Monday, November 30, 2009

all sizzle

The mistake is mostly in the way we make things real, we touch, we taste, we talk about the feeling and the flavor. That we might build from blocks gives us the sense that blocks make up everything, that maker is the meaning for all that we might see. We are restless, we think in pieces, mostly missing the whole. We are small, and we are petty, and we rebuild the world with words in our image.

Grown from seething seeds, from a coupling of elastic molecular chains into such particular animals, from an absurdity of dust to an absurdity of hubris. We retain and shed, matter and the ideas born of matter. The culture preserves, and the culture deceives. Thousands of years of confounded mortality, whispering promises towards the fickle winds. We think ourselves divided: body, soul, and mind. It is part utility, part urgency. The truth is so huge as to be unwieldy, lies being so much more palatable and portable. And seeing intention lingering behind every twitching shrub and sudden bird makes the seeking of separations natural. Gods and ghosts and apparitions, the sizzle from so much steak.

It is the sizzle, this being, this living. We try to parse and separate, try to exchange our long spattered history for the urgency of transcendence. Pretend that the world and our selves are different. Pretend that the borders are impermeable, and that creation is a series of errors longing for improvement. Hairy thunderers and bodhisattva, shadowy planners and heaven's chosen kings. We are so much more, and even less still. This moment, then the next, and all the time spent and longed for. Contingency seeming like destiny once all the cards are dealt.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

these stairs go up

The stairs had convinced us all that they led somewhere, so we followed them into the dark. It was a lovely mistake, to be sure. The wrecked room at the top of the lonely stairs, the smoke and the kisses. All those people speaking at once, all those people moving too close. Sweat and the stained eyes of passion, the fitful pitch of the treble, the dense vibration of the bass. Ashtrays and smudged glassware, rooms that were never empty. Even limited to the usual usage, the fretwork and the failings all glowed.

It was nothing then to sleep alone, though the novelty of it had hardly settled in. Different schedules, different lives, the residue of compromise settling earlier than any sort of hope or compassion. Everything is stories when you are so young. So bad at the telling, so good at the making. Too foolish to realize that you don't always choose the endings. Too bright to allow that things might happen despite your aims. It is nothing now to speak of endings, though not every door is closed.

Set out upon the night with all your hunger and your glee. Devour and partake, swept away in whatever circumstances must allow. Laugh without mirth, fight without anger, love without passion knowing your name. Doze in a corner, pass out in the street. Follow the stairs, though nothing good will come of it. Follow the stairs-- the story was written before you had a name. You will arrive as someone, and leave only once you are someone else. Change is all that awaits.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The illness holds you from the inside out, closer than any lover, closer than any rumor of god. The slow gray tide of a dying afternoon drains invisibly into the hectic green field. Breathing is the ensorcellment of the flocks, walking the languor of the herds. The cold water, the hot coffee, the fleck and wheeze of every tortured cough. Raise the fence, thinking of the settle couch. Raise the fence, the warm bed like a dream long ago dissolved in the essence of the day.

What was witnessed in the tide of wild winds, the rough embrace of the livid world set upon the static remnants of the world once seen. The precious images we swaddle tight in our myths and longings, a house, a hearth, a family now lost to discord, memory, and time. Dreams of dying tangling sweetly with the terror of a fleeting shallow breath. Dreams of belonging, of happy tables and glad hands, all swallowed by the soul of the storm. Nothing lasts, nothing lost-- that dense conundrum felt so acutely at either bookend of night or day. Everything is alright, seen from enough of a distance.

Commit a dozen temporary solutions, little pardons granted by urgency towards clarity, and so many small flaws seem pardoned. The hands that clasp tight heart and lungs a measure of a love so deep and brutal it seethes in the beauty of your blood. Cough until the stars are all you can see. Make a wish. Remember the moment when the light was just right. Remember how bright the flames flicker and shine, in that precious moment before that last candle is blown out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

empty prayer

The phone pole woodpecker scans the sky, vigilant between meals. Problems of a halo of blue still gray rather than a crown of thorn and leaf. The skint offer of hills humoring scrub oak and eucalyptus when the only woods left near are either park or cemetery. The handful of places left here where trees can crowd and whisper. The woodpecker abruptly swoops north, and a crow mounts its transitory throne. The world has ways we can neither drown or fathom.

The mild morning climbs atop my respite, stealing my smoke and steam. Coils of gray rope trailing that Jacob's ladder draw of an open sky. The restless air stirs and shifts in its shoes. An early stirring of drowsy houses, as feast work abounds. That hurried, blissful baking, the urge to comfort and provide. I spit some sour remnant of my wicked idle tongue into the dross of leaf and needle. I swallow cool water, every moment the ritual ablutions of equal measures. Bitterness and pleasure mingling, pure and eager knocking darkly at these deep ancestral chambers.

Quietly I call the names and the markers. I call the beaded greens and the burial blues, I call the heedless and the removed. I call the flesh of the vivid living, I call the shroud of the shimmering dead. The stricture of language dissolved into symbol, the analogue of analog and digital kneeling before the feast of history. The frisson of withheld words a hail of static upon the skin. I call out the cursed pleasures and the glowing wounds, the worthy errors we cling to, the pitiful victories that will not let us go. I call to the fields and the forests, the sea wracked with foam, the cliffs swarmed with swallows. I call for the blessings of the uncaring world, and the burned edges of sickened mystery. An empty prayer of wing-clipped thanks, sent curling up into the light of early winter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


At the border of silence and barking dogs, at the edge of night and awareness, in the moment before it all boils over, it slows. Light takes on the traces of honey, propriety blending with the sweet and the still. Those words you wear closer than tattoos. That ink of breath and savor. The air around you gathering, close and cold.

The clink of tin, the scratching of unkempt claws. The gradual warming of the malty head of the brew, dissolving into heat and bubbles. Moisture gathering at the stress points of cuisine, spice and hunger covering many ribald holes in tradition. The tension between tooth and smile, between unshaven appetite and the stippled reasons bound to the atmosphere. That glass smooth night, that mirror of warmth and steam. The black gaze of seeing forever on the burn.

I clear my throat, I take my measure. The gleam of carbon string and habitual ash. The dense embrace of absence amid every earthly persuasion. The empty plate, the suffering despite all knowing, the chair that will wait forever. Craft and objection, the simple scripture of the kiss that will never be. A toothbrush and a dim blue light. You awakening despite all the advantages of naked dreams.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The sky just stares, a long hollow lack looking straight through. The vice and the victims, the boards and the body count. The same daily scrapes, the whole world indifferent to the whole of the workings of the world. Turncoat gossip and heated invective, and the sky is far away, and empty as any pocket of anything of worth. The clock plods, the night falls. Everything is more or less the same.

Win some, lose some seems to be the formula. The broad gestures and fitful failings, the stink and the sickness, the mirror full of weeping wounds. The percussive plyings of disappointment, the gentle shiftings of good fortune. The candle changes into smoke and melted wax. We are all such uncertain fuel, wasting so much as light and heat. Pools of the possible, the flame dances and sputters, then drowns in a spitting hiss. So much contempt wasted for the inevitable. Waking alone, words askew in the dark.

So the season crowds and gathers, brittle grins and all that make up humanity. The plaintive longing for the communities you buried, for the family you burned. The urge toward proof that we still are capable of loving, that we are full of something besides brutal longing and a litany of scars. Its cold outside so the heat is on. The cold inside is outside our ken.

Monday, November 23, 2009

the vigorous declarations of the speechless

I am always at a loss, lapsed and stammering here at the cusp of event and reflection. Words flee, thinking fails, the usual palaver becomes quaint reliquary here in the churn and foment of deed and grail. The seekers chatter, the lost wail. I check my watch, then check the mail. It isn't the easiest, but it is pretty easy yet. Forgetting and forgotten, I slip between the shadows of nascent states. The weight gathering just before my tongue, I sigh and swallow. Quietly I linger with the vague glimmer of each dynamic inaction. No choice being a choice after all.

High tide tunes, a wistful calypso swings and strays. The singer so much more beneath the breathing of the song. Dusk idles, terse and delicate upon each curb. Traffic towing paper and plastic in the wake of all that light and carbon. Bass lines rattle windows, remind the guts of that last fated call of the gods. Apocalypse, Ragnarok, Gotterdammerung-- all the usual suspicious fevers dreamed up with a sore head and a sour stomach. Everything vivid in the auspicious shine of all fades, all blooms. The music winds through these sweet dreams and rough truths, sometimes I try to sing along.

All the education for a sixth sense and a handful of clumsy allusions. The tang of the visceral on the skillet, the acrid rush of smoke. All this ache and urgency for the bell toll of weathered bones. All this spill and plunder for a stolen kiss and a crumpled note. I can't quite follow the conversation, I can't see the meaning in the movie, or the message on the canvas. I clear my throat beneath the icy crush of so many idle stars, watch my breath materialize like some ghost out of literature. The poisoned father, the baleful partner more gravy than the grave. Last lines and curtain calls, while the world's stage mothers applaud and holler. Every exit parceled inside out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the map

There is a reason all those old maps were full of monsters. A reason for myths expected to be met, an inking in of the unknown with all those hopes and fears. That lapsed passage, that hold of memory so deep that it mingles with departed dreams and notions of breath and grasp. The place where thoughts go so deep that they will not be measured, changed as they are by the darkness and the depths. And so your hands remember what your mind might have lost. Your lips are painted with all those salted secrets, things your tongue and teeth know, though your history denies. The layer where flesh and fable mingle, where I linger with-in you now.

All the morning mirrors will tell you, every warm shower and cold meal. All the steam whispered from murky coffee, all the kisses evident on the rims of cups and glasses. The press of weather, that weightlessness the moment before it rains. Something flung from an umbrella, something lingering on a windshield beneath the rhythm of wiper blades and the seething of the rain. A gray condensation where your soul is slipping against a frozen window, a handprint sticking to skin of the well worn door. My touch lives there, between your skin and that first hint of clothing. Beneath that tide of sensation, in the stretch and yawn of every living day. Fingerprints in the unshared depths, red ochre marking your secret walls. Feast or famine, the shadow of devour always waiting to arise.

There is always a way for the familiar to fail you, a way to get lost inside a well worn path, a thickening of the cosy wood, a density to the change in the weather. A verse forgotten in a familiar song, the close embrace of that certainty of other eyes. The world was written without us, making us up along the way. In pursuit of solace or passion or safety or risk, we are entangled irrevocably. The sleeping stash of neurons, the electric sensation of the ever other self-- the watchmaker, the time-keeper, the wish-stealer-- forever whispering just out of earshot. We are tattooed in invisible ink, the stories of other senses, of wants left inside from the other travelers that abound in the rooms and roads of our cluttered lives. That furtive claim your flesh aims towards moonlight, that taste of salt and heat that lingers between dreams. I live still in those hidden places, barely breaking surface. The tension upon the waters, the hungering in the wind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

green for blue

I never knew those eyes were green when they would stare right through me, color blindness being the least of my afflictions. I mistook them for blue, bright and shining, lucid in the deepest portions of oblivion, kind even in the inferno of too much feeling left. It wasn't caution I ever erred beside, it wasn't that the heart would ever know the limits it lacked. I wrote you into my poems and dreams, wrote you into the fevers that inevitably overwhelmed my flesh. It was a kind of erasure, replacing you with shiny words. An exchange of prosthetic beauty at the price of enduring the honest kind. It was an equation I always worked, against the bone and blood of what I wanted most. Against the crosses bourn and promises extinguished, drenched in salt and water.

The poetry has long since crept through me, living only after-hours and transcribed poorly upon scant lines. The fires that found you have smothered in so much earthly weight and earnest time. Smoke and ash, the useless crucible of sanctity gained through the extrusion of time from flesh. Eyes that change color constantly, always dull and translucent, only seeing clearly that furthest distance from the greedy self. Seeing that surpasses belief in every solitary way. Words expose even this hollowness, trying to find your hallowed heart.

Love letters become leaf and ash, the futile compost for the next budding true love blooms. Faces lined with the knowing are lost to those carrying the fevers of faith, the touch of gray the warning sign for all the truth youth can not yet face. The work of the world, career and home and family. The burden of human connection that last beauty that exceeds and eludes me, that passage into mortal meaning, filial continuity. I labor lightly, the witness, the placeholder. The hard measure meant for pitiable times. My dry hands ache and fold, empty save for grasping. Seeing your green eyes still blue, holding that place open, the wound that never heals. The door I could never step through.

Friday, November 20, 2009

torn joinery

The torn joinery of creation sighs ever so slightly, breached at the stitching, corner work loose and pluming splinters. The weary work of being both effortless and beaten down, stepped on and carried and always squirming fitfully beneath any touch. Spit a little blood, rinse the red from the basin. Watch the window settle on the mingling of gray, green, and blue.

The world creeps past and it gallops, jay and sparrow and the grim repose of a neighborhood stray, wearing hunger in his whiskers. Children staggering home from a week of school, full of bluff and stagger, blustering against the gusting winds. The pavement spattered with a handful of rain, birthing plumes of dust from the never sated earth. Such love and cruelty, and the bulk of all a vast joyous indifference. Beauty falters on in starts and fits, sickness only another note in this hectic composition. A bow laid into the catgut, a plaintive note held for a few lively measures.

I abide my own roiling weakness, my grasps and wails. Slips and shards, indulgence and ruin. The most enduring writing I ever committed was my own epitaph. Then the workaday world, with all its crime and offenses, marches past in gaudy review. The aimless brutality, the wanton greed, the tropes of hurt and hate it holds for all. And all this illness makes sense, the pain and the slow decline. The spiteful masses, the slapped and the spat upon, the sanctimonious and the venal and those that thrive in all this pretense and make-believe. All these stories of heavens and hells made from mistaking all those hammers for nails.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The dawn tells it all in silhouette-- the reach of palm and oak and cypress. The silver measure of autumn upon the rooftops. The stretch of orange and yellow and boundless blue. The framework cut in puffs of breath and motion, the horizon abiding bright.

A train wails just then, a thunder headed west and south. The rattle of the rails, the clamber of steel and wood on earth and granite. The sounds echoes through the waking streets, blithe reverb upon cold windows, the press and low upon each wall. The train yawns, dopplering on across the cold curbs and frosted asphalt. A draw in the distance, a call to every waking sense.

Commuters idle, melting ice off their windshields, casting clouds into the gutter and the drives. Coffee cup meditations, the sounds of restless dogs and breakfast battles. Lights go off and turn on, illumination surprisingly easy and inane. The bright blue day begins its stretch and grasp. The world continues its brittle continuity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

one last beautiful thing

To awake, still swaddled in the trappings of rain and smoke, and to be loved yet. To wander through these shards and remnants, and still owe something to another heart. This song does not wane, it does not fade in the noise of crowds or beneath the crushing weight of loneliness. This music is the leaf crush of the unkempt gutter, the piss stink of the corners left to ruin. Like any form of devotion, it lays in uncommon regard for the aimless self, cunning and wicked and as hungry as any stray. Like any rumored poetry, it ends in swathes of confusion and pride. The longed for comfort of arms that ache to hold greater than this common longing to be held. It is this ruinous moment, again out to sea amid the dense peals of a dry and silent town.

Missing the moon, gone despite the callow gathering of clouds. Missing the rain despite the sheen of these sprinkled streets. Missing a love that was lost, a lover that never was. The usual melancholy suspects, mumbled after with a mouth full of ash and hubris. Ghosts spoken of only in the past tense, tensions arisen between language and the very act of naming things. Oh blue mood, black dog, rotted haunted heart--. Oh wailing train, ambulance tear, worn through mask--. Bitter that the predictable works according to expectations, that this deep bitter draw produces only the acrid air and sooty fingers. The absent miracle that makes one spit and curse, reality always showing up uninvited.

The sky glides by, a murk between me and the stars. My heart skips and stutters, another sickness driven forth from empty hours and bad living. Foolish and shameful, letting these lapsed kisses dissolve too slowly beneath a clumsy tongue. Silly and racked with flocks and strays, I watch the clock chase its tail. Sleepless night, dangerous dreams, with eyes aimed skyward and a cat at my shins. Kindness wandering off its leash while strangers press their every point. It all bleeds out, and I accept these meager vicious ends. Just one more, I whisper. One last beautiful thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

in all madness, faith

That threat of rain passes just out of reach, leaving only a chill wind and a gray air seeping through my nested bones. It moves to the west towards the south, dark and graven and aching just beneath the tide of breathing. And it is gull and crow, the gliding shadows and the sinking sun. The whole drowned town sensation whetting the bone-blade of the horizon, the clamber of words stuck between my teeth. The lost conversations that come and leave us while we are alone.

I am stuck with the broken record of my own false prophet, playing over and over through those sacrificial hours, adding every flat certitude, summing it all for a loss. I am left with these bitter remainders of hollow faith and reckless assertions, the prattle of madness wearing the mantel of the holy. Every misstep a careful calculation, every intention for the common good. All sin has fled that failing flesh, while I remain this vessel sundered into shards. One voice divinity while mine is archeology, pieces to be put together to solve the puzzle of all my mistakes. The world delivers to each a portion, never measured, full of surprise.

I am to witness the empty pockets, the slaughter of tomorrow. I am to paste my warnings upon the vivid mirror, to comfort and cajole, to render these rabbits and holes despite their fevered onset. I am to speak until my mouth is rested, to be silent until the spirit heals. Nothing works, but the work is all. Nothing is said, though the deluge lasted days. That made up saviour burns all the evidence, setting his alibis aflame. I await the night, and the weather. My hands safely at my sides as the inevitable conflagration begins, consoled by my latest failure, watching the sky fall down.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The door is held open, despite the hour, despite the weather. The door is held open, and all manner of things leave while the wind pours in. Every asking is like that, something escapes striving for that lack. Something is exchanged is the transfer of flesh and feel. Every exit an entrance, every harrowing loss still yet a gain.

They have made machines of all of us, with their closed eyes and explanations. They have made us subject to the objectionable, inventing better mousetraps, creating timeless vessels. Cold hands hold us down as we stir in the depths of dreams, bright wings beat against the blackened windows beneath the mad dead light of the voiceless stars. Ours paths have become calloused in the wan daylight, our treads artificial scars falling upon the fleeing of shadows. Passion is pale reflection, love artless commerce. The scales we topple, the torches we burn, our bitter secrets buried in shameful graves. All the lies lived, all the towers running away from the earth, all these painful separations meant to bind us to flag and faith.

I often outlive my usefulness, walking some little dog, lifting some child upon my shoulders. I nod, I listen, I weigh in upon some madness. I offer a stiff shoulder and a glib tongue when this measure of misery spills. Internal and external, the blur of method, the disregard of intent. Own your actions, make your story. Build your own bridge back to the world. Never mind the meaninglessness. Never mind that no-one will know. I serve these dead cults of works and wings, gentle and brutal and nearly always wrong. Something must be bartered, something must be given. In the dismissed absence of sense and mercy, in the abandoned hour, I hold the door open, holding the heart of this pitiful barrier until something better finds takes my place.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

mortal coil

Cherish each and every piece, forget all the parts. Life only grows larger as we age, unwinding in lovely humbling ways, night and day forever intertwined, precious and aloof. The murmurs upon the wind, the palaver of stones beneath the tide, the rumblings of heard, flock and swarm. Too many tongues for any one life, too much hardship and beauty for us all.

It slips the mind as you count the hours, the clamber of thoughts up the blind well, the notion of that unknown depth settling silently around. Work the fixtures, dust the frames. The pictures change while inside we never age. Disease and ordinary wear and tear grind us always, but what precious dust we become. What we will never name always outweighs all this knowing.

Words become idols, ideas perfect forms. We are enmeshed in the mistakes inherent in our language, caught in the web of our compounded lapses. From the breath of rarity we assume the weight of the inevitable. From the compounding of coincidence and an unfathomable passage of time we invent creation, and root our reasons from whatever is left behind. It is this, and only this. But the gift is this will always be too much to take. The gift is this, and it is always another measure more. Tomorrow until there isn't one, the rift of dreams until there is no waking. Bear witness, and tell no-one what you missed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

object permanence

These busy hands sometimes stay empty for days. These greedy fingers are never too far from the choicest plum. The vagaries of some mythic skin, the lost notions of your face pressed into my palm, the ghost of tense and tension go clambering through my brittle nerves. These chains dragged up hollow stairways, each link a bone, a tooth, an instance of blessed flesh. The feelings lingering so long after even memory has gone.

A finger to your lips though I want everything from you but silence, precious breath condensing upon the traces of my fingerprints left. Words that turn the silvered mirror a soft enduring gray, oaths that dissolve like sugar dolloped upon a restless tongue. The scent of your hair whispered with sweat, the whole of you glistening above the drift and twist of those abject sheets. A kiss upon your throat while you softly spoke, the shelter of a dark room, the luster of the rain. Your voice moving through my set teeth, some small flavor nesting in my lips.

It is only puzzling in this plenitude, these strong bones and long stares of yours that live still in the tomb of my wrecked and savaged flesh. Steadily I untie the knots and string the stars through the stretch and pause of your spine. The sky rollicks and weeps, its freezes and sparkles and goes about its business. My hands cleave and crease, their myriad works and schemes wrought from earth and ether. Yet you wrest these fevers from beneath the price upon my eyes, your electric presence always here in the empty air, in this tale of age and weather. So vibrantly entombed in this worthless shamble, you hold your breath in that blessed smile, proving something about love or sensation, or the way we sway the shape of this hapless world.

Monday, November 9, 2009

give up the ghost

The last act is written in the sand, awaiting the close reading of the sea. The final chapter is buried like treasure in those weary folded hands. Prophecy exudes like steam from the warm flesh of each finished day, every starry night freezing secrets in frosted grass and spilled light. There is a shine to the truth when it falls from your lips, despite the tripped tongue tumble, despite the error towards the cautious providence. There is a light in your eye that dies a little, with each and every lie. The spirit moves through us all, but its business is anything but honorable.

Sift through all this aimless hatred, all these wars of ill-chosen words. Dig down beneath the dry skin and the sharp tongue, vivisect that one kernel of honesty amid all this craven disarray. Find the angle hidden beneath angel's wings, the profit beneath the spat parable, the hunger feeding the scalding prayer. Kiss the beads, bow down before your god of dust and plagues. Deny that there is a heaven by the heat within your blood, murder your savior with your sins of usurping his domain. Flay the unbelievers with chapter and verse, making meaningless all you claim to believe.

It must be the burning fires, the additions of tradition that you love. It must be the wounds weeping, the spattering of all the blood you lap like wine. Fold your hands and whisper venom, give up the ghost with every hurtful breath. Tell me which tomorrow I will rue, tell me the law you claim today. The unyielding exclamation of creation drowns out your tea weak palaver. The universe seethes through us and you think the word is in a book.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

however far from home

The gray streets and the green weeds, the cold smoke and the hot steam rising from the sewers. The long narrow lanes lined with cars and shadows, the trash day memorabilia scattered against each curb. The winsome smile, leading the way long after the end of the day. The clatter of claws on the sidewalks, the jingling of the tags that hang from the collar, the ruckus of all the other dogs, jealous of their fenced in territories. Here I listen for erratic traffic and the sound of my heart. Here I speak wordlessly to the dog in tandem, out where this careless world abounds.

The signal strength changes a little with each step, lexicons held in the drape of my shoulders, magnetic directions in tow of my seething spine. We move, we we wait, we adjust to the flow of feet and cars. I nudge her attention towards our mission-- the trot, the lope, the gait. The bouquet of stray moments and molecular transactions that beckon her nose are all side-bar and subtext. We are a traveling music, we own the margins and the swift transitions, however far from home.

Turn a corner, leave a block, cross a busy thoroughfare. The street lights buzz and flicker, the lit windows watch us as absent as any distracted eyes, and we sway amongst the weeds and trash. Plastic bags lift and speed through headlights and bitter grills. Leaves crunch and shift beneath our stride. Last night it was owls and strays, this morning a confluence of vultures and crows in the thin crisp dawn. The corner boys huddle in the stairwells, distracted teens converse loudly with unseen conspirators upon the pulse of microwaves passing through almost everything. We transmit on a more narrow bandwidth, the dice that Einstein's God doesn't play with. Our indelible mission, dismissing creation with our brisk and fearless wake.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

any dying fire

Somehow I missed the rain. It barely fell at all, just a sheen of glisten, just the breath gray upon the mirror. I watched the sky for the first signs of the conspiracy, saw the creep and draw of the weather. I watched the dawn light blue and gold in a strip of sky held tight by drifting clouds. I waited for the rain, as still as any dying fire. I fell into a furrow of sleep, and I missed the drizzling mist as it touched down.

The heart has its reasons, its lapses and its truths. The heart will seethe and want and draw down deep the silvery smoke of romance. The heart can not count all its wounds and scars.

Days pass by, and I do not say one thing that matters. The wheels all turn, the stars will shift, and I don't say a thing that is true. My hands too dry and empty, my bones sing of complaints of a forsworn grave. I lost my way long ago, in some fever chill or sweltering bed. Lost amid the drift of letters and the plain honest wonder of the world, I allowed each stranger their myths and stories. I allowed myself the way of the broken vessel, the tao of the burning bridge. All weeping wounds and the light that leaves the ash.

Outside the day is bright, a vivid blue unfit for the season. No leaf turns, no branch sways. Chalk marks on the pavement, graffiti marring every other fence. An open sky and the sound of motorcycles in the distance. A feeling settles in, like that of every dream lost too soon. An embrace broken while the body still longs for enclosure, a kiss swept aside like a startled bird, rising where flight is not a gift but a curse. A depth of longing that lingers without a single thing to want in sight.

Monday, November 2, 2009

all the dreams and wonders

I couldn't watch that last light paint silhouettes above the horizon line to the east. I couldn't stare as the moon lay fallow in the sprawl of bare limbs to the west. I lost north and south in the usual way, stumble and sway and the spun map bleeds colors I can not see. Night arises whatever my bearings. Lost or found, or run aground, I am grounded beside this easy grind. All the shapes and shadows that gather like the songs long ago lost in the murmuring of our hearts. All the dreams and wonders swept away in that sea of indifferent stars.

My mind dawdles, a river buried in a flow of dross and dreck. I never could remember all the things I was supposed to forget, so ghosts glow and simple stone light my way, lost between stars and things I should have said. How bright those teeth, how sharp that smile, how inevitable that bite. Skin broken in a ragged circle, two grins drawn by dull scalpels, cast in opposition upon my dusty flesh. I wouldn't bleed out the poison, or let the wound heal clean. So goes a life of letters, folded pages and pressed flowers. Hours left unsettled.

Ease me into this indistinction, leaven this wound with a press of earnest lips and the scent of flowers dying in the night. Leave me to settle into versions of metal, endings spelled out in steel and tungsten, in smoke and the loud retort of chemical thunder. Let the shadows drown out all the noise of mistaken hands and certain aim. Let the horizon slide away again and again, as I idly spell out oaths and epitaphs, my dry finger tracing each letter upon your empty belly as the moon glows bright and mad. The things I can not see released suddenly from their bindings, alive at last in different skins. These fevers and discontents settling into the herds destined head long for cliffs, words another pathogen looking for a host.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

the ballast of clouds

The white flecks in the blue of the sky's eyes mirror this restless gaze, watchful and wanting in the new measure of things. The fields and lots are crowded by these residual ghosts, candy wrappers and paper bones hidden by the mist. As if the feathered fog was a flag planted, the wispy battle standard laying claim to the season. As if everything relied on the ballast of clouds, our weights and tethers holding us fast to this world.

And so rise the crows and the surprise of a flock of ibises, dangling strange from the odd-colored dawn. And so glitters the gutters clotted with glass and plastic, lost candy and the usual host of needle and leaf. The dogs bark and a few stray cars idle, awaiting some sort of Sunday morning ritual, church or fishing, breakfast or the hair of the dog. A hint of frost, a clutch of vapor, all the open secrets that reveal the soul of a place. Something to witness, something to watch for. The world shaped by these leavings and this claiming.

No matter the hour, I arrive late to the party. No matter the chorus, I am always at a loss for words. Sieved light, the scoring of tinder still branches, the touch and stretch of the shadows of wings. I am up before nearly everyone, yet I go to sleep while drowsy beds stir and society lights its contentious obligations. Sensitive and oblivious, a dreamer bound to extinguish the cling of dreams, walking hand in hand with dusk and dawn. Another wanderer from a lost tribe, my identity born to the swathe of names and rituals that my blood ignores. Bound to the unwritten calendar, held by ways older than witnesses, knowing beauty is the only language of all this resonant steam.