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