Friday, December 31, 2010

Bittersweet Resignation.

Sadness;
missing the things
that never were,
missing the things that
could have been, the things that
should have been.


Faded photos of you
your light, floral dress clinging to the
small of your clammy back;
photos of the old car-
looking out through the frosted
windows, out onto the cloudy bay of a northern coast;
super 8 films of children that were never conceived
children that never called out your name
endlessly bounding in silent pantomimes of unfamiliar
joy.


I miss all of this,
all that I have yet to know.


You don't remember me
we have never met
but I love you.


I love your red eyes glimmering through cigarette smoke,
I love the worn, scuffed white heels you wear with everything;
I miss the way you pick at your chipped fingernails
and the look of your dog as I walked in your back door.
I miss the Polaroids on the fridge- the
golden pictures of shared drugs and 
empty cans of mexican beer
cluttered amongst the splayed out books and
precarious piles of balancing vinyl records.
I will never again hear the thump of an albums end
while you slowly undress
I remember you there, dancing in the flickering light of
fading, burnt filament


but I will never remember your name


all this was lost to me


all this was taken from me


when I chose to step back.


All I have now is the sadness,
the shudder of memory
and the sweaty panic, when woken from a dream
of your embrace-
of your voice.


I don't know you and I will never
know you;


but perhaps I am better for it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Letter to a friend.


Beggar Beggar;
learned beggar
caught in the same traps.

You've fallen a long way
if you look back 
(hindsight vision was always your strong suit)

Words will always abuse you
words will always tease you from the
inside and out.

You are a slave to this-
and you seem to enjoy it.

But, 
hear this Beggar:
you are part of a world
remember this and never let the traps 
take more than your
masochistic self
captive.

Then,
by all means,
enjoy the fall.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't Think About Going Far... Just Go.


There is no time to be wasted
waiting for the end of things.
The process 
was only discussed for a moment
never thought out
it was the end that was desired
as it always is-

intention to shine
without polish.

but

when the time is taken
and the seat is well worn 
the intent is often the clouded thing
and the sound of a warm mind coupled
with the feeling of great industry
is all that is desired

love is overrated 
when there are great things to be done.

There will never be awe
inspired by the person.
Only the scarred flesh
and the winding of words;
the story of the struggle 
and the triumph;
never the idea
the thought-
the intent
but the miles between the first step
and the grave

Indeed,
worn, brown leather soles
are the building blocks
of immense libraries
they are the inspiration
of fire side chills
and single tears
beside death beds;

so it should be,
and so it is,

life well lived with
pockets full of memories.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Traveler


Thumping dots
thumping and
thumping until a jerk
and a waiver

Blurry stars flashing across
wet windows-
endless black
endless yellow
endless red

Static and
strained ears
straining eyes
lids closing
aching
tearing

no sleep
no rest
no energy

searching for something with
white knuckles
a single foot cramp
and a loose metallic sound
from somewhere behind- getting 
louder with every jolt from
every tar-filled crack

the heat lulls
the cold doesn't wake
the wipers are a dangling pocket watch
and there are 
too many miles to count.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oakley Hall


A beauty once felt and
shared
began to storm and
its eyes shut
to all but the
mirror mirror
in the bottom of
one and one-half ounces of 
distilled, 
smoked oak with
an amber haze.

Once genius-
falling fast
falling faster
questioning resolve,
questioning relevance,
questioning mortality.

Splitting, then
split.

Unseen were the villains-
once at the dark corners of
creativity; 
haunting in every blink,
waiting behind bloody eyelids -
now they dance in the dripping rays
of over-saturated days.

Death of a force
unlike nature.

A waste.

The tempest worsens and
the eye eclipses the tornado;
the calm
traps-
ensnaring
the wind
the rain
and the lightening within 
a grey prison.

By and by,
the world grows tired and 
deaf to the false promise
of windfall,

then 

by ordinary means
by no great struggle other than
the simple will to live-
to find relevance once more,

the mirror broke
and the beauty now rages stronger,
breeding hope.

It will outlast-
It will endure.

It will share itself with the world
again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Running from Ghosts


Stereotypes and 
clich├ęs. 
We embody them,
we defeat them,
but then of course-
we create them

I am just like that.
I was just like that.
I am nothing like that.

and then of couse,

I want to be like that.
and
I will be like that.

There is no escape
but then again
there's nothing
to run from.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bare Feet on Cold Tile

There are no compassionate breezes
that pass through the
inside of a warm room
in the midst of 
a sleepless
night.

Only feelings of ache
howl through hollow spaces
as I stare back at tossed
sheets
highlighted by a single, yellow light
stumbling through 
from the bathroom door.

Cracked porcelain tiles are
vibrating in my eyes
and I can't help but stare blankly at the
stale water sitting in the bottom of 
the bathtub-
leaving a little
stain
as it dries.

The figure
leaning on the edge of the bathroom counter,
looking back through a cloud of water-spots 
can't be me;
a phantom of insomnia-
a trick.


Imagery fit for a mindful doctor
float around the blurry thing-

allusions to events from the past week:


laughing children,
toys in a rain gutter,
a dead dog,
the seam of a women's torn stocking and
a pile of loose, blank paper
sitting on a desk by an open window-
fluttering in the wind.


failures

and fantasies


in a dark,
warm,
room.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sore Eyes, Shut.

We are nothing, in the end,
but echos in a room greater than we 
had once thought

a room filled, by large, with
the murmurings of doubt-

but what wonderful sounds we can leave!

shouts of ecstasy reverberating like 
the fluttering of a bird's wings,
startled and hurdling itself 
into the sky

or the sound of our own inner peace;
a sound like deafening stillness broken 
by a single drop falling
from the moist ceiling of a limestone 
cathedral into 
an immense 
underground 
pool.

We spend lifetimes sending out cries of pain,
sobbing to higher beings,
screaming at inanimate objects,
or staring
silent
through dry, red eyes at
the blur of humanity

silence is not true peace

but neither is the outcome
of bloody lungs,
snapped vocal cords
and voices lost.

If we can be anything than let us be
a whisper of encouragement
respect 
and love

echoing forever
and ever
in the wind.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Venus de Milo

I'm never going to be in the band
I don't like wearing plaid
and I don't smoke anymore-
but you can stand there in the corner
blowing smoke rings
and listen to my guitar
making little rings in beer glasses
all over the porch of
this cabin surrounded
by trees.
I'm no Dylan
but at least I'm not Dylan

I've always been here
trying off and on to get your attention
then looking away the
moment
you turn your head.
You're the one for me
I think

the one that I admire
the one that I can see myself
without
like that statue
missing it's arms.

I'd climb a mountain for you
and not tell you about it;
but leave a little note at
the top under
a rock
telling you
about the climb.

I will always be here
I think

sitting in the corner,
looking away
when you turn,
making little rings
in your drink-
not totally
unlike
Dylan.

Untitled

A light went out tonight
high above a street corner at
the intersection of two roads
you've never heard of.

You didn't notice it flicker like
a winded candle
then fade;
but the city was a bit darker
just the same.

In that same moment
a flashlight
turned on underneath
a fort of pillows and sheets
and Neverland was found again.

You didn't notice the light
trickling underneath
the bedroom door
but the world was a bit brighter
just the same.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Moist

Searching for an ever-changing lust
in a sickly,
humid
darkness.

Hope is left on the brighter side of the door
and the desire
for meaning beyond
was abandoned long ago;
you're looking for a glimmer of heavenly breath;
for a cool breeze on the back of a sweaty spine,
for salvation-
in a den of dripping honey, but
there is no choice now
there is no trickling light to follow to the surface
and no greater meaning will be revealed
only regret,
disappointment,
and detachment

don't think of the glimmer that might be
don't think of gentile wind
and smiles over checkered picnic cloth

take both feet off the floor
crawl deep into the moldy, musty sheets
and let the devils dripping tongue
lap you into the maw.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To You.

I want to talk to you
I want to see you smile,
grimace
or cry;
but as it is
I'll never truly know
that you'll hear what I'm saying.

I'll never be able to see your face
sitting at this breakfast table
and there's not much chance
that our eyes will meet
through the dancing haze
of a bonfire.

I'll reach out
a little voice in the dark
a match thrown into the night sky
hoping to light the candle resting
in your cupped hands;
just enough light for you to take another step
just enough for you to take another breath
just enough.

My soul will forever be yours
and though my words may yellow on the page
and the epitaph above my grave
will succumb to the wind and rain,
I'll be as a light snowfall
clinging to your lashes
and you'll hear me as the fluttering pages
of an old book left open in a warm breeze.

I'll never feel your heartbeat
or see any joy in your smile
and you'll never watch my chest
rise and fall as I sleep
or see my eyes flutter open
when the morning trickles
through lace curtains
and warms my face-

but my hand will always be in yours
and my words will swirl through your mind;
each chord singing out
comforting as best they can
caressing as sweetly
and lighting another step-

always one more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

You Think You Saw But Did Not See

A small boy and a smaller dog
sitting on a curb, in the late afternoon.

A Rockwell painting; alive.
An image to conjure thoughts of our glorious age-
stirring pride
and warming hearts.

But the dog is tired and thin
and the boy's smudged face echos the pups hunger.

I suppose they're waiting for a parent
or a sibling who's running late,

but more likely
he and the dog will sit,
their shadows will draw longer
and the sun will fade to orange, then pink.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Walk-In

Some things don't stay in your closet-

hitching rides on old baseball caps
and long, moth eaten winter coats.

Those bones were thought to have turned to dust
long ago
swept away by broom or
that they had floated away,
through old walls, down dark stairways
and into a fiery furnace
deep
deep
below.

In truth, many do;
disappearing into the sea of time,
taken away grain by grain
with each mornings tide

however,
most remains,
the ones most foul and
most telling-
the ones shoved furthest away:
creep about in the shadows
waiting silently
and steadily;
breathlessly
and hungrily,
watching-


So when you sit at the head of the family table
you won't wonder why everyone is staring;
you'll feel the skeleton fingers running though your hair-

for no closet is deep enough.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Advice For Writing

Avant Guard words
known or unknown-
the artistic twist;
that slight of hand
that transforms plain to lucrative
the standout from the chaff.

I suppose you don't actively do it
stumbling upon it-
a cinderella story;
working tirelessly
honing and perfecting
then you go around a curve
and the road is different.

What was once boring
is suddenly radical
and the playing field
is falling at your feet, all at once
bowing to your tongue.

There is nothing more to do
than to drive through thunderstorms-
listening to the wiper blades,
narrowing your eyes,
tightening your grip

and waiting for the road to disappear.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

ee

There are no footprints here,
and I confess:
I do not know the way-
but the way knows me.

I'll walk a little while,
before butterflies wander
into my chest-
then I'll walk a little more.

There is no path you see.

For the seeker of new worlds
there are only magical strings
and a heart to follow their gentle tug.

Grotesqueish

Mortality as an art form-
exploring the art of death
as a memento moray
and as a curiosity.

Thoughts of jumping,
cutting,
swallowing
and letting light into one's own mind.

Bashing in the cats scull,
shooting a squirrel off of a fence or
flying through the guardrail
tires still spinning in the still air.

The dead are a touchy lot
their remnants always causing intrigue
but the living always take the blame for bad taste

Considering the beauty of the rosy still waters
surrounding Marat in his tub,
or the pickled shark of Mr. Hirst.

Morbid curiosity.

An artists folly.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Simple Portrait

Cinnamon.
Dark chocolate.
The smell of rosemary in butter and lemon juice.

Steinbeck,
Hornby,
Gaiman,
Austen,
Thompson and
Kerouac.

Rainy days;
muggy nights.

Black and White Photos;
packages in the mail;
hand written letters.

High heels and lace;
Johnny Walker whiskey;
cash to burn.

Blue eyes.
Wavy Hair.
Warm Smiles.

The smell of a Hotel.
Being barefoot on carpet.
Boots on the Beach.
Love in my heart.
Tears on my cheeks.
Tired hands.

Dylan,
Cooke,
Johnson,
Baez and
Seeger.

St. Vincent Millay and
Collins.

Sanding wood;
brushing away sawdust with an old brush.

Smelling the nape of her neck;
the feeling before you've kissed for the first time.

Hands gliding like kites out of car windows

Hearts on Sleeves;

Squinted eyes to the sun.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Forehead Pressed Against the Window

Content in always questioning
naive to some;
intelligent,
balanced to others.
Following a trail to enlightenment-
wandering off of the worn path;
searching for fancy-
a glint in an abandoned garden
a glimmer in a river's sandy bed.

Perspectives never intertwine
in the ways you expect-
never in the ways you want.
Desiring others not to ask too much of;
wanting the freedom to make mistakes
craving tears to come when you're all alone
heavy emotion only mattering to yourself.

Why is it that you can't sit
silently staring off by a glass pond
careful not to disturb its flesh with heavy breath
without others questioning motive?

They want chaos-
desiring turmoil for peace of mind

there is no sensation
there is no intrigue
there is only what your mind desires

Desiring silence,
stepping into the glass pond
sending out silent,
momentary ripples of presence
then floating in small,
slow circles.

There are heavy currents below
let them take you where they may
I will glide by with you
our eyes might meet
but we will not speak.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

5:30 AM

The rain seems like a visitor more than a storm-
not a mindless mass of clouds
or simply witless weather
but the Sea itself, tired of it's lowly position.

So here it is-
banging on the door,
tapping on the window,
looking for a couch.

Papa

A little grimace
then a larger one.
Hard hands doing soft work

No punch clock,
no production line,
not the same kind of pain.

Love spreading frail roots
in the midst of a cratered countryside
the soil, like mist;
floating in front of the midday sun
and men, sweaty and tired,
fall to the ground unaware of the beauty-
save one.

A large groan,
a tug from a cold glass
and a clearing of the throat.

So much gore-
zeal for country followed by swift sentences-
an eye for an eye and all that;
but there was something beneath it all,
something overlooked,
sitting in the muddy trench
covered with the same dirt, sweat
and blood.

They were all moving forward
but there he was, unsure of his path-
his eyes open.

He sees the chaos,
the inches gained
and the flesh piling up on butcher's bill;
but through the fog
there is a figure-
his reason, duty be damned;
there was his peace.

The hard hands pause
knuckles crack, and wild eyes
stare out the window.
They see the sun,
they see the sky and clouds;
and when the weathered hands begin again
recounting the sunset with simple words on toothy paper
they write with love;
and we feel it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Demain Matin

Treasures are nothing in the dark-
they are lumps of coal,
ridges on a distant mountain range;
they are shadows enveloped in the night.

Treasures locked in a glass case-
porcelain dolls never again to be held warmly by small hands,
teacups never again to adorn white lace tables;
they have lost their meaning
no longer coveted for purpose-
only finding small warmth in a cold,
passing gaze.

The treasures of dreams filed away-
thoughts of books set on distant shores;
sketches of paintings depicting truest love-
never to be penned,
never to adorn canvas.

Homes are turning into museums
graveyards for passing fancy-
what could have been
and what will never be.

You treasure the plaque on the wall
the china in its case
and the manuscript in the drawer
placed there years ago,
then you stare proudly while you yourself
gather dust.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Danse Macabre

Pulling hair
knees together, shivering
under a worn, victorian desk.

His progress,
his life in words, written with ink and blood-
fluttering about the room, parchment choking the air
like so much confetti.
Thousands of pages, millions of thoughts
skimming through the dark room
glimmering in the light of the fireplace.

It's all decoration for the Danse Macabre.

So easy it was, to be inspired by
demons and death, waiting in the night
and now they are here;
slithering and gliding,
called in from the cold reaches of elsewhere
dancing in great circles-

a grand ballroom full of shadows
and stolen words.

They will dance about him now;
close by,
for the rest of his days.

He no longer shudders-
but smiles a great, terrifying smile-
he leaps to his feet,
flames and shadows dance in his eyes.

the dance would be had,
then-
more parchment soaked
with ink
and death.

inspired by Neil Gaiman and his own 'recollection' of the 'danse'.