Monday, March 31, 2014

Pounding Nails with a Feather

Something tapping at the screendoor
Wind? Raccoon? Ghost?
It’s too dark to know for sure
& now it stops
I was languishing between the
bubble of her apprehension
& A Long Hard Look at Psycho
& it was like spilling a martini
in a shipwreck
with apologies to Rimbaud
who must have done it first
The law of averages like any law is
made to be broken or at least bent
but random chance just 
refuses to be fucked with
All of this was under water once
& one day it all will be again
& the moss will still know which
side of the tree to grow on
Choose one of the many faces
from the bathroom mirror
stick in on
& start over

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No Symbols Where None Intended

A string of brightly colored beads
wrapped around a wooden cross
planted in the sand
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
as uttered by Sister Edith Mary
or Marie Laveau
in the hush of the beach break at dawn
I put my shades on & said I’d prefer to
die with morphine in my veins
though I know it’s contrary to every
spiritual belief known to man
or beast
In dreams I return to those places
that are still haunted by the shadow of
who I was & I double-down
knee-deep in another deal gone wrong
on the eve of St. Samurai’s Day

Thursday, March 20, 2014

AGAINST WHAT LIGHT by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, and YOUNG by Christina Fisher

The intimate music that plays
by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux has
an effortless quality to it,
which is to say it is composed
by finely crafted poems that
reflect a dailiness that not
many poets can capture.
“Capture” isn’t the right word,
since this fleeting recognition
of being in the moment by its
nature requires that you don’t
hold on too tightly to anything except the particular 
awareness that choreographs the dance of the mind 
and the heart:

      Today is Saturday, sky clouded over
      Rain drops waiting for gravity to take them

Some leaps and pirouettes, one ear (one eye) on the daily news,
outside and inside:

      There are fragile things in the sky
      All miners are above ground
      They sent down the Virgin Mary with food

In AGAINST WHAT LIGHT it is the quality of the attention that
matters, one syllable at a time.

There is a similar attention, a similar engagement with the moment, no sooner here than gone, in YOUNG by Christina Fisher.  But this sequence of primarily short poems has an entirely different effect. 

      Everyday another way
      To fuck it up
      Or make it rhyme
            (from “Starter Set”)

Often lines break and twist the moment back upon itself, although 
the sense of timing is impeccable:

      Ya—kinda got that
      Wishing I didn’t
      Miss you
            (from “Intense Aspects”)

Fisher has a great ear, and YOUNG is a solid little collection of
tough tender poems “Not to be remembered and forgot / But
lived through” (from “Rock Star”).

You should be able to get a copy of YOUNG from
Bird & Beckett in San Francisco, since they published it. 

AGAINST WHAT LIGHT was published by, and is available
from, ypolitapress.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Way Down Below

Scene of the Crime
Talking smack about
running the table
against a wine-stained kimono
w/a troubled past
was like whispering your name
through a velvet curtain
in a dark motel room
down near Heartattack & Vine
Sometimes my heart races
like a vintage Corvette
w/a blown head-gasket
other times it’s more like a
rabid chihuahua
chained to a palm tree
in the rain
Love Minus Zero
If you asked me for a smoke & I bloodied yr nose
my bones would still ache w/longing
& my dreams like the wraparound wind
would lull you sleep as I unlace my sneakers
& cradle you like a fever

Thursday, March 6, 2014

February 34th

Bowing deeply in the 4 directions
up, down, forward, & back
as aforesaid by Circe
“You have the right to remain unconscious” etc.
say the angels who crown me w/such
pleasant poppies
& filling the squirt gun with blanks
the day gets away from me like a fast horse
It starts to rain, I’m out of cigarettes, the
toilet works but you have to jiggle the handle
when you flush it
“Shall two know the same in their knowing?”
probably not
Against expectation I’ve got the feeling that
I’m beginning to look like the perfect stranger
ordering a Monster Taco at the drive-up window
of the Karma Repair Shop

Saturday, March 1, 2014

24 Hours to Kill

Any road will take you there
but only one will bring you back
though by that time you may resemble
         in a grass skirt
                     behind darkwater
                     eyes              fluttering
                                  outside the beer store

& the only way I can answer that
would be to genuflect
right there            in the parking lot
                                                   like Sal Mineo
beneath the neon haze in black & white
as a palm tree plays a little shuffle music
with beach sand whispering
                                         across the sidewalk
like something you
could have said

but didn't