Saturday, November 29, 2008

the never-was sailor

standing on the deck, staring out over a calm sea, like eternal pancakes running forever to four horizons; hoisting the sails to bleed white in the sunset and carry wind in their palms; aching through the long lonely isolation of that enormous blue wilderness, that alien landscape, while my beard pokes further from my face and my heart hurts with the dull shock of longing; thirst floating on an ocean of undrinkable water; a triumphant return from far lands to my wife and children, and the rise up of that blood feeling like electric eels inside of me, ecstatic, before the old itch returns and i feel the pull of the sea once more; all the things i have never felt because my legs have never left land for long enough.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the book trials

the beehive is buzzing beneath my skin. i am zippering up the last melodies to fold up and bed beneath for the winter. be a tree for me, sling your sap sticky over my tongue, stain the shadows in sweet phosphorescence, and caress the wind with your whispering needles. when i was a child, my father used to cut my hair. our kitchen turned into a barber shop those afternoons. i remember thinking what a talented dad he was, that he knew how to cut hair, but did something else for a living. my hair is wild now, uncontrollable. it is learning to sing. my girl has a body like a fire truck, like something i used to dream about. when i kiss her i become the numbers above the elevator, switching every floor, our lips touch and the doors open, and every number i am, i glow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

when the future looked like a cartoon, the bellowing was faint, but now that the future is a fist inside an anthill, the bellowing is an empty belly

when the dust settled, our guns were rusted over. the man at the bar crumbled into a pile of dirt with daisies where his grin had been. the arriving twelve o'clock train sounded like a mother in hard labor. we didn't move at all. for three hundred years we stood there. the time felt like sand on the back of my neck, grains shifting, moving, blowing in the wind. the building collapsed around us. they built an enormous city where the town used to be. we were statues in a park. everyone was under the impression that we were great works of art. but at some point i decided to move again. the people around me seemed pretty alarmed. my mouth tasted like cactus death. i sure could have used a beer. but out of nowhere a massive snarling mechanical beast came roaring by. "what in the hell is that?" i said. "it's a car," said one of the funny dressed people. well, i didn't know what a "car" was. "aren't you a statue?" said another one. "son," i said "i've ripped off a man's hand and fed it to him for less than what you just said to me." and that was the last he said about that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

my grandmother's coffin

it was lighter than i expected. like moving a dining room table. the cancer only left her skeleton and her skin.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

you reach inside your heart like it's your back pocket and at the end of the day all you have is a handful of scribbles

we send ourselves out to scraped knees and the edges of buildings, knowing they will hurt, and knowing they are necessary. but we forget, when we are standing on the edge, why it is that we brought ourselves there. i can't sew a dress and i can't ride a horse. i can play a few chords on the guitar and sing a quiet song. i've been thinking, maybe we all know it is a farce, and we just have to let it be. but that's where i get caught up, i think i see through it, and i want to point my finger and say "Look!" but maybe you just have to allow for that. sure this is all an act, but maybe it is all we really have. if i'm playing a part and so are you, then we make up some whole that neither of us can see the outside of, but we know it is there, and we know what it feels like to be inside of it, and maybe that is the whole point right there. i just dont know.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the fruit that grows into a washing machine haircut

in the dreams i am naked. the sky is a drug. zeppelins rupture the air, whining like puppies. the blues man is holding his guitar like it is a marriage. he is really belting it out, and the ripples of music seem on the verge of melting all the buildings for blocks around. he is inventing rock and roll with fingers like an eggbeater, his eyes are closed doing the eternal equation that translates music into sex, where x=the rhythm of the bassline and y=the distance between two bodies. we are laying on a mattress on the roof of a building in the middle of the city. i am rubbing your back and the looks you keep giving me, mixed with the sounds you are making are turning my blood into liquid fire. the desire is thick. just as our lips touch, the sun shines in my bedroom window, right on my face. when i wake up, the fan is spinning on the ceiling, and it is stifling hot in the room, and i am so mad at existence that it was all a dream that i feel like punching it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

if i kiss you where it's sore

when they kitchen sink your back, replant the volume inside unfamiliar music, and set a pack of dogs to sleep around you like flames, there will be no loss of emotion in you. your feet have memorized the steps, even if your head cannot keep up. you are a stronghold. there is a man in the boiler room, red faced and sweating, who keeps it all moving. his fingers are the size of staplers. his chest is a cardboard box. his biceps are the bulging roots of an oak tree. he pushes and pulls, burns his hands, and billows the fires to grow mountains, to engineer car crashes, to burst a small cloud into ten thousand raindrops, to bring my thumbs up to brush away your tears. you remind me of an old song i used to know, the way you get stuck in my head. i find myself humming the melody of your lips. it's the prettiest tune i know.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

painting pictures with fire on flammable objects

the piano keys, they are running through my bloodstream, building monuments out of sound, translating the unbelievable fact of hammer put to work direct from physics to emotion. the waves toss my body like it is just a body and the ocean is the ocean, i am small. the sky can't see me, even when it looks closely. i rumble along on the air currents, as the secrets are whispered into my trapdoors. i know the secret knock that blossoms the blue doves into the open air like a door bursting open from a burning building, lungs heaving, empty thoughted animal knowing. i know the pearls that cage themselves in campfires, only to be set free for that dying ecstasy of a glance. it isn't here, that elusive answer. the waiting is what kills us, that spiteful thought that there is something behind the veil that we can't see. but when the sheet drops we discover that we really did know it all along, and we just could not bear to let ourselves believe. it is the not knowing that we shed our tears for. and the loss.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the building blocks of a ribcage

i spend the days stacking patterns crosswise endless through the air. the sweat paints itself out from my skin. it is a brain runner. when i sleep i can see it all. the colors are fluorescent, blazing, pointing into my eyes. the fans spin themselves chaotic. the rooftops watch the sky. and in my head i am somewhere else. the windows burst like a thousand sparrows and the words fill my throat with fire. i watch the sun turn itself soft and swallow the sea and i am learning history. and it is all a fiction in the face of the truth.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the string plucking nostalgia

feet planted like daisies in the bottom of a pair of boots, slinging toe tapping rhythms on the road with a thumb at the sky. ill be your blazing blue streak, death on two legs, sweet talking, tune whistling, traverser of these american roads. god bless it. ive got a picture in my pocket of the prettiest thing you ever saw. she makes houses turn gold when she walks by. all the birds know her name. the sky even tried to talk to her once. i got something in me, and it grows, sometimes it blooms and sometimes it sits. it makes me strong and crazy. it knows the shape of her collarbone by heart. it knows the taste of her. it presses its fingers against my heart. sometimes its not soft and i feel it furiously, bruising ferocious in one of those tin can afternoons with that toothpaste sunset blinking at me, but it always gets calm again. this human being stuff is exhausting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

machine guns growing from the hardwood floors

it is a thump thump thump rhythm breaking into my ribcage like arena rock and roll blizzard road show serenade. pump in the snowflakes, my veins wrapping ferocious inside wallpaper skin, all wandering houseplant decor. i dig your style. i have a photocopy of your laugh that i keep in my back pocket. i kiss it when i need to cheer up. there is the sand in my throat, the harmonica between my toes, the seashells in your eyes. i can remember the ocean in you, the rhythm of it, the taste. it has been too long since i swum there. my sneezes are my soul escaping my body to try to hold your hand, to kiss your collarbone, to fly a kite with you, to bring you soup, brush your hair, touch your shoulder, to sharpie your palm with "i belong to you", to sing to you the song that summer has written inside my bones. i will draw you a map. it will have on it all the places. i will sign it at the bottom. and when you are ready you can climb into it, and i will be waiting for you at the place where the X is. it is beautiful there. there is a bougainvillea blooming fuchsia and a violin that when you touch it's strings plays perfect back to you the songs your mother used to sing. i will be waiting with iced tea, and coffee for you, chocolate (and peanut butter), a string of pearls, seven avocados, two paintbrushes, the single wish of an oak tree, and my lips. when you get there i will hold you. i will hold you like a hammock, and we will lay there, swinging, a giggle factory, twin grins blossoming, the true love of the forest. and we will talk about all of it, until our voices are sore. the squirrels will laugh. i will bruise your lips with mine. i would like to get myself a new pair of eyes so i can see you for the first time again. that is what it will be like anyway. i miss you. i miss your fingers, the shape of your thoughts, your breathing next to me in bed. it makes me crazy inside my head. i feel like i live in an aquarium and breathing water is not so bad and i would give anything for you to be a fish here with me. we could kiss beneath the fake ferns, and sleep inside the castle. i have restrung my spine. it holds me up higher now. i am trying to teach it your melodies, but it is hard without you. i am trying to grow my arms longer so they can reach you. so far i've only gotten an inch. but it's progress. my biggest hope is that you know, that you know about the garden, the way the trellises stretch jasmine up, the tulips who nod, and the begonias waving at you, the treehouse with the sleeping bags, and the turtles i've met (they would like you), also the photo-booth that's latched itself onto my heart, and the way i've been teaching my skin not to get so sad because it misses your hands, and how all the rum on this island reminds me of you, i hope you know about it all, all the stuff i'm collecting inside my chest and saving for you, i hope you know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

all the doorknobs to the house are in my stomach

i am lonesome and psychotic. it is a helpless feeling, the waiting, the not knowing. i am frantic with it. the heat is growing palm trees in my blood as i porch sit and wait for thirty days to pass. i long for the gentle cave of her voice, and her porcelain touch. meanwhile i try to let the ocean soothe me, but i can feel the tears hiding behind telephone poles, waiting to sneak up on me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

bells furnishing the insides of your ears with music

my breathing feels like the tidepools. i can feel the ocean heave and my pulse is aligning itself with it. the air is thick here. you have to push your way through it, like putting your shoulder to a wardrobe. it hangs on you. tells secrets to your blood. you have to move it out of the way just to sit down. it is madness. my tongue is sweet with the fruit. my hair is filled with salt. i walk my feet barefoot, sleep beneath hurricanes, keep the best bird songs behind my earlobe. i shudder with the breeze, sit on the porch like i am a desert, and think about loving. this beating thing in my chest, it seems to be trying to escape. and i have a fairly good idea where it wants to go. but it has no passport and it doesn't speak spanish. so it is stuck here with me, while she helps the turtles to get living. but it misses her so. it really does.

Friday, June 20, 2008

recipe for a mountain

i've been feeling the inside of my chest growing, in a slow rhythmic water movement, like the sea licking the shore as if it were an envelope standing ready to send a love letter. the humidity is haunting, a hanging cloud of passion ready to have sex with a thunder storm. the fury and the heat. it is the shape of the blues. the insects are ferocious, boiling the air, trying to squeeze every bit of life from their 24 hours. i am a teeth gnasher. i sit on the porch and watch the cars paw the road. there is a box of tears sitting deep in the folds of my throat. i can feel it getting closer. i find myself looking for ways to mail my heart to south carolina, and the rest of me along with it. there is someone there i want to give it all to.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

wearing my eyeglasses like a drug

i am filled with it, this longing. from the hollows of my kneecaps to the backs of my ears. there is a space in me that will not fill. it gapes there inside of me like a yawn. and i dance these bones around the city trying to remember. once i was stopped in my tracks on the street by a painting hung in a nameless window, unable to move while people rushed in a tide around my corners, and i gazed dumbfounded, knocked silent by the sudden beauty staring at me from an unexpected place. i don't know how long i stood there. but eventually i left my trance and found myself confused in the street, utterly exhausted, not knowing where to go, feeling ecstatic and heavy with the moody crawling of that paint on that canvas, on the verge of tears with an inexplicable sweetness, the weight of that reminder. i was suddenly aware of my hands. and their heritage of possibility. daily you are the reminder of that painting for me. and i am tired of saying goodbyes in airports.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

it pours like polyester rain in a desert of style

you stitch the seams unruly and glide it onto your frame with care and move calm through a swirl of moving bodies with a wink and a blown kiss in a slow spin that resembles gambling. your movements are slight, but the cloth explodes around your skin in bursts of color like you are wearing the fourth of july on your back. there are no fairy tales. you are true. i have seen you. you are true.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

clearing my throat like a chainsaw so i can whisper quiet enough

i have made a pile of mailboxes in the front yard. my theory is that sending someone a mailbox is much more meaningful than sending them a letter. it's more of a production. of course you can always put a letter in the mailbox before you send it.

lately when it grows to deep night, i have been lighting candles and watching the walls flicker like they are melting and reforming in the space of a moment.

my brain keeps growing leaves. and i can't for the life of me figure out who planted seeds there. it is a bit disconcerting. i keep having to trim back the foliage from my ears. it's embarrassing. i mean' what do you say to people? "oh this? yeah, there's a plant growing in my brain." nobody understands this kind of thing. i should probably hire a landscaper.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

the warriors holding blades of grass

i have a window. it is not too big. but not tiny either. it is a medium sized window. and i can see things out of it. i look at it and i see other things, things that are not my window. it is like television, but more interesting. i can see the sky in my window, it folds itself blue over like eternal laundry permanently stained in the upper parts, and teasing the ground. i can see cowboy hats, cigarette butts, and piles of wood. my window is always changing disguises. sometimes i don't recognize it at first, because it looks like police cars, or fist fights. sometimes it looks like lovers kissing, or a man crying. there are times when i don't want to look. but it is not because i am mad, it is that i can't bear it, and it feels as though my chest will crumple like red construction paper and my breathing will be the size of an ant and my crying will magnetize me to the floor. it isn't my window's fault. it is just that sometimes i can feel the horizon careening outward in all directions and the planet isn't solid enough beneath me, but there is nothing else to stand on. i guess sometimes i panic a bit. but i always get better. i like this life thing, even though it hurts sometimes. and somehow i always end up going back to my window and sitting down near it and waiting to see what will happen next. and something always does.

Monday, May 12, 2008

i walk around in dreams carrying trees

it blossoms white and tiny, miniture supernovas igniting the air with scent, its pale branches running up into the small spaces the sky creates for us on the ground. it turns golden in the sunlght, whispers secrets in the wind, goldfish swim in its blood. it is afraid of axes. we know each other well. we move together. we have twin suitcases. during storms we sit and speak words that turn our emotions into rodeos and us the clowns that run off after ourselves into the dust inside, as we sit on couches sewn together from plants. where i go, it comes with me, roots and all.

i am tree carrier.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ducks quack to keep the sadness away

it is a fragile fabric we are woven from, when you get to the real meat of the heart, and the towering trees some see as only wood.  we all will become broken clay pots on the floor and flesh in the ground and bits of ash in strange mouths.  i wear my wrist as a reminder.  the water will reach our necks and keep going higher, the wind will find us and begin to tear, the fire cannot burn in reverse.  i am trying to remember that all this love will end in heartache, and that i would never wish it otherwise.  it is just one more reason to paint colors across this day as though my hands were brushes and the space i move through just empty canvas begging for something beautiful to be whispered into it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

the axe is making out with the tree while we look the other way

we have grown extension cords from our spines, replaced our teeth with computer chips, learned the rhythm of a synthetic heartbeat and now we dance to it.  our pulse swings predictably wild, a regulated bloodstream of binary code.  there are digital bathtubs waiting for us to soak in them.  we leave footprints on all we walk upon now.  we exchange silicon based conversations, laugh in gigabytes, mourn in minimized browsers.  it all adds up very efficiently.  the numbers are exact.  you can calculate the keystrokes.  but there are still green things growing from the ground.  blossoms still explode scent and color in ecstasy every spring.  the sea is still salty.  the sun still shines warm.  the desert will still make you breathless with its silence.  animals still sniff the brown earth, inhaling the damp richness of roots and leaves and decay and growth.  we still eat.  we still breathe.  we still make love like we are wild creatures, taste one another's sweat, collapse in mutual exhaustion.  my question is this: what is so wonderful about the cold efficiency of technology that we are trying to re-create ourselves in its image?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the palm of the sky open like a flare

when the wine bottle reaches half mast, uncork the barrels.  in the waning light of autumn, the sea scrapes sharply these cliffs we are planted upon, but we will take razors to our roots, lay out our veins like roadmaps and point to the places where we watched the sliding grace of change break through our kneecaps, our beards, and our voices.  so hoist a glass, let the praises sing from your lips, cradle the pain you felt like a wounded bird for sculpting you more concretely, for heaven has emptied of its angels, there are feathers on your tongue, and by morning you will taste what it is to take flight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

by the end of this we all will bleed.

grind your dirt teeth as the rocks they curl themselves beneath your knees.  there is smoke in your lungs, a funeral pyre in your chest.  the bodies they stack ever higher and god is getting further and further away.  a gun sight never blinks.  a bullet has no conscience.  the dead don't complain.  those of us still alive, we are the minority.  open up the filing cabinets of your veins, store away the visions you will never be able to speak of.  deep in the nighttime they will come to you, swirling above your head, red like memory, purple laced with fear, a yellow the color of swallowing, there will not be words, but understanding will pervade, there is a sickness here, it infects all of us, we drip with it, it has burrowed down and bedded inside of us to the point that we no longer know what it is to be without it, to the point that we feel "normal", but something important has been forgotten and it is far too late to go back and remember now, so we stumble and reach, ever missing, and we do not cry as much as we should, and our bellies, they remain empty, and our hands, they will not wash clean, and the one wish we have above all others is to see each other at last.

Friday, April 25, 2008

he-man's manly thighs

consider me silent and manly.  a drop in an oceanliner.  a frog in a mess.  movement will be the death of me.  and you too.  i can hear the melodies in your dance.  i know somewhere deep down you are probably beautiful.  but the church is on fire.  the white house is sinking.  we are living in our own karmic filth.  and there is no way to speak of such things without losing someone's attention.  so fill up your gas tank with sea horses, rein in the sparrows, pull the drawstring for the sunset, and wait for the countdown.  part of me hopes that i'm just a pessimist.  because i'm worried there's not much time left for being hopeful.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the tea kettle is screaming something about hell

they took our portraits underwater and now we look like dead people, sitting in frames in a dining room that people politely walk through without saying anything controversial, always agreeing with everything.  the papers sit crying insane claims from inside their metal boxes on street corners, already looking like the bleak pointless catalogue they will be in twenty years when we look back and wonder what the hell happened, and find no answers there.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

streetlamps don't blink when you say 'i love you'

there is a slow rising, a bellowing from deep, tiny heartbeats, and a few balled fists.  while the first rain is still strong in your nostrils, i want to rest with you.  my grandmother was strong and crazy.  she is dead now.  i still feel the rasp in her voice, the stale cigarette smell of her car, the blue veins pressing out against the skin on the back of her hands, the way we spun and spun and how it seemed like we would never stop spinning when she ran that red light.  there was that incredible feeling of knowing no one is in control, of knowing death is standing right next to you, and then feeling it leave.  my sister was crying in the back seat.  my grandmother seemed confused.  i felt like i was supposed to speak for her.  like she wasn't really there.  i couldn't have been more than 9 or 10.  she was incoherent.  she complained of pain in her neck.  she thought it wasn't her fault.  the thing i can't help but wonder, is if your family history is filled with bad people, is there any way for you to turn out okay?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

artificial wind blowing on artificial lovers making artificial love beneath an artificial tree

i do believe that violet is the color of your breathing and escape is the notion of your ribcage and the right three notes in succession will melt your tender body into a pool on the hardwood floor.  there are fists and broken things sitting and staring at each other inside fleabag apartments.  the trunks of cars are sitting glumly beside a highway, waiting to wrap metal arms around something.  and you, what are you waiting for my love?  is it the quilted death dangling beneath the soft skin of the forest?  or quiet love in a wooden bedroom with white curtains billowing?  we are warped creatures, you and i, we drag our claws along the concrete and breathe our moans like sea lions, we stitch up our chests with fishing line and burn good mahogany to cook scraps of rot, it is a junkyard pile of dust that we crave, to lie upon a soiled mattress beneath cities of trash, scrape our flesh clean and wear new costumes for a day, we are not bad, we human beasts, we are just lonely and we don't know how to show it.  we just want to dream a little, without being scolded for it.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

i believe in the existence of strawberries

there are ugly things here.  messy things.  things that drip and smell.  ugly the way no one wants to see, but everybody has felt.  it is not pretty.  (its ugly).  (i already said that).  (pay attention).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

honey raincoat

it is a soft croon, the way he sings it.  the music is like surgery, opening us up, fixing something, and putting us back down gently, our bodies different, aching a bit, but better somehow.  fill my veins with pollen, buzz the honeybees around me, teach me to stand like a flower.  pour that stuff into me like i am a pitcher.  all the houses are going to start sneezing soon.  you better be careful.  they say a sneeze can have a force up to 100mph.  and nobody wants to get slammed by a couch going 100mph out the front door of a sneezing house.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

my father, on the eve of his birth, 57 years to the day

whiskey drunk, we stumble onto the dock and watch the sea crawl toward us on its belly, somehow whispering and screaming at the same time.  he speaks as though he is a forest burning down.  i am mostly silent.  he says "a birthday is just another day."  i think "i am glad you were born."

Saturday, March 29, 2008


my eyelids are turning into raindrops.  wash me with sandpaper and put me to sleep.  the nights are football field long, and i find myself in the middle of them, walking.  

Monday, March 24, 2008

never talk to strangers

as i am walking down the street, there is a man in a third floor window.  i look up and smile.  he says: "what the fuck are you looking at, dude?"  i keep walking.  people are good, deep down.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


i hope they say i was a crazy sumbitch who never listened to anybody, but loved people like the way mountains speak, and was one hellof a dancer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

for rosie, a run-on sentence

the sky bursting with light, a forest burning down, the rain like a sigh, planes writing in the blue, ten thousand daffodils, a single letter in the mailbox, watermelon, driving all night, sleeping under the oak, all that laughter that went un-laughed, swimming in the river, the way summer feels inside my skin, how every tiny little piece of me scrunches up and buzzes like my body is a radio playing classic rock at top volume and i am running as fast as my lungs will take me and it's the way the ocean feels, touching so much at once, and it is blink, breathe, kiss and all those little pieces strung together, and me trying to stretch myself bigger to contain it all, to fall on my knees, to be planted in the soil, it is tiny explosions in my chest and sea turtles in my belly, and i don't think i can take it, like the stitches holding it all together will come undone, and my chest is a hot air balloon, and it is just so much, and i think i am a falling bridge, but there are arms to catch me, and somehow i am picked up and polished and it all looks different and i lay my head on a pillow and just like that, i am new again.

i like the sound your voice makes, i like the way you feel.  yes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

a quilt shaped like your hands

telephone poles are a city's way of trying to touch the sky.  the artery is thick, it moves like traffic, there are snakes in the blood, the ceiling inside the vein is painted like apples, it makes a sound similar to gravel.  what i am trying to do is make sense.  there will be twin ghosts sleeping inside my feet tonight.  at the edge of heaven, there are thirteen children playing a game that seems like the burning dreams of a forest that holds shadows inside its wood.  they sit in a circle all day long, as trains go by.  the ground they sit upon is feverish.  there is a swirling.  mockingbirds watch them.  their laughter rings like gravity.  they will never stop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a couch on the freeway

when it plays, you will hear it.  the molecules that make up your body will spin.  the room will turn into a hurricane of walls around you.  there are archers with flaming arrows behind the 7-11.  the leather armchair in the front room has turned into a time machine again.  when you lay down in your bed, your body keeps catching on fire.  a black lincoln continental is selling acorns from suicide doors.  i don't trust it.  the porch light in my chest has a burned out bulb.  we are born with gravity ringing in our ears.  what can i say about the night?  your wrist tastes like flying.  your collar bone feels like silence.  the streets have filled up with gasoline.  all it would take is a single match.  

Monday, March 10, 2008

that aching heartbeat that stays with you through all of it

i have taught myself to sit still on park benches and watch the city turn purple around me, it is the only way to see the holes where you can crawl into someone else's life.  we move through a fluid more soluble than water.  it can be picked up, touched, kissed, moved and spun around.  but you can only catch glimpses of it.  there are petunias growing in a garden somewhere, and a mandolin sitting by the window, and smiles aimed like lasers.  to the east, the desert is sighing.  and winter is beginning to hiccup.  i am watching people walk home from work.  some of us are eating hamburgers and some of us are forgetting to breathe.  we get stumbling drunk, we make enough money to eat somehow (and sometimes not), we talk to old friends in the street, children come from our wombs, we do what we can, buses take us places, we read the newspaper, other people sell us shoes, we register for library cards, elementary schools, elections, our shopping carts fill up, we make friends, sex drives us crazy, we do things we can't take back, music creeps into our bodies and stays, we touch each other, houses hold us, we close our eyes and listen to the hum of the train, we lay in bed late some mornings, boats move beneath our feet, we teach each other what we know, dreams haunt us, we read books, grocery stores overwhelm us, we get mad at our parents, moments move us to tears, we see beauty in things we never expected, we let ourselves fall in love, people we care about die, we try to be good, all we are is ten hundred billion freeze frames set side by side, jumping like frogs, and nestling into each other, because nothing else is worth doing.

a memory

i remember eating peach pie on the patio of a highway cafe, and watching the rain fall on a roadside farm with my old true love, while she drank de-caffinated tea and told me about Russia and her fiancĂ©,  and we tried to pretend we hadn't turned each other's worlds upside down.  i remember feeling vaguely sick, and thinking i had eaten too much pie.  i told her i had never seen a cornfield, and she, being her same old enthusiastic self took me to her favorite one and ran off in the corn.  when i caught her, and grabbed her, it was the first time we had really touched in years, and i should have kissed her, but didn't.  instead we walked back to the car, dragging the way we felt behind us like the bodies of heavy kitchen appliances, not realizing how big the sky was above us.  in retrospect, it wasn't the pie that made my stomach hurt.

for link (the beginning)

it was a blurry day filled with heaviness, like we all walked around carrying boxes filled with pianos.  the sky seemed a bit shaky.  none of us knew where we were going to end up.  (we still don't).  i saw you beneath the trees.  i didn't know you then.  but we shook hands.  it was good.  (it still is).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

piano fingers on a sleeping airplane

if i was sleeping beneath a pine tree tonight, i would wake up and smile at the stars for a second, before falling back to sleep.  i wouldn't be thinking about anything that i am thinking about right now.  sometimes the people just don't fill up right.  and 20 feet to the north different things are happening.  like dancing, or love.  tonight my ribs felt like an empty bird cage, and i wanted to curl around them like it was all going to be okay, because it is, it will be.  it feels good to talk about serious stuff and to kiss you on the wrist.  that is the god's honest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

as the hive grows to the brink of a straitjacket

we are elephants at heart.  but we are as smart as pianos.  all this pushing and no calm.  there is a festering madness growing inside of us.  but we didn't know any better.  so we scramble for the only lights that can save us.  love or kindness or imagination.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

the cracks your feet make in the sidewalk and the dents your fists leave inside music

walking downhill away from kissing you was what fire would look like if it learned how to smile.  i've been watching people and how tender they can be to each other and i've been walking through neighborhoods and wondering how it all can get so still.  i find myself really missing the moon these days.  and i am wanting to see the sun set, but i keep forgetting that days are ending and by the time i realize they are, they are over.  so.  turn my blood to chalk, so i can draw you pictures on the sidewalk.  teach me jokes so i can mess them up and become embarrassed.  and i don't care if my socks match, ever.  cause i'm starting to remember.  its the simple things that i need.  your hands feel good in mine.  and you taste like the chapstick you used to eat.  and this sounds more intense than it is.  i guess i'm just trying to describe a feeling.  and that's just not something i can ever do.  

Saturday, March 1, 2008

business as usual

as i walked out of the gym at one in the morning on a friday night, after running in place on a machine for a few miles, which is something i do sometimes, i saw a carton of milk launch from the window of a speeding sport utility vehicle, miss the stumbling drunken teenagers it was aimed at, and explode on the sidewalk behind them.  they looked confused and drunk and slightly afraid.  then, down the block, a man was standing in the middle of the street with an overturned bicycle, which he repeatedly picked up and smashed on the ground, over and over again, screaming "this tire is a piece of shit!  this tire is a piece of shit!" (i suppose he was screaming it to me since there was no one else around.)  when i got home the palm trees were silhouetted against the clouds.  my first thought: "who does that?"  my second thought: "life is weird."

Friday, February 29, 2008

my sleeping belly dreams of being a snail

sunlight is walking in the way the roots spread, invisible beneath us, like fireworks exploding underground, in hesitant fingers of survival, seeking out the source.  inside my belly, a pear tree is growing like excitement.  outside this cave of stars, the heat is rising.  the air is pregnant with perfume and smoke.  the oxygen around us is swollen and waiting to burst.  it pulses ferocious through our lungs.  our throats grow thick with words.  the cherry blossoms have turned out so beautiful because they are trying to look like you.  within the right balance, all things tend toward life.  when i stop looking at you, the sky is going to fill up.  i am okay with that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

wrist to the sky

my tongue is grand central station, when what it needs is to be a jellyfish on the bottom of the atlantic.  there is too much to say and no way to get there.  my spine is clacking like a cable car up san francisco hills with the sobs that wrack this frame, eyes like a busted fire hydrant in the summer heat, when barefoot kids need some way to cool off and water is the most fun.  you are a building falling in slow motion.  i want to catch you, but i am just a person.  you are too much to hold.  i can feel the city buzzing.  it feels like the inside of my stomach.  all those people, all that pain and love.  i wish i could make it better for them.  and for you too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

driving with no lights on.

the way we balance truth and mystery like a stack of books to the ceiling, swaying like a forest shaking hands with the wind, (which is a playground for trees to go insane inside of), is clear in the way your skin tastes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

drop your weapons

it is an overpass in here.  there are swamps inside your knees, and crocodiles who are lazy.  this doorway is built out of the way you look.  and when i walk through it i will build a tower out of electric guitars.  it will sound like a stairway to heaven.  but i can't figure out how to make sense.  my blood is made of tea kettles.  all day it has been the rain, falling like a car accident.  i want to curl up in the warmth, be still, and maybe sleep.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

blame needs a triceratops to hold it

swing below the clouds with a refrigerator for a fist and blank canvas the migraine of the modern conscience with the weight of the stop and listen.  you are what the world needs.  it is a simple song if only you can hear it.  you could learn to sing it if only you had the patience.  i know you don't give a fuck about me, but i am part of your history mother fucker, and you are part of mine.  you and me are family.  we have to care.  and that is the fact of this predicament we are all stuck in, boots glued down to the muck quick sand tight and startle-faced silenced.  i am bleeding through my teeth for you.  my kindness shows through my anger.  i want to love you, if only you will let me.  we are beastly creatures, this human race.  fighting all the way through this brutal life, but there is beauty here.  i promise you, the ugliness is worth it, for the moments that catch in your chest, that drape themselves over your shoulders, for the people who stop your heart like a bullet, hold your knees like gospel, breathe now, there is time, we can solve this all, there is a way, i don't know what it is, but it exists, i promise, i swear, i believe in us, and what we can do, there is a way, i know it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

there are elevators inside your veins

there is a table.  and four chairs.  and some food.  and people.  the conversation is a series of strings going out from our chests and tying onto each other.  there is light.  and laughter.  there are eyes.  i can see the gaps between us.  we are all cliffs, staring down, hoping nobody falls off our edges.  there is a sky.  and a moon.  and the cold night on our skin.  and there is warmth.  i am not a prayer or a church.  but i stand like both.  i am learning.  

there are silk flies in the air.  my skin is a nightstand.  sit beside me.  these are kisses i want to put in my pocket.  the kind that should be framed and put on the wall.  your lips are like falling from a plane, the way my heart goes all butterfly.  my palms want to rest on your body.  my skin wants to feel your skin.  i want to touch you.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

only 14% of bullets want to kill

the rain is the shape of the inside of my wrist.  i stand on the hood of my car next to the freeway in order to shake the sky open like a blanket so that music can learn how to dance with itself.  my legs are rolltop desks and i am running.  time is a cedar tree that i climb the way light bulbs climb moths.  i have buried too many flowers.  when the vases crack i feel my veins stretch and moan and i look for mountains to stand on top of and if there aren't any, i use buildings.  they will do.  some evenings i sit by the sea, while dogs move like cities and men and i feel twilight's dull ache in my chest, and when the color drains from the sky i think i might cry, but it is when i do not, that i know i am happy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

your eyes bloom like peacocks

what is it we stand beneath?  there is fire everywhere.  and people crying behind curtains because we aren't supposed to feel anymore.  there are men with guns who are pointing them at people.  what is it we are doing here?  tell me.  there are people with emptiness like lakes inside their stomachs.  whisper it slow.  we are a mess of tears and love - of violence and death - of sleep and anger - wrench these doubts from my hands!  i am curled on the floor like a dress.  i am sick with this.  i want to be able to love you even as you stab me, but this rage is a long sea unwilling to subside, and it has demands like the simplicity of honesty and the passion of love.  do not ask of me the hard things.  i am not ready for them.  not yet.  i have built a machinery of shadows and they live like horses inside my veins.  i am happy, i want to shout, i am happy!  but the language to say it in does not yet exist.

blink until the blind dogs come running

i caught myself writing nonsense on park benches again.  i just thought people could use some moral support from the things they sit on.  stuff like "you are a good person" or "keep up the good work, champ!"  

i keep running into the other room to look in the mirror and make sure i'm still here.  but sometimes i'm not.  it's strange to look into a mirror and see nothing.  i don't know what to think.  winter is breaking its own back and there are armadillos curled up on the welcome mat, waiting for the desert to come plant a cactus between our shoulder blades.

butterflies sleep inside her collar bones.  i have seen them dreaming.  it looks like a sunset painting itself across her shoulders.  she walks like the breath of the planet.  her body is a flower bed.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

giraffe tongues leave a lot a room for being speechless

when they wallpaper your dreams with deranged deer and trap you unmoving inside your own body, blinking is like lifting a skyscraper.  let the candle light come up slow.  the words moved without our having to push them, or breathe life into them.  they had a color, a shape.  we grew libraries.  we led a blind prophet to the liquor store.  we walked inside saturday night like a hallway.  there were horses nibbling your fingers.  the city was made of watercolors.  our footsteps held hands.  the tea tasted like mint.  i told you my name.  we ate until the chairs turned upside down.  there were so many questions.  there are still more.  and now that i know your lips taste like soft, i want to kiss them again.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

when we live in refrigerators we will dance like magnets

we move.  we move instinctively, like faucets flooding kitchens because it is the right thing to do.  we wear these bodies like houses, we live inside them like masks, and we move.  the turtles are sleeping in the garden, while candles burn on top of their shells and old records play the blues and two people dance as though one of their bodies was the sky and the other the storm sweeping across it.  we are electric.  we always have been.  plug me in, amplify me, broadcast me over your airwaves, turn up the volume.  the sound of my veins is slow harmony bamboo.  my collar bone sounds like the moon whispering.  if you listen too close it sounds like static.  all this excitement has planted a refrigerator in my stomach.  conversation is a ballet.  i am on the edge of my seat.

Friday, February 15, 2008

a drunk valentine

we are made twins by disaster.  after a certain point we all become family.  and then we are in each other's back yards, eating pears the size of your head and sharing opinions on barbeque.  the cities are made of shops where nothing real ever happens.  we mill about, buying, talking on our cell phones, hoping, praying, something might just be different for once, hoping that this isn't it.  but every time i look in someone's eyes, i find it.  it is all right there, and there is no longer any pretending.  you are here.  and i am here.  and i know you feel pain the same way i do, even if it isn't the same pain.  and i know you laugh.  so let's remind ourselves not to forget.  let's set a timer, and if March doesn't become the orchard we thought it would, let's catch a boat to the islands, learn a new language, and promise, that no matter what, this time we are going to live.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

politics is a graveyard for words

the oak barrels are turning into fire.  all the guns are piled in the forest.  cars are killing people.  stick figure trees are exploding themselves into houses.  my glasses can't see without me.  the television keeps trying to tell me i shouldn't try anything.  it wants me to think everything is dying and nothing is living.  there are people pretending to be politicians who are great at speaking in half truths, and saying things they don't mean.  but it's okay because i have figured it out.  i am still sitting in the afternoon sun.  i am still laughing at jokes.  i am still figuring out how to love.  and i am getting better at being nice.

a sweetness that aches

the buildings are all bursting outwards.  the trees are swollen with fruit.  the heat is maddening.  the humming birds have gone insane with it.  my body longs for your body with a slow rhythm, moving like the tides.  this is the way it must feel for a flower, pushing itself out from the green with a violence of color, in a swirling moment of pain and passion.  i am aching for you.  why don't you exist?

wine turns tongues into paintbrushes

the pinhole fist of winter screams in the street while night sends bouquets of flowers to stop signs.  if you can read this, please don't forget that your eyes are holy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

the moths that cry dust

i can feel the plants growing beneath my spine.  they need water.  but i am caught on the roof of this house, glued to the senseless beauty of the sky.  my favorite color is twilight.  the only ones who know i am here are the crows, and they aren't telling anybody.  i wonder when i will have the patience to curl myself about this love thing, like i am a vine, growing up a telephone pole, waiting for the snow.

we are all going to die from something

do you stare at the ocean and wonder what it looks like from the other side?

the well

there are orange colored wings pumping like fury against the darkness, and a tiny heart pumping like song against the stillness, and a set of lungs pumping like a bellows against the sun.  because there's an inch of sky above and water and dinosaur bones below and nothing but black air in between.  and its hard to breathe in the belly of the earth.  so take your comforts where you can get them.  this place is beauty wrapped in a skin of fog.  every moment is a battle won.  and freedom is only freedom if you've been caged.  so when the time comes and the music calls, you better fly, because flying might be the only way you have to know you're still breathing.

the trees haven't yet figured out why we get lonely

the trash man sleeps on a bed of burning candles.  he keeps moonlight in his pocket, and when he dreams it sings to him.  his teeth are peach pits.  his collar bone is an aluminum can.  his smile is his halo.  in the middle of the night he listens to the motorcycles whine from beneath the freeway.  and if it is late enough they sound to him like bed sheets, turning beneath a lover's back as she rolls toward him, an ocean of softness, wanting to touch him, even in her sleep.

Monday, February 11, 2008

these rocks can read this water the way i can read a book

don't fall asleep, he says, not yet, not now, wait for the time when the ocean's skeleton will grow soft enough to hold you, only then will the rhythm become something true enough for us to believe in.  pay attention, he says, for the beggars are not the ones who are poor, the green of money only an imitation, but it is hollow, do not be fed with those hands, for they will leave you wanting.  your heart is a canyon, he says, and his fingers are thin like lightning, and he points at the sky and my eyes see enormous blue mixed with the thimbles we used to read about but never saw and really all he is saying is that love is the biggest.  listen, he says, and then he says nothing, and i hear nothing, and i say what, and he says shhh, listen, and i do, and then i hear the insects buzzing in the heat and i hear my shin bones itching, and i hear the grass playing songs on the wind's guitar, and i hear my chest smiling, and i hear the way i used to hear when it was all a game we played on sunny days in boxes like laughing was what we wanted to be when we grew up and dancing was a way of talking and my hand on your shoulder meant yes, okay, yes.  feel your strength, he says, feel it now for the times when you won't because sometimes the buildings turn into trees throwing apples and and sometimes breathing might feel like drowning and sometimes people will want to see you fail.  let no one tell you you can't, he says, when your heart beats it is saying 'it is time' and when it stops it is saying 'time is up' and if it is time now it may never be time again which leaves you with nothing to say to someone else's doubt in you, the ribbons you trail behind you are cut from the mirrors our ghosts will look into to see if they did good and the answer upon looking back can only be "you were there, and you did what was needed, and thinking on it too much now won't make it less true."  always dream, he says, there is not enough glue to hold onto all this sadness and love and being alive is an earthquake trembling on the surface of a tear.  we are only people, he says and this is only a planet sliding through emptiness and hoping a little bit that there might be more, and there are quilts to be sewn, and there are people who have not been touched by gentle hands and there are only four seasons but there is plenty to do in them, there is only soil and growth and 

there are best friends, he says.

i know you hurt, he says, somebody dropped you too hard before you were ready,  and now your bruises have bloomed like strange flowers and you wear them like a shield, but

snow is a miracle he says,

and there is no such thing as can't, he says,

and dont forget about music, he says.

and then he says nothing 

and i say thank you, and he says nothing, but he looks at me and nods, and we stand there because both our bodies know that silence is a way of saying what cannot be said, and then we turn and we walk home slowly because our eyes have finished watching how miraculous the sun can make a moment just by leaving it behind.

the way the dizziness comes in

it starts with nothing, and in the end you have the wreckage of an orchestra, a houseplant, and 13 pitchers of honey twirling at the edge of your vision.  And you have vocal chords that can make sounds even when they're silent.  that's what it starts with: silence.  (you keep a handful of basketball courts on your shin.)  then there's this quiet hum that rises all around you.  (you keep a hornet behind your ear.)  then it all starts to sound like matchbooks making love with fire.  (you keep your scars inside your ribs.)  then all the pianos get angry.  (your throat is a bank vault.)  the sky decides to give up.  (you learned to cry from your backbone.)  the phone keeps telling you people are dying.  (your heart is a book.)  and just when you think you are going to fall down, you stand there, dripping water all over the bathroom tiles and you look at yourself in the mirror (the butterflies are being born inside your wrist) and of all things, you smile.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the wastrel beginnings of love's worshippers

there are vicious streetcars clawing up the hills in the city tonight.  the skyscrapers threaten to get up and walk away.  don't bother trying to get a taxi.  jackets will do nothing against this cold, for it is not a matter of the weather.  anger boils at low heat, disrespect is better chilled, and hatred at room temperature.  it is all visible in the eyes, furtive beneath brows knitted like a sweater.  the best i can do is stow myself away on a ship circling the bay until summer finally unpacks its suitcases inside my veins and i am immune to these frigid winds blowing between strangers.  the key is to use nothing but your soft skin as armor.  those who are utterly vulnerable cannot be hurt.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

giants will sleep in your pockets

the curtains fall like anvils, while the wig wearing aristocracy plumbs the depths of the oceans inside the halos of angels.  rise, all you overgrown children, rise up until your eyelids stand at attention.  stop thinking for a moment, get your hands out of your pockets, remove your wallets, you must make room for the giants to sleep in.  there will be no aching ribs in the morning, only messy hair and the memory of something profound, something you felt that you hadn't felt before, something important that you are frantic to remember, but can no longer grasp.  it was a floating moment, meant only for then.  but hurry now, there are children to be born in the desert, and you are the only one who can deliver them.

Friday, February 8, 2008

the most lovely left shoelace in the city

It is glorious, my god, it is as though the sky dripped saliva in a long string, the sun high fived it with three rays of sunlight, Venus gave it a wink and it ended up in your left shoe, my sweet lord, it is magnificent!

Zeus' Nightstand

The echo is so loud that my skull is starting to imagine that it is a jellyfish having a bad dream.  It is as if I am standing on Zeus' nightstand listening to him snore while catfish swim in and out of his nostrils and my ears consider submitting their resignation.  But the echo is just a less pretty version of the original, staring at itself in the bathroom mirror and wishing on plastic surgery, but no surgery can change a sound.  You are what you are, echo!  And that is just fine with me.  Now lets make some more racket in this lonely canyon where the train-robbers used to roost.