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The thing about poetry is that it can live anywhere.

Like reindeer moss deprived of rain or light still flourishing after years of neglect.

It can hide in plain sight.

It can be on the tip of your toe as you kick a stone off the sidewalk.

It can be tucked up some country road with countless potholes leading up to a seemingly  forgotten, stumpy clear-cut that  just about wrenches your gut, as it should; and ends you up snapping photos of yourself there, envisioning saplings strengthening.

It could be in the way that you catch your own eyes reflecting off your own red blouse, this poetry- and how it echoes your anger, your passions, or your effortlessly coursing, very alive and platelet rich blood.

It can surprise you, while you peek back upon someone else’s story in your mind, & find the tale ready to be regurgitated in reflective fashion, touched with artistic licensure.

It can be in the seagull that approaches you & makes you feel shame for having the sense of being slighted with its head cocked all judgy like. *What dude?*

There’s this rampant ambivalence that’s sure to be the leading cause of fruitless pages & stilled pens.

You must show up for yourself.

Give yourself time in this land.

You are the gardener. And it is not an easy harvest.

Some poem trails lay fallow or demand of you to over step those washed-out, cliche illuminations like a biblical plague of frogs raining sideways, causing hairline fractures in the south-facing, sun-emitting windows of your concept collecting place.

We must use refrain from once more addressing the grandiose of the moon or sky or rose blooms or lovers eyes that tug for  yet another cameo as it’s so damn easy to include, but would demand space like kudzu or catnip, choking out the roots of other gentle flower thoughts yet to be planted. New growth.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

So throw your ass in your car. Drive out to the coast in the rain. Sit in your mobile monsoon box, eat your leftovers on a perch overlooking the great sea, & write something new. Listen to the whispers beyond the waves.

Our words await us. And the time is wow.

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Flotsam

We spent days in mist. Ocean dust.
My hair looked like a $90 job. Rated 10.
I was training myself to walk backwards, parallel to the shore without looking behind or falling in. All core, hope, imagination, determination.
Seagulls crested in unison; scattering sporadically like the response to a secret boom or big bear sneeze; returning to formation like an answer to lots of questions unasked.
You’d rolled up your pants and still got soaked, just like every time we’d come before.
Submitting our tarnished souls
To our repetitive salt water baptism.

In the small beach-town little matted dogs’d do erratic dances behind worn, corroded fences of rust, threatening tetanus. Do not touch. Beware of dog.
They’d bark their heads off ruthless, and untrustworthy.
4 legged Napoleons. Land piranhas.
My mutt wasn’t having it.

Beneath the bridge connecting coastal access to sleepy commerce center, congregated the bums, whoopin’ and slipping around, catching alarmed crawdads, drinking Old Grand Dad, having a helluvatime.

It’s important to share booze with strangers. The spirits encircle. Your lips are the same lips. Kiss purified by alcohol, don’t fret and the more road-wary the better. They give you pause and ease your mind with uncharted thoughts, though I’d nonetheless really liked to have spared the crawdad.

A furtive pocket-full of notes I fumbled to extract a poet’s name  to match our moment to their word-song. Income the spirit of Mary Oliver as the breeze picked up, whispering wild and precious, wild and precious, wild and precious life, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life… knocking cattail’s hollow sound and grass-scratch blades joining in.

Everything is coated in a filmy dew of sea and the world there feels small and briny; the longshore men sure look longingly back from a decent woman and forth to the empty possible space aboard their barnacle-scraped boats. What man you walkin’ with? Don’t see none.
One can fantasize right quick about sending off to another land with warmer breezes and new poets to ponder. Making love in the hull with inescapable sand inbetween the buns, hun. Clams for currency. Hundreds of nautical miles.

But the breeze- a melody of crashing waves and the maritime’s half-full loneliness all surf-stretched, and you’re simply incapable of good decision making in wet dungarees, so on we shuffled through the sand and kept watch of the birds.

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Haiku Break Pt. 5

When I start to think
In haiku form and fashion~
Man, is stopping hard.

I want to keep on
Packaging my words to fit
Five seven five forms

But then the sillies
Start kicking in and I can’t
Not be a pervet

So I must give up
The illusion of respect
And drag you down with me
…………

Next time’s sexy time
Shout “Holy! It’s colossal!”
Make the man feel good.

As the dusk decends
I walk streets hoping to see
Sex through lit windows

It’s crazy how much
My fantasies constantly
Beg my attention

Sex is like pizza?
Even if it’s bad it’s good?
Not down with frozen.

He grabbed my tit like
Trying to pop the brain out
A baby bunny ):

Capable I am
As well at reigning it in
And writing soft-core
…………..

Is there a better
Smell than dried eucalyptus?
Daphne in the spring?

When the petals fall
On my head and in my hair
That’s where I want them.

The common cricket
Rivals refrigerator’s
High, resonant sound.

When I hear sitars
I am just like Pavlov’s dogs.
Hungry! For curry.

Sometimes I wonder.
And it gets the best of me.
Presence. It’s a gift.

True art never sleeps
Continuum unperturbed.
There is no shelf life.

One day I’ll travel
The world in the name of sweet
Poetry. Just wait.

Getting off the plane
Walking down the hall to you
Standing with flowers

I can hear the guy
On the wall’s other side of
My condo farting.

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To walk the same ground. Different shoes. Different paces. Different people throughout time to walk beside. But, same ground- for too long? Those years’ll oftentimes revolt- real threats to start rubbing together. Melting, one into the next- funneling memories heads into memories asses, making an undecipherable, lumpy chain. Or maybe the times’ll chafe. Summer thighs. Hot without room to give. Furthering from comfort. Friction. Pillaging an Eagle Scout’s deep pocket to find flint and steel.
A spark.
Approaching the apex, to ignite embers to a great flame. After all that time- dreaming of the big burn. The big burn, after all that time- made manifest.

To use these flames to propel forward motion. Call to action. Impetus to blast off.
Mobilizing 4 tires to black-top. Passing  marbled fields, flecked with still cattle. Passing beneath dragged out cotton-candy clouds becoming moon-washed-white before soft, passive eyes. Intercepting lines of human lives of some with thumbs stuck out in the air, shadows growing tall against the dawn, and an eased pull of the wheel and a slowed roll to the right shoulder for a gambled rider. Obliterating stranger danger. Or being plum in the muck of it. Forms and figures.
In forms of different lovers in different beds in different counties, across state-lines, in different ways they call me baby, and hold my face, in different love lusts. Different starchy, flower print sheets to tangle in. Different bed springs poking my neck.
In forms of country-side, moment-determined-marvels rewarded only to few witnesses. In forms of passing pickups- brimming with hay bundles, stinkin’ onions, dirty coal, unknowns unnamed, shit-splattered damned livestock, pink weeping lumber, fresh watermelons threatening to tumble out and create ruckus. Imagine losing your life to a melon flying out at your windshield. (Six million ways to die.) Someone somewhere must’ve been this victim. Did you hear about old Josephine..

Highways: full of location-specific vices. Distinctly pertinent to mile pile upon mile of mostly smoothed concrete, stretching out like uncoiling arms in the longest known gravely hug, releasing. Warmth evaporating, forming snake like, peripheral heat dances, fuzzing sights of road sides with the forward world zooming bye. Tumble weed. Abandoned cars, restless, unseen, tadpole filled ponds, far off trailers, ghost stories, squats of tin, the feel of someone’s stare, dust dust dust. Nothing to see, everything to see. Don’t bother time with your has-been-metaphors, we’re here now. Just stay awake with frequent stops to fill up with the kind of coffee that sits snugly between quotation marks, stuffed in scolded-vanilla field flavors- strangled and spanked in hydrogenated ingredients. Settling right into the paunch. Yes, vices. Or glory holes in $4 truck stop showers, good glory leave it be, but entertain curiosity if you must. Life is art.

To travel is the judicious way to live for the writer. For the story teller. For the profane or profound seeker. To be sleepy while at it: the bi-product; the battle; the menace.
To give way and sleep roadside, pitching tents in quarries, behind lean-to’s, forgotten, untended structures, or weedy, wildflower meadows. Or geothermal magic pools.
To wake to the smell of uva ursi, wet earth, and piñon wood-fed-fire’s sourceless smoke. To light the Coleman burner and have tea time surrounded by cricket song and new rays of sun in splendor. To hitch a hammock between the Ponderosas and rub cheek to bark, waking up the nose to the knowledge of consistent presence of that phenomenal albite  subtle scent of root beer. My goodness. Or the desert plants that smell of rain a long while of time away from watering. The peace of morning; the cool bite of it. No other life can know the cumulative sense of freedom. Can’t I show you what my heart has known? I’ve hitchhiked across the divide before.

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Confused Kitchen

 

Pea soup on the stove
stinking up the place.

If someone were to pop in right now
I’d say “I’m making pea-soup” to explain the smell
Save from embarrassment.

I’d invite them to stay and eat
I always make too much soup.
Who makes just enough?
Is there such a thing?

If they came over they’d notice the piles of papers.
I’d apologize.
I’d say “I’m normally cleaner”. And mean it. Because that’s how I see myself.

How do people maintain their paper piles?
Does anyone? Are there small files that the rest of people hide in another room?

The papers sit next to the boxes to be considered for recycling.
They get walked out incrementally. There’s no rush aside from the guilt
So much tree-waste.
I bought reusable cloths dipped in beeswax to use in lieu of foil.
My tupperware collection is nothing to sneeze at.
This throw-away culture is shame.

If a tree came over right now
I’d extend my sincerest condolences and I’d blush and admonish my own self
I’d say “I try”, though I’ve heard there is no trying.

There’s doing
and there’s not doing.

Once I had a teacher who pulled a tissue from the box.
He told us to try to pick it up, as he let it fall from his hand.
We scrambled for it.
I don’t remember who picked it up, but it was safe and upon the return to his hand
he said “See? There is no trying. You do or you don’t do”.

The tissue was used only for a lesson.
If that tissue walked through my door right now
I would refrain from rubbing my nose on him.
I’d fear him absorbing too much pea soup, so I don’t think I’d extend the offer.
Plus I need to slumber peacefully
without perplexing dreams about animate tissues eating my home cooking.
Though I’d say something like “I’m sorry for your purposeless life and that you must go
hungry
dry
and used in nothing but a questionable metaphoric lesson”.

If someone came over at the same time as the tissue and tree came
I’d have a lot of explaining to do.
And I’d have to do it, according to law, as there is no try.

Maybe I could blame it on the pea soup.
Distract them with health food.
Apologize to it later.

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You sun-spot you
you bright-but-tempered
you worn soul.
You don’t hug your path, do you know
you cling to the gutters?
In one place?
You need more butter. To slide you along.

Can an aura be sideways?
Because you radiate different.
Your colors interupted
by the cover you wear.
You deny your brilliance to the people
by coloring yourself with dull, dollar-store crayons
with a Prisma-set just beside you.

You sun-spot you
more deflected than refracted,
pierced and pocked
It’s all beneath your shell
That hides your bed sores.
That’s very heavy.
You are a frightful site
You make a terrible crustacean.

With just one life
When will you be ready to bask in your own light?

Is anyone out there known to have learned skills of building just so that they could destroy, to start anew? If these walls could talk. If they could absorb.
Would they swell, well, wail?
With grief of past renters? Laden with uncomfortable memories of someone’s poor sitcom taste? Or  spooked by the inability to comprehend an old tenants’ idolatry? Or find humor in and joy of private dancing with the likes of us they contain?
Are they pleased with the blush-colored tiles that coat their kitchen parts?
Do they revel in the bed banging against them ferocious, and ache for more as well?
Because if everything has energy, then there stands a chance at a secret life that we know as much of as to think that birds just migrate without communication, but magnetism and instinct? Greedy, narrow, humankind.
So then, am I their favorite thus far?
Should I lean up against them and divine their favorite music? It must be Nina- the album with her in front of a pond in Central Park…
The walls. Inert and unable to grow, only wither in time. Unable to self-fortify. But- able to hear? God ears? You are probably not alone.
Turn off your halogens. Be true be true! If someone or something is always the witness, could you really be you?
You can find a hammer and smash till you’re blue. Or bang out a window to let the air through.
If these walls could listen. If they’ve been listening all along- how would you do? IMG_8144 (2).jpg