the stars, the sea, and sleep.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flying at Sea Level

You're boarding onto a sinking ship,
The sea is tugging at your socks.
Between gasps and grasps, your heart is calm;
Thanks for investing in your loss.
I'll hold you to it with longing's locks,
The lung's necessity for the ocean's lust
Hope's optimism towards the deepest trust.
And I'll trek this vessel across your turbulent words,
And we'll sink like hell's anchors
Until we can fly like the birds.

Among Adults with Children

A square foot blanket sits on my lap,
Barely enough to keep me warm
While I'm trying to keep my cool,
Shivering like a small dog afraid of the world,
The real world,
Who barks at everything
And doesn't chew before it swallows.
People just as subjects,
I am the object of affection
Feeding the starvees of attention with my own.
I would say my verses are a curse
From many years have practiced diction,
But my topics are entropic,
Just blowing hot air over fiction.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Splintered Wood

Start this right. When no one expects it,
Just let it collide.
I spend half the day wondering where you came from
And the other half chasing my tail.
Come down with me, roll your pants above your ankles
Dangle your feet from the pier like fisherman's bait.
Let them float on the water like the miracles you have shown me
Let your ghost find my bedroom like you had always known me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

West Coast West Ghost

As a sun presses its yolk on the pacific pan,
The silhouetted hills roll into the haze
From tar melting and cars belting their age.
The convection oven bars glow back in radiance
And a star is shattered into a thousand candles.
I hold my ear against the cement and breath in
I hold my breath to attest the descent and leave in
Every little detail that a dreamer can handle.
A pulse that carries poison to every capillary
A heavy beat from steps of the burden that I carry.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Eastbound concrete from god-knows-where,
A tangle of freeways, a tangle of golden hair
From birth in a city intended for angels
Where I saw the devil in a cardigan,
I saw airplanes land and depart again,
I saw my hand smear blood like a lefthand pen.
But the sun now whispers on the nape of my neck
And the radio fills silence where any is left,
We're breathing now, all the city and smog
That makes your golden hair grow a little bit bolder
And shakes this old world that I've left on my shoulders.

Come Here (Banned)

This is grade school debauchery,
I took my dirty laundry to your place.
The dryer sounded like a jet engine
As my mind counted paper boxes,
A playset with trays set in the upright position
And the cabin crew seated for taking off
Layers of insecurities
Much more than a fear of heights.
My ribs imploded under the weight of your eyes.
First period alarm clocks, spin dry complete,
No cruising altitude in a stiff window seat,
Just a new smell of clothes, no longer my own
Folded pages now smaller, but in depth they had grown.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wearing Out My Sleeve

I still didn't know any better
After months of retracing ghost lines,
Black wires that went through blacked out towns
To deliver a blacked out tone pressed against my ear,
The same that hadn't changed in at least a year;
It hung from my heavy shoulder,
Keeping me warm every day I grew bolder.
Now I write this letter with poster markers
In hopes that your light is getting brighter,
Because my hopes are getting darker.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Arc of Light

Here we go, gears start low,
We're just warming up the engine.
My hands were still clammy from excitement,
Extradited to the home I left in flight
When I ran so fast I couldn't touch the ground.
Your words now hit me at the speed of sound
And I see your hand against mine at the speed of light,
Scarred around the brown of my eyes
As your familiarity arced warmth around my summer night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It was the morning after the war,
After fighting the night with our lighters
I laid my aching head atop of a smoke-filled jacket.
Though the injuries sustained were minimal,
We were all criminals; it was time to get away.
From Maine to California in the same day,
There was no one to catch us but then sun.
And from my window seat it looked like heaven,
They were taking me home on a 737.

Friday, May 20, 2011

If the World Doesn't End Tomorrow

Sometimes it feels like
The world accelerates like the dashed white ghosts
That we lose in our blind spots.
I just wanted to see this through,
A funeral procession at the eve of June
The sky painted black and never too soon.
Let this whisper carry though the wind
Let it go to forgive and sin again,
We won't get much different
But we sure can pretend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Final Descent

Loud packing tape unraveled from the spool
The room was hollowed out like a jack-o'-lantern,
Down to single candle in a tower fading out
As the night's salivating tongue
Shaved the warm light from the brick face.
Cardboard boxes slid across the dirty wood,
Shushing themselves in guilt as they were shunned
To the closest to keep for the next three weeks.
Kids scared themselves when their mirrors grew them up,
Their past now in careless stacks, saying every side is up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


There were once bodies standing
Where they now sit.
The building echoes because
Those voices weren't the first ones
Those choices weren't the worst ones,
But you work through them for an answer.
I had the ball and told faith to go deep,
She said, "The backyard is free of clovers,
But it's okay because it's over."
The clock would not go slower,
Their granite voices came to sleep.

from 15 to 1

Sleepy trees on the battlefield,
Soldiers rest in their cots.
The drum line's roll is dreary
And the armories are only in theory
When you're fighting for the hypothetical.
I was arranging numbers in reverse-alphabetical;
It just didn't add up when I gathered all the sense.
I never learned how to count down too well,
Cut short like childhood scars
That made salty eyes open to an ocean's salty swell.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I grabbed at the sheets,
I swelled and then sneezed a scattered plot
Distracted thoughts put to rest
As consciousness reached its limit,
A pilot rushing to sleep
As all the blood rushed down to his feet.
He drew a line and erased it again
He drew a line and erased it again,
Gray matter was a fact,
Sweaty palms, shavings, and a pencil tracing back
To where it all best fit in,
A parachute tucked in between the cushions,
A note in hand that I never handed in.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Deserve This!

I can't.
Teach these lips how to shape my demands
Release these fists from about my hands,
Knuckles white like ghosts of those once willing to fight.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Minor Piner

When I fell I did not make a sound
Bows cocked like a lost sneeze,
A poetic tragedy, snapped to my knees.
When life flashed it stuck to my irises
Like sticky resin paused in the frame,
Stripping me down like an aching tree
Burning my bark and coming to me.
I could see the cotton lipstick
That you had kissed into the sky,
You were sending smoky signals
That were just vapors in a sigh.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don't Call It A Comeback

There are dogs out in the backyard
They've been barking at the gates,
Chain-linked like it all made sense
Selling lemonade and chipping at the dents.
So I struck you like a car in motion,
I plucked you like the flower on a weed
And buried you like family,
With sugar, salt, and picture trees
With admiration, fleur de lis.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Punching For Studs

Under weak legs, this concrete floor felt like a bounce house
In which a devilish child broke every jump and I sunk to my knees.
And from giggles to gargles, I found my seat on deflating leather
With the consistency of a dying sea
Tossing and turning in a tempest of honesty.
She was falling asleep during her final rights,
Sick at the thought that she was finally wrong,
A feeling of weakness that was never so strong.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

That Huge Nostalgia Kick

The sun was on fire again, lit up everything around it.
We put it out with squinted salutes and fitted caps,
Salty beaches and shaded palm tree naps.
I clasped my hands over the crystal sand,
A prayer for spare change and a bottle opener.
Today we drink in honey, tonight we pour out piss
While California's burning in the sunset I will miss.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Last One

I fed off of your secrets like apples left in Eden
Whose ovaries carried bitter babies
That would be cradled in the ground.
Carbon copies of original sin dug under my skin
Through the hole left in my throat from birth.
I am not the one who told you first
That it doesn't take a surgeon to fall out of a tall tree,
These cuts are feeling breezy, yeah nothing cuts easy.

Making Decisions To Make

Goodnights are softer than everything else,
The pillow that rests under your head
Melting faster than the falling shelves.
Instead I count on falling books,
Reverse-engineering the sheep we have cloned
So that your sleep becomes restless
As your conscience tries to digest this.
I am a builder off of assumptions,
You are a reversal of introductions
That is very nice to know.
How are you? Hello.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Drink To...

As she fell I studied the conical geometry,
Its axial symmetry that could spin the world around
And everything would be the same.
You've got me dizzy from the consequences
Of diving too deep without covering your ears,
From mixing the water after not enough years.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Originality took the form of faded pastels
And the sun stepped out of the room.
At ease, the air finally shuffled around
As the hotheaded stood up from the ground in dusty plumes.
They were brave enough to save the space for potential in retrospect
And to give the sun the night to realign his self-respect.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

No Reply

We send our voices in every direction
And then wait impatiently for a grumble,
China made plastic dancing
On an American made table,
With some English words wrapped in light.
It feels like the entire world is involved.
But when that backlight stays unlit,
A faded clock makes it seem timeless,
You pray for change so empty handed
You sit in silence and can't stand it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sleepless Perspective, Peace-Seeking Detective

I must have fallen asleep on a mirror,
The sun is shining from all the wrong places...
I've got all the clues, but there are no traces.
All I know is that it's 5.a.m and they've done it again!
Robbed me of my sleep with my pen still in my hand.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Rising Tide

The horizon was anxious in a rising tide,
The foreseeable future had met with present light.
They left in the dark like a secret being made
And each convenant given was another well received.
I couldn't feel what you were meaning
I couldn't see that you were speaking,
Your lips and my lungs were dead even,
I just breathed in every word that you were leaving.

No Thrice Magic

The sirens called you out in fear of heat,
Diaspora for the light your needs devoured,
To fall asleep alone,
Regretting every conscious hour.
You slipped each sip from under your sheets
And twisted them tightly in your fist,
Your bed was a ship that started to keel.
It was a genie in a bottle,
It was a drunk and polished steel.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You're Going Slow

One foot drags past another,
I pull myself through water
That won't give back my reflection.
I never had an indication
To the turbulent nature of change,
But dropping coins into a fountain
Never made the bottom any clearer,
It never gave me a new name.
But when the penny hits the bottom
With its intrinsic value facing up,
We'll call each other lucky
And then we'll pick it right back up.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Play To Your Strengths

His muscles flexed like a failed rock climber,
Tense ropes that strained in unison.
It was a camaraderie he was conditioned to love
That spit out acid when they'd had enough.
He was thankful, sure, but never learned too well;
He had dropped the world, but he never fell.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Bed

As the lights stripped and unbuttoned darkness,
My throat tried up in the honest heat
As lies were pumped into the atmosphere,
The way they searched like bloodhounds
And covered every exposed inch of her body
Wanting to come true,
But were leashed under a window of sleep,
Looking over a warm lake and its stagnant view.