Thursday, April 28, 2011

El Bongo

Ask for what you want
blink & it’s gone

fancy footwork

who knows where it comes from desire…

              & the dancers each of them only part human
              each of them wears a feathered headdress
              & a long string of pearls

What about palm leaves rustling above
              feathered shadows scraped off the concrete
“Please notify a physician if you experience
eccentric breathing”

Woke up hungry in Santa Cruz.   Pause.
Touch the ground.

              Woke up drunk in Bora-Bora.   Reinventing
              the ocean haze.   Rocks along the shoreline
              burst into flame.

Someone said
“How you doing?”
& I said

I think you’re looking at it...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Center of the Universe

It’s damp out there
& either damp or not in here
with drizzle bells & chapstick
& why not good & evil
                                                & the national debt
attaining that rarified number of the infinite
as in how many buddhas can park themselves
in the needle’s eye
                              perfected beneath a long flowing gown
made of quarter-inch steel & seaweed
& stepping out from behind that smokescreen
into thin layers of bluewhite haze back home in
              the pavement throbbing beneath your sneakers
beach traffic using up all the available metaphors
                              before you can wipe away the tears
questionable sunlight crumbling around you
It was always that way
              I was lucky to have been there
when will I ever leave?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blue Press Broadsides

A set of 4 Blue Press Broadsides:   Then by Michael Price, Rawlings by Dale Herd, But For the Grace of God Go I by Edward Ainsworth, On the darkside of a Martian beach scene by Kevin Opstedal.   Each broadside is printed in color on 8.5x11 65# natural white coverstock, & signed by the author.   The complete set is available for $20   The edition is limited to 25 signed & numbered copies from Blue Press.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Paddling back to the hard luck land of turquoise to look for you

Some late & early morning
fog on stilts
              the backstage pinwheel orchestra
                              pounding out the 445th chorus
              of Heartbreaker
& if you consider how life here has
              become like a polished chrome
quaalude at the
                              bottom of a motel swimming pool
then you’d hike your skirt up for me
              when the sun drops like a shot bird
pulling the mist over your eyes
                              which are still the color of
              bourbon in a shot glass
                                                held up to the very last
                              pale golden ray
                                                                of sunlight

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wrong for Too Long

“Poverty, my dear friend, is so great an evil, and pregnant with so much temptation, and so much misery, that I cannot but earnestly enjoin you to avoid it.”
                                      – Samuel Johnson, to James Boswell

Stepping out into the sun-
light & the wind
              to revise the architecture of these ritual implements
beer bottles, rusty nails
                              inevitable acoustic sledgehammers
& the steeple of a submerged church
              propped against the window glass
I drove all the way there
                              under an assumed name
thus did I occasion the homemade electric
              mandolin w/Arabic footnotes
while struggling to ace the
                              penniless, blah blah, woe is me, etc, chorus
              in braille…
Asked for one word that describes my poetry I said
                              I knew those mirrors needed proof
beyond the bend of the tide the
              floating mosaic drift of sea & sky
an unsafe & impractical guide
                                                like divine scripture
                              begging for more

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A particular moment, here & gone

Her eyes tell me more than perhaps
she would ever want to say
other nights & days beyond
the soft light fluttering against her wrist

like bells rippling in the rush of the tide

remember the difference
(between this one & that
              “All scatt’red in the bottom of the sea”
a separate realm of existence
                              I never noticed until someone mentioned
                              there was blood all down the side of my face

carved stone kelp blossom
concrete veins of rust

Lost Angles (El Lay) on either side of the
sliding glass
              (several palm trees of unknown provenance

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Global Warming Party

We are a part of the
late morning fog
in B-minor

ripping up the
coldwater sludge
at the rivermouth

tunneling thru the swamp…

It was April because
tomorrow never comes

reflected on the wet sand

the washed out lemon sun
stirring up the dust
the palisades (in flames)
the motel neon eyeshadow
the tattooed waves & the telltale
signature of foam

Saturday, April 9, 2011

PALM TO PINE by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

As I read this new collection of poems by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux I kept thinking of something Coleridge wrote in his Biographia Literaria

“If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake – Aye, what then?”

Where these poems go, where they’ve been, & where they take you, is that place of lucid wonder; an engagement with the eternality built-in to a fleeting moment of recognition.

Check it out at Bootstrap Productions.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Forfeit

The sign reads “VACANCY”
& it blinks
                              on & off
to remind you
                                                tiny bubble notes
                                                from a long way off
              each bubble contains a word

There are clouds in the mud

              You are wearing a seaweed kimono

The streets belong to another place, another
time, set on fire in the yellow tree as the story goes
& where I used to drag my knuckles through the sand
expecting wisdom to replace the white powder in my blood
any minute now...

This song & dance is dedicated to
José Throwhammer, Jenny Staccato, & Tina Damp

(you know who you are

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunset on Sunset

It was summer then―
a glitch in the highlight reel
slipping past yet another lost horizon
with Hawaiian guitars echoing
              as you sip your coconut milk & tequila
through a straw
& the voodoo buddhist catholic witchdoctor
speaking in sign language says
              “Your thoughts should be pure
              no matter what you think”
& I thought an authentic life-size sea monster
deposited in the backyard by the early morning ocean fog
                              with delicate rainshadow beadwork

All my life I danced it that way
                              the loop, the wedge, the hook
              one foot in a watery grave & the other
                                                on the edge of something really vast
like a vast undiscovered continent that
                              long before I was born

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Southwest & sideways

incense, piano, drums
                              A HISTORY
                                                several blank pages
“that’s as close as you get”

              What is now imagined
              was once merely fact

a state of seige
a liquid state
trance state
the Golden State (California)

a state of calm yet transcendent detachment

“Please be unreasonable”

sometimes the waves take you there

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On the darkside of a Martian beach scene

You see them dancing in the waves
naked beneath their tattoos
out of the sea
ascending the steps of the submerged palace
their lips the color of wet sand
slashed with X’s
              “Do you know at the offering of which libation
              the waters become endowed with a human voice
              and rise and speak?”
I guess they were playing with needles
              & watching John Wayne movies
dubbed in Spanish
                              as I would beg indulgence
                              if only to aggregate an equivalent
                                                somewhere between Santa
                                                Cruz & Sri Lanka
so that entire summer trimming the blue from my eyes
downwind scraps of silver light edged in smog
& later (mas tarde) a single cold diamond flame
& I realized
              I hadn’t even been born yet

Friday, April 1, 2011

Source Code

We need help, the Poet reckoned
                                          ―Ed Dorn

Bikini Collision Course
Another cruel April
how many has it been since? & the beach
revised several times over
depending on who you talk to

Catholic Boy
wiping the rain from his RayBans

Tombstone Blues
In honor of National Poetry Month
I gave 6 friends an engraved invitation
to my funeral
                              (that’s a lie
I’ve only got 4 friends
              & 2 of them don’t
talk to me anymore & the
                              invitations were hand drawn
in crayon
              on pieces of cardboard that
I immediately threw away