Tuesday, May 31, 2011

five swords

The first one is drawn with your breath, that first gasp before wailing your way into the world. The second one you meet early, sharp or hot or dark or strange, wielded against you always by the waiting world. The third one comes from comfort, the safety of house and home, the stability that allows for your dreams. The forth one is the one that fails you, the blade that breaks when you need it most. The last one you wield from the inside out, the weight that you carry in the place where you wear your name, the one that is only lost when you are dead. Even when your hands are empty, even when your eyes are closed. These swords are never sheathed.

It isn't that the world is at war. It isn't that day is lost. The streets wander and turn, rivers of tarmac covering every breath. We spread cement and we weave the wires and we seed our cities with words without roots or veins. We are always knots and ropes. We are always either caught or released. The world is always turning, changing faces and shedding skin. The fight is always there, inside and out. Every moment is the one that is last.

It feels as if I just stopped falling. My limbs and spine feel like bricks have been battering my bones. The haunted halls and empty rooms whisper and growl, the sickness loosed and brutal. Sleep howls and the wind blows through me. Traffic crawls along the streets, and the sky just slipped away. The day is gone and the night is distant. Eyes wide open, hands leaden and empty, a coldness crawls through me. I keep counting as the numbers run down. I keep counting in blackened blades and birds on the line.

Monday, May 30, 2011


The light that was left clung to the walls, slipping from each open eye, sticking in all this blood and shadow. Each skin and every flesh, each breath and notion, tide to tide, river to sea. The bent shine of these extinct stars, the albedo of your slippery smile, this confluence of atom atop atom. You cast these spells with each inkling. You change the roads with every whim and turn.

There is a hint of motion blurred against the background. There is a glimmer of spider silk, some lithe suspension, some ancient whispered filaments lit in periphery. The armies crushed beneath careless feet, the multitudes expressed lush in gut and dust. The flesh grays, the bones surrender. I lean against the doorway, lingering between the in and the out. I lean into the empty mirror and the dark window, all tomorrows turning into glass.

There is light resting just outside your window. There are moths battering at your door. The moon dissolves as the sky turns into memory. The air nests close, awaiting your next breath. The magic knits cell after cell, the only known quantity cling and part. In between stone and earth, stitched into every fiber and flesh, something claimed and beckoned abides. These scribbled incantations written on the inside of your heart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


First you trouble the rushes, first you bend the reeds, then you leave this world with painted wings. Then you rise into the seeping blue sky and fly away. We chase you our thoughts and wishes, we nettle you with our names and words. It seems that you are always just around the corner. It seems as if you are always almost home.

Ink and stitching, wind and sky. None of this seems probable. Here gravel and thistle, here asphalt and paint. The road gives out, though it unwinds forever. The stars are lost, though they flirt with the eternal. Blood seeps and eyes water, scratched and torn from all this missing. We weep and ail, mortal coil and earnest portion. We reach and reach, never touching long enough to hold.

You come to us in fever colors, you come to us along the lonesome borders of dreams. You were there before knowing, you were there before the dawn. Bare flesh beneath a naked sky, old wounds that never heal, the scars where eyes once were. The wires bundle and tangle, the least current chattering like teeth, the power left on though the house is long since empty. There is a promise to you, never spoken aloud. There is a promise to you that you never said you'd keep. You leave to follow whatever fortunes call you. We are left believing there must be something left to see.

Friday, May 27, 2011

the auld triangle

The town just lays there, beneath the impositions of sun and wind, baking and wasting away. The maze of shabby streets winds and wanders, trash strewn gutters and abandoned homes telling stories that no one bothers to hear. Road after road offering a diminishing sense of nowhere, lane after lane of luckless desolation. Shopping carts shipwrecked in the shrubbery, fences and sidewalks tagged with embarrassing earnestness. The whole map should be labeled with a warning. Everything either drab or destroyed.

The dogs and me see enough of it. We travel through the mornings and the afternoons, streets both empty and settled, these hours bleeding out in florid torrents and brash exaggeration. The old dog now largely deaf and suffering cheerfully through his canine dementia with new and concerted efforts to attack any other dog he sees; the younger dog a one-eyed terrier, bundling her anxiety into a live-wire excitement that frightens most dogs twice her size or smaller, and attacks the determined interest of pit-bulls, shepherds, and any generally large and assertive breed. We meet lots of other travelers. We meet even more pretenders to whatever crown is imagined by the varied would-be kings of whatever heap or hill is there to be claimed.

Out here in the dregs of the commuter held bedroom suburbs the desperation settles like the ash of some vast inferno. Vacant lots where businesses once stood, parking-lots given up to weeds and heat, crows sorting out the acres of refuse laden cement and the fields abandoned to ache and neglect. Little stores where the very conceit of entry sets the owners into bouts of seething suspicion. The weary pavement, the dull witless menace of reflected heat, the brittle toothless meth pirates patrolling their endless beats. I take my time, I go through my empty motions. I make my mark, knowing no end of sentences to serve.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The dreams they reach long after their reach is squandered, the sails they set bound for the bottom of the ocean, the stars they follow just the fizzle of ice and breached atmosphere. The wings they spread not yet ready to steady them in flight, they take to the sky and fall just a little slower. The broken fall a first flight, the tide of sleep long since lost to the dusk. Ants clambering to the task of the dead bird in the gutter. The fledgling crying out from the low part of the fence.

The bite set into the bitter, the smile broken, caught in the tall weeds of this enduring sickness. The day battered by gust and breeze, wheezing on its hinges, banging into the building. Hunger and thirst lost in fields of anise and thistle, of ragweed and burr clover. Bee and blossom, thorn and wound, everything lost and counted. The tinny inscription, the untuned guitar. Every piece, a party to the grand conspiracy. Every part a cleaving towards the whole.

I am that last message sealed in a bottle. The djinni shed of everything but the containment. The magic sawed clean through. My back bends, my shoulders sag, the bones all chant their lamentations. The fallen star, the baby bird, the reckoning of nest and hive. Chained to the turning and the tithe, that price claimed by tribe and clan, the pirate booty and third law recanted by the backwash of gravity's tepid onslaught. The air above is bowed and blue, startled looking as the last light leaves. I am entombed in these unsettling claims, the distant voices, the slivered moon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The prophecy isn't so much in the reveal but in the preparation. The tuning of the language until almost everything suggests the outcome. Shoving that sword into the stone. Play your cards just right, leave enough between the lines and just out of the shot, and your genius will continue to sing through the ages. Play your cards right, and two thousand years from now someone will be using some off-hand remark you recorded as evidence against the marriages of couples you don't even know.

The sky that tumbles, the savage turn the weather brings. We can blame it on the gays, we can blame it on the unbelievers. We can say that the devil bade it done. Count it as proof of the changing climate, count it as proof of the end of the world. The heavens boil and the very air is made of wrath and ruin. Never mind the wounds, never mind the mortal cost. Someone somewhere has to say "I told you so."

There are worlds that end in fire, there are worlds that end in ice. Some worlds end without that tell-tale bang, whimpering all the way to oblivion. We lean upon our poets and our prophets to tell us just how bad tomorrow will be. Science can tell us that our world will be engulfed by the swellings of our sun, spent of fuel in four or five billion years. Whether the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with the Milky Way before this happened depends on who you ask, but I would venture that either way, human beings will have long since past from the earth. Our stories long since lost to some set of horrors or conflagrations, our future long since buried in the past.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Someday I will disavow all mirrors and shun all well lit places. Someday I will abandon the razor and the writ. The words I left gone before me. The lights left on burning down to smoke. The things misplaced will have their own monument, listing their enemies and pariahs, all the forgotten rendered with a single line. The flesh will dissolve and manifest, a single sigil painted upon the wall. Every moment spurs further multitudes.

The world itself is legion. The world itself is ten thousand paths branching ten thousand times, the snapping of shutters, the greasing of palms. The choice births a thousand choices, the lines of force slipped with one thought, the chains of evidence always broken. The eleventh length the one measure that makes sense of each ancestor. The lucky star burning a hole clean through.

Somehow I lost hold of these stars and reflections. Somehow I fell off of the earth. Out of pace, out of time, healing slower by the day. Aches and wounds compound, nesting in all the holes punched through me. Every word written feels like a little more line fed to a kite already bent deep into the firmament. The thing drawing me out grow farther and farther from sight. The one I was is now someone else, the one I am now only another case of mistaken identity. They crowd and cull, the disinterred and the misbegotten, all pressed between these lines I am reading. A way is taken, the wave collapses, and all the angels multiply. Even the hidden paths are trampled, even the moths shun this last shine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

that lonesome notion

The day slips away, first the reaching of shadows, then the dwindling glow across the broad horizon. The wind rushes past, touching everything it can. I stand beneath the fresh cool sky, working the last embers of the last of my birthday cigars, spitting smoke and dropping ash. I talked myself blue until everyone else surrendered to the hour or the weather, leaving me and my stink alone to the cats and the steadier of pests. Soon it was just me, keeping council with strays and stars. Worse things happen everyday.

It is that unsettled spring, unusual for the area, full of clouds and clamor that has me swaddled as though it were the fall in the mornings and breaking into the sunscreen in the thickest hours of the afternoon. Rain coming long after the rainy season was due to end, cold fronts dipping down to these less inclement latitudes. All the usual suspects suspiciously off their mark, like even the bit players have been replaced with their understudies, and we are veering clumsily off script every time we take the stage. It is no wonder that I am typically a solo act.

I need a shave and a shower, reeking of smoke and dog and sweat. The day has graced me with what blessings it had, and now all I am is affect and residue, the worn remainder of chore and habit. The night embraces everything, the penitent and the apostle and the mendicant alike. It holds us all, whatever our sins or just desserts. It holds us close, however lost or loved we might be. The night claims me in my rags and sad reflections, knows me as her own. That lonesome notion, that fitful dream. The only nation my blood is bound to, the only flag to fly over the fallen and the alone.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

i heard her call my name

The world uncorked another dose of dreaming, starlit winds sifting through countless conifers, evergreen needles crunching with each icy step. The amplitude of every shadow some scintilla of alarm, some simulacrum of sensation flickering through the trailing dark. The false dawn of a moon still weighted though waning. The false prophet of a hungry predator stalking just out of sight, I heard her call my name.

The day gave away little tricks and secrets, the fluttering tree limbs swaying amid the flit and call of the scattered flocks. Crow calling from a crooked redwood, scrub jay scolding from a ragged fence. It curls like smoke, spilling into the atmosphere. It creeps like a cat in the high weeds. The sky afire with a radiant blue, the earth spattered with all manner of restless life. Walking along a long path surrounded by trash and weeds, I heard her call my name.

A cup of coffee cools as the day breaks its bonds, dusk sliding in from the east. The press of shadows supports the abandoned walls once bright and incited by the push of so much sun. The depths of cool blue and carbon gray pool in the streets, gathering in the gutters and hushing up the burdensome gutters. Something slips in as other things evade and dissipate, something both sharp and ethereal. Something crawls along the sheer surfaces, filling in the gaps with thick peals of absence. I am alone in the echoes of whistles and the stillness of bells. As night falls I hear her call my name.

Friday, May 20, 2011


The calendar has reached its limits. The revelations come around again. The world ends because it was written. The world ends in a shower of words and sparks.

I suppose I had exhausted the plausibilities. Painted again and again into that corner. Always the proximity alarm and the semantic error. Always the cliffhanger and the inevitable fall. My timing adjusted by season and circumstance. My ephemera ending up the bulk of my concerns. Tomorrow never shows, however the candles are burned.

The hinges complain as the door is closed. The latches clasp as stiffly as the locks. The complicity of the aggregates is the weight of the sin. Matter all insistence and holding hands. Matter a suspension of disbelief. I lock up and close the doors. The words written down after all the lights go down.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

feather by feather

This is how the sun will come, through the window, tree, and fence. This is how the dream will turn, lead gray to bullet blue. The deed gone into remission, the seeds spend by breath and wind. This is how the dead will call, from the thin veil parted to the ink of confession. Feather by feather, bird by bird. The day begins again.

The shoulders shrug, the tendons condense, the bones sing from every break. The deep shifting soils, the tension of roots, the spider adrift in the hunt for spiders. Every story is an abrupt departure, a virus coiling in the culture, the snake always offering some fruit or another. The words all flock and migrate, shifting roost and claim. My voice always cracking against some cold end, the dismay that poetry is somehow always slipping away from the surface of the world.

I toil in the infectious abandon of duty, I work away from blood and country, every phrase another run of bad luck. I carve away at the sheer mirror, swerving off the road of reason. That feint of remembering, always something essential just out of reach. The press of wings against the sky, the painting of sweet ache into the very air. Each act an echo, a set of lines traipsing against the dawn. Every color taken as one, the crows strung thin against the empty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

little bird

I find you feather by feather. I find you swaying in that gossiping wind. Lost in thought or missing sleep, your eyes every fixed instinct, every asking ever shed. Each further picture a drawing breath, a fleeting shadow. The press of fingertips, bare against the air. The chill of your silence, the depths of scent.

It is written in an instant. The force of habit scratching at the limits of time. The press of grammar against the restless thought, all the leadened terms flayed into grace. The sentence ends all that is served, punctuation the rhythm of a crawling lilt, almost an accent, almost only a dialect left to tell the story of some lost departure. Sin just that little stolen warmth, the turntable worked just so. The record little more than hiss and pop, the song that never rests.

There is not an end in sight, once all the trouble with seeing is done. You miss one thing, I miss another-- a life stretches in the catching up. I find those moments that slipped, stepping on your shadow. I find those limits always following your wake. Fingerprints and ash and grease, you cling and slip my dreams. A wisp of flavor, a puff of breath. Your absence that only missing touch of proof.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The light drifts through, feeling like innocence, feeling like a child stepping carefree into the street. The wind bit and caught, granting debris the power of flight, setting every tree to dance. The tension in the sky somehow imbues this dry dead flesh with the stripped down version of some callow song. Hot and cold, vivid colors and such a funerary dullness. The people are always wandering away. No wonder we lose so many tribes.

The walls are sticky with slow clotting shadows, the day lingering on the cusp of the dusk. The sky boils with clouds and rain. The web holds the corner of the doorway, spider long since gone. The rooms smell of coffee and cooking, that clinging taste of habitation. The dusty lamps glower even as the day abides, lit as if in remembrance or distress. Some signal sent to a lost agent. Some vigil kept, coveting the names of the dead.

It is always about the weather. It is always about the borders and the tides. The traffic or the crime spree. Some stranger's failure to keep an oath, the promise of better things just beneath each breath. The streets grind and tangle, cars full of vacancy spilling fumes. The tension in the flesh always painting the scenery. Bright blues and blood reds. A gentle whisper vaguely saying goodbye.

Monday, May 16, 2011

wrecking ball

After awhile, no-one even asks. After awhile, no-one even bothers. That is what you get when you give away everything you give up. That is what you get when you write it all down just to be done with it. The cities of secrets, the lingering contentment and the spent contingency, the cards misdealt and the hand played through. Join hands and dance the old circle out. Join hands before you all fall down. They all fly away before first light finds you. They all fly before the bridge collapses.

They say it is the way of the world. They say it is all your fault if you won't grow wings. They spit words and crazes, unaware of their loose stitching and rough seams. They speak as though they didn't know how easily it all comes undone. They speak as if the universe can only love them. You know the truth of it, the sharpness of the blade, the weight of every blow. You know the belt and the fist and the worth of so much empty promise. You know that the world isn't known in the wishing or the wanting. The world's will is all break and bloom. Everything ends up gone.

You don't pray for the strength of the girders, you don't hope for the endurance of steel. You don't pause for the sweet sentiment or the wicked guitar. All these bruises and salty kisses. All these blow-hards and do-gooders and dark horses. All these beauties and bravos and beasts. Flesh and bone, mass and velocity, the rain and the sun are the only gods you follow. You have been blessed with the stripping of every last innocence. You live the truth everyone openly ignores, blood and breath, bloom and dust. The bullet and the wrecking ball, that sick insistence of force somehow unabated by all these niceties and blessings. You live where there words can't go, and they will never see you because they cannot confess their complicity. Their blessings only another kind of crime.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The wrong hand laid into it, abandoning all hope of craft or labor. The wrong touch is on it, all hope buried again beneath all the ruins. It is in the chill that lingers, it is in the night that crawls, this wayward notion, this stumbled path. Hunger and thirst, all the hounds of habit are loosed. The dream is lost somewhere in the middle of the moon on the mend. The dream is lost in the depths of sleep. Waking can never be the same.

Time runs hot, time runs cold, the clock spins and sputters. These fingers feel the bite of each keystroke, strolling down the alphabet and listing from the dictionary. A little chill seeps in, and the hands carry it first. Ice touches knuckle and burns flesh, this ache so strange for the middle of May. Strange weather, odd feathers to claim familial rights, age telling time by every failure of the flesh. Odd ducks are often the first to feel the teeth.

Lost letter, broken poem, what shore is left for searching? What light is left to follow in this stray storm, this unseasonable rain? All the doors are closed, all the locks are checked. The old dog snoring so loud in the living room that sometimes the windows shake. The litany of strays waiting on the porch, carrying their lame complaints and proud diseases. Forgetting is the only option I never try, with memory so full of crushed bones and disappointments. Forgetting is a promise that the clock will keep with all its counting. The wrong hand never steady or stayed.


I will no longer bother to write these letters. I will finally give it all a rest, no pen and ink and postage to worry or delay. Scratching away at every surface. The itch of shadows crawling on the skin. The written down sound of all this collusion. The bottled message always adrift. Then I can finally abandon waiting on the mailman. Then I can wake up from these dreams at peace.

You are in the dust and nudgings of this place. The room only missing you by dense minutes. Glass smudged and unfamiliar to light. You are there before this moonset. That moment when the light sails into the sea to sleep. There is a dream that crests just before you. There is a dream that walks with you in waste.

We wait awhile in this drawling darkness. Our aches and sighs never shared in full. There is a drift, a slip in attentions. There is a distance that seethes from our flesh. We settle on the appetites, we settles on the words. The names and the pins plunged into some maps we imagined, continents and isles only there because the monsters have unwound. We breathe here, never settled, never sure. We leave with nothing but names.


The sky keeps all its secrets, from the glass black to the cornflower blue it only shows the part it gives away. The air lit with radiance and whispers, invisible ripples pulling everything together, wandering over skin and sea. The wind first sharp then soft, coming uncoiled, every breath a tether, every word a leash. Some sense of speech, some proof of life, this fitted mystery, this heart set loose like a hound to the hunt. Some distant shore at dusk or dawn, totems resting in silhouette, the seabirds already on the wing. Some shared remainder spoken aloud to yourself.

The bumblebee follows the sidewalk for a surprising stretch, heavy black and bright yellow casting a crisp blue shadow along the pavement. It finally veers away, following whatever path is set, brook or bloom, hunger or home. The walkway is left vacant, a few ragged weeds and candy wrappers, the diamond weave shadows of a chain-link fence. A ragged white rose hangs halfway over a fence, all sweet scent and sharp thorn, waiting to snag some passing pollinator. The blue of the sky almost breaks character, hanging about tree and roof.

The flowers mirror their measure in the spectrum, they spit color and fragrance aimed at insect, bird and bat. They follow the course of the wandering sun, silent as to their theories and their faith. Spread beneath all this shine and heat, they await some convenient wing, some dedicated creeping and crawling to propagate their signal. Everything resonates, awash in the wreck and hum of these cunning frequencies, lit from without and within. Somewhere someone reaches out. Somewhere someone finds you with a feeling like prayer leaving, like words caught rising on the wind.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


There goes that arrow, loosed into the depths of the sky. There goes that notion, set adrift out upon the flowing ice. Somehow the daft affect, the dull reflection of the motive leaving tracks in the action, the fabled grace only ever there under fire, all these tangled traces inspired only by their absence stretch the shadows along the tight skin of the day. Vision blurs, eyes burn, to everything a time and a place. Only here, lost in these abstractions, fatigued by the least flickering thought. Only here, ground down to nearly nothing.

Sleep comes and goes, always weary, never at rest. The clock keeps mouthing off, the days and nights twirling in flashing circles, spinning and spinning while the world tries to find its feet. The pillows fluffed and folded, creasing the flesh, dowsed in sweat and shallow dreams. Every task herculean, every effort sisyphean, all the ashes scattered and the graves overgrown with weeds. The stars come out to tell the time, so long ago and far away all this shine.

Sticks and stones and sales on consignment. Streets cluttered with infants and strays, gutters full of trash and spent wishes. The gristle in the knee, the gravel in the gut. It all goes from green to gray, from blue to black. The math does itself, numbers stumbling into place, the muscles weak and strained. Think back to the beginning of all these loose ends. Think back to the choice to have a chosen, back to the first of these crimes of blood and convenience. It all goes back farther than memory or history. It all goes back to that bow bent, string taut, the arrow waiting for the aim.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


She smiles and somehow all the ley lines intersect, the world dissolves in greens and blues, and I am listening to that record, headphones warm and cumbersome, my room dark with promise and want. She smiles and it is that song, fresh and familiar at once, heavy with secrets, everything waiting just outside. The hiss and pop of the needle finding its way into the tune, all the mystery that music will allow, that sense of a journey begun in good health and fair weather. It is a trick that the flesh will play against type again and again. For a moment everything feels possible. For a moment there is only the present tense.

The moment is made of magic, that reactive reciprocity that matter insists, every atom whispering to its kin. Her lip curls, her teeth gleam, and there is that alchemy that endures long past its relevance. The flesh persuading the mind and the heart, the gimmicked clock and the gaffed machine. The truth is stretched out, every point being an ending and a beginning, the blurring occurring between the possible and the probable. She smiles, and for a moment I do not know what I knew. She smiles, and for a moment all I know of the world is that heady press of want.

Time clambers down stairs, it crawls through pipe and branch. Time pushes us on, grinding bone and flaying flesh. We burn and spatter and dwindle, all sizzle to less steak, all shine to less fire. We spend whatever portion is ours, more or less. The world spins on, unencumbered by our dreams and words. Hiss and pop, hush and purr, there is always some song unwinding. Time pauses to stretch and stare, I try to catch my breath. The mystery clings to some plastic bag caught in the branches, it giggles in the light of some star smudged by the wind. Her smile lingers as again I peel away, another road, another story. For a moment I know, then it is again lights in the mirror and eyes always watching for the next turn.

Monday, May 9, 2011

pebbled glass

The focus changes though the lens has been broken for as long as memory runs. The stippled seeping of low wattage light, mimicking the beading of water, catching the gist, missing the vision. The drizzled sensation of an object, imagined half-way near to real. The odd pointillism that forgives all distinctions by erasing them entirely. Something witnessed in such a way that it will never be seen at all. Something placed in a frame because the idea owns the eye, a thing made into an image because sight has stolen all the seeing left.

We set our shoulders against the earth, intent on spending the rest of our short lives striving away. We submerge beneath a set of notions until we begin to breath only of that ocean, we immerse ourselves in an idea until we are living always out to sea. Believe and even this dense blindness becomes a blessing. Faith fills in all the spaces and bridges the fearsome gaps. Faith fills in all the things we miss because we will not see. The lessons of art are always cloistered in these crimes of omission. The lessons of life are always disguised by the lack of asking.

I see pictures, I see places, I see my distance and my reach. I see the water bead inside the shower door, all spatter and steam as the light in the bathroom is painted in pixel by pixel. The congruence of design and conceit, the intersection of craft and habit colliding in the dull litany behind my eyes. I pick and choose, following all the clues I hid by looking, limiting the details to a leaf here, a feather there. Permanent mistakes committed to again and again, the scenery bearing the weight of the word it wears, the picture always out of context, the story always out of frame. Pebbled glass blurring the motive and the means.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The day holds its breath and plunges head-first underwater, or so the light seems to say. Dusk whirling all around, sudden gray mingling with uncertain blue, everything awash in this drowned palette, everything sunken beneath the tide. Eyes flail the street, sifting the wind, looking for some glint or glimmer. Darkness falls, leaving everyone looking for the light.

The body makes its business known, ache and pang, hunger and drive. It has its issues, it has its say. All day long it makes its case, all night it makes its claims. The bones bend and cry, organs seethe and growl, the flesh creeps through each hour. Lists and listlessness, being always the hardest of verbs. Wanting and lacking always the same flag unfurling in separate ways.

Things might never get better, but they can always get worse. Gentle night vies to remind, a hint here, a terror there. Something moving just out of sight, a whispered name rising from an empty room. We break, we bleed, we hunker down, we endure. We fail and fall, and sometimes we fly. We reach our threshold, and find ourselves further down the road. We find the boundaries, and cross the border. Always a little farther, feeling our way through the dark.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

the aim

The hour is ground down to diamond dust and table scraps, stars spattering the curtains, moths batting away at the screen. The clock watches while the night holds its breath, the coffee cooling in the cup. The light hums on while the dreams are rearranged, ordered and dismissed by their earnestness and distance. Sleep is out there somewhere, wandering the streets.

Time bundles up despite the heat, savoring each portion, touching every strand. The heart stills and settles, it clambers out the window, it takes the stairs in twos. There is always some beginning in each start, some reflection in every stumble. The close set eyes of empty houses, the incidental glow of automatic lights. Street after street cluttered with garbage and ghosts. The hour always getting later, taking it like a champ.

It is the breadth and the measure, the idea that encloses the mind. The thought that always finds its way home, that stranger our eyes covet and crave. These notions creep through our midnight gleanings, these wishes that stain the walls like years of smoke. It isn't as if I don't learn the lessons. It isn't as if I don't see the signs. Read a little longer before you write me your letters. Wait a little while before you explain it all. The sadness is the shape, the tone, the color. It is the path, but never even close to the point. The aim is the trick that makes the target. The words all waiting, the cross-hairs crisp and still.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It is in the hours, if you are counting. It is in the room, perched upon the bed frame, teeth pressed against your dreams. The thoughts that won't stop, the tomorrow that won't begin. Sleep that ship that has run ashore. Love that pet that will cost you the deposit.

If I could, I would write you a letter. Something a little light, something a little sweet. Some tender to soothe these aching days. Some compress to dissuade the fundamental damage. Word set upon word, the lines laden heavy with flocks of lovely song and deft plumage. I would put it all on paper, slip it under your windshield wiper blade, or slide it beneath your door. Just a few scribbled promises that the world loves you yet.

The night knows that there is no soothing answers. The night knows where the skeletons are buried. You will see the seams that hold the sky together. You will feel the tension between the sea of stars and the map to your forgotten treasures. This long lonesome is upon you, and no company, no cure will free you. Time idles on and on, settling down on your sofa. Time loiters carelessly, touching every skin. Your heart hurts, and will hurt some more, before it finds a way to heal.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The sky does its worst, the earth content to just lay back and take it. These waves of black and gray slowly turning to blue, these fields of green awaiting the inevitable fire. These trails of smoke ascending to some meager idea of heaven. Dawn breaks and all the colors are filled in, even the gaps in matter, even the invisible and the inferred. The air is leavened with these stubborn threads of light, the day inked and painted according to its portions. There should be some balance, all things taking under due consideration. There should be some explanation, reason being left out there to soak it all in.

Ice clatters against its kin and the ghastly plastic that contains it as it slowly changes states. Droplets condense and weep down the sides of the cup, leaving circles of moisture on the shelf between drinks. Something about something finding its own level. Something about heat distributing itself evenly throughout this thickening of busy matter. There are lessons to be had, if one has a mind set on learning. There are secrets to keep, if one is determined to have something up the sleeve. Cold water offering some margin of comfort amid such a seething of ache and worry.

Mostly we are fooling ourselves, but it is an honest sort of deceit. The limits of sensory acuity combined with the assumptions born of feathered nerve and hewn bone leave us tricked and treated. We are tethered to this odd spiral, this eager twisting and knotting that symmetry makes our lot. Left brain to right hand, sight the result of a few mirror tricks, our minds nattering away at their selves. Each of us a singular legion, a set of shifting alliances, a record of poisoned wells and holy grails. Each of us a light shining outwards, a set of nesting dolls swallowing one reliquary after the next. Each of us a gaping darkness, a density of empty, a few words scattered over the dew.

Monday, May 2, 2011


We always try to dodge the wheel, inevitably moving towards entanglement beyond it. We wander farther from the circle only to meet these lonely eyes. Somehow the inventions seem unavoidable, so much time chartered to vision. That lapsed baptismal, a solitary horn flying through the densest meshes and deepest nights. That subtle sustain that parts way with all rhythm, even the melody finally pausing for a breath. Learning of those distant feats from the way the world parts and tenses. Learning of this dream in the telling time it takes to finally sleep.

It begins with the sudden something before the long listing questions, the spray before knowing of the sea. Some sort of choice, some sort of trap-- that sickening exclamation of blood spattering upon broken bone, that fall towards such vast heights. The radio playing from some faraway window, some crackled lapse of decorum, whispers that can walk through walls and steal away rabbits. The face plain fact of that abrupt ice biting at the air, something close and horrifying. We always look, whatever the eventual reason.

There is some last and furthest shore. There is always in some sense an ending with-in reach. Some brush of shameless fingers, some grace of flesh and heat. We spin and spiral, shifting in the seats of our drafty old souls. Always either adrift or ready to the rescue, we play whether there is a game to be had. The road so certain because it is in the way we are written. Every objection worn away, the work of certainty always agreeing with itself. The wheel always turning somewhere just the same.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Ghosts cast of grocery bag plastic roll through the deep blue shadows of the dawn. The haunted ribbons of asphalt and river silt, the strange escapades of a morning wind. Somehow everything is unsettled, misspelled and left askew. The burnt out match and the fleeting ashes. The library of echoes that confuse tongue and speech, that trade glisten for hearing, the fumbled deck and misplaced spoon. This is always where the trick goes wrong. This is the perfect passing sphere of intemperance, that lost droplet that will inherent every ache and joy. Salt streaked flesh painting the day in hints of silver and storm.

Day in, day out: it is the same old thing. Everything slowly fading into shape as the possibilities diminish and the imagination starves. The strafing of familiar streets with diluted sunlight, the sinking of each hope into some ready flesh. The moon slashes some narrow stretch of wanting, a sickle made from the absence of shine. That moment is missed as soon as it is uncovered. The skin raised, chilled to gooseflesh.

It was there the very moment it occurred to me. It had been there before-- that seemed certainty itself. The door creaks wide, swinging in oaken slowness. The crack in the heraldry sorting out the grain. Where there was that nightmare, now only slow notions and poor seconds. The mirror in pieces, that face all that is left. I knew it in an instant-- all that was there now tears.