wandering in oaxaca a photograph
of yosemite lies crumpled in the pocket of a nurse
who wraps the wind around her mamacita’s neck.
the nurse warms the wind so it won’t remind her of the sea, or
the time when horses were some other animal
changing slowly into long-lost
street musicians who cry and holler at the hollow sky
until all the couples tie themselves in knots,
ancient and silent, lost men and women
coated with oil that seeps from a symphony
in the park, before it was written on all the leaves,
fill a cup, smear it
on a telescope lens and see
an asteroid aiming carefully at
a wet and glistening shell in the sand.
no one sees the hungry
hardwired angel naked
children see the petals
no one says goodbye
children bought you
every ocean dream
and no one sees the petals
please say goodbye
long ago the words command
the sand the bones the water
forget your name
and bring you
peaceful canyon dreams
mother’s drumming bones
no one says the blood
fallen with the petals says goodbye
no one sees
no one laughs
no one says goodbye
— san jose
i put my ear to the brick
and hear no crashing waves
only birdsong overwhelming the piazza
with avian thunder
confusing the wayward tower
shrouded with scaffolding
of unhurried tourists
cold and wondering
what is the pain of lifebreath
hurrying through veins
of viper eyes relaxed and reading
omens of night without stars
poison at the mountain top
streams rocks watered-out campfires
a cool breeze through the trees
befuddled and snoozing
the murderous hands
slice crusty loaves of bread
and never give hunger
a second chance
i once jumped out of an airplane.
yeah, 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 on the ground 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
many times i looked carefully at the dirt
when i practiced dying.
the only way the moon can rise
the only way the moon can rise
is to take a shot just before
the major finishes his briefing,
and remembers his little daughter
has no time to purge
the moon rises, alright, like
the free jazz ringtone
improvised by your smartphone
when someone in the whitehouse wasn’t looking.
or did i really mean to say “white horse”?
i guess i wasn’t looking either.
the sample returned but no one was home.
you could have caught it with a flying net,
but every seven years it’s in maintenance
or on a snowy field. the paint on the snow has ripples.
they used 3D printing to make snow fall faster and cheaper.
still, there’s no money for moonlight.
except when full
except when full i put
moonlight in a bottle
on the kitchen counter
near the crumbs and unwashed
butter knife moonlight dribbles
down the bottle and
i scoop the light in plastic
bags closed with twist ties
and throw them in a drawer
so i can read next
soft moonlight beams
murmur my name
in the drawer
and think i’m dead
but i sleep instead
and light falls flat
on the dish you
feel the particles
try to remember but they
sit there expressionless and
motionless and never talk
and don't know their name
and go for a walk
once a day if
someone calls them
from the door
float like water in water
thunderclouds on the living room floor
on a huge ruined airdrome
sleep in a monastery
who will hear the wind?
january 2018 here to edit.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
at Gearbox Gallery
770 West Grand Avenue, Oakland.
Please join us for an afternoon of poetry!
Poetry feature will be Steve Arntson. Steve is well known around the San Francisco Bay Area for his fantastic readings of metaphysical and psychedelic nature poetry.
Please join us for a reading from his book, "To and From on the Day for Night Coast", published by Regent Press, and other work, along with an open mic.
The poetry reading is from 2 - 4 pm, with open mic sign-up starting at 1:30.
Hosted by David Zeltzer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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