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.