Tuesday, December 31, 2013


And just like that the year is over. And just like that the day is done. Forget all that burned away into heaven. Forget those that lie humbled beneath the stones. The stories disarticulated with tricks of tongue and steel. The stars that fall though no-one's wishing. I sit beneath the cusp of shadows, I wade deep as the tide of night comes in. The singer sticks hard to the standards so the songs will run and writhe. All the words come home covered in other voices. All the words that were never yours come home.

Smoke curls from the parting of my lips, steam from my cup steps in for a kiss. All these aches and hungers alive just to rattle around my lungs. All my letters written to another place and time. The target calls with all its heart to the arrow aimed at truth. Each loosed answer aimed at questions that never were, the words all scuffed and bent from use. Every question some ghost of a world that never was. The poem the burrowing and the earth. The flight and the way of wings.

Fall down the steps of the latest rage, leave the temple with the bones of ragged prayer. Spill from one riot into the wanting arms of another. You are all the reason there can be. The cracked cement and the broken glass. The draught of laughter drifting through clouds of electric light. The struck match and the bruised mouth of cheap enchantment all the halo you ever need. All my heart these furies and hungers, the world without time or worry. Another year so far from you, these words scribbled on a calendar. This song always threaded with these wishes as lonesome and as distant as the thought of a star in the long wandered winter night.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

like smoke

Cross one more off the calendar, wait in vain for the waning moon. The stars dust the needles of the broke back pine as the neighbor's dog just barks and barks. Check the locks on the constellations while all the planets wander just enough for them to earn their names.  Watch them to see if they acknowledge how far they are from might have been. The moment, then the moment passes. The candle, then the flame goes out.

I am the drag upon the bindle, the ease of breathless air. The arrow loosed into the heavens, the target's eye always wide with such surprise. The drawn flame through the kindling, the gossiped smoke of every breath. I wake each day with this puzzle of why the puzzle deserves to be solved. The clouds that break before they gather, the darkness no different until the dawn. I write the words with the skill of dropped breadcrumbs, all the wander in the world lost on me. The weight of witness in its passing. Each skin shed to save itself.

The days turn and tumble, the earth worn with walking, the key lost to the sky. Look towards the horizon as the world falls away. Watch the rising of the tides and the melt-away moon. The night awash with dissonant longings, shouts and laughter rippling through the wind. The sounds of ache and the sounds of traffic. Destination soon the only name. Out in the dark I kick up some small ruckus. This fire lost long before you see the smoke.

Monday, December 23, 2013


The cat comes in soaked in chimney smoke, looking for a lap to lie in. The room is lit poor and laden with dust. From shadow to shadow, from ghost to ghost, the voices drift and fade. Webs strung along the ceiling, cracks whisper their way through the walls. The air is still, all hope is sinking. Words never know the way back. Words never carry the weight.

The sky reaches ever higher, the stars clotted in the greasy night. The world is lights and pavement, the world is asphalt and steel. The cracked sound of every hope as it leaves your lungs, the labor of breath as everything slips away. The words stick to every surface,  they clamber bitter from tooth and tongue. Sounds to spit into the emptiness that spills and spills from within. Noises to make when there is nothing left to say. Letting go a kind of impermeable grief, an icy wind where there once seemed to be a soul.

You can walk from street to street, you can wander from town to town. These wide fields and narrow passes, these hungry valleys and stoic mountains. Door to door, from sea to shining sea, until at last you realize there is nowhere left to go. This sick world just another mirror victimized by your barren eyes. All your grievances and your crimes evidence of the error that is all you are. Inside the confessional of your alien heart there is at last some small truth. Leaving this life the only road left to take.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The dusk arrives in the usual vestments, the service quick, and the congregation either absent or unmoved. The sky is swaddled in the color of storms, the reaching sun and the huddled clouds. The wind slides a riot through leaf and limb, the trees all swaying along with the chorus, the cold a choir rising from the dirt and weeds. Eyes like spring and eyes like mud staring so hard, trying to see the reasons for heaven.

I arise on the wake of each falling, coarse with ache and the bruisings of a careless life. I cave into the rise of the sky and the spill of this world always tumbling down. I claim my ordination with scuffed steps and puffs of wicked smoke, the tremblings of error and of age a kind of rattled dance.The flicker in the ashes, the brief glimmer in the stars. These tides animate and obfuscate, each breath drawn across this fraught tangle of rags and roots, the bowed note so deep and true. These day wrecked with weight and dreams.

The wind grows cold as the lights go out, the world reduced to slips of bright windows and slabs of crawling walls. I am still save for curling smoke, my heart a stitch I make through the world, my eyes the seams along the broad periphery. I wait while the animals aggregate, arising as if by whim from the night. Each breath an escape, every word vain sacrifice. The world hurries on its way.

Friday, December 13, 2013

the ocean goes on forever

This might as well begin right here, the chill in the air, the sea on your knees. The way the sand below you sinks with every step. The way the shadows cast by the heaviest clouds press against you shoulders and your sight. You may as well be stripped bare, for the liberties you're treated to by the atmosphere. All across this continent we reach and crawl and grasp for you, but the night is cold and the night is dark, and warmth's so far away. All around the world there is nothing but the ache and the asking. Shining like some storybook star while the darkness takes its cut.

The day dwindles with the crows on high and the finches feeding from the tangled pines. The mobs and squads find their way in dissolution. All the dreams loosed the night before shift and search, ready for the roost. Muddy shoes and empty coats, the broom left beside the door. The melted moon rises before the sun even gets to say its goodbyes. All these words as the tide returns, salt sharp in your nostrils, beads against your breast. Wading from a place past the timeline. A picture old enough to be worn by fingers, a figure held in mind and hand at once.

It in early yet but the day grows dark. Shadows linger around my ankles, smoke curls from the corners of my lips. The moon unfurls another pretty bauble, a bright slab reveling in the depths of sight. Round the ring and turn the wheel, be nimble and oh so quick. I'm all alone in the voluminous flow of dark and dust, the sounds of cars and recorded music all the roads and borders. My breath, the breeze, and the voiceless ghosts. The corners all shabby with static because I can't count straight. You may as well tumble into my grasp, you linger so close and dear. You might as well be wrapped up in my arms, as all the lights are always going down and the ocean goes on forever.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I trample down that brambled path, I am ridden out on rails, faith and feathers, words and tar. My gait is just an empty scuffle, the kata of worn joints and sore feet. I wind along the long stubborn stair well, I clamber up and down. I find my way amid the thorns and briar, the idle knots that living gives again and again.  The joke is always that the fool is never in on it. The joke is always that the fool couldn't care less. The cold air and thin light, the path is waiting for the right feet to find. Even shadows can learn to forget.

The ice finds the insides of your fingers, brittle crystals oblivious to the whispering of nerve and vein. Steam abounds from your every breath, these graven exhalations spilling visible from your tongue and lips. The cacophony of living the syncopation of motion and desire you strike all the hard notes at once, your spells the very breadth of certainty. A hank of hair, a drop of blood, the names of successive listless spirits. A song a poem a pride of aimless lions. The heart always wanting, the words simply strings to fret and pluck.

So I stalk and tumble, I grumble at the ancients and all their shiftless heirs. I trod through the darkness, half caution and half bluff, trailing smoke and steam. I watch my step and let the stars all fend for themselves.  I speak your name where only the trees can see me. I speak your name for only bird and beast to hear. The magic isn't in the act but in your name. I speak aloud this want, this ache that you inspire, and you hear my incantation. Through this darkened distance, through this frozen night, I stalk along the boundless absence spilling wishes. From the empty all or nothing, I call upon you now.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I watch my step around these words with the sun dimming down out here. There's no sense in falling in further than you want. The clutter of sticks and stones waiting to bring this abrupt dance straight to skin and bones. The chill tooth of winter raked along each fingertip. Tomorrow and tomorrow, the path is dark and hungry. You say what you want, wish what you may. These words are only here to stray.

I'm the least of the congregation, the telling truth in the habitual joke, the reason we all need that wolf in the fold. Ice has left me finger blind, my blood just muttered confessions and exasperations. I cough in the dust kicked up with the scuff and trip of my travels, I spit the bitter poems of mistaken lives. Steam spills out my offerings to the confounded firmament, the sky a wash of colors and stubborn stars. I never meet the mystery, but I seem to be on the list. I am all bark and blind-spot, my only grace the strange way I spook. The books aren't there to love you back.

The mistake is always faith in some flawed geometry, learning the wrong end of the lesson. The heart is an axis in the murky gear-work, a language of spark and smolder, an engine of every trembling touch. I lost my place in line once or twice, and I could never find the way back again. Instead I followed the words that call and cling, the older path before the burdens became the claim. The tongue clever when blight takes the mind, I walk where the stepping lets me. The spell all the unwinding of each line, the world just what you let slip when you supposed you were only going to say your name.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

empty ever after

The dust settles and you know that there is nothing but this legacy of want and ache finally folding to a close. The turn of phrase at long last buried in the muddled history of this life long catch and release. The urgent journals and the breathless letters lost and forgotten, the statues on the altar huddled in their mysteries, their names and reasons all forgotten. This turmoil to be acknowledged a confession to the self. There will be no saving grace, no game changing act of contrition. The sickness in my flesh the failings in my soul. I leave behind some wounds and laughs, the empty of the echo, the aimlessness of words gathered on the line. The pointless press of fingers checking a corpse's pulse.

Today the pain presents as the weight and heat of molten lead, searing away at my unsettled guts. The chain of causality glistening and cruel, dragging each link through this fading flesh. No balm or medicine comes to mind, just the dull progression of human frailty camped out in these aching bones. Just the certainty of my errors piled by the door. My fanatic heart just weeps and rages, even the most ruined flesh still wanting what it wants. Everything is what it is becomes the canonical answer, a shrug and a shiver and winter on the way. The hour arrives, and no amount of staying will ever make me right. Settle your debts and find the door. Drink up and go, because you can't stay here.

Oh but the sky is lovely though the air is sharp and cold. Oh but the day was gorgeous though I am sick and without value. My pockets only ever full of hands, my fingers always fumbling without a find. A heart full of beasts and hesitations, storms and bones and mysteries knit into the tissue, grace and purpose never to be found. Always in love outside my numbers, always like some sermon read by lightning and written in the strange crawl towards life. Words let loose with no more matter than the readiness for the next breath. Fables wound around my ever fiber that I will never share. I have no words for the setting sun or the coming stars. Just the empty ever after. Just the day like all things ending.

Monday, December 2, 2013

lives of the saints

The spider in my mind waits, silently keeping time, weaving its way towards the fleeting words. Each capture a closing of questions, the exacting edge of appetite. Each notion a new enclosure, each culture bordered between certainties, the sticky silk of just like this drawing down the world. It weaves and gathers, aligning every participating star. Scheming towards a hunger so vast it is a tide. The thoughts roil and rollick, waiting to seem like something to say.

This is the way we dress the world up in our ghosts and shed skins. We adorn each thing with these feathers and relics, calling down the heavens, securing the intercession of the saints. We call on hearts and storms, we cleave each urge with the most noble of golden motives, clothing the shadows in our favorite hues. The ancient pulse of light that wanders at the speed of want mistaken for the things we want to see. The ancient tones and trembles waiting for the wish to catch up.

You serve until the sentence is over, I linger long enough to check the spell. Knowing that the shadows hold you in trust, the words finding you as they must. Awake in some shade of fickle attention, not feeling the press in you flesh, not a kindling more enflamed. The empty craft of hidden kisses, placed in the speaking ease of tongue and lip. That omen of knowing when the whisper leaves your mouth, those notions of ghosts and givens are all roads in the blind night. Reading these gentle spinnings a lovely incantation, each line another touching, some small faith in skilled fingers. A longing for this lasting grasp.