Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Deeper Shade of Rust

              rattling a string of tin cans
                              wind flicker in the wings, past the
rim of the flood line
              etched into the stone slab of sky

ocean tree

sans emotional parenthesis

from where they were
              day to day punching holes in the air
3-speed standard transmission
                                          tiki-head gear shift
              death’s head tattoo
                              the headless hitchhiker

& of course the hinges squeak

Friday, May 30, 2008

Add It Up

Deep rumble groan truck on the road     airplane
in the sky     the ocean pulse     blood in my head
brings us that much closer     morning wedged
into a corner of the window     still dark but light
enough to shut impatient dreams     delicately
entwined     the few lines I scribbled in the night
seem to be written in sanskrit     as poems lie down
& die at my fingertips     carved in the sheetrock
this time one more time     named after clouds
step into the wind     a leadpipe reckoning     a little
coffee & kerosene at low tide     brings strangers in
drifting blank above the dark jetty     let alone air
sharpened     set aside     interior landscapes where
I don’t find you     & less than a mile from here
it all turns to glass

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 43)

Then there is boredom...hard to detect on the great white beach when the blue canvas above and golden light shines and one is circumambulating, harder still to know anything but love loss when you’ve just said yr first goodbye to something as precious as Ramona...what you want to rise forth is your own buddhamind, godhead Emptiness, Atman that is Brahman, Keter, Christ, consciousness, radiant want that because you want anything to replace the nearly impossible sinking feeling that is starting to gurgle in on shore break, that foreboding that always accompanies the more complex crush of lust, or Joy Division “Love will tear us apart” for it is not Plutrarch on sexual love “this love becomes a guide to lead the soul from the world below to truth and the fields of truth...where pure deceitless beauty dwells.”   No, it’s a dumb lust that takes your mind from you...

Instead, you get “what’s up Brodder?” from a black hustler on the beach walking past of all places the pink and white time share three-story owned by an ex leader of the Ku Klux Klan—Me, “Nothing much”—with eyes down but not too down because I believe it primordially rude to not look every single person in the eye but these guys mostly have a con and it’s usually weed, in fact it’s been sweet leaf every time but in this case, like the street hustlers and junkies in San Francisco, I can see the monkey on this guy’s back, and I know he wants scoring money and will use every excuse in the book for using; needing the money—“Hey man, I jest got beck to the island, you know...Uh huh—and I’m looking for any kind of work. Can you help me out?—because you know I had a job and my boss had to let me go no tourists I was fixing his dive boats and he couldn’t even pay me my last two days’ wages man you got a house I could clean up the yard or fix things?” (I notice his bloodshotglassyellow eyes and feel pain of SF street, and I remember the shifty-no-luck gaze of Jimmy Portsmouth, my trust-cash junky almost genius shifter poet con-friend who used to look at me the same way when he wanted a part of my soul in those bad kick times when off junk (but I secretly believe he was never totally off the plan) he would try to kick with tequila and whiskey and CRACK cocaine, like the time when I only first knew him, had purposely stayed away from the beginning because I could smell him, his con, but by this time he had swayed my buddy and roommate the poet Dudley Brown, so that he had begun a habit of stopping by unannounced usually in the neighborhood because he liked to drink at Flaps #2 bar across the street and it was on the way home from the college we all this day Dudley was out and I was keeping myself monumentally busy with apartment sized affairs—being a graduate student har...and Jimmy rings the buzzer and talks his way up the stairs and into the place which I don’t mind and we take up places at the kitchen table jabbing about literary theory class yawn and blink and just as my conscience, my consciousness, my colorado head is snow, is something just a shade ignorant of pure, his is a small yellow rock which he unwraps from its tinfoil says—“man I ran into this guy in Valencia who owed me some money and hands me this rock and says it’s all he got so what am I gonna do walk away with nothing?   So I took it and well I thought I would smoke it you wanna hit it with me?”—“No”—I say—don’t want any part of’s the most vile shit I’ve seen...jaundice yellow and like hungryghost burnt in a kiln of sickness and fever, yellow fever and neither is there anything fluid or crystal about it and the whole naïve time I’m thinking rock is white like coke and this is why the more I should love—this acrid poison nothing but griefs and simpers and sloths and disappointments—Jimmy—thru and thru—a constant explosion of wrong moves, one upon another I mean who ever heard of kicking heroin with rock and juice?   You know you got to pay for every one of the motherfuckers, you know in the heart of hearts you keep hidden and in spite of you it glows golden but you will have to pay dearly my dear...whose what when he lights it up—like the vilest industrial dow chemicals mixed up and lit, like bad plastic burning, fills the whole house with death and mistake... Aw Jimmy I’m not mean enough to kick you out on your ass and I should I should I should refrain...

But this young black hustler has brought me right back to what I had escaped, and on top of that, appeared in the middle of my restorative, emergency ruminations of Ramona...the human mentality has five thieves: joy, anger, happiness, sadness, and lust...I was not about to let there be a sixth stealer of my delicate balance so I told this guy—“Sorry man, I can’t help you today”—leaving the possibility for later help on a different day when I wasn’t lost to this grey, this light grey, medium grey, dark grey and triton slate...he reluctantly let me go, perhaps out of some small recognition of my plight which overrode his strong need for something from me and I was duly grateful and on my way...

Once in the house through the porch wood screen door and into my room directly on the right with its ocean view off the back porch, I unhooked my bag from my shoulder, took off my shirt and fell onto the recently departed unmade bed of last night’s Ramona and there I found myself as I often did, lethargic, dismal, seedy, and shallow.   Howling how those first few alone hours in the scene of the crimes hurt, now alone, now without, a temporary illness dressed up in forever feeling, studying the prison of four eight-and-a-half foot walls with no ceiling on a rickety frame bed and horribly soft mattress, a small wood Mennonite desk, realizing that this room, dressed up the way it is—is like gold dust, no different from gold ornaments except in the mind, which is where I was wandering sick and dark and flacid in the abyss...the mind creates the abyss and the heart crosses it...tho’ I was a long way from that as that ceiling fan above wobbled and swished through the heavy air and I watched from the lower hells and wondered even through film class logic why filmmakers always put lots of fans in scenes invoking hell but maybe that was my answer right there laying uplooking into that ugly early american designed fan, these kind that belong in some lost-time saloon or bawdyhouse with the three bad light fixtures coming out like frosted flower petals, who chose to keep these fans in style?   There is afterall like in Vera’s new apartment a sleek white fan with a streamlined housing and quicksilver plane blade that doesn’t wobble and look like it’s going to fall all the time and it works better at moving air and I’m willing to bet all my inheritances that it’s cheaper to buy too...but that’s Belize and that’s the knot between the conscious and the inert...with America thrown in, often a giant homogenized plate of SUCK...

-Michael Price

Anywhere from here

Tasting the blue flame
                              head chick
naked beneath her tattoos & silver
              on the nod eminence
                              blue of the sea
              wet flower
Where were we?
              the sky glued shut
dark surround sound
                              Time’s winged chariot
              (an ambulance?)

She pulled me w/her
                              over the edge
              light there relinquished
                                          the rare petal’s secret
keeps the rain’s memory
                              a shadow in the vein
clinging sea-vines & blossoms
              pearls dipped in wine reflecting
clipped wings
                              tainted glass
we pressed our lips against
& tears like iron

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random (as yet unknown)

Didn’t think to say
white stone light cloud lattice

thrown from the overpass

(Something dropped from the bridge falls
to the beach below)

Bodies strewn beneath the stars
beneath rooftop signal beacons
ceiling fans
                            in hacksaw bungalows
w/cement porches
              makeshift gardens in the sand
rusted out pickup truck in knee-high beach grass

salt air

              bitter cold & heat
              red-dirt plum blossoms
              tideflat herons

The mud there smells like the
afterbirth of the universe (& so it is)

                            junkyard cemetery
                            set inside a bruised shadow
                            behind barbedwire

A path of leaves & yellow grass
only there to be tread upon
littered w/jewels (the dust of galaxies
beneath our feet
or in the sky beginning to fade
behind the wheel
just as we crossed the border

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chasing the Coppertone Girl

Desire’s nothing but a
cement mixer
                              parked on a cliff

                                          forget-me-not blossoms
eucalyptus fence posts
                              an iron feather in the dust

The fortune teller
              trying to score a fraction of the
silence that is already crashing
                              down thru the palm tree silhouettes
                                          carved into the pale pink skin
of a sunburnt sky

Monday, May 26, 2008

They Used To Call It Decoration Day

An amnesiac at the tomb of the
unknown shoulder
lighting a cigarette on the
infernal flame (they also serve who
cower & hide or
skip bail & change their name)

We all get to count ourselves
among the lost

Purple Orchid

Morning light
dropping in
right on time

the air alive

& somewhere among the
rustling of shadows & leaves

s t r a n g e   a n g e l s

(they could be nymphs
I can only see them out the corner
of my eye
dancing what seems to be
an ethereal wah-watusi

they scatter in the breeze

turn left at Bay Street
& head straight for the beach

like that chick in The Odyssey
tiptoeing down thru the eucalyptus
alleyway into the neon eyes

of the sea

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Net Wt. of Sunday

9.7 oz.   (by vol.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The String Thread

The wire pulled taut slices the
sky in two proves the warm breeze
& broken ashtrays we’ve
gathered along w/carbonated
eyes & numb fingers

I told myself that it wasn’t going to
happen & then it did

the high cost of remaining intact

A pure indifference we learned
too late was all that we’d ever manage

Out on the pier a seagull says
something but we don’t speak
seagull as the sun slams down behind
the razor-feathered turquoise crest
of the last wave

Friday, May 23, 2008

Robotic Cargo Truck

                                for Miguel

I read somewhere that glass houses are like guacamole
but I don’t understand why

shoot first, ask questions, & answer them in yr own good time

Get the fuck out of Dodge

              The sloop is sloping down
                            down into the deep
                                          as deep as it gets

(If you hit any rocks, don’t hit them with yr head)

A lovely californicated day awaits
I mean doesn’t wait for anyone but
charges into the sand

beneath the pavement we call “home”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 42)

There I was walking down the beach to prove I was in it again...fucking love...and the worst thing about it was that Ramona was gone, I hadn’t even been able to consummate the ribaldic joy we had felt with some good Latin in and out... It was the only time this had happened to me in a situation that mattered, so this meant traffic unknown for the mind and Doubt would have its way, I mean imagine you’ve just somehow made the most beautiful siren in the Carribean and you can’t even MAKE her...

There was one night in Fido’s I failed to mention watching Ramona and I in love and handcuffs, was a man named Steve Cohen, who thought of himself as something of a cockhorse, as did many of the overweight white men of vacation Belize, mostly because of the contents of their wallets and Steve’s was thick with contents green and American...but Steve was pulled in really by nothing other than his stupid belief that his tinsel-town connections could look good to a young model like miss R, so that he would stay on the sideline, arranging one or two initial and mythical contacts, getting her back to the states on promises, all the while waiting for the slim chance that she would feel so grateful that she would go to bed with him, but in the meantime an opportunity to have a beautiful woman on his side to feed, clothe, and blaxploytate...fucking Hollywood types with money same as the old tired and true stereotypes,...and Steve is buying us beers and Ramona is right on top of his motives and will not talk to him, playing like she doesn’t understand English, which I saw her use more than once when a honkey was hovering too close and firing off tired pickup lyrics, but Steve was nothing but persistent, a jolly-ish round mustachiooed guy with glasses, rather atypical dork in youth, now paying back for years of being bullied by making money and spending it to buy people like us who had some chutzpah...He bothered me, but mostly I could deal with hit after hit because all he wanted to do was talk about Ramona and even Ramona and me, the poet, the poet who was flowers-up-his-ass in love...and what Steve wants to say to me is be careful, for he was once young and in love with a Venezuelan beauty, one who was dedicated like no white woman ever had been, but one that was in constant need of attention and games to keep her ass on fire...this kind of talk goes on for two drunken hours and I am seamed with human kindness, Ramona rarely leaves my right side, interrupts to ask for colonials and matches then zip into my pocket with a quick twist of her hand on my jewels and Steve keeps cutting the balmy steam night air with his Jewish witticisms and me my honkey anecdotes ‘bout truth and poetry and soon enough he’s bought us enough booze to be obscene and out comes his camera, clickclick to take choquitos de tus corazones (pieces of our hearts) He wanted to show his biz pals the piece of Ecuador he talked up...but what he said to appease me was this: you got email I’ll send you the pics...great I says cause I haven’t got a camera and no one, not one of my friends will believe Ramona without stills and my conscience is all snow and pathos and you see I think of a great thing the great Beethoven said:   “He was always my enemy; it is for that reason that I was as good to him as possible.”   Steve.   He uses money funny.   Buying moments better left pure.   So I’m remembering all this as I try to hold my mind movie of Ramona as I stumble past Mojo’s Diveshop and Tres Diablos bar, my glass scenes, my computer future picture from Steve, trying to get past the yellow house of Jack and Trudy, the wealthy Minnesotans who owned a golf cart rental shop...Trudy on her porch like most days when she waves down and likes to chitchat in that midwestern blahblah way but real nice, just I have to get by her place and not see a single soul because I hurt and the shuff of my sandals on sand—the sound of my agitation as golf carts and old Toyota van taxis roar by me, trying to concentrate on sublimity, constancy, and perseverance and remember “those who have not yet died first learn to die” because I would need it later on when the whole thing would break down from poetic death threats and mad fat women...

-Michael Price

Early Morning Lines for Joanne

I can remember 50,127 things

the 50,128th slips my mind
              dissolves in the vast emptiness
we share
                            blank sky
                                      endless sea

“Happy Full Moon in Taurus!”
              said JK on the phone last night
                            her timing impeccable as always

& later I thought about how
we both live near the same ocean
although she is 101 miles north of where I sit
lounging on the divan
                            w/my arm dangling
to the floor
              like Sherlock Holmes

lost in a reverie trying to remember
every syllable of scattered precision

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 41)

Smiling, I looked through carbonated oily water eyes and then turned my back to walk, “it was time to get grounded.”   From the sleep in the passions to their rage and now back again—cyclic existence turn round to bite my arse—what stood before me was one mile of now familiar walk-home beach none too perilous for sacre bleu!   I was on my own two feet walking -- Bob Marley from the blue boo hoo boo hoo haw and how I was crying little tears and smiling and I had no trouble with the straight and the narrow, the swallow tail coat-minds of those looking at me like the last gringo in Wild Bunch, a blown-out and ground down Deke Thornton after finding the tragic hero hand of Pike on the howitzer...

One more tiny giant terrific step...sand around my leather sandals, I was man standing upon the tropic earth...I read somewhere later after the first goodbye that a ‘Symbolon’ was a coin broken in two by two parting lovers who then each took a half with the idea to rejoin them when the two met again and that’s how we get our symbol...I wanted to feel that hopeful, that we would be together again...but that’s just the way I WANTED to feel, standing in the midst of myriad things (shock is good!), all I could feel were the tears and a big irreducible throb between the sticks, however short of a return to my real usable cock it was. The old maxim no man at one time can be wise and love but p’raps I didn’t know this right then, after all this was my seventh or eighth first goodbye and positively I had fallen in less time than anytime previous, four short days and the cocksucker was in love, my sorry hangdog ride back to the emptiness that would engulf my mother’s home...It was a shattering spring and if you listened real close you might hear a tiny, unreal sound...I repeat...ear to the door of the Tropic of apnea and you could hear all writing and mathematics, all applied sciences of spells and herbs, all the bases of obsession, psychotherapy, epilepsy, lameness, and insanity, the science of compounding medicines, chemistry, mineralogy, the making of parks, groves, villages, towns, and cities, knowledge of the fluctuations of the world via astronomy, radiology, geomancy, agronomy, reflexology and prediction of future tendencies by subtle hand was all there in my stupid thinking, I couldn’t stop thinking but nothing about these things you see, though they were certainly there and always were, rather I was simply thinking about her FACE and only her face, recalling it repeatedly like spun fire tracing on the eyes, lids, trying to figure out how I could possibly remember it in the two thousand or so details I had been cataloguing over our tryst...Jesus! I was already losing it and I set my mind to fly post haste back to that last glance on the dock, numbskull, like others, like (1000 names) and gradually this total fantasy showed up while I was walking, this sequence of glass scenes the first her triumphant refrain through the San Pedro cut, one of few routes through the Barrier Reef and one navigated by the locals only and even then passengers sometimes ended up in the vernacular waves breaking steady and ready to kill...

Here’s my little storyboard:   So she can’t bear to be without me—I am a bundle of tendencies, charm, some contemplation of profound opposites, a couple parts Scot...Glass plate two she walks into my mother’s and SHATTER glass sorrow one day gone GONE... Pane 3 there is no pain as we continue our life of mutual admiration, intoxication, bifurcation, and scintillation...And in window square four, a glimpse of the inmost blue heart of a luminous flame that burns on into our third month in Ecuador...yes Ramona and I on feeble money and remaindered passion living in the capital city of Guayaquil, me in my 40 a month room with a rooftop perch for remembering Amerika, for drinking rich mugs of Turkish coffee and writing straight regurgitation of the babblespeak of my generation, stop and listen to it and yourselves you’re talking of no things but things, the ideas was no IDEAS but in things but we’ve long killed ideas, long killed fire and prose, silly things and more things in dollars all in dollars all in cast terms and exchanges, catalogues and catty whores, real strange way to look at each other liken through clothes and italian boots costing more than 50 typers like this one, money, a treacherous friend who courts only griefs and simpers and sloths and disappointments...I’ve seen it in my grandparentage, my classmen my ruins a good percentage of what it touches and there is no royal road paved with gold coin it’s paved with pieces of glass, the road to hollywood is paved with tacks and suicide...

-Michael Price

She's got the keys to the rain

a landscape of dust & tequila

a long drive, a short walk

a wooden fence near the beach

              dark lacquered eyes
              & gold silk pavement
              gravel loops of blossoms

                                          peeling off transparent
layers of day
              to get to the night

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fall Back & Fade Out

The broken water the open door
    out where as tears
factor in the soft bloodcolored petals
    opening w/the day
ever slowly woven into chainlink
    tapestry before the fog
lifted & the streets in several directions
    all at once sped away

“I wonder how it’s going to look on my resumé”
as John Donne might have said to
Skip James on Baudelaire’s birthday

& the sky tilted at such an angle
the sun & clouds slipped off & fell into the ocean
as we all stood there knocking down the beers
on the beach at El Dorado

Monday, May 19, 2008


The backstory obscure
& its meaning lodged like a brick
in yr lung
take it to be an emotional byproduct of
forever slamming into
futility, poverty & poetry
“the winning combo”
completely fucked up w/no third act
takes the heart apart & puts it back together
in some half-ass way
it still works
clanking, grinding gears
spitting fumes of gasoline
& someone in the night will
have to bear the guilt
not me this time
tap dead center among the silent
guardians of the first emperor
(Screamin’ Jay Hawkins?)
the last thing written was the
first thing said

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Aquasonic Drive-by

All the same
when the money’s gone
& she walks out the door
the moon drops to its knees
the heart pierced by a seagull’s cry

cycles back thru a Beach Blanket movie
by Quentin Tarantino
starring Tom Waits & Ava Gardner
in a dream

so customized

custom eyes

She keeps her dreams behind a
fence of razor-sharp concertina wire

which makes for a
risky border crossing

Saturday, May 17, 2008


You had to work to get those lost
empty eyes I know it wasn’t easy but
like blue headlights on an empty
once you’re gone
& I’m knocking down the
warm air’s
drifting haze
loaded w/tiny engines

Days pass & the body sometimes
follows whatever it was

Where we live it’s wall to wall
thus to drift is character
you think to ask

isn’t that so?
spilling a little tequila

in honor of the dead

Friday, May 16, 2008

As If I Had Seen All This Before

The sky depends upon a thread of smoke
unravels when you pull it the spindle
sings acapella wind songs & lullabys of
copper & of steel

Room enough to shape the changes
harmonic accidents accompany a stillness
& a clarity we’ll just have to learn to
live without

The shoreline lifts up & falls back
w/furious regularity perpetual repose
as the apparatus seeks a rolling hydraulic
pulse to hold on to

Shadows rippling across the surface
the only constants in this slow carve across
the pavement dusted with light

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Don't Think What

There is the moonlight window
glass slightly warped
                              almost ripples
              in the light

that kind of carelessness
it isn’t so easy to master

a detour thru the Amina Mundi
(you have to downshift to take that corner
skidding to a stop in the marble
ruins just outside the grove of neon

transfers itself to rainy days at the beach

An iron slice of tequila will briefly
steady the hand & eye
              what there is to apprehend
threaded as such
                              w/what appears to be
the translucent silver entrails
of pearls

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 40)

First Goodbye

What is it that sets a fracture? I think of that day and that break...certainly I was telling Ramona as much as possible that I DID love her, that she was the most charmeuse.   That she could stimulate the senses like wine and french coffee...

So happily/unhappily we left the nest along the usual backdoor backyard beach white sand and blue sky and the mother bitch barking at us until up close enough to clown with me and get her licks on...the feeling I had, somewhere between clemency and misanthropy, had me on the brink of the waters of life and truth and I was miserable, dying to rend my heart from its winter-branchéd immunity...I could feel it beginning to break because I knew I thought this thing was a good thing.   I wanted it.   I was contriving to get it.   That was a guarantee.   “Weep with them that weep”   Ahh brilliant I was a walking conman in Central American torn by the heartache coming all over many times had I wailed in malfeasance over my stupid and vapid desires?   Even the etymologist finds the deadest word to have been once a brilliant picture.   It is likely that the first time I fell in love it was sybaritic and noteworthy and I imagine that someone took note!   I took notes!   One after another...notes, notes.   Note that the first goodbye gives nature a new thing.

We spent the countdown minutes at Estelles By the Sea, under the palapa roof, listening to the genius of Mana, a Mexican band that Ramona gave a bawdyhouse exclamation to when the CD started to play...magic and genius it was clear to me right away that this music could repair the decay of things...and she was taking its being played at that moment as a sign and her eyes glistered and the universe for a second or two was a celebration to me and I knew then I would have my heartache and my longing...The boat was arriving at any minute to take passengers back across the reef to Belize city, a forty five minute ride rain or shine—sometimes with a canopy, sometimes the sun bright and sand light, and rain out there past the emerald byway and a few locals starting to wait on the dock near sharks bar, and the single gas pump, the stacks of bottled soda, everything, everyone sitting in the aurora of the gone sunrise, this tiny beach Caribbean town with necessary peoples, such an organic expression, all arranged for the first goodbye—I’m in my blue jeans and a white t-shirt, tan five days already ingratiated and set, destitute alive endorsed, a stag of the forest with no need for goodbyes or eulogy i.e. true story...enough to begin to not fortify the self but to completely shatter it with a thousand primary adios’ and a couple rounds of fucking white standing...Jesus.   It was near the present: why did I think that there was something to do presently?   And another thing, how far would I go to be there?   These were some of the inanities that were going through my mind, trying to stay in my skin, knowing that sentiment changes while truth has no change, and different love records were now spinning on my phone mind and Ramona looked radiant...

There was not a single guarantee anywhere, no sister or mother...just a sticky moment of separation...the first goodbye and her stunning radiance...We had drug it out as long as we could before she might run the risk of missing the boat, and she was broke and expected by her boyfriend on the mainland, Lionel was his name I think, and he had a deeper grip on her than I first suspected or that she led me to believe but I had better gear and tactics...I had to let her go, let her slip off that dock into the emerald future which was shaping up to something looking a lot like pain...the boat was already half full with little women and crooked honest men, the young all-business captain and his teenage vibrato crew hustling ropes and instructions, storing baggage in the hull, and spinning with simple energy and cigarettes...

We stood on the dock, it was 8:30, the breeze completely revised and redesigned from yesterday...running through others then around us...we were so close and filled with triste, that Latin-bent sadness, a pallid melancholy made by chick biddies and fools like me, and with the right kind of eyes, which were those of Ramona the iris of brown and sweet coffee and for all I know little Guatemalan Indian butterflies hovering around our heads in imaginative orange and red, the humid air could not pass through us... on and on as goodbyes go, repeat and yawn, shuffle, look into eyes again then finally someone cold and heartless says OK and turns, loads like the ordinary soul quickly becoming after the misty pocket of sweet señorita dreaming, and like that you find yourself walking away because the first goodbye has gone on much too long already...

-Michael Price

Cutlass Supreme

Fire makes a sound like waves
early in the morning

a steady offshore breeze

white noise   /   cosmic rays   /   rush hour

no sense of timing whatsoever

(in her eyes I saw hand-carved flames
w/thick clouds of smoke above
a bouquet of shipwrecks
out on the dark water

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

24 Hrs.

Burn the map of yr heart
so no one will ever be able to
find the way there

Monday, May 12, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 39)

I was already in the habit of being very quiet as I came in the of the first things my mother gave me when I arrived was a pair of earplugs, given her open room roof design...and Ramona had sense enough to feel awkward and cautious about sleeping with me in the house of my was only my constant reassurances that convinced her to stay we tiptoed and whispered into the bathroom to wash up and finally break down to bed wearing nothing but nothing...and tho’ I wanted nothing more than to it, I was again positively flaccid...Ramona couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t want her, and could I blame her? I reassured and reassured and finally after some talk we drifted off into a drunk conciliatory sleep wrapped in the organic expression of our connection...we woke to the sounds of a mother in morning, busying the coffee machine, the toaster, the television...we whispered and nudged our way awake and I couldn’t get enough of her perfect skin, a morning crisp view of her breasts sat up in bed while every dumb and inanimate object slept on in obliviousness to the tune of her lute...we had only an hour left, only this much time to make a fearless, sleepless, deathless agreement to be together...I wanted a love, or to be put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor partiality but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere and in everything...ah, but the world rolls...and there was no time for mystery...just Ramona and her jeunesse and my slow consuming 31 birthday ruse...I felt like a cup of paregoric with enough courage (money) to go into Guatemala wherever she was headed and transcend my strokes of character in a time of assassins, in other words, go out into the world of the Latin and BREATHE it, every breath, feel it, every currency exchange--watch it and look into every gone set of brown eyes...

This was a diamond morning, a sun glancing off the vernant water hiding a night on the otherside of the world morning and the distance layed behind, bright with galaxies of immutable stars.   I was a coward looking at beauty with my bounty eyes and worrying my balances...the secret is to live in analogue, that is, by life like poems, “the poems” Plato, leave room for approach and closeness keep the inner eye fixed on the inner world...turn off the Judge, the exterior, and embark on the Episteme... “fundamental search for knowledge”...and never give up on love...

We had coffee (she with heaps of sugar, mine with sweetened condensed milk) and the delicious cinnamon swirl bread with copious butter from the bakery just down the road...she liked the simplicity my mother and I had together on a morning such as this, and I got the feeling that it was something Ramona had never had in her young life, not knowing her Lebanese father, and growing up with a mother beautiful and busy with a career in the University...and Ramona, like a beauty prodigy, left to figure much out on her looks alone, which is how most striking people learn to live, by trusting their vanity as their best friend, their only true and steady count-on friend, and so the world of the pulchritudinous was never simple, and never able to reach the clear light of it, so a cup of coffee and piece of bread and butter was out of the question, like a thousand nothings...and it could shaker her to the bottom of her fragile soul...

-Michael Price

Satan Stole My Surfboard

All decked out in sea-level
w/shimmer of sunlight
broken & scattered

fistfuls of dimestore sequins

something a sick mermaid might puke up

beneath drifting smoke & palm trees
another roadside attraction
reflected in the shallows

a faded pink nevermind of concrete
pearls she wore to remind herself

mementos then of all that brought us here
& all that will drive us away

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A spoonful of cough medicine (to go)

The weight of hooves
or is it wings? in the night
it’s hard to say

the shadow of a fern
imprinted on her eyes

residue of stars

Blinding white cycles
of the moon (blood-

A dark dance above
& below

born of a precision
she never learned to

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stereo Phase Test

The relics of phrasing
so aligned meant
nothing to you

less the remnant of a
half-forgotten tune

stranded among
candle flames & syringes

elements of several
pale antidotes
ascending the air

low-eyed (gleaming like
the slick rock of exposed

A voice on the radio says
“Accept nothing less”

but it sounded to me like
“Accept nothingness”

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tomorrow Plus X

The night’s all about heartbreak & kick-flips
as moonlight seeps in thru a
boodstained gauze of mist
out there like a medieval poster child
& the numbers we never got to

I enter middle age on my hands & knees
as one should gazing past the dying light
down the tunnel that takes one to
a small room w/the shades drawn
& the bottle on the table
it’s always half empty

A supplication to the angels of
impossible desire I guess

If I could just get out of this
disaster scene in one piece
I might think “victory” for a change of pace,
              fold up these tears
              & count the stars that
                            pierce the heart when
the standard issue pliers & blowtorch
should have been enough

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Escape Velocity

Something coastal & profound
like rusted lungs.
An albatross around the neck of a harpsicord.
Three guys in grass skirts farming kidneys.

Like it all crumbles.   I give a fuck.

The surf all blown out but the fog
rides in anyway.   Pelicans dive into the
pavement & come up w/a beak full of
hubcaps.   Fishing boats are moored in
the tops of cypress trees.

You swim downstairs wearing a
black t-shirt & a pair of Ray-Ban
night-vision goggles.

Whales graze on nearby hillsides.

The pier is wearing a silk kimono.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 38)

Ramona stayed close, putting away belikans fast while I polished my fangs with sandpaper.   A British solider and his Japanese girl took the bait from the MC, whose job it was to incite the crowd to folly and fervent sexual pitch, telling the usual unhip tourist jokes that all the tourists still responded to with Island yells—not essence stealer screams but yells—full of that faux “I’ve really set myself free” new age/buffet/carnival crap, like getting piss drink and stupid near the equator was transcendental...

The MC would challenge the floor to do small contests for sexiest dancing, the limbo, or fastest hip shake...but this night he wanted bounty and that little Japanese tart gave it to him without second thought...her army man got down on his knees, slid his hands up her hips & slid down a beautiful pair of red lace underwear from under her short short skirt...he had a shiny red face and great bulging red nose, he was military all the way...she had that olive puritanical hygienic façade, hours of mirror-primped and traditional Japanese beauty to behold, and she must have been as drunk as her army boy...the panties ended up on the G.I.’s gargantuan head, forming the rusty quincunx of another night of Punta...we laughed and threw back more beer...

All the devils respect virtue and I was on the line of my own march...Ramona safely in my arms, intoxication very near or already arrived, the temperature perfect...eventually, we got out on the dance floor and Ramona being Ramona, the silver seat of sexuality, showed us both an arc of the curve, an understanding of strange and unterrible portents, movement between her and I that, high in the dark, seemed to evoke the serpent gods and goddesses ritual comingle from a common basket and the Punta, our charmer, with his flute pulling us skyward...I grabbed her and kissed her whenever I could and she would kiss me back harder than ever before...I was an orange and yellow poet hailing from Colorado intent to do everything it took to have her, that same stupid and ignorant grasping foolish knave way of seeing things for comfort and security...

To that end I was super-serviceable, puckered narrower and narrower into the hot Latin embrace of my I headed to the bathroom I knew that she silently followed and like a Yin princess...Suddenly or maybe not given how much beer we had taken in, the place was winding down, my mom had headed home, Vera had danced out her quota, Crystal was long gone or hot on the heels of an ever-bright Canadian she was trying to woo...Ramona had to go to the bathroom but it was single use and there were two other women waiting to pee so we sauntered around the back of the place to wait it out and have some privacy...and soon enough we were necking...I pulled up her shirt and got those nipples and breasts all over...I think it was Emerson who said “take the place and attitude which belong to you and all men acquiesce.” I was a lover of women and a lover of truth and unfortunately I was sold too much on the first and had yet to start to see the beauty of the second...and that’s when I pulled down her jeans so they were halfway over her hips and she didn’t have any underwear on and I go on nonetheless to run my tongue over the place that pale passion loves...”estas pinche loco” she gushed and I ever so slightly glanced up with devious eyes and a pleasing fever and said “si, estoy loco, pero tu tambien!” and with that, like a certain divine rage and enthusiasm, I slid back up her stomach, pressed her hand to my half budding pants joy and continued to kiss her knowing my junk was back in commission...

So we said our goodbyes and sauntered off down the beach, past the Belize Yacht club with its white walled, red-roofed elegant cottages and bleached sand, past the San Pedro public library in its blue two story beach building, past the dilapidated town square where locals still milled about and made merry...past Fido’s, which had long closed for the evening and just sat looking sad... I held onto Ramona and honked her ass with a squeeze every so often to keep her honest cause you have to keep a Latin American woman honest about her beauty, for no one can approach beauty without a little squeeze on the ass for honesty...but don’t get me sideways, I had so much love respect for this woman I could swim in it...I was so high-charged on craving a perfect beatitude suggesting gleams and visions of our future life embalmed betwixt the sunsets, children, and truth-seeking to come...

-Michael Price


Falling out a window
that isn’t there

crowbars & seagulls

“It wasn’t in the cards”

The sky turned around
to rooftop eucalyptus
shade setting one word
down against another

The line as supple or
slack (slack-line, slack-tone (as shape
or measure (one, two, three
(the catch & release method
of poetic composition

Seaweed rattles w/the tide
pneumatic hinge petal edge
threaded w/blades of sunlight

a container for endless night

Monday, May 5, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 37)

Once a lobster’s protruding antennae were spotted, John would swim over to it with his four foot rod affixed with a nasty barbed hook on the end & would gently place the hook right on the underside middle and then yank backwards, pulling the unsuspecting lobster right to his other hand which would carefully grip around the top so as to avoid the pinchers.   The hook was quickly jabbed deep into the heart of the animal, killing it within a matter of seconds and amid a few furious attempts to wrench free...death underwater at the hands of sweet John the killer...they were then handed off to me to hold by their long antennae, and in a half hour I swam slowly behind with what became seven or eight red and black crustaceans, their spiked feelers poking my bare hands...

And cooking a lobster in Belize meant mixing the pure pearl like catch with Midwest American cooking...the meat was put on tinfoil, covered liberally with butter and mayonnaise, covered in Lowry’s seasoned salt, and folded together with a helping of chopped green pepper, onion, and garlic...this was then put on the grill for ten minutes—that was the whole show and I’ll tell you after eating nineteen winks of nothing at stateside fish houses, this lobster had jungles, signs of delirium at night, rich Barrier Reef texture, the scent of the hunt fresh and tangible, and that unmistakable discursive taste of butter with the added currency of Mayo...let me tell you we ate it up, all of it—ceviche, tortillas, lobster, & salad—with Belikan beers one after another. By the time it was apparent that we were due to meet Crystal and Vera at the Playador for local night with the Punta band, our collective inebriation was superfluous, but also instantly classic and brazenly joyous...and so down we rolled all the way (a mile or so) past the now decrepit hulk of the boat used to take the cronies of the movie “Cocoon” out for their extra terrestrial communion...It was now beached and rotting, tilting badly to one side...

This Punta music, full of modern smelt ideas, was faster in tempo than a violent sonetto, and to its purveyors a cause célèbre...The band was four to five young men, an agitator synthesizer, drums, various hand instruments like triangles or wood sticks, and so much raw energy and lack of talent it made one dizzy.   On a deeper level, its characters and the dramatic events in which they participated were lost on the giddy and naïve touristas, who only focused on the dancing this music to describe the movements that are the very essence of LUST, victim of modern neurosis, hips afire, the holy synod negative space between woman in front and man in back, the Uzi, the howitzer, the Tommy gun not fast enough?!   Not even close!   Hubris and Nemesis...the Punta squarely in between...illegal in most universes...nearly a turn on murder so hot did the swirling mass of dancers become...the volume—it must be noted—was as loud as possible, which made outlying conversation useless so most got busy banging hips...Ramona understood this dance as if it were something everyone from Latin American did and did well.

And then there was my mother and I and the rest of the gringos, alone against tomorrow with our stiff renditions of the wiggle...

-Michael Price

Blue Moon Tor-chula

The night dropping
from the sky
like a lead cadillac

Boom boom boom (John Lee Hooker)

& I could be slashing back
to Costa Azul like a nail
driven into the heart

take whatever’s left
glancing back over yr shoulder

standing on the steps of
a more classical rendition of the same
war of attrition

where you’re just another
pillar of flame

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where the Shadow Falls

A better place burnt into the
              to what purpose then
set as secret
coinage this
broken instance a heart makes
                              then not again where
a voice / a breath / a tune
              buried in the sand
could yet behind the mirror say
slicing in off the rain
                              when you had other
tears to sort thru
The mattress beneath that window
the suicide strums
              by the light of a blade
                              just steps from where
the tide rakes the shore & the
flowers of the sea

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Any Other Way

Windows open, doors shut
not surprising the night closing in

OPEN :             eucalyptus doorway
                              entrance to wind & palm trees
                              moonlight & starlight
                              underwater neon patio

(No device of measure then defined
vast eternity fuck-up)

e   n   t   r   a   n   c   e   d

The eternal note
to get up off it
unending to have she says the catch
God can’t hide you

                              & the rip
off the line
              the close out
where that takes you

the siren’s song’s an instrumental
for mandolin & tidal wave

Friday, May 2, 2008

Far Away Eyes

of horses & the space
they define
              as I have seen & crossed that
hoofbeats remember
                                      wing lift / flutter
from the tall grass that runs the slope
& ears up head raised
              as time stops & hollows out
in the midst of twilight
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
to be thus mentholated
but only in the shadow-land of Nod
where lovely mermaids
(las sirenas) swim out
beyond the reef
Harmonic pollution
eyes like a blue dog walking
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
to say forever meaning
something happened before that
then not again
Chet Baker’s solo on “Summertime”
The angel of death sitting on my shoulder
drunk off his ass
              as the wind lays down a little
shimmy music in the eucalyptus

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 36)

Gone over the case history leading up to my utter failure with Ramona, I could at least rest assured that my swingman would soon be on the mend...our first night in my bed together had been a Friday— we had spent the next day and night at each other’s lips...Ramona was a touch of the marvelous and a high hanging curve I swung at repeatedly all day long in the sun of Equatorsville, right up under everyone’s friendly noses, walking the beach up and down, stopping to lay across each other and stare...all day this went on, eating walking, breathing...what we wanted most was to get as far inside each other as possible and the best way we figured that was through the eyes and mouth, especially given that my dick was incapable of standing up straight...and by this time she had told me her woes with Raphael, the boyfriend, who had been supporting her with money and homes for the past two years, she the kept model, he the bread and butter connections...she told me she had to leave on the Sunday morning boat back to Belize City, where she was living like a kept virgin with Raphael...that gave us exactly one more night together...a terrible sense of desolation was starting to creep into our time, because we both knew it was running out...I had forgotten what it was like, this time mania...too close too fast too hot too we walked that beach up and down between Fido’s and my mother’s, unsure of anything but the hands that held between us, the nervous laughter, the sting going straight to the glands...the sluice gates of wonder, of wonder plus desire...which equals YOUTH, that fire, that bliss...and to be walking a beach in Central Amerka was wonderful, ravishing...I couldn’t be more taken by it all... and to look at her, not an inch of imperfection on the entire circumference of her quixotic form.

Open heart, open throat, open we lumbered my mother’s and who knows what.   My I said she liked Ramona immensely, and as mothers do she inquired as to our dinner plans and not having any we all decided to cook up some lobster on the grill, along with some Conch Ceviche to start, eaten like salsa on local fried tortilla chips...In Belize Ceviche is great pieces of aphrodisiac shell shocked conch meat with chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, lime juice and my own special heartbreak stir, salt and pepper...and the lust engine will not falter because it is known as a powerful aphrodesiac...and the lobster, caught just the day before by John and David, the dive masters, on a special sneakaway mission where I got to be the bounty holder...see, John would have us all scouting, looking in rock overhangs, small caves,and along the floor and canyon walls...great WALLS sometimes 100 feet from the sea floor with a mix of colors of such intensity one could scarcely remember ever seeing anything like it—frightening blues, victim reds, violin yellows and emotional greens...crags and crooks, coral jagged and coral abstract fish everywhere of every size luminescent, neon in some cases, fabulous...

-Michael Price

All the heavy action was underwater

The stretch of sky
                              eternal enough
w/compression dings
where Manjusri hangs w/St. Augustine

Boulevard Insurgentes

in Tijuana where for a few pesos
                the dark night of the soul
                              can be all yours

you sons-of-bitches

walking across in prison-issue
                huaraches that never quite touch
the ground