Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Your stock broker is dead

One cannot see over the hedge
that funds the future of raw silk

and precocious metals,
Oy, this oyster moans load

before he hits the silk,
where all our futures

are shown as cliffhangers
but no coming episodes are writ,

there is plenty of money
to go around as long as

there is only half of me
that gets hungry,

there will no flashlights
in the days to follow,

meet us at the jumping off place
where it rained stock brokers

holding mortgages
to homes that look awful
even on paper,

there will be no flashlights
allowed in the future
no matter what kinds of futures you trade
in good faith, soy bean or pork barrels,

there is no light at the end of the tunnel
and nothing on the shelf to look at either.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Who wears the white hat?

We never met a bomb
that didn't make
a righteous noise
in the distance,
over the horizon,
bringing a love of God
and goodwill
to an unhurried, aimless,
mass of folks
who have nothing left
to choose from
since their deserts have
turned to glass.

We'll drop white hats
after the bombing runs,
along with subscriptions
to magazines containing the secrets
of what the world wants
America to reveal
against all the protests
of both Houses of Congress
and a Pentagon
that's tied itself in knots
counting heads, helmets
and every bean
it can find,

Buildings collapse,
shuttles stray and
break up
over flat Texas sands,
the sons and daughters
of parents
who never had the slightest idea
that love is more
than a hunger
for a speck of food,

Under the right conditions,
the perfect light,
that not every dusk
is lit with screaming rockets against
the black night, meaning
people they know will
be gone in wisps of smoke and dust,
under the house they were born in,
for no reason
that makes sense
of the larger picture
that remains
fuzzy, grainy,

The only thing we see
are blurred images
of drunk cowboys
coming around the bend again,
firing every gun they can get their hands on
until even the Devil leaves town
because things are bad and ugly as
a hush that follows a stinging
slap in the face

Or the tearing sound
of opening a letter
that precedes the longest
cry you'll ever have.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Today we roll away the stone
and find there's not a bone
we can pick with the stems and
blooms of seeds that have
breached the soil
after the long nights
of cold, dreamless slumber.

Tonight we bless ourselves
and dust our shelves
and curse under our breath
that wasn't more on the table
nor more praise
for the callouses our hands took on
hammering each nail
into the joists
for the roof over our heads
that keeps the food dry
on the table
that's set bread and wine,
our own flesh and blood.

Tomorrow we rise and
make noise
that’ll upset our poise
as we stare out the window
and curse the sun the rising again,
cursing the moon
for sleeping until dark,
scratching behind our ears
as we struggle to remember
over toothpaste smears
each and every step we took
to get where are,
arisen and angry,
a rough patch of unshaved chin.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We are talking about the price of gas

We are talking about
the price of gas
and a sleeve rolled up
to the elbow
as we do the math
of the hours we work
to support a car
to bring us here from different directions,
holding our hats
as the wind comes up the
canyon walls
and through the
planks of the patio,
talking about gasoline
and a weak dollar
and we still haven’t
looked up from our drinks
embarrassed by an abundance
of sunshine and blue ocean
and not one word
about how a pretty girl
will make the world slow down
like it does in movies
when woman gets out of car
and man sees her from his balcony
and waves a wild hand
before he comes running down the stairs
in his baggiest pants,
pleats and neat folds undulating
casually with each strain of his flex thighs
until you break the ice
and confess
that you don’t care much for ice
and crusts on wheat bread sandwiches,
to which I’m shocked
‘though I admit
that I find the world boring too,
and that there’s nothing as fine
as the movies,
and little else more drear than
the lights coming up
in the large room
full of empty seats
except mine
and maybe yours,
of course,
that it was you in the balcony
giving the razz berry during the kissing scenes,
laughing like a fool
who’s in love with a new toy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An ammo belt around your waist

I remain yours truly,
a bright grenade in the garden
or still as a lawn jockey
offering assistance for horses
that never come,

Either way you'll have me
is fine with me
so long as there
are tales of bad luck
crawling under the
televised reports of what
famous men say
in undisclosed locations,

There's nothing
we hear that is
is whole or complete
like a collection of
Poets who write in Latin,
here's one side of the story
and now here's
something else completely,

When I see you
I become cross eyed
and every one in America
gets to vote on what I should do
when you mention that Red States
make you think of roses
and the thousand wounds
of the heart that bleeds
odd colors,

You wear something slinky,
arms are bare,
there's an ammo belt
around your waist,
every bullet in your gun
is fair and balanced,

Television cameras
and flood lights
break down our door,
shatter the windows,
we stop with our
dance of daggers and daisies
and answer endless
questions about
missing white women
in North California towns,

I mean to say I love you
sometimes in the morning
like Paris when it's raining
and that I hate the way
you won't leave me
when the chips are down,

Statistics insist that
men need their heart ache
and angst
about salary and
being dumped
for lack of war worth fighting in,

The world is full of pinheads
yet many of them
go on to lead productive lives
provided they are
given the right distractions

and phony maps
of the world they live in,
I have you driving off the road
when I'm not in the car,
you make me put celery sticks
in pencil sharpeners,

Ever feel like your
always being watched?
I wake up before
you do and notice
the television is on
only to find
a panel of middle aged men
and skinny, gaunt faced blonds
waving their fingers
at me, moving their lips,
telling me things I cannot hear
for all the static
that seeps under
the bed room door,
tires, air horns,
crying children,
radio stations laying it all down
for us like a ratty blanket
on a concrete floor,

Yes, this is my bed,
this is where I sleep
and awake
again, divided.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pledge Night

Let’s remember that
we’re strangers here ourselves
as we consider the years
we’ve had the same phone number,
the answering machine
is full of salesmen
stumbling over their scripts
and toll free exchanges,

get an extra room cleaned
for free and God, do I want a smoke.

None of us
who still have hair
believed our music
would age as badly
as an ice cream flavor
involving spinach and Brussels sprouts,
all the guitar licks
leave an after taste
of hashish, a stench of love beads
doused in petuli oil,
what was sleek and smooth
is now grey and creased
like paper that’s been
folded and unfolded over many years,

yes, I tell my barber,
roll down my ears;
give me a buzz
the equal of a shot and a beer.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Those of Us in Pajamas Whistling Marches

Those of us
whistling marches
in pajamas
are so sated with
soda and sour grapes
that we let the phones
in our pockets ring and buzz,
we allow those knocking
on the door to blister their knuckles,
the newspapers taped over
the windows let in only
the slightest slivers of sun
through the tears and cracks,
it’s natural that we drum our lips
and admire the dead garden in the back,
the bony limbs of leafless twigs
splayed like fingers reaching for a glass of water,
two seasons of unraked leaves,
this is our glory, our monument of
where we’ve come to remain
and settled in like a skin irritation
that won’t go away when you scratch,
radios and TVs blare and stare back at us all day,
our internet is highway of sex educated hitch hikers,
those of us in pajamas
wonder when one of us
will break ranks
from the couch
and do something about what’s
in the card board boxes stacked behind the garage,
full of pencil sharpeners, dead batteries
and legal papers we haven’t read,
but there’s nothing we can do
until we finish what we’re doing,
which is nothing
which is fine
it means
we don’t miss a thing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Arise and write!

Every which way but
into the sleeve of the jacket
now too long
and longing as the arm
drops toward the dressing room floor,
one leg longer than the other
and pants a size too small,
it seems you were invaded
and raided and all the faded
jeans and things that are
what you require for work, lunch,

all the points between appointments of
blue pencil marks, remarks in red pen
displaced, at sea in unknown pockets
in a pile of pants and shirts
unwashed like mythical masses
arriving at the docks
after passing under
the grey lady’s armpit
and the light she carries,
home fires for everyone,

Nothing makes sense
but that doesn’t matter
when work is the word of the day
and the word is first
when you thirst for a drink
and think you have no dimes
nor quarters for the soda in a can
or water in a plastic bottle,
you just hit the throttle and
plunge ahead into the brand new day
full of traps and fortunes
and the terror
an angry typist can bring you
or an empty page
taunts you with,
you rise, you shave, you
put on your cleanest dirty shirt,
you move onward into
the rising light ,
the streetlights are still on,
the bus is late
and deadlines are all
you have to live on.