31 May 2011

little doses of bad timing

the child was stillborn
      that was more than he could bear
tiny little fingers
 black matted curling hair

why doesn’t it breathe?

took a long time
      and he could not forget
how life was an advantage when
  the air was thick and wet

why did it take so long to see?

the most ordinary things make marks    in time   mistaken for a memory connecting broken lines   move the past to the beginning   forget the history    can you explain possession     can you turn and look at me 

the rest was made up
       like the book he wouldn’t write
talked through pages
   needed more light

what was the difference in ‘had to be’?

this is after
                                                                                            a simple    thinning   rain
                                                               made meager of example
now the memory was stained

little doses of bad timing

Woman in Street Clothes, Portrait of Ellen Andrée, 1879, pastel on paper  Edgar Degas

the other lies with you

part of the other twenty percent   even if you knew   every easy worry   every cause of doubt  if you breathe in flurries   if you are work   ing   it  out  stop all the anger long enough to blink    you were bluffed into this corner    with a nod   and a wink    still      sits unsaid that you have been here too     this hole   this role   this day   this way  exorcism exer-say    figure time bigger time finger trigger trigger mine   washed in rhyme  wanted be  haunted me wanting fin haunted me haunted him daunted them    prey to pin grey and thin  pray for peace or   pray to sin the same way again   have   question   leave  guessing  pushed to the side   control is a question i answer all the time all and all and all  but two   one shortly leaving one    the other lies with you 

photo by the marble tea

29 May 2011

truth be damned as non-existent

   i’m still/not lying

just then she looked so spanish  her eyes     they didn’t move
she spoke about her problems      was des per ate for truth
the story 
           her parents fled from castro’s door 
she doesn’t have    time anymore

i couldn’t stop thinking about things redefined
       situation comfort changes lives within lines
couldn’t stop wishing i wasn’t verbose
   ordinary hours          calls getting close

she made laughter i didn’t think i had

tired of direction that wouldn’t show its curves

        the interesting inflection         did not concur

again she looked spanish   i had to think about her name    it
hadn’t been a minute  and  already was a shame

search advantage  story told 
chalk competition without throughout 
     learn early age 
debts    sit better paid
gift promised    gift given  
        distant   driven   
the five o’clock light made the difference distance
you could’ve passed me by

the calls were professionally dry         charm overwhelming
but only just   at times       

i love to see the smiles

didn’t matter     that so many of the things i like to see   
so noticeably absent   embarrassing for me
if someone would only discover the only thing i won’t deny
make the look come from the eyes

i retracted and considered the lack of cigarettes 
     how to fault her wouldn’t humble if it hasn’t done it yet
how an ocean can divide us and still give so much more  
every other problem is a bore

the language that i treasure surely put on trial
could i stand to be tested with a tolerance so mild
if  i   another’s courage   
could i get anything done?

truth be damned as non-existent  i  feel this surging through
how futile is resistance if i am holding proof
how many times can i discover such an ordinary phrase
should i really keep on counting       counting    counting  

everything in days

28 May 2011

ain't ever gonna be like it was

so long, brother man

*art by


23 May 2011

the cut

     eyes were on the cut   just above the knee  it ran deep  i still see it when i sleep  blood  red  meat    muscle torn  neat     oblivious to those who stopped to stare   who called   who cared   who made the noise that filled the air   with screams cries  and jiggling insides  was how he didn't know what to do    or who did what to whom   which part of it was proof and   what was merely half-true  the cut didn’t care about us  it simply bled the blood that used to be   on the closed circuit see   now it’s  public domain  and ain’t it a goddamned shame   because he could run man he could do things you wouldn’t  think anyone can   never dream of it  even at night    like   a high jump or   quick lunge   in two steps  he could cheat death   but i think that’s all done  look at him now    and think hard how   it’ll go   if the medics don't show   if the blood doesn't clot and  the screams don't stop   until the  air feels quiet   and the echo life-science   of young and of yet   all the things that you will forget   like when to push back and say 'all set'   when to count the money from the alabama bets    when you’re building something   when you’re sparing necks

but then my shoulders get cold around three thirty and i start to feel dirty                 
                                                                      from   the  wasted time   

22 May 2011

the words are my disguise

                                                               i don’t know what i should say

probably wouldn’t make a difference to you
but action is better than the words
i don’t know for sure
it is only what i’ve heard

i kept waiting for the kids
to come in here      save me        but none of them ever did
kept thinking of the time
hers said      ‘look into the mirror’     but so did mine
so did mine

i know
         you told me

the words are my disguise

i see
but not eyes

what color are your eyes
a simple question
 we can get back
to the lies
a simple question
you should realize
no need to hurry
take your time   take your time    take your time

if i could hit
the way i get hit
there wouldn’t be
as much a need for any more of this

might just bring it to a halt
i would see  sun                      i would  feel   salt
in every open wound

was just a lie you told
to shut me up

a lie you told to
make me run

a lie
you had buried
deep inside

just a lie


i know that you told me
‘you can’t catch up on sleep’
but where did you wander after we had all those

and what does it mean

what do you think it means

see i keep waiting for the kids
to come in here
and save me
but none of them
ever        do

it’s not as if    they never help
it is only you can save yourself
and sometimes
it takes a while
to know it’s felt
and then
we all            could use
a little help
a little help a little help a little help

so ‘help me if you can     i’m feeling down…’

16 May 2011

so narrow so sharp #14-23

they think he wrote the bible
he knows that he didn’t

14 3/5

as massive as it was temporary  across the line we strode   with a ‘you don’t know what to do’ mixed with a ‘quit looking for the truth’   brand new regret for things we haven’t done yet   familiar this revisit   every five years or so    the new one hits the limit   with things she doesn’t know   it is lonely on the limb but we can make it in  make it up fill the cup what you wanted was enough  to you wanted sing to say at the end of every day lullaby off its white  stained your teeth  stole your might  looked so careful when it’s light  contribution fed contrite  left all extremities alone  the last lonely winter got all up  in your bones  can spoil a trip to athens  it can spoil belief in god   the pitch correction software isn’t anything we want    but tell me    which one was born and which one invented   the truth gets torn long before it’s implemented   it isn’t very different than the last part of the dreaming where what is in the room mixes all up with the sleeping    we get to think about the things that do not go together like ‘grace’   and ‘the truth’ like ‘us’   and ‘forever’    don’t move your mouth to say anything   just let it begin to happen so typically sterile incredibly sad  so 'hundred year stare' across the futile sound everything i learned about the ground    was learned   on the way down


tired at twenty two   didn’t know what to do all the bad luck the bad luck   just fell on you   broke away enough to disengage but still didn’t know what to say or how to play half of the problems how you could solve them you were out among them  phone call forgeries photo opportunities the last of your felonies was stealing   the mercury   taking it far from the city    what’s wrong with you  we both know what you can and can’t do you’re so far from the city   and now further from pretty  it’s the truth it’s the truth it’s the truth   all the desperate inclinations and your modest degradations working for money is hard ain’t it honey  never a moment to lose but one day you will have to choose  how soon is ‘soon enough’ that’s when you scream ‘bluff’ stand for you sisters and all of the misters the eloquent ways of mistrust

15 2/3
the light was heavy and barely filled the room the bushy blonde haired singer was killing country tunes what in the world am i doing  wisconsin in june  where are you where are you

morisot   monet   manet   whachusay   degas    heartell   ponce de leon  road to hell

this isn’t how the story begins   it’s not a western  it’s a southern   these people became family  stories  always stories    eyeth  arth    earth   family unit receptive expressive   ten twenty three    tuesday    neat

went to see that dead man sing four or five times in less than twenty four months he was the same kind of asshole that you aspire to be    keep listening    keep listening

18 1/4
left miraphone bassoon for body lock deliver one clarinet back to lack to clouse the house  fishing haze  


i want to take it back  change my choice   want to say ‘of course it’s good’ not ‘i don’t like the sound of his voice’   kathy record revolution  remember one time in nashville remember what you said  that even if it’s a while  and it has been a while   even then  you’d remember me  to pick it up on the later   that’s what you liked about me  the later  by then we had common nothing  you were  ohio  but more so   i was toronto but only at night   sorry about atlanta new years it was what you asked for  proud to deliver didn’t know it would mark you hurt you didn’t know you were kidding  and think about easter why you just   couldn’t   something they taught you in that school cathoholic        guilt     ten years or an even dozen haven’t seen you haven’t seen your brother  wonder if you heard the charlotte call  the invitation the sublimation registration to see what the noise was the sound i make  the sound i made   it was the best part of the day   thought of you passing ashtabula were you here   what were you doing you love the line you love the song  used to smile get me to sing along   and the time you tried to kill me with rum  orange juice and iran contra   we laughed in the face of the devil himself   couch one  peter zero   gene   gene the dancing machine   no idea how much it costs but it’s not the money should have done something said something made you move over stood up or shut up or not have gone so far    the last time we played was the first time you beat me you were tall you were strong in control completely   so i never explained don’t know if i could while riding on air or burning like al wood  if it was cleveland or key west or south carolina i could forget the rest and just try to find you  taking it in and fully defensive i hope you forgave each other and it wasn’t expensive and sometimes you laugh at the things that we used to that you think about me and all of these things too

i was a slave to this was a slave to that but worst of all   i confused truth with fact the low bottom selfless of everyone young   full moon’s worth of pride got twisted and spun chance perception  value change proof that you shouldn’t play out in the rain   got my fate rearranged so my nose doesn’t work did i show you right here pete rose signed my shirt    made it up had enough heard it all inside your sense of style eclipsed only by your sense of pride rattle on in a song the no number game if ever there was one this is a shame so many things are wrong with me ninety six ninety seven   i think the purists would agree  how about the things that are wrong with you fifty seven fifty eight tell the lies you think are true   this kind of bad decision makes sure that all anyone will tell are lies   nothing is pure anymore   even the purists agree  at 12:17:57 on the afternoon of twentieth february nineteen ninety-one i deposited one hundred and eighty dollars into account number xxxx3739-10  the teller was gorgeous  she named a son after me i was flattered until i learned that the body was burned and the bone ashes scattered  she spent the rest of the year just staring at a ceiling  she said take your belongings leave me with the feeling  how can it be to escape motivation the words i had with me iterated observation  but eventually they surfaced even if  slowly still wavering and wishing that they didn’t know me  stole the soft voice crack of the melody revealing every voice that reminded you of wordsworth stealing all the gold from the dome at a slight bend stutter her hair was soft and the distance never uttered ‘play it wiser’ or ‘get higher’ revisionist decision   

21 15/18
you’ve got to learn to breathe more carefully     evaporation  not as quick but twice as fast    joe hill wasn’t welcome   bill bonney had a past   room   for hands    never lasts

21 17/18
a guilty man will go to sleep   weather means cold   from here  to hold   his thoughts precious to him  fond of the roots   fond of the stem  an eyesore  an untruth  it made serious seem    smooth   wasn’t worried   unaware   no concessions to    care  

already late in september every new leaf that falls is headed deep into winter   backs to walls  the cold sneaks up like the past  close your eyes  it will be over    no way it can last minutes pass by  walking circles  searching sky   is it worth it   is goodbye     another time aside now left before dawn never felt at home here   never felt that i belonged what was best left unstated makes me close to you        could you explain again the reason to set your sights so high do they fall again at fifty i don’t want to say goodbye

22 1/2
i am riding home to you and i am writing your name all on the side of my left arm but things are still the same    i come to right some wrongs and i just want to be  yeah   i just want to belong and i want you with me   the rules begin to bend  from the darkness and the things that depend on mirror honesty   disappearing signs   sundays    time to hide and  the ocean you will never see again   

22 5/8
i could never defend what he said   even that thought   is  just   dread   but it doesn’t mean he was wrong or that the song was too long or half sung   i just didn’t plan on ending up here no cares no fear  no comprehend  no definition  no amends   losing luck  making ends    it couldn’t last this long   strong   never was   quick to move but still looking for truth and making due with grass and roots-blues never the twain to think about you every night and half the day the give  the give   the give away  the are no beliefs that tell no lies and every one demands sacrifice  heavy eyes just need some sleep before they can arise   to fill the need
22 23/30
the race was watered down from the beginning  didn’t need much help from me  the striking difference between the sin and the sinning  then  of course the similarities   you’re never sure enough to find that much too pure   it up to build enough you could never write enough  you’ve given all the names   you could drown   in a drain

22 99/100
sam missed his carrie since nineteen eighty eight back when the cancer took her and he put her in this grave he can’t even go to see it  he can’t look at the stone  most days his best can do is not to feel so all alone  he keeps thinking arizona but he will never make that trip   his home is cold even in summer   now he’s feeling senses slip they were born on the same day back in nineteen twenty one then he looked until he found her and the good life had begun 

it always came first  the middle of summer since seventy four   by the time it was nearly september they were out of money ‘wait til christmas’  then they told you to call it kwanzaa   but you didn’t wanna   a strong african word for a strong african girl who likes the way white boys sing even though your mother thinks she knows things about things about     me    the beautiful name she gave you so black   so proud  living out loud  but you were soft and liked white boys   and   hers always came first   middle of summer   the nerve   the reason isn’t any excuse   and   i hope one day they tell you what we always knew