Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye Kodachrome

That was me then as now
plus & minus the 1963 Tijuana Thunderbird
parked forever out where the pavement meets the sea
& the girl who stuck around like hepatitis
with a fistful of loaded fingers
& a shady zip-code
We were right there for a minute or two
but the colors started to fade
even before the snapshot was developed
& that thin shadow filled her shoes
& I cut my hair
& drove north with the radio cranked up loud enough
to drown out the promises that never quite made it
The winter sun like a yo-yo
above the coast road & my eyes like
a million empty beach parking lots
Turns out forever wasn’t such a long time after all

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The revolution will be slept through

I got yr cold blue sky right here
locked in above relentless broken waves
              even colder now that the sun’s
climbed halfway there
                              your blue eyes in black & white
unblinking inside a two-way mirror
              broken glass
                              ripples in a tide pool
the way winter strums your veins
              ain’t nobody gonna shine yr sneakers
& the ragged one legged gull
                              picking at the carcass
                                                of a beached sea lion
knows something you ought to know

Monday, December 27, 2010

Loose Change

Ain't nobody gonna shine yr sneakers

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing

If I had a quarter
I could bounce it off a rainpuddle

playing a little woe-is-me for comic effect
keyed in on a month of monsoon drizzle
& empty pockets

fearing the inevitable “maybe”
on a Blank Monday

              The wind goes there to sleep it off
                                                dreaming leaves of sand
                              rustling on Xmas Island

& it’s like an endless Mardi Gras
                              if you can get there
              even if just for a minute or two

the rest of the time it’s like
crawling up the Pacific Coast Highway on a
broken pair of legs
                                                in the rain
              on an empty Sunday afternoon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mung Taco

1001 reasons why
the bastard offspring of Emily
Dickinson & Arthur Rimbaud
                              grew up to be a cross between
              the Dude & Charles Bukowski
or is it a cross between Jacques Cousteau
              & the Wu-Tang Clan?

Last night I watched the moon
wash up on the beach
in the rain
                              the blonde sand exhaling

I figured the evening star is jade
              a deep green edge
with which to
                              benchpress the winter sky

the way it rhymes with the Pacific deeps

those big kelp shoulders & monsoon eyes
promise me the company of the lost

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Breathing Underwater

Apparently there is a difference
she calls out their names
tracing the veins of each

sea   /   shell   /   glass   /  flame
              like divine scripture
the rain tipping the
              sky into the sea-
gray pavement
              begging for more

All that glitters remains
& the least of these pulls a
blade through the tide-
pool silhouette
she cradles in her cupped

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trout Mask Replica

i.m. Don Van Vliet

Bow your eyes & head
to the duty of the dead

Friday, December 17, 2010

True Romance

for Dale Herd

Who knows what it is
divided three ways
& konked out beneath the
palm trees hovering
wearing their (own) heartshaped vibrations
like silk

& standing at the velvet gate
slashed by x’s
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
they ask, as well they should

I paddled out at Staircase anyway
late in the day & no one else in the water

Staircase is closer to County Line
& Heavens is closer to Secos

father, son & holy ghost

late & early & in-between

legendary inside somebody’s neural tapestry

I didn’t realize there was blood
all down the side of my face

Someone asked me how I felt
& I said I feel fucking great

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All the burnt kelp methadone in the world can't keep the weather map from insinuating its telepathic rhyme scheme

It’s quiet on the water
my mind goes

and the rain
mist inverted
on the sidewalk

arches of silver

must I always lead you there & back again
invariably whispers beneath the pier
the name of time

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last Chance Luau

The pineapple express derailed just
west of Samoa
the wreck could be seen on weather maps
along with associated
i.e., The Road to Xanadu
the leaves all golden now, feathers
as they fall, the lace-like skeletons of butterfly wings
                              like irony was the first mistake
taking the scenic route was the second
              the third was the black & white camouflage
                                                of her yellow polka dot kimono

Nikola Tesla conceived the earth as a conductor of
acoustic resonance, what about the ocean?
what about those high-heel huaraches?

I can’t tell the difference between the sky & the sea
knee deep in the parking lot
peeling off a wetsuit in the rain

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Warp Factor

She got the silver & I got the smoke
backing into a 100 year echo
& the blonde waves so green & dense w/foam

What color was it different
all lit up in 3 & a half languages
behind dark glasses, darker
eyes, empty windows…
She used to say it that way
Our Lady Queen of the Angels
now & then on Wilshire
Blvd six blocks from the beach

I wanted to sip from the bloodshot sunset
tattooed on her ankle but idolized as something
clumsy & tropical

like a preconceived notion of fate
drenched in neon

Monday, December 6, 2010

No sense in being a poet if it's the same as being a citizen

Through the window a dust of gray light
spilled like a map of South America
out onto the sand

tipped on end like a shadow in the eyes of
reeds that bend beneath the weight of a threatening sky

a shallow sky & all the essential appliances

leading you past the gradual arrival of the tide

The rainy beach pavement stretching from here to Nagasaki
the bells & the shoreline split by a cold wind off the water

& long after it’s gone you can still hear it
rattling in the palm leaves
like dice games on the ocean floor

Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Ops

for Jimmy Dunagan

The countdown (backwards):
The Jewel of Denial
The Breeze & I
A Man at the Table
              didn’t necessarily look like Joan Crawford with a beard
Francois Villon

“A man has got to know his limitations”

different names for inconvenient body parts

There you are
& there you go

“thine true heritage”

beneath the indisputable California sky which I know you
depend upon as much as I & gaze up into it when nothing else
makes sense
                              as thankfully so little does
              cloudy or clear

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Number Four & the Number Nine

The tides repeat themselves always
the same but different

That diving seagull doesn’t make me think of
everything I’ve lost―
it makes me think of everything I
never had

for a minute

(named after a Chinese elephant)

Next to nowhere I prefer this slab
of beach concrete

doo-wah-ditty dum

Giotto dips his brush in red
paint & in one continuous stroke
draws a perfect circle