Thursday, July 31, 2008

what she said to the overcrowded barroom

one reason you couldn't see me is
i was behind the mirror
you made of me. i am so bored
with those problems
they're only slightly less
interesting than the braggadicio
i get from columns one and two
as keys begin to flatter, then falter.

did you know i had the apple tart
for lunch? but don't let that
stop a garlic emotion.

i just want some thom ka goon
and some crab rangoon. and not
because they assonate.

they're like me: sweet, lemony, salty
and some spice i can't put my finger on.

when i have it, chili maybe or a touch
of onion, my tears will be quenched.
they're in my stomach right now
awaiting fulfillment. so drink up boys
wave goodbye to the reflection i was.
this mirror's bout to blow.


been wanting to say less
and mean more.

shadow ripple
androgyne age

the phone rings
it's no one
that speaks

cab yellow
civic cruises
these faded purples

don't disallow
toxicity in small

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


i guess that's my lesson
this life to learn
to live simply. demands
are for royalty or was that
commands? but i don't
want to become the woman
pushing the wire shopping
cart or even carrying
my home on my back, even more
than i do now. i've settled
into this life and it feels like
a yellow glow, the kind on ageing
papers in a pile on the bathroom
floor where the sunlight hits
in the early morning, hot shower
cold dip. also i need my weeds.

last nite there was talk
about budget and 398apr payday
advance loans. the dream played
out in monosylables and unrhymed
couplets. we were in one or two.

reading the buk this morning
i realized that most writers
are slobs. as if i needed another
excuse to not put the sheets
on my bed. they're clean after
all, but it's just too much attention
to small details in the real world
the world where the fire's always
raging . in my book
the bed's always made,unless it's
occupied. simply put, that's where
i'd like to be in the mornings
instead, i open the door
to the blast of heat
and throw the sheets out

Tuesday, July 29, 2008



lit up on high
you fill a sigh
clouds roll by
catch my eye.\

i'll be your spy
as many times
as days go by.

litany of trespass
rosary of good bye

close the door \ the sea's getting in
with her undertow blues

the blinds are closed
the summer snows
it's funny to me how
no one seems to know

litany of trespass
rosary of good bye

close the door \ the sea's getting in
with her undertow blues

if you try to make love with an angel --
where you touch her, you disappear

i saw you once
in a dream
we couldn't feed
each other's scream

litany of trespass
rosary of goodbye

the dark cloud summer

it's always hanging around.
when i finally get moving
in the morning it flows into my
screen door, banging. brings
rain that follows me to work.
i thought i'd be doing better
getting there on time but
i just dont give a fuck.
when school begins i'll have
to be up at the cracked out dawn
so i'm taking it easy now.

son's been in hibernation,
weeding up- skinnying out.
i've been trying to decide
if hell is other people
or just inside my head.

in the evenings i pull
back sheer blue panels , open
broken venetian blinds.
a tree glimmers with thunder.

i thought i was so clever
fixing the busted screws
with duct tape. but the wind
has other messages for me.
ghetto screens, aluminum rabies,
bouncing baby reductions.

right now it hovers like a weightless mass
flashes of brilliance in the distance.
i want to capture them like fireflies
on the edge of the sea, but they just
wink out into memories washed in rain.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ten minutes

in beijing they're putting up walls
to beautify the city for the games.
combs for a yuan if
you can find the pedicylce
store on the other side.

the eye of the beholder
won't look this far.

the parts i use to repair
the parts we build are also made
behind some market walls.
one world. one standard. poverty
is never a pretty sight.


well that's ten.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

crawl space

flange the heart. rounded situations
milky way spills over the parking garage.
crows feet are the paths you never take.
powder sugar promises. skyline anorexia.
white schoolbus and its gray cargo. cannons
of interstate dogmatic with combustion and movement.

Friday, July 25, 2008

red bells

the gloxinia keep blooming.
i hate that i take that as a sign.
if i hated other things, i could just
rip them up, throw them out.

cannibal hymnal from the technicians
of the sacred. color of valentines.
smell of the past. or was that a future?

i can say what i want
but that's what i want.

if the song is deaf
if the lips are blind
if the eyes are lies

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

who's my mom?

orphan with a twister
somedays just have these
pains. not much more to say
about that. i'ma sing
lightfoot to myself just to
remember how i knew it would be
now, then.


i mean i gave till i was empty
i thought it was renewable but i guess
the right conditions weren't present
for the source to keep flowing
now all that's left is love and loss.

there's been a million songs written
to that
why go there again?


i just want to know
why you don't hug me
when i scrape my knee.

the only me you know

we commit
to the knives
catapult to the past
we might have
lived - a trampoline
that bounced us
back to how it is now

whataya know?


as a child i always wished/thought
i was adopted
and look- you were

trading places
at this point
just seems


if i leave right now
i think i can miss
the storm but you know
i like the rain.


i always leave too late
except when i leave too early.

woke up with your solar plexus in my cleavage

i wasn't tired
of your body but
i was weary
of your mind.

and i wasnt weary
of your thoughts
but i was tired
from your body

Monday, July 21, 2008

15 minutes

invert the no,
dive into a mirror me
where pain becomes pleasure.

i mean.

how can you weigh
the good and bad
against each other when
one is made of air
and the other tears?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

anodyne brand

the popular strand, pageants, plutarchs
and bendable RAM. let them eat
something more in the sand
let them get nosh from the military band.

it's all sinking in, the silks and the shetls
caving in, making gin, run with cold metals
sickness and darkness and end tymes galore
and with this cold trillion we, gleeful, ignore.

the hindi in hiding, the bindi non toxic
the manic depriving, the photoshopped rocket
the broken jack breaking the broken jill down
uncharged batteries driving cars like a clown.

now time for withdrawal is drawing me near
a hermitage based on the chemise of fear
i wear it around some very special frenz
empires &, togas and mercedes benz.

collateral damage resides in the brains
of citizens inside the cold missile range
stuttering sharply, first right and then left
watching the toes get cut at the cleft

some of us fight, some of us cry
some of us just can't believe our eyes
some of us watch like a witness to death
and wonder when, then, comes our last breath.

live by it, die by it, that's just the karma
we've always known that here on the farm, a
circle of life, the reaping what's sown
time to eat all of the violence, home grown.

triple second boi bio

i like to know what's goin on
don't like change like pushed into a cook's position
from the server's. sometimes if you flip
the coin enough times it comes up days.
the moon's fool is what i am, appreciation
of the tarot's arcana, sketchy stories
never come good on force.

so yeah. no force. just be this li'l
cork twist on the big river, crossing over
i hope, one day to the other side. or maybe
just swept out to sea. losing ground, ennui
enough to dance. all the reasons
one shouldn't tied up in the knapsack
over the shoulder.

they closed a bank today. run on it outside
everyone wanting they money. and i can see why.
i mean damn, i'm surviving on credit
cuz i didn't run mine up before
but now, well, it just seems like time.
even offered to let you borrow some for tires.

i'm in a space where believing
just has too high a price.
can't take that and metaphor it out.
simple economy, supply and suck it out.

i said listen chase. it's my turn, k?
i just need five years. can you maybe
keep your doors open till then?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

someone else's problems

tonite we write the letter
to his lawyer, stating her demands.
at least that's a goal. we try to find
the paperwork her lawyer is chastising
her about. oops she filled it out wrong
thinking, i guess, that this lawyer
would dispense estimates and maybes.
but no, her job appears to be intimately
tied to acuring reciepts and proof
of the way they lived their lives before
because she wants
alimony she wants him to pay
for the mental violence , the way he choked
the love from her finally getting
physical she wants him
to pay for the for the diseases
she got from him, the ones he hid
until they told her she can't
donate blood anymore. "he was a paramedic
for chrissakes, he got pricked with a needle
who knows how many times. we were married
twenty years and i never cheated on him
and now i can't ever have sex again. goddamn him
anyway". but it's not aids? no but look at this.
and she gives me the report, the arc of sickness,
cdc appointment, blood test. insists i get
checked too, "because who knows girl, i'm not showing
any symptoms but i'm a carrier. you've been
single a while who knows what you
could have" and i think of how you
just got your blood
tested and everything was normal and if i had
something i'd have given it to you, right?
right? it'd show up. but i say to her ok
you've convinced me to do it. and
she has, indeed, what makes
me think i can stave off
mortality's busy metastizisation much longer.
i keep saying all i need is five more years
but when the reality comes down
that doesn't seem near long enough. she's worried
about being alone says
i need you guys to come by, come see me sometimes
i beat my head against the wall
i was thinking of downing a bottle of aspirin before
you got here tonite. i tell her tylenol
is the killer. it's painful but it works. i neglect
to say it takes a couple of days, i neglect
to be human and tell her life's worth
living. i think one has to feel that for oneself.
besides i'm not entirely sure it is. i step
outside for another cigarette. suddenly
she projects me into her marriage, and she's on my case
about you, how maybe you were doing your best
and i just ignored the signs of your pain
but i go over how it was the weekend
i realised that we were incapable
of helping each other, and after i'm done crying
she says there didn't
that help to let it out?

dead zone

it's so quiet in here like
hum is all the music i really need.
clink of sandal spangle on metal.
rush of jet, landing.
alone with my thoughts. i try to keep
them on a song i have
on repeat. pieces of sky.
by beth orton
the chorus goes
when it's over
it's over
best get busy livin
i'll be a long time gone.

memories are just pieces of sky.
i wish i'd written that.

the more i think about how it was
for you, i wonder how you dealt
with it for so long. i guess you
wanted out so much earlier than
you finally got. love, you said. yeah.
then comes the knife in the back.

didn't know what you meant, not really.
it's no consolation to either of us
that now i do.

an invisible kite string connects me to you.
that's what i thought. i sat under north
winds and bright stars, connecting dots.
then came a time
i'd forgotten all but your eyes
floating in a sky of the same color.
then came a time
when forgetting wasn't required so when i
i saw you on street that time i
wondered why you thought i'd kill you
when i told you i already had.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

harvestor of lies

truce, the hermit

so sure i want to think it's all your fault.
that way i dont have to deal with my own
shortcomings and imbalances.

and even now i'm doing exactly what
i shouldn't be. oh well. that's my fool.

anyway, it's all good. life, living.
for real. i don't really want to be dead
tho there are things inside i would kill.
transformation takes a cross and i'm flat
out of sainthood.

Friday, July 11, 2008

garbage karma

it's bike nite at wild wings. from outside
at logan's i have to watch as they go by
voice of god, big amerikkan flag flyin.
stevie ray vaughn plays in the background
and engrams, cuz yeah, i was alive
to see him. right now i figure
my line's sposed to go something like:
"it doesn't get any betta..."
well this might be america i'm not sure
but it ain't my commercial.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

how to kill wolverine

how to kill wolverine

it's prolly a good thing
you keep the lighter in
your hand.

i want you to write the story
about how you sniper me
when the signs of lead poison
become too apparent

how do you mercy kill?
don't think about it or
think about what if it was you
waking up in walter reed memorial.

i don't wanna piss off the poltergeist
that's my last bottle of beer
and i think even the devil wants a friend

if i did wake up in walter reed i'd find you
and camp on your corner holding a sign.

i'm stealing this poem cuz i wrote a new one
on the back of it.

in the night the flare
of cigarette rolls down
the beach. an ember
to keep the bay dark.

i think you should
forget about shoulds.
marry off the oughts
to each other: ifs
on the bride's side
maybes on the groom's.

he's immortal unless you separate
his head from his body. brains on the floor --
that'll do it. begging for the last shot
before the healing begins.


the day drags , a european cigarette
laced with opiates. i draw on it
instead of you. i wasn't out
for blood, but there's rusty
footprints heading away.

i think of all the ways this could be
something besides the ultraviolet catastrophe
we made. there's maybe two, but they
aren't very clear. my visioning's suffered
since the last half of the decade.
if we only have four years to live
i'd say that's quite a long time
to know about it.

you know what you gotta do
i know what i think i want to maybe do.
or can rustle up a close facsimile
from the raw materials left around the house:

metal shavings on the mac adaptor
ashes on the porcelain map of florida
card with a smiley face, card with a flower.
a blooming in carmine and velvet rose .

all i have to do is forget
which ones need water
and which ones don't.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


i wish we could try again. i miss you.

how can you miss me? you're still talking to me
i'm still replying. maybe it's the thought of the future
you miss. yet you talk so much in past tense
it's aleady gone. you sound like i did with 2ybf.
as if i were the young woman and you were the infant...

but to see the pain you had on sunday kills me.

well, that pain is one i go thru every weekend before sunday night
you did not know? i am rather used to it. i've rehearsed saying
that to you over and over and now that i have i can't take it back. again.
again. again.

sigh. 3x charm.

and it's all my fault.

yes you could have
held me at any point
and dispell the demons
taken heart in hair, a stroke
of commonality, remind me why
i say it, this "i love you"

i told you the problem
you resisted it. you didn't hear me wail
till i wailed. at least she didn't fight
all the way home. she even asked him to bite her
shoulder. twice. he does. twice. the second time
she says "i was kinda waiting to see
what you would come up with on your own."
her neck exposed, the curve at her shoulder a cave
to explore with his absent tongue
but she forgets his repression, thinks he would
undo civilization in an afternoon at the beach.
no one wants to be known that intimately/ he defends
the silent chatter designed to defer and sublimate
the truth of the weekend. i'm feeling bad
she knows i've been feeling bad all weekend i
made a point of showing her the meds i had to take
this burning is killing me
and she is caught up
in seven years of eating lust crusty with life
alone in a marriage of which she still doesn't understand
the basis . was he a mistake all along and she knew it?
she can't believe her younger self was that stupid, that
desperate to be loved. wasn't there anything good in it all?

but then she knows that's exactly what it began as. a desperation
to be allowed to stay with this handsome stranger, a hope
that he might be able to help her
focus her life, despite the wrestling
matches on tv, despite the drag
races, despite
riding the uncomfortable
back of the cafe racer, a bicycle
built for one, on the long ride
to the track, she always felt
out of place in the convoy or whatever they call
groups of bikes travelling together down
the highway. she wants so much to be rid of it
that past before even her children,
that she forgets all the nomenclature
now. she remembers you told her
about the will to reincarnation. she's
discovered the secret to engram decay.

but therein lies the danger
you must remember or repeat history
cliche imprinted on bones so deep
we forget it's there. doh! slap
everytime we do it again.

so she says to him no
and he's like you're telling me no?
think about it
and she's like no
i can't do it no to the moving in
no to the dating no to watching the kids
for you no to the everything just no.
all or nothing.
you chose nothing.

and that's where i seem to fail the most.

yeah, your choices are pretty rotten

but believe me when i say i want to change.

yeah so does that crow flyin across water's ave
in the spittin rain.

to be who i am.

you're saying this isn't you? it's
almost the only you
i know.

i have lost myself with all the shit going on around me.

so i guess i never knew ye

i do take the blame . it's all my fucking fault.
once again, i've failed you, myself, my kids, and everyone around me.

oy you're such a drama queen too.
as if life is written in stone, or filmed
and printed and released to the theaters already.

why didn't you know all you had to do was hold me?
what happend to you when you were a man
why is every fuckin thing a competition?

but it really is too late she says
when he tells her he moved the appointed hour
up an hour. there is a tennis match with hearts
being served up love/30 for the next 20
minutes but in the end love , as always
loses cuz it means zero on the playing court.

when he hugs her goodbye she feeds him the null
by clenching her fists and her skin tightly
so no emanations from new agey chakras can escape.

"there , how did that feel?" she hiccups in a snarl.

pretty bad, he admits.

yeah well that's how i feel every weekend. i thought i
wouldn't this weekend. k?
she hisses when he says he'll call her.

Monday, July 07, 2008

hawk eye

in the midst of it, metal forms dreaming
of the inevitable rebellion
but in the end, no plans were made
teenshift takes it own paths to power
brays at the worthless betrayal
bodies at the door
and conclusions become their own doppelgamers.
it's tough inside addiction
but there's worse drugs to take.

it doesn't matter

what the pain is from
you're supposed to offer comfort
not sorry and at this time
of my life if i can't expect that
then i'm maghifying faultlines
into earthquakes.

earlier than i wanted

i want to write to the pain
caused by love. but it might feel
like accusation. i'm trying
to not blame you for what i lack
but that doesn't mean i want
to stay in a place that assures it.

when we're together i curb
my words, i take care against wounding
you're so fragile you say. i do this
until i can't anymore and then
i take a hammer and smash you, who would

like to crumble at a slap. ok ok
i don't like being the one who has
to do either. i don't like what i become
shrewish, demanding, pleading
when i don't get what i want from you
which is too often which is all the time so
yeah i'm up, i'm awake, i'm writing
just like everytime i've missed you before
only this time
i won't be back because i left my shell
on the beach and you didn't notice.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

visiting the grave of one of your dreams

it's morning again, a breeze
pulls fleecy clouds over the tiny strip
of land where the surfside motel apartments
are run by a vietnamese american woman
who grew up here. her family have owned
the place for forty years. you are jealous
of the walk she made to gradeschool
when the condos down the street
were an empty lot, when the loud sounds
of rockets kept her awake during night launches
you regret that you too are not an americanised immigrant
only the grandson of one. she works hard, is barely
able to converse in terms beyond the homeless
sleeping in the courtyard, stashing their backpacks
in her carefully maintained family business. jealous but
admiring. regrets pile up like sand against your ankles.

i'm all used up this morning. the feedback required
for a sustainable future has not been forthcoming.
the resonances are out of phase, so everything just
comes out null. flat. across A1A the ocean beckons

with a loud wink i can sense but not see. i wait for you
with a skim board and a chair in my arms, a towel
around my neck. i wait until i can't anymore. i'm in
the surf long before you plant your chair next to mine

as if they were a couple of pelicans, roosting . but i'm
riding the currents way out where the big boards go.
a man in a kayak uses wave power to drive into shore
and i have trouble telling which way the tide's headed

but it looks like out. this morning i don't want
to ride the same wave as you, close to shore
swimming with minnows. i feel more like a shark
that lost its hunger for anything on the end of a line.

are the stars out tonight

i don't know where orion's belt is
i don't really care, old myths don't interest me
since noise pollution blocks the view.

there's a lot of darkness up there
among the blue light from stars
slow motion firewords on the fourth

time thru this maze. first we stand
holding each other, taking turns being taller.
the tallest gets to lean back eyes open

watch the earth spin, sound of waves
breaking on the deserted beach, eyes
pricked by insignificance. then i lie on the hard

packed sand, slightly damp, cool. for a moment
i lose where i am,a thrill that brings me back,
mouth open as eyes, eating enormity. you

help me up turn me to face the waves full
of lumiere. you have your hands on my shoulders
and the oceans keep coming out of the darkness

in front of me, i lean into you and the stars keep coming
out of the darkness above. me, suddenly alone
standing facing the sea, watching ,making it be

because i'm here, and alive to see it. you
alone and to the side of me, disappearing
light years before i know you're gone.