Friday, February 19, 2010

The Whale

Trapped in the belly of the whale

Where the pigeons fly like doves

All left of women a few stray hairs

Orange warning lights

And pinocchio's faded grafitti

This belly where sequined walls

Catch the gleam of torches

That men use to read tales of Nazi heroics

Before consigning them to flame


Their shadows are the words that write themselves

At night they whisper of lost continents

Of bones that lie in fur and pine

Those Men who live inside the whale

Safe from the ever rising

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last Ditch Epiphany

Only the sea is chaste

Only the creeks, the stones

Never the alleys or streets

Never the laughter or sighs.

Only the sky is chaste

Only the clouds, the rain

Never the houses or shops

Never the talk or songs.

Only the land is chaste

Only the dirt, the grass

Never the wants or needs

Never you, never me.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Retaliation fantasies form in the breeze

To endow our fathers’ suffering with allegory

A snatch of sky seen through bars

Can satiate an imprisoned heart

As a breeze carries the smell of the sea a hundred miles east

Faint sigh, westward breeze to erode desolation

Where we are and where we’re going

Collides in every moment we remain stationary

Life eternal and an endless decay

Until our eyes shine like pearls

Obscured by the fog that weds heaven and earth

Sighs short and infrequent, gasps but for lack of energy

The way people talk in limbo, simple exhalations

A bare bleak pool of life

People alike in tastes, people alike in mind

Schools of tuna responsive to the mass movement

Towards safety, always safety

Nevermind those left behind

Those lives crucified in the daily news

Repellent in their agony, and now you know

Why people hold the paper at arms length

We understand suffering

But neither context nor degree make any sense

Deep down we see the sufferers culpable

Because we strong loathe those weak

Who hold our shared past in their cupped begging palms

To seek shelter in money in the search for sleep

But it whimpers all night long

That bloody thunder of pop culture

A rumble of wet voices

Youth as a festering wound that no longer heals

We trample salvation and never look at the ground

In Amerixa

Where life shines on the surface of days

And pop music is the soundtrack of our lives

We are all outcasts in Amerixa

The nature of our perceptions

Does not elevate the morality

Of the oppressed over that of the oppressor

How to live and die in a culture that denies humanity?

The isolation once felt by minorities

Now experienced by an intellectual minority

Emotion is the newest signifier of otherness

Meaning to be found in violence or stillness

Never easy motion

Let love be a gold blur around me

Like the halo of the moon

Words might not be worth much

But they’re a stable investment

Please help me Amerixa

I am fighting off a sickness

There’s a darkness on the horizon

Smokes pours from an abandoned factory

Awfully lively to be emptied of humans

I need no gurus nor their thick-soled shoes

I need you, Amerixa, to awaken to your dreams

Don’t just grab a bite to eat and steal a souvenir

There’s poison in our soil, and rotten planks in the ship of state

Nature has a language we’ve forgotten

Like the inexact memory of a beloved face

A smile half-remembered, but for how it made you feel

Where are the gentle baited souls always dreaming of death?

Where do they live in our asphalt brains?

A bullet would be innocent until soiled with our blood.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Standard Issue Manifesto


I’ve lost myself in a thinking well

Thrown off sided by a backwards remark
Culture slipped through my fingers

Broken down so fine it’s become nothing

All things new and equal

Do not speak to me of old men

Who have lost their fingertips

Fuck You. Wars revolve

Like disco lights in empty space

Red-faced, no money, walk funny

With my tale in the air

Advertising spring-time

Young thoughts that pour from an old cracked vessel

Is not the event itself or intention

A firing line that marks a boundary

Truth can be explosive

Or can die with one sad whimper

A firing line marks off property

In standard issue manifestoes.


Biscuits for puppies

Served with tea

Lace hanging from thigh

“Remarkable weather

We’re having.

Would love to eat your socks”

“So I read this article

In the paper about

How down is the new up

And I talked Paul into investing

In some of that down.
We want to be well-equipped for

Our golden years, you know”


The Alzheimic disassembly

Performed by minute elves

Santa scares the shit out of me

With his hoes, his bag of tricks

His ice-grill, slick racing kit

Going down in smoke. Coming up lit.

My memories screen in Technicolor

I write everyone into the plot

Because the doors of my perception

Have a twisted hinge and won’t

Shut all the way. There’s a draft

In my thoughts of a story with the worst

Kind of ending

When the howl of defeat becomes the clarion call

For a generation of subversives with no clear intent.

There’s a wind that creeps beneath my door

That carries in it the scent of fire, blood, and ash

And I carry on pretending

That I don’t notice it.

A blood-red disc

Of wheeling fire,

What was once called Pity

Ruthless and abstract

Cold iron black

Backwards walking

Into uncut time

Forever sifting

Kaleidoscope gel

One veiled layer and one

Of desire bursting


Bleating for your breast


Sad-eyed lady

With icy tears

Your wounded chest beckons me

I think I might have

Been born out of it

The daydream of your heart

A merry-go round of a million

Vapid lapidary lures

Black cages barbed

Black iron bars

I’ll lick you up and down

Flay your skin like flavor from gum

Julia O Julia

O Devoured Julia

Julia devoured Julia


Was there ever a face that spoke to me

With all the eloquence of an Elizabethan

Cast out of time or functionality

With the empty wonder

And graceless tremble

Of a flower in a gale

A young girl weeping

Sweet tears rolling

Cutting irrevocable routes

Into ruddy cheeks

Tender valleys to learn the rough hand of

Time her old Master

Weeping for love unrequited

Unremembered remote embers

Pale reflections of her lunar


A vagabond in empty space

With only recollections for landmarks

She charts a course between the stars

Armed with dissolution and an old hat

To fall at the feet of the ages

Cast in a gaping maw

The abyss of the sea of the abyss


drifting drifting

like a piece of driftwood



America, old England of my heart

With your stunted traditions and

Six-toed cousins

In-bred well fed cheap by the dozen

Bought for a dime and paid for with time

Every second of your youth

Ticked and bleeding onto a sponge

Three for ninety-nine cents

In this clearance of souls

Plus tax

So she drifts

Drifting like a piece of driftwood drifting

“It takes courage to drift”

She hears someone say

Time ticking on

Flickering time turning

Gyroscopes, Falcon’s Feathers

Descending through the Magnetic

Dance of electrons

To reveal the gray anatomy

Gyrating hips devoured

Jack in a box devoured

Slabs of meat in dress

She devours devours dreaming

Of being


Her smile belongs in pictures

Her brethren live in blinding lights

To wash out every flaw

Yet behind those smiles lurks

The black expanse of pasteboard facing

The effusions of her innocence.

Channeled in the blood of our cities

Emptied of all hope

Every morning about eight

Black expansive maw

Time is your music.

You must ride every turn exact

Leaned trusting into it

Play it like a symphony

Or don’t play it at all.

Those are the stakes.

We only play the game with those stakes.

Those are the highest stakes and those are the only stakes

Do not play it again for Uncle Sam

Do not play it again for the Master of Rats

The Builder of Dungeons

Out of the Dungeon and into the Labyrinth

The labyrinthine twining jungle

Dungeon of my desire

Acid rain eats away the Statue of Liberty

My heart weeps for her ugly stone flame

Crawl out of your impotent sterile sewers

Follow me on my merry pipe


Angel angel

I love your fist

As it closes round my wrist

To bring me unto you

I feel heartbeat

Blinking time

In fevered rhythm abreast to mine

Print a picture

There was no beauty not found

On your face

That I saw not wasted

By my tattered brush

Enshrine the lie in us.


I have created a hell for my lioness

Saith the Serpent

She shall dance and make merry

And love me in my brave disarray

Trees dance when the wind invites them

As flesh decays in the trap of old age

Caught in a will never endangered

By consideration

This inexorable will

Seen in death spasms

Hung by heartstrings


Dead men are heavier than broken hearts

Or photographs in an empty camera

I have a glove in my mouth and endless headaches

From that smile that your lips have forgotten

That fades in my memory like traces of a kiss


words words empty words

the electronic note

of floating (disembodied)

voices stamped faces


Flow is time and becoming

The beginning with no end or beginning

Rivers, sewers, lava

Semen, blood, bile

Thoughts, words, script

El Matador

To lay prone in a cave on the beach

Eroded by waves

In a moment eroded into time

Into our lives created slow

As a refuge for memory

Seagull like a gothic castle on a crag

That we once wrote a song about

The sound of the waves is

The sound of the Earth breathing

The sky admires itself in the sea

As I see myself in your eyes smiling

Hope rolls in with the tide

As the ocean caresses the land

Sand the color of your skin but not as warm

When I look into your eyes I see

Eternity, the sun mixed with the sea

God filtered through low clouds

A color as limitless

As an overflown horizon


when the morning light tickles my face

I crouch and seek sleep in your warmth

and the sharp and crude calls of birds

sound like the sweetest poetry.

judy blue death vessel, nothing is precious enough

to add to this moment, we would need to

sell the first-born we may never have,

this moment before landing wakefulness

passes blind on a curve, diving for your lips

the first immersion or real time only

where i seek something better than life itself.

we’ll lie still in softness and close

while the dawn outside fills with all the light

I care to ignore for your face


when something seen

or heard secures the soul in strident grip,

time moves and yet we do not perceive it.

the power that perceives the course of time

is not the power that captures the mind;

the former has no force - the latter binds

depths / heights

the stars up there attract prey

once stuck there’s no escape

heaven is a deep sea world

weird creatures in ghastly forms

souls wearing accursed shapes

as cities teeming with life

are sterile mineral monuments

seen from any great height


When the wind rises at night

I hear God in my thoughts:

Hi there? What for!

The engine that shall you

Will someday not

A weightless realm we’re carried through

Where no decision matters

I don’t know if there’s any time left

For fool’s wanderings; but I pretend there is

Rotting, dead leaves

Decorate lost shores

With all the dying colors of Fall


Scarecrow the only survivor

Once I lost you.

Saying hello to the honeys

In the end we were not

Run into the ground

So much as abandoned

To reality, raw and sensuous.

I slipped out to take a piss

And soaked our love

No matter. Least now

It can never burn.

Our eyes pretended to fidelity

Ears choked on lies

Lies that boiled like

Caught salmon in my head

But the fire got stamped out

As gathering clouds

Snuff the stars at night

To leave less love than ghost of love

To linger like smoke in our hair

Mt. Baldy

What did L. Cohen see

From the peak at Mt. Baldy?

Did he see the mist and horizon

A ski lift and mountain bar?

Pale-faced angels

Fat children hurling snowballs?

When his mind pondered eternity

Was he distracted by spinning tires?

The ground shines metallic

With wanderers in mufflers and sunshades

A ground so bright it splits open your eyes;

Bright like the epiphanies of L. Cohen?

A flash of awareness beneath the disgust

Drowns my vision

All the motes are swallowed

In the blank white expanse.

I glimpse what Cohen saw:

An irradiating silence.


To rise on wings

Feathered with souls

To walk into flames

With eyes wide open

To lose a hot pulse

In an absence of words

To float up in blue

Through sheer denial

To face one and all

With death in one hand

The I burning white

Coals cut like diamonds

A Promise

I’ll trip and sink into you

As the horizon trips the sky

I’ll marvel at your colors

Between dusk and falling night

I’ll know every piece of you

Draped only in moonlight

But I’ll never stop exploring

Till dies my failing sight.


The hummingbird amongst hibiscus

Flitting form through flowers

That drinks, that floats, that shimmers

A petal carried on a breeze

Without design or intention

Or sound or concern

Impressed upon all who see

Who remark upon the appearance

Of pointless beauty viewed, so fulfilled

Book Co.

I’ll find you there,

between the lines,

when the light through

the panel glass

catches your hair.

A man’s voice rises

over resonant mahogany

to fall and sound against

the timbre of the air.

Those present lift their eyes

from the printed page.

My sight falls upon your

golden head bowed.

A Vision

Red lights and dogs

What do you see?

Balloons? Christmas lights


Dollar signs and an imaginary moat

Filled with decaying dreams and dividends

Of earthly conquest

A small boy dancing

To simple melodies

As the wind stirs

Black clouds above


I sat on a hill and thought

I could see you over the horizon

and that is where I wanted to be.

I could trace the line

of the earth with my finger,

cover everything with my hand,

and touch nothing as beautiful

as your face.

I watched night drawn over

houses, trees slowly drowned.

I missed nothing but you,

whom this night can never touch.

I saw it all slip under,

a wreck of cargo and souls,

and I miss nothing.

For this descent I witnessed

contained nothing I love.

Still Life

Blue eyes through black lace

Hills under glass

The crackle of a radio

Abandoned on a bench

An orator just always

Out of reach


I've revised all fifty poems that make up my first collection. The first forty-seven had been posted before in a different form. I also added the final three. You can find them all, numbered sequentially, by scrolling through the archived posts.

Poem L

I lie outside.

A breeze ruffles the hangings of my infinite chamber.

Venus rises in the sky.

Venus sets in my flesh.

I live in a world where independent minds

Must cling to things

Or pull things to death

To ward off madness

Or the vanity of virtue.

Yet solitude and closeness to infinite things

Remind me that the soul is an infinite chamber

Where beauty exists unseen like

The stars of between space

Or flowers that bloom in the dark.

I grow tired

And wonder can darkness shine bright

Poem IL

What do I wait for?

The miraculous sign, water ablaze

A voice airing from nothingness

Resonant with prophetic authority

A woman to fall in love with at a glance

An epic composed in the mind

Perfect and subtle, line by line

Can one person know another in an instant?

To see in the shout of contact a soul bared,

Like Tiresias stumbling upon bathing Athena?

So must love at first sight be a kind of prophecy

And like all prophecies, divinely sourced.


A couple walks slowly down the sidewalk, their only attestant an October sky.

A brisk autumn wind riles their coats, fluttering the scarf of the young woman, howling in fury as the man pulls her close.

Their thighs brush softly; she inclines her head upon his shoulder. The pause between footfalls lengthens.

The end of their journey is reached. As the pair of shadows collides, so do their bodies, an oasis of warmth, of contentment, in a bleak, stone-embossed metropolis.

In a city that has forgotten humanity, there is a remembrance.

In a world that has belied loveliness, there is an emergence.

His hand reaches up to lower her hood, a veil pushed from the face of a bride.

The sun, the jealous bitch, hides behind a cloud to conceal her wrath.

Never has a light so bright shone beneath the lids of Venus.

Like a savage seeing for the first time his own reflection in a pool, he reaches forth, to touch a cheek so soft, so lovely, it pierces to his heart faster than any bullet, any blade.

A ripple breaks the reverie of a primitive mind.

A smile bolts the cell to an imprisoned heart.

He leans forward, his lips seeking hers; they meet upon an altar, two lives joined by something as tender and as fragile as a kiss.

Never has steel so strong flowed in the veins of Vulcan.

No comfort found in the womb of Eden could compare to that found in her eyes.

To be lost forever gazing in those depths, seeing all that is perfect, all that is pure.

God found alive in an iris, heaven in her arms.


A summer day: she lies upon a patch of green, the sunlight and her hair merged in golden harmony, cradling him in her arms until sleep performs its grand heist.


A darkened room: she sits in a chair with his child at her breast, embodied perfection, the amalgamation of two selves given physical form.


This is beauty.

This is she.

Poem IV

In reviewing my manuscripts, I see that the poem titled "IV" is different from the one I originally posted here. Not sure how that happened, but here's the proper poem "IV". If anyone actually reads this, I'd be curious which one is preferred. Since it's from that first series, this would make it pretty old...probably written in 2006 or so.

Your lips are prismatic in the act of a kiss
When the light of your love is dispersed on my face
The world colors in a spectrum of thought
At once of you and entirely for you
Bent upon the task of rendering an ideal
Manifest in the moment of your lips settling
But transitory, to be savored
Like a view of the sky in the moments
After a storm clears and what light remains
Distills through the hazy air of promise

Sleeper in The Valley

It’s a pink girl’s room, without the pink girl
An empty bed, softly tumbled
Pink comforter turned down in anticipation
Shelf above with pink-skinned dolls
One missing, in pieces on the floor
Subjected to the work of pink-handled scissors

A blood-red light filters through lace curtains
Onto a rocking chair and a basket of wool
Pink crochet half-finished on the seat
Pink lipstick traces adorn a small mirror
The fading hopes of practiced kisses

On the pathetic vanity desk
A note lies written in red ink
Beside a few empty bottles
That once held pink pills
Now somewhere diffused in the
Cooling blood
Of a once pink girl turned blue

When You Know It's Over

When you wake up alone in a hospital bed
The morning after your evening alone
Spent drinking until your balls twisted
Watching the clock . . . unsure where she is.


To put it succinctly:
When do you know it’s over?
When you wake up alone
Unsure where she is.


I picture us on a long walk to nowhere.
You’re going on, I’m listing after too many drinks,
Pretending to follow your visions and wild talk.
There was time then, empty to fill with errors and dreams
Like the destiny you seemed bound to fulfill, or that night in the cemetery.
We were young then, but now I feel old, and you have simply disappeared.

The world judges first on disappearances.
Yet though our endless summer led nowhere
But back to that house, between two cemeteries
Where we toasted misspent youth with countless drinks,
I seek there every night in my exile’s dreams,
Refuge from the world’s dumb talk.

Ensconced on the back porch, haloed with smoke, we’d talk and talk
About the meaning of it, and how the sympathetic world disappeared
Two thousand years ago with the Greeks and their tragic dreams.
In our present the ideal could be found nowhere
But there, swirling in our diffused words, the night drinking
Our wasted hopes, every star a monument to our symmetry.

Did you ever find religion, Ken? Not your father’s cemetery
Beliefs, buried under hypocrisy, but the vision we talked
About? You would close your eyes and go silent, as if drinking
In the resonant music of some great abyssal Nowhere,
The void from which spring a prophet’s dreams.

It was always your dream
To rise above the concerns that fill the cemetery
Of a waking life. We never knew where to invest, but in talk,
Yet the profits of those facile wagers never disappeared,
At least from my heart. Of what now does your heart drink?

With a bottle between us, I would pace before your crazed eyes, enlivened by drink,
The kitchen or living room boundaries blurred in dream,
Our pasts and futures, condensed into an immemorial present, thus disappeared,
As we eulogized the sad graves of dead poets, and plotted our raid into Limbo’s cemetery.
Those drunken nights unending, dawn pushed into abeyance by talk,
Content with our boozy breath and shabby clothes to seek the better side of nowhere.

And so our talk was heavenbound, that is to say: nowhere.
Our last drink together was never enough, nor the waking dream
Clutched as dawn made disappear our shades between the cemeteries.