Noise

a device
like windshield wipers
& the noise
of 1,000 lines
bars with beveled edges
as the real world
intrudes in
gestural, geometric art
lying within the forms
of something else
manipulating fabric
with grand applause

sitting in various positions
all around the room
a plant on the bench
in the corner
the systematic shuffling
of perspective
bulbs lit in the wind
true to the blowing sensation
wires rubbed together
twisted little knots of pleasure
kept quite & alone

to fly in the unambiguous
freedom of release
uncapped ears
in a series of ever-changing beliefs
I talk, you listen
you speak, we listen
in a moment that transcends
any decision
the world made today
it could be no other way

in fruitless attempts
not to ruminate
browsing through
a carefully conducted curated collection
pressed by one hand
to be delivered
on a golden plaque
sent forth into the universe
a planned inception soundless vacuum
a plate of our existence
how we die quietly
over & over again

how we whisper into nothingness
how we smile & make eye contact
how we pick our faces
pretend the flesh original
the liquid travels in similar motion
down a track out the urethra
landing into refined porcelain bowls
recycled onto cars, grass,
back patios, brick walls, & sealed envelopes
we smile & make eye contact

in the mirror I see a fan
the blades spin in reckless repetition
the motion vibrates
with the hand in the small of her back
she moves her hand
around his neck
he pulls at her hair
they’ve gone & done it again
we smile & make eye contact

there’s a lot that you assume you know
the truth depends
on the manipulation of words
riding the ridges of your tongue
better left unspoken
kept closed inside the throat
better if you never picked it up
better if you understood
the rhythm of depression
underlying the overwhelming response
of being present
in the compassion of resistance

that’s not what the book said
it didn’t happen
the falsity of expectations
the coming-of-age tale told
trusting the process
& submitting your hold
on the illusions
we smile & make eye contact
the cold silence of the city
penetrated by the harsh blow
of a beer bottle
just above my left tire

“I told you once, won’t say it again”
all our mothers out-of-breath
wishing their children would listen
I know that outcome of the situation
I’ve lived it
but I’m crying in the kitchen
with my brother & sister
they’re the same, but different
a spilt in the genetics
it’s the same as it’s always been
a whisper implicit in inevitable death
we smile & make eye contact


Bridgewood

wake up
to the silence
of the wind
slithering through the window
beneath the covers
to caress my inner thigh
as I lie still
awake in bed
like the memory of your tongue
hurrying home
whispering softly
what do you want?

cum under
a blood orange moon
homogenic thoughts
addicted – hurting – broken
emergencies sway
toward an entrance
down the willow ramp
burning in the kiln
missing every charcoaled inhalation
the foam
inside my lungs
wheezing, I want more
I want more
I want it all
let it kill me
I don't care

     below the belt line,
     I'm okay

     below the belt line,
     the consequences go away

a screaming bottle
whistles by my ear
liquid trickles down my neck
I giggle
leave me be now
I was always meant to be missing
a phantom dream existence
a rosy blush of something real
there never was a good time
to throw up in my head

     the sign read stop
     don't cross that bridge

     the sign said whoa
     that wood is cracking, man

my finger pointed –
½ a mile

time reimagined
another path
with smoldered trees
I rub my face
it peels,
a shredded mass
the flakes of skin
stick like sap to my fingers
reconnecting
with my loss
that naked woman
I came across


Hyacinth

it fades into the melancholy morning,
the despondent drift of something that happened
a deformation of the murky slate storm sky
she crawls out of bed, clammy
across the floor
to hide away alone clutching hold
of her tucked knees on found chairs,
with no cushion –

the broken back nailed up
with past regrets
and the pain of indefinite tomorrows
a chair that leads to nowhere
the sound of apprehensive knuckled cracks
through folly in the liquefied wood panels
puddled wisdom long evaporated
the heirs of her memory
left shame felt eyes,
glaring at the patterns on the wall
the patterns in the floorboards
the patterns everywhere
the patterns she ignored

the altered air crept in with the change
a spiral of exhaustion left unnamed
one moment revolving with
ripped leaves and puckered paper
of recollected dreams
out of phase, out of sine
a crooked artifact
her wavering tongue
singing one more silent, polite song


Oblique

I can't tell normal perception
who is someone?
that girl who touches my knee
who smiles & leaves
when return dissolves
into useless currency
I start placing things in categories
& keep writing
she leaves
I see & keep writing
dim in tangents
with the wind wandering
through networks
like a node in procession
an unbalanced rhythm
strapped to a sinking brick
the fear of drowning complacent
there's a resurfacing door
its handle dragon red
a fatal burning in the pattern
but there is no other option
a hand must take shape there
"open," it whispers
liquid wet inside
"open, come in, better here than that bench"
I wince at the tightening of my wrist
a cold, temporal fist
clamps around something
that I know must end
it always ends
everything always ends
but my grip around the handle
is so apparent
x - yes - x
the sum of all averages
I hear it speaking in tongues
a fleeting harmony
echoing from evanescent lungs


Ink Street

Group Writing @ Bottle Shop

I'm a bent cone in the bushes
brooding, busted
markin' encrusted
like far flung stars
...do not ascend
but rather fall,
down a hole & suck
the dirt from the roots
you must see that it will
break apart before you get there

begin again,
from the beginning
the ground will rise
nothing will seem the same
a piece of a category
left in a drawer
that opens into unknown regions
full of forks, spoons & knives
I want it all
soups of Blind Melon
lyrically intrinsic
to the soul's celestial melodies


Move Shadow

a field in the future
filled with fallen leaves
focusing,
the cap of her lens drops
her eye lingering
the obvious forethought
left on a breeze
so she sits,
tries to remember what it was
she missed
something or someone
hangs from her neck
she presses her thumb
against her lips
her index finger
clicks -
the camera snaps
one more memory
she'll soon forget


In the Garden Room

For Macy Burr & Anna Jacobs

...through the overgrown gate
the ivy and flat leaves
I see their faces rise with
the music warm and welcoming
two families blending
like threads of one piece of fabric
like a love always remembered
mature, pure, and amiable at heart
a love that will never stop

finally,
     we're all here
     in this one moment
     in this one room

the f-e-e-l-i-n-g is all around
consuming every chair
it floats on the wind
and wraps around her finger
and wraps around her finger
two fingers enchanted,
intertwined forever


Spinning Clocks

A silent clip in the background
Purist tears of the forest
Flowing through the valley
Straight down your throat

It's an everlasting preview
Of the words you'd wish you'd spoken
It's a time capsule of one moment
A scrapbook of our loneliness

Just when you think you've got it
The fabric shifts and tears
Your fingers permeate the line
Through the bending folds of time

It's so easy when you're young
Before the cross-sections become more intricate
Eyesight below the counter
All your questions undeveloped

Until you swing into the future
Swallowed by the transience of movement


Love, Don't Go Away

woe, the swaying mirror
horror of release
it is happening
again, a sullen
presence of expectation
lingers in the balance
as I drape my jacket
around your shoulders
to tweak the distance
between us
pull you closer
appetite / satisfaction
responsibility of an
open window
in fear,
vulnerability becomes an
all-consuming darkness
dweller on the threshold of
imperfect courage


Regret #???

I remember that time my hangnail
caught on your dress
a girl that looked like you
that cigarette we shared in bed
you rolled the cherry across my skin
in the dark,
        don’t flinch
        let it happen

the traffic from the street
drowned the sound of grinding teeth,
my pleas

tomorrow you’re cutting
avocados in the kitchen
is that your knife?

the record you put on
I’m not listening
we left it playing too long

from your 7th floor apartment
overlooking the Nelson
you feel at home
while I’m drunk on wine & crying
“can we just go back to the way it was?”

instead –
we make believe
pretend that everything is perfect
our troubles overgrown
I’m suffocating
you’re cold

so we drive across the country to stay warm
you finger-fuck me in the front seat
saying, “see - we’ll be just fine if we keep moving”

        don’t slow down
        keep going
        scream for me

but all I’ve said has become exactly what I am
there is no going back
the freedom of my movement
restricted by the fold of
your metal cigarette hands
cupped around my mold

in the moment,
        I retired to escape from loneliness
in the moment,
        I hid in you to hide from myself
in the moment,
        we imagined this was something that it wasn’t

come morning,
I saw the sun stream through your window
from an elevated height
I watched me roll my eyes as you cried

the lingering pain taught us that there is no going back
the pain in the room taught us to move on


Night Print

the continuous corridor
an unclaimed path,
disentangling
into the future
a slow approach
trying
your reflection in my eyes
the sun going down
on an undecided night
committed to an oath
to rise again
over wild,
unattainable
clear spaces
idealistic lonely places
where love is spoken
in a whisper
with a glance
a slow rhythmic tempo
two drumsticks click together
a pattern in the breeze
of poetic inscription
camouflaged by dark surrealism
the center cracked
by primitive revealing
seamless subjectivity
of the mimetic illusion
no focus field
a disjointed design
the empowered witness
invisible in flight
I see harmony
in reaffirming our involvement


When the World is On

Is there something more
you would like to know about?
nameless things,
I don’t know
don’t understand
the sorrow of others
the checkered past
my right hand
where does intuition come from?
inquiries into the unknown
l-o-v-e
myself, when I am real
the air we breathe
the smell of rain as it tongues the pavement
crawling quietly into the bell
nestled up against the brass
direction of the atmosphere
falling glass in the sunlight
the sense of acceptance after the fact
sounds from the piano
to each their own
I want to comprehend pain
the modification of pain
humor as a toy
why her smile shifts suddenly
why sadness comes so easily
how life becomes what you never intended it to be


Strobe

sucked into the slipshod trap
of trifling self-deceit

locked into the rough embrace
tight with no release

embarrassed by defeat
when you didn’t ask for help
a subtle requisition can be felt
the spotlight turning silently
the ring around your belt
a subtle recognition
several smells
waft alight in knuckled presence
a systematic flash of light
the candles blown
your sentence
you settle in the night

quietly
left taciturn
awaiting slow return
a continuous mode
of color temperature
ignites a complex spectrum


trigger transformed
cyclical diversions
direct the angular frequency
the inevitable plastic
photosensitive seizures
enveloped in a flood beam

oscillating
between
here
and
reality


Ley Lines

*Co-written with Pete Diaz

Watershed...
flocking freely
to a momentary pass
of a floating point in time
anti-meter...
"step without rhythm and
we won't attract the worm"
in the immortal words of Paul Muadib
traction...inner essence
sipping from the fountain
ciphering progressive paper
from an ever present
knuckle to the face
bow...not out of reverence
or supplication...
breathe deep
show constraint of self
with a nod of understanding
abstract separation
in an effort
to feel more conditioned
beneath florescent stars
& air conditioning
practicing darkness...
½-assed student
in the shadow of a master
he calls upon Exxon
barred from home
corner alignment of monuments
we construct around ourselves
simple view
vast reflections
lost in conversation's mouth piece
high magnetic resonance
sound reverberation
lapping against the hull
supple fixtures outline
ancient paths of memory
in ritual, become...
who you are meant to be


Fingers Pointing Out the Holes in the Dam

Title courtesy Pete Diaz

It’s straight from worry
to the moon
granted gift
of oversight
lost in translation
distances dissolve
like backing up
with your head out the window
in the zone,
beneath the lights
you slowly enter
asking questions
with your eyes
saying, “Don’t you see that shine?”
it’s straight from worry
to the moon
the surface shifts
a transfiguration
radiant upon a tower
the voices whisper
to a hypothetical sky
it drives me wild
with significance, a miracle
castration of the self
your kind devotion lingers
in fulfillment
to which ascension
you’ll seemingly return –
a killer, a slayer
of-all-those-you-feel-don’t-yearn
don’t moan
don’t dream of you
a face that divides
where locution coincides
with double-speak slander
coordinated toward belief
tugging the train in trance
where I’m right
next
to
you


All Buildings Look like Temples

I put on a mask
who am I fooling
abstraction, regardless
it all comes out the same

what do I do with a moment?
the possibilites reside
in savory endlessness
let's talk about
what my behavior would look like
if I slipped up for one second
"a fake"
who said that?
out of sync
with the fabric
is that what you thought would happen?
7 days ago
it's unrelated
& seemingly irrelevant
I'll let you fill in the blanks
there's an idea in your head
what were you thinking?
maybe if we move a little bit
then, I'll feel better
it's a little more abstract
less personal
the opposite -
is that what you were going for?
I propose
a vulnerable maneuver
grafted onto expectations
no craft -
are you ready to ensue?
did you see that car passing swiftly by you?
I laugh -
no, did you?
it was the corner of the eye
you get the beers
I got the shot
but what's the difference
this is to my fellow instrument


Manchester

shoes & handbags
bits of food, phone,
& blood everywhere
outside the arena
one continuous, sustained
image rolls out
on film
two distended chests
struck by jagged
metal scraps
anchored deep into their skin
the bastions of freedom
lick their apathetic lips
"not our weapons..."
we know who
& it's on again
one city after another
crumbling


Midnight Dreaming

ten mile creek
winding
it drips unknowingly
from the summit
to nowhere
a darkness settles in
alone,
where no one wants
to spend the night...
she cries
when left to her own devices
anxious mind
a mountain imagined
right before she began
to hike back down,
the movement of feeling was
consciously drawn out
everything she was going to say
had already been said

she wakes up in her bed
a blanket over her head
and remembering the kiss
laid on her lips
she wept


Solstice

A strong summer wind comes lucid through my window
It shifts me in a million
Directions
& I don’t know where
I’ll settle

We won't quit playing
That’s the problem
A lack of stillness in
Being
Loosened from
The cord
Fitfully coddling
Different aspects of my personality
Replaced by superseded images
Straying into loneliness

The ceiling fan clicks like a clock
Or as if the hazards were switched on
Synchronizing with no respect
To the velocity of the observer –
                     All
                Observers
                     Of
                   Inertia
                     Are
                Equivalent

Initial rigidity
Is the only factor that appears
As a rigorous premise
A homogeneous promise to
Stationary observers
Moving relevant to one another
That what you see
Does not depend on where you are


Seedy

My security plan ahead, before what will happen? I must know restlessness toward stabilization. The perfect list that includes everything. The potential outcome of a situational relationship highlights the moment of change, an expression of love pushed away. There are some things I just cannot give you. Climatic steps down denigration affection alienated you & me becoming silent as you cry yourself to sleep beneath the tattered plastic grocery bags blowing through the streets. They say every old becomes young, the corner of the mouth providing nourishment as the bottom line presents the near future.


The Landing

five thousand apologies
using only four legs
a feat, saving face

                   wretched things carried
                   through pipes, laid place
                   on the paper

decayed mâché
ink insulation
innocent in one space
a lifted juxtaposition
of faith
   &
regret
I watch your eyes
follow the pen
I
see
movement
like a clock pendulum
in regress


Temper Ok

when opposition emerges
demanding
the right to dissent
against
an infection
of unstable growth
with no self-limiting
assumptions…
something rises
from beneath
a broken vessel
for unheard voices
smearing the message
with simplistic explanations
a flip from stolen votes
of lost hope & indignation
what did you think would happen?
more conspicuous consumption
of the nouveaux riche
whispering in the ballot box,
“I’ve been manipulated –
I like it like this”
no ignominy
atop an unwavering precipice
burning sulfur spewing
from an 18-gallon
plastic step
on receptacle
stop –
the proxy won’t do
what he’s been told
he’s not in line
with the agenda
of the demographic landscape
written peaks in crescendo
hanging on to
the primordial city
rising & falling
within the group dynamics
of communal living
no advance from
trial & error
how can you resolve
a contradictory mindset?
forces on the curbside
bleed into the gutter
time-place-manner
as smoke on the patio
suffocates the crowd
a cloud, lack of quality
washed-over bowed wood
channeled & exaggerated
a confrontational self-inflicted
addiction to clicking
memories that never happened
she cried after
the performance but
no one heard her
they diffracted her
broken sobs to absorb the sound
deploying the shape resonator
to mute the corners
preserving order & rationality
with exclusion zones
in delineated square spaces
citing congestion
abrogating temporarily
the right to protest
it always ends on the corner
against the free flow of traffic
where the veneer is lost
crude, raw & transparent
pushed values
with no binding force
relevance regresses
rendering impotent
the struggled exposition
of the social direction
of economic processes
& the private ownership
of the means of production

employ the welfare state!

another form of capital control
we’re stuck with cut rungs
we’ve been showered with slag
the bottom squatters
retain certain systematic benefits
the order of spin
along the social spinal function,
performs the task of exploitation
just below 100


Residue

All alone on an empty couch
I picture your mouth
Moving up and down
Your tongue rolls around
Until you find me here
All alone on an empty couch
In an empty house

You sing mouth to mouth
All my eyes see is sound
You scream mouth to mouth
All my eyes see is sound


Work Me

never miss a deadline
running backward
through the street
neon lit the way
to where the town
and city meet

a rumbling
in the backwoods
fever in the sky
memory ever rising
as the lightning
hits my eyes

I reach for comfort
in my pocket
fingering the lint
whispers in the darkness
leave me broken
sore & stiff

they say
it’s only temporary
don’t worry it’ll change
save the loneliness
derived from
unalleviated pain

brick & mortar
built around
the stable of the keep
stuck within
the expectations
everyone should seek

far outside
the category
fractured in the rain
the world drips
into energy
out from which it came

we all die waiting
for anxiety
to go away


Trife

taste, the bloody footprints
cut in such a sad way
lingering in the
effervescent glass
metafamously
across the T.V.
a red, square box
stranger than reality
sleepy commericals
hark of expectation
conspiratorial spirits
follow the channel
poor part of normal
state, rubberneck moan
a fish in the tank
turned upside down
marginalized swimmer
undermined by spatial restrictions
plastic land,
divided into cardboard plots
now her childhood seems
irrelavant
like smashed terra cotta pots
scattered across the backyard
groomed by abstract compassion
she flushes floating fish
down the toilet
an implied violence
was there all along
density contact
inks the undesirables
this idea defined by
broken windows of
a marred landscape
paucity of senses
sublimated by design
moving like a derelict
without protection
side street, no street
disgruntled insecurity
fish-bellied-up
impulse to flee
the city


[the tripod shuddered]

the tripod shuddered
as I refreshed
the page every
five minutes
to see if the
paycheck had been
deposited
with one hour til close
& the wine bottle empty
an itch
for last call
in the dry glass
left me restless
my foot bouncing
up & town
in anticipation
a negative account
for the drinks
I’d spent all
I had


[the city isn't breathing]

the city isn’t breathing
tonight
amidst lackluster
hope
I’ll love
once more
reset
& forever changed
you’re not the same
I recite my name
again
in the mirror
these four white
walls
look dirty
the deeper
I stare
striking the glass
it shatter-sticks
to my fist
a slow, subtle injection
of liquid seeps
into my skin
my blood
sliding inward
a cyclical image
returns to the center
through the middle
of the tree I will forever
never be the same


Streetside Bouge

Specify yourself
lingering ½ here, ½ there
you are racing it

Snapping it sounded
as if I meant to chastise you
projecting myself

The sky dissolving
an absent story-teller
swallowing liquor

Smokers stop sighing1
billowing clouds of black smoke
silently crying

Wretched sleepy streets
smiling beneath the moonlight
across passing eyes

A scream in a dream
absorbing all that hears it
darkly romantic

I can’t count the wheels
of the propane tank right here
splashing sooty rain

I breed no difference
tiring affectation
empty, dried beer cans

Please don’t talk to me
I just want to be alone
no more stimulants

[1] Kerouac, Jack. Book of Blues. "14th Chorus." New York: Penguin, 1995. Book.


What Day Is It?

attempt to control
abrasive energy
push anger into
something proactive
the snail analogy -
I stretch my neck
until someone
disarms me
my head sucks back
into my shell
a slow,
unfaithful understanding
I didn’t anticipate
the emotional involvement
an astonishing pleasure
from a slap on the back
what is attention, really?
the wind blows
through my hair
feeling my presence
as it passes through
there was never
a bodily difference
it has always passed through


Neon Noir

*Co-written w/ Pete Diaz

distinctions blur
thick with sweat
humidity
a spark buzzing
it's more than that
it's the world
you can taste it
right words
a double moment
throwing my ear to the door
both keep growing
my nostrils get bigger
in time,
we outgrow people & places
memories filling open air
licking the blinds
caked with the dust
of you & you & you
blowing off ceiling fans
you settle into hidden spaces
that escape my vision
rebuilding foundation
far too expensive
there it remains
which I build upon
vestiges transformed
violent death
takes flight
cleaving
light
of amorphous cloud
birth of stars
upon a bed of nails
tripped tumblers
unlocked
staring out the window
into neon noir
closed liquor store
car parked
across the street
stops, watches me
listening to the piano keys
music made
when
words
disappear
like a director
with all five fingers
in
motion
never resting
on a laurel
but
if the cap fits
you
could always pretend
like the blinking light
down ‘ships
billowing smoke…dripping dry
even as I gasp for another


Pelagic Zone

*Co-written w/ Pete Diaz

crooked counters steer
my words
off the end of the bar
into the trash
can of distant nowhere
...only to find
my left foot planted before me
misleading my hunger
it’s all I have to sustain
this flimsy raft
in the middle of the ocean...
we cannibalized the ship,
mark my words
we'll survive
come hell or high tide
I realize the fault
born in my disposition
I see the morning
rise out of the depths
as I continue
to tow the water
deep...alone...
the only thing I know
...as the passing of time
is told, by memory
no matter how accurate
our time is fleeting
like piss down the leg of a coward
or the overripe
intentions of a porn star
moving
across the television screen
acting out to
break the sex in two
a divisive line drawn long ago
between intimacy & peril
the line is fear itself...
where we crave nothing more
& accept nothing less..
but the light fixtures
continue to sway
in an uncanny wind
that blows through
our vision
& trickles down
in the form of a ever
evolving question
an amnesiac myth
stampeding for a western purpose
trapped by the shoreline
wet thoughts drip
stemming from
archetypal resonance
looking to a future point in time
knotted & woven
down articulated paths
in sine
& bound
to grids of motion
repeating, recycling
carried out to ocean


DMN

Superficial,
inaccurate bleeding.

My mother says,
    “Quit picking
     at that bag of socially
     distorted heat.”

Another ray-linked
operation to me
like sand
in the switchblade gear
cracking.
I feel it coming
ripped beyond,
a flare of chance
to lie naked
& feel alive.
Resistance
cuts a hole in the page.

The chips fall through singing,
    “Where are we going?”

You have to speak up
or else you’ll take
what you’re gonna get.


That's It

The flapping flag furls around my tongue
and holds the words like muted stars
behind censored clouds.
I shake off drops of acid, and swallow
the chalky coffee that prolongs sleeping,
driving thoughts down nerve endings
that cross section my eyes.
Anxious socks spark the carpet
beneath stark feet, self-shock treatment
immune to wired electricity.

Can we sustain this performance?

Twice, two contacts chopped & slowly screwed
to preserve a southern style from
imminent evaporation, rising toward the sky
to disperse across the continent.
I was last modified at 10:40PM
the plug pressed to my temple changed everything.
This is the beginning emerging, for today is today,
but by tonight tommorow will have already started.
Some such future maintenance is required
after being left on the side of the highway
with a cruel-wild, little border line.

Tread careful not to walk off of the cartoon cliff.

What sigh follows?
That's the whisper of dejection,
and the sound of paper bag lunches
being stuffed into car seats.
Our roles have shifted,
designed by districts with
mosaic memories grafted onto walls
of old sliding brick soon to fall off.
The rancid smell from the Tampico Motel
hangs at the end of the universe
carried over waves pinned back against eternity
floating through Olden constellations.

Good intentions don't always prevent bad decisions.

Accelerated exit lights lead to fast food signs
insistent upon imposing hunger
a fuel for frustration that lay dormant.
Rest right with the machines
that dispense chemicals for cash
bottles, cans, & pastic bags
ripped beyond a tear
feeding pocket industries out west.
The sprawl of the city expanding
in endless draping trails.


Playing with the Ends of Owen

I escaped
since scooped
war groined
& groaned
death bestirred
& starred
fixed eyes
to bless
that sullen hall
hell-grained
the upper ground
made moan
to mourn
the undone year
is yours
wild world
or braided hair
of the hour
here,
have laughed
left
truth untold
war distilled
what we spoiled
spilled
the tigress
from progress
I had mystery
I had mastery
this retreating world
not walled
their chariot-wheels
sweet wells
taint
without stint
the cess of war
wounds were
my friend
you frowned
jabbed & killed
loath & cold
let us sleep now...

'Playing with the Ends of Owen' is an edited version of Wilfred Owen's poem, 'Strange Meeting'1 I became enamoured by the distressingly beautiful tone of his language, or as C. Day Lewis put it in his introduction to the New Directions edition he edited, "the striking-power of individual lines." The strength of the consonantal end-rhymes in the poem prove their power in stripped sentences and split lines. After reading the poem several times, I felt an overwhelming urge to play with it and arrange the words in a way that would create a flow based primarily on the use of pararhyme.

[1] Owen, Wilfred. The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen. Edited by C. Day Lewis. New York City: New Directions, 1965. Print.


Tortured by Sidewalks 1

one hard step away from
a callous abuser
high in the street
alleviating pain
to balance
blue-collar dependency
the scale shifts
after a long fight
for independence
pregnant with
assumptions
a non-priority
interpretation
unconscious, sketchy
medication spews
drowning the scarecrow
in hospitalization
no teeth, no things
naked & ransacking
trash cans
$20 dollars lost
to small calls of
uncontrolled screaming
drug rings
cling to the minds
of all passersby
who won’t sly
money to support
a vice

[1] Reappropriation of Kerouac's phrase


Container


American Nightmare

a defensive turn
of enemy
aggression
back onto itself
from the center
anti-war movement
toward
passive resistance
bewildered by
the welfare state
instated to subdue
a revolution
no, neo-liberal
fascism cannot
be conquered
only guarded against
for ideological purity
doesn’t exist
the window smashing
& black blocing
in ragtag omnipotence

lead, pull down the lever
unite to run the streets
organized seizing
mass strikes
forcing
the destruction
of finance capital
corporations
take back the slogan,
take back our country
that’s devolved
into a hyper-reactionary
political system
a flock of loose
cows grazing
on the pasture


"Ma'am, a Flower"

in the cross bend
for a very long time
wandering with one name
wrinkled eyes pile
up on the pavement
Tony asks for change
that I don’t have
the filter is burning
traffic passes
fried smells rise
a wrapper coils
on the corner
it’s the same
during daytime
five fingers flinch
the closer I get
Tony’s smile rescinds
the bricks won’t shift
the show grows bigger
jeering collapse
applause goes a lot further
than you think
lending to
a perfect performance
on the street


Some Fear

I have been living month to month
for as long as I remember,
counting stubs to comfort me.
I strive for tiny luxuries,
but could still do with far less.
Things that I do not need,
yet feel sharp pangs to part with.
Items deemed necessary
though where this need derives from,
I do not know.
Perhaps true introspection would tell me more.
(a little bit of bravery wouldn’t hurt)
The strings that tie down freedom
never slip their knots.
Gulliver gains no ground.
The grass grows around his legs.
A trope asleep on the beach,
dreaming of tomorrow.
Carpe diem… lost hope.
I lose my change in the gutter
clinking all the way down to the bottom.
A ping for every should-have…
one ping turns sound to smoke,
blowing slowly from the chip.
The phone ring was startling.
I remember that night like it was yesterday.
The call pulled out a feeling laid dormant by repression.
I tell myself this is an important process,
be bold when remembering.
It comes like a wave,
violently sucked undertow,
resting as it sinks back to the ocean floor.
The relevance of this does not go over my head,
but it’s lost in the translation to application.
The oppositional qualities of life drive me crazy.
I wake up spinning quarters for an outcome.
The new dawn dances unknowingly
along a curve of repetition.
The threadbare path glows.
It emits energy,
warning of a cycle never to be interrupted.
The thought dangles in selection,
hanging like an eyelash
a wish will take away.


The Framer

she removed the lens
when the sidewalk shift
scraped the caked mud
off her feet
along the line,
square crossing sign,
reaping rubber meat
I tell you not
what flashing lights
will do to worsen sleep
dreaming of a narrow alley
dark & incomplete
a landline signal
low-fi & weathered
briny trigger
against the grain
sparkling in the night
trying to find the way
it goes up
a green cylinder
in my pocket
by way of
negligence
& mixed violations
inclined to capture a moment
on the cusp
of happening
it’s easier to tell
defiance from
choice of chance
to extend
a piece of yourself
releasing the tense
evolution of
unconscious recollection
open to suggestion


Dark Channels

I drown in the mountain past
the glaring crags
drop off into underwater memory
to distribute the distance
but become listless
stuck in a bend of despair
fuzzy daze & bad trips
lead to drowning in the mountain past...
...blackend separation running
through the changing years
set the mold of split-rock
that divide our fears
kept in place a length of time
(self-replicating fashion)
pouring from the cliff eyes in
heavy weathered passion
smouldering red, a stone cast
cut to shining nines
crumbles into little pieces
that the cycle will define
a glass of ice is melting
slowly rising to the top
it overflows the rim
into the valley
carrying icy cries to
die beneath the surface
I stick a straw & suck it up
too much is not enough
so it goes -
     did you know it goes?
     did it slight the injection?
     did it leave you guessing?


½ Truth

Hey –

(a hand on my shoulder)

Hey –
It’s going to be a short while longer
The machine takes several minutes to warm up

(the modem blinks a red eye after sleep
three-prong stemming
when there is work to be done)


Hey –
Are you okay?
There is water behind the counter

(the mumble rises through my shoes
laughter in the dark
right outside the room
the things they say in secret)


Hey –
This paper is too thin
Try to fix it by keeping a distance

(a woven hum from somewhere below
trapped under boards
made of paper, made of tree roots)


Hey –
It’s 25% off after fifty
More is cheaper

(the backward wire vibrates the cord
of a rubber sole that peels on contact
to toe the water)


Hey –
Remember the time
This looked familiar

(step into the clutch of a close feeling
a frayed, threaded carpet burn
scar of value)


The Fated -isms

Co-written w/ Pete Diaz & Jim Fitzgerald

Consumer
          ism

M A T E R I A L I S M

Capital
   ism

G   O   A
    L    B    L  ism

COR
PORAT
ISM

Commercial
ism

A slow,
progressive
declining
rate
    of
progress

Imperial    ism

C
 O
L
 O
N
 I
A
 L  ism

NATIONAL ism

Mil-
      a-
         tar-
               ism

FACISM
NEO-liberalism
Communisim
Conservatism

       R E V A N C H I S M

                 Glorified
               privatization
                     with
                       a
                   cherry
                      on
                      top

  • Catholic
                ism
  • Juda
          ism
  • Hindu
             ism
  • Islam
            ism
  • Gnost
             ism
  • Stoic
            ism
  • Ascetic
               ism
  • Athe
           ism
  • Radical
               ism
  • Skeptic
               ism
  • Symbol
               ism

EVEN
REGULATIONS
HAVE
TITLES

Egotism

Feminism

Chauvinism

The
toilets
that
flush
before
you're
finished


Move-on Ordinance

This ain’t no time to walk away
When I’ve got so much left to say
You filled me up with dreams of hope
You filled me up with lies you wrote

They’re imprinted on my mind
I memorized my favorite lines

And you are never coming back
You are never coming back
This is the move-on ordinance
A familiar lesson

Let go, let go, let go
To knowing the unknown
It’s gone right when you grab it

There’s a ripple in my eye
A ripple I cannot deny
The only constant is change
Nothing ever stays the same

We all adapt so we won’t spoil
We always search for something more

And you are never coming back
You are never coming back
This is the move-on ordinance
A familiar lesson

Let go, let go, let go
To knowing the unknown
It’s gone right when you grab it

This is the start of something new