Archive for April, 1993


Posted: April 30, 1993 in Poetry
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you’re a kitten curled up
after a day of curious exploration,
ears twitching with dreams
and unconscious poise,
lulled asleep by the intricate rhythm
of your heart rattling in its cage.

you’re two shiny blue eyes like children
on Christmas day, lips slightly parted
and twinkles streaming like the stars
in the Milky Way, one languid arm
of our beautiful, beautiful galaxy.

you’re one sunrise that explodes slowly
over sleepy violet mountains,
the opening of a gigantic flower
or a treasure chest at the end of a quest;
all pouring gold in fountains and cataracts
into the tide around my feet.

Scalping for Love

Posted: April 30, 1993 in Poetry
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like an addiction, an Indian
– scalped me and I liked it
without my hair to hide behind
naked and bare to the attacks that never came
from between your ears,
just soothing fingers
which gripped my arms for a moment
and then let go like a diver
leaving a springboard.

the most damnable thing
is that I’m wistful, how it could have been;
a cliff by the ocean, powdery earth
and a fistful of the tough grass
to keep me from falling
into a grey-green sky;
an ocean with waves and tarnished sparkles
to lap at the leaden bluffs
where I first remember dreaming
of being in love with a woman.

What Happens Next

Posted: April 30, 1993 in Poetry

hopefully I’ll be
hushed up to your family
over a couple of awkward conversations
where you tell relatives
that I’m fine
and then explain the mistake.

A Coal, a Cancer

Posted: April 30, 1993 in Poetry
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somewhere I have left a coal,
a cancer, burning; fond memories
concerning my love for you
and I am loathe to stamp it out
or fan it into flame.

there is a sadness in my eyes;
they’ve watched the indecisions
that make me so utterly human
– this is how I make the time
that is worn on my face.

More Potential

Posted: April 29, 1993 in Poetry

catch myself
looking at my hands
and how I trust
in them.
they hold and play,
they press and grasp and fold,
capable of killing,
along my way;
they’re just barely under control.


Posted: April 29, 1993 in Poetry

and for a split second he paused
figuring out how he got here,
a room full of people dressed in color
swirling as if the floor
was too hot to touch.
he never wanted as much
to stop the music, wonder where
he learned to move like this,
a stutter step that you can’t resist
admiring: sculpture in motion –
everyone knows he creates as he goes
– so it comes full circle like his limbs.

Just Watching You Now

Posted: April 29, 1993 in Poetry
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now you move in your unconscious arts
soaked like rain through every pore;
your love for your form
is inconcievably lovely,
believable, beyond me –
transforming, like a dress worn
for a special occasion:
a fantastic ball or a secret liason.

Untitled Poem #160

Posted: April 29, 1993 in Poetry
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what is life without a smoke and a beer
freely given and freely recieved
like the love from your friends?
life’s little joys to be consumed
and forgotten in the moment.
happiness tends to be transitory
like the light zipping past you from the sun
or one smoke and one beer when they’re done.

Important Enough to Sit Still

Posted: April 27, 1993 in Poetry
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heated with rose wine
from a big cheap bottle,
I immerse myself in beach sand.
full and sun-warm,
like the fat flavored wine,
like Mediterranean sea-air;
I remember through the hiss of the surf
how it was like blood down the back of my throat,
that wine,
and how I must have been meant to drink blood on the beach.

Imitation of Charles Bukowski

Posted: April 27, 1993 in Poetry
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once at a stoplight in San Diego
one middle-aged bum in a dirty red flannel
asked me for some change ‘cause he had a couple children
I said that’s not the reason but I can guess the real one
he said he lost his job just a couple days ago
said he had no money and he didn’t have a place to go.
the light turned green but I asked him what’s the money for
he said port wine; I gave him a dollar sixty-four.

Untitled Poem # 159

Posted: April 25, 1993 in Poetry
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the heart is a marvellous thing.
it does not think with logic –
it “thinks’ in magic
so your mind usually takes
a bit of time to justify
what your heart says is right.
meanwhile your heart is smiling
and has its arms crossed
over its chest, very comfortable
especially if you’ve listened.

Seeing Green

Posted: April 25, 1993 in Poetry
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I want you to see green
the way that I see green
in all of its fluorescence and grandeur:
a lawn and a suit
and a rain-clean forest in Hawaii fed by moss-strung waterfalls,
frog skin and garden hoses and glow sticks,
the bindings of books with gold letters,
childrens’ animated watercolors;
the hue and cry of the lifelong green
of the ocean where kelp beds hang,
or of a new car,
or of an apple.

Saturday Matinee

Posted: April 24, 1993 in Poetry
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what are my admissions of guilt
even going to mean to you? nothing,
just words on a page – only I
will be fooled that it is some great testament
to poetic honesty,
something that will move somebody.
not likely – each one of you
has your own set of things to admit
to yourself – dole them out like movie tickets
but there’s no need for you to come
watch my Saturday matinee.

The Fall of Rome

Posted: April 24, 1993 in Poetry
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the decline of Rome was a beautiful thing:
around the Emperor you’d laugh and sing,
pasted on smiles over plenty of warning
while the city skyline is crimson with burning.
spinning like the gold of a fumbled coin,
maybe I’m ready to leave in the morning
but not tonight
while I’m this beautiful man…
I tell you these dreams are hourglass sand
and I won’t even fight
to keep all of this that you think is real;
it’s always been mine and it’s no big deal.
if Rome is burning, then that is fine,
I won’t lift a hand but to drink more wine.


Posted: April 24, 1993 in Poetry
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let go of my heart.
I don’t know
how you retained that part.
I thought I had cut
all of that sentiment out.
it seems like a Devil’s wart,
growing from the palm of my hand,
growing from the bottom of my foot,
growing like a tombstone from the center of my heart
regenerating and disgusting.

Untitled Poem #158

Posted: April 23, 1993 in Poetry
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a spray of flowers
erupting from a glass vase
is a frozen firework
of love from you.

Rain Song

Posted: April 18, 1993 in Poetry
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I pray for rain nowadays when I see
Those dark clouds splayed above me, threatening.
I can’t always tell what rain will fall
Or what tears you’re crying to comfort me.
When the sunset’s burning and crowded for space
In the sky with your pain so apparent,
Your heart is tearing apart with these questions,
No answers; let it all fall as rain.

Go out and bathe and dance in those streetlights,
Let the nighttime come down as ink
With the rain, all your pain, it’s your tears, all your fears
And frustrations – they’ll leave you
Soaked and alone crying out for the joy of the rain.

Can you see the sky and how it mirrors your eyes
And your tears as they’re streaming down your face.
Do you think I can stay here and wait?
I’ve got to get up and play, get soaked and catch cold in your rain.


These heavens will fall like thunder but water
On you, so alone in your misery.
Drenched to the skin look within at your shine
Be an Angel and cry and it clears you inside
Just like the rain.

So when this storm has passed and
All the fury of lightning’s been spent,
Your strength may still ache but you’ll dry and be fine
Then maybe you’ll learn how to pray for the rain.

Dead Parking Lot

Posted: April 18, 1993 in Poetry
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drums, call the drums,
beat the drums in a circle,
summon sound from your skin,
bone and muscled rhythms.
spin the spinners, earth born,
hearts beating taut, within,
throwing warm loops of blood
in long arcs through your bodies,
racing and rebelling into movement.

By Yellow Moonlight

Posted: April 17, 1993 in Poetry
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I commissioned a cloak
black but lined with elf-eyes
to be able to stand still
in the graveyards I wished to wander.

The wind confers in my ears
then tugs like awkward bridesmaids at my hem
making parachute ripples in the fabric
while I ignore them, another statue
in this washed out moonlight
a faint yellow as watercolored flowers
licking the moss strands on the headstones of each buried poet.

Warm air flows, heat from the decaying memories
leaking from these toothy beds,
mixes the night air into molasses
thick and slow to breathe, supportive
of standing still in the mild curiosities
of the wind’s ivy tendrils.


Posted: April 17, 1993 in Poetry
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one tear that came from the corner of my eye
balanced on the dry skin of my cheek; I
picked it up with my thumb and forefinger,
a prism of sadness in which your picture lingers.
I drew my eye near carefully enough
wondering if the force of my gaze was too rough,
then placed this halo in the sky as a star
to mark my Bethlehem: to let you know where you are.

“I invoke thee,
thou diamond fiery very majestic star”
from your bed of night-pillows
and molten stardust;
your gaze may guide my deerlike footsteps
through the overgrown gardens
of my lover’s distrust.

a star winked out in the nighttime sky
and did not return my love
as I cast into the heavens;
a sword standing still
riding my mind like the hip of a warrior.
one oboe quietly mediates the tree’s disputes
about who is shading who
as I am walking through.
there is no medium for art
like the dreams dreamed when all alone
and happy with where you are in the world.
writing to be poetic, prolific
I sometimes wind myself soporific
scratching at the paper making nothing terrific,
just words that rhyme
a line at a time or three
cavorting in silent melodies
like those oboes, sleepy in the trees.


Posted: April 13, 1993 in Poetry
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In the back of my mind, you see,
I filed away that Gordon’s Vodka
was on sale – when the excuse came,
I bought it in a glorious name:
I signed my check Charles Bukowski.

the waves keep on singing
thrashing my shores with scourges of driftwood:
I pour the alcohol in nonstop
from a weatherbeaten clifftop.

a lizard glitters under a broad ivy leaf,
sapphires for eyes and mottled scales,
daughter of the dragons we murdered in Wales
with rationality as comfortable as grinding my teeth.

the waves sing because they are free
blissfully ignorant of the landlocked me.

Magic Disco Shirt

Posted: April 12, 1993 in Writing
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I went to the Grateful Dead shows in Las Vegas and didn’t have a ticket, which usually isn’t a problem at Dead shows except that there were throngs of tie-died fanatics gambling on other generous deadheads to have extras. It’s Las Vegas; you go there to gamble.
“I just walked here from Pakistan to see the Dead.” I was trying anything to get into the show. I was hoping that I would get some sympathy for the incredibly ugly disco-era shirt I was wearing to try to be colorful in the land of the tie-die rainbow. It was a sickly green and covered in silver sparkles and the material looked as if it would be irritating to bare skin, but it was too hot to wear anything else. Then again, I didn’t have anything else. I tried to trade the girl standing to my left for a ticket and got a sharp kick in the rump. The carload of out-of-place fraternity guys actually looked interested. Not only did I have to find a ticket for myself, but my friend Dawn was having a ghastly weekend of losing her wallet at the Friday show (now it was Saturday, the peak of the frenzy), leaving her tickets that she had so wisely mail-ordered back in Isla Vista, and having a newly torn ligament in her right knee, so she needed a ticket, too. I didn’t have the balls to tell her that one of the fish she left my roommate to watch for three simple days had died even before I had left, floating bloated and bulge-eyed to the surface with the fake little seaweed wrapped around it’s corpse like a green shroud.
I didn’t care why the fish died, though I think that in trying to spoil it I overfed it; I was leaving early the next morning for Las Vegas and was a third of the way through a fifth of Jim Beam in true Bukowski style, bitching and grumpingabout everything that could go wrong. I hadn’t guessed that the fish would die, though. But I was using anything as an excuse to drink more whiskey, so I saluted the fish and finished the water glass. I was drunk over twenty four hours, from the night before leaving for Las Vegas until early Saturday morning, when Dawn roused me out of the corner of the hotel room I had seized from the other fifteen people staying there and demanded that I escort her across the street to Bob somebody-or-other’s “Vegas World”.
We had two hotel rooms reserved, but somehow the telephone lines from Las Vegas to Isla Vista distorted the amount that it was supposed to cost. Siobhan, another friend of mine from IV, got stuck with the credit card bill, so we sold one room for 120 bucks to two guys going to the show who smoked our entire party out with some crippling marujuana, and I wasn’t really in the mood to go anywhere, especially “Vegas World”, which has Bob’s name emblazoned on the carpet every three square feet, but I was too wasted to argue coherently, so there I was with Dawn, a handful of nickels and a Budweiser being assaulted by the noise of four million slot machines being run by silverheaded women with the knack of winning while I watched. Dawn was darling, limping around on her bad knee in a blue splint with a little change bucket and bright eyes and the hopes of hitting that nickel slot payoff at 2:30 in the morning. But I really wanted her to play a table, any table, so they would bring on the free incentive drinks.
Earlier, I had somehow convinced everyone to walk to Circus Circus with me for the buffet, $4.23 with tax so that you not only get to choose from forty-seven wonderfully decorated types of cardboard, but you really end up spending five bucks because you get three quarters and two pennies back and in Vegas you sure as hell aren’t going to keep any pocket change unless you’re a Jedi knight. They might as well not give you any change, they’ll get it all back somehow; luckily the only money of my own I gambled the entire weekend was those three quarters, which I converted into $3.50 then into nothing in the space of five minutes. My friend Calvin showed up at six Saturday morning with the tired look I imagine the people who play against James Bond have after losing some ridiculous amount of money and sending his ATM machines into the red. He’s worse in Vegas than me shopping with somebody else’s billfold.
I don’t rightly remember exactly how I convinced two separate people that I was more in need of extra tickets than the other million people flocking the parking lot and surrounding roads with hopeful looks and their fingers raised, but I secured those extras. They cost forty dollars each, and I think the green disco shirt is what did it, since nobody was having any luck but the scalpers selling the GA tickets for eighty to a hundred dollars apiece. And I even watched one of them get busted by the police and they wouldn’t sell his tickets on the spot; they said they had to check to see if they were genuine – yeah, right: everyone knew they were just going home to call in their lunch break, grab their Jerry Garcia Band tie-dies and head back to the show. Even the ambulance drivers were wearing tie-die T-shirts. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t get lost from the people I came with while I was on LSD. On the way back from 7-11 where I bought my breakfast – a super-big-gulp mix of Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper and a king-size Snickers bar – I stopped a Deadhead who laughed at my shirt so I offered to trade it to him for an extra.
“Almost, man.”
“This shirt is a classic,” I cajoled, “Real vintage stuff. The Trammps wore this gear. Cost me a hundred in Milan”
“Gotta save ‘em for the parking lot.” I paused; he was still admiring the sparkles. “Doesn’t it itch?”
“Got any doses?”
“You need a tab if you’re wearing that.” He gave me a hit and I dropped LSD at ten in the morning on the way to a parking lot of colorful crazies with no tickets. And then, three hours later, I was standing on the road into that lot clutching two precious extras in front of twenty or thirty jealous fans, peaking, with no idea where anyone was and feeling like my life could be threatened at any moment by a real die-hard Deadhead.
At the Grateful Dead, though, if you’re on acid, you came with everybody else at the show because they all know you or your friends from somewhere or through somebody or at least respect you for liking the same music they do; it’s a friendly phenomenon found nowhere else. There was no hope of me losing anyone anyways because I was wearing the green disco shirt. I got more admiring looks and compliments because of that shirt than I could understand; I was introduced to some girl named Marjorie who was wearing an even more widly colored dress, and I could see that she was happy that there was somebody else dressed as garish as she was. I was feeling a little out of place because I didn’t have anything tie-died or with a logo that was punning on the Grateful Dead’s name (“What do you do if you meet a bear in the woods? Play Dead!”), but I was content after a while to stick out like a fan at his first Dead show. It was my first Dead show. Probably not my last though, I’ve got a closet full of wacky disco clothes and I’ve got to wear them somewhere.