Sunday, July 29, 2012

semiotics

Always there is the lie of every letter. Always there is the danger of the restless dust. The face framed upon the wall, the face staring daggers from inside the mirror. The story written over and over, the song going on and on. That hint I am troubled by so much telling and so little to say. The relative positions of tree, bird, and sun. Footpads and fingerprints. The inherent inadequacy of the softest sell.

There are always armchair quarterbacks. The chosen and the driven, then the broad deluge. Rock stars and session players, then the rest of us picking up. After awhile, you have to take your eyes off the map and recognize the road you're on. After awhile, you have to recognize what the world already knows. The ache and the labor. The worry and the love. The scratchy crawl of insistent ink, each smudge and crease of the vast decline. The workers and the dreamers, the watchers in the wings. At some point, everyone already knows.

I watch the wind move the high leaves. I watch the smpke coil off into lit particulars and poems. Three crows cross the sky, holy and irreverent. Dogs and cats loll, scattered about the thirsty yard. It isn't the story, it's the scene. It isn't the word, it's the way. Finches flit and fuss above me. Life goes on and on. I watch as oceans of ash dance in the dwindling light. The hungry wind and the dying pines, the pictures painted on the empty hallways of the mind. The urgent mystery, the muffled secrets, the hours that scrape and crawl. This vacant claim, this endless kiss.

Friday, July 27, 2012

be still

It is the sort of sky that just longs to be unsettled. It is that part of heaven where no-one wants to look. All blush and ever leaning, the smallest hint of sugar dusted on the tongue. That hush that makes it seem as if something will be said. That moment that moves like water, spilling over the end of the world.

We measure it in pieces, the burnt flesh of sacrament, the burnt sugar of the poem. The eyes that find us, the hands that fail. The world goes dark, all bliss and intonation. The light goes low, hinting of that rapturous lust. Paint me a picture, sing me a song. Let the story take it out to sea. The word upon the water, the wing upon the wind. The tongue flicks against the lips. Anything could happen lost among the stars.

It's all good, then it's gone. Everything is peachy, then it's pie. Come cliff or seaside, the road goes on and on. Sword or pen or plowshare, the snake will never die. Every dog has its day, every worm has its turn. Wonders do not cease. It is the words that wear thin. All this talk runs down. Let the sky divide its bounty. Let the world carry its share. Amid these stars and silences be taken by this grace. Out here past the reasons tend to the fires that must be.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

clout

Long ago I was loosed on this world, and still I wait and wander. The words skitter and sulk, caught in that just so light. Everything leaning hard into sun or shadow. Everything plain and simple with so much waiting in the wings. Everything slain and tasted with so much gone for good. I lose track of the time, I lose my place. I seem to always be in the middle of starting over. Hard to keep track of the trailing tongues and soap-box spellbinding when no one is listening.

Still the world goes about its business, the sky flowing overhead, the earth spinning underfoot. My foot prints trail beneath, my foot prints lost below. The days are strung together more or less in order. The calendar hanging just in case. All these clocks and numbers such pitiless harbors, every tale told to the tune of alibi. Laws invented to excuse investigations. Crimes made up on the spot to serve as crowd control.

The years peel away and still I'm talking. I miss the point and won't shut up. Filthy rags and bitter bones scattered in the circle. Worn out jokes and broken bottles littering my wake. Was I ever close to right? Was I never in the mix? I cannot count my blessings, cannot begin the know how much I do not know. The day burns down, and I am covered in dust and ashes. I keep going on with no-one to tell me no.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

sacrifice

It is gleaned slowly, this bit of cloth, this slip of soul. The heavy hearted ache of the earth, the stubborn silence of the tenser metals. That pull that harrows through the slabs and the sparks, the haunted house feel of seeing someone familiar gazing from a stranger's eyes. Day by day the reserves are drained. Year by year the treasures are pawned. They ask for the keys and your cooperation. It is an adjustment you will have to make, at long last so devastatingly free.

That is the trouble with the universe, everything having to go somewhere. These flecks of bone and meat, empty eyes and tufts of skin. Dust once, dust again, the journey always the story left mingling with the in-betweens. The road earned and the road owed, stop signs and open intersections. Lists of things and heaps of things and forgotten things never again to mention. Big enough it may as well be endless. Big enough to hold a few eternities and still have room to lose a few. Look at this map and try not to find a monster.

So I bide my time with the parting breeze, feel the wind blow through. The slow burn of desiccated flesh, the long haul of ache and fall. I trace the shape of the last incantation. I watch as further words are marked and swept away. Sweat beads slowly, cooled by the stingy whispers and the off-color remarks the season must have saved up. The world cools slowly as the air warms and starts. It spins and spins, breaking bolts and kicking sparks. Every day a sacrifice, every day a savior.

Friday, July 20, 2012

bets and debts

Sometimes the sunset is dressed to kill, sometimes it lets it slide. I never could keep count, lost and dumb and always a little amazed. I never knew they had my number and were always keeping score. Some days it goes from blue to black, some days it just burns and burns. I sit until the shadows take me. I am still and I am swallowed by h the depths of the gathering night.

Tonight the dusk flows slowly, closing in as hints and secrets. The thrill of a subtle breeze touching sun warmed skin. The whisper of insects in the air and the blur of birds through the trees. The crowded call of music approaching, the drawl and reach of music as it pulls away. Crows stream ink along the sky, flying to whatever roost awaits. The effect is strangely plaintive as I submerge into this usual stupor. The whole day gone or going, the life it leaves behind.

There is that sundown pause, then that sliver of a moon. The world takes a breath and eyes open or close. Another dusk bereft of direction, another stumble of well-worn words. The road imagined always rundown by the road that is, I never believe my luck. I paw and sulk and brute my way from nowhere to its mother with barely scar or bother. I stoop unscathed while all those betters and youngers line up on the precipice. Deep in tree and shadow I leave these marks and scratches. Gifted though as far from my wishes as my heart is from the nearest star. Though lost un this muddle of sadness and doubt, I am clearly blessed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

dead branches

The wind spills and the sunlit dust seems to flicker and strobe, light lost in tiny spaces and brittle bough. A dirty hat on a dirty head, a dirty mind for a dirty bed.  The bloom off the rose bleeding into the afternoon. Just suppose this was a lonely road, long and weary and never quite wide enough to allow a pass. Just suppose this was only about the direction you are not. Again this fit of blood and burn, this split of root and branch. Each of us our sea of reasons. Each of us our seasons of faith and want.

This is always once the fever fires, always once the riot arrives. We are blessed with the liberty of second guessing. We are heavy with the wisdom of lives we never live. Once the war, we note the rumor. Once the absence captured we argue after the reason never there. All these little candles and so many shadows cast. All these fickle fables there vaguely on my head. Half an illustration so mistaken it could be some invention of my memory or the press of lips against this burned down imagination. Rock n roll playing on some passing radio, dopplering out in some qualified infinity. Drum and guitar, all the stars we never saw. A cheap life echoed in some other's end.

As always it is dust and thunder. As always it comes down to blood and ghosts. Root and branch, bird and bloom. The old test chestnut, wrong objections and the trick of choice. Water needing nothing but the bluff of its own level, uncles and cousins and dense confusions of court and kin. The measure always hard pressed against its limits. The means a little crueler than you'd like. These graveyard trophies and wake up calls. Always an angle, always a debt. All the words shuffled and stacked against this prescience again and again. Forever someone I'll never be, forever somewhere I'll never know. Tears and prayers spent for the song and the habit, best of blue wishes and heaven's mysterious help.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

love letter, inside out

I'm not much to look at, rags and paste and mumbled aches. I have to hide my eyes from the sun, pale and vaguely searching away. I have to elude the truth just to keep on course. Days wasted on wordless reading and stifled thought. Out among the dry air and aimless dust I wait to wear out my last welcome. Every shadow weighs the same until it is lifted by the wind.

The world doesn't work so much as whirl and whirl, the fleeting calendar and the restless seas. Blood is spilled, candles lit. The reel seems to rock and sway, dance upon dance, brick upon brick. All this persistent building, the ruck and tilt of memory, forests of kelp stinking up the shore. All this reckless dreaming the bones that hold the tide. Maybe it is the moon I am missing. Maybe the story can only find you once you've gone.

I tire of all these heights and hollows. I tire of the drift of dreams and days. The sun stinks of piss and rust. Life will grant a million wishes, one by one. Years burn into clean gray smoke and the flavor of soot. Who knows who wins the prize? Who knows what next one may awake? I write these on the paw smudged windshields.  I write these in flowers of the graves of dead gods. Every word worn out, holding onto this last latest breath.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

spilling fire sometimes

You mistake the way I point my star for the direction I intend. A shift in color one way or another, a trembling before the eyes. Half a moon waning in the daylight, another secret you seem to infer. I work my way around the compass, making short work of the map. Lost is the same direction from everywhere. Looking costs the same either way.

Dust fills the air and the skies are all the same. A lick of paint, a bit of tape, a loose bird or two. The sun goes one way while the world runs the other. My scars and symbols stick to all this sweat and dirt, time spent and roads traveled. My eyes set for the still distance as all the lights go down. I am there when the song rises and perches on the tale. I am where the moon settles, stretched over earth and stone. I might muff up  the ambiance, but I add to the atmosphere.

I ride here on the river of dusk, along the tide that climbs the cusp of night. The light diminishes and the shadows rise. The stories grow thin here in these wan and glowing moments. The monotony of transition itself a cause for myth. So goes the morning star rising in the night. The language misplaced us all, sold in slips and pieces, traded in snips and snails. I am marked, this ink runs through me, red river and breathless wind. Fall or rise it is me my star must follow. That cold dark comet spilling fire sometimes.

Friday, July 13, 2012

gods and monsters

I must have missed that latest incarnation, gathering change and counting stars. The news was slow and the hours turned. I lost track somehow and you slipped on by, a ballon caught in a headstrong wind. Without the icon shining at me, I tend to lose the way. Without the words to say it, the path was rid of me.

Shamed angels and hit lists, the telling seems too strange. The turntable killing the mix with clumsy cuts. I cannot track the reasons to pursue your enemies, I cannot follow your cruel and grasping rules. We meet only upon the roadside. I cannot trust you to get too close. The warmth of my fire, a share of my meal. The oldest law my counsel while you bray and burn.

I lose my track and must blaze away. The woven branch and toothy briar just another road. I walk without quarrel with your spells and oaths and supplicants. I pass with only the casual enmity such passage might require. All my myths and accidents will find my measure, stepping over every stranger's shadow. Keep your chains and keep your threats. I know I can find the light.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

inflection

These days I even dream of you, dressed all up in secrets and your mystery grin. Buried in that gimmick of distance, caught along that vapor trail. Here the mosquitos fight to find some purchase on this drift of blood and shadows. Here the flies rise as the sun settles. I am all reach in the empty of another afternoon, entangled in the piece work patterns of each imagined abandon. I only find the time when the words are lost.

Again I lean on old devices, either too near or too far. Again I lead the complaint of ache and want. The map burned away while the cowboys on tv ride. Snapping fingers and tapping toes, beat loosed eight to the bar. The carnival rust and sideshow hokum. I always say I play to my strengths, however weak they may be. I always say the last thing again, in case it gets forgot.

The wind blows, the dust dances. The world turns, the story goes. I am the land of forced perspective, the dull clash of canned laughter playing in the night. I am the plodding wonder of every day the same. Even my dreams need origin stories. Even my heart counts on some suspension of disbelief. You a bell and a bow, pretty ribbons and lovely knots. You a dream and a riot, every breath such promise, every word a spell.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

another stranger

I draw you close to me, leaving inklings and dense fingerprints. Just some smudges on the touch screen. Just another fold in the photograph. Whatever light there is, it lingers in this relief. Whatever shine you have, it smolders inside. There you are, another angel, another stranger. Some testament to a worn down and beautiful truth. Some image burned into certainty, that riddle of bones and certain angles. The thrill eminent in every glimpse and entanglement, the eager plunge into enchantment I take as revelation. I draw you near, making up strained mechanisms to fill in all the blanks.

Again I am roused and I am rattled, the day always straying so far from the dream. The dream some depth of ache and confusion too true to believe. Never mind the proof and the confessions, swaddle me in another fitful dose of sweet deception. Fortify me with myth and sentiment. Let me long for sweet hints and pretty slips, the troubling, toothsome smile of the highly improbable. Otherwise, where's the fire? Otherwise, why bother with all this bother?

Another day of pitiful obligations and poor tidings. Another day of too little contentment and too much sun. It won't do to break your back with all this back breaking. It won't do to glad hand all this happy horseshit. Just pause for the moment, catch a breath. Take a breather and keep your eye on the road. Not now, maybe later all the optimism I can handle. Not now, maybe later the only promise one stranger can offer, eyes wide open, knowing what the world might ask.

Friday, July 6, 2012

where once were wings

A lonely road runs through where once were wings. Some spacious sanctioning of the heart, this blood all boil or tumble. Some reach that spurns the infinite, this wild and insistent wind. They say it is only the excess of grasp that makes it seem so hollow. They say it is only the breath of want that makes it all so hard. The light grows dim, the lights go on. The rest just the itch along the root of sight.

The clarity itself is the comfort, as the details stick. The only ease that comfort run down from gear and spring. The stretch of a shadow, the crack of a spine. Breath at last a relevance, the flesh a sudden the spirit sung in time. Bones knit and brows furrow. Kisses almost close to true.

The road runs as parley against the map. It goes only where it seems to go, and so seems rough and pure. Some Disney scented princess, full of song and spine. It is the reason and the rock, the story as it unwound. It is all touch and covet, and claims bound by oath and blood. The twilight blue and dismal hunger. I only want and want.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

magnetize

Somehow you always manifest when the right light comes along. Somehow you always draw me down, sparse rainfall or laden dusk. Your eyes are another world, your gaze its klaxon call. You sidle through the hush and sway, the rhythm of your walk the heart of hypnotize. I wake to that crush of losing you, the air where your touch once weighed. The silver of those slipped kisses, the blessed breath you left. The night is always so long, and forever without you.

There is always some darkened hallway, always the sudden suspense of breath. You are always close, whatever might be missing. You are always there, nearing the tip of my tongue. Hold my own in some one way conversation, the plots of my dreams crossed with the clotted voices in my head. Somehow together in the depths and narrows. These endless streets and dim lit windows. Somehow always almost home.

The crow comes down with the sky not caring. The wings expand to grasp the air. Some soft passage, some worn down horizon. Stars and fireworks, and always some moment more. Sleep and the condensations of culture all call you out. My heart falls out and skitters along the dismal floor. Somehow you always magnetize, despite distance and indifference. Somehow you always are drawn down, lightening always needing something to strike.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dulcinea

There is a lonely in the bright of the light, a sadness in the relentless sun. The sky falls apart, full of birds and prayers. The wind isn't much help, kicking dust in every eye like the bully in all those Charles Atlas ads. Only there is no muscle strong enough to stiff arm away the brutal breeze. Even the restless heart surrenders to the relentless and the loosed. Even the surrendered heart plods on, life allowing no excuses. Even the secret dream stirs, all salt and selective memory.

Mostly I have forgotten everything, your eyes, your voice, the persuasion of your spine. My rheumy thoughts caught in the cobwebs and the candlelight, kisses and confessions and sudden surrenders. The ply and ache of entanglement, the longing for some story I did not know I loved. You remain the soul of unbidden attraction, the scent and scuff of human rumor. All these half wit passions derive from your river that flooded my origin story. You remain the only super power I ever interred.

It is a life without forethought, all hope lost to some uncharted sea, all likely outcomes all pitiful and bleak. So much of me feeling like a settled bet, with only the payout left to the accounting. So much of me lost like luggage on some disastrous journey, I cannot find you even in my lies. Just these fairy stories left spilling from my lips. Just these simulacra of kisses that arise like blood and tears from the statuary. The sadness of another sunny day, the providence of your memory skintight and as merciless as the hungry wind.