I'm hosting a new open mic series called "Gearbox Poetry" at Gearbox Gallery, 770 W Grand Ave, Oakland, starting Saturday Nov. 18, 2-4 pm, with open mic sign-up starting at 1:30.
Our first feature will be Richard Loranger, author of many books and chapbooks. Most recently, he's published a great book of prose poems called "Sudden Windows", available from Zeitgeist Press and Amazon.
Hope to see you there, and maybe hear from you as well.
your birthday was an eclipse that never
happened. the day went black, the radio stopped.
if there was a wind, i couldn’t feel it.
down in the desert they’re practicing
inner planet loneliness, screeching like
birds in the dark, swirling like a hungry kite.
tell the man in the traffic box i
hung up the sky in my studio with really strong
little magnets. so i DON”T have to go up and down that hill,
where they’re driving so close,
i wonder who’s going to die.
the sages of mu
the sages of mu wear mountain flowers, crystallize,
and settle to the earthen floor making music.
i leave my name and hang up,
a pale hand with two white pills.
the hills blossom before us and whisper,
in depression, slowing, almost overnight,
i return to the bedroom,
two suns rise and fall behind spindle towers,
there are too many people on the floor to the right of the desk,
a blue star and a white star circling.
the black technician stretches, vibrating against my eardrums.
smiling to each other, shaking our heads,
“i love you” he carefully explains.
air molecules leading up to their genitals, or whatever the hell it is,
a large crowd, toilets flushing, shuffling feet and clothing rustling.
i try to remember the statistics i read in the newspaper,
understanding in all but the most abstract terms
a dixie war whoop,
some animal's liver chanting to the waitress,
the sound of fingers snapping and falling,
and absolutely nothing else.
our bodies twine in sleep so quietly.
fine droplets cling to your hair,
rarefied and exquisite.
you turn to me still unknown,
four fifteen after rain,
each other and open space.
-- san francsico - eugene
what the hell’s our velocity through this galaxy
cry the prophets fiery angels in their heads
people of earth we have come to open
the healing lips of your women
naked they dream of us across the lonely spheres
each breast a ripe household of the sun
whose cool bombs part the waters of the jordan
we connect and drill into its labial chambers
unwrap our hairy chests like the jew
with his sword and his automaton
silent he watches from the past
life on this little ship
chimes away like the empty sea
filled with salty vapors and a tear
how far we have come is a mystery
known only at the center of the bloom
how far we have come
with our foolish burden
may 10, 1980
i told you over and over
i told you over and over
the walls were tumbling
along the roadside,
and many of the important people wouldn’t climb out.
weren’t they thinking of going anywhere?
loneliness is so macabre that
wants my unconscious step-aunt to bomb
the birdsong dragon,
but the lighted mists of some forgotten childhood dream
are so wet i can slide my fingers right between the edges
of the wound in her belly
and dance all night,
burning a terrified warning
to my gentle queen of silence.
the blue lake was not where we left it
we got no sleep last night,
no one here can dream
a fascist radio interview
between detonations and bloody debris.
never once sleeping,
the hungry rose petals live without you,
scrape colors off the
shout your new story
from an ancient mountain,
slowly from your wound
drips the milky way.
looking for myths, the wind
blows slowly in the wounded starlight,
the last word of your story
heard by angels in the morning.
seven poems for susan
A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.
-- Gustav Mahler
1. precision has no words
precision-guided death angel blood
for the grieving child
whose ragged voice
has no words
no one touches the far off daughter cold
as rocky fragments unimagined before
silent dreams of the
hole in time
yesterday a smile
stone in the sky
2. waiting for thunder
beethoven’s sonata drifts by
driving down the coast where
mother screeches at
icy haloed dwarf planet
behind her eyes spewing
of moonlit women
stabbed in the heart driving
motorcycles on the coast
looking for mother
on the high cliff
whales spout far off
mother finds a jar
filled with tiny jewels
and can’t stop weeping
3. counting the hours
blue veins writhe beneath
a name unknown
kiss her foggy
4. planet glow
northern leaves caress tiny
every turn of the dial
the radio squawks blood
it covers the car seats
the doctor reveals the name of the flower
you told me a crystal grows under your soft fur
"i can’t make it without you"
bleeds the breathing radio
its liquid voice fills your crystal heart with tiny jewels
5. blood forgot once
the nearest star
won’t see you
and hangs up
drifting blood surrounds
packed into sky
i wonder what eye sees everything
naked beauty years
and over and
happier than ever
i nearly cry
murders child wonder
beastly planet later
this coded message
means i’m sorry
i can’t see you
6. come over, i need you
swept into the Lethe gravity well,
tumbling over the rocky edge,
exploding and shimmering in shapeless sunlight,
yearning for the silent pool,
i crawl down the wall to a tiny crack.
inside is a bustling city
filled with policemen, ants,
a sail boat on a lake that becomes desert.
i give you no water from my canteen,
wake up and cry,
beg for mercy from the drowned ants.
my apology, they tell me, has already fallen
in another time inside me,
where you and i joyously celebrate
the forgotten wounds
my parched lips will never again caress.
7. every morning
inside the drop of sunrise blood
shines every morning
inside the heart drop light the way
so the spaniard at the long table filled
with overflowing heaps of food
can find the leg of lamb
he was mouthing when the light turned black
when the taxi ran off the road and flipped over
startled mothers now bloody eating sandwiches on the lawn
children running up the church steps to see farther
inside this tiny drop of water
vast memory unfolded
but whose stories did it tell you?
gone now but the warning
the lizard and the spaniard will
thrive every morning i bleed
a molecule in your heart
december 2015 - february 2016
laughter drains down the wall
and puddles on the floor like
tired engine oil. no, like
rain that’s labored over the coast range,
only to be blasted up in the air by the cascades,
themselves scraped off a plate like the dinner we couldn’t finish
because we felt the plates slip sullenly beneath our feet,
as the moon sluggishly drifts further out in the night.
between your breasts
rain and honey
long for the dark night
when i reach
for your breasts in the moonlight.
i once jumped
i once jumped out of an airplane.
yes, i was with others who all thought
the air would save us, even though it had no
eyes and hands to hold us tight and close,
loving each of us who dared to trust the
ropes and cloth that could have been laundered
and folded neatly by some woman who
never watched television or ate pizza.
i asked many times but no one told me
about the little dog inside me who fell out the window.
we barked and howled, but not all the way down.
there was no siren, no alarm bell, only the
grassy hills and an arrow pointing at something.
i don’t remember anymore at what, just like the
professor down in front trying to explain something.
i was wearing a white jumpsuit, and i
made sure to use the outhouse often enough
so that the jumpsuit wouldn’t change colors at the sudden
mad moment when i let go of the strut
and saw the wing get smaller and smaller.
the wind nearly blew off my glasses.
i now know why paratroopers in the movies yell “geronimo!’
when they jump -- so no one hears the little dogs bark.
i think i saw a white flower when i got done with
falling. i looked around to make sure i wasn’t on fire.
later i heard tall grasses tell their adventure stories.
it was so long ago the trees don’t remember
how many times i looked carefully at the dirt
when i practiced dying.
instead of transportation
miserable radio eyestrain
minus violent hope
her dancing eyelids
her velvet inferno