Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Drop of Red into the Sand

1.
This marble face
is cracking
too strong not to feel

hundreds take pictures
posing with the figure
deep in thought;
hanging off it's limbs
unaware of the
squirming
just below the surface

So long, it has been
since warm steel
worked on soft stone;
love impressed
into the wild,
veined rock

It now sits
it's stoic visage
staring off beyond
all that we can know
feeling the warmth of the sun
and the cool wind
slowly grinding it
back to nature.

2.
Worn and out of tune
the mandolin strums
from an equally weary stool
such a distant feeling
hearing the music of a faraway country
conjuring thoughts of dark cafes
and cobbled paths by a Mediterranean sea

lights dance in the water and in my mind
bouncing baubles, hanging like
tea lamps from rocking trees
a light wind blows through my thoughts
and brings my mind back
to what my eyes have been resting upon

a simple man, playing a song;
all the while, the light clinking of cups
coming to rest on saucers
smooths the ears passage
between music.

3.
Hardened flesh
grinding into wound steel
and bronze;
blood finds its way out
marking the passage of indiscernible
fingers on six vibrating strings

tears flow from self-inflicted wounds
chords of melancholy memory
wrapping about a body;
a warm blanket of
a cold past

one hand grows numb;
the other, it's fingertips
beginning to ache
growth by the death
of tissue

a person sits in the center of a room
making ripples in the air
and feeling them as they reflect back
bouncing off of keepsakes
and bare walls

hands rest on smooth, cool wood
and the vibration dissipates into
the dark corners of the room;
the tears dry into salt
and the instrument is placed back in it's case.

Growth by the death of tissue.

4.
Tonguing dry lips.
The wind is unrelenting
but on the horizon, this desert
becomes grassland.

Always on the horizon.

A thousand pairs of eyes
have seen this view-
Prosper; just beyond.

No spyglass can bring it to you
only blood and tears.

outstretched arms;
accepting

another defiance
another drop of red into the sand

another step.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Light Rain in the Afternoon

1.
"Never"
can be a
cruel notion
so too is the idea
of limitation
yet the walls still stand
graffiti ridden reminders
of past opposition
ideas thick and unfeeling
the molasses of bigotry
the once powerful
yet backwards thought
of supreme being
separating the chaff
from all the rest
the sub-human
the emotional wretches
crying for family
crying for god

they could see it then
circling above the mighty peak
still too high to reach
not vultures but soft clouds
sunlight above the darkness
each day climbing higher
each day the mountain growing
the voices of hate fade into the valley below
and the echo of the ones who came before
strengthen unsure legs

the fight is here
and to ignore it is to stop
climb no higher
and begin to
slide
down

it is then
that "never"
is word
of strength

so
to the unsure

it is said-
never again;
nevermore will you allow
the world to move
without your voice

never.

2.
Thunderstorms brewing
over darkened brows

slotted eyes staring
darting pupils
back and forth;
this is a hopeful day
a day of intention
and self-fulfillment
a day of Samuel Clemens
lit by a candle's light
curtains flung open
to gray skies

Today daydreams,
wandering quests
and much chocolate
baked and wafted
into every breath

a day of china teacups
slightly steaming
constantly rubbing lenses;
the sound of a single page
slid along fingers turning onto
the next

This day is not for grieving
or over-introspection
it's not for cleaning
for coveting
or skipping chapters;

it certainly isn't in lieu of
or a chance to hide from;
no excuses were crafted
no promises were ignored

This is
a very
good
day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Olive Oil and Talking Myself to Bed

1.
There it is
in the steaming wine sauté
meandering about the room
dancing with herbs
and spices

it's hopping about
in tiny oil splatters
and dripping artfully
onto clean
white
plates

it's in the sound of
carbon steel meeting
moist wood
a knife writing it's name
in each item
a pan sealing
it's locked within
the
moist
warmth

it's in the glistening
salad leaves
red and green;

floating in soups

wound deeply in the
knot of angel pasta
floating up from the
boiling water.

but mostly it's
in the heart and hands
of the chef

a gift of love
for the stomach
and soul.


2.

A strange thing it is
that tears should be warm
a tea brewed within your heart
and poured in celebration
of love and loss;

more like blood
than water.

A beautiful release
a punctual headache
removing glasses
rubbing the bridge of
your nose;
acknowledging
something beyond
that annoying
"upper lip" phrase.

Allowing not the wallow
but the wrapping of a blanket
letting yourself
feel
completely.



3.
Listing little lies
great intention
lacking gusto
Toilets
waste-bins
dishes;
the kitchen floor
never submitting to
hands and knees.

Always such important things
running about in a whirling mind;
plenty of time to do all that
later.

though,

just as company arrives,
a great desire consumes -
a need
to do
the laundry.

Stuffed this and that sitting
on porcelain platters
can't distract fully
from the thumping
of the washing machine
and the constant clatter
of scrubbing dishes

the vacuum comes out
met with a dirty look from
the TV viewers
and the mop is shunned;
apparently some people need
the bathroom open
no questions asked

the chores end

there is nothing left
but to sit and talk;
but the world seems too still
and the conversation is
not enough to hold attention

eyes darting about the room
looking for imperfection
distraction
purpose beyond a simple chat.

Hours pass
baseball games
action movies
dirty jokes
listening to one's mind
wandering.

then the company leaves

the room falls silent

and you're left wondering
where did the time go?
You're ready to give in
let go
enjoy

instead
you fall back;
staring at the ceiling
for hours.


4.
Daydreams of conversations
yet to be uttered -
the future.

Yet in the night
dreams of nothing;
a darkness plain and unnatural
stays fixed all about
my eyes

Where are the space journeys
sea voyages
castle walls
and cobbled streets?

The void consumes me
and sleep itself becomes a symbol
a cause
of unrest.

What use is there in dreams
when the greatest adventures
and epic loves
are wrapped in cloth
and paper?

The hero
isn't you
those lovers
don't love you
and you certainly aren't
an angel
floating above the world
written below

Looking for similarities

and meaning in fiction
is a messy business
the covers of a book
will never contain more
than the covers
of your own bed.

So the attempt is made

each night
to drift off with
a new tide

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Dinner and A Writing Session in the Rain

1.

A shimmering, capable
blade sits adjacent
to my
plate

In the corner of my eye
a moisture-laden Merlot
sits on an ivory-white
table cloth

a single drop of sweat rolls
down the small of my neck
disturbing the sensitive
hairs

I choose to ignore the salt shaker
sitting on its
side, a
tiny mound of blasphemous
dust beside it

A loud crash causes forks to
silence their massacre
and I stand
slipping away;
attending to the horrific
salvation.

2.

Rain
falling
on a dark-green umbrella
smoke mixing with
steam
from simmering coffee beside
book and pen;
gray skies shine, reflected
against the slick, black
street.
Harsh breaths, taking in
the brisk atmosphere
exhaling warm byproduct
exhaust from the machine
that is
your soul.
Blank, raindrop dotted
pages give way to

thoughts of fireplaces and
Persian slippers full
of the choicest tobacco

notions of hansom cabs
clattering down narrow
cobbled streets

and ruminations of warm, tossed
bedding with
two heartbeats
held close

The pages fill
and the ashtray is
twice replaced
The world falls silent

as the

rain

breaks

and the sound
of a dragging pen is
r
eplaced with a
single set of footsteps
wandering to a cold,
empty
house.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coffee, Common Ground, and an Observation

1.
Bob Dylan is giving me a dirty look
something about
me being
a wimp.
I just wanted a cup of joe
a couple of sugars
and a nice walk
but he looks serious
standing next to the counter
a steaming cup of his own
fogging up
from his hand;
I half tip my cap
half run away
into the
bitter
air.
Bukowski narrowly misses me
in a blue Volkswagen
and Chandler lets out a laugh
at my expense
from a shady spot
on the patio.
I shake the coffee that
spilled off of my hand
and keep
walking.
At the light a limo stops
and Nora Charles
pops out of a tinted window
she asks for directions
Nick shakes his head
just inside the car;
he mutters something
about me not knowing
which way
is which
then begins to shake a cocktail
as the window
rolls
back
up
Two men in black
pass me
in front of my apartment
thumbing their way across the nation
on their way
to Mexico
one looks over
flips me the bird,
and winks.

I step through my door
and stop
shake my head
and smile.


2.
Echoes in the dark
wind from an
unseen end
around the bend
safe
ideal
but only black
stretches on
wretches of the lost
groping for hope
you heart in hand
holding tight
hoping for a single,
flickering
bulb
still waiting
still walking

miles drag
fingers along your
spine
around your ankles
about you neck
trek further
passing wreck
after wreck
past lives
past dreams

then the air clears
and the darkness
seems
different
it wraps around you
like a warm bath
a glimmering lake
to swim; dim
at best
the light comes
softly, slowly
your feet didn't
bring it near
but you hear the
beating
grow
for it was
inside
waiting to show
when your
soul and
you mind
find

common
ground.


3.
Piles of books
looks from ghosts
the toast of literature
staring forward
waiting
breathless
for the next
last word
old wood creaks
between volumes
voices muttering
pages shuffling
cloth covers
snapping closed
posed are they
sitting on the
shelves
waiting
breathless
for the next
last word
you
don't
have
it
in
you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lofty

1.
Tea kettle hopping
whistling for a bit of attention.

Here I sit
across the room
rolled sleeves
hunched and furrowed
eyes flashing
a late night jamming of keys
letting the words fall
my mind not in place.

Watching letters I
didn't pick
floating together
becoming a thought
I didn't realize
I was thinking.

Violins in the back of my
mind, thoughts of
earlier in the day
an orchestra.
Now sweet jazz laps
gently into my ears
but my mind
still
isn't
here.

Leaning back, looking
longingly out a foggy window
the world moving lazily
down the puddled street
I need more
I want more
but what it is
eludes me.

Abstract pleasures
floating in a haze
my mind is playing
catch-up
with
my
soul.

I'm not in the mood

for games.

2.
Loosened tie
the top few buttons
undone
like a trumpeter
hat pushed back
a few drops of sweat
find their way down
my neck.

The sun strips the
starch
from my collar
coffee smacks
of unfulfilment
and my nose
declares the air
inhospitable

This chair is giving way.

I need a new scene
a new brewhouse
a new face.

These dice aren't rolling
my way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Corner Stool

1.
Unmistakable;
the business end
of a Lucky Strike
glowing from the back
of a hazy room.

Sitting before a ghost band
a hep beat floats back
entangled in the
musicians smoke

The music pauses
and the grey thickens
thoughts of the outside
the next step
an adult life

A hand shoots upward
and drinks are served
cool, fresh amnesia
ice cubes still clinking

The band resumes
it's set.

2.
Walking inside
the thick air hits you
like a hard kiss
a hiss
of steam
from your ears
bodies jiving
sliding as the cymbal
cries into the crowd
loud are the horns
calling the snare
to bear on your soul
sweat pours
their minds must be
lost
not
yours
cool drink sizzles
mingles with sweat
on your
lips
hips wander near
eyes like ice
twice cooling
your soul.

You emerge
changed.

3.
Walking along to the sound of a clarinet
skipping over the cracks
to the snare
heels, percussion
the wind whipping your coat
dancing in the air
fingers tapping at your sides
mirroring the gentile
flow of piano keys
then the whirlwind fades back
just the clarinet
a dragging match
a sizzle
and footsteps
echo
down
the
street.