Sunday, May 31, 2015

Head in the clouds


photo by anton pinchuk


On my knees, I taste rain
as your clouds
                       abrade my lips;
lightning racing
                                ---  the ridge
                                             of my tongue.



Friday, May 29, 2015

Bad Chimichangas

photo by Jakob Montrasio


Where two asphalt rivers intersect
the street corner pastor's gone home
to restoke the brimstone
                                     but left his soapbox
because cleanliness & godliness
never lay together
                             (at least not in scripture)
someone has to Father
                           the gutter children
as they crawl from the womb of their mother
                                                            city,
but that takes more than sperm
                                                  ahem,
aher,
        in the twinkle of the lamp posts
in the night air,
                   earth
                           -bound angles set to illuminate
the way for the walking dead, shuffling feet
to the rhythm set forth by Sodom
                                          Gamorrah
                                          Jobs
                                          Schmidt, Page, Brin
                                          Tillerson, Gates, Immelt
                                          Boehner, Palin
                                          Brennen, Clinton
                                          Holder
                                          Olmert
                                          FIFA
& ascending
                      to the apex
of the makeshift pulpit,
left open to anyone willing ---
                                                  to whisper,
                                                  holler,
                                                  slander your neighbor
with whatever
                        needs said,
                        inhabits the heart,
                        haunts the mental recesses
                        abides in the asylum / absesses
                        with seven winds
                                            &one mouth

How quiet it is above the concrete canvas
absent sleeping giants we let lie /
                                                      We Let Lie
and accept as news around our necks,
as sun on our backs & bury our unborn in flower pots
that they might grow to fit the culture --
                                           our circus has three rings,
& we two eyes, but often only use one and dot it
with a jab of the pen,
                           the same we make crosses with
                           of our T's,
                                         but can we carry it
carrion,
            carrion,
                       my wayward son,

(remember : what it was like to crayon
before they taught you the colors)

I have little stomach for the position & posture
this box affords, only the birds should
& they do not fear the famine
mammon has reaped-
                                  a crop costing more to plant
                                  than, after harvest, profit -
our mediocrity came cheap
                                          & up here
I have nothing to say,
                             I can't to a cabbie //


He's seen it all
                               anyway.

I keep a coin in my mouth
for just such occassions.



FreeVerse - Because wild animals in cages make me sad, then angry. Embedded rhyme because the words asked for it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#2AM Making a bed



I smooth the rumpled sheets,
pull tight the creases
releasing the scent
                          --- of love and loss.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Naked&Afraid



He’s a nick in his cheek,
where dark skin drapes over sharp bone, beneath
hazel eyes on a yellowing field ---

“Tryn’a catch dinner.”

“Don’ tell em that,”
his wife, in technicolor stretch pants,
chides,

I want to reassure her, we’re all poor
in some way, & there is blessing in it
not all depending on us

“How they biting?”

“Not much”

A dead perch in his bucket
bellies up to catch some sun,
large dark eyes --- no longer moving

The deck creaks each time we shift
weight, boards buckled from alla’ storms,
too much heat, splinters & nails
held together by what we can’t see

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz – sploot
he casts out his line again, on neither side,
straight out

“They playin’ with me tho.”

“They tend to,”
we laugh at the truth, we won’t deny,
hungry flies bite at our arms, the pulse
point on our necks

raw as the nick in his cheek,
glittering sweat – bringing salt
to the picnic.

Friday, May 22, 2015

#2AM Questions

photo by August Brill


The question you should consider
is do you love me

or do you love the thought of me---
 
the fantasy you've created to keep you warm
while we are apart

& the one I need the answer for
is if you can tell the difference.


.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Unspoken Words (on the death of my student)


How will they remember you---

A deaf boy.
          An angry boy,
                   The boy who attacked the cop,
                              The one that wrote a hit list
                               & a claw hammer to do business,
                                         The Manifesto you left---

Fuck You,
                      the only words I ever heard you say
beyond a grunt,                  
                         clear as the knee to your temple,
the handcuffs ---

Every day, you would reach to shake my hand,
pull back & grin
                              Sign            "I got you, again"
to the interpretor
                               Sign, furious, when you could not get
the problem, unscramble the math,
                                      smacking your twisted
fingers into the palm of your hand and ---

When your heart began to give out, how weak you were
in the back of the ambulance.
             The shell left, sustained on a ventillator, these last
             days.
                       A waiting list for a donor.
                                  The hope.
                                            The emptiness
                                            the moment as the machines
                                            no longer kept up.

(Fourteen is too damn young)

Spread on Facebook, Saturday, in the paper Sunday,
              I went to see your parents tonight,
               
You lay there, in a suit, at peace on a bed of silk,
 in a box.            
               You would have hated it.

I doubt
               You
                       would
                                  believe how many came
to see you
                                                .    


Monday, May 18, 2015

#2AM Chinese water torture

photo by Tanjila Ahmed



We go days without talking,
beyond the everyday

 
and then one word
binds my wrists to the bedposts,

 
ends of the silk scarves
tickling my arms.



Sunday, May 17, 2015

The need for proper punctuation


I rarely forget a face, but I lose context,
the further the divergence
of our stories


We're at a rib joint,
the kind with smokers in the back
around the clock,
          full of meat
                ready to drip off the bone,


ten minutes into twenty,
waiting on a four-top & thirty more
people have pushed into the small space, to where
moving, below the neck,
            is nearly impossible---


but we admire one another like Picasso's
Girl Before A Mirror,
                             alike---
                                  & recognizing


each other from somewhere,
he's with his wife & daughter --- she's a dancer,
dark skinned, his wife humble, but happy


He's a house, a foot taller & six inches wider,
older --- turning pages is useless,
I need an index,
                        more than a menu,
with all the pictures of glistening meat,
& the cost---
                we smile//
                           nod,
                              shrug to our wives
& mouth words, turned just enough away
they can't be read
                   until the roiling mass of humanity moves
spitting us out,
                    each in our own direction
to move on, beyond this brief punctuation
we may understand
                 a bit later,
                          in another chapter.

Friday, May 15, 2015

#2AM Tides

photo by Mike Sandells
 
 
She had hair like the ocean,
wave after wave curling in on itself
 
& as we talked
I felt each one thunder against the shore,
 
my lips thick with her salt.
 
 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

definitely not the flavor of chicken

photo by Don Graham


She's a back country road sign
                                        riddled
w/ buckshot,


from trucks passing
in the dark,
                 a mess


of honey-
suckle at the foot
of the wood         post


making the air thick
enough to taste;
                      a mouthful


of forevers,
with hands           too cracked
                           to hold
water---


Soon, her bus will come,
my light will change


& the baby at her breast
will fall off the nipple, lips slick
with life as warm as the sun on my leg,
through the window,


as he slips into a dream ---


Hang on little one,
I am rooting for you.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

and the pendulum




the pendulum swings
                                    with unseen gravity
our hands moving in concentric circles
round numbers we've given meaning
to mark the passage of salty sweat,
down our temple, steps

to the ocean we voyage, the sea of self
lap, lap, lapping at the shore of our ever shifting
continental shelf always RE:turning as loss of momentum
as if our accumulating mass makes us less dense
by increasing the volume
                                     of our voices ---
our choice is:

a fist clenched in revolution - an army of court jesters
fostering the notion the tides listen, made up of mad men,
saints & sinners, students, teachers, anyone
that has taken up the pen, the brush,
slapped heel to floor in rhythm,
or raised palms to the unknown ---

or an open hand, in humility,
acceptance, the river's voice, around and over
rocks, enjoining ever greater bodies of water,
taken up & returned as rain to replenish---

do our love lanterns cast light or create shadows?
our truths end in gallows when we stay in the shallows
for fear of our overcoming / the silent future
bear witness,
                      i have walked the wilderness & city streets,
genus & species don't separate what attitude & perception
have put together,
                           feather your children that they may fly
but mind the drop,
                           mind the stop,
                                               mind the shop,
cause what is stolen will not be returned,
no more than a receipt measures worth
over cost ---
                       the equation

has a solution, only if the variable i
can c

beyond basic operations - multiplication, division,
addition, subtraction all end in shun
                                                          -ing,
our astrology is only as good the stars
of our choosing

& the drum beats
           & the drum beats
                   & the pendulum
                                             swings.


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