Friday, December 11, 2015

nowhere.


[it's the closest you've ever been to me,
and the closest i've ever been to divinity,]

we pass them around and around,
the things we keep in our hearts,
and we make no excuses.
you're so full of shit, and
you're goddamn right i'm buying it.
but this path leads to nowhere,
nowhere but a dream.
the path guides our march nowhere,
nowhere but over bales of piano wire.
the scent, it leads our track nowhere,
nowhere but into the belly of the whale.

we deserve to be way more personal,
we deserve to be armed beyond this,
and we're staring into this abyss,
of god and history and this love we've lost,
and you're goddamn right i'm unmoved.
i'm spoiled rotten and i feel nothing underneath
beneath these scales

the dead are up talking
and looking for something
but we don't connect,
because these connections lead to nowhere,
nowhere but more mistakes.

Friday, November 6, 2015

out west.

way out west in deserts,
or forests of nectarines,
the youths stuff smoke 
and fingers into their hunger,
as youths do,
and the sun sets
into some awfully far horizon.
way out west,
the clouds huddle for warmth
and static crackles,
blistering down their backs
and through a million glass windows,
kissing eyes in thin disguises,
watering over lives 
we knew
in time, 
would wash away with
sands from every shore.
way out west,
nothing ever changes, it's 
the same arrangements,
the same sets of eyes in the same
faces staring at distorted images
in door knobs and begonia bouquets.
it's the same unrest in cheap homes
and rooms, with winds blowing past
alleys and corners in towns 
and skies they knew.
way out west,
the ungainly palms wave,
heavy like our hearts with salt.



Friday, October 30, 2015

laughable

on the porch, and i
retreat into myself,
into a crowded wholesale
of saccharine thoughts
and i have a laugh,
because it's uncomplicated,
but so laughable,
these scenarios,
my mind a perpetual motion
picture show.
still,
i've familiarized myself
with your lines, with your face,
and your formulaic way
of licking the rim of the glass
and telling little lazy lies,
white half truths,
and i laugh,
because it's uncomplicated,
but so laughable,
these scenarios,
our talks burdened by circumvention,
tonight's a blur,
still,
it's uncomplicated.



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

sirens of the inevitable

[you, with the glare that keeps me,
i'll hold your and hand and wrist to the bone,
to the very marrow.]

     
i carved your name into a tree once;
into the skin of bark that binds it.
and, i laughed;
i laughed as a child would laugh
as the natural flesh weeped its blood of sap,
and turned black at
the very air i breathed.
i watched as the life i excised tried
to heal, the boughs bowed to coalesce,
swaying at the mercy of the wind,
and my knife.
i watched as rays of elysian sun lent
their light; offered a silent song of hope
to the already wilting leaves.
i watched the magpies gather in the canopy
to bow their heads in prayer,
deep in the treeline of pines and elms,
and south to the single oak,
stricken and terminal,
bitten and lost by the inorganic
wound of my words;
but the tree remains,
ever empyrean,
ever magnanimous,
through the wounds of flesh,
through the lashing of its limbs to the very
marrow.
i carved your name into a tree once;
into the skin of bark that binds it,
to see if it would last;
but the tree laughed,
the tree remains,
long beyond your name,
long beyond you and me.


sacrificial altar

[i'm such a simple fool, i know,
and you know -
it's hard for me to tell,
to tell when you care  -
i know im not palatable to some,
but believe me,
i don't need an apologist.]

I've been feeling foolish, you see -
it's a sentiment you really should try,
You see, it's in season . And I,
I've got to say, you've never really looked
all that much alive until you slipped in my sheets,
and whispered your name.

Now, hey -
I want to to be honest, Girl,
I'll lie to you.
And if I'm the lover you won't love,
It won't bother me,
but tonight's the tonight,
because

I've been feeling foolish, you see,
and you should try
something at least,
to get a sense of it all
before we're sleeping underground,
whispering your name.

As a matter of fact, I do.
I do.
I do.
I confess, I do.

we'd like to think that we're immune,
but maybe your mind's made up

will we ever make it down the aisle to the altar
where lives are
sacrificed?



Saturday, October 3, 2015

what hearts

I have changes of sense and sentiment in
varying degrees and increments, and
I have feelings that break and fill me up
like smoke when I think of her,
and she'll apologize and tell lies to keep ties,
again and again,
but I'm not thinking of her.

I could never tell what art might
break her heart,
what strangeness she might fault me for,
again and again,
the acrid taste of arsenic
in our wine, our fevers never breaking
over a summer of light that cracks through Venetian blinds,
that curls across floors and
travels into space next to god and other creators,

A light that watches us, that cuts into our hearts
  a staggering shift, a light into our hearts,
   our hearts,
    cut into, cut in two.

I dream of something tangential,
my mood, my moon, my satellite,
the dust clouds and planetary rings,
And I have peripheral feelings when I move.
I inhale and I breathe in the ephemeral dust,
the joy of the void swallowed by this earthly lust,
the words that lonely flesh can make,
and she'll cry out, dreaming that she can find me
screaming in the early hours of the night,
but my voice, it's lost in the static of the line,
dare i seek to burst, or do i
just leave the nerves hanging like dew
in the morning light of an Indian Summer that cries
against autumnal oranges and reds,
that cuts across skies,

A light that watches us, that cuts into our hearts
  a staggering shift, a light into our hearts,
   our hearts,
    cut into, cut in two.

Still, that's what hearts are for,
no matter how much we are
out of touch, here we stand
alone, keeping our ambitions
for each other alive,
breathlessly waiting for the prize,

i spend all my breaths waiting for you
down by the river.
that's what hearts are for.



Friday, August 7, 2015

bitter.

[We set our reckoning in fog, but don't sweat it,
We set roots back into the richer soils and sands, don't sweat it.
We weren't thinking about home, don't sweat it.
I didn't even think of you, don't sweat it.]

I'm not bitter, I swear.

There's a faint outline of something that begins in the distance,
And I've been watching you there with the storied company you keep.
I've been reading the motes of dust and studying the rising tendrils.
I hope you stare into your smoke signals and think of me,
Watching the blaze, watching the wood on the fire crack and split,
Watching it reduced to embers, embers reduced to ash,
Cold carbon that silences the neutral earth colors beneath like an
old lullaby,
consuming them in monochromatic melancholy.

But, The Smoke, it still rises,
 to me, still sighs at me for
The fire and You,
And I,
We're no good at pretending.

We've met in the middle before,
We've met in the shade,
When we stumbled,
When our lips met,

But will our sad
And furtive
Animal trysts ever be something less deceitful?

Let's just take this chance
 to take ourselves apart,
In this haze, In the signs of the smoke,
In this motley band of friends,
in this bed of nails we made.

Let's just take this chance,
to put ourselves together.





Friday, July 10, 2015

pretend.

i did it on a lark, baby,
gave away my heart,
sold it for a song, really, 
i traded any feelings i harbored
for something that sounded soothing,
i traded any meaning it offered 
for what seemed an improvement.

so dear, oh dear, let's pretend
we haven't made these promises
we've no intention to keep.

let's hear your lament, baby girl
the silence of your heart,
solemn and seeking solace,
you traded away our dreams
for something seeming sound,
traded away any promise they offered
for what seemed forever.

so dear, oh dear let's pretend
let's pretend we weren't clumsy 
enough to fall in love.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the light (throwback).

the light
April 18, 2012 at 9:09pm

[you're always the first to say

the light you seek isn't there anymore.

your friends are paces away,

but they might as well just

be faces

in the dark.]



"it's getting late," she says, painting a face on a vacant stare glaring back at her from her bedroom mirror.

she frames her favorite parts and leaves the rest, alone, to the imagination.



she wanders the line her mind has drawn between her window and the door; one to the hall and one, ten stories to the street below. she lingers at the window, wondering, warmed. is there any other mode of egress?



she bears her heels down into the carpet, into her own footprints she knows would take her somewhere if she could ever leave her room.



she watches colors trace her hands, her strands of hair, as she turns in place.

"the way the glass is cut," she says.



and the lines she can retrace on her floor, on her face.

"the way the glass can cut," she says.



she lies across her rumpled sheets, drifting into deeper thought in the crystalline light of fusion crawling prismatically through the air, dreaming of solar radiation; of altitudes, and hypoxia.



asleep again,

and her dreams are always the same,



 in them,

she steels herself against rushing air,

in them, she is always falling.



when most people dream of falling,

they never hit the ground.

she does.



awake again, and late, and she's braced to feel the cool night air on her painted face. she crosses again to her portal

to the world, and leans out to breathe it in.



"just to feel the night," she says.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

distance takes two to measure.

[Please be careful out there, I know
We don't always know the exact way back home.]

I'm at odds with a spirit I harbor sometimes
when I cut the lights and the night sky is the only thing to guide us away,
or toward anything we might seek in the dim light of the fading summer.
I need a break sometimes to let you guide me,
somewhere far and detached from here,
in the deafness of canyons, in the silence of summer valleys,
in the glare of the stadium lights or,
 in the reflection of my pleading face in your tears,
a night out after so many just lying awake with your ghost.
A night of solace after the phantoms and the wraiths of your affection.

I know it sounds strange, but I'd rather be alone than
to see this argument through to the very bitter end.
My story can end,
My campaign can drive to a stop,
fragmented and decayed
buried, championless.

I'm at odds with distance and locales, plains and rough-sided hills,
There's a wandering ghost inside that longs and yearns to get out,
But to come right back home.
And it pines for this place before it knows any other
might matter.

It can drag me from one jagged edge of the nation
to the other,
It can grip and guide me end to end,
But you can't satisfy a wanderlust without bridging all that distance,
Not in this city, not in this life,
(Don't you start, oh don't you start.)

My town and the towns it touches
are big enough that you could caress them
for a decade and still get lost on the long and winding highways;
 you can still navigationally regret that left turn you made down a one way, or
almost always find yourself in a place you haven't yet seen, if you try hard enough.

I'm just driving, I'm just wandering,
thinking, knowing
that I'm just living recklessly and following everyone else's smooth procession
through what some may call a life.

I'm looking into the images of those familiar eyes and
 they don't move,
they don't share,
they look right past me,
but into what?

You may have gotten farther,
ou may have gone further if you'd never even left at all.

The trouble is, when you've absorbed the spirit of a place for a decade,
 and I have,
some of the novelty wears off,
some of the sparkle of something different
and new is lost
in the back of your mind.
It's your daily routine -
you wash your face,
brush your teeth,
adjust your tie
or blouse
 in the mirror,
check your stubble
or your mascara -
sometimes
its like
painting the door
on an empty house.

Then,
all the things,
all the roads you know
and the landmarks you unconsciously identify
to get to the next place, they're really
 sort of meaningless
until you've left and come back again.

You feel a little spark of excitement,
the way you think your dog must feel when
you've had him with you on a long road trip,
and he's standing up and alert when you're
 taking your freeway exit - your skin sort of bristles
ith some preternatural electricity from within.

when you're home again - in the city -

in

those same distant eyes,
they look around,
they look right ahead,
right past you and me,
into what?

where lies the motivation for moving forward with honesty?
i'm looking around for a lifeline

Friday, May 8, 2015

captive and castaway.

It's not easy.
We all falter, but in our own ways,
We're all okay.
From day to day, we embrace and
dance and intertwine over all the
cracks everyone notices but no one
bothers to mention.
Our boundless, mute thoughts
push quiet limbs into fluid motion over
everything we've come to accept about
broken faith and promises,
scattered in shredded heaps
on the bedroom floor.

We've bartered ignorance for
the Hope we once had.

Nagging, violent, bitch hope,
all buried now beneath a wealth of
mattress fires;
Branding scars into those of us who
Still pray at night for truth
instead of salvation.

We are both captive and castaway,
Unwanted
and
Alone.

(The truth hurts.)



Friday, May 1, 2015

Colour, shape, and form.

Tonight, I am colour, shape, and form. I'm begging for truth from incandescent hues.
I'm a million different facets of a heavy, ethereal gem, Lying awake in bed under a heavy blanket
Of longing, but also of brilliance.

Nightingale tune is urging its way through the cracks in my window and it finds me so sullenly dreaming.

Tonight, I am the uncomposed. Tonight, I am the unwritten, unsung rhapsody of a history of aimless troubadours, bards and vagrant minstrels.

I am the young boy, and I am the violin.

I am February's shredded paper heart, and I am distance.

Tonight, I am the center of my very own nothingness.

Tonight, I am fleeting and temporal.

I am love, and I am loss.

Tonight, I am the kept.

Tonight, I am every lover's secret, bound in scarlet ribbon and tucked safely under a rapidly vacated wardrobe, sealed in wax, and kissed.

Tonight, I am lace, and I am cold steel.

Because, you see?
Tonight, I'm sorting it all out,
Sifting through the sands and keeping the heaviest parts, but

What more did I expect to find?

Than to be stranded here with a heavy heart,
On my own little island of sand.

the quiet (throwback 09)

...the quiet...
April 19, 2009 at 10:22pm

[We are woven into the earth,
a seamless portrait of all the
collected echelons of history,
and memory. ]


...the quiet...

We are few quiet bones and breath, wrought with heartstrings and reverberating with utterances of a time not unlike ours, only before anyone ever admitted to be a child of a love that never tells.

"They tell me it's just a myth," she says, a long finger alternatively tempting the rims of separate glasses of iced tea and peach schnapps. She had a blue corduroy jacket draped over the back of her chair. I remained speechless. Her eyes, blue, but not unlike the fluorescent white of light. This night, the gravity of everything had tinted them slightly grey.

When we spoke, we spoke in practiced turns. We sang a funeral procession of verbs and predicates into the smoky air, swirling with motes of silent breath that once desired to be words. We only broke the silence to let anyone else that might be listening know that we were still in the room, somewhere.

The air crackled with the density of silence, the sheer weight of clarity birthing our new thoughts. Our new, bristling clarion.

And my eyes, my mind, my heart. They trailed over collarbones and jawlines, folds, curls and tresses of hair, glossy but lost in the color of the pale light, followed arms to fingers, to glass, back up to teeth and quiet lips.

We were alone. Alone under a million beams of moonlight. Under a million beautiful reflected faces of the sun, come to witness us in our surrender. To the quiet, the warmth of the silence in us both. The only place we could think out everything we'd never tell one another.

Everything we'd always felt.

She steepled her fingers over an ever-emptier glass, inhaled a breath so subtly as to speak, but the words. We both knew the words would never cross her lips. I passed a hand over the table, running my fingers along its edge, the honest things weaving a spell across the tattered, fraying ends.

In the night, the faintly lighted place, we were ghosts. Picture-reel effigies. Silent, colorless bodies. But the movement meant everything. Ever moving. Ever breathing. Together. In the calm. The rhythmic sounds of us, these husks housing hearts of ours.

Maybe, the sound was my own. Or maybe, the sound was two.

There's no way of knowing, under the starless sky. Children of a love that never tells.

In this, our silence.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mt. Everest.

My heart goes out to Nepal and everyone on Everest today.

There was a tragic and catastrophic loss of life today in the nation, with a small percentage occuring due to an avalanche triggered by the quake at Everest Base Camp.

Follow www.alanarnette.com for more information regarding the location of expedition teams and news directly from the mountain!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

remembrance

How come all the roads shift south to north?
Circular, recursive
And roundabout,
Out
And back again,
Back home;
When they should reach and tear ragged wounds
Into that cold purple horizon, into the abyssal black,
Through the tunnel of night and into the distance,
Until we see our way clear at last.

How come that bitter chill of night bites
At frozen words we might expel?
Hoarfrost phrases freezing until they break,
Until lips crack, and there's the cold hard silence
We didn't speak when we first met the night,
On the night we first met and tasted the cold copper
Of blood from each other's mouths.
When we refused to remain inside,
When all the signs of science
Might tell us to do
Otherwise.

The gentle violet fog of twilight casts its own doubts,
Casts twin shadows of love and longing,
Of solitude and hope;
Its wispy tendrils clinging
Close to our bare chests as we attempt to bare
And bear our hearts,
All the while,
The weight of the everlasting Stars
and their songs upon us.

How come there's a shake in our hands when we wake,
There are tremors and such when the cold is faint -
Tremors that match the rhythm of a simple and gentle thing,
Like the heart sweetly pounding against the back of a cage
Of bones that barely keep it contained.

How come all the markers are turned south?
The signs that might point any which way but here are
Sealed by ice and the indifferent stare of a million different
Galaxies of lifeless and distant rocks and balls of gas,
Shining their light from history, already dead, but still
Signalling that there is hope,
There is a ghost.

How come there's a light in the dimming distance,
in a sun that's already set?

Why, at the dawn or the decline of already dying light,
Do I see you?




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cold nostalgic energy.

[I've endured, I've eaten, I've persevered, I've been cavalier, but rarely have I forgotten.]

         As the deadlock begins to break, here in this darkness we'll remain,
We'll languish in the languid light, and hope for evenings of more substance,
We'll cast our thoughts and doubts like lots, here where we smash all our hopes and dreams,
The parabolic lines intersecting at the highest highs and lowest lows of us, but you, you're really ...
You're something.

I really hate to ask, but to you my dear sweet darling, to what end?
To what end do we proceed?
Go on and shake your face at me, shake your fists, but you and I both know,that -
Yeah, so now I've made my choice, I can't ever take it back.

All that time we spent, starving early on,
our lust for the taste of tongues, but the simple fact of the matter is that our lust
won't cover us, won't bury us in this and we won't
 cower or run for cover,
strangle me, smother me and

I will listen
And i have heard you for the thousandth time today
But I will Listen
In my indifference
I'll hear you for a thousand more days
And I will listen, because behind this oddity is light,
Behind this oddity is life, even though,
Now,
We are broad and older, and we drink to celebrate,
We drink a tribute to common sense
We really only get
In two year increments.

I know I struggle because I suppress thoughts of you,
but maybe, just maybe, girl, your thoughts of me are absent -

Do you remember that thing I wrote about
About being able to talk about my future
Without being careless with words like providence and the part
About thanking my lucky stars at night for unrequited love,
Or the impression that I get that you're slung up by my wit?
One touch from you and it's over,
One touch and I'm over,
I'm bent.

The designs in the stars, the lines of constellations dotted like the lines in the road,
The heat mirage rippling them into oily black and orange and blue, and you?
You're nothing but a dusty memory now, fading into asphalt distance in the rearview.

What's this?
Cold nostalgic energy
The chill of cold at the poles,
        The rocky silence of ice in a place
        Where the only direction is north,

What's this?
    Cold nostalgic energy,
    It's plainly fading,
   The chill of cold at the poles
    You're plainly fading,
    Fading into distance in the rearview,
   Cold
   Nostalgic
   Energy

  . . .

free association (o, the words)

.isnt free association good for you?.
February 16, 2011 at 10:07pm

It wouldn't be the first time I was without words.

It's not our first day at the track, our first lap, our first round or first drink, carrying two cups through the crowd in the club, but I bend. I'm weaving my way through all of them, through all the crowd of reds and blues to you. Heh, yeah. I'm doubled over at the strength of being drawn to something I tried (well, barely) to forget. To nevermind and overlook. Nah, not my style.



I'd write about it if I could find the words, but the pen won't move an inch, my hand won't move a muscle. My feet? Yeah, no fucking steps.

I'd paint it if I could pick the colors, if I could frame the horizon around you.

I'd sing it if I could  narrow down the notes, the pages and pages of sharps and flats I'd need to tell them an aimless history of what I've been watching

Since I've been watching

You.



All the times I'd watched you move in the dark, in the glow, in the afterburn of what we all knew was everyone's private time. Everyone's time alone away from home  - We roamed and huddled together in the shadows and cold. We danced in the dark until we forgot our names,then we met each other again and again - Never understanding, but never caring,

Nevertheless we all found the same roads in the end, apart. We all got the sensation that we'd all have to walk our own ways until we could do it again - Until we could come back to watch the setting sun sparkle on shimmering water.



Yeah, I'd find the words to say I want to do that every day if there were some. I'd slash at any canvas with cans and brushes and stripe any lined page with all the memories my heart swells with. Yeah, I'd write it all down in a song for you and anybody that's wants to take the time to hear it. To read it. To remember, cause I do.


Still, weaving my way through the crowd just to see, to check. Is it you?

Still - my beating heart thrashing back against my fist pounding my chest, still.

Still wandering these halls and bars and aisles of everything new for something, still.

Still wondering if we might find the time one day when we awake, for something new. For someone new. Still.

Yeah, I'm counting the days. I'm picking out my palette and all my p's and q's.

And maybe I did start painting, start singing, start writing, but not for anything but you

Saturday, April 11, 2015

in medias res.

[Well, where do we start when we're already in the middle of things?
Let's take a few nights to drive this starlight world outside,
i'm afraid the weight of waiting any more nights upon nights will crush us,
bones to dust and dust to darkness and memories and all.]

Total silence now, for night and nightfall and everything after.
The cloak of dusky purple shrouds us as pinhole stars wink to life through night's velvety folds.
I'm by my own side, roadside, under the boughs of some big and bending mimosa tree.
The sounds of cicadas are the only sign I'm not alone.
I think to myself what was it like before, peering through
the fingers in a handmade fan of mimosa fronds, and I sigh.
I can feel the barkless tree against my back like some giant spine.
At first, I was fine with it being this simple, but now I'm not so sure.
Now, I'm certain I want it all. I fall asleep to the sounds of the breeze,
And your radio through your open window.
And I don't want to leave.

I marched right up to the wrought iron, to your screen door
with a script fully prepared, sharpied glossy photos and index cards.
It's a history worth nothing, but it's worth a shot.
How I've spent these past six months of nights without you, I still scream for you,
Still dream of you - fuck - it could have been so real. But the mold is cast, and times change,
I've changed, and it's total silence for now, it's ceasefire, it's peace and solace for now,
But we can't progress any faster when I offer my words, and you drop them to my feet,
Your radio is the only thing that crackles with life,
And I don't want to leave, but ...

My body will barely bear the ash and salt from us,
My lungs will heave, and I know
You don't know what I'm capable of,
But I want, I can't do anything but leave,
Won't you let me leave?

Permission granted,
Dismissed,
Dismissed,
We'll catch winds far from home, return from these things that we don't know.
Dismissed,
We'll distance ourselves,
Permission granted,
To strangle myself slowly.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Dispatches from the shadow of the serac.

[On the windward side, on the lee side,
The wind and snow will eat my viscera,
Will hide and bury my bones, but you
You lead the way, and I'll follow -
I'd never intended on going home.
Take my word for it, I'm not worth it.]

     I take walks sometimes past willows and sweetgums, past looming oaks and middling pecans, under the prophetical language of the leaves, the branches and limbs sway and drop the greens of common speech to my feet. I'm not prone to sensitivity, but the light, the twilight beams of moons and stars and faraway feelings leave me feeling so suddenly feeble.

   It's funny, the way the wordly things express themselves, the way the sidewalk cracks in the heat, under pressure, the way the limbs and boughs bend and twist toward the light. It's strange, the times the inanimate things arrange themselves into series, into historical compositions.

Take me away from the trees and the oceans,
Take me away from common sense and history,
Or am I already gone?

  You stroll sometimes past the houses of boys and girls, covered in bruises and the scent of the old plague,
masked beneath the saccharine aroma of honeysuckle vines, reaching to grasp fences and trees like infant hands. You're not one to gush, but the sights, the simple silent sound of the night leave you feeling so fiercely distant.

    And isn't it odd, the way our hands intertwine, the way my face nests neatly in your neck? We've never known the way, we say, to indulge our senses to the stolen flowers inside my vest, next to your dress, the floral scents joining us, only for a moment, before decay, before curling in anger.

And we'll curse at the sky, we'll pray to the night to steady our hands,
To release us, quivering, from the chains,
How heavy our heads,
How heavy this hand,
We're crowned in anger.

Take me away from the stars and the dark,
Take me away from nostalgia and hope,
or am I already gone?







Friday, April 3, 2015

staple (throwback)

.a staple decision for anyone so delicate.
June 30, 2011 at 12:04am

our mouths both emptied at once,

not from spilling all sounds and vowels,

but left  breathless,

a sense that

what was said was best for us

when we said nothing.

the rapture they fabled in your voice,

the silent sounds speak volumes of it,

though i may never know it

as i hold you, here,

four feet away,

in the dizzying listlessness of meeting,

idle, under a grey and violet sky ablaze

with the fingers of the sun just moments ago,

but drowsing now as we reach farther into

the whispers of the hours,

reach farther for your hand in this,

blissful forgetting of sounds and light.

fever


the man with the fever face smiles through the fog, rubbing boot black on his
arm and striking to it a lit match.
he smiles and sniffs at the afterburn.
he says it reminds him of his old brick house,
his nose edging closer,
claiming it smells the way
his favorite sidewalk smells after a cold rain,
the beads of raining drops reflect the
stars and the moon under his eyes,
his night sky pouring out into the reflecting pools
beneath him.

don't beg for change facing east, he learned,
or use the pay phone on eighth,
every mother's child gets a busy signal there.

he knows his memory serves him, but he knows that memories are also lies,
 the happiness is only a shimmer,
fiction taking you by the hairdresser,
turning you around,
coming down hard
when you try to choose not to get out of bed.
he knows the face when he remembers his father is
really jimmy carter,
a ghost on a black and white emerson tv set he had when he was 5,
but he feels alright with a faceless father.

 the fever, he can feel,
 like rolling trains and thunder and his face is on the cold rail on the track.
he kisses with barricade teeth rows again and again, washing
down the steel with pouring tears, and cursing bygones and passer-bys for their empty pockets
and changeless names.
he says he knows the key to happiness is never in those memories.
he turns on bootless heel for his family and says his day of winning and loss is at hand
and changes his dollar bill for quarters at the laundromat.
he says they released the dogs hours ago, but he's been standing right here.
he says he had it figured out til now, he says it's all worth less when he's not standing in the rain.
he changes his mind, goes back for his change.
he says he can't shake it, the fever, he's shaking.
for 75 cents
or life.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

written at home.

[there's always an easy way out]

We've known this place before, seen our shoes in the sands we stir with time,
Passing over easily mistaken lines drawn and redrawn, sketched, outlined
like chalk bodies in the miniature wind danced dunes.

Not that it seems to be anything to remember anymore, say... The way
we know this day will pass,
the sun will set,
stars rising from their beds
below our heads,
and up, up, up, above.
Have we been missed ?

When they circle our other half, the hemispheres twisting, running faster.
At least that's how we pretend. We'd like to think the world was still turning,
and we weren't just running around a static track.
White knuckled,
dusted,
panting and holding it all in,
withdrawn.
The sprinter's trance.

What portraits did we pass along the way?
Did we leave them face down as we passed?
A forgotten memory,
a moment in time,
a pause - left to fade out grey?
We can walk on and pretend the faces will come back from their faded states,
that the spirits we walk over are just fading out like the stars at dawn.
 They'll be back for us.

Someday.

The faint twinkling never seemed like suffering to us, but what do we know about being universal?

Still, we can drag our laces through the gravel.
The sandy streets.
The only place we know.
 Now.

Under a dawn or maybe a sunset,
Out into a southern starlit night,
The sky is clear tonight,
The stars are bright
Across a sky we pretend to find much more beautiful than we feel at the time we see it,
Because, after all, stargazing is longing.

And we can feel that without the sky's help.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

record (throwback.)

record
December 15, 2011 at 5:32pm

the machine just went grey when it started,

and out through the window, the sun fades

and you could turn yourself in -

what you did to us, it made us sense

in each and everyone, something awful -

a tiny voice, precarious and muffled

when we want, we can halt the static

and start the record again, down from the attic

from vinyl, into the air

to hear again, the voice - what wasted,

what uncherished smiles and eyes and

what a repeatedly breaking heart,

when the machine comes on.

it hiccups through tracks and bounces

through the boundaries, what a polar

and uncommonly unholy way to bound

through this devastation, but keep it

keep the record playing.

keep the machine on.

what a difference the sounds would

make to some one that would believe

in the stuff, this love. what rasping

breaths of young love, but it's still

it's so wasted, the melody,

the time it keeps, no more matter,

it doesn't matter. it's the same sad

song. but keep it playing it.

for our sake,

keep the machine on.

Friday, March 6, 2015

renaming the stars.(we call the dog Golgotha)

[This, really, is only the suggestion of something that's real.
We are both illusory.]

It's not about worrying where to begin, it's about just where we'll go from here.
We shift from some platonic embrace to holding hands beneath a canopy of twilight,
Staring up at the tiny pinpricks of light above our horizon, all the tiny little flecks
Of diamond dust revolving around us,
We're the smudged and ambiguous center of some stained atlas, the fulcrum
of some stampede of forgotten destinations that shine on us from unfathomable distances.
She digs unpainted, manicured fingernails into the webs of my hand, each one
The individual summit of a long and railish ringer.

Somewhere, in the sickly velvet half-glow of the night, the distance between us grows
And thrives in the margins, waiting to pounce again.
The near silent swish of the fabric, all these moments passing,
The beat of my heart and the gentle rise and fall of her breath
Pushing her clavicle up, only to fall again, like empires of man.

There are times when I'd like to know exactly what she's thinking,
It's Friday and we're all drinking,
All celebrating something, and I know, off in that dark distance,
Somewhere,
There are flooded fields of brown and gold and pink thriving in her mind,
I want to know what turns, what's motivating
That pretty little head of hers.

She looks at me and says,
You will never find me,
You'll never cross me,
To lose me,
Under these skies,
And she's screaming from the sight of me,

She says
Believe me babe
It won't make this any easier
We could have been so close,
And no
It never made a bit of sense,
It won't make it any easier.

You will never find me.



We call the dog Golgotha.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

philodox.

[Shit topics like love and longing aren't lifeworthy.
These are passing complaints.
This will all get sewn up, you say.
At any rate, I like to make a mess, but don't tell me this will all blow over.
I'd like to make amends, but don't tell me how to love you.]

Out in the sky, half a block away, yards from the earth, two lords sit casting stones.
Their names, oh I forget,  but you can't unpaint the picture of a face when it's so exceedingly clear.
Yeah I say let's paint these wax wings over and take flight before dawn,
Before the break of day, guide ourselves to this cosmic couple, because I...
I won't be left behind, I won't be abandoned here in these salt flats, this desert,
Where, eventually, the winds will surely come.
I set my heart on them, set my heart on you, and surely I'll see this through.
Where we can play to waltz and dash through the colonnade, after it's planned,
We can spin and pirouette over the future home of some unnamed structure,
Vast and looming, or infinitely small.
The size and scope are always in the eye of the architect.

Will the lines deceive on the horizon?
Will it be distinct?
Will the edges dull and fade against some copse of evergreens to the east?
Will the lines of sight from the endless windows terminate in some mountaintop vista?
Will the vantage point lend enough of a range to convey a sense of power or belonging?
      I'd hope so.
      I'd hope too, if I were you.

Underneath the sky, hundreds of miles away, we'll fold our legs and throw stones
Into the space where we'd once imagined a lake.
It's name, oh I forget.
I say, I say lots of things before I mean them, just so I won't forget.
And now I'm left behind, out in these salt flats,
Where eventually, the winds will surely come.
In the eyes, in the heart of the architect.