Monday, April 30, 2012

lost in place

Little light pierces the scuffed up surface of the sky, all gray clouds and bands of gold. The light is diminished, yet to look up still can blind. What a day to be kept waiting for that certain secret truth. What a time to be alive when all the lies walk the streets without deference to the hour. The ragged roses all in bloom, the bees spilling down from the eaves.

It might be true that I dream of you, I never remember much too far from waking. Even with the grayest stretch of day, the sun can find your eyes. I can barely tell the weather that I’m tangled in, never mind the mumbling clutter of my mind. The world spills away no matter what I say. As for these threads of ache and beauty, I only miss the parts I know.

The sky still stabs and lingers, a wall at my back and my eyes to the west. The sun nests upon the grapefruit tree until I have to look away. The world hasn’t changed, or I just forgot it-- either way works fine. Peach-pale rose petals gather in the shabby grass that grows in clumps and clots. I look towards the limbs that reach up in casual mendincance, the sky puddle gray and fire bright. I look past the ends of the earth, lost in my garden though the world does not move without me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

nothing much

The mockingbird all but said as much. I had something on my mind, and nothing much to say. The lawnmower next door buzzes and pings, drowning out the birdsong and ranchera music, clotting the air in a gauze of noise and spatter. It is hot even in the shade, the daylight traded for plodding matter. My mouth is laden with dust. If I spoke it would be in clouds and storms. If I spoke, it would be to no-one.

The sun shine endures, measured against the dirt and sky. The world seems all lit, each and every feature noted, favored with that hint of fire. The litter of dead leaf and pine needle cradles the stretch and mark of shade, a slow dull dazzle caught in the drift and drive of the day. Even common thought eludes me, stuck between litany and revery. Even ordinary time loses something, translated into flesh and song.

It is so subtle, it doesn’t seem like loss. It is so simple, it barely feels like sweat. The work of the world staggers and plummets, while silly fairy stories hold vigil against the edge. A native tongue choked with rust and concussion, the mind a series of aches and gaps amid the wandering weeds. This one longing too typical to mention, as these appetites are set out to sea upon chunks of ice and oil spills. The mockingbird always adept at singing someone else’s song, my life caught in the measure of moth wings. The distance between the lightbulb conflagration and the beckoning of the moon.

Friday, April 27, 2012


The houses have been abandoned to the banks. All the avenues are empty. The sun withholds its favors, then loses all control. The windswept light all at once surrenders its features, picking its colors from the depth of the spectrum. A mocking bird sings and reels, falling broadly from sky to pine. It comes along just so often, the weight of all wonder just so. It comes along like stolen kisses lingering just beneath the fever of this spill of life.

She is the the orange cat lazing in the green grape vines, she is a mouthful of peppermints. She always lingers into the thin air, lolls between tongue and tell. Just enough secrets to spark and blue, just enough simple to make that same mistake. The broken record bird call, the dogs a-doze in the sun. The high sad harmonies that always find you out of pocket. The dim deep songs she carries in her campfire dark descent.

Would I ever know enough of the map to find a road, could I ever find the lay of the land? Is there always this wide open empty, this gathering of sense in the wake of losing ground? These dull desperate gods of plagues and domination, this priesthood of confounded lies. The lost count or the knowing number. The yawning day and the brittle night. Always looking back at sins of omission from this constant waiting out the grave. Watching all these birds, wishing for bees.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

counted down

Was it the sun on the skin, was it the wind in the trees, this ghost of warmth and whispers? The long descent so perilous and without incident that danger seems a sudden impediment rather than the course of the constant. All those slip-thin senses that catch glimpses from the corners, all the amalgamations of ought and is that guided our lives and nights now abandoned for these  imperfect implements of dull imagination. The primal fire still blazes bright, so we give our voices over to stories of motive and belief. And the sky is clotted with airplane and satellite, telling us all that we already know. The streets are full of cars and bullets, and screams we barely ever hear.

The hour and the clock can't help but disagree. The writing on the wall, or the word carved into the world. Time is telling by how it is told. First by a number, then by the sun, then by the circles spun about the sun.  You feel it in the air, like that hint of blood on your breath. You feel it in your bones, all these aches and lull-a-byes. The afternoon squirms with beasts and birds, and those awful children you love so much. It ends up birth where we place the blame, though the whole game is so gaffed that the surest way to lose is to play it straight. Secular sermons from the heaven besotted entangle claims for human nature, while they persuade the slave rebellion that freedom is only blood or chains. The times that were all inscribed in the tangle of root and bone, the times to be all laid out in their graves.

It is all theft and hapless reckoning. It is all faith that every evil is secretly good. Never mind that only the pig can know the price of pork. Forget that only the dead can fathom the cost of the cause. There was, for one instant, that blush of youth. Spring in the air and the absolution of the rising night. Instead I glean the lies from the ether, the stubborn sickness of the greedy human heart. All praise destruction and their petty ethos, all claim that special grasp of heaven's love. I am only remembered now as an angle, only needed as dollar or a drone. I keep this distance as my troth, forget my name as a sign I will never forget. The enemies of my enemies my foes as well, all consolation nesting at the end of days. That last number so isolated and remote, it can only be counted down.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Time goes on, what may what must. And still the sword cleaves to the stone, the great bow unstrung in the hall dotted with old dogs and suitors. Jesus still runs on messiah time, and the extra place remains empty every year. The thunderer hasn't perished in the jaws of that last monster, each calendar never the last. You'll don't show each and every night again, and still just the thought of your maybe gets my motor going.

The song unwinds as the light catches the tv screen, my clumsy typing keeping the worst of time. The voice rings and doves coo, the song tumbling down sweetly, sticking to every sense. I crack my neck, leaning into the pry bar of prophecy, flush with every gasp of descent. Bricks splint so long ago that what ever the had built is all but forgotten. Gravel buried in the ages gathered outside my open window, wind and sirens and the neighbors' unruly hounds. Meaning clustered between breath and tooth and tongue, the mind wandering the world, feeling like it just missed.

Each night there's nothing new, though everything just keeps happening. It isn't the lay of the land or the play of the light as you turn. It isn't your shadow mingling with the worrying of moth wings, the breathless kiss against the dim lit fence. Songs play again anew, traffic drifts and strays. The moon and the stars and the planets. Births and graves and that gaze that lingers far too long. Your dream or some other's, something is bound to come true. The air is empty and still I see you. The furthest star past the end of days.

Friday, April 20, 2012

that grim beauty

There’s nothing to be done. It seems that everyday lately it is spring, with summer soon to follow. The days stretch and gather what they may. Rosebuds or aphids, bullet shells and bodily wounds. The chill that slowed the seepage is gone, and all manner of beasts and fevers are awake and hungry. There is beauty, though there is always beauty, it still cleaves and whispers. Beauty with all its simple equivalencies and stealthy lies. Beauty with all its aches and mirror, leaving splinters in the seeing. Wounding and wedding every eye.

Sunlight paints with that broad brush, reflecting each given bandwidth, throwing shadows into the dust. The mind wanders, caught in reflection or revelry. We lose ourselves in skins and the slow burn of memory, all the pretty horses, all our forever loves. The press of a picture against reason, that kiss that steals the senses, filling the cradles with the changeling creatures of want and recollection. Imperfect phrasing and those eyes that lock the heart in half-imagined cages. I see her face in the crowd of past tense, feel her touch linger in long lost flesh. It is a turn of tides, a trick of the light. Beauty always takes its cut off the top, leaving the rest to mayhem and chagrin.

There is a light that always hint of her smile, a blue in the sky like the bright in her eye. There is a song written in the wind that always suggests her voice caught in the trees. The world turns over and over, but it never seems to start. Instead there is all this dirt and all these seasons. Instead there are ten thousand beauties that are never her. Wounds mend, bones knit. The birds sing up a storm, and the tide comes calling all the beaches and the boats. There are poems made of mistaken moments, poems made like the nests of wasps, chewed up leaves and mouthfuls of mud. These words chase their tails and spin their stories, aching for that grim beauty devoured in our youths.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

beat the count

Life will give you long, smoky looks. Life will give you lemons, and all manner of lucky numbers. Guess all you want, but you don’t get to know the ending until it is already over. Knocked down and broken, the world gifts you with bouquets and sobriquets, with bruises and stitches and the quiet knitting of too brittle bones. Not dead yet might be all you get, but it means at least you aren’t down for the count. Lay back and let it drift by, struggle up to beat the count. Life won’t wait forever. Another day washes over me, and I feel like laying down.  I lose a little more every day, my bum leg giving out, my blue murder moods gnawing holes in my mind. I have failed too often, lost my place in line. Several sicknesses are on me, and there is no respite behind my eyes. I no longer can even dream sweetly, let alone sleep through the night. Passions have all but left me, haunted only by a few ghosts, and the monster that I was. I know there would be a long sad sigh of relief once I was gone, and wouldn’t hold any curse cast my way against those who despised me. The world wouldn’t be much the worse for my passing, yet I won’t stay down. I don’t do much, but there is no-one to take up my chores once I am gone. No understudy, no acolyte, no heir apparent or other-wise. Just this crummy inheritance and the lilies of the field. Just the meat and bone and the press of air, the fire held and the stars all lost in their travels. Life belongs to no-one,  not to heaven or hell. Even your life is a conspiracy rooted in the beginnings of time, trillions of critters honoring treaties agreed upon before consensus could even be. Legions of ancestors and multitudes of organisms doing all the heavy lifting of existence, beings unknown and strange laboring beneath the fever of your every breath. A crowd of finches feeding on a flowering tree beset with bloom and bee, blessed by this  fecund season. I find my feet, limp along that same old line. My days numbered, no-one counting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It is enough to know that there will be no left-overs. It is enough to know that even the things that never were will be gone. So much laden like Macbeth’s many sorry tomorrows. So much lost before anyone gave a thought to the looking. Day green and fevered, nights black as trust. Rooms lit with candles and windows riddled with rain. Promises that died as sweet lips shed them.

There are no plums, no red wheel-barrow. There is no trace of art or bitter intent. The days are caught in blue and breeze, dancing like a fallen leaf or discarded bag. The moon melts away without worrying any witness. Mud and dust and broken truths. The affectations of reason devoured by the great dumb leap of faith.

It goes without saying that I have sputtered and strayed. It goes without saying that I am lost in the halls and crypts of my own life. All the maps gave way to the monsters and mistakes. I have thrown away most of my vain clingings and sad attachments. Love letters and other failed failures in poems and prose. I have settled in the depths of my grief and madness, that barrel either aimed at my temple or pointed towards the congregation. I have settled on a definition without picking a direction. Scribbled in the margins as though tomorrow gave a damn.


You won’t find me amidst those stars, cast like a shadow at or away from fortune. My fate isn’t hung on the posts of birthday constellations, boiled down to daily platitudes and lucky guesses. All my empty wishes were extinguished despite the falling of some star, no candle snuffed or streak of light. The universe goes about its work, comfortable with general principles and extenuating circumstance. The wheels turn, the galaxies spin, and the world tumbles on and on, not worried about my whethers or my words. I might watch the skies, but they sure aren’t watching me.

Mostly, with a history like mine, it is stories and alibis. A reason placed into the sunken rhymes of happenstance. Explanations full of dependent clauses, blame owned or passed along to chance and change. We all have our crosses, we all play our parts. Certainties with endings so abrupt that all certainty is unhinged. Heady infatuations and little flames, all extinguished by the date of publication. Social forces and personal failings, mental illness and the price of sin.

There really isn’t anything left to tell. The years speed by, the days clot and drawl. Another spring, another afternoon crowned by sunlight mingling in the shadows of pines. Scars and passions, reflections and various impediments. The wary, weary awareness of unending limitations. Running on fumes as the fires burn out. Alive and beaten at a moment of personal handicap and social unrest. The whole wide world never quite what we name it, thinking that the mirror and our sanctified self-regard are even close to our story. Believing that we are exempt from systems we can never escape. Believing that the stories we created are all that can ever be, and that there is any other birth-rite than that of being another life in this rough and hungry world. Even our gods are lost to this long vast empty, dusted with all these countless common stars.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The sky seems equal portions green leaf and tattered cloud, that and the hard-earned blue of a reluctant spring finally finding its way. A crow sounds out its riotous complaints, gathering flight with a wave of its wings. The rain that left still colors the flora, tamping down a winter’s worth of dust. Everything thing feels as if it was just set loose after an unwarranted detention, a little frenzy mingling with every freedom. Sure the dogs have gotten to barking, sure the kids are a plague upon their houses. All seasons are particular about their price. I keep my head down and take my portion. Maybe no-one will notice when it all goes bad.

The air is clotted with insects aloft upon the fitful winds, all gossamer glint and chitinous shine. The fields teem with this unfathomable host, this legion that has held the heavens since before the dinosaurs. This horde that will gleam and glow long past the sorting of our souls. It is all grass blade and flower bloom and the cracked hubris of so much cement down here. The crow has gone, and a coterie of less assertive passerines squawk and chirp in the fresh green trees. I try to ignore the wreckage of my yard, and all the works I long to never commit. It shouldn’t be too terribly hard: I’ve ignored the wreck I’ve become for years.

The breeze blows here and there. Clouds drift past the sight-lines of the sun. Traffic passes, insisting that there is somewhere it has to be. A humming bird pauses in mid-flight to take my measure, then zips away with a finality feeling almost like contempt. I am used to it. I consort with too many carnivores of varying sizes and speeds to be too popular with anybody who needs to worry about being eaten. The scrub jays and mocking birds in the neighborhood can barely conceal their disgust. Thoughts loll and drowse, carried away by each particular tide. Words perch nearby just to flee when I have nearly caught them. They rise into those swathes of green and white and blue, leaving me tasting nothing but my tongue.

Monday, April 9, 2012

scar tissue

The sundown squeezes out more shadows, burning all that’s left. It comes down to dust and swarms, the spaces between the fence boards painted at my feet. The longing dwindles though the grasping never ends. That caracole of flesh subsists between this shine and burn. The tragedies and treasure maps that bear witness to all that touch has wrought. These sweet seals and bitter limits, the face lined with worries and flecked with doubt.

We all survive a little wounding, we’re none too fresh out of the box. The dreams that always linger just beyond tomorrow, the tales told on us by the way our shoulders bow. The jagged glass, the smug retort. The scars from where we touched too hard, the punctuation at the tail end of calamity. We sing and weep and limp along. Every smile so creased and cut.

It’s another sky owed to some storm unbirthed, a color cast towards a calling far removes. The sun still lingers upon another day I squandered, sitting by a scrub pine, squinting on my left. The air rings out with a growling lawn mower and a speeding car. The trees all sing with birds. Some radio calls down the end of the world, doomsday the only holiday we celebrate the same. Something I said still clings to the meat. Something nearly remembered, almost a measure of the loss.

Friday, April 6, 2012

the steady relent

Has there ever been a light so bright or a shade so faithless? Has there ever been a blue so bruised and furtive? Spring itself shudders, wrapped in this silken ache, choking on this measure of smoke. The patchwork shadows of leaf and needle rest, sullen on the field of muddy surrender. The sad clock unwinds its busywork, never knowing the attention of deft fingers or tender mercies. The whole wide world gone away, replaced by so much buck and thunder. The whole wide world lost so long ago, only strangers left to keep the time.

It is a wonder of diminished portions, a bird here, a wing there. The steady relent of every appetite, all these aches lost crossing over. Tomorrow a mystery, today just the same, nothing to hold close save the bitter and the blue. The sun on my shoulder, the shadows pooling at my feet. The day sorts its business as it will. I find no reason, however bright the light or clear the sky. I find no reason, not even the reason to look for one. It isn't as if the new world is at a loss. The transition becomes translation, and the words all slip away.

There will be stars, sharp and distant beyond all cloud and roof. The sea still rollicks and charges far beyond the greening of these stony hills. There is music and there is laughter, all the comforts and perils of love and living everywhere one could look. So much of life tangled in the dreams of being that one you never were that it is gone when the awakening arrives. All these stories kept so close, saved for telling this one or that one. The things we see, the things we have done. The things we hope at, the things we fear without reason. Outlive it all with years still left plodding. Outlive it all, and see what you make of everything. An accounting and a calendar, a name and a face no-one remembers was yours.