Monday, June 27, 2005

off we go

when there is no daylight
at the edge of the bed,
my hair wakes up
before I do , ablaze with sunrise.

therefore, your orange juice
is precious, sweet and
quenching in the pulp,
light dims to a readable gleam,
my hair lies flat on my head,
you make lunch for your daughters,

there is still so much to do,
you say,
what shall we do
and where is the microphone
we were promised,
I mean, we need
to go off on a toot
and scream for justice
from roof tops that
will not throw us off
or collapse as we raise
our voice above the static,
here, wipe your chin, silly man...

Emily sneaks a doll into her lunch box
Violette looks unhappy
as only beauty could make
and I was on my third
cup of coffee, my second cigarette
when the earth
began to shake, the ceiling
began to shake
the walls began to vibrate
like engines raging in small rooms, door closed,
we scream and cower,
cuddly and ready for a quake.

trash pick up
you say,
I wish they
wouldn't push those
huge dumpsters against
the apartment building, not an earthquake?
asks Violette,
no dearest you answer,
we still have to go to school?
she queries,
yes you reply,
we all have someplace to be
with many important things to do.

I rise from the floor,
gaze in the mirror at my hair askance,
ready to
sit at my desk,
answer the phone
and ask everyone who
calls how there day has been so far.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

by the bay

my voice leaves me
and i breathe no more,

you are on wings
and on a prayer,

a memory with wings
that flies over the bay,

gulls that scud the surface
of the bay, picking up fish,

my voice sings with no words,
every note of my blues

ascends a register,
i clench my fists, i speak your name.

your mother cries, your father weeps,
yes, your eyes are the bluest

they've ever been,

boats with sails cruise to the horizon
in the middle of the day,

we eat fruit and weep by the bay,

expecting you to come along, somehow,
because you always did

in darkest hour or brightest day,
a cornerstone is gone,

our house tilts a little more,

but the skies are clear, i say at last,
they are the bluest they've every been...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

People Who Hang Up

It's love that breaks against the rocks
and not foam nor water of any kind,
it's a baptism of ire that makes the horizon

burn in coalish, motionless plumes.

Stained cotton from every beach front window.

We were smoking joints

in the guts of the canyons,
the mired trai1s to
the sea kissed shale.

All the blues from Chicago knife

and gunshot histories are folk lore
all the kids
destroy with their breathing.

Even at dinner time,
forks are next to plates
whose owners wonder
what's eating their neighbors
with all the strange phone calls
about what's going on the beach.

The armies of the night couldn't
scare up a quarter
of the beaches America
has landed on
searching for something
to talk about
on acres
of empty cable talk shows
where anyone in a tight suit and big glasses
can explain away the bombs bursting in air
with sarcasm
and ad -libs.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Beside Ourselves

We cannot stop scratching
the skin where it itches

anymore than cars can't
but rust when parked outdoors
in rainy climes,

each dime I have goes to no
good purpose

which is to buy you
more things whose name
you purr with that slight tremble in the vowels,

here's a wooden owl for you
to sit next to, it has clock
where the stomach should be,

it's eyes move from side to side
like yours do when the drugs
are especially wicked,

there's dust the knees
my favorite slacks,
and there's a hole in an elbow
of my jacket from leaning
on lunch counters
as I ready magazines about fame,

you call me again
and it's been years
since I've seen you
and I leave the phone
on the pillow while
I leave the room to shave,

you've said it all before
and I heard it each time
you spoke your ills
into being ,

nothing dies in your mind,
your demons are arisen,

nothing is deadened
in any inch of my skin,

desire burns
for years dispite the cities
I've moved to ,

my demons
put on my shoes
and my best pairs of pants
to walk the earth
looking for a date
on the first calendar they find.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Part Time Heaven

I have been to heaven
on my days off
and just missed the ceremonies
and the best big band music ever
as a cadet angels finally earned
their wings and raised them
to fly in formation against
a sun that is never crossed by clouds,
all I could see were the workmen sweeping up,
emptying the latrines , and
ridding the clouds of evidence
of all that downy androgny.

Back on earth
I park myself
at the coffee house
because it was still
a day off and read the newspaper
between hot sips on scalding coffee,
making note of headline announcing
that the world had stopped going to hell
because we've run out of hand baskets.
"Don't get yer hopes up, boyo" says Josh,
a Swedish massage therapist
taking a drag from his third cigarette
in five minutes, " that ain't the good news
we've been hoping for 'cuz all that
bad faith and congealed karma is
all clotted and clogged and it's all
about to burst and before you
know it
it'll be 9-11 everyday".
I start talking about the weather
as Josh goes back to furiously scribbling
in his spiral notebook, I mention
that the clouds look very fluffy
and maternal, like the softest
place where a man could lay his
head and find that center of rest
that eludes him in the night
as he wrestles with the sheets
and argues with voices that
have no intention of going to sleep.
Josh lights another cigarette,
mumbles something about
vectors and dreams, death and devastation.

It's spring, I say,
flowers are blooming,
hormones are kicking into gear,
men and women and boys
and girls are exhibiting
an unnatural kindness
to one another in the streets
and I swear the water tastes
sweeter these sunny days
in May, but Josh grumbles,
his head in a shroud of fumes and disgust,
his knuckles white as they hold the
pen that tears across the notebook page,
his writing looks like tattoo scars,

I arise to get another cup
of coffee,
and happen to look up
when a feather
falls, there's a flock of unknown birds
flying in perfect V formations
against the sun emerging
from behind cloud banks,

all to make this
the best day to wake up to
if I'd been sleeping all this time
until now.