Friday, October 30, 2009

The Smog's Vibrant Gown

Half remembered, half
forgotten shapes of haze sustained
by one-way tickets & the wetsuit
drying on the back fence.   The light
may have been toxic but it was all we had.
Washed out colors aligned beneath
an offshore breeze studded w/gulls
“Nothing else seems to matter
when you’re plugged into the wave, esse”
said outside the 2 Mile Surf Shop in Bolinas
oddly similar to what I heard on Pier Street
Hermosa Beach circa 1974
(odd only because I remembered it)
hammered the glass portal (green
glass & the mirror avatar pulling the
sand out from under your sneakers
as a stray blade of sunlight cut away your shadow
like the mythic veil & the precision you cultivated
stolen from a timelessness that got lost in the
details.   The rusty bluewhite sludge an emblem of
the general decay perhaps the air around
Pompeii (for example) as your eyes (a darker
shade of diesel mist) replay episodes of
handmade palisades shimmering above.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thin Air

We could be crashing from nowhere to nothing
spilling out into the street
damp now in the fog so that
the pavement shimmers like wet sand
at dawn

& it’s easy to see you
still there with your shoulders turned toward the
watery haze that
leaked from the Tropicana Liquor Store & Board Shop
pacing yourself that way a memory in the wind

as the low-frequency neon in your wrist throbs to the beat
of an antediluvian twist dredged from the tidal swamp
that floods your heart

Monday, October 26, 2009


Her eyes held a slice of moonlight
just long enough to throw it back
into the sky

& the visible damp in the bending mirror
as translucent as it is opaque
rising & falling in the roll & ache
of the swell

all deep green calypso as might
restring the breeze anointed by our
several interpretations

swept across the pavement where
diesel whispers flawlessly thread
the beach eucalyptus

& the silver bridge to dreamless sleep

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plastico del Mar

for Nettelbeck

Before the miracles & the toxic aftermath
the synthetic profit & loss
drowning in equations no one ever bothered to
sleep it off & start over
but akin to the unrelenting appetite a near surgical
disregard infects the primal dissolution of the tides
whereof the memory runneth not to the contrary
these are bottlecaps that were his eyes

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The cracked mirror in a corner of the violet sky

dusty palm branch shadows with tropical phrasing
in the sand plunging beneath the waves
(a souvenir

as its only purpose is to be

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 93)

We took out of there without any time for reflection…I had just witnessed a small town wedding in Mexico with hundreds of family and friends and hadn’t had much of a sentient thought…not one mention of the simple love, and slow-cooked vibes of shared mirth…not one word because I was robbed of my native sense by sensimilla, for a man and his steamer are not easily parted, but mild paranoia and thoughts of sex and hasty pudding?   It’s what I got, not being a habitual user, and I suspect if one is one, then it’s myopia and distended gall-bladder for life…you miss things, ‘sall I’m saying, sometimes even the joy and wonder right in front of you, replaced by the thunder of your own thoughts and laughter…and If I started to dwell on the Ramona/Johanna accord?   Forget it…the post lunch lull dreaming of fucking them both and quite possibly being in love with one and a half of them too was daunting…The Monte Carlo moved into the dusk.   We were a wreck, less the minus tide of our shared good karma…I was going to go with this thing, from plague to pogrom, even if it meant burning a village near Chetumal and fleeing in a pair of boxer shorts from the black death…the car zoomed down a narrow asphalt bi-way through all kinds of flush green and fading light miracles…palms, calla lily, arum lily, pig lily, Bonsai…thick air and golden sky turning all shades of pink…and the crappy Kraco stereo blasting New Order like some nearby and rugged Isolation theme, Jon letting out howls of laughter, and David and I in back thinking none could die who we loved with this free intensity…and then we came upon the border crossing, with all sorts of signage warnings of Mexico and Fruits and checkpoints…as Oscar slowed, he and Jon talked of some quick plan to get us across error-free…apparently only 3 chaps per vehicle we’re allowed to cross at one time…So Oscar slowed down the Carlo and Jon jumped out…we roll along right through the checkpoint with a wave of the hand (must’ve been the flames, I thought), while I watch Jon walk through the walk zone and then climb right back into our rig without missing a beat…and away we go for Chetumal…we stopped at an ATM where I was coaxed into pulling out 200 US cash to help fuel the evening, and pay back for the plane ticket and hospitality gifted me earlier…and we hit the streets of the city…God a city and a city under the influence of Mary Jane…my successful adaptation to real urban life hand-to-mouth hung in the balance…what waves of mania and fury that much light and motion brought after two months of island fever, like opium talking through anxieties, what urdes and folly all this might produce…I was digging it most supremely…it was a gift from the groin…

- Michael Price

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fiberglass Jungle

I cut myself on the edge of the fog

blood the color of cigarette smoke

I have 37 cents & a pair of sunglasses
compromised by darker subscriptions

offshore music

broken silvergreen sentences
mapping the the tides to China
& back

to consecrate the eucalyptus

sustained by the lyric instability
of wet stones blinking in the foam

scattered like loose change

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vision Discount

Pollo del Mar

Ornamental pavilions of rust
strung with skeleton lights
at the bottom of the ocean
only a few steps from where we
share a burnt bottle

The Roman empire built & destroyed
in a day & the whistling silence
out on the porch

the Merovingian kings & their Mexican beer

Mississippi weather on the west coast
brewed in a Polynesian swamp
with diminished returns
caught in the glare of fishscale chrome

as far as the eye can see

& dreaming it backwards so that
her fingers braid nasturtiums to the chain-
link fence as the sun rolls along the dull
watery edge of a horizon you’ve
visited perhaps one too many times

Friday, October 16, 2009

Draining the Pool

Surfacing beneath the pipes
the language of dreams reduced to
three chords & you catch yrself
singing along absent mindedly
Lefty Stordahl, Kon Tiki, Jimmy Slant
& the Gasguzzlers
people commit suicide every day because
they’ve never seen star-
light on the waves (oceaning past
the dealers & whores at Beach Flats
restoration of the needle
yr reflection on the surface of a burnt
spoon like the face of Jesus on a tortilla
& the halo effect leaking out to
stain the pavement
in front of the all night pharmacy
cradled in the perpetual glow of
a kind of sunset neon you
could build a religion out of

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Through the door

for Ainsworth

It wasn’t long before
I saw her again her
invites you to share in the limitations
of its desire
forged signatures
suicide tickets with the usual
consequence & valerian scripture
something you never learned to hide
a heaving rack of surrender
but deliberate like the parable
written in braille
on the darkside of her thigh

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The rustling shadow palm
meant nothing to you
the numb strands of light
left to fade on the monsoon balcony
patiently waiting for your reply

Beach pavement stained with the
blood of fuchsias
petition the tattooed letters on your wrist

neon aquarium tremble weed & drizzle
waist-deep in the sand
explain less than these random calculations
set to winged reflection

1. Lair of the white powder

2. A feather of concrete crumbling into the sea

& even if you can’t remember later
the meaning of its silence
seeds the passion of your denial

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vapor Lock

waterstained, light

where fingers briefly
touched (pages

floodlit Mexican parking lots

seacolored eyes
I carried to the liquor store
& back

(another time the same
amped eyeshadow & disregard
beckoning from the meth house
across the street

like a submerged
flamingo orchid
set on fire

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vapor Trail

It’s a property of the autumnal
haze that erases the sky above
pockmarked, hollow-eyed surfers
pondering The Lotus Sutra
w/redwood stringers glassed-in
& diesel sand driven beneath the foam

Some way to reply in the dialect of anemones
True Hollywood Fiction
places to go
things to do
the stems & wings of distraction
at the Karmic Swap Meet

Sunlight absorbed in iridescent
every step you take
sinking deep into the underwater pavement
a ripple trail of maybe neon fading

like Godzilla rising from the waves

to bench press the tide

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Upon further review

In the black & white noonday streetcorner alleyway slanting down to the beach…you saw, although you may have misremembered, (excuse me, thought), perhaps the harsh sunlit splash, (sunlit something or other) flattened the scene so that in silhouette says I “These indestructible subtelties” ― “Seeming subtle & indestructible” ― as was Robert Mitchum’s upper lip in Out of the Past.   The future scratched into a dented fender of sky above the sea & without the benefit of the Dalai Lama’s advice, you are resigned to sit by the swampwater swimming pool expecting something better, while a sea swamp veneer accentuates the screendoor chiaroscuro the tattooed hula doll has learned to ignore.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Goodbye, Dirty Machine (part 92)

…and guffawed to the winds “It’s 2000 in the middle of the world!”…I thought of my prayers to God in my early years…there were none.   So I begged the Gods of pick-pocketing to see that I would be safe later in the slut hunt of four art-forgers, given how high I was at this moment…I re-read the friendly letter I had memorized since birth and set to work finishing my food in record time…David, however, was too quick for me, with food running down his chin laughing and slurping and finished six bites in front….

“C’mon man, let’s go find those cherry blossoms and get ready to ride into Mejico…” I said, “No shit, and with some good luck we might slay some land speed records with our flamed Monet Carlo with Jacked Ghetto top and furry dash”   Such revelations were beginning to elevate my dirty inner selve and David too it all with his contagious laugh…”ahhhh, shit mike, yer fucked up man…fucking miiiiiiiike, man…”

“Ah, Daaaaaveeeed, I am a so-so chemist but take me to Mexico and I can charm my way up vaginas with qualitative analysis, centrifuges, and forcepts…”   That one floated like skunkweed smoke right over David’s head…and right into Jon and Oscar, who had a trail of bridesmaids three long when they showed up…they said “Spanish spanish creole, Spanish creole creole”

“Ah, huh, Spanish Spanish creole English slang creole Spanish…”   I of course did not understand a word, but the girls and David loved it, as they were sparkling and smoothing to their every utterance…butter and jargon…

“C’mon guys, lets get to Mexico before dark so we can see our feet in front of us…” “Yeah hermanos, vamanos pinche jotos!”   I chimed in with cursed espanol…“Okey Dokey, let’s go then” said Oscar, leading the way to the Carlo as if it was the Princess of Prussia…I stopped and did my compulsory military service, taking in the great big fiesta, and Jon yelled at me to hurry it up and get my ass in the car…me vengo me vengo…

- Michael Price

Thursday, October 8, 2009

All my friends are lowriders

The deep rain returns
in the lift & sway of palm trees
rocked by waves of nightshade turquoise
sustained by the vanity of shadows
that don’t register on the pavement

& like the warning label I never read
tipping the beach gate grillwork of sea mist & stone
to approximate the tone buried in murmurs
against a forsaken neon-lit watusi stomp
giving all that has been taken
shatters the glass pages of a narcotic hymnal
you thought you knew by heart

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Medicine Show

I woke up just as the silver airship was
landing on the water

A seaspun gypsy disembarked
swimming ashore
her pale breasts & burnt pink nipples exposed

Her lips painted a rusty
green kelp methadone color

There was a crystal rosary tied around her wrists

She had been here before had
actually never left

When she speaks her voice makes me think
of a saxophone piercing the tide
the bell & the reed
but the signal kept breaking up & I couldn’t
understand exactly what she was saying

She handed me a Mexican guitar
its twelve strings still vibrating
like the tears that creased every face
she had ever worn

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Threaded w/blades of sunlight

They would have you close your eyes your
hesitations dragging stunned wings through
a sky of crushed glass & you
if you’re there
not turning the wheel of outrageous fortune
but sold into sleep like a random hate crime

Such precision succumbs to overwhelming
caution then as the piercing cry hoisted
like an ambulance lingers long after it has gone
echoes in the trembling hum of a fish-bone tuning fork

so that your lips betray a pale intent excluding
hoof prints in the wet sand & tide pool silhouettes

as I can see the both of us in a not-too-distant
prospect sidestep reels of smoke at the iron gates
doing the old limitations of mortality waltz
right off the end of the pier