Radio-free Lamp Ray

This frustration of motion
this inept spinning of my tangled web
all the deceptions we weave
all the arrows we sling
at ourselves
when there is no reason
and I am empty without her
as lovers fill the home
and I still spark the sunset
bewildered and alone

I come from a place not known
a high hill tucked far away
behind the sugar plants
and the factories
belching out babies
in bleached Red Radio Flyers
bleached by the sun
bleached by the burn of innocence aged
and I am an astronaut floating untethered
a radio-free lamp ray
looking for a light bulb to suck and swirl

I came upon a disillusion
a fair lady needing to escape
and I have the power at my foot
but I am empty and frayed
for love is a magic trick
something splayed secretly in the shadows
and I have knife points in my heart
slowly choking on the trickle
a scissor slice
an orange wave
salting the wound
and when I am brought down by Paris
will I ever be enough?

Where has my patience gone
where has the image in the mirror dissolved to
and the bottle keeps me warm
as I pace restlessly in a chill
and maybe when I meet God
I’ll just come out and ask her
when is love ever real?

So nothing ever works out as planned you see
winds up being just Gallo and me
my empty need
raining through the moon
sparks dripping off the razor’s edge
and me bleeding helplessly
until she comes to me
but my fate is drowning
so stop being so pained and jealous
but I can’t help the shiver inside
that nervous twitch of wonder
left adopted by the night sweats
so why don’t I just give in
and count all my blessings in disguise?

I am not an iron cross
I am not a thermostat
so what am I?
the unexplainable
the paintable tab in a ghost story
the sexed up frolic
on a smooth hardwood floor
come on
give me a moment
to explain my reckless stance
and I know I feel too much baby
broken clouds weep my name

I don’t understand
maybe I don’t need to understand
this ritual of disturbances
I just want to care

I could tell when I walked in the door
that I was motionless moving
some parade of wrecked divinity
caught off guard
by the sizzle frying my heart
an empty line
an empty space
a tent stake
forced through my handicapped resistance
I don’t want to feel the shock again
of another love left abandoned
just whisper to yourself
it’s all right
it’s just life
it will all end someday soon

So fuck this feeling game
it will never be the same
I’ll always be capsized
my soul is a hurricane
aimed directly at myself
and I am not some Wizard of Oz
with a magic touch and spit
my road isn’t yellow brick
I’m getting sick
in a Denver trash can
you can see how my madness wanes
then comes back again in waves
I’m just crazy about her
sticky needles in the haze
I’m just a camel with no Baghdad
a radio-free lamp ray
electrifying the endless sea.


BURNING MAN

Internet Archive Book Image / Saturday Evening Post (1839)

My apple polly logies
for not being a lime with a twist
perhaps a good hard rain
washed away all my wit
maybe a black cloud scoured me clean
maybe all that’s vanished
will never be seen
I’m just a monopod
bolted to the gravel
peering out over the shiny edge
a bruised leaf wilting in my chest
and a dime-a-dozen mind
begging to be put to rest
the underskin packed tight with tears
where have I been all these tragic years

My apple polly logies
for not being a fashion faglette
a primrose medallion
strung about my perfect pink neck
white suit and perfect pants
not an inch to squeeze about my middleland
Hollywood breeze and the smell of margaritas
dreamlanding me up good
to a Manhattan Beach boardwalk
and the need to swim slow
from here to there and back again
the potion transforms her
from a widow’s walk walker
to a barfly talker,
a sex stalker,
a need to breather
in a better place
where are you going…?

The barn door was cold
the red paint peeled off like dust
as I ran my worn hand across it
the souls have all been put to rest
the wind whispers hollow through the trees
no fashion fags on the farm
they’re milking elsewhere
Frisco and the Moonies by the Bay
my favorite lamp burns the light of a soft heart
from behind the thin curtain
veiling my living room chair
where he drains another lager
and remains illogical
in his attempts to believe in the world,
a world, any world, a hurtless world —
unkempt by the savage graces of the girl

My magazine caught fire
whilst I was drinking the gasoline
the cigarette ignited badly
and I sat down on the porch in a blaze
a temperature rising conflagration
a hot hot tick tock world
the cuckoo nest crying
over the deception of golden eyes —

And all that remained
in the misty morning cold
was I and my burned-out lawn chair
sipping burned out fireflies
and monotonously stirring the pain
with a rosy crucifixion swizzle stick

Church bells tolled God-like in the distance
the hammer tapping the gong on contact
rained down peace and prayer
and the memories of the burn
I rolled in the wet grass
leaving charcoal marks on the blades
a smokestack coffin
pierced the land like a needle
calling, calling, calling…
calling for the burning man
step inside the barrel of the cannon
slide on down the sooty vein

The chocolate bar in Paris was good
as I admired the disheveled traffic
winding like a snake through the streets,
car horns honking
disrupting the calm of a crisp blue sky
it came special delivery, the chocolate that is
He said: “Candygram for burning man,
candygram for burning man…”
Like a raven with a yellow beak
mocking my newfound pleasure in Paris —
candy and wine, streetlights and noise,
cafes frothing over with people
my bandages bleached white like some distant savior

And when I came up from the street slush
I stretched myself out long on the big bed
and as I laid there
mesmerized by the clinical softness of it all
I thought to myself:
This is it, this is life
the apple blossom brutes wailing on the floorboards
etching out some mystic rhythm with their fists
howling at the skirts
pounding down another round
then I felt the cold hand
pressed against my junk
she had just come in
from the lucky charms and the din of the crowd
to say goodnight, goodnight
and to let me know
she was headed out on a flight
to save vanishing self
from the dependence of an emotional cripple.


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