Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sean Penn will reprise the role of Jeff Spicoli in the movie version of this poem

The ocean fog reads like a
Diebenkorn cheat sheet
slicing the weather
& tilting parking lots down
toward the sea
where the soundtrack’s an
instrumental for mandolin & tidal wave
A ripple thread creasing your heart
in the grip of madrigals & torch ballads
The way the wind confides in a steel guitar
shouldn’t have led you past the dazzle
The trees all lit up on whatever medicine was available
& everything you thought you knew
surrendered to a kind of tormented love I call “Snake Eyes”
but drifting as in a mist of haze
if only to to exhaust the delicate narcotic
of our perforated resolve

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The wet pavement was as dark as her eyes

It was like springtime in Abysssinia
& we were watching the rock & roll picture show
through binoculars
                              & the 36 chainsmoking buddhas in my hip pocket
were preaching a kind of punk compassion I
could really learn to dance to

My irreparable blue eyes
              gazing down into the windows of your
                              (I don’t know) soul?

              trying to find something to rhyme with
              the wind strumming the eucalyptus

                              I guess waves crashing like shattered glass at sunset
                                                                would be the acoustic version

              If I had a nickel for every time I crossed the beach
              & never came back I could buy you something
              nice to wear just so I could watch you take it off

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rusted puddles, ritual Viking filtertips, liquid silver & the time it takes

The sea-breeze strumming the wires to inoculate a feather of drifting fog that just now starts to dissolve.   No real choice but what darkens the blood seven miles from the vague notion that there ought to be twenty one steps from here to the beach (there are 32) & nothing follows you across the wet pavement except a few rogue rain-drops & the Lankavatara Sutra like a chainsaw throbbing in the ridge-bone above your left eye & whatever else was stashed among the needles & pearls that define this early morning ocean light

          & as the fog peeled off
          another blue sky that
          no one’s ever seen before I said
          Here’s one semi-brilliant moment in the otherwise
          fitful swampage of the day

                        you only get one

          & we left the motor running
          when we walked out to the edge
          as though there was a chance we’d
          actually make it back

Monday, January 16, 2012

Somewhere Near

Fog drifts past in the dream-colored aftermath (pale
morning light

it isn’t yours until you give it away

              like something you
              pour out of an empty bottle

I’ve got everything we need right here
except food & money but
              there’s plenty of air
w/music in it
                              & blank sheets of poetry
to fan the flames
              & keep the eternal cigarette lit

                              a unit of measure

                              none so exact or useful as zero
                              (that blank stare

out near the flapping
wings you can always trade in for a damp stretch of

              the bump & grind of the shorebreak
                              windows in the sea
                                                & her eyes…

her eyes like the lighted doorways to a ruined temple
which is her mind
              interior designed by M.C. Escher
resembling a medieval parking structure

paved with clouds

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fire in the Sky

The morning
wedged into a corner of the window
still dark but light enough to
shut impatient dreams
delicately entwined
              The few lines I scribbled in the night
seem this morning to be written in sanskrit?
                              A leadpipe reckoning
                                                A little coffee & kerosene at low tide
Interior landscapes where I don’t find you
              & less than a mile from here
                              it all turns to glass
Pacific Overture
The dragon in the waves is our
connection to the East

The East is west of here
The Dalai Lama’s stoked
he’s got a California reggae garage version of
Mystery Train
going full blast in his head 24-7

I wonder how many sunsets it takes to
get that transparent

Monday, January 9, 2012

The wind whispers like wings in a dream as a darker, more subdued idea of time takes hold, inside

Drifting past night stars, Ventura radio
& the turquoise narrative

I often think of the tear-stained pavement
of Todos Santos

but where I live it’s wall to wall ocean
thus to drift is character

& all them immensities of the sea
at dark of noon beneath your midnight sunburn

Only the tender caress of oblivion she said
can take the guesswork out of mercy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saturation Point

The wind backs down the
tide picks up & we’re no different
counting every ripple in the heart

All night long the sea from which the rain is quote
Love made known
so that the Earth might speak, Ocean

Your daddy is a millionaire
Your mother is a contest winner

The sky turned a kind of
bleached blonde color that
stained our eyes

You provide the sleek shadowing
& stark exterior logic
I’ll handle the employees

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nothing (you didn’t already know)

Some rationalize their lives
              as if that might tip the mirror
but I shave while looking into a
              photograph of Walt Whitman
sketching out the occasional parallel experience
              it’s chronological significance lost now
the same way time spins to the ground 30 years ago
(if I could remember that far back I wouldn’t admit it
              knee-deep in the raw damp serpentine
              of sea-mist dawn
                              where concluding slumber knocks
                              to open
                                                all that’s left
an instant so caught in a sip of breath
as would return my own redundant soul
              in a spare white world alongside
as though you lived there combing your long dark hair
              in the vague care of palm shadows, leaf shadow
night of the lunar eclipse
              doesn’t necessarily ring the velvet
                              Her heart tuned to underwater radio
                                                her watch set to Shangri-la
& that coral reef tango she did but only when the
              lights were off as tears recede in whispers
the way the shadow of a gull clings to the sand
              & though I cross the parking lot alone at dusk
when the wind strums bell-like guitar chords & the streets
haul-ass to El Paradiso
              my heart remembers thin watery shadows
somewhere far off flickering like tongues of flame