Brent M Webb
from the hotel veranda I saw it.
A cigarette between my fingers.
(blue smoke in the cold morning)
Nevada city this time.
I see them everywhere now.
And I'm back there.
Back in those cold Afghan mornings.
Where I saw crows on razor wire,
watching as I went past.
When an endless sea of time
stretched before me on the pale concrete
and in the weed choked gravel.
And I remember death.
When I sat, sun-beaten but it's night now.
Exhaling smoke under the floods.
And the sirens sounded that night.
I sat with strangers on a picnic table,
and although the alarms told us to
duck and cover,
to run for shelter,
we heard explosions ringing nearby
and we exchanged glances
and in our tired eyes
we shrugged, a deep resignation.
We'd rather smoke our cigarettes
than run for cover.
Staring into the dirt,
expecting any moment
to hear the last sound.
Universal head spin.
My voice, reverberating off the
fluorescent in the air.
"I figgered I'd just put a name
to the face. Cheers, Mate!"
memory, the cracked leather of boots
in Amsterdam snowfall, (turned to ice as I pace the grounds)
and remember retching in the shower,
and I can see secret words too,
swirling down the drain and
I, reminded of time, remove
the battery from my 7 dollar watch,
Of Wyoming, I wonder.
Where the stones stacked themselves
into storefronts, and banks, and abortion clinics,
and I watched it all for less than an hour.
A glitch in reality,
waiting to cross the crest of the street.
I saw myself,
the car screeching at me,
as I careened into the moon, once.
and/or I see, no, saw stranger faces
that shifted before my eyes
until in their place were my former lovers,
the self that is my self, stunned
and holding my breath until the
impossible evaporates in between blinking.
Standing then, in a field overcome with
snow, the wither stalks of corn buried.
I stood there, telling myself " This silence is louder than my life."
I never left
an empty field in Ohio.
Cold shiver tantamount to
eyeballs shaking in my head,
face dreaming black snowflakes/radioactive dust/ was
there ever a merry christmas story to come out of Auschwitz?
(I don't think so.)
My mind must be a source, of course,
while the walls close in
and the roads get thinner
and the rivers and blood freeze
in my veins.
I live in a prison etched out of clock-ticks,
a signed contract
a very slow death sentence.
The possible worlds executed by
A sunken ship- 'diamonds are forever'
Voltaire mindfuck with 64 cups of coffee a day.
Summer is over
but summer awaits?
In pursuit of elasticity,
I sometimes sit in bars alone
and slowly tune out everything around me
until I am nothing
but drunk eyeballs floating a foot or two
above the bar and also, invisible.
Then I drive a few blocks home,
and ramble half-thought poetry
into the CIA wiretaps
in my radiator.
glittering harbour of the city,
at night I see you,
while I walk in the dark
among rustling leaves and waving hands of grass,
I pass by cool frost on 47th street,
staring into your abyss of story.
Like a diamond, your silhouettes
cut iced squares into the hard
vapor of the night.
I pass by the old steel mill,
her rusted trucks, steel windows,
her fermaldahyde dryness,
scent of lawn,
calling back city memories,
800 miles eastern into the dawn.
Cracked streets, the drunk and hidden,
what immense colonies of light, stone and traffic.
The heat rising like steam
from a chimney in my mind.
My throat is dry,
just another dog day
watching other dogs die.
Red doors in the painting,
plastered with little white crosses.
Hung on exposed coffee shop bricks.
The winter air, frost laughing on window glass.
Cold seeps into cracks of my fingers on that glass,
slow time and dark hallway doors
( i replaced the dead lightbulbs one night, I don't know why, entirely.)
I walk barefoot through the empty house,
retreating to the attic, a fading nest
of beer bottles and scraps of paper
and half written things, and forgotten
wisps of smoke, ghosts rocking in the walls.
I laid in blue afternoon light in her room,
glad to be held, (telling a story about this type of light,)
holding onto someone
for an hour, in a moment or two,
anchoring down the soul.
The news on T.V. has become a hard swallowed pill.
Bad acid and the daily hangover,
Omaha with your electric pianos,
your cigar bars and cobblestones,
two horse drawn carriages,
your memories of friends who have left
in my absence,
but don't worry
no goodbye was ever necessary.
I don't write poems about
But keep doin'
what you're doin'.
A light in those black hands,
in tree form
a night comprising,
a cellular/celluloid dream of life,
and moongazing wicked into infinity
through bright clouds of day!
(I AM AWAKE)
closed eyes, seeing in sleep,
a playful labyrinth of insanity and drunkeness, (blossoming, baby)
shared in love, you know?
Drinking, drunk, drunkard, drunkhouse in interstate nightmares.
Clarity of city lights while the radio gets down with it's bad mothafuckin self.
and in the backseat, drinking from engraved flasks from past lovers and old friends and goddamn it burns so good, c'mon.
and the stars all ashimmer while we stomp on the gas and bite at our chapped lips, in the face of those eyes, slipping downward toward the surf on blackout beaches. To wake again!
breathing and alive and rolling in the cold waves!
A million worlds of sand beneath our feet, gossiping like church wives.
"To California!" They scream in unison.
A call that brushes the nipples across radio static waves
the pilgrims of the dog day,
and into California we ride,
Like slow drunk puzzles of destiny's design.
Swaying on blacktops toward liquor stores
(we chew them up like broken glass and spit out masterful solipsisms)
roads fluttering in vision under shining green signs and red, red lights.
homes and moments, discarded like used up trash,
our bloodshot eyes like backward firing squads,
pulling the night into leopard print nooses,
crying trackmarks tucked up our rolled up sleeves.
practicing schizophrenia in a ragged square of night,
while the blues raked up the remainder of the stars
and god damn, we're smiling through it all
and we keep smilin'
through it all.
It's been a long time since I-
(Danced with the devil in the pale moonlight)
A sun exploded over the horizon
beaming in the evergreens and the plate glass
and armies arose across the world, painting
smiles with super heated bullets.
The swanlike whirlwinds of the desert broken,
dancing in a dead storm of sand,
and doves, like magic bats, burst into flames
of ridiculous symbolism while
the world is rid of all things
except the material, but ideas evaporating
and leaving some men filled with such loss that
they run into rush hour traffic or
sit on the bottom of swimming pools,
and the rest of humanity remains mostly unchanged,
just a little light fizzling out in the frontal cortex,
a tiny spark melting in the corners of their eyes
and they continue their lives,
never having known at depth what was dear,
and never quite knowing
the things that we lost.
In that light,
the light splayed out in shards across the hardwood floor.
This tilted drunken face,
staring back in echoes of the light
irradiated in a cancerous inebriation,
the self, zero divided by zero,
a practical mathematical certainty,
A firefly dream,
a flash in the head,
something forgotten, remembered.
a hallelujah, a prayer, a thought,
British trucker, crooked teeth of
one night stands in the city, London grime.
Turkish prison rat shit, honey buckets,
criminal succession, ranking systems,
neon dreams, neon blues, chemical wonder,
morning fuck, "Time for a drink."
empty glasses, condensation, "my friends moved away..."
lonely Omaha, 15 minute drive,
dark rooms with lamps, first date interrogation rooms,
raise our glasses to the big black
No answer under
near sun of full moon light
a Nevada City sky
(stake in the earth)
while the surf rises like pages
and not known until the surf
is tasted on dry tongues.
Kill the lights,
" Evening, sir. Yes, I'll have three fingers of the night,
My heart demands a
deep route to confusion, tonight.
And under hazy redlight of chinese lamps
the night flows like wine around my face
and the night drinks to forget, too.
And, dissipating with consciousness,
the rivers of asphalt become solid
under dawning light
and the lines of the street
in the morning heat
and walk like children
into my dreams.
Have I lost?
The space and time
expanding and then;
a retraction in breath
the night air is cool,
tempered and burned
uner the weight of the horizon's pine trees.
My bare feet waver
on alcoholic spindles of air.
I want to drink alone,
I will again drink alone,
(in this dead house of blues).
And people are living on the
streets below us
sinking in the ocean of
await the high tide
to wash us all away.
We could learn things
from the infinite brick
walls we've never
seen or touched or built.
No longer do desks exist,
nor tables or plates
but the room glares down
from its high corners
on the drunks.
please! Tell me how
to survive the summer wind,
the hot coals
under your ashes.
The windows are dark
and do not allow for seeing
and words are opaque
or solid and I sit
in the mass of their teachings
and I do not learn from
the wind's refracted laughter
because I close my ears.
Ponder the future.
My eyes hunted on long golden fields
I have seen lions of fire
sprouting from tailpipes and resting
under the shadows of spyplanes
in California hills,
There are hobos below,
that swim in the breath of
our drunken voices
reaching out in the night
under chords of guitar and light.
these streets are empty when
the early, early morning reaches,
holding onto fragments of the night.
I walked, stumbledrunk in the streetlamp haze
toward concrete and my car and thirty minutes of road
to the sky.
Then was when I flew,
and I burned up the excesses of whiskey and
and I stared into halogen lamps,
and danced like a maniac in front of mechanics,
hidden under the sound of jet engines,
a person undedicated but,
repeating words I had moved over months,
situated into perfect sculptures of instruction.
how does one teach a computer to kill?
My words are no better than blood,
duller than arrows,
sting more than poison
but I am allowed a tiny kingdom.
A castle of brown bottles and aluminum cans
that tower over the pacific,
(my toes in the cold sand... september)
there I see the ocean and,
fawning over millions of molecules
I remember the men I killed in the east.
I remember my oath to live for them
and I see myself unable
to live even for myself.
As dead birds sing
a storm builds
a neighborhood apart
the sound comes slowly
as deliberate as god,
places no shadows,
in the shadow's night.
The wind blows,
is it Jackson?
Am I there in the south?
puking electric guts into invisible trashcans?
Wandering into gas station,
looking for any beer,
gallon of water too,
future looks for way
to ruin tomorrow.
Freeze water in
glass bottles emptied,
now full of beautiful water.
too much time on call,
nights are months
days burn like quick
Barren wasteland of ego.
Kissing cold liver stones.
makes no sense.
meaning is improbable,
Long time talking to
Trying all to let time
comes into afternoon
Safer in the dark.
long way to
long way to
try to put together pieces.
seeing unclear clarity.
those eyes, that body
that mind that
wants you to think
(is nothing real?)
Fair time, decent sex,
no orgasm... slight orgasm?
Time at home before eternity.
It was calm.
The winds were soft,
the air still sometimes.
Chilly as spring grew
like amanita muscaria or wild ducks.
The dinner was simple.
the sentiments complex.
I contemplated love
for an entire eternal moment.
Back on the road.
Creak of metal,
sting of smoke
grief at inevitable
It happened quick...
" A surgeon's blade that slowly and with skillful precision cut the homeland out of my dusted and deformed body... I was as free as a dead man, on metal morgue trays and finally rolling in an unmarked grave, eyes wide open."
The blur begins:
redundant sun cums
window: still blinding.
Safer in the dark...
Time for sleep maybe.
It passed like memories do pass.
No fancy words for nothing.
An almost enjoyable numbness.
Stone face. Stone smile.
Eyes of birdsong,
heart of killing,
ears reaching out for crying tears,
only hearing hum of constellations.
Tick Tick Tock.
There goes the clock.
Back in no man's land.
Interrupted foreign beer.
Pacing back and forth on wooden deck at midnight.
(scared of (home)?)
Ear-ache all the way there.
Not a single person awake, no
The trail has gone dry.
The scent is lost in dying summer winds,
recycled across rotational earth from dead lands.
I find old notebooks,
I refuse to look at them.
Written by a million men of myself,
(not known anymore).
or maybe we change.
The fever breaks slowly, desperately,
deliberately, like god,
slowly doth the
beast recapture the old flag,
colour comes in like
chromatic shades of polaroid.
A strange doppleganger
avoids me in the mirror.
No talk with eyes.
takes memory bait,
hunt is on.
Plays it cool,
nonjudgmental, primitive response
near to bursting.
It's all incredibly clear.
it may be beautiful,
like a gun barrel
or house fires
Simple in it's beauty,
the grass is growling,
rain feeling softly
all of these:
Feelings create a whole...
(create a hole.)
The night came down
like a blanket.
cold... no, warm tonight,
but it's all confused tomorrow.
rotting like floorboards
in derelict houses
of the midwest,
she, slowly turning into
as I am stuck
holding tightly onto remembered moments,
kiss on cheek at sun coming over endless
and I'm there again,
dreaming of lips
of something more
pure than gravity.
With his eyes narrowed,
veins full of liquor,
rejects all future data.
It's time to change back into something new.
No more time for fleeting glances,
no more circling like the wild beasts we were.
Burning engines, lust exhaust
The way her pale blue eyes measured up to mine,
no green showed through.
Patterns upon primitive dangers,
fear in a soft smile,
electricity in an unspoken word.
We gave fire to the ice age.
Two people alone in the lonely world.
Two strangers playing strangers playing friends.
Beer bottle labels,
dark bars in Omaha,
the click of the jukebox
missed phonecalls in the dark.
Cheeseburgers and stale beer at the restaurant down the street.
Hoping, wishing for
This creature has forgotten how to feel.
The bluest blues.
The reddest reds.
Her breasts, like two golden doves of runaway.
Did I really like those Pale blue-eyes.
Pale maddog eyes.Pale frightened eyes. Paranoiac eyes.
Pale eyes like the darkest side of the sea.
"Don't save me from nothin'" he mumbles to himself in an empty field covered with snow.
It was inevitable, the way the barriers built themselves in new ways, the windows, the eyes, not piercing.
(Not wanting to)
Silence now is the white knuckle thrill ride.
Silence now the tongue running over dirty teeth.
Silence now the echoed buzz of moths in the dark.
Silence now the only lover.
Nothing now the only me.
The night is heavy on my back.
The million suns of the night peer through me,
I am a shadow on the face of a child.
This body armor does not deflect the stars.
A rifle, a badge, a coon skin cap, we fly from the rugged forests of the sun.
We shape life like a river, we lead lost souls back to the sea.
A twist and the engine snaps into
low, snarling motion.
These vagaries of truth guide hands not meant for
The windows frame the last known thing ever seen
and time leads it's own funeral procession.
The end is not oblivion.
Must be something more than death.
More than decimation.
The emaciation of time and space into something more terrible than
Wires curl like snakes,
my body is stone under these illuminated gravities.
These moths have made
a home of my expressions; expressionless.
Reality explodes, this consciousness crumbles.
Death. Rearing it's ugly head, death's head is this night.
His thousand eyes are these thousand stars.
The earth, far beneath my feet,
this is malevolence.
Someone died tonight
and I could do
But I heard them yelling,
what did I hear in their voices?
I heard my own terror,
my body has stopped and I think of a family
somewhere across the atlantic
that doesn't know it yet.
They don't know that their son
But I do.
it has taken him,
but it's taken something from me too
it will be back for the rest.
Oh, the night that slices the day in two.
The night that is the hand on the shoulder.
What vagrant latitudes must we ply?
Between star and sky and oh,
the soft winds of the night.
The sand that plays across these exposed arms,
that blows freely through hair,
against eye and hand and loose wavering fist.
Shaking hands with this night,
this night that guides the absence of sun or light.
This mind that guides the absence of sun and light.
Oh this summer,
this summer of night,
this winter of day,
oh, what sweet respite
the waves of the lamp, shining on the desert street.
What songs do play, the rampant roads of the moth,
the night's sweet butterfly
Oh what fears, what horrors you conceal,
what beauty, what pallor,
what strength, and weakness of time.
This mind, teeth bared fresh,
this blood hidden under the night of my skin.
This mind awaiting the dawn of the burning soul,
this mind entranced by the dusk,
this teasing, blasphemous tempter of day.
make me beautiful like your midnight songs,
make me beautiful like your written word,
make me weird and distraught,
make me this madness of ashes,
this cacophany of dust,
blowing in the breeze,
twisting in this war.
Briskly surviving this homelessness of soul,
terribly dying in
this false twilight of love,
and the sea,
and the wind,
and the night,
forever awaiting daylight,
never to come
Clouds are like eyes in the summer sky,
eternal white vision scanning the horizon
until the earth curves back on itself in the distance.
My mind is a blank
I have nothing to withdraw.
This cologne reminds me of home,
the sight of wasps,
it has been too long,
and I haven't been stung since I was a child,
playing in a sandbox.
This sandbox is a little bigger.
My heart is still beating,
that's atleast one good omen.
There was a notebook,
and ink was money,
and time was not money,
and I wrote and wrote.
I stayed up, burning in the night
dissolving at dawn,
drenched in sweat,
staring at the lamps swirling
beyond the blinds.
Laying in bed with,
soft music from the speakers across the room,
with one bare yellow bulb in a lamp
on the dresser to light the way.
For six months I wrote,
ditched in Texas,
crashlanded and alone in summertime.
Walking the few miles from the city limits
to the little western maindrag
just to feel like I was
Then once I flew home,
I drove my car down to Texas,
and we stopped in St. Louis,
and we wandered into some greasy diner
where they played Riders on the storm,
and it was all too much to bear,
eating diablo's omelettes and finding ourselves
free from home, and free from space,
free from relationships, free from governments,
from cities, towns, free from street names
and mailmen and hangovers and one night stands.
Free from acid flashbacks and bloody noses.
Free from winter and summer and compass roses and digital watches and grandfather clocks.
No longer did anything matter but asphalt flying under our asses,
smoking dope in the back seat, playing harmonica for the night fields,
no, we were dead moths plastered on the windshield of existence. With no more cares,
and somehow still taking up space.
We slept late at the motel,
having stayed up late with late night talk shows,
that only reminded me of hearing the tv
when I was a child, muffled through the plastered walls.
After we got to Texas, I skipped work for three days,
lounging by the pool at the little motel,
swimming with our clothes on,
then rolling up our jeans and dipping our feet in the water,
while my friend played guitar,
I snarled on my harmonica,
and a teenage girl watched us with starry eyes
and a man with a broken foot
kept asking us
I drove my two friends to the airport,
and they took their first flight back across the wide america we conquered slowly
unpained, between cigarettes.
Then I dropped acid every weekend.
I read poetry randomly to hick patrons of coffee shops,
traded words with psychopaths at the bookstore,
played harmonica in a rainstorm,
while the sergeants across the lawn stared onward,
furious at my
At work I slipped past,
mostly half asleep,
listening to radio static,
I'd have dreams where the voices of Syrians
would walk on tightropes that were actually radio waves,
and everytime I heard what they said, they lived,
so most of them died.
Then I had dreams about Freud and Nietzsche
boxing eachother in a boxing ring painted like a world atlas.
Then I cried alot, because I desperately needed someone.
Lonely except for phonecalls and e-mails,
where I stuck onto any voice,
I savored every kind word,
shared what bitter poems I could suffice,
told stories of diners and restaurants and old dead men and old sad men,
just to feel the closeness of another human being coming into my existence,
even if just for an hour or two.
and I was laughed at when I sat out on the walkway,
reading Kerouac or Bukowski.
and I was laughed at when I smoked cigarettes behind the gas station,
Then I spoke as little as possible,
and I found a little freedom there.
Then I would run at midnight on the rubber track,
and I would run at morning on the old desert path,
then I would run at evening on the old broken runway,
and I would run past the gutted bombers,
and watch the cactus blossoms,
and watch my shadow running me ragged into moonlight.
Then I ran on the treadmill and got to see such beautiful faces.
Such as the president on the flat screen,
Talking about some war,
or some other politician, or maybe it was John McCain,
with his turkey neck, talking about banks and bailouts,
and toxic assets and bone collectors and
Foreclosed homes and it was all much too far away from me then.
Though I still wore the blue suit every monday, I wanted only
the absence of haircuts, gallons of beer and music.
Although I did eventually go mad, I found myself reanimated,
roused back to wakefulness and worldliness by the sun
and that day, as I walked to the machine to refill my jug of water,
I looked out over the parade field and the grass was
more green than green,
I watched those flags blow in the breeze
until they took them all down
I left Texas soon after that
and that notebook got filled to bleeding over
and there I was,
driving through the desert,
listening to A Horse with no name
watching Texas swallow fire one last time.
I was a little older, but not smarter and maybe not dumb either.
Just a little different,
moving forward in time,
free again and
smiling into oblivion.