Wednesday, June 30, 2010
always loved your hands
always thought they were so so very
like i could see what life is through them
and they have thoughts all their own
a mind of their own
and they are heavy with sound
i look at every little bump and tiny scar and say
play that song baby
play it for me
tonight play it with me
under that forest green cover
like you played them keys
and had us all swayin
yeah and strum it like them strings
you had us all jumpin
make it jump for me
always loved your lips
wrapped around any damn thing
even a bottle neck
hot as all get out
and i mean that
make me jealous when i see 'em on somethin besides me
but that's alright
show me i'm the only one
once the music stops
soft and hot, wet like that
boy don't make me go out and tell somebody
how you play that with your lips and tongue
umph, baby, just make me do this
scream out a note so somebody has to say
well alright then
with a smirk and a memory of used to be
take it to the next key
and i am all yours
it's all yours
always loved you
since the day i heard the music you made
always loved the way you took care to please the crowd
and then later
took care of me
so now take me to the next place
i'm yours all yours
never have to look again for what i need
so i'll always love you boy
even when the music stops
and you don't play like that no more
Monday, June 28, 2010
To all the many wishes
I cast to the sea, all the forgotten yarns
of history, unraveled
lay spread on the bottom seabed.
Sandglass footprints of who
he was sunk along the shore,
billions of stars etch the pebbles
that went footloose.
The fishermen yachts ten yards away
cast their hooks and catch nothing
but colds and lost dreams in brine webs.
My father fit in with his troubles
as he cast his fishwife to the abysmal chill-
his soul strung in the curls of water
and tangled in hairs of seaweed.
Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum in a brown
paper bag was a favorite, when down
and done he’d cast the bagged bottle to the
black blanket sea of an SOS seeking tutelage.
His messages floated to shipwreck.
Desperate years trodden along the pier,
he chose a beautiful scenic view to wash
away the chronic depression of his life-
I wished my father a lifeboat,
and clear water to subdue in.
I tossed my cents apologizing
for being a born burden to you
and my mother you couldn’t control,
when the coins twirled at random, aimlessly
spinning a silver glitter to the bottom
before getting lost to the murk,
Everything is overrated
except for Nihilism.
All the birds can fall from the sky
like so much rain; the hail
and sleet of their beaks
can break upon the pavement.
Highways are indeed like long
asphalt ribbons, but the gift inside
is a lump of coal. Actually,
we took that gift back, burned the coal
for fuel, and are giving you
an empty box instead.
But the corrugated cardboard is overrated.
So are the firestarters,
morning dew, and capital letters.
I eschew capital letters.
And capital punishment,
capitol hill, even Das Kapital.
Everything is overrated, even myself.
Especially that: the moon beams
on my windowsill, the look
of my hair in the morning mirror,
the way I say I love you sounds
like I hate you sounds like
what’s your name again?
Anyways, question marks are overrated,
and punctuation generally, and endings
with signifiers as obvious
as the tip of a shoelace.
And metaphors, too: overrated. The way
they explain this by way of that,
the way skilled poets fold them
like maps. The way readers unfold
them, reading the legend
and compass rose: north, south,
east, west (directions are overrated,
obviously). Writers are always trying
to understand where they’re going
rather than just getting the hell out of the way.
They never give credit to the editor,
always too busy giving themselves
four stars for effort.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The cops stopped,
and had to inform me I
was on Grant street
in Santa Monica.
“Well, kiss my ass,”
I joked with one of the cops,
“the last thing I remember
I was smoking a joint
at a friend’s house in Silverlake.”
That’s when I had to relearn
that you don’t joke
with the cops. Or for that matter,
you can’t be honest
with cops about “illegal
drugs”, or anything else that
might be held up to serious debate.
Part of what I said was the truth
and the other part was just
a joke. I knew I wasn’t in Silverlake
anymore and I was quite aware
I was staggering some down Grant street,
having lost count of how many
beers I’d consumed since I’d
left Silverlake. So, I
pretended I was more messed-up
than I actually was, just to sort of, well,
fuck with ‘em.
“You trying to be a wise ass? You
just look like a drunk hippie to me,”
said the other cop,
with a potent dose of venom
“I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking
to your partner,” I replied, without
turning to look at him.
I knew that was a mistake the
instant it came outta my mouth,
but I couldn’t help myself.
He grabbed me from behind,
turned me around,
pushed me against the squad
car and turned me around again,
“Spread eagle, you piece of shit,”
he snarled at me, and then padded
me down hard, as he pushed me ribs
and cuffed me.
“This was just a routine stop, you
asshole, until you shot-off you
fucking mouth,” he said, grabbing
the back of my arms and leading
me to the back seat.
The Santa Monica cop shop/lockup
was much nicer than the Hollywood
Precinct that I had become accustomed
to. There was a color tv in the walkway
separating the cells, and access to
vending machines of soda, candy and
The next morning when they cut me
loose I left a note for the cop that roughed
me up. “Hey, Jerry, I was really only
joking. But cops like you are the reason
people hate and fear cops. Maybe food
for thought, maybe not. Love, Doug.”
The motel was on the
outskirts of a town,
from a drunken
John Houston movie..
I remember the exact placement
of the 5th of Johnny Walker Red,
sitting next to the glasses,
on the night stand but I
don’t remember her name.
Her eyes were light blue and like dimming
bar lights, flickering over my
shoulders, always looking at the
I kept the tv on, and I must have
rolled 10 joints.
She liked it from behind bent over the
those lovely shadow-eyes blinking on and off at
She never smiled once and gave me
one word answers to
my questions, only looking at me
when I turned away.
She didn’t even look up
when I paid her $20 more than she
said she was worth.
Friday, June 25, 2010
In room 202
of the Travelway Inn
on Paris Street
I woke up and knew
I had to eat something
or be sick.
I threw on some clothes
from the floor
and grabbed some change
off the side table.
Staggered two blocks West
to the nearest convenience store
and as I passed through the parking lot
I noticed a parked red Sonata
with half a face blown off
in the driver's seat.
The morning frost ensured that bits of cranium
caked frozen to part
of the driver side window
after having slid down halfway.
I went into the convenience store
and bought a bag of pork rinds
and a Hustler.
I opened the bag
and ate one
as a crowd gathered around the car.
When I got back to my room
I pulled down the shades
folded my half eaten bag of pork rinds
to seal in freshness
and jerked off to the schoolgirl
and the charge nurse
on page 24.
There was always one light on
as I stumbled home
from the bar.
The rest of the lights on the street
but the senile widow at 88A
always left her light on,
convinced that her husband who had been dead
was cheating on her.
She was up at dawn each following morning
accosting passers by
and asking them
if they had seen her husband
who hadn't come home
a white unmarked van came
and took her away
and a young family of first time homeowners
the entire street was dark
when I stumbled home
from the bar.
It's been that way
for weeks now.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
A doll’s head, chipped by salt,
green from drowning,
stares up from the ocean floor.
Fish swim among the prisms
of unfallen chandeliers
and, phosphorescent, glow.
An electric eel pirouettes
inside a sailor’s skull,
then slides out a socket.
The ship is broken
like a sunken monument,
soft to touch and moving,
a trick of lights under water
and the camera’s searching
eye. What moves is memory:
a woman’s white muslin
in the breeze, badminton
cocks slapped back and forth,
an orchestra tuning, a dance,
good-night Mother, iceberg
and black water breaking in.
Blood oozes out; she smiles. Her
demon depression retreats. She
knows just how to cut; long and
vertical, and not too deep. Slice
just enough to make the blood flow.
She hides her bloodletting behind
long sleeves as she hides the darkness
inside with a knife.
She sharpens the knife so it won't
bruise or tear. She stops the bleeding
with a rag. She puts the bloody rag in
a plastic bag and throws it in a dumpster
on the way to school.
She tells herself she is worthless. She's
done it so many times she's come to
believe it. The cutting doesn't help.
She struggles each day through school
and can't wait to get home for another
they left me here
rips at her rescuers
as if they
dogs are glad
for the light
into the air
eyes squabbling like pigeons
lips their own target
hollering and bloody
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
my stepfather is
drunk on the porch
at three in the afternoon,
his pet rat resting
on his palm
he prods her,
says she has tumors
on her kidneys
as he totters on
his mouth against
the flur of her ear
it will take a long time
to kill you"
it doesn't occur to me
until much later
that he was talking
a funny thing
to deal with.
I lost it
it made me
sick for months
and then I
found it once
again in the
a girl who
wore a white
I hope I
to go back
and lose it
lock me up
for sure the
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Why did some people get born where the angry tornadoes tear
up the scenery, or earthquakes yawn open the ground like a maw,
or Tsunami throttle, waves screaming while the sky recedes?
How do some people hold fast, hanging tough, as luck jumps, while others
just free fall, crash, then burn, without promise, without hope?
Good karma, blessings from the gentle Mother Earth or the Christ Father God?
Whenever I wing images of you: blue eyes brightly shining, a smile on your face,
more than I ever deja vued, this slight relationship of feather right relating values us.
Get real: nothing pushes me away, nothing cages you in, is there a tomorrow?
Luck is lark, no notes, just the pure now flutters in my heart.
AFTER A LONG, HARD NIGHT
I TAKE A DRAG FROM A CIGARETTE
'I THOUGHT U DIDN'T SMOKE.' HE SAYS.
'I THOUGHT I DIDN'T DO ALOT OF THINGS.' I REPLY.
HE KNOWS HE'S IN MY HEAD
ANOTHER SNAKE IN THE GRASS
ANOTHER WET SPOT IN MY BED
AS I LAY I THINK ABOUT THE ONE I THOUGHT I COULD LOVE FOREVER
THE ONE I CHOSE TO SPITE ON THIS NITE
BY FUCKIN ANOTHER FELLA
I WONDER IF HE'S WITH ANOTHER BITCH
LAID UP THINKING ABOUT ME AT THE VERY SAME MOMENT
I WOULD CALL BUT THAT'S RUDE
I'VE GOT COMPANY
I DON'T RESPECT HIM THOUGH
HE CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO ME
ONLY THRUST AND PUSH AND PUMP
NOT STROKE AND DIP AND KISS
THAT BASTARD DOESN’T CARE ABOUT ME
I TAKE A SIP OF MY NITECAP
AND TELL OLD JACK TO MAKE HIS SOLES CLAP
THEN AS SOON AS THE LOCK SNAPS
I'M DIALING 7 DIGITS BY HEART
I LAY ALONE
TEARS IN MY EYES
BODY AS COLD AS SNOW
THINKIN 'OH WELL, MAYBE TOMORROW'
* Tyanah's blog: spreadknowledgenotgossip.blogspot.com
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
and obliteration-bombing out the other
Japanese cities, thinking about nuked-out
Chicago, Oak Park, Highland Park, Boston,
Somerville, Cambridge, Harvard levelled,
never really stopping, Kansas City war
streets, 600 dead last year, moving toward
the possibility of wiping it ALL out, before
the sun wears out or the earth cracks into
pieces when all the oil-reserves inside it
that kept it round-together, are used up, as
if Much Ado About Nothing, M.J., Monet’s
meditations, Audrey Hepburn had never
Monday, June 21, 2010
She said that the Book of Genesis is not a textbook
of deceit and perversity, as many people think of it,
but just a narration of what had happened then,
and saints are not the guys with rich imagination,
ambiguous conduct and boundless inner freedom,
but just those who have spoken to God.
As for the question why God had chosen
the pettiest soul he could ever create,
that was really a problem for him.
He approached Abraham from left and right,
from the front and from behind, above and below,
but that smug fellow full of merchant rubbish didn't
see nor hear anything. In the end, utterly despondent,
he penetrated the skull and buried himself inside.
If you ask me where he is now, I would say that
he's still imprisoned in some businessman's skull,
bored to death. Lost in heavenly dross, angels don't
miss him, of course; they're happy with their
i'm going to move to alaska and work on a fishing boat
i'm going to live off crabs and mollusks
because i don't care anymore
maybe floating on the ocean is what the future will be like
for those of us who can survive
and we will float and swim and drift
and wish we had drowned with everyone else
today i'm going to pack all my bags and drive across the country
and i will only stop when i feel the need
to climb a mountain or a tree somewhere along the interstate
that hovers over the road
and somewhere on this mountain or in this tree
there is a spirit of an indian
and that is what i am looking for, i think
jesus is engraved in the face of my rifle
and his beard becomes hot when i pull the trigger
i want to know the way the world will end
because i'd like to watch the tsunamis arrive
from a beach
this morning i realized i have relatives in the ocean
who have gills and fins
who have asexual reproduction methods
and i am jealous
one of my uncles is a whale
he swallows me when I fall into the water
i sit inside my uncle’s belly
like meat in a can
and wait for several weeks
counting my ribs beneath my fingers
like an orphan
*Adam lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. Visit him here: http://adamadamadamadamadam.blogspot.com/
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Rummaging through your face
blue ocean eyes
the one i remember
an old file
think unopened bottles
where i could not imagine you
i wrote a lost memo
some new clutter
hidden in the cracks
spiders spinning tales
a gold hoop tangled
returned to sender
you came without a tie
a white angel
a long ago
when my fingertips
tasted your goodbye
Friday, June 18, 2010
about not showing up tomorrow
but a scab would do my job for half what I make
and it really doesn’t matter
how hard you fuck the white
we’ll bend over willingly
stare at the carrot
beg for it harder
until we’re outsourced
and tomorrow I’ll come in again
to get fucked
Thursday, June 17, 2010
There’s a gently rocking sound
of hoofbeats on the trails
that run through dreams
people have of Arizona
where sunsets are brightest
as the backdrop
for a tall saguaro
and vultures hang like decorations
in a sky obsessed
with thirst. Old men have faces
creased like maps to the gold mines
they never discovered
but they kept a sense of humour
and the skill to spit
tobacco and mumble reminiscences
at the same time. They always wax
lyrical when referring
to Spanish speaking women
but are wary of the men.
Memories survive here
on beans and chili peppers,
with a bottle of independence.
Soft as a painting
on velvet the stars
when smoke from a camp fire
rises and a coyote’s profile
is printed on the full moon.
Even the legislature
is committed to preserving
values so traditional
nobody remembers them from
first time around, although
with all the open space
there’s no need to feel restricted.
The tumbleweed still rides
on a wind as dry as the skull
attached to the wall
and the diamondbacks only strike
when under duress.
A cool breeze blows across the intersection
to a man wearing a sleeveless undershirt
beside an empty shopping cart
cutting off his hair
and allowing it to float down past his shoulders
until the tufts remaining
on his scalp are sparse
as the weeds sprouting up
from the gravel where he stands.
He’s home for now
at the edge of a parking lot
that serves the drug store
with its extrovert typography
offering deals he
can’t afford. Outside is his address,
his bedroom and his bathroom,
the lounge where he rests
and the den
in which he settles down
to smoke a cigarette or read
the newspaper someone threw away
but it doesn’t matter if the news
is yesterday’s; nothing is going
to change for him except
the weather forecast, which soon
will turn into a sentence
of life at a hundred degrees
in the shade, and the shade
is private property.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
the meaning of any poem hides
in the marriage of cadence and sound.
Vowels on a carousel,
consonants on a calliope,
whistles and bells,
we need them all
tickling our ears.
Otherwise, the lines
are gristle and fat, no meat.
Is it any wonder, then,
my wife has a problem
with any poem I give her to read
for a second opinion, especially
when the poem has no message
and I'm simply trying to hear
what I'm saying and don't care
if I understand it.
The other night in bed
I gave her another poem to read
and afterward she said this poem
was no different than the others.
She had hoped I'd improve.
"After all," she said,
"you've been writing for years
but reading a poem like this is
like looking through a kaleidoscope
while listening to a harpsichord."
Point well taken,
point well said.
But then I asked her
what should a man do
if he has careened for years
through the caves of his mind
spelunking for the right
line for a poem
only to hear his wife say
after reading one of his poems
that it was like
"looking through a kaleidoscope
while listening to a harpsichord."
What should he do--quit?
"Not a chance,"
she said this morning,
enthroned at the kitchen table,
as regal as ever in her fluttery gown
and buttering her English muffin
with long, languorous strokes
Van Gogh would envy.
"He should write even more,
all day and all night, if need be.
After all," she said, "my line
about the kaleidoscope and harpsichord
still needs a poem of its own.
It's all meat, no gristle, no fat."
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Hello monster, stamping and hooting, you,
stripped from shower and striped as barber’s pole;
gut drop here and red patch there, you,
demoniac, love; the great day’s bowl of fog
in a room; in an instant you exhale its kin—
Hello, hello, losing your hair before virgins,
hell and clippers, preening your nails beside the sink,
standing unpeeled, cherub-assed,
the light against the canister jammed in your armpits,
ice-blaze of youth gasifying to the sound of an uneven fan.
Your glasses balsamic, ears that know sprouts,
gasses and mortise and every scrubbed port—
for these yields you are granted the hideous servitude
of greatness, the wealth of thoughts like a balm,
your boiled over truth as a being semisolid in all ways,
an existence unverifiable but popularly accepted.
Clap in the mirror. Hello. Hop and clap and grease
your mind to the new instant.
It’s the going fire that has you. The going fire.
*Ray Succre's novels Tatterdemalion (2008) and Amphisbaena (2009), both through Cauliay, are widely available in print. Other Cruel Things (2009), an online collection of poetry, is available through Differentia Press.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
I fly down
I load the
I see the
side of the clouds
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My need for your daisy-picked dreams
has vanished. I buried it beneath
the pumpkin vines last august,
shoveled a heap of maple leaves
over unbelieving soil,
erected a cross above
three year's worth of scattered seed—
and watched the songbirds dance.
I am a cancer cell,
intending to spoil
the whole bunch
by back-stroking down
the blood stream with
lymph fluids, while
establishing colonies in
the composting colon and
prostate space above a
towering tumor on the
left testicle, just to
lounge around the lungs,
then exhaled onto the
apex of the nervous system,
before spreading out
to this epidermis surface,
exposing my true self.
want to live
down in the
where the single
light from a
swinging my struggling
shadows with each
futile pass as I bob
for the contents of
surrounding mouthfuls of
cotton candy mixed
with carbon monoxide,
my breath while
hovering over the
of discarded cockroach
of insects ingested by
incest marked with
Grinding my teeth
and thinking of you,
like I’m chewing sinew
or bleeding meat,
when you’re stuck in
my sandpaper enamel,
breaking the brittle
minerals while crawling
over and around the
rows of rolling molars
or lodged between the
cracked gaps, ripping
at my rotting roots,
floss splits the
Creaking mandible jaw
until my face aches,
chisels this mouth
into crowned porcelain
dentures, straightened fake,
to forget one flaw.
I got a full-frontal
lobotomy to sever
my infected libido
and swollen ego,
surgeons could stitch
together wilting skin
with shivering fingers,
using slivered string
and plaster cast masks
as memorable memorabilia
of stuff that once was.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
“It may have been the gradual loss of Millay’s beauty that finally put off her young lover and she would never get over the shock of it, the horror and the disappointment.”
*Daniel Mark Epstein WHAT LIPS THESE LIPS HAVE KISSED
When I did the Internet
search and found the
year you graduated
from college. When
I tried to remember
your face after the
reading at Luna Rosa,
chili peppers in the
hot November wind.
When I could just
think of your smile.
When I didn’t, could
not remember how tall
you were. When you
wrote “might go to
Europe and just fuck:
which didn’t fit with
the you giving insulin
shots to a stray cat.
When I wasn’t sure
what I wanted from you
till too late. When I
was relieved in 2 years
your hair was snow.
What else to go with
Winter. When it seemed
so close, people in cars
beeping but we only
could hear each other.
When I didn’t leave my
leather jacket in your
closet before the slam,
already close to mid
night. When i knew some
thing that was started
was over, gone, except
for this poem
*Lyn's website: http://www.lynlifshin.com/books.htm
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Robbing a vending machine
we were coat hangers bent to fit,
learning from the Master.
I punched Him out once,
but I could have been happy
with a handful of rice, a gourdful of water,
in an alley.
Another time He
flushed a porkpie one disciple had puked in.
Our toilet vomited the hat back up, which He donned
had drunk Old Montezuma to reach
busting the bronco perception—
“How is knowledge worn?”
Like an exploded cigar.
“Is there really a worm at the bottom?”
Yes, of everything.
- Where Father Had Drowned
- The Editor is Sick of Evaluating, Ranking, and Liking
- Afternoon on the Floor
- excellent poem
- Routine Stop
- Near The Border Line
- The Titanic
- OLD WOMAN IN THE ABANDONED BUILDING
- PURGATORY MOODS
- Divvy it Up
- "THE BODY LIES"
- AND THEN?
- Hard On
- this world is ending and i think i’m doing the rig...
- Hidden in the Cracks
- sick day
- Cliché Country
- Kaleidoscope and Harpsichord
- Legendary Creature
- Is That It?! (Adult)
- Peaceful Rest
- collateral murder
- Songbird Dance
- 4 poems by Chris Butler
- ▼ June (34)