Friday, April 30, 2010


Words were once wild things, flitting about in the twilight glow, winking on and off by the fire light, only obeying the laws that existence made. They would fly when loosed by an unknowing tongue, unleashed to lash the world that listened. They would sink into flesh, to nest and to change. Born of the blood and of the ghost, they learned to steam and swarm. Like any secret, they changed with every repetition.

All these roaming words clung to tribes and stories, shedding these vague inklings of meaning. Shedding skin after thorny skin. Fused with the sense that for each thing that happened, there was some contingent incident, some antecedent to each action, the story slowly became the telling. No one word was ever enough. Language became blackened with dull biblical begats, egg and chicken ad infinitum until that last relief of final judgement. Faith ever the fish that got away, each story weaver weighing down the embroidery until the story became the thing, that word moving over the water, that birthday party for the sun.

We fill our days with threats and guesses, with fury and with flowery oaths. We bleed out and explode the living bodies of others because of some story someone happened to write down. The epics written by the most furtive and the most brutal survive to guide us to murder and sacrifice, to nurture and abuse. Law as must rather than law as is chains us to ghosts and monsters, as we flee further and further away from our weeping natal states. Survival of our species, once a rough compact with fickle forces, now a shameful Faustian bargain. The necessary has become the inevitable, and we think our hands are clean while we agree to every betrayal. We speed through the world in gleaming roaring armor, while our skies die and the oceans burn. Every single word left us a concession to a lie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

again, I kiss your absence

It is that sort of night-- the mingling of cold air and warm blood; the singularity of fresh pain from an aging wound; and that madness of youth that haunts these old encumbered bones. It is a night of lingering wishes, where I would reach out without bounds to hold you with these hands at this moment. Where I would burn down the distance, let the cities and the highways crumble to touch your face, a-glow in the lost country of moonlight and whispers. Each thought that follows another-- that flag, that rabbit hole, the kiss amid the noise of hushed blood and seething stars. It is the sort of night where your absence casts you as all my mind can see.

A wall of rough stucco, moths beating out the tattoo of their own deaths above us, you pressed against the wall and my every vivid intent. Kisses where teeth clash and tongues scatter, breathing in heaps and gasps. Hand upon your thighs, garments discarded as falsehoods, touch and flavor muddling in our heat. A back-alley sanctity envelopes this passion, strong and insistent and manifest like any law of gods or nature. The press of flesh and bone and muscle, passion our only language.

In the cool wind, beneath a smeared weeping sky, I undress you and name you again and again. This distance between us is in earnest nothing, having long ago given away all our secrets. You know my moods and my fevers, the tunes my heart would have you play. There are no games-- no histories, no explanations, no alibis that can diminish us together. With the turning of the earth, the spying of the moon, the clamor of humanity and the toiling of the sea we are always here, entangled. The love that pulses through the weight and levity of existence flows through us, a graffiti of soundless words and gradient moans. It is the sort of night where, again, I kiss your absence. And again, in your dose of frailty and spirit, you feel my lips in their giddy pursuit. With only a gloating moon and a squad of errant stars as witness, we kiss.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

night light

The moon lingers, bloated in the footlights, while the tattered clouds scatter like a half-hearted smattering of applause. There is a glow atop the swaying trees, a light that spills and spreads, blazing like any gift from heaven. That other-world flood of brightness, the dead-pan moon shedding that arctic light over the rickety wheel work of a reticent spring. That spill, that shine, that promise that somehow something longed for will abide.

The whole sky at night is a debacle, a bled out corpse-faced moon glowering away while it does its best to obscure any relevant stars. The abrupt dismissal of constellations for being at the back of some blunt satellite. So much for our astrologic precognitions, so much for the fate the grinding cosmos has in store-- the topped-off mantra of moonlight all that is left when looking up is all that is left. What breath, what prayers can we spend on such monuments to passing gravity?

The day dreams away these lonesome hours. The day has its laws and its reasons, and it will not be trifled with while there is work to be done. It is full of lies and distance, and keeps its own counsel while the night whittles away at the wheel of the moon. From Artemis's pallid flesh to Apollo's gaudy chariot there are huddled hours of mysterious works and secret appetites. The world sleeps and the night is squandered, a hunter's moon, a goddess calling. A night that shines for reasons both obvious and always just out of reach.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the royal we

We would leave the doors open for the dogs, inevitably tracking in mud and weather on days when it rained. Raccoons would raid the kitchen, and scrub jays would clean the crumbs off the counter. The world was wild outside, and why not allow some of this bliss to mingle with our dishes and our pots? We would walk along the seaside, watching the tides and storms. The starlight would waver, then it would shine so bright as to peel the paint off the porch. We were in love. We were never happy.

I watched the skies curl and fold with clouds from beneath my aura of wood, dirt, and labor. Black widows trickled off the aged redwood planks as I shifted another burden, allowing gravity to take its share of the work. Layer after layer of discarded lumber lifted, to reveal small shifts in an ecosystem sundered yet again. Slug and snail and silverfish, beetle and daddy long-legs and one sly Portia (if you can forgive my vulgar vulgate) that lived up to its english appellation and jumped away to the safety of the mere possibility of being trodden upon. I was slick with sweat amid cool winds and passing gawkers, feeling the lash of allergy and the tweak of the as of yet unknown damage done last week to my right wrist. Despite the pain, I kept moving the bulk of each lift to my strong side, such as it is. As ever, I play the game I must rather than the game I wish after.

I do not plan well, or think deeply. I tend to paint myself into corners that I have to fight my way out of. This isn't only tiring, but it means that I inevitably get paint everywhere. And never a drop cloth in sight. I am also a slow learner, and more than a bit stupid where it counts. So I have repeatedly made the same missteps and mistakes, even to the point of committing more than a few of them as on-purposes. The little losses have added up, and I am all the wreck my fury, foolishness, and debauchery would have me be. I know very little, but I do understand myself and my methods. This isn't the razor's edge, this isn't the slow burn: it is the slow circle the far end of this learning curb. No hope and no love isn't never. Comfortable in my tenses, I am singular. My we is mostly royal, my throne mostly longing and lingual. The rest is shifting from the past and future, the work of this ungainly present.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Midnight broke just minutes ago. I am sitting at this keyboard once again, fiddling with these wounded words. Electric light, electric music, a vague, all-consuming ache upon me: what isn't to love? This ponderous diversion, these stray sentences stuck together for no earthly purpose, the sting of scrape and puncture freshly treated-- should it matter that so much doesn't? If it was about what mattered, to the world or to me, this impulsive indulgence wouldn't exist. Instead, it is the clockwork mystery of the promises we keep in our heads and empty gestures to a made-up mission. As if, as a path to composing a new piece of music, I decided to go to an open mic night and play scales. Like warming up for a game of Russian roulette by pointing my fore-finger at my head and saying "Bang!"

I grow tired of these untuned dilutions, the grind of too much telling for someone who never has anything to say. Instead, there are exercises in expansion and contraction. Set pieces and hints and whispers. When in doubt, watch a bird, watch the stars. Watch the sun rise or set. Write a love letter or an apology. Warm up. Start talking. Waste your breath and everyone's time. That ought to be good for something.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

the categorical

It is that rough shell of his eternal absence
that you press between your palms
breathing out remnants of your daily grace.
Candle smoke, candle light, what small flame
has not been readily extinguished or
consumed in its entirety, passions
dashed in cold ceramic clarity,
smoke curling, ashes dancing,
hands making mirrors of each intention of the other,
held in reverent feverish belief.
The questions do not ebb as
all the inverse reasons feed you,
the silence, the brickwork solace
that chapel you can not understand.
Instead your hands enfold the mystery
that crowds the flickering light,
they honor the dissolution of everything
ever witnessed as right or true.
We end up ashes, wind up
rotting into these lapsed translations--
matter begetting other material concerns,
the dust we must all become.
We burn, regardless of the reason--
our least actions ought to acknowledge
this fire that assumes so much.
These empty hours, this hallowed doubt.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

dirge and reel

Delicacy abounds in these long slow moments, the lushness of this focus, the pleasure of your insistence. Hands unfold, revealing the flights of touch, the blunt necessity of reaching out in this world spun of trembling starlight and whispers of flesh. Lips press, then part, the heated stitching of each breath completing a cycle by beginning another. While you are this close, the heart can only gambol and leap. While we hold this thought, we are undone, re-written in that most lovely native tongue.

Outside the winds stir and skip, at play in the feathered traces of the night. You hold your breath, listening for that common call, the vivid spirit of creation imbued with-in your blood. Breathing in again, you know your boundless limits. We are awash in the tastes and grasp of the mystery itself. The song of an endless tide, pulsing and washing through us as we mingle with the stuff of myth and stars. The dance has us, even in silence and stillness. The dance is everything, and you are the music and the limbs of this perpetuity. The nights seethes and you body is aflame with this burdensome grace.

Stretch high beneath the taller sky, crouch tight above the tiniest clutch and bow. Feel the passage of time with-in the tangle of your thoughts and bones. You are held so close you are finally free, form and flow at once. These joys and sorrows, these terrors and delights, your whole life written as dirge and reel. Your mouth shapes your words in perfect bites, tongue and tooth gently desiccating feed into form, making meaning in slips and splinters. Your speak softly, too low for normal speech, too gentle for even the least supplication. Alone, your flesh mingling with the air and light, your have said enough. In these clots of want and muscle, of ghost and fire, we are heard.

Friday, April 23, 2010

its usual blue

The twilight nestled in the leaf, it settled on the horizon line, crowding out the lonesome sun. A cold wind slipped in, between limb and bough, beneath the gutters and above the fences. Colors exchanged their distinction for an enduring vibrance, radiating their essential bliss along the narrow bandwidth of my vision. Scrub jay and sparrow scuttle in the detritus, alight in the flex and push of natural flight. Wings rise, the night falls. The mechanism is simplicity itself.

Whatever my mood, there are some things I can not witness without some measure of delight. Along with the radiant dusk and the earnest dawn, watching crows gather always strikes a spark. The evidence of the path of the sun as seen in the reaching of leaf and blossom. Any labor of ant or bee, the armor of a dragonfly glinting in that tide of sky, the criminal egress of some raccoon mob-- these settle some bet with-in my soul. The hush of a deep forest pierced by the call of some bird or beast I can not identify. Some old ways just ripple across my surface, others plunge into depths I did not know I had. Where ever I am, I am marked by these workings of light and life. Whatever I am, I am at last a witness to the wheels of beauty.

Night wrings the stars from its chains, it nuzzles the shine from these fits and starts of shadow. My heart beats its usual blue, roused by these sharp and brittle songs. I fumble through a few courses of plastic, dust and aluminum, several dozen secret arcana hinted at in each form and trace. The bones of artifice and the blood of the tide of life mingle on this dark shore. I follow the tracks in the dim hallowed world, a relic of a thousand lost lands and lucky breaks. This fierce bouquet of hunger and light, I watch all the halos as they writhe and radiate. A feeling so rare, a music so fine, it is loveliest because it will break. The anticipation, the memory, and the moment they enfold.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

little fires, tiny lights

The night has settled, heavy cream in bitter coffee, sweet with indifferent stars. The sky is tattered flags and minor skirmishes, flecked with ancient light, diffuse with mood and smoke. The sky is all encore and curtain call, something granted these slivers of pleasure, but hardly the show. The sway of shadows, the creeping push and draw of passing headlights, the conspiracies of street bound commerce-- these are the only mysteries that bother to linger. Twitchy human fallibility where I would have fables. The clamor of a warming trend where I would have conflagrations and infernos.

The heart staggers here and there. It complains of its fate while robbed of breath and romance. Another night without a dose of passion, another night without a measure of longing. When we know ourselves by our appetites, what confusion when we cease to want. A cat paces the eaves above me, an unseen owl screeches its destination for reasons I do not gather, and will never really know. Smoke curls from my lip, and I cough predictably, for reasons I understand, with motive as obscure as any appeal to sanity. Little fires, tiny lights.

Absently I fondle the cheap plastic lighter. Something smooth and familiar to puzzle out, an impulse found in a pocket. It could have been keys or pocket knife, or even the mini-Maglight I reserve for moments of shock and awe or when the darkness bests me. I grind the flint with thumb-stroke after thumb-stroke, feel the plastic warm to the entreaties of my touch. Another thing to notice, another thing to grip. Another thing touching this thing I always knew I would become: a transient ache engulfed by shadows. A presence shambling from scene to scene, staring endlessly, always ready to burn.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

conspire and confound

It is the hour of restless beds, of sinking shadows and the sound of libidinal teeth scraping at their romances. It is the time of stimulation or sedation, the time of spinning wheels and broken thoughts. Sad cycles and old songs, other lives burning bright in the distant language of my mind. I would sift through the usual ruins, shallow graves and fresh shaped idols, faithless scripture and aimless selves. I would touch the spirits that never inspire, the focal point of all my shabby desires, the ideals and ideas that they have ground down. It is the hour of weary dirges, tears spilt for all those poor swords beaten into crummy plows, the burned letters and photos that follow me like diesel fumes haunting the ill-lit freeways. Only words, sorry travelers, ghostly viruses to cup and spill upon all that is left of the blank page.

I will probably read away the rest of the night. I am easily distracted by well-formed prose and earnestly hewn poems. It isn't so much that reading resolves any of the creeping lonesome thoughts, or cures my illness. It pauses the pursuit, limits the flow of these aimless feelings and dully weighted words. A borrowed mind to ease the tired clamber of my own. Better words used with prudence and with skill, saving me, for those long moments, from myself.

The world is full of the press and flee of intent and happenstance. Whatever the time, whatever the weather, the whole sorry play is on. Just in the tiny sliver of human activity that we are bound to think so special the entire range of emotions and actions and calamities and miracles that we so dread and enjoy are happening, all but at once. The bulk of life that doesn't read or write is quite busy too, feeding and breeding and living and dying, blazing away in lives we can not know and do not understand. Millions of those are feasting upon you as you read this-- probably an order more are at work on me. An untold number of collisions are occurring on a sub-atomic level as my grubby paws strike these keys, miracle compounding miracle. I conspire with these legions, adorn this confluence of forces with my name and my nature, and further confound the culture with this mimicry of language. Another empty hour left as smoke and ash. Another set of contradictions aimed at spaces in-between.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


There is a ghost moving through this least measure,
this scant mist like a breath on the shoulder,
that barest breadth of dry allowed before
the inevitable gathering of wet. It is set,
the gear-work of the farthest stars,
the happenstance calamity of lovers
fixed to meet: enmeshed in this next-to
magic, that burden of clouds weighted
gray upon this atmosphere trailing
a hushed legion of tailings.
The rain comes, a calm persuasion
lingering hints of blue along
ley-lines of green gratitude.
It puddles divots and cracks in the pavement,
settles bets of dust and air in mud.
A parliament of snails to assail brick and bough,
a judiciary of common crows to take the circuit.
The rainfall doesn't worry the arguments,
those questions of subject and object.
It glistens and it whispers, its name its only wake.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Through the kitchen window I can see the crows palaver, roosting on the swaying wire, plotting their next crime. The clouds stall and flow, a dusk struck foreshadow of the coming storm. The workings of the weather, the conspiring of crows-- two small things that sustain me. Two more reasons in the plus side column amid all this ruckus and calumny of life. The beauty of silk black wings, the ragged calls, the harsh laughter. Episodes and incidence, treasures that linger though much of the splendor has burnt to ash and ember. Things that manage to remind me that I am still smitten with this world, long after all the jiltings and the indifference have weighed in on this sorry husk. It doesn't take much to tip the scales either way.

The usual black coffee blues, with the stinging of timely wounds to sing high harmony to the typical retinue of ache and complaint. I blow these ghosts of steam from the inky heat of another cup, hoping that the momentum gained from the ritual will out-weigh the indolence favored by my heart. Each sip, each swallow, that small good thing that the brusque baker gave those grieving parents in that Carver story. Listening to fuzzy guitar and plaintive voices, going through the motions in so many pitiful little ways. Giddy with pain and habit, silly with grief and a thousand unbidden appetites, I write these narrow lines. I fill up some of that unending empty that I fear and adore.

The wind is a little colder, and I regret only having a t-shirt between me and that demand for equilibrium. A chill sets goose-flesh on my arms and shoulders, momentarily silencing the clamor of all these cuts and scrapes. The light seems to billow away, some subtle unseen motion, my eyes glassy with air wicked tears. Something trickling down my cheeks and nose, a sense of warmth. Some distant constellation, viewed for the first time mindful of the continuity between myth and mistake, elements suspended in the deep amber of distant time. Some flicker of change, an urgent leaning towards balance. The book keeping of the temporary and the enduring, a watermark of unspeakable beauty witnessed among a litany of lost and broken things.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The burly little wordsmith creases the edges between meaning and meant. Yes, it is that past-- the recollection of magic spells that lead to kisses, the notion that everything was going all right. The one where he would speak some little phrase awakening the Princess you hide, curing you of that burden of never saying no. The one where there were sheet sets and set sheets to catch the eye, paralyze that lying tongue. His blunt craft preserves this, that flavor of revelation, that agreement being met. Perceivable shift in the very measure of how much you could possibly matter.

There is a greed that sets in when the world is tangled in thoughts. A realization that the realizing is often enough. The joy of nirvana a surprisingly inaccurate description. When the vain god of what if accepts that belief is reason enough, when it turns the lamentations of fact into the afterglow of revelation, when it rubs the greasy ashes finger to forehead leaving that sacred smudge, all the chance for abandonment has passed. The endless dappled starlight of want and want more, freed of the burden of location. Simply to know that there is enough, in the lean and flow of these words set upon the wind. Somehow to find his grip threaded through your breath, every certainty confined in this ritual of telling.

There lie your letters of passion, the fervid description, the wishful flush of rhetoric. Scuffed and folded, blurred and blunted at the best sections, read and re-read in a heady spill. The tumble of image, from caress to kiss to consummation. The very nation of your flesh and senses spelled out in careless drought and deluge. From these staggered words you find yourself lit with another spirit. Sliding into the confines of a loosed soul, you sparkle and shine. The seduction a simple question, an asking of you to become your own true self. No mirror, no smile, no whisper. Just this heat abruptly at your finger tips, a surplus of passion at last unbound from the cage of explanation. At last at home, here in your native tongue, unfettered and free to toil.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The stone is that last punctuation, the one that will not be followed by word or deed. The stone marks the long pursued course at long last ended, the abridged language of finality listing gently on a sea of shifting soil. It is a small spirit, a garden god, something cryptic and graven to seal the moment with-in your soul. The divine is mostly measured in the fickle and the profane. We populate the heavens in the same way we receive our laws, by the misdeeds we notice rather than by any sense that justice will be met.

Back in the land of the chosen, back among all those sharp tongues and dull wits, you try hard not to cross the line. Keep your own counsel, keep your nested secrets, watch the skies for any sign of smoke or storm or hope. So far every visitor has kept their feet on the ground, treading sod and kicking cans just like every one else. Nothing benign seems to fall close enough for you to bear witness to any miracle or take it as a sign. Things are mostly what they seem, and that alone is enough to make a criminal of you. These inverted virtues, the smug and sodden hordes that ache to plant their banners in your heart make you the enemy because you haven't lost your humanity yet.

The plan is not meant to keep you down: it is meant to keep you beaten. Kicked and dragged and bled out in small portions. Confused and irrelevant and on the run even when you are standing still. When words become the chalice, the wine will always turn bitter upon the lips. They tell you are a problem when you follow the coursing of your own livid blood. They tell you they hold the secret, that the world is wound around their spell and prayers. They tell you that you are dead, never knowing just how far you will travel to settle a bet. Never knowing that what they didn't know was all that mattered.

Friday, April 16, 2010

the workings of the worm

It stares with the gravitas of ancient bronze, attuned to the sound of furtive shadows blooming beneath the bluster of early stars. It waits just around the corner, it slips off its shoes, knowing your plans and intentions. These days the nights seem to all bunch up at one end, huddled with the angle, obeying the inevitable sloping down. These days it is watching even when it forgets to own any particular eyes. It is hard to contend with the roll and stot of tomorrow when all your weakness makes it hunt you that much harder.

I sit here, leaning into this freshest empty, a still and wilted Friday after a week of sweat and dirt and labor. Scraped up, bruised, and bitten I sit, still too tired to shower. My flesh feels as if it wants to crawl straight off my bones. My skin crackles with each flex and stretch, every fist and finger. My skin radiates, simmering in the sunlight that just will not leave. Once there were a retinue of tomorrows, waiting to attend to me. Now each new one seems to be daring me to cross over that scraped sand line. Now it is hard to tell if I can take them even one at a time.

It was a day of flowers and splinters. It was a day of ache and longing and the comfort of knowing your limits. Startling colors and humbling weights. Out among the rough tangled endings, out here in the bluff splendor of life moving on, I do not seem to learn. Tomorrow's attentions are nothing like love. It is the affection of the plow upon the workings of the worm. It is the blind corner and the blessings of the cliff.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So it is with things that are broken. So it goes with the time once it's spent. Sort these stragglers by shape and color. Sort them into blacks and blues. No-one will remember the order. What is there to know about an absence once it is gone?

Faceless days and sleepless nights, each mistake a nest of knives, each credo a swarm of swords. Scratch at the fresh wounds, leave the stars to seek out the old ones. The weary bones sing out your secrets as you walk. The hands that tremble when they are left with a need to speak. The words that fall like spent brass to the pavement. Evidence or salvage, depending on the leaning of the witness and the fading of the moon.

The days are laid out in dull strata, fresh dust to discuss, thick loam to long after, and the fossils we think will explain us. The songs we sing along to, despite the absence of any music playing. The constellations laden with light and stories. The crippled limits that somehow still leave us wanting. There was more once, not only this mean measure. Not only the driftings of so much waste and wander.

Monday, April 12, 2010


The gray reach of the storm touches everything in sight. It makes rivers from rooftops, slickens the glide of every daring wing. It bends words and the things they have settled on, confusing the distinction between field and pond, road and gutter. It flays leaf and pavement, animal and machine alike. It is that torrent of life and ache, and it flows from livid sky to callow soul unfettered and free.

I often meet my limitations, they set upon me in contentions packs, proud and unrelenting. They drop in uninvited and unannounced, and lay in with their fists and futures. I watch the rain tower past in gushes and in gasps, dowsing the wreck of my work. The piled up planks and rails of the old fence I have dismantled, the tangles of vegetation I have cut and torn. The fresh lumber awaiting my attentions, unaware of my lack of skill and foresight. Rain falling down, as I so often do.

There is a tender longing that accompanies the rain. As it falls I can feel all of these loves and losses more fully, the cleansing ablution that reveals the surface of the wound. Sore and bone-soaked, I felt completely beaten by this demolition I have engaged. Without any solace, without any light inside to comfort or to guide me, I continued on my course. The rain falls, pelting skin and cloth, and I am tired and more than a little lost. The storm is indifferent, and it is beautiful. My incompetence immeasurable beneath the flow of all this glory. The loveliest of sorrows, knowing that this world will continue to get by without me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Flecks of rain baptize the pavement, the promise if not the act of washing away its stains. Crows leave their high roosts in ritual alarm. Clouds crawl by above it all, aloof and lost in their wounded thoughts. The street lights flicker, as if they were waiting for someone to come along and just finally tell them what to do. The parking lot at the Lutheran church is bothered and busy, its congregations not sure what to make of this winsome rain. I drag along, compressing morning routines, one dog in check, the other in tow.

The birds stir just before the coming bath. The ubiquitous and irresistible crows of course, and the sparrows slipping through the gaps between leaves, and the scrub jays hectoring somebody's anxious cat, and the egrets fickly picking out a place to dine, and the ducks in need of hobby to still their tongues, and even a woodpecker working away at some phone pole grubs. All the flocks and their tribes, above and beyond us, as we make our small circles and leave our trails of craft and ruin.

The recipe for rain becomes the weight of the clouds versus the ease of the air. The rainfall is the exalting of anticipation up close, the water-color streaking of the hills in the distance. The small explosive dog does a little dodging dance each time she feels a droplet; the large shambling one could sleep beneath the advances of any seedy deluge. The walk ends, with no-one much satisfied. The lilies of the field and the birds in the rushes, the rain on the roof. Coffee quaffed with an eye on the clock, my labors always seeming to beckon loudest while others keep their sabbath.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

something settles

The day ends its half-hearted procession in a flow of gray disarray, the music of the wind whipping the clouds into riot the last song played before the languid descent into another faceless night. The fluid beauty of an ever changing constant, that river feeling when you finally reach the water you could only hear beyond rock, fern and tree. Awash in the white noise calm, wearing that sinking ship smile best kept for untidy endings and brutal truths. The sky speeds by, a tide of leaving light.

Dusk comes on with that wallflower feeling, the sense that there is no dance to be had despite all the music and the wild dancing. The sorting of imagined priorities, the cast off gloves of these bitter, leading questions. The sorts of things you say to yourself when you run out of typical ways to wound you. The devil's narrative of failure and lack, the hard cold facts of where you went wrong. Darkness nestles upon glass and lumber, saving the last dance for another kind of revel.

There is that moment, when you know you should sleep. When you know you must change something in the mix before the rough house herald gets out of hand. When the self involvement of contempt can only lead down the ragged and unpaved road of lines crossed and tomorrows scrapped. The wind rolls down over the darkened streets and empty eyes, unfettered and hungry, dancing its endless reel. Something settles, just out of sight. Something settles, its belly glutted with lonesome souls and last words. You want to see the stars, but know instead you better watch your step.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Belabor the point. Overcome your reticence. Say exactly what you mean, in plain words, measured evenly against your intent. State your case, make your persuasions. The distance between us cannot be bridged with thoughts or words. There is that space that travel never bridges, a lapse between minds, a blind-spot that we can not perceive. Understanding is so rarely understood.

I feel your frustration: strange in my words and ways, I drift further from the commons while soaking up their many tragedies. Days fade and nights burn, the candles cast their wishes in heat and smoke. The weeks stretch like shadows at dusk even as the years topple like dreams. Time slides under the door, a note left by a recent stranger in a hand I am too tired to read. Finding the key to these translations seems an after thought, having been outside a little too long.

The long sleepless night looms before us. Heaven above you, and the stars strewn all about. The rustle and sway of green limbs, the staggered foot falls of a dozen broken revels, the plaintive note of a worried cat-- these are the depth of my mysteries. The ghosts that haunt my watch will not reveal their motives, and in that we are in agreement. God or devil, lamb or wolf, everything that lives and eats eventually is meat. The body and the blood cast their magic and their perversions. If I can not fear or love you further, I ask some indulgence for my ignorance and my limits. Let my soul go, and worry about the feast you will host. Let me fall as I may, and worry after the hunger that will have your anointed flesh and holy bones.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

this small sad moment

At this moment the moon is gone, slid off the sky on bright blue rails. Shadows are long and touch toes with the objects they caress and entomb. There is a quiet reckoning, dirt and shovel, worm and bird. Things are put on their shelves, things are put in their places. The absences and contradictions are staggering.

Every thought gets stuck in flesh, dull ache and heady fever. All the slanders and accusations. All the missteps and retellings that live forever in the mind. Tears and fury, washed down with a little hunger and thirst. The words buried in the sleeping earth. The many days left to carry the weight of this fresh empty.

Time gets trapped in all these bloody sparkles, the chains we drag when trolling for ghosts. The grave we neglected to fill always open, even when filled with rock and dirt. All the spectators, all the witnesses, the jeering dead-eyed crowds that infect this small sad moment with their tin-eared repartee. The irreversible and the inevitable, the useless collar and the pointless bowl.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

spell check

Desire held tight, as beautiful and delicate as blown glass. Clasped so close holding and held lose distinction, your own heart beat the weight of hand upon your skin. That feel of clothes removed with breathless purpose, the touch of moonlight spilled down your spine. The soul unwinds, so hot and hungry. Your eyes are lit and the very air is appetite.

The motions of reaching, the whispered incantations, the certainty of your ritual tongue. All these moments of utter purpose, the stretch and gather of thought so furiously held to the bones. The passion grasps and fills you, warm words listing in your mouth. That kiss, the brittle pungency of being, dissolved slowly, breath trickling down your lips. All the meat of this magic, taught and absolute, as cleansing as a shower, as resolute as stone.

Your soul is the gnashed teeth of intention, leavening time and matter with cloudbursts and bite-marks. It is folded, again and again, the origami work of such furtive repetition, until each wish and sentiment is tucked inside itself. Every crease brings you closer to the opening of want, each litany teaches you the shape of spirit leaving. Light each candle, shroud each secret. The spell you cast is written upon the insides, not of your eyes but of your seeing. The shine of brittle desire, woven into your knowing bones.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the tide

The day bends to the visible spectrum, bright and blue and vaguely missed. A cat makes a run at some blur of a bird, children chase each other, screaming beneath an open sky. Surprises remain mostly surreptitious. I step outside to blow an ant off the back of my hand. In a world where most paths remain unseen, it seems the least I could do.

It is another long unscripted scene, where the urge to improvise is largely absent. I don't say much, I do very little. Every simple gesture suddenly seeming alarmingly grand. Acting is all about choices. I am still and quiet and blank. I stoop slightly beneath a bough laden with apple blossoms. I stare into the broad and dimming distance, aware that something is missing.

The feeling is typical. The feeling is in character. The slow enduring ache, the aimless restless longing. The light diffuses in my flesh, splitting heat and bright, changing bandwidth as it mingles in the shallow end of these veins and capillaries. I close my eyes, taking in what warmth there is while it lasts. The sun lingers on the horizon, out where the sky bends over mountains, out where an unseen ocean is lit, blazing and bright as it turns and roils. I turn my back and walk away, eyes open, awaiting the inevitable shadows, that familiar and enduring tide.

Monday, April 5, 2010


How soft seems the fever when it finds you, overwrought and full of murdered angels. How kind seems the cold that tries to break your bones, shaking you from your life on out. These ripples that enclose us, these tiny fires and brittle lights that abound despite the empty. These echoes of imperfect solutions that fill and and flow through all the holes that make up the soul. How hard the fist, how sweet the tooth, how divine the writhing. As goes the beast, so goes the ghost.

Head split like kindling, thought as splinters in the spirit, I worry away at the seams. Every third stitch or so such a leap as to make faith seem steady, such a patchwork of failings and regrets. The ministrations of keepers of secrets and keepers of scores, the confusion of every wearing of the earth with a path until the dry-river becomes the road and we all seem to be walking on water. When a species of generalists become troops of monotone specialists, I fear for every step we take. Everywhere you go, there is a throne of bones for comfort. Clean hands have muddied every heart left beating.

You unfold the napkin as you begin another long lunch, your lap laden in freshly laundered cloth, a trap prepared for stray crumbs. You work the cutlery with delicacy and grace, each wrist full of elegant strength, each hand wise in these gustatory skills. You speak with knowledge of custom and manner, you listen with intent and wit. Every prayer you breathe is heard and answered. Where ever you dine, whatever the fare, you are grand and meticulous: civilized consumption's own poster-child. Another soldier set upon an enemy so guileless that it doesn't know it is at war. Another beautiful flawless victory for the abyss.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

company and keep

Gray compounds gray: the air, the sky, the blank slate cement and the gathering of shadows. Walls painted the color of wan abandon, floor clotted with these collapsed notions and murdered ghosts. Cold air settling in these small gaps between walls, cold flesh closing its hands around these remainders of blood and bones. The silt-laden light spills in through open blinds, drowning any dream that fled from sleep, following me.

Always odd to feel the wires upon somebody else's holiday, all the weight of hope and heart dashed against natures cages. All the profound mechanics of some magical cosmos wound in congress with some human machines, the year ticking away, familiar and comfortable. This cave was empty to begin with; no pointing angel can make that a miracle. The promised land is Disneyland with hellfire and partisan gunfire; I will stick with the wilderness, thanks just the same. So here I am lit uncertain, the spill of vague light, the shine of this computer screen. Sometimes lost feels so much better than what there is left to find.

This is that usual sentiment. Awaiting the rain, watching the rain when it falls, living in the remote moments. Wandering to the fields that are left fallow, companion to the atmosphere and the gleaning flocks. Settling down with the strays and the outcasts, finding new ways to be alone. Listening to the chorus of silent multitudes as they weave this world into being, insect and chordate and arachnid, the unfathomable legions of bacteria and fungus singing in joy and hunger. Deaf to the sermons of the holy and the saved, I listen to the rest. Awaiting whatever salvation or inspiration they deem redemptive, while for me, waiting for the rain is enough.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

another word

Were there sunlight, I wouldn't have seen it sooner. Had my eyes been opened, there was nothing I would have noticed until noticing was no longer enough. The changes that set upon you move with brutal agency and little regard. There is no negotiating with the fated or the wrecked. Splinters lay spread upon hasp and hinge, the doors having long been demolished. The roads back are pitted with rock and fire.

The ancients knew not to fight with fate. Prophecy was wound into the way the telling took, the way the words nested in the hair of happenstance. The way these swarms fell from the sky, the way these flocks unwound the dusk. Wings in the sky, bees in the blossom-- every single thing seen and unseen a sign. The possible lies coiled everywhere, awaiting the choice moment to strike as fact. From thought to thing, the paths are bountiful, however badly we might have forgotten the way.

From some change glance, I saw you, and I knew already I was beat. Worn down by some paroxysm of beauty, like the world suddenly shuddered and cast these glowing bouquets of radiant faces all around, witnessing you in graceful concentration lost me any illusion I had of choice. My bean creased with such a brick, it was all I could do to hang constellations in my eyes and cartoon hearts in orbit, a halo revealed as comic despite every sincerity loosed. Would that I could have closed my eyes, and shut out my longing. Would that I have known enough to identify a dream crossed over. At least to have recognized the significance of those wings, before waking walked across this spark. Before choice became another word for destiny.

Friday, April 2, 2010

every telling

The rain returns, filling the street with damp questions. It drizzles from the eaves, it sways in the stride of wind struck limb. It paints the pavement and changes the course of all these rivers normally small and dry. It taps on my window, a small tattoo of rhythm freed of the conspiracies of music. Ever so softly, it calls me.

I like to be there when the hard cracked clay first begins its transformation. I like the feeling of the air purged of this sullen dust. The color of the scrub jay as it sweeps down into weed and gravel. The thought of a candlelit blackout night over twenty years ago. I like to walk without the hesitance of waiting for the world to dry. Settling into some parallel rhythm as the cold water seeps through clothes and shoes. Enjoying whatever portion of the day is left to bless.

The air is chill, and I am sore and weary, awakened from a dream of puzzled contentment to the world that will have me. The clock panders to those with means and plans, eking out each morsel of you are already too late. The rain spatters the glass, it spills and it charms. From the sky to the earth to the gutter, bound by tradition and precedent. The stories always run out a little before the end, changing skins and theme songs. Every telling reshapes every breath and bone. Every ending met with sadness and rejoicing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It should be said that I didn't plan this, although the frame work is always there. Three paragraphs, each devoted to another direction, their separate gods humming along to the same sad song. A few lines of atmosphere, a rhetorical question or two, a few broad conclusions tossed in for good measure. Whatever the resulting flavor, after a few hundred words, it is soup. The recipe changes, but the meal is much the same. Every day, the plan is the same, plan or not.

Mostly I am blue, inclined towards the pitch end of the hue. So it is with sorry eyes that I scan each fresh sky, with a blunt and bruised heart that I carry whatever measure of water I manage. Sometimes I catch some bird in flight, or watch drugs and money exchange hands, or try to dull the fierce self-destructive stories that exude from my flesh like sweat. Other times I evoke some lost or imagined love, my poetic license particularly paid for by seduction and romance. Then some days events unwind without my planning them, and I navel-gaze as my fingers hit the keys. Whatever the cause, whatever my motive, things end up the same on the page.

I am only writing this because I wrote a rule for myself that says I must. I only wrote the rule because without that rule, I would have far fewer reasons to write at all. When we run out of reasons to continue, inventing a few to keep some flames flickering away hardly seems like much of a conceit. Each day I adjust the balance between ghost and blood, between word and whim, between language and the lands above and below. I compound further evidence of my lack and my limits, posting these poems and errors. Every day, these sentences must be served.