And despair is to separate to break up
to stop falling in love and hit bottom
down from to hope and to be the despair
of another now absent and in a state
of disrepair collapse and abandonment
like the house on a dead moon unplugged
in the mist of space dust floating falling.
To disengage throw away toss out fall
back without limbs to swim or fins to flap
the earnest muscles sore as a dam morn
train slowly pulling out of a foggy station
leaving your sad waves to platform alone
waiting for the next train hands waving
from disappearing windows brakes off.
Dissed and pool pissed despondent one
the heart crestfallen full of sorrow sick
as a parrot unable to breathe or repeat
how hap hap happy we were when we
happily eschewed commas and went non
stop without regard for clarity to others
or any kind of on time railroad timetable.
From pillow to pillow I missed you
but love is on the dot not wanting
a life of one’s own but a share
of the Earth a clear spot to bed
down without fear of knowing
what can never be fully known
or understood the random odds
and ends the noise some call music
others say poppycock and applesauce
I wash my eyes out with vinegar
and oil my hair for the dark night
of the soul is here drumming door
rhythms untuned sonic booms
as I fall through the night gloom
destined to wreck on the jetty pokes
into the ocean waves oh Lord please
let me be misunderstood disregarded
by anyone but with her I cannot be
seen this drowning in words won’t
work then or now what silence wanted
was for me to go up into love the altar
boy who understood but a few words
of Latin and even then daydreamed
through the mass of the sea and waves
fell asleep on the altar but awoke quick
and jangled the bells upsetting sisters
yes an old story now how then he met
the girl of not dreams but awakening.
What is sundered cannot be surrendered
alone now at the end of the voyage one
sees coming through the morning ocean
fog your bright sun of yellow hair your sky
of blue eyes your cotton candy cheeks
of dunes freckled with tiny sad flowers
your strong legs soft hands your sand
highs and little lows your kisses full
of compassion your fall frowns your
annoying finger in my yawns your grab
pulling the rear view mirror off its mount
laughing tussled hair your silence in my
despair your stubborn insistence we
make a life together out of despair.
Mornings stolen cold dirty socks on damp
feet slushed street Bathsheba and the kids
sleep past the cryptic graffiti on the corner
phone booth an annunciation to be glad
to rejoice as we once recess Angelus rings
asked joy in backyard bestowed with sun.
Between no yes we stopped and I touched
the fruit of your wamb womb cherry bomb
compassionately swallowed your freckled
cheeks whole like the great horned owl
absorbs the snouty mouse grace flavored
rain blurred eyes wiper smeared drive.
Byssus threaded hand in hand hip to hip
we survived ice storms attached to rocks
blessed grace full I kissed your salt but
now thin and weak bland unpalatable
the beach is closed to surfers who pray
for waves gone by sucked into sand.
Our songs drift into space beyond sound
what cannot be seen or measured is love
yeah we rocked and rolled and jazzed it
up but in the end we are just a folk duo
doomed to sing our same old love song
oldie of oldies on infinite scratched repeat.
Soma of couple submerged together sing
a sleeping song awake these hundreds
of years adoring each breast to breast
and now my heart before need of repair
asks to roll up what sweetness remains
into one last rollicking bollocking ball.
We had the sun on the run for a time
but today he’s nearly caught up with us
just hard-on hearing now all my whats
what randy birds of prey coxy claptrap
peck pecking at your resealed window
I didn’t hear shut nor your breathing
whispers rain after a long hot summer
husky hairs rubbing between fingers
an avian hymn to a lost limb a bird
building a nest in the old oak crotch.
Not what to put in but what to leave
out diaper pins before disposables
green canvas chairs on a tan lawn
Mozart and dogs singing on moonlit
nights across the lake venial sins
misdemeanors of youth parking
tickets not wounds but urge itches
a scratch wanting a few stitches
a weekend pass from the place
of thunder so far away and quiet.
The hot toddy, hip bits and bobs, the rot bow
for your wrench on a whet night the power out.
Isso cold bed down against the outside of you
without your very verbs and nautical nouns.
I am bicker to discuss my loss: what you lose
on the swings you gain on the roundabouts.
Lute the highty-tighty bowl shaped body out
its floor length flannel down nighty be plucked
and ducked sucked and mucked for the rose
puddles open comes morning and sun’s river
of bees and wasps and grounding of coffee
and cake eggs and rashers for we’ll be hungry
a gain after snatch a madcap night of be hinds
spur of the moment tis issues what it hisses.
How do I love thee? Let’s not count the ways and days.
To the bottom of the blue ocean where the octopus lies
in purple wait to perpetuate the mythical form below.
The soul’s something to do with it – what I don’t know.
Actually, now I think about it, things don’t divide evenly,
and days after days pass like the beach tides loose over
the rocky pools, sandbars now seen now drowned deep.
That’s how love is: under water, how the starfish spreads
wings, and how the sea anemones attach and attract
moist quiet almost silent prey. Not to be flippant, but
to lie in wait seems unengaged in this era of existential
pandering, but I don’t know of what use passion when
the tide goes out and all my bugs exposed. Men strive
for one thing, and that’s not right while you go for free
or broke time after time, for romance beats the mundane.
Consider the saints who crazy with love sacrifice all even
their love for something abstract we can never count on.
Carry on, my love, blitz me with your supine indifference.
Shall I compare thee to a foggy day
Thou art not a forecaster’s point
You were ambiguous and I inchoate
Rough boys asked to light their joint
Heaven neither had eyes for us
The floor of his gaze too hot to strut
But barefoot kids we built our truss
While blue nuns in unison sang tut-tut
So random freely did you move in
With me your sworn enmity
And together we lived in green sin
In the hollow of the forbidden tree
And there we drew first breaths
Deaf to our own noisy passing.
Now the East Wind in the dark
pools the sadness of fish firs
following one another in trills
nature an opaque amber
lamppost in the old town
lighting the tavern door.
The Tangerine Tiki Lounge
filled with refinery workers
stained men hearing whistles
without comment or pokes
they understand the lack
of likes and mean teases.
They are silent and still
the wives kneeling pewed
palm readers in crushed
pork pie hats or doily
napkins held in place
with black bobby pins.
But not hatted enough
to protect against love
awake the night long
moonlight floods back
yards creeping across
the neighbor walls.
Into the pearl surf foam
of salt and fat kitchen
back doors garbage cans
neon fog noir cigarette
smoke pile of alley puke
seagulls peck and lap.
A tiny tinny radio plays
oldies the men no longer
hear the women tap
their feet to the beat
the smells of rubbers
oils gases tubes smokes.
Over the steam plant a jet
cruises up Vista del Mar
an Olds convertible
sirens stop at Local Liquor
red lights from a balcony
above Vapor Trails.
Near railroad tracks and water
trains no longer carried people
truth made poor copy goods
confused sounds operas oranges
sugar beets in open cars north
to the old cold country.
In the garden of love they’ll find
two hearts in the compost pile
yours and mine entwined in trust
tattered threads of truce
and an ancient calloused shell
from which slip cynical slugs
of smug self-satisfaction.
Good tho to hear from you
proud of your retirement
package that left you free to
travel world round and round
dressed in tutu and tulle
we can’t stop for death here
the corrosive calls of life
cloned days drown even your
braggart arguments snobbish
burlesque lycanthropy under
the moon’s smog we must
move on ahead of the wolf
not of metaphor but the one
in our own backyard garden.
Love so embarrassing
so cliche so cornball
until we learn to wear
circus clown makeup
to weather the stares.
One happier skips wow
the other sad trips ough
one now the other trade
places slouched hopped
funny honey and lonely.
Only the sophisticated
survive the scour of war
hot and cold sweets
sweat and sour clowns
look back give and take.
The fool fools around
plays the fool joins
the idiomatic circus
come to town edge
to collect the shunned.
Under the big top
in love’s pitched tent
fools dress in windbags
ride wobbly surfboards
hang ten on highwires
address the audience
the folly of a crowd
give the schmucks
their head amid
claps and laughs.
at sunset suddenly dawns on us
we might toss our favorite images
into moon river and lucky old sun
is so lonesome he could cry
peacocks strut round the curves
of Sunset Strip up on iridescent
displays of monolithic cardboard
billboards crackling in summer
1968 and I’m late to the summer
of love on the Peace Truck radio
from the beach cities up to your
place in Los Feliz not to make
love or blow a number and go see
2001: A Space Odyssey at Pacific
or to protest a war or hear Johnny
Rivers at the Whiskey but to visit
the Children’s Hospital on Sunset
at sunset the shifts changing
the night coming on like a drug
a dire psychedelic experience
but nothing expands in fact
we shrink into a dim distant
past when our own singularities
merge to form a celestial duo
of one we don’t know what
happened before that nor
what comes next we have
one memory and each other
shivering great balls of grief
we drive up to the park
walk around the observatory
the city of wilderness below
ostrich features of orange
gold drift across the basin
and I whisper I will turn
stones into bread for you
Let’s form this simple
poke a dimple or two
in the smile of love.
Too little time for fun
with rhyme on the run.
The poet cries foul
with love on trial.
There is no mystery here
insignificant our dress
when we walk we dance.
This is an old message
we often forget all the good
tales tell it in song and rhyme.
We can hum it to ourselves
anytime we wish happiness.