…But I Haven’t

You’re sharpening that crow’s beak again. The caws curdle in your throat as you swoop in, all black cloud thunder and ruffled down; you spit out the last of your love with a furnace blast to clear the airways for the final bravura aria. Ferocity is your siren song and I have no mast to…

I should have kissed you once

  Still… All memory fades – eventually, like the lipstick painted too heavily on this clown mouth I always wear. At first thick- the lush red flush glistens until it cakes, dry and untasted, into skin creases its smear of patterned sadness eroding everything. You became the stain that soiled my white dinner napkin. That…

The Immortal Shaddow

      His tongue was thick, as were his fingers. His head was more fat than thick – like his belly. His voice had a lilt that was less musical than it was habitual – the simple accident of being born an Irishman. If he had it his way, he would have been hatched…

Garden of Melancholia

The cypress spires are wilting, our sky is scaped in fog, swallowing up powder pink yolks of runny sun flipped over-easy: reality serves me from its platter and I’m carrying my face in my hands again. Startled eyes shoot their blanks at a dove flying out of the void this head of mine’s becomes; its…

Eros and Thanatos Sitting In A Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G

The messenger was dead on arrival. He refused to heed the roadsigns: Caution Slippery When Wet Yield Loose Rocks May Fall Danger Construction Area No Trespassing Authorized Personnel Only Stay Clear Stop He tumbled into cataclysm after cataclysm But didn’t die until I shot him with his own bow. I want to destroy you. I…

A Long Way To Fall

This? This is nothing. A heckling. A shudder in words. A leeching… A release of poison from veins. A visceral reaction. A knee jerk. An eye twitch. A reflexive response to ceaseless irritation. The slow click of a shutter. An abatement. The aperture tunnels itself into pinpricks. The camera pans up. A buzzsaw sun whirrs…

” La fatal pietra sovra me si chiuse”

The sun dropped from the sky. Buzzsawing its way along the beach. The ocean burst into flames, but nobody seemed to care. Strains of an aria crackled and popped through thick air. Decades old speakers held on tight to their metal, as the music’s notes were extruded through mesh – spaghetti-stringing Aida’s last breath –…

‘Not nothing’ means something

Is this the ground your feet tread upon? Your molten mercury spills its silver and pours memory like death upon this ant colony. Scurry away. Busy yourself with all the plausible. None of it matters. Small mounds hide the tumulus that life becomes. You may pull your hair, and yank out your teeth, but the…

First the grub, then the morality

Fill an empty stomach, two-ply with convenience then see what harvest a little preaching reaps. Few people bite the hand that feeds them, so when Lady Bountiful comes shrink-wrapped in a tamper-resistant package bounding in banality and off-the-cuff pleasantries, coated with corn syrup and gluten-free cellulose filling, it makes it that much easier for the…

Not nothing means something

“My first link with death. A woman I knew had died. I painted this purely from memory. It’s a strange picture. I was striving for an overall schematic of dawn colors – silvery hues.” ~Andrew Wyeth   Is this the ground your feet tread upon? The mercury spills its silver and pours memory like death…

Church Girl

She told me she had strong faith. I was slightly distracted by the deep cleave of her neckline and already awash in 120 proof fumes… I thought she said she had a strong face. I clocked her with a closed fist, shattering the first two knuckles in my right hand. You see, knowing she was…

Mabon

The fog crept up on old creaky knees. Tired and slow, but moving steadily toward her. Age probably has more penalties than rewards, but strength of will was something that only built up over time. Or maybe that will was nothing more than lack of purpose. If you had nothing better to do why not…

“Eat guilt free!”

Touts the sign of the new cafe jangling along an interminable chain of “healthy choice” cafes that are littering the landscape of this city. Here is one of the most pervasive problems polluting modern culture today. This notion that we need help from all and sundry with the most trivial banal ostensible difficulties.   I’m…

The Warming Hut

“What are you reading?” I hesitate only a millisecond before replying – and only because I’m not sure how much she knows about literature, how much I should append my reply, so I don’t have to duck and cover. My choice of reading material usually gives people pause. I decide to presume nothing and shoot…

I Should Want To Kiss Him…

All these thoughts are just so much late afternoon sun in my eye I can’t look ahead toward the horizon without being blinded So I keep my head down watching my feet tread the same gridded ground My mind is the moan and creak of a boat docked, straining against the weight of its anchor,…

Summer Lovin’

The day stretches her limbs, easing into the arms of dark. I wonder how many truths have been written on the peel of bark. How many people have been sat under the shade of a tree by the will of a sun that beats too strong… Carving their wishes in small hearts and lettered scrawl–the…

Bitchwitchery

Wind sun trees Waves bash into the sea wall Water spumes to froth The bay looks like some giant high-maintenance bitch’s grande triple extra-foamy chai latte Maybe her mood is raising the tide Making gusts of air rip through flags Leaves and hair. Is there a difference Between a woman and the moon? Only the…

Truth or Consequences

“The girl comes with me.” As he grabbed my hand and yanked me away from the taxi’s entrance. The others piled in, shut the door and waved goodbye. His husky “I need to talk to you. Walk with me. Please.” tasted of Rolling Rock beer. I didn’t smell the desperation or see the haunting in…

The Cloistered Oyster

“Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.” ~Sartre   All heavily nacre’d, Some days he grows small, so small the slackening hinge to his bivalve heart shrivels as he dives into the sediment hoping to attach to the sea floor: He’s a mass of seething irritant surrounded by cultured shell, unable to tell the…

Inconsolable

  He is salt and sinew and time but mostly time Moments colonize riding the surf of his blood in waves waves of longing waves of regret waves of goodbye The problem was not grief it was something more calculable someone’s probably already assured him that every exit’s really an entrance but where’s the consolation…

Arm’s Distance Is Dogma

  This destiny thing is not what it’s cracked up to be. I peek through the keyhole of Maybe, trying to steal another glance from myself, all my quills porcupining their way through time. It’s the push-pull that drags my body through your multiple extrusions as you scatter yourself like a fright of mice. I…

Keep Off The Berm

  They come up behind me I slow down to let them pass I have to… The shrill of their magpie voices (All those “like…you know”s Punctuating every breath As they gossip about people Who probably believed they Were friends) Turns my nails into talons My teeth into switchblades Gets my hawk eyes narrowing Maybe…

Context & Framing Meet Narrative In A Venn Diagram

    Take off your red cap, Holden. There’s nothing to catch except your wry. Baby, you haven’t lived hard enough yet to earn all that angst. That sawdust in your veins is probably a cool literary device, your parade of mice on ice may Pied-Piper clueless kids away but all that feign in your…

You’re on the road

    You’ve got two dollars folded together like palms in prayer and a pocket full of dreams. You left your spine somewhere back there in an alley trashcan You searched and searched for years, but only found wishbones. Your lips whistle old tunes the same melody that has kept many a hitchhiker like you…

Keep Me

    There are moments That dangle on the chain of illusion Lustrous & jewel-like Their bevel of jasper polished to high sheen Cutting through a-mazed mind To find the quiet nesting place inside of us It can be said every soul bears the weight of a corpse upon it Towing it as an unwilling…

August Is Anything But

    It’s rustled sheets and creaking floorboards these days. I’m restless. Dust motes tornado their oblivion in the cobwebbed corners of my echo’s tune. Even the fog eventually grows tired of its own fugue, nobody but me hears that the foghorn stopped blowing: some things just *poof* disappear without anyone noticing. I dig another…

He’s Houdini

      but instead of wriggling his body out of straightjackets and locked coffins he worms his way into them, burying his doubts like he does his dick in that priest hole he dug into his mattress. “I haven’t been fucked in forever.” he laments to me, when his tonsils are wet and his…

Murder In The Streets, Killer Between The Sheets

    It’s crossed words and duels at sunrise again and I don’t know how to love him I need more than he wants and I can’t seem to muzzle those echoes in my bones Sense follows nonsense My gristle caught in the teeth of a madness that not even his flesh can release.  …

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…