Friday, July 31, 2009

Party Off

The beer buys me a moment,
I swig a second chance,
swallow my gut reaction,
and say something that
doesn't quite come to mind.

After I've said it,
I feel useless, but not stupid.
Some smarter part spoke
itself from outer rim
to central booking,

and now I've said it.
Whatever it was, it went,
and someone else is speaking.
The beer holds my hand
all the way to the bar.

She stays until she's
replaced, glass chin
as dry as a deserted
bone, marrow long since
done suckling maggots.

The room warms with
unspoken toasts,
a few zingers ricochet
the way jokes take
that drunkard's walk

through the office.
The new beer grafts
herself between thumb
and forefinger. She
stands in for a handle.

Whichever door or
suitcase she's divorced
stands outside with
a pistol in the parking lot.
Just walking out of the bar,
I'll be shot.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


On the empty shelf,
the unbought books
read their futures
to themselves,
in competition
to be quieter
than all the rest
of the not now
maybe next.

On the black screen,
the dust discovers
there was once
a pattern, and it
wasn't gray.

In the cabinet,
there was once
a dish that
didn't break
when it was dropped.
Now it's gone.

Under the sink,
the floor does
a rain dance.

The curtains
wonder who
they are bothering
to block out the sun for.

The freezer
keeps her cube of air
a rare, wet white.

The back of the closet
basks in its chance
at incandescence.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last Night in the Diner

A scar for a partner,
he sits in his inevitable
the same way he sits in a booth.
He swallows air like a hound
licking the mist for traces.

He drinks his tea
like a coffee-drinker.

The night rears up behind him
like all of time is coming next,
and it is.

He could be someone important.
Later he'll think of that
as consolation.

Like the tooth fairy, he
leaves a quarter on the table.
Like the Easter bunny, he
hides the sugar.
Like the big man with the loot,
he takes his bite
and disappears.
His long list of gifts
is all the names
he didn't write down
with his own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Starting the Smoker at Evening

The beer froths in its bottle,
unable to stop opening once
the cap's long kiss goodbye is killed;
the coals flagrantly skip
the liquid step to rise as close
to the sun as burnt earth can.

The men slip the glass mouths
into their own, a sour dousing
for the syrupy silence;
the dogs stop cruising knees
and sniffing the concrete
for dropped bits of attention.

The sky times itself, proud
the smoke cannot smudge her purple;
the trees take the updraft
like a kid's fingers
in the car-window's marriage
of haste and sitting still.

The men discuss how to make
the next few minutes happy.
The dogs sleep through the joy
of laying around. The coals
go white with the wisdom
of dying for a purpose.

Monday, July 27, 2009


A slippery wind,
wet with a whole city's sweat,
tongues us like a dog.
You may know what today is.
The night requests forgetting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four Infinities

A dilated daydream,
wide-eyed past the points
of pupils retrograding
through the houses
of the form of the question,
mythological schoolboy
makes good;

a wish's eccentric orbit
dragged from a favorable
solar wind to a frosty
remove, a ring coded
by long dashes of distance,
dots as small as comets
with their wicks trimmed,
a homeless aristocrat
hoists his sail
with his own bootstraps;

a hope poked in the sky,
she says, to let the angels in,
pudgy knuckle, pinafore,
and a mother who never
saw the mirror's other side
either, the red-faced knight,
about to be overtaken
by the black, he trumps
the tip she imagines
she's smudging the sky with
with his fist, crying out,
"the dark looks faster
than the light, but only
because it's already there."

Late into the last stanza,
as the hour grows a long,
warty nose, and the seconds
broom all the unfinished
under the next day's plate,
some woman stares over
her roof at the moon.
Some man tells her,
don't love the moon,
it's drier than a glass eye,
colder than a spurning
shoulder, and as distant
as you are from me,
right now.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


he wears his scars
on the heart of his sleeve,
inside the elbow
where his arm pumps him
through his day

Friday, July 24, 2009


the tail does tattle,
a pigeon lying to the left
of the stool he says he is,
an accusation rattled
like a fluffball saber,
swung like a cape
dreaming of dying itself red,

an unshouldered boa,
a shard of coat sewn round
a dull meat needle,
a fuzzy slipper rubbing
itself into static,

he has feet and a head
and a hawk's stomach worth
of flight-fuel between them,

but the tail waves
hello, it spasms like
he's wiping his backtrail
or shaking the world
out of his aura,
but that wiggle picks him
out of the tree,

like a hand that wants
to burn, maybe he should
let it take its cut.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Inventory Is Busy Right Now, Please Buy Back Later

bag of heart, drum of pus,
microbes in the meatmarket,
that viral butcher carving
pounds of second-hand ligaments
out of the elbows forgotten
by the hands setting table,

a tripe wineskin full of bile,
all three medieval humors
stacked like a prism of neapolitan
ice cream, a capillary fishnet,
a fine mesh of nerves,
things scattered in the catching
across the slippery rink of knots
and holes for sinking into the sea
through, one sack of red velvet,
no presents, but a utility,
a building dumping strength
into the sewers to see
which subconciousness will mutate
into the new human condition,

taut flesh, you say balloon,
I say trampoline, let's call
the whole thing out of bounds,
the good doctor's leftover organs,
the blushless bride shocked
to wake up made to order,
now a pile of parcels, scooped
out, no children except a spleen
for a fanny pack, a kidney for
a handlebar grip, lungs for
leg warmers, when scrambled

by the right cyclone, they'd
make great cotton candy, all
those bones and no apple-tall
elves to live in the cabins
each dead man could make;

bag of heart, bucket of mucus,
the fabric soaks through so easy,
trying to keep that beating
fresh, where the thump insists
on describing itself again,
muscle refusing to hear
there's no job today,
like a cat in a sack
playing dead pig so the mark
will let it tear into the
market instead of shredding
for itself the thin
between the black in
and the big, blue out,
that red clencher
forgets its strength
and plods on, the body
proudly carting itself,
as naked an emperor as Adam.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

She Do the Dances in Different Legs

she knocks a cog off,
a precision bit of monkey-see
a gear set to slip
at just the right shifting
of the guards

the rails, she unplugged,
the third no threat
to hopeful dungeon-plunging
hobo warriors; or said
stanchions shaved
off their moorings
to stand as proud
as a wobble that's found
its footing,
ready to catch the accident
and go over with it

she charges up the windmill,
tilted skyward
like a spider, she fills
the four directions
with a circle's worth
of degrees

she burns her oil on both
ends, the slippery skin
and the hydrophobic, coal-dark
spark that lives in
the middle of each drip,

where that prism would live
if she were a raindrop,

that's where the scalpel
goes in again, exploring
the wound for why the knife

thought the red there
was yellow enough
to pan for heartless gold in.

Yes, she says,
there's my blatant story point,
now rough the color
in my indented outline,
or I'll get bored enough
to wonder if the subtle
is ever worth a sift.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Economy Class

youth is the free pair of shoes
you get before you buy one,
but you have to buy one,
so says your birth receipt;

life is a round-trip ticket
that costs the same one-way,
old age is having to come back:

we pay full price for halfway.
One day, the solstice will stay

on the blade, and now will weigh

as much as the thumbs on the pans
of plans bought on spec and payments

due the earnest. Nothing succeeds
like a bucket for keeping the holes
in other people's buckets in.

Death probably tastes like chicken.
Life's a bag of seedless grapes,
as far as the earth is concerned,
they all might as well be plastic.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Line's Proper Length is too Long

work lays on the gradient
like another shim underfoot
for to make the floor a working
hill, even standing still,
a slope is only fair,
the physical set the precedent,
inertia says that starting costs
should stop most legs
from leaving their place
in the caterpillar

like a used coat of office,
all the good will given with it
gone to pay for the administration

daily bread as dry as twice
roasted toast, the sweat of the
brow-beating the kow-towed
are proud to need to keep in line,
the pain of baring the hands
to whatever weight they'll bear

a stone full of blood
should be so lucky

to fill in for the succor
once caught in a carpenter's cup

the marrow mandates overtime,
the bones work unpaid days,
the nerves go on furlough

the fat cells outsource,
the brain is replaced
with interns earning credit

but the same production
of suffering. The numbers
have to keep us up.

The kings have to be rich
before they can afford
to pay all the peasants
their share;
that's what the good
say is fair.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Feast Your Eyes on the Wing

that humdiddle bird,
he don't stay put,

his red-eyed,
bull-chested throat

catching the crosshair
twitch of aimless


bones sinking gnome
deep into ignorant,

backyard monasticism,
nap-time epiphanies,

he floats, that flier,
that unhumdrum bird,

with an unhumble
buzz like a bug

too big for his
wish-thin wings,

these are thick
muscled enough

to oscillate faster
than a wheel

turning words
into a white circle -

and that gonzo
proboscis -

that humflummoxed head,
he drinks and diddles

the empties, dances
his random into a pattern,

he's a thimble-bit
of needle-nosed nimble

sewing a net of knots
wide mouthed enough

for flying double-wide
flap-happies through

he don't stay put,
that humdiddle bird.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pedestal; Peddle-Stall

sunset buckles her unused stomach,
skin bunched around an empty belly,
another nightfall crunching muscles
toward a strength only ever expended
in its own extenuation

round pool of fit-flat flesh
waiting for a hand to grapple
her up to the podium

beauty sleeping through her sit-ups
just another body
burning itself up for
what it's saving itself for

Friday, July 17, 2009

Made in Time

death does not number scenes,
it knows the breadth and depth
and length of every end
is the same indifferent dimension
the physicists begin their myth
of the universal ignition switch

the rushing whose speed is absolutely
unobservable, the arrow reading
one-way in the oldest god's
private language, the line
no one is allowed to walk
the wrong

so far back are the things
that made me, I cannot hope
to know those tools, recall
the passwords engraved like
the first forbidden image,
carved like the first rod
of wood to bear a word,
etched deep by a splash-acid
imagination leaving
wide, waxy lines in so many
proprietarily named colors,
those long-dead necessities
this brain was massaged
into place

places with me, be what you
became and let me sit quietly
in the backyard of reality,
blanket of the fading fabric
of memory over my knees,
smoking a pipe full of black
space as compact as flesh
crushed into coal,
you can war your way through
your brother events' trenches,
lust after and despise
the twin Marys of your sister
circumstances, you can
live alongside the long count,
but remember,
death does not number the scenes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Suits

The pool of women aside the pool,
one secretary to herself, phone voice as loud
as the children announcing their presently
successful endeavors,
one terribly modest cloth of white terry,
a wrap as flat around her curves as tortillas
keeping the sauce in the meat,
she dips herself in like a straw,
she will not swim but only swizzle,
or as if the whole pool should draw
through her thighs like all the eyes
that watched her towel drop,
two sun-babies browning breast down,
butt spread open for an even curve of color,
the mother in jeans,
the mother in one-piece and double-wide hat,
the two thirty-somethings cellulite deep,
chests open to treasure seekers,
the Asian girls who arrive to strip down,
swim their laps and leave before anyone
can notice they've tagged in and out,
the red-head with the coffee and the fat
boyfriend with the keys,
the blonde with her just plumped chunk
of raw hot-dog red-sexy sure-fire
devil-couldn't-care-less body,
it's really nice,
one of them says, all the fun
we can have surrounded by strangers
who seem to have the fun we think we're having too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Unwinding Cell

The pain suffers itself to extend.
The face affords itself an infrastructure,
new lines to bus the underclass to their overtime,
new lines of defense, the best protected secrets
are given away for free, are received as openly as refuse,
are given away to so many collectors,
no one notices they don't want to notice,
no one notices they hate what they can't see,
the pain draws on it's trust fund, kept full by our ancestors,
the pain draws on it's well of oily salesman truisms
to keep the pretty dresses on all the scarred mannequins,
to keep the pretty dresses on the naked, dead women
who stand in for the dreams of our cave-dwelling forebrains,
who stand in for the dreams of each youth shedding spinal cord,
the pain holds us to the course of our oldest star.
The pain holds us to the course of our first blood,
the pain holds us to our course,
the pain holds us to the coursing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


No song can be written fast enough
to keep up with what the angels
see and sing. That is why their
chorus was originally arranged
to repeat the one and only word.

Monday, July 13, 2009

As Fine as the Teeth of the Evening

Like cigarettes dreaming of a sardine's salad days,
like two sticks of gum unwrapping their foil
to rub together, like carrots dragging themselves
out of their bag to dangle before donkey nostrils,

she cuddles, swaddles, toe-taps him like she's
sharing headphones playing her underscore,

like two spoons disgusted to stir the same cup,
like bullets dreaming of reading the name
written on them, like eggs afraid to lose
themselves in an omelet,

he lays flat in the fringes of his twinges,
hoping the pain won't see him if he doesn't move,

like cardboard boxes full of fire, they wait
too long to open each other's gifts.

Sleep steals them like a thumb shelling peanuts.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In the Order They Appeared to Me

In the organic cafe,
the wireless is password protected.

Two pairs of women,
one mid-difficulty-yoga-aged,

the other pain-stakingly
eclectically draped youth

one brunette edits
with a mechanical pencil
and straw-shivered iced coffee

one reader dwindles as far
into chair, book and candle
as the background's surface
tension will let him

the piano and the amp
sit that idle way I like

the brunette stares
at Santa Monica like
a script will drive-by
and shoot itself

the post-yoga culatts
cross on the stool,
the knuckles as old
as the elbows holding
up the paper's end

a summery wool hat,
blue-grays and earthtones
spreading dead-of-winter cheer
for a white-shirted, white-
shoed sandwich scarfer

eight at a table, six
seems enough men
for two femmes
at the end, the sharp
head the red-haired,
mascara-eyed hand-jiver,

they sit in a pool
of their own loud
and need to leave
before their food is good
to go

and the poet has
fried sweet potatoe fries
with sauce with
organic mint green tea
and his society
forsaking laptop

the brunette leaves
the rest of her work
to smoke out some thought

it's the poet's luck
her temporary replacement
is paler, rounder-edged,
worth pretending to
look for a comparison

the two film talkers
replace the possible
with the marketable

another entrance presages
another exit and so

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Patio Vignette

Her heel shocks the honest mortar,
her unsung explanation sprays out,
cement crumble topping a square
of inedible brick.
Her foot rises up in anger,
but the shoe sticks to the wound.
The woman wobbles, but not her point.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Public Garbage

Topless concrete circle,
you've bagged so many details,
that some of them seem real.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stripped of Title

His story is housebroken,
flooring repaginated for flow,
doorways bowdlerized for show;

awaiting a new atrium,
the appendices pile up
like blue-collar blood cells
stopping for a heartbreak.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coupe, Coupe, Goose

An estate wagon says the placard
upon the flat swath of grain-faced formica,
topside bumper runner stripped of its
chrome sideburns, no good glint left,
just an eggy white plastic, flakes
off on all angles like fins
on a backwards swimming fish,

an old car in an old color,
crayola's fleshwax beige,
and a roofrack frayed into hackles
raised by the hot of the parking lot,
a sloppy second hand jalopy
plunked into such a swatch of perfect
paint jobs, each hood holding down
their own, affording their sun-drenched
depreciation in mass-happy style,
enjoying their fifteen minutes
of rest by breathing in one long
leather-seated lung of heat
so their supercharger has something
to exhaust,

even the wagon's flag's had its heyday fleeced,
nibbled by an engineered wind,
unheedful of miles of slapflap whine,
threads pulled for a peaceful rest
from pledging visually obvious allegiance,
old enough, certainly, so the owner can say

I don't change my faith like oil,
I don't play relays with my colors,
I run the long game.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Triple Axle

crow floats on the hot

born of brother black below

as that flat sea bakes grayer

she slakes her wanderlust in

unbruiseable blue

Monday, July 6, 2009

Around the Pointless

sideways is a wheel
reinvented for each rut

levels sell their leverage
cheap enough for every crevice
to ply themselves

a beat is a bit
with overbite

next is a mill with no windage
that isn't blowing it's own

yes, all circles are the same,

then again, all that darkness
must mean

most circuits don't close

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Get Your Slogan Toning Syrup

You do not want to be an antenna tuned
to the distraction of some niche:

how shall I waste my time today,
lets see, the list of options is too long.

Poet, whom have you praised or cursed?
Storyteller, what heartshard
have you rescued from the ether?
Doctor of thoughts, have you studied
the work, or how to sell it?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two Faces for the Princess

an indirect planting, a fingerling root
capable of heedless thickening,
a shred of seed refusing to bleed
anything but a green leaf,
a scrap of shell ready to explode
like she's double-yolked,
a mindless dot as white-hot
as the big before the bang,

she could be full of creation,
pre-programmed to stampede

or fate could be as flat-handed
as an expanding universe's long tail,
an empty infinity's last and yet one more
gasp to fill itself, like

an unstranded protein trying to build
without blueprints or union workers,
the short half of a wishbone
boiling herself in hope of soup,
a fabric flower's colorful fancy
of fairies that grant steadfast patterns
that heavenly-sped day of bell-curving
bud, bloom and wreck,

she could be a whisper,
an answer drowning in all the swamping
square-waves of quiet
the ears keep stopping themselves
to ask for.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Through the Stomach

short strips of pork
death-grip on the bone,
smoke soon to stroke
the blood-wrung meat,
the heat to soothe
the habit-clung muscle
from fat-tight clench
to taste-wet ease

the man tends the temperature
the coals shake hands and
pass on the happy plague of flame,
repeat each other's
hot new jokes

wood cut to fit
a slow-so-good-torture,
a forced spirituality,
cells sublimated into wisps
for the pleasure
of noses full of
flesh's longest memories
of being fed
or an impressionable brain
watching grandpa
sharpen willow switches

the black housing,
manufactured womb for coal,
it takes in the homeless
protein and promises
the good news of sauce
and soon transubstantiation
in an organic forge

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tasting Clean

Desperate to be empty, like a barrel
preparing, she scrubs her center
to a spineless shine, a tunnel
dug exactly to plan, and only
ever used once. She's the escape,
not the escapist,
the pressure shoots the bullet through,
and she spins it straight
so it won't tumble off the trajectory
that came free with her, from her,
an ejection given direction
by a lifelong moment of devotion
to hot copper, exploding the way
beginnings are supposed to,
so loud it must be true and then gone,

she has to be ready, no rust of waiting
left unoiled, no residue of past
undone rushings,
no grit to come between the new and
the newly new; she is an oven refusing
to bake anymore, unless it's a cake,
she's a closet scoured out so there's
an excuse to buy shoes, she's a
television she broke to keep her
promise not to watch it, she's
a savings account devoted
to nesting her egg on the moon,
she's that bottle of wine more
expensive than any friend's occasion,
that carved, perfumed soap too pretty to use,

she is a floor in a room
that wants no furniture so
prospective tenants can see
how easy it is to walk through,
where they'd put the couch.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A slush docked for watery content,
a slurry not up to snuff, such

an abundance of viscosities
deserving a separation into drainage
and sieve-worthy savings,

somewhere there slinks a slime,
quickest slipper of the sludge,
and she deserves to breed

the slickest slider, she needs
to fill the future, after all.