Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the Way to Chacras

A wild pack of mutts kept their heads down and looked for food. They had mastered the art of look-no look, not even moving eyeballs in vain, save for a few glances to throw off the rest of them. They were everywhere as stand in ghosts for the barrios further out from the city center, out toward Chacras where a couple was abruptly warned by a cyclist of the danger- not of a bored policeman, but a serious threat- one embodied by the general rule that noone ever got hurt from crossing the street at the sight of some doberman/labrador mix, or the appearance of such anyway.
The heat smells of pine and blueberry bushes, nanking cherry pits spit on the lawn next to the crab apple tree that used to trick the birds into flying into the window too high to reach, even on tiptoes. We had to close the curtain on the sliding door, even at night because of the bats.
On tile, warm as body heat, this is written. Arid desert breeze juxtaposed with fountains not auspicious as the lincoln, not minimal but rather grandiose in a suggestion of aquatic sprawl, dim lights offering more than the satire previously provided. Some highlights of the central construct, the stoic recipient of the aqueous innuendo pick up the last glimmer of airbrushed sunspots across the tits and right cheek (grapes and book in ornamental slumber) as the last of the beast's horns are squeezed into the evening like a tube of toothpaste or the application of a condom, the fountains start giving purpose to the reflected illumination.
A pair of waders turns on the arachnid-wrought iron lamps- still done by hand, might as well be oil lamps- naptha still fresh in the nose as pine and blueberries.
They had to close the back door because of the bats. He walked across the pond each morning, that murky green the color of an army uniform, with an old pickling bucket, mostly used for eggs. It made all the dishes smell like egg salad sandwiches when mother used it for washing. To this day, empanadas on wrought iron display cases always bring the ghost of all the pickled yolks backlit by naptha lamps ooooh and the tile, warm as body heat, red sand and the murky water the color of pickle buckets the flacos on the corner use to douse the fiats and fords for a 2 peso note with a wild mutt look- no look, trying to squeeze out the night like a tube of toothpaste.
Palates of blueberries and nanking cherries shade themselves under a crab apple tree among the red dust and the arachnids who inhabit the nearby wrought iron fense. A stray cat gives a masterful look- no look up towards a window not unlike a bored policeman watching the aqueous sprawl squeeze out the night like the applicaton of a condom, first the grapes, then the books, the tits, and finally the bull's horns.
A pair of waders lights the lamps as a mutt drinks from the murky green water. A faint smell of naptha and pine drifts through the crab apple trees overhead. Sunspots like stand in ghosts offering more than satire dot and slowly fizzle from display cases and old pickle buckets as curtains squeeze out the night like a cyclist's warning on the way to Chacras

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dead Weekend

“The smell of decomposing flesh was so intense
that lighted candles, passed through the opening into a vault,
were instantly extinguished” -Catharine Arnold.

It was yesterday earlier
when the nightlight sunburn
chaffed against the Anguilla Japonica flesh
braised to pure fascination
in the mind of the reader
sick with non-fiction sweat.

My brother saved the package
the gloves you knit him came in.
He liked your felt handwriting:
it took from the hairs knelt
before the lobe of your right ear.

Relationships, broken down
to dime-sized nipples, harden.
How intellectual!
How po-mo!

rang a miasma of sinful tolerability;
A necropolis of soul.

Imagine the conversation turned
to the form forbidden lust takes
when acted on.
A feather can say what I won’t.
As one falls moon dust feels off
an always sun burnt chest.

When eels are prepared in Tokyo
they are filleted through the back
to not recall the calligraphic cut
of a samurai performing
seppuku unto himself.

It was yesterday earlier,
and a dead weekend,
when I visited a cemetery
splayed out like an arm folding.
It was rapt with trees once considered
to be pagan by the Romans and as
I searched for my great-grandparents
druids danced among yew trees
whittling themselves into projectile weapons:
Crossbows to fend off grave robbers
or finish off the nearly dead
dying in urban plague pits.
It is true that exploding coffins
terrorized many religious tombs.
It is true that felons were buried
on the northern side of cathedrals.
It is true the feet of old world dead
faced east so, come resurrection,
they could stand up more easily.
And It is true
that I thought relationships hardened
in the absence of loved ones
But, memories decompose faster
when they are not around.

I got lost on the cemetery
and failed twice to find
any of my dead.

I’m sorry,
sometimes your grandson
gets distracted.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Customer Service Complaint

It's not fall that makes me depressed,
not the dying leaves or the birds flying south
or afternoons that arc into evening,
waking up to a sun half-set.
It's not mice crawling back into houses
and sad wet cats meowing for help
in the alley, hiding under dumpsters
from the next pummeling of rain.

It's not fall that makes me depressed,
not the tired-looking evergreens
wondering when, if ever, they'll get a break
from their relentless color,
or the last of the bees still wandering,
starving mad, aching to please their queen.

It's not fall that makes me depressed,
it's the fact that regardless of what season
it is, how many birds or bugs or vermin
are all holed-up, every day remains
the same deluge of self-important people
with the same self-important problems
feeling that I am somehow obligated
to help solve them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Moon Moths, Slugs, and Insects

"So steadily moves the solemn procession"
-Andrew Carnegie

Nothing if not
the feelings of sunny afternoons
when blinds draw to breathe
loose teeth in dreams.

Good sex!
says the third condom
sobered enough to get hard
after a massacre of foreplay
written on a bathroom stall
in Denver.

Made up like an eating disorder,
roadside or not,
I attempt a lost earring
for two years and six months
I named my microwave Montana
for it being easier to navigate
than an oven,
stove, or the distance between want
and a loathing to be clean.

A footnote in military history:
Terrorism should be a bomb.
It was a european beach
in the nineteen-forties
until i moved from the bed
to a futon in a windowless room

where dark but expecting
the stark moon a raven,
where I your young
bemoaning stomach aches

Feed me

Friday, October 8, 2010

Being home.

I’m starting to realize how much im like my parents,
picking up on similar habits. Dad’s sense of humor.
Mom’s too. Living like I travel, only a few different articles
of clothing to mix match. The theatricality of our world
and I buy into it. Coupon clipping what comes in the mail
for buy one get ones at the shoe store or getting stoned

before watching the perfectly fake gore of Sweeny Todd
or the strangely erotic gore of True Blood. The first time
we watched Interview with a Vampire since we were kids
and wondering if I should admit it was getting me off.
It wasn’t until the end that you said something.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The city
(or was it the other one?)
spoke through house ducts
terrifying children
with consonants of dried leaves
and dead rodents
who couldn’t beat back
the rain's current.

If you're wondering.

The apparitions didn’t appear
until I got sober
at my parents house
near East Glacier.
Then every night
-all night-
memories flew.
Living too fast,
in the wombs of stranger women,
than I could.
The booze the class the books the smokes
the lanes changed pedaling
to a two bedroom home
I and a man
live and try
to succeed in.

Sleeping in the bed
I lost my virginity in.
Its weird,
you know,
that I sleep here all the time.
Curled up to the dress she wore
and the corset I never took off
my senior prom when I got drunk
enough for two people
and the four who weren’t even there.
(She cried that night
I heard.)

Dance with me now,
take a walk.
Maybe to the portico
off the red brick and white banistered building?
You know the one,
it’s over there;
inside the tragic auburn trees.
what happened to the pines?
Children will grow old
in Helena and not know
a full pine except
for in a photograph
like southern temperaments
know a northern winter
because of Hollywood
and greeting cards.

This night
moves forward.

Mad women were thought
to harbor their mania
somewhere near the crotch.
Scientists, civilized
with modern medicine,
morality, and sanitary conditions,
removed labias
and placed leeches
near clitorises.

The blood flowed
with unparalleled speed
and didn’t cease
for days
and days.
In and out of heavy breathing
with moans pleading the unwrong
to deserve such ferocity.

The mountains
are waiting
for the train here,
the same train
that has gone by the intersection
of Dillon and Armory
for a hundred and thirty years.
Unfathomable amounts of people
have witnessed it
who were stopping in town
going east
to go west
back home again.

A bicycle takes me
to a state park on a lake
with a beach
that overlooks a pine-lined
mountain range,
the Grain Belt taste,
and the last woman
I woke up with.
She liked me
for what she thought
I was
and I didn’t mind
the me she created
in our tonal situation
where black
could have been white
(if paying attention
were important).

It was dark
and our state was gorgeous.
The moments knelt
before a thunderstorm
and however brutal
the dawn was,
it calmed thought
then forgot…

Where am I again?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Mythological D-I-D; or Damsel-In-Distress
Gonna lay down and die now,
With no one left to impress?
Fuck that, she’s an Empress
Bleeding irrational smile
And triumph: Greco-Roman style
More to her tragic power
Than to get in bed and un - dress

Spitting in the face of the Gods
She became The Receiver
Of men who clung to her ruby ridges
Like the blood of Randy Weaver
And they would feed her
For a time, for the walk to the river
To the verge of sublime
Where there’s pain and there’s madness
Left to lay on her tables:
With those nickels and dimes

She’s blessed
With a red sugar heart
Underneath her soft breasts
More or less
Entreating her pleasures
And the copious stress
As wide as a mile
And full of tiny bird’s nests

Room enough for him
With the rest of humanity
Cracks in the side-walk:
The slow erosion of sanity
Behind the velvet rope
The human tribute to Vanity
And just to your left
Her little four-star calamity

She’s got nothing to lose
He was standing beside
He would strip her of her panties
Her dignity
And her animal hide
No question remains
No decision left to decide
Choice and Commitment
Calm thoughts of suicide
A masochistic urge
She will no longer abide
Ashes in their urn
A bright cigarette burn
Shoving all curtains aside:
She’s passes through cosmic doorway
Watch her hit it high

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dear Motherfuckers; Don't touch my laundry.

The light is gleaming on your car across the street
It is like John the Baptist in forest green
With wheels, no parking permits
It shines with the modest righteousness of an
Let it radiate before me so that I might remember innocence
And hopelessness and martyrdom
In the things that do surround me
Symbols of
And allusions to:
Besides my personal relationship
With you

Of the non-Catholic sinners
With their dressed-up
I know we make you blush with the frankness of our language
And our pettiness
Our alienating conversations
Glistening rock-hard ovaries
The partygoers, full on
And not a thing to celebrate:
A beautiful/disgusting perpetual motion machine
All bending like so many willows
To serve all needs, and take complaints
With grace and gritted teeth
So un-modestly chained to our addictions
Reading your reactions classified
I easily place your varied revulsions
My eyes attracted to “Garage Sales”
I lose focus,
Changing the subject

I remember, at the time
I hated not waking up together
It so depressed me when he slept
Like a teen-aged drunk driving causality
Desiring so much to see the dawn together
And being raised
To wake in time for a rural school-bus
I would let my naked body meet the morning
With an embrace, while you
Were dead
To me, and everything
‘til noon
It almost ended our relationship
What a joke
We came to live through wars together
Now I think:
I’m so grateful you gave me time to write

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricanes and how to pray about them

When asking God for a favor,
it’s best to start small.
“Please, almighty God, don’t shatter my windows.”
Don’t get ahead of yourself.
Think about the storm
and all the demon winds
and know that it’s all part
of a grand plan.
“Gracious God, let cars not
fly through the side of my house.”
God is listening, so
kindly ask for minor floods
and quick dissipation
once the storm hits land.

Pray about the hurricane,
not against, it would be wrong
to defy God’s will.
“Humbly, lord, this house
is all we have.”

Crouch up in the smallest ball you can muster
and rock back and forth at the lowest point of your house.
Feel the foundation tremble
at God’s immeasurable strength.
Cry at the sound of dogs Toto-ing into the stratosphere.
Say the lord’s name, the one you know, three times
and click your heels to the rhythm.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Grovel
and beg, plead and cry more.
God is listening, so
board up your windows if you
plan to use the name in vain.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Abby

This morning I pose the question: Is there any way to change the wicked beast?

- Chief Starblanket (At Wounded Wrist)


Dear C* @ W2;

If it was born and stayed beautiful for the first quarter of its life, you can be sure there is no way to change it. It will never gain awareness of its nature, and will see the destruction and violence it does as being a mere side effect of its existence. Rarely there are monsters born of lycanthropy, bitten at some long withheld future date, a few thousand days away from birth. There is a change that comes in some kind of post-adolescent maturity, a ripeness, so that they are beautiful for the first time in their lives.

I have intuited that these cases, though rare, might be of great interest to you. I can tell you exactly that if you are writing to me in the first place, that this is not an ordinary beast, born and reared by the instincts of the perfect few. Of those gorgeous creatures it is known, even by laymen and idiots, that the immutability I have referenced in the above paragraph is as stalwart as the chemical elements. I do not blame them for this, for wolves are born to feast on flesh and blood, as they are born to sate themselves on soulless favors for all of time, amen. Predators cannot be dissuaded, but in their guiles men have died trying, exhausting every card trick and knock-knock joke they ever knew.

Forgetting all that; this is not the kind you have before you, still the threat upon your life is no less immanent. I can tell you right now that this is not the time for outlandish attempts at time management and vague retreats into holistic stress therapy! Listen to me closely because if you remain in such proximity to this narcissistic abomination your day of reckoning is nothing less than nigh:

Set aside your foolish affection for this one I know you have grown so close to, because I also know, that as you wrote me this, there is still time to cut your pink leather leash. The house pet that you harbor has been growing steadily more beautiful, and you have noticed this. All their young-adulthood has been accumulating towards every glittering new moment in which they are recognized as what they are; slowly undressing in a striptease of true nature. Killers. Better than most at maintaining both consciousness and memory of their former inert states, they are more reprehensible for their unrelenting selfishness and cruelty. They will rend you so completely in their hands, and crush all the intangible human softnesses that you possess. It is the beauty that keeps you in these mighty palms. Turn your face away from the light, turn your face away.

I will end with a self-authored proverb hoping eternally that you have gotten the gist:

There can be found no trace of ill-intentions on the bloody fingertips of the Giant who enquired to caress the gosling.

I hope this has been helpful,



$$$ NOTE $$$

At long last I have kicked off my Art/Poetry Blog project, which consolidates my contributions to branches and contains some new written work and shoddy photographs of my visual art endeavours which will be exclusive to:

Dig it!

P.S. Thank you to Branches as an entity and all contributing memebers for continuing to be a source of inspiration for me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Co-dependant African Blue Mantra

It is the hour before
The hour before work
Every minute is golden accumulation
Against the shower curtain
That I will draw on this private morning in my apartment
Which will end once I am in the alley way
Taking three or four last desperate inhalations
Against the restaurant’s brick wall

Trying to look forward to the money:

I praise whatever somber mystic power permits the Greeks
To keep both of their two clocks
Running ten minutes slow
A double blessing
Needed to counter the two human manifestations
Of ill feeling who have just moved in next door to me

Twin specters of death
The color of an anti-matter black
African women
Sisters, or friends
Walking the neighborhood streets all day
Collecting plastic shopping bags
Completely full
Of other people’s garbage
They never fail to stare at me
Not speaking a word
Only gesturing malignantly
Sometimes they hiss
Like rotten sickly cats
And a vuvuzela in the local pub
The Mother continent
Having an infectious touch
All around Saskatchewan
I’m afflicted

This latest addition beautifully complimenting
My other already welll established infections
I am flourishing in a new
More assertive kind of madness
It is a hard drinking
All possessing
Omnipotent and magnifying
Force lingering behind
Every kind of feeling that I feel
From now on
And he the disembodied
Unnamed figure
Now starring in all my nightly dreams
And hallucinated picture perfect
In a recent fever
That has forced me to cast something out
Relinquish all my blind intoxication
For ten days, while I take the medication
The perfect excuse
I will challenge my own will
On the back step
The cruel nature of perfection
Forces me to up the ante

Some say red hair is unlucky
I read in a book of proverbs that:
“Ill-luck is good for something.”
I have fully thrown myself into the discovery of all it’s uses
All parts of the animal
Sweet stench of the avid lovers’ bed
Endless ways to entertain with perfect courtesy
And the best card tricks
You’ve ever seen
The way he is the highlight
To the way I lose my head
I inflict a bodily revenge
Let him be lost on my island,
Wrecked in my shapely ruin
Looking for fruit in unknown forest
You're the free man
Because tonight, it's on the house

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New EP

Hi folks,

Just wanted to share our new EP (entitled "Proto") with everyone. For those who don't know, we're William Carpenter's Towering Trees. We play rock music that's poppy and jangly and mostly fun. Here's a download link:

Also, the songs can be heard individually at:


Thanks for listening!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Forward Talk

Between forward talk
be more assertive
worked out in circles
i’d like to be burned
is an unfulfilled patio
buy the bigger hat
of objects
i could go for that
on top of one another,
the clouds were too fat
a mass of question marks ask
why and who’s there?

The wind went
where a possibility waned
then lost one for a second
as a memory of mushrooms
drag into a forelock--
I cried at your funeral
I felt closer to god
The open ceiling
brushed stroked mysticism
and the pews we sat on.

Large cities and their newspaper
publications people could still get
but would rather read
through a phone
on a train
that smells a mix
of your twin bed,
armpits that are too ticklish,
and the barbeque I ate last night
for breakfast.

When intimacy issues peel
louder than a sonic boom
flip them again
until they become something new:
A rush of river trees
humbling circadian

Friday, July 23, 2010


No one every warned me
to fear my hands
but they should have

-Paul Guest

My oldest nightmare
resonates like wooden floorboards
shifting in solemn hours
where a tune is played
a closet door opens
and inside darkness
calling me to it.

You were white
and it was white
all over again
in the shower
and on your bed.
Drawn out
like a funeral.
Three gun salutes
then quiet.

I slept walked
from your room
to the sofa that was
a veritable twin mattress
of red cushion
until it got weird
and your roommate
saw me naked.
That moment
is dead now,
at least for a while.
Family continues
to reel without
not that you were present
the last five years
brash honesty
is an unfiltered cigarette
smoked whatever
wells try to hide
during daylight.

A simple kind of emotion
services the crowd
as the benches are drawn
and the people begin to kneel.

The lake is quiet
(give thanks and breathe)
then interrupted
(give thanks and breathe)
by crappies breaching
in the dream
you were trying
to sleep
with the bedroom door open.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mutually Beneficial or Not

I spend most of my time not dying…
I climb on a woman I love
I repeat my themes

-Frederick Seidel

I read somewhere
that most human body heat
is regulated
through the head
and the feet.
My three limbs conform
with yours, all together.
Four hands excavate
a lode of unfelt memories
that coyly bite on an earlobe
as a deposit of sleep unfurls
an orgasm of quiet honesty.

Down on you
and you’re down
further on the carpet
than I could expect.
Green shag melted
into green: a wind blows
a grove of trees.
You’re a stone building
with a temple front;
a Corinthian column of curves
mouthing unlit funeral pyres

Lightless for hours
then morning
until a crow sings
and you kiss me.
Mouth sweeping
into a bite of lower lip
and until a sigh is returned
I think about the uneffort
of a tributary: A body becoming
an entirely new body:
A thread being sown
into a seam

The moon…
or could we talk about
you again?
A breath
then two moan
an outline of shoulder blades.
A tongue tasting
the humble repetition
of a thunderstorm
in tomorrow’s lavender blossoms.
I could count freckles
on your body for hours
when you are asleep
or I could count
the Canadian Geese
hurling themselves
toward migration
to keep their bodies
warm at night.

Your hands
gave me something
I haven’t had a chance
to receive.
Still, they know
how all roads end
at the bluffs of your shoulders
and intersect with your hair

For Lauren

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The base of the Chicago river
is pavement
ushered in whenever
to direct the flow of used things
where locks and sewage keep
waves from bleeding gently
into the larger body of a lake.
I’ve seen it flood
seen the police drag
its smooth stomach
in search for those swept
and held against it.

The house on the lake
is all I can remember.
I could breathe day into a ceiling
smitten with stared water marks
or talk about politics while drunk
at a four a.m bar.
From here to this
now is not too far
(what day is it?)
then I’m finished.

The river moved
truncated doubt.
A small segment
and fell out.
I take it apart
to pull it taut:
more next to longer more;
an inch first
then stone on stones
magnified and developed
like a photograph
of modernist architecture.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dear Pacey,

I nearly died last Monday. I thought it was daring to be riding so fast through the graveyard. I lost control hitting a curve and thought the brakes would stop me. Instead they stopped the bike and my body flew over the handlebars and my head slammed against the pavement. I guess I just lost control. You know, the way Mitch died when Dawson left L.A. to chase love in Boston. I expected it to hurt more.

I could feel both my arms and my legs and stood to brush myself off, but I just spread mud all over my pants. I wanted to take control of the situation, Pacey, I felt like I had to decide my next move. The bike was in no condition to ride. The back wheel was bent into an oval and lodged against the brakes. I tried to carry it along the steep downward path, but my wrists gave out after about a hundred feet. Some of us are men now, Pace, for us the worst pain is to just ache and stand in one place. We can’t all stay something like eighteen forever. I was running late for work.

Oh yeah, I wrote a poem and I want you to decide what it’s about.

I want it to be sudden and intentional.
My legs are long and muscular
and I want it to blow me over,
to be destroyed and taken.
It doesn’t matter if I know
that it’s coming or if it takes
the wind all out of me. I want
the bricks to break and the
support beams to twist and crunch
under the pressure. I’d rather
it was thorough that way.
I want it to happen while
I am still young enough to
appreciate the melodrama.
Some of us are men now, we are
assertive and furious.
We are insatiable and inconsiderate.
There will be no fade to white,
when it comes I hope it looks
into my eyes while it takes me.
When I see it coming I want to feel it
in my joints like a storm,
the way my hands and legs get after
a larger than average orgasm or bike accident.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Next Season

She had a lutheran look to her; the chubby christian aspect of the privileged- a bible bound into a ben franklin planner as the ultimate schedule: creation, birth, death, redemption.
The bible belt is hidden in the west under cliffs in trailer parks overflowing junkyards of broken aspirations rusted over by wishful thinking; 'Ill get er ta turn next season, I reckon'
Im sick as hell and the reeking petulant perfume reminds me of the satisfaction Huxley's Staithes takes in that acknowledgment of your own human stink.
I take none.
'Who is that?'
'A girl I once loved'
That chubby christian aspct of the privledged, reeking petulant and acknowledgement of your own human stink. Frowning in the eyes and smiling with the mouth a toothsome grin and wrapping arms around eachother in nonchalant dissapointment.
She must've heard the stories and oh god, im sick as hell. Trailer parks and junkyards stinking and oh god, the chubby christian aspect all overflowing wishful thinking.
Petulant stink bound in a ben franklin- acknowledgement of broken aspirations: creation, birth, death, redemption.
'Ill get er ta turn next season, I reckon'

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ars Poetica: An Interactive Relationship

I fill up a balloon
in three breaths
to tie to a string
then drop on pavement.
I am waiting for someone
to pick it up
and play with it

I am a creature of habitat.
I’ll have a cigarette.
I’ll masturbate with my shoes on
to the time you tasted my sweat
from the hot night that morning
our friend was in the bathroom –
I never thanked you for that
and I’ll tell you next week
at the assisted living facility.

You’ll see my grandfather
not remember the day of the week
as years unwind
before his plasma screen.
I struggle with this
but he doesn’t.
I binge drink
for a year
when he dies:
I only cry for hangovers
because life revolves
around me.

The moon – or can we
talk about you again?
If the poems wrote themselves,
I would publish you this:

The Nipple of the Evening
Your breasts were smaller
than they were last winter
and your pre-teen nipples
no longer make me shudder.

Pardon my implosion,
these are the poems I want
to see printed.
Engage with the audience,
make them feel withdrawn
from yesterdays emotions
and tighten the muscles
around their wry faces.
Wait, read it from over there.
Those lips are red
and look like eyebrows
instead of a mouth.
The image changes
with immediacy.

I’m thinking you into a battery
because that winter you kept me
from freezing. I remember you
only this time (last week)
your body is too skinny.
I’ll write you into being again
before this is done
I remember through words
that make language interesting.

Time-travel is tangible:
memory sags
and the right moment
is not how it happened.
Notice anything different?
Pirouette those grotto toes darling,
our doubt tastes
like chocolate covered strawberries:
hard sweet
then juice

A balloon blown up
with breath,
tied to a string,
and left on pavement.
What happens next
is not important –
I will have made it up.
I am not the poet
who wrote any of this
and you are not the woman
with the skeletal chest.

We are in this together,
waiting for the poem
to end.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Johannesburg Gun Underground

It is Friday night
Things have gotten too consecutive
More than 8 nights straight
I’m trying not to count
But today was my first real hangover
Since I can remember
And the smell of the food in the restaurant where I work
Nearly moved me to vomiting
I have withdrawn for the evening
Into quiet music
I’ve been thinking about buying a plant
I’ve been thinking about filling up the book Frans’ made for me
I’m somehow unmotivated
Even though his return is immanent
There will be certain things that he will expect

A small girl (the owner’s daughter) ruined the remainder of my female friend’s soup
As we sat eating our vegetarian lunches this afternoon
Unable to talk about anything
Because of the presence of an intelligent child
It was emotionally tense
The black-haired babe tossed tattered pieces of our respective napkins
Into spiced cabbage and tomatoes
Before we had the chance to object
Asking us whether or not we wanted
A fan, a bowtie or a tipi
Folded for us, with the paper scattered locally
Throughout the small café
They were all of the same essential design
Heavily reliant on pleats

I am sick of seeing blonde-haired young women
Walking around on the verge of tears
In my workplace
I am unable to tolerate
This kind of non-sense weakness
Now that I – myself – have overcome it
I am apathetic to their plight
Their trouble is a result of their approach
I know that I am at a strict advantage
Because of my uncommon ability to adapt myself
To madness
Without any hesitation or need of explanation
I am uncaring and dismissive
When I see their shining eyes behind the bar
Heedlessly they wipe the glasses
The Old Man rolls his eyes
Somehow, I suddenly cannot blame him
I return to our conversation about the mountain,
And he blurts its name unintelligibly through his thick accent
With his back to me
As he stares vacantly into his huge black safe
At the many colored Canadian currency
Like the leaves in September at Victoria Park

Again, Frans
He specifically told me not to meet him at the airport
Frankly, I am relieved
He was worried about his unseemliness
I have been harboring a deep anxiety
That I would not be able to keep my shit together
Around his Mother, Sister and Father
At the terminal
It was very hard
Then it got worse
More mysterious
Entirely disconnected
I’m not sure what will happen
Like seeing yourself in the mirror
For the first time ever
Willing to drown yourself
In a fight for what you already possess
Ending everything
In a mortal conflict with your reflection
A too accurate self-portrait

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peloponnesian No Non-sense

Robert and I had a drink after work

And he turned the bar television up loud

and then accommodated me

By adjusting his voice as well

Accompanying a PBS documentary about Greece

With proud commentary

About how there is a hole in a mountain

Where you can ride a gondola through an interior river

And see all the


Stalactites and Stalagmites

He said


Of course, we got to talking about you

And where you were

He yelled that I should go with you to Afirca sometime

Thought it over momentarily

And then ammended


Thanks for the advice Old Man

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It is not the conclusion that is wrong but the premise.
-Werner Heisenberg

A notable poet wedded
a ten-year-old student.
Their love was never consummated:
he discovered and feared
the hair women had
atop their mons pubis.

When he asked if I wanted to get lost
he told me to look up
and I did and it was gray
and so was everything else.
It ranged from white to black
in uniform and I laughed
like herbaceous plants.

A Rubik’s cube that can’t be solved
is still a Rubik’s cube
revolving around itself.
A poem is ink on paper
until it becomes
something felt.

Keep up with me now.
In Edo period Japan,
Jinsui-kidney water is semen
Dokketsus are poisonous lumps near the coccyx
Fundoku is “fecal poison”
(which should be washed with urine)
and Joketsu means “superior ass.”
These terms, created for protection,
classified the body of potential suitors
in the quest of male-to-male love
between a teenage boy and a man.

This is goofy but it is May.
It might be the eleventh.
The lightening struck
a couple miles off
and echoed
I didn’t eat,
the clouds were too fat.
I abstained.

It was wet.

Stark lit in nicotine sweat
is how she remembered
sleeping on a pile of blankets.
She dreamt of shaving
her pubic hair
for the green weather
before a rain storm.
She is watching
the rain somewhere else.
She is drying the dishes.
The cardinal pitcher broke
(the bottom came right out).
Her thumb was almost severed
in a similar accident
involving a hand plant
on a ceramic bowl that broke;
its bottom shattered nonsense.

When his waistcoat advanced
in misty sunlight spots
she watched sand dust
from a garbage truck
that tapered past.
Maple leaves helicopter
from tall canopies,
whirring into the smell
of recently paved street.
The clouds left the city.
It is humid today.
I taste undoing
in the dead rain.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

la vie douce

J'ai goute' la douceur du votre amour
comme le sirop d'erable et beurre
de nos jour chaque lit est un peu de mort
pour mon gourmandise de l'humanite'
'sirop de poteau' course dans mes veines sans electricite'
encore toujours mouvement; froufrous!
la vie est la farce a maner par tous

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nothing Did for a Long Time

Sometimes I forget to stop
plucking an eyebrow and
before I know it, one frowns
while the other stares with
an almost open mouth.

Does a moth eat a sweater without
tasting the holes it creates with its mouth?

Depending on the longitudinal width,
a hurricane is given a “type” that is
used to classify the storm’s potential.
The force is then gauged before it hits.

The two boys across the street saw
me pick my nose so I ate whatever
it was that they found so interesting.

There was a year in the fall of 2001
that waited for things to happen.
The non-events that ensued kept us
from living for a very long time.

After digesting milkweed, a
butterfly secretes poisonous
liquid that is necessary for it
to lay eggs which it does so on
the weed and without hesitation.

Like nails, hair grows with little effort.
If a man suggests that both continue to
grow at a steady rate after death, he is
lying: a seat-belt should be worn when
he drives you home from school.

I’m not sure if I derive pleasure from my phenomenal ability to —what was I saying?
I think pleasure is an expression we use when —excuse me—I’m on the bus tomorrow
from eleven to four. How do I use the glue gun? It usually plugs right in. I’m not sure
if pleasure is a virtue but I know sexuality is more of an emotion than, say —that cat
scratched me again. I’m going to have to explain to my psychiatrist that no, I’m not

Looking for truths in written work is
like trying to find twilight in the sun.
The facts are in the classifieds and
a North American atlas from 2005.
Also: ink will not make you blind.

Upon dusting a mirror, how clear
is its reflection supposed to look?

The landlord installed screens on the sixteenth
floor windows because spiders kept sneaking
in and she and her roommate don’t like arachnids.

An earthquake has a “magnitude”
that is recorded by a machine
immediately after its impact.
Asbestos clouds and cries of
help don’t have time to settle.

I fell asleep at the drive-in before the
second feature began. She held a cup
that I woke up stroking until my pinky
was too wet: I offered it to the sunburn
on her back until she miffed Stop that!

Nothing happened when the Boeing
Hornets flew overhead. It was in
the quiet aftermath of their engines
that fear realized it was what we
asked for that year in September.

If everything I ate had to be dug
from the ground, I would be more
attracted to a monarch than the
solitude of a lunar moth hatching
work for crocheting hands.

Skin retracts and degrades long after death which is why
many people think hair and nail growth does not end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


John clips the whole plant to individual branches,
hands us each latex gloves and shears, says
“Cut off the fan leaves, trim the close leaves,”
we start, “but please don’t cut off the crystals”
we nod attentively “that” he says “that
is money.” We don’t want to cut his money.
His children need to eat. They’re asking for new toys.

The smell is overwhelming: it’s fresh cut grass,
and roadkill skunk. I clip the small branches
around the thick buds—there are greens,
dark and pale. Sweet and strong, the sap drips
from the fresh cut stem. Stephen swears he hears
sirens and sees flashing lights, but we’re just harvesting
medicine; we are pharmacists in the living room.

With precise movements, we snip and watch an interview
about a sex-addicted golfer making a comeback.
I’m thumbing through a book.
I read aloud a poem about queer fear and
the husband, father, customer service rep,
and cannabis farmer says “That’s me, I mean,”
he pauses “that poem, I’ve felt that.” I shrug, he’s right.

They’re looking for him like they’re looking for us.
We conspicuously affectionate and unusually effeminate,
needlessly friendly and strangely hungry victims.
We’re clipping off our dead yellow bits and they
are looking for us. They want Stephen and I to burn in hell.
They’re trying to send John to jail. We’re chuckling about
the piles of leaves that stick to our shoes.

We’re telling one another about the open-caskets we’ve seen.
Ruth says she’s tired of being laid off, she
wants to be a mortician because death
never ends and sorrow never goes bankrupt. She
wants people to smile over their dead friends,
to say “They look so peaceful” and eat cookies,
drink punch and hand over the paycheck.

They’re looking for us and when they find us they’ll kill us
and picket our funerals. They’re going to make our parents
cry. The TV interviews will ask “Do you think they deserved it?”
They want to show John’s mugshot on the news,
they want to arrest Ruth and put the kids in foster care.
There’s an odd silence as we sit and clip
and think about our own open-caskets.

There’s more growing in the other room.
The bright lights are blasting through the spaces in
the door frame. The yellow-orange light makes the plants
look vibrant, and makes us look peaked. John says
“There are more clones, we’re adding lights and vents
to this room next week.” There’s a plant that is outgrowing
its bucket, getting stronger and taller.

I ask, “When will this be ready to smoke?” The room
is barewalled. The room is crisscrossed with branches
hanging on twine. “A week or so,” he can’t stop smiling.
The room is a dusty spiderweb of fresh green pot.
We even have to duck and crawl as we exit,
in the dark outside I understand
we are growing stronger and taller.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Judgement on the Open Road

Whitefish sits on the Northwest side of a large valley
whose population idles somewhere around eighty-
thousand people at any given moment. The climate
never dips below ten degrees Fahrenheit but when
it does, the snow politely asks where to go
before settling like the artificial kind dropped
from two stories on a movie shoot in New
York City in the month of August.

Front seat question: where are we going?
The door was shut, then opened,
so I closed it again. Wondering
when you would notice, I made
another whiskey diet.

Please excuse the consonants it is trying speak;
the ice goes on about power points
and statistics, earnings reports
and right wing politics. In a few
minutes           it will be quiet,
sit back down and watch the sun
set as it considers the speed in
which we are approaching it.

The churches in these small
towns have tall steeples
that can be seen from anywhere in
a three mile radius. Sometimes
they have clocks, as if time
were given to us from a god
and not science.

The cities back East
have buildings that were first made
of splintered trees sanded down to
look neat. After that, stone grew
fashionable when the cities ran
the risk of burning down to ash.
The glass skyscraper next, like
brick and battlements, wasn’t
built as a testaments of faith;
it was erected for esteem and
prowess. The attitude of
“look what I’ve done, you
can’t top this” but then,
someone always does.

Back seat answer: We’re almost
there, hun. Nails grow faster
than grass so don’t expect a
lot from where we’re going.

The 20th century shrank after the
industrialized countries began
to communicate on a global
level. There was competition
through violence, Tulip, but
offerings of peace always
begin as innocent as the
gesture of the sacrament:
a bead clutched in the
palm of a shadow in an
empty alleyway.

At night Spokane, Washington sleeps
differently than other cities. At least
that is what I think waiting for this
car to leave at one-twenty in the
morning. It is dark and I have
little evidence to support how
dark it actually seems. I’ll
smoke a few cigarettes by
the light           of a myriad
constellations     with
different names
than the ones      I am
familiar with.
I ask which       direction
the reservation        is
until someone    replies,

You‘re in it

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A wet bottle of beer on the edge of the bathtub,
my hand holds it as well as I can and all
the lights are on and the fan hums quietly.
Hairs stick to the plastic wall and I think
I loved them at the party when they talked
so loud. And they all went home, left me
to talk to myself and the cat—I must seem arrogant
rambling on like this, loneliness
is an unlikely character assassin.

I don’t talk now. My hands are sinking
to my thighs, but my penis floats and I laugh.
The laugh moves through my ribcage
and ripples into the water, I laugh again
when I see my belly fat shake.
There will be time to look my best—
now I’m talking to myself again.
Loneliness isn’t much different
than contentment after the party.

My eyes drift, arm knocks the bottle
down into the bathwater, the clear and
lint and dinge mixes with golden brown, it floats
sideways like a message from a wayward friend.
Fumbling to stand it upright,
I set it again onto the ledge
(looks the same), grab hold tighter and
tip it towards my face (tastes the same)—
loneliness is a shrug at a cat lapping bathwater.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The first gun I owned was an over-under
twelve gauge with a Russian barrel and Chinese
stock. It was a product of communism
but was not made for hunting humans: deep down
shotguns are defensive instruments. It was
given to me before I knew how to tie
shoelaces. The idea of firearms is
inherited: one never has to learn to
shoot if born from a womb lined with buckshot.

The pellet gun on the porch was for scaring
Canadian Geese off the back lawn. I had
trouble with the hand pump and never used it
much. I would watch my brother put it to his
shoulder and breathe: his face looked how a birthday
felt. I don’t recall what happened after that.

My grandfather was a good man. In the late
thirties he was arrested for shining the
headlights of his car at animals. Each night
he struggled to hoist the length of his rifle
on an open truck door, he thought about the
meat he’d share with his community and the
beer he’d drink on the drive to the border. His
brother-in-law, a man I don’t know by name,
turned him in to the police. He stopped driving
home altogether after serving his time.
Friends said he still drank but slept in the backseat.

When the bus drove past my parent’s home, I saw
my father down by the lake with a garbage
bag, his mouth fixed as a plump of geese looked on.
I thought he was weeding the beach, forgetting
it was too early in the season for weeds
and retreated to the woods so I would not
have to help him. As he got closer to the
house, I noticed two more things in his left hand:
the pellet gun and a red shovel. I never
remember the sunset that day or the light’s
descent into night but the bag he held shivered
under a phantom weight and was a kind of
sable I’ve seen since, in an eclipse.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Maturity (Drinking Age)

Exciting new pain
In the soul
Like a safety-pin
Through a gentle black velvet
A dark unending gravity
Now open
A thread pulled
Undoing my clothing
Consider this array of bruises
Pick your favorite color from among them
Name it and take ownership
Getting closer
Beneath my blue-jeans
For 50$
Take everything you can fit
In two hands
And walk away
Of the parts you want the most
Insouciant blankness of the manuscript:
The revised edition

Listen to the same song
Again, again, again
Getting righteous
With the epic power ballad
The river beat
In an extended dance
You make eye-contact
With the high-powered lye
Of my body, and my face
Getting blinded
Please let me fade
From your imaginative vision
I want to ruin me, for me
Like a sacred bath
Common law with a ritual
Of repetitive mistakes
I represent this with a ring
From my mother’s first marriage
An abstract swan, a silver band
It would be an honor

To fuck your shit up.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

11:41 am

the sun broke through the clouds like a convict through a liquor store. all the liquor stores around here have a low fence to tell you not even to try it. you have to ask the lady in the sequined hat to grab it for you and she rings you out.
from here you have limited options- to drink or not to drink- the latter not really much of a choice at this point so you buy a bag of ice and peanuts- salty over sweet while youre off the wagon is best. after a couple of days when your pours dont smell of cheap beer, the sugar cravings return, but that doesnt happen all too often latly.
so you grab your booze and nuts and make your way to the kitchen and find a jar thats not too dirty and you pour it strong. half a half or better to start- the pours are sure to get heavier by the time you need to lean on the wall for support, but by then you wont remember anyway, other than the taste on your tongue when you wake up.
Humans sense differences: like how you cant smell something youve been in the same room with until you leave the room. if the taste on your tongue is the same you can never tell. this becomes terribly convenient when remembering your forgetting becomes troublesome.
so you make your way to the lady with the sequined hat and think about peanuts and feeling less

Friday, February 26, 2010

White Power

Today I’m hard up for cash
So, what?
Take a look at my calligraphic
Written with my own personal supply
Of Canopus 13
See above,
In the sky blue sky
Just adjacent to your slice
Of key-lime aspiration

Please RSVP
If I casually invite you
To analyze my handwriting style
And I’ll take you up
With the power of my single manifold
But there is no rush
Thanks to the advent of the dot-matrix fashion
Which I have enthusiastically adopted
As my preferred method
For getting my point across

I just want you to know
What I mean
By this message I’m sending
An impermanent and extravagant
Demonstration of what I’m talking about
When I say
We’re both selfish
We’re both liars
Symbiotic parasites
Compulsive thieves
And all around good people

Sometimes I’m hard to understand
I intensely desire your appreciation
For this valiant attempt at clarity
Consider this an out-right demand
That you say “Thanks”

I can be your best friend
And spring with you, eternal
Please just never love me
Deny your feelings of attraction
In small claims court,
Along with your parking tickets
These and other things
Are nothing more than un-paid side-effects
Experienced as a result
Of getting where you need to go

I too am a believer
In the dubious hassle of the bisexual
Platonic relationship
And I fail to comprehend
Why my brothers, all around me
Can’t see through my effeminate costumes
And nearly drown me
In the magnificent Kanagawa
Of our fraternity

Regardless of whether or not I’m
Little Sister
I do believe
That my grit is self-evident
As obvious as the brilliant luster
Of my silver spurs

Like it or not
You must learn to accept my lineage as fact
Born of the Norwegian Gods
I have consummated my young adulthood
As a merciless warrior
With an intent to nuke
A handsome Valkyrie
With a heart
Like a red, red fortress
And breath like floral cigarettes
Heaving steel plated breasts
While dreaming all-consuming dreams
Of strength and domination

This is flirtation
This is a warning
You cannot hope to contain
Or embrace
A ravenous flame.
My lust for destruction
And re-creation
Than my impulse to breath.

For your own safety
I have placed these tender walls between us
And you begin to bruise them
Wounding my patience
With your unrelenting advance
On what is burning
Just beside you
So close
But yet so far.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I saw you try to act a threatening way
I heard you whisper violently as if
Your silver teeth and tongue
Were giving birth to grievous meaning
Distracted, and waiting for something you say
To land a some fluke-ish blow
The blunt weapon of your scorn
Your aimless lecture
Directing your extra special selfish rage
Vaguely in my direction
I look at you with stony awe
As you explain to me why
I should not have intervened
In your personal life
When you stole a large sum of money
(“(Perhaps Temporarily)”)
From a friend of “ours”
Without making one thin second
Of fortifying eye-contact
With me

I have smelled the shit of you
Despite the impediment of smoking tons of cigarettes
The forceful wreak of garbage colored syllables
Tearful lamentations – dramatic suicide attempts
Announced, with manic ardency
Again and again and again and again
The most ridiculous wall-paper sampler
Of mismatched perjuries
Braggery, the most ugly boasts
About your latest atrocities
The raw nature of your grocery list
Including adultery, rabid substance abuse, serious violence, petty through felony level thievery
and tax evasion
You are proud
I am lead to believe this
Because you list these accomplishments daily
Like some splendid general
Somehow I do believe
You’re heart is truly purple

I mean that in the worst of ways

Tell us about all that
All that
All that hot sex with members of sociopath set
Sweet blonde cocaine orgies
Oh, that swinging lifestyle!
Sometimes you’ll need a break!
Might I casually suggest drinking through your daytimes –
It really helps a man loosen up
After a tense day at the office
Which we share
The crass logic of drug-addicts
The triumphantly unending fabulous
Each one more sound and elaborate
Than the last,
With witnesses to testify,
And alibis, and lullabies
Spitting them at me,
As if your sighs,
Your sniffling
Your dry, dry mouth
Were not as loud as a thunderstorm
As if I didn’t notice your agitated movements
Like a bull
Crushing all that china down,
To fine white powder
Lead all to the slaughter
By a ring in your nose

All this tragedy,
Your children, and a woman
You drove to madness
What large pieces of smaller lives
You’ve so carelessly destroyed
Disassembled, with a daily blow
With the sledgehammer of your
Sickness, your psychopathic tool-kit
Your pores dripping
With falsity, my distrust
Of you so strong, that I can barely force myself
To look at your face
Lest it attack me, attempt to manipulate me
With the most sincere of expressions
Attached to the hook-line and sinker
Of your poisonous influence
The countenance of your physical body
Lying in three fleshy dimensions
Not eligible to repent
Even on your death bed:
My final caution;

You break it, you bought it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Winter Can't Keep Anything Straight

I don’t remember getting potty trained but
I know the winter’s haven’t gotten any
better since. It is a terrible season
to risk romantic relationships, a time
spent wanting warmth without confusion: a build
up then release: to hold onto something that
doesn’t make me feel ashamed. I’ve spent winters
with women so I don’t have to sleep alone
and been with ones who have used me for the same

There is this isopod that eats the tongues of
fish. It begin with the outer lips, tears them
off then burrows its body inside the mouth,
using its teeth to make room for itself.
The isopods grows there, in the roof of the mouth;
the fish doesn’t notice, swimming all the while.

I kissed a boy once just to prove it could be
done. His chin is what I touched the most so we
made out a couple more times until I could
taste the oaks in his hometown and tell if he
was an only child (he wasn’t). Someday I’d
like to climb to the bottom of a well and
see what is so important that even shadows
try to keep its existence hidden. Maybe
it’s not tangible. Maybe it’s the quote there,

hanging, about how the recipient of
a poem is unable to appreciate
what the poet meant to write so, when I slept
with that ex it was because I did not want
to be left behind. Everybody is some-
body’s former body, the circumstance is
not what matters: it’s about discovering
the potential in the worst possible lay.

The Highway from Heliopolis

It rose in the distance like a
stillbirth —or at least the color of one—
as the amphetamines drove me
from the town I grew old in.

My father bought a jeep
when I was young. It was the
sky after a storm blew through
Eastern Colorado, without the
stink of shit and evangelists

Well that, and the Firebird
(his real baby, sexless as it was
with black leather interior that
still smells of the first time
I fucked) rode like wild
roans. He’d advise me not
to wear seat belts in either.
The stares were longer,
he told me the women liked
it better that way.

We’d go to car shows
and look at the engines
like they were porno
magazines and when we’d
pull into the garage, he’d
show me how to polish
the Firebird’s seats.
Absent mindedly,
I’d finger the pouch
of weathered leaves
—the one with some Indian
name— he’d forget in the glove
box and wonder why he’d keep
them hidden from mom under
a stack of crumbling eight
tracks. I had an imagination
then: I’d show friends
the baton that rested
idly on the driver’s side.
My dad’s a cop I’d say
an he beats robbers to
keep them from stealing.

Then they’d talk about
being adults —growing
old, a girl on their arm,
having children— and
get driven home by one
to be put to bed.

I pull off the interstate
—an exit with some Indian
name— to do a rail off
the portable tape player:
these cars from the late
seventies were built well
enough but an eight track
only lasts for a couple
decades. I wonder if it
is as late as it seems
then pull back onto
the highway to see
it there, setting. It
dangles —as if
connected to a
cosmic thread—
waiting for Time’s
nurse to sever its
weight and
throw it



Here, the buildings are splayed like jack-o‘-lanterns:
the big grin of windows separated by stone
and metal, illuminated by a lamp that may
be overhead or may be in another room.
Orange, yeah. They’re orange inside the
eyes, the mouth, the nose. The outside is
black against gray overcast. It could rain.
It has been and it could again. I do not
watch the sunrise when it has yet to happen.

The first time it started we were both eighteen:
I promised you would start to feel everything.
I want to fuck the trees so you went west
to Washington whose evergreens I have seen.
I was drawn to a pile of leaves last week and
your hair was in it, whispering –like the
filament of a light bulb that is about to go out.

Incendiary Balloons are dangerous.
The Japanese sent them over the Pacific.
They landed in some remote areas of
Oregon and California. They killed a
few children who tampered with their
release mechanisms. The Americans,
at that time, were developing another
kind of weapon that they would also
send over the pacific in a different kind
of balloon. That too would explode.
It took me a twenty-five hundred mile
plane ride and thirteen hours on a train
to learn that the Japanese attacked
America on four separate occasions
between December 7th 1941 and July
11th 1945. I was not surprised: some-
times knowledge takes time.

The moon held a twilight sad. Is that
a line from another poet because the
moon held with it a twilight sad, an
arrow and bowl of tulips. It sighed
What use are things to a form in
orbit? Circles in squares –a massing
of objects– on top of another.
– a body on top of another– in orbit;
Love? Letters. Asparagus. Today
I will take out a life insurance policy.

A friend tells me I should settle down
with a nice woman who is ignorant to
things that keep me preoccupied. What?
Am I supposed to talk to keep her mind
at ease at night? I don’t say this. I lie.
I agree. I listen to her breathe. I want
to be loved like the pediment of a temple
front: ordered around and sat on like a
stylobate. This is a mouth that is much
prettier when clenched tight, kept quiet.

It is nice to be ignorant of language:
in not understanding one is left to listen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Walk Home

“The streets were dark with something more than night.”
-Raymond Chandler

High tops sprang toward the base of a fire escape.
It is true, it has been snowing: the iron gives a
gorgonic hiss as residue clumps into a
mess of what looks like bellybutton lint. No, not
enough time, shouldn’t have considered this, three more
floors until the buildings will shade what tracks exist.

The cistern: city beneath another city.
It is calling, the rooftops are unsafe. Below
there are lean byways without traffic lights. Stop signs
made up of canals, the discarded memories
of our bodies all at once, mixing into rags,
Styrofoam cups, half-eaten food squeezed through
tight passages like subway trains. I am afraid.

“Live life accordingly” reads a poster for a
suicide hotline. I dangle a foot in front
of it and drop, stunning a pile of cold muck with
both high tops. For just a second, I’m a compass:
I shudder for direction, support myself and
pivot, responding to the darkness like one half
of a magnet. The city is an attitude

it keeps like a secret, confusing stars with dim
lantern filaments, deeming them unimportant.
I’ve seen myself sweat at sunrise and thought about
loss. I’ve slept in the cistern and walked on rooftops.
If one thinks too much they’ll drive themselves unusual
which can be a good thing if one enjoys funerals.

The Centenarian

Wind swept skirt, there are melodies hidden
in the ankles that drive you forward. Circles
in squares -a massing of limbs- a garden
of delicacy shivering in certain
morning rains. Compose to manipulate;
the face smiles first. Then the bodily curl
of a stomach yawning inward retakes
control as the perianth drools and unfurls.

· · ·

A remembered kiss of excitement. Hand
on hip, then the hiss of metal searing bone
as though a leaf pile devoured a firebrand.
Eschatology warned me of dark cyclones,
hurricanes, earthquakes and torrential rain
but this was not as planned: we met death from all
around. Tools too sick with fits of wolfsbane
saturated wounds and left my men mauled.

· · ·

Tulip, there was a war and I was told
to erase it. I built over the craters
-salt soaked and warm- until there was pavement
in all directions. Unaware of its grim
impact, I used resources like salt in
an ice storm. Sulfur Dioxide? Acid
Aerosols? When the sunset grew more vibrant,
I was told my work was to blame for it.

Prophecies be damned, the world was always ending.
That I survived a few wars means nothing. I know
now there are things worse than the wrath of a planet:
when it decides to not take you along with it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Catholic King

This terrific Week
A grayscale in seven hues
At a loss for fine cutlery in
A decadent decade
I’m getting by
With my plastic forks and knives
Temporary fortification
Against things too tough to swallow whole:
Like 3rd degree burns
And sculptures that are 6 feet tall

One lime green
Thigh/High stocking
Solemnly pulled over my bucksome flank
Worn as a complementary side
In symbolic tribute
To a more perfect romance
That once happened on the internet
Getting started on the right foot
Dressed in psychedelic files
As I hand you my coat
Stars collide
And we are reduced to a shimmering dust
The triumphant survivors stand below
With their eyes closed
Trying to catch us on their ruby tongues

It’s just one thing after another
In this hit sit-com
On and on through our afternoon re-runs
Like sand through the hourglass:
These Are The Days Of Our Lives
After the first commercial break
The plot is re-explained
Still, I’m lost
In a funny fantasy
That I’m trying to live out
You caught me practicing my routine
Candy-clad palm on the small of my back
And we’ve struck emotional gold
Just riffing on the soundstage
Sitting high on folding chairs
We know the full-moon is above us
But it’s invisible
With metal beams and wires obscuring
Our view of the midnight double-feature

These recent days everything
Has the feeling of a one-night stand
Some sort sexual impermanence
In my complete extension outward
A sentiment of singularity
In all my latest handshakes
I become my own entity
The more I stand alone
On a dance floor by myself
I am exultant
Kindred spirits with their bodies pressed
Against the XXX of the speakers
And amps
Can’t stop shaking
With all the good vibrations
My heart swelling
With the a special sort of tenderness
For all these pretty strangers

I am optioning the various rights to my story
And you seemed keen
On making a movie
Where I was the star
You envisioned the trials of a hypnotist
“In a world she never made”
You saw me as a beautiful destroyer
The sturdy descendant of a milkman
She, Himself
With mysterious cuts and bruises
And an artist
You wanted me to play my own character
Mercifully relieving me of the audition process
Although, I had come prepared with a song
We have now forged a business relationship
Prepare to become attuned to my vision
Be courageous in the face of my audacity
I’ll be your idea man
You can focus on the details

I will now admit
That I’ve dabbled in the occult
With a special minor interest in palmistry
I have money in my hands
And charcoal on the tips of my conical fingers
There is a discernable narrative
Amongst the mounds of Apollo and Jupiter
Two nights ago
I unconsciously incurred
Some significant little wound
Running boldly parallel to my heart’s line
I see my life line interrupted
A vision of me
Standing in the shattered glass of what I am
With another self-same revelation
Of what I may become
I am but a child
And a *-soldier of fortune-*
Winning February’s contest,
Hands down.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In such rotten times

I brought my work home with me that night
and stood to watch sweating orators
grow big and tall with the richness of rhetoric.
Speaking certainly or saying something
about that which they cannot live without;
sexually satisfied essentially repressed proud Americans
with some real shit to talk about:
"There's independence in the open wound,
Which is to say that we can heal so soon."
They raised a stage, erected beneath
the shortest, most important buildings history keeps.
Coughing up chewed pencil lead, my eyes to the page,
decorated in work's sweet sweat and love's neck on my breath,
the words I heard then seemed to lack the passionate sexual regret
that marks the end to a fight well said.
Something is really going to start on fire tonight.
Don't ask me how I know.
The erected statue for which I could not bear to crane my neck,
which they said resembled the empty Cicada shells of those died unwed,
they built it out of wax, grease, fumes and wet stems.
Tonight protesters gathered on the National MAll to tell the general public exactly how and when they want what they want. It was hot, the crowd was cranky and most news outlets did not bother showing up. One committee member said of the event, "It is not a matter of life or death, but the will to knowledge for all the repressed."
They speak clearly and are so well read,
I can't think of a better way at all to distract from the sketches I make between interviews
like Michael Dukakis rolling his tank over Berlin
and across the binding Mussolini dropping napalm from his upside-down gallows.
A couple in matching tracksuits jog by, man mumbes
"If all they wanted were their genitals back, all they had to do was ask."
My wardrobe fits right in the puzzled crowd
But I can't seem to keep my head to the ground.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Regina Prediction

I’ve got a friend with a fast car
I’m fighting a war on the passenger side
With brilliant flames
Deep thrusting jazz
And bayonet eyelashes
Painted black
Violent as all Winnipeg
And twice as fucked
Restrained by a belt between my breasts
That bites my flesh
Shining like the heaven sign
Clasping at my fabulous half-circumference
Advancing on no-man’s land

New friends are sunshine-mustached
And we make a great team
We wear prison clothes
(that match)
And walk through the hall-ways, and on the sidewalks
Collecting and saving
All those flimsy pieces of
Last night and last night and last night
Opening our throats up
With the jagged sweet tare of birdsong
We have things in common
Like our interest in women
And our lack of white conté
Wolf eyes doesn’t take the bus
Cause it hit his sister once
(She’s O.K.)

Spectacularly feathered
With bodacious plumage
I am a Bird of Prey
Deadly headmistress of all steps taken
With a loping gate
Living in a meadow of champagne
Immune to the cold
Vulnerable under fire
To burn and burn and burn and burn
Still to early-rise again
To glare the clock down
To keep a dream-ledger, and a soul-list
So many bodies ungratefully torched
And then rebuilt a little thinner
Somewhat hollowed
With more room for candy on the inside
Garishly dressed in paper maché:
Colorful fragments on the outer layer
Sometimes need to come off
Beat me with that merciful baton
And allow me to treat you

While we admire the image of
“I love you with my Ford”
It occurs to me that I hate you with my Pontiac
But must never tell you so
Because you are my meal ticket
(among other things)
United we must suffer
Under San Diego heat
Closest peers and colleagues:
Let’s get drunk
Spread loose-leaf across the table
And design nearly accurate
Johari Windows for each other
In a fresh campaign
For self-improvement
Here is a list of adjectives
Please note the bar graph representing
My statistics
I think you will find I am not lacking
In any department

I thought you might be good for me
So I enticed you to come and visit
During my public office hours
I guess I can’t win them all
Or any of the ones I want
And forced to endure the brutality
Of a sweater that does not fit me properly
Being called the wrong name
And also talked about loudly
With lavish vulgarity
Ignored, cheapened, trivialized
I decide to withdraw my porcelain shoulders
From underneath your heavy stance
I will not be so readily abused
Although I can’t quite shake your crooked smiled
Out of the bottom of my paper-bag
And it still spreads
Behind my eyelids
Like a highly prized centre-fold
Babe, you crack me up

Sometimes I feel as ugly as all get-out
As forced as some Capote affect
Misshapen like a Playdo sunset
I wish to resume my primordial form
Away from the hands of all these
Eager children who are forever
Sidling up
And lose this restricted body
And all its cumulative aches
On Thursday I feel certain
Of my outer-space magnetism
The unpolished beauty of my French inhale
Raw seduction written on my outline
In the darkness of the cave
The neon glow of things is lessened
The shadows host a play rehearsal
And I silently applaud