Ocean Blue

There it was. Just sitting there. Vast. Immeasurable. And impossibly blue. The Pacific Ocean, so inevitable that it took me 12 years to get here. But inevitability isn’t about immediacy. It’s just that unshakable destiny you destroy yourself to avoid but it’s still hanging on, like an extra limb you can’t sever know matter how many times you take the proverbial knife to it.

I always knew something bad was bound to happen — I never even considered the possibility of happiness. Now that I’m here, finally, staring out into the watery void… I wonder if I ever knew anything about anything.

It’s amazing, amusing even, how something so large — placed at the end of the continent so that all you have to do is follow the setting sun to find — can be so hard to find.

But, alas, here I am, standing on the cliffs of what used to be Santa Monica. A  pier slowly crumbles to time before me, below me the beach where a massive city rubbed against the shore like a lech at a bus stop. And this is my final destination. I have no way, nor desire, to keep going.

After 12 years of shaping reality for people around me — everybody, eventually — I had no more lines… no more descriptions. You can’t pay to tell you what I see. My eyes are for me only, now.

The ocean is crashing and frothing like a turbulent stew and dotted with whitecaps; and sailboats that crashed against the pillars of a dilapidated pier create a little island of trash and wreckage. A broken down roller coaster looks like an emaciated metal dragon and I had nobody to tell this to, nobody paying me for this knowledge, the image only my pupils could see… and this made me tingle like a cold breeze covered my body, like a conman telling the truth, like somebody just gave me a mirror and the person I saw… was somebody new, better, happy.

This is what it means, finally, I suppose, to really, really see.

Myna Bird’s Cobalt Eye

I am a myna bird’s cobalt eye.
Saturday’s televised poltergeist.
Chernobyl’s lemonade sunset skies.

Learning on the fly.

Caught in a blueberry bush.
Drowning in a subway push.

I’m skating through the city,
just a willing civilian,
looking for something pretty.
A broken bottle in an oil-slicked
puddle glistening…

I fly the highest kite.
Shoot two middle fingers in the air
when I flip you the bird.
My curse takes flight.
My word is my might.
Make a fool of myself, I don’t care.
My wanderings are my plight.

I’m born tonight.

When I’m lost, I’m found.
When I escape, I’m trapped.
When I’m home, I’m gone.

I died tonight.

We’re all pigeons, carrying
messages on our feet,
gray wings and black eyes,
just trying to cross the street.
Shuffling, tucking in our wings,
everything shimmering….
Mike Tyson in the ring…

Round two.
I’m down for the count.
On the roof, on roofies…
Let’s make babies like crazy.
I’m down for you.

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1% of 1%

Turn on the recording devices, there’s some things I need to say out of context. Put your hand in this jar and pull out all the tacks, now you know what’s going on in my mind. Take this violin and play it on the beach and when you’re done throw it in the waves, so the octopi and the jellyfish can weep to our melodies.
Is that snow or volcanic ash or toxic confetti that covers this cantankerous city?
I’m wearing suede shoes and I’m dancing with a mannequin.

Consume this murderous milkshake, drink this dangerous daiquiri, let’s vacation on Vesuvius. Freeze my blood and drop it in a pint of Bud.
Let’s get drunk and yell at the fuzz.=

We’re sinister, miniature miracles…
falling from pinnacles onto cynical vinegar.

Swallow me up and spit me out, I’m bitter.
Follow me around the down and out, I’m litter.
Counting pennies on sidewalks, robbing mimes for invisible time.
Pooping up Mueslix, scooping a crucifix, eating lutefisk, stranded in Budapest.
Halfway to Bali… got a lei around my neck and I’m checked out in an alley.

We can do-si-do till the moon dipsy-do and the sun goes whoopsy-woo.
Fall asleep in a redwood hammock with a half-eaten sandwich…
Strung-out, heartbroken, tongue-tied, star ballet from the fungi…
The sky… doing tricks like a Russian bear driving a Hyundai…
with a paper bib and a plastic rib, everybody watching the front line,
where the soldiers grunt and the ones in the trench harrumph.
We’re left to die in a marsh, made of toxic barf, broke down to Mars….
My spaceship is made of Reddi Wip© — Time Travel ain’t too far…
I’m coming home in a dinosaur bone, replace my heart with a cellular phone…
I’m 16 calories… charge me up with a battery, my life, my love is scattering…
like pollen in a frosty pond…

Everybody jump up and dance to the DJ,
get your frisky, risky business on…
Life’s a 30-mile relay… you don’t know where
to pass the baton… I’m 3-ways to the sheets….
beneath the streets and freeways.
Let’s just bang the gong,
fall in love and sing our song.

I’m filling out postcards…
licking stamps and watching planes crash in France.
I’m milling around…
studying art by Napoleon Bonaparte…
I’m just kicking the ground,
waiting for the spaceship to land,
climb aboard and greet the captain…
hit light-speed till our eyes bleed..

1% of 1% — I’m 30,000 feet from present tense…
my feet tense up, I bundle up, cover my eyes
so my disguise be fundamentally wonderment —
Hold on as we blast off, rear view mirror, glass shard,
everything fractured and made of  matter…
my vision captured the universe as it splattered and spread out
over the highway my rubber wheels tread and bled out.

Are we home alone?
Or just hanging out?
Dangling from an umbrella?

like a bat in a cave waiting to fly?

Hop-scotching on wet cement,
so our footprint leaves a dent?

Tell me your story, it won’t bore me.
What’s your name? I’m sure it’s not lame.


Questions Begging For a Treat

Do you save the best for last?
Or do you eat it first?
Do you eat the crust?

When you catch somebody smiling,
do you smile back?
Or do you bat your eyelash,
and wish you had?

Do you curse at traffic?
Or get on Instagram?

Do you drink dark beer?
Do you read in bed?
Do you watch reality TV?

Do you hate the sound of your voice,
when it’s played back to you?
Do you ever get a crush on someone you just met?
Do you ever hold your breath when they enter the room?

Do you like to stand on your head
and feel the blood rush down to it?
Do you get excited when your mom calls?
Do you like to play air drums
to the beginning of Black Dog?

Do you answer questions from strangers?

Do you know what your first words were?
Do you ever think they were lying to you?

Do you catch yourself telling the same story,
over and over and over?
Do you ever worry you bore people?

Do you ever wonder if God made the world
so He would have something to laugh at?
Do you ever watch rain collect in puddles,
and wish you were a dolphin?

Do you wish you could play guitar?
Do you wish you weren’t afraid?
Do you wish you could do more than
slide words around a computer screen?

Do you want to cook dinner but have somebody
else do the dishes?
Do you wish you were somebody else?
Do you know the capital of Luxembourg?

Life’s a series of questions,
begging for a treat.
It’s not that complicated,
get up and do something.

Modern Man in a Tin Can Fruit Stand

Digging through junk drawers,
looking for old photos, yo-yos and lollipops,
all I got are receipts for evenings
that happened too brief,

Bracelets for nights I wasted…
Swerving with the Bourbon
The curves I can taste it…

l’m carrying this luggage to New Brunswick…
Setting sail for New South Whales.
I’m done, I’m returning to London.
I come undone when you pop a button.
Trying to remember last December
when I got lost in Boston.
Washed ashore in Myanmar.
On my last legs on Nebraska plains.
I’m lost and legless in Las Vegas.

Folding pages on poems I never wrote,
Hold stories of woebegone I never told,
I’m the Michelin Man on Michigan Ave,
The psycho-ist bicyclist that ever spoke.

Hold me down,
otherwise I’ll be up
inside the clouds.

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I was waiting for Henry to come out of the bathroom. He’d been in there too long. The bar was nearly empty and I was impatient to get going. They were an hour late, it was obvious the girls stood us up. The night was falling apart like a cheap burrito.

Henry wanted to keep going. I wanted to get home to see if she called. Perhaps she left a message on my answering machine. Maybe there was a family emergency or something? Maybe her car broke down on the way to pick up her friend? Maybe her friend broke her leg racing down the steps to the car?

Why would she not show? She was the one who approached me in the laundromat. She was the one who suggested she bring her friend. I thought she was better than the rest. There was something special about her, her sarcastic grin, the way she laughed at all my jokes — even the bad ones.

I thought she’d be somebody who stuck around. Now, it doesn’t even look like she’ll show up.

There was a smattering of decrepit regulars attached to the bar. One of them, an older man with a five-day stubble and an ill-fitting suit stumbled over to me. His eyes were sparrow-like and fire hydrant red. He smelled like the inside of a doctor’s examining room.

Without any disclaimer he launched into a rickety sermon. “When I was younger I couldn’t get enough of fucking, know what I mean? But now? Now I think I’d rather go to sleep in freshly washed sheets than with a hot, young piece of ass,” he lectured crudely.

I knew if I said anything back, it’d only encourage the drunk to continue talking. It was just like me, though, to not be able to control myself. “I don’t see what’s wrong with having both,” I joked.

He laughed, a cloud of gin tumbled over me. “Yeah, well, there’s still time for you, I suppose.” He held his glass in the air and with the same hand pointed at me, almost spilling its contents. “Why is it…” he slurred, “that women keep us waiting so long to get ready?” he asked.

“I haven’t the foggiest…”

“I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same reason that you make a dog wait for a treat?”

I thought I saw where he was going with this. “To show us who’s boss?”

He took a sip of his drink and grinned. “No. That’s not it at all. A woman makes you wait, because you will.” He patted me on my shoulder, and gave me an odd look like he didn’t know where I’d come from or why we were talking. He blinked confusedly three times and then drifted back to the bar.

Henry came out of the bathroom, pinching his nose and squinting at the old man. I could hear his heart thumping. “What did the geezer want?”

I felt the odd sensation that I’ve met the man before. Or that he could read my thoughts and saw through me. All the things I wanted and suffered for. I wanted to tell Henry all this but I knew he would just laugh.

“His wife just passed away,” I lied.

Henry swiped his hand through his hair, changed his tune. “Oh, man. That’s terrible.”

“Yeah! Life, right?”

We both stood there for some time, looking at the old man and looking at ourselves in the mirror behind the bar, our cells deteriorating, our fingernails creeping longer, our future sneaking up on us, before Henry finally broke and shouted into my ear, “Come on, let’s get the fuck out of here. I wanna meet some chicks.”

Wolf On Your Roof

I’m a wolf with my hoof on your roof.
I’m a moose loose in the caboose.
I’m squeezing juice from a noose.
You’re stuck on simple,
I’m hiding like a pimple.
We all got the collywobbles.
Walls collapsing like…
socio-economic systems.
I’m the murderer and the victim.
The dolt and the lightning bolt of wisdom.
Wanna be my paypal?
Be my lover and stay awhile?
My friendster?
Kiss my Facebook.
Stay out Myspace.
Wanna be my
downloadable file?
Easily digestible,
with a head full of vegetables,
making just left turns.
I burn, I learn, I merge.
Everybody wants to be a bird,
but nobody knows how to fly away.
Everybody wants to be king for a day.
Everybody has something to say.
I sit on the stoop looking stupid,
looking for cupid, a new you
to deal with my sewage.
Wasting days like pastrami
folding inward like origami,
drop drama on a llama.
We pause like a comma
whenever our lover
walks in with the pharma…
See… what I’m doing here,
I’m on ya’. Clear… as a
long trip after a bong rip,
we can make this shit disappear,
as long as you wanna.
In the meantime — some me time.
Chewing eucalyptus and eucharist.
In the rear view, the thought bubble…
“you the best.”