Posts Tagged ‘Smoke’

I.
There was a woman
Who I loved with all my heart.
It’s the only way
I know how
to love.
The problem I have
With falling in love
Is that I just keep falling
And falling on through.
It’s a perpetual autumn;
Storming leaves of memories,
Possibilities,
Skeletal trees.
And turning my collar up
Against the cold of this world.
Holding my hands out
To the warmth of the fire
That we had kindled
To keep the darkness at bay.
Every time these things end
I look up from the glow
Of the smolder, the embers,
For the ignition of a smile,
That familiar, beloved synching
Eyes to eyes:
It’s just understood
We’ll revel in the work
To pile on more fuel
From our common woodpile.
But nobody is there
Across the coals from me;
I’ve fallen through
The bottleneck of the hourglass
Along with all these ashes.

II.
Songs get tied
Like complicated knots
Around my feelings;
They remind me of how
I used to think about forever.
Some are bright blossoms
Stolen from yards
On the way to your window
In the middle of the night
To kneel and present you
With a moonlit bouquet,
My Juliet.
Another is the crosshatching
Of spray painted poetry
Hanging in midair
Amongst the tree branches
Between the shadows
Of the stars that were ours;
Witchcraft and wizardry
For an unrelenting passion.
Tapestries of smoke
And of tie-dyed freedom;
Soft paws of haloed kittens,
The chocolate and the champagne
Of the once in a lifetime.
Threads on a magick loom
Synchronicity unparalleled,
Spiderwebs like a hammock,
An embrace as if I was coming home;
Touch burning like the fire of a faerie,
Or the resurrection of the phoenix,
Tracing sigils in the sky,
Re-ignition of belief
Like a firestarter
Or finding a soulmate.
I am haunted
By the breadth of my music
And the depth of my commitment.
The failure
of my eyesight.

III.
The carnage is absolute;
A battlefield strewn with my corpses,
Beer cans and shrieks and cigarette butts,
The best of intentions and
The stench of taking things for granted.
These raw wounds
I have sustained over my lifetime
Of loving how I should have been loved
Never seem to heal;
They just ooze and pulse
Making heartbeats painful;
A crazy accumulation of luggage
Like owning an airport carousel
Of baggage you can’t strip off.
It just grows with you,
Older and less attractive,
Smelling faintly of urine and gangrene
When you can’t bear
To perform the required surgery.
It hurts too much;
I’ll excise memories I want to keep
Along with the decaying flesh.
Retrospective or post-mortem;
It’s still the death of a relationship
That I thought would live forever
As if I had infinite chances,
Infinite quarters.

IV.
I was pinned to a mortarboard
Like a butterfly from a caterpillar,
When I had to eulogize my friend;
My brother, my partner-in-crime,
Someone who understood
By the merit of not being female
The depth of love and an enduring relationship.
I don’t ever want to do that again.
It is the same with love;
I know I can, and it will be better,
But the pain of losing someone to provoke that work
Is too much to accept;
Besides, who the fuck will do that for me?
The answer is as clear as hindsight:
20-20.
I listened to my voice echo hollow through a church
That he wouldn’t have appreciated
To the people who were left behind,
And became even more haunted.
I did my best to represent,
Tell tales, romanticize, believe
And I went home with ashes in my mouth
To cry, cry out, want to evaporate,
Disappear, erase myself from existing
Because I had lost something precious:
A true friend.
It’s a lot like losing your love
Because you have lost a friend.

V.
The light switch is off.
This is the eye of the storm for me.
Now I deal with the still shatter of leaves,
The cold of being alone,
And shoving my hands into the campfire.
There is no warmth.
This destroys the fabric of memories
That took deep commitment
And sweat equity;
Deeper resources than I had without you.
And I see them all retreat,
As if they never existed;
Vanish into the thin, thin air
That I breathe.
Flatlined.

VI.
To move along,
Because there is nothing to see here;
It’s a pretty penance,
My cross to bear;
One that gets weightier
The more years I carry forward,
This boulder I am pushing uphill.
It’s that lost luggage from the carousel;
It’s those old wounds from the battlefield;
It’s those lyrics of happier times
When I would write, compose, sing
Of how I loved being in love
And how I expected forever
But you only had right now to give.

VII.
Perspective is a function of wisdom,
Which is a byproduct of experience,
That is what happens when you live and die
Through these things.
Perhaps they build character;
Actually, they create defense mechanisms
To try to prevent this from happening again
And again.
Expectations collapse
And you lay bricks and mortar in the fortress
That you think will keep you safe
But not sound;
You all are quite persuasive.
Certainly isolated
In the aftermath
Of bequeathing your everything —
Heart, mind, soul —
To your everything
Around that campfire
And you look up and discover
That she is long gone.

The results of dishonesty

The results of dishonesty

There is a hole in my heart, and I can’t contain the light that is pouring out. This is the brilliance of truth and the refraction of soul. This is the damage that is done to a human being when you are betrayed, blinded, backstabbed, and belittled for trying to be more understanding than is humanly possible to be. The Froggacuda has held his enormous, razor-sharp, whiplike tongue long enough, and the slings and arrows, the sticks and stones, having come from all quarters, determine that the defense of the 360 degrees is back by popular demand, and must be enforced with the unpredictable and uncanny gusto that is the Monster from Red Lake.

This site has been populated with what I once was and, apparently, what I still am made of: not snips and snails and puppy dogs tails, but fifteen years of poetry, ten years of making music, five years of DJ mixes, and one month of unemployment later, I am sitting all froggy on top of a pile of meaningless (to you) shit that perhaps someone will wander through and find a gem or two amidst this midden heap of detritus. Although the catharsis of inputting and then burning all of my available poetry journals is healing, it tears a lot of scabs off of present and historical wounds that should have been viciously expunged with a gallon of Bactine and a scalpel when the damage occurred in the first place. Except that I am a coward.

I don’t know why I am so creative; why I am able to pour my guts out on the kitchen table and read your fortune in them like some sort of Street Shaman or modern-day Gypsy — to help you, only to stuff my innards back into this ridiculously fat and out-of-shape barrel-like body of mine, smile, pat your head, tell you I am alright, and send you on your merry way with a little bit of Murdoch perspective to think about. It’s what I do.

I am so brave when it comes to telling the truth to other people. In my own private hellish closet where the real me lurks and shakes his fist at a world that I never asked to be a part of, I tell myself I am making the best of it. I live, I love, I breathe, I get up in the morning, I go to work (when I have it), I get shanked by friends, family members, acquaintances, business partners, bosses, co-workers, Sunday drivers, wives, fuck-buddies, Internet personalities, and the population at large, and it all it really makes me want to get this thing called life over with. That’s why I am trying to smoke and drink myself to death like a modern day Charles Bukowski. What is the point of all of this happiness and misery, anyways?

Seriously, what is a blog for besides spitting ridiculously self-centered screeds to an unsubscribed and uncaring Internet where my body of work will be lost as another couple of drops in the ocean of half-formed content scrabbling for purchase or publication like so many Lovecraftian half-formed nightmares populating the craptacular pages of the 21st Century’s equivalent of pulp fiction: WordPress.

I was going to wait until I had everything I had ever done (or at least kept and found again, only to be re-humiliated by rediscovering it) pumped into this overblown MySQL database before I started ranting again, but enough is enough, and the tongue must be let loose to rave in the dark as an orgy of one. It is terribly frustrating to understand that the highlight of my life is the eulogy I gave in a shadowy, barely filled cathedral for one of my best friends Bela Feher, who I miss like an arm or a testicle (he’d love that) even now, and I DAMN him for falling off of a big rock and leaving me here to struggle through this bullshit they call life while trying to console myself that I can’t die fast enough and that his wisdom, magic, and sarcasm is still contained within every ray of light from the hole in my heart.

[ original image courtesy of www.basehead.org ]

In a dream that plucked me
From the couch that I slept on,
I walked, ant sized, through the growth
In my garden,
Shaking nasturtium stems
To feel the dewdrops like rain,
And climbing mountains
And ferns
Like a child with no friends.

Reminiscing like a fool,
These dreams torment like reminders;
Gleans of silver behind the tarnish,
Cigarette smoke fanned out the window.

When waking I walk
Through the garden I planted,
I can hear, I can see, I can smell
But not understand
Like I was able to way back when
In the gloaming of orange street lights,
Summer solstice and heat lightning.

Once Upon a Sky

Posted: December 20, 1994 in Poetry
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Once upon a sky,
I saw, imprinted: smoke
from the pretty bonfire
of each lie, lie, lie.
I saw this thread from afar,
black and hanging from God’s suit:
my hair stood on end from the heat;
it’s burning bright like a star.
The twin scratches at my insides,
carving words in my skin,
inciting organ against organ,
organizing rebellions within.

I am the sole member
of the The Blessed Heart Sacred Moon Wanderlust Spelunking Club
and I lead myself through the Scottish bogs
under a sky liberally sprinkled
with the Milky Way galaxy.

Wet shoes and grey spirits,
feather boa fog tendrils bathing my sock-tops,
no compass points me to my Holy Grail.

Two kittens accompany me
getting in my way and making me laugh aloud:
an unheard of sound in these waterlogged fens.

Hiding in the ferns, one black/white, one silver-grey,
amber eyes watching my pen dance in this damp campsite,
a smoky fire beating quiet drums
to wrestle back the velvet curtains of darkness.

I’m waking all night to watch over the dreams of Dawn;
her restfulness insures the beauty of the coming day.

Devils

Posted: January 24, 1994 in Poetry
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they’re the cries of burning cities,
cities burning now,
cities that have burned before,
and cities that will burn again
or are waiting to burn.
No one sees the twisted faces
in the smoke from the corner store
that neighbors used to frequent
for cigarettes and milk;
we’ll all walk past the couple
sifting through the hot ashes
that evaporate their tears
before they disturb the soot.

I used to roll spare tires
down alleys in Point Loma
to see how many streets they’d cross
before stopping:
against a trash can or a moving car,
a cinderblock wall or a pile of dirt.
Stupid things is what I thought.
Why’d they stop there; it could have kept going
after that.
Steering.
I’m rolling and I steer myself short all of the time
and it’s coming; I can feel it singing and surging to life
in a tide, a god, an angel looking for a sharp sword
in his tongue,
fiery-eyed and furious,
smoking and snake-bitten.
But I can’t be touched by the fire I create –
burning myself won’t work anymore
– there is nothing left to burn but everything else
and it is to be smelted into my sword,
my pen, my tongue, my eyes,
my breath, my words,
my blood, my thoughts.

why can’t I
just be another guy?
but I’m a person
with a snake-sharp tongue
and I’m a ripped flannel…
I shoot my mouth like a shotgun.
riddles and rhyming and rhythm,
not taken seriously enough to stay honest
just another number in the GTE phone list.
I lie and I lie and I lie
to convince you all
that the poet is just another human being;
that I am just another guy.

I thresh through these lines
like a dog wrapped in seaweed,
thrown with stones in the ocean:
I can’t breathe –
there’s all the smoke from the fires I’m lightning,
I’m telling the sheriff that I’m struck by lightning.
when does it all stop echoing ‘round in circles?
I think it’s just another dream.
I’m on a porch with a candle and a carpet;
there’s crickets all around
and I feel wonderful without the world dragging me down.
look, I see you don’t understand with a frown.

I can’t even repeat what I’ve said.
I can’t think of a poem I’ve written,
then read,
and thought that this is it, this is perfect!
I’ve even given up trying to rework it.
I don’t want to write for a living anymore
I feel like the homework that’s always lost to the dog
and I don’t remember whatever
I expected from myself anymore.
these fireworks of joy that I wished to paint the skies with
are nothing more than explosions
of white-winged moths from a log
that I’ve kicked walking alone in the woods.

Stony Summer Days

Posted: July 1, 1993 in Poetry
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I give myself the leniency
to sit and smoke beneath a tree
in fifteen minutes, a little break
from the summer school I choose to take.
I smoke with friends who’re in my class
from a little whorled pipe which I pass.
with smoky lungs and contented gaze
I stone them all with sunshine rays.

Ode to Bukowski #1

Posted: May 14, 1993 in Poetry
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Bukowski, you’re wonderful,
feeding me and my generation the lines
full of whores and liquor and laziness
with a purpose:
horse racing and post office jobs;
you’re telling me to buy the fifth
I already bought and drank
and puked and drank some more
over this ode.
this fucked up pattern on my cheap futon
won’t leave me alone, an eyestrain.
and I wish I had lived my seventy years out
drinking, smoking, fucking and writing
before this particular decade
when I’ll die from boredom.

I
this poetry, on this midnight
runs through my veins:
all this hurting, my purple pen
is my blood,
each word a corpuscle –
and to let it out to the world,
sometimes my poetry is simple:
blood,
cut from my flesh,
bleeding my emotions free.
Self destructive
so that I can leave the world
with impressions of fire and intensity,
of feeling.
This is how I feel.
And a poet is a job of living,
breathing, suffering, sacrificing
money home security comfort
for the fleeting knowledge that I am writing.

II
I am smoking: I will die quicker.
I am drinking: I will die quicker.
But I am leaving what I have,
these words
the blood of my existence.
The blink of an eye
and the full moon is gone
waxing, waning:
soon so will I, another man
will die and fade into obscurity,
but these ideas, thoughts, memories
will not disappear quite as quickly,
eroded into paper or computer.
Crickets die – they begat children
to carry on their simple song;
this is human responsibility.
Treat this as information
of a life.
Swallow it whole or in pieces,
pass it along;
someone will find it useful:
the memories of me,
who and where I am right now.

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.

Gnomes

Posted: February 3, 1993 in Poetry
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Geoff and I hiked
to find a level place,
to stretch out with the countryside,
to stop and have a smoke.
trading the pipe-stem back and forth
– when one would speak,
the other would listen –
blowing thoughtful smoke rings
and laughing with the ease of friends.
we sat upon a king of rocks
immersed in the chatter of the waterfalls
aching to hurl ourselves into the air
dreaming of staying there forever.

and somewhere far above us,
our spirits, tall and clear and free,
smoked with us, looking down
their breath touselling our hair.
if I was asked to fly from that cliff
I know we could – and would!

[for Geoff Ian Stearns]

I Take Time to Tell You

Posted: June 24, 1992 in Poetry
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I saw the moon come
From behind a cloudbank.
It took time to see this;
I take time to tell you.

My pipe glows cherry-red
Deep inside; smoke drifts apart.
I watch it fall away,
Clasping this time to me.

Faces twist in the veils of smoke
From the cauldron of my pipe
Melting to the orchestration
Of so many crickets singing
Farther and farther away.
I tell you of a porch somewhere
And a row of old trees
Stretching up down the road.
I’m no poet; I’m not quite sure
Of what to say.

Never Tamed or Rochambeau

Posted: January 28, 1992 in Poetry
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I could kill you,
probably,
before you could react.
not now, though,
because you’re aware of the thought.
but sometime when you’ve forgotten,
I puncture your eyes
with hooked fingers,
or rip the bridge of your nose
off with savage teeth.
the potential is there.

I could love you,
probably,
before you could react.
not now, though,
because you’re aware of the thought.
but sometime when you’ve forgotten,
I admire your sight
without judging,
not interrupting your sense
of where you’re standing.
the potential is there.

the potential, flashing
as smoke rises from split rock.
whispering as dry paper
down a silent hall.
calling like idle scissors
twirled on your fingers.

Snakecharmer

Posted: May 15, 1991 in Poetry
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from nothing to green
to water to serpents,
the moon-eyed piper played on.
his tune coiled around my ears,
writhing with the tides
of a thousand shallow seas.

the wail of his eerie pipes
are misleading tendrils of smoke
green curling, a wreath for his hair.
fog twisting from the mane
of the moon wraps blindfolds
sewn over the sockets of my eyes.

slithering under my old skin
move the piper’s summoned snakes;
below the ocean chant thousands more.
the moon-eyed piper plays on,
from serpents to water
to green to nothing.

Joe and the Magic Thanckx

Posted: April 10, 1991 in Poetry
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yes, please.
I would very
much enjoy
drawing your magic
green herbal reagent
deep into the capillaries
of my lungs.
I appreciate the
sparkle in your eyes
as you pass to the left.
do you know
you are wreathed
in your own smoke,
curling like a cat
around your shoulders.
yes, please.
the magic is waning
in the world
and I’d really like to see
Los Angeles again, Joe.

Peace

Posted: March 23, 1987 in Poetry
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The mystical smoke entwined itself
Around the gnarled boles
Forming the legs of the vast giants
Which towered above the leafy floor
Of the timeless forest.
Eminating from three gold braziers
Intricately and craftily carved,
The mist and odor of incense
Wafted through the boughs
Of the ageless forest.
A leaf free triangle
Marked at each point by a bowl,
Set in the midst
Of a seemingly vast
And endless forest
A plaque is centered
Within this magical glyph
Untouched by nature or time,
Or mankind’s speculative laws,
Within the ancient forest.
Upon the plaque
Is written one simple word
Understandable by all
Bounded by nothing
Within the antique forest.
Peace.