Monday, June 29, 2009

Ahead of the Curve

Who or how does speak
              & from where darkness
                                                I know as well
has wings
                              is thus hovering
                                                falling past the lark & seagull sky
                resembled a map of Baja
                                                                laced with clouds
Not far from the pier                                       the sea of the vigil
                                                                                like Pamela's breasts
                              flooded with mirrors                                                                I realized too late
                                                all that I no longer am yet at arm’s length
                              counting down
                                                the ashtray & tabernacle
              as a rare species of tropic something-or-other
                                                settles in for the long haul
                                                                written like thunder in her eyes

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1211 Venice Blvd

Nothing really belongs to us.   We can’t afford the clutter.   If only time lags a bit between X and infinity w/late night street traffic a distant pulse.   In this zone we are given formulas to sustain crime & divinity.   Why not the tropic denial?   A game of Chinese whispers.   Streets dark w/ragged palm trees truncated by the fog, lopped off telephone poles, invisible high-tension wires.   I was raised in this marooned city, the glow of a lava lamp behind smoked glass framed by Spanish tiles & stucco.   Corinthian columns by way of Tijuana.   Any given moment doctored the script.   Beach town neon pharmacy parking lot.  Felt the heat of the midnight pavement radiate up thru the soles of my sneakers.   This must be the fourth corner, the one the earth turns upon.   It doesn’t belong to us.   My ankles are sore.   Light played on the surface of the stagnant brown sludge of the canals.   That was a memory.   It’s all different now.   Sherman Canal where I smoked hashish w/a girl who had a broken nose.   The sidewalk stained with rust, or blood.   Money would change that.   Them.   The sea breeze stalled out at the intersection of Venice & Lincoln Blvd so that I could cross the street without looking.   Heard the wave’s message whispered in a bottle at 3am the door latch broken & the still night air eaten up by a candle flame.   Incense.   No where to take it finally.   We never owned any of it.   The tide shifted.   It was too subtle for anyone to notice.   No apologies, I remember now, everything has been forgotten.   We never asked forgiveness.   Slight bend in the streetlights.   Sand in your clothes.   Drive by in an old beat-up Pontiac looking over yr shoulder.   I still consider this place to be home, although it no longer exists.   The sound of waves reclaim the distance I have traveled since.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sight Unseen

After looming assassins
worn solitude
acceptance pledged recognition
who fails, who escapes
detachment, compassion, wisdom
charm & exhaustion

not a gull, not
not The Golden Bough

prophetic birds

"the floating world"

either way I never got to say goodbye

souls returning from distant shore

the wind

years gone by evidently
some things still hurt

but ever the underwater arcades
a pale shade of silver
w/Jesuit resolve
indulge me that
translated from a long time back

Monday, June 22, 2009

Steel Pier Freeze-Out

Welcome to Wrecking Ball Beach & the space between your swami hat & your skull.   Whatever is going to happen as though it already has.   A day & night of reckoning.   Blue dark with turquoise bleeding pink along the horizon.   Cowboy bulldozers & black eucalyptus & archaic filter-tips y motores debajo del mar with torch ballads & coffee cups.   Say whatever you want it’s all true even when it’s not & there’s 20 miles between you & your mind (a distance you’ll probably not cover today).

The wheels of that lostitude, shared, still running the voodoo down.   It seems the signal’s faded completely, sometimes, & who’s to push it on but the few that still carry a glowing spark from there to here.   A scrap of rhyme, maybe a handful of musical notes, & then the blank spots that you fill in with whatever you can find.   A reprisal on the sunburned pavement where they gather patiently waiting for you to fall.

I would step that much closer to a silence.   A lemonade somersault in the diorama.   If you can’t skid past the diamond light etched in the sky you could always torch a palm tree.   You’ll never have enough fingers to count the ways nor the x-ray eyes to gaze past the velvet armor.   Pieces of glass that gulls slash their wrists with.   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 the timelapse rail of her eyelids, the ruins of breath, & the ransom bleached black by the rigors of what the ancients called the leadpipe tango.   The difference between echo breeze flowerheads bending to the whistle buzz & the moon in a space suit at Disneyland.   An almost lucid rendition, 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) inside a pearl gray aquarium lit by pale flickering neon & the green sledgehammer light that filters down to the ocean floor.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stepping Down

Turquoise travelogue of debris strewn beach netherworlds
lotus blossoms rotting on the bottom of a motel swimming pool

drifted a while there
like it would
make some kind of
sense if you had
the ticket stub                  (the transition leaves a crease where
                                               your mind used to be & the lit-up grid of
                                                every city you ever stumbled thru is left to
                                                burn like a wildfire in a kelp grove

              The Pleasures & Pains of Opium
The lost city of the Incas
                              the ripple of steel clouds
              Mexico City Blues

so much for the drunken boomerang
& the tide book with missing pages

nerve dance narcotica minus the iron halo

                                                    one breath deeper than the last

as I could take you there & walk away as I have so many times before inside the protocol that cuts like a wing into the damp night air

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tender is the Flight

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 with luck but can’t keep the wheels of darkness from burning rubber down the deserted highway that tears right through your soul.   Anyplace more or less like the other although I prefer sealevel & a place to park my books.   So it was, & may be again, as I knuckled under “The Poems” & accepted the camouflage provided by a handful of glassy eyes.

That distance held in place with duct tape & string could for an instant be spanned by a phrase, so measured, in its time.   With what weariness hath given, neatly hidden behind midnight shades, to slip so effortlessly through the security checkpoint & move freely within an alien nation.   “Just keep your shit together & wear matching socks,” someone said, “& you can go anywhere.”

In the smoking lounge barroom, beneath the giant flatscreen, I lit up another nail & ordered another beer.   Behind me a couple of country western roadies discussed sound mixing & The Tonight Show.   I smoked & drank & waited.

All dramatics aside the pink velvet & tornado warnings & Han Solo rainwater with a morphine drip

              She sings the music
                              tapping a saltwater mirror
              keeping time like an abalone pearl
                                                between her breasts

& with stunning indifference then, where I might cast the glance, giving each winged visitor a name appropriate, or stagger the session accordingly, to sequential fits & rumors.   Life underwater as seen through seaweed & a pair of drugstore sunglasses anticipating a velvet mirror fadeout with that number 4 expression on your face & those empty swimming pool eyes like six pound shadows.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


A powder of yellow-tinged light dusted her cheek.   A breath could blow it all away.   I sat outside the vintage Boulderado airstream with my unforgiven friends.   Few in number but great in alcohol consumption.   Fighting the overwhelming fatigue.   Ming Fatigue.   Flailing at quatrains.   Beguiling the mile high verisimilitude.   Thin air.

Guidry with his slow eye predetermined, Dammerstun passed out on the lawn with his shirt off, the patient crystal circumspection of Lady Guidry, & Miguel, the shepherd, fending off immortality behind a pair of dark glasses he stole from Beyonce.   I was only barely there, had to check every now & again to see if I was still casting a shadow, however pale, to reassure myself that the cerveza had a place to go, to swirl & bubble down as though to quench a thirst, itself a lost cause.

“The eternal fellowship that swept unseen, flitting, fleet, against the stagelit airstream deck, elicits tears in retrospect” (as I wrote in a dark moment lifted briefly from sleep & forgotten).   Thus in the plastic orange radiance of twin cartoon seahorse barlights afixed to the silver armament of the airstream international did I rally in my own recitation of memorized poems from those long passed from us, if only to preempt the neglect a heart seeks & hides, that deeper respect so tied to strains of a continuous music.   Long before, long after.   As I thought the sublime distraction worth articulating or why push on.   The mere pursuit or intent itself held us in its sway.

A few more snaps from Boulder

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Taken

Wrapped up in ocean fog
              to be read with prescription
binoculars as I would compile
                              secret inventories
minus any lyric disclaimer
              with a Fuck Death harpoon tag
                                                tipped up on end
                              heartstrung & vague

a skateboard knifing the
              pavement session recurring
in a palm grove of his own devise
                              so teeth like beads or arrows lift
unanswered the humbled reserve
              you put near your ear expecting
moonlight & the defensive swami

Getting there wasn’t easy
              beneath parachute winds a chamber
redolent the slow breaking morning glass
                              you feel in your knees
& the long paddle back guided by a more
              abstract reason swept from yr eyes

left a ragged scar along the side of
              the incandescent haze
where a shadow hand might try to obscure
                                                however futile
                              the evidence of our escape

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Altitude Adjustment

The stunning blunder that is Bouldertown
sketched upon weary eyes
no doubt because I have so diligently applied myself to lostitude
The Big Combo
w/a comb-over
as then becomes now like later
all uneven
sleep akimbo
inside the silver torpedo
locked, loaded, damned
& worried that someone may have misunderstood
the hand-drawn neolithic poster child despair
I left in tribute to a stoic disregard
that rhymes w/sullen affairs of the heart & the hand
forgiven for the price of a beer

Monday, June 8, 2009

Radio Control

Someone said it was 5:00, but I didn’t know if that was a.m. or p.m.   The light & the dark were perfectly balanced & I staggered through it wearing sunglasses.   “Your skin-deep technicolor tide pool aura precedes you,” saith the go-go dancer who crowned me with such pleasant hyacinths, hereby granted & bestowed upon, inked & aligned, all gone cavernous with allegiance.   It takes a finely threaded stone & a feather of regret to slip the noose.

The Golden Tarantula, the Chrome Flamingo & assorted metallic refugees attend the demolition.   It was a ukulele banjo situation with bop feedback from the rhythm section.   One passionate reel anointed ordains an unceremonious surrender.   So it goeth, & we follow.

1. Sitting in the dark         5. Black Mazatlan
2. Trickle, trickle               6. Yonder
3. Blink                                   7. “Dwelling secure in the hollow ship”
4. What say ye?                   8. Mumbles

(Except he meant every word of it.)

Thereby with dactylic precision Malibu Barbie steps down from the confidential joy ride & confessional.   In another century or three all is forgiven.   From the ruins we’ll watch the fog slip in beneath a subliminal sunset following the zig-zag line that runs from low tide to adios out near the flapping wings you can always trade in for a damp stretch of pavement.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Xmas in August

Feels like you’ve been relegated to a walk-on role in a Bible movie throwing glass houses at stones.   Who knows what other vicarious redemption holds a rail of saltwater to the floodlit street that cuts like a wing into the damp night air w/Zorba the Freak reciting the uncut diamond sutra behind your veil.   The zing strings & heartbreak & the samurai of forgiveness exfoliate like bent pieces of moonlight.   I thought it all resembled a tragic misinterpretation of Baudelaire.

I drove north along the coast past an iron church bell arrangement & former vaqueros & illiterate experts rolling the dice to tempt a nylon wall of silence as smoglight highbeams, drumshots & jangling guitars harken & decline.   Had to make that epic exit with knocks & pings in the terza rima.   I became bohemic in my neglect & intimations of fiscal responsibility dogged my unerring sense of dread.

To walk the streets of forever as they slope down to the sea was all I wanted.   Palm leaves mumbling in the wind.   Beneath the beach concrete I guess maybe Chumash boxsprings & faces carved into obsidian mirrors as if any proof was required.   Anyway you didn’t have to follow me there to read the soft sky repeating itself above the parking lot crime scene cordoned off with yellow police ribbon.

So into the early morning fog drip hauling a full-scale country western replica of Beowulf.   You’d think I’d know better by now. Muriel Nitrate bumming a smoke from a Chuang Tzu lookalike holds her hand aloft like a broken statue.   “It’s not my time,” she says, “time not it mine” & the enriched uranium in her eyes singing like a train wreck in the rain.

Monday, June 1, 2009