Monday, June 30, 2008

Things to Do in Boulder When You're Not There

for Pamela

1.   Get all hallucinogenic in conversation w/the natives
2.   Read my poems to a sea of faces
    in the dark of the
    Dairy Center for the Arts
    & dedicate each poem to you
3.   Lose somebody else’s pith helmet on Pearl Street
4.   Look for the sky outside the Boulderado at midnight
5.   Wake up in an Airstream International
    thinkng of you

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Waking Up in Salinas
Nobody but the sunlight
knows your name

El Rancho Motel
There are hundreds of ways to
get there but only one way

We’ll be here a while
Breathing in the damp
morning fog is like
unraveling a rain puddle
in your sleep

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Ethanol Boom

An ocean breeze competes w/the
traffic on Hwy 1 for our
eternally divided attention
as we paddle across the street
to La Esperanza
for enchilada sauce & Negra Modelo
feeling twilight in our bones
based on a true story
w/a seacloud halo
like the birth of the cool
derailing the latest fact-finding mission
a theme you made your own
a skipping wheel
a missing fuse-link plug nickel
of sky
falling through the hole in
god’s pocket

Friday, June 27, 2008

Violence is Golden

Often it’s just a glance
that makes the needle jump
like an infinite space road test
going nowhere all pink all washed-out
as marbled caucasian skin colored
blank parts in the transcript
twist the far gone yonder into painted water
& seacolored stones

the ruins of a beerglass shadow

low ride thru Sleazeville

anyway depends on how fast you
were going & if anyone recognized you

it’s what makes the beachbreak crooked
when the fog seeps in
deep as a Rastafarian
well of souls

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Slow Fade

Worried about the built-in haze
(fire in the hills) & kite strings
a goner / preferring a drowsy numbness
to chewing on a lightbulb
out among the lemon turpentine
syrup flowers
bought & paid for
w/a spoonful of Martian sand
It’s not about what you have but
what you’ve lost
& the sun sliding down the silk sleeve
of a sky the color of boiling kool-aid
well, that’s something you can
get for free

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bail Out

Dropping into the snake-run
on a 4-foot skateboard just
as the sun jumps the treeline

(what kinda thing is that for a grown man?

just a couple of blocks from where
the mist hangs on the
beach all ghostlike & waves curl
in below carrying deep sea messages

in case you wanted to know

Fate sometimes cuts you a little slack
so you can make it back in two or
three pieces that still work

stepping out across the
sand towards god knows what

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

At a Whisper

We pass this way only once
or twice
                              I forget the numbers
I forget the meaning
swamped with moon

the metallic beach             /   m   i   s   t   /
rotting concrete

“They were dancing
in the ruins”

the sky dark the
pavement still warm

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 47)

I would make it thru half hour after half hour with scarcely a letup, with the sea far off running over the second largest barrier reef in the world, quarter of a mile out, breeze blowing the curtain to and fro...then I dedicated any accumulated merit to the furtherance of joy human awakening, for all those billions of others, to all those enlightened before me in the midst of death and dilation...Once through I rose and went to the desk and to the task of writing down details of any reach towards Samadhi, and any other particular piercing or appreciable motion towards true seeing...Usually a paragraph of such lines and then, depending on what particular grievous situation was hanging over me, I would ask for guidance concerning it...Ask the unknown for the monologue preludes and etudes, and my fateful mistakes and impatient moves in regards...and at this moment in serial time, I was wont to ask for every possible insight into Ramona, to the point where I would ask for nothing else from this life, if I could just have my seven spice chocolate Ecuadorian cake, and the bill paid by chance Gods and Demi-gods...

The entire one hour episodes were saving my life...At some point usually, say, right in the first few minutes of yet-hot concentration, the mother would wake from white sheet quietude and begin clamor and move-about, matronly activity, a comfort to any man, signaling memory of early morning care-taking when before school I felt completely dependent and safe, when there was snow in the offing, promise of an escape from school...So I would sit through her making of breakfast and coffee, through the noise and silly talk of the New York local news--because that was where the cable was pirated from-- sometimes I wore no shirt when I sat, preferring to wear only pajama bottoms for the heat, as opposed to frigid Frisco or frost at dawn Colorado where I needed socks and a shirt to be equal...not to say that there weren’t adepts who could sit naked in snow and arctic temps when mind-control was powerful and strange...

But Ramona...there was something wrong with the way all this was happening... I had a foreboding feeling, a feeling histrionic, layered, replete with past, and a guidance somehow universal, telling me, much against every forward intention of my body and mind, to pull back, actually, to end all relations, and if for nothing else than the pleasure of watching things fall apart all around me I would continue on despite...with my poetic ideals of a chieftain acting like I was the first to penetrate Arizona, like the stupidest lout on earth...

-Michael Price

No Time Soon

There were candles I remember
& a window painted black
we were living in the
science fiction district of town
it was later than either of us
could have guessed

sunset leaving this
stain like distance between you
& every other light in the crash
ing (look
your little heart tumbles) glare
imbedded in the dark-varnished

but my heart is just a desolate
beachfront property the
parking lot at (what the fuck)
Tierra del Fuego?

(left the motor running
when we walked out to the edge
as though there was a chance we’d
actually make it back

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ain't no hat-size no how

Neon dark (mask)
              once the morning
in thin hours
fists of damp sand
caught on the crippled pulse
muscle signature / breath
being the
              long way home
after all this time
                              I knew by heart
reading her lips in a dream
white sky heat
spraypainted on the concrete
              brief rain shower
out there on the dark
water (neon) like
I said

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the Shade

Bent     form     palm     tree
could be tone deaf as well
(I knew I wasn’t color blind
because I made all the lights
driving across town)
Summertime on the pacific coast
can get like the tropics
temps pushing triple digits
I just shut down in the heat
like Captain Cook
or Paul Gauguin
the former being the main course
at an island luau
& the latter
wasting into leprosy or syphilis
(tropical diseases?) anyway wasted
melting into death
like an aspirin dissolving
in a shot glass
of cheap whiskey
bodies bodies bodies
it isn’t yours until you give it away
like something you
pour out of an empty bottle

Friday, June 20, 2008

Start Over

I don’t want to be the
Budhha Known As The Quitter
& although it was a clever move by Rimbaud
I’m not French
I’m a fucking American
& all our clever moves don’t mean

I could be working on the next bestselling
self-help celebrity tell-all cookbook
but I’m not
I’m racing around town clearing olympic caliber speed bumps

All these blank pages
my poems yeah like eyes in the sand
on a beat-up deserted beach
out at the rusted razor’s edge of

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 46)

So the days went.   Morning’s wake to the street auto’s din and clamor, sweat sleep, tropic transversus perinaei, the early morning flip side-to-side wake/slumber until finally the calling is great enough to ramble into the private bath for pre-meditation shower, usually up before my mother who would sleep late whenever she could, pushing the somnambulant escape envelope cocoon...sometimes I would think of the Duke of Aquitaine, the first Troubadour poet of 12th century Europe, who kept his mistress “La Dangereuse” in the tower out of gangster sensibility, to fuel his emerging sense of a mature romantic love that is full blown madness, the “unknown lady” and think about how this was the dawn of my heritage, when longing was put on history’s map, albeit in relief but nonetheless there like lines of topography—a poet’s lines showing how the underlying world achieves movement, energy movement, LOVE, love from Cather and Sufi Currents, a Greek inherited gnosis built from the hearts of men and women and recorded in those dawning days as song, the plaintive and tender song of the rising world of poet into the red opening of the in the shower, after now 24 days of inspired visions, as lead into gold, I stood under the trickle and thought about my place in line, giving Ramona a love like the love of God, the center, source, depth, and end of romantic love, but I had yet to know where God stood in a hard poetic new reality of my coming of age late, as I always had and would, where was God in Ramona? I only knew my stream thoughts of what she meant to me, of how her presence sparkled in water and sun, and was reminded again that distance is another form of presence as I stood alone and let the sweat of yester night wash away...then into my room where in the corner I had set up my temporary shrine...on the old Mennonite chair covered in bad whimsy purple and geometric shapes I placed the photo of my guru, a Chinese character metal candle, a small drinking glass filled with beach sand for burning of scented sticks, honor sticks glow orange for the smoke of room mystic charge, a photo of my mom and dad from the mid sixties, a tiny photo in color about the size of a matchbook, with a white border, my handsome early parents, there for me in any way always ever and responsible for my chance, and a bottle of beer to remember to keep it moderate when it came to poisons and intoxicants...oh all this looked remarkable and strange but it allowed me to return day after day to pay my homage, blow apart my selves, and bring some calm to the trace elements around me...that forty-five minutes of first stretching like the hurdler to sitting in half-lotus spine straight hands in each other in the triangle of my crotch, head cocked crown up chin down eyes half open half closed fixed on a spot, tongue pressed to the top of the mouth just behind the front cutters, breath histrionic and smooth...

Then something to remind me when trying to understand the real mysteries, the brain stops short, the brain can contain neither the questions themselves, nor the answers...and this a monstrous insight for me, for all of us only thinking that it’s the answers that are so elusive but turn and look fools, we don’t even know the questions!!   For sure we ask all kinds of inane and tepid sometimes fervent questions, enough to sully the air but think none of them is anywhere near to an opening, a seam, for which to peel back the fake, like covered-over master paintings in garage sale frames...your I is the veil...

To get straight I would take refuge in the triple jewel three times with a half bow, recite my mantra taught from a tome found in a Las Vegas used bookstore, days after becoming a cuckold, then read one secret page from a sacred text tipped me by Vinnie Bend tipped him by a famous and learned translator of secret texts...then it was nothing but BOREDOM.   Count the breath to 21 in-and-outs, then focus, Vipassana, and watch, witness, try to remain calm, indifferent but warm, pure...usually I would begin talking to myself in verse, then the mind would take over, the inferiors would each weigh in, first bored, then worried, then hungry, sore, tired...and on like this it goes through the half hour...but this is on a clear day when I didn’t have a half-hatch knot of lust and duramater, a separation in love, which, with Ramona, could not be avoided, for only in separateness is a relationship possible but on the perennial rhizome plane where I sat, none of this is known, that lovers don’t find each other but were inside each other all along...this then, made the mind race with predatory investigative madness, trying to find every angle every way that the bliss could go away and then make strategy to prevent it...the odd miserable mistake of earthly life...trying to prolong pleasure and avoid the pain of pennies and loose change...when you find yourself in the grip of obsession this takes over so that you spend hours of sugar energy beating up intangible details into separate scenarios where you win, you love, but never do you come out neutral, never do you come out’s always returning to flack hope and wishful work out whether it’s true and it never have to know the secret to Vishnu’s Maya, and if you’re ever so slippery as to get to where the space reifies into destroyed words hope and trust, to where faith is rule, then into your heart may ply the mantra I received on a run in Philadelphia through cold driving rain: “Water has the will to be wet”...

-Micahel Price

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 45)

By now I’m halfway through a heaven coke in a bottle my second of the day tasting like boulder hood youth and sweet capitalism— Marx never had coke in a thick glass bottle or he would’ve never lifted his pen...the way it rips down the throat and leaves the syrup sweet afterglow and the tremendous gut belch release, right there with sneeze and orgasm for best of releases, with giant evacuative crapping coming close...

Taking in the little Mennonite table set my mom bought with African brown and black cloth and crazy animal spirit monsters just below a wall where she had hung similar 3-d artifacts from her travels as a diver plus some leftover acquisitions from her father’s early oil exploration days, and then cloth napkins of similar ferocity and multi-bright colors and forks and knives and the cacophony of just-home fathers and children screams, dinner time across our little end of San Pedro town, and the roar of a tractor carrying a trailer full of Coke and Fanta Orange, Red, and Purple or giant water jugs that cost 5 belize with the trade in of an empty...and loud music blared from the house on stilts across the road and down a bit where some young single dark hombre blasted his stereo to ripping decibels and the worst kind of bangy calypso music with horns and bad refrains and drunken dark harmonies...but you just put up with it as part of the landscape, like wind, who had the right to say that none of it belonged?

There is a silence in all of it and when you start to realize this, you begin to enjoy the madness, you quiet down inside yrself , meaning less noise to be offended by, you empty your till and then there’s room for everything as long as you remember to make daily deposits to the void of your own inner clangings... to remember what needs to be remembered is the secret of those noises...find what it is that never sleeps and never just leave your mind want nothing from your body or your mind...daring to live according to your lights and daring to live with the circus sounds of everyday poverty and satire and turning the tv on which we sometimes did when looking at each other or small-talk taking too long and being bored as bored is being unable to cope with minutes and there was just understanding that it was ok to do a little idiot-box escape, and we usually did this while eating...

My mother and I both ate fast.   We ate fast in my family.   We always ate like border monkeys, shoveling food, gulping drink, never finishing proper a mouthful but always heaped up the next forkful or spoonful, mixing, violating, escaping, hurrying, looking down, giving “the fig” to any collective family visions we might share...It was somehow related to survival, to get through the painful coming together of ritual nuclear pathos sharing...Why these habits of impatience and fear are so hard to break...they breed, they don’t want your best, your highest happiness, your greatest freedom...they are the hot snapping pinchers of Desire on that great crustacean fear that invisibly swims your mindthoughts and tepid fantasies drifting from scene to scene, pic to pic, plate to plate...many groans, many sighs, many moans...and nowhere is this more visible than at the dining table, especially Americans, especially neurotic phantom middle u.s. eaters like us, just frontloading to get through having to look at each other, fried chicken, dull vegetables, bad strokes of meat, bulging dis-ensouled chemical food, processed robot feed...and all of it is killing the genuine spirit of this country, eating is destroying the country along with the telly the web, and spells of fabricated fabrications...when I chose to be born here, in all the manifestations of works, in the varieties of spans of life, spheres of possibility, it must be that I and multitudes of others would become addicted to sex and seduction and chasing—bring conquests, praise, and humiliation, din and final humid and bad-sleeping humiliation until finally I wanted nothing more than the best, the highest happiness, the greatest freedom...desirelessness is the highest bliss...

And one of the first ways to figure this way around yourself is to understand the intake and elimination of foodstuff, realize what foods fuel lust and greed, which meats bring what emotions, how to reduce for the sake of pure joy and love...I am guileless and sincere in this to start in the next seven years of my life however in Belize I was still a little boy...

-Michael Price

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Picking Up the Tab

One, two, three, now
cough up the plastico
unscrew the pop-top
we don’t really have to
remember what’s sketched in
below a moon that’s always full
like the parking lot at Paradise
where we could skim a few
pesos off the top if we
weren’t on the bottom
punching in a PIN code that
rhymes w/luck
but can’t keep the wheels of
darkness from burning rubber
down the deserted highway
that tears right thru yr soul
to some other place you’d
rather not think about
right now

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Deja Voodoo

Sometimes I get lost counting yr eyes
it’s sad but ten fingers will never be enough

& just as thunderclouds cross an updated
weathermap seagulls part the mist so’s I can
bounce a quarter off the sidewalk
as you step out of the skintight laundromat
w/all these numbers falling at yr feet

nothing adds up but it doesn’t matter
x equals delirium I mean what it felt like
down at the Discount Karma Store

“You get what you pay for”

at the corner of Easy Street & Kamikaze Blvd

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dark Sunglasses

ukulele               “my favorite song
banjo                  is Summertime

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Local Motion

                              in big neon colors
it felt like taco Tuesday
              altho the getaway was a 600 mile detour

I’ve got everything we need right here

except food & money but
              there’s plenty of air
w/music in it
                              & blank sheets of poetry
to fan the flames
              & keep the eternal cigarette lit

but the walking wounded
they stagger thru here all night
knocking over altars & ashtrays
in their haste

              as you slice imaginary bread
w/an x-acto knife
                              & I pour the amber into
thick Mexican glass
              beneath the burned out patio light
& the crooked, cartoon moon

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Stumble

You slap yr money down on the coffin lid
& these tear-stained bikini blondes
drop in out of the pale blue nada

it’s like spilling a bottle of broken pills

The days here are measured out in thrills per minute
beneath an indiscriminately azure sky
w/a terminal case of the shakes

Monday, June 9, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 44)

I was a poor soul on the bed as the first wave of real loss hit—the coming home still had her face attached at the other end of something but now there was the complete rip—I was in the throes of a divine madness, one created one obsessed with Ramona...why these things manifest in the stomach, principal organ of digestion, that through four layers serous, muscular, areolar, and mucous the awful feeling of loneliness burns...what seat of worry and despair is lodged there deep in the circular fibers, anastomosing with thoughts and the anima, creating ribald songs of plaintive cry and wail...somehow the panic takes on an everyminute quality, a grey malfecence, a mocking neckhold full-nelson on the logic board of the insane...think think think, something else, move around, stare dim spacely, get up, get down, look out the window at the sun and sand and sea, leave the room, cross thresholds, open a coke, take yourself into the bathroom and make the fat kid pay..., take a bath, anything, just remember to keep “La Dangereuse” in the tower of your mind...and after all this?

“The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experiences...”

And the way my mother started to look at me, already knew that her son was going to be hurt and tho’ she knew I was the fool causing my own folly, better to just allow for the myth of the superwoman to have its way for a while and then come at me with routine...we had routine developing down there, and I was beginning to see all that grief still coming would be eased by simple rhythms of mother and son providing for each other the basics of human existence...What I think I enjoyed most, especially this day after moping around, sending emails to Ramona, stealing a nap in the afternoon, after my run down the beach for a half hour, I think it was the onset of repast or supper that I took most refuge mother hadn’t lost her love of eating now that she was healthy, and so by the afternoon she was wont to make plans for dinner and our choices were how many, varied and simple wonderful given the great local food, and our trips to the Arab-owned groceries, where one could handmade tortillas, hand cut tortilla chips, sweetened condensed milk and boiled-in-can Caramel which was terrific, not to mention lobster, conch, and our meals had some kind of gnosis, for my mom had bred in me a faith of experience in her kitchenary prowess, having gone from eating almost nothing she cooked when I was younger to the opposite when I hit my teens when I couldn’t eat enough... This night, as with many, we decided to cook for ourselves...the simplicity of preparing a meal with your maker...a roundelay of vegetables—green peppers, tomatoes, avocados, purple onions, chop chop, tis never too late to chop chop, me in charge of salad, chippety chop, fine pieces like teeth and ribs, to prepare for the condition that will inevitably come...Chop eggplant, chop tomatoes, onions, basil, pinenuts, garlic, olive oil salt, boil linguini, (mom) and on the stereo her maddening romance novel replacement music like Jimmy Buffet and Yani and Jim Brickman...but you just let it come through the open windows and doors just like the dogs scare-barking, children play-screaming, and the three-wheeled bicycles with their coolers and a young boy yelling “Tamales” and honking a clown horn and little children running out to buy the hot and simple goods with their parents’ dollars and coins...

-Michael Price

Some Velvet Morning

50,000 years give or take
a week or so
down to this scratched out
day on the bathroom calendar

seen thru binoculars

              what I was saying
just as you & the bells
                              might return wherever
              graciously assembled

a game-face for oblivion or
something I thought we’d ditched
a ways back like this feeling
we’ll never get there

when it turns out it’s
where we’ve been
all along

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Unknown Demo (take 2)

Another scruffy little beach town
sleazy but essential
like rust spots on a Cadillac
or crutches for a clown
                              beneath a blue lemon sky
the streets are some other color
              (what is the color of failure? this is
              something I should know)
the sand is sand-colored
                              & the ocean blue or green or gray
big rippling sheet of aluminum
in the sun
              water beneath the ocean
for the sea urchin, for the abalone,
for the suicide’s bath
                              (cities down there as well
whole continents
              maybe kingdoms
small kingdoms
                              about the size of an oyster’s fist
but w/miles of road to swim or paddle across
              beneath the groaning wheels of plastic buses
                                          out into the rolling fields
of seaweed where you
                              grab hold of the question mark
hovering over yr head
              & wield it like a scythe

Saturday, June 7, 2008

3D t-shirt

Sunlight’s shattered diamond
not too far from here

snail shell pearl

a nest of sand

hollow bone flute & whistle
all gone now like it never happened

What you believe versus what you
set fire to in the backyard

on Palm Sunday

that gasoline smell
still on yr hands

Friday, June 6, 2008

Route 666

Didn’t notice how many
coldwater ocean sunsets
it took to trip the
scaled-down version
she carried in her purse

versus the dotted line
I’ve got another chorus of
Cowgirl in the Sand

& just as the stain of blue
sky creases yr dovetail
funny bone
              her eyes burn their way
thru the moist
                              dislocated air

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some Other Time

The neo-psychedelic oom-pah
band when we’re not

The empire dissolving
in a spoonful of water

said “You furnish the
delicata & the ocean of pain
I’ll handle the employees”

Out here on the perimeter it’s all
mud   /  bone   /   veil   /
sky an empty color
Cuervo bottle   /   crystal torch inlay
as though we could actually touch it

a unit of measure
none so exact or useful as zero
(that blank stare

a way to get there like Bo Diddley
behind stained-glass Ray-Bans
strumming tombstones in the rain

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The beach has shifted
              a few centimeters
from where it was
(Several thousand tons of sand
                              by grain

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

5000 Foot Wave

Death was running right on time
I had the schedule
but couldn’t figure out how to read it

pausing to re-string the flowers

the air doesn’t care who it touches

Pamela said “Mountains
are often bigger than shipwrecks”

shapes, sizes, & colors
as well

pulling in to the
Eternity Drive-Thru
w/my lo & behold

in case you never wanted to hear it

A million bucks & a starlit
domino theory (to go
thank you)

as we cut out on the 405
into a heavy-duty highgrade
West L.A. fade away

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Man Lifts His Head to Sing

Watching midnight
              snap into place
in her eyes

              reflected in a tear (way too
                              & obvious
to be of much use)

“We hold these scars to be self evident”

baby, I could watch you
              limp downstairs