Friday, April 26, 2013

Strange Blondes

Even if the dance goes sideways
we know the spirit moves,
has moved, is moving
though not perhaps as we had at first imagined

The rain has cleared (for now) & the inexorable
light filtering down lends a blessing of sorts
but only if you can see it at a 45 degree angle

There has to be an element of risk in everything we do
or else why bother?
                                    The moss grows on the north
                        side so you should keep the
                                                ocean on your right

                                    & a switchblade within reach. 
    Cypress. Eucalyptus. Coyote brush. Lupine.
    Nasturtiums clinging to beach pavement. 
    Mexican fan palms splashing shadows across the
    Manchurian Surf Almanac.
    It’s all wrong but that’s the way it’s
    supposed to be.  A thin pale shadow (with wings)
    in the dark blonde sky.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bikini Collision Course

The wind & then the sea.
Or was it the other way
round?  Doesn’t matter.  It still
sounds like a great white
shark chewing on a late
model Buick.  All night.  Wind
in the treetops, water
beneath the ocean
for the sea urchin, for the abalone
for the suicide’s bath.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Just Say When

A grip of dreamless blonde sand
& all the indulgences
            wrecked on adrenalin & perfume
                        lit from the inside
                                    like a Japanese movie

As one might summon bare puddles
collapsing into their own reflections
if only to reclaim the relics of a failure you could
never surrender to fevered lips
            stung by salt spray  
                        lifted from the marathon tide

            You need not fear the eskimos
                                    drinking vietnamese coffee
            nor the waterlogged legions
                        of the dead leaving their damp
            footprints on the concrete

            indelible        like the Roman alphabet
                                                tossed like an empty
                                                            from the railing

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not unlike shattered glass

Accelerated klezmer twang floating thru w/
sonic swamp percussion
& I’m right back where I started
            My tendency to trespass vs. the neon palette
                        of another Pacific sunset
& I’m slamming back the methanol
like a one man carnival
            no longer recognizing the face that
                        stares back at me from the bathroom mirror
but that’s okay
            it’s clear that whoever he is
                        he doesn’t recognize me either

            though we’re both wearing the same Yater t-shirt
                        w/the blood stain on the left shoulder
                                    as in the Palatine Anthology

& there’s a seabreeze strumming a one-string banjo
in the arthritic  
eucalyptus        & the hazy blue sky leans back
            in yr eyes       a minute        or so
                        just long enough for you to shift gears
                                    dropping to your knees
                                                to pick up the loose change
            although as every beggar knows
                        if you can hear it hit the ground
                                    it can’t be worth much

Saturday, April 13, 2013

In the Wind (a recording from the lost & found department)

Some years back a couple of NYC bands, one named Whip, 
& the other, I Feel Tractor, got together and recorded 
their version of my poem “In the Wind.”  I just re-discovered 
the MP3, which has been hiding in my computer for many moons.  
Here it is, direct from the lost & found department, 
"In the Wind" . . .  

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Chinese Take-Out

Clouds in the mix…
somebody’s neat idea
so that later we get rain
& abalone shell ear-rings

(mother of pearl)

& chop suey w/a Spanish accent

            Joanne told me, “You have 4 voices,
                        but you should have at least 8,
                                    & one of them should be mine.”

 “That out of three sounds be frame, not a fourth sound, but a star”
                                                                              ― Robert Browning

(A damsel in distress drifts past, unseen, 
her sad tattoos & pedicure,
3:45 p.m., back of Taqueria Vallarta, knowing every step
including the slide & pivot & exactly where that might take you)

                        “From the beach take Ocean Street & turn
                        right on Wipeout Avenue
                        we’re halfway down the block on the right”

ventriloquism, Elvis the Revelator, & Bolinas gas money
―these things still have to be sorted out somehow but
the day just got away from me…

            Voices in the palm leaves
                        crooked sunlight
                                    bending in through the rain

Monday, April 8, 2013

Leaning into it

I took the easy way out
one step forward, three steps back.
My heart on a shelf in the discount aisle
the late afternoon wind
revising the weather map.

Changed the bandages in the rest
room of a Shell Station.
Kept my shades on in the Ebb Tide.
“Poured we libations unto each the dead.”
A glass of beer & a shot of bourbon.
Blind graybeard black dude
Tiresias Theban.

The fading blue
sky my only reference point.
A Chevelle Super Sport burning oil
in the parking lot.

Eddie said “You should always take
four of anything.”  There were only three
to choose from—in the name of the father,
& of the son, & Zuma
Beach.  I had a one-way ticket.

Hiding my tattoos behind a forged
prescription at the pharmacy.  It is
always summertime

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I still have the photograph & the scars & the silkscreened cover art in full color (even black & white)

Catch myself wondering what’s real
the guitar or the music
& the sun was
chrome-plated though fading slightly
Who shall I say?

human speech        violet flames        remnants
of the Farallon Oceanic Plate

                                    seaweed salad & oysters

I had to change the oil & adjust the clutch
in the Ranchero

                        a baseball bat & a machete under the seat

(variations on a theme)
Meanwhile I rely upon the Red Monk Commentaries
& other submersibles
                        William Blake’s wetsuit & the gnostic
                                    comic book version of
                                                the life of  Simon Magus, for example

                        counting horses on bingo night
                                    as the fog strums the barbed wire

& rust has claimed the shoreline once again

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Under the Influence

      “Pearl, great sphere, and hollow,
Mist over lake, full of sunlight” (Ezra Pound, Canto XXIX)
sidewalks blessed by drizzle & a fistful of damp sand

            All that copper & steel bending in the waves
                        a southwest swell I knew was on its way by the
                                    ache in my knees

How exactly would you bargain w/these chronicles of mist?

So many days spent plunging through
and against the drift

            your silver ring
                        pearl pendant and the light
                                    jade or turquoise or amber
“The boat was one curved shell of hollow pearl
Almost translucent with the light divine
Of her within” (PB Shelley, The Revolt of Islam)
A high-speed low-pressure system
defining both the sky
& you             
            your empty pearls my tidewater shades
the beach all broken
                        the sky sliding along silver wires
wherever we were going as good a place as any

Monday, April 1, 2013

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

The feathered air at sea-level
swamped at high tide
& Beauty,
                  I was so taken with the sky I forgot to
compliment you on your shoulders
            & your breatss, so raw
                        the cartoon light can’t touch them

            nor your African mask
            as you sip a mailbomb cocktail
                        the stage set for Eternity

                                    something we don’t understand
                                    & only half believe

although you would probably dance to it if given
half a chance

            As for me I’m convinced it all has to do with the
            bubbles in Mexican glass
                        fucking with the way perspective
                                    grinds against the grain of perception
            but it only makes me thirsty

& your heart bends like a palm tree
in the wind