Category Archives: Reflective Light

The Tepid Hemorrhage

I am an anonymous donor
spreading my seed of grief across the world
and I might as well be blind
for all I see is black,
the rubber room menace
rotating on some wobbly wheel
and my gifts have all been opened by other people
and I sit and watch in a pile of gold paper
remembering the uncle who shot himself
the cousin who shot himself
the brother, who someday may shoot himself
And all the bleeds will flow like thick wine
and pool into an ocean
where God Neptune will pierce me with a sharpened shovel
and all the angels will laugh at God’s biggest mistake.

And this all a malenky bit sad, isn’t it?
But what is joy without sadness?
It does not exist.
What is love without loneliness?
The deeper the isolation
the brighter the kiss …
but still,
time stretches out like a river
vastly flowing over the rocks and the limbs
crushing flowers with a wet fist,
numbing hot legs braving a dive
and where will I be tomorrow?
In a treehouse with a shotgun
or in a bar with 11 empty shot glasses before me
or on a dancefloor with a whore
or alone in felt-like desolation
sipping at the tears in my wrist
or clapping for the might of the clouds
or then again
nothing at all.
Bear with me bears of the forest
for I cannot get a grip on yesterday
or tomorrow
or even right now
stone sober and burning
and while someone is making wishes
I am losing my mind
Another red
another notch in the bed
another twist of cold morality,
but then,
things could always be worse
and so, I’m not positive,
I don’t need to be today
I am bleak and writhing in the fuel
the dirty fuel casting spells of the tepid hemorrhage
and I ache relentlessly
for my heart is an inferno
download me
into the electric sea
and you will see
who I am meant to be.

I met Edward Abbey at the sand dunes,
but he was already blown away
I met Miller at a French cafe,
but he was already blown away
I met Kerouac on a railroad car,
but he was already blown away
and I met me at yet another airport,
but I was already blown away.
The bleed pile of my grace
is wiped away with a red rag
and the doctors can’t patch me together anymore
so many holes have I,
so many disturbing dreams
and polarized realities,
my only sanctuary is to drown in paper and words
pictures and photographs
and electric men pumping bullets into nameless
Today has been fried bologna on burnt toast,
water and pills,
ashes on my eyes
and the sound of her bellowing in the background
and the weird upstairs guy snoring through the ceiling.
What new ache will tomorrow bring?
What will I be forced to swallow
into the hollow grave of my soul?

The Hip and the Cruel

Hip and the Cruel. A growing storm over Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gray and golden clouds mixed with sunlight.

There’s a super fresh reality


in Albuquerque

Nob Hill groovy pubs

Ruby red placentas in Placitas

fall from hospital skies

of red brick, brown and gold

and sexy satin flesh


as newly fallen snow

on the ultra-hip Sandias

cruising on Central, Montgomery or Indian School

to smoke the city lights with the hobos

and the unfresh are like the undead

under Belen

down by the Rio

that brown ribbon curling through

bordered by the lush locks of green tree chicks

there they sit by the curls

with their hippie lamps and high times tales

bros of goodness

with mellow yellow pints clutched in claws

and the groovy fresh hipness of night descends

like clouds of far out turquoise ink

bludgeoned to the hue of a bruise

with Rio Rancho rancor

and the fist of super fresh God

the Q-Town queens line the electric neon boulevards

the Duke City duke boys say they smell

like slutty cigar store Indians

when they lift their skirts

and the desert air catches their scents just right

crippled life beneath the night fights

leprechaun green cascading beams

beckoning notice

out here like an exploding pinprick

in the desert roar of old Spanish shores

this is Albuquerque

this is super fresh

and this is what it is like

to be on maniac fire

this is what it is like to be hip and dead in the city of dusted dreams.

A Tussle with a Tassel

I had a dream in the opening creaks of dawn today that I was getting ready to graduate from high school again. In my dream, the colors of my cap and gown were white trimmed in gold. In my real-life graduation, the colors were green and gold… I think. I don’t really remember because it was eons ago. I had attended a Catholic high school my last three years because I had been a bad kid in regular school and kind of got kicked out. I guess it wasn’t because I was bad really, I was just maladjusted. I didn’t fit in. But truth be told, Catholic high school was rougher than regular high school. That’s just what I needed.

The point is, because it was a Catholic high school and a relatively small class of less than 100 people, we had our graduation ceremony at a godly chapel on the campus of one of the local colleges. It was some sort of long-standing tradition. I suppose I didn’t really care about that. I hated high school and was just so ready to get it over and done with.

Moving on, I guess it was only fitting that my final act as a high school student turned out to be an exercise in my own misplacement in the world. After I accepted my diploma and began to stroll across the chancel, I reached up and struggled to find the tassel that I was supposed to move from right to left. It never occurred to me that performing such a seemingly simple act would have turned out to be my penultimate high school kick in the crotch. I was mostly concerned with the damn cap completely falling off my head and then everyone would see my messed-up hair.

Like I said, I had reached up and I was feeling for it, but I just couldn’t find the damn thing. I could sense the breathlessness in the gathered crowd. I was immediately struck with panic and what I really wanted to do was just run, run, run and never return to society ever again. But that would have been impossible. Everyone was watching, everyone was waiting. And then, as I took nearly my last step at the come down point off of the chancel, I found that damn tassel and flipped it to the left. It had slipped to the very back of the cap somehow. I was relieved. The crowd was relieved. The saints and demons etched into the colorful stained glass of the chapel were relieved. The whole damn universe was relieved.

That was my graduation. While everyone else was happy, excited, and celebrating the coming joys of their surely bright futures as they gathered on the perfectly manicured lawn outside after it was all done, I had had a tussle with a tassel. That is my memory. That is the little burn scar from my 18th year of life that for some reason really sticks out to me. It shouldn’t though, because over the years I have collected many more missteps and scars – much thicker and deeper ones. Such is life, I suppose.

I would think that for many people, high school was the highlight of their lives. For many people, I believe, high school memories are pleasant ones filled with friends, good times, laughter, dances, football games, parties, trips, dating, etc… Not for me. I was never involved in anything because I just knew I would have made a fool of myself, and those bastards would have jumped on that opportunity and torn me to shreds. And you may think I’m a psycho, but I actually burned my high school yearbook in our downstairs fireplace at the brutal Colorado house in the foothills where I lived. I just kneeled before that hearth of red brick like a monk and watched it flame up, curl, and finally turn black and tumble to ash. I don’t know why I even had a yearbook. My parents must have gotten it for me because it surely wasn’t something I would have chosen to have on my own.

Anyways, enough of that. I think this post was supposed to be about a dream… Yes. The dream.

In the dream this morning, I was getting ready for my graduation, and I was terribly anxious because I just knew, knew, my cap was going to fall off and I’d be made fun of… Again. So, in this dream, I was madly scurrying about in some cabinets searching for hairpins. I needed hairpins because I wanted to have them with me in case I needed to pin my cap to my head to keep it from falling off – which is really stupid because I never had hair thick enough to pull something like that off.

I was searching and scrounging and scavenging for hairpins, and in the process, I was making a huge mess of everything because I was just tossing stuff everywhere, like in a cartoon. My mother was in the dream, and I recall she looked really worried about me as I was just flipping things about in search of hairpins. It was as if she already knew I was going to have a very rough life and there was nothing she could do about it. She knew she had bred a cuckoo. That’s the look she had. The dream ended when I finished shoving everything else back into the cabinet and it was such a disheveled mess in there and that bothered me and I hated leaving it like that, but I did. I just closed the cabinet and then I woke up.

Fast forward umpteen years and at this moment my beautiful wife is gathering the laundry and clanking dishes. I’m madly typing away at my desk. I just finished my coffee and Greek yogurt sprinkled with granola and soon I will down my daily dose of prescription medication and head off to the gym. I didn’t need high school for this. What a painful waste. I just needed a chance to be what I wanted to be. I never fit into that small rectangular box that I sternly looked out from in that burning yearbook. I never will properly fit – not like they want me to.

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.

Hello, here are some vacation photos from my honeymoon. (Not those kind of photos)

Author’s Note: You might recall me recently posting a story about how Joe Pera Talks With You is my favorite new TV show and how in it I go on and on about how my wife and I spent part of our honeymoon up in Marquette, Mich. I wanted to add some pictures in that post but it turned out they were on my Mac laptop and not on my HP desktop so I had to go dig them up and transfer them over so I could make good on my promise. Anyways, what follows is my first attempt at a photo-centric post… If I can figure it out. Thanks for looking.

In and around Marquette, Mich.

Click on the photos to see them larger against a black background.

About ore docks

I don’t think I ever saw an iron ore dock until I was in Marquette. They are huge… Things. I don’t even really know how to describe them. They sort of look like elevated piers in a way but much wider, and they are kind of creepy and imposing. I don’t entirely understand how they work, but from the reading I have done it seems they are used to fill ships (that pull up, or I guess float up, to the sides of the dock) with iron ore by means of a series of chutes that flip down. The ore is brought to the dock via railcars that ride along tracks at the top of the dock. If anyone knows more about iron ore docks and how they work, please leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

Wallflowers of Chemistry

You invented love
like dragons spit fire
the longing when you are gone,
is an immediate reaction
I’m drawn to your eyes
I’m drawn to the night
the full vibrato of darkness
the stars splashed so randomly across the universe
we can touch them if we try

Candles melt away so quickly here
this otherworld, this neverwhere
We are a collision of chemistry
wrapped in coils of electricity
The ache of our day
becomes the joy of our night
empty wine glasses and ghosts
the bluest tears,
the reddest blood

The valve has been wrestled loose
the drips drop incessantly throughout the house
Impenetrable venom
impenetrable malaise
Someone broke the switch on the furnace
and it’s coughing up hot laughing gas
and I choke on my own experiences
Am I sad?
Am I happy?
Am I a supernova,
Or just merely a simple star,
blinking randomly
from within this skull of space?

Am I a colored moon
peacefully napping
with a nightcap perched upon my point
Or am I a black hole,
sucking on everything that exists?
Or am I merely a chemical byproduct
that sits in an empty room,
waiting for night to pass
and day to begin,
when I can talk to you
and feel my heart thunder against the world

But sometimes,
I just want to be a rocking chair,
swaying gently
amidst the dust of a long-gone grandparent’s den,
listening to the easy tick of the clock on the mantle,
watching the footsteps fade deeper into the carpet,
waiting for the sounds and smells
of a childhood lost forever
lost in the woods of autumn,
across the icy bridge of winter,
into the wet grass of spring
and along the thick dreams of summer
on some Midwestern small-town porch

And so,
when do dreams end
and reality begin?
When is night’s finale
and day’s birth?
One fluid sweep of time
and the Earth still tilts
and I still stare at the ceiling,
catching glimpses of you
in my mind’s eye
the baby’s breath in my fist falls,
landing in a blanket of fresh snow,
you pull up into the white gravel
and I can see your smile through the windshield
my heart still rattles
as the sun breaks through the clouds, and your hand clutches me in dreams.

Ink Junk

This isn’t my heart on a TV show
isn’t my heart crushed on Cannery Row
This isn’t my heart on a Dylan song
isn’t my heart on a chain-linked town
This isn’t my heart at all.

Feeling like junk in the high-blue sky
Margaritas and needles and your sparkling eyes
tell me why I don’t have to die
so you and the girls go trippin’ all night
as I sit back and watch the fight
just another town
just another landscape
just another piece of misery
just another place you want to escape
so go back home and do it up right
dance and drink all through the night
feel the claw of a stranger
touching your face
why does everyone take my place.

Ronald’s in town with his big red shoes
looking at the girl with the big red mouth
he’s got a bullet and a burger
a chomp and a stomp
a trigger finger stirring ketchup and rain
laughing while he tries to swallow the pain
in another city by the sun
in another remnant on a postcard
another tear left to dry
in a dirty motel ashtray
he’s just junk and he’s learned to stay that way.