Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An easy path to follow, a hard path to get off of

Who could walk in your shoes
when your laces are barbed wire
and your soles leave tank tracks
which respect neither
street nor flower bed
to get to
where you
think you are needed?

No one wearing baggy clothes
stand next to you
because you smoke
and wave your arms as you speak
your burning desires
for more fire escapes
in buildings
who's wood floors
have cigarette scars.

"I'd like to take
a wrecking ball
and a flame thrower
to this place"
is what you said
the last time
we sat at the same table in a public place,
"all these snoots
with their toy dogs
and ransom note sobriety,
they can fall
where the stand
and attract vultures.
I'm a nice guy.
Fuck everyone else."

A week later
Merle asked me
where she could find you.
I said
look for a destroyed
piece of public property
and then follow the trail.

Friday, December 3, 2010

if bullets could talk

if bullets could talk
there would be more speeches
and no applause

for tipping your hat
to the customer
who gave
your first bottom dollar.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

There are no more clouds

There are no more clouds
on the other side of the pillow,
but it did rain
minor cures for big feet
in the shower stall
and there are Navy boats
shaped like shoes
scraping the sheets the river bed,
gunned up and baffled by drought
and cracked earth
and all that science bullshit
that says
you'll not have a happy day
until the grass
dies around your neck
and squeezes you until
your eyes
light up the street

Thursday, August 12, 2010

At these prices

at these prices
you would expect
the bread to be
sliced by Jesus himself,
offering himself
with a can of grape juice,
on special .

under these ceilings
a heart might stop
in awe as the neck
cranes back for
a view of arches
detailed with angels
and their bosses
with not a cobweb to
disturb their conference,

with names like these
on plates this ornate,
you aren't sure if your
about to eat a meal
or commit some crime
against decorum,

in a city whose ills
slip under the
short circuiting radar,
it's easy to dream
with eyes wide upon,
sitting straight up
in your chair
in amazing taverns
overlooking a Pacific Ocean
that is black
as secret ink when
there's no sun to shine
on the coast
that's been carved up
and built upon
and otherwise carted away
in trucks to landfills
where nothing grows
but resentments and
gun registration,

every newspaper sold
from corner machines
tells you what day this is,
each email asks you
to get thinner, richer,
bigger than jackhammers,

at these prices
who could afford
not to spend
a little more, scrape
some more shavings from
the credit card
and dampen the
scream under the lamp
by the pier on a night
when clouds and sunsets
riot in swirls that make this city
tremble and quake under the boots
you wore to work?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get Somewhere

The taste of fruits
and the tang of juices

make this morning
slog as slow as the milk

that drips from the cracked cereal bowl,
rivulets of white beading toward the edge

of the table,

I dream while waking of airplanes
in clouds with glimmers from the window
of parched rural roads
etched between mountain tops,

nothing tastes as good as
the meals I wished I ordered
when someone else was paying,

it's clicks and small motors starting up
in air conditioning units
that wake me up the last desperate inches,

the headlines make too much noise
when there is so much thinking to be done
before desert,

Lake Milk meets the Brawny storm front,
citizen corn flakes rejoice!

The shoes are on the right feet,
the wrist watch and glasses remain where I left them,
I have one hour to get somewhere.

See ya.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long Enough

You've feasted on the daily bread
long enough to see a trail of ants
coming over the mountain cushions
toward the gulch between cereal bowl and serving plant.

I have sat behind the wheel
of a car I cannot drive
long enough to know the drive way
is a place of static electricity
coursing under the asphalt
just as the sun reaches the center
of the noon time air
and turns the radiance into spearing prisms
and cause the car to seem
to meld with the side of the house,
indistinguishable from milk box, garden hose,
or engine parts from a lost freezer box.

All of us have stood
long enough
in line to remember
the tide of birthdays
that come at you
from a crowded calendar,
who is around and who
cannot return a phone call,
the window we await
remains a point
at the end of a long stick,
none of this furniture
puts us at ease,
the noises are as familiar
as a chorus of breakfast table coughs and sighs,
the slow trickle of light
crawling in from under the door.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I am made of money

At the edge of things
that come in threes,

tongue to envelope glue,
twitchy finger on
to submit
the rent of the atmosphere
we've chosen to live in,

Paradise isn't for everyone
and there's only
a handful of
empty rooms to go around,
only so much
floor space
to stretch your feet,
these rights
must be protected
and paid for,

which is another way of saying
who needs to eat
or get across town
on bus routes
that are getting scarcer
than crumbs
on an orphan's plate,

let's get beyond our worries,
let's live in the present tense,

I am made of money
until the last
stitch goes
and all I was worth
falls to the floor,
is swept up
and sold as story
someone can scare their grand children with.