Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the name of the rose

It isn't after-shock, it isn't after-glow-- this settled bet upon you. It isn't the mercy imparted by machines or the glory of that final fall. We wander among the rudiments, the forest stripped clean, all the signs torn down. This ghost will wear you like a fever. Like a dream, it will leave you at the first sign of light. This ghost is always named never, something fleeting and hard to speak aloud. It is you when you might least afford it. Empty your pockets of all but rocks and regrets: it is upon you now.

The air is cool like the breath of autumn. The air is dry like bible flowers. All the words you said are hung on wires, all the words you spoke tail you like a kite. You fall so slow it might be flying. You fall so long you may as well wear wings. You fall so far you lose yourself to those shed words and lapsed spirits. There is always less left as the past expands. Those spread crumb of tomorrow, those sparks and ripples all fade. You are what you will be, whatever the calendar might believe.

It is a crown of fire, this trail of tears, this shimmering mirror before you. That last tangible defense abandoned in the midst of another buried night. That failed romance only another murder ballad, another flame subsided. The meticulous instruments left to weigh these designs, the illuminations of ink and petulant bone. It wasn't once like the word, and now the word is all you keep. It wasn't the bride price or the bay, now that the tide returns.

Monday, August 30, 2010

so bright and lovely

The day begins, bright as any dance, and all of the sudden it is dusk. In between is still a mystery. Some sad avalanche, some measure of happenstance and dust. No-one knows for sure. The world is painted on eggshells, the world expands as smoke. We are stuck dreaming up alibis. We are trapped in wheels of choice and chance.

I take the bitter medicine, I choose the cure whittled from disease. The dog down the street just barks and barks. My vision dims and my heart grows certain. So much is pain, so much more beauty. I spit and I steam and the music plays on. Night founders, glutted on the remnants of the sky. Soon all that is left is the stars. Far off promise, distant wonder. All that can be salvaged to crumple and cherish. Another love letter to the empty that abides.

This is my craft, this is my emblem. Pressed against the brittle ribs, caught in the tide of breath, the crusts I should prize, the oblivion that marks my passing. Ink scratched out on the drift of pulp and confusion. Time that abides nothing and hasn't an enemy in the world. I scarcely blink as the sickness claims me. The night so bright and lovely as the clock runs out.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

army of smoke

The cat is gone. Every bag is empty. Something clings to the air, a whisper, a spark. The dark eyes are watching it all in the dark. Where do you suppose the magic is lost? Why would physics even want to remark?

The miracle was rote, taken in tablets. The fall was broken before gravity ever took. The simplicity of a flame is not in smoke but in the burn. The remnants of every promise dissolved slowly on that tongue. Speak aloud, while I am here to hear it. Speak to me before doubt dispels us all.

This is the moment while there is breath left us. This is the clouds as they move among the stars. The stretch of ache, the warmth of forgetting. All of this left, to turn and smolder. The way the world turns with the worm. The way everything once measured is cut. Look to the sky, the rest will be easy. Watch the stars shift to the wind through your soul.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

cold water coming

You arrive scented with smoke and salt, that tingle of midnight walking, that sense of apparition suddenly alive with light. The clock does its walking, the hours stiff and sore. You mingle with the dust and shine, all halo and horn. Nothing works outside of your skin. Nothing is there but this hard lean into the turn of desire.

I am bleeding sentiment and appetite. I am seething with the insistence of matter and the tangle of hidden wires inside me. There are abysmal clingings and knots of Christmas lights behind my eyes. I see everything upside-down and twice. The heart does its part, thumping and yawning through these oceans of breath starved blood. The soul is a light left on in some flooded basement.

You are committed to memory, every bone and curve. You are committed to fantasy ever more. You are close to these unbearable moments that we learn to take in stride. Blood crimes and fighting words, your hips bare and shifting. I ignore the world in these lush moments, scattering my own ashes, denying each contingency. I am alone, and you arrive, sea salt and sweat and the vague threat of spring. I am alone, and you snuff out the last flame left.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I never forget my strength or its bounds. I have had the kind of life where reminders meet me every day. My weaknesses are with me every waking moment, working their way to the front of the crowd. They keep me company even in this stillness. They probably watch me while I sleep. I do often forget, however, the limits of flesh. How it tears and how it burns. How it weeps and bleeds.

I am blunt and insistent. I seldom explain myself. Even when I can, it doesn't do much to help. I have been weaponized too long, and the process is unstable. Even my tongue is dangerous. Even my silence has teeth. I am tired of talking, tired of being still. I don't have much fight left in me but I am always under matched. My compromises leave bruises. My concessions break bones. I fail and fail, hangdog and downtrodden. Every one I lose to thinks I kicked them all around the yard.

It isn't as if I don't want to ask. It isn't as if I'm not trying to learn. But this is the hour past, this is the wall at my back. I am weary in depths outside measure, weary in places that may not exist. I am ache and I am empty. But I will not relent. Remember that my least touch will scuff and scratch. Even my kiss will leave a mark.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

three morsels

There was an arrival, a leaning. Some flavor of the cusp of something. Some weight lost, a stone in the ocean, a star burning down the sky. A sound like the applause of prayer flags, the answers left to mingle with the wind. It must have made it this far, the lack feels so present. It must have been and gone, the ache is so enriched by the hour.

This is the traveling of my absence. One house, one city, one freeway, then another cycle of meager measures and weakened will. I feel a little sick and so terribly sad. The sadness is only another mark of wakefulness. It is one sort thing to know that it will pass, this sadness. It is entirely another thing to know that it will endure, this sadness, past these more fleeting sensations. The sickness is just the taste of this much failure, dribbled out in time-released doses. The medicine that is swallowed to feel the illness grow.

Type out these three morsels. The rind and the dregs. Music in the background, the dog in the door. It is the transference of vacancies, the substantial lapse and the vagaries of the flesh. I spell it out again and again. I do not know, and will not learn. Three paragraphs chasing one another in circles, making no more sense than me. Here again, between sleeps and failings. Here again, losing my way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The sunken sun has burnt a hole in the world, all the night full of endings, all the darkness tinged with smoke. The road drizzles away, a rifle barrel black. I stare until I forget I have eyes. I stare until everything returns anew. It is that desert gas station feel, with the peeling away sound of a passing train blending with a radio station harmonica. It is that loaded pistol feel, lingering in all the moments just before.

The singer unburdens a throat full of wire and romance, some lost darling, some window waiting in the night. Songs fall upon the dead gray pavement, the gas pump beeping offers. Songs settle under the threadbare tires, pooling like oil, shattering like dreams. The radio strays from an idling car, a young couple stuck in some curbside pantomime. The attendant awaits the latest assault on his solicitude, stuck in the blare of those unyielding lights. He waits amid candy bars and cigarettes and sundries, an island of shabby treasures and blunt desires. The couple drive away, taking the music with them. No-one to miss them left behind.

Dogs bark from the neighbors window. The heat bends the sky to the point of breaking. I am alone with the usual weakness. I am accompanied by these typical flaws. Indolence perched on one shoulder, the promise of steel upon the other. I watch the pavement as I work the locks. I stare at my shoes until I forget my feet. All the conclusions got there before me. The feeling all that lingers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


That I could sift these words from their shadows. That I could call the night by name. Every star set in that dense foundation, every wish long since spent. But the language slips away, leaving like so much smoke. It will end with a mouth full of ashes. It will end speaking of ancient fires.

I saw it in a crow, that transition between being and word. The wind shifted and the crow, perched atop a phone-pole, spread wide its wings and clasped hands with the wind. To rise or roll as needed. It slid down that mountain of air, only to soar up again, combing its feathers with the act of flight. It is an ordinary thing, the wind in the trees, the crow on the wing. Only the words seem wasted here.

My life takes place away from this page, but it is marked here, in memory and fabrication. My life is dense repetitions of futile acts, my speech a small cycle of ignored themes and snuffed passions. The words cling to the midnight sky and the baked pavement of noon, the rivers of steel and light. The words linger between lovers, savoring flesh and enmity. Midnight comes, and another deal is struck. The shadows part and we all leave as strangers.

Monday, August 23, 2010


The story takes the usual turns, the witness winds up cold on a slab, the suspect has an alibi that is air tight. All the evidence suddenly decides to point towards the moon. Still it sort of putts along, the mix far too rich, the parking brake trailing smoke. We love our stories, however dense or familiar. They unspool behind us, before we can catch them they run down the road. Even the best ones want to leave us behind.

Maybe the day was taken. Maybe all you had were a few glimpses and all of it was gone. It could be that you paid for the last night with best cuts of today, and you will have to learn to live with the debt born of all you squander. Pay attention, it is like a trial. Pay attention: you will be tested.

There is no solace in labor, none in respite. You can let go of all attachment, or you can clamp down tooth and nail and fight it all out. You can plan a trip or take up a hobby. They will never let you rest. The plots recycle and the roads are all open. Name the day, leave the night, it always ends in sweat and recrimination. You breathe raggedly into the slowing air. You struggle in all the stillness just to catch your breath.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


They always try to start before I'm there, or wait until I am gone. Such the wisdom of these sheets of glass. So the word on the mountain top. These stories always get around, bets settled, arguments spent. They are the only framework we have to try, the brittle eruptions of day to day life. The moment just whispered as the whisper passed. The event happening just to never have to forget.

It all calls, the rote wisdom of the razor, the train just catching the eye. Close and just as far enough to know a little faith in light. Ends arrive as sure as day, all that paint marbled with languid oil. Things step outside the mirror as oft as naught. The turn of the tongue something leaving fingerprints, like the boot-marks squandered on the moon. You know just enough to envy the rest.

These hands tremble as if in stress, they sing like they were tuned. They spell out the spell of remitting gain for loss. The trailed tears stitched into each skin. The terrible power that comes from knowing only the cost. Finger by finger, touch by touch. The only truth lost skin.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I always can see it coming, though I never know what it might be. This is the turn that choice makes of us, the chances all happening, the changes rolling up on us slow then all happening at once. The vase full of wildflowers, petals falling on polished wood. You could ask me anything, but all I have are answers. You could ask me anything, if all you want is words.

I often walk the left hand path, the brutal edges still the middle when pressed hard enough. So it is flecks of ash and breathing kerosene, a naked back and these wandering hands. A gaze that can not ease into any vision, days that play out like any natural fire. Animal cravings and spiritual longings are only matters of semantics. Chances are the truth eludes you. Chances are the worst mistakes are yet to come. Idle amid smoke and clamor. Hold the line while every soul around you dwindles.

The skies are livid, flecked with vapor and painted like the eyes of rough invasion. So bright, so clear, so without remorse or tender telling. The wind runs wild, kicking up butterflies and dust. The air so relentless, the earth so thirsty, all my passions left to cool on the windowsill. All my longings left to dry out on the porch. The world trickles by, alight with toil and splendor. I smoke and stare, just another stranger smiling without a clue.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The odds are against us. Trouble is always waiting somewhere. You can linger by the water cooler, you can lounge around the pool. The numbers are always out there, never quite adding up, always in staggering amounts. Probability is the only prophecy, and the world works embracing devastating waste. Start counting. Where ever you stop, that number is the wrong one. Even the right one is wrong. The countdown began already, and it is over still.

So you wade into chaos. This is the job. This is the price of getting paid. Meet a gaze that is tainted with tailings of evil. All the stories that bled together are suddenly set apart. All the grievous failures seem a little better, just from this sickness breathing down your neck. You see the weakness, you see the flaws. You see the clumsy mistakes, and you feel some portion of grace. Looking into those eyes, you can see another flavor of your own end. A little over-time, a pin to mark the tragedy yet to come.

I can count them with my shoes on. The ones I can trust, the ones with my back when my hands are full. And I know them when I see them. The ones with a gift, the ones with spine. I can feel my portion dwindle as they walk in the door. But that isn't the job, that isn't the day. I hold the line, I mitigate disaster. The odds are phenomenal, and I am always on their bad side. The odds are against me, as they are against us all. The numbers will keep counting long after my luck plays out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

new slang

The streets all even out, the river lost far beneath the highway. The moon swelling in Sagittarius as I change lanes, hardly moving at all. The slow change from windows to mirrors, all this glass and steel speeding like an apology, leaning hard into the dark. Long past any call for prayer, I point in no direction. I drive long past the utility of any cherished myth.

It isn't just the hours pouring out this empty, the slip of time, the mutterings of desire. It isn't as if any one ever asks anything at all. Rooms to fill and empty. Traffic to direct. Dull hunger and blunt questions, the whole day spent just looking out. Curse the razor and that taste for blood. Curse the flesh as it turns to dust beneath the sun, only to arrive in the midst of such callow moonlight, another story left untold.

I think in steel and chemistry. I think in formulae and sheafs of dirty words. The movies play inside out, the songs end in all the wrong places. I long for poetry, for a still green moment, for an oath that doesn't break. The made up place, the fairy stories. The vague assurances that everything will work out, knowing just how that works. I think in memories and explanations flown from flag poles and caught in the coils of wire nesting atop some fence. I hear a song I used to know, trying hard to sing along.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It always was an island of no return, where lost souls without hope would set their baleful gaze. It was always a locked box meant to repel secrets. One day becomes another, this fool's reach spills into the wide horizon. Egrets above rice paddies seen from a road suspended in the sky. A crying child too sick to know he's dead.

The water is too still to touch, as if the least ripple would unleash the waiting depths, as if the very stillness is proof there is something to fear. The clouds drift on like the cries of a wounded animal, weak and plaintive and completely defeated. That stone that will sink so deep that it will join the song of shadows. The sunken certainty that there will again be light.

I feel it in the dismal constraints of flesh and bone, the dulled aches, the sharpened pains, the sense that loss is all that is left. I sort through mail, knowing only that when it comes to money, there is never enough. Debt and plea and ordinary devastation. Sleep waiting somewhere in another room. Sleep stripped down, waiting with its eyes open wide.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I would settle for a little fever, some small note measured in romance and future tense. A pane of glass, spattered with the relics of sainted insects, dusted with the insistence of material existence. The feel of cold water seething through hard teeth, that often longed for mouthful somewhere between speech and a kiss. It is in the sheen of expectant flesh, the work of the world proving to us that the only certainty is our own permeability. The stars are out, the moon is melting. The road only answers to open.

I could count it in the minutes, I could call it by the miles. It could be in the salts and oils the longed for shower will wash away. I could have lost it so long ago it is only the shadow of memory pushing back against the flow of time. That gathering glance, that magic carpet. The camera revealing so much more in the moment missed. The bird in the sky, the cage angry metal empty.

There is no need to clear the air. There is no cause to speak at all. Let these masks enter their own vicious orbits, the morning paper blemish on such otherwise innocent hands. Let the songs spiral slowly down to their inevitable ends. Backyard gardens and weathered fences. That scent of hope that accompanies only the worst of storms. The quiet house gives solemn testament. Dust and gather, time and whether, all things follow their lamented trajectories. The precious and the chosen, the reviled and the slowly bled. Everything will be forgotten.

Monday, August 16, 2010

ill wishes

I look through your flesh to cast your shadow, this gaze that lingers like a burn. Medicine is only found in miles. The strange scintillations. The seeing of stars and hearing of birds. I scratch at these wan imaginings, their emptiness a kind of cheap invincible. The loss of the facts a small resorting to truth. The scheme of things suddenly warm and clear.

There is precious little time, and all of it is yours, from the daylight to the dreaming. A spark here, a nod there, the way actions are distributed so evenly across the clock. Something in the way water seems to still to beads just touching you. Something in the way you always seem most yourself as a reason to linger. I can never just see you, so much to be made of all this seeing through.

The sky is tethered to the trees, the cats believe in nothing even close to laws. It feels like sheer witness, the way these words come piling. I would say a rain, or a storm, but there is no climate to be made. Just one day and the next, and the people and the things. Something meant to be worthy of the heights and the depths. Something caught in the wind might as well learn to fly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

my least inkling

The smoke has long since gone, lost as it was to the wind and sky. The dusk billowed in out of the open sky, and the trees caught the last of the light. Even the cement changed color, laying right there in the open. All the reasons mingle with wishes, every certainty eventually torn down.

I am a poet of complacency, measuring the rich limits of my own indolence. Words escape me in their way, all paint and trumpet. Words evade my every waking moment, hiding in some black glass depths even in my dreams. I romance the fire for love of ashes. I wear the weather just below the dismal albedo of my skin.

Loneliness can sound like anything. It is the one universal language, the most native of human tongues. It bears the flavors of longing, wears the flesh of romance. It is tattooed the staunchest blue, ripened to the deepest black. The stars ride the ripples in the atmosphere, my least inkling dissolved long ago. The night where I walk in circles around the empty where I grow my bones.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Those cold guns, her heart fraught with wonder. That painted on threat, the fact of abandon. The voice just below the water, before the light. The shadows pool just before seeing. Everything stretch and cause.

Could have been the moment wanders, that idle collide of fresh chrome and suspense, that distance only bridged by waiting. The possible every shred of evidence, the dowse and the drowning. Such an unlikely precipice. So lovely the fall.

I wake at this insistence. Something wants this world more. The blinds of hallucination fervid in the phrasing. Lost clothes and secret plans. The words will soon repeat themselves. The prayer soon learns itself. Thirst so hard to swallow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

beneath the kingdom of shine

This world is so quick to disappear, to turn around and change its stripes. Familiar streets bend and split, sweating shadows, spilling light. Driving home the freeway changes again and again. I lose my bearings on roads I have traveled thousands of times. I lose my self a little amid the tail light constellation and the strange passages beneath the kingdom of shine. Darkness turns from valleys into towers, clotting the hiding places of the once was world.

Steel and glass and combusting gas-- the moment extends above the tarmac, it unwinds long into the night. The clock moves, the calendar changes. Time and date and a check-mark for the day that is done. The radio crackles news at a steady pace, even voices marking lapse and horror. Gentle voices bruising the very night.

I work the pedals and the wheel. I watch the gauges and the road. The Highway Patrol marks off another vague reminder, life so brittle and so swift. Lights flash, traffic slows, then a tragedy is marked and abandoned, our real lives somewhere farther. A few more miles, this handful of chameleon roads, and I am home. I work the locks and find the lights. Somewhere I cast another shadow. Somehow another day is done.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

pretty on the outside

Dawn finds Orion on his ear, his libidinal tilt spilling into the day. The flocks make their margins, wings adrift, the travel from dark to light spreading through the air. Children have decorated the sidewalk, rocket ships and pastel hearts. Children leave their evidence strewn all around the block. The world is theirs before they know it. The world is theirs, secure beneath their piled up dreams.

The light abides with a kind of radio static, mixed with a steady dose of knotted night. The shadows stick to the shrubs, they cling to the fencing, and the cracks in the foundation. The day dives straight into this waking haze, eyes rubbed red just from seeing. The day makes its way, all sway and stride. The sky is littered with fading stars.

Each start is lined with errors, each awakening rimmed with dreams. It seems so cold until things begin their motions. It seems so still until you realize everything is on the march. The overcast heavens, the underfed moon. Things race past, the unbound statuary leaving nothing but streaks and shadows. It would pass you by, save for all the little hooks and tethers that drag you in its wake. A child's story made from grown up things. Pretty lights and teeth marks, little gifts and the unimaginable price.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


There is no consolation in the color of her eyes, stained with moonlight, staring at the dark. There is no comfort in kisses whittled from spare letters, that postcard alphabet offering, that false prophecy. There are the hours that come and go unbidden, the ethereal passions and the heavy clock. There are all the lingering gods and their dirty symbols, pressed like coins on cadaver's eyes, ink into the remainders of life and limb. There is the world of ache, the work of lost children and stale rumors. These words, always so clearly missing their mark.

It is a life without the lightness or crucible of romance, no lovers and still rooms. The small sounds of sleeping beasts, and the rackets of strays and addiction. The tree limbs sway, waving to something so far away it might not exist-- another kind of starlight, a letter in a bottle in the midnight of the sea. The ground is dry and hard, slow to forgive the least trespass. Smoke and oil and grit in every limb. I would reach, if I hadn't already reached too much. I would long, but I have been longing long enough.

I am cast in brick and glass, sodden thoughts, and a glamor of lust and abandon. Pale scars and dappled flesh, hands that only know their own folds and too much of their strength. The pain of this, the ache of that, the flippant repartee of these middling years. The tender heart moved to melancholy, though it seeps more gristle than blood. The tired mind turns toward the next vacant labor, the next gruesome task. A few more words left as ransom. A few more words, then another night alive.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The biography of her pale flesh given over to the color of the blinds, the whispers of command. Written once just so, then abandoned with out a whim. Made one way then painted like another. Making the seeming so so unseemly.

The word play only got worse, a bad script tidied up by so much truth. Fact after fact filled the room, until there was no way to see the window. Details clotted the hallways, they stepped gingerly up the walls. Ever mirror stained with kisses. Every door held together with tape and whispers.

There are sentences about her bare skin, lines woven together for all her stretches and stitches. There are words that serve only to imbue her radiance in envious droplets of passion sweat. These songs wear her like a fever made of moonlight. This music is drizzled in thistle and appetite. The long lost promises, the far away lingering of imagined lovers. The truth of her story dressed only in shadows and stars.

Monday, August 9, 2010

looking glass

Tell me what it is, and I will find it. That is the promise of reason, the final say on location. Conductions and currents as alive as time. Change is the seeing of the system as a symptom. Change is all the acceptance of disease. That pin point realization that seeing is the wound, the sickness itself. That pointed waste of mirror.

The night dulls and deepens. The door hangs upon dust. The wind is high on its heels. That is the way of kisses. That is the longing that is always just awaked. The context, if only adjusted so. The tale that is always told out of school. Magic could do no more.

The cross makes us want that failing, the world gives us that as its weight. The balance of the division, the price of a need to lie. I take it as ice, I take it as water. The moments always answers, something to give this reason a little salt. Every direction all at once. A compass that, once spun, will never work again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the other day

There isn't any point. The sun makes the skin into tatters, the day turns the bones into brick. The river overflows or turns to muck, the cat in the box either lives or dies, kisses will complete or deceive me-- it isn't in me to choose. There is a tempo to the traffic, there is a sway to each lane. That I make it home at all is proof enough.

My hands are stiff, dry as a jar of moon light, hot as a summer beach. They tap and curl, past the sleepless edge twice already. The curl of a lip, the fur on the low end of a voice. Too precious, too pretty, too much to want. These hands of odd jobs and little tricks. These hands full of the next mistelling, the last mistake.

I stay a stranger. Ribbons of steel, closets of lamps. Board games and a scrawled prescription, always landing on somethings got to give. My share has been lent against long past dissolution. I awake and I am speaking from the land where ghosts are born. All of my intimates keep their distance, and I miss every call I should have answered. I lost the trail in the tangle of hours. Like I was there so long ago I never was there at all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

softer still

All the lights are out, and the bloom of shadow has grown past abundance. The darkness spills through the windows, it seeps down from the ceiling and up from the floor. This house now built of blindness. The very air bruised and blackened. The saying given up for breathing, the words lost in so much ink.

So much for the rising silt of candle smoke. So much for the ritual incandescence built to burn out quick. The hour circles the block, the same wan feelings and the same blank looks, the same few songs playing again and again. The old dog shakes his collar somewhere in the dark. The cat makes her own rules with the obstinacy of claws. I find a light, and the brightness blinds me. I find these keys, and unlock another moment. I untangle the time.

These differences all add up the same. The lapse, the drowse, the failing flight. The ghostly moon grinning, airplanes altering the constellations, the phone dying before all the consolations are through. Midnight passed, midnight quartered, midnight measured in fingers and grasps. I lacked light to find my way, and was lost for a moment in such unshelled brightness. The words and things all mingled, each going home alone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So the arrow flies blind, so the day goes dark, so the bets are settled and debt let go. It is beggar's portions and steely mercies, the thankless tasks and the pretty songs. The time was lost before I wasted it, plastic keys and open wounds. The prayer shawl persuasions and the devotion of Job. Even the ache is a small one, bound to be devoured before it is mistook. Even the imagined romance ought to be beaten to death.

I lean into this sickness that assures my solitude, watching the street lights as they flicker. Watching the trees as they dance. Flecks of stars and tail-lights. Other people's music for another people's world. The songs all leave me, just as the dusk leaves me, just as all momentum fades. I stare into the box of damaged goods, I stare into the abyss of pure dumb menace. A rusted hatchet and an old shotgun. Every inevitable inkling seems to end in crime.

Empty cans chime at the reaching. Empty walls slow even the spiders. The dust can not wait to overtake these passings. The dust only wishes to swallow up all struggle, to remove every proof from this place. It won't take long at the rate I am going. Never with anyone and never alone. Never at ease, even with my own peaceful moments. Legion always muttering away behind the curtain. The swarms waiting to peel the blue from the sky.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

so faint the tune

Grant that this trouble was nothing new. Grant that these were the things written first on walls by firelight. Heaven watches and remains near to blind, all across the salted vastness. The moon went somewhere else to look for you. Dispatch all your luckless messengers. Write this in your own hand.

It is in this sleepless notation I seem to see you most. Counting hours instead of counting sheep. Counting on fire without seeing any light. Each syllable a measure of a hopeless, thoughtless note, some breath let loose to soon. You awake with revelation. You follow the last moments closely. The spell is so seamless, so harsh. Everything is explained with perfect order.

The magic goes away when you wait for it. It can only live with itself in a silly kind of surprise. You swallow the color, the cold water awakening the mysteries of thirst. You drown in the blue of the sky in dreams, that beautiful face lost to any legacy. That is where the dream might land you. That is where the moon will follow. The spell check nearly over, the letter nearly spoiled. The idea that you heard it all in a song.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It is there in this reaching, hands held out, palms up, cupped together as a begging bowl. The reflected ache of the gesture, the call to prayer and the yard rife with ghosts. The stars rippling in the wind, branches scraping at the sky. The smell of smoke and sweat, the litany of entreaties. It arrives in this wash of memories and mistakes, eyes looking skyward, towards every slip of distance. Nothing is left but the weeping.

The brickwork is marked with the charcoal streaks of snubbed out cigarettes, small remainders of this vast habitation. These wildernesses strewn with our habits and our discards. Centurion graffito and gang sign, flecks of stone tapped from arrowheads, strings of videos and piles of unread books. The signs are everywhere, once everything is gone. Eternity is only the art of what isn't, the grave yard architecture and the impressions left in cement and lava beds. We see it all, and are moved by our absence.

We stack the chairs and we sweep the floors. The remembered mop bucket spitting steam into the night. Cleaning products and reflections left in the midnight glass. The weight of headlights stretching up the drive, the sound of footsteps on the stairs, the phone ringing late into the night. Greeting cards and shot-glasses, notebooks stamped by coffee cups. We work away, moving backwards from beginnings, until we can see nothing but our own passage. A place marked by pacings and prayers left unanswered. Sandcastles built to dissolve in the inevitable tide.

Monday, August 2, 2010

art crush

The music isn't so much sad as bereft you think, her voice a far away calamity, rich in woven flowers and industrial solvents. Her voice is the question poked of the monster in the dark. You sit and invent crossings of stars and cheap pornography. You sit in the dark and listen to the tug of her distance. Time and hope switch name cards, ruining the dinner arrangements and any chance of sleep. She is naked, singing only to you in the strange dark room.

It is only a kiss made of a mouthful of smoke, a kind of burning inwards. A grasp of the kindling long after the fire is gone. Her voice languid on the carpet, her voice breathless and flush. Her voice distilled and threaded with fine filaments of ice. There is a crystallography to the listening, a transition in the shaping of want and the world. So impossible, so compelling, so strangely inside the very nature of your limits. You so excruciatingly alone and removed from all sense. She sings, and all tastes like her burning.

The words are here in the ether. The words are there on the page. What strange persuasion light colludes towards, exchanging its truth for speech. Exchanging each collision with some trick of the text. Something written in awe before praiseful dark. Something written to dismiss the very truth of her touch. It is the cinders of romance once the sparks of romance devour. It is the earnest dismay of the after glow, that imagined share of the eternal. Her lips so close you taste them even as she is taken by the day. Her voice so clear she could only mean you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the grandfather paradox

The world cools slowly, never asking me even a moment for my views. The sun tumbles off, and the electric fan rattles, and my eyes are dull and dim. I left work an hour later than scheduled, because I live the sort of life that always rates last-- the other kind. My time is barely worth paying for; my time isn't even hardly worth wasting. And my skin bears a slow traffic crawl sun burn, my tongue the furrows of saying the same thing too much. And there are no songs playing. No one is waiting up for me.

There isn't any place left. There is nowhere to go. Travel isn't a balm for the ache of living too long in this sick skin. The only cure for this sort of life sickness is more living, and the medicine sounds as bad as the disease. Nothing to say, no words that work. Just that one last painting, that color field to drip impact upon some wall or pillow. Even paying what is due finally too expensive.

It is all these same themes. It is always that same day, the comic terror of the inevitable. This wretched repetition. These days, hinted at and explained, that never should have been. Would that the bullet could go backwards. Would that never could have happened on time.