Monday, January 27, 2014

Prior Consent

I found that the aesthetics of the
phoned-in confession
tended to disrupt
the purity of my dreams

Nothing that a fresh coat of
paint wouldn’t cure but

given how relentless the sky can be when you
need a place to hide & the sea-
breeze stepping it up in the ancestral cypress my

preference would be to watch the sun
set rust into rust as the medicine man’s daughter
said You can lead a horse to water but you can’t
make it dance

just as dying of thirst is the
drowning man’s curse a
shake & bake resolve can’t break down the door of
compassion anymore than these tinsel
strands of seawater can hogtie the redolent
haze that

seems to have settled in for the long haul now

Friday, January 24, 2014

That irritable reaching after fact and reason

– What does that poem mean?
– It means what it says.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                                      & so Whalen, 1975,
a reading with Ginsberg at Naropa--

          "Quite often people are so busy trying to figure out
          why I'm saying it, that they don't pay attention to
          what it is I'm saying."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Side Effects

Watching the next tragedy unfold on live TV. 
Happy it wasn’t me.  My dream
a recent coversation between
Amiri Baraka & Ed Dorn in heaven.  Tuesday
started out silver but faded on me.
A day late & a dime short.  Green
scenes straight out of the tide book.
Love could be another way to say it.
Paddling out on a stolen surfboard is the
most common symptom.  Side-effects may include
invincibility, a trick knee, the hully-gully,
& a feeling for leaving.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Love could be another way to say it

Hermosa Beach Blues
Too long…..

Bougainvillea, The Killer Elite, a pocket comb
The early morning light igniting the lip of the wave
the color of mermaids
            as in the fresco
                        spray-painted on the seawall
only half-remembered
            & the rippling pavement
                        & the glitter of fishscales
                        in the sun

Thou restless, ungathered
She leaned against me
the way the fog
leans along the shore.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On the Eve of the Year of the Green Wood Horse

Several possibilities come to mind.  Tack them to the Mexican voodoo shrine.  The Year of the Black Tar Horse, for example.  But the blue agave sky, no one voice can encompass or describe.  The rapid lid of the tide extends the thunder of hooves later translated by eucalyptus leaves & shipped by mule to 1211 Venice Blvd.  Estimated delivery date February 4, 1956. 

There was the bottle of tequila, not half empty nor half full, just half there, like the rest of us.  The light was golden & you could fold it up & take it with you when it was time to go.  Broken sea shells, yellow weeds, the rattling dead thistle.  Sun-dazzle.  The seething tide / wave-break foam.  Proteus to Kanaloa. 

The horse might have been an appaloosa but it was hard to tell because we were looking into the sun.  Several possibilities come to mind.  You leave them on the sand for someone else to find. Your heart is a framed portrait of the wind riding in on a southwest swell, I said, & your eyes are windows left open in the rain.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Amiri Baraka

Quick eyes that afternoon
in Anselm & Jane’s backyard,
Boulder, summer of 2008

A smile is all that’s needed when
caught on a dime I thought
all time is authenticated yet so
thoughtlessly discarded

& so gone now before we
finished that conversation
maybe with a lift from Klook
who would have been 100

the day you went away

            Jan 9 ‘14

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Birth of the Cool
“Be Stoked” says the Dalai Lama
channeling Lao Tzu & Mickey Dora
but the lady on the roof
with the chain around her neck
has a different agenda entirely

Kind of Blue
Merely forgotten we are gathered here today
to peel your shadow off the sidewalk
& wear it around our shoulders like cape
or a wet suit
beneath the warmth of a winter sun

10 a.m.           blue sky         pelicans on the beach

not necessarily the whale song 8-track
nor the alibi
scratched on the back of a bus ticket

What you were saying
a very long breath
& though there is no language for it
even the most secret wave break
has a name

Bitches Brew
Over and over shifting
sand & water [REPEAT].  There
are several ways to get
there but one will bring you back
again.  A wind
rakes the parking lot over-
look.  Wind on Ocean.  It is
as it was.  All new.

Sketches of Spain
The instant (taken)
half love half
crossing so many
times an emblem

as in some of this actually happened

Air and water equal chrome
w/a few minor embellishments
picked up along the way

I won’t meet you here
but somewhere a mango sky describes
to anyone who’ll sit still for it

Sunday, January 5, 2014

With No Purpose Other Than to Prevail

It was a Tuesday
I had a Guinness for breakfast
& went surfing

my seaside algorithmic getting the best of me

so stoked later I bench-pressed a Cadillac
singing baby please don’t go
back to the monster mask

The tamale lady was parked under a
blue sky that screamed for frijoles & rice
pico de gallo
& all the leaky valve stems
in the Tao Te Ching

Sea Sea Rider
in B-flat
breaking left off the incoming ocean
under the now pink
blue gray orange & white sky
tapping the prehistoric
wah-wah pedal

Sunset is the color of my true love’s love
something better said w/a bouquet of kelp blossoms

but bringing them home to you
with my head full of
Leucothea, Su Tung-p’o, Percy Sledge vs Godzilla,
& all the migrating gray whales

it’s way too easy to get lost

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Butterfly on Canvas

Rose-colored goggles
clever water & Chinese
surf music rule the day

A few threads of sleep

Dreams I’ll never remember

The perfect crime…

The astrologer in Ocean Park circa 1975
she said there were wonderful things
waiting for me if I lived long enough

That was then this is considerably later
& there’s not much that has changed
from there to now

Nevertheless it was understood
there would be consequences
which I prefer not to think about
on the eve of the Year of the Green Wood Horse