Thursday, December 30, 2010


Cold in the morning, dark in the house. All the animals are practicing their dreaming, rasping and wheezing away. My hands fumble for a pocket, they are fitful, full of cups and keys. I work what locks there are, stepping outside into the cold and glittering morning. Instantly the bones in my hands sing of their familiar complaints, my breath cast in clouds and exasperation. Each hour awake seems earlier and heavier than the last. The day always begins by getting ahead of itself. I am always struggling just to catch up.

Steam from the coffee cup, small comfort brought in these draughts and kisses, the pitiful needy sips craving wakefulness and warmth. I swallow the hot dark coffee, luxuriating in my one extant romance. That confounding of mood and habit, that confusing of stress with joy. I am up early, chasing after the wreckage of my indolence. I am up early, waiting for my day to begin.

I lack the reason of a raccoon, I lack the purpose of a possum. The winter is upon us, and all I do is ache for rain. I abide the idiosyncrasies of the weather, smoking and spilling steam, choking on this sickness, spitting out calamitous verse. I step clumsily through the lives of these abandoned and broken children, my work another example of too much problem addressed with a dollop of solution. I think about the next meal, the next check, old romances and pretty young things. I scribble something down, and make whatever move is ahead.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I only ask because otherwise there is only silence. I only say because the stars are all sharpened and the weather permits. The slide from each tension all the reason you keep hiding, that slippery ease of that awful fall. Each day stretched tight around you, all cigarette and blindfold. Each day that trick of William Tell, done playing about as Robin Hood. That location traded for speed, that a folding map for the whole wild world. I only ask because I know you will never say.

Once you drew pictures on the wall, once you gave interviews to the mirror. Singing in the shower, the rest of the house grew silent, wrapped around you. The clink of bottles, the brush by the sink. Candles always melting onto the tables and floor. The midnight feel held by your open eyes. The moment where all confessions begin.

I spoke aloud, dropping your name to the wind. I spoke so soft, the wind whistling by. A voice then no voice. A name then nothing. A hot shower, the icy rain. Locks and keys and blunt necessities. The radio and headlights and that sharp, quiet distance between the coming day and the failing night. Aim or not, the arrow flies. Name or not, it will find you there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I stand and stare, backlit on the front porch, shivering, watching the rain. It is all that I can manage, just to find that room to feel. The cold air, the hard rain, the gaps in the traffic, my patchy insistence on remembering. My arms clasped tight across my chest, my breath coiling gray and strange. The rain and my heart keeping poor time, you somehow always almost there, some habit of delirium the only calendar either of us keep for long. Cold fingers drizzled across the keyboard, this dialect that always finds me silent, wanting to sing.

I think of you near the open car window. I think of you in the color of the freeway going by. It rains, I shower, the sun rises or sets. You are in the margins and the liner notes. Each day each thing just trying to find you waiting in the wings. So far away no light can find you. So close that you are never really there.

The storm rolls in, all intensity and arrival. Another night of rain, another chill that will not warm away. These empty aches and painful blushes. Your claim upon my day a flag you dropped without even meaning. Your call through the weave of the wear of the day, your breathless distance as we near another ended night. I write this at this least last hour, another set of fingerprints left drifting about the world. The reason only telling because the rhyme got away.

Monday, December 27, 2010

the blue of the morning, the bright of the moon

All the ordinary entanglements were lost by then, strangers in the forest, footsteps in the rain. I had walked for years in my own wake, wearing out the shape of circles, grinding down my stride. I had followed my own loss so closely I carried that air of completion. I seemed as if I had already spoken every last word. Ask heaven, and all it has are clouds on its face. Ask heaven, and everything is stars in its eyes.

My age caught up with me as I stood too early, a little uneasy without any light. My age caught up with me, just waiting in the road. The chill in the air, the distance in the shine in her eyes, the blue of the morning and the bright of the moon. I feel the shifting of weather with wings, the strained air clapping at the very act of flight. I feel the tilt of the world as the day falls away, calling every clock that will follow. My hands ache in the cool of dusk, pain like dread on fire. My fingers just tap out the count.

The numbers pause, then the numbers tumble. Fingers feel sore just knowing. Eventually accounting is abandoned, another lost faith to fade into myth. The words take the long way, around about the meaning. You ask the sky as if it listened. You ask heaven, and all the rest is listening.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


The old ones always said they could smell it in the soil, the change in weather, the phrasings of days. Outside, I smoke with cold fingers and a wet cough. I cast a tether towards the menace of darker clouds, coiling with the coming storm. I smell the earth, see the change in the rate of birds feeding startled into flight. The years bury me little by little in the business of the sky. Rain is always waiting, above these whispers and tides.

There is nothing to tell you, not a thing that I can find that you didn't learn of long ago. There is nothing at least that I could say, my language so weary and fraught with abuse. The world has its ways of getting its message across, the fruiting of hidden fungus, the clusters of birds just below the clouds. The world gathers its gossip and its lies and finds me when I stand still enough. I shiver in the flux of weather, the chill and the sunlight, the rush of silence just before the rain. I watch the rain spill towards this idle invite.

It seems like magic, the thought first then the thing. It seems that way as the habits of the world grow familiar, trampling the world with beasts and signs. Wait long enough and the bus will stop. Wait long enough, and most anything is possible. The slight of hand that perception moves us, skipping us ahead of deft sequence, turning the light inside out. Watch long enough, the pattern will play out. Watch near enough, the rain will come the moment you call. This neat end, this fated kiss.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

the Christmas card

The air is cold, so let's write down our letters. The sky is gray, so let's settle all our distant wishes with postage and pictures cast out into the winter world. So it is snowmen or baby animals, family pictures or gilded manger scenes. Jesus versus world peace, Santa versus the eskimo. A cardboard sentiment of secular blessings or pious love, our hopes that we can cross the silence damping down our hearts written in slippery ink. The night is dark, so let's try to find some light.

We hold these lists of blood and names, these crisp scraps of kin and time. Childhood friends and second cousins, lovers now married and friends now divorced. From our daily entanglements to our forgotten markers, from those at the table to those outside all our circles, we give what words we may spare. The promise we want to keep to ourselves, that we will never forget.

I grant you all my least binding wishes, those that leave room for any missing details. The dead pets left resting and the troubling rumors overlooked. Our past scrapes and grudges unmentioned as if we all can learn to forget. Our bruises and kisses and all those enduring words. As if there was a love that abides these slips and ruins. As if love was enough to sustain us through all our lapses, through the conspiracies of time and geography. I speak to you of hope like smoke trailing into the distance. Despite these dying fires, I wish you all the best.

Friday, December 24, 2010

the weight of days

The world is contained with a shrug and a shroud, the gray chill settling every bet. Fingers crack and flesh breaks, the work unexceptional and unending. It is that tune that plays on and on, even as you wince and curse. This pale aching moment, the weight of day upon day.

You drive four hundred miles just to fill out a time card. You finally arrive home, only to find new ways to fail. The things as they are written, the things better left unsaid-- they all surface, slow and blunt. No one tells you anything, but you know you are only getting worse. That pot, watched or not, is bound to boil.

It should be enough to say it once. And said a thousand times ought to be enough to get it right. The sickness and the repetition and the frustration and the empty all add up, and soon no one is left listening. Nothing left to say, and still you can't stop talking. The conversation drags on, between you and the dusty walls. The conversation drags on even though you know you need to go.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

crawling on

The sun was out, and it was warm for awhile, then it went away. Days are such temporary notions, here one moment then the next they have flown away, leaving the bare line and darkened sky. Everything is crawling on relentlessly, even the bits that stay the same. The bright light, the broken branch, the spider on my leg. The night is here, leaning against the doorframe. The night is here, trying to catch my eye.

What use is a night when all there is is sleeping left? What use is tomorrow when it is only today played in a different key? I try to find the words, but they have burrowed into shelves full of poems and dictionaries. I try to find the words, but for once even my big mouth stays shut. Just a rusted hammer of a man, hanging from some nails. Just a broken bottle of a man, past useful but still dangerous in poorly lit places. All these dull answers, and not a soul left asking.

The moon in the tree a Van Gogh tangle, all silhouette and radiance laid on thick to the eye. The drizzled dreams best left unmentioned, the pretty thoughts barbed in my troubled mind. The chill in the air the nearest thing to a caress I have felt in ages, those absent kisses and kindling romances. The stars in the sky just so many markers, signs to traveler and the very still alike. The night and its stories, the day and its wings.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

love as hunger

It is always where I am, this leaning towards the ghost, this empty urgency despite every evidence. Stuck in the stories of the weight of winter as it settles, that chill of drifting years suddenly gaining purchase in my skin. Trapped in the mistake that telling is ever anything given away. Earlier today I claimed I had the hands of a poet. I'm not sure whether I even get the joke.

Sometimes it is the god of the evening news, sometimes it is the god of trees and fevers, pressing through the fabric, possessing common words. The spirit only evident in these deceitful leavings. The ghost only the fearful beauty of the gone already. The kiss that is recorded becomes the kiss on other lips. Memory another invocation, the spell whatever letters are left.

I exist despite my bad grammar and calamitous habits. I exist even though scarce evidence remains to explain. Holding onto the beautiful ache of this crowded lonesome, lingering in the world of disavowal and recitation. I follow the course of the confounded witness. I follow the way of the cranky old man, bitter and resigned to smoke and spit and seethe. Blessed despite the better angels of my nature, I follow the mystery as it fades.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

towards your wake

This last dispatch less painted gray than played so slowly all the colors are caught dreaming. This last season all breakers less the beach, the waves without any dry stone do dissolve, the weather without all this talk of rain. I closed the door and locked up all the gates. I slipped into that mood less like gloves and more like water threaded between cold fingers. These words written between pictures, these books still dozing between shelves.

I suppose I always knew your absence, something in the give of a brick or the sway of a tree. Those old scripts, movie musicals in their infancy, Astaire and Rogers sweet and light. I suppose it was often that blissful made up hint, that Easter egg renewal consecrated in the rhythm beneath all this blood. These moments, clinging and beckoning in the very effort of remembering. This longing both sacred and untrue.

Do we ever see each other past these habits, this just me and you? Do we ever know each other beyond the bonds of these easy habits and blunt refusals? Did we dance, or would we ever dance, the music so simple and strong right now. The way the effort eases, lingering on stepping light and sharp. The way the moment presses on and on. You knowing this persistence, the way I always wander towards your wake.

Monday, December 20, 2010


The storm breaks in cold gray phrases, long apologies and sudden good-byes. The only rain running out of the clotted gutters, drizzling down the eaves. The only wind the breath seeping out between tongue and tooth. Something like relief, audible for just only a moment. Something like a sigh, this evening of slight pressures. The rain seems like a stranger by the end of a few hours. Introduction the only edge left.

I would sleep at the ends of the ocean. I would sleep by the rhythm of breaking tide. Dowsed by the ice of salt and water. Cradled by the wreck of the unseen rocks below. Then maybe the dreams would find me, scattered as so many cold and oily ashes. Then maybe these dreams would want me, where senses would awake. Instead I drift by the trailings of moonlight. Instead I drown in the shadows that abide.

There is a moon lighting the way home in the sky. There is a day fading and a dream alive. To be left like luggage, soaking on the tarmac. To be lost like faith, these chewed bones and sifted shines. Caught here in this enraptured rabbit daze, swaying in the crowded fields. Caught here in the butcher shop silence, immediate and sharp and steel. Something unseen just slips into view, and dissolves like so much winter rain.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

that crow loosed

The rain is strung tinsel as the headlights pass through it, the gutters ripple as traffic passes this test. The rain is lost pebbles casting circles as they sink. The rain is a tide of the sky just falling again and again, the dawn some bird seeking refuge on a wire. The day another sojourner, always passing through.

I listen to a pretty song, playing out through trick and trial. Sweet and insistent, passionate and a little forlorn. A little slip of magic, stoppered away in a bottle. A mood to summon and abide, to turn over and over in these soaked through moments. A simple evocation, a delicate hissing of prayer repaired and released into the wilds of time. The song ends, the music changes. The feeling lingers, the last verse diminishing already into the clutter of spent chances. The feeling lingers, the rain pushing through outside.

The day comes, and I should make some coffee. The day is here, and I have nothing prepared. Just these dappled ablutions of rain, these rates of change marked in blue moods and running water. A single crow high above, searching this obsolescence. The crow on its ancient errand, finding some purchase above this tide. The rain falls, and I forget the labors of doves. That day begun, beneath these aimless clouds and flailing rains. That crow loosed, working at rediscovering the world.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


A life withdraws, leaving only words to struggle with. The rain exhales, a hush of continuity, the rush of blood always towards rust. The road spits and hisses, the flume of water pressed between it and the air as traffic passes. The light leaves and homes take on their portions of noise and glow. The flitting urgency of birds preparing for a cold wet night, everything measured in hunger, warmth, and shelter. I wait, feeling the latency of mortal notions as the world goes boiling by.

The hours clot, coiled smoke caught beneath the eaves, gnats and mosquitoes following carbon trails and current distresses. The neighborhood heaves its comings and goings, cars idling along the curbside, children running in the rain. The chain-link fence suddenly just another gathering of steel, sieving through the winds and droplets, casting nets into the night. This evening a kind of evidence kept against the tide of forgetting. A letter folded around a photo, a Christmas card cast from across the freezing ocean.

The rain falls in strings and gushes, in smatterings and encores and all the varied measurements of applause. There are no curtains, merely circumstances, stories separated not by subject but by breath. The telling edits, and the prolonged pause, the as if of a love song performed like a funeral march. I while away the weather, wind and heat and signals of smoke. The words subside, leaving only life to go on living.

Friday, December 17, 2010


A few hours with the rain trailing past, the front porch hit with ladles and mists, the cold trying to hide in my bones. In this ache and weather I know you return here, these fitful words, these blurted hesitations. My chilled fingers tangle with key and symbol, the least effort another oddity, old habits hollowed out and filled with new mistakes. All the years and these gathered thousands of miles. You look for me in the smoke and rain.

The day decays into flights and embers, the storm sifting through the wind and sky. Outside I spit and cough, inside shrug and type. For every error an emblem, for every task a tool. I am always missing something at the moment. I am always somehow lost or late. My name arrives, as always, on your lips, and I swear the rain just changed. I hear your voice and I swear no dream is more longed for or bitter-sweet.

Though I am broken, I am certain of another day. Though I am worn clean through, I am certain you see something more. The way you watch the night through sleepless windows, thinking of that season. The way you read so slowly when you think it is you I mean. I almost believe these dull-eyed prayers, writing as it rains in pails. I almost think you are the answer, just because it is all I can do not to ask.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The stars blur out of focus, a slow adjustment between distances. Clouds drift along the skin of the sky, the weather chained to the bottom of the ocean. These cold sunken hours. The deep forgiving oblivion of the restless tide. Sleep a haunting and a hush, a slipped beating of wings against the window, the shyness of a ghost always just outside the door.

The television spits a dull blue hue, the reflected ripple of light rushing across the water. The room the drowned shine of the surface of a pond at dawn. I am restless in the cold press of this empty waking, the dull riddle of being discovered again. I gather the blankets around my shoulders, breathing a little uneasy. I watch how far the world has sailed. I watch the way the world disappears over the horizon.

The sky is gray, the pavement shining. The wind is slipping along every surface, and all the leaves have fallen to the ground. The gutter is clotted with this shed skin of the season. I turn all the locks and close up the windows. I wander through the house, dowsing every light. I will find my bed and get to dreaming. The sweep of winter across the drift of dreams.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A piece of the moon stuck to the fleeing of the day, clinging to that last clasp of blue before it all just gives way to black. So many wings, so many hopes bent on escape. These flocks that you would have thought had had the whole fall to settle, at this very late moment remembering the air. These birds that flow and stir, reminding us that heaven is loss delayed.

Later on I am sorting through the papers. Later on the night is near and cold. My cough is wet and the dust has settled. All the scraps and sparrows saved for some further dare. All the days spent littered with worrying after the rain. The things I wrote and the things I will never. The fragile fraction between the word and the breath.

You can find me spattered across the calendar, my name a trail of ink and absence. You can find me in that moment while you wake, your hands wandering and warm. Bits of tinsel and threaded popcorn, that abnormal seasonal shine. I frequent the depth of that dark open window. I crowd the shadows, thinking of you as I dissolve into those myths of sleep. Somehow in your absence, always looking up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the Jericho road

The truth arose with that music of absolute loss, that dissonant phrase that lays across the tracks of reason. That contrast of the harsh drowse of this painful fluorescence and that static shine falling on the wet white paint. There is that dreadful lamentation framed miniscule, the worm drowning on the pavement, that fly with one torn wing. There is that wakeful stare, realizing that the least frame is versed in its multiples, the always better or always worse. Living is the price that makes us have to hunt this cruelest music, to try to endure or address. The redress of this song the only proof we need.

So I work where I least am able, I try to fix the broken phrase of some natal soul, I try to find the flight in all this fall. Is it only in the repetition of errors? Is it only in the aggregation of blame? I am block and tackle, I am dull matter. I trust in the plans made in idle fury. I serve that aim to reserve and contain, without the least glint of reason. You pick up that huddled man, whatever the risk or whimsy. You win the argument by breaking it into little pieces, and crumbling them in your wake.

There is a line I made out of habits, ardor and languor and watching for the girl next door. There is a line I came to carry, some intersections, some delays. I hold it down for these tired schemes and half-baked theories. I hold it still because some money changed hands. The work I deny, but all that I was ever made for. The kiss held like some rough thumb and forefinger holding you by your lower lip. A surrender to the passion that dresses up like pain. The samaritan limp, that Jericho road.

Monday, December 13, 2010


The crunch of leaves beneath my feet, the only rush of angel's wings I would ever need. This sky of dark cement. These stars of no more wishing. The nearer the distance, the further this flight. Sleepy enough to feel the wind rise with the sound of drunken kisses. Awake enough to feel the change of light as you leave.

Some other life and some other season, all your reasons just steam leaving your lips. The drift of attachment only a vapor trail from your tongue. These sullen depths of memory that mingle with the change in the light. Of all the stages, of all the players, this is the way the tale untangles. What I missed and what you longed for, that same story at once told and undone. The glow of your smile both beacon and threat.

So comes fall, so wanders winter--. There is a photo, creased and fingered. There is a photo, breathing deep and bright. Once we were lost in sweet weather. Once we were certain in that failing light. A photograph parsed of meaning, a notion that dragged history along in its wake. One picture clung to, to bury all the rest.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

red star

The light slowly escapes, sticking to the skins of pale things, saying good-bye to the world. We chill to the dry exaltations of our skins, all existence cauterized by the cold, the profound slowing of the seasons. Winter is coming, crawling down the branches. Winter is coming, trickling from the stars.

I hang my head, idly watching the pavement. The litter of leaf, the edges swept with moss. I smoke absently, wondering at everything I think I miss. This close landscape, this huddle of shadows and smoke, this sense of you in every reckless silhouette. That all waiting would play out, and you would be there trailing wishes. That in this brittle age I would still embrace what was beautiful because it was true.

You flicker in the periphery, a light clinging to the curbside, a shadow cut in half. Winter is the wizard's season, the magic edge that feels honed by ice and death. The dry consistence of this flesh, feeling the wind and the blush of stars sweep you. A notion that holds some tide of sickness at bay. Waiting for the daylight, watching a red star.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


They stitch the meanings together after everything is torn to ribbons. Red for blood, white for death, and that resignation to all that sunken blue. The stars scattered in orderly rows, sharpened in every sense. We love and die and strive towards purpose, in these fecund lyrics that bond us to our world. We hold fast to the certainty that all this clumsy singing can only be blessed.

Used so much all words just come apart. Your confessions of faith, my admissions of sins. A few more words sang too loud, a few more prayers for it all to go wrong. I offer up these worn down oaths, these condensations of beauty. The calamity of the mistaken meaning, the comedy of an endless river of errors. Truth the inevitable outcome taken as a virtue.

The afternoon ending in rake and broom. The slow flow of traffic, the percussion of bristles and cement. Leaf litter pushed down a sidewalk, the work doing nothing but sharpening all the edges, making distinctions my only proof. I trail away, clouds of smoke and gnats an erratic halo of poisoned grace. I settle into the shadows, my song only evident in the little miracles. My anthem a branch dragged behind my absence, a nation furtive and always in decline.

Friday, December 10, 2010


The veil hides it away until the air is all but gone. These sweet syllables the only fuel ever to find this escape, the dark ocean and the drawled fishing net. The harmless drowning that dreams allow us, sound slipping away as the voice drifts into memory. A tilt of the tongue, a sweeping release of teeth. Such a smile loving mimicry of a bite, that dense pause so urgent and bright. I watch this burlesque of lip and threat, your mouth as you speak of slips and secrets, this treatise to hide and seek.

Whatever is left of this fire, this childhood's first blush of want bound to flesh? Whatever is left of these sweet kindlings, these earnest original sins? The seas sleep, the skies boil, so the story sun after sun. I slow with the lay of the light and the leanings of the earth. I scratch at some long lost thought, some face I only know in the dark. I await the news of the weather, thumbing back your hair, the rain conspiring with the fog outside. Your mouth in silhouette whispering smoke.

It is late and I listen as the music pools around the room, this sinking feeling too little like flight. The itchy skin of the song rubbing against tile and wet cement. That music that spills like broken bricks, time and dust finding their way back home. I can see your smile, adrift in some dark room. I can hear your laugh, less like breath than breathing, a buoyancy built of light. That white respite of that open hearted smile. The revelation of so much bared tooth and bone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


All my life, this is the broken record of it. The rainbow cut to scraps, the tired drive into another bright good bye of a horizon. The dull plodding litany of curse and kiss, the enumeration of this wrecked alphabet. Love's embers as they dwindle, luck's mercy in hits and misses. The fretting and the fury, and the thousand quiet failures that dot and fleck each day. All this living, and I still have nothing to say.

Something shifts and something settles. The night arrived early, dark as licorice, heavy as stone. I can feel my bones shift, my own weakness the last thing holding me up. I can hear those fallen stars and failed wishes, scratching at the glass. A few more words and I can tumble into bed. Maybe to dream a little. Maybe to sleep at ease.

Spill the words, crib the meanings. Always wearily filling in the margins. Always sullenly littering in the gaps. Some little tension lingering in the language. Some small miracle to be gained from sifting through the ash. Another day gone, staggering towards another weekend. Another sorry note, trying to find something to remember. I know I long ago wore out my welcome. The rest of this is only trying to find the rest.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

one little song

It was like hellfire painted in cold orange juice hues, drizzling down the back of my throat. It was like that griddle black iron hiss that is only fire finding flesh, the scent of burnt blood so sweetly near your breath. Those artless feelings that can only be told as heat. That last sacramental miracle, the body turned to meat. The way I felt you, leaving like a song.

The music so far at last, every single light seems a new horizon. SInging being breathing and breathing being so soft and slow. Your name always that leaving tingling, drifting slowly from my dry lips. Your name some dark evocation of want and glorious waste. Time always gathering down your ankles as the world washes through your hair. This song destiny, always almost lost.

You sang so sweet, sugared sand in my dreams. You drawled and intoned and upended all the furnishings words could afford. Even the drift of your singing, like heard from around a corner, draws closer to my fingers. Your throat purring warmth through my hands. Knowing that there is no cold you could not thaw, just with a word. One song spilling slowing, leaving your kiss.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It is a season laden with tinsel, built on colored lights and expectation. The day turns darker, from unduly bright to uncommonly gray in the time it takes to frame a thought or buy an alibi. I rise from the mud and detritus, my work lingering a little in the dirt this morning, staggered and feeling the shifting of worlds. My feet find their purchase on kitchen floors and basketball courts, and work is the tracing of familiar forms as if they were fresh and new. Child's play and all the gristle of the discarded and the abandoned, heaps of indignity and disappointment served in generously cruel amounts. I find the time to watch the sky as clouds crawl and idle. I find the time to think of you.

I still expect to see your eyes, to hear your voice in these colder moments. I could measure every livid detail of you, eyes shut and left to my own means. I conjure you from strange remainders and the dust that rises when something settled in suddenly gone. I conjure you from bad days and and dismal notions, from the gun metal gray flavor that hijacks my tongue, from the lonesome purchase of another cement step keeping company with the rain and the crows. It feels close enough to real to remind me of the fixed distances and the broken light. It feels close enough to be the mark left on my heart from all this missing.

The day folds and the night chases its tail. The heavens clamber and crumble, every light left submerged beneath the surface of the sky. I settle into the fuzz of other places, the soft hum of electric imitation. Some song left on from another life, something on tv to tell me how wrong I live. I will sleep in the hush and chill of another night without you, restless only in these thoughts of your absence. I think of all the things to tell you, of all the things we would do. I slow into silence, into the gnawing empty of the world I know.

Monday, December 6, 2010

that magic thought

It is at that moment, when time catches up to memory, when the song comes undone at each syllable. It is right then when the hour slips from the glass, where the clock spills its arms into the night. There are tremblings and there are kisses. There are wishes that were spent on stars. Every spark and sputter, the clutter of another evening alone.

I don't wait until the bridge to start its burning. I don't divvy my day into such fine a slice in thousands. I take the measure, I swallow my dose of dust and screams. There won't be one and so can never find another. There were so many, and now that they are gone, just a single flock. I would write it all down, had you skin enough on your back. I would write it all down, were you near for an instant.

I thought I had settled on the dish of no tomorrows, that bowl of longing snuffed, of ashes cast in smoke. I thought I was left without any other means for an end. Writing down wishes in the cold crisp sky. Reading all these fortunes from this shy smattering of stars. That notion cast from the skimming of breath as steam, trailing on behind me in the night. That magic thought left that there could still be surprise.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It is just that there was this rain, falling so softly, there before the out of focus Christmas lights. The rain falling in such a hush, waiting breathless to confess. Then, as if created right there, a mosquito materializes, rising slowly towards the sky like it was my soul set loose. And something in the idea spoils slowly, under heat and ponder. Something in the moment boils away, giving off the steam the clock spilling over, trailing vapor into the next uncertain proof.

There in the doorway I sniff and cough, feeling the tilt of some virus in the lilt and tongue of each word. I spit into the fresh falling rain, as if to absolve my every stain. My thoughts so weary from their wanders, pacing the widths of distance, groping the intimacies of flesh. My mind so far past dreaming everything is brittle and real. I try to stretch an ache from my hip and spine, swallow out of idiot habit, curl a smile out of spite. The rain streaks in shades of gray, haloing the street lights, blazing away at the eaves of every house I see. The night sizzles softly along.

These nights are thick with you, you glisten on my every thought, you are drenched in lust and sacrament. Blood that turns to breath, breath smoking slowly into steam, rising and so very true. We dissolve over reach and time, our every intention some wave that breaks the surface, a needle scratching away the skin. We slowly become just the dopplered blur of an instance rippling through the measure of its ending. The wrecked train, the ruined photo, our natures so divided they might as well be the same.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the adoration of the lamb

I would still take your hand, with everything hidden now cluttering the table. I would still listen, through the dark tatters of your whispers, through the confessions so hurtful and true. The weather slides, the cloud circle. The song that plays on steams on just beneath all the skin and scars, and it is always alright to lean away. The song rolls and writhes, all those secrets so many carcinogens breathed in on accident, released boiling through your words. I suspend my hesitations, so many embers caught in mid-air, so many wings finally finding the will to roost. That is all the art I have.

The reverence mingles with the medium, the tense of heaven all angels and script. The reasoned oils another mirror, catching old stories in amber, casting creation in glistening skins and smoky robes. There are creases and veins of commerce, subtle revelations of that frenzied intersection, that ocean of culture and translated blood. The lamb so still upon a clumsy pedestal, the dove another pillar flickering in the firmament. The trickle of fountains, the trick rope image of paradise leavening the paint. Everything should be so tainted with the grace of age.

Here is where I will say you should slow towards the earth and season. Here is where I will leave these clumsy seductions of the glass always emptying when the thirst is so pronounced. That this would change the chill in the air, or brush a palm upon your cheek. That this would find you in that suspense of flesh and telling, reading with passion again and again. The lines so sparse and laden with the taste of rain and pavement that it would dissolve with the purpose on your breath. That silence seeming so painfully long and overdue.

Friday, December 3, 2010

the mood

It wasn't the wind, swift and cold and indifferent to the dancing of dead leaves that spun and skipped down the sky. It wasn't the rain, which nudged and groped and kissed the skin of the long gone night. It wasn't the say or the season, the drift of conversation, the winter in the blood. I am far past the camouflage of reasons when it comes to these seeping blues, these crawling grays that spill out from eyes left open, from dreams that never end right. I am gone from the stories I once wore about arrival and antecedent. The mood had me, and there was little left of me to kibitz or display. The mood drove every moment, it colored in each unfortunate word.

Tonight isn't so different. I long for the rain, I watch the shadows grow until they are all that are left. I smoke on the porch, I talk on the phone, I lose my place and am careless with my tongue. I watch the traffic doppler by, the headlights long and drawn out or short and sharp. I am sad by habit, alone by the usual processes. A sweet song plays, and I smile a little, and tear up a little more. The mood is its own measure, it is paint and canvas whatever I think the subject might be.

My bones ache along the ley lines of wear and design. Maybe a symptom, maybe the season, maybe one song too many that calls and pulls inside and out. This world is too deep and too wide for me to figure, all these waters too close to distinguish a claim or cause. I wear the same skin though it is worn and damaged, the same shape though I can not find a use or a way. The day before is already in the dust, every prophecy already writhing with worms. The day to come already fashioned, and yet still a mystery to me. The mood both a sentence and a seance upon my soul.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


We forgot the terms, the day was so long. We forgot how we came to this agreement, the days ground down, the night slippery with wings. We spill the salt, we tilt the snifter. We find this flesh has grown too snug. Luck always the one that got away. The street as it stills with rain.

The clocks slows, the longer the hour. It is the distance that we remit, the signature at the long drawn end of the contract, that snap judgement that ink runs truer than blood. The word is the bond, and still the speech so vague. What is a wish than the martyrdom of risk? What is tomorrow but the chance of suspicious habit? I write it down, though I won't waste my breath on reading it aloud.

I wasn't there when they drew up the papers. I never got around to finding out about the fine print. And I never sign my name right twice. The dreams are lost before the night is gone. The deal was broke before it was even whispered. The busted wings soiling the gutters. The light so dazzling when you realize first tomorrow can not come. The last daylight finding perhaps the last day, knowing for a moment that I didn't miss one thing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


There was a golden sky, blinding in the horizon, shining above the green hills of the coming winter. There was a color so radiant my eyes lost their station, unable to see past this heart-broken hue. The road was subtle and a little sad, despite the press of traffic and the rush of wind. The day dwindled, again so sweet, so far. The lights changed, the other drivers sped on or idled, the freeway left so far behind. My engine coughed, my radio blared, and the flocks all took to the skies. There was something missing, as there is always something missing. That something was mostly me.

I live along that too sharp edge, that too piercing point. I live in the crush and fumble of careless lives, intimate and alien, in a funk and a fury that are all but inexplicable outside my skull. There is a cruel conversion that does not allow me to hold onto the better portions I am allowed, the sadness of a dry-clicked trigger, of the hammer striking the hollow chamber of the missing shell. There is a cumulous of busted culture gathered inside me, spinning fragments all akimbo, making shards of my thoughts and hauntings. Endurance is often bumping up against its limits.

There is beauty abounding. Charms and gimmicks and magic tricks to delight and amuse, shorn remedy for so much poison and error. The heart would break, it is so gorgeous and unlikely. Chances are some little thing you did today would move me to tears. Chances are that there is never enough weeping in this sad and lovely world. Darkness embraced less like love and more like contention. Living is this way sometimes. Some little piece that broke off, a flower or a stone. Some small treasure left for a stranger to discover.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a chemical problem

I am wide awake all of the sudden, in the dark cold room, driven by force from dreams I can not remember. It is that near memory, that just lost thought that haunts the darkness. It is the sense of imbalance in all things, the world somehow shifted skins, that disturbs worst. The midnight mistakes, the air of error that surround me. They are the only light in those broken hours. It is a chemical problem, and it drags me stitched to its heels.

The night arrived all at once, a gray creeping of clouds obscuring whatever twilight we had. A water-color sweep of weather, then just the bristling silence of all those lonely stars. The cold air pressing its fingers against every lip, things seem to still as the night colludes with the chill. Every sentiment seems remote and distant. A flower pressed flat amongst the psalms, a map of the moon. Every move is a little piece of ache. Every motion a concession speech.

The dogs next door are raising hell-- a cat fight or a surly raccoon. It is part of the landscape, an evening of the expected and the despised. The hours slip past, their motions furtive, their destination a mystery. I scatter another few words upon the grave of another day, having done nothing worth boasting of or confessing. These pale lies, these wan truths, the written record of the dwindling of a life. I am a chemical problem, and I carry it, hidden inside my heart.

Monday, November 29, 2010

her dark majesty

I woke before the frost had a hold upon the whole of the world, where ice feathered its touch over every exposed skin and the stars were so cold and bright. That shuffling muddled routine of making ready for the life expected, the odd combination of coffee and shower steam and the frozen indolence of a dumb commute. That turncoat exclamation of this known country, the slow speeding certainty that with each mile traveled she becomes further from me. Each day I drive towards another dawn, her magic everything that I will never know or become. Each day I wake, her absence a sweet and brutal truth.

Love is all about the ache to know, the beauty of the splendid trope, the revelation of continuity wrecked upon these certain sheets. Romance is all in the loitering of lurid hope, the clinging to the hips of the idea, the press of lips sealing some furtive letter. I endure the lack of both, though without love I do not thrive, and without romance I really do not even try. She is that secreted notion, that shadow that will fall across my shoulder, that smile that will find me out. Somewhere she writes it all down, her ink stitched into her bare limbs, her ink trickling brightly down her throat. Somewhere she sets the world in motion, and I feel her labors in the machinery beneath my feet.

My job is the tangle of lack mingled with the moral certitude of the state. It is those who were never loved enough entrusted to my cruel and potent ministry, the trust that evil can be undone, that souls can be saved from the more heritable kinds of misery. It doesn't suit me, and I fail each day to undo some deep crime, the criminals always far from my reckoning. Somewhere she lingers, a remedy for my own calamity. Somewhere she shines, dark and honest and indifferent to my worn entreaties and my tired poems. She endures, accosted and yet untouched by these brittle longings. I watch as another day dies unloved, waiting for her darkness to arrive. I watch these empty streets with vacant eyes as all the stars come out.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the girl from no tomorrow

She walks as if she was keeping time, some music that exists to measure the sway of her hips, some dance that is always about to begin. She walks indifferent to the gray world painted on around her, that color of ice that clings to the slippery sky. Catching eyes and trailing that native promise, flesh singing despite the inconvenience of the season. The chill in the air only contrast to her enduring warmth, a passion play pressed so thoroughly into her ordinary clay. The steam she spills following her like the cold shadows that reach and reach.

The earth has been left to its leanings, the days clipped and brief at best. The trees are settling into their winter skins, the fall running bright and blue despite the cold. People leave their markers in the detritus and the skies. She moves, a song and singer woven into the usual limitations. She moves, every promise ever made and lost to chance. At best, I am a witness to the bend and ache of the world weighing evidence. At best, I am inscribing the spell as its magic is cast into the gutters. The words and the weather the only measure I can make of the time.

I am swaddled in the husk of empty habit. I am cloistered in smoke and the endurance of the flame. Coils of breath, ruined and rising. Clouds of exhaust, caught in the trembling touch of the icy air. The songs cross bridges that were best left idle. The music that leaves us stuck with mysteries and aimless want. She trails some hint of spring, some cusp of summer. That certainty made of green and blue, where tomorrow begins again anew. I abide the hour, and I hold no judgement towards the faith required. Another day, some other chance that life will arrive again. She moves into another nation, blending the forgotten with that ache for forgiveness that eludes me always. Some promise kept to that world without me where I continue to eke out some shallow living. Some truth that evades the heretic counting the wings in the sky and the colors he could never name.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The cold air, the pale moon-- it could have been anything there that lit the candle. The shine upon the skin of the sky seemed like so much more before. That glaze of stars and darkness, that mingling of atmosphere and text. That is the trouble all along, knowing the script, knowing the show. Once your part is cast, everything left is the play. There is a light in a guardsman's portion. Ghosts, you know, abound.

It is a kind of madness, this theater. It is a kind of memory when memory is lost by blood. You leaven tomorrow with imagining so accurate, changing the inflection and bending the words. Ice quickening on your tongue, as breath is breeding water. The monologue so familiar, so chained with habit and weight, changing suddenly to another style and meaning. The ending assured, the show still must go.

Could it be in hushed arrival, a parting of pikes measured by the cast of every shadow? Could it be in your braying verse, the poetics of anguish seared by wit? The folly of names, the farce of corpses-- so many pages remembered clearly yet unknown. That curse, that castle-- the Dracula keep from all those cartoons. Do you recall it from curtain or your entrance? Do you remember your exits based on those green room kisses, the back stage romances that are all your favorite reviews? Or are the words so written on the pages of your days that every new notion is repetition. The only mystery, the curtain call.

Friday, November 26, 2010


It is that last thread, tugged at without mercy, pulled on until the whole of things is undone. It is the least sentiment, spent upon threat and ache. The world is always working on something, it is always half plot, half map. The world, woven and weaving. The string you covet tears at the seam. Things come undone, with or without you.

The wounds seem deeper, given any thought. Those small impacts, those deep punctures, the tincture of tears and pain that greet each day. They feather through, they slink and devour. They make you a ruin, leave you a-shambles. You light out towards the far territories, barely a bag in hand, carrying the weight of these injuries. Your life will run down, painted with these gaps and frenzies. You remember, you forget, the long fall still before you. You swallow hard, spit out some prayer for ease and respite. The night goes on and on.

I can not carry my load. I can not count the ways. I empty out in the usual ways, words and luster, the clutter of want and the endless uphill of just one more. I move in circles, I move in straight lines. I hold so still that even time forgets. My cup runs over, and still there is nothing. My luck runs out, and I keep going on. I lose the thread of the conversation long before it happens. I remember some, and then everything is in pieces. I follow the sunset, trapped in my car. I arrive a little later, waiting again to leave.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

bang on

It is sharp and it is cold. For all that torture there was nothing there to answer. The season is upon you, that narrowing of roads and not waves. The heat just rises to give up is seat. The heat was leaving from the moment it began. It meets you in that alley, that subjugation of all deliberate vice. It could be murder, for all tomorrow tells.

You know it like the weight of denied wishes, the kiss of sustained denial. You know it like the closing of a book, chapter and verse nearly instantly forgotten. That falsehood of only habit. These riches lost for ritual. You feel it like it was my spine that cracked, something glittering and distant. You feel it as if you could ever fall so far from your flesh. That bluff that can only be crafted from sheer belief.

I type it down, so tired, so sure of lapse. From the ache of narrow morning to that certainty of the cold and endless sea. I dawdle in rags and true folly, meat and bone all crisp with need for collapse. The distant flocks and the shoddy stars the lingering of my ink. I write it down, another knife made of ice. This sentiment so dull and alone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the prestige

There is something left to be said, always that last thought, that bitter reminder of hopes dashed. That map of the future that will never happen. That road of contingencies that will always wash you back home. That shock and impact that makes it impossible to look away. That wish met with cold fingers, the furtive pleading after heat. My knee aches, your glass is empty. There are so many words spent pursing futile truth.

The water is icy, the breath is short. Why must the telling always slow in the abandonment of certainty? Why must the quick changes and doomed temples so outweigh the long trend of endurance, that consistency that seems so much more overthrown by the proof that eternity is so easily overturned? The rhetoric the endless sounding of increments, distinctions between wait and pause. This least reach must have it all. This solution bright and clear and true.

Was it an answer? That slight leaning towards the window, the bending of being and light. Seeing you closer though further apart. That sin of smoke, that press of rain. The changes in the atmosphere always the most binding of language. So much in the weather this sheen of grace. The frost trickling off of those fickle stars. That question only you know I demand.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

lights out

The mirror is finished with me, this long and vacant day. The shadows cling, thick and inky in the cold wet yard. The clock misses every kind of time-- from too much to not enough, the feast and famine measure it makes of our lives. The hour that drawls on and on, the month that slips past without so much as a mark, these are the only markers left. Someone needs to dowse whatever flame is left.

The night grows colder, the room dank and still. Somewhere there are violins, the suspect string section sentiments unravelling on the floor. Somewhere voices crack with static, heavy feet shuffling across worn through tile. The pipes beat out their usual alarms, the suspect rhythms of water finding its level. There is laughter, there is dancing, there are all the tones and colors that light binds to the world. Never here, but that is only one sliver. Never me, but the numbers never looked good.

I can smell it in the air, I can feel it in my bones. This winter that rings out in left knee, this weary that has long since claimed my right hip. Snow falls and falls in the Sierras. Roads close as families gather to be seasonally affected. I make a few plans that by now it is plain I haven't the courage to carry out. I creak and I clatter, made from rotted chains and false assumptions. I drift and I dally, useless and without any claim left to make. Sleep is as close as I might manage. Dreams are as far as I can get.

Monday, November 22, 2010


How deftly the night has settled, how graciously the day gave way. The frame holds the vision while the picture lies flat on the floor. Gathering every step, the steep pursuit alive in the notion, the remnant trampled in the ruckus of remembering. Something so familiar, lingering just out of reach. The fingers fan out from the broken fist, the first intention ringing down to the frozen bones. How want becomes us when empty is all there is.

Somewhere there once was a question. Something to be said against the undertow of all this confusion. Someone to ask when the facts fell down and the feelings swallowed it all. A tilt of a head, a lilt of a voice. Another voice there beside you when all the dreams ran riot. An answer that at least could prove there was listening. A voice that at least allowed a life.

Today there were gray clouds and blue skies. Today the sun was hidden for a moment, then returned to the sky askew. Children ran and played, and the rain eased down lighter than any dusting of snow. Traffic moved in knots and gaps. The radio told stories, and the radio played songs. Some were leaving and others arrived. My hands were cold, cracked and dry. The sun touched everything in sight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

one star

I have signed my share of dotted lines, made some promises that I only ever half intended, gave my word when that was all it was. Nothing lasts forever after all. Nobody's perfect, so why get ahead of ourselves? The painted landscapes and their mysterious illuminations. The tattooed flesh that leans hard into spells and secrets. You speak your piece, you settle your bets. You change again before all the words are spoken. You are lost in history and in hymns.

You wake, and the world feels the worse for it. That same set of indefensibles, all the squalid hopes and rapacious errors strung on a line. The dread of the mirror, the fear that you will speak again, hating that too familiar voice. Life is full of choices. There is always tomorrow. Another day, another night, another shallow slumber full of brutal dreams. The sickness exudes, a whisper from the depth of your bones. It is like a plan, played in reverse. It is like a fortune, played to the cheap seats. Everything drifts, and you are lost in the blue sky allotted after the storm.

I sat in the dappled shadows of the scrub pine, staring at any distance I could find. A cheap cigar trailed swirls of smoke into the press of wind, evidence dwindling, fire pushed into the mix. Ashes and flecks of tobacco settled on my tongue, that bitter kiss that is never returned flickering at my lips. The sun casting doubts and shadows, so bright despite the chill wind and the cold that lingers. I was lost, I was ruined. Counting my luck in near misses. Counting all these failed wishes one star at a time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


It is a tender traversal, an easing along painted asphalt, an abridgment of effort where will meets the wit of the machine. I drive as music plays, I turn between the tangle of metal and intent that casts these livid chains along the streets. I follow roads I have traced before there was anywhere to go. Now that I am going nowhere, every bit of labor is rote. The work of this frustrated and altruistic tribe allows me the privilege of utter thoughtlessness. The work of this dense slab of culture has allowed me to all but dissolve.

I err in my errands, I slow enough so that time gathers around my shoulders, and intentions jingle in my pockets beside my keys. I slip through the tides of self referential shoppers and the smug victims of some future crimes. The litter of pop music spilling down the aisles. The roar of hushed clusters of confidences spoken into tiny bits of wire and bandwidth. The plodding regularity of want and need confused forever, the ritual becoming reason enough. I float along with the other wastes of this world that made me, changed a thousand times, and passed me by.

The tangle of traffic, the smooth jerk of impulse and agreement as we wind up and down these maps. The crease of light that commands us all to move or halt. The inklings that allow us to know who will merge and who will stop without reason. The guesses that mingle with experience to make prophets of us all. It is all so familiar that contempt comes easy, built on myths of worlds that never were. The ancients we admire for the aimless wonders built for deluded kings, while we are immersed in works so wise and clever that we may as well be suspended upon whispered verses of raw magic. We rise on tons of wisdom, written down so that we need never think again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

zoo story

There is this dismal wonder, the rain barely speaking, the sadness stuck shoes and the pavement before the cage. This bare faced ease of flesh reflecting light. This life so heavy with the press of this sky. I stare at the lion, I stare at the tiger. I cry, not knowing either woe or joy. The gods kept in bottles, overwhelmed with dust and books.

I watched the rain, and I watched the roads. Temper was something lost so long ago. This skin all scar and fury. My gaze tucked tight along the rails that run toward each horizon. Each sight drilled in and bolted to the frame. That prestige of thorns and roses. That magic thought of heaven when it bleeds.

There are no secrets left, just coupons and recipes. There is no surprise waiting, just the suspense of hinges and doors. You think you have made arrangements. You believe that you have cut a deal. There is always a bigger picture. There is ever an after after your story is told. You hold the plan, you made frame. Then the words arise, and everything is left to folding. That last promise lingers, nearly leaving your lips.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

cold of the ocean

The stretch of day, the pause of darkness. The vetted prayers, the hollow heart. It doesn't matter, that dry click is always there. That fateful plunge into the rollicking tide. That razor whetted smooth and thin. All the worn through remembrances that always call, waiting for the wind to shift. Awaiting all the weight to break.

The eyes can not close, the dreams can not relent. All the choicest epithets slip so easily into the air, yet root so steady in the blood. The sickness is tethered, this self ever the goat, always the offering. It all winds down with the dwindling gray, the too cute blue. Colors that come in only tides and clouds.

There are depths that sit silent, places where the light never will quite suffice. There are moments where waking only creates the lesion in the dream. Where the world falls down, bright and suspect. Where the ocean chills, legions adrift. The shape of every clutch and drag. Anchors sunken beneath the sea.

pin point

Still, there will be times when you will see me. Over burdened with blankets, anchored to the cat-scratch leanings of the night. Almost waking in anticipation or fright, I will linger there, smoke marking flesh. Every fire both warmth and warning. I am there like the sudden remembering you swore to never forget. Something always lingering just to leave.

We agree on the names of our disagreements, but it is their natures that write our places. The field always watching, teaching us to love our wolves. The field laden with grasses and rats. We hold these vague locations, only knowing position having finally found the other. We weave our words through these distinctions, casting old and weary spells. The train cries, the moon whispers, the dog next door just has to go and howl. You knew this much about me before we ever met.

I will move through your thoughts like smoke, some promise of warmth and light only to cling bitterly to that smell of burning. Some annoyance spoiling the air, your clothes now tainted remainders of some moment before. Something to shed and drown deep in the habits that greet each day. Something to hold your gaze like your own exhalations, your life blazing in contrast to the chill. Your impression all that will remain. The way we make angels dance, just to tell a tale.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Speech becomes the only remorse, a life given to pursuit of heat. The breath an easement to something best never mentioned. The dessert left in the rubble of earnest work, just the phrasing given to light and skin. A kiss in form left to fortune.

We are swept with innocence, forgetting the only eminence we allow. The breech is just abridgment, the punch-line tendered without the joke. Such a flush memento, such a worrying hand. Fingertips leaning out into the highway air, driving through the night. The idle memorization, the rote road-work of fingers streaming like the Leonids. The least regret falling in lines like stars.

The words are first across the borders. The bold whisperings, the salt slowing turning the fields. The last plow blooming red with rust. The brave earth finding every single stone. The deep waters a whole world away. The heart works and works, each motive a morsel. Each beat another settled bet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


There is a look tethered to a blush, a whispering of blood, a lingering of heat. Eyes fixed on the transience of skin, bright and unyielding. A gaze always falling into that remembered edge, that certain light that finds you, awake and aware. The night has settled to feast upon you, enraptured in clinging dreams, alight and alive. So you shine.

It is the weather wound through my skin, the cracks and the stitching, the realization that touch is the crafting of time and attention, that every memory is corrupt. The time that declares in the clock strike of bones, the sinking certainty of the marrow. The shaven ache of the hip, the sullen swagger of these ashes of desire. It is the strength of all fire, as it slowly subsides from action. It is the heat of every last glimmer.

It is the trick of how I can see you, knowing only that I can not help but be mistaken. Knowing that your misgivings should suppose enough. How it is not so much the details, the clarity of your gaze, the shabbiness of my guise. How it is simply the intensity of expression I am always stunned that I could forget. Not the fevers but the fears. Never the torment, just the ecstasy of finding you at last.

Monday, November 15, 2010

a blue million miles

The sky goes blind from so much light, that drive home heading straight into the burning west. The color of eyes that wept once after you, the color of vision lit from with-in. It takes on the shape of things yet to be seen. That shape that tomorrow holds, somewhere beneath its seething tides. That shape of dread or longing, the certainty that you will never understand.

My eyes dim and seep, old and worn through from staring too long without respite. Dusk rushes in, through the slats in the blinds on the windows, through the space between the screen and the door. I move about by tooth and custom, my bite so much worse than my awful bark. The world is bitter and bloody, it is salty and ever so sweet. I take whatever bites my sharpened teeth may manage. I steal ever glance, and savor every theft.

It is the reckless tide lit by lightning, it is the moon beckoning from the icy depths. It is the piece of the song buried in some film you can not help but remember, the back beat some gathering of action, some marshaling of force. You stare, because it is so simple. This beauty which binds you, this beauty you become. That miserable bolt of a tree stretching from the train tracks to the sky. That rough silhouette every love you have ever squandered, every kiss you have ever blown. Your eyes a brightness I can not endure in stillness. Your gaze another horizon I can not reach.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

some memory hanging

It is like trying to tell which birds are flying above when they fly so high that they are barely visible. That resolution of focus, that strain against physical limits, that wonder that leaves one watching so closely these autumn skies. I feel my way forward only to find out I have been here before. I find my new path only to realize it was worn down by my footfalls. I slept away much of the day, that scramble of dreams and waking to check the hour my only legacy. Lingering in dreams that are the residue of my lack and my want. Lingering at the borders of the world that hasn't a use for you left.

I drift, dull amid all my petty diversion. I wander, wandering between the doors left open between these brittle little worlds. I feed the cats and take out the trash. I set up my clothes for tomorrow and the automatic coffee maker. There is gas in the car and stars in the sky. A warm unseasonal wind blows, as it has all day. Would that I had wings to spread. Would that I had somewhere to go.

I watched the west yesterday, saw the thousands of swarming insects in glittering flight. Clouds of motion paring the edges off of every direction, biters and blood suckers and butterflies on their fleeting last flights. Trees lit from behind and children playing soccer. A sky such a bright and lively shade of blue that it seemed to have come from some unmoored summer. The weather all I have left to speak of with the churning of these days. The color of some memory hanging in the sky.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

crown of ages

There is a calm in the tension before the reach, that first birth of touch lighting the mind. That strange rise of foam when the sea is lathered by the wind. The storm bringing clarity by blurring every detail with ablution. So much for seeing, when the song is thick in the air. The music sliding between the seams, the song sweet and exasperating. Cold fingers vying for heat with want itself.

We pass the need for disguises, waking so early in the soft cold light. We give up the core of deception, living in these convenient skins. The envious dreamer, writhing in the feel of the drawling unwind, every thread towed into hushed distance. Every unravel the gavel falling on the distinction of past from present, from pleasure to ritual sigh. The sun arrives, and the words follow the times.

You can take this as a letter, written restless in a train station. You can take this as a wish, made before boarding a plane. The contract arrives in place of reckless contraction, the universe trembling like some stoney shore. You can feel your feet finding footing, straight through the soles of your shoes. Every pebble, the roadway gravel. Each echo an admission of facts that never were. You can take it anyway, rising in the night.

Friday, November 12, 2010

forced perspective

It isn't that I lost track of time, the clock still buried somewhere in the sand, something always burning bright. Time just left me, sitting there, staring into the street. Night snug and sleepless, tucked in every corner tight. The smoke curling away, that lasting legacy. Lonely hazel eyes, a look of hungry intent, an air of unsettling recklessness. Those, and a name left to gather dust and sin.

It isn't that I burned, the fire simply slipped through my fingers. It fell away, drawing everything so intimately closer. A drizzling of untold ache, the knowing that things will always change when you learn them. The blood and ghost that fullest mixture of fool and suspect strength, that testing of each touch by clinging. The flame unable to do anything but consume.

So much more the altitude than that rate of change. So much more the soaring edge of every fall. Seeing you slow as you eclipse the distance, that thumb nail scale too real for the knowledge of your leaving. Seeing you dwindle as you become everything left. That taste of smoke that implies such burning. That flavor of linger you left on these lips.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

last light

The shadows creep straight up the tree, without motion or effort. They ease up, driving the light higher and higher, until there is only the sky left for the fleeting missions of light. The sky enfolding its flocks and glimmers, hosting smoke, carrying clouds. I face east, tracing the lines and the textures that dissolve into the dusk. The moon is askew above the garage, Venus blazing away just across the street. There is no hunt to join, no passion to partake. Just this stillness, this dying shine.

Smoke curls above the binding of flame. It unravels in the wind, rising above the slick wings and the worried crowds. I waste my breath in burn and fume, silent and worse for wear. The season spills down the ache of this dirty street, the dark and the cold coming down from the depths of the atmosphere. The season crisps each leaf and calls upon the frost and the fog. I wait as the day collapses all around me, another restless shape taken by the night.

There is a place to put the ashes. There is a shelf where these squandered days reside. There are markers left and things taken, a shifting of dish and spoon. All of these star crossed obsessions, these broken romances folded before the turn is dealt. All of these dreams kept well past their expiration dates, moldering in the detritus of the details. I know there are beginnings, stories that have only just begun to bloom. But I have earned this moment, the feathery breaking of veins in each fresh bruise, the invective and the wreath. The last light passes, venturing ever west. I go inside as the shadows settle in.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

sky writing

The raptor rides the updrafts, holding court high above the hills. Clouds crowd the horizon, like a promise or a threat. Crows are drifting towards their roosts. Everyone has somewhere better to be. Everyone has to say their part. It is a busy picture, if anyone is left to count.

My vision is bordered by windowsills and dashboards. My vision is cropped by brow ridge and tree line and the steam of breathing out of doors. I watch, as if something was going to happen. There is always something there to see. I miss a lot, almost everything slips past my gaze. What I find, I make sure to keep.

Dusk happens again, and I am inside, lit artificially, dull as I look. Bridges burned arise again, one mistake after another. All these birds have better things to do than linger here, all bitter and blue. All these words arriving at long last, late for the moment, crawling up this report. I look up. I look out. As long as these eyes stick to their business, the sky will have something to say.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

smoke and errors

There is a rigor to your absence, a certainty to this abdication of phrase and trend. The rain falls, soft and suggestive. The rain falls, one wish at least come true. The roads lose their tension and the traffic its mind. The mist settles on the windshield, and I think of your fingers drifting away. The wiper blades scratch out that scatter vocabulary, and I hear your spell unwind in the song the radio exudes. The gray of an early dusk, this litany of space before and between.

The names elude, the words fail. This bristling dusting of water, the wilderness of open sky deluged with this dull autumnal. The weighing of brittle leave and sinewy limb. That precious lift, those tip toe moments all grace and reach. What I know is marked by the flow of water, the gliding of these free syllables over every surface. Where I am is following the lines stitched into these seamless leavings. Following the road because direction often trumps intent.

There are no gifts, no clamor towards critique or adulation. The day runs out, the moon glides, sickle sharp and shining between cloudscapes. This road, that rain, the moon above all fit this measure. Scribbled promises and cartoon hearts. A romance made of smoke and errors, of dusk and mosquitoes and the touch of a light that glows just so. My leg is asleep and my hands are empty. There is no remedy that you do not eclipse. There is no moment that you do not entwine. The calendar grows like a vine, towing the brickwork, carrying the sun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

murder ballads

Things happen. Conflicts arise, and inevitably go too far. Blood is so often available to pool and flow. I am not too proud to admit I was wrong. It was most likely the mistakes that took us, me thinking you were someone you weren't, you thinking I was someone worth knowing at all. The beginnings are still up for debate, but the ending is clear and complete. It starts like a love song, it ends as a dirge.

There is a misery kept as metronome, habits so deep that they seem like the natural world to those afflicted. Charity and enmity, jealousy and violence. There are so many failures that lead up to these finalities. So many violations that end up costing more than their sum. The punctuation of a bullet or a blade, all from these false assumptions about possession and belonging. The song was written in bone and moonlight. The song flows like a river of sin.

There was another man, there was another woman. There was no-one and still you needed to leave. You lied one time too many, or you told me the truth at last. Time will work out my complaint, the lyrics looking for a line. Time will play out every misdeal, every malfeasance. I took offense, then I took all you had left. It is the way of the world. It is the love song that ends buried in the night.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

as if

It would be like snow, if I had known snow as a child. That difference winter owed entirely to an imagined geography, a history of wandering towards a point. That feeling of the air as it changes states. The dull beauty of that next to nearness, that seething stillness, that blunted bloom. Somehow turning out just as the weather changes. Somehow something that is slow and gentle.

It feels like some bell or beacon, an itching almost reaching the skin, a touch that is cumbersome and beloved. Waking up at the border of the day, bewildered and in love. That velvet certainty that change is always there so reassuring. That that flat footed ink would always get everything wrong, enraptured by the details. The insistent punctuation, stippling the rhythm of breath. A ringing of some needed call.

The doorframe is slathered with the dust of rain, that whisper caught just so. I breathed, feeling the momentary brightening that accompanies the weighing of the storm. I watched, the rain changing its shape, spare and reluctant to fall down. I stretch, bulk and spine grinding out a drum-line. A chill appears, deadpan and sudden. There is that drift, a blindness of livid white. The idea of something, as if there were time enough.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

two for flinching

The world drifts into the dark palette and the traces of shine, that dusk that deepens, that clock that keeps counting despite the hour. There is that dream longed for, those attachments that hold us to the earth, those tricks of evidence that allow even the worst of us to linger on longer. There is the rising wind, the promise of rain. The truth of life, the tricks of time. Nothing is ever wasted for long.

Everything is waiting for the weather. Everything turns on suspension of disbelief. Another day where my weaknesses win out and all my strengths are relative. Invective and enmity laced with cloying questions. My skill sets, so limited and brutal, offer little in the way of respite. Just another night of stormy romance, minus the romance. Just another night of the peculiar mathematics of my life.

Later I will indulge myself in some dusty fantasy. Later I will pretend long enough to take away a little of the sting. The clocks turn back, I keep on aging poorly. The corner I paint myself into always the furthest from the door. There is this litany always, want versus need, dream versus the whole waking world. I will indulge in what habits I have, writing it all down. I only ever learn by slow repetition. I only ever leave out everything that matters.

Friday, November 5, 2010


The margins of the sky were painted white and gray, the sun lost somewhere in all the artistry. The roads rolled past in a steady blur, slow curves, laden straight aways. The stories I will never know safely speeding past or receding in the rear view. I watched the mirror, and I watched the highway. I was all but empty. For a moment I believed I was free.

There is a balance I was tasked with, a point of alignment, a moment of compression. It is reliant on the belief in remedies, in the knowledge that tomorrow might be something new. It works on the principle that you must wrest the controls from contingency and cruelty, that you might attempt to change some other life. So I contend with the rapists and abusers, the molesters and addicts who have written so many shadows into these stolen souls. I lay the line, I keep the center. I lose the battle almost every day.

Another night chases these labors of loss. Another commute that ends in indolence, another evening pressed into the ash. I write after the drive because I am not driven. I write after work because I am broken still. I dream in simile, I think in analogy, but I live in the world of hurt and heart broke children, cheated of even their best selves. I take my licks, and give it a shot. I lean into my shallow obsessions, my eyes dull and glistening. I drowse on the couch, while my enemies never rest.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

burning out

I know that it is the broken record. I know that it has been done to death. I know the pieces, and I know the holes. The words all fall, dead leaves and heady hubris. The words all lose traction, used so poorly and so free. There is the day, and there is this night. Nothing left to reach towards or flinch away from, the sickness so coarse and inchoate. Nothing to recommend me to yesterday or tomorrow.

The sky glows, the light dwindles. Nothing pauses to rest. Traffic that stifled still stifles, crowds that remind of wounds and lapses still plod on and on. The dense tangle of the empty hours, the busy vacancies of all my incompetence and my stumbling. The lows absurdly low, the highs fleeting and sorrowful from inception. I write in dull circles, finding only the static whispers and the stylus pops. This last habit, hung from the wires. This last habit, arguing for its own immolation.

The chemistry itself is all about subtraction. Sick and sad, I waste a good cigar and a lovely dusk. Smoke rising as night falls. Maybe there were stars. Maybe the blotted out moon clutched at the throat of the sky. There isn't anything I can say for sure. These same hollow threats ring through my skull, these same clumsy sentences never ruled as time served. Again this ordinary devastation, this failed cloture. Such terrible beauty, such pretty notions. I turn and turn.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

two girls

I was less convinced than persuaded, following the music, losing the words to the song. All the argument of flesh and air a slick chorus, a hacking away in the midst of breath. All the worrisome details traced in sun and shade, stark relief and the full retinue of nothing. Forgetting that feeding all these mosquitoes is only another sub-set of bleeding, whatever the remainders of swarms and disease. All the Houdini releases, every chain shrugged away for effect. I counted backwards, and then began.

Radiant and lavish, there is always the telling call of dusk that is your flesh. Some hint of sunlight, some smoldering truth. The blanks all full and respectful, the writing bell clear and ocean blue. You bathe in some dense abstractions, beginning with prayer and ending as tattling. It all glides like water, like light learning to drive across your stretch and pause. The words are there, falling from my lips in a fever. The words are all, and then are lost.

There is a single light, and retreads of songs. There is brass and voice and something too soothingly fickle. The language never learned another world abandoned, the certainty only clinging to the bones. Here amid the honest tellings. Here where the scale is only worked by thumb. Heaviest where the empty gathers, truest when it winds through dreams. A kiss that makes it better, a bite bereft of teeth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

briar patch

The road unwound, the day has settled into the earth. Traffic shows no signs of abating. The fresh injuries mingle with the scars. The colors have all gone to ground. There is no story, there is no telling. Trouble has the whole night to brew.

The whole day we returned time and again to the earth. We struggled with our muted palette of madness and sad repetition. We scratch away, through invective and assault. It wasn't only the world left turning. It wasn't only the tide run riot. Our mission is little but endure.

The hours stretch, and I am sore and I am sleepy. I am wasting words where none suffice. I owe much to good friends and great comrades. The work we do, the line we hold, it would be too much without their strengths and their mercies. I hold this ground as the weakest of vessels. I bind these lapses and demolitions, my own clock winding down. Time only the sickness and the cure.

Monday, November 1, 2010

from the burden to the breech

Learning its language, your voice takes on the timbre of the machine, it speaks in hinge and resistance. It speaks in oil and rust. Black coffee in the morning, that ambling liar's prayer towards the dusk. I roll down the window, driving in the morning. I take off my shoes, pacing into the night.

The fall gathers in the streets and the corners. The spill of instruments, the reach of voice as she sings and sings. Stillness moves over the sleep of water. Stillness infects the breath of land. All this, and no relief in sight. All this, the clamor of the poems lost in the cracks of talk. I am a little like a fever on the face of things. I am an itch that lifts the boundaries of skin, the curtain call breaking like waves as you scratch.

This breath that breaks upon your shoulders. This gaze that sweeps your spine. This calamity of failed distance, the persuasion only impact may display. The hunger hunched over your solace, this clinging of scratchy shadows and sticky light. I feel the calendar stitched between my shoulder blades, the years all tumbling out my hips. Gravel is all left to sanctify. You bearing every blessing, from the burden to the breech.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I was born made of the dust, always thinking like fire. The matter so foreboding, the nature so restrained. Seeing the world only as fuel and what I had to burn. Forgetting everything but the means. Learning that making it weather is never the same as having it made. The rain falling so insistently on my own flushed flesh. Just that weight of breath. Just every story ever told wrong before.

The times I feel I finished, the draw of punctuation in slick syllable, the changing of once to was. The times I keep trying to find the end of this sentence, favoring the coin toss of warden to jailed. That flavor just failing to find its saving, the mind so hopelessly remote. The lights are on only to heat the building. The lights burn bright just to show they can.

I thought that I could explain the change. Today, beneath the rain and crows, watching the confusion of release coil and dissipate into the glittering sky. Each word just a thirst rising before the flesh is awake, the shuffled half-dreamt emotions fleeing like curtains wanting each encore. I would spell it out, down to the last letter. Another post as law waits down the corner. Another word, as the fire goes out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

the rejection of the rind

I settle for that little satisfaction, these horn-rimmed koans that I wish I could dismiss. The weight of light, the curl of smoke, the way the shadows always get so tangled in your hair. The secret signal, that urge of the future to find its way here. Stilted repetitions of dull virtuosity, the inevitable bitterness of the rejection of the rind.

It is breath by breath, this late, this far away. Your hip close to my shoulder so many slippery hours ago. Your voice so like the beginning of something never known before. That unfettered burning, that one thought worn clean through. Now electric incandescence. Now the blues singing and the restless pets. Only walls and words await.

This is where I find my midnight. This is where my new day begins. The petty business of false accounting and weathered standards. The troubled certainty that I was next to right. I was very nearly there, you beside me, abiding that uncertain spin. The action adrift right there between us, right as all opportunity recedes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

the phrasing of the moon

I often mistake my feelings for someone else's. This happens all the time. I bleed out into the world around me, and the mirror lingers in every detail. The lonesome streets, the bitter moon. These episodes are always cliffhangers. Each mistake means more to follow.

This is the trouble with navigation. This is the problem with leaving the gleanings of the native tongue. The sneeze needs a blessing, the tree needs an axe. We are so habituated to our own certainties that we forget we navigate through a fog of everyone else's. We think we know because we forget ourselves, all broad words and convenient overlookings. We paint landscape after landscape, staring into our own eyes.

It is true I stain the world with my feelings. It is true most of the sagas I endure are all my steam and fume. I have so long been the bull in the china shop, I can tell what I have broken just by the feel of that twitch of tail. I fill out the forms, draw pretty pictures in the margins. I detail the draw of ache I paint through my day, and seed a thousand unruly errors. It is the moon in the lake longing for embrace, that particular familiar phrasing. That blues that always follows, trailing smoke and flame.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

that space between

I had already stared too long. Eyes weary, past closing, past sleep. Not so much tears as the feeling of crying. Not so much witness as the end of looking away. That sun that hides and seeks. The air full of flocks and spider silk, that distance between today and the rain to come.

I was done before, and am finished now. Strange how it still seems to continue, the failings and the dread. Strange how it just won't stop, not until that last expected breath. My hands cracked, my pockets empty. The porch cluttered with toys and leaves. Everything left is about the weather. Everything left is about fleeing the static down the dial.

When it goes, it happens in a flash. The wrenched orchestra of metal meeting its limitations. That slap stick blow to the head suddenly less funny and further bled. The shot you never hear, the bolt out of the blue. Nothing left, so you move in circles. Nothing left, so you leave the compass out to rust. The song ends, the stylus left sweeping the streets. I had to close my eyes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The heart's busy chambers fill and empty, the weather always coming on. Dazzling wings and lingering strangers. The touch that is always aching to brush by, the sky full of borrowed breaths. I could leave it all to that calendar reasoning. I could leave it all in moldering witness to God's departure, these days that clutter up a past. The kisses so profound they never really happened. They appear there one moment, to vanish into debt and bravado the next. The blood always rushing towards the sky.

The travel comes in gaps and erratum, notes jotted in the margins of the morning paper, scars earned in the darkest depths of childhood. All these aches and measures, salt on the lips, a flag on the moon. That brilliant ocean, those rising departures. You write it down in haste and pity. You write it down until the telling itself is the reason for all these lesions. Far only mattering until you get there, that place where every meaning shifts.

There once was a bird, there once were wings in flight. The rain rolled in, the sky thick and gray. The rain came down, beating down the webs. Stuck in the storm, weighed down and hollowed by hunger, it waited in the sweeping of tall trees. It sleeps just before sleep's rude awakening. It waits for the day that will dream. I would say something, but that might wake it. I still myself, life shivering in the open air.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


You tire of trying to find a way, tire of it long before the road winds down. Tire of it long after the map is folded away wrong, creased and crumpled, lost to the tide of seeking and the crawling clock. It isn't as if you can't see the path. It isn't as if you don't know the way. Eventually all this wander wears thin, and there are no endings available worth wanting. Too many clues, and just a few missing pieces. You wind up strung up on a pole. You end up hanging from a tree, asking why.

So my work is the land of damaged children, nestling horror stories behind child's eyes, carrying tiny hells within their hearts. You get the shards and a name, some hints and whispers written in dry clinical hands. You get the idea in short hand, are handed a life, and told to try to keep each shard together. Keep them safe, teach them well. Take their tears and their furies, mitigate what damage you may. Every day I show up and fail someone in some small way. Every day I show up and resist the tide that will not slow.

There is no limit to human frailty. Every individual struggle may only end one way. Life plays out in the bigger picture, it plays out in the percentages. Life makes millions of omelettes, but it breaks trillions of eggs. A few of us are bound to be on the losing end ahead of schedule. Some of us have used up what little luck we had left. I was done years ago, and still I linger. There are countless wonders just out of reach, marvels wept for and witnessed in glee. But there is another bleeding gash in my leg, put there by a child for little reason at all. There is no wonder in sight, save that tomorrow I will show up and endure another thankless day without any way in sight.

Monday, October 25, 2010


There is the leaving of the flocks, the stunning glaze of that last light burning. There is the staggered traffic, wanton and intent. There is the radio static, every voice a little crisp around the edges. There is the drive and the distance, and hours lost filling in the empty space around someone else's life. There is that fleeting fire, some stranger lit from within. Steady is the gap, change is the flow.

Nothing comes of it. The work and the time and the lives that just get bruised and worn. The voices that rise through the midnight walls, that bitter distinction between here and there. The ebbing moon so soon descending, the calendar a blur in the air. Piled leaves and buried feathers. The letters never written to be lost. The words no-one wanted to say.

I stay the course where no-one wants me, need and fear winning the day. I endure the blunt, abide the sharp. I bear vitriol and abuse, waiting out the stupid brutal facts. The day that burns, the day that dwindles. I am a shadow cast on the skin of the moment. I am the smoke of a fire that has long since burnt to ash. I am words over words, the slip of the tongue. I am the weather that passes gently as you dream. I am the bruises left buried in your bones.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


To see you is always a revelation, even when my eyes are mistaken. That mimicry every distant glimpse seems to cling to, when I raise my eyelids and stare. That shine that calls me, a bare shoulder, a hip sway, that vision more persuasive than the world. Called to bear witness of my own corners and alleys, all this wandering to find out the way. Knowing even my missing finds its way your truth.

The night slows, trickling its delicate fingers through the remnants of light, clinging to the trees, coloring around the moon. Each branch and limb dancing with the wind, leaf clotting the earth bellow. Are you asleep or are you singing? I think that is always the song. No more radio poets, crackling beneath the sheets of your youth. No more recitations, spells and recipes always so much clamor just to miss the point.

It seems more a dream than a definition, this wavering touch, this fleeting certainty. Some scraping of the sky, some trembling in hope. Some lighting of fires that will never warm, lights that will not give sight or release. I can only watch and listen. I can only trust that my eyes will find you, however dark the stars. I can only hope that when I call you, you will turn without a doubt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ecstatic pessimism

You once knew me the way a weapon knows its war. The way a cigar knows its fire, the way the light always shivers and the night always endures. Or maybe I have it the wrong way around. The news always busiest once the world is ruined. The longing always only the measuring of the map. It loses me either way. The moon leans in and asks for a kiss.

The deal is done. The word is out. I am written down as far as it goes. I am where ever my tongue would free me. I am as much as a book, bound to these leavings. The earnest sacrifice of the ash. The whispering that makes listening so precarious. The reason that is always made into alibi.

The possible is only there long enough to clear up the nagging differences, the limits that let us find out our way back home. It is the convincing litany, the innocence of the forbidden fruit devoured for just hunger. The clarity of separation of doubt from need. You are that furthest of wishes, lit only so I can find how far want is. Distant only as a word wants from feeling, pressed like a delicate kiss barely breathed upon your throat. Known only in how the road went wrong.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The rain hesitates, and the gray descends, thick with brush work, streaked with light. The roads rewind as expected, brakes and gas, fluid stillness and unchecked feeling. It is all about where color leaves. It is always beginning in these furtive breaths and dismal stretches. Words scribbled on the back of my hand. Rain spattering the view, glass and metal and hours left of light.

I seem invisible in the well lit places, shambling between elbows and ignored bounds. Every eye I meet is locked in some distant permutation. Every face I see is seeing something else. I ease and sweep, avoiding the most intent of collisions. I wonder at the vacancies I carry, at all the space I somehow fail to fill. Lines of ill-mannered strangers all talking towards invisible ends.

The first lush sprinkles touch down in the parking lot, where people plod and bolt. I slow at that first fresh mist, that dense collusion of air and water. I stride through that delicate grace, that ordinary blessing of weather. I watch people rush and crows glide, I watch the traffic and my step. Every story I tell comes out in knots and circles. I ghost through the details, elaborate and mistaken. I lose each belief as everything grinds down into prayer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

closer still

I meant it all, as if I was adrift upon some midnight ocean, feeling as if I was falling into the stars. I meant it all, as I the words finally failed at leading me astray. The bare perspective of so much water, the rain that falls so soft, the light that only barely brushes past. In how that shine would seem to pool and gather, caught tense between so much sky and flesh. The least of touch, forever dissembling.

Then the air that cling about you, that slipped poetry of perfume and evidence. The breath and all that breathing shaping the guess. Cards folded before the dealing was done. Every sense gaffed and marked, the want of it always leading the way. That wind swept bereft that holds you close, the scent of a memory melting away. Sweat and chemicals and friction, the perfect composition of heavy and forget.

If it would help, I would lean into it. Put my shoulder to these fleeting notions, put my back to these ardent designs. I would push past this hesitance, pull down the decorations and the signs. The meat and bone insistence of these sweet deceptions. The radio waves and the tuner crackling together, generalizing out a signal. The work of the world wrenched from its procrastinations, life and thought at last on the mend. I check my grip and inspect the losses. I keep it closer still. I keep hold.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

glass houses

There is a look tethered to a blush, a whispering of blood, a lingering of heat. Eyes fixed on the transience of skin, bright and unyielding. A gaze always falling into that remembered edge, that certain light that finds you, awake and aware. With the speed of a shadow, with the sentiments of every shark, there you are shining at the means of each eye. It is the world's work to find you you tell me. It is the burning buried inside of every flame.

I wrote it down too long after. I realized it just as every name had changed. Something about the least misfeasance only either charm or scheme. The way the rules always want so badly to write themselves. That furtive dusk, that star by rote. The poem in it always lifted by your lips, shaping every breath to exhaustion.

It is sad the way you can always tell my fortune, knowing my sins by the era of their commission. Knowing my meaning besides the mistakes. I wait for your expense accounting, I wait for your syllabary of empty boots. The longing left in all your discarded paraphernalia, those sheer disguises, that plainest of looks. You can read me in scraps and remnants. So much effort demolished as afterthought. So much anguish left in knowing how far I could miss.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the difference

The empty sky is suddenly at capacity, a single distant bird sailing, black across so much blue. Sun is exchanged for silhouette, matter swapped for shadow. We move and toil, pretending that such things are not so. How to take the work of the world when we are so close to the edges. How to start again and again each day when we are buried in the tailings, treading these bitter ends. You are near, then you are gone. I reach out to find the answer. Every equation is tinged with want.

I can feel the bones shift in the mechanics of my stride. I can see cup half empty and the clock on the wall. Something shifts, subtle and without mercy. Something shifts, and the rest is anticlimax. The story can't be the story until it finds its bounds. The trouble is the telling, the mistakes made when we make up placeholders for our own beginnings and ends. It is the shape of prayer, that cold slap in the face feeling of revealed truth. The sun pushes a shadow out from my cumbersome obsolescence. The earth is painted in the light I slow.

There is the story that began with the sea. There is the story that ends in the stones and waves. Traces filling, indifferent to the sky or water. Notions changing with the boundaries of the world. Wings glide by, so far, so wide, so free. Always that reaching one thing that changes places with another. Always this thinking that can only perform acts of subtraction as addition in reverse. I can only see you in imagined light, keeping company with a candle or the moon. I can only see you after I am taken away, far from the frame of remembrance. A trick of focus, knowledge gained from the application of books and maps to the ragged awful geography of the heart. Something too beautiful to catch up close. Something too precious to ever be real at all.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I get home, and I might as well have driven into a ditch. I make the drive home, the right bracket hung on an empty set. It is the breadth of repetition, the enduring retention of human behavior. It is the grooves worn into souls, tethers tied to other times in knotted barbed wire. Every movement is perilous. Every feeling is in danger of being drowned in blood.

Last Friday I took the slow road home, idling in parking lots, browsing in the aisles of crowded stores. The last length crawled, stop and go for half an hour, until we reached the fire engine in the fast lane, dealing with the smoky fire in the middle of the freeway median. I listened to songs I had heard dozens of times, singing along. I had nowhere to be, no-one waiting. Late didn't have a definition outside of my expectations. I could loiter almost anywhere I was.

A kid kicks the bathroom door off the hinges, wanders the grounds in furious tears. I tag along, trailing his wake. I talk a little, watching to see where to contain all this angry feeling. He talks down slow, too lit on adrenaline to hear or speak. I lay out the hard facts, guiding him towards where he needs to be. He pays the price for what he has done, and pays more for those hard lessons he learned from the failings of others. He agrees to be safe, to work on his program, to think about the world past these spats and frustrations. I wonder a little as I leave what my failings will teach him. I wonder what anyone will learn.