Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Predicting the tide

Three & a half birds on the high wire
& the song they sing like
Eric Dolphy meets Django Reinhardt
in a rainpuddle
on Front Street

My smog blue eyes tainted by
& the prevailing winds

My heart stained by the blood of orchids
perhaps, but still ringing up the zeroes
discovering something in the somber tone
I never carved in your alabaster breakfast

so adorned with footsteps as it was
content with the legend of parachutes
& spiritual abuse disguised as Himalayas

to open a door of torn paper
draped over the pale azure pressure chamber
& Japanese surf rarities floating like fingers
lost in a caress from which we provoke
these sordid blessings & the voracious discontent

of our sometime resolve

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Outside the Drift

Your fingers are like hinges
without doors

raised in this vicinity
as were the Nocturnes
                              left like a tear in the
              rearview mirror
                                                (the legacy edition

a series of dreams as yet unresolved

a gullwing fadeaway

semi-clean with a decent bump to the surface

              There are stones that whisper
                                                like flames

                              waves that speak a rainy esperanto

blades of sand that murmur along the shore
or up over the beach concrete

folded neatly over the horizon

dissolving in a mist of haze

like a pelican w/headlights
storming the edge
Our Lady of the Perpetual Swamp
              & Hammered Tin Nasturtriums
lifted, exposed
              stepped on outside the Moby Taco
as I light a seaweed cigarette
                              to your devout indifference
              when the moon splits in two
above the moist & midnight pavement

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka

My favorite xmas poem is by Robert
Creeley, from his book 30 Things

All around
the snow
don’t fall.

Come Christmas
we’ll get high
and go find it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ocean Blues

The moan of a rusted harmonica
bending palm trees in the fog

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Hazard to Navigation

Cairo – You always have a very smooth explanation.
Marlowe – What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?

Up until now the way the rain
explains your seaweed
                              by means of an endlessness
              with dual exhaust
                                                & a deep blue yonder

as the alluvial counterweight
in capsule form
would endure such revision
              since anything that
                                                pure exceeds mere

The balance in trade to tip a hand
already played the risk inherent in
              the glittery parts I meant to steal
& meanwhile it’s still
raining as the tide slips away
                              & the coast road
              reels us in

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Written on the Waves

The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.

                        ―Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4

Silver, emerald, & neon.   This time they’re real even as they dissolve & the moist aura that follows them unfolds.   You see I know.   I’ve been here before, & other places as well.   Each as empty as the other.   What you bring with you & what you leave behind.   When the smoke parted & you descended from the steel palisades I realized you probably were right.   All that unrecorded whomp & flutter, the fishhook cigarettes, the bended knees & cracked radiator hoses.   It’s just that simple & as long as we’re here we might as well pretend it’s where we were headed all along. No matter where we are I will always be exiled to a soundproof cathedral beach where the tide plays Topsy on a drainpipe & the light is always almost halfway gone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paint It Turquoise

I see a red door painted black
& a line of cars trying to find a parking spot
down near the pier
plus or minus the dogeared bootleg surf
I could strum with my eyes shut
Today I sold a copy of
How To Win Friends and Influence People
along with a copy of Helter Skelter
which I thought made a pretty nice combo
I never read the first book
which probably explains why I have no friends
& no influence
I did read all about Manson & had a couple of
bad dreams but I don’t think I ever
killed anyone & when I get to the
bottom I stay there
behind the wheel of a ’65 Ford Ranchero
my eyes like pins
stuck into a pair of voodoo RayBans

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saltwater Tango

A dark green occasion beneath
a second-hand grapefruit sky
steeped in heavy breathing
& a kind of bloodshot euphoria

just as when you flip a coin
I always call the darkside
faded slightly turquoise
a look-the-other-way leap
from your cadillac balcony

but to scroll thru
a long line of sunsets
& stagger beneath the rain
like wasted palm trees & Mexican clarinets

sunsets like pearls dissolving in gasoline

lit up the pavement & wet sand
before you turned away
w/eyes like undersea
to reconcile the distance

& the time it takes
inside the shattered chrome seepage
that torqued the beach
w/residual winterized cables
& wrecked veins
embalmed in damp manifestos

semi-tropical & hyperextended

designed to lull you past the coma
because a pair of fog-colored
sunglasses this morning plugged
you into a dime bag of silver linings

as these empty parking lots repeat themselves
so often in fact
& contrary to the haze
reminding me of what you never said
but understood

the way an inverted whisper
rakes the silence
like a ripple on the surface
of a puddle

at the bottom of the sea

Saturday, December 12, 2009

He Gives It Up

I am slapped upside gutwrenching zeal
& epiphanies

as the sincere numbers of the heart
measure not abstraction merely but
blood & knuckles

yet with the altered light falling in thru the screen door
I swear you look like a ’56 Chevy convertible

parked in the rain

Works in Progress

Not So Famous Poets I Have Known

Where’d I Put My Shorts?:   A Buddhist Novel

Lines from Townes van Zandt Songs That Make Me Cry

The Sign of the Blue Flamingo

Beach Pavement:   A Metaphysical Study

Three Whores & a Bucket of Beer:   A Memoir

The Book of Stains

Friday, December 11, 2009

Water on the Moon

Double Down
Breath’s journey into sleep infected by too many cures still doesn’t mean we’ll spin the residual jolt gone hollow where your silk-weaving eyes torqued the lyric vibe.   We found our way out by the light of your cell phone, the indigenous lord have mercy, & painkiller grade Tecate.   As soon as you realize where you are it’s where you were & there’s no going back.

Liquid Assets
The sand plunges beneath the waves here.   Tidepool mirrors exaggerate the emptiness of the washed out sky.   Plastic bottles tangled in dried out garlands of seaweed & copper wire adorn the water’s edge.   This is either the beginning or the end of something, take your pick.   The light is fluoresecent & saturates the beach so that there are no shadows.   Underwater you’ll find the shadows of those that have drowned & the light is turquoise like the windows of a Mexican church.

Somehow Lifted
Drifting through the drugstore parking lot aching for a little voodoo face-time I had assumed the role of a no credit editor of silence inside a forklift catalog of sunsets.   A hybrid Day of the Dead tattoo fading into a sunburnt shoulder.   I could still feel the kelp-bed tremors & cold knuckles, the blue press blob & ringtone resurrecting a phantom pain.   And then I remembered that I always wanted to end a poem with the word “polyurethane”.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ancient Music (on vinyl)

The same turning back the same
parting of the reeds

              The tide that sang
                                          gregorian rap tunes
                              to the seaweed

The flawed turquoise
that stained the glass
perfectly clear

              The stone
                              ocean smooth & dark

The smoke ring
              on your finger
as though it was
              a bell to mark the promise
                              monastic in the hollow
              of your eye

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Big Wednesday

Bullet-proof sunglasses
& a pair of suicide huaraches
in the rain
on Epiphany Street

like your own private endless summer
when it’s 30 degrees of
winter on the coast
right down to the bone

anointed with wet sand
& a dirty blonde alibi
as you kneel to pray before the
kamikaze hood ornament

riding in on your pulse

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The swaying shadow path of palm
trees that we had to navigate
with our eyes shut

the same dead-end alleyways

across that line the tide set later


slips past or through the arcade
of subdued endurance
I figure holds the predator’s
like an invitation

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Concrete is Epic

The swell is icummen in

That first feather of light
my confessional in rusty blue-
pink haze & the blur of recognition
cold as I make my way

with a nod to the North Star
(aka Polaris, or the Pole Star (a
monkey’s head the emblem of the
Mayan god of the pole star

& at the damp insistence that
stretches the pavement out to the beach
a step defines entrance even as it fades
so near in every direction

who you are or pretend to be
abandoned to a lesser vanity since the
phrasing of these relics will transform
each forgotten detail reclaimed

or perforated as your own bloodstained
silhouette & I can’t take you any farther than
the rain riding in across the water
bouncing quarters off the drop edge

of your heart

It was raining all night

Watching the surf from the deck waves getting bigger flooding the downstairs I had to drive my mom to an appointment I was behind the wheel of a beat-up 70s Dodge van my mom was in her robe her hair in curlers she was timing the drive she had my alarm clock we drove over mountains & thru the snow (later I got emails of thanks from the hitchhikers we picked up but I don’t remember picking up any hitchhikers) I had a job delivering photos & blueprints & I was waiting in line to pick up a packet of photographs listening to other people’s conversations when the lady 2 people ahead of me in the line picks up the stuff I was supposed to pick up so I ask her about it & she says that she works for the company I was supposed to deliver the stuff to but I was so late & they needed to get the photos pronto I tried to explain about the snow & my mom timing me with my alarm clock but that didn’t seem to make any sense & she rushes off into the parking structure I’m walking there myself when I meet Jim Jarmusch who is really tall like over 7 feet tall we talk briefly then I’m looking for the Dodge van (this is a very new parking structure almost like a cathedral or a prison all vaulted smooth concrete & dust) I see the lady who took my delivery racing out of the structure still pissed at me I can’t hear out of my left ear & I think it’s because of the high surf surge that flooded the downstairs I look at my legs & see that my tan line is at mid-calf which I find very perplexing Jim Jarmusch walks by again he’s speaking to some small lady with dark hair I say “Hey Jimbo” & he says “What’s up?” & I’m still astounded by how tall he is when Magic Johnson & Kobe Bryant walk up & greet Jarmusch like old pals & Jarmusch towers over both of them I say “Magic you’re 6’9” right? & Kobe’s 6’6” but Jarmusch makes you both look like little guys how tall is Jarmusch?” Magic says he doesn’t know & Kobe says “He’s one big motherfucker” & laughs – I’ve got the keys to the Dodge van but don’t know where I parked it so I just toss the keys & ride off on a bicycle thinking my mom’s gonna be pissed when I show up on this bicycle to drive her home from her appointment thru the mountains & the snow

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Company Business

Lunch at a big picnic table outside somewhere in SoCal.   Pamela, Sunnylyn, Micah, Patrick & me.   The place is a cross between the old Venice pavillion & the old Santa Monica mall.   We’re all talking, eating, drinking beers.   Sunnylyn is wearing glasses, black RayBan Wayfarer frames but with clear lenses—one of the lenses is cracked (the left one) & has been repaired with some scotch tape.   Patrick says poetry readings are pointless, “nobody listens & nobody knows”.   He gets very agitated about this.   I say something about how it doesn’t matter, “The Poems” are all that are important, the audience isn’t even an afterthought.   Patrick leaves the table, walking stiff-legged, pumping his arms in a Frankensteinian rage.   What’d I say?   Pamela & Sunnylyn are concerned.   Micah is amused.   I’m confused.   Patrick tries the doors of an oriental rug store but they’re locked.   He lurches off so consumed by supressed anger that I’m afraid his head might explode.   “Don’t worry,” Micah says, “he’ll get over it.”   I remember then that I am scheduled to read at Beyond Baroque.   I don’t have enough money for bus fare so have to start walking now in order to get there in time.   Heading off I notice that I’m barefoot.   I wonder what happened to my shoes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seaweed in Spanish

for Cody

The seamist split the sun in two
above & the dead sang mariachi songs
to the beat of my heart

locked in on the wrong zodiac
dialing all that glitters
on the shadow side of the jetty

bought & paid for with a blade of

as I have been so fortunate
to apply the laws of addiction
suitably framed
layered in auras of violet
like the night

trading the eternal luau for
a Martian tailspin
at Desolation Point
leaning hard into a sunset slide

the Lotus Sutra on your sleeve
versus a beach break full of crucifixions

tipping back into the tattooed smog

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Liner Notes

The past & future Romance on Durango Beach
w/wings & sinister acoustic distactions
sunlit & dark & like the time I read a street
map of Guadalajara in the eyes of the tamale lady

on Wipeout Avenue

a broken tooth smile inlaid among perfect shadows there

& the drumroll shoreline to back me up
because there’s nothing else I can string out past
the fatal recognition that jumps the
gap between what I want & what I need

Dreamed I was teaching murderers how to whistle
kept hitting that same wrecked vein
w/cormorants slicing the sky into quatrains
against the silvergreen ruins of a eucalyptus cathedral

sinking beneath the sand