Monday, January 31, 2011

Apo Calypso

Watched the sun rise
thru the tangled branches of
a rotting palm tree
at the bottom of a rain
              the deep blue sea is turning green
              or gray
                              with rusty chrome highlights
              straight out of the Book of Job
& the wind whispers “let us pray”
but why & what for I
couldn’t say
                              staggering out into the damp
              carrying a surfboard & a wetsuit
                                                & with a flock of epileptic
                              butterflies in my gut
knelt down right there
on the bloodstained Tijuana pavement
but then God
              (a known alcoholic with a criminal record
& a pink hat)
                              was nowhere to be found

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paint a dollar sign on something when I die

Fuck Death
It must have been sometime in
1998 I cut out this big color
picture from the local newspaper
that showed the head of a
goofy looking donkey
braying & I inked in
“FUCK DEATH” along the
bottom of the picture
stuck it in a frame
& I’ve kept it on the all the walls
since then
near where I write
just to remind me

After the Bruised Heart
No, there’s no light
at the end & no severance
pay for all those days
spent like the money I
don’t have set alongside
an unreasonably blue
sky slanting down into
the sea

Cost Analysis
I can remember when death was
a joke mugging for the
cameras like John Malkovich
behind the wheel of a
fully loaded
’78 El Camino SS
quoting the tide charts
completely out of his fucking

I didn’t have any
money then

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Say It Like You Mean It

How do you say goodbye to the
last of your tribe
& go on living with
a thirst that won’t quit?
but then
the bottle was empty before you
even started
because the journey just ends
with eyes fading out in the rear view
& a shadow dissolves
right there on the fucking concrete
before you get a chance to say

“Those were pearls that
were his eyes” I said to the
crazy lady who bummed a smoke
ouitside the Grog Shop on Ocean

I wanted to add, “Look!) Here is Belladonna,
the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations” but
she turned & hurried away

didn’t even ask for a light…

Did you know that T.S. Eliot smoked Kools?

I always thought he smoked Newports
& listened to the blues on a scratchy iPod hook-up
down & out in Juarez

at any rate
totally mentholated

Monday, January 24, 2011

A remembrance

by Stephen Kessler -- here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Is Important

i.m., FA Nettelbeck

Lifted that shotglass of burnt gold tequila
the memory sewn shut
w/the Phoenician surfer
all nickels & dimes
found floating face down in the water
nobody knew his name
somebody said he was from southern California
nobody knew who he was
but then I’m sitting here w/Blind Willie McTell
the day fading out
              talking to a ghost
I said “I could always drive around Mexico with a severed head
in a bag, but what would I do for gas money?”
& Fred said “ALREADY got too many heads in bags in Juarez!”
Still foggy, whacked out, circus pulse, pressure...
it gives one this weird sense of “down in the hole”, a ditch or pit
(bottomless), you ain’t NEVER gonna climb out of,
even if you wanted to

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nettelbeck, 1950-2011

You never found that
easy way out
but then again you didn’t look too hard for it
your heart was just too fucking huge

I’ll always remember meeting up with
you & Billie
at the Avenue Bar in Santa Cruz
how you wrapped me in a giant
bear hug & called me your brother
because we were brothers
in the Word

& those endless emails & sporadic
phone calls singing the unsung
& the poems

all ended now

You were a true poet
down to your scarred knuckles

shit, man, I’m gonna miss you
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------"sucking the dregs of a fifth of Pancho Villa Gold actually not too bad for 10 bucks chasing with Modelo yesterday was 40 now 80 today! still winter in the air and I ain’t got no wood in and I need at least 8 cords blah blah same (THE VERY) same shit and I know better BUT I mustn’t turn into Jack Micheline and I'm afraid I am but fuck east LA would be worse so why bitch gotta good buzz EAST COAST would be worse honkie but this writing writing aimless what is there to prove I CAN WRITE ONCE IN AWHILE A FUCKING GOOD POEM! and and and I’ll be 60 in 2 months fuck lets relax a bit look into my daughter’s eyes I ain’t dying with 89 chapbooks feeding some cocksucking bookdealer’s kids OUT AND OUT out and out tequila is the best poem.................”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Throw down a few
against the darkness

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Drowning the Sunset

I drove 264 miles
in reverse
beneath the light of
a last tattoo
closer to the color of pavement
I never noticed
& where we was
exonerates the telltale haze
& fatuous dreams embalmed
in the mariachi version
turning several shades of deepsea
with abalone guitars & drive-thru
confessionals at the
bottom of a motel swimming pool
just a block from the beach

Monday, January 17, 2011

A ripple on the surface of a puddle at the bottom of the sea

The ocean turning a
translucent turquoise at dawn
as a telltale mist invades
my hazy presence…

spent the last few days in Ventura
tunneling thru the Santa Ana winds
with my second cousin
              little John the Conqueroo

maintaining a strict regimen of
Taco Bell & beer
              to purify myself
                                                before the gods
                              who don’t live here anymore
if they ever did

reading the future in the pink smudges that
gather at the edge of the sky

somewhere under your eyes all

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Limits of Time & Space

In deep shit
in over my head
up a creek without a paddle
without a canoe…

The seagull strutting along the shoreline
doesn’t give a damn—
How do I explain that to the
taxpayer advocate at the IRS?

as the wind whispers
Donde es mi narcoticos?
& I don’t know

one lovely drop of blood per diem

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Smoke on the Water

Something about how your heart
stalls out halfway there
& palm trees stumble
beneath the weight of a thousand details
already forgotten
& yet such things have presence
as much an anyplace in particular
desire being as good a reason as any other
a numb caress
the same color as true romance
blessing early morning ceremonies
below Lighthouse Point
another random example tangled in seaweed
going or gone
just because you can’t pay for the same
crime twice nor
establish the rapture
stirring your kool-aid w/a cigarette
one step past the fact or ficciones
in a deep blue guacamole sky

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vapor Eyes

A few damp syllables left outside the taqueria
& it’s Welcome to Hawaiian Week
on the ocean floor

The sun smiles like a pit bull

Great ocean tides breathe
like a dump truck backing up

while skeletons in grass skirts snake-walk
into the bloodred turquoise

Monday, January 3, 2011


Doo-Wop Fog Fog Surf
A variegated darkwater silver
bending late & early autumnal tides
burning out in sunset colors
including all the dark mist lifted from
strangled candles
& I thought reliquary
the disparity which makes
her hyped crucifix glow in the
dripping alleys of consecration
& from the sleeve of midnight
solicits obituary bells

Kicking the Gong

Vista Point
From here you can see the
shadows on the dark white
of her vapor eyes