Wednesday, May 30, 2012

this sense of kisses lingering

Like ice pressed slow against tongue and lip, so close to something like a kiss. Like the broad abandon of a leaf risen in the wind, the reach of feather as the wing brushes back the sky.  Her words are caught upon her clever lips, water swallowed just to dream of thirst. The shadows stretch and flutter, the nearing differences, dust mite and dust mote.  The grime of living caught glittering in the light.

There is a mark upon her shadow, ink upon her hip. Just enough pause mingled with sway. Just enough glow reaching after ache. These spells she carries in her bones, even gravity stops and stares. The scuff of rough fingers smoothing back her hair. A measure left to guess after steady in her eyes.

If it was up to me, I'd dream of dragons. Comic book sharp and always somehow fourteen. Lost in silly longing for things that never were. Walking backwards towards tomorrow, counting birds and breadcrumbs. Memory a kind of poetry of omission and inflation, read aloud to a crowd of impassive strangers. Dreams of wandering gray empty streets, dark windows and lost dogs. Almost the rain, almost that romance. This sense of kisses lingering, rising with the night.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

the same

Oh, this existence. So many mirrors, so much paperwork. The years of straining through the fog. The faraway song of a sheltering dove. We sleep and wake and sleep again, letting each day carry us to bed. Every hour pressed and folded. Every moment clucked at, then tucked away. Always the mind over matter, as if we ever knew anything else. Always the clouded corners of perception fading out of sight.

Such a sorry pantomime. Such a bitter charade. Clots and pains and aches and madness. Head pointed at the dusty ground as hail melts on my bare feet. The rain so fitful, the mood so dire. Every day a little further from the dream. Every day a little nearer some bloody end. Nothing but tears and murder. A few tall and stalwart trees, a handful of pretty birds. A spider climbs my leg for shelter, seemingly startled that I am alive.

Two more midnights now. The television telling jokes, then laughing at them. I type another notice of suicidal ideation, my dull biography a litany of cursing and complaint. The television talking in another room, taking care of itself. I know when I'm not needed. Just look at the clock on the wall. I know when I am not wanted, lost in my own rattled moods. I keep saying this can't last. I keep feeling the same.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Ring the bell and set the markers. Sing so sadly in the twilight. All these songs of darkened ashes. All these songs of dwindling heat. Your voice so soft, and yet it carries. The hour so late and the day so old.

I pry the bones out of their puzzles. I stretch the breath out of every ache. Eyes like oceans now like embers. Thoughts like birds conspiring in the trees. I stand quite still, and the moments shift and fall. The ghost that has gone just the press of the plummet, the stress of a notion broken by the world. The light lingers still, though all the sights are out.

The mind is in a turmoil while the matter is in a rut. The burdens of all the beasts we bear. I wander the house, checking every light and lock. A glass of cold water, a soothing moment in the kitchen glow. The creak of floor and the rattle of plumbing. The wind rises up and walks straight through the structure. A creature in my habits, a cage in every hall I haunt.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

what to watch for when the sun goes out

It will not do to feel forsaken. It will not do to call the moon a thief. The daylight was lost in the first twirl, the dance of days, the music of the spheres. The dice tossed so long ago that our species wasn't extant, let alone in the game. The wager of light and shadow, the bet upon eye or instinct. Nothing ever ventured to measure such a loss. No fate ever so settled as to redeem all your fuckery and shit-heeled prayers. I was broken from the get go. The soul burnt out long before the devil sold the sun.

Mostly it is the strange migration of detail from backdrop to foreground. Mostly it is the evident encyclical of bone and wing. The soot colored flesh, the wasted landscape of pit and rise. Dark gods may return as monsters. Angels may try to sell you magic beans. If you stare into the hinted oblivion above, you will see each of your deaths in Lego form. Celebrities might endorse you for no discernible reason, waving their typical fees. Disbelieve as thoroughly as you can. Just because the dead are speaking doesn't mean you should encourage them.

It says something about the hour, yet neglects to mind the time. It says something about the cosmos, yet does not offer faith or flesh. Come dark prophecy, come blessed message, the earth and sky do not long or fret. The fray is too far beyond our pay grade, the universe too much further than our best measure. Remit your gods and demons, awake to that which makes them tremble and blanche. Spill your words and shed your selves. What of the light that is lost us? What of these roads that close as we go by? The new moon will tell us what to watch for when the sun goes out.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

old moon

The wounds all go untreated. No-one can find the soul. Instead the empty is clotted with whispers. Instead the shadows are fed shed skin and green leaf. The yard is full of tracks and traces, strange landings and odd partners. The world goes on, lamenting that dwindling light, secretly delighted to devour that last gasp of tomorrow. The world goes on, glutted on blood and vitriol, while raccoons ransack my garage each night.

Outside the day stirs up dust and trouble. Inside the hallway is thick with dogs. Negotiations remain fruitless, so the walls endure their slow dissolve, the sky its smattering of applause. Rattle-glass basslines and the dull report of car alarms. The wind slowly grinding the world into glass. I receive a letter from a midnight yet to be, half valentine, half ransom. The stars say wait and watch us fall. My shadow crumples beneath my feet.

Spells are cast and prayers are spoken. Something dear is lost forever, some new darling discovered washed ashore. All the alloted aches and pains assemble, bemoaning the losses borne of skin-tone and status. Cigarettes spill their fumes out of ashtrays, flecks of ashes, rumors of bone. The sky changes directions and swaps coats, somewhere along the in-between. The old gods all monsters, the new gods at best thieves. The old moon all but gone along the firmament, the new moon dozing in its dreams.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The day breaks bad, the heart turns lonesome, sunlight tossed around and the coffee still hot and strong. Every muscle aches in its particulars, the burden so heavy, the back so stiff and indifferent. For a moment there I escaped my labor. For a time there I could elude my crimes. But the world it works its mysteries right out in the open. The world does its damage set on full automatic. We haggle over the names when deeds were all that were ever offered.

I'm just the same as everyone, save for specific deficits and complaints. To be undone is to be a drop in the ocean, to be unravelled is to be dust in the wind. Another day, another pebble of apostasy. Another day, another prophecy self-fulfilled. I cough and sputter, I limp along. Tomorrow’s failures so tall on the shoulders of those that came before them. Tomorrow’s gods so conveniently on your side. I would tell you your fortune, but that would give away mine. Every truth spit bears the epithet of spoiler. The devil in the details, the bird on the wire.

The wind is wild, flinging leaf and music, making shadows dance. Gears grind and stick, breaking teeth and  running rough under the idle. I stumble through my chores, ignoring most warning signs. My body is a frame full of chained zombies, my mind a nest of parasites set ablaze. My days are numbered without counting. Everyone’s days are on the clock. I bungle the job to accomplish the work. I butcher the routine to get to its meat. I try to favor tiny kindnesses. I try to appreciate how gently they approach my murder. The world still devours the gentle and the kindly, just as it does the wicked and the cruel. These machines obligate these entanglements. I focus on my close-up work, abandoning my act.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


At long last I am hidden from mystery, obscure to the arcane and the occult. No more bones and notions. No more rallies and retreats. A slew of words spilling out the window. A brace of ghosts rattling their chains. Line by line gathering moss as the picture lasts and lasts. I stumble and vie in plain sight, there on the face of things. I inherit a few simple pieces, all my habits always at hand. Every door and window wait, wide open.

The bare blue sky rings with crows and starlings. The wailing of the accidental car alarm, the distance always growling, motor and untethered bass. Here the old dog awaits death, all flummoxed and enfumed. Here the yellow cat take the leaning pine, swift footed and clever clawed. I close my eyes to look for lost dreams. I wear dark glasses to keep in the heat. The big pup bounds and dances, the little gladiator piercing lip and muzzle. Vague confoundments of kicked up dust hide the details and flatten the palette. It is enough to bow my head for the moment. It is enough to hold still as stillness clings to me.

It is pretense to claim some revelation. It is artifice that finds me skipping certain lines. As if I was ever far from the target. As if I was ever close to the crown. The careful shroud is torn away, while we busy our selves with watching the curtains. A tell only useful when no-one thinks to see. Each poem mostly just what it says, the whole thing never really finished. Each secret mostly the centerpiece of the table. The whole world feels a made-up puzzle, people all stuck in the same room, however far they wander. The vast and drafty universe as though you know a difference. Pointing at a map, always a location.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The day burns low, and there isn't a spell in sight. The cat is too busy, and I never trust the owl. The stage is always set though the scene is always changing. The gossamer of dusk and insect wings, the breath of cold metal and green grass. Every song lets loose at once, and the air is never settled. The sharp eyes of hidden curses may fly, the fates and furies might take up arms at this insolent dissolution, but I still work at it line by line. I might elude notice, but I am easy enough to find. The night has all its tricks yet to play. Those lingering distances, these crowded streets.

I never know until the blood is on me. I never know until the deal turns south. I never seem to have the time to stretch. Mostly it is the limits of the instruments rather than the lay of the land. Mostly it is bad driving and empty tanks. Whether it is waiting in the shadows, whether it is knocking on the door, I am lost until the reel begins. Agents and practitioners plot and scheme, they win the day. Creatures and diseases hunt and roam,  they shake the night. I only have my bad ideas and worse headaches, my counsel the wind on the one side, the road on the other.

The magic happens, with or without. Some little startled spark to captivate the eye, some dream of heaven to canter with the heart. I catch a lilt beneath the wind, see a crow walking down the road. Then the moment moves and someone is choosing sides. The entanglement might begin with the identity, but the organism carries on. Ghost and blood, word and way. Silent paws, unseen wings. The whole spell-book thrown like a gauntlet, the street littered with cast aways. I keep my knife with-in its sheath, I put my prayers away.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the southpaw stance

It feels like some rite of aperture. Some tide of focus falling just right. This instant, a field of mottled shadow; that moment, the graven purity of shine and hue.  Like the flavor of a photograph tinting the trends remembered, that memory nothing like the sun. My head hung low as the lively breeze rises. The day crowned with flowers and colored feathers, my eyes cast hard to the ground. That vague tension when bee’s wings are prone to hum. A halo of pine needles, clinging tight to the simile.

Light puddles in grainy dollops, greases my witness with tears. Static crackles from the jagged lack of definition, the recoil your only recourse. The season empties its bag of tricks, mixing its metaphors, switching from a southpaw stance. I am the tacky pottery  gone to ruin in bitter shards. I am the echo that seems to shadow everything you say. Patters of grammar left alone in the dry and sightless night. Cracks in the foundation, a stammering row of stones. The rest is adhesion and word order, the measure between the last spin of the tongue and all those natural laws. I see a picture of a picture, a reminder of the lies of eyes.

I convalesce in the telling, the puzzle by the piece and trouble. I glide over the rhyme of light, fake the melody and skip the beat. The breech abides all answers. The gap denies the asking. The draw of this litany, longing all the draught. You so very real and near, there must’ve been a prayer. You so very close and there, it has to be a dream.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

the flow of obscure bones

One by one the stars are put away, slid into some other nighttime’s sky. The day arrives, unbidden and far too early, rattling the doorknobs and savaging the blinds. Soon there might be stories, some proclamation of my betters, or the details of some sad catastrophe. I gather the papers and drag them inside, scarcely noticing a word. Daybreak comes, and I tend to tend to beasts. What news there is will keep.

The wind chimes sing and peal their witness to the breeze, the day caught between separate claims, the sky featureless and far. The skin is sealed in legions and limits, the odd drift of biology, the secret reasons of blood. The flesh tears and mends, it aches and absolves the name of so many lost and wanton spirits. The settling of souls into the liminal songs that aggregate in dust and detritus, the trend always veering between ethereal mystery and dense reckoning. The slabs of pavement smothering the soil in its sleep, the rattle of fitful engines spitting fumes, the scuff of feet falling as feet must do. All this calamity, playing at intent.

The afternoon just bleeds away, with bird song and the canter of loose traffic. The sun falls in ripples and rivers, tides of green and piles of gray. This collision of breath and flesh abides the flow of obscure bones, the fold and stretch of form concealing most of the rumors of function. What will there was will be missing from the records, a few scattered words swallowed by the earth. What reason there was long ago abandoned, a village built upon the flood-plains, a castle sunk into the sands. Just a slew of oaths and epithets, dull promises and clever lies. Another life full of hubris and disregard, lost to all concerns.

Friday, May 4, 2012

paper yellow

Another day weighted with the scuff and tread of the stranger, as bright as treasure, as blinding as pride. Huddled among all these colors, paper pale and dyed-cotton darker, I mumble my varied breathy threats. Words spit-shined and cast away into the wind and the weeds. Each sulky breath shambling into towers and basements, oaths and curses and the clumsy account. Clouted with a spectrum these eyes never see, they turn to bruise and ache. The proud bouquet of such lovely promise, the cold retort of some sullen gun. I imagine you always everywhere.

It becomes a shift in balance, a swallowing of dead conceits. It amounts to a trick of mirror and persuasion, the press of ink an ancient remainder of first impressions. The blank page already a step into the brutal pursuit of some other end. The font of bluff and bleat settled the instant that path is noted, the moment the beast becomes a name. This is that bottle, tossed away in the ocean. This is that presumption bound to be proved false. The anchor made of wishes drags in a direction, so far away and immeasurably deep.

You become these golden moments, the kiss of sensation catching in the wind. The sun blazes down, grapefruit fallen from the tree, a Tonka truck entangled in web and weed. The reaching rose a fey pastel, petals lost paper yellow in the tangled green grass. You slip between the flickers of perception, so many stillnesses mistaken inevitably for intent. From the fire bright sparking of the lit fuse to that early shine of that first star caught. From some color struck into my skin, to that glow you leave woven between the seams of the day. Something written down, aging into some shade of true.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

other birds' songs

I paid no attention to the day as it was breaking, but it broke all the same. It rides the rails of wind and dust, dousing candles and inflaming allergic reactions as it can. The regular declarations of fiery sovereignty  are spit by the mockingbird, airing retreads of other birds’ songs. It is a tense and jangling music, like the melody of a thrown rod, or a set of wrenches spilling in twos and threes. I can almost see the score as I am pelted by twigs and dirts. The day doesn’t really work. We have that much in common.

Gravel spills outside the gates of the old dog yard, mingling with buried brick and dry clay besides the back porch on one end, and slowing the chain-link gate on the other. As a child I would play for hours in the gravel, skipping them over the dog house, crushing the stragglers between hunks of quartz. Now there is rust and clutter, dozens of pots and shelves I still haven’t sorted out. The wind continues to coil about the earth and all its refugees, throwing a commotion through the trees and shrubs and drowsy clouds across the face of the firmament. Time’s touch is both clumsy and light.

It isn’t enough, what little I manage to accomplish or commit. A faint trace of labor, some pitiful abomination. Words scattered like salt from a toppled cellar, broken promises and empty threats. No clout that I can’t carry, all compass and no map. The mockingbird is still at it, whirring like a starling and scolding like a jay. The wind sets the shadows to shimmer, buffeting leaf and limb above. Things break and rust and linger on past their purpose, descending by design. Dogs bark and children laugh. The ruckus just goes on and on. I don’t see far and I don’t see clearly, my eyes all cloudy, stung with dust.