May 29, 2009

Pearl Grotto (v. 2)

our mouths are oysters,
pearls growing inside
as quickly as they can drop from our tongues

catching on our clavicles,
sliding off our shoulders,
nestling in our navels,
sticking in the damp creases
of our elbows and knees,
encrusting our sexes
richly as jewels
on a crown,

and we are swift silver fishcreatures
streaking bubble-baubled fingerfins
through scale-scattered light,

lungs louvering,
lips dilating,

flicking, slippery and oblivious,
through a glistening grotto,

swishing, slick and silken,
against each other's opening shells.

A reworking of an earlier draft.

May 26, 2009

Volcanic Origins

I dreamt last night. A coliseum.
It was you and some other man.
He held a pike. You had no weapon.
You were a lion. I was sand.

The crowd cried out. Some foreign language.
There was commotion. There was blood.
You slid. You fell. Heavy upon me.
Your golden body. I was mud.

I held you close. I spread beneath you.
I made myself soft as a bed.
You breathed an imprecise staccato.
You moved against me. I was red.

We were the circus. The crowd watched us.
A shouting, stretching, swaying cage.
You didn't hear. You lay against me.
You were still. I was rage.

I rose around you. Rose around them.
I filled their ears. I shut their eyes.
I stopped their throats. I stopped their shouting.
They shrank away. I multiplied.

I rose around them. Higher. Higher.
Until I stood there all alone.
No sound. No movement. No one judging.
No witnesses. I turned to stone.

I held you, cradled, deep inside me.
Where hot, red, liquid life still flowed.
I stayed that way. Mute. Monumental.
A great reliquiary of love.

Then I wept. The tears welled slowly,
and, flowing over, scorched my cheeks.
They wrote in rivulets of fire
the words that sand could never speak.

I woke a human. Flesh and fragile.
Flushing and damp in summer heat.
My jaw like stone. Lips like obsidian.
Silence erupting through my teeth.

May 19, 2009

Walking In The City (lyric)

Last night, I went walking in the city,
Where the lights of Broadway burned so bright, they kept away the cold
And I'll be the first to say, they sure looked pretty
But I didn't see a single sidewalk that was paved with gold

I went walking down to Wall Street,
Where the boys in pin-striped suits looked as sharp as butcher knives,
And the ladies' heels were clicking
Like a million clocks all ticking,
And the taxi tires squealed like somebody's angry wife.

Then I went up to old Times Square
It was all aglow with a thousand neon stars
Yeah, just like it always is -
hey, the tourists groove on this -
Glittering and tempting as a hooker in a bar.

Ch - If you don't like where you're at, well, that's a pity
But like somebody once said, you just seek and you shall find
So move on down to New York City
Try your luck, try your patience, try to keep your friggin' mind

They can see you coming from a mile away
Give them your address and you don't need another word
You can dress like HRH of Wales -
honey, we've all heard of sample sales -
You are where you live and you live where you can afford.

Well, some say it's a bit too loud,
But you know, we like it that way
'Cause when the ambulances shriek,
You can hardly hear the freaks
Raving on about the end of days

And if you get tired of the city
Take a hike over the Brooklyn Bridge
Where they like to drop their R's
And some of them own cars
But they still take the subway, 'cause parking is a bitch


Last night, I went walking in the city
Thinking that I shouldn't mix vodka, wine and beer
I was talking to myself out loud
But no one even turned around
'Cause if you turn around, that means you ain't from here.

May 18, 2009

Hold A Candle

The frame is in the shape
of an inverted triangle.

Below, the crowning
top of his head, above,

another frame, square, around
the room, the headboard
and my face. I look

like I am dying,
Jesus Christ,

maybe I am, and
that would be okay

right now. Now, now,
no, yes, please, God, God,
God, dear God,

dear God in heaven,
dear Satan everywhere,

fuck you both.

You couldn't hold a candle.

An experiment :)

May 16, 2009

Catfight in Vehicular Allegory

My dear, if you were a car
you would surely be a red Ferrari,
powerful & sleek,
expensive & assertive,
waxed & leathery,
sucking up road
& roaring while you did it,
so everyone could see you coming.

Me, I'd be
that little white Volvo over there,

parked in his garage.

Hemlock (lyric)

Where the sinners gather to cower
Where the atheists gather to kneel
Where the killers gather to pity
Where the dead men gather to feel

Where the holy men gather to gamble
Where the martyrs gather to preach
Where the healers gather to murder
Where the ignorant gather to teach

Where the powerful gather to grovel
Where the drunkards gather to dry
Where the debtors gather to borrow
Where the honest gather to lie

Where the addicts beg damp-fingered dealers
For just one more, one more hit
But the dealers all gave up the business
They're done, they've gone straight, they've quit

Where they pray to the moody messiah
To come back to the mess that he made,
Lighting leftover birthday candles
Building altars of used razor blades,

Where I brought the heads of your lackeys
To retrieve the bones of my spies,
Where I knelt at your populous bedside
And kissed the dust on your eyes,

Where the bar is always too crowded,
but a girl can still find a seat,
they make a good champagne cocktail.
I order a hemlock, neat.

May 14, 2009

Doing So Well/I'm Sorry

"It's good to hear you're doing so well,
But really, can't you find somebody else that you can ring and tell?"
- Nick Cave, "Far From Me"

I hear you're doing well,
that you've stopped missing work,
and everyone is so happy for you.
I'm glad to hear that.

I hear you're two months sober now,
that you haven't drunk a drop
since that morning
when I sucked you dry,

and I'm glad to hear that.
You're doing so well now, I know
seeing me must upset you a little,
and I'm sorry

because, I know,
it must have been hard. You were
such a good little bad boy
before, and I'm sorry

it isn't as much fun anymore,
now that you've prostrated yourself
before the mint-breathing court
of public opinion
in phony supplication,

and I'm sorry
for reminding you of that,
for being
that scar,
that odd dent in your car,
that story you'll never tell, because

you're doing so well now.
It must have been hard
to tunnel your way to redemption
across wrinkled hotel linens, and I'm sorry

if you can still feel me breathing, sorry
I'm still breathing, in fact. I would
self-destruct for you, but
I need your help to do that.

But look, you're doing so well now,
and maybe I even helped
in some small way, and I hear
your wife is happier now too,

and I sometimes want to call her up
and tell her
how glad I am to hear that,
that you're doing so well,

that you're stopped fucking up and
fucking around,
and all you had to do was
fuck me


But I won't call.
I don't think I could take
all her gratitude. Besides,
she might start apologizing for you

and it would only be awkward for everybody.

I'm just sorry
that I'm here, making you work so hard
at pretending I don't exist. I promise,
I'll try not to do it anymore.

I just wanted to tell you
how glad I am
to hear you're doing so well,
and I'm sorry.

Sometime in 2009

May 13, 2009

My Orpheus

This is a short story. It's something I've had on a back burner for a very long time. About, oh, 4 years, to tell the truth. I finally wrote the bulk of it over the course of last week. I don't know why.

It's a turned-around retelling of the Orpheus myth. It takes place mainly in ancient Thrace.

It's about 42 pages long, which is why I am linking to it instead of putting the entire thing here.

May 6, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

This thorny, horny, hoary, punk-spiky
prick-thicket of swollen red
infection waiting to happen,
& pain-cries & suckled fingers
& never-agains,

snarled, snarling, shriveled, vicious, waiting
for something soft to come along,
something to stab & satisfy
its curiosity -

"What is that plant?"

It once bore roses, red
red roses.

"Is it dead?"

Not dead. They say, there is still
beauty sleeping

Te Quiero (a very private joke)

After Carol Ann Duffy (with all apologies, with no explanations)

As soon as I walked in,
I felt his eyes on me,
clinging and damp
as droplets on a sweating
glass of beer.

"I love your hair. You must be
Spanish. Dominican? Puerrrto Rrrrican?"
He rolled the rs, all maladroit
tongue. He had big hands.

I took him home
and fucked him
for a week.

"Say something in Spanish."
So I told him,
"Te quiero."

He loved that. So I said it again. And again.

He was in town on business. Left
before I started wishing
that he would.
We got blind drunk on his last night.

"Say it again, say - "
"Te quiero."

I let him keep his blanks
filled in with spice and tambourines.
He never knew

that, years ago,
a bartender in Acapulco
told me he liked American girls,

and later,
"Te quiero."

May 1, 2009


You are the collateral damage,
stricken by the shrapnel
of my helpless honesty.
I hurt you every time
I put pen to paper,
and I'd like to kiss it better,

but I've got ink on my lips.

You are the innocent bystander
caught in my creative crossfire,
and when I see you bleeding on the pavement,

all I really want to do is
write about it.

Poets are like that.
We suck on poison so frequently,
we have developed a certain immunity,
and I

slip my tongue into your mouth, forgetting

you have not developed the same.

March 2009.