Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Could Be Good

A hovering smothers,
the vibrant snuffed under
a floating no,
a suspended yes,

plans stacked like napkins,
wrapped like paper towels
around a column of hollow,

a keel for a sail,
a net for a paddle,
a heart for an engine,

a hesitant battery
charged with a salvo
meant to execute
all unfinished businessmen,

like the height a kite
cannot share even in a field
of wind-thieves,

as diaphanous as dust
receiving transmigration
into atmosphere,

there, there and there,
but never here,
fingerprints on the panes
displaying each maybe,

and the hand itself
replaced by a mannequin,
cheaper for management
to replace the head
with a figure

a palette spattered
by eyes hungrier than
the stomach for hard work,

oh ecstatic canvas,
bright beneficiary of wishes,
you are bold, but

these are bloodless colors.

Monday, June 29, 2009

And Outside, Sparrowhawks Call

The walls buckle toward an absent center,
the ceiling abandoned to white obscurity
soon to swing low in imitation of heaven
because the forlorn four walls
are breaking their feet to seek you.

One mug sobs, his chance to slip
coffee and his lip between yours, gone.
Spoons play war-dance rhythms
in hopes of hunting your soup soon.

The room's corners round off,
folding in to poke the blue, bruised air
just empty there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What Brothers Are Left?

What is done is so easy to undo.
All there is, is owned. Even the unequalable
ice of the poles is held in trust,
and the hair of the sea cut to fit
the scalped coastlines of maps,
What is spoken is said once and gone.
What is written must be read,
what is committed to by camera
is bound by how it's viewed;
The promise of action is none,
and now, with so much stage
to act upon, the action's promise
closes before the speediest
critics rush to publish.

The workshop's beholden to the salesman's lot.
This place has not been built, but bought.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Three Protests

I do not sculpt.
Sculpture reveals with destruction.
What I end with, I make.

I do not paint.
Paintings are made of colors made
pure so they can be mixed.

I do not draw.
The watery world can be made math
but not made well by line or many.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free to Count

Today also wakes, box shaped,
like a room or a frame,
corners unabashed to board
thier quarters in any home,
azimuth origin wide as a zero,
root along the umpteenth
fourth dimension unseen,
walls as close as a screen's
flat fall off to a famous face,

as untouchable as that cutoff is
to anyone running out of the camera's
angle to find the eye is quicker
than the living and thier legs
still treading the center.

What hope that clockwatch
boundary holds so close,
a horizon not of miles,
only moments, a heartbeat
at arm's length could be
a time out of mindless continuation,

a box whose contents
may be an unexpected present
or a disappointingly real
retread of reality for resale.

Except today is endless,
hours unbound by any dimension
a man can draw a line to cross,

time has no limitation,
that's just your share.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scenes from a Stretch of Public Malibu

The blonde in her iPodsolation
lays flatter than her yoga
textcessory, paperback covering
the touchscreen from the ultrasun
pinburning through the quarterclouds

some humdrum brunette spritzes
sunscreen up her sunskirt,
rubs her bum on her own palm

the next blonde on, six-year-old model,
she chases a knock-knee trotting seagull,
obliging her with shorebound beeline,
hopstopping like he's capable of mocking
her and flying's too much effort, true,
she does just give up

all the observationists
trying not to need to see the sea

the well-keeping woman, jeans, purse,
bag, phone, keys, sandals in her hand,
toes gimblewet, happiness protected
under sunglasses, her husband's board
points his last crest-catch at her

some mother chasing a cheesepuff bag
like the gingerbread man
the gulls ante up for fox and geese

some other mundancer hoping the noonsharp
would burn the dreamfat keeping
his innerskin from feeling the sonar

a hollow full of flip flops
filled by a future garbageman
or installation artist

two blacked boots supporting
black jeans and black again shirt
sporting some saying in easily unseen
white, he seems to cast himself
along the shore to say
what am I doing here and he
stops looking around and leaves

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stepmothers of Invention

There was a lyric,
she wrote one once
and only sang it when alone.

One day in the dog park,
she heard someone else compose it.

Later she wrote an essay,
philosophically inclined,
about a woman who can see a color
no other woman can see;

breaking off an editing session,
she reads a story in the New
Yorker, with the added twist
that it's a color men have
always seen.

That night she hears
her song as background
to some tele-hack romance,
it's a half-kiss,
in the middle, where
everyone's still alone.

That morning her story's
older twin sister's won
an interview, a new idea,

worth asking what we think
about what we didn't know
we thought about this
thing no one knew we were

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Like Any Other

She wears her name
like a wick sports a flicker,
the shame of being
so brazenly called all balled up
brick red right to her
atmospherically split ends
while her cheeks heat up
past color into clear-eyed
white, two shades offset
by design like a scarf
playing as a halo;
she speaks her own name
alone like the room
is made of mirrors
showing the backwards
angles of her letters,
the commandments crumpled
into serifs, the
secrets ciphered
into swoops and cornice
sharps pregnant
as a good life should be;
she writes it
like a picture,
she types it
like a password,
she announces herself
like she's printed up a
piece of air to hand
over for inspection,
she uses her name
like any other part
of her, except
she doesn't like it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Breakfast In

Two tiles of toast
she spoonspreads,

each with our respective
jellies, sweetpurple

and orangeandtang,
residue on two

implements cross-sloppy
on an uncupped saucer,

while the bacon wallows
wet in melted self;

she plates the seven
grain fruitfrosted

daily bread and pours
my coffee pepper black.

About the jam, she
didn't ask, and scrambled

is how the pan handles
the eggs, that's how

she likes them. We
chew and eschew

each other's smallchange
offerings. We,

two churches in need
of priests to speak

in us, we eat. Later,
the dishes still sweat

in the sink, wishing
they were as stainless.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staying Up

Like a mystic correcting
an English professor's logic
that things like each other
cannot be each other

she brands the whole palette
as black as a scarlet letter
burned into a page of flesh,
every color of suffering

brushed the same brown,
a bruised, muck-raked,
mud-puddle, foundation
background brown,

an earthworm pie to plant
on dirt-dessert deserving
faces, or a gift to all
those cookie-cutter fish

in the sea, slapstick action
or chumming the kiddie pool
so she can say laughter
is the best facial

or dangle her legs in
and bring up toes ringed
with suckling, hopeful,
foolish goldfish

soon to be toothsome,
she believes in stomachs,
that anyone whose gut
feelings don't praise

the motherland of blood,
the monopolistic distributor
of life in the collective
of human cells

is already dying. And she
believes that every
death is the same, no
matter how long.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The timid are only sick
of what the brave die of.

Friday, June 19, 2009


the legs get out of the car
before the boyfriend

since my imagination shipped
with a cropping tool

his stocking-sandalled plod
cannot dissuade my appreciation

for a denim hem folded even
higher up her thigh

like ice asking for a glass
to be chilled

with a wide-set gyroscopic
wobble worth graphing out,

and then gone,

another form has filled out
a moment and then forgotten

like a note to remember
something buried under

all the notes to remember,
this passing nancy

slips this old record
under the skipping needle

of now: time is counted,
but never accumulates.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Skip the slow-breath flicker
drawn out, sip the growing sea-foam,
nip the amplitude in the floody
crest of crashing white,

clip the details from her picture,

there is your mother,
mask of green-weed-beard,
three-pronged misdirection,
a symbol barbed for stirring
a soup it can't spoon up,

and her children choke on,

there lies your abandoned
birth, your swaddling chaos
left to her sloshing cross-
continental-shelf waddling
self, there is your creator,
convex cup of all the water

ever to wet the world,

whether warmish yellow-
tinted blue or bruise-
cold black, slow and close-
holding, there is all of her open
to any light to pierce her,
to any self-plunging wreck,
to any cellar-delver

sent to recollect his first abyss,

the monster that set his quest,
to any object dreaming
of having a plum on their
thumb from a sky-wide
pie as virginal as any
corpse no archeologist
ever re-imagined flesh for,
there lies your perfection,

so huge no ripple can mar her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flower Girl Blown By

Her arms had a way of holding
on after they were gone,

she hoped to teach that,
and showing someone how,

breaking it down, she broke it,
all hands and elbows and no

parts left to leave like the history
of touching she once weaved.

Her eyes mimicked the judgements
her brainpan withheld charging up,

a knife-juggling stare she
never had to practice, but

never bothered to unlearn.
Her hair held down the heaving

dreamscape she deemed needing
a beam-bright broadcast,

her throat kept her gifts
wrapped in other sounds,

her body tightened around
a light she wished would

loosen every molecule of her
from skin to sin to love,

from toenails up to crow's
feet squinting far above

the height any lung can
maintain a real, red heart.

Her soul was a heavy whole
that knew her body was a part.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Phone Call Is Over

The first time I heard her handle me,
it should have hurt. Like a needle
faster than a distraction, only a dot
remained, a footnote to a thought
already skimmed and folded over the wet
bending knees of the boy in the stream,
hands open to catch angles of inertia
he needs to properly careen from yet
to but to then and must or no more,

like mom saying be safe from far away safety,
like the proctor talking for the clock,
(look, the number's lips don't move),
like the overdrawn lilt of a woman's placation,
the sound a tilted head makes when it grins
in sympathy, when she can't help rushing
how much she loves you, exactly like that.

Then I too, had something else to do.
Instead of wincing I minced an old saying:
What is worth doing is so easily undone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hard Pillow

Deep in the taunting quiet,
the bed whispers
sleep all you want,
there is no rest in it.

The jackal-headed dark
makes traces of his leash,
tugs the numbers to running
clockwise as quick as
the timestamp on the filmstrip
of the dreamscape.

Conquering alarms
herald the rebirth of the sun.
He rises high,
threatening never to burn out.

The hawk-headed day
collects the rays into nestwalls,
cross-hatched fencepost
perfection, another white line
until the canvas is ready.

Paint it again.

While the brushes soak,
the brain lays in waves
of just enough blood

And the world breathes
out yesterday's work.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Long Fall

The greedy seed relishes a roll in the rocks,
falling into a substantial tumble, a rambling,
rootless provoking of feet and breezes,
a promise to abide the order of bird beaks,
the way of the broom, if chance demands,
a promotion of the devotion to commotion
that fills the unfulfilled with a hill
to stand in for the missing mountain,
a protraction of one moment, one line
made a radius to encompass the same
drain-skirting circle, a satellite
ecstatic for another orbit of emptiness,
when his purpose is to fall to earth.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Plastic Travel Mug, Unwashed

To stare at a plastic mug's lineup,
map the radiating avenues crossing
residential commonplaces,
where it was, who held it, what it
held, as they widen from the pointlessly
thin extension that every direction
hosts in the end of its inertia
to the possibly all encompassing,

how the cup is half of everything,
how a handle means the world has hands,

the air insulation drafted inside,
playing blockade to the temperatures
sometimes rampant along the outer walls,
wind made to work a desk-job,
a task any half a glass of gas
could do, unpaid and easily replaceable
by the next waft rushing in
at the behest of the pressure
inherent in every wisp and whim
of atmosphere.

There it sits, unfilled, dry
crust of former contents don't count.

Friday, June 12, 2009

After the Poems

Young man feeling his middle
ring him with one more barkward
grain, it is time to learn


women do not love, they nurture.
It's their nature, and romanticizing
the similarity is an error


leads the deluge of deluded men
to look for and find a storyline
that she can act, but never write.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Sometimes the harmony on high
devolves to squawking a monotony
less uplifting, since even singers
tire of hefting their audience up,

sometimes the angels eulogize
the list of perfections no genious
ever bothered to get pregnant with

sometimes the orbit-wide chorus
opens their star-draped mouths
for a gaping, unspeakable praise
of all that has gone wrong

for they sing their hallelujah here,
in the slight end of the spectrum
god made their station, surely

unhearable but here and nowhere
else. They must sing forever
about everything, and so repeating
every wail and sarcasm of man

they await the day when we also
learn to sing well
about what seems less.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


She takes her lunch in her truck,
on the back seat she folds down
her daylong stance into a nap.

Standing behind that counter
must burn less food than sleep.

She returns the same, no less
helpful, no more inspired,

for whatever unfluorescent quiet
she had has stayed in the migrating
cave. Maybe she only stared

at the roof. Maybe she dreamed
someone struck her bumper,
so she could reasonably scream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strip Mall, Reseda

Not quite a colonnade,
stucco uprights, scratch-skinned,
square footed prisms
as thick as the wills
that bought their builders,

spread wider than their height,
so even doom cannot cross them,
joined only to father floor
and that fat-baby ceiling
sat up hot and coddled
with fresh sun, hogging
all the blue

and when their top-down business
plan has toppled in, and the
mini-mall's owners have outgrown it,
these long blocks will not lay
down to await rediscovery,
no nursemaid centuries
will pull a quiet burial
over their wide-eye-windowed
demise, no amount of dust
will occlude their garish vacancy
during the interim between
plain old and sexy ancient

they'll be razed, bulled over
with tractor blades and wrecker's
pendulum, scrap, rubble, flotsam,

without even the hope of thieves
to steal their parts for newly
necessary monuments

for what comes before
is only ever weeds

and deep in the foregone,
all the deconstruction
spreads out its lack
of evidence and laughs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things Seen Before the Curtain

Four cats on a car,
two like wingless sphinxes,
caryatids for an absent roofrack,
two more translating the hood's
slope into some stand-in
for a stairway.

A bowl of yellow mustard,
cereal size and swirled
like soft serve beside
a similarly ceramic-hulled
hill of mayonnaise.

A sign over a urinal
requesting closeness
with a politely underlined
overture regarding
splashback and the floor
that has to catch it.

A fifty year old woman
walking northish on Westwood
with a see-through sandwich
baggie clearly swaddling
a pack's worth of shriveled,
re-fried hot-dogs hidden
like a trailer hitch,
clasped behind her back.

These four and no more,
nothing else of interest,
because the work began to whine,
and not to soothe it's
neediness is negligence.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


slick as a bit in a horse's froth

quick as a trick works in the plans

flickering as bright as the moth
would like to finally learn

sickening as the click of a man's
knucklebones landing their turn

ticking like a bomb that doesn't
know it's armed

picking like a surgeon from the
magnificently harmed

wicking like a string whose
fuse runs to the hold

kicking like a mule whose
hooves have grown out gold

thicker than the hole in heaven's needle
that sews closed inoculating pricks

and as thin as a camel hair coat
when it's raining swords and bricks

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kicking a Gift Song in the Teeth

that hammer she plucks the strings with
smells like wisdom when it hits,
a burnt-oil offering to an audience
paying to repeat her sayings
(like the faithful chorus they ignore
for having found the answer before
they were born); her hammering
claws a hole in with the dull side,
wide, flat mouth of pounding
diverting the earth until a hole
approaches - this guitar-implementation
specialist, this rainmaker shaking
her sweat off and naming it deluge,
monsoon, sacred, cleansing,
promise-breaking flood,

she sings up her love
like grease to ease the pressure,
she sings up her love
like a prescription to keep
the bubble level on every hard turn,
she sings up a list of
comically exaggerated aggravations
in informed multi-syllabic patter
so she can sell her custom-label
(but brand-name manufactured)
lease on an evening's good feelings
(here condensed for the reader's
she sings she is happy in crap
as long as he's trapped in the bathroom
with her,

and on the couch, watching the live
recording, sits some couple, each
at their own ends on their ends
on their end of this couch,
two who under this anthem of easy
must now ask why
sitting beside each other
doesn't fix the world for them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In the Light

Bug fast he may think,
but sky-wide the boot

with a tread to lick
for a ticket to stand

only in the room
between the treads.

Unpacking his wallet
from a beetle-clasped,

backless, strapless,
wingless skin, he prays

to be small enough
to fit between the

falling walls. The
sole descends upon

him and the subjugating
angel grants his wish.

Detail he may be,
with due portion of devil

or godhead in him
by infinite decree,

whether he is one, or
a crushed swath of parts;

and just his luck,
he's small enough

to fit in his own corpse.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sunk in the day's dark part,
his knees dream of bones
with softer siding to swim
with, a slicker give
to tread sweaty linen waves
with, a blood-hot pressure
to conform to and echo
and stroke back the droning,
drowning howl that bends
and shocks back in every
ligament the whole life-
drenched length and breath-
wrenching shallow of him,

because it's the puddles
need a comfort to plumb them,

a sugar to unpacket
enough taste-drapery
the water can stand
to swallow itself;

the spine teaches that each
appendage should live upright,

that every hard
needs a soft
to keep the world away.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Only Tourists Look Up

There is hubris in
blindness, too,
eyes casting down
the proud convoy
of details waddling
on stage for their
shot at being plinked.

A bard full of oral
traditions auditioning
his audience for the
son he never had said
"God does not hide odes,
neither in beetle guts
nor soaring vapor."

He's right, since
every second a song
once sung is lost
and fondled for change,
so there's no cause
to go digging for
fresh eggs when the
earth's been seedy
since afore we was born.

Except revelations are not
forbidden to live and work
in a donut shop so beside
the airport it's under it:

here is a healthy communion,
heavy jets gracing
every eye with a hook
it can't help,
even the old hand
counting drips of coffee
can't ignore such a mass,
such motion, every plane's
passing drags him
across the window;

with great momentum
the machine decrees
here is weight,
here is speed,
neither of which you
can match, so get crackin'

hatch into a dragon soon
or mortgage the moon
or learn to swoon
so the strapped swain catches
you, or there's no boon
for you, just a tune,

sing what you like,
even if you don't see it

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doe Season

Muse, muse,
beautiful fruit,
the more you read,
the more you loot,
for all the sweetness
there to steal,
let the dead meat
earn her deal!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Full Mouth

To eat is to speak
with your stomach

open, honest dialogue,
tongue to object

taste is how
we listen, the jaw
surrounds to
reveal the shape,
the teeth mortar
for our sampling palate

like sonar that
elicits a proper polo
with a spear-thrusting

(those are screams
that were his ears)

we exercise our franchise
with digestion

each swallow
a vote flying true
due blue north

(from our throat
to our economy's ears)

to eat is to sanction
the surrounding necessities

to keep realizing need
is to make needs real.
Then again,

there is no chewing a
maybe soon

but a ballot with more
angles than neither nor,

work or shack up
with starvation,
that's perhaps a mud-pie
worth tasting for poison.
Then again,

in the garden,
man had time to think
about how to go
perfectly wrong.