Sunday, November 30, 2008

Long Time Lost

slow skies (pressurized)
every claw, tentacle, hoof, wing
& fin

I realize that I have crossed the
Mississippi River many times
in my life but always at around
38,000 feet

hum click wash
flesh & bone
water above as below
(slosh) The Hawaiian Shell Band
& Revival Corps

nevertheless tormented by
in-flight static interference
as the scene shifts
to what & whenever
eternal distraction
we seek

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anyplace West of Here

Reaching for the ticket that
represents our
escape & return
through night skies full of light
& dark like you
as if to initiate
& learn to wait where
the heart may have stumbled
(the weather will change
streaked w/dark wings
& underwater landslides
a dark silk torch curtain
reading east to west

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Blank Space Where A Title Should Have Been

Falling water, ice crunch, delicate
bones of frost (miniature cantilever structures
all crystal & light

numb to the touch

in the cradle of a day
suspended between this one & the next

even the dogs know the way home

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Say Whatever You Want

landscape) rolling green hills,
bottles of wine, tall
trees, lots of
civil war dead buried hereabouts

“They died with their surfboards”

              & it’s still November on earth
in buckets

I left my sense of balance on the
west coast
                              only my inherent
              perpetual, stubborn
sense of loss

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not A Palm Tree In Sight

Some kind of movement
from left to right
in circles
wheels, wings, rails
we have left one place
countless others
but the arrow doesn’t rest
it gets delirious
emptied of entrance & decline
more & less
                              taken (the claim)
                                                blades full of shadows
                              yet ascend

(enroute Santa Cruz to Washington DC to Maryland to Virginia in 36 hours)

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 70)

There was a telephone but I didn’t have any numbers to call...something black and blue was coming for me, something like a big ol’ fucked up ass......I was already nostalgic for Ramona and I knew that was an ominous sign...As ever, I made the week with little trouble and the mother returned home disenfranchised but aglow...and that prescient day on the beach loomed like the odor of bella donna...oat angel black sex vox...what was I in store for?   I felt, unlike the general tourist population whom were impotent and doomed, like I was surging, picking up some vast energy from the slip-sea and preparing for some translucency on the make...Congruent with this perception, I decided to sacrifice a golden orb of vanity to the latent altar within...I gave it all up...everything except for Ramona...but that would all change soon anyway...I wouldn’t have any choice.

The Place, a new bar on stilts over the water, was full to brimming with people doing their best Dintjan, moving here and there; some dandling, some just seeing things out ...but it was a festive and pulsing mob and we all got down to dollar belikans and free shots from the barkeep... soon enough, Black was stringing together the latest rap and dance crazes and we all found ourselves reaching high and bouncing sex-mad in the middle of the floor...I could feel Crystal wanting to do her sad little hot grind up against my hips…there was a subtle competition always on between her and Ramona she wanted bad to get me to drift, play a little, push the Gregorian limits of proper¬ty... I wanted no part because, to be honest, I wasn’t attracted to her one lousy bit…In fact, I felt sorry for her...I could see the pain she carried fathoms away...and this drove her mad…I’m pretty sure she didn't like me either, but she wanted nothing so badly as to lure me to bed and literally fuck me to pieces...There she would have her reward...So I just mime danced everyone else...and so it went…

Lenny, the fuck brained pissy English party captain whom I always saw in a state of entire disrepair, was mad with moves and gusto that night...And the drinks would flow like the Thames when he was in the house with his pilot roomates...Lenny was alright, befriending my mom and her friends with no slobber, just candor...dancing the Paddington frisk or the Tyburn jig, he was a dancing dog shirtless and soaked with sweat and booze... I watched him with his mad Mick and Banjo, with a nose broken by this fist of a queer cudgel in a previous life...I stood there and basked—in my mind rang some twelve bar blues with the din of a hammond organ...I was high and ready to find the way to blue...

I was getting hurried and restless for the return of Ramona and I could feel the urge in my loins to drive French horses, black stallions, and rare ponies to and from my shed...So Black, Crystal and I got out of there and scrambled to Barefoot Iguana’s, to the giant disco where there were scores of night creatures moving the precious question of why, breaking down their resistances and urging each other on to greater infamy and shame...and we couldn’t get there fast enough...weaving through the front door coming in all of us sizing them up...color, size, drunkenness, habits, stance, pose... twenties of them, writhing and gesticulating, everywhere an ocean of parallel funk, hands going over thighs, smiles contorting once recent sad faces, drinks in hand sweat, jungle colors, ventilators, flip flops of small feet on the floorboards, a pisskopped dj screaming inanities over thumps and rolls, the somes and the fews and the pieces of everything always sin, always human, always just THERE...movements of rapid take-off, quick crashes, and every psychological malady...It was more than just flesh and carnal couplets, glee and escapism—it was burglary, larceny, and attempted rape...this was heavy duty ignorance, and I was game.

I was now standing half short-wave in the corner watching it boil, looking for the glad-eye of my blue bender, the hear and smell of the law and averages of the human condition...Trembling like a breeze I could feel my ears having enough and I could feel the absurdity of the white man on an island...I began writing my note in the sand in my head “what little distraction possible present disappearing vapor in heavy air...”   Heavy.   Heavy brown.   Heavy rain clouds and Heavy wet.   Malt Liquor.   And Bailey’s with cream.   On ice…

saw her come in with another.   They were both dark brown, chocolate brown, Belizian girls.   I was all cock and breeches...steady in my gaze but not honky obvious...she was dressed in all white cotton from neck to mid-calf...beguiling innocent, pretty, like a Japanese paper lantern...Her body was aglow in some taut athleticism and her moves were like a thousand spy movies...sly, mysterious, measured and noble... Here I was, with the Ramona medal, 1st prize, and I trembled at following my restless eyes...sensing this, Black, giddy from gin, approached me in mid-gaze to find out what I wanted to drink AND who I was looking at...”that chick? In the white? You want me to hookitup for you braddah? Here, let me talk to her, find out what she is”... “Naw Black, it’s cool, I’ll get around to it...”
“Aww man all you boys say that man, that’s liquor for flour man...I’ll go and talk to her for you, see if you can buy her a” “OK man but I’m going over here, looking away, playing it cool, lime in my beer, watch the dancing, ok...that’s fucking embarrassing man...” “No, it’s the way it goes in Belize man, just let me take care of it...” I assumed the worst, waned and swayed, and tried not to watch as Black strolled most casually over to the woman and got right in her ear…I half-laughed aloud to no one but the gods of surgical anatomy and figured what the hell, it could only be what it could be...and it wasn’t long before Black was back at my side smiling wide and hempically, a man of genius, “Allright this is the deal...she thinks you’re cute and she wants you to buy her a drink”... “You’re full of shit Black, she didn’t say anything but ‘what the fuck does he want’, ‘that fool?’, shit.... “No man, I’m telling you, she wants you to come over and buy her a drink...she likes you”... “Black what the hell did you tell her?   I saw you laughing it up with her, probably said, ‘hey baby I’d like to get in your cottons but my honky pal over there seems to have his little sights set on you...whadaya say can he spend some money on you?   Free drinkies lady...”   “Man, you got it all wrong...I’m working it for you, man, for you, see?   C’mon, get over there and buy her some liquor and quit talking to me”...

-Michael Price

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nailed Shut

These mornings have since
turned back



as would be marked by
steps that follow

late & early the
path of resistance

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cost Benefit Analysis

the carnival atmosphere) despair
next to nowhere, in the shade
wondering where the money goes
when there isn’t any

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Measure

When last I heard you
screech in the night
like Little Richard

your body pulsing
in my arms
like a star on the horizon

your crepuscular eyes shut
in the mud of my heart

now I remember
now I remember

You could make death look easy

Go ahead, make death look easy

I've lit flowers for you
in Gethsemane

Saturday, November 22, 2008

PARISH KREWES by Micah Ballard

A great ESSENTIAL collection of poems by Micah Ballard.   I've read most of these lyrics in manuscript over the past year or two, but it's a rush to have them so splendidly packaged & cleanly presented.   Solid all the way through.   Get yourself a copy NOW & be stoked

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fifty More Miles

She had a 6x9 glossy of the
              Wichita Vortex Sutra
                              along with 2,500 dips
              on the store rack in my brain
Woven leaves, thin fiery air
                              within lucent domes
“Under the green and golden atmosphere”

pavillions, parking lots
sidewalks I thought would take me somewhere
“gracefully relinquished”

              Fog holding to the coast
laudanum plus desultory metaphors
                              zero gravity & ghost trains
              in the 32 chambers of my heart no less
                                                with last ditch Hail Marys

              warbling in a darkness all their own

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 69)

And then I wrote this poem to Ramona:
It’s never a fair man
Who keeps his woman & also
The ugly ones on the side

I had plenty of regret for my transgression, but like my knowledge of rods and furlongs, short was my wisdom concerning the basis of my lustful variations...but I had no particular idea how to circumvent this grief and guilt that seemed to accompany any enchanted pueblo mission of least for that set of moments, because Sharpe was gone, it could rest.

I can’t swear to anything that occurred during the next few weeks for I was living in the belly of the whale.   There was a recondite beauty to this, for I saw boredom and my sitting and their adventure of ideas...I saw my mother day and night and I saw ten versions of the Green Flash...the sheets and towels and clothes we soiled flapped in the tropic breeze outside my window...I wrote poems at the dining room table for a few hours a day, nux vomica in hand...I drank Coca Cola and Belikan...I thought about Ramona and I practiced masturbation...the mystery, the intrigue, was a forever moving target...”the universe is a lady,/holding within her the unborn light.”   I picked up books wherever I could find mother had done a random job on the folks numerous books when she left the house on sugarloaf, and I was a bit surprised to find the likes of Erich Fromm and ee cummings amongst romance novels.   I dug into these with a torrid abandon...Fromm was a good bridge, looking back, because he wrote about the neurotic little boy clung to the mother whose later love relationships were sloth by the bolt...

For the first time in my life I was ready to make a real sacrifice...and I don’t mean a compromise but real sacrificial offerings placed on an altar during the full harvest moon, under the duress of double indemnity and a life not quite lost on a train, with viles of songbird blood and the beheading of blank sonnets...I’m talking about looking deep inside and asking questions that ring like death penny bells in the mind’s eye...Why am I so torrid?   Why do I suffer so at the hands of the beauty?   Why did I fear losing my parents, esp. my mother at night?   Is it normal to see red?   I vowed to do something for the first time in my life..I sat and gave away the matriarch....I prayed for help in curing me of walking leisurely and casually into bad love relationships with mother-subs...I began to think ‘one more’ despite knowing I was going to have to see Ramona to the end of the line, and maybe that stop was the graveyard...a seaside Ecuadorian beach cemetery with doctrines of meditation and antagonistic schools of scholars ready to deconstruct my pathos......I was ready to get fixed...And so I wrote the greatest poem of my first 31 years during a week when my mother returned to Texas to see her parents…

I was sleeping alone in the ceiling-less house and waking up to the ocean and off-shore breeze with no Ramona and not a shred of evidence that she would pass before me again...that Monday was the first day forward of the rest of my life...dreams were coming powerful to me and I recorded them detail by detail in my journal...which I then boiled down to the root causes and wrote in bold all caps FEAR PRIDE ANGER JEALOUSY LUST AVARICE GUILT SHAME ...some life it was turning out to be ...something had shifted deep inside with the physical departure of my mother, and when I let her go in the mind, there was change singing in the electricity in the walls, mezzotint messages pierced my hangovers from drinking with Said and Kris and I had the old magic poesy going for my days...I ran, that is I took runs down the beach in nothing but a pair of shorts with a Russian Sun beating down upon my skin and the patient Polish breeze fanning my radiator, keeping the body’s engine just cool enough...I thought of Ramona when I passed Ramones, that time I had come upon her in that first of our three days together...I looked out across the ocean towards Belize and sent my thoughts to her, sustained in my determination by fatigue and fear of science and logic, which were always telling me to study the mechanics of happiness ...but I wanted to study suffering and I ceded my vainglorious homage runs to Ramona...some naked ideas that kept me out there for half hours until I could take the heat and athsma no more and would head in for a shower or out for a dip in the sea...Shaking my hair dry after the water thinking “today is the greatest...” with giant waves of heavy guitar panning across the horizon.   As a matter of fact, I was alone.   But I didn’t care.

-Michael Price

Full Tilt

The dark reaches
              & the sky bends

The wind rattles dry leaves blown
              clattering over the pavement

Everyone’s got their own personal escape route
              so why are my hands shaking?

A tiny blue window opens
              in a corner of the lagoon

Vast chevrolets cruise the horizon

The stage is set with plasticine angels
resembling nothing so much as
those faceless inhabitants of dreams
who carry messages from deep in there
where the dreaming’s stored

One of the last of the
rainy day women
trudges through the sand

& light fills the air

the air which is slashed by gulls
in my poems

From emerald & steel waves
                              clawing at Asteroid Beach
beneath a chrome-plated sun
              gnarly prows of bituminous ruin

Out along the jetty
              made entirely of the volcanic rubble of dead stars
the scuttling spider-shuffle of red crabs
                              makes a sound like dry leaves
clattering over the pavement

From the depths of a fatal buzz
              wicked day-glo visions thresh the foam

―the waves charging
                                                like horses
                                                                into the sand

The sun drops like an incendiary pearl
into the wildly churning sea

There is a certain grace
to the inevitable

it soars in on seagull’s wings

it wheels & pivots

& I am bent
into a stupor of rare depth where
silver airships dock

hey hey

loading up
on the chosen few

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alternate Route

Banging around in the night cocoon
1971 is still smoking pot somewhere in
Santa Monica, either that or
swilling cough syrup in the S.Cruz sand
w/a ziplocked future
& a miniature speargun

in the fog

& like the fog we drifted up the coast
scratching our names into the mist
in a broken breeze on a broken street
with broken kisses that kept us tied to
slow-water inconsistencies swept beneath
as one might park the damp pavement
on a cliff above the beach

resigned to what we dreamed was true

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Underwater Ballet

I had some other place to be.   There were complications―
the rooms were too large, the stairway too steep, the walls
were caving in around me.
I had a rope-ladder in order to exit via the window
which was only about 3 stories up but slanted out at a 45 degree
angle over the rocks & the sea below.
Halfway down the ladder I realized how ridiculous all this was.
I stood in a darkened parking structure smoking a cigarette.
A woman approached me to say that she didn’t need any matches.
As she walked away I noticed that she had a tail like an alligator
dragging on the floor behind her.   In Mexico I
looked down from a stupendous height as a group of children
gutted & skinned some kind of water buffalo.
In the room next door it was a rainy morning in Seattle.
A naked woman drank coffee from a very ornate antique cup
made of a mysterious metal that changed shape as she sipped from it.   It was distracting but I still wanted to fuck her.
I was accused of a crime I knew that I didn’t commit
but the evidence was so overwhelming I began to
question whether I had actually done what they said
& inexplicably forgotten all about it.

“Moss Landing, no I mean Mussel Shoals”
I kept confusing the two.
I had a job shaping boards at a surf shop in Ventura.
My skin was coated in a thin layer of fiberglass dust.
I had just won the Nobel Prize for literature.

I’ve never had a dream in which I could fly.
I know that many people share that dream of
flying bird-like high above the earth.
The closest I get is a kind of levitation
where I rise up only a foot or so above the ground
in an upright position
& with an extraordinary amount of effort
manage to glide forward for a few yards before
dropping back down onto my feet.
It’s a very difficult & exhausting exercise
& although I must have dreamed it hundreds of times it
never gets any easier.

I’ve had dreams in which others fly.

Sometimes they sprout wings & take to the sky,
other times, wingless, they just seem to
swim through the air.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Test Drive

The lasting legacy of CASH
(vapor) among other wisps of
NADA de la Cruz
spilling over the pink
into a dusty shade of
gray (morning for a moment
then a pure pacific blue later
slicing the day in half

What I think is veins of sand
                              plumes in the heart
              marble light hook grooves
                                                older than the sky
              beneath the pavement

The prayer flag caught the wind
& held it there

as a rare species of tropic
settles in for the long haul

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 68)

We took ourselves into the open air of night once golden sun now silver moon...Dean had lined up a swanky hotel room just down the beach through some family connection, and we informed the women that we were heading back there, with their approval, to wind things down, leap without leaping from anywhere and sleep off what was sure to be some kind of hangover...The place was dead empty.   Sharpe found his night clerk connection and the girls and I made words in the lobby and felt some relief when he appeared again with a key and a grin... “top floor for the guests, nothing but pomp and circumstance for us tonight...” “Woohoo” said Candy, flashing me a sly grin and grabbing the gymnast’s hand in ascending the stairs...we piled in a large square room made of Mennonite wood with two queen beds right up alongside each other and a tiny table and lamp in between...we were in the interval between idea and booze, no smoke, no television...

I guess it was New England obvious what we were all there for and from the way the girls jumped to the respective beds (me too Dean too), there was only one thing left to do: kill the lights.   The gymnast threw her legs up over her head and smartly closed the wall switch with her toes, leaving the room hued over with a tender wooden sadness...all clothed, we slipped under the bed sheets and the hands got handy, mine finding Candy’s bobbins under the undershirt, quite smashed in by a coarse lace bra...she in turn took turns at my buttocks and back, stroking and scratching just enough to get a hair-rise on the neck...this was accomplished under the bedclothes to ward off Dean and his solemn games of ducks & drakes, who’d love nothing more than a live porn played out in a circle of clucking admirers…Meanwhile he was getting his dong serviced by the gymnast…and dear Candy was ready to move mouth was slowly having hers and moving down to the her myrtle hedge with a smooth and slick shift into masticulation...she was in agreement to a full extent, pulling the covers up over her head to create a safety ¬cocoon around us, and keeping the probes of Sharpe seeing white..I earnestly gave her privates a good whipping... the torrents were swollen and I was up to my ears in a tropical cocktail of our wasn't long before she had pulled me up to her again and quickly returned the gesture, sliding down my stomach with the perfunctory treasure trail teasing, ending up with a mouthful of cock and creating all kinds of physics, from action/reaction, friction, vacuums, etc...

To the melancholic this would seem melancholic, but it was an action attuned to the vast, and my part of the action/ reaction principle was the latter, my reaction being a quickly manifested batch of the glorious semen, whipped from my exploit and deposited into the insides of candy's mouth and throat ...I was admittedly fast, coming off the Ramona was a relief to spill my guts and look at my actions without tremor...but it was rather fast and I had to believe that I could muster more compassion for Candy, making a strong go at it later, which I explained to her, that I needed some rest before I could build up the enemy, being a much advanced old man in the boudoir and knowing it ...shame...I had a powerful urge to sleep…next door, the still active Sharpe and gymnast circus was in full swing, which at this moment featured Sharpe on top, the gymnast in some rather crab-like receiving position, and him taking deep and long strokes into her...But I was exhausted and quickly fell into a deep nod…and the thought of fair innocent Ramona rolled over me like putrid fever...This jarred me awake, eye wide, motionless, disorientated, with the usual reaction of silence…and the room was quiet and asleep, the gymnast snoring slightly, and Sharpe turned away in a fetal position towards the dark other half of these moments there is no cerebration, some ripped mind caught a-wares in stupor, from tragic dreams, sysyphusian, and strange, into a room that bears no marks of familiarity, wanting to lull backwards into sleep...But erection! I had one! The dreams, like death, extraordinary for their recuperative powers...Candy, candy...To awaken her I slid my hand down to the pussy...and she awoke and demanded that we French kiss...soon enough I had myself inside her, stroking smooth and slow, thinking “to love is to die” all the whiles inventing my future, my favorite escape, my fucking...and dying little deaths each time......Eat candy:   Sugar baby.   Marathon.   Fun dip.   Big hunk.   Sugar daddy.   Fuck Candy. Faster.   Look to your left.   See Sharpe through the solid black air.   Notice his enthusiasm.   Keep fucking.   Shift down into deep ignorance with a heavy rocker arm.   Become furious.   Don’t finish.   Roll off.   Say some sweet guilty things in the ear of candy.   Slip away.   Jujubees.   Jujubees Jujubees...The insidious red Sharpe told me the next day that I fucked like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland…and I laughed and said he fucked like Bella Lugosi…

And off we went in the morning—girls one way, men my bed I crawled and that was the last time I would see Dean in this blown down spring...and I couldn’t have been giddier about it—his plane left the next day for the states and the two women were leaving together that afternoon—and I couldn’t have been blitzier...I really couldn’t have been even if I was being eternally blown in the summers and the brightly dressed pastel colored boys and girls with chalk piece smiles were showering me with Maker’s Mark, Parliaments, Raybans, cocktail ice, smoke and sideways glances...these are the things I dreamt about that morning, spellbiding and sidewinding from tequila backlash and damn near sicko-ness...and rhythmic guilt that came and went like a stiletto in the ribs, saying Ramona, give me all your Ramona you motherfucker, and I reach down my throat towards that heart and try to pull her visage and there she is plunging the blade in towards my spleen and back out and in again at the other lower vitals and it’s seeing situations as they are you howl and howl at your stupidity and your one-eyed monster who says “we have to learn in order to unlearn,” the cunt when all I needed was the Practice of Purification, hence
1. The power of regret
2. Power of the basis
3. Actual application of opponent forces &
4. The power of resolve
...instead I woke up in my dream drumming on bamboo, calling the tortoise, eating jade mushrooms, plucking the lute, summoning the Phoenix, and drinking from an alchemical crucible...

-Michael Price

Artificial Horizon

                              telescopic underwater haze
              a sand chorus falsetto
                                                fading into the
                              fine lines behind your
                                                                fever dreams
                              Mexican hubcaps
                              a harpoon

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pipeline Blues

You can follow me there but you’ll
have to find your own way back

tiptoe across the broken bottles

The air waves woven above
in cloud-colored silk you
wear to camouflage the
puddle of smoke rippling
at your feet
                                                (something I heard
              tumble {through the
                              pages of a book
                                                bound in concrete}

Nothing so quite so pure
dark (knocking at the kitchen window)

                                                feathered acetylene
                              gloom & havoc

an adrenaline-fueled lullaby

              (like listening to you bleeding

Monday, November 10, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 67)

Let there be doom and rain and recon, I thought, as I climbed into the junior high needle spray of the shower feeling a thousand tiny pricks of clean hitting the back...I could hear Dean talking but only making out few words I had no idea what leaps he was making...I feared for my life, my new randy and ribald to describe here how many phone calls he made in an hour’s time would be terrific and strange but I can’t do that because it was many, in fact, it was at least 7 to one hotel and then the next, transferring to dining rooms and talking to Belizian waiters who had no idea what Dean’s hack spanglish was meaning......I made myself choke down a Belikan while he just kept working the phone, and I felt that old feeling of a big night on high, a party with loads of girls, cruising amongst all the freaks of a Friday eve in a small town when suddenly the night breaks down and the key figures vanish, the libations run out, the drug wears off and you sink into a trembly swoon of letdown when the best cure is immediate and lengthy sleep...”Price it’s not looking good...they said they’d be at Capt. Morgans eating with the parents but that we should meet up with them after that...but the bobbysoxers are hiding...No one can find ‘em...I’ve called all my contacts and no one’s seen ‘em...let me try the hotel and then we’ll see if we can mess up some party favors.”

I had heard that we could get some from the dealers who hung in the shadows near Fido’s...because we would need some kind of chemical booster to make us explode from the center...we were weak, stupid bastards writing our classic work for all of night draggers, those who want something, anything bad enough to deny the sense of the body which asked to bet let down gently after the sun/beer/wind and wave of kind to the vessel for it takes you

Dean had reached the females at some resort restaurant by describing them to the waiter, and to my growing fascination, had arranged to get his water taxi connection out of bed and in his boat to pick them up and deliver them to Fido’s we tripped our way down the beach moaning and laughing at our miserable possibility...Things are as bad as we think!   I was particularly bent, dragging tired authority and simple manners along with my weary legs and red scalp from old tropic helios and somehow it was beautiful, that Dean and I, two miscreants on different paths, found ourselves in Central America in the year of the mother up to our old tricks of chasing drugs and cunt...It was warm as any healing bath and I was starting to feel home and the guises of a wonderful project, the study of my very freedom... I was on overdrive test burn mode, docking near Fido’s to try out my burgeoning drug theory, eager to feel that whore rush of X and be awake and alert and not have a mind that agrees and disagrees but one that deals in raw pain and cooked pleasure… Sharpe, with his cormorant distensible sense, found the connection lurking behind a tree just down from Fido's...

“only drug I got is coke man”   No coke for us.

We both retreated from pharmaceutical dreams and resolved simply to get boracho and let the fermented anthropogenic hearts of our women dictate style, geographic location, temperature, background noise, and ferocity of said previous copulation visions...So we went straight to the dock and watched the single blue lighted skim feather darkly into the dock and off-load candy and the gymnast in a two drink minimum stumble.....and if the girls seemed down (because they were) then our fatigue did nothing constructive to change that condition and we started, as it were, on the wrong foot by asking them where they wanted to go, showing our lack of planning and ingenuity and furthering the burgeoning opinion that we were not mighty senses put upon sensuous bodies but numbskulls as narrow, bigoted, conditioned, anxious and tawdry as the men who made us...

Taken by all this misery, I suggested Shark’s bar two docks down, where we could avoid the noise and skullduggery of clubs and start in on our demise to get it over as quickly as to become vital, make merry…with ideas failing to materialize for anything else, my offer was accepted and we made it there just slightly looser than the previous minute...”Four Shots of Tequila and four Belikans” I said to the sweet woman barkeep who recognized the inescapable glow of vision in my request... “Price you remind me of James Caan…but for now let’s concentrate on turning this cold engine over, huh girls?”
“Whatever you say is fine with us”
“Right, and here’s lime and salt and bottoms Up you navy seals...” Four shots went down gullets and gasps of fire breath concluding along with Sharpe’s whoop and gurgle, girls swallowed the poison down better’n us, I a red-faced resolute man with just enough fire to cease yawning, ditching at that very moment any remnants of obscure dread and instead firing up the intense desire for something deep with candied candy...Dean was thinking the replica and we all had about enough gas for a few more shots and a beer or two, which were administered in relative obscurity while behind music drove fast with boom boom and everyone’s hands touched unabashedly each others’ reminded me of singing melancholy ballads on a snow eve in Boulder drinking red and missing city friends for no reason at all...We had gotten past the prelims, all of us, and now it was time to do what was wanted epistemologically—that is, fuck.

-Michael Price

Kind of Turquoise

I just now woke up an hour ago
spilling out of lousy dreams into the

The last of the rain signaling
from beyond the treeline
                              like Eli Wallach
beyond the reef
                                                where even I would just
                              throw in the damp bandanna
                                                                the sunset flaw
              the brick wall of endless sky
                                                & a few lyric tire-irons

to resolve the pearl-driven tooth of midnight
as yet unclaimed

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Smog Lines

When Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo spotted the brownish haze of Indian fires hanging above the hunting grounds of Southern California, he gave the name Bahia de los Fumos (Bay of the Smokes) to what was either the bay of Santa Monica or San Pedro.   Four centuries later, on July 27, 1943, under the front-page headline: CITY HUNTING FOR SOURCE OF GAS ATTACK, the Los Angeles Times reported the fourth assault of a “smoke nuisance.”   A year later, on September 18, a new word passed into the local lexicon when the paper, using an expression common in Pittsburgh, referred to the bronze pall as “smog (smoke and fog).”

An itemized list:
                              & a particular moment otherwise collapsed
among the pale faint water-flowers
                                                that pave the memory

I ended up with the bent spoon
& a lifetime subscription to
the sky over Hermosa Beach

              (some lives are meant to be
              w a s t e d

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 66)

It felt like some kind of temporary uppercut knockout that one stumbles from at around six thirty a.m., when the sounds of big Al willing the day to work emerge…but no, as I rolled over and knew by that drowsy numbness and thick head I was in trouble—I knew even before Dean made it down to warn me to rise that pain is the constant companion of pleasure...but we did our best to abate, taking motion sickness pills, a Mexican form of Alka Seltzer and two Ibuprofin and gulping them all down with as much bottled water as we could stand...this is why, when you feed it pills and exilirs, the ego becomes a terrific monster...!   So we made coffee, talked a little with Judy, checked the radio, gathered our tanks of air, regulators, fins, wetsuits, stocked two coolers full of icy Belikan all the while Al and Rear readied the boat out on the dock, warming the two yamahammer 225’s to run fast and sure, Dean and I taking every chance we could to sit on the beach and come alive...

So we left the house of prompt service and Big Al steered the vessel southward towards with rear and Dean both nervous for the reef and Al’s tendency to see poorly and drive quickly...but we made it to our dock not too many down from my mother’s house, which I espied as always from the water because of its glitter silver tin roof that stood out like a skinflint among masters...we were picking up Enrique the diminutive all-skill local who would drive us, guide us, master us, bait us, and cook for us as well...he was a soft and noble heart...he took over the boat as if it were his honored captain father and I felt a sense of grace and manifest destiny colored brown and repeated God send you nine beers or fish if you prefer so happy was I whose hangover was replaced by a feeling of well-being on open water with the breeze as warm as napalm and Dean now handing me my first beer right in the plain sight of his dad which I couldn’t really believe but old Al, he and his offspring were on vacation and beer it would be...but 8 a.m.?   I picked up that bottle and gave it a couple silent kisses and laughed and said to Dean next to me in the fore of the ship “son of a bitch.”   We clinked bottles from top to bottom in what had originated as a Sharpe trademark and braced ourselves for the open ocean which was fast approaching via the cut...I put on my headphones while the front of the boat bounced many feet in the air and crashed down on the back of every wave with a resounding thud, making much communication near impossible …

And I could tell hereof quite a number of things, amusing and remarkable though they were, which transpired on that boat that day but suffice it, in the interest of short wind to say that we A) drank all the beer B) Dove for forty minutes and speared ourselves about ten fish C) Had a beach cookout masterfully created and located by god guide lost at sea abandoned island in sun with beers while big Al bone-fished in the straits within eyesight and D) Deep Sea fished out about twenty more pescado of all variety... making for E) an incredible and exhausting day trip...when I finally rolled home at five thirty and showered, all movements like the walk of an elephant, sure and perfect, the bed in my east facing ocean view room felt like the other side of...Valium.   God did I pray that Dean would fall down and not get up, find his own sweet bed and displace the drive to lay and conquer…and the house being empty of my mother, seemed to be holding me in its arms allthewhile sighing and closing out the grey dusky light of obstacle...three ceiling fans whirred and groaned their Sisiphusian fate, the breeze did its work on the curtains and the somnambulant angels were drifting down on my black horizon...I was falling and falling and falling...never had I been so relieved from a day’s drubbing...

And there was Ramona, whom in all my reverie had faded some, eyes open and dim, then closed she came upon me—words are not the experience and most-so in the drowsy claret of exhaustion. She was prancing in front of me in the now legendary sarong, turning and turning, towards me, away, then back, stopping to her whimsy while I stumbled along boracho and with half control of my movements, losing her into the distance, the bleak future...I couldn’t catch her, much less my balance nor my wits or the particulars of joy, it was sheep, dip and barnacles, molasses, carnival, the guts of New Orleans, Dreams, dreams, all of it!   I stood smiling halfway in the door, it was surely a dream, I must’ve drifted off into some near-real self-luminous cognition and a hunger for something rousing my wits, lifting my boozy carcass to the front door where I couldn’t really see and I think I was naked, yes, this was one of those naked dreams and my teacher was at the door, Rishi, and in the distance I could see a dovecote full of what appeared to be lusty ladies, arms and legs and breasts in their skin and moving with a break-beat audacity...and in front of me there he stood, with his alms bowl, tattered cloak, and blu-blockers, the venerable Dean was the devil I saw, and there was no dream, only a cold reality buttressed by the pivotal face of him, and my dumb visage staring back in disbelief...after a day like that he was there, bright-eyed and smoked. “Price, you ready? Huh huh huh huh...C’mon Price we gotta harumph harumph man, y’know, these ladies are out there waiting for us somewheres!”   I had been backing up as he naturally stepped himself into the house, smiling, I think, at his unbelievable audacity, rather tenacity and stamina but did I wish him gone at that moment and I wry-smiled it back at him—“Amigo I’m spent like easy mexican pesos against the dollar man, I’m fucking tired… Jesus are you serious about this?   I’ve been hallucinating and am sure delirium tremons are due to arrive any minute...couldn’t we do this tomorrow night?   Aren’t you tired?”   “Price man, I’m so worked too, I haven’t even slept, not a wink. Al put me to work cleaning fish and digging holes when we got back.   Those chicks leave tomorrow morning so this is our only night Price, this we gotta do...C’mon, take a shower and I’ll call their hotel...”   “I said I’m dying here brother...and enlightenment doesn’t mean dying you fool...”   “Price get wet while I do some reconnaissance and find them bitches...”

-Michael Price

Monday, November 3, 2008

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 65)

Dean sharpe was rolling.   His usual reluctance to talk sex with strangers was fading away with the daylight…I ramble as explicit as possible to see what might happen, like bending the switch of oak to breaking point…and finally I was called on my cunning by the gymnast who deftly dared me to run the length of the dock in nothing but my skin with a very public audience of those present plus the boys at the bar who watched with Marlon our every move...having a certain tenacity and tendency towards drunk and disorderly conduct, I ,without thought of injury, peeled down to nada and bared my half hard cock & peeled down the dock at full sprint laughing laughing laughing…a merry sprint and damn if I wasn’t fast too, all drunk and nekkid, with that unfortunate piece of ham slashing back and forth on the thighs…and that had everyone in glee stitches and laughter, accumulating this quite rare experience, not remembering that pain is inherent in the process of accumulation…quite really all I was giving them in long-hand was later pain for these moments of inebriated slippage…I got back and re-clothed and we spit our drinks in merriment…

Not ten minutes later Sharpe humming “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do” was up and walking off with le gymnaste down the beach on a slow jog, arm around and head tucked in like old Santa Monica birds towing a fifties evening stroll and Candy staring at me with those big eyes…We know so little of each other but the ease of my rum tongue so fantastic in its hinges up and down and stuck out with gesture and fodder talk...god damn it was time for the language of courtly love and time to bring myself closer to Candy which she must’ve felt too and we slid into our own opposite direction saunter arm in arm...and be pleased it was only a few steps into it and she had made for my mouth with hers, skin pretty as snow, and we made solid the inevitability of tomorrow night’s fucking…Sharpe was back from his saunter, and it was clear we had a plan for the morrow night…we wandered back to the bar at Mata Chica as we had reached the curfew of our 10 year jun¬ior little we fled after feeling up the girls a little during farewell like seven and sevens and two great streaks in craps.   Dean guided us safely back to the compound where we swapped stories and dreamed of top brass before going to bed sloshed and all grinned up...

-Michael Price

Medicine Show

A flock of bonsai seagulls
hauling stormclouds up the coast

The punctured waves plunging
(as behind the eyes looking

to peel apart distance & isolation like this

dreams, even

on Bleach Street where the traffic stutters
luring you back

or seawater with a snake oil chaser
penciled in beneath the architecture
of unconditional surrender

like a neon blade of sunset
paddling through your brain

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Slight Return

The way the rain talks out of the
side of its mouth fogging the mirrored
              a perfect imitation of which
in surround sound might keel over
                              or take a nose-dive somersault
              from the edge of your
heart where you’ve been spending
a lot of time lately
                              pitching tears into trampoline ashtrays
              dovetailed against narrow gray
                                                alleyways flapping
                              damp eyelids as washed out palm tree
              shadows (pale as anemic puddles)
                                                                strum the pavement

Saturday, November 1, 2008

There Is No Now

varoom, clunk, kaboom

End of Part One

drizzle, flame

somewhat unlucky raincloud thud

Part 3
we surface before dawn
like inverted cathedrals