Saturday, May 23, 2009

Carrying On

Eddie Pancake waited on the bar stool for
a personality transplant that wasn't coming
anytime soon as a bucket of kangaroo spit
kept the red ants out of reach of the piano
lesson that raged down the greasy stairs.
On AA meeting night, Eddie kept pigeons
under the armpits of his dented dreams.
Over the years, the sweet debris of indifferent
sex was swept into the corners of a conceptual
life that was very Danish modern.
There were ghosts in the upper bunk
heading for Cairo on a drunk camel.
Eddie was left wearing army boots and
a party hat as a piano was crushed by
the power of a million frantic butterflies.

Tijuana on the Half Shell

The girls stick to the bald guy like Elmer's glue.
Burgers buried in grease sizzle on a side street.
20 arms stretched out behind a plastic curtain
donate blood for some sex money.
While a laid-off bus driver downs his first drink,
the bald guy leans on a sticky handrail and fingers
pesos like they are being devalued on the spot.
The girls bust out laughing as they each
grab for the arm of a pressed white sailor
who has testosterone calling the shots.
Slices of yellow cheese bubble over the
horizon as the laid-off driver stumbles into
one last strip club for the night.

If I Were ...

If I were a caterpillar on page one of a children's book putting its fuzz to the grndstone, I probably would not stop believing in the power of camouflage to keep me safe from the scrutiny of an English department that feeds on Foucault and Derrida.
If I were leaning over a hospital bed mercilessly murmuring about misplaced meaning with the spark of dementia setting fire to the drapes, I probably should not lead an invisible crusade to fire up a camera full of family brushes with delusion.
If I were hyperextending myself into ultimate fighter mode in front of a rowdy Vegas crowd, I probably should not be leaving a cab with the meter running on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
If I were rummaging through a trailer home for my childhood and I found furniture floating out of a full-length mirror, I probably would not break out the Yahtzee dice and roll up a storm of sixes.
If I were channeling Charlie Parker on a Saturday night with clouds hugging the mountains as a wind tears through the valley, I probably would not punish the babysitter who taught me about nakedness in the chill of my parents' bedroom.
If I were riding on the back of an Indian elephant through a national forest with my feet talking trash, I probably should not shock myself into believing that my ATM card is home building up an empire of nondeductible debt.
If I were listening to the White Album at midnight in bed with the covers over my head, I probably would not want to be grinding my teeth down to the source of the Nile with the clocks running backwards up Victoria Falls.
If I were flipping through a reference book in search of the year a German novel was first translated into English, I probably should not be expected to remember that I need to pick up a new supply of filters for the house ventilating system.
If I were curled up in a sleeping bag on the beach just south of San Felipe in Baja with a big wind blasting snakes out of the rocks, I probably should not take the time to relive the Thirty Years' War and how whole patches of ground were denuded by careless armies.
If I were standing in line at the market with five items in my basket, I probably would not have enough time to run down the list of all the girls whoever made me lose consciousness with their earthshattering French Symbolist kisses..

Not Losing Sight

Eileen's eye focused on

the sea and not

the arcade that was

morphing into a hazard

for everyone in

the extended family.

The day was full of

vermilion petals and

feathers that floated down

from a previous generation.

She watched the ocean be

transformed into a palace

full of fragrant myths, and

a gallery ready-made for

swimming away from

the geometry of dread.

A New World Order

The gulls carry whiffs
of salt to the suburbs.
A small boat is beached at
the on-ramp to the freeway.
Three coins wash up at
the doorstep of the governor.
A can of tuna shimmers
in the candlelight.
A schoolboy reaches for
his shoes at the bottom
of an aquarium.
There is a new world
order many fathoms deep.

Friday, May 22, 2009

On the Clock

The sanguine answer didn't come to me
soon enough to make a difference in
the big picture, but I was there when I
said I was there and not any later as has
been rumored in circles that i refuse to
acknowledge for purposes of this discussion.
The ticking continued as I spoke up for
myself in the center of the fray that was
not of my making in any sense of the word.
It could have been resolved in duplicate but
no one was pf a mind to carry through to the end.
Things were left to fester and my reputation
was left in tatters by the shabbiness of it all.
There was not one scintilla of truth to any of
the allegations that piled up at my door.
I merely paused before entering the building in
the back and could not have been standing
near the melting clock after lunch was served.
To make matters worse, I banged both knees on
the banister that was bulging beyond usefulness.
Although not trained in the law of diminishing
returns, I surmise that bald face lies should not
be left unanswered and that I am well within my
rights as a jester and a rube to take issue with
all the unsubstantiated accusations hanging on the clock.