Wednesday, February 29, 2012

among the fundaments

Must you always radiate, a lost and far off star? Must you always linger here, some pulse with-in my skin? The dark of the night, the lurker in the hall, the bathroom light left on and on. The shadows only shuffle, the days molt towards spring. The bright blossoms upon the bare bough. Must you veer so near, that ghost always threatening the quiet. The shelter of these dim thinkings. The petals already fallen from raw anticipation, the lonesome calling of another distant shine.

I do not expect to find you, wandering these still rooms. I do not expect to see you, looking to come in. The tangled webs clutter the porch, a history of winters in empty carapace. Clocks crawl and screens flicker, candles offered in multitudes every bled out minute. I wear the ache of never more like the wounds of never was, crowding out the corners, circling the sky. That touch that is always there, imagined out of time. That longing that you shed, shimmering in this dust.

You are there among the fundaments. You are a tenet in the listing, you are the way the words find the line. The subtle weight felt in the change of the weather, stacked in the kindling of my spine. I can not even ever try not to find you. I can not stare my way through the walls. And you are that day I'll never know, that name I can not say. I haven't the will to look away, though I see nothing but the night.

Monday, February 27, 2012

the wrong end

Today the light forgot to dance upon the rusty water. The dust forgot to sparkle in the sun. Every step was straight onto another rough patch, every turn clotted with obstacles and ill intent. Truth be told you hardly noticed. Truth be told it is an adaptive advantage to always expect the worst. Big trouble didn't stick its nose in, not even for moment. But you were ready, always ready, for the wrong end of it to aim its way into you.

It would have been better raining. It would have been better if it was all mud and promise, the handiwork of today's crow rather than tomorrow's dove. Olive branches  are better tendered once all the fight has left you. Much more impressive after its been too long out to sea.  Instead it was all cracked clay and asphalt, gutter water and oblivious cement. Instead it was ill winds and bad tidings, sorry conspiracy and a nation of strays. A kingfisher took to the sky as if in conquest, lost sailing in circles above the trash-ridden ditch. You would take wing if you could, to leave this all behind you.

Now the dogs growl and tussle, battling over a knotted rope. Children squall from the schoolyard, caught up in the thrill of bouncing balls and clinking chains. Someone hammers away in clipped succession, building some structure in a neighbor's yard. Traffic scuttles passed as if there were a fire that needed fighting. Pedestrians argue like there is a story to be told. Not one venture, no fresh advantage. Another day of a life that won’t fit you. Another day lost in the same old way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


It's enough to make you dizzy. It's enough to steal your breath. Spun along some unseen line, the blunt trajectory of resolute distance lit from either side. You couldn't steer clear with all the room laid bare. You couldn't escape it with forever for a head start. They place their equations, they mumble their spells, spilling salt and alchemy along the least trace of a trail. Split the river or learn to ride it. Blaze the path or learn to find your way through ash and hooves and smoke.

You follow your intuition long enough, you learn to believe any tale. Trust your gut too often, you are bound to swallow some shit. There are always reasons, even when the answers are wrong. There are always roads left open, paths crafted from all the walking away. There are always choices that bleed a few close questions, always some place where penitence would be the wiser way. So much made of the mysterious worker, this croupier daring bets. So many vain spittings of some name the word wears down to the sound of missing teeth.

You can't help but believe the tales that taught you your tongue. They twist and turn, wearing down, pulling inside out. They adorn some ritual, whether prayer or the reason why. They unfold from your very breath, and without wing or flesh they fly. So you strive to catch the toe of your maker, pressed from clay or risen from the writhing dust. So you build some map, or put some model under glass. Flung so far, gone so fast we reach towards our fabricated tomorrows, watching the vastness yawn on and on. Lost so often, dead so long, you long for some spark in the night.

Friday, February 24, 2012

false positives

It isn't only the light that loses me, sticking to these corners, playing the right peg. Shadows congeal into shade and ether, the weight of a color, the press of light.  The cookie-cutter ideologue whispers to the airwaves, the rhythm of schoolyard secrets growing into that tell-tale march, boots on the backstairs, shots ringing in the night. Each hue huddles at once, cheek to cheek dancing with the dusk. I pause and I clear my throat, as if I had something to say.

Dogs bark and traffic rumbles, the sound of a slow throttle rattling off the glass. The hour has the ease of puzzle pieces, each shape fit to find another picture. I allude to the angles, chant all my false positives while idling towards the west. This resolve that dissolves with a glass of water. This obstruction measured as a piece of pie. It seems as likely as any answer. As probable as the next prayer.

The sun sinks bright, pushing all its shadows through me. The light leans low, making markers from fresh blinded eyes. The children vote for one last racket, a stippled din left to fend against the reaching night. Paws scuff and wings scatter, a wind falls along all the right ideas, aligning the binds of belief. I knew that it was there for the saying. I knew there was a witness to vouch for every lie. What happens next just argument and evidence. What happens next waiting to be seen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

rate of change

All at once I am here again, by trip of tongue and sleight of hand. I see the morning star as the night unwinds, and realize either eye could be right, left alone long enough. A spark to find that midnight road, a mark to hew the lay of the land. Always cut with the abrupt partings, always having to trust the handshake deals and the weight of gaze and word. The stranger waiting at those crossed roads, our crossed stars the magic as it fades.

The sky is sized up, with tree limb partitions. The glittering bluff of constellations, the deeper blur of this vast retreat. Spun out along the remote border of this seething galaxy we learn to move with the infinite, so very careful where we step. Abandoned upon this point on the map, we are riven knowing only the speed or the spot. We get lost like this, or something like it. Alone in the skin of some middling feeling, sunk to the bottom  of some diligent atmosphere. Held by heaven against the press of earth.

I light a fire, I draw down smoke. I hesitate in thoughtful suffocation. Chosen paths recognize no accidents, oath bound ways always stuck with their eyes on the road. One moment here, another moment gone. Shadows crawling across each street as day pursues the night. The crow calls down the dusk, the dove finds no respite. Tell me the fable of want and wander, tell me the road from sand to sea. Another season set ablaze, another year folded back into the fields. Peach blossoms alight in the night air, and I cannot tell my heart one thing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

when the weather finds your wounds

I might be the shuffling in the night, I might be that spark of tell-tale light out amongst the trees. The creaking floorboards, the banging pipes. That scent of smoke lingering in the doorway. That shape that vanishes under the burden of proof. I live in that fever of lithe flesh, the evidence kept caged in your thieving heart. I live in that glib explanation that leaps and skulks behind your eyes, the truth that only the two of us could know. I might be shopping in your city. I might be sleeping beneath your stairs, swaddled in dust and webs.

I missed the stars when they worked their shift, I missed the dawn when it broke the night. I know I slept, though all I heard was the television telling its stories. I know I dreamt, though all I recall is the end. I may be mistaken, but I have been wrong before. I may have lost my way, but it could be that its the new one that I want. Now the day is half gone, and I have half a mind to waste the rest away. There is a thought I cannot shake, a notion that won't leave me alone. Only you could know quite what I meant, even when my meaning is mistook. Only you endure all these years in this wilderness away from the work-a-day world.

There is a touch that lingers, giving your skin its reasons. There is a kiss still lit on your lips, burning through all these moods and years. There is a stumble in your journeys, there is a smudge upon the relevant mark on the map. I am wicked, I am base. I am a fool caught in the spill of the scenery, ruined in the sweep of stars. All the worried words and all the doctor's portents and witches spells can not remove the name written in your heart. All your crimes and your sanctimony, all my books and rules, cannot change this scar. The earth will buck and the skies will scream, the roof will come rolling down. I will be beside you in these slips and hesitations. I am with you until the boat finds the bottom of the wide and wandering ocean. I am with you until the wheel stops spinning, rendered in tooth and midnight. Where ever you fall or fly, I am the scar you reach for when the weather finds your wounds.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


There could always be another pillar, buried deep beneath the one that crumbled. There could always be another chance, just waiting in the wings. That sliver of moon tried to tell my fortune, casting shadows against the wall. That silver of the mirror, replying at first light. I cast my eyes as if there were a distance. I cast my eyes as if my eyes could see. I play the part as best I remember, not a single soul awake. I say my lines a little too loud for the room, remembering the cheap seats.

On the best days I pretend not to remember, or at least that it doesn't bother me when I do. Edit out the broad strokes of fortune, erase the worst that the editing did not remit. The rest of it I could shrug off, a few details left in the dustbin, a few things left to the limits of imagination. Those moments when everything happened, those moments with the slow motion and the sharp cuts. They worry me so hard they became the story. And then I played the part until I forgot I was fifth business. The clown in the galley, the goon lost in the orchestra pit. I forgot the act, I lost the lines. The character was all I kept.

I would say it so for all the world. Make some claim, like I knew one thing. Take the stage away again, dust off the old soft shoe. My style, my schtick, the whole blessed arithmetic of hide and seek. I divine them from memory, I read them from the cards I keep up my sleeves, I lose them and find them again and again. My only story, the entire canon cribbed and gaffed. Leaning towards the limelights, swinging for the moon.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Just like that it goes from mood to moment. Just like that the day again is new. The sun sops away the tattered tomorrows that never found out how to fix to a frame. For this sentence all the boundless blues of a running tab, all the lit up hints of possibility from the sustain of this phrase. Back and forth from tongue to tooth, then breath and again. The lustrous and dull mechanics of this fleeting translation. Language binding  the language bound.

These brief divinations, the furtive transference of thought into this flood of self and flesh. Bare branches knitting halos in each reflection, words withheld all the stretch of wiring we need. A glancing dance, a drafty sing-along where we all move at once, the spark seeping in through these familiar distances. At once intimate and remote, love and advertisement. Words hung in the very air, as if just the drift will do.

I go about my daily failings, get lost amid the respite of sin. I cross the gap, I break the circle. Story after story falls away as every doorway dwindles. Words take flight and soar towards glory. Words steal wings and go crashing into the obdurate sea. The seasons wait to steal tomorrow from the spell of pale surprise. You can still find me, tripping through some whispered dreaming. You can still catch me scuffing up the dust, there until the thought is gone.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I had already forgotten it once it came time to write it down. What original itch worked a hole through my still, what surprise of spark and shine withdrew me from my deepest dreams? The word itself explains away the repartee of conjecture and complaint, forgotten such a long and solemn lull in the conversation. So it began again, blank slate following the blank stare into the unknown. The dim reflection of some mad old man, head bound in tree limbs, eyes like lightning strikes. The sputter of punctuation only breath and heartbeat, here in the country of the setting sun.

You'd surprised at the names I call me, both in the severity and delusion, my gnarled discounting of the news the whole world knows. It isn't as if I deny your guesses, or gild your baser claims. There is no question that I stumbled and plundered through this life, no alibi for all this bile and riot. I swallow the pills, and chew of the notion, day wading away into gathered dusk.  I sulk and I slander, dusk burning a hole towards the night.

There's no excuse but I want you, no telling how long the meaning lies. Even the mirror knows this much, that staggering distance, that tattered limit left. Something I seem to need to tell you, not that there are reasons you would need to hear. Something about you always to remark on, as I rot and plod along. So I reach for you at the least provocation. I reach for you whenever you are not there. Something to say as the day burns down. Something to do once all there is is ash.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

weight and break

All at once I walked inside your shadow, wore the blinding attentions, and the wary phrase. That best press of the sun, that flash burn of being at last found out. Moving through this cast of absence, the names split upon every skin. Drawing down all that wrath and glory, the seething passion, the drift of innocence. Kissed and occluded, flush and vacant to the bone. Lost and listed, and gleaned from the wobble of stars.

Even the lighting is leaving, the whole encampment dwindling into gape and night. The creak of tree limb, the rustling of wind and leaf. I write it like this loss is novel, like the day is a new pursuit. With the words all crumpled and tangled. With the words all swollen and broke. You as an admonition, as the tattoo of some favorite phrase burned indelible in the flesh. You as an admiration for the wreck of my desire. Something scribbled inside the cover, the dog-eared novel left unfinished on some bus.

I slow as I descend, hand reaching for that unseen rail. I grasp and stretch, anticipating limits, avoiding leaps. There is an ache between my shoulders, a blade at the base of my spine. There is a story told in stairways. There is a story told, nose pressed against the glass in dumb appetite. That want is the constant, lapse only the brief and fevered dreams lost upon the train. I feel your beauty bleeding out some window, staring into another endless night. I feel my absence whenever you come near.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

wishful blues

You cast your spell and everything is done at once. The world plods on about its business while you glow in your  corner. The magic makes you pliant, and the magic's all around. Written down in grim brick work and fibrous green words, the wish unwinds your grip. Fly or fall, your tether will never hold so well again. The silty smoke of blown out candles, the certain sadness of a dream come true.

So there is that blue that is the blue of skies, the bright of the sun on the sunniest of days. There is the way that want will wear a hole through the thick of it, desire burning through each turn of the wide old world. This disparate specificity, the stone turned and the sword long since rusted away. The blunt calm that feels like clarity, making your way inch by inch. You feel the  steel of each set detail, that precious finger fall along the arc of substance. You close your eyes, and you almost see it better. You close your eyes, and all the blues go blue.

The wish is made and the deal is struck, between the clipped winged devil and those faraway stars. You turn in circles, mistaking this for that, spun one way only to lose another. Chasing the tail of a comet, expecting sparks, finding only ice.  The self the closest to closed of any set, those selfish leanings only making it all burn faster. The spell is loosed, all knots and tails. You are at last unbound, lost to the rest of the world.

Monday, February 13, 2012


It is arrows for hours and hours, heaven run out on a rail. The plane suddenly a compass of bare intent appearing right above, gracing the bright eyes of the horizon, reminding me to keep my place. Shins itch from deliberate insects, biting alongside the ice in the air. I stare at my feet, shod in cheap worn out slippers. I stare into the mud below my toes, and finally the rain comes down.

It is just the last breath of a fleeting storm, in and out over the course of a couple dozen hours. Only just long enough to remind you of this still dry winter, leaning against the window, playing your own game. The want and the wait carved into the rise and rest of your ribs, your touch and flesh lush and idle. The chill of the season whispering all the reasons glass sets upon your skin. Goose bumps, and the view grayed by the dense settling of your breath. Words aching against tongue and tooth, the truth still so much more too much.

I scrape and drag away from that last rain dance, the dogs wild in the mud, the cat coming down the scrub pine. The wind pitches them hard and tight, all bite and balk and brush backs. The wind leaps and sputters, spattering rain well past the reach of the almighty sky. Droplets paint stripes after my heels, some vague threat or old-time reminder. The rain falls and grants my last direction. No matter how lost how long, there is at least that path that you made. A figure in the window, shadows pushing into the night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


There is always that moment where you think you got ahead, that silly shock that you were both right and rewarded. You didn't speak out of turn, not loud enough to hear. You didn't pick another wrong horse, bite the wrong raw apple. You aren't about to be tossed from the garden, have no wicked queens to fear so far. There is always that moment where it seems it would be better to be dead than so mistook.

The only things left equal are the ones without anyone making book. The only true justice only falls on the side that you believe is right. It isn't just the altitude that gets to our heads. It isn't only the view or wild beauty that takes our breath away. We lapse into the next most favored sense, lingering always a little longer in the nation of our appetites. So comes the settling sun, the fixed gaze, the habitual wisdoms. These rituals the only rails that hold.

And now the hour of spat out words, that hour of whispered prayer. Hunger so sharp that it is all the etiquette it can muster to devour in bites, not swallows. The desperate entanglements of way and world, the greed of faith, the ache of flesh. That wish that comes true so rare and fine that it breaks the hearts of bones and stars. Away at last from each frail promise, alone and so deep in the machinery that gives out every day. That hint of separation evaporates with all this nuanced hope, and for a moment you are satisfied. You remember the moment for what it was. You know at least hunger is never wrong.

Friday, February 10, 2012

the page before

I say this right as it begins, it is inexpressible. All the figures, all the fugues-- the need to change direction aching away even as that limb is severed. The belief in the wheel, whatever does the steering. The life of the hamster thus assured. So that forever of roads untaken, that long descent into somebody else's scheme. The water falls to find its level. The pot boils, watched or not. I feel the plot peeling away, I sense the mask about to be removed. I watch the world so that I won't miss it. Then I forget what there was to see.

That was me then, all grope and paw. That was me then, the sweet slow kiss of each mistake. The lights turned low and dished in the sink. The long denial asleep in every touch. I see it as a picture, but it was really just however awake I managed in that place. I see it as a moment, but it has been memory ever since we met. Things changed, and I wrote some stories. Things changed again, and I told myself some tales. Fuss and tangle, and the ache only more so by the bliss of embrace. The life seems like something fabricated, and poorly so at that. A worn through play and a worn down player, who'd have thought the ingenue would be you?

I feel as though I have been painted on the present. I feel just like the light as it meets the screen. Something flickers, then is gone. One can only wonder goes the routine. One can only hope its faithful corollary. I am placed in platitudes, a still life on a failing branch of language. I am wrapped in mud and pine needles, the evidence of a vague pressure all that is left. I am that measure, subtracted from the whole. I am that empty, the eye as it wanders away. All the misremembered tenses, every misrepeated trope, spark to mark the fiery fall. Here so certainly on the earth, my life mistaken for that much light.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


It happens that I forget sometimes my very point of view, always scratching at that itch, the moment that seems bound to be soon. The bow drawn not for shot but to caress that fretted and fingered clear throat. Every note a gentle murder. Every tone some deeper call. So dull and muddled it is just the tune that I fail to carry. So lost to this language that even the least brickwork I fail to convey. Still I stare at you.

It works out that even eyes need context, this gaze needs to fix and form in the reply of yours. Blind by case and color, I stitch to the flex of flesh and the gleam of intent. That further world only you could bestow, that vast distance which only you could contain. The mirror and the photo album. This small altar, this divine song. Whatever the take or flavor, strangers all that we see.

The bitter tenders its letters to the tongue, cold coffee and rancid breath. The dusk bends itself into night. It occurs to me, as always, that maybe I have had my say. Old poems and dusty lyrics, the decades somehow still evade. It is that same poor evening, spotted and scarred. The clouds hiding all the constellations. The moon never quite full enough. It is you, lingering so near. It is you, wherever I have yet to be.

Monday, February 6, 2012

you and me and the deep blue sea

The evening settles its oceans above us, tides of wind and star racing to escape the rain. The night achieves its shiftless limits while we haunt these husks and caves. The moon swells on the shore of another storm, lit above the sweep and sway of reverent trees. Something slips away, just when we could nearly see it. Something is lost as all the lights go down.

The dream is all snips and starts, the half remembered fevers of other stripes of life. Long avenues and quick kisses, the mingling assemblies of the dead and the all but forgot. Odd shelters and lapsed temples, the halls of forgotten gods filled with friends and background talent. Towers of wood and glass, a schedule to cling to while the woods grow dark and strange. You wake in another life, names and faces all left to someone else.

The tide rocks away the dreary hours, this life adrift on the rippling skin of another night. Each breath rises and falls again and again, drifting down to our own unspoken depths. This much the beast, this much the machine. Maybe a little angel muddying up the mix. We are so like water, steadying at our own level. We are so like fire, leaving only smoke and cinders. The sky above, the earth below. The devil in the details between you and me and the deep blue sea.

Friday, February 3, 2012

drag and draw

The wind rises as the day that was begins to fade. The world still blue skies and bird calls, I abide the drag and draw of these tides of chilled breeze. I pace these worn down moments, small circles scuffed into the dust. Birds speed by while branches sway and dance above me, tracing each awkward step in paws. I ghost along in little empty slivers, every ritual cut into pieces small enough to swallow. Every sense a slice of memory, every record a mention of the missing.

Time tries hard to ease each burden, burying everything it touches whether dead or wary. Oblivion lasting long enough to be equal to all it conspires, there is a fashion of faith made from all that cannot be fathomed. The map itself takes on the story, now a narrative if only for all the endings marked. Layer by layer we grow our scars and pile our diggings, the count moving on by stone and silt. We trust the numbers because they never stop.

Children still play in the schoolyard, always ready to make the most of whatever sun there is. The dogs here kick up dust and rocks, play frenzied into raw riot, plummeting either flee or follow in wild clipped courses. Gravel nicks my feet and ankles, my pursuits now only collateral to the game of hunt and shake. Shadows seem to pause, solemn and purposeful along fence and yard. No matter the hour, it is always just over. No matter the sun left me, I can only see so far.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

that last ambition

The day ends like so many others, a dusk littered with crows and dogs. I finish reading my book before the clouds conspire too well to hide the sky, and I feel a little dizzy, walking in circles, thinking in keys and crosses. Words such woefully dangerous things, set swarming behind my eyes. Words such inadequate weapons until they mass in attack, consuming every intersection, each object devoured by the calumny of names. I always thought things begun so badly would have to end better. I always thought I would at least claim something of tomorrow, laboring after this spectral trade.

The dog breathes softly, resting against my ragged dresser. The dog sleeps so still he seems like he just dropped where he was shot. The lapsed aesthetic of fitting the words in the frame catches in the back of my throat, a profanity choked back, an epithet best spared on mixed company. The worn amalgam of broken english and the sorcery of a soul as it smolders, the long love story reaching the natural end of all things. Breath saved, breath spent. The unfurling of the hours, the unwinding of the night.

I never learned how to be among other people. Something about the effort of connection, something about the strangeness of my approach. The punishment fitting the crime giving way to various misfit roads until the outside is all I knew a thing about. I read a lot, learning only how far away I was from those I was reading. I worked the sort of jobs that ill-mannered losers can get, poor pay and crumby hours, pushing mop and broom, burning that shockingly toxic midnight oil. Years of failing everyone, bridges blazing away at every turn. The sun sets today on that last ambition, and I return to this life of lapse and gather, still smoking though I burned out long ago.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

constant craving

You are there, and you are gone. From the day's first sliver to the night's last straw, that first secret whisper to every candle wished away. So slipped each distance, so swore each breath. Even I can't believe the days I witnessed, it has been too few and too long. Even I make faith the dearer wager, cheating only to even out these odds. Your smooth flesh beneath my rough hand. Your idle hours once was, your history dowsed in greasy ash.

You say you saw it in the sky, counted it in clouds and crows. You learned to love the strange in travel and still know every exit and the rituals of the road. Your body turned in phases, phrasing blood and bone in hip and shoulder. The wolf left half a moon high above, and I follow you in hints and crumbs. Old flames and constant cravings. Life written down like it was songs.

I wipe up crumbs and dole cold morsels to my retinue of beasts. The television cracks its jokes through the silty evening. The chair creaks as I bend and rise. I ache in my bones from all this longing. I am lost in the stillness of every unlit room and empty threat. It wasn't the best that I could tell you. It isn't even you that I can tell. A face like all promise, smiling in a picture. A winter's memory that slips on every ice.