Posts Tagged ‘Green’

Listening In

Posted: May 1, 2003 in Poetry
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Sometimes I try to identify
The vehicles passing beneath the windows
By the sound their tires make
Through the twin dips of the intersection.
Smooth ride or clanking trailer,
Singing brakes before the stoplight
Or acceleration hum to beat the amber.
Twenty seconds to guess at the conversation taking place
Inside the latest idling monster,
Before the green light sends them away.
A shred of laughter or singing
Leaking from an open window;
The thrum of bass or reggae guitars.
All lives passing on their way elsewhere
Unaware that I try to identify.

Postponement and Consummation

Posted: May 20, 2002 in Poetry
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A slight stirring of wind
Holds this gauzy curtain away from the window,
Reminders of a springtime outside, all green
And flowers and wholesome shit.
Me, I just want to get drunk
Feel the empty agony of my loneliness,
Postponed by the full bottle;
Consummated by another empty can.
I can feel, yes, I can feel again
And it is maddening, yea, sorrowful;
I did live all those years numb to it,
Became numb to everything else as well.
Successful, responsible, hard-working;
Admirable, overachieving, but never enough.
All exterior virtues for exterior opinions.
Something I chose to do to have somewhere to go.
I thought I was happy,
But now I really don’t know.
Perhaps I cut off one arm to spite the other
Now frustrated I can’t cut that one off, too.

Burn the Phoenix

Posted: February 10, 2002 in Poetry
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I am thee Froggacuda
And oh so froggy be I
Defined by myself as myself
And marooned is my current cry.
Inside I’m still the same hollow
Green straw puppet carnival black hole
Of pool-soaked poetry pages
Missing something to be whole.
Cobwebbed closets rarely treaded
And rusty hinges, unsafe passage
Basement dwelling, life enshrining
Long decoding of this message.
Love and laugh; live your time
Unwrap an onion and be true
I burn the phoenix of my years
Consumed by seeing myself in you.

Green Monte Carlo

Posted: October 16, 1997 in Writing
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I used to own a 1973 olive green Monte Carlo. It served my family quite well until I really learned how to drive; it was Shelby Brown who convinced me to see how high I could launch it above the ground one lifeless night in San Diego. Shelby Brown has a penchant for getting me into trouble: my parents frowned on him for “borrowing” this same car without my permission from a party and returning it an hour later with a half-tank less gas and the excuse that he was jump-starting his car down the street. This night, though, I remember him looking over at me with a slightly surprised expression as the engine was roaring at 5500 rpms since the wheels were no longer in contact with the ground. As I lifted my foot from the gas pedal, and the engine noise died to a faraway murmur, Shelby had time to say “Gee Mike, we’re really high.”
The rooftops of cars were passing below the tires of that green Monte Carlo as we flew down Dickens Street.
My friends Chris McGee, Brett Hathaway, and Matt Graham were in the back seat staring at the San Diego Bay’s skyline through the windshield. Dickens Street is in a moderately well-to-do part of Point Loma, and the views from those houses were magnificent. The intersection that had enabled us to defy gravity for a few precious seconds was at the top of a hill that had a sudden gradient change from steep to steeper in the middle, and ended one short block down in a T intersection which crossed Dickens, not continued it. What made me acquiesce to Shelby’s request to power my poor seventeen year old Monte Carlo down this street at 43 miles per hour is, to this day, beyond me.
The five of us had thought to go to one of a few parties we knew of, but nothing was happening. The Monte Carlo was a very unique car; only Chevrolet in the early part of the 70’s would have been able to sell my father on that color, and it was one of the favorite rides to and from parties. Plus, the large bumpers and the couple of dents put in it by my parents on ill-placed light poles and tight parking spaces were adequate to cover up any small damage we would do to the bodywork while driving down alleys spinning trash cans with our momentum. Most of the purpose of taking the Monte Carlo was the diversions that we would find on the way to and from parties. Dickens Street bent the steel frame of my car, almost sent the five of us over a cliff into the roof of a Vons forty or fifty feet below, and was the most talked about event of the next three weeks among my friends. Nobody ever convinced me to do it again, though.
The top of the street had a huge dip and bump in it; it was this which propelled the car into the air in the first place. The unique design of the street, getting steeper halfway down, gave us even more hang time once we got there. The 1973 Monte Carlo was a heavy car, even for those days of the V-8 engine and the swivel bucket seats; when we came down, we landed partially on the front bumper. The impact of the automobile jarred the engine in its motor mounts, and it stalled. Heading towards a sturdy white fence with three reflective red diamonds on it that guards a large cliff is no time to lose your power brakes or your power steering. I hauled with all my might on that steering wheel, driving around a parked car on the wrong side of the street to its left, over a curb, some shrubs and a lawn, through three galvanized trash cans and back on to the street. As the car rolled down yet another hill, but at a lesser speed, I shakily put the car in neutral and started the engine. We drove on in silence, down and around to the parking lot of that Vons.
When we got to the supermarket, I stopped the car where we could all see the white fence. I opened my door and climbed out. I let the occupants of the back seat get out and walk around. Everyone had the look you have after getting off of the Viper rollercoaster at Magic Mountain or after seeing a movie like “Die Hard”. Shelby, though, was having trouble getting out of the passenger’s side. I walked around the car, checked to see that the door wasn’t locked and hauled on the handle really hard. It finally swung open with an awful squeal, and Shelby got out. Matt pointed to the roof of the car, where there was an almost unnoticeable crease in the paint: the car had compressed a little in the thin material of the roof. That meant that the frame had bent on my Monte Carlo – it was why the door on Shelby’s side didn’t fit quite as precisely as it was designed to fit anymore.
I drove everyone home after that; nothing could top that incident off, so we just talked about it as everyone was delivered in the remarkably durable green Monte Carlo. The next day I told my Dad that I had hit a dip a little too hard on Ebers Street, famous in Point Loma for its gaping, canyon sized dips. A few months later, the mechanic who was changing my tires for me pulled me aside and asked me what I did to my car. It was up on the lift, and he pointed out that the A-frame which holds the right side tire on the axle was bent and twisted just a bit. I swore him to secrecy and explained the “Dickens Street Leap” as we had dubbed it, and he looked at me as if I was crazy.
Maybe I was crazy back in high school, but Dad and I sold that Monte Carlo this time last year, and it was only after we had sold it that I admitted to him what I really did to it to make the door squeak so horribly. And I never admitted to him that Shelby Brown was in the passenger seat.

Once Again

Posted: May 24, 1994 in Poetry
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just so that I could
keep spouting poetry
to myself in the dark
of hidden poetry journals.

there came a chisel
unto the flesh of my heart
today.

examine the date
and remember what it is
during these times:
the abject punishment
of yourself
for unpreventable,
unlooked for damages
and a sick sense
of trust gone green
with rust.

Green Touseled Mountainsides

Posted: October 4, 1993 in Poetry
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and when I sit and think,
sometimes,
I write pure gibberish
about green touseled mountainsides
like dead Japanese poets
bearded and silent,
bending their great ghostly heads
to squint through the clouds
that form their thrones:
they watch my pen move,
my mind clicks across its railroad tracks
past the wooded mountains,
and rising to them momentarily
on the steam of a whistle.

Cozy Up the Rooms

Posted: June 6, 1993 in Poetry
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I thought this building was so strong
but I don’t have enough furniture
to cozy up the rooms.
Soaring to the sky, perhaps;
a beautiful glass and steel structure
but these changes are not a home yet.

Now I’m desperately searching for
cheap end tables and green-glass bowls,
wrought iron chandeliers and wall sconces for candles,
oriental throw rugs and complete boardgames.