Monday, June 29, 2015

sunday night with cats

You hug my leg
dreaming sweetly;
then you bite me
twitching, mewing

I don't understand it either

not what you want,
or why,

I am here, breathing.

your body is warm
fur covered, tired.

we yawn together.

your eyes flash orange,
pupil turquoise ringed.

blink one eye, then other
now both.

it's past midnight, into new days.

okay, I'll stop typing
so you can sleep,


Thursday, June 25, 2015


cafe creme
cafe latte
coffee, steamed milk

Hemingway nursed them
back in the ex-pat days

writing with a pencil
in little Parisian cafes

keeping it real
cut out the

tell it

no bullshit.


sick heat of bus
rush hour traffic on
Columbia Pike.

          --She stepped off exhausted
          no A/C on bus
          far from home on winding
          pentagon trails
          carrying too much in the
          summer heat 90+ degrees
          pretty dress shimmer in low
          sun's light, tanned skin--      a rippled image
                                                   in the dying day

air brake scream
green lights of traffic light
movement hulking chrome
bodies moving south west
another day
another time

a distant car horn.


behind a logging truck on 120
     headed west.

Steep elevation drop, two-lane road, black oak, ponderosa pine,
     cedar, fir lined.

riding up right on its ass, wood chips, bark scatter,
     snap on car hood, window, ease off, man
                                                            there's no reason to hurry.

the coast will be there and in the end,
     the ocean.

relax, watch the tree line, cavern curve,
     take in some blue sky.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eat Your Fry-bread

Black copters over five corners
'If you are an enemy to the status quo,
you are an enemy of the
United States,'
that's not my America
         not yours
         not ours
that's an occupation force
a preoccupation with violence
staffed by brainwashed control uniformity
at war with civilized state
at war with mountain, valley, hill, tree
          the city is a reservation
          corporations are casino towers
          at work to determine what's at stake
                    America's fate

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

There will always be maps

there will always be maps
     to mark our dead trails
to devise new bold lines at large
     to exist in abstract vision
to make real when followed afar

the time between motion
     is opaque, malleable
floats like absinthe cloudy orb
     fog-like in my sight
promises are all from memory
     until they've been proven false

There will always be maps
     to divide one thing or another
to draw a trap for the mind
     to paint in one color what is many
to place in hand what is unattainable

the time between motion
     is like death, immutable
follows like black dog, nips at heel
     with diamond claws and prophetic whim
phantom-like in my peripheral
     until the door left open creaks at last  

there will always be maps
     to designate and mark the dead
to bury and harvest the living
     to draw lines on aged bodies
to sever the connective tissue of reality

the time between motion
     is fluid, indiscernible
from heat-death entropy
     rose-like its scent lingers
as bodies baking in the sun
     until even scent and taste halt

there will always be maps
     to draw footprints to our attention
to make what is and what is to come
     to carve a deep path and lay tracks
to determine what the future holds

the time between motion
     is something new, frightening
something that must be solved
     with numbers and quantities
each step is one foot than the other
     solved for variable X or Y
there can be no uncertainty, coincidence

there will always be maps
     to guide the living
to draw out the boxes of the dead
     to place us on the unerring path
to prove there is no other way

Monday, June 22, 2015


carefully I'm writing these crime novels, setting my heroes up

on tv they'll cast them all with square jaws, thick red lipstick

the atmosphere will be brooding, dark sets, city streets

I'll spend the first ten chapters, three episodes, explaining private eyes

sunglasses at night will be the theme, both series and book

a QR code for song download will be included on the inside flap

there will be well tailored suits, complicated relationships

it'll all end in a urban street fight after a car/subway chase

villains will sneer, die, men will cry, fear,

women will live happy ever after, alone,

commercials will air on the last page and every ten minutes on the dot


Poems to write down

life, like it
gets in the

eight hours
at the
no pen or

reading Bukowski,
life gets
in his
way, too


I found David Lynch
hiding in the

finished the
novel in
one sitting,
cursed myself
for not bringing
something else

chewed on
sprinkled on

bought it without
seeing the
nutrition info
on back,

patched tire,
new rotors
added up,

from there to
felicia waiting
in rain,
from there to

half hour drive,

drive back,
unload luggage
in rain,
unpack, shower,

deep breath,
lights out
and promise
to remember
this poem
for later


Snow Fire

charred remains
of neighborhood
I knew, up the hill
there was a church,
steeple seen through
top of trees from road
below, now only cinders
blackened debris at our
feet, yet snow falls and
is hot to touch, I have
no shoes, tip-toe around
silent gravestones, find
a path amidst altered state,
the houses around continue
to burn, do not break, just
burn, I keep my head down,
watch my feet, step into flame.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Like at Home

nothing in Pine Valley
nothing on Boulevard
not a thing in Jacumba
or Ocitillo, plaster city,
nor dixieland,

hug tight to the border
9 miles south,
El Centro, California
old home of
Kumeyaay Tipai-Ipai,

90 degrees is
morning cool,

washed out windows
decaying signs,
homes are all trailers
no grass, no trees,

quick oasis of
american corporatism
hardy's del taco mcdonalds
at highway nexus
last stand before
plunge to Mexicali Mexico,

hidden in tight
corners between
squat buildings,
abandoned, cracked
 and melted lots,
aguas frescas
melon, pineapple,
orange, fresh tortilla
scent, respite from
long dead miles,

this IS America, man!

this stretch of miles
this flat brown land
this world dropped out of time
this unforgiving glare

these people all different,

these people all the same.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


The girls in Roswell,
small one street sunset strip
busy street no cars on any other
road but Main St. US-two-eight-five/
NM 13 south, scream for long hair
on boys come all this way
from back east for look at
alien store fronts and UFO
museum draws, turn corners
before they can respond and
go on into desert lights,
ranch fields, mystery radio
serials, invasion dreams of
1947 radio serials, dark starry
nights of no return.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Dreamt of a Lake

if virginia were a lake
its depth would be waist deep
brown opaque waters
rolling waves and easy tides
it would be easy to get lost
to wander to swim out too far
there the lake or ocean or body
of water virginia would toss
and vomit up itself, reaching for
your head with menacing swells,
only to whimper and crest you gently
back to shore, back to maryland,
my maryland, back to ivory towers,
back to balmy southern air.