Sunday, December 21, 2008

the tea bag is where i left it on the kitchen counter, a depressed transplant heart
leaking brown bile, still a
pillow for a child's head

not to seem rude--
but may i ask why you are allowed to be so happy?

what makes you so free and easy, so many exclamation points in even your most
thoughtless welcomes, as if your heart weighed no more than the feather
tattooed on my back

when even my heart weighs tons, heavy pewter in comparison to that falling feather?

why are you so free: when did he not do something similar to you?
and to that part of you that is no longer virginity but is neither reputation, that part
that can be taken and not returned but cannot fully vanish without your permission

although permission is eagerly sought and even for the most fragile of us
the ones hidden behind thoroughly obscuring mantillas, not just my scrap of veil
that became too easy to displace all too soon

we sometimes grant it so easily
doors after all being much easier to unlock than they are to lock
and lock-and-key being such a loved and petted notion to
us all

i wish i could make off with your joy and swallow it
until it was absorbed by my blue blood and became mine
heat and life!
some semblance of pink would perhaps return to my cheeks

finally to resemble a Klimt girl
as i always wished i could
as i've always secretly believed i do

but without the telling gush of
the phosphorescent stream of life fluid

that gives them that liquored glow,
their liquor being the only real kind
what i take to be liquor is really just
tomorrow's sickness and sorrow

replaced instead by exhausted tea bag,
still a pillow for a child's head

every morning i wake as if i were just born
and my chest aches with all the sadness of
everything i have yet to be left by
have yet to pay for
have yet to lose
and have already lost

every morning i wake the patient lying on the operating table:

force myself out of bed
seek my own ether
and tranquilize myself

relying crippled on that exhausted tea bag
a bowl or two of pot so that my head feels less like
it has been paved to the ground

morning, noon, and night my friends
and sometimes more
but try not to judge:

there is no ward for those of us who
cant remember happiness

no transfusion and i so wish i could have a transfusion--

heat and life!
finally to resemble a Klimt girl

i think that the truth is that my sadness is
the sort of thing that cannot be watched

no one wishes to be infected by this particularly debilitating blue and i harbor no blame

adjust your mantillas
enjoy your warm red blood and
sometime soon i hope
more than i hope for anything else

that i will be able to wake on mornings
with lightness again

no longer reliant on exhausted tea bag to soothe this
prevalent pain in my chest that shocks me
with its strength every time

and someday maybe to walk without
a train of thick smoke

held off the ground by the attendant incense and match fumes

i have no alibi:
caught pale handed in the bedroom
with the pipe
trying to steal your liveliness

only some you know, i would not take your entire store:

it is a terrible thing to do,
i wouldnt do it

Friday, December 19, 2008

morphine may

morphine May, you came like a lover from the ether
of everything i had yet to come to know

but once introduced i found you irresistible
a hot and sweating fever high and a delirious joy

in bed i would lay and sweat out my weight
until i was only one body made only of one thing and that thing

was all the elation for
life friends love the cosmos music mystery and the human heart
that had been gathered by my own hands as time
inconspicuously passed

and how when the day was warm and life was simple i
could morphine the hours away

i remember much
but little
i remember time falling like feathers

all around in a beautiful universe
as little as my bedroom and as big as

the constantly pulsing undercurrent of love
that i'm so tentative but faithful exists

now let me lay beneath that heavy air again
that air heavy with a sweet and reliable promise

dont worry darling you'll be alright
dont worry darling
see how right it already is?

Monday, December 15, 2008

christmas takes the prize
i hate it most

serves only as a twisted reminder
of how happy we all used to be

i feel as if i'm the only one who cant hold up

climb into the bathtub
get out of the bathtub

every morning feel again the expanding pain in my chest
measure the severity

have a long stoned talk with myself:
you need perspective
etc etc etc
always darkest before the dawn
etc etc etc
where's your faith in goodness?
etc etc etc

cry a very long time
put the kettle on
these are my mornings

stumble impaired through my days
and find that i hate
mostly everyone and mostly

until it is cold and dark
another of a ceaseless chain of nights
i crawl into my constricting pain

and the christmas lights blink on the tree
on off

i sedate myself with smoke
a friendly nurse
here, this and then you'll feel much better

til i come down and feel much worse
and the christmas lights blink on the tree
on off

Saturday, December 13, 2008

hit or miss

the days are hit
or miss

sometimes i approach lightness
sometimes I'm cripplingly blue

but when i am low
it feels like a
pain to blanket the senses

a pain that mothers all pain
my chest frozen in a knot
of pure crystalline sadness

i don't know how i stand the sadness
and why it attacks me so
cruel and strong

i start thinking i'm totally fucked

other times i feel i understand
i have lucid moments of peace
they touch me kind
with cool fingers

so i can carry on

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

lately i have been

i think,

too absorbent of the universe's

absurd, unknowable


there's but one cure for such a sickness and that's--

well perhaps there are two,

and those are:

pot of course, its sympathetic, numbing fog,


syd barrett secondly,

a kindred spirit for the most self-hating,

those confounded by life,

casualties of the swift hand of reality,

it's knock-down force--

and the cruel pain of love,

a knock-down lonely purgatory in which i rest

well, toss and turn

a sort of vacuum that beats, a prolific pain

it keeps mothering itself anew

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

these, the things nearest to me lately

musty incense, a glass of port
and an eighth an ounce of pot

hannah and i sit on the carpet
and roll joints all evening long

playing with my cat and talking
about lovers

we're both fresh out
and thank god for that

i have my picture of brian jones
and am more involved
in a sort of lazy shrine-worship

than anything else

my hometown is beginning to feel
like a hometown

where you grow up but not where you live

a teabag run out and dry
or some fruit barren of seeds

time i think
to seek new stomping grounds

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

it's december, brian jones

my favorite Stone is brian jones
king of the soft-handed gypsies
a diadem
of cold white stars and electric buzz

the winter has come and brought the cold
incense rolls round my bedroom
the light leaves hastily
with the tired setting sun

december is fat this year,
brian jones!
with song, with friends and with wine
the maryjane endless, the
loneliness sweet

no old lovers make me crazy
no old memories daze my head

there is a blanket warm and yellow
and there are candles on the nightstand

and brian jones' quick flash of
crazy heat

like a forgotten pot boiling over
in a moment extreme
hot water rolling down onto the
stove top

an astronomical body
exploding in space

Monday, December 1, 2008

I always think that it will be the last time i write a poem about you
or write a song about you
or write a foolish letter to you

but it never has been so far and maybe it never will

I've been debilitated by memories of first love
they make my life now seem so tuneless
and so loveless

when once I knew how all of it felt -
love, being loved, misery

now i only know that you do not respond
to my letters
too tired of hurting too long

maybe your life really has moved on, as mine should and as it must

but i am still my foolish self
my heart unable to leave the image of
the christmas cactus

Friday, November 14, 2008

new poems

as yet untitled:

midway through november
more hills caught fire

it feels like summer

crickets droning madly
in the night

hot air rustled only
by hot wind

and a moth found hiding
in the coolness of the refrigerator.

summer is supposed to be
dead and freezing

its legs stuck out
in various disturbing angles

but it stays and holds us
pinned in its strong arms

until we grow weak
cease struggling

become stagnant
and dry

and our grass ignites



judith cut his head right off
cradled it in her lap
like a housecat

her white arms bare
and fingers lost
in his dark hair

and her face was without expression
just lit by an ethereal light
as if she was made of flames

i can remember the time
you grabbed my shoulders and shook
allison allison allison
until i had to look back at you

how i should have scratched your eyes out
but sat like a lifeless toy
forgotten stepped on broken
and forgotten again

i was no fun anymore

i feel your grasp on my shoulders
your annoyed sigh
as i sway backwards forwards
beneath your hands

not enough judith in me
to devour you with my flames
to damn you for defacing
what used to be my own

pure and honest heart


november morning in berkeley

not just because of you
but for many reasons
i feel i may have
put my mind through too much

it shakes like a leaf
in violent winds
and threatens to snap

saturday morning woke me up

from a friday night
of vodka in berkeley

and my mind came to a memory
of you
(lately you've been
coming to my mind)

and it seems it never stopped

the thought restlessly paws at me

if i had a buck
for every time i thought of you
i'd be a rich lady
headed to the opera

but it rains
and i'm headed to san francisco
for the day

i've lost my bearings in
the sea of fog

and the smoke of
too many
(poorly rolled) joints

and i grope but cant feel
the beginning or the end
to all these blues

only you and you
whether i am here or there

or in transit
between the two

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the fourth of july does not exist

the fourth of july does not exist
and neither does this heat
and neither does my chronic cough
and neither do we

my grandmother is dying in the hospital
she's trying to crawl out of her bed
im haunted by her bony knees
and that heartbreaking blue gown
(i cannot look at her for long
i turn my face and bite my cheeks)
the fourth of july does not exist
and soon neither will she

i dont know what she ever wanted for me
other than that old brass mirror
and a rosary

i never wanted anything from her
other than her copy of anna karenina
and her pirate-ship mirror

now she's something you might
find on the beach
an empty shell that used to house
some fragile little thing

(i always thought i would find her dead,
lying in bed in the house on los ondas,
not like this

not in any way like this.)

i always thought she'd fall asleep
and not wake up one day
not be in such fucking pain
her eyes as glazed as if she was
that fox behind glass
that sarah and i saw,
frozen in a moment of pure life
and then arranged in a little box

limbs all awkwardly mid-step
and with that irksome empty face

i never thought that i would see her
fighting with her sheet

and i sure as hell never thought i'd see her



grandma finally died
not with me at her side as i hoped it would be happen

but alone sometime in the morning

with her rosary clasped in her swollen hand
nails perfect as always
blood congealing beneath the surface of her fingers
i dont know why

and now the obituary's out
a big block of print in the paper
a sixty-something year old picture
her blouse as pale as winter

her smile all honest and shining
it was during the war

but before breast cancer and mastectomy
before ill and dying husband
before three jobs and no money
before the house on los ondas

i've watched the home-movies and i've seen her
and she was irrepressible, delightful

she danced on the deck of a ship
she wore pink on her wedding day
she smiled so easy

and i am left wishing i could talk to her again
just for a handful of minutes
enough time to tell her

oh a handful of the usual things

i hope i never broke her heart too badly

i hope i never broke it at all

Sunday, June 29, 2008

when i am in your
two hands cupped
like a small white bird
with a small soft coo
and wet eyes
and all

i cant remember how it felt
not to be
and cant imagine why
i wasn't

crawling out
of those two cupped hands
is like leaving the womb
rolling out of
the bed with plaid woolen blankets
and into the coldest damn morning

and i cant remember how it felt to
be held so warm
cant imagine why
i had to leave

Monday, January 14, 2008

first draft:

i thought i might be feeling the prelude to an anxiety attack,

so i dissolved two pills beneath my tongue.

they tasted like poison, a kind of pain.

i want to go to your house, say im sorry, lets work this out,

lets be together , you know, we could take care of each other,

because this song is so beautiful, have i found you, flightless bird?

say i want to make something lasting out of this bizarre knot of chance,

and i will not be afraid of the freedom i have to finally say your name aloud

in a proper big girl's voice,

not the sodden whisper of the summer

like i was sneaking out of the convenience store with stolen cigarettes..

i thought i might have been unkind that night

that i sat drinking at your house,

i took your glances for glares and your jokes for jabs and i should probably have seen

that in all the years i've known you that has not been your way,

i dont know what your way is actually but i think it is not that

so i'd appreciate it

if i could be given some time to loosen the grip

i have around myself just trying

to keep my bones from tumbling down into a useless pile...


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