Call of the Balls

photo of a group of friends lying on a pool table
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I enjoy the smell of blue Play-Doh
it reminds me of childhood wounds
so give me a piano bar
and let me sigh eternally
amongst the dark, doldrums beat
where man is nothing but an enclave,
a water dish for God’s mighty piss
it’s time machine day
watch all the lovers fall forward
into another happy moment
of ashes on carrots
and whimpering in designer hallways
tape these bleeders closed
I’m leaking to much embryonic fluid
I will never forgive the doctors
for letting me live
they should have stabbed me
when they had the chance
rhythm isn’t all that
and why is my cigarette all wet
she must have sucked on it too long
like a crimson call of the balls
a jungle gym for her hands and mouth
and what is it all about
when the pressure rises
and the beat rises
and the teeth chatter
and the hands shake
and all you want to do is
pound! pound! pound!
every senseless array of light
pound it into the ground
and play blind man on the street corner
with a couple of dimes
and a couple of cobs of corn
to boil in a pot of your own soul

Forget history
forget the curds and whey
forget the memories of your lullabies
let me rephrase that —
there is never any hope in love
when you’re banging the drums on Skyline Drive
shooting asphalt high in her eyes
it’s a rhythm that means nothing
except to her unfaithful hips
her hungry lips
the javelin rodent prays to Mary
the metal plate in his skull
sends messages to his doldrums
let me feel your hair,
come sit on my lap
come swallow shotgun shells at sunset
and watch cowgirls on Texas junk

Do the mice really care
how intricate the tapestries in Babylon are?
Does anyone care
that Teddy bears aren’t real?
What is the basis of all our motives
what grips the brass ring in your belly?
The tug of a lover
the tug of a memory
the tug of a prophecy
dialing up in your brain
making you spit down the drain
where is my lumber?
where is my sword?
step aside whilst I stricken you with damage
who will care for the bloody mouth
who will stare at the red wine running south
who will submit to my need
and not be forsaken because of it???


Applesauce Cat

Warning: Mature Content

I was sitting in the din of another rum-soaked afternoon on High Street in some far away town. I was alone as usual. The clock was ticking behind my head like a reader counting down the days to my ultimate demise.

I looked out the balcony fortress at the world all messed up and angry with itself, and I saw a cat eating applesauce down on the sidewalk around the perimeters of chalk art and lonely hearts.

I was cut like dynamite all up in my guts… my face so fucking worn away from the droop of negative gladness that I felt like gravity sucking at a skull through a circus straw, clowns all mad and boisterous running around with shaving clippers to cut away the dirt of dope all muddied in my blood.

It’s the countdown to broken neck as end of summer lawns hiss as the sprinklers spit at the grass like riots, I am hungry and in pain deep down in the belly welly of life on bourbon street sans street, the plastic puppets of a childhood tossed in a bin scream redemption but the oily candles only bleed sin and throat blessings designed to curb the swearing are merely molestations of the skin.

So God, do you have a dick in which to fuck the universe and all its celestial holes?

Alcoholism and roughed up love meet in a bar down on Bleeker Street. It’s puke and madness and a dying heart just trying to reach out to another Rings of Saturn soul, blowholes and arrows, hard drinks and drugs and tattoo flu shots trembling at river’s edge, in upper north Wisconsin, where I want them to spread my ashes, like tumbler cheese on a cracker, and GODmother is dead because money is more important than any sensibility of love and honor… fuck you Chicago and all the piss you dump and pray for… my ass hurts, like a tiger biting into the bone, and I tremble Atlanta, my home, my five-fingered mannequin bone, restless and destructive like a coffee-scented angel on the 285, running circles round the metro like a honey-bee hive, all full of stings and poison and air machines for the lungs, my head, my life, so heavy and strung out like Christmas candles in a circus, a mall walker carrying a tombstone and a blowtorch, attacking the restless kiss as if in a never-ending dream.


Spaceship Gravy

The sky was black most of the day because the sun went and hid behind the world. It was something like Winter Solstice and the world was tipping over like a bucket of paint, a deep red spilling making a big wet mess on the universe. Our lives are universal, and we need to find somewhere else to live because this just isn’t going to cut it anymore. The big, blue marble is cracked, we’re cracked, we’re all cracked. Brains mean nothing, heart beats lonely, selfish, absorbed in oneself. Human, human beings? There is no such thing anymore most of the time.

This plague, this sickness, this depravity, this madness devouring human souls and bodies. Kids in cop cars. Cops in kids. Lanterns and fire hydrants spitting light on the streets, but the kids can’t even go out to play anymore, because, sun-burnt god and the Jesus train of fame had a wreck, a collision, a sinister accident. 

His favorite color was blue. Not any blue. A pale blue, a cold sky blue, a linen shirt blue, shallow ocean water blue, like her eyes, those eyes that look right through him during a deep kiss. She was there again last night. In his apartment in the country that was actually a part of a house but had its own entrance and amenities and so there was little interaction with the pudgy aproned landlady who loved to water flowers in the yard with a big metal can. He once tried to attach the hose for her but she shooed him away because she was from the old country and that’s how they did it. The geraniums in the window-boxes looked beautiful but smelled awful, so he thought.

So, the blue-eyed girl was in his bed, and they were naked under the blankets, and they kissed wildly and when this girl kissed, she would often open her eyes and he knew this because he too would often open his eyes so that he could see the shape and color of the lips he was kissing. But her blue eyes stared deep into him when he caught her at it and he saw this deep love in her soul and he wanted to just jump into that blue, dive deep inside and tumble through her soul awkwardly, passionately, freely. He wanted to drown in her. He wanted to hold onto her as he rode 3 a.m. dreams, those places where the dead we knew live on and interact with us, those places of complete upside-down nonsense, like orange gravy slow dancing in a spaceship.   


The Anatomical Tragedy of a Rubber Witch

This is all a divine anatomical tragedy I thought
as I leaned on the cold wet rail of green
looking out at the sea,
the chilled air billowing forth from my mouth,
the oddities of life spilling from an aluminum pail at my side

The black rain poured down
I hunkered beneath a canopy of rubber
and went to the smoky joint
on 7th and Riverside
to hear Quinn the Brown play jazz in the bar by the bay

The mannequins gestured lightly
smooth wax skin reflected orbital rainbows
and motions of sickness,
caramel paint with light red
oozed down the walls, into the light,
into the fear framed within my own eyes

It was getting late,
but I didn’t care
I was here to bleed
and wonder why,
I shifted my position
stick dangling from my burdened lip
and moved to play her
as she leaned on
a dirty brick colonnade
sipping a drink
thinking about
getting stuck by a stranger
on the wrong side of town

Quinn the Brown was picking up the tempo
the deadline was near
the flies and I were laughing
under the smoky plaster sky
and some cheetah rubbed her knuckles in anticipation
of a naked night savagely calculated
from the room where her heart ticks
and all is red wine and white roses
and blood tracks across the back

It was a muted journey home
through rain curtains and bees
the sidewalks were wet,
the cafes were dripping,
children were riding magic carpets
over sooty smokestacks
and terror-filled voices were
belching angst from the rooftops

I turned the key
she came on home
to the drone of electric lights
and cinnamon spells cast by kitchen witches
I poured her a drink,
she fell on the floor
and I walked out
onto a sidewalk mirror of parting clouds

I fell down some dirty stairs
my vision all nonsense now, like gravity in a spaceship
and into a den of brightly lit thieves
listening to the howls of the night stalker
They invited me in for tea, a smoke, a cabbage white rail
there was a damaged angel there
all burnt and crisp
staring at the ceiling
from a point on the wall where she was tacked
black and sparkling,
eyes gaping wide,
a crystal cathedral dead and gone

It was a night of walking gone bad,
a wrong turn on the messy runway
and someone else paid the price for being born,
for living once,
breathing once
but now no more


Celsius 150

The pit burns, hurts, the thinking of no reason, no need, no purpose, no peace, no rest, never rest, just a raw nerve constantly exposed to the other infatuation, the memory lust crawled upon far back in the head, the knowing, the pink deception, being merely a mule set to drop in a sweltering field alone, twisting neck heavenward and wondering, enough of this hell already, the seeping saw, the running kroovy, the spotted tile rung rosary red in a constant panic dropout, perimeter crash, dawn’s elastic reprisal snapping back and taking out a blind eye like oblivion and we stare into screams and whimper, heart finally flipping out again in the essence of damage no one sees or knows or wonders or cares, like silently surfing on cold waves toward a fog, forward to fall, forward to vanish, scrubbed away like tarnish, soul snuffed in a quick lullaby snip.


Mutual poet rant upon a muzzled moon

The mutual poet and I wrapped our scars around rainbows like barbed wire cuts of rust wrenching the tears from the colored spine like lemon juice or the salty water from a baby’s crushed ice face. The mutual poet and I stayed up all night, for three nights, maybe a week, we couldn’t sleep, but a bit at twilight and the sun shook us from our slumbers and we blotted it out with a big patch of dark cloth the color of blood running from a split-open heart on some cold boulevard by a bar after a bruising breakup over loud music, cigarettes, and rum.

We ate nothing at breakfast and sauteed bullets for dinner; he wandered around in a daze mumbling things to himself, forgetting where he left his lit cigarette and I followed in his footsteps, perfect synchronicity as he did one thing and then another, rapidly changing gears and always mumbling like a freight train feather with a bad valve and he had a poor sense of concentration, his brain like a steam-whistle screaming away at 5 o’clock but five o’clock comes every 17 seconds or so; was this the end of it all? the great melting mind (and Joejack if you hear this, you’ve been there before but now safe in the bosom of the valley far north) — you will all hate this, say I am a tantric rip-off of some dead so and so … so … no love in this poem? love in every poem, even the most seething verse and the darkest string of words was once spawned from love and it is our gift to stitch them together in the ocean quilt with sawdust and bone.

But back to the mutual poet — he once put something in the oven, fell asleep and then woke to the stench of burning food and a choking cloud of smoke, he once put a gun to his head not really knowing if it was loaded or not — pulled the trigger — wasn’t that time.

Just trying to get back from wherever I came, haven’t had a home in centuries, no place to dwell with any decency, no place to settle in for the long haul; different doorways trap memories behind them, too many doors and different floors, and some places are filled with love and others filled within silence and fingernail scratches on the wall from just trying to remain standing and well the boo-hoo girl went back to white dinosaur in a green car and she should be happy there, then again she’s happy everywhere.

The moon, mutual poet, was muzzled pink tonight, hanging there like a faded ruby with bruises and the clouds all around it were like melting blue butter and black-eyed whipped cream, the brutal stars and stripes puffing away on another hand-rolled cigarette and the monkeys were swinging madly from limb to limb as the warm river rolled by beneath another freeway to another kingdom of fractured lives slaving away, day after day, to barely get by as strangers manipulate the development of their children’s minds and fights roar out of control and another head is buried in a wall.

They buried the mutual poet on Good Friday 1913, yet he remains with me here today; his motions are my motions, his forgetfulness and inability to speak coherently are traits we both share, but if he was here and I was there, would it make any difference at all?

Well goodnight Joejack. I picture you laughing at a sad movie or crying while watching a comedy; do you know a guy died in your house? — the one with the long hallway — it always creeped me out, but if you think about it, we are all walking over someone else’s bones. Goodnight Joejack.


A Reversal of Reverence

When one is inside a living hell
one begins to wonder if life is really hell
and that we are living as damned souls
rather than breathing, beating flesh
is it a reversal of reverence?
or a carving into a dirty brick wall
running along an avenue
in some dirty brick town hall
where everyone lives and dies at the mall
because shopping soothes the grated spirit
and machine guns make us heavenly patriotic
we all share the same hell,
but it’s personalized just for us
a little agony here,
a little sadness there,
a few suicidal tendencies sprinkled in between
like tooth-cracking rock candy on a wedding cake
spelling out disaster
and the peace sign
all muddled together
painted in a gleaming red of blood
and all the crystal tears dry up
and blow away in the breath of broken angels slouched at the bar
my world is spiral notebooks full of spilled and infinite ink
and dreams filling these white, chalky veins
dreams of innocence twisted inside out
like guts in a blender
and the torturous high-speed button is stuck,
lashes of a wicked wind like a bunch of reckless bros
tossing back Fat Tires at a pub in Nob Hill
and smoking black cigarettes with a scent of pine
and when will it be time
to throw the switch
and juice it up real bright and glossy
fizzing orange firebombs
licking at tender wounds
while wearing this metal hat
and laboring in the pain
of beachside memories
of little boys tossing sticks at the water
and maternal maids bracing themselves
against a chill California wind
and then what of him
as he shakes bone-chilled against the cement
of some dead-end den
watching the whispers of a life gone by
float to the endless sky,
but he never wants to say goodbye


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