Saturday, February 27, 2010


Jenna Jameson
I lay my head down in the bonsai forest
To clear the senses
& the waves dismantled the heart
Like a child that doesn’t know any better
But this child was huge
You could pray to it
Altering the configuration of your soul
Is what keeps me from you
I never doubted the surface of the moon was cold
Nor the moist illumination that paints the eye shut
Given the choice I suppose I’d just walk away
Leaving that burden to someone who wants it
Smearing the horizon with colors from the comic books I lost
Along with so many things lost in just getting here
Books, dreams & the promise of some kind of meaning
Just one promise more
Between past & dreaming an oasis situation
Shredding your personal history
Who am I to ask for something more, something less, wanting it all
I grab hold of the question mark hovering over my head
& wield it like a scythe

Amber Lynn
Over & over to reverse the infinite
As Heidegger never addressed
The process by which these pills
Claim your cardiovascular system
Cleverly negotiating the bridge to
Neuromuscular Central where
Lights & sirens kick in
Where the impeccable storm trooper
Arrives to demand proof of your identity
& you quote Wittgenstein to no avail
In the city jail they tend to look askance
At losers who use philosophy as argument
They say there’s nothing like the sound of
A cell door slamming shut behind you
& they’re right in another life I
Might write a poem about it
But now my nerves are blown
& the little finger of my left hand is
Acutely dislocated
Pain is a wake-up call
Echoing through the cathedral like novenas
From the nervous system

Tera Patrick
Speaking in tongues
isn’t that tourrettes?
& levitation is seeking air
as St. Joseph of Cupertino &
Kobe Bryant can testify
The rapture of Therese still
brings tears to my eyes
The holy card Sister Edith Mary
gave me in 6th grade
showed Therese holding
a husk of roses her
eyes bright with tears
I read The Lives of the Saints
throughout my childhood
& I’ve carried it from there
to here

Candy Manson
You dip your toe into radiance like
The reprieve an organic medium solicits
Some nocturnal salutation that fails
Becoming enormous with fog
The pavement surging beneath your feet
Its skeletal rebar flexing against soft thunder
Reminding me of the sentimental journey I never took
The hemmed-in lure of delirium is an arduous past-time
So as to weave a pirouette across the minefield
You occupy space, I mean, a room
There is only room for one
& that one is lost
Is given enough room to lose herself
& something outside is crashing in
on Consciousness Radio
That is static sifting down from the vibrational field
Makes you wonder if this isn’t the same noise that issued from
The turbines of Shakespeare
You have obviously achieved a delusional state
Congratulations, & Welcome

Friday, February 26, 2010

One More Lilting Adrenalin Riff

Trees sway like an afterthought & the traffic picks up
Murmur of distant sea, pale beneath the haze
Swim out of it in someone else’s raincoat
Half-a-pack of cigarettes in yr pocket but no money
And later you might miss the wet leaves clinging to the pavement
You might fade . . .
You might get tough for a minute then black out to prove
Something about darkness being an emotional response
In permanent rainy neon like gauze
Each moves slowly within
Or tiptoes to the edge of I don’t know what darkening

Dark Sun Glasses

Once I was in Boomtown and I heard an ever-so-slight “boom”
It dragged my lagoon for 16 blocks then stopped
I got a bruise under my hypothalmus
And all I could do was shine Jayne Mansfield
And chew my plug faster than I ever have before

Snakeskin boots are said to have caused the crash
“Maybe the plane had a torn clupjoint in the tranny”
Saith Jello Biafra of Tulsa Oklahoma

“We” is an “other” while you are
Seventeen reasons to avoid the light of day
Depending on where you fall in the “boom” index

Rain all you want I have recourse to an ozone resolve
As dark and rich as the Pacific (an ocean) and vast (too)

My pants have all the presence I require

                              by Michael Price & Kevin Opstedal

Out the Window

I Wish That I Was Born A Thousand Years Ago
A purely mechanical response
              to the perforated cloud cover
                              & your birdlike way of seeing

I could swear I was dreaming when I looked up
& she was standing there like Death’s kid sister

El Tsunami
The great big hush of dark like a wave that
comes from within & radiates & extends
& bends & everything is dark or is touched by (dark)

Dear Joanne
I don’t know what I did to
incur the wrath of the gods but
I wish they’d just get over it

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Like music to my eyes

You are like some nameless god
with no past to refer to
a bubble in the swamp juice
that obliterated the heart of that sentence
as though it were the hand of God
or the Devil himself
& what are we to interpret from that
shadowless shadow?
unhinged upon the rage of Time
which is Fate
bending in the wind
on a street that was named for
1000 hungry ghosts

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Swampwater Motel

She was the silent mirror of the tide
              a missing page in the lexicon of
bleached blonde moonlight
                              leaning on the tabernacle
              like Our Lady of Mistaken Identity

That which is in my heart
Lo que está en mi corazón
or buried in the sand at Zuma Beach
where a choir of seagulls sing off-key

devotions & indulgences

              lighting candles for Maitreya,
              Thor Heyerdahl, Kuan Yin, Ensenada
              & the big beat

                              weeping gravel & seaweed

a blade of sunset held to the neck of the sky

Oh lady you need 50 miles of elbow room
              if I had a hacksaw I’d play you a tune
but all I’ve got is this bloodstained t-shirt
                              & the number to a stolen cell phone

as you gather up your diesel light
on the blind side of forever

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Straight Life

―That’s not the story your partner told us.
―Oh, was that the one about the hooker with dysentery?

The hidden faces of the Maya
the kindness of strangers
              & some kind of poetic mercenary take
                                                like did you say “Rambo”
                              or “Rimbaud”?
I was replaying Apocalypse Now in my head
              Bill Kilgore, a goofy foot
“What do you know about surfing, soldier,
you’re from goddamn New Jersey”
                              as is Jim Thomas of The Mermen
but surf music is
Dock Boggs & Lou Reed
as well as the secret soundtrack to The Fall of America
by Allen Ginsberg
minus the beach at Golgotha
from a distance stained by my poetry
              but then Ginsberg liked my poems
                                                he told me so
                              was he just being kind?
That was years ago, I was a different person
              I did the hula in my sleep
listening to Psycho Killer
                              & dreaming about tsunamis
              The dreams are the same but
now I do a surf ghetto watusi
                              & Art Pepper plays Straight Life

These are the books on the shelf above my desk

Poetics – Aristotle
The Sonnets – Ted Berrigan
Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions
          & General Tales of Ordinary Madness – Bukowski
4 Ups and 1 Down
The Basketball Diaries
The Book of Nods – Jim Carroll
Poetical Works – Coleridge
The Pleasures & Pains of Opium – De Quincey
Tarantula – Bob Dylan
The Fall of America – Ginsberg
Visions of Cody
Mexico City Blues
Tristessa – Kerouac
All This Every Day
About Now – Joanne Kyger
Africa & the Marriage of Walt Whitman & Marilyn Monroe
News From Niman Farm
Live At the Church – Lewis MacAdams
Shit On My Shoes – Duncan McNaughton
No Place Fast – FA Nettelbeck
Call Me Ishmael
O’Ryan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 – Charles Olson
The Cantos - Pound
Illuminations – Rimbaud
On Bear’s Head
Scenes of Life at the Capital
Heavy Breathing – Philip Whalen

Friday, February 19, 2010

Aspect Ratio

The silver shimmering out there
in pieces
you can string together
& wear on your wrist
              while the coast road veers off into
                                                Bohemian rhapsodies
                              as imagined by a Japanese mariachi band
              confessing their sins
                                                every time you shake your hips

your once & furtive tiptoe collapse
              tucked away beneath the idea of it
like a black tar remedy
tipping back the flamingo bottle
                                                                lit from the inside
                              knowing all the while that death is out there
              welding pink shadows
to laundromats

              dealing seeds & mushrooms
                                                                bottles full of sand
                              trapeze clouds
                                                & a stretch of damp pavement

beneath the see-thru sky slated to house oil rigs
& laser-guided pipe bombs

              but carving a path
                              thru a jungle of grass skirts
I guess I’d prefer something
sublime & unreasonable
                              although I can’t complain
              the slight bend in her feelings is enough to make me
rebuild my carburetor

it was then that I felt the wheels
beneath the street
                              where the night revealed itself
              an empty elevator shaft

further is perhaps as far as you can go

& maybe an inch closer
to my heart

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dancing in Your Sleep

The needle sleaze minus the coinage
as I read in The Clockwork Grapes of Courage
hath it’s visegrips applied rigor mortis style
which is apt I suppose but it don’t make for the
glide step past the pearl-gated parking lot

like smoke rings underwater
w/no echo returning from Endless Beach
& the playlist:

Hammer Head           Quiet Surf
Scalp Salad                 Miki’s Lush Beehive
Sponge Cookie           Penetration

articulate the damp strings & suicide drumroll
in the backseat at 90 miles an hour
just around the corner from Nagasaki

& when they fish you out it’ll be like Christmas
in August at the all night
Dharma Pharmacy & Surf Shop

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bare White Vocal (sample)

Shuffling through the glass pages of every ocean
say it
like a seashell clearing its throat

& the wind kicks up off the water
to peel the rose from the petal

to detach the sidewalk from the sunset sky

(the light doesn’t lift anymore than the dark falls)

Dear Pamela,
              the air is shaped by eucalyptus
on the hillside
                              where your horses graze
              above the sea

                              & you can hear yourself whisper

as of this moment accommodates the rain
even when it isn’t raining
              & lays down beside you, darker
                                                than that gunmetal pearl
                              hanging from the strand of seaweed you
              wear around your neck

Sunday, February 14, 2010

St. Massacre's Day

for Pamela

From the terrace
a cascade of orchids

just as in your eyes

desire & the collateral damage

smoke threaded through broken glass
later described as alabaster
& chrome that love might outlast
the vows that failed us both

or brace the pulse of waves

until I’m no longer sure but calm

as you plan a random act of silence
to set alongside the arrant breath
in Español

bloodstained emblems yet to be divided
if each is both & the risk

awake in the dark before dawn listening
to the sound of you breathing

a sound like fogmist falling
onto the strings of a velvet guitar

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Custom Shapes

A need for whatever relentless
DETAILS inform the beach pavement
tilted in the rain
with your picture on the cover

                              flicker of wings maybe
              seashells & cigarettes
                                                eye shadow & clarinets

reels of smoke at the iron gates

              seen through a pair of fog colored sunglasses

The centrifugal engagement of gulls
where Ocean Street intersects with the
                              ancient city of Jerusalem
or Tijuana

both dedicated to an articulate (though
incoherent) neon you might find
scribbled onto a spoonful of wet sand

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Holding Pattern

The way the shadow of a mexican fan palm genuflects on the sand in the prevailing haze / at the edge of the haze / drizzled in turquoise in silver & rust / I was there to learn the measure, I said, lighting matches beneath the tidewater architecture & shattered pipes / the light like rosary beads spilling onto the coral reef / the engines & clawhammer guitars at Wrecking Ball Beach knocked from the loop but still staggering on the steps there tunneling all the way to China with a coke spoon / reason enough to invoke Poseidon, Thetis, Nereus, Amphitrite, various nymphs, mermaids, Sister Aimee Semple, Raymond Chandler, Thor Heyerdahl, Ensenada, plus four & a half sets of eyes that never saw you palm the origami swimming pool / welded to things like ideas / the sunset appaloosa & Venice Blvd seemed remotely possible with pearl inlay I guess as framed in memory / a gullwing blade held to the neck of the fog / the streets like the tide slipping away / & you aren’t going anywhere

Monday, February 8, 2010


A Prologue in Three Acts
12 Chapters
& 242 Choruses

tattooed on your instep
like a nautical star
I had at first thought
looked like rain


& the morning as it
fell apart sequentially
beneath stainless-
steel clouds in the

amphitheater parking
lot a synthesis of
custom chrome
& bad timing

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Ripple Trail of Maybe Neon Fading

Empty parking lots           fjords
& a history of violence
contrary to the haze           (my legacy)
with mudslide tremors & gaited horses
that rustle like palm leaves against
the ravished pertinence of so many
bronze wings slashing the sky behind you
like a kamikaze hood ornament

The shattered chrome drainage
mirrored on air
ripples the mainline stem
to float the memory
your reflection on the surface of a burnt
spoon like the face of Jesus on a tortilla
with redwood stringers glassed in
& diesel sand driven beneath the foam

begging indulgence without vows or refuge
sinking deep into the underwater pavement
dissolving pearls in gasoline
to justify your margins
betrayed by space & time
the random apprehension where sea meets sky
in the pretense & the vapor
to reconcile the distance

& the time it takes
steeped in heavy breathing
designed to lull you past the coma
dragging stunned wings through a sky of
crushed glass & tide pool silhouettes
excluding the fish-bone tuning fork
halo effect staining your eyes your

to reconvene a last finger of cypress
all parlance & midnight
murmuring in the shadow palms
like a feather of concrete
crumbling into the sea

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Get Rich Quick

            happy birthday to me

Rhyming the way it does
with that diesel hum

a primal sound coaxed
from the seaweed strings
of an underwater cello

the moon’s magnetic pull
leaving cracks in the pavement

you could climb down into them
& never be heard from again

& it’s just another notch cut into the calendar
the homage paid with interest compounded

every breath you take
you’ll have to give back some day

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hey you with the sneakers on…out of the pool

Enduring evidence to be extracted
from the alphabet of the wind
as your steps are followed by
the buzz of tropic silence
& your entourage of pilot whales

I’m supposing must be a reference to the 19th century

every claw, tentacle, hoof, wing & fin
reading east to west
& the dark silk torch curtain
falling like a hammer
into the sea

Your eyes are sand formations
constantly shifting           changing color
though if the light catches them just right they
could be mirrors
suffused in restless ocean gray shadows rippling
in pale sunlight

like something I hear

but only when I’m not listening

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Flight of the Taco Wagon

Stranded inside a
pink dust of haze
              shaped like a sealion cigarette
                                                & the long tunnel out
                              in a pair of suicide huaraches
like your own private endless summer
              anointed with wet sand
                              & a dirty blonde alibi

in effect deeper bajo de las olas
than your sunken treasure might imply

plugged in to a dime bag of silver linings
reduced to three chords
& you catch yourself singing along absent-
              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

at the mercy of accelerations

& the vicarious hips of parking lots near the sea

I never staggered on the steps there
conceding the cracked pavement
my eyes like pins stuck into a pair of voodoo RayBans

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

The trial of true redemption slips a little
in the Chinese transliteration
as I guess a Kung Fu version of
Paradise Lost might

              I am assuming a monastic recalcitrance
                              falling like a palm tree when no one’s looking

which is why I’m telling you about it

the x factor like funk & circumstance
                              gathering up all your dark veins
              at the Karmic Swap Meet

like Godzilla rising from the waves

to bench press the tide

shredding the opulent ocean air
the way an inverted whisper
rakes the silence
like a ripple on the surface of a puddle

at the bottom of the sea