of course, it had been
another sleepless night,
and I was sitting alone
in the dark
at 5 a.m.
when the phone rang.
I let it ring three times,
then I picked up:
"do you think I'd make it
if I jumped off the roof?"
"you just might," I said.
"by the way, who is this?"
"take a guess," said the voice.
it was clearly a woman's.
"uh, I'm not sure."
"I don't know."
Beth lived upstairs.
she was obviously drunk
and had locked herself
her plan was to jump
from the roof
down to her balcony
in order to get
"wait a minute," I said,
"I'll come upstairs."
I met her in the hallway,
then we climbed
up the ladder and looked
over the edge.
it was a fifteen-foot drop.
the landing was littered
with flower pots and
"you must be crazy," I said.
she didn't argue.
"I think I can make it!"
"you're not jumping," I told her.
"let's go back downstairs
and try picking the lock."
"okay," she said.
it took nearly a half-hour
of rattling the
before her roommate
finally woke up
and let her in.
you know, sometimes
insomnia isn't so bad
from Slinking Under The Electric Bulb (2012)
sit restless and anxious,
sweats all over,
armpits, foreheads, shoulders
people late for this, for that,
to there, for them, who or her or him,
tapping desks, thumping feet
staring on their cell phones
burning their behind against the chair’s friction
making money with their hands on their chin
Hot tea turned cold
vacant chairs awaiting
empty stares and swell sighs
at the unwavering Exit sign.
Sometimes feeling the grief of waiting
and hearing dripping anticipation.
Never gives up.
Ten years of waiting
in the same little tea house
serving the same drinks to
different people; for ten year
finding — and on a Sunday evening
a boy asks for my name.
Up their lawn chairs and cheap beer,
Chardonnay in a cheap tea cup set,
The Neighbors keep notepads, budgeting information,
three year old, unfulfilled christmas lists.
The Neighbors keep mental notes of certain circumstances,
of college dropouts, minimum wage,
a broken fan blade in August.
The Neighbors see their teenager as a pink plus sign.
The Neighbors hop into polaroids in their spare time,
open closed boxes in the attic.
The Neighbor's dog has fleas.
The Neighbor's husband has ticks,
chicks back at the office if you know what I mean.
The Neighbors have a a gambling addiction, love Pall Malls, smoking, smoke shops,
The Neighbors forget to kiss.
The Neighbors are drinking the same brand of beer I bought
We drink it on our front porches and watch each other.
There was a thief in my house
He crept in late in the night
He let his flame run wild
Ate my desk, my chairs
Danced on our bed when
He let his flame run wild
My heart's ablaze
Given from a late night thief
Please! Call 9-1-1!
This flame just brings grief
This smoke pollutes air
He let that flame run wild
Now I'm just ash
Bury me deep but
My heart still burns
Fetch my love, let him see
Let him see his heart burn like mine
Yet he'll walk away, feeling fine
Late night thief, my love, killed me.
A flamingo in a bright back garden is grooming it’s feathers. What it sees from the shade cast by the statues of ancient Gods and facing an incarnation of the Buddha is a mystery. Balanced on one foot in a corner pond covered in dark green pads and innocent opulent white lilies it peers down towards the warm tiled floor. The limestone slabs are etched with chalk hearts like fortune cookies next to hopscotch and drawings of monsters and men. I am a scatter-brain, but I cannot feign an understanding of what this bird is looking at, and so fondly. Parched dead leaves not cleared from autumns past dwell below a dusty circular patio table mixed with used cat litter and fallen grapefruit that have dropped from the tree above. Though most of the colour is muted or bland there are infusions of vibrancy from the vermillion bed sheet to the violet bloom of clusters of flowers that pierce through the vines and corrugated iron. My garden at Giverney without a bridge in the centre of the picture, there are instead are two chairs. Comfortable chairs whose metallic legs and arms glisten in the light and whose black pleather fabric absorbs the heat of another wild day.
The flamingo is a strange visitor to this garden that is mostly derelict and sparse,
It’s gangly frame leaps out of the water flaps it’s wings and departs.
Shelves thinking too hard about being cabinets,
Windows shedding their dresses of glass at the request of Crow.
Walk softly, demand the most of the philistine carpet,
Chorizo fumes paint the linen,
A soluble wind eating carnality off the floor,
Standing in sea of a thousand chairs,
Whispering in a didactic scream to the postman
Repeating Thursday over and over again so he
Never sees Friday.
Morpha black paper to countertop,
Cortez is in the carpet, pleading to Mother
That he is not the responsible party.
Corner wheel shadows are electrocuting their heritage,
The foot coincides w/ a secret relationship between
Plastic admirals and mouse, who lives down the hall.
Cortez is in a wooden cellblock under the sink next
to genocidal disinfectant.
the sky is pissing
in all the pots of beer
is really quite queer
the sky is pissing
pissing on the verandah chairs
pissing without a care
the sky is pissing
pissing up and down town
pissing all around
even in the dog pound
what's that you spray?
I mean say
the sky is pissing
yeah! the sky is pissing
the sky is pissing
it swamped all the Englishmen
and drowned Big Ben
Time to Get Serious: In the Poet's Nook
Yes it is verifiable, just as prior alluded to,
a few frayed and weathered Adirondack chairs,
wizened gray, like occupant, all seen better days,
overlooking the Peconic Bay,
where inspiration glazes over the water
Despite prodigious production o'er past weeks,
ditties, love laughing tributes, silliness aplenty,
these works of dishes washed, Paul Simon,
what to wear to your funeral, knuckle kissing, etcetera...
Though some contained soft shelled, mints of juleps hints,
little sundries, items for sale re suicidal thoughts,
no one takes-tales you serious
Be it tormented rain, intemperate gusts
whipping lashes of sand
excuses real, manufactured and yet,
despite opportunities always existed,
but you answered the question unasked,
you're unready, more likely, fearful.
to pen in the Inner Temple, in the nook.
In the nook, the poems float by, you need only extend arm and
grab them whole, ripened by the delivering breezes,
If you unmask pretense, and wear a seat belt
But here I am, and the welcome I receive is the one
deserved, for one who has joined the ranks of deniers
Favorable prevailing breezes service the sailboats pleasantly,
turn surly and unmanageable from neglect and disuse poetically,
they mock this coward, taunting:
We have waited, fall and spring, for you, our sacrificial lamb.
Your return we smelled, the odor of barbecue and suntan oil,
We observed your beach touring, your eyes upon the moonlight
Highflying, highlighting the path you follow when walking upon the
Water when nobody knows, nobody sees
You scarce provided the deep reveal that is our woeful provenance,
So, having returned, unleash or leave, expose your La Mancha countenance,
Fulfill your daddy's curse,#
Portray the siren shriek of our gulls insistent,
the blood cold words, as of now, yet unfastened, un-cast,
the forge lit and fired,
Are you ready, self-appointed, poetry smithy, wright-man?%
On knees bent you should have approached,
For the inspiration, years rendered, unpaid, and unacknowledged
But most of all because of these interlopers attached to you,
So many children, green shoots, babes visiting the bay,
New friends hoisted upon us without permission!
Do they understand despite the solemn serenity
of the place you attend,
This is the observatory
where the stars and scars,
undiscovered and unexposed,
become our property to carry-cross the ocean?
Do they comprehend that black is the only color permitted and the
sunshine coverlet is meant to keep the unmotivated, the uninitiated,
who think that writing poetry is easy,
unaware, and far away from us, the truth purveyors
Nothing produced from this place
where routine means the gorge tastes bile,
When surcease is welcome relief,
Where dancing on ice in bare feet
Is step one to ripping your chest open by your own hands,
The toxins thus released rejuvenated by salted air,
Can be finally be transcribed onto paper
Warn them once and then begin, you,
Get serious, delve, with hurricane unambiguity,
to torrential words upon the unsuspecting,
let them taste the rawness, only the truth provides,
let them know salt tears so briney,
They will flee this place, n'er to return.
A little of this and a little of that,
All of which, ain't no damn good at!
So I spend my cold, hard time
laying down cold hard verse,
Can't stop, cause it's my daddy's dying curse
My Night with Paul Simon
% See "All My Poems Are"
You could call it a tradition of sorts
It was often considered a holiday; a vacation from a vacation
My friends and I counted down the days till each one
Summer vacation where school ended and we became young and free
The next countdown began just after this one ended, a mere 2 weeks
Till we would make the trip up to Lake Cloud; just us, a lake and a shit ton of trees
We were often questioned by others why we would want to spend 2 weeks
In a tent, far from society with no cell service and not a building for miles around
The answer is always the same; to escape society, to escape the stress; tranquility
The morning we leave is always hectic, tons of bags, bundles of wood, kayaks, canoes all strewn about
It's very stressful; we're all yelling and making sure we don't forget anything (we always forget something)
And despite how we always say we're gunna be on the road by 12 P.M. we're always 2 hours late
Despite all the stress once we git on the road and begin the 2 hour drive everything's at ease
We're cranking some classic rock (Tom Petty Being Our Favorite) and singing along
We're off the highway and onto an old beaten road, 5 hours to get ready and we're finally gone
We're an hour into the Hiawatha Forest and we pass a tiny village that hasn't changed in years
The last bit of civilization we will ever see and it's a snapshot back into the 1890's
We drive on, the road becomes less clear and we can smell the water
Our heart beats pick up, and we all get louder (as if that's possible)
As we pull into the clearing we're greeted by a beautiful lake with a sandy yellow shore
The waves rock the beach, almost greeting us like an old friend; it's good to see you again
We all jump out of the truck, our adrenaline going knowing that we're at our favorite place
We get the fire going, set a few chairs up, the hammock and tripod
We set it over the fire and pop on a few venison burgers, turn the radio up, sit back and enjoy
It's about 5 now, the sun is still high in the sky and it's sunlight reflects off the calm water
There's a collective deep breathe, just simply stunning
Right around 7 we begin to fully un-pack everything, the kayaks and canoes are in the water
The tents are up and the fishing poles are out leaning against them
We finish our burgers and decide to skip a few rocks
It's slightly cloudy now, the sun is still brightly shining
And as we start our skipping stone contest we notice the clouds reflecting brilliantly off the water
The lake was named for this, for some reason the clouds reflect off the water better than any other
By the end of it, I come in second place
We all go for a swim then huddle back to the campfire
It's around 9 now, the sun's on the horizon and our campfire is blazing
We grab our guitars and start our jam session; we here the chirping of frogs and crickets
We often joked that they could sing better than me, sadly I wouldn't disagree
The campfire starts to die down and the sun is completely gone
We're tired and all head off to our tents
The tradition continues yet again
Another night no Cloud Lake
A fire begins somewhere at 4
completing the home
God Queen! – - alright!
The walls and floor boards move
here. and new flesh joins and unwinds
animals grow like colour, hooking the
and making them bleed
like bright silhouettes
and the fashionable mountains and chairs
that we couldn’t afford
bow down, and change within the heat
your hair fits my suit exactly, everything matches the flame
without any effort, I never thought we could
afford. all this stuff. our portraits drool
as we do, the floor is as warm as the air, we crawl forward
to the carpets and door
that permit our hand
marks, in the clay, and sync like dancing dolls
in the softness of ash
the substance of string
closer to the heart-hand that moves them
we rise again
like marionettes under fog
we aren’t gone yet, we have good
and the dog bowl
releases its plastic sides to the floor
than pouring ghosts in the rain
our room now matches
to the colour books we saw
flicking through chimera
that looks back.