Monday, June 28, 2010


Just as tears tumble through
those shipwrecked eyes in the mirror upended
like a subliminal Hawaiian vacation
so that it’s Ventura last night or
Santa Cruz on the other side of
Pacific Pipe & Glassworks
              (I recognized the bloodstains later
              in the flimsy morning fog)
Imperial Beach
                              the dark side of the tortilla
an elbow of sand bumping up against
a shoulder of concrete (Malibu)
I love the way you hold Gethsemane between your breasts
when you say “Maybe” & the psychosexual resolve
              arching the spine of sunset
the shadow of a neon six-pack swinging from a
quicksilver pendulum blade
as all the groovy reasons w/sticky fingers & glimmering
repeat themselves
                              on the wet sand at minus tide

Friday, June 25, 2010

LO & BEHOLD by Joanne Kyger

Wow.   Lo & Behold is so terrific, I am blown away hither & yon & back again.   The poems are simply brilliant & w/the exceptional drawings by Donald Guravich the whole package catches air like a 360 rip off the edge of the tsunami that never arrived.   Pamela really digs the boke as well, she says “wonderful” & “inspiring”.   (Wonderful is such a great word―wonder full.)   Lo & Behold is the first volume in the Voices from the American Land Series.   You can find out more here.

Surfin’ with the Astronauts

for Joanne & Donald

This small beach town is big enough to get lost in
to disappear the way the fog does
(around noon)
                              & the sky leans in with its lo & behold
& the parking lot goes boom
w/the switchfoot chicken gods of the tribal
surf crew anointed by needle & ink

The Dragon in the Waves

                              The Orient Express

                                                confused us

I’ve always leaned more toward a punk taoism myself

Every day in the year condensed to
every year in a day
mockingbird, crow, seagull, starfish

Where else in the world do redwoods & palm trees thrive
side by side?

The clouds roll back in around sunset the fog
pushes the sky aside & it’s summertime on the central coast

The black lady behind the counter at the liquor store
always asks me how the surf is out there.   I don’t know her name
& she doesn’t know mine

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Satellite Reception

like a bird spinning in the
dark of your eyes explaining the need for sleep
a vicious morphine cycle of truth like beauty
w/Keats & a bag of seashells

                              Breath is interesting I said
              doesn’t mean any less so
                                                entering that space as treasure
                              some other time

which is here balancing on one foot in front of the firing squad
changing your name to Abigail Nightshade, Atlas Prozac, T. Horse Gomez, or Connor Batwing & with the fog hanging just a few miles off the coast I swear the sky is bruised & I keep hearing the opening chords of Black Sabbath playing Iron Man in my head when I paddle out & the moon puts a dent in the tide

Monday, June 21, 2010

Temporary Tattoo

So easy to tough it out
searching for that heartshaped
tsunami like hand-carved flames
clinging to a lopsided survival intinct

& you want to lean over the piano
punching holes in the rain

knuckles of moonlight
street junk bingo
a seagull flying backwards

I waxed my board
I navigated the slanted pavement
I lit fires in the kelp grove
              underwater with a homemade
              banjo & a flashlight
                              sad like a broken wristwatch
I know so much about nothing
girls with turquoise lipstick
& names like Diptheria, Typhus, Encephalitis
tiptoe across my spookier thoughts
in rubberband bikinis

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gone (an orphaned quote)

O fahter, fahter
gone amoong

O eeys that loke

Loke, fahter:
your sone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

We can’t live in the present forever

The pressure of tides
                                                an iridescence
              ocean sunset in a trance

You sing I
count syllables
                              the air just flips
                              & dies

& in the distance maybe you can see
Rip van Heyerdahl
                              on the deck of the
                                                sinking whaleboat Kon Tiki
              signaling with a flashlight

The streets here all detour to the land of Nod
              or simply evaporate
either way returning us to the one true original premise
                              from which there is no escape

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dissolving Pearls in Gasoline

The blue sky sifts down
thru the grillwork haze
to flatten the beach
& the waves kinda
whisper an indifferent
“adios” that just hangs there
somehow unresolved
making my knees ache
with the implied denial
like when you do that
seagull strut across the parking lot
rattling in the 32 chambers
of my heart
& I spent 20 years tracking down that
line in The Cantos
& I drove all the way there
& back in 36 hours
& my eyes were blurry pools of blue
static interrupted by 57 cans of Tecate
confessing the sunset pavement
the ocean dark with the blood of fuchsias
& the day I was born
& the day I found out
& the day my father died

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A man walks into a bar carrying an octopus

Stranded beneath twisted palm trees
sipping at the pale sunlight that
              tunnels thru a thin layer of smog
to light up roses & pelicans
                              wrecked on adrenalin & perfume
knowing the indulgences
lifting the cloud cover
                              several tons of damp
                                              not to mention sun tan lotion
excluding the fish-bone tuning fork
halo effect
                              ROOMS OF OPEN SKY
& the ripple trail in Latin
landing on water
              as one could summon bare puddles
collapsing into their own reflections
like the relics of a failure you could never surrender
to traffic rituals
                              or fevered lips
stung by salt spray lifted from the marathon tide
              steeped in heavy breathing I thought
like a Japanese wrist
                              caressed by a silver blade

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bong Water Babies


How is it your reflection precedes you?

This room here trimmed in black-yellow sunlight
broken glass of angelic origin
bits of rotted cellophane, colored paper, foil
fishing lures? a panorama

plate glass           regarded physically as
beach glass           supercooled liquids rather than
stained glass           true solids; a windowpane
safety glass           a mirror, a barometer, etc
art glass
water glass

(all of the above shattered)

the inner mind, the hidden heart

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Catch & Release

I drove 500 miles
just to dive from the
edge of your pure white bliss
into a spoonful of
broken concrete

Beach Parking

baby moons

Picturehorse Heaven

Like unkept promises
whispering in the palms
the day John Coltrane discovered
he was Jesus’s son

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheat Sheet

They’re eyes were silver
listen (if you can listen                     Take the Bend
indulge me that
“…millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams,
somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls…” [Melville]
v   e   l   c   r   o         t   e   a   r   s
spinning                 1.
wheels                   you think of one color & then
of morphine         another (color) the sky
                                  a cement slab w/wings
on the beach
too cold                 2.
we are                   bells & snapshots (assembled)
ships                         3.
                                 “They eyes was silver”
& eventual plumes of mist

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Antiseptic Tank

From over yonder the traveling
circus & the seagreen mermaid
w/smeared lips & tequila earrings
These are the days of thread & gravel she
says like Mexican hula stripes on the hood of a
suicide Chevelle
                              All that tell-tale signage & reprisal
              you know? Furious windchimes
                                                made of fingerbones & glass
                              hang from the palomino sky
& just a step away from your tambourine
balcony the tattoos & clarinets
rattle palm trees in arabic w/bended knees

Monday, June 7, 2010

SPINNING THE DIAL by Edward Ainsworth

It is as much the story behind the story like the pipes of redemption, with the crackle of old vinyl or the pop of a damaged CD, yet lifted from there in this extended set of short poems sung to the static of a heart beating right on time.   The goof & wonder of it as the lyric segue preempts the contraband cell phone while the clincal diagnosis takes 12 steps back, turns on a dime, & queues up Louie-Louie on the iPod.   Spinning the Dial by Edward Ainsworth is available now from Blue Press.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

Blue sky floods the beach here
each perfect speechless afternoon
exiled to the paisley shade beneath
inevitable eucalyptus fishscale blades
where crystals grow like chevrolets

It might be worthwhile to interrogate
your own shadow which stands like the
ruins of a temple to a forgotten god
even long after you’ve gone

& I’m sipping from a bottle of sand
reaching for another seaweed cigarette
like a poem I know by heart
as the light falls & I gather myselves
from the psychosomatic air

My Uniform (from the ground up):
black low-top Converse All Stars
skater shorts (baggy)
Yater Surfboards t-shirt
St. Christopher medal
RayBan Wayfarers (black
like my heart)

Friday, June 4, 2010

DEJA VOODOO by Kevin Opstedal

Rimbaud wrote “Romanticism has never been properly judged.   Who was there to judge it?   The critics!” as some other gleam exchanged all that undulating out from under anything that pure.   An industry tradition.   Any future depends upon the past & the vague rhythm of a kind of narrative that outdistances the lyric.   The thread exonerated as an attempt to claim that place where nothing is revealed acknowledges the grace of having been there at all, minus the euphoric hardware.   The catch & release method of poetic composition taken then to perpetuate a self-conscious revival, the B-side of a once & future flashback.   I could say that it’s all about the music & that would be but approximation.   The measure nonetheless is to take a seven page poem in a single breath.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Birth of the Cutback

You got the silver, I got the chrome
& a gallon of gas in a can

She Rode In On A Half-Shell

toes on the nose

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Report from the Dawn Patrol

The surf was very great
w/a primo left
clean as the day
Jesus got his ticket punched