Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vanishing Point

Shades of blue in the haze
adorned or should I say wounded
with pale light

the way distance folds in on itself

in between dreams

I suppose you could play the flipside
& find out what it really means
like reading the map of a city
that disappeared long ago
with streets you know by heart

taking you everywhere you’ve never been

or back to where you were all along…

She bought some Mexican silver before we left
& I got “The Poems” tattooed on my
left ventricle

& the moonlight was just a footnote
to everything I never said

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lewis MacAdams new blog

MacAdams is writing his autobiography.   The first chapter is posted on his new blog Poetry and Politics: An Autobiography. Check it out.

Long Term Parking

Maybe I got tunnel vision.

Telescopic x-ray vision is preferable but
I always ask for the impossible
in order to never be disappointed.

Just another shadow
staggering among the palm trees

but inchoate & distracted

a terrific indulgence one could say was
an aesthetic

& what are these palm trees but
extravagant weeds
jacked up on sunlight & smog

waiting for the index of inevitables to
run out their string

just like me


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Las Cruces

Various precious stones known for their
magical properties are at this very moment
resting at the bottom of Monterey Bay
where they are caressed by sting rays,
leopard sharks, lamprey eels, & pilot whales
making a pit stop on their way to Vera Cruz
via the Panama Canal

Vera Cruz is “true cross”
Santa Cruz is “holy cross”

The Panama Canal is & always has been
a political statement & bad medicine

Even the patron saint of hard knocks
looked the other way

The Knights Templar started it all.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross but high-
tailed it out of town, got married, & on the
down-low was the progenitor of the
Merovingian kings

their dreadlocks appropriated by
Rastafarians whom I thought would have
known better than to load the Holy Grail
with ganja on a reggae weekend
in Las Cruces

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010


Recycled Air

O Lady of the Mystic See-Thru Kimono
(glassy, diaphonous, translucent)
who’s (unclouded, flimsy, sheer)
turquoise is sapphire

is azure                   like a sea-colored stone
                                                                lifted from Eternity’s
                                                display window

Your glazed eyes & stark unbiased lips

Your mood-enchancing indulgences

understanding that it’s all the same
& all different
              non-skid green sea beach pine logic
as opposed to the atom bomb swingline staplegun
                              & black twigs doomed to mortal destinies
with a sort of Robert Mitchum Out of the Past
striving-to-be-unsung bravado
strumming the e-string of my heart

which is driven like a truck
                              over a cliff
                                                (hubcaps gleaming)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beneath a Sky the Color of Beach Concrete

At night the lamps and rugs of the vigil make the sound of waves along the keel and the steerage.
        The sea of the vigil, like Amélie’s breasts.


The tide shifts
                              & the mist
              fits snugly
                                                up against the cliff

& it stays that way until the wind picks up & the sky
hollows out

Sometimes you realize & start to feel heavy
which is shorthand for pale light dropping in from
what the ancients called “golden”

to exonerate the sacred pyramids & taco stands
like a trick you can do with an ordinary
deck of cards

like the decompression of atmospheric strata
                                                a tangle of white lace
              or the blonde indulgence that one might ask
of the sacrificial heart
                              & receive, perhaps, in reply
The way steep parables in the blood
assume the pitch of desire
                              to accelerate the moment
              that passes as a careless gesture

like a transparent tractor parked on a hill could
pull the landscape out from under you
in one grand sweeping flouish

candles lit & fluttering like rain in the trees

the smell of fever in the mud

I didn’t say “mercy” I said it was
a shame you never knew the difference

retreating to the pulmonary root
that rattles within a sigh

I keep assuming you know these things
so I don’t have to say them
              keep mistaking answers for questions
                                                collecting relics from a future
                              no one can remember
Something in immaculate day-glo tips the rooftop shoving the rain aside for a moment & setting the moon down on the ground like a machete on the red mud of the flood plain, she said, & I said, yes, certain emotions are like that.   Given your inherent darkness, its tumult & slant, to be held in your hands or whispered along the sand in a language only the tide speaks, combing tinsel strands of light in wave patterns etched on the cathedral glass you’ve got wedged into your heart.   Nothing touches the radiant indifference silhouetted on the pavement of your windswept desire, I guess, now that time breathes the mist of all those abandoned parking lots strung out along the coast like dark pearls shimmering beneath the stagger & warp of las palmas.
It’s as if a switch had been flipped on
& there is now a brain disease

the waves turning Japanese

& all that rain drawn up into the syringe
of twilight

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Known for his brilliant short prose pieces as published in the books Early Morning Wind, Wild Cherries, and Diamonds, Dale Herd is a meticulous recorder of the language we move around in, and he possesses the skill and the guts to take it all the way.   His underground novel Dreamland Court is simply a masterpiece.   Written in the 70’s, 80's, and 90's, and never published, the novel is a collection of monologues that often overlap so that they occur simultaneously on the page.   The effect is totally Rashomon.

This Blue Press edition prints the first chapter of the novel.   It provides a tantalizing peek into the swirling maelstrom of voices that inhabit Dreamland Court.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Shadowland Drive-Thru

A ton of blind glitter angled
into a left slide
asking & answering
all the eternal questions

but at the turquoise insistence
of hooded anemones & seaweed blossoms
wrecked on plumes of alluvial steel

It’s true you can turn your head
in answer sometimes to avoid the approval
of what must be tears returning like gulls
above the jetty

just as the words scrawled here dissolve
into the blank white emptiness of the page

& you can paddle out
but as the puppet of an inexorable grace
into the surging ocean waves
paved for sunset

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mexican Luau

Watching the sunset
on TV like
27 postcards cooking
on the manifold of a rusted-out
’64 El Camino

just this side of Ensenada

You don’t have to think too
much about the next-to-last
shot of tequila

the life story that inspired
a generation of drug users
& the primer gray shadow it
parked in your eyes

as we recall extinct oceans
wavebreaks that no longer exist
strung out like chrome rosary beads
at the bottom of a motel swimming

the color of your lips


Friday, March 19, 2010


If I Told You

A Positive Sign
The day is beginning to
disintegrate around me

It's a Kind of Dance
I have a catholic's fear of adjectives
& my lawn is dying

The Collected Poems
The cover was laminated
& bore a striking resemblance
to Lee Marvin

World News Tonight
I usually take a bicarbonate of soda
& a lump of wet sand
when I'm feeling the need for
bilateral disarmament

The addendum was ditched last Monday
along with the better angels of my nature

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The wind bending
leaves of sand
& out at the point
the waves
continually in motion
energy from the sun
as influenced by the moon
but held in the mind so
I can see it with my eyes shut
as though clipped from a magazine
& pasted to a dogeared page
of consciousness

I know the texture of its surge
like the tidal wave
in my veins

& the bells

I had almost forgotten the bells

the signature of ruin perhaps

the sea rises & sets
w/the sun             the tide
a relentless Odyssean measure
drawn out by the moonlight
like a blade

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nowhere Near Nebraska

Crossing Ocean Street
in the early morning fog
we are solid figures within it
as the soul is swept away

flapping into the technicolor panorama
that only reflects the clouds
I thought were beads of colored glass
in The Cantos

tunneling out thru a jungle of grass skirts

La Playa Negra

confessing our sins
no different than the ripple breeze that
pre-empts the surf

I could use a boatload of money
but will settle for a brick of hashish―
why would anyone bother to notice?

where that music went

Anything Like Forever
for Iggy Pop, Mickey Dora, & Sweet Jane

The trapdoor in the tide


if it were there

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chemical Beach

Trimming the wave
the wind sounds like bone
caving in
& the risk implied
in an echo of green steel
with rust inlay
& a clearcut neon stringer

Part of me does yoga in the alley
the other part is tucked into a corner of
a tidepool

I still don’t know what that means John Coltrane

somehow a fragment

the history of the heart

beneath a sky that rattles
like a bottle of pills

Monday, March 15, 2010

Skull Island Garage Sale

I thought to roll up my sleeves but the light had been
encrypted.   My tattoo didn’t translate.
Five o’clock shadows were
raining down through the trees.   Cypress
I think.   Anything to take some time off the clock.
One perception bleeds into the next.   I took the
easy way out.   The pavement was still damp & darker
than I had remembered.   Down three blocks then over two
and across the vacant lot.   Looking at a distant
landscape thru a magnifying glass.   All the
heavy action was underwater.
This space in time, this focus,
                                                of articulation,
                              & where that might take you.
You’re going to need all that wasted time some day.
Back then I drove a Ford Fairlaine
              that looked like a pterodactyl
& you were just a mariachi funeral band
tuning up in my heart.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jimmy's Hawaiian Sword

                                      Ainsworth's 40

Side-slipping to China & back
as if to meet you half way

wondering how many lost souls you can
fit into the needle’s eye

half a shaved head w/hair on the side
listening to Wu Tang

you’ve got to love that seashell shine
cut along the edge of the morning glass
on the scenic route to nowhere
adjusting your butterfly float

falling past the lark & seagull sky
to be writ in shadows upon the
Black Chrysanthemum OCEAN even with
the sun out & the wind
I realized too late
              all that I no longer am yet at arm’s length
I had watched
                              & was shaped
a synthesis of Mexican beer & drifting
sand reflecting the end of not this world
but the next

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Float Number

Listening to the dust
darken your presence
in the cuts where los vatos
trade dime shadows
for an ounce of smog-colored

versus your supple wrist
the moment relentless

drowning or dying of thirst

sunlight grazing on seagrass
& the archival rain

that the pearl inside
might bless the wound
w/an air-conditioned drizzle
like the names of waves you
can’t pronounce
set alongside your rice paper eyes

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stronger Than Dirt

Sand Formations
Feeling invulnerable (numb)
stealing a page from
some blue manual of piety
I’m not sure what it
means but I understand how
tiring it must be
learning how to breathe again

Something Outside
I find her at a beach I only
remember in dreams
where the pupils of her eyes were
prayers pinned to sky black canvas
& you could hear the shoes of nuns
at a midnight procession

I am thinking of a wave
This is your formal invitation
to death by drowning

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two books

Hecho en Venice was printed in a special limited edition specifically for the Beyond Baroque reading with Duncan McNaughton last week.   The book collects nine poems, most of which I read that night.

I recently dug up some copies of Poaching the King's Pussy in the Dover Woods by Duncan McNaughton.   This boke was originally published as part of the Blue Press Portfolio.   Both of these books are available for purchase on the Blue Press website.

Monday, March 8, 2010

From a Motel Room in Venice

A hit man w/a habit
Gerard de Nerval
sheets of sunlight

I was thinking about Malibu I guess

cerveza San Lucas

negotiating the skateboard traffic
& the hysterical adobe
Travels in Abyssinia & the Harar

We are Beyond Broke
the check’s in the mail
minus any photographic evidence, alas

blue nada & the midnight echo

after so many miles how can you be sure

Duncan breaks the filter off
“the only way you can taste the tobacco”
I had forgotten

you wouldn’t have recognized me
nor I you in the glare of that pacific blade
loyal to the ocean & The Poems, as ever

recalibrating the Bright Star sonnet as Lewis said
& the beauty of that moment among the voices, Pamela

we think there is a soul but
we don’t know

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Radio Edit

Knock-kneed bamboo windchimes
along with a badly tuned mandolin
conspire to hijack my otherwise
delicate sensibilities

dusted green
                              rationalized into silk
              & the long way back
                                                across the sand

where you & I knock down the
                              auguries of innocence
in rusty tidepool sessions
              out of the Del Taco blue
of a smoglit eternity
                              & the residual
              low frequency neon
caged in its
                              velvet fadeaway

Monday, March 1, 2010

Almost Paradise

Nothing outside, inside
only less & your tears
like forgery

etched onto glass