Monday, May 28, 2012

Breathing (a romance)

for Christy & Edward

The waves roll glimpses of sky
steeped in voluptuous harmonies
just as the light blue light of Mississippi
(I imagine) kicks off a rocking little number
in the heart
                              & it’s strange to discover that there’s
no difference
              between what you want
& what you need
                              but that sometimes love makes it so
I guess that’s nothing you both
didn’t already know
singing as it does throughout Eddie’s Patio Poems
which I hear ringing as an extended echo of
the “Bright Star” sonnet
              as you are reflected in each others eyes
“awake forever in a sweet unrest”
                              so tenderly given, so tenderly taken
that breath commingled be
each to each

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dopamine Hydrochloride

I have no idea what time it is (twilight)
late & early

The light as it would
seaward reflect
the silver-green ripple sound of eucalyptus
in place of memory

as reflected in the stained glass tide pool
you never explained

every wave wash, foam bubble, seashell pendant

remember the difference?       (between this one & that
one)           & the light…

                              I’ve seen it myself

                                                a blue light that gets golden
                                                & flares out


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fate, reclining

Flat     /     Air


black & white

over             yonder

Step Aside

a long walk
a short drive

drifting               (blue)               edges

“That the poem will not abandon you is the one score that counts.   Today’s Bishop Sheen platitude.”   DUNCAN MCNAUGHTON.   Bolinas, California:   Somewhere in Bulgaria:   Santa Cruz:   Later that same day:   San Francisco:   “Hope Springs Infernal” was how Philip Whalen said it.   I wasn’t sure if you knew that.   Light / radiance / air―it’s all right there.   Hanging by a thread.
[   in the shape of HASH FOR BREAKFAST by Ted Berrigan   ]

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stirring up the shadows

1. Turn on the TV

2. Don’t watch it

3. Remember taking peyote in 1976?

4. The theme from Endless Summer

5. …uh…

6. Philip Guston

7. Paradise Lost vs the later Maximus Poems

8. Water on the brain

9. Spiderwebs in the wind

10. A combination of small south & northwest groundswells
delivering waves of up to five feet at north-facing beaches where
I once saw a palomino seahorse galloping in the foam
its wild eyes a pair of polished obsidian stones set on fire
the thunder of its hooves no more than a whisper now as I
gather a bouquet of broken glass & rusty windchimes for the
French girl with leukemia who at this very moment is gently
knocking at my door

Friday, May 18, 2012

(View from Above)

Little Red Recovery Room
She said she preferred the
scenic route

From the Floating Zendo to the Church of
Christ, the Ventriloquist

I missed the
cut off & had to double back
with the sun in my eyes
& a perfect alibi

Sea-Sea Rider
I’m leaving now
      Guess you’re satisfied
If I miss that wave
      I got a big black horse to ride

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Big Bridge 15 Year Anniversary Issue

The new Big Bridge is online & there are a couple of items therein you have to check out.

Joe Safdie's review of Dear Oxygen: New & Selected Poems by Lewis Macadams, & Neeli Cherkovski's interview with Patrick Dunagan.

Totally great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just that far gone

The smog shaves off a few centimeters from the
thermal inversion which I thought might
enhance the immune system

in that sense mostly for you

Vendors of the theatrical trailer will
walk a nautical mile to witness
Neptune & the Neptunas
vanishing off the coast of Ventura

Concrete ruins on the beach
adorned with graffiti, rust & seaweed

The muffled crash of waves
                              a subatomic whisper
              blue-green chrome
                                                eye of the surf zombie

I might not see my shadow on the sand there
later in a blue dust of haze

ear bone, brain bone, thin juice bone

darkwater turquoise

deep as a Rastafarian
well of souls

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flotation Devices for Frequencies Yet to Be Detected

Slow as the gradual awakening
of some hulking behemoth
(ref. The Odyssey, Book Eleven,
A Manual of Surfing)
& dragging the crucible & 40 links of chain
up from the shorebreak across the wet sand
at dawn
              (The sun has yet to show itself but it’s light enough
              to know it’s still dark
                              & the ocean is radiating abalone shell
                                                a point of entry & return within that
                                                broken dissolve of mist & sand
& it’s like skin popping a few
thought provoking strands of neon
leaning hard into the shadow you left there
flat against the damp pavement

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vacuum Advance

The dark side of her eyes
crease the sunset
                              as you would the petals of some
                                                                tropical flower
maybe a rare orchid
              with blooms the color of burnt steel

& that she proves Zeno’s law with every step she takes

the highway disappearing over her shoulder
like smoke

                                                I told her I could drive the PCH forever

just that stretch from Point Mugu to Santa Monica
& back again
                              a region of rare power & inspiration
tapping the source of dreams lost & dreams
that have yet to be dreamt
                                                                like hillsides & bluffs
                                                                          crumbling into the sea

(coastal erosion
is a state of mind)

              “The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
              It cannot be ruled by interfering.
              If you try to change it you will ruin it.
              If you try to hold it you will lose it.”

all that cement will turn to sand eventually

be patient

A couple of cast-iron two and a quarter inch pipes stuck down into the concrete or asphalt blacktop & a length of rusty chain link laying there bleeding
                              Across the street a row of storefronts looking shabby & forlorn beneath torn awnings & TV antennas or dirty white satellite dishes
                              A small sooty cactus to the right of the entrance, cigarette butts & bottle caps in its thorns or spikes or needles—whatever you call them—& when shadows fall against it you can almost hear a sigh

              Open up the sky (it’s dark) but like her
              indifferent to the slurred speech of waves the
              traffic on Highway 1 understands

                              I’m always hearing things although I don’t always listen
              Feel my eyes holding often & only unreal light flings itself at her feet
                              Any second now a knock at the door could be silently returned
                                                The clairvoyant isometrics of palm trees repeating themselves out along the main-line
              The streets the darkness paddles across diminishing rapidly as if the laws of physics had been sped up & played in reverse
                              ( a slow semi-rational tango I’m almost certain
              rakes the brain within its groove )

              Night sifting down thru the smog

                              there wasn’t anything we could do about it

              The streets with their shadows tucked neatly into place

I wondered at the genius of it―

                                                She never said a word
                                                                she didn’t have to

                              The streets were hers
                                                                & the shadows
                                                & the night

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Narrow Margin

It was Mexico at last
mapped in dusty miles of gray
light, silence & iron-lungs.
From where you are to where you
may be going. No way to tell.
“Do you know this road, seƱor?”
What’s there to know.
“A pinched Medusa, freckled with trail dirt
bitchy light years from Anne Frank.”
She carried a pistol.   My words are just
an extension of this.   And so it read
“Palm trees grow in poor soil.   They
seem to prefer it.”   I figured it was
a learned behavior.   A shrug as if to
say there’s nothing that can be done
about it so why try.   The miles grind away
your heartfelt resolutions until all that’s
left dies out like a struck match.   Cerveza,
por favor.   Tequila, pulque, mezcal.
A blown muffler, a burned-out piston.
“El Corazon, otra vez?”   The journey
ends in bloody disarray, tarnished pesos
& lapsed prescriptions.   Tibetan postcards
sent from New Orleans.   A sunset
shimmering on a city so far off we can
only imagine.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nothing Was Delivered

Nobody NEEDS to be Enlightened

(an allegory)


“When you look into the abyss
the abyss also looks into you.”     (Friedrich Nietzsche)


“Call me, come over, listen carefully, save my life,
give me strength”     (Ted Berrigan)


“A fine little girl is waitin’ for me
but I’m as bent as Dostoevsky”     (Iggy Pop)

EPILOGUE: A Day at the Beach

“The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.”
                      (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

T minus 10 & counting

Not a butterfly but Aepyornis
              (the extinct elephant bird of Madagascar)
                              hovering above the nasturtium

              (although Aepyornis was a bird that
              couldn’t fly
                              & anyway I was watching it all from
              the bottom of a
                                                tide pool)

Identity is merely recognition

              You trip over your own reflection in the
                                                hall of mirrors but refuse to crash
                              & shatter yourself

              ―We are bodies of water
              owning the space above & below
              if only for a Stagger Lee minute or so―

& it is a hinge
more restrained, less dithyrambic than a Dirge
              falling somewhere between El Camino Real
                              & a kind of sunset neon you could
build a religion out of

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shall Be Made Known

Rested slept empty gone
from perspective
a reflection at best
that you be there


& a truckload of nothing-comes-easy
bent into the shape of a burnt spoon
stirring the kool-aid

The lopsided moon repeating itself
to the attendant drift & glitter of those
more distant stars

burning out one by one

& meanwhile
Charon’s skiff cuts
smoothly across the
dark water
toward you like
a caress