Untangled in Vostok

Gone
To where uncertain things go
To the edge of reason,
To Vostok with a drill

Carrying hope like an empty address book

The search for something pure to fill,
The hidden beast slouched on every cold shoulder
The City, the pity, the whispered prayer

For real life
To become a little less real

Remember, when all else is lost,
To love the world
And if unable
To remember when you did

Look now, a sun kissed morning
Giving way to clouds
Drill
Drill
Drill

today, i do not get along with anybody

this morning
the highway turned to beer
and i drank the whole
of it in, from san diego
up towards home
and all its dark
the white foam
of my head
sloshing around the colors
of stale mugs
shot glasses

it was a dirty sunrise
my car followed or seemed
intent on finding it
ogled towards it
light, a vulgar nude
sleep, akin to lust
inapproachable
the stumbled words
of billboards:
this project of an under
stimulated america

at a gas station later
on the wrong side
of a hangover
i held
the pump
the shifted tide poured in
i dreamed of a bed
rising up
gleaming arms oyster clung
and pearl-ladened
a heaving part
as the night came down
as turbulent currents
might come upon
a diver
unexpected

my friend is leaving, if
we were still friends
after what i had said
there is no art
in suffering
for transcendence
when i arrived home
just shy of 5 o clock
everything seemed
wrong, perverse
our lives as silhouettes
of palm trees
against the sky

but i had drunk
the whole highway in
— a man often
mistakes
want for need
and my friend needed
to leave
and I wanted to
miss the details
against the
brilliance of these days
to come

some things too
sharp against the light
other things
too trivial
and always
my love like friendship
remains
insensible
arriving late
as the hour of sleep
and leaving early as
if waking

A Gift of Presence

we write only what we know
the verbs wake us, keep us awake
with their incense

they surround us, their incessant
songs waking what once was night
now morning
now lunchtime
we write only of our narrow view
while bukowski paened his whores
and his liquors
we pain only for our shadows
these are not friends, at night i drink with
a hundred acquaintances
while my friend is dead, asleep
all his verbs now gifts to outlines
that remain

Caterwaul

Well, we were young
And turtlenecked all through spring, then it was
Summer on a turning millennium;

And when we turned
From one another, way back when,
It seemed like youth was always a safe excuse
To have been in love:
The heart darts and pushes
Past the curtains
Of sunshine, a furred critter
Suddenly wild.

Then, my friend says we can’t be it all.
I’d like to know why not (though
the logic is irrefutable),
A short fall cuts to a long winter;
The things in between
Were made in opposition.

The millennium no longer young;

Well, then there was that slow day so many
Years later

Wondering if this cat twisting
On my chest was a thing
Returned
Or if that other thing
Had ever run past the gardens
Into those wicked billows of sunshine.

No Ark

Implicit in every word
Is the danger of being heard, as
On a sunlit afternoon
The rain ruined against
Her brow, and how she
Pronounces the coming wet
Might yield a gentler storm;
When all is flood,
How the arc gets named
Might defer a differing frame.
So tonight, she speaks
Of revelations, and I turn
To watch it in the clouds:
Implicit in every bird
Is the stranger being heard.

We Are The Hydra

1.

We are to the brim with aches from teeth long shaken out on green apples and poised fists. Our teeth had left us toothless; we spat stones for each temptation, hands the manifestation of longing: two insects fluttering in search of a mating home.

2.

We are to the brim with blacks and blues remembered from tall dark woods trimmed to a single brilliant stick. Lo! How each generation seeks to define itself by suffering. I am damaged goods, she says, I may learn to love again but not now, not really.

3.

We are to the brim with wanting triggers emblazoned onto skin. For each tattooed minute we had lost a fighting head and thus gained a double conundrum. This is no way to live. This is no way to sing. The jagged son of Jupiter rises at our throats.

4.

Or none at all.