Poem in search of a levee
bone with a magic tension
sound from a dream as if
uttered would eliminate
the eyes covet as a presence.
by mouth in a nighttime city
the shape of an ear
appears as aggression
the dream with a fine,
A bed too small for lovers
lack of color lays you down
a notion of beauty as alms for erasure.
red in the subtext,
love calls out as an arrow
a haunted tree birthing darkness
an animal with no skin—
goes to it but you follow
all your pieces from static,
bridge the nine songs
the horses painted all over the body.
for a diamond, a storm in the sun,
city becomes a moon with the shadow of a man
up and down the horizon
the edges for a common myth—
in an iron cord
rain will never end
bird as a mask pecking at the little ribs
Rat springs from a corpse as a god with a fortune of little vices and gestures as small as rice. A dream made of gold
is submersed in milk as a blessing. Rat dances on a pool of honey playing a little flute with a dirty song for the intellect
to thread a needle with the body as a red prayer. Rat feeds on darkness with lost language and a blind image until death passes
through as a shadow without its memory because there is too much color and celebration for it to be part of the economy. No
place to hide, the body becomes an orchard to feed thy neighbors with a crown of desire and a feminine noun with a coup of
tiny black seeds as wise as a lover. A private assassin sleeps for gravity when you steal the veil between lifetimes and drink
that water as a mythological feat with an unlimited body capturing the primal echo in the fingertips to share with anything
that wants it and spirals inward until it burns the sand right to where the bridge to the belly kneels. A fly floats as a
satellite to blemish paradise.
I love you with my Ford
I love you stretched out over the hood of the car.
Freedom with hard bones and small magic drawn on the skin,
You lay down in a dream, face cubed with a narrow shadow
As if you were under water, skin blushing against the lily—I am
The summer with no place to live. Blue nape and all that percussion
Designed for organs that don’t yet exist live in a blue addiction to
Speed where that red engine is a prisoner to appetites with a short,
Short future. I held your throat tight to a muse in the radio—
White noise as a pill against all that stimuli dropping pennies into a well
Of black water and oil. It’s a junkyard pulling the blood from the lips;
It’s just like drowning. But the belly is warm and contracts its arsenal
With a fire of little maladies. There is no way to be quiet enough
So we move faster into things to do, separating the self into tidy ideas
With their widows prone and hair as long as violence. Eating a fine meal
Without hands, winking at a cave inside of a bottle as an end
To context, I keep pulling off your clothes to hear that horse run
Across your shadow in a blur of pigment. Pure water in an excited mind
Failing to attain anything supernatural outside of decay, you scream
“Go faster!” until something breaks and I’ve never seen you happier.
said "all music is entirely independent also of the phenomenal world, ignores it altogether, and could to a certain extent
exist if there were no world at all."
a room to empty in order to be led into an empty room; It’s all borrowed, one betrayal after another, so sing-a-long
until distinction of anything plausible rests alone from the melody. Say “I can no longer recognize myself.” So
little to say and so much to ask, one gets weak producing an ending where ambition tries to get ahead as a word outside of
mere function and stupidity but the past is right where it belongs, dysfunctional, distorted ambiguous, lost, not just a lie
but an error… It gets bigger when left alone.
The primary and most beautiful of Nature's qualities
is motion, which agitates her at all times, but this motion is simply a perpetual consequence of crimes, she conserves it
by means of crimes only.
—Marquis de Sade
Roaches march a side of beef across the street. Rain as fine as a hooker’s moan, jackdaws, and grackles deciding
the orders for departure as memoir for stain and war. Love in one hand death in the other, dying to shred emptiness into a
black crown or a cloth as vulnerable and infinite as the impossible. Tatters and voters and strands of hair for a feast—a
knife made of hair, one made of sand, one made of grass, one a vice of water. And then there is the red skin for a dancer
as sin of fire, all those virtues to separate a bone from the invisible, but it’s all just prayer from a happy desire,
a tongue across a flute carved from a feminine bone as if it were a star or diamond plumed and pulled out the sky for dark
weather. One song to connect all life to a flicker in a shadow, great power on its knees as a lover, the tongue in and out
of the hush like fleas in a fire. One has to follow smoke to where fire never follows. Wake up in a wing or on a fingertip,
blood for an echo with no origin, a flutter for a lullaby drones for a homily and wanes for capture.
for Max Beckmann
A rape that springs from inside the mechanisms of a watch,
A man composed of earth with a natural crown pulls her open,
Her shoes a prison where he is barefoot and indecipherable,
Long afternoon with fingers as long as birth, thighs thick
In the brown stockings, he removes only what is necessary as
Darkness creeps in from the left but she can’t close her eyes
And in turn the head transforms into a little girl. Highlight
The world with little bits of red as grain inside the longing,
Inside the echo of resistance where a hierarchy of gestures
Fails at the little shoes. Somehow, there is nothing wrong
With the world, a vice for every room, a street for blood, street
For pretending, for sin, for violation in paint without words,
Plants bleed in a still life with action to an oracle of lust.
No water for the clean clothes, you have to take your time
As it’s all theater for silence. The earth king all about that tame
Skin becomes a symbol when attacking her breast one sketch
At a time. Perfume inside a vault covered with plaster lit up by
Tunnel light moves the shadows like a moth in a chemical twitter.
Bend when you talk to the paper. Tigers on your backdrop,
Rock for a bed, more red inside, some decorative linen gets torn,
Opens a spiritual insight where there are no straight lines,
Nature wins in a minor stain and words fault equality,
Memory after memory, a dream inside the little mouth,
Call it war or a little creek where a bottle falls from a cloud
In a fairytale and breaks over and over again...
No appetite in a stomach full of gold. All but the color is deaf.
Ashes and Pause
was a fraud.
No tenants. No money.
No art. No mention. No hero.
from shadow as an ally
a bomb darkness or Blake
Or an impulse
imprint and blood
on the floor
it takes your mumbling
to a cracked tooth
wander or sleep in an agenda
opening and closing in the dark
fingers or wind
record in the dance music
…A knife… A knife… A knife…
in the radius
by a ghost whose entire body is also a fraud
anything it wants to
skin comes off
in the language of bread as if it were a bed
evil as a shimmer in the static—
upset long before meeting Joyce.
laughter beneath the floor
tremor with a sailboat
And a clean
As an unfamiliar
is interior in pieces
embracing failure and sketch
only be attacked by its preservation.
in the imaginary sand with contempt
all those bones in a lion
As if it
were a metaphor inside ambition
No woman could wait that long.
No way back.
in a mirage in Braille
one bullet at time
As a prayer
to a target
what takes too long to escape a mouth
with big nails
all mist longing for magic
is nothing left to bury, just before hunger sets in to exaggerate the animal into more than it should be, the head appears,
as a target, to crush the faith in nature’s indifference—all that awe (a simple fortress against process) and
breath is shoved back into the mouth as a hard bruise on the verge of dust to arouse a sense of humor more cruel than inquisition,
erasure, possession, the clumsy heart like a fool in a rampage, or the desire to cling to representation because of a failure
of imagination to liberate a culture from its authenticity. A dog is not humble humanity, lonely in all its filth, but disease
without friendship combing a battlefield for its own echo where language builds a dream in a future that cannot be attended,
a dream where endurance maintains a map of everything vulnerable so that it can continue to exist. Curiosity before and after
defeat the sky is also a prisoner when there is no sleep to name it or innocent mind to set it on fire.
A wound that smells like a dead dog commits endurance to a bed in three worlds. Understanding and its little infidelities
like a mural in the common speech carves the bones into tiny horses as messengers for a spirit world—moving awkwardly
in the breath of the dream in the ground—it’s not death but it is the future, too deep to be a mistake when the
soul is cut into pieces as smaller treasures or pulled into black clouds as long as reality to counsel abstraction, darkness
and will. A remarkable definition of fatality in a middle world as outlaw with no opposition, anticipating something infinite
in being vulnerable but the skin is still anger about being interrogated and banished and wants more than the thin meat on
Rub it off
on the edge of the table
& like a child imagine it
falling from a great height
as if into a canyon
like a lonely cartoon.
You call this unity?
Empty as an old tin can—
Mom & the moon had big shoulders
Oh the effect of war on Mom.
Naked in a room with static
in black and white with a laugh track
& dancers outside of the field of vision
the moon comes closer
& there’s nothing to see
But a wake in translation.
Three dogs asleep inside of something
obsolete waiting to feed on something
alien and un-witnessed. Nothing
falling from the sky any time soon
so stop praying. Nature disappears
inside of all the cheap talk & copyright
so say goodbye to weather.
I’m not looking for anyone
in particular, just someone
to fill with all the stuff I don’t want
—I do my own stunts.
Tell a lie but tell it well.
Thunder is just an idea
ringing a bell twice
to beat a horse dead
until the light comes as messenger
after the fact.
Suicide of Dorothy Hale, 1938-1939. Oil on masonite with decorated wooden frame.
was the first lie to be erased. A portrait for mommy, and all that shame where the clouds swarm out of the mouths of the living
as money and art use anything beautiful to feed what is glorious in vanity or truth. Of course it’s murder, a woman
keeps dying over and over as if the paint never dried; Dust all over the privilege that gives nothing back except to itself—Art can never lie. Daylight forbidden in a yellow
corsage, the blood all over the street and the frame is imaginary as she was dead long before the fall. Frida in an empty
room like rain in a cold country with a monkey in her breath—a drunken ghost charging at those black eyes like a bull
with the heart of the common people. Dorothy without Kansas in the form of a feather wrought from cocaine looks back into
16th floor wondering what kind of revenge she could take on her friends if she had had more talent; so she jumps
again; Celebrity itself a form of suicide. Frida, always an opportunist, also paints ascension and a weapon of revolution
in a black dress, (the one Noguchi gifted,) but there is no where to go as a broke socialite, so the soul is imprisoned in
a portrait of a body with nothing left inside. Money has no eyes, and pretending to be justice, licks its fingers before taking
family away first, so a woman can die without memories while helping to hide the perfection of an era, protecting dropped
names from falling, with her, into the decadence of their afterlife. Commission in a long draw of a cigarette the smoke moves
across New York like a showgirl without shackles. O, the
first time is for love, but neither of you could recover…What is success? Mortmain hiding in philanthropy as if it were
a career, consumption without end trying to remain intact as if Superman could really fly—Did you fall for love or because
you were too greedy to be ordinary? 13, 8, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, Golden zero—Dead three times, her foot casting a shadow over
her own name, for symmetry.
To be defined under the foot of man will never happen to you but you look back twice from two different dreams, to
increase the unnatural speed—grateful for the warning—you let her rest in the borderland for judgment.
Monk eats the Middle Ages or
hand for each Harlem. One heart for Nellie.
“We have two kids, my wife
me in the future we etched with two chairs and a bed surrounded by all the corrections inflicted upon melody and the imaginary
beasts in the notes where hesitation is uneven in order to consider the repercussions in an intelligent pause. Come with me,
dressed and as dark as the universe, Saturn discovers your face from a special vantage point where it folds space with a suitable
but infected harmony with its human sense of play informed by a melody with a cartoon riot and too much reality and pain to
be less important that the sun;
from the street attacking the building in which the piano lives, like villagers with
torches, to get to you because you begged it to, as an act of mercy, to die in an embarrassment of riches, a sailor lost forever
in the sea, invention being more than any courage could contain. Hold my hand forever, Nellie.
you can dance to until a rare chord drops its cane and staggers down the stairs with all that astonishment and awe upon realizing
what its been living with all that time is suddenly forced to switch bodies and relive its urgency with another face and another
tempo in the same song until the maker, satisfied with the development of its character, ceases to believe in anything again;
It’s a stickup in the eighth bar, a love song for a sunrise.
hard fists, hard face, big heart, a special ring and a magic hat to make it all universal, the air screams when you assault
the keys as anesthesia—prelude to a sunset with footprints as constellations of you and her, every lifespan simultaneous
in the lynx you wear as a robe, until you forget your own name entrusted to the rhythm section hauling that weird light you
pulled in from that door no one ever entered, remains unknown and mysterious as the blues.
By the hair, the moon in the skin
for Hans Bellmer
Dirty little doll with no capacity to erase hypnosis is bound by haunted rope and dirtied in a black field on the edge
of turning red for a sunrise of broken glass and weeping bones, creeps where the skin flickers as map—it’s a universe,
dangerous with a chilly myth in wet tension envious of true silence. A black pool with a silver chalk bound by little vices
as a vehicle for something held together by sketch, scratches, pins, blood and smoke is too pragmatic to be sophisticated
and too primal to be ignorant, makes you reconsider your memories as they always mean more later. An approximate rose opens
at night, delicate fetus and final as the metal bones in torn paper—beauty is only what you want it to be and demands
that you do things to it and for it to invent a dragon as a perfect little torso rearranging subtlety as something to be taken
by force, with the things you can’t know, as a devotion to correspondence and substance. Shackles by the hair, the moon
in the skin, she splits my animal until everybody wakes up more porous, in knots.
Girl with a Death-Mask, 1938. Oil on Metal.
for Frida Kahlo
Little girl, little girl,
Bone and sugar and stone
Little girl, little girl,
Into dead skin—
Flour for bread,
Little girl, little girl,
Four years old,
A little brown dumpling
For a death-mask
With a sweet tooth,
On his tongue—
A village disappears,
One at time,
In a sugar skull.
Not yet violated
By the tiny fingers
Heckles the bones
That must be broken
Into dirt for calumny—
The dead wet with liquor and bloodlust
Argue against the horizon
Stretching language into a long dagger with an invisible mirror
Carving a mesquite stump
Into a tiger’s head
With an appetite as precious as gold.
Little girl, little girl,
Of course she’s uneasy,
Bare feet, dirty as bronze
In a burial swamp
Say a prayer for a hammer and nail
When all that envy turns the clouds
Into mustard gas and emerald—
O, she understands,
The gold tooth in dream with no entrance,
A short sentence,
A little verb
With one subject
Clawing her real face for all the tomorrows,
Impeccable and impatient as an orphan face
Kissed by too many lovers—
Fade it all into desert.