27 April 2011

san francisco

i didn't keep any pictures   but i remember your face    how you said  ‘women desire disgrace’ how every leaf that decided to fall took the risk freely or didn't bother   at all how all the evil that ever was done could never be traced   at least not to one

i remember

you made such afflictions seem meaningless   were quickly alluring when coming to rest
you said   ‘my worries wander   yours stay at home’  in a dream that i had too close to the bone
i thought that you had it
thought that you meant it
i thought that the time was   at least
well documented
there was nothing    i could say
because there was nothing
that would stand in your way

it wasn't something i had
it was something i said that made you feel so bad
it wasn't the lies that led into this door
and it wasn't the words that were left on the floor

you wouldn't even read it
you didn't even write
i thought you would call
thought you would fight

i thought this was different
thought you were better
i think she'd have told us
if you had let her
so i decided
about san francisco
 left this place like i hadn't before
nobody liked me
everybody denied me
was i jesus showing up at your door?
you said ‘ i don't go breaking bread like jesus did
i just go out on a sunday to have lunch with my friends’
i decided it was san francisco

you couldn't      really
but i thought that you
would be a little more willing
a little more smile
a little more tact
a little more something
 not this bull shit act
do you think that this is more than just a release?
do you think that you've
got something on the police?

did i show you that none of this hurts?          
did i show you   pete rose signed my shirt?

                 thought of the letters you claimed you would write
          the grace that would come in full flight
     that i could share something more than my life
 i wanted something more than a wife

it wasn't really my style
but i told everyone about your smile
                                             i took it out    i put it down
                      like everything else   it began to resound

lay side to side      then back to back
as you were planning the little attack
you made the best of what could've been death
and made such a point of sharing all of your breath

i felt so young just to wake up old
only wish that i had never been told
the story of how you couldn't have known
subtle and sure     just as surely alone
nobody knew i was wasting my sight
nobody knew of my shame to be white
your color was red      color was clean
the most beautiful i had yet seen

then i remember
                  the one solid night

         when i tried to make you say everything right
         i remember your reluctance to feel
                                             remember   a promise      so real

i couldn't resolve
couldn't retract
not with the kisses
stabbing like that
looked into
all the lines in your face
you said it again
‘women desire disgrace’

i saw shoes at the end of my bed
thought of the things    i wish you had said
i took it now and i took it down
rested my heart that the heart
                                                     would be

it wasn't any mistake
i had a will that was willing to break and
i had fists        feelings intact
                    you  like perfection      just unwilling to     


15 April 2011


guess it could be
would just be my luck that
i don't get to know
the truth
walking past windows
the cure  of instead is
it doesn't matter
to you
where you come from
they built the statue up
to things that tore them down
more curious could
despite all your blood
worse than proud
hasn't been a dark ride
there is no other side
for you to take me
you make this one worthwhile
i am
 just your third child
who loves things trivial
and true
before i go too far
i want to make sure your
are hard to remove
it takes
so long for the heat
to reach your hands
that you always 
know what to do
the curse on my head is
one day

  there     is      death 

14 April 2011

and don’t fucking call me norman

i’m not a mormon
he said
he wrote            he typed

they let me sleep   they let me be
and be is what i did. 
i be’d
peter, “sometimes it be’s like that”
thanks bruce’s only child
truer words     never quoted
truer hearts never broken

the shouting outside that sounded like preaching or singing an auctioneer ringing some suburban black kid rapping to his latino buddy who kept turning over and over this muddy skateboard  heard whored im plored  feet floored   damn if these niggas don't  look bored  straight outta lilburn  without any home of their own left to say just a bunch of half syllables and rhymes thrown away just like me just like me just like me      don’t you say

hiding behind honesty

hon   es tee

like it looks   like a tree    what it looks like to me

well  now you’re on to something norman
every day brings another disappointment

what you mean by feeling comfortable behind it really adds up to me feeling righteous and that is the very thing i’d hoped to avoid on the long way back to the home i  employ as a halfwit past or a heart full of soul that tree like a rock has me give up control and the offbeat rhythm of an australia  survivor slithers the world of my truth    as a viper sinking fangs into hearts made full with derision firing at friends with startling precision spitting out lines when nobody’s listening returning my part to the pain of permission

so it’s something to think about sung as a tune buried deep in my head and it’s hewn from the big oak tree mr. hooker gave name that still grows on the back of the gunstock remains that provides the sad ones with the notes that they need to roll over and into the waters machine and get clipped vexed and versed in to making things proud right before one turn of the dial makes it loud    makes under hearing an act of contrition turns revelation into repetition makes tarrytown waves to float over things like normans   and letsons   brendons and jakes

just a wish of hot air   
can’t compare     to the right 
left alone 
 visit home
misunderstood     unknown
never asked
but    i might

photo by Lisa Fletcher

13 April 2011

anything with a silent s

the world’s gonna end someday   like it did in '93

                                          i’m paraphrasing

it’ couldn’t be    me      man   

              justcouldn’t    be                          forget about jackson man

sixty isn’t enough  

                                             but anne

anne  ?
                                                                        double anne ?

flip side harmony  high
nashville strung down the upside

i thought it was about her   man

but she was just something i made
                                                  i make

got enough wood out here to build a forest

now you’re walking on it
with a silent s
anything with a silent s

the good and the bad making things mix
breaking off money   dope and chicks
          the southern storm of dickeybetts hotlicks

beginner’s  scotch and luck
                                              wide eyed dark smiles                 f  u  c  k               

some people make                art

                  some people make sense 
                                  socrsese start
                film rolls  screen dark

light flickers  on the
light heart

she is a bit of a hurricane
                                    and she always hates me

when did you know you were leaving 
                                             how can you tell  if you're breathing

           emotionally focused                   but leaking

         the bell rings  your time’s up     

secret safe

well     safe enough

12 April 2011

the eights say things
that no one else asks you

math rock is a comedian stepping on his laughs  just a figure floating   fast   pick and past  jick licks last the russian novel tuning with a bullet wound occipital lobe   vestiges of hope  from a time we could cope we counted on things solid gold  the end of rainbows that weren’t all that special on their own but put together  minds are blown   LIES LIES political party platform ties  accidents of history by furniture makers drug takers  in ginsberg’s sanfrancisco  but what the fuck did he know   singing and shaking  a blue black tornado  great plains potatoes shiny shirts and drug abused pinwheel fast exhumation blues    snake fingered hands bottle neck pride twenty two years of fucked up insides  headed south to hungry mouths dilettantes  make all the doubts   fifty star placemats at jonathan’s house of breakfast smoking section  ice cream scoops of butter fool  he’s the kind of man who would do that to you  run to born  salley shirtless de la puked on soft soled shoes  wait what was that the roots   don’t be afraid of the obvious the lot of us up against the wall on the SG call it’ll break  if it falls you can glue the headstock but won’t be what it was   won’t be the same   it’ll sound just as plain but never once leave your ark to explain how the onetwothree rut of the early decade makes every attempt to pre-tend you saved enough time truth or money to finally sway the world the curls to look your way    the lines end up closer as the page starts to bend i’ll be your brother just don’t condescend you can suite it or theme it  the chapter comes after in the highways and try ways of impending disaster   can you smell the nitrogen  can you believe the chewing gum   it lasted a minute longer  than it had to   you see the eights say things that no one else asks you

photo by charlie waters

11 April 2011

that little india

touched by india
made to feel luck
laugh louder
over flowing cup
kindness flow  confidence
make the day new
brighter than i was accustomed to

it all comes from the sea

which were answered for
made the last confess
sent tables to the floor
a small bit of success
made enemies
standing in a row
aware of courtesy
impaired by such a show

that little india

she stood longer than i could
blind to imagery
carved us in wood
just because she could

to all
so noted   then
history to the wall
she didn't need the men
the opposite of apathy
jealousy intrudes
i swear she's looking back at me

photo by Lisa Fletcher

10 April 2011

jessey drake set me straight

if you go looking i think you will find me right outside melting the snow thought i would tell you in case you wanted to know the cut of your hair and little smile stare told me everything i need to know   i knew you'd come looking you'd be walking up library road  i wasn't worried i wasn't troubled i just thought we got started too slow then you turned to ask me if i'd ever read "on the road"  maybe i'm foolish  maybe i'm blind and maybe it's not rock n roll but maybe you're selfish and just nobody's told you so

i told you it's all cobblestone   i told you so you should have known

still it's a little too honest for all of us liars left standing out here in the snow you can follow my footsteps if you think they might lead you home i want to be gracious i want to be kind i want to hear it all in the headphones  i whisper my worries til they become part of this song
if you go looking i think you'll find me

art by Michaël Borremans