Monday, February 28, 2011

no expectations

The sun has had its say, the day blue and blinding, the road long and steady. Traffic is the answer, who am I, why am I here, those dullards questions cast towards the sky and stars. Traffic is the course of time spent on strangers, of these lonely crowds. Tumult and cacophony, riot and calumny, the trials of the ordinary, the trauma of the everyday. I watch raptors catch the high wind. I watch the world abide as I drive on dully in a row.

Dusk has gone through the motions, shutting all the curtains and pulling down the blinds. All the light left trickles and shines, seeping out of windows, spilling into the street. Stray cats yowl and scrap, making claims and marking borders. There is the garbage can clatter and the clop of heavy feet. The gutter's thirst is never slaked, its hunger never sated. Night is the only notion left us, where the clocks run down. Night is all we have, here where every hand is emptied.

You call down the shadows, wound tight in the tidings of the night. You shed skin after skin, change with every touch and tether. You are the orphan of dreams and the bride of the midnight chimes. I chide you with each bone deep ache, carve such pretty valentines from your smile. The hour stretches, full of song and strain. Even the most precious blessings are bound to the pull and press of time. Even the most cherished bruise will fade, your face falling from the light.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The night burns on, all the gods loosed hounds, the wind running wild in the woods. Ice makes its claims, every proportion a number nearer the end. The ache in the back, the pinch between the shoulder blades. The strange revelation of the self dissolving, the chorus full of wires. It is work, this trend in the weather. Cold like the loss of possibility, dark like a secret shared in bed.

Thoughts fall, tousled by unseen forces, tangled in light and shadow. Asleep in the dust, aglow in tides of hunger and television fantasy. Dreams drizzle over you, dusting your flesh with songs of fury and release. The holes worn through your unsettled soul are torn open again and again, wormed through by all manner of odd confluence. Someone mouthing the words of another, someone losing everything but their temporary name.

The blunt force of morning finds its mark, opening again eyes crushed and bruised by the weight of seeing. Old troubles subside as fresh problems wake, the clock and the calendar, the arrow set free into the naked sky. You bend this body until it breaks, then you assemble the shards, standing at attention to whatever flag unfurls. The bright sky and the cold earth. Every kiss bitter, every promise only breath parting lips.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

here at the end of the world

There is dust on the door hinge. There is a spider by the basin, a cold touch to each breath. Darkened hallways bleed into darkened streets, ill lit and lonely from the curb to the crosswalk needing paint. The phone is there, resolute in that profound stillness felt only to those living in the wrong world. The whole bluff unravels, awaiting only that last report.

You feel it all as it catches up, the fleeting years and the crawling hours. The plodding of that numbed heart, the certainty of that clumsy flesh. Each embrace a kind farewell, your eyes full of feigned regret. Flecks of ash, coils of smoke. The last winter, gathered all about, children circled for a story. Buzzards circling for a feast.

It isn't only that all the words ran down. It isn't only that the distances proved too far, that all the stars were only painted on. There was a choice, a road stolen while everything slept. There was a way that wasn't built so entirely of lies. The dead take their portion as they dutifully palaver, flies so thick they look like ink. Nothing written will be read again, here at the end of the world

Friday, February 25, 2011

past tense

You can always call me when the dark awakes you, so soft and sharp. You can always find me where the night resolves its shine. The cold is there, drifting in vast distance. The cold is close, all the feeling bleeding away from each fingertip, warmed with huddled breath. You could call me, now that the ice arrives.

The flag erupts all feel and color, in this slim memory, this latest slip. Just this afternoon toiling down the freeway, the sky spattering the windshield, the buzzards in the sun. The wind calls the names, the wind drives the rain. The traffic that untangles as you drift between the lanes. Only these hours left behind me. Only these voices painted with wet tires.

The day ends, and I can feel the minutes adding up, these sudden aspirations. I lean into the slow knowing of the meagerness of this endurance, the aimlessness of these scripts and scars. The night arrives, and I am left with only past tense. The words acquired by the gathering of accident. The slow betrothal of zero to zero, the name of everything unsaid.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

five crows

The moment shatters, opened wide by that sharp laugh. That abrupt call falling against the hush of the rain, guttering the gray as it lapses into black. The whole sky seems a riot, the calm scattered like some less enduring flock. For a moment the world is endless. For an instant life is all there is.

I mind my place, shivering along the edge of the storm, the last place culture lives and still stays dry. I keep my council, wrapped in a bundle in a pocket, barely as warm as the breath I spend. I arrive before the caterwaul, that place between the pacing of the strays and the cooling of the rain. I wait along this ancient course, carrying shadow and shroud, tending whatever fire I can find. Every story seems to start along this road. Every day departs the same.

This is the rain keeping its schedule, my company always this kindly unrequite. My love always trailing off, unkempt and unsaid. This is the last sign I read as the night grinds darker, so cold and sweet. The words only there to find more words, every god a ghost in the wings. Trying to explain the world alive from the reflected drizzles of dwindling light. Trees and rain and dripping rooftops. Five crows flying west, the last birds I would know by name.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a gathering dust

It is all branch and wind, though then you did not know it. Then it was all the way the stars sifted down like that dream of first snow of the season. Brittle bright, and cold all the way through, the wind spoiling for a fight. That press of pavement rising through your spine, no moon waning in sight. That surety of dust waiting beneath your feet.

I pause for a sandwich. I let the memory linger, tinkering with the machinery of tooth and tongue. Try a new mustard, think about that feeling, watching the stars and sky. The house a maze of want and neglect. Dust clinging to everything I touch.

You wait there, puzzling through the ruins. That last day neither bright or bleak. Just too much like the others, the steady gaze of that machine of all tomorrows. The calendar written for you too earnest. That mirror of seasons, the epochs shining dull across the blind ice of time. There beneath the blur of heaven, your life a gathering dust.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


There is only air and effort, the shape of keen wings carving ladders from the wind. The days struggle by, full of broken oaths and the early-bird robins. Crows on the streetlamp, sparrows feeding in the green beside the meridian. Cranes and egrets on the wing in the gray tailed dawn. Woodpeckers heckling squirrels just past the window. The vultures rise above it all, riding some updraft, roping in the sun.

I am witness only that I am watching. I see wings spread and fold, see the flocks disperse and assemble, deeper than any mystery hidden in some holy text. Higher than the hand of heaven. The earth encumbers my every thought and mood, its machinery so thoroughly woven through my bones. It is my bounds and I am its burden, all heavy limbs and weary eyes. All salt and gristle and letters never read.

It seems simplicity's own soul, these swoops and ascensions. It seems a wonder and a theft. They escape our conception and enter our dreams, those brittle wings unwound. Feathers bright or dull as fallow fields and cracked asphalt, there is a magic outside intention that we hunger and clamber towards. Flight not as a power but as a fact. The flocks and swarms slicing through the bright blue and the sober gray. The exposed clockwork never a clue as to the workings of the world.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The cold clings, like the sifted light of stars. It clings, that fearsome chill of time beyond knowing. The world slows on and on, the winter wind and the stolen moon. I huddle down here with trees and pavement. That least veneer that is the common character of every life. A shimmer, then a shiver. Darkness always that distance left to light.

I wear the ache and that slip of respite, nature the name of chance just tossed about. Pressed against these planes and schema, pasted over these nestings of breaths and claims, I slip and spill. These failings of rusted steel and rotted wood, of sunken ships and reef wrecked dreams. Standing before the shifting skies, another subtle exclamation beneath the far horizon.

The day begins too dark or bright, and every time too soon. Sleep bereft of your embrace, left glowering in the tangle of lost dreams. Steam from the shower, steam from the cup. Tail lights streaming on beyond the blur of vision. The waking world taking you at your pace, the mystery trailing away.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

in the blood

Just like that the weather changes, the sun swept away, curling tails of smoke lost is this sudden gray. I read a little while longer, my coffee going cold, ash flecking my every touch. It is funny to feel that feeling as it leaves, fingers going cold and numb. Smoke leaving lips, steam whipped into the gathering wind.

You have that astonished gravity, arriving nearly in the flesh in my mind, every sense craving your weight in my world. It is the taste of teeth about to savor, the feel of a tongue discovered living between that legion of daily words. I say it because it is how you always steal my breath, every exclamation finally finding aim. So close to be still out of reach, almost to near to touch.

I know it is only words, somehow left against these blank expanses. I know it is only that way of wishing away all the gaps and wounds. But that kiss survives, despite all cold artifice. That kiss remains, a familiar turn learned in infancy. It is something in the blood, burned there by dearth and luxury. A fire where only you are found.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


There is the song of the gull, gliding alone in that swathe of gray. There is the sprawl of mud and weeds, stones and the first glimmerings of spring. There is that dissolution, smoke and steam and the upended sky. There is the rain, there is the chill, there are wings unfolding above. The bonds of the earth endure in these tensions without respite.

It is the limitation of memory, that skinned mirror depth, that unflattering clarity. You move as if submerged or consume, lithe and unrelenting. You stretch and curl and reach for some distant with-in. It is that feeling where these wanderings dance and glide, the picture in the puddle, black feathers and raw throats. This song that always is lost in the cloying details of the day.

The life allowed is always the thousands denied, this changes of season and costume, these mistaken translations and shorter forms. My fingers slow, chilled by weather and colored with smoke. The least touch both a loss and a burning, the confession of so many empty crimes. I wake each day without the burden of the risen sun. I wake each day, the same skimmed notions and earnest growls. I am again a little further down the mountain, a little farther up the road. I scatter my ashes while the winter takes its portion, while life burns so brightly away.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I am that strangest music, the song played out at last. That familiar sound lost in the static whisper of the rain, bitter innocence now only this wounded tongue, this lapse into sheer translation. The days as cracked as the sidewalk, as hands worn through from that idyll work. The nights so near that they cling to your clothes, a lover's breath having left.

There is something in want of warmth in the prose of so cold a night. There is something dashed and admonished in the whet and hew of such an fitful proposition. These admissions that would never ask, plain faced and without shame the observed demands of place and time. The redundancy of punctuation when the weight of the words fail to hold. The clemency of a desire so vaguely felt and surely met.

You try to find the world, giving your reasons to the havoc of the waves and the gleanings of the sun. You make up the gaps by always falling through, leaping into yet another tether. It can only follow so fast when going so far. It can only be captured by losing the way. It is not so much the song, but the seeming. The sound of rain soaking through.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The heart settles its business in separate chambers, behind creaking hinges and rushing rhythms. The fitful little mysteries, the frightful tussle of blood and breath always measured by rise and run. These going concerns of life and love and weather, pressed tightly against the ache of ribs. These simple missions of dull resistance and noble sacrifice.

You feel your shadow stretch, moving beneath the tattered sky. That push painting you as shape and stillness as light pours all around. The guileless radiance of this bathing in heat and shine. The sun dwindles into another dead-eyed horizon, and you feel for a moment like a picture trapped on paper. You linger in that distance, a picture outside its frame.

The day will come when the story runs aground. The day will come when all the words run dry. This scatter-shot season of traffic and sirens, of rain storms and sun-burn and the vagrant wind. All the hopes and reasons buried in indifferent dust. All the dreams and burdens at last undone. The heart beaten into stillness, the heart battered by stair and hall. The story plays out, and every telling left to tomorrow's voices waiting to try its luck. Tell me again of all this terror and this glory. Tell me the story of the heart that found a way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


All through the day the sky was a riot. Birds rising up on the winds that are sweeping down. Sunlight warming the icy spray that this storm would make of rain. Hail riddling the skin with a copse of shivers. The whole world whipped into spheres and change.

I fell asleep, trying to shrug off the day with drowsy whims, dreaming of ache and hush. I woke in the dead dark of an unlit room, swaddled in the odd tectonics of restless sleep. A tangle of sheets and blankets, a pillow shrugging off its case. Finding clothes, a chill beset me. Human shreds finding the resonance of ice.

The rain treads on, all pause and stagger. The wind wilds by these conspiracies of flesh and cloth. Outside I idle, lounging into the heft of a stretched spine, that unslung reach towards ease. The street is cluttered with waste paper and puddles. Traffic scuttling on with a slickened hush. I spread my fingers through the cold diving sky, every ache an urge set free.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Will I ever know this bliss again, the rush of the trees as they rise, the rain threshing away each breath. The slow dissolution, that weight of embrace, this blood owed to wild tides and distant shores. That sense of holding closer than flesh and lost forever at once. That scale of hearts and deeds, that devotion like barest dreams upon a mirror, always in truth the opposite of every seeming. So near to the world there is nothing to let go.

This season is the harvest of smoke, the wandering beneath crystal stars, trailing plumes of steam and wonder. This blood worrying the air as heat becomes a yearning, life a craving of aching bones, a striving to endure for that next question, a knowing of the eternal press of change. The rain stitches up sheer curtains, pummeling car and pavement, beading bright in the headlight stretch. That droplet cold against bare lips, that trembling neither grimace or smile.

You understand how I found this, that deafening drumming, that first sight of the worshiped ape. The retelling of King Kong in wonder not of the towering beast, but of the feast of ritual. That strange pagan yearning towards the power lurking all around, that restlessness of ordinary touch, my fingers and their love for busy wandering. The simple pleasure of unfastened zips and buttons, the trust of flesh finding its way, loosed upon the waiting world. Something so close to a kiss, so near to perfect in its dwindling love.

Monday, February 14, 2011

don't look back

My how the brambles rise, into the dead of the night. My how the briars entangle, that bare but beating heart. The moon swells, blunt and bloated among the clouds. The tide resolves these troubles with a life without love. The flesh feels taut, so full of bone and blood and feeling. The skin feels crisp, ready for the least wind to peel it away.

I shift on my feet, feeling each leaf and twig, the dross left awry, scattered upon the cast-offs of the earth. The dusk is gray shavings and clinging mist, touching my face with the ease of unstoppered time. Fragments of granite and quartz sunken into the mud, every rock a marker, every stone a story. Adrift of the leavings of light, the tailings of a day undone, old love litters given way to shreds and mulch. The storm lets loose a long sigh, tree limbs swaying, reaching for some buried depth of sky.

It was traffic and tail-lights. It was the cold dregs of the morning coffee. It was the belabored reasons of a wounded mind. These trimmings caught in that tide, the lively words and the bitter tongue. I read aloud to children, telling stories we all knew could not be true. I read aloud, words spilling like rivers. Words falling like rain.

Friday, February 11, 2011


You will find my name left in ruins, skeletal cacti and that half a moon so far away. It sticks like twilight shadows, desperate to touch every skin. It falls like rain, soaking each breath through. It clings like kisses, that flavor of sulk and surprise. Lit dimly, only finding focus further past alone. Something carefully forgotten, never spoken of again.

This is that sky, so far away. That least hint of a chill spilling down in the night. The prayer for rain answered in paint and fire, clouds tattered for as long as seeing lasts, the horizon all burning rags. This is that depth reached towards or dug down where the stones do not go. That mass only found in shadow, that scripture of flowers and shreds. The call so hoped for, so far from this least reason, so near it might bite.

Twilight left all of the sudden, silhouettes of mosquitoes and the moon up atop the tree. Every step was something brittle and certain, an open door letting out all the light. Leaf and twig, flesh and bone. Walking so uncertain and so artless, some comic rhythm left for the weather to devour, something for the season to sink through. You wouldn't know me if you knew me, so much grace and luck. You will not find me curling smoke towards the stars, waiting for your voice. Just that word, spat out like so much rind.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Rust devours every tool. The weeds have won the yard. Every season has its prayers and litter, to cover up the landscape and scatter to the wind. I type with such brittle skin, tight as a drum, desolate as a tomb. The air touches my flesh with its cool dry cadaver's kiss, rewarding survival with whatever blight is convenient. The dusk fills with mosquitoes and stars.

It is that first music, this pull and sway of wind, this gather and release of weather. Those skintight rhythms, bodies bound to become the song, singing all breath and blood and the livid air. We gather in small conspiracies and unwound mobs, we turn from crowd to couple to wandering gaze without missing a step. In full stride that music finds us, woven seamlessly into life's vast tapestry.

The air is certain of our disrepair, faces lined and leathered, drinking every tear. We dissolve slowly into the earth and open sky, wind and soil taking their portions. There will always be sacrifice. This price is something money cannot belay. Our vicious whispers, our orphaned eyes, staring into a dense digital oblivion. Bones ache, bandwidth reaching out through every limb. We rust beneath this empty night, breathing each measure in, exhaling our angels into the depths of the sky.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


The ants always win, gambling with their lives. That endless crawl towards possibility becoming eventually life itself. That clarity of hunger and aim, the trails towards feast and oblivion. That endless procession that reward the patience to change. They are devout in their clamorings, rigorous in their rituals. Victory is only the plural of all mistakes and the paths that stay true.

I distill these stolen words, these half-blind observations, smoke seeping into the greedy wind. The dust littered with sprouts and ash. The lingering of a phrase, that warning of some distant fire. The things I say, I will say again, as I break and break against the new. Some breathless promise, some tidy phrase, the effortless way my praise has of finding you.

We ripen in our excesses, in the things we must simply take too far. We always learn, seldom the right lesson, almost never by heart. It takes crowds and walls, strays and fences. It takes border guards to enforce the fantasy of borders. It takes only words to reenforce our most cherished fictions. Nothing noble, nothing pure. We keep what works, the rest decays into myth. These swarms of stories, these golden days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the king of sad mountain

The blank page is imagined. A wind that descends like a seabird on some landlocked town, a gull bitterly voicing its contempt for what the sea does not provide. It falls in wave after wave of failed words, it gathers, a slice of static freed in the mind. Some sort of ritual or homage, a remainder from a language long lost, a notion from that place where history and reality were the same. It is the press of gap and time, the dismay of creation awaiting.

I never knew you before your apostasy, can not name the claim that changed you. Only the agnosis of your gaze, that fire that makes one ache for burning. Somehow always upon that cusp of the flag set aflame and the native anthem, always dancing on the brink of some perpetual fall. Something in the weight of lips parted, in that fateful glimpse of ready teeth. Something in the argument you always were, in the condition I was always in.

Here on sad mountain we always await each change in the sky, our heads rising in flitting hope. The roads are slow and often end in apathy, some little room, some dying light. We huddle in the icy light, we burn in the heartless dusk. We say what we say as if in jest or prayer, all this air going somewhere, all this world dissolving into time. We scatter our words, wanting others.

Friday, February 4, 2011


It begins, clinging like summer cotton, that breath of flesh and fever. The sun smeared across these small epiphanies of steel and pavement, the sky always going somewhere. The travel across these set pieces of speed and drama is that masque where the dance is always trailing off, lost in limb and thought. The empty tribute of life to these labors of vain abandon, the romance that is always smoldering in your eyes.

Dusk weighs in, stippled with stars. The flocks fly towards some distant roost, alight on graceful silhouette wings. The trees sway, their limbs all reach and spirit. The shadows engulf each empty space, touching every surface, holding all things close. Smoke spills and curls, proof of some grinding fire. Strangers wander past with the labored gait of ghosts.

It ends, fleeing like winter light, that breath of ice and absence. The stars spill along fence and rail, the sky trawling the sea and fields. All this wander, worn shoes and troubling stones, roads and homes and woods. The shambling of unseen beasts the only music evident in this wide open world. The promise of another day, the rhythm that is always sounding through your veins.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

bone structure

Life's a mystery. The stars venture us only ghosts, so far and sharp and brittle. Hinting only of a depth that we could not see. Whispering mass through every scar and fissure. The beauty is always the hardest part, out here where the words thin down.

I grant your grace is mostly architectural, that modest posture strictly always swaying, acknowledging the weight of weather, the pallid hand of atmosphere in filling out the differences. I see the thought built into that honest skull, so bright with that act of burning. You hold still, as if in flight. You cast shadows with a gentle smile. It is the strength with which you cease to wear the world.

It is true, though that isn't why I say it. I am honest though all these reasons are wrong. The gravity of this want that awakes these needs with-in me. How faithfully you hold all these secrets, these conspiracies of love and limits. How artfully you dodge the answer that can only make you whole. You are lovely in these bounds and breaks. The moon hidden above mountains in winter. The winds embracing the breadth of the ocean each night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


There is nothing that does not nettle. The way your skin radiated sunlight, the way your hair smelled of the sea, all those tangled nights so near to forever. That this life is traffic and missteps, that the winter sun will burn my flesh, that I am bound to this world by the tensile strength of beauty and dreams. My opening bid is that of adversary. My opening line is almost always goodbye.

The moon is all but gone, and the winter has settled its teeth into my flesh. The rooftops are dusted with constellations, the glimmering remnants of campfire stories and origin myths. Each street begins another tale, every sidewalk is littered with indifference. Cars drive by, into and away from the night. The hour waxes as the moment wanes. I haven't a thing to say.

There is too much living left swaddled in steel. There is too much time wasted punching a sorry clock. A soul boiled down to sentiment and vitriol clanks and steams along. Tell me there is a difference that will leaven the sum of all these partings. Tell me there are bullets left to shut off all this light. Tomorrow lingers just past the horizon, an oath of warmed air and bent tongue. Someone is waiting, a dreamer made of faith and fevers. Something is coming, an aim masquerading as an end.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The day winds down, the night is loosed-- something seems a bit familiar. Outside the wind clatters, the voice of the atmosphere, the reach of the sky. I know I have seen this before. The depth of shadow, the thrust of cement. The roads that run and run. Maybe it's only me, but I am pretty sure I have done this to death.

The words are only the symptoms. They are strung along on unwashed flesh, they bead like grease or water. They compound and aggregate, they swarm upon the skins of things both visible and hidden from detection. They are eager to leave the things that anchor, trying to become the meaning themselves. It is this vast chasm that grants the shape that saying makes us long after. The notion that there are reasons for too many words, or too few.

I am bone tired, sick of much of what each day has to offer. Not much of a sieve sort a story from the gleanings of this world. Not much of a wright to straighten out the weathered timbers and the splintered beams. Just an unreliable narrator muttering through the tyranny of the ordinary. Not the average, just the mean existence. A cliche of a cliche. A language cobbled together from grunts and screams, written in slow circles, speaking only of itself.