Sunday, October 28, 2012

FALL FOR YOU by Todd McCarty

This is poet Todd McCarty’s first published collection, & it is a blast.  The poems are very tight, tough, and somehow transcendent.  Deftly negotiating unexpected hairpin turns as they skid from humor to tenderness to simple awestruck wonder, these lyrics confidently claim that rare place between language & thought, as poetry should.  Dig the music & the measure, as the strange, the familiar, & the inevitable collide, bouncing off each other in ways you never thought possible.
Do yourself a favor & get a copy from Blue Press today.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shipped by Mule from Slovakia

Too late to change languages.
That look in your eye
never so near as when you’re far away.
Something quieter, perhaps darker, turns inward
& dissolves in the pale light leaking from a sky of
tarnished silver. 
But I can wait.
Sometimes the wind in the eucalyptus
is the way the dead talk to us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just About Time

The Way the Story Goes
I planted nasturtiums everywhere I ever lived
over the years so that I’ve left
a trail of nasturtiums
behind me
in case I ever want to find my way back
Lost & Found
You will always find whatever you’re looking for
although it won’t always be what you thought it would
It took me over 20 years to figure out that the chord changes of
Art Pepper’s signature bop tune “Straight Life” are based upon
“After You’ve Gone”.  I suppose I could have asked someone but
discovering it on my own after so much time was
a magic mainline shot of adrenaline
& you get addicted to those kinds of moments
After You’ve Gone
Watching wet foot
prints evaporate
on the sun
bleached pavement

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wet sand from here to forever

It’s morning & it’s kind of raining outside
& x-number of gulls like
hours, moments, dreams, are picking up speed
& putting it down again (you
know & I know) the tempo of the dharma
is not always so easy to dance to
The Temple of the Drama used to be up at
Stinson Beach, it was made out of drift-
wood & sand & rusty pieces of metal if I remember right
let the molecules work it out among themselves
I used to think it was all about the journey
but right now I don’t seem to be going anywhere
I had bent my soul with empty waves, water density,
intervals, satellite photos, weather charts,
the tides, “The Poems” & you
& I still couldn’t tell you where I’ve been or what I saw
feels like I’ve spent the past few years underwater
Fall thru the mirror
slick back my eyes
nod out
listen to the Songs of the Whales
in stereo
as played by Iggy & the Stooges
write a 900 line suicide note in heroic couplets
watch a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie
check to see how much time is left
wonder what happened to all of my Sub-Mariner comic books
recite the Lankavatara Sutra
count the bubbles
roll the dice

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We Must Be Halfway There By Now

in the middle of the night
in the middle of a day
in the middle of the afternoon
in the middle of breakfast
in the middle of a wave
in the middle of the ocean
in the middle of a movie
in the middle of a poem
in the middle of fucking
on a bed of nails
in the middle of a dream
in the middle of the street
in the middle of a walk on the beach
in the middle of telling you something
I never told anyone else before
in the middle of the next-to-last beer
in the middle of nowhere

Monday, October 15, 2012


A chunk of concrete streaked with rust
rotting on the beach                   the other side        among the dancers
white knuckles & black leaves & waves breaking
sounds through us       & back
taking its time
                              THIS is a dark place full of sunlight
carbonated eyes & the stolen taco wagon
         I thought that when you said  “mass consumption”
         you were talking about an epidemic of tuberculosis
more sleek less transparent
boiling ocean poppies
the name of the morning sky

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Demolition Derby

There is a palm tree outside the window here
full of dark & light     
whispering (green) & slowly
in the late October
afternoon dusted w/silver haze
so the message gets thru          encrypted            like her shoulders
which are bare white miracles darkened by the sun.
She is the one who hesitates an instant (to be sure) the
letters to & from
as the powder blue sky tumbles above the jetty
& shadows hold their breath now that everything is broken
DESIRE is a needle in the sand, she said,
her eyes glistening like tidepool mirrors
taken away by the shimmer of heat dissolving
in the grip of pavement that eventually will
crumble into the sea & road maps will be useless…
I’ll examine the veins in her wrist instead
planning our escape

Monday, October 8, 2012

I slept thru the best part

The roadside ferris wheel & opium vendors with
trouble in mind blues tipping the pagoda stool

Flashy shadow-boxing dance moves on a high-wire cathedral belt
I’ve painted my way out of so many corners I’m color blind
A wind went by just now
it had traveled across the vast Pacific
sprinted over the beach at Cowell’s & up Ocean Street
stumbled thru a few palm trees here on Wipeout Avenue
& continued on out to Donner Pass I guess
future beach front property if the Mayans were right
Dreaming by TV light
black & white footage, I could only tell you
what I thought it meant reflecting the uneven silver glow
the trees lit up with small birds accelerating

Something there is that rings a bell
180 degrees of fitful silence echoing in a seashell

I said that I prefer to sleep wearing sunglasses
& a big straw hat

“If you want a poem find a blank page”

 (Philip Whalen said that)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Singing in the Wires

I could be standing at the screendoor
asking for something easy

but it never is

                        or if it was they’d find a way to
package it & I’d still be paddling thru the shallows
waiting for the tide…

(From the outside)             looking                      out

2 eyes, 2 hands, one split-level heart
dedicated to beams of sunlight
money for nothing
flakes of rust that gather in a corner of the sky

& there is a reason why we open the windows half-way each
morning only to close them half-way each night

all summer long when the seaweed is in bloom

It will never leave us when it goes

& love is not a dream returning

Monday, October 1, 2012

No Matter How You Slice It

In the middle of the street, far out at sea, at the
intersection of Africa and Beach Flats
tomorrow, or the day after
shattered, distracted, standing by the gate that once betrayed a
husk of roses in the evening fog, the sunlight slanting in

I meant to say nasturtiums & the rattling
of metallic palm leaves
easily mistaken for the last scene of Hamlet
or Reservoir Dogs

Sand pushes past the horse latitudes

We drove there like Mayakovsky
or Su Tung-p’o in a late model Chevy
with 4 bald tires & a cracked cylinder head
burning oil on the road to the land of the Dead

Sometimes the mist drifts past like a great whale
other sometimes it’s more like a Martian landing party
at Oxnard Shores.

Standing by the gate.  Spiked kool-aid.  Dark sun glasses.
A t-shirt.  White.
Fluttering in the dark.

Chinese weather.