Monday, September 28, 2009


The bass line is a ruin, shuffling beneath the skin of the tune. The hallways glut and cough, the window seep wan light. Keyboard clicking out signals made from electric anonymity, all smooth plastic and dry fingers. The wind spills and spills, piling leaves over every surface, covering every clue. Dusk is a token of tenderness, adrift on these swells of blood and light.

Each notion skirts a word that will never be uncovered. Each thought is a stone tossed in the sea. The earth tilts and spins through the depths of oblivion, our star tethered to our hearts. The chain of reflected energy sunken and absorbed, the evidence of our dizzying freedom displayed as we whirl and fall. Pulling at the skirts of eternity, dancing and dancing with stones crowding our toes.

What remission of this disease of language, what alchemy in encoding these sounds in scribbles and digits--. The oily sorcery of poetry such a lost fortune, such a wreck sunken in the reef. The songs that spill from impassioned lips forever entombed in these strings of bare intent. Typing by a single bulb, winnowing away the laden branches, parsing back all but the least loved, the most close to forgotten passions. Bereft of everything, the spell is cast into the harrowing depths. Words lapsed from language, awaiting a vessel, awaiting a breath.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

his dark corner

Again swaddled in heat and darkness, his eyes flicker and dim. All the ghosts of his past travels, all the thoughts of his dark partner, idling in that steamy silence. The world is all astir with scent and motion, the mingling of dead leaves and cut flowers, the clattering of trash cans rolled to the curb. But his mysterious mind has faded, gone like a magic trick, lost like the earnestness of innocence. All the earth and all the sky united, this peace will never assemble again.

He tilts and he staggers, panting out his sickened heart, scrabbling for scraps and remnants. His cataracts light in the dim hallway, guided like a moth by night lights and picture boxes. What trail does he stalk, lost in the depths of shadow, hurdling through the maze left of his once sharp mind? The alien twice removed, from dog to animal to elder statesman of the strays, the remotely knowable is cast into memory and still photos. His pacing once carved maps from California, from the ocean to the Redwoods, from Fresno to the Monterey Bay. Now he lingers in his dark corner, running the marathon of fervid dreams.

We all walk blurred lines through the desert, we stroll through the frothing remainders of the moonlit shores. Our paths are obscured, our mementos cast aside, our lovers shed of our sloppy Valentines. We carry the weight of small strangers, the beasts we invite to dirty up our clumsy lives. We love the mirror, we love the moments, we fill our hearts with sand from the wilderness and salt from that restless sea. We learn to lose from that usual bestiary, only to learn that losing is half the work of life. All the rest is holding onto that stupid course we surrendered to in the vague reaches of mythic history, cherishing the lost and the vanishing. The restless stranger haunting his own gamey bones, sniffing out his secrets, only himself in his sleep.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

rise and run

How that bird bent the air beneath it, moving so quickly from stillness to flight. How the leaf gained weight falling so far, so slowly. How bright the sky bled, dawn arising out of the thin disguise of night. It is all too much, though there is never enough. It is all too much, staying up this early having given up on late.

Bones cry their petty outrages against muscle, fat, and flesh. The aches of work blending with the pain of the inert, mind and body united in their constant complaint and dissent. So it goes with most uprisings, things have to get a little better before their is room enough to break it all down. So it goes, the chicken/ egg nature of itch and scratch.

The dust rises, ionized in the thin tendrils of lofty sun that snake into the unlit room. The dust will settle, trying hard to play along with the seeming trend. Mote to mote, nature is left unsaid. The story of the soul too complicated to explain in words or numbers. Symbols may only stand for symbols, things may only be seen in bits and aspects. The human story is the story of a constant seething at reasonable limits. The human story is tantrum and tantrum, then settling for oblivion in sheafs and herds. Adrift at the edge of some happenstance galaxy, hurtling towards impact and neglect.

This is the story of wept senses. This is the nature of the soul. Not one thing, but a series of collisions. Not differentiated save by the dawdling reach of flesh bound nerve. Scratching out of habit. Speaking out of turn.

So the bird flies, and the leaf falls, and the sun rises again and again. To watch and want, the feed and flow. Words stack in spats and drizzles. Endings begin anew.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I lean back in the cooling breeze, the longed for dose wrought from the leaden heat of too much day, blowing smoke towards the stars. Pieces of the Perseus myth arrayed in slips and starts. Gray exhaust stretching towards the forgotten constellations, fire mingling with air and tobacco leaf. The tired rustle of this dark and restless street forgotten for a clouded breath. The collision of the insistent instance and the taught bow of that abundant tomorrow.

The halo gathers and disperses, that silvered collusion of smoke and breath and light, the caught ionized particulates that shine as I add another slender tendril to the carbon load of heaven. The moment suspends ache in the very air, slurring the breathing, fixing wind and branch and starlight with the rattling of dog collars and the chime of chain link fencing. The light blind skies and the rooftop stammers and the ripples that pulse and reach through the atmosphere. The flat affect of the face of god.

The cigar flecks and smolders, idle between fingers, clenched between teeth. The spark exudes its usual persuasions, ember to ash and curling smoke. Nicotine absorbed through tongue and cheek, a dozen worming poisons to light the blood and stir the settled debts of the soul. I smoke away these empty hours, abandoning plot and contention. A life lived by lottery, whiled away in stars and ashes. A gathering of words that reach towards something, only abruptly to end.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

my profane incandescence

Each thought of you is of you undressing. Never quite naked, never fully clothed. Just the feeling of clothes peeling, my hands burrowing beneath cotton and silk to find warm skin. The feeling of fingering your flesh like a bow drawn across cello strings, the magic of the music of our touch. My breath in your hair, the condensation of souls caught in their sheer creation. Always slipping something off, always easing into a grand reveal. These moments that make us real, resonating outside of time.

Your genius is your presence in places you have never been, your wonder is how you endure in tensions you will never again impress. My genius was in your ignition, in the way I could whisper all reason away from your hesitance, the way I could always find your plaintive yes. The raising of a skirt, the insistent kissing of carnal truth. My hands only ever at home riding your endless tides. I close my eyes to see your flawless gaze. I open them, seeing stars.

How the seasons pile between us. How the moon never touches the sea. I am an old man already in these middling years, more beaten, more dimmed, much stronger than these books and sums. I am a life time away from that gaudy child, depths and shadows darker than all those break bone tarantellas, rotten and glowing and carved from curses and apocryphal prayers. I am further and further from the known shores, the ideals and oaths that I used to measure in blood and fire. Still I summon you, unwrapped and enraptured, eyes as bright as burning time, smile as sharp as some sliver of the moon. Still it is you I would enfold in my arms, as proof against all darkness. My profane incandescence infused within your nearing skin. Every goodness warm and calm beneath these worn and empty hands.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the day after the last

The limitations of the wind, the dry breath of the broken earth, the surrender to ritual when there is little that is not rote in play. Bleary eyed, slaughtered, defeated in that staggered gait, in that familiar sway. Miserable heat and wicked light. Ants trail towards any spill or shock.

Habits of heft, habits of duty. The old way of having no way at all. Watching a crow fly east to west at sun rise, seeing secrets in that wish for the fleeing night. Stiff shoulders and glowering aches, the song of work in our attachments to our bones. The awful hack work of all those candle smoke intercessors, the calm that is not calm, the stillness that is being stuck in one moment, frozen where the world wants to break.

The sky fields its chosen angel, that burning blue that does not relent or regard. The music is supple and weaves its way through the patch work pieces of time bled flesh. Always in the wrong place, always keeping the wrong time. So much for the rhythm section. So much for the blessing of a bridge. Those sightless eyes staring toward some fixed lost purpose. Another day, another shallow grave.

Monday, September 21, 2009

false autumnal

The broken light bends

beyond the horizon line,

coloring the trees and eaves

that just drowned shade

somewhere before water,

somewhat to the left of cement.

There is an aquarium air

to every action, from

children racing traffic to

the submerged flight of crows.

A stillness mingles

a solemnity dowsed with shadow

as summer swallows gravel for ballast,

mouthing oaths and epitaphs

all hindered without wind.

This fire line bled of cheap architecture,

the sun giving one last glance

to sustain these dreams of days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

strange currencies

The reciprocal moment-- where the rope between the fingers imagines it is the rope at the throat, and there is that gasp, that struggle, and something is still there, aching to be saved-- that is the depth of life, in ends and means. That curdled smoke, those bleeding eyes, the horror that compounds with each thought, the fresh hell that blooms in each notion, this is the wage. When comfort is lost, and the crying doesn't cease, and the work you believed was your reason has been emptied inside out, that worm turning in ways that serve to chill you to the bone, this is where your service begins. The duty that fails your definition of self that you clung to, the duty that could be bore by needle, rock, or blade, is all that is left to guide you to heaven.

This is where the die is cast, where the coin is tossed-- some clattering of bones, some gnashing of teeth later, and we are in the moment contingency provides. No amount of planning, no amount of prayer can alter that which was, though is melts away in the second it takes to say. All our remaindered days, bound in silk and skins, inked with promise and prophecy, full of word after word without meaning or cure. Just another dose of poison to burn through the blood. Just the rot of hesitance taking matters out of our shaking hands.

I couldn't cross the threshold, just as I could never jump the broom. Every turn wrong, and now the hands are empty save from a last small necessary work. Abandoned in all but the obvious dimensions, the price is unfathomably dear while the cost infinitely cheaper than the light spent counting it. The things measured by the handful so much more than the numbers that swarm to show us force and multitudes. That flat flavor of smoke, the bristles of a stretch of rope, and the silky flow of breath, rising and falling in this symphony of dying meat and riddled spirits. The dismal errand still at hand, I watch as my shoulders cast shadows away from another willful sun. I close my eyes, the world anchored as it must be for all the work it is owed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It is the heavy glass and the first taste of harvest. It is the mocking bird and finch springing through the vines still laden with green grapes. It is the dogs and their diggings, and that failed cat so slow to die. It is all the streaks in the sky which will give way to sparks, the line of light just above the horizon as we catch this last sun-struck breath before we dive headlong into another warm cavernous night. Already I hold my head under. Already I treat the world like a reason to hold my breath.

Shadows pour in the windows, fill the rooms with such supple puzzles and hidden wings. The doors are left open, metal screens the sieve of such legions even hell would envy. All our gateways, all our parts. Some spent, some waiting, some hectoring from the lime lights, some whispering from the wings. All the world and all its players, all the strays and signs and similes. Soon dawn will lose a portion of its host. The days contract until they flay the flesh from our shoulders. The nights grow cool and deft and too beautiful to trust.

So it goes, painting your way into corners. Each choice lays fresh limits, each stroke another boundary line. You try to coast above the errors that pursue you, until that flaw with speed and teeth finally locks jaws on your tail. Then it is all sentence and consequence. Pomp and punctuation. Some of you will choke down delay, some of you will be born anew. Some will take the measure of yourself and this bitter and figure out your way. Myself, I forget how to count, and my vision dims to a few odd bandwidths. I never see clearly any middle paths. I am left watching hobbled starts and rash ends, enduring the natural hyperbolic confusion of the two. I serve the world in distinguishing the paint from the fumes, leaving steady footprints trailing through fresh paint.

Friday, September 18, 2009

for no-one

Every murder is an answer to a question, that circle of why, why not sealed resolutely, a task no longer subject to debate. The part we kill is the loss we meant, the inverse effect of the not thought, that polar bear ignored in the snow. The crime is worse that bloodshed, worse than that cropped continuity of aimless affections and differing moods. It is the flavor of murder that alters the stew, the word, the idea, the crime. The world is rife with all manner of comfort killings. The phrase lights the irredeemable impulse, the fire we imagine we will burn in, the origin of sin itself.

You never know when to cross God off the list. Like some hockey masked movie killer, he rises from his grave again and again. You murder him to make your point, and he leaps from the lake to make his will known. Or was that an alligator. The point is, good or bad or worth watching at all, some movie will get made. Irony is the only constant in the universe, so why deal in jinxes? You hold the cord until there is nothing left to struggle. Just the weight and the echoes of the action. Just prayers and ghosts and evidence, cameras every where flashing lights in your darkened mind.

This is the romance of the remainder, the last glimmer of the cast-off husk. The wishing star that blazed a bright scratch-mark across the sky, the sound of bodies always wrestling with gravity in the night. Wings of mosquitos, pads of cats, mistakes that can not be undone. Give us these reasons, give us these blessings, give us your word just this once. Nothing is said, and no-one is waiting. The hours rise again and again, leaving you with little more than time to kill.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the favorite hour

The clock is counted down, the day tumbles over, it all begins again. Sleeping windows, drawling light. The finger traced faces, the wounds of thoughtless rumor, that faintest trace of burning bridges. All the stars hang heavy on the shadowed limbs, such subtle structures as are witnessed in these measured moments from the gear spun cusp. The latticework of familiar constellations, the groove worn into your tongue from all these alibis.

It is something savored in its absence, that lingering remembrance of flavor so lingual and abstracted. The slavish rituals of repetition wearing through the tapestry to reveal small truths. The teething heart, the tattered soul, the starving hands, and the cunning eye. The work of living seeming so clear when all the reasons finally subside. The weight of hesitation, the empty husk of movement, the tug and tether of muscle and bone. Breathing in these seething differences. A rush of blood, a hint of speed in the periphery.

How like flight this crush of substance. How like rising this lasting fall. Heavy in this deep inertia, feeling the migrations of heat and loss from animal core to the levity of atmosphere. Words all a-tangle, hope too much a stranger to talk to about anything but the enduring hour, and the vagaries of the weather. That too familiar feeling, the world spinning on without.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

that radiant vacancy

You can count the lassitudes of kindness, dog bite and nail scratch, the bruises and the blues. Enmity radiates from every corner, fervor in every evil eye. You drift over these usual attempts at good works, understanding the blessings of solitude, empathetic to the urge to murder. My life's work lives only in vitriol, scars, and dust.

Then the fits and spats of language, that need to say and savor. These dim lights and old tunes and empty spills. This pull of that radiant vacancy inside me that draws this out again and again. Head aches and seeping wounds, the hours that moan and sigh. Aim how you like for respite, call upon all the agents of mercy, mouth off to every heavenly intercessor: this receiver is only wired for certain limited reception. The few signals that run strong carry just the worst voices, seethe with each wrong song. Sucking air, spitting wind. Even the jubilation of survival has its limits.

Worn through, worn through, now it comes in threes and twos. The wormed notions, the warning bells. How light this fever fills when the mood is upon me. Tattered rooms and threadbare rags and whole menagerie of beasts and vermin. The skull splits with a practiced crash, all the blessings felt are dashed down into the dirt and stones. I stand straight, despite the weight, the attempts this machine can withstand. The weakness of this unnatural measure of strength, the sadness that fills these uncommon portions of endurance. Broken from the outset, this poison does its best to subdue. Beset with these typical demons, I labor towards another bleak extinction. Another day flecked with angels, blood, and graves.

Best of Me

The air is shredded by a pulse like plasma, a branch of fire settling the complaint of polarization, shaking the heart of heaven. Thunder rumbling through the roof at dawn, the white dog barking half-heartedly at the sky while the yellow dog works at sleeping. The sudden rush of a late-summer storm unsettling all the pillars of the firmament. Starlings burbling from the hedgerow, crows hectoring from the phone pole. Rumor spreads like plaintive fingers, dissent feathers forth from the very breath we shed.

Something too beautiful in this glut of dark gray clouds, something to precious in the cool turbulence of this hurried wind. Like the moments we hold in common, the raw community of love and violence. The immediacy that makes us realize that we have souls, that we are of this world, and only imagine our solitudes and our apostasies. The roll of thunder, the bitter kiss of black coffee, the gaze of rapture remembered and fixed with-in these bones. The endless whispered conversation of being, wrote in weather and in wing.

I am awash in the meanderings of local birds and beasts, the domesticated hunters and the free throated flocks all intersect with my lapses and my wanderings. From yesterdays hospital corridors, the smell of piss and fear and utility, to the cusp of fever and rebirth. The arthritis spikes, the dismal moral failings, the lightning and the music and the memories that make up this reflection of life and want and thirst. The rain comes, and I want to sit outside and drink in each breath flavored of ozone and rot. The rain arrives, and I want to sit in these native ablutions, billowing steam and smoke. Heaven breaks, and I want just once to make the most of all this weeping.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the light I leave

Awake in the piercing darkness, dreams slipped and heat drenched, a sudden shiver comes upon me. That moment when the shine of self goes missing, where place and time and identity are shorn from sensation and the everything rushes in at once. That place where confusion is woven into the darkness, and the room seems to be filled with the echos of just used voices, and that last breath freezes, dead in your chest as you listen for hints and clues. Sweat drenched and lost, the electric clinging rides my senses blind through the boneyard night.

Outside it is moths and spiders, half a moon loitering in the trees to the east. Cepheus and Cassiopeia trawling the usual confusion of Andromeda and Pegasus. The sweat drenched t-shirt cools in the wary air, summer still getting in its licks. Alone is a notion crafted by the hearts of billions. Alone is the work of angels, dragging it back from hermitage to the crowd. I learn to breathe anew, not even stopping to find my place in the stars.

We are always exposed, dim and mortal on this seething map of happenstance and coincidence. We are fragile and remote, always on the verge of something, mostly unexplained. I wake to these old wounds and fresh obsolescence, knowing my work in my bones. I will leave a light on, so you can find your way back. I will hold the door open, just a little longer. I will carry your portion when it is too heavy to move. Endurance is our only blessing, kindness is just the swallowing of our many rancid sins. The hour doesn't matter, and my mood is always poor. Still I will wait for you. I will walk with you through the graveyard gloom, bearing the weight of your wings until you are ready again to take to the boundless black sky.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

every wing a rumination

This mood is only a temporary encampment, a place to patch sore feet, a place to spend the night. Soon it will only be the scorch marks on stones and the scuff marks left by boots. The scoring of tent stakes, a layer of soil blanketing damp ash. But for the moment it is home, as much a home as any true transient ever adores. Fair or foul, this is where the moment lies. Stormy or starry, these skies will drift by just the same.

From the daybreak squabbles of hummingbird and bee, to the remnants of empty palaver that ring the dusk, the day has stretched and faded. The heat has wandered into the yard and my routine of day light sleeping was thick and marbled with frantic dreaming. Sweat soaked pillows and the dusty beating of an electric fan. The creaky stirrings of another afternoon alive mixes with the memory of a moth beating puffs of dust from a reading lamp. Sometimes every light is the moon. Every wing a rumination.

The westerly roaming of the sky, stars striking spark and notion, the moon stuck in the sharp limbs of a sleeping tree. Every thought half wish, half realization. The jangling nerve song of uselessness. The cavalier expression mortality makes once it is stuck on a fence. That lost night, that carefree gloom that lit into the leavening breeze, gone like every memory of hope. Happy, sad, angry, lonely, or the utter ravenings of despair: they wander the firmaments like any other planet, strange and distant and momentarily urgent beyond telling. Here, then there, then gone again. A campsite chat about nothing but the weather while the climate slowly changes course, the journey certain that it can wait until morning comes again.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

the inheritance

This speed of loss that keeps increasing becomes the only measure. The falling, the failing, the muttered wishes and empty promises. The things we shed, compressed against that whisper thin wall of now. The momentum of a life seems to much at these moments, all the ache and alone bright and vibrant, all this lack flavored of ash, tinting the lips. The cycle is a shudder, a spasm, a few misfiring synapses, and the world snaps in two just as you thought you gathered enough to hold on to. Then everything is freefall, that flight towards critical mass. All these charts and obligations left incomplete eating a hole in your heart.

This is what it is to hurtle through the black mass of wormed thought, the sorry work of cyclothymia, the inevitable plummeting from counting on these waxen wings. This is what it is to feel the barrel, caress the mirthless blade. Day after day to reel, this tumble, this wreck, this storm. All sense dissolved beneath the stymied tongue, all songs lie dashed with hope on the floor. To wear the dark certainty, to be this husk owed only extinction. The truth is there is no bottom.

So the fingers spill over tides of plastic symbols, speech reduced to cyphers and remnants. The heart stalls, beat again and again against this stone you swallowed. There are no stars, no words, no moments left. This is the inheritance, that last cold hard slap across your face. Wait too long, and there are only these ashes left to light the final embers. Wait long enough and all answers because afterthought, only this falling confused with flight, this flight mistook for purpose. This lapse is the last thing you are allowed to feel, and it will outlive these tracks you made, like boots salvaged from the feet of murder. It will endure, this hole in the world only noticed after all you can do is fall.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

full moon at midnight

You think it would mean something, the moon being full, the hour being midnight. You think it would mean something that it is a Friday night, that it was the first of a long stretch of a three day weekend. Full moon at midnight, a beacon to all manner of excess, a search light for all sorts of lonesome. It only ends up another night, another light in the sky, an extra set of shadows. The sounds of distant laughter, the rattle of brown glass.

The next day billows forth, bright and warm and fresh, a spring wind filling the sails of summer. It speaks of comfort and continuity, a that things that always change will always be the same. That local hummingbird, the mischievous scrub jay and those raucous crows. The green grapes a ripened green, wallowing vainly on the vine. A few more peaches loosed by the wind, asleep in the crumbling dirt. Awake to all these off-hand pleasure, teeth gritted in second-hand pain.

Thelonious Monk now, alone with a piano. That staggered stride, the bending of the melody in his exaggerated, rickety way, that calm and witty sort of swing he caresses from the keys. Old music recorded and re-recorded, an echo of an echo's echo, the electronic fingerprints of the radiance of the human soul. It must mean something, that this much feeling endures. It must mean something that a reflection of lost light can shine, broken into scant vibrations, lit behind shut eyes. That the long shadows of dawn turn themselves inside out at dusk, always reaching towards something that isn't yet or once was. That even this moment right now, having been witnessed, has dissolved into sense and memory. Resonance and sweetness, the smudged glass, the curling smoke of habit. That feeling that will endure long after the flesh has fled us.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Just a hint of the hummingbird in the bottle brush, a shiny blur flecked in the corner of an eye. Just that glint of metal in the dusty bush, a tiny whir of unseen wings. All the evidence is manifest in these slips and whispers, dollops of light in motion, trails of implicit speed. The dead leaves and pine needles are spread in the spatter of light dripping through pools of shadow, not so much object and opposite as thing and absence. That life and death polarity, that argument that is always one way. The day is splayed on an easterly wind, as if drawn by the moon that isn't there. As if bourn upon the firmaments of dusk.

And so the smile is coated with dust and gnats, a grit of spit and suspended protein, enzymes and subterfuge, a swallow that transcribes names and natures. Clouds of tiny flies envelope the air around the fallen fruit, the scent of peaches tilting into a kind of cloying sickness. Every breath is persuaded, every cough cast in refute. The dull dry sky wallows a few wavelengths apart from any color trapped upon the earth. Aim taken from the direction of the color of fire, of a horizon melting across the canvas, upon this spell of steel and gold. That cloying, sneaking grin, that primate sneer of warning and fear substituted for mimicked submission, that alligator grin over crocodile tears reveals the will to devour.

Amid these waning hours, the drizzled words pool and bleed. The oily rainbows of rhetoric that shimmer in each convoluted glower, the shower of sound and symbol mistaken always for the very thing they hide. These shared reflections that flavor our souls, the shimmering meanderings of ions sprayed or gases heated, these numb descriptions turned to shadows, ideas that think they are immune to being. The thing seen is past abstracted, is pulse and impulse, spark and shadow, bone and ghost. The world tumbles again and again, swaying in the sun and the darkness. It spins and tows us in its awful wake, muddling our dreams with these waking moments. Everything painted in our breath and mistakes. Everything mistaken for just missed wings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Sleep is a desert where little is left alive, all this desiccated scenery stretched beneath such star strewn dreams. Dry hands work the riddles from the apparatus, cracked skin aching with the working of the joints. The enigma spits its puzzles, pressed with ruined digits, tracked with swirls and pads. Wake in terror to a world pressed free of feeling, the tenor of despair just window dressing to the blank slate now left in brittle shards. The city is emptied, the room full of the heat of misplaced energies, thoughts with no rest in sight.

It is much too early for it to be this late. Scant hours until dawn works its racket, cat eviscerated moths on the blurred shambles of the porch, looking every bit like the ends all those secret angels deserve. It seems too soon for a bloated moon this bright shedding second hand sun light, putting Orion on his ear. The night sky isn't bad, considering how the town below glows in its sleep. It seems to pause, as if there was something to say at last.

The coiled poison unwinds behind numb eyes, spilling in bitter resonance into a vapor of spent thoughts and things. Exhaust billowing from a slight parting of lips, sickness bleeding out oily pores. It is gentle and relentless and knows no mercy. Suffering isn't inevitable if there is a place for pain to roost. Something to separate out all the colors, to dwell on the fauna and the chemistry as divisions become urgent. Something to cope with so much casual sand, such patient spines. All the roads that reach out to find you, only to leave you so far behind.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Undo the works of metal and of aggregation begun somewhere behind the eyes of time, undo the acts of cowardice and of the kind that line the nests and the alcoves. Forget all the words tangled in the boughs, the cradle always about to be bound to fall. The lay of the breed and of the pasture where it grazes, the stars we still wish on falling. Here lies the done and the doing, the dead and their cohorts swaddled in earth and root. Here lies the seed before it ever was planted, the cell before it divided again and again. The soil soaked in ancestors before there was a world to inherit, the souls stalking the land before there ever was a house to haunt.

Forget it all, the gray streets and the shadow swept eaves. Forget the beat of the squalling cat and the crafty raccoon. The day presses up upon us, dry eyed and empty handed. The day blows us heartless kisses, its breath diamonds tucked between sleepy blades of grass. Cloud wisps and winged horses tangled in the skyward reach of leaf and limb. Branches spread like lightning, the clades of clan and family written green and brown against the diminishing black of the ebbing night. The atmosphere blesses everything equally, holiness all neglect and anonymity.

That crown sprays its wealth from the skittering silhouettes of the east, the brown out hills and lowing herds. The streetlight perpetuity, gaudy and failing block by block. Tire hiss and engine growl of the first commuters and last of the corner crawl, the check day prowl about to collide with a three-day weekend. The morning papers flat behind glass or beset by ants in the drive or smudging up morning fingers beneath the bright forever fluorescence of some 24 hour Gas N Gulp. Every rumor true as the dogs defend their borders, and the stars go out in defiant glee, here where it all wound up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the blood/ ghost barrier (repost from April 9, 2009)

Here these folded hands tremble, clasping only the need to ask, the dead-end vapors and the bone sharp truth. Here the ceiling is surrendered to spiders and the sky to gray clouds and rain. What is prayer but abandonment? What is god but absence sensed from these unknowable depths, from this abysmal distance? What is it we ask for, and what are we asking? This world of torment and sunder, this crown of children disposed of in luggage, of babies used as sandbags and anchors and reasons to murder? These stupid books of ripe promise and brutal history? The idea that the existence of mysteries beyond our understanding is any more humble than the idea that the spinner of all wheels is waiting to hear our woes? Yet these muttered profanities are still spoken, in voices dry and aching as the dark. Yet these questions are spat out despite the emptiness of the room, the stillness of the air.

How strong the song is, the whispered hymnal of blood to ghost. It seethes in sheathe and action, bound by the decay of elements, the clockwork struggle to abide in this world of work and ache. It screams upon the naked pavement, cries out from the shards of skull of our shattered brothers, sings of iron and of air. That this music is alive in the dying meat, muscle struggling to shrug off these nettling questions, all the wonder of being subject and object all at once. We are the beasts so burdened with these frightened tunes and unbelievable heart beats, weathering steel and starvation, wounds and the every day dismissal that hauntings are carved from. What is god but the disbelief life has that it can ever fail to be? What are these songs but maps of pain and attraction, spilling out as vapor into the wreck and storm of another night alive?

What to ask for but simple survival and the best for kith and kin? What to demand but everything and all the trimmings? How cold, how lonely, how frightening comes this night that might be the last one. How fierce the urge to sweat and bleed and devour, to kiss and couple with myth and substance, every plan threaded with breath through teeth a claim upon creation. Every sleep we expect to shake a dream of a power over a land that will never be. Tomorrow is the cliff, the clock a pitfall into oblivion, time the only thing we can never have. So these hands gather, all Christmas list and birthday wishes, as my breath flows and my heart beats. I ask, as if there was more to god than bloody wood and broken promises. I ask, as if there is more here than this thirst and this lust, this hunger and this loneliness. I ask for tomorrow, my past forgotten, the sky open and empty save for a smattering of stars and the threat of rain.