Thursday, April 30, 2009

Velcro Sunset

Ocean breeze strumming the
              & I’m leaning into another hairpin turn
whereas you might blink like Eternity
              flush w/exit signs & riptide warnings
                              (what I told you anyway
              as I suspected we could find an
                                                alternate route
                              disguised as a seaweed highway
                              subject to candlelit monsoon raptures
                                                & slow Spanish mudslides

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 74)

The day was expiring on the blue…there was a tremendous plus/minus charge in the air, a congeniality, brand new and foretold…I had made the date with Johanna for tomorrow night, and we had agreed to meet outside Freaky’s for food at seven, and then move on to Dockside for some boogie.   I had looked back as I wandered out the beachside entrance of the Tropicana, and caught that white grin glowing apace in my direction…tomorrow I smiled back…
      It would be easy enough to describe some lustful, hopeful, even dangerous thoughts from the ensuing 24 hours…would be easier still to go there like De Quincy in the den and tell all…she was a few minutes late and I was a few minutes early…which was no problem at Freaky’s because it was right left of town square where children whirled and spun, and stray dogs darted about looking for cast-offs in their never-ending quest for food…I could watch dogs for hours doing their routines, comedies of inquisitive looks, sanguine panting, play-wrestling, building hierarchies, and then tearing them down in great triumphs of fighting…so much pathos in canine, so much beauty and pure spontaneity, that brought tears to my eyes, wet with the water of former lives as dogs…to understand and love the dog is to love and understand all…as Ghandi said, “You can tell the moral fiber of a nation by the way it treats its animals.”   I saw four male dogs surrounding a bitch in heat, each waiting for a shot at the raw act of love, each sniffing and aching while one of them had his way…and fun it was to watch until the two got stuck (as nature has willed it for increased chance of conception)…it hurt all five of my senses as they yowled in unison and tried to pull free from the malaise in opposite cardinal directions, bending the poor male’s prick totally ass-undre while the bitch screamed and pulled…I learned from their mouths that pain was real in coitus, and I learned and learned from my perch as I waited for Johanna…Was there to be conception?   The question seemed to hang over all our pricks while the naughty odorless church God made sure there would be a new round of strays to wander the dusty streets…

- Michael Price

Shoo-bop, shoo-bop

Nothing pure blue
falls like a counterfeit taco
onto the wide plate of the tide

sea scum shine
              (a deep breath)

Real life’s a ripple on the surface
& you’re gnawing on a beer bottle

as five o’clock shadows
              rattle like bones of fog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brazil Express

                                    for Pamela

On my way to South America
somewhere behind my bloodshot eyes
smooth slick
in the pipes
but as Price says
“it’s like smoking in the green room where all’s aflutter”

& I get the bends when I surface in a cup of water
w/a loaded surfboard & a soap bubble
with your name on it

Is there anything as dark as that mix of sea & sky?
& that jungle tilt when you’re three steps back
in the photograph & I’m spilling coffee 50 different ways
just to prove that I can

Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (continued)

The Tropicana was a quaint bamboo resort consisting of two two-story cabanas on either side of a swatch of beach, a swimming pool, and an outdoor bar and patio attached to the ass-end of a restaurant…besides the driveway off the main road and a few equipment shacks, that was all there was.   It was in the outdoor bar that I spotted Johanna, mixing up drinks for a couple of guests, slicing fresh fruit and running noisy blenders, looking the part of tropical wonder…I sauntered over and took a seat while she had her back turned, taking up a menu, making invisible like air.   When she turned and saw me, a smile formed on her face, but she kept the fluidity of her task at hand, didn’t skip a beat on my account, and turned again almost as fast.   From there she simply said, “I thought I said come by Sunday?”
   “Yeah, you did say Sunday, but I couldn’t just run over here and let you think I was desperate…besides, Sunday being the Lord’s Day, I thought today would be better.”   To this she smiled even more curatively and began rearranging bottles of alcohol in the well, feigning business and exactatude…I could see clear right through her guise and we were rolling…I’d need my high-seas license for this one…
   “Do you want something to drink?”
   “Ah, I’m on the run as you can see from the sweat running down my Maybe some juice or aguardiente?”
   “How about some mango and papaya juice” she countered…sure for sure I countered sounds good…”   So, did you enjoy our various mixology the other night on the dance floor?” The furrowed brow glare meant that I needed to say this instead:   “Did you enjoy dancing with the stupid honky the other night at Iguanas?”   I said this of course with a Libra shit eater grin, and the aftertaste of cowjuice and rainmakers…
   “Oh yeah, you were something…you were Punta like a Puta…hee hee hee” she gushed…some kind of dancer you are, yes.”   She had a great indescribable accent, part comic genius, part little girl, part Spanglish, part Creole, part wanton, part electronic…it made me erectate right under the bar in my jammy surf trunks…so erectated was I that I had to use the straight-up-tuck-under-the-waistband boner camouflage system I had first developed in junior high Spanish class when the sexy and blonde curly forties movie deity teacher who was dumber than hammers would scold us for ignorance…ah, many hard-ons ago…now it was getting kinky and vive le pou…
  I could tell Johanna was a goofer, and was interested in itching for an ape, seeing my white spark and pistol-whipping eyes…we were going to play for a whole month I predicted right there on the spot, and clinching the client I said to myself under my breath “yer gonna pay with Ramona” but knowing this:   Can’t help self, black pussy calls, black intrigue, black chaser, black pink imperative…

- Michael Price


She sings the music
tapping a saltwater mirror
keeping time like an abalone pearl
between her breasts
learning the finer points of surrender
(Moments swept up in the
blood (that dispossessed & rainy intermission
to covet as yet unspoken
premonitions (a 12-layer timebomb
propped in the window like sunlight

Sunday, April 26, 2009


That there terracotta
steeldrum continuum


step, drop, & turn

niveladoras en las palmas
las olas por siempre
(y hay motores debajo del mar)

The beach & its airy tunings
speaks for itself the drama
flying into the face of the wind
w/its eyes shut
begs a nightlong damp network of
religious insomnia as the bird whistles
& the sand sings

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I was actually thinking about Surfer Rosa

said to have been
w h e r e v e r
(indulge me that)
mockingbird, morning glory (amped)
“Go where?”
loudQUIETloud (a film about The Pixies)
plus ruin           l i s t e n
(I mean just look)
maybe overnight
one blossoms
the other grows wings

Friday, April 24, 2009

One More Reason

Tell me how you got that way if it’s true―
I never reached that plateau & even if I had
the ridiculous beauty of it all would leave
me welding question marks to the weather map or
carving a tiki out of a third rate mercenary Coors can
here where the shoreline is shaped like a broken record
as my personal preference nails the refrain to the cross
of her legs lifted & her eyes like bad credit in the early
morning fog

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A ruined city, a few grains of sand

You can always tunnel yr way out
w/a plastic spoon
for all I know some are doomed to
scanning cellphones for a
voice that can shatter a wine glass
while the local zombies wander around
aimlessly tweaking inside heavy winter
coats on the warmest day of the year
Where one shadow ends another begins
like when she licks her lips I rip pages
out of the low tide diaries & carve her
name into the rust of a thousand sunsets

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Third Star from the Left

Whatever is going to happen
as though it already has
just a taste before we all
fall to the sandcarpet-paved parking
lot still clutching our sunglasses,
truth, beauty, “the
madness of art”
(like the man said)
schooled in the logic of lost shoes
slicing off yr ear w/an abalone knife
knocked from the loop
Welcome to Wrecking Ball Beach
& the space between yr swami hat & yr skull
whether you’re bumming a smoke, chasing
down a buzz, or fucking
in the afternoon w/the shades drawn
besieged by the pincushion sky

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sound Check

With a subtle splashdown
yr heart hits the teardrop Aloha
pulling the wool over yr rose-colored
goggles when you square-off with that
sunset hardware

If you knew the steps
                              as I have learned them
              nowhere west of here
                                                fingers only barely touch
                              her moist composure

Carrying a bazooka in a shoulder holster
tossing an anchor out the passenger window
& the wind was silk
              sunlight a go-go
a frenetic palsied duckwalk
                              across the stage before falling flat on its eyes
              in a prophetic swoon

sandblasted & hoodwinked

A crucial love-in-the-tropics kind of deal
                              extravagant, yes, but all downhill

There’s glass in my sneakers (yeah yeah yeah)
parabolic ray guns, whistles, silent movie tattoos,
smoke rings & angel fish
beneath the pale TV flicker of exhausted
palm leaf wings

Monday, April 20, 2009

Next Time

Standing outside
sipping the breeze
& it was just like in your poem
                              (the cantilever section
              minus the trigger finger & the dry dive

The hangover was outrageous
but sincere
landing halfway between a wild surmise
& a rusty can of tuna fish

              Sometimes all it takes is a speck of blue
              sky & a feather of smoke that
                              blossoms like a turquoise suicide rose
                                                                inside yr head
                                                ringing like a bell made of
                                                                              tidewater steel

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Road Trip Finale

I guess it was because I told him he could stick Adorno up his ass.   This only prompted the usual swing & miss at the learning curve & I turned away from the boring argument as the situation was quickly reduced to windswept rhetoric & a loaded cigarette.   Outside the air was still warm & the sky a shiny hearse blacker than anything on wheels.   If I was wearing a hat I would have tipped it as a solemn acknowledgement to the recently fallen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Easter After

The darkwater
painted on her
tidepool eyes
vs that chainsaw
caress when I’m
halfway there

Friday, April 17, 2009

Caught With Your Hand In The Medicine Jar

The palm trees fanning out above
                              & the sun on a wire
              buzzing the eyeballs of Eternity
                                                in short pants

              A throbbing day-glo bomb run
                                                (it took weeks to dump the
                                sand out of my ears)

                              & like the scar of a kiss her lips incarcerate
                                                                my indiscriminate euphoria
                                                riding in on a wave of concrete

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We is legend

It’s not like running guns in
Ethiopia, I know,
sitting in the dark smoking
sawdust cigarettes
nursing a last warm beer
as you toss yet another poem into the
vacuum void of what you thought might be
eternality & salvation but
turns out to be just another
day at the flea market

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beach Front Property

Someone’s praying for you at the bottom
of a swimming pool waiting for the light to change
like times you remember that tender “fuck you” at
midnight swept up in landslide blossoms & silver mist
The radiator sand & mussel shells w/greenstar sea vines
cellophane paper beer can plastic litter plumes
crashing in your own rusted shadow the static aura
of what passes for consciousness around here
w/yr hands as yet unburied & yr eyes explained by
telephone poles & fluorescent sunset smog
intimidated by the seacolored haze that rattles in a
mile-long stretch of unincorporated sky

Monday, April 13, 2009

A few dark pages from here

                              for Jimmy Dunagan

Only pure bloodred pink
(the nuance) jagged smooth,
bent-edge razor, epoxy glitter,
dueling chopsticks
& a loaded guitar

Pile up the word, my brother
as she never would turn so gently

Love’s recourse & apparitional
never so near as that faraway gaze
I thought trance-
like & in need of cigarette money

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The thing to do is fake your own death.   Leave your car parked at the beach, a broken surfboard washing up on the sand (preferably bitten in half by a shark).   You lay low for a while, change your name & appearance, & become your own literary executor.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Backward flowing river ocean

Beneath stones that
burst into flames at the bottom
of the ocean & tide steps
& turquoise rust

the ripple in silver
smuggled across in yr eyes
when I’m 26 shades of dark

or leaving an empty bottle
at your doorstep when it’s all
I have to offer

934 broken hearts between here & there

worth it’s weight in tears

Friday, April 10, 2009

SPIRIT GUEST & OTHERS by Patrick Dunagan

True, as the poet told me, this sweet little boke (produced by Lew Gallery in San Francisco), is essentially the b-side of FROM CHANSONNIERS (which Blue Press had the honor to publish last December) & so carries over, & on, the unreasonable beauty, the hunt & the haunt that sculpted the lyric discourse of the previous set.

              Some things are less hurried than worried
about ten o’clock, dazed—

Because we’ve been there & may never have left.   So Dunagan adds

                                                mist just coming in.

The observation is surface structure that betrays what lies beneath

                              Sudden Fear, was it?
                                                                Maybe a murderer,
              maybe not.

That was a Joan Crawford movie wasn’t it, Sudden Fear?   & I think the same that Kerouac riffs upon in VISIONS OF CODY, the section titled Joan Rawshanks in the Fog.   I’m not sure if Dunagan is conjuring out of that same SF fogmist night, but I prefer to think yes.

                              A novelist sees further
                                                than pure white—
              off the coastal road
burying a red coffIn.

Goddamn, that’s a tough send off, but Dunagan makes it work, as his ear is impeccable.   That poem’s titled Larger Than Life In Pumps And A Fur & none of it needs the gloss of my own fevered reading.   Please be distracted.   This is a gem of a boke, you should be able to score a copy through Auguste Press.   It is well worth your time & attention.


Gutted stones, weeds
“the city, in haze, the sea” (R. Creeley)
given the time, the space & the money
shadows at the far end
ever returning
something like that could
                              bend the tide
of what might if any repeated
“Adios” (that echoing
              needs a meaning
w/laced shadow (the eyes remembered
                              mix of sea & sky
              just slips from your mind as time
                                                can’t measure the cost

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Steel Guitar w/Seaweed Strings

She turned around three times
& spit.   As an afterthought of everything
that had yet to occur.   Drinking from
the bottle without a parachute.   Even the
drugstore got drunk.   She started
doing the Raindog Twist.   A soft blossom
the color of hepatitis.   Twentynine
reasons to skid past the offramp.
I always thought that she had albacore-
colored eyes.   I said I appreciate all that you
haven’t yet received.   Just a rock toss from
the medieval drug lords of Tijuana.   The
dreamlike edge of La Cruz.   In the cradle of
a day between this one & the next.
The way she grinds her hips as though it’s
the last time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

99 Degrees

The seagreen pilot light
illuminates a Byzantine icon face

slow waves talking
muffled by the sand & wind

responsible to
self-conscious palm trees
Nuestra SeƱora Reina de los Angeles
& Cortez the Killer

This is a message to all you potential
grave robbers— it’s alright,
take what you want
there’ll never be enough

(scanning the scene behind dark glasses darker
seascapes, empty windows, suicide clouds

even when I toss the I Ching coins they
come up snake eyes

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pig Iron Swag

We warm ourselves
in the moonlight

When it’s over there’s
still a flicker of
wine-colored silk

& the late late show
konked out halfway there

Monday, April 6, 2009

Invisible Horse

Swimming home I hit every
puddle in town
              beneath the spinning
                              test pattern in yr eyes
& my barefoot apologies

like sunset in an empty glass
a firing squad in braille
                              a beer can w/a fuse in it
              windtunnel hymnals

poems I know by heart
                              embalmed in lipstick

Need a bulldozer to reconcile
              every dark corner
& her delicate tsunami cigarette glowing
                              at the end of the line
              when we get there
                                                drumming on the
                              wet sand & tambourine glitter
              drenched in gasoline
                                                bottled at the source

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Walk Like an Egyptian

Something is in the air
              (disembodied freeway overpasses
                                                palace steps
                              pterodactyl egrets

like pieces of seashell clouds
in the mumbling cokebottle green latitudes
cutting thru yr brain like a dorsal fin
in the water just outside the reef

At Las Palmas you can score a taco plate for $5.95
              just the thing as you memorize the footnotes
                                                in The Book of the Dead
                              while the air spins around you
                                                                full of telepathic plum
                                                blossoms & empty beer cans

at the edge of something anyway
(OCEAN) diamond-cut emerald-feathered plumes
the sawtooth shoreline
& the long way home

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Looking thru your reflection
              in a puddle that dried up 3 days ago
was the name of that song
                                                Call this one
              Tequila Mockingbird
& stagger the rhyme out along the cement jetty

The Martian sunset drops into the sea
like a murder weapon

we’ve yet to ditch the shady side of the 19th century

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Sunset Flip

An echo leaks thru
Ne Plus Minus Edge
where the Pacific begins
or ends
strung out along the sand
Ink on paper
Abalone tideflats
Harmonica concerto

Tilted back or upsidedown
peering thru the transparent pavement
(gears, wheels, pipes, cables, hydraulics,
intricate machinery at work down there
factory steam whistle levers & chain driven

The Checklist:
1) Backwards down east out west
2) Sunburned neon
3) Air bubbles
4) Torpedo moonwalk encantada
      steeped in b-side vinyl

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Half Pipe

We were busy studying alternate
routes to nowhere.   Just a shade past the
Doppler Twist
laid out flat along the dotted line.

Somewhere at the back of my mind
glass windchimes & waterproof matches
brick tile stairwells
nobody’s face I know.   To prove the
scar in the rearview mirror.

We only just got here maybe 50 thousand
years ago today.   Let’s go downtown
& rob a bank.   I’ll wear a wetsuit & shades
& you can sport a garland of seaweed
in your hair.