Wednesday, April 28, 2010

storied situations

elizabeth gurley flynn tried to save poor sacco & vanzetti that day right around 1920 or so by recommending a lawyer to them because she was visiting her anarchist boyfriend at the time but they weren’t really dating the anarchist and elizabeth gurley flynn not in the sense of like being monogamous or in love or wanting to spend even really a decent amount of time together to get to know each other because they both had like a lot going on a lot more than just their like for each other which might’ve been more than a like but who knows about these things when you’re busy fighting the system and distributing leaflets and making speeches and building bombs to explode under capitalistic pigs and so she one day gave this anarchist guy an ultimatum because he was starting to make too many demands on her time all the time and jesus christ she just needed some time to herself she was very protective of her time and people taking up too much of it no matter how much she liked them it just didn’t fit into her conception of herself and took away from who it was she really was all rabid and wild and free and all the likes and she just couldn’t be tied down to any one thing even if that one thing was love in some amorphous shape or blurry form or whatever it was she felt late at night when she let herself do some pining and thought about the soft touch of skin sweeping over her and the way two bodies could mold and shape their way together more than shadows even and never close enough and always too much too and it was always that way for her like she could never get close enough or far enough away and she was elizabeth gurley flynn for christ’s sake and she was buddies with big bill haywood and she was somebody and that was something she had to keep no matter what she didn’t want to lose herself in somebody else even if that somebody else was a great anarchist leader who made her heart do back flips every time she saw him who made her stomach quake and spasm at every touch and whose presence lassoed her in a swoon like almost fainting whose smile melted the hardened grout from between the tile walls inside of her and at whose dingy stark one-room apartment a pair of her pajamas was waiting in the bottom of a dresser drawer for her to slip back into one happy night filled with rain and smoke but she had other more pertinent matters to attend to like saving people’s lives and maybe she’d sail around the world or sew herself some trousers made of felt and old curtains or mistake guns for gladiolas or maybe even let herself fall in love too that too yes maybe even that while the government kept an eye on her every move just like he used to do just like he used to just like him just like nothing made any sense and even though she’d told him only two days a week that’s it that’s all he was going to get from her and he said sure that’s okay that’s fine that’s what I want too really but she had her doubts about that and so she kept her eye on him she watched out for him getting too close to her of following her and she got scared like somebody was trailing her like somebody was on her heels all the time and she kept looking over her shoulder and she got panicky and couldn’t sleep nights and poor sacco & vanzetti were electrocuted and there was nothing miss elizabeth gurley flynn could do about it except wish she were still in love like that again but it was too late now that anarchist had fled the country and the last she heard was shacked up with some dame in paris walking the sewers of paris with her late at night holding hands carrying candles that might just not ever go out until the moon waxes and shines the stars in a big old ink-stained bowl and she was elizabeth gurley flynn and she’d never felt so alone and so miserable and nothing was okay nothing was alright and she cut her own hair and she made her own clothes and she chained herself to lampposts and she was the east side joan of arc and she’d been a wobbly and fought for women’s rights and fell in love once yes she did that too once but that was long ago and she just couldn’t give herself away like that no not anymore she was elizabeth gurley flynn and she was free and she was alone and she was happy enough and she was and she was and she was…


I get impatient over everything

(the rain’s impact is shotgun-shaped)

worry’s sated by one sip

when it needs a bottomless glass

(a minute’s revision is decisive enough)

touched raspy and stilled

an overt blurt topped by a spill

(come run away with me)


says don’t lose your shoes


(we’ve) got everything to tie

impatience lingers foggy

like windows (un-

deployed) raising

a toast to sunshine

(while toast


dismissed like this

I get crabby over small failings

torn into flesh

(a whatever limped through in haste)

I (whose only eyes a once)

am buttered lately (the same

as it always is) the same

instance of now

(instead mechanical horses are hampered with well-oiled cramps)

built (owing to a

glitch in the momentum) like

a done without a does


things in order

trusting (so) to a whistling (sort




wards off putting

(off) letting go

a grip on the same-


(stifled or struckout or

slurred like oil slicked on puddled rainwater—


bunched cloudy runny rainbow-


of being


with a

hoot or

a hip without

a hoora-


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Melancholy of Mr. T

And to think that my catchphrase came from a Rocky movie. “I pity the fool.” What a joke. Sure, I hammed it up for the crowd, my neck laden with gold chains that I rinsed every night in ultrasonic cleaner. I am not a rube. I know the score. I can speak eloquently if I so choose. “Don’t give me no backtalk? Jibba Jabba?” What a bunch of manure. Pure poppycock. But it paid the bills most handsomely. So I went ahead and glad-handed about, distributing my business cards reading: “Next to God, there’s no greater protector than I.” And to think I became known for merely growling at a feeble nitwit named Murdock. How many would suspect me of even being able to use a nominative-case first-person pronoun correctly in a comparison, nonetheless be able to construct a passive sentence without ending it with a preposition, or even knowing what any of these concepts were?

But I digress. I find myself dreaming my dreary way into the subjunctive mood again, as if I were able to even attempt such a farcical (not to mention fruitless) essay into the realms of imagination. No. I am grounded, witlessly and boo-hoo serious, in reality—or whatever is passing for reality in this papier-mâché world that I find myself cutting through with dulled left-handed scissors. I still receive the occasional peremptory knock on the door. Usually it is nothing more than some door-to-door salesman trying to inveigle me into some Ponzi scheme, or once in a while a scared child burdened by an unwieldy amount of boxed cookies. (In such cases I will usually offer some succor by purchasing a goodly amount of their sundry items, lightening their load some, and, I hope, putting a spring back into their capitalism-weary step.) Today was different though; as I pulled on the doorknob jerkily to pry the stuck frame from the jambs (this often happens in the wintry months when moisture collects in the air just as fireflies do on soft summer nights) I was cognizant of something strange wafting its way to me from between the sill and the lintel there on my doorstep. (I mention this only to distill any notions that I might have been prepared for this odd visitation. One would be wise to think more of Scrooge sensing the aura of Jacob Marley in the dead of the night, as if recalling vaguely something preordained, something oneiric that’s only alit to the subconscious preening of the mind’s mustache.) Soon I was to find out why this wayward sensation flushed its way through my limbs.

One often knows (at least it has been my experience) when one is about to enter into a (dare I say) climactic situation; and this was the case on this occasion. Standing on my stoop, wiping his muddy wingtips on my doormat (which reads—for all those interested in such things—“I Pity The Fool Who Enters Here”) was a diminutive, greasy-haired creature in a cheap suit that did not fit him very well: a bit long in the sleeves and the pants, the lapels flapping a bit too far down on his breast for my liking (though I do admit I have a most particular and peculiar taste when it comes to such things.) I often feel odd around those of a small stature. It is as if I am hovering over them, or even lording over them, with my unusually prodigious physique. This emotively restricted way of partaking in the call-and-response of verbal interaction is not one of my most preferred methods, as you may well have already sussed out. I immediately felt off kilter. A snarl was crawling around on my lips. I tried to squelch it down, but to no avail.

The startled miniature man made a few motions of shocked aggravation, and then collected himself—after, I must admit, a slight roar had most likely been emitted from me—enough to utter, “Mr. T, I presume?” His voice was high-pitched, but bold and self confident. Now, let me just impart to you a small caveat here: When people whom I do not previously know approach me in this manner I will usually respond most charmingly (and with I hope more than a dash of wit), “Not me. I get that a lot. It must be the haircut. But he’s uglier. And he stayed in school,” after which I will usually growl in my famous way. It usually at least produces a laugh, and the sound of laughter is balm for the wounds of my soul.

This case was different though. For some inexplicable reason this jockey-sized individual in his off-the-rack suit had temporarily cast some sort of spell on me. (I know how this sounds, but it is the only way I can convey the feel of this hypnotic trance-like state that I came to be enmeshed in, or at least held captive by.) He merely responded with a sly smile, biting his lip a bit, and then quipping, “Nah. You’re him. You’re ugly enough.”

I was speechless. The look on my face must have been one of vacancy and bewilderment.

He began to harangue me in a beseeching petulant tone. “So. Mr. T, if that’s okay. If I can call ya that? Well. Anyway. Mr. T, just wanted to know if I could jaw your ear about some very lucrative deals that it just so happens I am at liberty to offer you. And we’re talking those kinds of deals that come only from H-O-Lee-Double U-O-O-Dee! The land of dreams, of stars on the sidewalk, gilt streets and silver curbs and champagne flowing in the gutters, of riding high and happy on the express train of life, of Learjets and fortune and fame. A place where you, my good man, belonged once, and, I dare say, can, I most absolutely and unequivocally believe, belong to once again.”

I was awestruck by this man’s speech. It was quick and familiar. My powers of resistance were momentarily suspended, like a child with Williams syndrome, and I bade the munchkin-like man to enter, though of what I said to him at this juncture I cannot venture a guess. I recall him sitting on a divan in my living room, while I sat across from him on a rattan chair. We both were drinking tea, so I suppose I must have offered him this delicate treat at some point. (And my tea is always a treat, as I am known around these parts for my excellent brews of everything from jasmine green to silver needles to monkey-picked oolong.) We sipped. He chattered at me. I do not remember speaking, but I may have made some sort of verbalizations at some point. This tiny individual was very garrulous, and quite the charmer. He would have done well at a social gathering—a born mingler and a go-getter from the word go. I was certain there was some of the old Sammy Glick in him. He seemed to even sweat beads of oleaginousness from his social-climbing pores as he sat there on my divan and went on about movie deals.

“So T. I mean, if I may call you by the familiar. Hey. We can talk guy to guy here, right? A little tête-à-tête among amigos, si? You know, a little down-to-earth, no-bullshit chewing of the proverbial fat. Shit. Man, I just wanna show you I’m on your side here. T? We are, us two, on the level here. See? I’m gonna show you all I got. I am going to, here right now, in a manner of speaking of course, lay it all out for you plain and simple. Because I, Judson Mayweather Fort, am most certainly hereby swearing to you that I am hereby a plain and simple man. I am at your service. I’m only here asking—and I wouldn’t be here asking if this weren’t the case—that case being that I am most definitely looking out for your interests and concerns, as uncommon a thing as that may or may not be in this here business we both have had our swim out into the deep end of, um, in this here situation, well, let me just tell you, I am offering you a deal the sweetness of which can not, will not, and should not ever be measured, by yours truly T, on anything but the scale of, how shall we say, the up-and-up, of which I am most definitely on.”

I was stumped by so much hot air, and was rendered unable to articulate more than a gruff sigh. He took this as permission for him to continue.

“Now, T. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Let’s put the mustard on the hotdog. Shit and get off the pot. I’ve got something here for you that’s going to crank a few more miles out of your, well let’s just say on-screen persona, and also, I might add, put a mite more than a lot of cabbage in your pockets. I know what they say, if it’s too good to be true and all that hooey, but just listen. I promise you’ll thank me.”

At this point he was unstoppable. I had come out of my trance a bit, but decided that any action on my part would be superfluous, and so let him continue his rambling.

“T. Let’s just say somebody came up and offered you a load of payola to do a very small, easy thing for a very short time. And let’s just say that that somebody was Dune Entertainment. And let’s also just say, let us just suppose for the sake of a whim, that this somebody was making a movie called The A-Team Movie. Now. I know how all of this sounds, so just hear me out. Okay, T? Just give an ear to what I’m about to say, and then if you’re not interested, if you think I’m pulling your chain—or chains—then you can just tell me to go get lost, or to go fuck myself, or whatever, and I will walk away and leave you be.”

I nodded in his general direction and sipped my tea.

“So my good friends over there at Dune have so generously given me, Judson M. Fort, permission to offer you the sum of $___ to make a cameo appearance in their movie. Yes. T? You get it. I’ve gone and flown my ass all the way out here from sunny southern California to make you this offer, and all you’ve got to do is fly all-expenses-paid back out with me to do a little catch-phrasing and growling in front of the camera. Come on T. T? Sound like something you’d be interested in?”

He coughed into his hand a little at this point and lay back on the divan. The word “squirrelly” came into my head. I believe that I know why. I am always suspect of “deals” like this one. I’ve been ensnared in a dozen too many of them over the years, and this smarmy Judson Fort person seemed to be trying to connive me into some sort of scam, of which I had the utmost confidence would parlay into some sort of windfall for one Judson Fort.

I set my teacup down on the marble-topped table between Mr. Fort and myself. I began to make some joke about my pteromerhanophobia, but thought better of it, and instead gazed at the silvery specks of light cascading down the spiraling bands that festooned the chains of my pendant light fixture, which was directly above Mr. Fort, and which had—for some reason unbeknownst to me—attracted my attention. Neither of us spoke for a few moments (though noticing a thing like time going by was difficult, to say the least.) I’d been holed up in that house for too long. Having this strange intruder bolt his way into the circumstances of my life was impinging on my privacy, on my sense of self, and was causing my decision making process to become corrupt, derelict, and unsteady. Everything was dots and dashes, ones and zeros, ways of comprehending that did not want to be understood. The hairs of my Mohawk, every last teetering follicle, were gushing forth in song, their little voices smacking of things saccharine and innocuous, things I thought I no longer cared for, the sounds of ease and contentment—things I felt too poor to let myself afford. I thought of things dire: of bombs exploding under army jeeps, the blades of helicopters whirling like a hundred swords come for my head, alligator suits and cigars, faces too good-looking to look at for too long, idiots in aviator goggles and wedding dresses, cut-off army fatigues and overalls, cars crashing through walls. I thought of the crisp thwack a cold bottle of soda makes when you snap off the cap, and the way it smokes from the top with a whitish tail curling around itself until it is nothing except emptiness.

I looked over at Mr. Fort. He was calm. His suit was billowing out from him in unnecessary folds of low-quality cotton fabric. He looked as if he had it made. His wavy slop of hair was slicked up and back above the high round hemisphere of his forehead. A curious roseate hue played about his features, as if he’d been dipped in a sunrise. I’ve never seen eyes so sure of their purpose, so serene and detached. There wasn’t a worry he couldn’t shoot down and hold hostage for a pretty penny. I didn’t want him to be a part of my landscape. I stood up. I thought of John the Baptist’s head on a platter, of Dostoyevsky in front of the firing squad, of Pafko at the wall, of moon landings and starving children in Haiti.

My fists were loaded with gold rings. I pitied this fool, just like all the other fools, and I at once, suddenly (it came on like a sneeze) knew what it all meant. I knew the deeper significance of this rote catchphrase that I’d been mechanically saying on and off for the last three decades. I looked at this Judson Mayweather Fort, and I pitied him, which was different from empathy or mercy, or a mere kindness given from one stranger to another stranger; those were all things I understood. I don’t think I’d ever given myself over to this true emotion of pity, and I must tell you, I did not care for it. It seemed the basest of all currencies. It did not help anything. And above all else, well, I’ve always been a sucker for wanting to help, to offer myself to do whatever it is that I can do to make this rented place where we all do our brief span of existing in a little more cheerful. Doing something seemed of the utmost importance. Action was needed. I raised an eyebrow. I cocked my fist. Out the foyer window a bird chirped and brazenly sang over the catcall of terror surrounding it, and above the harsh biting wind that tried to smash the bird’s infinitesimal home it had made in the universe out of existence. I had nothing left to do. I do not remember the sound of the ambulances. I do not know if I left on my own free will. Volition was beyond the scope of my powers. I am done making excuses. Nothing will pardon the necessity of my actions. Thy will be done. I pity the fool.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

neon on jupiter is absorbed into raindrops of helium

nothing here is glazed with rain

after the storm blows by

everything seems brighter

not just color

but a brim of light’s shades

not less in a license plate’s sneaky gleam

fitted to frames of swiftly snapped pictures

altered and unstable and runny

like acetylene on the breeze

or sepia flavored lamplight

littering damage that bruises hues to blooms

as the fetters of smoky disappointment

cling to crumbling leaves

as hurried checks on troubled gutters

miss the richness or vivid tatters of a petal’s last flutter

as the wind’s untried triumphs topple trashcans

and toupées get tossed

we are left with fence posts that glimmer

and streets of glassy resplendence

to live with

while we can

because nothing here is





here is


Monday, April 19, 2010


we had a kid. it was a boy. that kid was of the male gender. we taught the kid to pick up things like nails and tire irons and the wrappers of reese’s peanut butter cups. we fed that kid. we kept that kid in clothes. we had a kid. we had this kid. this damn kid. we bought him kfc and subway and del taco and carl's. we got him haircuts. we paid for his movie tickets. we let him have a pet hamster. we had a kid. our kid’s hamster died. we had a kid. we had a damn kid. we put that kid in a straight jacket for a while. we made that kid count to one hundred. we left that kid home alone. we made sure that kid didn’t spit in public. we got that kid some swimming lessons. we had a kid. our kid learned to swim. we had a kid. he stayed in the shallow end. we had a kid. people liked that kid. the neighbors brought him little gifts like miniature plastic nba figures. we had a kid. it is something people do. people also kill each other. our kid never killed anyone. lots of indians got killed when they were making this country. we dressed up our kid like an indian for halloween. our kid got a lot of candy. we had a kid. we made that kid brush his teeth. we took that kid to the beach. he got sand in his eye. he was a screamer and whiner, that kid. we had a kid. we took that kid to a garbage dump. we knew the guy who worked the car crusher. that guy owed us a favor. we had a kid. we gave it a whirl. we had a small two-door sedan. we had a kid. but now we don’t.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

walk on by

if we have months

we can have days too

and maybe hours


now it seems

like minutes are for suckers

not just seconds

but thirds too

can be just names of things

letters marshaled in an order

a certain way of going along

if we have weeks

strung together like xmas lights

then we have years too

to hold it all together

or to let it all

fall apart

before winter’s

even a twinkle

in summer’s eye

there will be

cobwebs in the lamplight


like a planet that cannot dance

buoyed by boredom

like an emoticon for jealousy

every backyard's lesson

is lost on all the dogs around here

at least

every seven fortnights or so

plums fall from grace


moons die

in quiet parlors

or basement rooms

just as often

as lunatics sip melted Jell-O

through fire-hose-long bendy straws

finally completely lost ticks

without any more


to count


or be thereafter

troubled by

ever again

Friday, April 16, 2010

For Trudy With Hate And Splendor

BUDDY: The odor of brown paper bags opening can be comforting.

ZOOEY: Sure. Like when the sky’s strewn with ripped bits of Kleenex.

BUDDY: And the smell of jarred salsa upon first loosening the lid is downright spectacular. Everything about most things around here is…

ZOOEY: Broken? Unhinged?

BUDDY: No. Legerdemain. Just whimsical shit. You know, that at-a-loss-for-words stuff that clutters up the ionosphere.

ZOOEY: Lathering mayonnaise between ink-blue puddles. Projecting an ideal form onto the mundane, the ordinary, the murdered and mocked.

BUDDY: It’s like getting it together only to….shit. I might as well face it. I’m addicted to gum.

ZOOEY: Be not self-injurious nor let yourself grow distraught with perpetual ineptitude. We all close our eyes to certain unpleasant things about ourselves. Getting a haircut can be distressing, and might cause one to question the very nature of her existence. If the ideal form can be maintained in the imagination only, well, then reality can go about its business. There is a gruesome pleasure that comes with the freedom of dreams, that unbinding of oneself from the sticks and stones. We were raised to be this way in which we are now swamped. When does one finish growing up?

BUDDY: Wits be damned. I want shapely things, supple curves, hips that swing, an ass like a shelf.

ZOOEY: We shoot for the stars and hit only ourselves.

BUDDY: Something to do with the fact that falling out of love is so much harder than falling in love.

ZOOEY: April comes she will into the garden of your distrust. We don’t even have to try most of the time. Fill your cups with thrum. Not that the whorls of attachment will budge much. It is something to be given. Amends might happen without any making on your part. There is nothing to control. Be at peace.

BUDDY: Lessons like lemons.

ZOOEY: Drizzle on. Drip away. Get lost. Google yourself. There is no mishap too terrible to not canter over with a breezy slump. Just shout, “Yippee!” and get on with it.

BUDDY: Stalling is another way of getting back at time for being itself, when you are anything but.

ZOOEY: Yourself?

BUDDY: Maybe. There before the something, something, something…go I, right?

ZOOEY: Yep. That old let’s-start-spreading-the-news bullshit.

BUDDY: Not always. I catch planes, I catch flies, I catch colds, but I can’t catch a break.

ZOOEY: Put a lid beneath it. You’ll catch the leaks with Tupperware. Don’t mind if I do ask away then ok that’s fair yes sir that’ll do now on to the more moving messages…

BUDDY: Keep it clean.

ZOOEY: Sadly mild-mannered and mistimed are the miseries of us like this we tear the strewn atoms binding through the neural pathways of our regret like six-pack serious like superman’s day job like horses limping over lilies like hearts trembling…

BUDDY: I do declare!

ZOOEY: Simplicity abounds lord lord lord ye know my troubles well…

BUDDY: Like a docent for the touring of burnt homes.

ZOOEY: Keeping a straight face still laurel-resting into the shilly-shally so-long-see-you-later mood…

BUDDY: The strange weather one keeps inures the most tempestuous natured will to seek shelter in oddness. A view without a point. A self-defeating roar. As long as I project the purity of my idealism onto an imaginary object, well then I am okay. It’s when that canvas becomes a real thing, a thing of the world, something I can’t just slap endless layers of paint on any old time I want without any regard for the object itself, well, that’s when my world just up and falls all apart.

ZOOEY: You’d make a good lion tamer.

BUDDY: Yes. This might be true. I can lift a barstool up over my head. I workout with medicine balls. I make cartoons out of discarded missiles. Civilian casualties are very low, I must say. I know how to snap a whip. My legs rarely quake during moments of fear, and my stomach is lined with steel.

ZOOEY: You, my fine fellow and close kin, are one of much mettle, though I’m not certain of how it will test.

BUDDY: Passing.

ZOOEY: Sure. Go back to counting car headlights from the freeway overpass. Go back to sleeping on boxcars. Go back to flossing on and off.

BUDDY: I’d weigh my options, but my scale is broken. Assumptions are cleaning house, and if an oubliette opens up beneath whatever fancy pedestaling I might do in the hallway of my days, then I will take a pitch and wait out a junk-baller with one out in the bottom of the fifth. There is time enough, but quite possibly not world enough.

ZOOEY: Fumes fill the space between dreams, and you run on them and with them, and we all take pictures to give a place to things, to have a place to put things in, to not mistake friends for runaways.

BUDDY: Quit making amends for your sorrow. Tell me a joke.

ZOOEY: So. Okay. Here’s one for you. So. Well. Um. So. Let’s just say…that this guy…well, he enters into a…zoo? Fuck…how does it go again? Something about being hippo critical?

BUDDY: That’s enough.

ZOOEY: No way. It’s not enough. Nothing ever is.

BUDDY: You might have some sugar in your gas tank. Maybe take a gander in there.

ZOOEY: Choosing to believe your own lies does not make you truthful, but in my own eyes there is nothing wrong at all.

BUDDY: Soft golden sponge cake crumbling into microscopic flecks.

ZOOEY: That’s one way to put it.

BUDDY: Or faking the sky out of its blueness. Well, it’s nothing that’s easily stolen from a national park. That I can tell you.

ZOOEY: I’m not cooperating with this scooting-outside-to-check-out-the-view thing going on here.

BUDDY: Lame-O.

ZOOEY: Just because every place where it’s raining pizza sauce is a place where I’ve never been, that’s no reason to jab and twist a rusted metal coat hanger into my heart.

BUDDY: As long as the red rain’s not slanting or dreary…but come on, Tony Awards get handed out for less.

ZOOEY: Weightlifters grow old too. The hymnbooks of goody-goodies get used for scrap. And my face becomes less sensitive as it is mauled by the passing years. One might come not to notice the wheeling rhythmic clunk and clank of deserted escalators if exposed to it for long enough. These circumstances are anything but extenuating, but sleepy men still have a chance.

BUDDY: With all of their….faculties intact.

ZOOEY: Sweetly insert laugh here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

nothing paramount

I once had a paralegal paramour whom I met at a parade.

She lived in a parallelogram palace,

treated parasites like pets,

and a pink-poled parasol kept her pale.

Her parrot Patty was a paragon of paraphrasing, and it lived in a paraffin-coated cage.

She hated paragraphs, grew paranoid over paint fumes, and partook in parasailing—

but only to placate her parents.

Thrice per week we’d seek paradise in a paradox of paradigms,

and pen our names with a panoply of paraphs.

Sure, she’d prattle plenty, and pulled paranormal pranks on paramedics—

perchance by pretending paralyzation—

but it only produced pleads of proffering her padded walls.

Oh, and pertaining to the placing of puny parachutes on pigeons?

Only when punch-drunk on parabolic patterns.

Though promising at first, things petered out,

and the parapets of my pursuit were perceptibly perambulated past.

Now I primely pine

(my passport for penance stamped)

pouring over puzzles of why,

pointless palaver,

pages (ripped piecemeal) of legal pads,

and particles of pensive pandemonium.

But my palm-tree prayers can’t pay the price,

or pack the portentous portmanteaus of plastered regret

back to that parameter-less place

where we two were as paired as pants.

Monday, April 12, 2010

a girl and her dog (for Ricardo Reis)

if the walk she took were a tugged one


the thoughts bespotted

maybe dropped like shit

something to be discarded by plastic

of course there’d be plenty more

mosaically patterened as it were

to deal with hide and hair

to plea bargain with a bark

a noticeable limp

a wet nose

chewing through gardens

pissing on the roses

if she were the walk

if dogs didn’t have names

if sunshine craved leaves

something in the zygomatics of things in genereal might be hampered


really what seamstress would not lend felt to the cold

hard handed or justly heavy

unto the murk of saddled waiting

she would then be thrown

half had in a give

toward an anurous hope

where spit cracks the eyes of windowed gazes

or the way she squats to handle the defecated turd

crimps the stylish pleat of skirt

or cramps the hamstring’s misgivings


the moral of the whole damn thing


if you really want to know

that trying never implores guilt for mercy

or something like that

I forget

Sunday, April 11, 2010

shipped back to the minors

trusting in the where of who

penciled-in between laughs and coughs

younger than phones

cleaned out before the now of how

deeply inadvertent

thatching tries together with whys

jumpy if anything but unaware

a hearty burst of glissandos remit

tempting a stall from a retreat

in couples

in gales

hemming a threadbare because with begging eyes

a purloined silence that snips and drags

a plodding drip during a rain delay

pounding the sink low and in

mustering ways to keep life’s double plays in order

it’s a crampy shift towards hello

it’s dusting the plate of there’s where

while all along the line of less was over the under of more

as curbs leave craving junk

as middles appear below bottoms

as coolant strays

parading like butchers through hogtown

rathering to be requested than to request

a squabble insisting surely along the shores of blue

a taste of whether

a dab of if

a monument of could crumbling into should

piping through the wet cement forms of for or to

in a guess of will

stirred into the passive lack of is

forever lost among the shards of a pissed away

tumble into the present

Friday, April 9, 2010


worse than the upside of feeling down

a flustering of nerves that comes and goes

a less than profound smattering of courage

testy and sneaking around with a flourish

one up on regret

lettering in assumptions

with a groundbreaking surge of guiltless compassion

pity’s gone out of style

so lose what’s left of the razor’s slice

keep your mouth clean and tidy

move without shadows

and pass the bottle around

over here

one more time

because chances leave no trace of luck

nor is a smidgeon of loss anything

except a curtain call for a lack of trying

upend the top of the bottom story

you’ve never told anyone but yourself

like faking out a prayer

or skirting the dismissal of love

you too

can tell the case from the point

and there is no forgetting

porched and stilled and sapped

with plucked out eyes

and a tardy heart set on cruise control

until the mills of wakefulness

churn out another plug

that’ll recharge the dull batteries of

what once sang happy

through a moment of now

you’ll spy through less clever eyes

what tips and yens

left the better part of whenever

hung in the lofty arc of a just punted irk

like an or

sneaking into the can of please

you will fumble what’s left

and move on

to the grumbling of why

and why not




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a phone call

ADAM: Oh sure. That’s just another figment of your eye-level imagination running its ho-hum-partial course. No. That’s not it. You know what it was though? Ha. It was that tree outside your bedroom window. The one with those spindly branches, like crooked, gnarled, wart-ridden, wicked-witch-of-the-east fingers. That’s what made me think of you again.


ADAM: Of course. I mean, come on. I’m not completely conceptualizing through guilt and bitterness here.


ADAM: That’s not, per se, an affront though. I mean, not that you’re completely off kilter there. But there’s always more to it than we think. And of course, yeah, there’s a whole lot more to it than we say too. That goes without saying.


ADAM: Not really. I’d probably agree with that if more time had elapsed from the initial commotion. That traumatic ceasing of the way things in general were tending to go.


ADAM: I know. I’ll try to refrain from it in the future. I’ll give it the old college try.


ADAM: Okay. Sure. Whatever. The real problem here, as it always seems to be with us, is that the lines of communication are stunted. They flicker and spark like voices trying to whisper through downed phone lines. It’s always a massive attempt at the talking around of things. There is no place for the “we” of “us” to wander in.


ADAM: I don’t know either. It’s just a specific jellyroll way of expressing the convoluted quagmire that’s passing for our two severed lives these days. The apartness. The separation. The placating of mutually understood “off-limits” desires for the express purpose of easing the distance, that is if it cannot be spanned, which we both have come to the extricated conclusion that it cannot.


ADAM: Extricate. You know, like a disentangling. An untying of the laces on the shoes we used to live in together.


ADAM: I know. I know. It’s just another way of saying. But that’s really all we have now. Ways of saying things. Pertinence notwithstanding, the ways of saying seem to matter much more than what is said. Even if you’ve got the Revenue Man Blues.


ADAM: Oh. Just something to do with Charley Patton I guess. Anyway. It’s just deckle to frame the tempestuous nature of withdrawal and stubbornness and clue-hipped peons of chance. We don’t make time. Time makes us.


ADAM: Do you want the easy answer?


ADAM: You know. Like Occam’s razor. Something simple.


ADAM: That’s true. I’d like to give it a shot though.


ADAM: Okay. So. There has to be much more there in the first place. A “something” must exist in the proverbial nut-sac of the heavens. There must be a “here” to have a “now” in. I don’t want to quantify things too much…


ADAM: Thank you. I think. But any way you look at it, well, things just turned out bad for everybody. Was there something that could’ve been done? Should one of us have tried harder to hold on to what we had? I don’t know. I don’t know what the fuck to think sometimes. There’s just this way of doing that I’ve got, and of course you’ve got yours, and together we created another…but…fuck. I don’t know. Maybe it was all just some hallucination that we both created because it was what we needed at the time to get by. Manifestations of guilt might’ve been riding high on the wind of our thoughts, for example, or we just wanted a reason to be happy for a while. Like we needed a reason. Sometimes just the lush breath of fall will do that to you. Nobody needs anybody, when it comes down to it. We just want. And we want to be wanted. We’re like salt-water fish swimming around in a fresh water tank. We don’t even know what it is we’re lacking until somebody comes along and pours some salt in the water. We become addicted to our loneliness. We stray and wander off course. We pander to the basest ways to be loved.


ADAM: Not really. Not anymore.


ADAM: Oh come on. It’s not that. I still care. I care a whole hell of a lot. I’m not just going to stop…


ADAM: I know. SMPTE color bars to match the moods of our lives between the wimpy stations of the cross we keep practicing. We can just make things sound any which way we like. That doesn’t make them so.


ADAM: True. But still. I think there’s grace floundering around out there somewhere in the blundering arms of forgiveness. I’d like to think there’s more than a snowball’s chance in hell of something like that happening too, but come on. We both know how these things go. Lessening becomes too much. We drift. We float aimlessly in despair. We get happy over small meaningless things.


ADAM: By looking for it everywhere. Of course I’m just speaking from another “of course” which takes for granted yet another “of course” along the way. Like looking at the rainbow slick of oil in a puddle of rainwater. We have things that defy expectations too. We strap on tool belts of distractions. I guess it’s more troubling now that everything feels like it’s dead. You know?


ADAM: Maybe. In a Kiss-Me-Deadly kind of way I guess. That’s like saying what pertains to the pitched silence of high ideals maintains its own breaking ball of courage…or outrage.


ADAM: No. It still does. I’m not going to deny it. A hurt that persistently harms, you know?


ADAM: If it does, well, I’ve never heard talk of it.


ADAM: So what? That’s the same kind of crappy circulus in probando that makes the proposition of weather seem like a tough out. And you know me. I’m a pretty tough customer when it comes to roundabout thoughts. Still, let’s throw some leavening in the mix and see if something arises.


ADAM: Why not? The oven’s already on. What’ve we got to lose?


ADAM: Sure. Sure. I know. I know that. It’s…not that either. We’ve got distinct differences in the basic material processing of information. And if the ceiling caves in? Well, there is always more “in the meantime” to have.


ADAM: There are. Like blackboards of hankering erased with yearning against the grain. A besting of gradualness. A mohair toupee. A room without a view.


ADAM: That’s funny. I don’t know either. Just a plop. A mushy weird insubstantial decay. Seeing without wanting to look. Cheap haircuts. A bow-legged prayer.


ADAM: Battlements. Fortifications. Redoubts. Those type of things.


ADAM: Hacking at the wind.




ADAM: No. I don’t think that’s got anything to do with it. You can say, “I will. I will,” all you want. It doesn’t matter. In the end it’s only what you do that matters. The rest is eyewash.


ADAM: No. Celine. Close though. Same league. Different ballpark. We’ve got delineations and delinquencies too, and it all just surrounds our guarded misconceptions of who we are.


ADAM: I’m not. I’m being anything but unkind. Let’s face it. Nothing is left. It’s all busted and ruined, and what we’ll remember…well, that’s just flyweight romantically tinged idealism. It does nothing but render us maladjusted to the currency of life going by. We still live it, but nothing’s quite ever going to be the same again, is it?


ADAM: I don’t think you really believe that.


ADAM: It doesn’t. It just doesn’t matter anymore. Everything is too different to ever be the same again.


ADAM: Really? That’s surprising. Well, Sacco and Vanzetti would be proud. Or at least William Zantzinger.


ADAM: I kid. I kid. Calm down. Youuuuu. Whoooo. Philosooooophize. Deeeesgrace.


ADAM: I will. You too. You as well. You also. You…you.


ADAM: The chains of the sea will have busted in the night.



EVE: Fuck off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Mighty Good Leader

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: Our morality fends off strangers with each club-footed stride towards high ideals, in the abstract.

BECK: But I want concrete things. Things of matter.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: What’s the matter with things of matter is that things of matter do not always matter.

BECK: That’s shit, and you know it.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: So what? I pray to the same whores that menace the rest of society, and it gets me the same distance as the bank robbers or the file clerks.

BECK: Isn’t America filled with file clerks who’ve read the Harvard Classics, or something?

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: Shut up. Shut up. I know. The blackbirds are rough today.

BECK: You better believe it. And that’s a matter for another day’s indecision. Let’s make hips out of pockets. Let’s scratch out our voices with needles. Let’s invent devil’s to take our women away. Let’s hurt before we harm. Let’s get our vim back.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: We might need a detective to solve the troubles in our minds.

BECK: Don’t bore me with horror.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: We have helmets. Hammers serve our needs like drapes. Wince. The pain’ll snap through grief like an olive pit.

BECK: Basically we have nothing but ourselves.


BECK: When I die will you be my hangman?

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: If that is necessary. If that is a task I must perform. If I glide on through screaming matches. If scuttling is an acceptable way of moving through cemeteries.

BECK: Trips to the bathroom become more frequent with trips to the barroom.


BECK: Sucker.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: Punch back and we’ll mistake our way through the music of the headlamps. I have a tail that tattles.

BECK: It varies, by chance, with all the effort we waste on our own petty doings.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: A lessoning of self-importance. It is a looming thing that hangs in the balance of tipped scales.

BECK: We smash alarm clocks before we wake.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: Yes. It’s a happening that keeps for at least a day. We go away feeling the things we do. Sometimes broken things mend in the wrong places. There is not controlling substance, matter, the lesser parts of the disunified whole. There is only chance in the bottoms of well-to-do pennies. We have both done some grieving.

BECK: The rippling fronds on the palm trees in the sunny courtyard of my life are roaring like animal-cracker lions, but the flowers are just homicide victims and squatters. I will blow my nose and save the world.

SUSPECTED TERRORIST: You’d make a mighty good…

BECK: Shut up.