Mise en Scène

Our love’s in autumn now, everything falling
and glowing like embers, amber expressions
as a sinking sun
or a heretic on the stake.
The naked Ash baring its veins
stiff with rigor mortis
and the hard ground ages
from nursery to cemetery.

It’s either destruction or lunacy,
what you want or what you should be –
keep knocking it down
or take up drinking with the happy people,
their eyes the same as a hostage
among corpses; is it my fault
I can’t ever choose,
maybe won’t choose in time.
What’s at stake:
You’re supine in the cabin;
the mice act at random above
and the rain piles on
outside the incandescent room,
keeping us from escaping
into the dormant night
as the faucet drips
and the pines lie motionless.

– Los Angeles, CA

Taken in Grass Valley, CA

Penrose

Another’s coin flip,
my double-sided life…
This melody bookends its constant change;
Imagine hearing it when I’m 40.
80.

White tents in the yellow light,
the night closed around thick
like an iris in a sunbeam.
Ice is agitated, breaking with grace
in polished glass. Linens and lace,
no wrist bare, no hair shapeless.
We would debate our favorite island
and where to take the wife,
the latest Apple device,
electric versus hybrid.

But an honest poem from me
is a poem about vices
and the future being a bank account –
always less than you think.
My road to recovery is like the Penrose staircase;
I sit on the ledge,
and the tune plays as it has
in every chapter I pass through
like a gurney hitting swing doors.

– Los Angeles, CA

Taken in Los Angeles, CA

In dreams

Now you wait in the rippling air,
twisting my second self harder than my first,
who waits for you like the Second Coming,
or an apparition, if only you’d appear
and give shape to shapeless thought,
tempest waters between mind and heart.

Buried pain laid plainly on dreamy canvas:
You look different, but speak the same.
A Polaroid bleeds into a flame –
how can you say things aren’t so bad?
I say it’s almost over
and feel how boring I’ve become
and lose you
as San Francisco becomes a prairie
and the stars fall into our shower
where we sit like children
and I look at the faded tattoos you don’t have.
That song plays, I’m stuck in that cold space in Oakland,
stuck on you, old love
in an old city, forgotten and for good.

– Los Angeles, CA

Taken in Oakland, CA