Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why I Hate the Sonnet, Jimmy

It was just after dark or just before.   I couldn’t tell & it didn’t matter anyway.   The light felt pure for about two minutes & then just kind of crumbled.   The tide began to slur.   I thought I heard it say "Lonzo Sinatra".

Monday, March 30, 2009

All of it dancing into sand

Tomorrow might just be
lost sunglasses
              or a rain dance
in the middle of a monsoon
                              w/the vatos out there
              dealing chrome-trimmed starlight
                                                to the blonde pavement
                              as bullets of mist tumble
              from the ocean sky like
                                                fistfuls of phenobarbital
                              washing up on the crest of a
                                                                              last wave

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Them That Know

You shed your silken
& stumble through whirlpools
of cigarette butts & barbed wire
inside your buried fingerprints

It’s as easy as the cruelest month
frying hubcaps
when all I wanted was a glass of water
& the reassurance of a
rent free grave

to be taken in by that dark flowing
nada (the ruins of breath & the ransom
bleached black by the rigors of
what the ancients called
the leadpipe tango)

When you finally come to
your bronze eyes are hooked on wavering
pillars in the kelp forest & the green
sledgehammer light that filters down
to the ocean floor

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cross the Line

Every scrap written left behind
Paper helicopters versus the pathology of
              (a piece of egg, tortilla, cheese, cerveza
& the blue sparkle beckoning
                              edged in milkwhite foam

Some impulsive homage I suppose
within the stoke & not to be written is perhaps
a proper legacy
              navigates the slow moon kelp pipe tide
gatorade pools tobacco stained algae
                              the rubble of Carthage

or Hermosa Beach & that same lost
              look an undersea gaze all ribboned w/turquoise
in the tsunami shorebreak diaries
                              sketched upon pages of wet sand

Friday, March 27, 2009

Clockwork Guacamole

tempus edax rerum (Ovid) as perhaps
Shakespeare (Sonnet 19) “Devouring time”
                              no doubt Golding’s rendering
an ambiguous rhyme
as the culpable by extension
inflicted by/essential to
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Boy Locked In Refrigerator / Eats Own Foot”
(National Enquirer, or parody of same)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L U N C H   T I M E
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Has the internet superseded all previous media
access & manipulation reduced to hidden hyperlinks

Project X might be THE FALL OF AMERICA
Ginsberg’s poems electrified as intended?
How about THE CANTOS?

[meanwhile I’ve got these retro mimeo chops, as in
paper, ink, staples, thread & the biological or
neurological linkage that almost seems pre-Jurassic now]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
mañana y mañana y mañana
(as I heard on the radio in Baja, late night
Shakespeare broadcast)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Full Nelson (Limbo Rock)

The vacant Oriental Motel stigmata in that emblematic neon script invites a casual witness.   Of reality as it is so measured.   As those wet kisses recede or snap the heart stem to the subdued tabernacle, vault, crypt, or pickup truck—any of which could be parked just outside.   This desire to dismantle each prophetic hassle & take the stain as deep as you can.   The middle of nowhere seems specific enough to me.   A coastal conditon tapping the mainline dustcloud refuge of disembodied cypress secured by the arcane laws of perspective.   Were we to argue the passage or trim the rain to reconcile painted solicitations.   Isn’t everybody, she added, as I expected the lineaments of an impossible alibi to shed an ounce of ambience.   The luxury of that option would prove to be enough later when the fading Mexican light misspelled the delicately threaded ripple of smoke that bent to reach & exit through the open window.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Desolation Point

If the wind shifts the swell hollows out if you’re
tuned that way if morning climbs from
The Iliad into The Odyssey if those wings were
carved alabaster & crumbling surf
if every gateway drug lived up to its name

Even if you never knew the silk-driven close-out
if there were places you could hide if time could be
unwound if you knew the steps

but if the deluge & personal desires flew commercial
on plum colored tattoo mists in sharkskin tuxedos
if gestures like crime uproot the purpose if iridescent
fingernails pointed the way the sex & content of regional
failure if you wanted that if it could translate into
an overwhelming silence as if it was all that I could give you

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Planktone Tango (Take 2)

Just the light pissing of rain
with California plates
inside a pearl gray aquarium lit
by pale flickering neon
The whispered denial the speck of blood
clipped from an ancient text (the future
started yesterday maybe ended the day before
as I recall yr shadowheart slamming the door & the wind
lifted as the clouds thinned out an almost lucid rendition
years of song & palm trees
I couldn’t imagine it any other way
a nail driven like a shot of tequila thru the back of your head
whoever you are mistaken for
gull wings slashing the last rays of sunlight
that the end hath given
might have been coiled in an improbable spanglish curse
I never checked the reference but Baudelaire or Joe Strummer
& a few steps away from the wavy thick green depths
to which love exaggerates in evolutionary terms
listening without really listening
smoking a recombinant Martian cigarette craving
the weight of her breasts

Monday, March 23, 2009

Black Tar Palisades

No reason the sky should be
rinsed in bleach
but slanted so the
runoff splashes Ocean

The difference between
echo breeze flowerheads
bending to the whistle buzz
& the moon in a space suit
at Disneyland
spanks the silver dust
that fell upon us

given to bent wire parables
that ride w/the tide
when the night swamps her eyes
& I decline the invitation implied
in sheets of galvanized
pacific steel
rippling in the fadeaway

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some books & bokes received...

Got these books a while back but for a variety of lame reasons didn’t get them up here until now.

The first one’s called Taste the by F.A. Nettelbeck & Hexit/Mjk.

A cool little scrabble of fugitive pieces, some handwritten, some paste-ups, all laid in like a scrapbook miscellany with mean teeth.   Great rifle tag attached with a one liner by Nettelbeck

This small collection of ephemera, (100 copies limited edition handmade by Hx... 5.5x8.5 stapled into self-wrappers w/ rifle tag & a hot pink & limp pull-out 8.5x11 centerfold) will probably fetch $100 for some bookseller in the near future, but you can score one here

Number two is another elegant publication from Auguste Press, which is fueled by the inner fires of Micah Ballard & Sunnylyn Thibodeaux.   This boke is a sweet selection of poems by Christina Fisher titled Maybe A Painter (w/a very cool cover done by Sunnylyn).

“Blue, like blood is / in the veins / how it sounds, / how / it looks / written out” (EPIGRAPH) & I like the way it all looks & sounds, especially 13 LINES FOR DUNAGAN which taps the heart stem & sets off that inner reverb from the ragged speaker of the soul's amp.

Then numeros 3 & 4 were sent to me by Ricahrd Lopez, a poet living in Sacramento, California who contacted me out the the emptiness not that long ago.   Super 8 is a book of poems by Lopez that carries within its lines the grain & flicker & faulty take-up reel of a homemade exploitation/no budget porno flick made in John Keats’ backyard on a sweltering day in California’s central valley -- “see the film is / scratched / grainy / anonymous”("hot hot heat" for duncan mcnaughton) & w/”dopamine uptake" & Bettie Page how can you miss?   Plus I especially dig the title of one of the poems which really nails that grainy flicker that seems to thread thru the whole boke, "light staggers thru our eyes".

The 2nd book Lopez sent is called Hallucinating California by Richard Lopez & Jonathan Hayes.

Each poet submits a suite of poems under separate subtitles which are their respective area codes – 916 for Lopez & his Sac-Town, 415 for Hayes & SF.   The boke’s a nice cruise thru the drive-by scenery of each poet’s locale & psyche as they collide & intersect.   Some very neat lyric strings played out by both & worth a looksee.   I’m not sure where you can get a copy of either of these, but Lopez has a blog & I bet you could find out something there


Money: It’s worth more if you can fold it
(scratching an ankle of skyblue nada
Random acts (violent or otherwise)
as one could trip & fall thru those hollow eyes
begging a nameless quarter of sunlight

where it falls all cause & thirst like
& the ex-champ steps behind the brush of
an almost constant breeze that holds the
night at arm’s length while these submarine
chainsmokers spread their cement wings

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I was born at the North Pole

              A case of beer in the trunk of a
                                                Pontiac Tempset
                              totally Shakespearean
w/Coppertone tendencies
gone haywire as we drove north
                                                up the coast
              & vaporized in the sunset

                                                                numbers 1 thru 52

                              The neon mandolin tattoo & question mark
Louie-Louie ringtone in the cypress
w/a twelve string seabreeze chainsaw
all star-crossed & heavy
              piped in from a Tahitian seabluff mesa
                                                where your heart spins & mine
                              drops like a 12 pound rock

Had yet to place that midnight call
              all tangled in seaweed & harmonicas
There must be a thousand ways to strike a shadow
                                                against the floodlit pavement
                              & just as many reasons for the stars to
              spill out like a bottle of pills
                                                                across this iron slab of sky

Friday, March 20, 2009

Planet Twang

Excavate the morning drizzle
pale glow salt breeze walking
back inside a gray fog cement mixer
lifting guitar solos from the damp
shadows that follow

but I keep my sunglasses on anyway
as you might stagger beneath the broken
clouds with me incognito or stand
in your mariachi shoes
against the camouflaged eucalyptus

silver-blue light like invisible ink
poured across the pavement
dark iron cigarettes & skatewheel tremors
along the time-lapse rail of your eyelids
fluttering in the twist of silence
that falls between pillars of breath

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Every Single Song

Palm leaves whisper
like a ’55 Chevy
revving it up
a gentle disregard under TV skies
dusted blue w/mosaic haze
kamikaze stealth mission thunder
buried in the sand

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hovering a foot or so above the beach

(inside the twisted air of
              gravel & concrete parking lots
tipping into the sea
                                                We begin again in dreams
                              hoist the steel-clad piñata
              ropes of sand & sheets of silver mist
                                                subliminal gray-green waves
                              rust & splintered bone

Setting out then into the cold streets
                              (I thought I knew the latin phrase for this
the scribble of sanskrit
                                                the chords of a long forgotten tune
              the secret handshake
                              the ritual wraparound logic (as when she
                                                                took the time to explain
                                                what I had meant to say all along

& in that stirring of the ashes
snapping my fingers at voluptuous sunsets believing
every bloodstained syllable

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Regarding Dust

Cradling a bottle of fear on
                              Nowhere Beach
              in the rain
                                                your eyes explaining the
                              damp stars
in the sky over the south pacific (Slow
numbers split the difference
love in a time of swamp lung
& short-term memory loss
bending the pier
              & you get the jimmy-leg waiting for it all to
shake loose like breadcrumbs & pieces of glass
                              that seagulls slash their wrists with

Monday, March 16, 2009

Demolition Derby

The sun caught in the branches of
a twisted cypress tree
                              leaning against the horizon
iron filings in the blue lounge
              sea creatures tangled in cigarette butts
                                                & hemp sandals

I had traced the lineage of your smile
                              down through a generation of
              eucalyptus shadows
reflected on the surface of a blue smoke ring
                                                dissolving into the thin ocean air

the sea level slowly creeping higher
              & you doing a tiptoe samba
across the damp linoleum
                              after the lights go out

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Water Damaged

Things To Do With A One-Way Ticket
About Me (click here)
The Unblinking Eye of the Lone Gunman


“the presence of a living mythology
which explains religious practice”


Have you been baptized?
Yes, I am water damaged.

EIGHT MILES TO POINT LOBOS already receding in the
rearview mirror singing Allah B. Goode & scanning the dial for
the sound of gulls.   The sun a votive candle in a red jar balanced
on the horizon.   Drop a penny in the water & say a prayer.   Motor
oil incense, gilded sheetmetal icons w/glass eyes, sacrificial beer can huaraches.   Wind whisper in the dry weed vacant lot.   Psalm of the lone gunman.

Momma gave you a one-way ticket
& a latin guide book
you lit candles & shouldered the load
“It was all about me”

Tide change foam
translucent turquoise extending into the kelp grove
stone cross cypress ledge above
strafed by digital cameras

A mythology of things to do
the cold wind cuts through unblinking
salt grass bending away from the sun


anointed by waves baptismal


You are your father’s son
                              genetic namesake
              let go & it’s gone

Carving (in shades & knee-brace)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mutiny on the Bongos

If you can’t skid past the diamond
light etched in the sky you could always
torch a palm tree I said

you’ll never have enough
fingers to count the ways nor the x-ray eyes
to gaze past the velvet armor

(the blue tunnel leading to Yokohama
via Rosario Beach rippling on the rusty side
of forever
                        tipping back the twilight

if only to dull that silver tidewater resolve
& shake the turquoise dust of these lost moments
spent like loose change

a lemonade somersault in the diorama
as framed by the knuckles of your left hand

Friday, March 13, 2009

Viareggio All-Nighter

Too greasy to surf Purgatory Point
              the sundown shimmer locked on
                                                lyric interference
                              draining the breath
                                                                like Marlon Brando

Hang left at the sign of the green flamingo
spilling over into the wild silk yonder
that began in couplets & ended in a cement overcoat

I thought about your hazy eyes for a while
but I couldn’t make them rhyme with the cloud of
smoke that ate up the space between us

You were sinking beneath an Egyptian quotation
& I was the last poet standing

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sleepwalking on Water

Somewhere spilling the buzz
lit by a bamboo torch

colors of bodies like doors
or windows painted shut

learning to reap what is sewn
in that long undulating line

a restless rocking lullaby in
chrome (saltwater book of psalms

but washing up on the sand
like an empty bottle

one breath deeper than the last

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Long Aloha

I’m driving my
              El Ranchero handgrenade
into the everlasting
                              sunset which should be
              the end of the story

                                                I can see the credits roll
                              up into the bruised
                                                                pink haze
                                                that never asks
                                                                            never answers
                              above the ocean which is
                                                full of water

as I downshift & light a cigarette
                              no seatbelt, bottle of Pacifico
held low out of sight
                                                (it always seems like the
              next to last go-round

                                                even though I ask you to
                                                                  lie to me & tell me it isn’t

Reading Feb. 8 '09

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bop dada sunglasses begging a corner of sunlight

An ocean sky minus a cold steel giveaway
sub-dialup vibrato in the harmonic pipes
turquoise travelogue of debris strewn beach netherworlds
lotus blossoms rotting on the bottom of a motel swimming pool
(the built-in Buddhist chill factor

dead neon tiki ashes scattered in the wind

One thing leads & another follows
that’s the message here in S.Cruz waiting to be decoded
like a 12 volume suicide note fully loaded & bound in lead

Monday, March 9, 2009


The tide fits snug up against
the seawall
              like a rip of death-defying architecture
as I space out inside
                              a scribble of sand on concrete
              here in the fog where
                                                seagulls howl like coyotes

Just another notch in the luminous
pearl necklace
              that hangs around the neck of slow time
while beneath the skin of
                              euphoric innuendo
              the skeleton of a smile falls apart

              but those eyes like fists of tequila
                                                lifted in the
                              blast & drizzle of all that we can
                                                                never know
              thick with tears & missed apppointments
                              peruse the index of what’s left unsaid

like an illegible name scrawled upon a
                              crooked cross at a makeshift
              roadside shrine
swallowed up by pinwheel blossoms & silver
                              weeds eaten by forgetfulness

to emulate & deny
              as the wind tunes the rusted
palm trees rocking in the cut
                              where I confess to every
              dovetail scam the heart can devise

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunburned Leadpipe Seashell

Half smoke, half iron
& ripple smooth
these unwept burials per diem
when you’re crashing thru switchblade palm tree shadows
with tremor pulse reflections bouncing off the
trampoline surface of your cigarette

you might want to study organic shoe repair
or the 6 ton silence that rattles the windows when it
lands on the porch & you’re knee-deep in
it before you exfoliate like a bent piece of moonlight
spilling from the pages of a wireless hymnal
onto the wet sand

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Words fall useless as tears
no matter the schedule of belief
we become the parody we always
                              the lyric disinclination
balanced out in fadeaway shades
forgetting the solemn numerology
embedded in a ragged sleep on the
drunken side of forever

Photographic Evidence: Exhibit 4

Photographic Evidence: Exhibit 3

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photographic Evidence: Exhibits 1 & 2

Phantom 101

A mariachi blanket
& a 4 speed transmission
surrendered to peekaboo silk
& chrome nightingales

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two-Lane Cutoff

As if my heart could rhyme with the tide pool
out there on the rock ledge that extends into
the impact zone where even the sky crashes
all silver-green w/rust inlay against the foam

& who knows what other vicarious redemption
holding a rail of saltwater to the floodlit street
that cuts like a wing into the damp night air
repeats the uncut diamond sutra behind yr veil

the intrinsic pale distraction (seeming drenched
in corrugated steel (as I could take you there
& walk away as I have so many times before
looped inside the protocol stepping off the high

wire into what impenetrable silence awaits

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Strumming the Silence

for my Dad on this the first anniversary of his death

It’s been a whole year now with you on the
other side but never too far from here
as when I see you looking back at me from the mirror
or recognize in a snap flutter your hands
fitting my own now like a pair of battered gloves

“Fuck Death” I told you once & you just smiled
Yeah, I always knew you loved the misguided
bravado I inherited from you, even when you couldn’t
understand a goddamn word of it

& we still argue but now it’s only in dreams
where you drink from the bottle & look through me
with those pale blue eyes that I look back at you with
out of the years when we never bothered with tears
if only to prove to ourselves that we could

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Chinese Western

We could lean on one another in the neon palm garden or take a stroll through the riptides & spilled drinks of an elegance we never knew.   Stepping between cardboard tombstones we would recite alchemical formulas memorized from a lifetime of TV commercials.   A subliminal guitar riff spikes the shadow of your coffee cup.   Blink & you’ll miss it.   The dust swirls up & the bamboo tumbleweed rolls down to the sea.   The ransom note was in braille, the femme fatale was in a silver fishnet ensemble that fit her like the City of Angels on the flipside of a climatic showdown.   The moon shimmering on the surface reminding us of the friends we left behind & the road ahead.   Plum wine, opium, & chow mein at the saloon & the streets washed in shadows as we rode out into the thunder.   Shifting seven ways through the red silk armor that rustles in the breeze of the Big Aloha closing out now on a gunmetal beach as we head for the border.   You with your carved jade sunglasses & me in my Hong Kong sombrero.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spilling the Last Glass of Water in California

I'll keep the hazy beachbreak
folded in my fiberglass swamp journal
along with the bruise to prove it
tapped out on the long distance
mardis gras storm surge
or spun on the finger of sky blue nada
before that raincloud jack-knifes into the sea
just to demo the altitude of desire
when karma's a revolving door
in a metallic green '68 Malibu convertible
parked outside Taqueria Las Palmas
locked down in the amber glow
falling from a tearstained mirror
shattered on the pavement of your heart

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First & Last

The leap itself isn’t fatal
it’s the sudden stop & the misty pavement
opening up to swallow or absorb the step
like building a scale replica of the Dalai Lama
in a bottle
as if your lips were bait & infinity was a
1, 2, 3 wipeout

I imagine life’s just the skeleton of a comic book
the Iliad & the Odyssey with lots of crash, thud,
ka-booms & dialog balloons stuffed with
those dactylic hexameters that still ring like
stones in the sun

but bleached blonde with liquid eyes
outsourced to California
where the shoreline has a memory that’s
always going to be deeper than
the history book you lost in high school

or that dry dive into the abyss when
no one’s looking