His Head Wailing Unsprung.

  And he’s sitting there land-locked, anchored to the slope of the hill at the edge of Fort Mason Park his head in large brown hands rocking a strong torso back and forth, back and forth wailing in front of an invisible wall. He’s been there so long his skin is grass-stained. He looks like…

Hippo Crits

    They dip their snouts in the wallow of their own dung and mud, and delight in flagrant fragrances of bias’ floral splendor. Resurfacing, they take in your sweet bouquet, flare their dirt-caked nostrils with disdain and despair as they burrow deeper into their mudhole to release more sharts into a tidal flux of…

And We All Laughed One Last Time

      They were sweet. Three tourists from China tenterhooked, waiting to cross the street at an interminable red light at Marina Green near Fort Mason Park with not a car in sight. I look right and left, then stroll on in defiance of that “Don’t walk” sign. They follow alongside me, all dawn-eyed…

Rilke Was Right

  It’s the last day – the sky’s all cracked glass and hooded blight, the crows look like flying monks cawing Benedictine prayers at a shrouded sun. Nothing is right anymore. The ignition of your eyes has turned a lighter shade of pale, the air is ash and I’m covered in wreckage; every bit of…

Just Another Burning Bush

    When the man was a boy, he walked through thicketed woods. Loblolly pines, cypress, beech, and magnolia trees lined the walking path which lay like the centre aisle in a grand cathedral. The trees were pews to sit, stand or kneel on. It was a holy place then, a place for contemplation, a…

Though I Can’t Swim

    My head is twirling, which is no surprise since I have umbrella-stepped my way through life, Landing like Mary Poppins on every rooftop, one by one. Razing days like sugarcane from sun to sun. I was born in mid-air. Tip-toeing over tightropes. Slicing past all the pigeon-wire. My skin in shreds, black quills…

Requiem For A Dream

      I will keep I will keep You With me I can wait I can bait Your fisher king His coffee grounds are used His Carpenter’s cup is empty His a thirst that always grows His a covenant to go His a shadow’s lost hello His destination a bleak flatline horizon Crucify the…

Keeping my fora porous

Transparencies in their peignoirs become more opaque, candor will forge the brighter shield. We pretend to strip our blacklights strobing and pulsing their static – Was this a fuckless kiss? Or a kissless fuck?

Gone-Gone with The Go-Gos

  “Spiral-bound for easy removal” is what Michael Roger Press, Inc. assures me on the very first page of my notebook, and he should know, he’s been manufacturing them since 1995. I started writing on blank recycled paper; maybe this is an omen, my white owl flying high. All my scrawl is illegible now, but…

Between Independence and Captivity

The chrysalis cracks its promise I emerge winged, the lambent fire of lucidity crackling this is the dawn anew. I regret the loss of my 1000 legs though the air provides a means I miss feeling the earth squirm beneath my belly, miss the grind and trail, how will I ever remember the scrimmage of…

Sorry. 

    Five letters. Two vowels. So jam-packed with meanings and feelings and nuances and none of them will ever do what I feel for what I’ve said or done justice… not for me not for you I wish sorry was a place and not a word. A place where we could smile, dance and…

A Simple Misunderstanding 

Kafka found himself on the shore, south of the border and west of the sun. A place visited by no one. It was a simple misunderstanding. Somewhere along the way, he took a wrong turn. Maybe he went left, instead of right; or up instead of down. He meant to take a plane trip to…

The Blood Gasps For A Mouth Constantly

  She sleeps, hovering over the world, wrapped in sheets of sky. Clouds cotton her head. She is wool-baited, sleezevacked. The tracks in her dreams are dubbed in languages she can’t understand, her thoughts refuse to be spoken. Aphasia coats her tongue. It thickens her throat. Asemic symbols assault her with their futility. Their labyrinth…

Ham On Wry

    O Sophia, Daughter of Wisdom Speak to us in your dulcet tones, you who have fed man so long Under the canopy of your mists, we breathe information in exalted inhalation, yet there’s never enough thirst for this Ideas dangle their fruit as we lay dreaming at the root of every tree Those…

Dreamscape

      It’s been a year now. The sun has not exploded. The elevator doesn’t always work, but when it does, we go up and down, confidently gliding on its slim cable. I feel like I’ve been brushed into a de Chirico landscape all this time, every pillar is human perspective diminishing into forever…

Basra

  He watches me waiting to be molded. His dark angel absorbing shadow. Mist forms landscapes in his presence, fueled by the glaze of his tortured breath. I clamber up hillsides whose tall peaks are rimed with slick horizons, arresting my slow burn into re-being, but it’s too late, the kiln is fired & my…

Blame it on the night

      It was a moonless midnight. Its bible black pressed hard against her. Making her swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help her God. There was no escaping its coffin seal, but she tried. She shut her eyes and recreated lie after lie after lie….

On Its Knees

          I held the apple in my right hand. A fig leaf in my left. These ornaments were strategically positioned. Which should I prefer? Knowledge with its apple core, or Peace & Plenty with its sticky bits of fig meat? Behind me the river flowed: a current of concepts, letters askew,…

It’s Academic

  The river expands and swells you’re in the water, but you have no rights to that water Yet the air is free and clear and you gulp it, then seal the will of nose and mouth Letting freedom fill the bellow of your lungs As you stroke deft stroke after deft stroke into the…

Missing

  There are nights when the burst of orange moon splits the sky into a juicy fruit of dark and light, when the black cloud threatens to haunt memory, and the wind blows distant through every impasse giving the moon her due, as she carries us all with her… through the dream – thick with…

The Fog Has Finally Lifted

  The sun glints oil-slick on the water‘s surface. A sailboat skids its was across – fast as a blink. Time is on summer holiday, sprawled on a blanket. I sit on this bench along Golden Gate Promenade – practically on Stanley Karatz’s lap. I try not to block his view. Stanley Karatz is the…

Naked

      Every reader is a Father Confessor. Every word an accomplice to a crime: The crime a need. The need a knowing, a bleeding, never receding, making us all our own assassins as we splay ourselves open, for the benediction of the faithless: Its blue partitions audition velvet rejection. A partridge song sings…

The Programmer

    His knees never stopped wiggling. Open, close. Open, close. Khaki-clad thoughts innervating his thighs into a hummingbird wing flutter that was painfully out of sync with the rhythm of his fingers as they tapped at his laptop’s keyboard. Click, click, click.  He was a cacophonous symphony of nervous tics. Back bent. Ankles crossed….

Sometimes I really fucking hate this city

    I look out the window. The sky is a dotted chalkline In the sunless landscape,every rooftop gives me a sidelong glance. I don’t see buildings, I see tombstones. The dead are sealed so tight and plush, sewn into the satin tufting of their coffins, they don’t even realize they’ve been buried.

She Called Him Nameless

  I would share a picture of my father, but I don’t have one. My mother made it her habit of cutting his head out of the few photographs there were of him. I have one or two pictures of me as a little girl smiling widely at a headless man in jail. I do…

Inmates Are Running The Asylum

  Mike Worrall, Passive Descent, oil on panel, 60x76cm, 2000   The air is all bluster and bother relentlessly badgering my window Just another big bad wolf huffing and puffing, threatening to blow the house down. The wind has its devices, but I’m not buying any of it. Let the neighbor’s cat keep scratching my…

Id Entity

  What is that tiny thing you nurture with eyes that open the night? Its cats claw the rooftops never wondering how hard the pavement is fifteen stories below, they spring out of numbness – they can’t feel the fall. This is not your life, this is Pu’er’s tea stain billowing fermentation in blue-green clouds…

Run, Lola, Run

    She runs red through a thicket of blue the green glows in spots but offers no perspective it just highlights where the worn places are where the glass is scratched and the light is no longer permeable. There a fog gathers its strength in the fugue of yellow the sound shatters the conservatory,…

Breakfast On The Edge Of De-Ni(a)l (e)

    The time is passing quickly again Hopscotching on little girl feet. “Are we there yet?” it cries impatiently. You said you were a leap of faith So I will take big umbrella steps And pirouette over that cliff Hoping I can clear the chasm. But even if I miss that quantum leap skimming…

Dissolving The Lucid Moment

“… in love the heart surrenders itself entirely to the one being that has known how to touch it. That being is not selected; it is recognised and obeyed.” —George Santanaya, The Life of Reason: Reason in Society, Scribner’s, 1905, p. 20     I was dreamy with you last night. You were with a…

Lull-A-Bye

  My night paints itself on you You are the pitch and the sway Of the wind. Flail your arms again Try to strip me from your skin I hear your screams, feel the claw In your grasp, but it’s too late Your eyes have turned to glass You are glazed with my reflection.  …

Conspiracy of Silence

    He never had a chance. By the time Dave was 5, every orifice in his body had been penetrated. Mama had the tip of his tongue pierced. Grandpa complained that the stud always scratched him. By 10, he’d been arrested 15 times for breaking and entering; he never stole anything, he’d just eat…

The Steepening Slide

        It started with Cain and Abel Brother against brother So many stones to wield In these killing fields… “Am I my brother’s keeper?” What if I answered, “Yes.”? Would you finally stop screaming for justice, and beg for forgiveness?              

Tuesday’s Child Is Full of Grace

  The mailman and the doorman both sing out, “Hi Lori!” Cheerfully, hoping I’ll stop and chat with them. Usually, I do… Happily, sunnily as if the only reason I would ever get out of the elevator was to chat with them. But only if they see me first. If they don’t, I practically evanesce…

Landsharks Swarm The Shore Every Memorial Day

  There are days like today when I am a black figure in the dark. I lie there etched in charcoal, outlines of myself blurring borders of what I imagine I once was. I want to put on my orange coat, cloak myself in sunshine, storm my shower stall: an Allied soldier on Omaha Beach,…

The Mockery and Beastliness of a Hyperborean

  I don’t know. Maybe I just wanted to get a rise out of his stately plump Buck Mulligan. He was a genius and he knew it. I saw that smirk! The one that said, “I will make potted mince out of anyone with my serrated tongue.” And suddenly a red-tailed little devil sprung out…

Good Mo(u)rning

    Caffeine injects a strychnine sky but my mind drips An echo is absorbed veiny impulses blear their fog-horn moments Now awake, I remember things half-dreamed: How a man once crossed seas with a guitar in one hand and a needle in the other cigarette dangling from his lip unlit but smoldering under the…

Do Not Drink The Recycled Water

      It pumps, this heart of mine. Humping away like a flea-bitten dog On a stranger’s leg. Heedless and happy. The dog smile that doesn’t bare its canines The one that dreams of chasing rabbits And eating juicy cow thigh bones. What do Butchers do with those thigh bones, anyway? Just one would…

Tony Bennett Never Did Come Back To Pick Up His Heart

  This is such a strange city – columns of jasmine and bougainvillea grow straight and tall, proudly flanking the homes and buildings they adorn, while the few trees here compress themselves into their too tight containers and gratings, dangling swollen limbs over trunks that are contorted – supplicants to the always bossy wind. The…

…urges our bodies are too afraid to acknowledge

He means well. That’s the main thing, I suppose. But his virtues are always signaling smoke. I could feel the smoke hatch its conspiracies. I’m left choking in their fumes. He runs his hand through his hair like its pale fire is scorching his skull, a prairie moon haunts his eyes while badgers stream through…

Mutatis Mundadis

  She could tie pumpkin stems into sailor knots just by looking at them. Some women had the gift of gab, she had the gift of grab. She would grab your attention like some angry whore might grab your balls for ten dollars and squeeze. Hard. None of this ever phased her. She’d walk around…

…and the rest is rust and stardust

“Every moment is its own eternity,” she says this like the head juror in a murder trial pronouncing a verdict of guilty. Its solemnity undeniable but nearly comic in the obvious bathos she displays. I choose to ignore her. She chooses not to be ignored, and raises the pitch and volume of her voice until…

Whispers And Turns

It’s in the bones. This calling. This giving to the dark. A slow scrawl makes it way through marrow and flesh, marking me its own, it yowls your name but is muffled to a hush by the erratic pulse of my want.

Stranded Across The Barbed Wire

      Was easier than she had imagined The steel only bit into flesh What was a few scratches and drops of blood? Nothing that couldn’t be sopped up with a cotton swab dabbed in alcohol and covered by a Band Aid She loved Band Aids… they stretched over wounds and kept them covered……

Negative Kiss

      There are things to be said, places in felt locked away though not quite forgotten. They are sealed in impossibly old dented tin dripping wax vacuum-packed carefully stored and preserved like July’s sweetest peaches. Precarious, they sit suspended on the muted lip of a shelf in old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard where dusty…

On woodbines and the wounding of things

It screams, “Love me!” at the rare passersby, twining its bindweed through the skulls and skeletons of could-have-been and used-to-be, settling into the cracks of the between-places, the sullen skulk of it never satisfied with the present, its language is all past participles. The verb to be won’t be conjugated in front of it. It…

Tacitus

It was in the bloom of night that he visited me. Like a falling. Like a plunder. Grotesque visions clouded the surface, skinning their beasts and I reviled in streams… in rivulets of wonder that beaded their bloodsweat on cool marble brows; brows that would smooth tension and catapult thought into higher realms. The Yes…

I Y(i) Y(i)

    You didn’t know how to be You question your answers like you’d finger a rosary I agree with your answers, although I resent the questions, still I consider changing my I to our we, happy as I am leaving the hour of our our to my my, equally. I suppose, maybe by the…