Saturday, February 11, 2017

Something old, Something new, something borrowed, something blue

(For Miss Prissy)

When you toss the dark
mystery of your hair,
why are the almonds of your eyes
suddenly so sienna?
How do your lips
always seem to glisten,
ripe as a rain
kissed apple?
My hands may have trekked
from Australia to Zaire,
(although not yet Cabo Verde.)
Yet the topography
between the soft shore
of your forehead
and the smooth beach of your feet
leaves them befuzzled,
grasping at perfumed air.
They may have kayaked currents
on the Silver River,
rambled up the mythic rocks
of Mt. Rainier,
or even delved the subtext
of the Mediterranean Sea,
but encountering you
they lack any compass,
nautical chart or North Star.
Let me not notice
how the purple
of your pout
may harbor more treasure
than any ocean’s sunken chests
or these hands
might never cease
their hunger
to wander down
the coiled conundrum of your spine
and up the twin exclamation points
of your thighs,
eternally seeking to solve
each brown skinned riddle
the country of your body contains.

After Pablo Neruda

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Orange Antichrist

Over and over again The Orange Antichrist sighs matters

The crystalline ego
of The Orange Antichrist
glitter of glass shards

The Orange Antichrist
longs to be hailed
like a taxicab

"Hail to the Thief"
The Orange Antichrist
hums along

The creek rises
is god unwilling
The Orange Antichrist looms

between one headline and another
The Orange Antichrist

Thursday, January 12, 2017


This may be about the cravings in the mouth of a man with few front teeth standing by a Wizard of Oz slot machine for three or more hours, staring into the darkness. Or about what desire crosses the faces of people seated at nearby machines or the wheel of patter between them. Maybe someone once said that chocolate is just desire barred. This isn't about everything happening for a reason, except the things that don't, or about a human brain always finding patterns in the numbers of a roulette wheel even when there might only be the illusion of one. Roulette means “small wheel.” This could be about reasons being patterns in the small wheels of our minds. This could be about the divine grace of a certain waitress, dipping at the knees to serve a Chocolate Martini. Or about the darkness filling the glass she serves, but this is not about the darkness in the skin of chocolate. This might be about melodies made by spinning reels or tinkling bells or a pattern that could be encoded in the sequence of the lights. Perhaps this is about the all night party streamers of the waitresses' hair, about what inflates the life rafts of her lips, what taunts in the dark sea of her skin or what spins in the small wheels of her eyes. But, this is definitely not about the darkness in the center of chocolate. Not about how many degrees of heat could make it liquid between the lips. This wants to be about a woman walking past and checking her side view mirror to see if he's watching and is almost about which mixed drinks he may or may not sip behind the darkness of sunglasses as she swipes his debit card in the register of longing. This could be about a bar or what resembles candy in her smile.. This is not about the darkness in a sentence of chocolate. Not about how it melts and sticks. This may be about how the arrows of some eyes narrow if he doesn't speak or the mariachi band of laughter from certain lips when he does. This is likely about a no name man standing in front of a bank of thieving machines dreaming of bars lining up in a pattern on a reel, probably about a progressive jackpot. About how we invent goddesses to explain the patterns of darkness in our luck. This is not about the darkness at the center of chocolate. This seems to be a smile through reclining eyelids or a soft lick of the lips afterwards. But this can’t be about what gets wagered on the tip of a tongue or about being lost in a bet, and definitely doesn't involve the name of a goddess dissolving in his mouth on the slow cab ride from the airport of possibility to the dark shadows at the center of the city of half sighs.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Bambi (new poem)

This is a rough draft. 


At sixteen eye was 
the Prince of air guitar,
a lavender shimmer birthed
by a purple beacon
and nothing was real except 
your half-laced fingers on six strings—
which would not be boxed in.
Suppose heart as an empty room,
a kind of wooden box.
In the wooden box 
U then called home
there was Our Father’s piano,
forbidden as anything in Leviticus,
still U were bold enough to plink
its ivory keys while he was away.
Until he left like a Gypsy moth 
in the cruelest month.
Before U were mine “Skipper”
U were 12 years old 
and neither boy nor girl,
doe-eyed under the halo of an Afro
and crying to be allowed
to return home from a phone booth,
which is not a wooden box,
even in the dying northern light,   
especially since it lacks
the sound sculpture of pianos,   
even a piano warped 
by the purposed rain of memory.
And to be denied,
to sleep on an Aunt’s couch
or in Bernadette’s basement and hear 
Louisiana tease your tongue
like a bigger kid on the playground
and hear that all soul-sounds
even the bass below, 
can be guitar-sounds
because guitars are wooden boxes
with tuneable strings
on which the Grand Progression 
could one day mean your dovely strut 
up the ladder of the charts.
There is the missing kiss 
of your mother to sing of. 
How she tried to satisfy herself 
in the arms of another man,
her hair falling down
and her heels rising up.
Does down elevate up or up elevate down,
this question ping-pongs
into the paisley swirled sky,  
No matter. Baby, you're a Star!
Grand Marshal of a parade of women,
all that applause drowning out
the insomniac feedback of night.
A sound round as counterfeit Vicodin,
a hurt that craves the 24 keys of dawn.
Neither cocaine nor cold coffee
can hide the soft hammers
of the blue piano on your strings
but now U are an ocean of violets in bloom,
marshaled and amped up
because aren't amps boxes too?
U are amped louder and louder
into Jimi’s rising heir,
portrait of the Artist purple as paradox—
desire hums around your head,
bathes U in a sonic scent,
an untongueable symbol being brushed,
the most Beautiful One,
eyes lined with dark longing
until Daddy’s black piano 
becomes a mere wooden box of air
on an elevated stage,
although not the way
an elevator may sometimes 
be a wooden box. 
The paisley stage is empty now.
Filled with an air of Cloud guitar
the stage is dear and dearly beloved. 
The only home
U could always return to.
Eye never wanted U 2 be 
my beacon, or lover.
Eye only wanted 2 be
some kind of friend. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

I want to take this time out to thank everyone for your birthday well wishes. In lieu of posts on my wall though I'd very much appreciate it if you could just do one random act of kindness for a stranger. 

August afternoon-
The endless ripple
of a single smile

Thursday, April 21, 2016

When Doves Fly

2:29 pm at my boy Barry's house in Brigantine, and I grab my black Eddie Bauer jacket I got at Harrahs Casino and dash out the door because the 501 to Atlantic City is due at 2:30 and I rush to corner, one hand deep in my right pocket for my change as the bus trembles up, then realize I only have $20 bills which yesterday the Treasury Dept. announced will carry a portrait of Harriet Tubman on with Andrew Jackson's now on the backside and the bus glides past and I curse our 7th President, only it's the kind of day that Bill Withers sang about and the next bus isn't due for an hour, so I stride and revise a poem in my head which I read last night at the World Above reading at Dante Hall, one of the best open readings I've been to since Its Your Mug shut down and I change the poem's title to "Portrait of the Artist as a Starfish in Coffee" because my cousin Derri Dias (who is a gorgeous actress in LA) posted a video on Facebook of Prince on Sesame Street performing that song which grows on you like the hair in your ears and I decide to change the last two lines from a simile to a metaphor by cutting out the word "like" which I suddenly don't, and now I pass a brother out front of his house digging a hole in the grass between the sidewalk and the street as if putting in a new mailbox or planting a small tree or maybe just burying something we won't mention and I turn on to Brigantine Blvd. which is limited to one lane because a crew clad in yellow T-shirts with lavender lettering that reads "TCM Paving" is redoing the asphalt and I want to pull out my iPod but my Shure 535e earbuds are too good at isolating outside noise which is dangerous on this busy street and now I'm rising up one side of the bridge between Brigantine and Absecon islands and I peep white birds wheeling in the sky and that signs on the Borgata Casino and Harrahs are both purple and just as I crest the bridge and get buffeted by the gusts Brigantine is famous for, there's a notification on my iPod Touch that Derri has commented on her FB post,  "It's not fair that he's gone" and I stop to check Twitter and Prince is trending with over 2 million tweets and I peer over the railing and consider the sunlit water making its way to the Back Bay, but before I can click on the link I'm back in my room in Blanchard Barracks on Bolling AFB with Penny half covered in a military issue blanket and me with one hand cupping the back of her neck and the other pinning her head to keep it from sliding into the metal frame and us gutterral in the rhythm of the moment until "Do Me Baby" begins to unroll from the radio and she pulls her fingernails from my back and reaches for the knob and we turn it up, the bed squeaking and Penny and I just glistening . . .