the Sky

Just a big-time emptiness
to rattle around inside of
until SPACE arrived
& in kind
italicised the rest of us

as the question was lost before we could
dream up an answer

the archival lips
the iron wings
the back streets of Xanadu
& her eyes

her eyes like the lighted doorways to a pagoda
which is her mind
interior designed by M.C. Escher
resembling a medieval parking structure

paved with clouds

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 21)

So back to my limp cock...I began to realize what was happening as I lulled myself to sleep with a few tears of pity meanwhile wrapped up in Ramona...”  It’s a sad lumberjack who can’t climb a fallen tree” I had stoicism and tenacity and a partially broken spirit...I had misplaced my detailed notes on hara-kiri and the implications of my junkyard reproductive system had me in the sweats...until I remembered Tanya...Tanya was a svelte and beautiful lawyer whom I had seen a couple times only a month prior in The city by the bay...she had been the on and off lover of a friend of mine, a friend whom I could not figure out, a lawyer with a smooth charm but no discernable openings into his character, a friend that I knew only so well...this frustrated me. He possessed an antique virtue that drove women crazy--but what drove these same women to the brink of hostile lust was his seeing indifference to their beauty or charm...he had a beautiful and grotesque nose, and the angles of Agamemnon framed his just could not crack his shell...conversation after conversation revolved around art or poetry, both master subjects of his, or some kind of lawyer politics, always interesting, but never about him or his larceny...was he a knight or a jester...what was really there?

So I had met Tanya a few different times and I could never figure the two of them a dying consumptive room, there was no hints of smoke from the friction or combustion, no orange terribly sweet romance...just the dull familiarity of a shared past...not that it was any of my business...but I had always been interested in the possibility of fifty demerits with her...I had even told my ex-wife of her pale and flappered demure...her 1930’s elegance...and the ex had something for the lawyer and even suggested a swap with merciless abandon...and I had given it a moment of thought, holding my hand to my bad heart and mulling it over...but it never did this, see, that you understand...

However, the incident in question and one most relevant to my current problem with Ramona, began on a night I had read some poems along with T.M. Ballardo and the insane Vinnie Bend at a café in Frisco, a fundraising event for the campaign of said lawyer friend, who was running for city council...I carried them trembling along a few chosen verses and I could see Tanya in the audience taking in the poet while sipping a glass of merlot, with her business attire that could look so sexy, her smart black Argentinean eye...meanwhile people were crowding around the television to see the incoming returns , all the wheezy bourgeois and the retinue of bohemian private incomed was a crew of luminaries of the underground, mixed with staple lawyers with grey window-payned suits and stripes of pin...most of them had been dipped in honey and fed to the lesbians...After T.M. had spiked our soft drinks with vodka and we had a few sheets in the wind I bumped up against her and we had some pleasantries exchanged along with some blue and some rose and a surprising color appeared and it was red, a savored dark red energy in which her phone # was subtly placed in glided gold letters and which were copied down on clean white paper and handed to me for a possible future encounter...So that’s where it started...

I called her a week later, and I had been thinking about her and how repressed her sexual drive seemed to be, which was instant and lasting curiosity and possibility, for underneath there laid a driving insanity to fuck, or at least one could hope there would be that...maybe it wasn’t that she seemed repressed, but that she was altogether consumed at all times in holding back her tremendous desire to copulate furiously and repeatedly...I think it was this...this that was drawing her towards me...and she must have been thinking something along the same lines, like a baseless fabric of concentric circles, each with a different position, tiny photos of the myriad ways in which we could come together in the great genital organization, the super weather system of the Bay intra-uterine life...

-Michael Price

You Do Not Have to Be Present to Win

In the empty street lit by the
flickering red neon
of a motel vacancy sign
no one was there to
hand out tickets to the people
of the future
who are destined to study
Arts & Silences
in the abandoned swimming pools
of deserted homes

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dunagan reviews The River

Patrick Dunagan has written an excellent, in-depth review of The River: Books One, Two & Three by Lewis MacAdams. Take a look

The Inland Empire

If today was tomorrow
or that time we never dreamed
(scripted as it turned out to be)
              doesn’t necessarily ring the velvet
leaning out into a deeper zoom expanse
                        the reach extending
& yr soul if it even exists
              I couldn’t say if any of us for certain
                        but something in the air anyway

anyway air
                        & light, tipped in later
parked beneath halos
              palm trees
                        fires in the evening sky

simple descriptions of landscapes
              the weather outside
& inside the
                        factory temple

where you are just an afterthought in day-blue
fading fast

Monday, March 24, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 20)

The queer world of a straight man, Chapter 1, verse 13L: I and my father are one. When a kid, and I was a kid who knew little about Orpheus, that is, when a young man pleasures himself with a pharmaceutical obsession, when the reserves are heavily taxed and the pleasure is beyond the principle by roughly the distance to the moon, the queer world of doubt begins to take the form of principle and the action of possibility...the demon thoughts of oral copulation, of paternal penetration, the all natural slowdown of the hormonal desire super computer so that the neophyte young tennis star inside me began the all beginning questioning, the begin of cock-sure doubt, “my god I am a homosexual” rumination that would last approximately 16 years through rather strange and black hangovers and it was during the hangover that the thoughts between orgasms were filled with grandiose dongs and cheap trick fantasies...

But it was because I couldn’t achieve, instead, the hard on at the sight or smell of the vagina that I turned my attention to the huge wave of false thoughts concerning my ‘orientation’, that overused and smack up concept which is so current and delusional...because I couldn’t keep up the homerian odyssian erotic sense of reality...that I discovered the 1st law of nature, that everything changed and will always change... “what a swoon my mind took the heart upon” So the blue-collar god within chose to suffer...I chose to suffer and berate and chastise what wasn’t even mine for chrissakes! This body, this mind...this illegal camping here on earth with the orange flowers coming out that I could sit here in the mouth of the garage and write about faggotry because I thought I was flesh, because one more hit of the visions and I can write like this for hours...none of us is faggots.

I don’t believe anything hard and fast...But what ended the confusion?   How am I now resting comfortably in the surety of the moment that there is no question, no answer, no questioner, no ‘me’ and therefore, where demons come from, is mind only and what is that?   “If you want to sell the dream, you gotta live it” What simply freed me from my fear?

Lama Lodru.   After the ex-wife had helped my tailspin alterations and deconstruction of my former married and truncated self, I had gone to him for advice, to leave her, stay, what?   I needed to know...tho’ he said stay with her, a good woman, I had to ask my other dragon cloud question, which was really at the heart of the fear that I had failed her sexually or that I was faggot, I needed to ask this question and am amazed till that I had the nerve-fibre to do it...but I screwed up the nerve and let me tell you, when he answered the room stopped, a wristwatch blew up, the books on the shelves became instant classics...he strobed such luminosity in reply that I was taken and forever elaborately disciplined in this regard:   “Those thoughts are very dangerous” is what he said.   “Homoerotic thoughts are very dangerous and one should not indulge an extreme form of sexual desire...leading to more confusion and further harmful karma”.   He gave me an economy of force equal to the ten commandments in horsepower and on par with traffic deaths in was anesthesia and a freedom from fear I had never felt...notes from the mysterious East and the rest of the world getting some lumps but here was a direct transmission from an enlightened one and I was lucky to have it...

-Michael Price

Dark Eyes

Never too far from the water damaged suicide
accounts w/drumbeats & rhymes along the redwood
vein or salt water sacrifice implied

everything is bent by this furtive caress of

what eternal song rustles in the leaves when
you decide & face the pale blossom that like a
knuckle rapping on a pane of glass summons you

to ride the pulse back & down the surging wall of night
where you step, turn & dissolve

asleep in the azure foliage & chrome
accessories that litter the vacant lot of yr transparent

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday, Stun-day

The Jesuit Surf Club
has commandeered the Lane
& a warm off-shore breeze
carries the scent of redwoods,
dry grasses
& carbon monoxide
to the beach

Small Change

A splendid day

To get out in it


Baudelaire / bottled beer


Open yr eyes
              all three of them

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Revising the Terms of Sacrifice

Down to business
              a tone (hammer)
as far as I know
                        & to alleviate the magic

anything else
dark w/rain

              just a thought, here, now

The road to Mandalay
whereupon a path
by the ocean keeps

              Concepts can’t ditch
              is prevalent
              holds sway
              as the topmost branches
              moreso than those beneath

beer can proprietary
              you needn’t mumble

as in the language of shadows
              each word its own measure
of breath (the
              last of it a garland
of 12 gauge steel wire
                        Latin prayers
              & seaweed

Friday, March 21, 2008

Switchblade Comb

Not the empty sky but the rusted
engine block
                        on the beach
portrait of ruin & neglect
            to match my own

One steps toward an outside
to rattle them reliquary bones

or walk where wind ripples the
surface, shallows & tide
inside the quiet noise of what
birds might think

Half past sunset & broken
baby Jesus cries just kneeling
on the pavement, well
we all have to take that step

a passage or presence you

one foot on the platform
& the other foot on the train

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 19)

It was time to go home and make girl pleads, “Give me something I can relate to.   Give me something I can feel inside.”   One boy says, “If you were getting graded on your work here tonight, the teacher would send home a C-.”   But Ramona and I were gone, down the beach for our mile jag home...she didn’t want to walk because she was drunk and delicate so I had to tease and coax her with my courage...”my fear is my only courage”...I screw up my courage, I tackle her with great vigor and she says “you are crazy future husband, I’m sooo drunk and you make me rosy with lust...” I said nothing and buried my mouth in hers and saw stars.   We were in the sand but we had to get to my mother’s house somehow... “quickly,” I said, “we only have a short distance to go...”   Past the pink time-shares owned by the former head of the Ku Klux Klan and past the yogurt-maker’s pad, a man also named Fido, who had hit incessantly on my mother since her arrival--to no avail...he made delicious yogurt that we bought at the San Pedro market for pennies on the dollar...past the barking bitch who had just given birth to a fine litter of pups, who barked all night, but who treated me like a long-lost mother when she saw it was me on the beach...she would lick and jump all over me, and it would bend my mom all out of shape cause she only liked Portuguese water dogs...but I liked this little mutt even though she barked up the night and gave me fits on the installment plan...

We arrived thru the sand backyard, the poet and the model...the night was insistent but it needed a coup de grace and when Ramona went straight for the bedroom, without so much as a tick, peeled back the sheet, I knew this was it...and suddenly we were inside the sheets and floating around and in the distance I heard the bitch begin her barking...Ramona moved in close and quickly started her descent, from below me, down my very own navel, stopping every so often to introduce her lips to my cutis vera...I could feel myself half-aroused and when she got THERE I began to foresee the problem...The word “struggle” comes to mind...she took me in her mouth and began the action, the notion, the motion...and I lost all sensation...

What had become of my corpora cavernosa?   I was livid with fear...a man’s worst nightmare!  Ahh...the back pain of earlier that day...the balls in the shower tender to the touch...the ultimate irony of propagation with one of nature’s finest examples and one of man’s greatest failures.  The blood was not going to go for my personality, the performance principle was gone, the show would not go on...I could not become a man...I moved into emergency procedure, telling jokes to surround the complicated dramaturgy and bringing her back to the level of my eyes and mouth, where I could explain the comprehensive metaphor of shame and my own brief stint in the mind world of a queer...

-Michael Price

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reverb Confidential

Left out in the rain on
purpose to prove a point that
doesn’t seem to matter now

            for your own good

                        or recall the pervasive swamp
                        woven into the dark

What is the exact color of death?

I guess we’ll all find out soon enough

playing for sympathy
                        playing, in general

“Politicians, ugly buildings & whores
all get respectable if they last long enough”
(spoken by John Huston in Chinatown)

a question of seeing
what you’re looking at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 18)

The swamp, or the lagoon as it’s called, came right up the backside of Barefoot Iguana’s and the hurricane had left heaps of garbage and debris scattered throughout...but here it was, the whorehouse, jilting out of place with its lime green walls and tropical carts lined the side of the building, signaling that all the locals and tourists were was all I could to follow her beautiful posterior inside, in full possession of the fallacy of possession, and my crumminess, my spirituality, my blackness...a man stopped to offer fruit juice, I declined.   The dance floor was throbbed and in third gear.   There was upstairs with a balcony all around, where local men and women surveyed the movements and the weapons used below...I had Ramona’s smokes in my pocket and every ten minutes she requested another spike...even among those whose opinion was generally favorable, were also absolutely shocked by the nightmare of Ramona’s revolution in smoking...

In between smokes there was more tonguing from Ramona, and then it was time to dance...I had a paper cut on my shin, but there was no reticence, I was moving to the dance had two levels and we started out on level one, with the throngs...I upgraded my comic lyricism, and started to move like a monkey with a different kind of boss...Unsurpassed bodhi, transported to the plane of delerium, Ramona showed me moves I hadn’t seen since the birthing room...I lamely followed, copied a few of her more blithe moves, and used a Libra smile to conquer my detractors...

I was avid for freedom...and it showed in my artichokes...she mostly laughed at me, at the way my body told the history of a boy who grew up with a century of progress, and no wisdom...There was no way in hell a pasty gangster like me was going to have rhythm...But that didn’t stop us from moving onstage...the teemers made a palisade around her, but I got to move up close behind and hold on...I used my best Spanish argot in her ear, and she got in close and bit mine...this dancing, drinking, and smoking went on for hours...I even took a nail and smoked it in jest and harmony...I regarded this as neither a mistake nor conceivable, as I grew up in a smokeless domicile in a smokeless town, on smokeless letters from a grandfather in Texas...I must have had a series of palpitations for my heart was stricken with love...Women put your thrust in me...don’t be thin and flavorless or sulking too often...Own your desires, or send them by mail to my address in San Francisco.

-Michael Price

Walking the Plank

Only a few blocks from the pier
you find yrself on a street in Tangiers
& around the corner you’re back
in Santa Cruz
wondering what happened & what
language those robed women
were speaking

moonlight misunderstood
beneath the plastic canopy

Drift a while on your way then
            living or dying
                        once is enough

hear bronze pages turning
subtle change in phrasing
                        coral blossom
burnt neon

pledged to a random, accidental magic only
as that which most often goes
unnoticed & so changes everything
you thought you knew

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Opstedal, to himself

The window doesn’t
open like an orange
although daylight will
peel shadows from the glass
as I broker a deal w/the night

The story of
an Opstedal, & a bad thing
              my sins & wickedness

across the great divide

              (Front Street down around to
              Beach or out on the further
              reaches of the coast highway

                        my DNA all over that

staggering in the dark
              like an ex-champ
                        in over his head

All the windows I’ve stared through
                        into gray mist, lost worlds
              only there as time allows

I have lived along the frayed edges of
a practiced distraction

20,000 Leagues Beneath My Brain

The ocean rolls in
I mean waves
in one sweeping gesture
            I mean later
                       (use as directed)

Swimming inside a mist of haze
you have to tunnel thru it on the trail
―poison oak, gravel, air—
I mean breath which is moist & not unlike
velvet finally inside the pace, a step away,
see what happens


(What’s the worst that could happen?)

But it’s night now, nearly night
& the invocation is a rocking number
conceptually challenged
           w/mudslides & ballpeen hammers

full moonlit surf below the dark
parking lot as far as it will take you
& back

Monday, March 17, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 17)

I was a poet.   This much I knew...all the dirty so-called poets I had left behind in San Francisco were as far away from real heat, real illusion, real rest as I was with a siren in my lap trying to climb into my throat...God the poets who called themselves poets in San Francisco...I’ve got a rue for you...The rule:  Don’t talk.   That black social scene of word-smelters, the get-ahead work-a-day martini phantoms...none the BARD, none with the fear and defy quality, none to wonder and escape...”Chase the demons, find the Buddhas”... the School of Poetry is dead...POETRY READINGS are dead wrong...It was rats and monkeys, beefed up with lust, it is the very problem...$ and fame.   $ and fame...antidote: NA MWO SYI JI LI TWO YI MENG E LI YE* “I completely bow in worship to ‘I’ the Sagely One.”   As far as I knew there were still a dozen real poets living in the Bay Area, and this, the literary West Coast...supposed purgatory of critical and poetic thought! What yak shit, what nonsense...Ah, but it is my problem, my fault, and my bitterness that creates it all.   This is really wonderful...when the mind makes discriminations you depart from wisdom...Case in point: fooled again...”What revolt, what disillusionment, what longing!   Nothing but crisis, breakdowns, hallucinations, and visions.   The foundations of politics, morals, economics, and art--all tremble.  The air is full of warnings and prophecies of the debacle to come...” Miller, Rimbaud.   The death of poetry.   It must live on in the individual...but there are scarce few individuals left...I give up the chase, here and now, give up the eighty one doubts of a career in writing!   “Man! Now you’re getting profoundified, now that’s exactly—that’s beautiful.”

Love the wet darkness or get busy leaving, but awaken the great man within from the seat of morbid changes...

-Michael Price

Vaquero de las Olas

She’s got a car crash
& I’m leaning into
an aquamarine sunset
maybe 500 miles from

that the night is
longer than that
misses the vein

my mistake

Mexico took her ear-rings
but I scored the fire
in El Rosario

out near the
Beach of Broken Fools

Disabled Big Rig in an Unknown Lane

As I said to
Nettelbeck about one of
his poems I said

“It’s a poem that
holds death at arm’s

& that’s just about as
close to death as I’d
care to get

at the moment

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Secret Curriculum

The Hotel Wentley Poems
Severance Pay
The Hermit Poems

Poems Written Before
Jumping Out of an
8 Story Window

Live at the Church
Don’t Say A Word

Trip Out & Fall Back

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beach Concrete Luau

A kind of highgrade buzz
              bombs out while
the Oracle smokes a cigarette
                        between The Terraplane Blues
& Tales of Brave Ulysses
              a trance dance inverted
as the acceptance of
                        only that which I expect
what lives on to carry
              that weight I mean
w/half-expected music
                        ain’t that much to
stumble thru on our way
              for what else we learn to regret
the thought & footsteps
                        followed or not
is to move in circles
              a task or pretense
as such the sky driven to
                        metallic burnt-orange brocade
w/ropes of seaweed
              ripple & flap
                        as we pitch the empties
into the abyss

Friday, March 14, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 16)

If I have said too much about myself, it has been because of the third nerve, and its connection with the ciliary ganglion, which in my case is overly large....I absented myself from the lug’s bartendery orbit and concentrated on my cerveza...and in she popped, and I could see right away she wanted mostly to be in the movies, and though she told me the night previous fame was a nasty tonic, I could see as she split the humid lusty crowd in two that she meant none of it...I ducked behind my imaginary white raimnent, but she gleaned my fortitude, and calmly walked up and kissed me for all to see...When a woman wants to make a man feel the great whistling photon elegant blindness of 100 percent radiant attention--that she alone, having possessed you--could deliver, I bow humble before thy power...freedom is a sad word which cannot describe anything American for the American cannot truly know freedom anymore...he now rots in his Corporate cosmos...but in Central American an American--a honky, gringo, blueblood--can become free if he chooses to. If one Latin American woman gives him her undivided, equatorial, temperate attention for at least one night then for a brief time there will be the illusion of something eternal, a peek of the thought-free and word-free state that is /Atman...

Oh but Said (Sa-eeeed)...had you thought I had forgotten about him? He would be here shortly...but not this night...for this night it would be Ramona and I, and for a while Celeste, and of course we would see Vera and my mother, and there would always be Peter the Brit, half-pissed and insulting, and then there would always be Tom the Boatyard owner and his Asian bitch Lily, or maybe it would be the mullet-permed blonde steroid ass-wipe and his slutacious big-bare-titted and heinously short-skirted piglette of a girlfriend...we would see them all and they would see us...oh they would see us...Sad Fugitive Freedom...Such thoughts they had and how they showed their lust and Ramona could make them show anything because she had what they all wanted so badly...that odalisque of beauty, a modicum of natural Rimbaud, the locks of hair tangled like trees...R was the antithesis of their death, their fear of their own death...Ramona was the furthest thing they could see from their demise...

At length, I stood all alone in the hole...with my jeweled escapement in my hand...eliminating Belikan, congratulating myself, cursing myself, being thoroughly the vision of Bodhisattva NeutraZimmermantylerdurgin Guyavera mother fucker...It was becoming clear that Ramona and I really did have something cooking and I almost pissed myself happy...I dead-cat bounced back into the anterior humeral regions of my Ecuadorian...We were placed at the beach-side of the bar and R was jumping in my lap and driving her tongue so deep in my throat I thought Throat!  Throat!!  ?What tickleth thee so?  But then I realized it was my lungs she was licking...

-Michael Price

On the Bubble

Burning up all that road
from there to here &
like a bird out of nothing sings
or waves
            drawn up against the rocks
she needed to know the names
                        words for things
            the way she felt I guess


            though the edges expect a
kind of color
(dark) & mixed blessings
across a page of
                        diminished now

or throbbing against the curb
say whatever you want

a cloud of dense pink smoke

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 15)

We had pared away a good shot of the day, so we got up and headed into town to look for food and distraction, those two time killers tailored particularly for hard-bob first-time lovers...we settled on a hamburger and fries at Jambel’s Jamaican/Belizean beach-front eatery because it was close and had an amazing beachside spot that made you think of paradiso in primary colors...and it was there and then when Ramona lit and smoked the first of the thousand cigarettes she would smoke in the ensuing two days we had together...light it and smoke it baby, for what did I care that she told me she smoked three packs a day, that I knew Christy Turlington had emphysema at 30 from smoking three packs a day...I thought of the sorrow for her anterior dilator naris, the choked Lateralis nasi, the yellow mandibular future made for models...and Ramona was a model...and I was model bait, I was chemical “I AM”, it was my turn...

So back at Ramone’s I ordered more lollygagging and flirt, and finally it was time to get on, the sun was going down... and it was then, right then, my back started to hurt like hell, all around my kidneys, more than just lawn mower trunk pain, this was something that had an ache like an ape...and I knew it so I complained to my lattisimus dorsi, and I stopped Ramona in her tracks and in Spanish told her to walk on my back as I laid in the white sand and she laughed & said “yer weird” and climbed aboard...this, unfortunately, helped only a little, as through my moans and her delicate feets and laughs, the back was wailed upon, the crest of ilium dented, and she had nudged my Triangle of Petit and I was still not free...there was something way more mystic wrong, something on a subcutaneous level but it was time to go separate ways for showers...part uno of date was over and we said goodbye with an embrace. I turned and went with a couple nuts and a dick and a broken back...that’s all it broke down to...or Luke: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” What was being required of me to bear this dorsal pain? Pain that I knew had everything to do with nothing best monologue went on interruptus along the Boca del Rio, pain and a hearse to carry the killed heart, for R had got a good portion of the vortex in just a small pile of hours...but I didn’t let that or anything else stop the 18-yr soothing enthusiasm that was spuriously making the rounds of my extremities via veins, evincing what must’ve looked like a happy gait to the Belizeans who saw me...

I took stock in the shower of my condition...back continued to gaffe and I gave it as much bent-over hot water as I could many times I had rebuked myself muddled by vanity and custom for showering hot and releasing my load down the drain...but one had to admit it was the cleanest place to unload...there was something stirring in the lymphatic glands of my head for I could feel a message traveling along the occipital artery... “Abba, Abba, it is not finished.” But I knew it was John but that it was somehow not quite right, a chimera, a rouse...I was tired and the sheer number of erections from earlier had taken its toll on the outlook forefront of my thoughts...

I finished tired but determined, so mother and I forced down some fowl and a rum punch and I was off to Fido’s to rendezvous in my best cream Guevara from Panama... “the young man whose eye is bright, whose skin is brown, the handsome thirty-one year old body that should go naked,” arrived up a Belikan and watched Evo go, the Bulgarian who wore Levi’s with no shoes or socks behind the bar...and who talked with a resounding vigor, especially when he said “Hello, how’s it goink?”...And he didn’t really notice me yet, because he gauged a man either by his age (if old, he gave respect) or by the quality of woman he was with...and I was clearly younger than he and had yet to show him what little Thomas Wyatt could do...

-Michael Price

An Acre of Air

I know from where you gather & disperse

1.  Trying to stare down a caved-in sunset

2.  Dialing in to a heartfelt distraction

3.  Folding up a piece of water

4.  The rhetoric of leaves & Chinese take-out

          (conducts its precision-made with harmonic progress
          several steps taken is probable cause & tabernacle
          having the green light stripped down to chrome
          hand to leaf to twig branch wind)

5.  I can taste the ocean rain before it gets here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 14)

I was telling of my coming appointment with Ms. Ramona...even Galen of Pergamum, the greatest of all ancient anatomists, never attempted a day-long date with the vain-glory hominy girl whom I would dissect, very likely in secret, not only in aid of man science, but for the sake of Art...I had been knee-deep in lesbians for the past seven years in San Francisco and I owed it to fellow humankind to divulge the 200 known bones of her body, the long, short, flat, and irregular...I would not have any strong desire to examine dead bodies in detail and I owed it to the dancers of the world to know something about descriptive and surgical anatomy of Ecuador...

To be sure, in the middle of the night I came to in all my glory, cemented, full salute, Castro, Guevara, Swartzkoph-stiff honor...It is important to mention this--as will be seen later--that the workings of my nit, my works would come into question, and there would be the breakdowns of my junk...Junk anatomy 101--the root is firmly connected to the rami of the os pubis and ischium by the two crura...mine had been working beautifully, only once had I gone soft in the corner of coitus and at that time, I simply did not want to fuck for a second time, though the woman I was balling with was marvelous, like the history of Gold...I was sung to sleep knowing that my fully functioning unit would be put to good use the very next day...

Spring was in the tropics that morning, although it was only December, and the phermonious Latin women filled the air with love and the male species was forever on alert for reproductive chances and evolutionary earmark...I found Ramona near-asleep atop her sarong under one of the palapa huts that covered a pair of hammocks beneath...Good god did she look lovely in the sand and sun, with a sheen nothing like charlie or martin, but a glow and smile...she was glad to see me and our conversation broke through the hazy uncomfortable right away, and before long, we were in the hammocks laying foot to head, head to foot and talking of who knows what...I can’t recall much of what I ever say to a woman when we’re in the liquid nano-tick garcon-arriving first few days of a clandestine romance...the mind is too locked on the mission to save details...but I do remember I’m in the purple hammock and she’s in the blue and my internal dialogue shifts to a monologue...”while alive be a dead man, Thoroughly dead...” which I repeated over as a carnal mantra that would guide me through the coming pink and boozy unspoken one point I get up the nerve to start touching her leg with a naïve perspicacity, a Pentecostal fusion of audacity and a moving chagrin, like the interplay of light and dark skin on the hammocks, under the cheery sun, meaning POSSIBILITY...oh, this I love more than mechanical excitement of the conical eminence, this I crave above first editions, for it cannot be inculcated or forced...for it is free...everyone can take and hold possibility, as much and for as long as they want, without mistake or magic or madness...I could see Ramona and everything else was grey relief...I’m reminded of the Second Stage of Sexual Arousal where the gland rapidly increases in size and becomes imbedded in the decidua...then, third phase...the flexures of the gland have taken place, so that it is strongly curved. My gland had gone through the first three stages now over fifty times. I couldn’t keep myself under control and it was beginning to be a problem hiding and tucking away my uteruan vessel...I was wearing swimming trunks (trunks is the only way to say it, cause a man ain’t got no business wearin’ them short pants) So I just kept hidin’ and tuckin’, tuckin’ and hidin’...

-Michael Price

UNITED UNITED by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

After reading some poems by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux which were included in one of our Blue Press magazines a friend told me he thought that she was an imaginary poet that Price & I had dreamed up.  But he was wrong, Sunnylyn is for real, as anyone who is lucky enough to get hold of her latest chapbook will find out.  These are poems that hold their measure of light & grace, tender & tough & with enough lyric torque to spin your soul.  Beautiful stuff laid down unwavering & true, & what a GREAT set of poems, they break yr heart & scatter the pieces out along the drowsy numbness of forever.  I don’t know what she’s been drinking but I want a mainline hit of it right now.

Review of DON'T SAY A WORD

Patrick Dunagan has written a little review of F.A. Nettelbeck's Don't Say A Word.  You can read it here & then buy yourself a copy of the book here

I was a sinful American w/top-spin

It all gets hyper-real
everything moves in slow
                              you are aware of the tremor
of each molecule
                  in yr body but
                              it could be someone else

a name falling from you

                              a piece of blue thread

                  You can remember how it sounds
                              sewn w/rain & concrete

so we pretend there’s more than this
                  wherever we might have left it
laid down among whispers
                              arcing the elegiac debris
                  reduced to alcoholic bravado
on the next to last day
beneath the soft
smog-filtered light

The Season Turns to Sand

“A dirtstorm driven into a cloud of tears”

reminding me of the sentimental journey
I never took
                                flexing the signature of sunset
across a horizon broken up with telephone
poles, rooftops, palm trees & loss

it’s what you wanted

to wedge some memories between an entrance
& an exit is all that anyone could ask

I meant to tell you & now I never will

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 13)

There is some “thing” you feel with someone, where you’re no longer in conflict, you feel a comeuppance, maybe attempted impregnation, and it all ends with an exceedingly low bow...As for Ramona, can you imagine how one woman can fill up an entire house with just her teeth? So much so that I resolved to take Celeste into my bedroom to show her a DVD of Magnolia, being polite, killing time for Crystal and witnessing from my somewhat altered and elevated viewfinder the way that she and everyone, for that matter, could not handle boredom anymore...that more and more time was not being murdered by killing or rather, that boredom was so feared that an entire industry had blossomed around the idea that you could somehow lick it with pharmaceuticals--by popping and re-popping greens, reds, yellows, whites, blues that somehow Boredom would go its merry way...but never and I mean never will Meister Bore vacate our precious get busy learning to smile and love him...

I can’t tell you how she entered the room, but with no ceiling, my guess is she floated in above my bed while Crystal and I were engaged in the film...about the time when the frogs at the end Los Angeles start falling from the sky in bloody and slippery succession, when those savvy enough to find the biblical reference said “brr, brr, she doesn’t give a damn about my bible” and consequently labeled Magnolia a hell of a film...So, now there were the two women, one twenty, one three more, and my thirty one years of perverse the tiny bedroom overlooking the sea...It didn’t take long for two things to happen: first, Ramona noticed the altar in the corner of the room below the window that looked out upon the waters of the Caribbean...she saw Lama Kunga’s likeness, the tintype of his blessing, my sacrifices, incense ash and the books of I Ching and Tantra...second, after Crystal saw this look in the eye of Ramona, after the first five minutes of our ensuing conversation and exchange of eye sparkle, Crystal levitated from the room back to the conversation with my mother and Vera, obviously rich in proportion to the number of things she could afford to leave alone...

She left us alone...and at that moment I felt the patient endurance of mutilation and dismemberment, patient endurance of beatings, unjust abuse, reproof, contempt, degradation, threats, cuts, and ligament tears...and what ensued was two straight hours of inexhaustible research of each other’s more private selves...nothing physical, genital or general but the specifics of a contract that was being written, a set of utopian goals betwixt man and woman, her alternator, my generator, electricity misspellings and the quiet communication of our little selves and their tiny hopes...And yet I believed in no strong and solid basis for hope, only in Article 75 pinned to the asses of Celine, and I believed that I wanted and needed to see this woman wearing only a pair of white tube socks while laying on the very bed I slept in...there was always the resurrected continuing sizable threat of nuclear war, the doomsday clock with hands of fifteen movements, now nine minutes away from the unseen hot mushroom curtain exit...

When it was apparent that the women of the living room had tired of our bedroom tangent, I made a date for the next morning at Ramone’s Resort, where we would take in sun and wile away breeze-driven hours all the same getting closer to each other’s organs of reproduction...and though she had awakened the seven trembling dwarves in me, I feared that a courtship might make me weak, unstable, impermanent...leave me with a galled and ballooning denial...but a last glimpse revealed her sitting in a lion seat in a flower calyx bathed in a wild celibacy and I was sure to go on.

-Michael Price

Step Away From the Car

In the flashing red light that
reflected in off the rear view
mirror I swore she looked like
death’s kid sister

eye shadow & undertaker make-up
in abstract shapes
as though spilled onto unprimed canvas

three sheets of which
tumbled out onto the pavement
as I was still trying to
button my fly

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lawn Chairs on the Bonfire

Anything you say
something reflected
                            the parking lot is lit
anyway returns to
a familiar shape

That was the beach at
C Street (I almost

sit down take a breather

blink & you’ll miss it

A steady offshore
breeze can articulate
all this better than
you can

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 12)

I was deep into fixing problems and catching up on poet communiques when I heard my sweet mother asking the lovely Ramona to dinner at her house for the approaching evening, and in the chitter-chatter language barrier shyness she accepted on behalf of herself and Celeste and the date was set and the unbelievable town-wide invasion of her beauty went on and like a flame of dreams and the rest of my day was lit up so that when I did finish writing missives to far-away companions and starlots, they were free from death and birth and burned across the technological frontier with an immortal vigor, exploiting my new-found new-place hover-bliss and infecting my friends like a rose-hewed plague...and anticipation...they were loquacious diatribes about the western one-street town of sand streets and taco stands where I was coming of age...

I had also met, the night before, my mother’s sunburst sixty-two year old new best friend, the voracious and time-defying Puerto Rican phenom Vera, whose skin and features spoke of 20 less years, and speak they did often and vibrantly...I had sized her up immediately and figured if nothing else came to pass that a few leaps up the age pole and atop Vera would do me no harm...and she knew how to have fun, as she could dance and out-dance any woman of any age and her hips never stopped moving when there was music in the air...and in the blessed tropics music was always playing...the gramophone blared out a popular tune, the disc jockey spun the colored light of punta--a synthesizer heavy upbeat dirty down bass tempo local dance music--which could drive a man off his axis...

But Vera for God's Sake, was always on and if I was anything in the tropics, it was definitely somewhere to the opposite of off...For you see, almost everyone in my life to that point had come to believe that I was becoming dangerous and nasty and would cause trouble every chance I got......that I was somewhere down on the level of the snakes, that I was somewhere over their head...and they didn’t read books and they didn’t look at the raven in the same way that Burton saw it as protection out on the highway past the terrible Herbst’s and the Den Del’s of Devil’s Gate Auto in Austin Nevada, the way I saw blackbirds as signs of Burton’s highway adventure love, that I too was being guided through the miles of desert and the ten thousand nods...They couldn't see that I needed to get as dirty as possible to cleanse the innards!God damn I have to get the nothingness back into words! The gravity of literalism, Linearity, and 1987! They won’t leave me! I mean who wouldn’t, my age, my situation, with my healing light, my cock, think about bedding down with Vera? I don’t try to make burlesque, don’t need to create controversy, but hell, the woman was a woman with oceans of flames of passion and lust and I was a Picasso, a Gallimard, the making of John C. Holmes without the girth and length...And Vera was coming to dinner as well so it was me and the Ladies and I wasn’t afraid of laying it on too thick, of making my man presence felt and using it to entertain and steak with all the trimmings...which is all a man in a company of women is good for...

So it came to pass like a big black german gothic looking bird on a beer can... we ordered dinner from Papi’s Diner, and eclectic family one room dive with bad light and super food...We had it delivered to the house by one of papi's sweet fat girls, and it came in plastic bags all hot and porky, as Papi made the best grilled pork chop in town....we ate like fools and I marveled at my good fortune to be surrounded by the most important women in my life up to that point..and then it became Chatter...women chatter...

And me. Now, as men, we are confused matter, and who can withstand the fair daughters of Venus? The choice is between partial incorporation and total annihilation...acting the part or total fusion...I couldn’t keep my eyes contained in their cavity of a giant white dwarf, Ramona had my moons in her gravitational pull...this organ of special sense was blessed out, and I drifted in and out of her gaze totally god damned blown away...and on and on went the talk of who was fucking who, what men were married and running from wives, what hags those wives were, how the whole game was unfair, and this is my mother saying half of this stuff but it was Vera who went wayward with the ebb and flow of her one year affair with this six foot five Albert, the stories heard for the first time of the drunken boat trips, the sleep-overs, the great fucking, the stories that later I found would be repeated again and again, that tired me so...but this night I didn't care...and all of a sudden it went from funny to something like an attack of brain fever and she went on like a sudden breach-of-promise suit razing the courts and we were the unlucky courtesans receiving the woe, the heartache, the BULLSHIT! God how humans can make sorrow out of nothing! So my sexy Vera was afflicted with the dreaded verbal shitpipe that wouldn't shut off! Her stories were so doddering, neither absurd nor inexplicable, just narrow and predictable...So I say, "Be on notice!", you are under surveillance and scrutiny...a man so warped as to contest the lawsuits of women and win...well, it was me and I was comeuppance incarnate!

-Michael Price

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Memorial Stomp

The roses of Camarillo & mia familia
Who are they? A gathering
of pale northern eyes
& bad habits
here to honor the one no longer
among us

                              Out there the
                  traffic lights of Camarillo,
in here the flames of the Viking
funeral boat we
                    burn in our hearts

“His ashes will be placed in a
cribbage board urn”

remove one card from the deck

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 11)

So it was...down middle street from Boca del Rio—the address of every house along the beach was Boca del Rio—past La Popular Bakery where you could get all kind of latin pastry, and some of the strangest pizza this side of Italy--triangulated crossiant embedded ham and cheese with sugar sprinkled on top--that was pizza in Belize...past the junkyard houses, a lone rooster, short heavy set Mayan women, screaming happy children of all ages, past golf carts cherryed out like low-riders, past giant ancient American dump and work trucks, past the dug-up ditches of the telephone company sunk in ground water, where shirtless and steeled young Belezians dug mercifully in mud knee deep and smelling of sulfur...

I was the north American optic nerve, taking in vast amounts of information which I had hereto never assimilated...poverty without anguish, sorrow without shame, burning zones of the mauritius palm tree and hours whiled away in the dirt it reminded me of my own dirt streets of Sugarloaf Mountain enclave just west of Boulder where play had no mission statements, schemata, nor supporting documentation...These streets were alive only in ways I imagine Harlem was alive or Watts is alive now with jive mind thrums add sincerity...I could walk and smile and all I passed walked and smiled back... for where was one to get to in a hurry? And around and down middle street I went with my mother, the trade wind blowing steady, the sun eating jujubes, the clocks disappearing, oxygen forming, everything rotting every hour...The hurricane had moved all manner of debris, trash, & detritus, and deposited all of it randomly throughout the palmy one point, I was told, the water rose up to six feet around the town making it impossible to move about save by boat or watercraft and people were piling into second story apartments, sometimes 30 strong, to wait it out...and getting along beautifully, bound by aponeuroses of mirth and brotherhood...I was beginning to see the beauty of simple existence, just before the winds of America blew in and ravaged the little town with material cancer...

One must remember that I was running on momentum and auto-pilot each minute I was there because I had no idea how to behave in the tropics and at 31 I still needed a mother...but now this woman was more my friend--our bond was coming of age and striking out at the grey surrounding it--becoming a hollow muscular organ capable of laughter and understanding, able to credit smut and forgive transgression of any this new town, I was seeing my mother for the first time as a lead kindly light...

We were headed to the internet café, one of two on Beach street, this one owned by an irascible and tunny Brit with a nasty upper lip and a filthy set of English teeth...

The internet café world-over traditional cafe replacement of null and void interaction and electronica cum robotic human future...where robots logged on to the emerging tiny universe of broadband lust and sound bite musings, a land of liquid skin, liquid rubber, & nano-impulses. Inside were lichens of monitorlight and the mucus of hazy green glow off their faces, and in this particular cafe, eternally were the beatles playing over the stereo system, making a deep and nauseous hey jude like tremor in my innards...but there was sunlight that came through off Beach street, and there was Marni who worked there, a young Belizian with American doll eyes and the face of her old face, older than a brown shepardess yet strangely alluring, an invite you in and come, let me help you with that, yes, take it out and here, let me stroke it for like that?...then let me put it in my mouth kind of way...that's what Marni had over all men in this place, so that even when Ramona was present she could make them turn...diminutive women have that power over their taller sisters, an ability to convey SEX to the males..women under five feet tall rely on their privates, their red pearls, everything created and destroyed out of Marni lent a special slippery hue to the room, banked with a dozen Dells meant for mediate articulation between the supreme unit and its many satellites...of which I was one...Marni took a fancy to me immediately and I had to admit I could have...I could have...I wanted to...

In I walked and, lo & behold, there was Ramona & her awesome beauty seated one two in the front foyer...I had the distinct feeling that the powerful black magic medieval system of fourfold causes was at work...I sat myself down next to her and passed on a hello so succinct as to be its own wonder, a hello the cherubs might package in white lace and paper and hand over to some lusty angel on her way to the cloudy halls of Holy Grail class...and Ramona, my mons veneris, keeper of the glands of Bartholin, said hello in a burst of muted lightening and immediately went back to her chatter typing and important letters and Emails...So I hammered into mine, hacked through the U.S. Border into the silver sphere of important notes written expressedly for me...I had notes from poets all over the west coast, if my memory serves me, and notes from my Ex, and my father and my sister...I had notes, notes, and more notes...I had copious notes on how to live a tender life, how to make lame, how to get ahead in a corporate executioner in a burbury suit, notes for giving up hope with 827 illustrations, a viaticum of digestives for holding off consumer-fed malaria, ways to spend money you haven’t got, oh I had notes...

-Michael Price

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 10)

Nicotine...I swallow him, I incorporate him, I use him for my art tho' I cannot make use of him now...for it was Burton who discovered that particular high from some warrior pals at Pamona College, showed him how booze and nicotine could help create fabrics of conversation and epiphany, layers of false yet gorgeous insight, and isn’t that everything youth is anyway? Fabulous and false insight, high after high, “shoulders back and cock out!” But mostly it was our felonious assaults on night, how high one can feel on a summer’s late surrounded by friends on a rooftop deck, drinks and a small glimmer of pussy on the horizon, the Flatirons spearing endophysically to the west, the foothills where reared I secretly loved the grey nights of full moon in Boulder Canyon, where the melding of poetry and mystery would magically lay itself along the creek beds and I would get a feeling that there was nothing else but that moment, that somehow in a slice of prana everything that ever was or would be was present and radiating...

As to what happened my third morning in paradise...
An uncomfortable cushion, an altered altar, only 25 minutes to myself, something starved in the air...It was the fuckblack many can one have and still have health? Moreover, nobody ever gets a single experience for nothing...sodding oneself night after night, even every other night, is to pisseth against the wind, upeth a rope...I knew this but in the birth of the cool, nisargadatta said “what’s a little vice like smoking?” Just something the body does and that’s wise for it’s outside of guilt and shame, outside the game, the calendar, the hordes and hordes of goyims...but I am controlled by my desires. I become what I behold...I will become desire; sultry, hot material desire, this is my body, this truss of grief, and I will transcend my very own cells, with Genocide and Holocaust I will wage a final wisend battle upon these concepts which now control even the corners of my heed to the providing of nourishment and to what a man seeks to fill how own mouth with....because I had Ramona in the brain, frontal and slender and biventral...I was infected with the way my eyes took in Ramona, how her color pulled my groin, how the signals traveled from eye to vas deffrens...and to think of the tittering copulate hair-blessed eggs and butter pussy she kept hidden from the sacrificers and victims...that it took men a half hour to sober up after observing a slice of her naked a tiger with insatiable craving, I wanted to have her for the rest of mankind, my relief inside her, their relief from afar...

I awoke that morning as her slave...the marrying maiden...the man leads and the girl follows him in gladness...thunder was astirring the waters of my lake aching to have a concubine for I was still leaglly married to the Nepalese Siren in San Francisco yet bent on oral copulation as a Eucharist, a lame man, a one-eyed man...I wanted to drink deep the sweethearts and muses...So I got up for the ritual newly acquired of cinnamon bread toasted with copius butter and bad coffee and NO newspaper for one couldn’t be had—even from the mainland a paper was at least three days old and unnewsworthy—I was suffering from not having my paper, which had nothing to do with news...for news is never news but gossip, opinion, slant, maneuver, and guilt...No, what I missed was the actual fiver, the grey fibrous tree pulp and the ink, the black mirror press of production...but I came from terrible paper towns, Boulder and San Fransisco, and so often I felt like a hurt child dragged by a burro through the myrtle as I browsed...Dinn! Noise! Give me the Times or give me dirt...But now in the morning, I’ll take a cup of coffee and a periodical, a daily, anything in the moment! In San Pedro town it was the San Pedro News out every thursday...inspired by fever and cancer and island woes...which meant very little news...and usually about 10 I sat at the table with a copy of the I Ching and fondled my junk and sipped the bad coffee white-ed with evaporated milk, which wasn’t all that bad a substitute for cream, which I took with no trepidation, as I was fond of dairy and digested it in a matter of mini-seconds...

-Michael Price

Behind the Wheel

                  for Gene Opstedal, 1926-2008

Wherever we were going
you knew the way

driving that unbroken
line of memory now

never too far from

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Steel Strings

The dead resemble our
thoughts of them
if at all

driven to the edge of a precipice
                    & out, off, into the air

(itself a repository of lost things)

the irrevocable left unspoken as contrast

spanning the pure
                    instruments of sunset
lit by orchids
                              & concrete

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 9)

But for now I was just my mother’s son or rather I had become someone found in a game of hide-and-seek...a self through being born and now having matured...all that was left to do was die. It is all the path of psychodrama, the suicide of self, that which the artist who is truly an ARTIST must come on up against, get on up in, and finally and brutally soothe...that nothing, not a goddamn single page, piece, thought, line, stroke, or move would ever remain beyond the false sense that one had a body, that the bag of blood and puss and shit and that wholly made and run on food thing was really you, or me, or any wise creature...the name only makes it so...vocare est invocare...we ride the chariot of false vows and illusion...

So sleep in paradise young man, sleep with no ceilings, sleep within feet of your mother for the kingdom of drunken god is close...dream signs in the earth of blood and fire and vapours of smoke, wake in media and flee the hardening flesh of nocturnal remission...come of age Parsifal, for it is your pure foolery that remains innocent and dormant in my lowly bones, Caryatidinal bones of resexualized Phoenix that were to rise up and rattle the hermaphrodites for their loose wisdom nickels and dimes...”so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies...” I see my body now transcendentally pure, equal in all times through eons of misfortune, and able to extinguish afflictions on sight...for I am I...and will have turned my eyes from resounding fame, and I will have been led from trail-blazing darkness of doubt and confusion to the quinine polar moon of bliss...for now, cradled in the winter heat of central America, floating in the embryonic mist of my creator, I could begin to break the pressure of others, the cycle of acting on someone else’s volition, things endured never undertaken, the neurosis of friends, pettiness, doubt, jealousy, dissatisfaction...In my acidity I often try to blame them, condemn them, those friends, and now want only to take apart myself...for these are my tender afflictions, my dog, my disease, my personality, my penis...all a social fiction...set to dissolve in this solitude...

I slept in such a soft bed, deep breaths of the tumid air and the frowsy late morning cat-naps of a content population...but the bed was too soft so I achieved my hardness through morning ritual of lotus-sitting contemplation, half-hour sessions of mental brakes put to the floor, ritual rushen to cut through layers and layers of conceptual morass and habit, built in American thought factories that sat like hot siestas at high noon, the slow rides through familiar territory...

God in the guise of Herman Hesse had put me on the path by the lovely and simple words of Siddharta, his story of Buddha...It was my diminutive sensitive charming amigo Burton, always one or two significant steps ahead of me and whom I’d always shared some special discovery self-comraderie, a genius mirth rock of friendship......It was he who had insisted that I read this book and it was he who then changed the course of my existence, he who broke through my load-bearing wall...this was the long-awaited chemical buzz of wisdom that only round 11 can bring...and that was 10 years ago (“stuck in my cabana living on bananas and blow”) when on mad I-70 trips in my ’68 Chevy Impala convertible to and from the villas Aspen and Vail on borrowed youth-time and pints of tequila in back seat marathon chewing tobacco and story binges where Burton and I saw each other for the first time, our heroic individual selves under the golden blue canopy of Colorado summer in Glenwood canyon, the gothic highway project that tore through the high walled purgatorial canyon of purple sage and river cut granite, this 40 year man-made bridge and trellis wonder...oh how we flew through high on our instinctive momentum, visions of cunt and cunnery at our final destinations, or revelry akin to the passage of rites that only a male can really know...but my greenhorn self, like the shedding of an orphanage fetish, was acquiring insights and habits at a furious pace, and other than the knowledge of enlightenment, I had my first taste of tobacco, a can of copenhagen, in that holy canyon...

-Michael Price


Being but men we staggered
beneath the trees
                    thumbing thru the leaves (books)
in case anyone wanted to read them

A long gone time ago

It was always night then
                    except during the day

Blossom books in a language
we could read
                    light coming out of them
& some of it stained our eyes

It just happened that way
no reason but rhyme
                    & the line we learned to walk
beneath the trees

on the streets of a lost world

Monday, March 3, 2008

Meet me in the middle of the ocean

Carved up the concrete this morn for an
hour then out to the beach
to watch one of the finest swells I’ve ever
seen there come curling in perfecto

& later to invoke a preponderance
in the grip of madrigals & torch ballads
here where she turns her head away
in the light just so
as she applies laredo nightstream lip
gloss the light
stuttering on the hooks & eyes

STOLEN TIME may be the best for
pushing the needle past
& believing each step
where it falls

The way the wind confides in a steel guitar
shouldn’t have led you past the dazzle

& nobody uses the word
“preponderance” the way they ought to

gutless motherfuckers

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 8)

Merry are the shacks and squalor of this town--ramshackle, rundown, the stray dogs, cats, children...all infused with a Roman Liberty which saves eyes blue and gentle upon their pregnant contentment...all of it natural and not a trace of moralism or shame, none of my own guilt rent with bruised clock-hands and ghosts like expelled sons in secret Chinese societies--“I swear that I shall know neither father nor mother nor brother nor sister nor wife nor child.”   We stumble upon the backyard broken fence and up the stairs in what became a frequent ritual of mother and son returning from the cantina...inside under the silver-tin roof that made a rousing orchestra of drumming when it monsooned, into the house of my mother, this free secret single mother between seeing and not-seeing, the real lamb...three rooms with three beds, a living room, a kitchen--the can was the only room with a ceiling--which was the only important room or the only one needing privy, for this was where one could brighten one’s bright virtue, a place of solitary confinement, starvation, torture, perversion...our birth in the bathroom is but a sleep and a own coming of daybreak manhood in the downstairs bathroom of my parents wooden mountain house, the house of my small flaring youth in that vapor blue-walled and tubbed seed-pod bano I had my first eruption, the rise from mystery to history, dear children it must blaze forth, the white, the white, the white!   Torrential rivers from florid boys, young visions of adumbration and what would be...Jacking off in the bathroom--did we not all wrap ourselves in the fur-collared dreams of orgasm, the twisted face of lust?

Oh yes, we spilled our livelihood, our best parts into the sink and then it was done...I was 13 years old and with a few strokes and petroleum jelly, my vast and pure virtue was sliding down the hole...I was dumbstuck, saw the ignorant in the ocean of gutteral release...I remember how I smelled my occult fluid with a power vast and consummate, how I knew that this practice would be my practice for a many number of years, that I would, in the midst of all things, stroke and pull and jerk my manhood until I could see Vairochana enlightened, pervading all lands of trouble free earth-trips, high-school manic auras, music blasted, kingship egos, peace radiance nights with women lit up in multi-paged dramas, the thunder of all truths told.   I would become a jag-off artiste forever turned away from the ills of the conditional, devoted to various pious observances and ascetic practices, a worshiper of bodies of water, one controlled by bad companions, thereby being delighted, uplifted, and pleased...

-Michael Price

Secret Formula

sleepwalking the palisades
& rusty drill-bits

The horizon’s a Mexican suicide
still breathing

as we get bent on
night stars, Ventura radio
& the turquoise narrative

strumming the tide

all over the map of forever
punching holes in your
aura which includes pearl blossoms,
seagulls, mariachis, raingutters,
trombone skeletons, foglights,
                        & every blade of sand

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Breeze & I

It All Depends
The sea breeze stalled out
at the intersection of Venice
& Lincoln Blvd
so that I could cross the street
without looking

Nickle & Dime
A little front-slide action
              dropping into the snake run
bamboo & eucalyptus
              gargling the sea-breeze
just a few minutes before
              the end of time

Rainy Day Surf Instrumental
A twelve string seabreeze
w/beachbreak clarinets
buried in the sand

Drop Zone
light / air / glass
a mile or so from here
b  r  e  e  z  e
                        out near the edge of
                        your say-so

Lewis MacAdams on NPR's Day to Day

You can listen online to poet Lewis MacAdams read his brilliant L.A. vignettes.   The latest is here

He's recently recorded a bunch of new pieces which will be airing in the coming weeks so check it out, tune in, & be stoked.

NPR's Day to Day, "produced at NPR West studios in Culver City, California, has nearly two million listeners on 200 stations around the country"--listen in & catch Lewis, he's fucking great, an ace.

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 7)

So it was I had the first night ramble down the playa of San Pedro Cholo’s neighborhood bar, on the beach, where drunken patrons could sit on stools in the sand belly-up and receive their buck fifty Belikans and a heap of good smiles from Dreddy, a cherub almost mafia angel from Beersheba, a man whom everyone in town knew and liked because he was always buying and had a tender, consumptive smile...if you looked inside both him and his bar, there was yellowed florescent light and a couple pool tables on a white linoleum floor with metal tables and chairs...most dives in San Pedro had this oppressive decor...

But onward we went, past the town cemetery, 100 yards long and piled with tombs, white crosses all sizes, over-flowing currents of colorful flowers fresh or dried like published poems laid in deference and filial piousness...thinking back on it now I never once saw a single person in the cemetery itself, only an occasional drunk sleeping off a night against the beachside wall or a couple young lovers leaning into their bodies with close talk and black honey charms...further along past the scattered resort bars and docks, all the while under the black immense roof of night studded with diamond universe pins holding it all up there...side by side go the mother and son shoe-less and just enough high to carry them the mile home without losing the vibrations carefully purchased from the previous hours...

I dream a fabric in our walk, in self and embryo, as we step across the churinga stones surrounding the mangroves and I can look at my mother now as something other than ammunition, for she is my friend and together we are hemming our history as separate entities, both without spouse, for at that moment we had tjurunga--infant and mother snake-ing through the stomach of time...UNITY...and she could sense my confidence in this, some vast energy building a web of luck around us and she was proud, proud that her years of rearing were fruitful, that I might show the way out, to give and to restore quantities of lover through the poem...

My mother’s house sat at the river cut on the north end of San Pedro town, principal populus of Ambergis Caye, 20 minutes by small plane from Belize City, the senile and castrated capital of was a beautiful and simple beach house built five years prior by a young doctor and his wife, who had some children and then split when the M.D. got adultery and mother picked it up at a good price and moved down on a bright November day in 2000, on the heels of Hurricane Keith, the surprise totemic tropical asshole whose coitus with the island had so brutally come only 24 months after Mitch, which had laid the small town was said of these two brothers… “like Romulus and Remus, Cain and Abel, always two, always murder”...but poor San Pedro town had taken both near fatal blows... “for without a cement of blood (it must be human, it must be innocent)”Auden said...

-Michael Price

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Don't Spook the Horse

Heard the wave’s message
whispered in a bottle at 3 a.m.
                    the door latch broken
                              & the still night air
                    eaten up by a candle flame

No where to take it finally
            we never owned any of it
Slight bend in the streetlights
                    sand in your clothes

as surrender would consecrate
the way the deal went down
sampling the castanets

& if she dreams maybe shedding her
                    caustic bikini so as to
            pry up a corner
                              of the night