War Paint

8 Sep

My life unfolded
very badly. Instead
of smooth paths,
the fabric of it
became so wrinkled,
I stumbled many,
many times in the rents,
making outright holes.

Devotion to the senses
made me a limbless mess.
Nothing fixable, not even a
tin dixie cup of forgiveness
can sooth the friable skin
stretched over my eyes.
I’d push small measures of joy
where they might belong

but to whom? Justice evades
the thinkers, I think.
Worry about the consequences
of doves, or Joshua trees
in a simpleton town,
gray tide pools and too
many ruminants licking the grass
in a riddle- driven landscape.

All that I have is the here,
now. I’m a stumble queen
fighting with crows. So my
new affirmation is the past
is harmless, nothing hidden
in the dusty pleats, no black
arachnids aching to pounce.
Learning to avoid the

joy-sucking void has meant
more than all the natural world
has to offer; I’m only alone
when crushed and voiceless
by my internal landscape’s
avalanche and snow pack,
a weak breath to repent.
Should I pay a penance to

a God that is not mine
just to save myself from
the all alone? Is there
a choice and how to know
how to choose it? Who
is there, to ask? I see only
a tilted sky of wrecked stars.
I hear only my own

unctuous jibes.
The darkness finds me frowzy
and aged, touching my way,
applying layers of chalky lies
across my lips and cheeks,
slapping my way awake.
The light never illuminates
enough to dazzle.


6 Sep

I’m wondering if
You’ll take a fine photo.
I’m just wondering, because if
I took a black and white
Picture of you
You’re eyes would be blue.
Suicide blue eyes
Never focused on me.
Someone would say, “Isn’t that romantic?”
After the development,
All the prints had that elegant sheen,
Not matte; glossy.
“That’s my prince.” I’d say.
“You wish!” They’d say.
“Is he wearing contacts?” They’d ask.

Aside 3 Sep


Only the Bravest Jump

3 Sep

How sad a story do you want to hear?
Maudlin, poignant or Presbyterian?
Sad stories break the back.
Really sad stories can have happy endings written into them.
Stories with injustice should not be forgotten.
Sad stories of the heart can grow dusty or moldy.

Stories of the hearts are as common as rabbits.
The saddest ones can be made to have happy endings.
The saddest stories slow down time. The man with gunpowder breath.
The baby sleeping on it’s stomach that never wakes.
A sad tale that remains as painful as the day it was born.
Polar bears drowning.

Aside 3 Sep


John Steinbeck/John Lennon

14 Aug

So this guy in a shirt, a real shirt, with buttons and starch on the fabric, shows me The Herald; points out an article about the Israeli ambassador to Peru found naked in his Peruvian backyard tied to a chair in broad daylight with an apple between his teeth. So I go, “Yeah, ok.” Then he tells me John Steinbeck and his ex-wife were found on the front lawn of a house in Monterey in broad daylight tied together by their pubic hair. So I go, “Takes dexterity.” Imagine. I am a Yankee. He is a stranger. So he goes, “Those writers all drink too much.” So I go, “I’m a writer.” And he goes and backs off.

Pacific Grove

14 Aug

Agate and stone blue
Pinch vision ‘tween pine
The bay of Monterey
Ignites in blue.

The sun stilted forward
Ten more milligrams
Arced like a dun fable.
Invisible glass on the surface

Breaks in the slop of surf.
Twill pants of the fish folk soaked.
Tangled bird lines.
Mackerel silver skinned knuckles.

Wharf boards woofing with
Sea dogs, lions salty with
Dog’s whiskers, eyes, smiles.
They ache for a taste of it.

Acacia saffron yellow
May pollinate the roiling surf.
Pinch vision ‘tween cloud
Snow today licked Fremont’s peak.