Sunday, December 23, 2012

Los Oxidados

Shooting pool in a dirt floor cantina
“Mucho calor”             yeah, weather’s hot, amigo
Dogs wandering in & out of the place
          (they have a little Baja all their own)
Back in the car we take off with the windows rolled down
so that the heat off the blacktop can blast through us
Are those band-aids on the crushed bumper of that ’84
Chevy compact?
It rattles & spews dark clouds of smoke
                              into the deep blue Mexican air
Mariachis taking a break at the Tecate Six in Pescadero
Federales hanging out at the corner
Turn left off the highway onto a dirt road
bounce along through agricultural land
peppers, avocados                palm trees
                                    veer right at the thrashed VW van
& roll on out to the beach . . .
Standing in the shorebreak                intense undertow but
                                                               the waves are clean
We are as the haze
              ignited by the setting sun

Shelley must have lived like this on the Mediterranean
only the waves weren’t as good

This was one of many poems written during
a trip to Baja in 2006.  I think I should change
my name to Kevin Oxidados.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Juan Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The birth of oceans exposed by winter
   breathing the tropical ambience on Beach Street
A day of hollow music & indecision
   inside the windy ruins of our
once & future resolve (Mexico)
   although the swaying palm trees up the ante
with their preconceived notion of fate
   Our dreams hanging like heretics
from the high-tension wires
   & a not-so-simple walk to the liquor store
sets the skate wheels in my head to spinning
   It’s dark in there but I’m feeling like a flashlight
on a moonless night
   the power gone & the rain
sweeping in from the south

Friday, December 14, 2012

Universal Remote

I swung around past the breakwater
but I lost my footing
as one rush bled into another
& I was sure I’d reach you
            the way the vanity of storms at sunset
                                    reach for the pulse of the tide
                        when the pavement dives
                                                beneath the sand
& all I can offer you is the blurry neon
outside the taqueria
                                    the evening mist
                        settling in for the long haul
your errant passion my autographed copy
of the sky over El Segundo
            & palm trees anchored in the fog
                                    like shadows that scratch your name into
                        smoked glass rippling just beyond the point
the feathered breeze falling over damp colors
            the strings tuned according to some obscure
theory of harmony as your eyelids cultivate
a moonlit emotion
                                    like the sound of waves
in a eucalyptus grove
20 miles from here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

365-Day Weekend

One flawless wave
One seagull carving into the wind
One name to sign along the
dotted line of the horizon
already obscured by haze & silver mist
a forgery exacting a price that must be paid
for what I have become
then as now the instant & eventual distance
to dissolve like silk or iron in the fists of dark eyed children
the moist pavement breathing
& 400 miles later a black tar reckoning
on the pier at high noon
with Our Lady of Fatima
& the last stone plugged into the altar
sealed with postage stamps painted with pilot whales
to commemorate the surgical precision of waves
My heart is an underwater bowling alley
spraypainted with Paleozoic graffiti
to explain why the ocean is wet
because “mourning becomes electrum”
& the future can be read in the compression dings
on my surfboard
even when it isn’t raining
The seaweed blossoms
            woven into the green hair of sea nymphs
                        who dream of one-way tickets to
                        Hollywood or Tupelo
are like ransom notes
that got lost in the mail

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blood Alcohol

A jagged piece of broken glass
left on the beach for the sky to find
like music piped into a hall of mirrors
The watery gate swinging wide open
the rainy bonsai palm trees
the light the air as yet unbruised
was silver sometimes was emerald
but from torn canvas spilling rust
revealed to us the numbers of the heart
arranged as if by chance & so we strike
another match & pour the amber slow
because it is the only dance that you
& I will ever know

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Gun is All You Need

The slow petals of the blood lily
inside the sound of gears grinding
a block from the beach
This is winter time on the coast
I remember walking into a brick wall of rain
in the living room
& she was there with her darkwater pearls
& Mexican silver
her eyes like shattered glass
folded into sand swept by foam
Iron pipes breaking across the reef signaled
that the wind had shifted & I realized
that the veins
on the backs of my hands
resembled a road map of Los Angeles
so I knew then that I’d never be lost

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Return of the Creature

Amazing Grace, where is thy sting
I wasn’t talking to her
I was talking to the
avenging angel
tattooed on her ankle
I said I’d prefer a milkfed steel
tidewater canto
at sunset
& an unobstructed view
It was more like snorting meth
w/Jacques Cousteau
than reciting Sailing to Byzantium
The Tibetan monk you resembled
in profile only
had a crowbar up his sleeve
which is just the thing when your
eyes snap like a rubber band
& the shadow of your heart
wrapped in tinfoil
discovers a new use for gravity
Los Lavalamps
Reinventing the light as it would
seaward reflect
the walls of a tidepool clock
Explanations are
almost always a disappointment
You occupy a shadow
the rain gathering above the beach
That you were there at all
should have been enough
Dreamed of Joanne & Donald
walking in Oaxaca
beneath a sky scorched by
turquoise flames
The light is endless but it doesn’t have anything
to do with us
wherever we walk
holding up our end of Eternity
“Not to be sold east of the San Andreas Fault”
Walking back across the sand
leaving no footprints or trace
that I’d ever been there at all 
Sultans of Swing
Whatever drowned indulgence resigns
the threat of remembering
obvious intentions
the beach road humming like a wire
exhausted all lingering regret
I can only return to the
wavy depths that I never
left in the first place
while those I used to know
& whose company I carried
concede the rhyme
in some other world
too far from mine
with words I might have heard
some other time