Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's in Your Wallet?

Way down in the hole.  Climb back out
& start over.

Couldn't say if I was feeling exalted or exhausted
"Is there a difference?"

There are a few things that we can be 
grateful for if we look hard enough
            sidestepping disbelief for a moment
or two

                        a Persian rug
                        a piccolo solo

                                           ( c r e s c e n d o )

1. The wet sand in your hair
            2. (pink) Geraniums
                        3. A full set of half-moon chrome hubcaps

(A no color gray day of rainy mist & dark
TV noises instill a subliminal layer of urgency
though there's no real reason for it
all abstract with empty thought bubbles
hovering just inches above our heads

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Thursday's Number One Drama

Feeling irresistibly restless.
I should move back to southern
California.  There's no reason for the
turquoise stain on my
left index finger.

An Escape Plan:
         Maybe a small portable Tahiti
                  that you carry around with you 
                           wherever you go.

I never think about where you've been
although I often wonder where you are.

                  Some things just can't be explained
                  others absolutely shouldn't be explained at all.

                  Don't even try.

There are times when one must answer to a higher authority
                                                      (a quarter-pounder w/cheese).

The trees are thinking leafy thoughts
disrupted by the faintest breeze.

         Hombre Secreto (by The Plugz)
         blasting from the radio of a murdered-out '64 Malibu.

Three days later I'm still here 
trying to find out what connects a leaky fountain pen 
to an extended vacation
in the sun.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ode on St. Massacre's Day

for Pamela

What is
                                gazing upon?

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge said
"There you go"
               or was it
                           "Why you have to be trippin' for?"

Recording your dreams is like
fact-checking Time magazine (with
or without wings)

The man in the long black kimono

            a pensive cloud haunts his eyes

                        the sky over Rodeo Beach

"If your life story can fit onto a Hawaiian shirt
you should probably start wearing a leather jacket"

coral-stem, sapphire, agate & jade
are the prevailing colors of the day

& though not as dark as your eyes the
waves are just as relentless

crashing on the shore of my
undivided attention

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Amsterdam Souvenirs by Joanne Kyger & Bill Berkson

In 1978 these two poets, who were both living in Bolinas at the time, were invited to take part in the P78 One World Poetry event in Amsterdam.  This book is a collaborative journal recounting their whirlwind visit to Holland.  Inside jokes turned outside, ruminations on the Dutch masters, minor & major irritations & a liberal sprinkling of lyric epiphanies fuel the narrative of this delightful work composed by a pair of world-class poets. 

You can purchase a copy from Blue Press by clicking the button below. $10 plus Priority Mail shipping.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Spiked kool-aid.  Dark sun glasses. 
A t-shirt.  White.  Standing by the gate.
Fluttering in the dark.  Chinese weather.

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

                                    Eye of the Dragon.  Tooth & nail.

Good fortune arrives in the shape of a single
Douglas iris blossom beside the muddy path to the beach below

Dense fog laden w/salt spray & methylmercury
muffles the sound of waves

            You were someone I knew way back when
            I wonder who
                        w/a sketchy past & a secret agenda

                        A day of hollow music & indecision
                                                inside the windy ruins of our
                        once and future resolve (Mexico)
                                    although the swaying palm trees up the ante
                        w/their preconceived notion of fate

You thought you could leave the dead behind but
they follow you as voices in the choir of memory
belting out a few golden oldies

wherever we happen to be now
stretching from where we were
to where we are

            contemplating the smoked glass
            & the seagulls
                        slicing thru the air as we stare out
            at the ocean

                                          China is out there
                                                      on the other side
            w/red tassels dancing in the wind


Monday, February 1, 2016

Hula Girl in a Helium Hat

It all happens somewhere beyond the
post-apocalyptic dog & pony show
dreamed in another language I can't translate
scrawled across the narrow sky

         bending sunlight on a
         flat empty beach no where to hide
                  waves flashing silver blue
                           translucent eucalyptus bulldozer

This place you now inhabit
hit with brushed chrome & darkened mirrors that
deny your reflection as you might gaze out through
windows painted black

         it is the flawed pearl you've learned to treasure

& just as the tides answer to a mythology
older than the gravity that sleeps in every
stone cobbled along the shore

Elvis hath left the building