Saturday, May 25, 2013

Patrick Dunagan reviews 2012 by Joanne Kyger

Check out poet Patrick Dunagan's terrific review of Joanne Kyger's latest book & be stoked.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Before it’s news

Not so much as a ripple on the surface
& that scramble of clouds above
Pacific Pipe Works & the methadone transfer facility
Luanne, Tyrone, Miss Betty Blue & the Aloha crew
sporting Santeria ink & telling tales of drunkeness & cruelty
like Ray Davies in the summertime
& I’m counting down from The Odyssey to
The Book of Nods on a ship-to-shore set-up
which looks like something leftover from Blade Runner
that washed up on the shore in Tahiti sometime in the
late 19th century not unlike a lost poem by Rimbaud
in a bottle 

& the light gets heavy on the coast
as we drift from one side of the beach to the other

one grain of sand at a time

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Song is one way to say it

Dreamed of a small flock of red-
wing blackbirds.  They flew in a
diamond formation, the largest
one at the very center of the
diamond.  When gliding in low
the large bird at the center of the
diamond pulled its wings tight against its
sides, held aloft & within the
formation by wind-shear aerodynamics
I guess.  How could I know?  I followed them
hoping to discover their
                Catching a thermal I tried to
explain the significance of the red-wing black-
bird, in general, & this small flock, in
particular.  Attempting to articulate a
theory in a dream is like playing
the piano w/your knees.
                                              I was reduced to
making a series of whistling & trilling
sounds with my tongue.  A poor imitation
of the song of the redwing blackbird. 
Some laughed at this.  Others

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Zero Effect

Circling back the
sad white sky reclines
above the rattling bones
of the sea           as if to say the
shortest distance between two
points is the long way around

The spacing required to
fit these things together
more than enough

I can drizzle & quake with the best of them

flesh on the bone
water on the brain

sand, dust, cinder block, what have you

Any possible color           rhododendron,
absinthe, razor wire, candle wax, a
herd of jellyfish stampeding through the
kelp grove, whatever

Have it your
way.  Any way you like.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exit Strategy

Fancy footwork
                        from the street to
            the beach &
farther           (SPLASH)

            The stain & the rain-
drops            metaphors           the lack of
tends to sparkle        the surface does     
later & at the same time
something tumbles
What can & can not be seen as much as feeling allows
before & after the same           “Who are you hearing
this time?”                Listen―             
footstep            fin splash          wing flap
“I mean, really, how often do you look
at a man’s shoes?”

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Definite Maybe

Lost & found & lost again
if one means to be the least bit accurate
there are bigger mistakes to be made
along with more interesting
consequences as you take it an
octave higher than any dog-eared hymnal would
ever recommend

Sworn to green scenes right out of the tide book
w/bubbles & like glistening
catalogs of subtropical flowers
as printed on silk sleeves of fog

If I wasn’t there you’d have to
dream up someone else to talk to someone
else who wouldn’t listen because the song the
wind sings in the palm trees is cranked up to
10 on the voodoo dial & if you had wings
you’d probably make a similar sound

drenched in corrugated steel
if there was any other way to say it

15 April ‘13

Saturday, May 11, 2013


going under        undaunted     
could get you DQ’d

A showing of hands
flickering red neon No Vacancy
Thomas De Quincey

(Pale turquoise in the shallows
gets darker the farther out you go)

Smashed windows in the ocean rush
settling into cracks in the pavement
a heel of sidewalk
groaning with albatrossian hang-time
bedecked with seaweed brocade

Eric Dolphy “On Green Dolphin Street”

(with a rail of mist tuning E-strings in the eucalyptus
a definite maybe

14 April ‘13

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I forgot to mention the waterproof mascara

This morning morning’s breezes
bending back around.  Ocean view
through dusty asthmatic palm trees.
Dead batteries spilling rust.

I am building a boat                 in my head
it will transport all of us to our private islands soon enough
w/ukuleles & bongo drums triumphant.

Just as saying “Please” in German is bitter the
near rhyme a tear scores when torn
echoes in the heart’s house when no one’s home.

The sky          swept up          in haze        
Waves of timeless          silver-green          glass
with brocade          & collision insurance.

Apparently there is a difference.
She calls out their names
            tracing the veins of each steeped in ruin
            & candlelight.  Dark motel room throwdowns
            w/plenty of ice.

All that glitters remains
            carving across the face of a Tijuana pipe
like bending silver spoons in your sleep.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

As it happens

If you are expecting poetry to
tell you something you can use, you better
reconsider the wings on the poet’s sandals
and the rules of the game Elegua plays.
―Duncan McNaughton

                        Green glass, amber, bronze
glass from beneath the sea.  Several
thousand pounds of Wagnerian pressure
& a Japanese road map.

The main part of the first section is blue.

Blue is still a color, right?

I was going to call the second section “Surfin’
with the Zoroastrians” but my karma made me
stutter.  Z-Z-Z-Z, & I wasn’t sleeping.

Popping the thought balloon
                                    with a feather
            or a crowbar
                                                either way
                        gives us a clear view of the beach.

27 April ‘13

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Primer Gray Tikis in the Mist

            An ill-advised leap from the pier
            because Jim Castro said I didn’t have the balls

            I had the balls all right but not the
            brains to tell him to go fuck himself

            What was it 1972?              

                                    Way out at the far end of space & timelessness
                                    like it was only yesterday, or the day before that
Are these the same blue eyes that learned to
read the tide that year at Playa del Rey?

Probably not                   given what we is now

                        Anyway it was really Dockweiler Beach
the sewage effluent & the El Segundo refinery
made it a “special” place

            I never knew it any different
                        my DNA all over that scene

I should have died in TJ that time
I had my ticket punched & everything

shuffling through the damp pages of every ocean
            in the backseat at 90 miles an hour
            & she was gazing out thru the windshield
                                    inventing thermodynamics
            pictured as a beautiful blue tide
                        rushing in beneath the burnt-pink windows
            of no place special

            like what’s left when you drain the pool

& I never noticed until someone mentioned
there was blood all down the side of my face