Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AUGUST 7, 2012

August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
now (not then).

August 7, 2012
I am a hashtag# (what are you)?

August 7, 2012
grass on the hill
decomposing lip.

August 7, 2012
hand job
parking lot.

August 7, 2012
collecting Social Security
dead at the movies
I can't touch
I can't feel
pass the bottle
blind man's signature
nuclear modem
cyborg secretary
I eat paper clips
seconds are oranges rotting
on the tree.

August 7, 2012.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rose Hills

It was a Monday
and it was Whitter, California
a cemetery named for a flower and a hill
I was working a Graveside Service
in an old black suit 
rubbed raw
with time and lint brushes
stained forever
with tears and embalming fluid
blood and hugs
the hearse parked high on a hill
you could see downtown LA 
far away through the haze of smog
and the clock was ticking
not just for the gravediggers, the family and the preacher
but for all of us as well
those that still inhabited the realm of the living.

I adjusted my shades and my tie
and looked out at the rolling hills of grass
the trees and the flowers
two hawks circled in the sky
as two ravens joined them
and they flew in tandem 
it was a majestic sight
at least it felt that way
nonetheless, my soul needed it to feel that way
as I drew the pall bearers together
near the ass end of the funeral coach
and we drew the casket out
the body was heavy inside
seemed to fight us for a second
I whispered, “you are going to a better place then from which you came.”
and things oddly went smoother 
from that point on
and the pallbearers
grunted and groaned 
as they heaved the casket
onto the lowering device 
which hovered pensively above the hole.

Off in the distance
I thought I heard 
a bow scratch a violin string
but I could not tell from where
and it seemed that my skin was drier 
then all the camel hair in the Sahara
and that hangovers could come from any direction
at any time
and we were helpless to defend ourselves
I thought this and more
as the sun beat heavy upon my face
I began to perspire in my old black suit
as the preacher spoke to the large crowd 
that gathered around the grave
at least there was life here, I thought,
it felt alive
I smelled the freshly cut grass
moist ground underfoot
and I knew 
I was in a better place from which I came
having traveled to Los Angeles 
from the mean dryness of the Mojave desert
I almost would’ve rather went into the hole myself
then have to go back
I shivered in thought
as the wood casket floated above the ground
the preacher continued on
someone sobbed and blew their nose
as a Mexican gravedigger leaned on his splintered shovel 
far beyond sight
and I thought of dried bones
the mental scars of promises broken
the sandy camouflage of  starving jack rabbits 
dehydrated in the solar heat
the empty beer bottles and the dusty lies
the tricks and the bad trades 
the strangers with tan leathered skin 
drifting faceless 
down the tumbleweed highways
and that horrid sinking feeling 
of being lost forever.

I thought more and more
wondered at the very back of my skull
about walking out of my house
just that morning
where I surprised a small lizard
resting on the concrete
he swiveled his head back to look at me
standing in my dark suit holding a sad cup of coffee
his tiny, pebble sized  lizard eyes 
caught mine
we both froze for a moment, 
like when you walk in on someone 
sitting on the toilet
drawers dropped taking a shit
our four eyes searched each others souls
surprised that we caught each other here
imprisoned in this circumstance named the desert
victims of the gross terrain that spares 
no man women child or creature
and the lizard at least had an excuse
born into this . . . created just for this
reptilian genetics that had been adapting to this environment
for century piled upon endless century
but still his eyes questioned, “what’s your excuse, pal?”
as he scurried off to do whatever the hell lizards do
and I got into my compact car with 73,000 miles on it
to go do whatever the fuck humans do
all the while thinking to myself, 
“Goddamn it! I need to go back and kill that lizard 
before he tells anyone else!”
revenge against the witness in grand Nietzschian style
and then I was in Whitter, California
standing in a cemetery named for a flower and a hill
the preacher had just finished his sermon
he eyed me with disdain
cleared his throat to indicate that he was waiting for me
to bring this whole affair home
I stepped forward in front of the coward
and thought of blind folds and cigarette smoke
firing squads and Spanish bulls
I re-adjusted my executioner expression
presented a folded flag to the dead guys son
thanked him on behalf of the President of the United States
and a grateful nation
never even having meet the President before 
but I figured he wouldn’t mind
seeing that he was probably a lot busier then me 
with foreign policy and the staggering unemployment rate 
and I stood back as the ghost flew 
thanked everyone for their time, their love, their memories
like any good lounge singer (I mean Funeral Director) would do
and that was it
but at least there was life here 
I could almost reach out and grab it by the throat
everyone engaged the hug switch
the crowd breaking up and moving away 
dudes in slick sunglasses driving high dollar cars
ladies in tight black dresses that smelled like heaven in high heels
all waved and invited me to follow them to the reception
in La Habra
going to be a real rager
a celebration to end all, to beat all!
but I just shook my head sadly and thanked them
saying,  “No, no.  I have to get back . . . duty calls!”
and I knew that my party had been over a long time ago
as the sand asylum was already reaching out for me
I could feel it’s sick fingers clawing at my skin
so I got back into the hearse
drove down the grassy hillside
thinking that when I get back to the desert
I was going to find that little shit head lizard
and stomp him into oblivion!

But, alas, I never did . . . 

Next Time I'll Go To Reno

Box springs with carpal tunnel
I dream inside the strip tease
your fake eyelashes fan
my nervous being
as the swampy summer
hangs around like a lost dog
or a collection agency out for blood
the small violence of your kiss
sprung forth, in and out,
the viper clarity of your tongue
there is a Venus fly trap sense of destruction
to all of this
to all of you
a pulling in and out 
smothered within your presence
like a filthy pillow over the face
you drag me along from 
the chains of your crazy mind
LSD humidity
I'm tripping balls
as you spring down from the ceiling
like a deranged bungee jumper
or a black widow from a web
it's a miracle I am alive. . .
This is a new summer, sweetness
a magic marker
I draw a tree in the middle of a lake
and a duck blind with a shotgun sticking out
I search the sky in the sniper sight
for all my old emotions
and put bullets
in each one of them
I tried to draw that, as well,
but the ink was a little to unstable
so, I drew a stick figure instead
a woman on a beach
watching a ship far out at sea
slowly drifting away
to far now to ever 
come back to shore
someday I will draw the boat again
when it hits a new port on the other side
it's journey and riches will be greater
it's fate less foolish
it's crew more sure. . .
I have high hopes for this boat!
As for the woman,
that is no longer for me to say.
I once sat in a prison cell with an ex-con
that made wine from packets of ketchup
fermented his poison in plastic bags
and the prisoners paid top dollar
I told him about a summer I spent in an Attic
on a farm in northern Minnesota
with no AC
lamenting a rough break up
and sweating through my tears
and he said that kind of time
is the worst time you could do
he could spend two years in county
standing on his head
but when a woman locks you up like that
brother, just stick a fork in it
your done!
I shook my head up and down
yes! yes! done! done! done!
and he said that I should have gone to Reno
I said maybe next time
and he said that he tried
to catch a case in Reno
when he once lived their for six months
but no matter what laws he broke
not a single cop
would lock him up!
As I showed him my picture
of the tree in the lake
he looked at it quite perplexed
shaking his head back and forth
and just said, aloud,
that Reno was just to damn wild for him!
Maybe next time I'll go to Reno.

Miller High Life

The good ole days
are gone
but, not forgotten
looking back on it now
I can’t tell you the number of Miller High Life bottles
that have fallen victim
to my thirst
upon mean evenings of typing words
that made lines
that made poems
that seldom made sense
but one thing that was always in 
tall, fine order 
was the Champagne of Beers
that sweet Senorita kicking her leg 
from that sliver of golden moon
the best rocket fuel
one could hope for
when alone and out numbered
huddled behind the monitor screen
as the night burned like a thousand witches
outside the thin glass
of a bedroom window.

Borodin’s In The Steppes of Central Asia
spinning around the turntable
conducted by Leopold Stokowski
was a great way to spend 
an hour or two sucking down
a half dozen tall cool ones
Miller High Life
making the fingers leap and fly
across the lettered keys
keeping all the bastards at bay
the collection agencies, the bosses, the bill collectors, the CHP
the women that came and left 
with a pound of your soul 
taken as toll
and the dogs would come scratching 
around the front door
they sniffed and pissed
but I never let them in
for I was holding high court
with some of the best friends 
ten bucks could buy.

I smoked a lot in those days
by myself
typing out long letters to no one
a bloodletting of the soul
thinking I was that much closer to divinity
as I told the stories of those 
less fortunate characters
that life had turned it’s back on
myself included.

Towards the end 
old Charlie asked me if I had ever
smelled Miller High Life
as we were out at the job
picking up dead bodies 
at the local hospitals
for 25 bucks a call
Charlie had been a regional manager 
for the Miller Brewing Co.
way back in the day
and used to get the stuff by the case load
for free
I was green with envy
he said it was the greatest time he had ever known
until one day somebody told him to smell
the fine brew
and with one whiff
the walls came crashing down
said it smelled like sweaty baboon ass
and he could never bring himself to drink it again.

When I got home that night
I opened the frig and grabbed 
a cold, golden bottle of the High Life
popped the top 
and before the first swig
I leaned my right nostril down,
and low and behold,
I smelled what can 
only be described as
the butt funk of a sweaty asshole
that had not been touched by toilet paper 
sense the beginning of time
and though I still drank 
the High Life that night
I was never too fond of it 
from that point 

I still miss those good ole days
when it was just me, Miller High Life, an ashtray
the written word and the aching night.

Nothing has come close sense. . .