Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Psalm for sleeping fishes

Splinter your knees on these planks--you command on the misted dock, the sun not risen on a sky like bruised star apple--callous your hands in prayer, or I'll cut them to the quick of your tiny hammer wrists, and you will never press your palm to your heart again, and feel your heart press back. Hear my story or you will not be loved--But you command that I do not hide my human heart, and even if I slip beneath the pilings wearing my concrete sneakers and slide my lumbar along the algae furred rocks, and I never see the goddamn sun show, I do as you command. I look away from you to the water, and my heart is like bruised star apple.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hiding places

I was no kitchen knife wielding knight
with checkered table cape boy
I will say
just a naked coward.
I want never
to grow up
an old man
will say
and pull the blanket up
above my head
in gleeful terror
close my eyelids
and die.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Toy rocket astronauts

We came close to exit speed,
before the gravity well brought us back down
like all children fallen down
wells, gloves open-palm to retracting
helmet visors
reflecting a pinpoint sun,
below us
still water waits
and our descent
thick with stratosphere
seems to whisper
cool against our cheeks
what it is to grow old
in stages.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stages of separation

Wash wash my hands and face
There seems nothing to say
In the breeze
Of rocket plumes
Skin blacked
Launchpad dirt blown
Out in the night

Dance for rain so
With rocket burning
Burning above our heads
Clouds soon make us
Doubt sweet
Sweet doubt
And we can drink
The rain
And wash away the damned

Sunday, June 2, 2013


A cow said Moo and another cow said unto her are you not afraid, sister? And the first cow, lame with splintered legs bent out like the roots of a great tree, sliding along the industrial conveyor belt, said I am not afraid, for my God will deliver me.

Friday, May 31, 2013

And then there was light

And then all the bears were heroes, those from the Baluchistan and Kermode armies who fought with great honor, until their heft fell butchered upon a forest clearing of morning glories, in the breeze of an autumn dawn which stirred the flowers open like purple fists holding stars in their palms. And the Baluchistans wore great white doves across their black breasts, and the Kermodes' white fur had been washed pink by the claws of their enemies. But the morning glories knew nothing of the fire of dusk, or the carnivorous night, could not distinguish this brevity, this brittleness, from their own. They knew only that the blood seeping into the soil was theirs, and they drank of it, and it was good.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Embryonic rock ballad

Let me be the rock
star who steps off
stage who sits
on your laps
spills your vodkas
glasses roll shatter
on the sticky floor
the cigarette fog
obscuring our faces
as I beg you to hold
me fetal.

Let me show
you a network of
my veins, like a fiber
optic toy glowing
red cigarette tips
and let me be the joke
you remove from the deck place
before you on the table
examine discard
 "No wilds boys no wilds"
force your tongues
between the cracks of my painted
grin in dark auditorium stage
light igniting nothing just a feedbacking
guitar dropped against hollow shoe-
worn wood.

Let me inhale the
nicotine exhaust pliƩ
from your throats into the back of my
Let me swallow
your spit
what you give
when you say confiding knowing "What a wreck what a wretch what a mess what a fuck what a slob what a hippie what a cunt what a hack what a has been what a one hit always taking hits more tracks on his arms than his records"
and let me be destroyed
by your consonant
the way infant skulls fractal
kaleidoscopic against mothers' fists
shaking with milk
Let me be the joke
you tell confiding knowing
like I am a whore in which you know and confide by
bruising my imperfect shape
like I am the moment
in your lives
you ripped clothes from
a mannequin displayed
to the street because your money
was good
because your credit
was good sirs
you know your credit is always good
here sirs
and I am the moment
in your lives
you paid to nude
a mannequin
to the street because you thought
I want I want I want
and you could have so you
took because the mannequin had been molded
without face.

Let me be the puddle
reflecting the nude mannequin
and from which
like your smoke laughter
knowing confiding
blackbirds scatter
my skin.

Friday, May 24, 2013

It is father's day in the enlightened age, what did you get for your father, Isaac?

Maybe we kill because science cannot take this doctrine from us, so it is ours, the way we masturbate forcefully into test tubes and examine our semen under microscopes, the way it makes us proud, like, Great Game, Slugger, or, Give 'Em Hell Over There, Son, Shovel Your Trench And Shoulder In To A Shadowed Nook Till Christmas!, or, Get Your Cock Out From The Shadowed Nook Of My Daughter Which Makes Me Weep With Fear, or, Welcome To The Family! The opposite of To Kill is To Emerge From Shadowed Nooks, and this is an act of great faith, Amen.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How I love you

Someone once discovered that human intestines could be unraveled and then wrapped around the equator of the planet earth to form a tourniquet, and I wish these were my intestines. The idea of a liquid flowing uncontrollably, of undertows and tradewinds, this idea terrifies me, and this need to suffocate terror is the most human thing I have left. Please, let me do this for you all. This is how I love you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So I see you've met Pan of the subtropics

You've put on your shoes, haven't you, but you've forgotten the laces, and to step means to stumble or to leave your rubber-soled foundation in the tall grass. You are sad, I can tell the way you look forward into the horizon of cypress trees edging the clearing, because it is as if you are looking behind you. It's okay to be sad because swamps have the unique quality of swallowing, buzzing, swirling, engulfing, so that you forget there was ever such a place as not a swamp. By this I mean that to be engulfed is indistinguishable from engulfing, this is what lovers do, buzz and swallow and become indistinguishable, and also I mean to say that swirling carries with it the inertia of a ballerina, for instance, or the spotlight which she orbits. This is heliocentric and this is inevitably what you will think as the sun which you orbit casts its light on your cheeks, and you are the only one in your private swampy world, with no one to give yourself to but the wet earth. It has already removed your laceless shoes, and maybe this is the first step of lovemaking, so you must make love, you must engulf and be engulfed in the tall grass, to the thunderous applause of crickets.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Division of Forestry

Sometimes I think, a tumor was once a flower, there has been no rain for years, we do not recall the times between brush fire seasons, we share evacuation tips and hose each others' roofs when we spot smoke towering in the distance. Though wet roofs will not help, this is the closest we come as neighbors to embracing. We smile, wave from our yards, robed, dogs bounding in fatalistic, knowing circles. The fire is a rising tide. Time is measured in fahrenheit. I want to tell you, Hey Bob, did you know that love is just an electric wire hooked from your eyes straight back to your past, that love is a word that means nothing more than survival, that without love we would have all smashed our skulls against the cave walls until our thoughts dripped viscous into our eyes, blinding us from whatever meaningless things we've painted of ourselves. But then I think, who doesn't know that? So instead I watch the stream of water arching from the hose to the shingles, knowing that it will all soon be smoldering cinders, and the fire will consume the oxygen and make each breath we take thinner, and this is like a lovely flower.

Friday, May 3, 2013

When we talk about paralax, darling

Sorrow or laughter
comes from a glass jar
swelled with fire bugs
of fancy.

If you can't tell which is which,
in all that jarred
we are looking at the same God-
Damned sky
swelled with jarred fire:
You, fingers furling full of grass,
dirt, or brine-caked sand, staring up,
and me,
atop, watching the fire
swelled in your eyes
of fancy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A weaving lesson

The threading of a blanket is nonetheless made of many single paths. It is unclear what I mean by this, if it is literal or if what I mean is that I am lost. Or if both are true, and being lost is an action performed by the blanket, of which I am the object. What is clear is that, even in the darkest uncertainties of one's existence, there is a blanket, there is loss, and there are many threads.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Obituary in headlines

Colonel Feeds Boy Walnuts
Shells/Casings Litter Colonel's Stomach
Colonel Reclines with Boy Lapped on Chair
Brown, Tobacco Brown, Colors Chair
Tobacco and Gunpowder Stain Colonel's Fingers
Fingers Clutching Skull, Colonel Kisses Boy's Forehead
Boy Stained with Tobacco and Gunpowder
Colonel Survived by Chair, Boy, Stains

Friday, April 5, 2013

How to read a poem

Alan Watts once wrote
that to describe
an experience
is to fail
to divide an inch,
an infinitely divisible inch.
It is pointless,
impossible to clone
in words
the experience.

A ceramic mug
of spiced red tea
loses its hyena's jowls
in metaphor.

loses its gut's imploding-star
somewhere between
O, V.

So what's left
for words
to say

is like words
and words are like

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Your gray hour

In the world's approaching shadow,
from the sliver sun dusk,
wind flutters its pigeon-down
across your skin.

Only in this fleeting hour
does your migration's path ride
currents of air
with everything soon to dissolve
in the night.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Collisions at bedside

Twist this metal frame around;
if this is the closest I come
to being held,
at least let time slow let
physics twirl
as they may.
Implode glass;
if this is a story about stars,
let sunlight twinkle, twinkle,
across the shards,
and let your voice
be a soft narrative arcing wind.
Life driving toward some kind of
any kind of
contact, violent
My favorite part is when our hands touch
and as I drift away you ask,
What would you like me to read tonight?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Oral mother sky parable

The cloud looks like dry ice over the moon,
and this you say is your proof God is a tweed-
suited mourner with a pinwheel hat. Well, fine,
I'll say.
Someone better tell Him to wise
Now the cloud
the moon
And you say, That
ain't no man's silver

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nighttime pulse

Wide-framed pit bull spooned beneath my arm. My fingers pressing her scruff, white. A curtain blocks the moonlight. Dark cakes the bed--me, my wife, the pit, the Catahoula Cur balled at our feet. Blanketed in sleep, except me, who can't distinguish sleep from death. Present from future. I imagine the pit's skin already cool, all the cells in my body replaced, ten, twenty years from this bed. I imagine my restless, empty arm. For a moment she stills, a timeless moment, when I wonder if she is dead or alive, fingertips brimming with quantum potential. Eulogies form on my tongue, but before I can utter words the pit's head launches up and she is barking and growling at the curtained window. Both the dogs are barking, so loud now that their screams echo from wall to wall. Someone has arrived home late from the bars, scuffing past our apartment window. Their violent noise stirs my wife. This is how life is distinguished, I realize, and I have never been so glad to shatter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Anatomy of a sleeping man

Some nights are a jacket as thin as the hairs on your arm, cold moon-silvery wind stabbing easily through. The first dawn you watch alone is a speckled wood frog, her organs petrified in ice since first snow, thawing pale green under the sun in April. Your last day will be too warm for coats, and the frogs' croaking will stuff the windless air, and the moon will hang like a discarded eggshell, hollow cell memory, the ghost of frostbite. Dreams are like that. Black fingers, a silhouette of touch.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A great depression

Ticker tape parade for our boys come home, an embrace in the debris like paper ash falling from upper floor offices. Wandering the streets in a predetermined pattern, and then gone, the pavement still warm from boots and the sky like cooling flesh. In their wake a fallen comrade, a stockholder fallen from an upper floor office window, a leg of his dress pants riding up his calf beyond a silk black sock's cut. How the sock spoils the mood of a homecoming parade.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blue collar militiamen gather in the hills

Coffee settles on the blood like vultures on a tightrope. A shadow of a boy's heart steeped beneath the black bitter, confusing love with boiling. Like a cloudy night, a ghost of stars around the edges, industrial town sheen on the dirty brown sky. Black swallowing mineshaft, not the wing-spanned scenario the canary had imagined herself in but shit, an honest living. Potential collapse always vibrating the veins, that sense of an elevator sinking, clang, clang. Confusing fear of the dark with the dirt in your lungs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wasteland aftertaste

Cutlery on the sly, metal on ceramic like the rhythm of a joke, keep em laughing and it glides beneath the radar. A garden of phototropic radar dishes, turning in unison to the sun. And the dishes, bowls, really, and the digitized sun waves, a joke that cuts at your meat, which is the source of metastasis?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Platoon boys ruminate on their eventual reincarnation as the enemy

Doing the social dance, like a fuken peacock. Doing the war dance, like some goddamn ferrets. Standing still in ether, like a river stone. Dead and buried to our necks. We'll meet in some stinkin desert land, turbans blowin in the iris-slicin gusts. But we won't recognize each other. No, because the dunes are dancing, too.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Failed collage adjacent to a stocks ticker

{what you're hungry for}[About Their Children]
[the skinny on one]
{her profound desire to make}{Substance-Induced}{Cell Death}
{it would be...}["Lightest,""driest,""deepest,"]
{Static Positions} /only 8,501 beds/
[There is plenty of grooming,]
(Reconnect){the noise level}

invisible my presence

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tampa whitewater baptism

Dirt city, malleable in afternoon wind, cemented in morning dew, and again. Dumpster fire at dawn below the highway overpass, grit combusting under press of a firehose. Smoke signaling motorists: "We, mud-caked children cracking in the sun!" A sense of extinguishing lost in transit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On the subject of death

On a river of de-tuned piano teeth, tide pulled him from the black sediment along the bank. He came on a patch of burning oil like a lilypad, an amphibious man in boots and trousers heavy with soot.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Demography in early evening drizzle

Wipers slide, us cresting the exit ramp, our headlights curving right. Highway northbound exodus from everglade. Wipers pause, and the headlights below, sliding northbound away from us forever, blur.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Streets exhale absence.  Steam from the grates like dragging cigarette smoke, unspoken thoughts curling into the winter night.  Whole town of lonely fools, every curtain drawn. Where does one go to get warm?  Some washed up astronaut dragging a cigarette, helmet tucked under arm, cigarette tip just another star without a constellation. One can tell which stars are lonely fool astronauts by watching the chests of sleeping strays rise and fall in exhale.