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.


The Temples of Celestial Evacuation

I floated above the road from out of LipLock, Tejas earlier in the day and headed north, then east. I rumbled along with the roar of it all past that Tulia place again, into the belly of the Yellow City and then back out again like a screaming colon blow.

There was a place further down the road there that looked like some gleaming white Zionic temple minus Moroni but turned out to be some angelic rest stop – a sort of place for celestial evacuation I suppose. It was a high-tech joint with sliding doors, acid-high neon and brightly buffed tiles. The walls were decorated with all sorts of Americana logos and pop posters made to look like they sprang right out from the 1950s – they were going for the whole Route 66 celebratory theme, but an earth closet is still an earth closet and making pee is still making pee. I guess it was comforting enough for weary travelers and indeed kept very clean. I saw an immigrant from Nicaragua wildly mopping the floor with mad vigor and I sort of shook my head and laughed at the fact that Wild West rest stops are kept better looking than most of the towns and the cities – and I guess immigrants are fine in our country as long as they are cleaning up after our savage releases.

I stopped for the night in the town of El Torino, Oklahoma. Clint Eastwood was working the front desk of the glowing green hotel and he was kind of grumpy and called me a “punk.” There was a dirty steak place just down the road from where I was staying and I went there for some supper, as my lady friend Ms. Tinkachook says.

The hostess was a sad and desperate-looking white-skinned soul who didn’t smile much and merely mumbled. I followed her and she seated me in the section for all the lonely people who ate by themselves. The joint had been kicked around in the crotch a few times it seemed – a greasy sort of place with smudged windows and a smell more fit for a bowling alley than a restaurant. I felt the need for the animalistic Reverend Jim to be there with a big ol’ bottle of hand sanitizer to baptize me in, but like most men of Bog, he must have had his hands tied by other spiritual and cleansing emergencies.

The waitress chick was a spotted-owl kind of gal reeking of sad spirit and boredom. She strolled about the place with little sense of purpose and recited to all her tables the same rehearsed speech that lacked any sense of genuine care for her work, but I understood her malaise completely, even though I was convinced she hated me.

I ordered an 8 oz. top sirloin that looked pale and beaten but tasted good nonetheless when slathered with some sauce. I got fries too, a salad and some warm bread with cinnamon butter. The food was decent enough for what it was and anyways I was never one to complain in a restaurant. I never thought it wise to piss someone off who was handling my food. There was a table across the way from me with a couple of moms and their dirty kids plus a husband or boyfriend or two. They loudly bitched at the waitress about their steaks not being cooked as they wanted, and they passed their plates back to her and she humped off to the kitchen to turn them back in. I could imagine the cook growling and spitting on the meat or shoving it down his pants and jiggling around a bit to add some of his own spice and sizzle.

My steak was good, and I scarfed it down quickly. And that’s all I said: “It’s good. Thank you.” She smiled halfheartedly and I knew she had better problems than me.

But I had been there before too. I had my time – those days so completely overtaken by life’s strife that I could hardly move or utter a word. Those days of hurt – like a hatchet buried in my skull cap and someone cranking on the handle. There is a laundry list of agonies I have endured that I really don’t want to talk about now except to say it was all about busted up hearts and people dying in real bad ways and there were plenty of times I just wanted to snuff it as Alex DeLarge says. Lights out like a hammer to a lightbulb. No more pawing and panting at the stars like some broken bird who felt like he would never ever fly again. Hopefully I’ve come around to the other side of those ills and I will press on, for there is nothing left to do.


Cologne of the Ghost

I sat in the broken window and looked out onto the burnt grass and the weeds; the sun was gone, the moon was gone, the stars were all gone; a blank, hollow shell of a world and this scratchy ticking in the background behind me and so I strolled across the creaking floorboards and met up with my ghost in the broken mirror hung crooked above an old dresser.


The needle on the record player beside me dug rhythmically into the last grooves of some wobbly, distorted album a century old; dusty glass bottles of old colognes were neatly placed on a cloth on top of the dresser, half empty and oily, I opened them up and smelled them – memories of daddy drown in the deep eye of the now bitter liquid.


A stirring wind rushed in through the broken windows, cutting itself on the jagged edges of glass and howling off through the paper walls in pain; something rattled the pots and pans in the kitchen down below and before I went to the stairs, I looked at myself in the mirror and suddenly I wasn’t there – the linoleum was curling and stained with dust and dead bugs who had come in for some type of shelter from the rain, the weeds outside had grown tall and unruly; an old dirty engine sat in the grass, beat to hell, old and used and rusting away… The breeze belted away and went howling off to the woods to hide and cry, to slither up the trunk of a tree and rocket off to space, to dissipate.


And I stood in the doorway, knowing I could never step outside again, destined to forever look out windows and watch the world lose itself in the waves of time… I cannot leave, I will never leave; I will forever wander this old, broken-down house, try to catch the wind before it so rudely rushes away. I’ll listen to the needle dig into the record for eons, I will smell daddy’s cologne until it completely evaporates, unlike me, I will never evaporate; I will forever be the blind reflection in the mirror, and I will wait painfully without food or sleep or company for heaven’s hand to finally sweep me away.


Italian Mexican Food

After 37 beers and a carton of Strikes, down there below those swirling, curling lights of the Piccadilly-like carnival on the inlaid pier, I gotten a sudden hankering for a bit of the ol’ south of the border chow — but there I was stuck in a sea of neon beach shops and surfer boutiques — head throbbing like mad and steaming ’cause I had to wait for the maintenance man to come fix my tub in my sixth floor room of the South Seas Lodge — that ghetto, oceanfront property with the metal doors with rusting scratchings of so-and-so loves so-and-so — and my room number was written on the door with a black marker, others were simply slips of paper with the room number scribbled upon it and then neatly stuck to the door with masking tape — high quality joint, yeah, but the view from the room was worth the 49.99 — those slamming waves crashing into the beach right below my balcony — after 37 beers and a carton of Strikes, it all looked pretty good through my grinning fog.

But there I was at dusk, wobbling down the steaming street that stretched on for miles in either direction, hotels, motels and bungalows all lined up, bumping each other shoulder to shoulder and I thought about how we have come to commercialize even nature, and how three-hundred years ago or so, those waves were still out there slapping at the shore, still rolling like white thunder, rolling and dropping their white and foamy fists against the land, pounding it hard like a drunk spring break boy does to some weekend Snow Off White, probably in the very same bed in which I slept upon, the one with the parrots and toucan’s brightly decorating the bedspread alongside the stains of lust and claw marks of a troubled head.

And I was stumbling along, the streets filled with people in skimpy clothes laughing and falling all over each other; the young, the old, everyone connected in their far-from-home fears and I felt like the only solitary being rushing along the waves of this pulse and so ducked into a beach shop for some sandals and found some ones made in China and they hurt my feet because they were too small, so I kicked them off when I walked the beach and watched them roll back out to sea, back home to China where a 9 is probably more like a 4 to us — because they are made by the small children — and I had asked the clerkie where a good place to eat was and he recommended a Mexican place that he liked to frequent, I said thanks and wandered out the door trying to remember the directions he gave me at the same time trying to not get run over by a car… but then again, I could be on Mars.


I saw it after stopping to piss in some gas station, and there it was, across the busiest street in the place and I thought I’d never get across, but I darted when the headlights died down and made it to the joint. I was the only one solo, of course, but I got a nice heaping of chips and salsa, ordered a couple of beers, and watched some Survivor, Fear Factor rip-off where Kens and Barbies were playing stupid games and it really meant the world to them, like it REALLY was important, not just another heap of trash entertainment to babysit our collective lazy and enslaved American minds.

I ordered the No. 11; a taco, burrito, and enchilada, but when the waiter brought it out, it was like I was eating Manicotti, or Rigatoni with some spicy beef inside. The sauce was tomatoey, not like the red sauce or the green sauce I got back in the Land of Enchanto, no, as if I stepped into an upscale Taco Bell in Florence, Italy. But I was hungry and I ate it and it was decent and I slammed my beer and stuffed my face and I was fat and full when I paid my bill — wandered out back onto the street, hypnotized by the guiding lights of cars and booming shops selling surfboards and kief, and there it was in all its glory, a Krispy Kreme donut shop, and even as full as I was I went inside that heaven of baked goods and ordered up a six pack of gut-clogging sin — so I was making my way back to the South Seas Lodge, made my way past the carnival, the Ferris wheel was so high and lit up like an acid trip, I saw the people just dangling there in the night like branches of a Christmas tree, they were all weighed down with the heavy lights of the amusement park. I stood and waited for someone to jump – like the unloved Thanksgiving at Wendy’s.

I walked along slow now, weighed down with the Italian Mexican food in my gut and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. I made it across the main thoroughfare, the traffic was dying down a bit, it was getting late — found a little boardwalk that led to the beach, the tide was a bit higher now and the waves seemed to be grabbing at my ankles a bit more forcefully now, and when my heavy limbs made it to the sand, I almost collapsed, the beach was sparse with people, when at the height of day it was crawling with all sorts — I stumbled along, my eyes now stinging from all the spotlights beaming down on me from the right, the waves kept crashing to my left, and it was getting hard to walk in the sand, but in time I made it back to the South Seas Lodge, took the elevator to the sixth floor, it groaned as it slowly carved its way through the shaft, the stairs were in disrepair, and I thought if there was a fire, I’d surely burn or die from the jump — but it didn’t burn and I made it back to my room, threw my stuff down on the bed and went straight to the balcony to watch the waves, all lit up from the hotel floodlights, crash into the shore, so perpetual, unlike the heart that someday soon shall cease to trouble her.

Stroke on the Plains

I broke the seal
of the highway bottle
the greasy liquid shot
of a place unlike Eden
a place called
Plains on Texas

The sickness came on like a roar
the shaking and the sweating
love all nonsense now
reality but a blur
Dairy Queen red
running over my eyes
catastrophe walking the strip
of a gravel pit morgue
dead end ruckus and muck
sandblasting the sky
with a dire need to survive

Like I said the sickness
I was ready to tumble to eternity
nerve endings bursting
without joy
or meaning
or purpose
the stench of oil so thick
the desolation of a wounded place
sticking to the sweat of my skin
and I was ready to snuff it
snuff it loudly in Plains on Texas
choking on an imminent stroke

I sailed to the roadside tables
trembling and feeling wildly ill
I needed a pill
a naked, sleek pill
to kill
the present-tense situation
the coma I was driving toward
a cure was badly needed
for a stroke was knocking at my door

The shop windows reflected dead light
glass depictions of gray headstones
kaleidoscopic blurs of broken eyes
and shimmering wanderers lost
in flattened fields of hot wind and demon paste
and I was ready to pull to the side
to let it all go in a dirty lot
discarded moments of plastic and paper
soaring like wounded doves
soaring and circling
the stroke victim
clutching his brain
and catching his breath
gripping the end of the story
like a blade or a torch.

Bong Clerk

I went to the record store on the bad side of town just to check things out. The traffic all mad, crazy, and lazy, some Subaru bimbo ‘bout slayed my ride as she swerved in and out of her lane while talky walking on her celly phone, probably ‘bout shoes and shopping and all that brainless shit so ravenously absorbed by this collective sponge of idiocy.

I pushed my ride through my ol’ stomping grounds… “Yeah, I used to live there, there and there…” the city now bulging at the seams with all these newbies and they roar in here like some California ocean with their big rides and their big money, pissin’ up in another strip mall, another ShitMart, another layer of asphalt, another dull dollhouse of cement and glass where the blockheads can play “office” and get high on Africanized bees.

I pulled into the oily, worn parking lot; it was littered with litter.

I felt a Rikki Tikki Tavi ghost ship cut through my spleen as I walked across the lot and into the shoppe. The place smelled of incense and painted wood and old linoleum and lingering clouds of grass. I noticed they were rearranging the place. The shelves where all the DVDs once lived were now cleared and big signs talked about the place adding a book section in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS… And I thought to myself, BOOKS, finally, a grand idea.

As I lingered about the place whilst the man clerkie who digs the new Taco Bell Doritos taco shell tacos sorted through the goods I was pawning, I couldn’t help but overhear:

“NO, NOT LIKE THIS! IT HAS TO BE LIKE THIS!”

And there was the manager cheeka all yelling at the girl clerkie because she wasn’t arranging the display of bongs correctly.

And she was being a real dog about it too, being all huff and puff and HR Puff N Stuff in the poor girl clerkie’s face. And I felt bad for her when the girl clerkie came around behind the counter in her tightly woven ink on skin. I could tell she was mumbly wumbling nasties under her breath about her uptight bitch boss.  She was all nervous and stressed, probably being a new clerkie and all and she didn’t need this shit from the stuffed sausage cougar with bosoms falling out her top about tidying up big bongs on a glass shelf. She was just trying to make it in her little world in the big world that crunches her down every day because she doesn’t get paid nearly enough to make it these days. And I could see like this mad nuclear bomb all going off in her head and her bourbon brown eyes all turning green and I knew any minute she was going to vagina punch her, but in the end she had to hold it in, because that just wouldn’t be right, vagina punching her boss on her third day in the shoppe and even though I would of liked to seen it, seen that lady grab that hole and fall to the floor — in some kind of agony — it didn’t happen whilst I was there — despair, for the girl clerkie who had to swallow a nuclear bomb just to keep some lousy job that will just kill her in the end anyway.

I took my money from the pawn, and I took my leave and went out into the oily, electric world. The traffic was bulging like an unfortunate ski weekend sausage fest — the kind where you drift off alone. It was hot outside. The sun this big blaring white eye all boiling and roiling and cooking us to pieces down here on Earth. I turned the AC on as I drove back to the other side of town and the place where I stayed at with the old man and his crooked bones. I sailed the long, hot lanes of traffic, across the flatlands, up and over the hills, to the hot, hot hideaway where I endlessly breathe alone.


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Darkness Cries a Winter

Darkness cries a winter’s tongue, cold as ice amongst my remnants as I am digging it at the shore, cold water blue slapping indigo hate marks against all the stone faces staring out all bewildered and dumb. I arc across the region of big love, a sparkler of flight, all fucking ignited and in love with some red, bloody brick.

Heartbeats bounce off the asunder, like maniac puppets digging for lust, with wooden fingers, deep down in the wet grass of northern summer… There are factory explosions and deep, buttered potatoes at the dinner table, the clock strikes 17, and butter is brain, all rearranged, and the black spots are merely gravy in the grave…

I stare at cream wall, heart attack in pocket all jazzed up and ready to go, glow, blow, across thy universe of the intrepid, broken bones and skin all up in there and wandering, prayer hands all busted before the juke joint bourbon night all sprayed across the land, GOD using EARTH as urinal trans cornucopia, that shattered, blissful kiss left wheezing in green tenement bungalow on fire to the gods of love, the tick tock broken boned Merry-Go-Round little rumpus kiss on the MIDWAY, all mad swirling and twirling and shoving face forward into red menu on white — some alabaster, indigo babe…

Cigarette Sally in a coffin, riding to the grave and I’m sucking mango at midnight and thinking of mad LA, that Hollywood bomb all across thy morning window of thread and dread, a refrigerator in my living room, a tender turnpike of her spit, all splayed across the cement laundry room, deep down in the sun, waiting for the machine to click and be done, the tall forest is calling with green trumpets and guns. I am in red suit now, bleeding dead Russia, a shoebox for a soul, dead maniac Bricker Brack, an antique store, small town Misery, Missouri — apple-scented schools, time lost in a fist, a kiss, a memory all blonde and on fire, tears come for the Mum, all dead and locked away, like a fire sprayed, life knocked out like that, makes me sad and all fighting the willows for the fire hot love that still burns all cold sky and clouds, winter’s tender beating, slapping my heart to thy dirty street, roll in the wind dearest madman, roll down the world ‘till all is beautiful again and bones do not twist, break, and sway.