Thursday, December 29, 2011

nocturn or nocturne

The hour is early, the sky already given up for gray. It is a time of kitchens and electric lights, of dinner plates and piles of lies. Families entangled like the rat king's tails, gnashing and writhing away in the usual style. Ordinary forms and trying exchanges, the lives lost to strangled chance and surrendered roads. Here it is still, a sort of formalism made from gathered books and the unyielding attentions of dust. Here it is quiet, just that hint of music, the morning songs of night birds. Barking dogs and car alarms blow reveille, calling out to the army of roofs and fences.

The roads lay down just where you left them last, stretching farther than perspective would allow. Running through field and over hill, reaching from town to town and from light to light. Asphalt poured all across the scenery, travel spilled all over the map. They are always coming for you, and always running away. The days savored and those despised all wander off to die, leaving only notions and past tense as company.

Night settles down to stay, asking very little and taking less. The reckoning of weather, the weight of an unsettled sky. The drizzling of incidentals, background noise and inevitable collision. The mismatched parts and the missing pieces all whisper away, like prayer escaping a church yard or music falling from the heavens. Ring your bells, fire off that respectful salvo, blow the last solo of the day. Share every confusion you can. Something will arise, nocturn or nocturne, to serve the absent day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Before the last light goes out, before the gathering shadows engulf us all, before the day dwindles down to a fine and distant glow you begin again. You slip into the material, wearing the coolness of autumn over that endless summer flesh. You shed the very season, all stride and song. The night races down the lonely road, chasing after the rhythm of your heels. You take in each star and every cloud, bound to share the skin of heaven. All alone with the night all but ignoring me, I wouldn't be surprised were you wearing wings.

I am always talking out of turn, the words always squirming their way out of my mouth.  Speech a power wound in curses, my breath always running out. Seeing you, I say too much, and all the words are never enough. You obliterate all answers, outshine every sense of splendor and finery. You are beyond the scratch and scrape of language. Even your name cannot meet your measure.

I don't know what road you've chosen. I don't know what skies you bless. It is hard to find any landmarks when the weeds all sway in tandem.  It is hard to trust the marker when the odds are so astray. You arrive from behind the veil of matter, binding your grace to the material world. These cold nights and empty rooms rattling in your wake. You rise inside the impetus of every thought, always the first breath and last word. Yours is always the prayer I offer, you the prelude to every day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The day dropped the ball, the gray painted sky swayed blue and gold, all aglow from these atmospheric coincidences. The dusk a little closer, the fleeting clock, the falling earth. I limp along, high strung and bottomed out, eyes having settled on the puzzles of terrain and stride. I plod across dust and stone, sticking to a routine, knowing my place. I play the part, another of the assorted selected background talent cast to fill out the scene. Not much is expected, and do I ever deliver.

Night arrives a bit too early, porch lit moths spending energy finding all the wrong lights. Quiet houses stand stoic before the ruckus of the street. Squealing children and speeding vehicles, the combination always worse than it sounds. If there are stars out, I don't notice. My eyes watching out for the sort of troubles you can step over. My eyes watching out for something that will match the map.

I make some coffee, turn on the computer. Check whatever messages that arrive at some associated address. Turns out there are still things left to buy, and they are making more of them. Turns out I have been chosen, again and again and again. I dismiss most of it without a glance, this being that sort of day in that kind of age. With such an accommodating ocean, why bother with bottles? What washes away but these small attentions, in a sea so busy and vast? Questions that get along fine without any answers. A world that isn't looking for company at all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

moving pictures

The credits role, and it's the same old song, though a good one and a favorite. The cat stretches in my lap, dragging its claws across the comforter. The dog on the sofa is thick in his dreams, chasing something in his sleep. The movie's over, midnight's come and gone. It is always the hour after, once your number comes around.

Steady yourself against these conceits of slumber, the comfort of these inky depths cannot be sustained. I wouldn't want to wake you with some message you'd dismiss. I wouldn't want you to wake with your dreams in tatters, my voice the first trace of the world to be. Still, this stillness will not last. The world will not allow even this least respite.

The song fades out and the music changes. An elegant glissando threads through the empty air. The cat purrs, the dog stirs and gives up the chase. All the hours gather, pressed against shine and shadow. The credits end, the image fades to black. The night crawls on, and you are nowhere near. The night crawls on, an all I see is you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas lights

It is funny how the season passes. It's so strange the way the feeling fades. All the lights strung out one after another. All these constellations made from wire and plastic. The mood light amusements and the meager givens. The blunt recoil of the schedule meets the muffled retort of the heart.

The streets stretch out, yawning through the stillness and the frost. The sidewalks pause and reflect the gleam and glow of street-lamps and passing traffic. The gutters still cluttered with leaf and trash, as the strays work out their schemes. The night almost free to be like any other. Cold and dark and threaded with loneliness.

It is particular to this species, all the dreamy longing. Never alone in any given moment. Never at ease when tomorrow is in the works. The dissatisfaction that comes from being a little too easy to satisfy. The discontent that arises from keeping eyes on the unfolding road. The world all aglow with the least of feasts and the fitful scenery. Treasure everywhere, and still it is the sadness speaking softly in all the squandered rooms. Listening for a word or a voice, some small measure to make it worth all this waiting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


In this dream one of us is having, you are always almost there. The hour is upon me, and I can taste your kiss from around a corner, feel your flesh press from afar. This is the dream of us I keep having, the trick of the mirror, the narrative power of the editor's credit. Your name just there, slipping down my tongue. A breath and the clasp and huff of pronunciation, and every prayer comes due. Sleep is just lousy with these sorts of tricks.

There was no knowing either question or answer, the whole point seeming that certain straight ahead. There was no truth in telling what the world had already shown. From feather bed to fever dream, from over kill to after glow. Was it that moment from that other world of fitful glimpses and deep recall, or the shimmer of altered metals settling into that amalgam I know by heart? Was it the flicker of candles snuffed or the terror of wishes granted? The reason or the go-between.

The change is that much more astounding, from dream true to truth told. Waking on this pavement made of mistakes. Waking in the world the way it wore me, from music to the score as it scans. This faith a kind of satiation, finished by a bellyful of this same old world. Cold air and bare skin, the scramble for swaddling cloth. Candy canes and Christmas lighting lingering in the slow stretch of longing. The stark naked certainty of your arrival in this life we'll never know.

Friday, December 23, 2011

either or

I wake up nowhere in particular, some fuzzy hour in some shabby room. I turn the joint over top to bottom, and still can't find the will to begin again. The blood won't answer, and the ghost doesn't know. Adrift on the wind swept edge of nursery rhyme, casting shadows, kicking stones.

There is that vague whisper of wanting, the clotted breath in the icy air casting shadows on the yard. The flesh grows cold as it presses through the hours, placing its faith in a room always nearing. A fire always ready for the failing light. Some smoke soaked future always fleeing the inferno. Some drift of instinct into the frame of the flash, that instant mistaken for the mold.

The ache is earned like afterglow, the echo of some cherished repetition. The photo tattered and creased, the feeling clinging on and on. The days labor away at each stillness, devouring the creeping spaces between every blessed act. Rare bird or cactus flower, I can not find you. Some made up name, some bet on number. The chill in the air and the saw stroke of stiff joints. The distance between me and the knowing of your name the distance from wolf to dog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This is no mistake, no random act of happenstance. The flowering of every fissure, the bloom of each crack and line. Bruised bones and twisted steel, the indelible impression of the moment of impact. It is the moment that every ache and impulse was birthed, the root and branch of this life. The weary weight of limb and tongue. The bleary gleam of open at last. This is the sense in the season, the marker on the map casting its shadow into the world. This is your life, written on the back of a matchbook. This is your life, written in leaf and stone.

It can be hard to fathom, all this spilled instance. It can be hard to watch, all the evidence gathered. The wrecked spells and the broken oaths. The clipped witness of each misstep and mistake. The fierce derailing of the most carefully laid plans, sounding out louder than any bell or chime. The calamity of firm belief meeting fact head on, that mad collateral of the empirical weighing in. It is quite the journey, the distance between said and done.

I don't know how I got here. I don't know where I am going, or much about where I've been. The sun and stars all perch along familiar axes, the journey of the chariot and the music of the spheres all lined up just so. Day and night, and all the business in between. The word works according to its mysteries, the clock works according to its parts. The news imbues every devil with its details. I arrive dead center, in the middle of the road. I begin in the same place, no matter where I am. The moment of impact all there is, apart from all I miss.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the prophecy

The stars have done their part, shining all bright and sparkly. The cloud all milled about, as if they had a say. The night came only to go again, never failing to disappoint. Don't bother to ask about the day. We make our wishes, we take our chances.

What do you make of a story like ours? What lessons are there to learn when you knew the moral all along? Our story is a forbidden kingdom. Our story is a lost weekend. A comedy of errors mistaken for the triumph of will. The accumulation of terrible mistakes taken for destiny.

The world we know is all but new. The stretch of hundreds or thousands of years, either the latest craze or the earliest city, is but a cosmic blink. We believe in what and where we were born to, or in some convoluted rejection of the same. The gods of our elders become the gods we know are true, and we love and hate accordingly.  A time and place for everything, the prophecy fulfilled.  How blinding the beauty, how lovely the song.

Monday, December 19, 2011

good night

The night will find you. Whether you cling to your bright rooms or stick with those wandering stars. Whether you sleep warm and peaceful or toss and turn in the teeth of winter. The night will find you out. Dream on, or wait and worry. The night will know it all.

The dog days are gone, the chill that once perched upon the dusk now burrowed into bone and earth. The sun brushes gently against your shoulders then is lost in the depths of the gray. Children huddle on the corners, yelping and squealing out their location for any interested ear. The light gathers where it is lost, called by the weight and push of shadows.

The end closes in, without fanfare or pyrotechnics. It cries out from these intimate failings, groans and declamations rising from limb and joint. The visceral dimming of every sense while the brain beats alarm and tattoos dances of doom and attack. All of the evidence awaits while the heart turns the whole of the world into a series of crime scenes. The night falls on plan and happenstance. Ready or not, the night is here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

bar room girl

The world gives up all but the smallest of blessings, the day down the way now, the dusk just settling in. The light that slips and plies, the music that blares and grumbles, the concert of glassware and urgency stumbling just below the watermark of breath. Quiet conversations and hales of laughter loosed. The whole world just the gleaming of the gutter. The whole world just waiting to begin.

She is the dream of the woman she should have been, the trap of passion and the tripping tongue. Staring into the blur of her own eyes reflected. Seeing through skin and bone, the blunt wishes of the flesh never sparing the washed out wanting of the soul. She watches her own eyes, seeing someone else. The bartender and the door that never opens. The next drink and the demon in the bag.

As if the night could disconnect from the long drag of daylight. As if tomorrow could detach from the tendons of tonight. The moment dozes beneath the seamless surface of each last drink. The moment drowns there, somewhere between breath and speech, somewhere between the eyes and the heart. All consolation prizes and cheap tricks, the day that you never wanted becomes the night that never was. Everything done once even the wishing is washed away.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the most

It is cold, but not as cold as the night before. I spill smoke and steam into the gray haze, sifting breath and pine needles, staring hard away from the light. Street lights and traffic noises creeping up beside the house. The cat above, and the dogs run riot. The coffee cools quickly, every bit as bitter as the ruins of a dream. Just as much the feeling as the fact.

It is always a tangle, searching for the source. Always either knot or almost knot. Either the sparrow of providence or the same in waiting. The clutch of atomic bonds and that vast abyss of probability meandering in the immeasurable in between. The nature of language always veering harder towards the almost, meaning needing to be more the near miss than the sense itself. The snake chases its tail, the dragon guards the gate. The myth lingers in every moment. The myth is always just ahead of the path.

I wait on the weather. I watch for sign or rain. The stars obscure the depth of distance. The lights conceal our limits, the tethers and markers that allow us to know our worth. Our broad conspiracies no more profound than the business of any nest, hive, or anthill. This tiny corner of creation so much greater than we can comprehend, boundless detail hiding endless devils. I witness what I can, missing everything the most.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Your hand is impressed upon yellowed paper, elegant and aloof. I can feel the press of your fingers flowing through the pen, witnessed with ink and proof. I can hear the lilt of your voice in the kink and sway of each word you chose. Just a few lines left to puzzle after, just a few sentences left to serve the rest of memory. Word after word drizzled onto paper. Every meaning long since spent.

It is the romance of the moment that I miss. The certainty of this hand-crafted missive, the soundtrack casualties and the play-list misses. Memory mingles with this worn out evidence, the notes left beneath the wiper-blade, windshield letters and rainy-day eyes. The windows flecked with self magnifying droplets, casting vague shadows from window to wall. The rain that came staying all night long.

The written word wears through, seeming weak and hollow after everything has been said. It remains creased and folded, tucked away as once precious, discovered between the covers in a book read a thousand years ago. Some vain respite to all the usual wounds, hurt feelings and broken hearts. A small memento of the way the world would be. A steady hand and an earnest oath, the dried up blue gone as brown as the dust, as wrong as any bet I ever made.

Monday, December 12, 2011

ice and loam

This is the story once it is over. This is the play after the curtain call. All dust sleeve and ghost light. All punctuation and after party and the pages given up for blank. The dry aching hands of work yet unfinished. The resolute bitterness of a tongue stilled for good.

Life idles on. It sleeps in the cold and the dark. It bides the time and the weather, the gray pacing and the golden moments. It endures and adapts, always changing, always holding the course. It doesn't care for status or secrets. It doesn't know how unlikely it is that it continues to thrive.

And so I scatter these words like ashes. So I write these words in the condensation on the mirror. Dust and steam, ice and loam. A whole continuity seems to hedge its bets, eternity running circles around the sky. Castles made of sand, oceans of possibility breaking again and again. The story is over. Everything left is epilogue.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


The moon didn't melt away. It didn't dissolve like resolution or fade like faith. The curtain was pulled and all that glow became muted, the moon submerged into obdurate shadow. I saw it cut an evil grin in west heaven, then it was a dull stone hung above the dim horizon. It waited there in stark relief as the darkness descended, daylight hinting away from the east. I watched it there as it surrendered to the hills and rooftop obstructions, dawn always somewhere in reserve.

I am faded and I am fallen. Weary and slow and dull, I know I should leave soon. Yet every time some bad hand reaches for my throat I am again that flurry of gleeful destruction and vicious rage, too weak to let some stranger decree me through. The light finds me less and less, the words all sorted into sortie and apologia, the devil's due and the levity in God's grand joke. I am all but gone, but I can not offer gracious surrender. I am mostly ache and tears, but the ache and tears will not remit. The fire is leaving but the embers still stir hot and bright.

It is essential to the integrity of the whole story that every piece does its part. It is crucial that the puzzle has its fits and starts. The mystery nuzzles up to some familiar cycle, leaves fall and the moon holds its breath, the earth casts its shadow from some other blazing day. I stare up at the sky through trees and over fences. I watch the stars and the moon while most folks are still asleep. The world turns, shifting its weight from hip to shoulder. The world turns, making the best with what is left. The day comes, and I melt away like some made-up moon. Always less, never letting go.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Save it for the golden measure, save it for the Holy Ghost. All these words that you embrace outside of meaning. All these threats of hell and heaven waiting down the road. All these fables of ache and fear, crystalized as breath cooling upon your pillow. I stand still for a moment, all the stars spilling across the skies. I stand still for a moment, taking in your gods by the eyeful. I would have moved soon after, but it turns out I was never there.

There is a poem of nerve and bone radiating with-in me. Waves of perspective hung out to dry, more meat for the smokehouse, more tome for the ghost. The words that rise and rot, the words that step and trip. The poem remains a facility of blood, the rocking horse tide, the frothing sentience of breath giving meaning to the tide. The poetry remains unwritten, scarcely remembered in the hunger and the fury. That abrupt interruption, the knock in the middle of the night that shoos the mind off course occurred before I was born. A life that feels like the missed starter's pistol, waiting for a beginning that ended long ago.

The season is the story of the world slowly dying. The season is the story of the world rocking itself to sleep. Us little pigs building our houses out of lies rather than straw, because we have learned that lies endure. Us little pigs stringing up our made up truths, that our freedoms come from killing strangers, that words from on high outrank the squealing of our hard little hearts. We use up all our fire wood building pyres to burn those big bad wolves, forgetting that winter is on its way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

cold comfort

The moon lays down an icy stare, glaring away at roof and tree. We can only blame ourselves. Abandoning our elder truths for bluff science and book sanctioned deities. Forgetting its name amid so much frenzied prayer. Forgetting just how far away far away can be.

The air rests in stolid umbrage, crisp on the tongue, freezing to the touch. There is ice in the sky, the dark continuity of the complicit reply. Sparkling inferno that gleam with the certainty of extinction, conflagrations so bright and distant they defy belief. The night bites at faces and fingers, spun upon the wheel of the world.

The sense of things burrows into the earth, slowing from one form to the next. Life hangs on despite the height or the hour. Wood smoke crowds the street and peeks in windows, touching everything with tiny filthy fingers, marking every flavor with its greedy tongue. Winter flings its favors and its curses without distinction. The gates are closed, the doors are locked. I settle in with all my misgivings, clinging to whatever comfort the cold allows.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The moon swells against the fabric of the winter sky, a heavy stone hung among all the still smoke of chimney fires, a fable awaiting some once upon a time. The light slows, filling with the spare parts of the clockwork of time. Haze takes the streets as the sun gives up, shadows rolling down the middle of the road. An ambulance wails onto the block and stops in front of a house just across the way. Some stories know where they are going before the first word is sacrificed. Some stories don't take to telling at all.

Life is a busy place to live, all these scene changes, this obstreperous cast of characters entering and exiting, worse than any Russian novel. Names and faces scratching at the glass of remember, memory filling with slips and slivers, dogs and cats and friends nearly forgot. A box of photos sleeping high in some quiet closet. A song heard so long ago even thinking of it dopplers thoughts into oblivion. You weren't here for most of forever, then you were here, spinning wheels and spitting fire. When you go, all the streets roll up and the details settle, sediment gathering around the flavor of your unuttered name.

We climb that steep hill for the brief plummet back down. We wind the clocks and plant the flags and feast and starve and riot and shuffle. All the evidence never enough. We get cold so we swaddle and layer and huddle. We get cold so we gather and feed the flames. We strive and love and suffer and pass, ghosting into glory or dragging all those chains. One day the sun goes down, and we do not find another dawn. Sirens sound, an ambulance appears. Everyone asks even though they know already. Another story ends as the darkness settles, the lights so bright as the ambulance pulls away.

Monday, December 5, 2011

the fire

The shine had worn off of the dream of the world, all the heavy fruit rotting on the vine. The gleam of fresh skinned knees so quickly clotted to scabs. The grain aching away on every board and plank. The rusted chains dangling without a swing in sight. The skies turned the color of silty water. The horizon always burning down.

Cold coffee and all the lights are low. Dogs and cats and the television murmuring under its breath. Dust clambering along the book shelves, all these words awaiting claiming. Voices clinging to husks and embers. Stories lick the bones of meaning, smoldering just beneath each skin.

Is this the path, worn by hoof and heel? Is this the mark, scratched into the stones and earth? This flesh so weary, these bones so bright. This wood so dark, the stars so far. I follow the smoke. I follow the glow. The world awakens, and I still am searching for the fire.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


You wear all the right rituals, that perfect posture, those secret marks. The mask of passion, the face of faith. That reach towards always craving more. As if you were carved from all the lack and fervor shed from the exhausted efforts of my existence. As if you were always there, waiting in the wings of my idle heart.

There are less evident tricks that seem to endure. There are more artificial sources that run riot with these settled bets and shameless minds. The assertion of neutrality only another choosing of sides, either wearing the blinders of the brilliantly unaware or practicing some cheap deceit. Desire turns the best of us into deluded marks or entitled cons. Miserable excuses like my own run rampant where my stereotypical wishes are invoked. Only a fool believes he can not be fooled.

There is more of you of course than my amazement. There is more to you than the shore and the sign of my oblique mind. You are that light, and the witness to all that shine. You are the world, and all the bounty of shock and wonder so implied. I would kiss you, as if I could carry such promise. I would kiss you, as if I could ever be so right.

Friday, December 2, 2011

that final light

If you must remember me, remember me at my worst. Somehow it gained the virtue of certitude, when so much failing came as lack of faith. Somehow it collaborated with your kindness, this weight of wreck and ruin. The wasted days, the broken trust, the long palaver down the road to hell. I would hope that these would mingle with the flavor of my name. I would hope at least some lesson would remain.

The day grinds down to dirt and feathers. The cat on the rooftop, the dogs at my feet. The sky slows, and the warm breath of the distant Pacific lingers on the street and in my beard. Questions burn away, casting out silty ghosts of smoke that Coriolis away to heaven. Questions burn, and all the asking ends up prayer.

It isn't that my sins are greater. It isn't that I long for the lash. The days dissolve, all tooth and shadow. Good things are destroyed for the sake of lies and foolishness. Lives are sacrificed to line greedy purses, and the words are bent until all meaning breaks. The memory of love with eyes wide open. Amid so much crawling darkness, choosing that final light.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The flesh fills with whispers, the light betrays the eyes. The music of creation burns on and on at broader bandwidths. I made it this far by choosing lesser devils. I made it here by reading between every line. It is this ordinary illness, this abandonment of all delight. Midnight nears, and the sickness shines in green wishes and gray dust. Midnight passes, and I am alone with this litany of ill will. Another day almost there, and I cannot tell you what the hour holds. Another day closing, and I cannot begin to try.

My heart still holds me for ransom, though it has stated no demands. My heart still struggles on, though it fears my hand for some rash act. I make no claims for grace to favor, I call out strings of blasphemy and invective, I am at liberty at all hours measured and almost always out of sorts. Dig deep into the hungry earth, leave me a place to hang a hole. Dig deep into the furtive soil, let the spade offer all the alms. There is a place for everyone.

Sink me in the ocean, swing me from a tree. The harm doesn't even register beside the healing. Fortune still wagers its favors, the future has its abundant charms. There is a point where the ledger makes the case. There is a point where the debt exceeds all the potential left. Blade or bullet, it hardly matters. 1:41 in the morning, and every outcome seems the same. All roads taken end as one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Gone are the days of rain and windowpanes, sleeping in after staying out, the insistent afternoon sun and the sunday newspaper. Gone is the tooth and touch of life's pull and strut, the bodies inhabited once by these hungry ghosts now gone back to the sea. Hands claps and heels click, the curtain call never lasts forever. The rooms empty, keeping their hands to themselves. The dismal moon set sail for another country, the shades are all drawn down.

There is no mystery. Life goes on until something stops it, then life starts up somewhere else. We are worlds slipping upon the skins of worlds, a drizzling of latent faith, a smattering of cheap applause. The starts and stops and gaps and continuities are all works of constant interpretation, pins placed at random on a featureless map. I missed you then as I miss you still, a longing that is part memory and part apology. A greed without redeeming features, a hole without hope of repair.

When the gray reaches come to ground, I ask after you. Your name sweetens the scar of my voice, speaking to the ice in the air. Your name binds the stars to my watch, this witness of clouds and weather. I reach again that sleepless hour, I speak again that weary word. The skies abide my indiscretions, the world continues sliding beneath my feet. The night keeps falling like a wishing star extinguished.

Monday, November 28, 2011


This soul is a thing of stone. This soul is the press of soil, it is the weight of a grave. It bears the rain and the cold, hidden beneath the roots in a forest or sitting in an open field tangled in the weeds. It does not guide the way, it does not part the waters. It is shaped by the gears of years, carved by the workings of the world around it. It keeps its secrets, sunken beneath the earth and mire. It keeps its place, while the world winnows away the chaff.

There are no secrets. There are no mysteries, no hidden reasons. Everything lurks out in the open, the blue prints all written on the architecture. The rituals all written in the wind. We linger on the precipice, trapped by our own limitations. We guess and plunder and accuse the world of duplicity. We ask after the timing of the tides, our lives the dance of sea and shore.

What light do you require? What faith will you find to sustain you through these cold hours and bitter truths? Life abides, life endures, life is the whole drift and draw. Our fingers trail through sand and water, grasping after something that can not be held or touched. We are legion and the burden of such dense assembly. We are the host and the battle field, the fecund farms and the wastelands where we gather all our gods and ghosts. The revelations await us like the reflections that mirrors afford. All you need to do is look.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

smoke trinity

The hush takes on the color of every color extinguished, the bleary burned through gray cold fingers of fog. The sense of smoldering, the scratch of matches finding spark, the dense air leaning in so close. A few distant lights brushing at your flesh, the glint of embers buried in a sea of ash. The atmosphere thickens, like secrets slowing breath. All night long, this roaring silence.

The sun lights the dawn, the glow of distant fires curling at the edges of the sky. The day clings to the dense silhouettes of chimney smoke and the persistent reach of tree limbs. Flocks stir, rising like ghosts through the silty air. Wings whisk by, whispering mysteries that linger, ringing in the glittering gray. Even the slumbering earth seems ready to burn.

I want to feel you close as smoke, thieving kisses and stealing breath. I want to taste your salt and bitter, that curl of burning that always tastes of sacrifice. The clamber of flesh finding flesh, the subtle friction of the familiar. I want your warmth as it consumes me, your fire more than worth all future devoured. Wanting this darkness, longing for the light.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It was bound to happen. The things we said and the things we meant eventually would
intersect. The crossed stars that abide these collisions are never around when the check
arrives. The truth and consequence of the material overrun with the fierce remittance of
the ghost. Words all pile on and on, making mountains and digging deeper holes. The
words gather despite every mouth being full.

Some claim the grace of humility, some the grace of stone. Some speak as if the world
will listen. Some speak as if heaven was full. We thank the gods, we thank the room. We
thank the fields and the harvest. We thank the feedlot and the slaughter. Life is work
and ache and luck. It is too much wonder not to wallow.

Gather those you love in close. Gather your wits and keep an eye on all that might love you. We always toast the tomorrow that we think we want. Those bothersome blessings
served with a twist. The turn of fate and the turn of phrases, the senses fail and the
distinctions blur. Fortune is fickle with its favors, grace paces the floorboards searching for escape. Everything is temporary. Tomorrow calls no one by name.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The lights go out, save a few sparks crowded by spiders and moths. The air slows all around, each breath pressed tight against the last. It seems like there should be something to say, the moment so swept and furtive. That motion just beyond the silence. This mind not so much still as frozen by a thought that just eludes.

I take the winter as a given, thought the season is still shaking out as fall. The chill with each key stroke, that strange fire of freezing fingers bothering the alphabet. My beard and gloves worn longer and without pause. My eyes sifting through all these golds and grays. The ache of light just as it is loosed.

It is really all beyond me, the mundane to the extraordinary one unceasing shrug. The details all mingle, exchanging names and numbers. I don't even try to keep track of where I am in the story, let alone attempt to follow the plot. Just a sense of loss, a sense of error. Just a memory the color of ice.

Monday, November 21, 2011


It isn't that I can't see it coming. It isn't as if I don't recognize the flag. You wave it until it is in tatters, a flash of color, the sound of rags snapping in the wind. You wave it as if signaling surrender while you spit and fume. I pause a moment as if in reflection. I slow while the words fly away. Crows scattered across the hush of dusk.

Night arrives on silken wings, the air cool and clean, stars sharpened on the reach of tree limbs. Chimney smoke crawls and clusters, catching naive lungs unprepared. The spun globe of chance always landing beneath the same heavy finger. The burden of freedom a creeping ache down the spine, a churning nausea in the belly. The questions are all painted the hue of the asking. The limits are legion.

Our mistakes brought us here. Our only virtues are found in how we carry these sins and errors. The telegraphed blows so antiquated, the brutal slurs so foolish. You ride this tide of rage and stupidity, a lemming if lemmings really could commit self-slaughter. You cry for blood and violence and some dumb host of angels that would see you through to victory. The world is boundless, full of breathless beauty and gibbering horror, and more mystery than any one lifetime could discover. The limits are real, and they are yours.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can not say how long I have waited. I was waiting before I even knew what waiting was, eyes cast towards the horizon, gazing at the sky. The day slip by, expanding into weeks and months and years. Decades spent like mad money, spent like the candle left burning or the moon wound down. It could have been mere moments, it could be this lifetime devoured by what never was. It could be that there are never words enough to say.

You are invisible here, that ghost that lingers, that scent in the air. Another light lost behind the hills, another star lost in the clouds. Each breath I shed is flavored with your name, each step I take chained to your absence. I speak out loud, as if you could hear me. I speak out loud, as if I wasn't alone. I lost my chance, hands stuffed in my pockets. I lost my way, waiting for a sign.

There is romance in the air, driven by tireless wings. There is romance in the air, gathering like smoke by the eaves. There are windows lit, there are fires burning. There is warmth to be gained away from the slow cold of this night. The skies are gray, the rain is waiting. Everything wishes to fall and fall. The rain waits somewhere above and beyond me, and, down among the mud and leaves, I am waiting too. I would say it seems like forever, but forever has no meaning to the very temporary. I would say something better, but the words are never here.

Friday, November 18, 2011


The rain spatters the rooftop, the rain kisses the windows. The rain bursts and dwindles and then the day is gone. Nothing left but the odd notation of dirt and water, the bundles of mud and mystery, the worms on the pavement and the birds on the line. Nothing left but light switches and door hinges, a life squandered on knobs and locks. Not even a letter left to say good-bye.

They've all been called up to heaven. They've all been returned to the earth. These dreams that waver and fade beneath the slow burn of this awakened day and blunted night. The dreaded whethers and the fond tomorrows dissolve, clouds caught in the flooded gutter, tattered by the flood. Hopelessness and mindfulness synonymous for a moment, the mirror another tide loosed on the world.

The slate is never wiped clean. The new world is always mostly rendered from the bones of the old one. The creep of continents, the crawl of life, the clambering vulgarity of language. All the motion that slides beneath the senses, the truths that enchant and confound. The crush of perpetual mountains, the call of all these runaway stars. Nothing new under the sun. Nothing but beginnings that never end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

all the labor

The storm blows in the distance, the day surrenders to the breadth of shadow. The hours trickle sweet and slow, honeyed lips and soothed throat. The moment won has long since dissipated, hands and pockets both notably empty. I breathe the silty air, blowing smoky kisses to an instant long expired. The world just turns on and on.

The sky boils, clouds and a freezing rain sweeping in through the gaps in the terrain. Skin chills, gooseflesh rises, the night stretches and pouts. I wait as the sun slips away, I wait as the weather chooses its weapon. Watching the world diminish to porch-lights and glowing windows. Watching the world as it waits to pass me by.

The world will leave you without a word. The world will swallow you whole. It isn't personal. This life is only what you claim and cling to. This life is all wonder and fume. The instant is hidden in your roaming blood. The moment where everything is waiting. The moment when all the work comes due.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The colors all give it up to gray, dusk settling into the wide reaches of the parking lot. You cross with caution, brake lights and back up lights never entirely indistinguishable. The coffee shop crawls, clientele bearing the difficult burden of choice. No-one knows you here. When they finally get to your order, they ask if you want room for cream.

You slow as you cross the lot again, trying not to frighten any shoppers with your speed or bulk or dishevelment. Not that there isn't the potential, but most citizens are poor judges of horseflesh, and their antennae never seem to be scanning for intent. It doesn't matter that you are just another consumer, coupons and shopping list at hand. Fear and nightfall go hand in hand.

You enter the grocery store, and all the colors have claimed sanctuary. These convolutions of need and want, stacked high and sorted into rows of like and convenience. You shamble through your list, filling the cart with milk and coffee and laundry soap. Everything searched for found, in order and in kind. You complete the ritual of revelation, and they ask you if you found everything alright. The question has to be a trick, but you just smile kindly and say yes. No-one needs to know any better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

museum piece

The song plays out long before the song is over, the cluttered track and the worn-through voice. All this singing despite the bird on the wing, despite the words buried just below the earth. All this music despite the gear tooth clatter, that grind of bone into blood drenched bone. Each break placed just so, club to gut and limb. Each bruise another rainbow claiming skin while the soldiers do the work of the world.

All these kings and bishops, these fatted moon-calves and desperate potentates. They slash and burn and strike all around them, they thieve and scheme and invoke gods they cannot name, then cry fowl at the first sign of resistance. Money talks, people talk back. We know the story before it begins. We know the brutal truth. Forget the crowns and shepherd's crooks. Every stone will have its say on these long dog days.

The tale is simple, once it is sealed behind the glass. The fable is always founded upon some hard sharp truth, the heart of the telling all the proof that language will allow. It becomes a museum piece, safe from dust and change. It becomes part of our journey and a road we think we will never travel. Then one day the guards all raise an alarm. The tale is gone, the case left empty and open. Forget the crowns it goes, take back the kingdom.

Monday, November 14, 2011


There is a lost star hinting after the horizon. There is a dark horse lathered into a froth. Put it all on the assembled devils. Put it all on the gathered teeth, so small and sharp and lovely. They will shout and they will name. There is no one turn where it was all lost. There is no one moment when it all went wrong.

We are called by love, we are called by gravity. The bare essence of a conspiracy, the raw bones of some kind of trust. We avoid the ordinary orbits just long enough to wear the face of the stranger, we drift with undue pride and purpose, touching each and every soul we pass. We are lost soon, at home in the mass of other people. It is so dark and cold out past the ordinary orbits, we pretend that there is nothing there.

So there is the pause of distance. So there is this reach of want. All these roars and whispers, every one just the shimmer of static. Every one only the glitter of glass. The dust of constellations, the whole of the galaxy waving a slight goodbye. We spin in such small circles, that we hardly move at all. There is no metaphor to this kind of lonely. There is only the measure and the mystery. There is only the dark and the cold.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

close enough

Night wanders on in from the wings, the sun never finishing what it starts. You would call but you don't trust the number. You would write but the words get in the way. If anyone asks, I say I understand. If anyone asks, they are keeping it to themselves.

There is nothing to be done about it. I close my eyes, and you arrive. You gather like the slow slide of gravity, every victory just a matter of degree. You descend like the long draw of flight, every approach something like the hunt. Like some comet I burn as bright as you are near.

Close enough, you never complain. Close enough, the blood does all the work. Matter whispers its secrets, like finds like again and again. We all draw nearer, distance hidden behind our backs. These fecund galaxies amalgamate around the void of collapsed stars, and so all speed away from one another. Gravity just a confluence of small aches and ceaseless wantings. Destiny always just where you would hope.

Friday, November 11, 2011

with me

I want you here, when the world burns down. I want you there with me at the end of days. The one regret, the unanswered question. That claiming kiss, those fiery eyes, the peak and the fury of your graceful blessed flesh. To follow the last light into the horizon. To close the door and throw away every key.

The first bite is bitter, but I go ahead and swallow. I learned to take the dish as placed long before you lost me for good. These deep years have taught me to savor the seasons when all the seasoning is spent. All the lessons I need I learn last. Fevered and fallen so hard and far that only I had never noticed. Lost so long that only I believed I had a path left to follow.

I no longer know what star to wish on. I no longer know when to quit the road. Waiting for a clue like I was praying for rain. Waiting for a calling like I ever answered straight. I want you the way our absences are almost always about to touch. So close only the sky is nearer. So far it may as well be a star. I want you like a hope for heaven. I want you close when all that distance burns.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the number

You lay your head on the pillow to nothing but the whisper of pressed flesh and all those songs that drizzle from your lips. The long day finally all wore out, the razor's edge ground down. Your eyes shine bright, even though they are closed and heavy. You smile so sweet even though every little bit hurts. The bitter draught and the slow sustain. The sweet reminder and the gleaming coffee bean. Sleep loses its own self, dreaming after you.

So I scuffle amongst the dirt and dead leaves. So I slow towards the teeth of this precipice. The sky wanders wild, and the winds pause and gallop. Night and then another. Day and then the dusk. I am only conceit and twice-thieved hubris, waiting for the hammer to fall. I am only another one, wishing for nothing but you.

You sling yourself over those smoldering bones, you stroll like some dance of sacrifice. That soulful stride of your voice, rising to the tasks of grace and wonder. That distant gaze above the sway of hip and limb, eyes that hint of heaven. All those plentiful stars in swarms without number. All those tides and fires, sand and soot clinging to the salt in the air. You move as though standing so very still, singing with the bliss of where the bitter meets the sweet.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the moon and the stars

There is a pause to autumn, a moment when the whole world holds its breath. The jagged branches held so close to the throat of the sky, the collateral diffidence of falling leaves gathered in vague conspiracies. Breath clouds and steams, the crisp air a crystal witness to all this exhaust. Dreams huddle on the porch and sleep clings to the eaves of all these crowded little houses. Life, as always, exceeds its limits.

The stars are out far too early. The moon just looms there, scheming away above still streets and sudden urges. Shadows dissolve in the stretch of headlights, passing traffic through these plumes of night. A set of rapid footsteps, a one-sided conversation, ever stranger's voice mistaking me for home. Interrupted by abrupt constellations, stifled by the stillness that abides.

All the old aches come home. Small consolations crumble in the cold. Little left to follow, little left to find. Rooms that fill with troubled notions, windows clotted with light. Dusk seems a gentle traveler, gone off into the lonesome night. Dawn seems like a sentence for a crime I can't let go. Make peace with the senses, make this bed where sleep is lost. Remember everything is forgotten, everything lost beneath the moon and the stars.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

natural order

All the geese I see are flying to the North. North north east, at least. This is with the change in the weather. The gray sleeting rain, the chill in the air. I know the view should be inverted. I know the course I ought to expect. I don't pretend at an explanation. I don't pretend that we know nearly enough to say.

Not to say I don't have theories-- we are human and have to tell our tales. The patch work of hearsay and heresy, things overheard as children, things we say or read. All the follow and the weaving, the way we sort all this sift and seem. I watch the sky flow gold and gray, watch the geese fly north and the crows go west. I listen to the misgivings of the atmosphere. I witness this little sliver of the world.

The cold has settled into the earth and air. Every day matter slows a little more. Ribbons of ache unfold and lavish the flesh with their affections. All the bones are sorted, all the wounds displayed. The lights come on a little earlier, and, when it falls, the night falls fast. I write it down, though nothing is ever really written. I write it down, even when the words won't take wing.

Friday, November 4, 2011


The story is an old one, crooked folk meeting on a crooked road. The long leisurely stroll towards the double helping of just desserts. The words traded, the whistles wet. Some bargain offered, blood for blood, step for step. The dance before it knows it is dancing. The ritual lived by riot or by rote. The shadows scattering all around the fire.

I don't claim to know the sense of anything. I don't pledge to know even what I might mean. Everything is the matter except the method. Everything is wrong but the feel. There is loss in each reckoning, there is some small fight towards each fail. It is there for the asking, and I never know what to ask.

I say I wore you like a fever. I say I met you in my dreams. I wouldn't believe a word. I would say consider the source. What could you claim that could be trusted? What could you say that could ever confess the truth? I know what is lost because I know what I am missing. I know where it goes because I wrote it all out. Suspect and grieving, I can only take the same.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the story that I told

The chill moves from the wind to my bones, ringing the blood from my knuckles, slowly killing the worn flesh of my hands. The rain spattered about the streets and hills, blotting out the blue of the sky, beating the leaves from the trees. Each joint feels the crush of rust, each muscle the teething of hungry fire. Time stitches together its apologies. Time catches up to every corpse.

The bitter portion is cut from these spent wishes. The hardest morsel the medallion cut from the world that never was. These elementary ambitions, the native expectations, the belief in love and exception all play out in grays and blues. This shambling exile, this spit flecked hermitage. The lonesome notion made worse by the resilience of dreams.

I wander the borders of winter, thick and dull and redolent of distant pleasures. Autumn strides across this town, trimming trees and spilling smoke. The skies fill with clouds and anxious flocks, the gutters fill with leaf and glass. It isn't only the years, it isn't only the miles. It isn't the certainty that is settling in that I am well into the epilogue, empty and bent towards the abyss. It is the resonance of want, worn through the reach and pitch of being. The story that I told myself, somehow missing from the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

walking in circles

Again I wake up scratching at shadows. Again I wake up sweeping these bones to the floor. Sunlight, lamp light, the shine of remembered eyes. Vision submits to the walls of the world. Brick work and bandwidth, the plodding exclamations of matter, the fluttering ministrations of the dusk. The crawling crush of evening traffic, the return of every crow to its roost.

It isn't the words that have failed me. It isn't the world that has lost its way. The days are laid out, one by one. You take their make, you take their measure, you use what you can and leave all the rest. There's no-one to blame for all my mistaken leanings. There's nothing to do but move along.

I watch the hills, I watch the sky. I wait for the weather to make a change. The wind rises as the pressure remits, that steady tide of atmosphere plummeting over every skin. Never mind this sea of strangers. Never mind the need to speak. I follow each step, the worn down path of each spent yesterday. Walking in circles, favoring fevers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

another round

It is proof enough that I never pick up all the pieces. It is point enough that I don't care enough to act it out. The shows slip past, the music flows like smoke. The mind wanders towards the lowest portions, where habit has worn a trail like hoof and heel. The mind can't remember, so it learns to pretend to itself. That better nature bent from second guesses. Those better angels only certain to make themselves scarce.

A smaller number falling slowly, another picture hanged from that misused nail. That melancholia that comes from once believing you were supposed to be happy. The drift of sentiment sunken and entrenched, a feast set before us, wreaths upon the door. It is a kind of disbelief, to be so wrong so often. It is the consolation of this rushing tomorrow and another round on the house. I wait for some calm superstition, then find another day left in me.

I find some comfort in blunt appetite. The familiar and the beautiful, the reach and all the rest. Without these mementos I could feast and feast. To the day, to the future, until the boiling of the oceans and the burning of the sky. The uxorious attention to every favor, the blank exception offered to every fault. Instead, I mind the time and keep the date. I mistake ritual for virtue and draw down peal after peal of dumb ruin.

Monday, October 31, 2011

all souls

Stones take flight and the stars go home to roost. The whispers of unseen wings ride the fickle winds. The sidewalk rings with footfalls, the rustle of awkward costume mingling with the leaves in the gutter. A plastic bag haunts a chain-link fence and the cat is on the roof again. Every hallowed height has its fall.

The bell rings and each home claims its own. Windows battened down and doors shut tight. Pictures crowd the walls and shelves, all these cherished kin and other selves gathering dust. The earth doesn't distinguish between burial and bed, root and worm working their way through the blind insistent soil. Monkey up a tree, monkey finds a mask. Climb high enough, you're sure to show some tail.

Is it ever enough to remember? Is it ever enough to speak all those dates and names? The only life left them in our memories, our hobbled hearts beating hard and quick. The only choices left them only in our imaginings. They shuffle door to door, strange and hungry, wandering between worlds. They clamber through the shadows, only looking for a light.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Dusk comes and we slip off the edge of the world, sliding into the press of shadows, falling into the crush of night. All the bodies clinging to their particulars, model and mode meet at the intersections. Sweat and pine resin, the bitter draught and the sheen of dusk. The dreams all pool up as light makes its changes, the held breath, the missed drift. The passage all that we may abide.

The bird sweeps the wind, wings being all about the spread. The dog bites each bit, every morsel meant as marrow and bone. Every molecule is in contention, every atom endures these clipped confessions. Matter is at its most exacting when its cost comes due. The rendering by heat and compression. The gossip that the material world whispers about changing states. The glamor of all this collapse and resistance, the glory of the word nearly left upon a still and reverent tongue. We pay in mystery and kind.

Stand still to great the sun. Hold course to meet the evening star. The permutations of flesh and hunger, the teetering glimpse of each open intersection as it slides into the shimmering mirror. We wait in the stammering starlight. We pause before the wash of dawn. We reach and strain, grasp and falter, this changing that is our place in the world.

Friday, October 28, 2011

all the signs

The night stands up to stretch its legs, while the day is balled up to the west. Wings retreat into dreams and silhouette. All the words curls up like smoke. Stare towards all that the day still owes, stare towards the rising tide of night, eyes sparkling like wet rocks. What more proof do they need? Why keep asking when all the signs are there?

The stones spin and the sparks fly. Objects in motion tending towards their given state. The blue mood pooled on the floor by my feet. The artificial light painting stories on the walls. Dust marches on, the endless procession of the rejected and the ground down. Dust marches on, a flicker of shine caught in the edge of my eye. The percentages played upon the forces in contention, the game plays on and on.

The night will bend, the day will break. The glow long ago worn off the skin of this romance, light hangs on the vine, light perches on the wire. If you hear me, it is an accident. If you hear me, it is a mistake. Some stranger slung over my shoulders, some story spirited up from scrap and habit. When you listen you will hear the moon on the mend. The cat on its beat and the dog in its lament will sing. Listen as that light fills the sky, and set your story free.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


What little is left I give to the sky, slowly flowing from blue to black. What portion abides I offer the day, just as the night encroaches. I skip the details and submerge into the drift. Ants clambering towards the sunlight, fence to vine to peach to pine. Birds embracing the sky, enduring their return to the earth.

If this is beauty, it is the very measure. If this is truth, it is the certain word. You touch at such a great distance. We feel so faraway, pressed against these tethered depths. You teach that chestnut of all things ending, that limit is the one unbound power loosed. You are the turn in the phrase, the split in the road. You are the reach of our knowing abiding loss.

Tell me again to favor the spark. Tell me again to shed this flesh. This sea of ache and rot and woe abandoned to an eternity of love and ghosts. The confluence of the moment and the meat, all philosophy grown entirely from suffering and soil. The tongue pauses between all this dull wonder. The words that thread between these breaths always a little exhausted. The prayers that left us burning brightly into dusk.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

all over all over again

There aren't enough arms to comfort, there aren't enough wings to escape the day. The money's long gone, and the fire is burning low. There are no rules to attract, no hole to fear or console. I say your name out loud, like you could hear me. I say your name out loud, like you would ever listen at all.

There are too many pains to pray on, too many days to count. My voice is tattered and riddled with spiders and smoke. I hesitate before I speak, and never sing at all. All the paper cuts and precepts are either in the mail or in the wind. I do not so much disappear as reiterate. I offer up the feeling of love, never contending that I ever knew its meaning.

So much for your unfettered heart. So much for these scratchy valentines. There is the word that never settles, the kiss that won't come home. The empty yard and the street filled with eyes. Night comes as if it was bidden. Night comes as if it was my due. Again I write these letters, asking you for what little there might be. Again I write these letters, wishing you'd come home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

tales we tell

From one world to the next, the stories are all the same. The ladder always runs in both directions. The spell always breaks like the wings of brittle birds. Climb as high, fall as far, sink so fast. Every choice is the closing of a thousand doors. Every road is its only hope.

Stars fall and wishes run their course. Odysseus comes home and Faust repents. The Devil loses every bet with God just like every other chump. Skip your ropes or stones. Brush your teeth and say your prayers. All the pieces were set before there ever was a game. Tell it the way you heard, make up something new, the story will hold its own.

What of the time, what of the ends, what of the ways and the means? The cream rises, the stone sinks. The prodigal feasts upon that fatted calf. The dish and spoon make their usual arrangements. One thing, then another. The plodding, then the epiphany. These strings of incantations. These tales we tell while the clock runs down.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I wear slow holes in the air around me, the ache of my gaze, the sieve of my breath. Time dries along these static clasps and worn wires, sharp spikes of color tinting the very air. The bones sigh and resign themselves to these days of sullen tasks and vacant labor. A shift upon some guessed at axis, the world unfurls, all tattered and torn.

I stagger back to familiar defects, the pitch and sway of ill will and bad judgement the sea beneath my stride. The tide runs high, the tide bows down. These moods that chase the tail of the moon. Each tree holds both crown and halo, root and reach the only law. Some hunger, some wonder. The leavings of the streetlight, the reticence of the wall.

The uncertain air wears me like ragged armor, the hesitation of a beating heart, the constant plunder found in flesh. The wind spills and dashes, hunting the ghost of inertia. Everything so faraway, clinging to the skin of another story. Everything so split and withered, omelets measured in all those broken eggs. I am close, or growing closer. The clock wound crisp and cold.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

lousy with stars

Are those the lights of distant fire, burning somewhere between hill and cloud, driving pinholes through the night? Are those the bounds of distant constellations, shine written in point and line, stories spread like breadcrumbs across the void of heaven? Rhyme spoken and rhyme spat, breath given up to the slipped insistence of the road of choice. Those glittering eyes fixed upon some shabby stranger, life passing between the hubris of scattered home and town. The night open and bleeding out all over.

I did not ever carry the flame, only preserved the fire now and again. The clockwork never spoke to me, and my eyes never could see the green. I tend the embers, stir the ashes, as I am flailed by soot and smoke. The wind shivers through the tall pines, these towers of reach and longing swaying in the starlight. I gather the wood and draw the water. I live only through these blood-oaths and origin sins. Hand-outs and left-overs. The sky is silent and lousy with stars.

I ask without questions, want without an end. The rigid press of hope passes through me, another hungry ghost wailing on the highway. I pass these fields and forts, attended only by mutts and strays. The gutters hush and the leaves stall before they all skitter and dance. An owl slides by between tree and sky, the street coursing with wind and shadow. The day awaits us, in all its grace and fury. I watch my step and limp along. Somewhere between these acts and words, the day awaits.

Friday, October 21, 2011

the observable world

The fevered flesh dissolves these favored faiths, all the imagined kingdoms, all the faraway lands. The bitter dose of blood and dust, footprints left in the cool ash and pliant stone. The forgone conclusion of all these fairy stories, the holy ghosts and the heaven sent. Tell the earth all of your sorrows. Tell the sky all your joys. Have a beverage, bring a pillow. It is the comfort of the journey that drives all these errors. It is the determination of the myth maker to have that final say.

I tire of your stories, tire of the endless pantomimes. The weary reiterations of whatever ghost story makes your hearts hum, the bizarre torture apparatuses and strange consolation prizes of whatever hidden king you favor. The sorry palliatives based on mystery, the attachment of purpose to each personal tragedy. Your god culpable in every murder, your god instrumental in every broken child. You have nothing worth claiming, no thought that will make the world one bit better. Just hellfire and sanctimony. Just a book full of reasons that make no sense.

I pace across these memories and graves, the pain of the loss a little dulled by time, but teeth and claws still utile sharp and Nature red. The scars of the heart stitch slow and leave seams that ache and harrow. The joys of the world and its sorrows are of this world. Anything else empties life of any meaning it might accumulate. Anything else is an affront to all our loss and pain. I live here in the observable world. Keep your heaven to yourself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We never worry when the world goes off. The twilight fascinations and the exponential expansion of the imagined. Fairy wings bring bloody appetites to mingle with our skin. All the stars just sparks and embers, the breadth of longings lost to absence and smoke. All these dreams blended fresh from these endless fevers of want and misunderstanding. The lights go low and every haunted morsel of our minds run wild.

Another thought runs a crease across my brow. Another sentiment is weathered into my face. I grind pine needles beneath my feet, the subtle crush of fall running through my every step. I bow slightly before the press of pine boughs, crowned by star and limb. The dogs cavort as an airplane passes. The smoke pauses for a moment, then rises out of sight.

We huddle and we wander, finding fire, trailing smoke. We dream with-in this vivid skin, we paint our pictures upon the surface tensions of our unraveled senses. The way revealed painted by our every long and lack. Soup to nuts the certain is only found in the dim reaches of small circles. Follow the glimmer of the farther fire or learn the secrets huddled on the edge of the night. Our history spelled out in breath and stride. The burden of the road traveled, the sweetness of the road to go.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the inevitable

The course changes even before the choice is made, probability greased with thought becoming possibility, the unseen path opens and closes as if by whim. One outcome exchanged with another, the teeth that rend the flesh exchanged for brambles or barbed wire. The weight of some imagined terror always pushing the mind around. The ache of some remembered wrong only another ghost trying hard to hide the world. I don't know from tomorrow, my thoughts chasing after the calendar and the blade.

The radio won't sing the song you need. The singer won't take your requests. Your name is still chained vaguely around your neck, an anchor for another object that doesn't quite get the drift. Clouds stretch and sigh, pausing to cast a shadow, slowing to shed some rain. The sun is warm in bites and swallows, groping at whatever flesh it finds. There isn't better due upon the horizon. There isn't a reason any better than a rhyme.

I stay my hand again and again. I know that these feelings are not your fault. I know that these thieves and strangers have their own roads to work, their own worlds to lie for. I neither confess or pretend. A song wanders by, a glaring remainder of childhood notions creeping in its wake. Those breathless moments, puzzling out lyric and melody in the hushed comfort of a temporary truce. Safety and certainty cargo cults dropped by accident into that teeming jungle. I left too soon and stayed too long. One answer left that wants me, every question gone off the reservation. By default and definition, the inevitable wins again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


How the light loves you, bathing in the richness of your bare skin, dancing towards the sky. How the day clings to you, the last to leave you to the swaddling shadow and the shuffling dust. Cloistered in blood and ritual you cast your steady spells. Burning just bright enough to catch the honest eye. Burning so deep creation wanders in your wake.

I long to kiss you, meat and bone. That feast of endurance, that famine that no gluttony can sate. You draw down these entanglements like rain from the sky. You wear the wants of others like slight stirrings in the weather. I long to dwell in the moment that you manifest, long to change everything by the sheer intent to remain. We climb, we crawl, we dwindle, we fade. This enchantment claims every morsel left.

It is a fiction, this obsession. It is a trick of emphasis, an adjustment of vision to the limitations of light. Proof always insists on exceeding the limits of the system. I watch the sky stretch into starlight. I watch the last wings of the day fold and scatter. You wander outside my limits, traveling past your bounds as you ripple through this breathless hungry world. I would gather you up, all ash and gravel. Despite your shine I would keep you close. Huddled in my limits, loved like a stone dragged mercilessly to the bottom of the sea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

the story that we started

What thorns there were bit at the flesh there was. What stones there were found their way under heel and toe. The ache flowed from tendon to muscle, anchoring flesh to bone and this wailing to the world. The fields overgrown, the tall grass gone to seed. The frenzied music of feeding birds, their wings rending the wind like paper. The days sailed by, slipping through our fingers. Life slithered on, sliding out of reach.

Rainy nights and tiny rooms, thunder humming in the cheap window glass. Candlelight casting shadows against the ceiling and the walls. The nights clung, the days cantered along. Tomorrow seemed so bright and fertile and a thousand years away, a tomorrow that seemed as if it would never come. For awhile, it never did.

Words tangle as we spit them out, greasy syllables dribbled from oily tongues. The story that we started with outgrows us, changing stripe and feather. No-one says anything for a very long time, and suddenly everyone is talking. Silence slides by, and everything is different except for all the things. The story moves on, leaving some and leading others. The story moves on, without waiting for the words.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I dissolve slowly as the day blows through, trailing snips and snails in these gales of sweat and ash. Clues left where no-one is looking, crumbs dropped despite being well out of the woods. The sky lulls as the flocks assemble. The shadows tremble as the dogs kick up the dust.

The afternoon is given away to these sparks and incongruities. The dull lament of the earth aching for rain, the languid fervor of language, raw and glistening upon the shell. Detail always the known devil, that slip of choice weaving through the dark. The ground swells with muted potential, the slow press of life enduring. New rivers adrift upon the desert of all that ever was.

I leave no stone, no flag, no spark. I leave no story but waves of trash and indolence. The wind wicks away flecks and traces, my history just flesh entombed in this crawling wake, my legacy only the sifting of matter as it shrugs it shoulders. Mass moved and mass held, the strictures of essence mostly a fairy tale played out. Ever after always exceeding the once upon a time. My grave vast and open, growing day by day. My name relinquished to the syllabary of the wandering sky.

Friday, October 14, 2011

that icy smile

It slows us all from time to time, that smile too cool with teeth. The spies stand pole still on the skin, electric rumors everywhere. Beauty so clear and resolute that all that is left is given. The trust that is the main part wonder, every feel all brush and linger. The seduction that ends up merely mostly ploy. The clinging tingling that almost always ends up wrong.

There is that fact of attraction, that solid crush of ache and appetite that sways and pulls upon every sense. Reason is sublimated into coarse service, finding the way through the maze of these inert tongues, blazing the trail of words to follow. Holding hands with these frantic needs and this fallow heart, following these faint leavings deeper into the dark. These holes always have their say, want and lack synonymous inside this slavering flesh.

I forget myself, assaulted by the thrall of beauty. The lights are on but no-one is working the door. All the years and the wounds, all the curses and the spells. The savagery always waiting in the wings, the spattered evidence always next to manifest. The absence of hope or promise or anything even resembling a virtue. The wonder of it all fills the eyes until there is nothing left to see. Eyes clouded with salt and ash, that icy smile feasts in leisure, making meals from each mistake.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It is always hung upon these whims, the vagaries of this nearest faraway star and the chance reactions of the atmosphere. Tethered to the weather, plodding along with the drift of wind and cloud. The day is bright, the day is gray, the day is doomed to be reborn in the crackling shells of its just shed selves. The sun presses its dry lips against my fresh dead flesh, making no distinction between blessing or curse.

This mood then flits, limb to limb, tree to tree. It searches for a position to fix, searches for some thing to wear as battle standard or thorny crown. Swaddling gray or blade's edge blue the feeling will find its fit. Whether wonder or blunt transgression, whether beauty or beast, this heart clots with thieved alibi and stolen hope. Calm always coming before some green change or yellow bolt. Balance always the sign post of some impending fall.

I don't know what to do with myself. I don't know what to make of the day. Each slip of perception, each glazing of stray inkling might wind-up my pole star. What I find might be anything save the way. I feel the bones knitting and the bile as it rises. I feel the sway of green fleetings and brown endurance flow between the boundaries of blood and brain. The warm kiss of sunlight already changing the nature of my skin. The warm kiss of sunlight reminds and remains, the story following another star entirely.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

pass me by

So much for torches being carried. So much for flames that linger and endure. The world burns on and on, still searing from the weight of creation. Molten iron that steams and spews, the passionate irradiation of the immeasurable depths. Not a spark, not an ember follows this road. The only romance left here is that of distance, that certain staggered sweetness of the dissolute.

Never mind the less travelled road. Never mind all the differences-- intended and accidental. I left the trail so long ago that lost itself was left behind. Enthusiasm gets the better of intention for the poorly shaped and partly formed every time. All these stormy romances blown over, leaving hardly cloud or trickle. The habit of loneliness becomes the way, each misstep still leading somewhere. There were maps. There were signs. You get to wear the path that's left you.

A humming bird whirred between the ragged bottle brush bush and the tall scrub pine, fomenting its typical discontent. A teenaged crow baby talks a parent, trying hard to be that squeakiest of wheels. The sky is flat and blue and bereft. I read beneath the pine, slow and dull and spattered with dust and the hair of riotous dogs. Some small fiction meant to pass the time. Some story meant to distract and misdirect. The magic still happens. It is nobody's fault but my own if it happens to pass me by.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

that faraway shine

Lately I imagine those first near whispers of light as they brush so very nearly a kiss across your waking skin. The line after line that push through the blinds, awaiting just the right words as they ladder down flesh and floor. Rows of teeth or pickets in a fence. I treat the dawn like the run-off from your wakeful naked stretching the world alive. So I move from dream to day, and from day to wishing once again.

The stars are strung up high tonight, and the moon so far from home. The ache of autumn reaching, the bare limbs cracking the firmament with silhouettes so heavy they nearly breaking the air above. To hang the dusk upon you and watch the shadows repeat you shape. To bathe you in darkness and moonlight, all eyes wide open and hands I can't keep still. The bitter distance heaven always holds you to.

It does no good to dream. It serves no end to live so enamored of a bitter past. I am the pain boiled down from these bones, the press upon press of all this flesh and age. You cast a long shadow, and I gather at either side of the day. Your shadow falls from that faraway shine, your essence burning a hole through every night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

ready or not

I wake to that sinking feeling, the weight of the world all around me. Swaddled in rope and chain, buried beneath the fitful waves, always just breaking the skin of the sea. That breathless moment when identity closes in, all those words and names battering my flesh. All the claims made and debts owed and wounds that never heal. The ties and binds that drag the living along, whether we are ready or not.

The weather pulls a quick one, the afternoon is dowsed by fickle showers. The usual suspects have their suspicions aroused, all the comforts of closed doors and muddy boots ensue. Little bird conspire in the old bottle brush, raising a ruckus until a scrub jay settles on the line above them. From riot to silence, it happens just like that. Everything always changing, just like always. The silt gray sky weeping just a little, like no-one would notice.

There were sounds and there were colors. There were people and animals, insects and trees. There was stillness and motion, light and then shadows at last. The hours changed each our, the day diminished into yet another night. I walk through this world, out of my depths, out of my league. I trudge along the tensile embrace of each place and moment, always almost ready. Maybe tomorrow, goes the litany. Maybe another day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

bad habits and small rooms

Night clings to the walkways and the windows, headlights sweep the streets. The odd wandering excitement of children sounds sharp and high above the lit-up houses and the ragged yards. The trees settle into their evening breathing even as each leaf is leaving. The moon waxes on and on.

I stand near the quiet thudding of moths on the wrong mission, these fierce collisions of will and wing beating out their absent brains and dusty scales. My eyes are dull and always hungry. I watch the street, I watch the sky. I watch the slow burn of my ill temper paint everything I see. I mouth thorny expletives as if they were prayers. I am useless and unmoved.

My flesh is burned and my limbs are electric, feeling every bit like ending every fight. My beard is a grizzled tangle, itching away at my slab of a face. I can not help but think in blades and clubs, in bones and arteries and wicked needs. Every third person I see seems owed a thorough beating. And so again, I retreat to small rooms and bad habits. And so again, a day open to the world makes a hermit of me before the sun is snuffed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

of song and sand

In truth I had hoped that I would be that song, bright in your memory, woven into your thoughts. That melody that endures despite every year and mile. That tune that returns, not so much from the mind alone, but from the lonely wandering road of the heart. I know that this was just a sentiment to spend on falling stars. In truth, there was no music to me.

Yesterday I watched as the rain swept the streets. Today I saw crows sweep black wings across a sky so clear and blue. Even the still and the stolid never stop moving. Each day the roads open wide, each moment the world wanders wild. Streaks of stars and sparks of lives. Even things that are unchanging do not stay the same.

There was the shine of your eyes capturing the moonlight. There was the music of your laughter caught above the sound of the sea. Our footsteps swallowed by the tide. The path we wore through the nights and seasons. Our journey marked only by salt and sand. I was never a song, never a promise, never a prayer. The world we wandered together gone, the wanderers lost past thought and time. The truth of my hopes all hollow, your heart another city buried in the desert.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

things and places

You wake to rain, you wake to blue skies. You wake to spring only to wake to winter the very next day. Wheels spin with-in wheels. The story runs down and is born again, only with different words and details. The day breaks away from the brittle edge of a dream, and you are there, among all the things and places. You are there, again in the world.

It is the same hands, enmeshed in their tasks and deceptions. It is the same face, plus or minus pain or pleasure or all those years. You shift in your skin, a tide of lapse and hunger creeping inside your flesh. You slow to the hum of these familiar leanings, the creature that clings to the other side of all those mirrors somehow loosed into your life. You chat and banter with all these strangers who claim to know you well.

Day to day you note the difference. A spilled coffee, a skipped meal. Some meeting that runs on and on. Some mistake you know you will be blamed for. A flower by the freeway, a bird on the line. Here you are, as the season slips away. Here you are, alive in this fading light. You sleep, knowing the course of unseen stars. You sleep, knowing the difference in your dreams.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The rain falls and yet you still hold the sky somehow. Less than the silhouette crows or the seething gray. Less than the hint of a whisper. The rain falls and the street speaks your name aloud. The streets fill and somehow your silence soars.

There is that threat of thunder in the spark of your eyes. There is that utter calm granted by your gaze. The day sweeps and gushes, the world painted in an autumn palette. You declare yourself forever in the tilt of leaf and the dance of gutters. Blue veins and red bones, eyes like forever and a smile whetted on the moon. The dull trace of speeding traffic, the slow retort of a storm about to bloom.

A flower sulks in a dark window, bending before open blinds. A bird drinks from the dripping eaves. Feet fall in step with the deepening pulse of rain meeting street. A song silks between drops, from the circled impact to the jeweled rejects of heaven. All eyes follow the spilling skies, sight spattered in these cast off strings. I look towards the passing storm, feeling as if I just missed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


They tell me I will burn forever. I ask them a question, they tell me no, not like a star. Their reasons are ambiguous, their physics preposterous. They tell me they have lives everlasting. They say they share in the kingdom and the glory. I say good luck with that. Happy endings are hard to come by, but endings are all but guaranteed.

I crossed the bridge long after the sun was gone. The murky dusk was spattered with droplets, the horizon streaked with rain. Traffic sped by beneath my feet as the dogs snuffled and panted. Headlights to taillights, bound to rivers of asphalt and ribbons of light. From fit to start, from soup to nuts, everyone heading somewhere hungry for home.

If I had hopes, I could not name them. If I had prayers, they would not rise. The sky was all but empty, heaven only held by clouds and crows. We do float upon lakes of fire. One day for certain the world will burn. I scuff the dust and scan the wide horizon. I sit and smoke and curse. The rain grows steady, the hour grows late. I earn damnation daily in a room so cool and dry.

Monday, October 3, 2011


The rain falls, stirring clouds from the dust, spattering window and street. Mud or gutter, river or drizzle or deluge, it is always the same. The appetite cracked into the earth, the thirsty dirt making its claim. Some cities die of thirst, some cities drown beneath the tide. This town can barely bother to wash. Just the hush of rain spilling through an afternoon. Just the quiet shift in seasons.

I would put it in a letter if I had a correspondent. I would write it down in birds and dusk. Staring out the window, watching the traffic glide. The spatter off the eaves, the burbling of the gutters. A stray cat or a dog between engagements. Music as it trails a car heading somewhere else. Saying nothing is busy work. Words always arrive with strings attached.

The day is condensed, like soup or riddles. The language left over from another set of stories. The tongue that lingers over incantations, the stippled secrets of another world. I empty my hands and pockets, keys and matches and moments long thought lost. Light leaves its every incandescence. The lamp in the house, the candle in the window. Aglow for this slip of a moment, then extinguished despite every shine.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

play, when pressed

Again I say the world is on fire, and my mouth is full of ashes. Again I say the day is done, with shadows stuck to my teeth. I grin that death's head grin, ragged teeth and eyes that are all but dead. I pass the exit, I pass the hat. There's nothing left to do but put the cherry on top and say please. The news never rests once it is loosed. A bullet freed always sounds the same.

I don't rest on my laurels, lacking medal, degree, or honor. I barely manage to sleep through the night. The sky bends to the changes in the season. The weather does its level best to entertain. These claims I make settle amongst the debris and deadfall. This name I carry could disappear without one notice or complaint.

My life is measured in slips and stitches. My story goes the way of dead ends and half clever feints. The notation steps up when there is nothing much to notice. When every thing of substance turns out to be smoke and shine, style is all that is left to take the lonesome lead. False stars and scarred hands, I take the measure of everything that isn't mine. I speak in skipped stones and bare flesh, chance and magic my every move. I speak aloud, though the hour is late and only the walls are left to listen.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


The day dies just like any other. Quiet for the most part, colorful around the edges. The wheels do seem to spin. Every new turn kicking up gravel. Every fresh circle another mad alarm. I do what little I do. I nearly did my part.

Yes I blew all these kisses. Yes again my claims went bust. The detail may shift and scramble, but the story stays the same. Must I stand atop this soap box? Must we go over this all again? I take a few steps and the years blur by. I take my time, just as good as blind.

The air is warm though the breeze seems cool. The night grows dark though everywhere are lights. I scrape a knuckle, I crack my skull, and all my flesh just peals away. The shadows seep and stick, everything burning and bright. I smell powder, I smell blood. The rough pavement whispers its good-byes. The day dies, and I just get up and walk away.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Some days we find ourselves between obsessions. Some days imagination strains. Gaze towards the hill line, bathed in the settled sun. Listen to the work of limb and feather. A song glides upon an updraft. The thoughts just drift or drown.

The lost continent arises from the glibly familiar, the world ignored while chasing ghosts and writing reasons. The scent of heat, the cast of dust. The world as it tumbles around its bonded star, the whirring reoccurrence of day and night into the broad perpetuity. The impotence of description in witness of the thing itself.

I would say I wandered true. I would say I found a path for walking. The day had little interest in any ebb or flow, no course to cry for when it knew I was in the wrong. Sweat and sunburn and the direction of dogs. Whatever words I shed will wear down and ring untrue. The things we claim supplanted by the things we do, history always writing itself obsolete. Whatever tracks I leave will lose their place and wear out any welcome.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

let's get lost

Somehow the heat slips in between me and sleep, and I am barefoot pacing the dusty yard. Somehow midnight whiles past, and I am watching moths wave good-bye. It's always something the mind opines. It's always so close, fingers brushing flesh. The hours drawls as if wisdom awaits.

I seek confusion. So sure that my plodding certainty is the wrong straw clenched, I try to find what I do not identify. Kiss me quick and tamp my brow. The night is a fever caught in my eyes. The night is a blur and a lie. The only road defies detection.

When I wrote this, I had almost forgotten. When I wrote this, all I could do was repeat. The same gray shade, the same brief glimmer. The glamour of some woman without a name. That weight of saying asleep beneath my tongue, that name held gentle. I said it then, as if it was new. I will say it again and again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

broad autumnal

The world doesn't divulge the depths of its feel, the breadth of the draw, the grasp of the limits of light. It only slows beneath these strokes of shadows. It only sleeps in the sense that it dreams without end. The shrieks of the girls in the soccer field echoing through the steel gleam and the painted fall. An owl somewhere nearer to heaven, calling down sign.

The day clings to the beaches, it slows near the rivers. It gives each and every, and then it is gone. We scarcely note the replacement. We are callus and we are fickle, devouring all these lined up lovelies. We are apt and we are hungry. Confession never catches us clear.

I sweat through my shirt as if it was in contest. I fail every test and blame it on the wind. Pine needle and crow feather. Evidence just flings itself at my feet. I will feel this summer for my life and then forget it. I will feel this autumn caught in the constellations peeping through the fence. The world broods on, and I follow my laundry. The word says nothing, and all the words fall down.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

blunt color blue

I favor my swords already freed of stones, quick the better portion of sharp. I favor shedding my shields too soon. The played out poems and the days that bloom like wounds, the dry dust and the dirty water. All these notes of remission left scratching at the window. All these ideas about tomorrow driven over the edge. The fresh blade readied to part the sky, falling through this blunt color blue.

I guess there is a surrender left, overwhelmed by my own bitter nature. The epitaph written beneath this squandered skin. The gravitas of the deep descent. Just old enough to know what is left inside. Somehow still green, catching up with the rest of the class. Somehow broken beneath these impermeable layers of iron and earth. Always ready for the wrong war, the infighting left despite this enduring siege.

I have given up before, and I will give up again. I don't have the grit left for this sort of fight. The sullen battle of attrition, time running out as the ammo is the only thing saved. The flesh abdicates, leaving nothing to pace the floors and watch the walls. Grace only something you used to say before supper. Redemption only another flawed reboot. The sword stuck casting shadows, the sky painted windows blazing as the lights go down.

Monday, September 26, 2011

the slow dissolve

The truth just trickles down your chin, all these stars and sighs and watermarks. Glib sparks that light and heat your smile. The machinations gone up in smoke, the soul gone down in flames. The tale followed into the woods, the crushed mutters of dead leaf and broken wing. Something in that air that bends the air toward ghosts. Something in the dust and humus, the open grave of the slow dissolve.

The crossroads wait in warning, these stories of travelers and mistakes in the dark. The humble dusk, the finger prints of smudged grease and soot. The first words ever spelled out in that dust. A marker by the trail, that sudden stack of stones. These ancient sayings salting our bitter fields. These oldest voices weighing on our bones.

The night arrives. I miss your light. The press of your hip, the heat of your flesh. Those blissful fumblings from the borders of some wished for world. The simple facts that arrive as poetry. The creak and yawn of the dark against the windows. The strangeness of every bed without you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

golden rule

There is a voice far below the sirens, the scratching of roots, the whispered shifting of stone and soil. There is a call stitched to every shadow, a beacon bound to every star. The night, the day, the flow and stagger. The fairy winged mosquitos. The night birds with their wings of ghosts. She speaks to skin and soul.

It isn't enough that my name eludes me? Isn't enough that every word has dried up and blown away? The moon presses down with every breath. With each breath the appetites increase. The last hurrah and the blue abandon. That first kiss wonder always hiding just over the rise. The way the eye always slides towards that bright horizon.

I am not so much lost as drawn more subtle. I am not so much burnt out as learning to abide these flames. The hush is heavy without the levity of distant voices. This season but the tide run low. You may search or pry, you might hunt and stalk. Your sights might find me greased with moonlight and a pause in the wind. The rule is never simple get or get got. Law must always find the water level. That same call behind every fickle shine. If you see me, I can see you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

no photo

The day grinds on, all gasp and hush, all spill and greed. The sky is staggered sun and clouds, blue and white and all manner of yellow muddling through heaven. The light still knows the feel of your skin. The night still cups its hands to gather your tears. This I know, though I can not prove it. This I know by way of bone and blood and clumsy memory, the truth so seldom held until it has been abandoned.

You took the pictures, you kept the proof. Together, then apart. Forever, then never again. There were letters, there were witnesses. Not one thing, no one soul to trust. We all inherit our failings along with our virtues. Eventually there is no way to distinguish one from the other. The villain proves the victim, the saint proves only another beast. All our history reverse engineered from how it ends. Even gone all these decades you paint the scenery with your improvident absence. Even without you here, you drown the day.

I have been cursed and reviled, attacked and endured and finally forgotten. Everybody gets to be Ozymandias over time. My effigy burned in ashtray and photographic ash, the very idea of me a fury in your heart. I could never have replied in kind. You are tattooed on the inside of my eyes, you are stitched into the shadows beneath my skin. There is no photo to remind that I can not forget. There is no switch to flip that can turn off this light.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The sun goes down and everybody has dropped the ball. I don't know the color of the sky, or the way the landscape shone and faded as the light dispersed. I don't know a thing about the forecast storm or the rumblings to the west. For someone that traveled no farther than thirty yards today, I am all over the map. For someone without any information, I sure seem to have a lot to say.

There are shadows on the ceiling. There are books stacked upon the floor. I am still like a stone, washed in electric light. I am quiet like a corpse, laid out on clean sheets. I smell of sweat and dog and smoke. Indolent flesh and an unsettled mind. Idle words spoken to no-one at all.

Another day has slipped through my grasp. The wheel has turned again without note. No pen or picture, no grace or regret. Hours shed like smoke, every memento a kind of fire. I am the levity of meat, the weight of rumor. Maybe tomorrow the words will match the deeds. Maybe tomorrow I will tell you something true.

Friday, September 9, 2011

storm warning

This is how my breath escapes me. This is how the night unfolds. Clouds clot, heat lingers, so much taken as settled when it is only the conflict that plods. The world swept in peals of light and shadow, turning for the ten thousand reasons that do not include you or me. We refract and genuflect, the long yawning continuity of life scurrying against the edge of the razor. These gasps and inspirations as common as carbon, as ordinary as the calling tide and the climbing moon.

Some places boil, some places bake. Some towns drown and some go bone dry. Every course and happenstance without words to call or prophesize. We differ in tongue and prayer, vary in calm and cataclysm. So much confusion between luck and fate, between advantage and dominion. Call down the sky, defile the earth that owns you. Pretend that your stories will ever come close to the truth. Believe what you will, the earth will still tremble and the rain will still fall.

The moment comes and all reason is in remission. The fevers and demons that curdle thought and affect break and dissolve in the wake of each mistake. Awake in another broken body, come to in another nightmare. Passions play havoc, and all the alarms are spent. You can watch the enduring stars. You can try to sleep at night. Foolhardy or as wise as all time, it is your mind committing these crimes of need and fury. It isn't who you are. It isn't what you do. It is the turmoil of every wager being settled at once. It is the prison of our common error, mistaking our wishes for the world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the moth in the pine

Another love letter, and I am nowhere to be seen. Even the moon arrives before me. Always the shuffling in the dust, forever that mistaken constellation. You are the measure between the limits of the mirror and that relentless escape of light. You are the crossroads of this wishing and all lingering proof. You are my thoughts caught in slow nightfall. I sit still, another inscription written in ice, awash in the moth light moon.

There is no secret to me. These words I trail like breadcrumbs, like the endless entangling of summer growth or winter beards. I cast them intending your steady breath, cast like the salt of your lips. The whole portion plated, that compliance of sensation and belief blowing smoke and shedding spark. Love another name we give to reckless limit. The dreamer lost in that power of the dreamings end.

The tongue always trails the plodding of time. All these stories buried in the slow frames of waterway and mountaintop. These words that heel after the numbered of the hunt. If there was a heaven, it endures in your gaze. If there is tomorrow it is clasped in the smoldering of your blood. That travelers' wisdom to know that there are many strangers fated to your road. You are the path of correlation and all my longing, the breath of the moon upon bare flesh. That whisper of the moth in the pine.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The earth shifts, the air you just inhaled seems to slip away. Something sour blooms, something unclean at your very core. The bile choked back whispering acid up your throat, teeth clenched to hold back the inevitable. The sickness holds sway over the senses. The sickness rises from the depths of the void.

Unwell, the hours clot, teary eyes dousing any semblance of a spark. Count the spiders on the ceiling like they were the stars in the sky. Count the minutes between motions, aloft in the engine of these sorry tides. Too hot, too cold, sweating out sickly chills, gooseflesh and dreams sunk to the depths of the ocean's graves. This moment marked by the ending of the last. The perpetuity of vile superstition as the flesh mingles with its ending.

The soul clots, the clabber of matter aware of its bent. The world grinds out its spells and symbols, the hash marks of each struggle lost to the next. Our time treasured or squandered, passes away just the same. Adrift on the skin of this existence, guts knotted and mind on fire. This life sticking to each tooth and nail, everything crash and tremble. Everything so hard to swallow.

Friday, September 2, 2011

abject permanence

The time runs down, all our days a mingling of mistakes of action and mistakes of thought. Tomorrow ends up our only orphan, all the lights left on and the fan blowing soft. The ants on the high branches, the sweat trickling down my shoulders and chest. The mythology of the moment forgiveness and the fleeting glimpse of object permanence. The facts of the matter lost too long ago to measure.

Leave me to the open air, let me lay beneath the stars at night. There is no better use to bind me. The blue moods, the red rages, the black expanse between immodesty and remorse-- the machine can be counted on to replicate each failure perfectly. There are impulses and motives to color the scene, aims to each point and shoot simplification, remnants of archived purpose rooted in meat and bone. The sky can say grace while the earth shifts and swallows. The night will play me out.

The calendar fills up with poison, random number provide all the reason ever caught. Crowds gather and crowd dissolve, ant hill sermons from mountain prophets, heaven just the glitter of broken glass on the curb. The wind takes its portion in dust and droplets, the rain leaves its calling card in deluge and flood. Tell me all your tired secrets. Sell me all your imaginary friends. I will go where-ever the words wash up once they have served their purpose. I will follow whatever star still burns.