These days couldn’t be counted. Lechery,
satiety and lechery
and the age-old itch for inebriation -we played
asphyxiation on the hard school floor-

hold it in, hold it in; tonight you’ll be as livestock
with nothing in your dreams -mine was
standing at the back of a train, watching the truncated earth repeat-

It passes in retrospect, a looping spectrum
green to gray -I caught myself staring
when the alarm tolled in as a cathedral tower-

Bored with the same lesson
but the learning doesn’t end -body of addiction, walking in,
I swim farther to feel.

Taken in Half-Moon Bay, CA


The old serpent striking:
the desperate one,
the spirit who knows those watching me —
look in the rear view mirror;
over your shoulder like nostalgia,
no, not behind you, inside
but still
out of reach. Rise
to the maker when you kill creation too.

Look down: cliff coast
and a white crest current during
the only moment that’s mattered.
Let go, feel the fall for awhile
and forget the reason; feeling the nothing at all,
you continue to change and be the same,
and that is the only ache in the world.

– Oakland, CA

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Taken in Santa Cruz, CA

Black Maria

The piano starts in
behind the vinyl static; slow,
those three notes climb and fall.
Grain filter: a silent film starting
with a headshot of me,
unsmiling like a suspect in line.
Doleful percussion –
she moves inside a scene;
a shot of starlings leaving trees;
I’m smoking, cut to screaming quietly
then back to the abandoned evergreens.
The keys keep stirring the beat –
the silent moment of me
looking back: I fold my hands around my jacket,
and the frame flicks until the light burns through.

– Oakland, CA


Taken in Painted Rock, MT


Woke up in the rue again.
Had to walk with the thought of it — blue.
The sun on my neck then I lie down,
lie now,
die down;
I drown in the still well of resentment — red.
Dead in the life-
long decision,
I keep making it like a suicidal wraith.
To be alone on a Saturday,
maimed veins with no reuptake,
insane in the throes of a new mistake;
my listless soul a derelict cage —
I’d take it if it’d take then I’d die loud
cry out I’m still down there somewhere.
This is just the moon off the river beneath us,
deceptive like Impressions and here are mine:
You’re the drips slipping through my fingers,
the fluorescent flickers on our picture — black
from the pall above us.

– Oakland, CA


Taken in Long Beach, CA


The ruddy alder saturates in the evening window—
reminiscent of boyhood when the day
was yearned to pass
and the night held to as a hand
on its deathbed; now
our thought is entirely mine—
though, what isn’t shared in memory cannot
be trusted. I’m starting to lose it,
the way you cried for me,
pain or ecstasy.
And to think I’ve looked through so many others,
windows onto driveways lit by my night procession.
There is too much heartache at this juncture.
This golden hour never a keeper of its name.

– Oakland, CA


Taken in Long Beach, CA


flakes trickling, filling divots along ivory acres—
mounds yet untouched.
the sky is pregnant, downcast;
clouds glower down,
the dour fields dearth of verdure.

and still the chapped wood bears wolves;
a body defeated lies still, indelibly imprinted—
his path less traveled by the minute
as the air scathes as a scythe.
from the thicket they’ve run, drawn near
like storm troops through a thick gas horizon.
Imminent as smooth snow in the morning, you feel the ruin coming.

– Oakland, CA


Taken somewhere in California


Two flowers on a wet headstone: we lie
on the covers under the covered black sky.
The salt dying down your jaw line
is mine—blank eyes,
the kill you for a prize
the cannibal holding you
tonight. You would hate getting it out of me; takes infinity—bored
I’d look up: above the bed
frame a framed ocean line, a sun I can stare at.
Introduce you to the void; we’ve been driving on the earth’s casket. Stitch
the memory to the dream like my process
captures that crimson egg but begets a blurry sunset.
Ephemeral blue room, black digits
on the nightstand lighting my eyes.
A few seconds, and then nothing.

– Long Beach, CA


Taken in Long Beach, CA