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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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not the voice that comes
from the steam
nor the tide that turns
at the drop of dime
into a newspaper machine.
not a name that fades in the ear
when you turn a corner
nor a name that comes through the
ear peace of your phone that
rings at the dinner hour.
not a lover who misses you
after all the years in jobs
on a far coast where time zones and
temperatures are closer and hotter
that the hotel sheets
are to the mattress where you stare
at the door to the hallway,
the shadows of feet passing in
the middle of the night,
you wonder what your lover
has too say,
not about this meal you're eating
or by what you're reading
but instead about how you're living
in this world when
nothing seems real enough to
count on as if life itself mattered,
i say all these things come back to us
always in the moments when
we're required to be
the selves we've always rehearsed in
mirrors, at home, imagining interviews
and interrogations,
i think of the way your lips grew puffy
the first time i made you cry,
the way your hand traced the words of
the book you were reading
before setting it down
to dress for openings, dinner,
where ever we might be going,
the masks cracks and falls to the floor
when some meaningless phrase is said
and suddenly, powerfully
it’s clenched fists in public places,
the world is removed just then and too loud as well,
it's all those things after all,
every last cough and bottle of beer we balanced
on the fire place, there's nothing i ever had
that i don't miss, you were everything
in front of me, passing by and gone
like a road sign that couldn’t be read.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Some things get said
that ruin the taste
of the tacos even
as they hit the roof
of my mouth,
and it's the same damn thing
like it was in the day
when ballparks were for
cheering the good guys,
the ones in the white uniforms

Thursday, August 12, 2004

at these prices

at these prices
you would expect
the bread to be
sliced by Christ himself,

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 nary 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,
every email asks you
to get thinner, richer,
bigger than lumberjacks in drag,

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?