Monday, June 18, 2018

violence on the fade

they say portland is the place to retire
and from the looks of things, old folk are flocking.
i was out on a monday, vacationing so lunch was idle
and filled with early bird parties of 2, 4 & 6, splitting
cheescakes and other deserts   eyes on taste
not diet. the other half were hipsters on business
or like us, the too poor to retire. weed vacationing
in the pacific northwest. i'd like to move to portland
plenty of help wanted signs
before this country balkanizes or ussrizes or what
word are we using for civil war and the breakup
of empire these days?
someone wrote about portland in my youth.
i've heard of reed college, the ross island bridge
from jack or brautigan or maybe the electric kool aide
 but i feel like
portland should have been my home.

easy to say, sitting in eric and lori's garden
on the side of a hill that leads down to eastmoreland
golf course. the houses here are us open class,
like the masters, these estates. but like most real estate here
it's vertical, which puts awhole new spin on appropriate yardage.

a lot of these homes are growing lawns but many have
herb gardens flower beds, fruits, bushes
 a wetlands border separates the wilamette river
from humanity, at least here in the bucolic burb
of southeast. it's true, people here walk. a lot.
they ride bikes up hills, they wear helmets,
i saw 2 jeune filles, one in a virgin white
summer frock, carrying skateboards
across a busy intersection.

when my florida ass wanted to turn left
got my break with a stopped bus but damn
a woman crossing and i halt, she waves me on
with a look of pure surprise like hey man,
not gonna walk on that! no one in their right mind
kinda wave so i took it, and waved at her
to thank you. cuz that's what you do in portland
you ask how people are, cuz they asked you
and they mean it and you mean it
and before you know it you find
area 41 the place that never opens
is actually open and you're talking to
the poster child for punk, the guy
that gave courtney love her last name
about his hip replacement surgery
and how it fucked up his life, he lost
his wife, he can't get royalties on downloaded
songs and he will not patronize st joseph's
ever again, when he gets his cancer
diagnosis, he'll go to oregon general
and you nod and deftly make your
escape before he asks you to play drums
set up there, behind the false front see?


all day on the way to the pacific i see  ravens
  crows, i tell him, they keep showing up
(. one dogs me now in the garden
as the last of the sun fades from this side
of the mountains) in the clearings the take off
and landings in old growth trees and the steering
wheels of farm machines, fading in the unexpected
sun, they say it's a rainy area, and i've been drizzled
onbut we have mostly sun all the way  to the pacific.
 we pull over right before the national
park. have a smoke. spot wild razzberries hanging a good 3 meters into the brush. . 2 you pickems and so you do. you are chivalrous when you remember to be. i watch the cars spill by on east 26  spot a raven     im calling it now, just landing  across the road.

causually on a small green spot  beside the portland bound cars' airstream. it strobes in and out of view, pecking at nothing, biding time. we move on. ravens are a common bird. they abound at the woods flocks of them, two or three at a time, gather at popular trash bins and alleyways. it's a bird of opportunity. a scavenger. we hike up the cliffside to the light


house view. you want to go to the top but friendly strangers  warn  my red  flatlander pigface that we're only about half way to the top they fit portlandiers in polo and nikejust ascended  are currenly descending . i opt out another third of the way, wait in a cove with a view of the water and the big rocks playing together. . that last climb would have been a mudslide in normal conditions, so thanks rain gods for going ion vacation same time as me. there are no crows. no ravens either. you opt out another third of the way up cuz chivalry, and i like that about you.x i  think the forest doesn't like  ravens i think  ravens don't lke the se

down at the beach proper seagulls. at the beach proper birds for the clime so i go on walking along the beach face out to sea, watching the pacific roll and roll into the rocks.
i don't think about birds. i watch the wild water and i put my toes into the shallows that are all that's left of

waves i watched a moment ago, agitated as argonauts speeding to my feet. not so bad so i move todeeper water, maybe the ankles, yes surely it's not so could. a toddler waves comes up to hug  them with ice bucket challenge kisses. then kisses them again with the lips of ice satan so i hop out in actual pain, hopping and limping , hop limping over to a piece of driftwood so i can stop depending on these apendages to hold me up. so much cold. my feet begin to come back to life.  out of the corner of my ear, i hear a far away caw but the pacific is loud and soothing and rushing against rocks and there is only time out and in, movement and light and touch of sand on our feet.


Saturday, May 26, 2018


it could be an even/evan thing
but only if you remember how to spell it.
i'd be remiss if it wasn't a bother

several reasons later i'm still
defending my opinion's
right to exist. that's not kosher
just  salty eye knowledge.

my yes. she told me to stop that.
i'm not about to get into the specifics
but i didn't. stop. socks everywhere.
agitation for the rest of the laundry.
the kids moving back and back again.

oh, and that pesky domestic
violence charge. colors in black and clue
me in on it change daily and not without
some basic rant. get her to the doctor
next week or we'll have some real
no contact time/ maybe over the top

conversations in an emergency room
of my choosing. and  emergent: laughter
from higher vibrations., tinitus.
 my ears are stuffed with an unbalanced
basket trying to break through steel just
loud noises with no where to go.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

what are you doing here

he hissed in brazen undertone like he won
the lotto now he own the place like i can't be
anyplace i want as long as it's legal and no restraining
order. i mean can you bleeve the nutso convos
they having here.  that one in the corner
rocking her arms like she got a baby crooning to
 na aw, that baby done died fore it even got arms
that's how quick her mom n dad took care o things
it's a small town bean boy, if i was you i'd take
what allies i could being as how i can leave
and you can't. he said you can not.i'll have
you know i am here volunTARily and can sign
out against doctor's orders and nuthin they can do
to stop me but you my pretty boy are here to stay
till you prove yourself not a dangerous type.he snarls
silently, sides sneaky eyes across the room stalks
over the rocking woman and hunches down.
she can't hear what he mumbles
senescence seeps in or maybe it's the meds.
she seems to lose stature, sinks into herself
all innertube deflated and watches the lights
pulse.  the woman rocking the baby is crooning
softly. he likes the song. what are doing here
he whispers, a nice girl like you what is it brought
you here and he is so dumb my little one he thinks
he eyes but can't see, the reason we're here
is the same as his, we can't deal with our reality.
she bends down, kisses a hand, a head, goes
back to rocking. let me tell you about my daughter
he says. she stops rocking, finally looks at him.
there is so much hate in her eyes he falls back
on the floor and scrambles away. he saw a movie
once with eyes like that. evil swam out of them
and demons posessed the looker. he frantically
searches for the cross around his neck but they took it
and his shoelaces anything he could hang himself
with and he misses it, the way it pushes through his fist
the body of christ enfolded in hisfingers, his knuckles
armed with crucifixion, the way it spiked through
his hand with a blinding mix of pain and absolution.
he fingers the cut, still healing on both sides. what
are you doing here says a strange voice
coming from above
a pair of grey slacks, doubleknit ending
in highly polished
the reflection , sees purple, glances up
to a tie. then a face that lowers like a tethered
balloon until its level with his as he sits half up
off the floor. haunches, he remembers sitting
like that re remembers they call it on haunches
how hard that is but now he scrambles up 
himself, to talk a doc that just arrived
 says you're supposed to be at session now
don't you remember and he does so he aske\s
well what are you doing here you're supposed to be
at session  yourself the doc looks seriously pissed
then busts into a laugh and they grab hands buddy
style and pull each other up off the floor
then she inflates like a pulled lifeline
 i got all this power i been collecting
she yell
 begins to run across the dayroom
at dr purple tie standing still as a matador faces
a bull and at the very last minute side steps her
and jabs her with the needle he'd brought
in case of any trouble. she has just enough
energy to scream what are you doing here before
she passes out. duuude, says his charge,
that musta been a SERIOUS dose.
oh yeah, says the doc. gotta be ready
for full metal jacket. he pats his pocket
  smiles and offers
his arm to the man. shall we?

is rats all there is ?

one night we had a sister thing
you were going into one guest
bedroom and i into another

is this all there is? your face
disappointed in god , a child
with  nothing from santa. dad
didn't prepare us very well
did he? i suppose he did his best
i countered, surprised to be his defense.
but i had grandkids then, you didn't
know what they bring to age, i assured
you that one day they would make it
all seem bright again. i didn't realize
that, too, doesn't last . babies grow up.

the grands is not a chance to do over.
the grands is a chance to encounter what you missed
when you were busy being responsible
an intimate player in the game first string.
the grands sit on the sidelines, clapping
or booing, giving no good advice, irrelevant
except for the check. check that, we all need
help at one time or another but that's
something you didn't know before you were here.

i would address the really bad grands
but they're trying a do over.  when mine
had hers i told her she's yours. raise her.
then stepped on her toes while she lived
here because honestly she neglected that babe
out of depression and it broke my heart.
the grands shouldn't have to watch that
in silence. if it's my roof, it's my rules,
even for your kid. my attitude hasn't changed much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

the morning of

well, it's not so special. in fact it's a nothing day
another work day, maybe i should stop and see
the grand daughter but i've been reading too much
just no mil and think maybe t've been overreacting
to the poverty, the neglect, the drunkardness
because like i told her, this one's yours. i don't
want a do over baby. .

but here's the thing , i'm getting old.
i mean can't open a jar old. bowel movement
troubles old. i don't know how over 60
makes it. we should get to retire in our 50s
but they move to the 70s. assholes.
i'll never get to retire. forget the age raise
it's the bills baby. i still got em, will ave em
can't get out for 7 more years. hell, i'll be 
a new person then, with genes going
defective, mutating, apoptosing all over the place,
i'm even typing wronger than usual
and words? i keep forgetting the names of things
or the perfect descriptor i know is somewhere
on tounge tip but not mine. and how do you
spell tongue, yeah that way i mean easy words
even, like recieve i'm spelling with red lines.

i sometimes am even tired of living. not thinking
suicide, except financially, but if i do that i
may as well off myself because who da fuck
gonna pay for me who gonna feed me
when i'm broke. honey just found out
that student loan he let go rouge is back
and it's green and big as hulk an gonna stalk him
for the rest of his life. so that dream of staying
home and taking care of him while he works
is for another woman, another time. in fact
he already did that. got a couple of kids from it.

so it's work time now. i better get going.
just let me finish this joint and visit john
one last time.

Friday, April 06, 2018


the night before you came home
let's-do-something-restless. fickle 
in desires, we couldn't settle on it
so you turned on the tv where real 
lives were led. only it wasn't a tv
anymore, we were well into the
the twenty first century, adulting
with the best of them, virtually
involved with memes and podcasts
that made us feel relevant and somehow
useful. let's call it entertainment.a game.

the night before is restless, wants happening
to happen now. unable to  to embrace
d\the undertow , wide awake we guess-
what's under the tree, what costume will she
wear, what will be in the basket, what's it like
to be married, a soldier, a college student,a kind-
dergartener- filled with  top of the roller coaster
 excitement, a small bewilderment
that life could be lived after this defining moment.

the night before every thing was prepared
except us. we knew it was coming, didn't plan
didn't think about it, didn't care. the warnings
went out months beforehand. still we drove
to work, dropped the kids at school, ordered
from amazon, opened the car doors like any
other night, emerging into dusk a conquered
nation, ready to keep peace in the house

 the night before lasts forever
 gone in a moment's sleep
you wish it when you want to
for it we do not weep.

aaaaaand that's work!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

the night before p1

this began with a vague ambition, intentions
on the lam, a hidden spree always triangulating.
it was the immigrants or the icemelt or gramma
weeding roses in deep winter, the winter wouldn't

 let spring get on with it wouldn't  let
babes wander his receeding snowline,
reapplied propecia packs until well into april..
we couldn't do a thing,  all seasons have narcissistic

tendiencies but winter trumps them all
with the icy bitch face, the plan spoiler blizzards
the oversepping boundaries into southern places
 he shouldn't be seen . always wearing a coat and hat

insisting you do too--here this white one fits,
 put in on. put it on PUT IT ON. a real
 justnomother in law. but if winter's dad,
then spring's the mother, exposing the births.


 tropical clime is my habitat. the spring
pansies are golden haired, brown eyed and thirsty.
we're spared rain for the tourists. i think it has something
to do with the chemtrail contrails overhead but we

will never learn. just another contheorcy tm. and i feed
into tradmarking new coinages that limit the bandwidth
of meaning. sitting here on my podium, a fidget spinner
with a seat, like neat how can i get one of those, padded

like the cell i barely missed when i started 
this fool's journey through the tarot of life. i stopped
reading the cards when i met you. something about us
seems already told anyway, but i want to let each

disappointment be a surprise, each broken promise
a revelation, every expectation dismissed, the volt
of reality should pierce my heart at the last minute
all hope a scuttled ship, and let me slip

into goodbye with no life jacket, third time down.


Friday, February 09, 2018

ashes of goodness

in retrospect, the fire was quick
brawled through the swinging doors
up the stairs devoured inside out
now all that;s left is cold comfort and you