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.   


RAMSHAMBLED AMMUNITION

And love is but a trickle in this RAMSHAMBLED river of love, the armies of men keep marching upon the bones of memories under the grass, shot out of cannons, cloud seed ashes billowing and giving the puff of life when all falls down the stairs and justice can’t see straight, and idiot babies cower behind a crooked as geometry ding-a-ling ding dong and thump him like God in holy water AMMUNITION heaven. The maskless taskers take to yet another task of utter disbelief, these idiot genes, the cyclic generational stupidity tumbling from trucks and bleeding out through muddied star-spangled blue jeans. They meet this apricot alien of the universe on Sunday and then go back to the mob fight on Monday. The holy fuckin’ mob fight where busted teeth and busted guts and busted emotion is all part of the prize that comes at the end of the day when you finally turn your key in the lock of your favorite back door and breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve made it back to your own yellow hole in this world and can maybe shut out the mad libs and broken ribs for one night and always hoping that with the new sun comes a new hope and a better way.

But how could that ever be? We will be trapped in the dying limelight of our own skin from here on out. Until we die and they come pounding down the door for collection of all the debt you have so graciously piled and left behind. And all those broken souls are still lined up on Broken Boulevard reaping the harvest of a world they alone did not sew. They are reaping the bastions of all holy rape and looking to the ivory spires fucking the stratosphere out there on the smoky horizon, the tin shack dotted yellow hills on the horizon, the aches and pains leaking out the top lip of the stovepipe like mangled signs of white peace from the great Natives of yesterday, bent to it, the wind, the rain, the screams, the love gone astray, a 40 cent diamond ring resting in the breast pocket of your favorite leather jacket, waiting for no one, a love undone by selfishness, adultery, poverty, thanks again, she said with a gun tucked between her tits and a sliver of spit hanging from her heart, dangling across to mine, like a clothesline, in some great green backyard of some snowed-in metroplex pad of the East, where she sits and smokes tea as my alabaster soul floats off to brickyard Heaven, that place beyond the cabbage white ridge of hot dirt, that place of the pale lip red sandstone mechanical jaws like Jawas in the desert. I recalled all those days today in driving green, the look back at the looking down upon that lonely desolation, the memories gnawing my guts, the infinite ghost LEDs dangling like lightbulb jewels in a flawless blue sky, a sad Springsteen song breathing of eternity upon the dashboard.


A Cemetery Scrawl, Like Litter in the Wind


Zombie in sweatpants jogging in the ghetto
arms stuck out lean and mean
cold soles slapping the greasy street
and my little girl thought she had just escaped
from the cylinder, the bilingual,
the catastrophic farm of listless stones
the graveyard
a cold and misty day
cold and teary and smelling of sludge
who was to judge
the importance of the non-potable headache
swimming in my tender sockets
man, I am a rambling’
like some loose-geared jalopy on the old road,
but I found a letter to the dead
full of things left untold

I and my two cases of flesh and blood
we stormed the dam
doodled in the cool, green waters of some lake that is really a pond,
but in an area where water is practically non-existent
even a pinprick of piss is considered a lake,
but we clambered the slick geometrical stone
the water skimming off the surface
flushed through the portals
and we shook on our balances
feeling the fluttery wings in our bellies
as we did ballet on the precipice of the sun in our eyes
clutching hands
skipping stones
hopping logs
and life was a memory of ice cream
dripping down sticky baby faces
and now they were being brave and curious
and interested in the lives of the dead


We climbed a hill
shagged it rotten
like cotton candy
between the legs of an angel
and at the top of the hill
we found a flat, gravely place
I wanted to name the place Ashley
because it looked burnt and turned over
and all that remained was the ashes of destruction
and great piles of tumbled trees
and mountains of unraveled gravel
and off behind us was a fence
a chain-link fence topped with rusting barbed wire
and beyond the fence
acres of dead —
it was a cemetery
and the fence encircling it
was cluttered with the debris
of loved ones’ tokens,
tokens of love
tokens of regret
plastic and paper flowers
rolling in the wind
candied tumbleweeds smashed against the wire
and in this lot called Ashley
I found a letter
in a plastic bag
and the words were intact
and all a hush fell about my brood
as I began to read to them
this letter to the dead


It was a mom speaking to a daughter
and from the letter I gathered
the daughter’s life had come to an end
in a most tragic way
suicide it seemed
perhaps gunfire
or violence extreme
and in the letter
the mother was very weepy
very weepy and full of regrets
regrets, weeping and wondering why
why? why? why? dear daughter
why did you have to die
so, I felt kind of bad
that this piece of weepy sad writing
was like litter in an open field
and my youngest slice of flesh and blood
my youngest elixir of greed and breed
wanted to comb the graveyard
to find the stone
of the girl in the letter
but there was only a first name —
SHARON
and how could I find one Sharon in a field of thousands of dead
and so, I simply put the letter
still encased in its plastic
over the edge of the fence
believing the wind would carry it back,
back to the place it belongs
and we felt better for that
and we carried on with our journey
watching the jogging zombie sweat through her velour
and the world smelled dirty
and the sky was gray
and Sharon was free
and so were we


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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