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.


Shimmer Machine

Shimmering Lake Michigan – Wisconsin / A. Aldous Cinder

The shimmering quake of sky light pushes tender needles through the bones and stomach nerves on a sunny day in Central Time Land there by the small sea of bloodied turquoise — no sand, no pails, no twisted ankles, just twisted eyes with bottles of wine tears soaking the pockets of my outdated plaid, flannel shirt.

And I sit and lay still for peace by the shore, then looking behind and up at the small rowboats stacked like bodies at the rim of the bend in the earth. No sailors to sail, no fisherman to fish, no princely addicts to drown in the sun-bleached water so cold and choking… But it’s real peace on a Sunday afternoon of solitude on planet Broke Down Burial Ground, the brown-skinned mummies stirring in the dirt below bellowing about their wild days long ago under the same sun, a hot, yellow white puncture wound throbbing in the mad, blissful sky.

I exhale the soul and shivers down deep inside, think about the miles I climbed, rattling guns shouting from the treetops some place far away. It’s all about diligence and smacking down the suffering on Sea Street by the sea, hopped up on lamp post light, back propped against, head bowed, dark raincoat swatting back the wet chill of England as a precarious carriage rolls by… Where did I leave that damn time machine?

Wander to the Public House for some light of day and wicked sips and ash flicks and bawdy talk with raucous strangers from another planet who keep flipping out about my modern-day garb and the necklaces of Atlantic shells strung about my thick neck and they keep asking me over and over and over again… “Where do you come from? Why, I’ve never heard of that place.”

It’s the tick tock time and time again and I am back on the shore by the Wooldridge Sea throwing bricks at invisible people who keep trampling across my checkered picnic blanket and knocking over my tea and rum and gun. The ribs ache and I do not want the day to end despite the fact the mummies have me in the sights of their bows — high up in the canopy of green doily — a 1952 living room chair made of trees — “Do not get dark, please,” is something like what I say, digging into some pharmaceutical picnic basket, biting in, swallowing down, feeling something illegal scraping at my ribcage, the alarm clock goes wild and I smash it with a hammer then feel bad as I look at the mangled face and I just let the thing die right there in the grass, right in front of me and time stops simply because I was a brute. Standing, thinking, looking out at the shimmer of the sea, thinking and thinking some more, this mind always running so mechanical… “What about this? What about that?

It’s a long way back to the machine, I tenderly bemoan the hike, but what better way to be on a Sunday in the English countryside of American voodoo land? Gather some things, but I do not want to look away from the sedative sky and its hammock light. Sigh, then step, then step again, and then I am away, yet turning to look back, turning for another dose of real heart, real place, feeling the guts turn tidal wave as I reluctantly walk back to the lands of the unreal reality. I do not like it, as I turn the key, and these chains do not do me justice, this being tethered does not suit me, I want to be away, always, shimmering on some lonesome road, all destinations unknown, all destinations surprise and magic.  


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Plane Ride to Memory Planet

Why is it now

10 million memories later

That you appear

When I feel my hand empty

In a moment of all alone

In a moment of going to shore

What is this history haunting

You restless in my sheets

Of dreams

On the aeroplane I go

To another city, another Rome

They take pictures of me and cheer

But it’s me alone in the hotel abode

Looking out at the sea

Tipping back a hot glass on the veranda

Writing more things down

On paper and pen

Sweet lights of wood

Your blood-red room in my brain

And even when you left me

In the comfort of your comforter

You came back to see me

Just to check my pulse

And my green eyes ablaze

All liquor and ice

An amber haze

Corner bars of Pabst

My childhood dilemma by the loch

My brother is dead

He was my best friend when I was young

My mother is dead

Her life a bar beaten rumble

And a pistol in her head

Father gone asunder

A white hospital ascension to Heaven

Seems sometimes this life is but a curse

I memory wander Port Washington

And the curved roads by my sea

I think it’s only proper

That one should die

Where they were born

Where they were branded

With the burn of love undone

Wake up now I

For I see another sun

The Lonely Arcade

Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza on Pexels.com

shattered windows cry like Sunday peacocks
warning of the impending doom of glass
falling like rain
on the slaves of the night
the weary soldiers
trudging through a thick fog of poorly scented gloom,
thick like bruised syrup,
thick like hot, metal mud
clogging the valves of another heart
gasping for love –

the wind blew through the lonely arcade
dead leaves danced
against the dirty brick of store fronts
the faded head of a plastic clown,
the old paint of his face peeling away,
wobbled without notice
his wide eyes
stared off into nothingness
and I could hear him laugh at me from the inside
as I walked on by
not a charming or entertaining laugh,
but a hollow, haunting one
and it perpetuated the chill in the air,
the loneliness,
the frozen desolation –

all the shops were closed for the season,
all the gamerooms shuttered up tight
and a couple ratty kids
raced through on their bikes
their shouts
and hate-filled laughter
echoed through the walkways,
bounced off the big panes of fragile glass
and pounded against my head …
I listened
as the sound of their whirling wheels faded away
as if they had suddenly taken flight
then crashed into a cloud –

and I stuck my cold hands in my pockets
looked down at the gurgling stream
from atop a small, stone bridge
searching for a glimpse of reality
in the icy waters below
as it flowed
like thick sex and lava
tumbling over the smooth stones
and the sound
of silent cold
beat against my head
and I drew my sword
and ran it through my imagination
causing me to fall over the edge
to vanish,
to drown in the void
of an angel’s troubled and guilty soul …