Flesh Stone

Of Wheels & Whitewater
Country Life
Two Haiku
Drowning In The Flames
Boletus Coitus
Dragon Countdown In A Finnish Sauna, Northern Tropics, Feb 2000
Pandoraís chest of Picassos and Square Cut Diamonds
Suburba Ma Goes Home
Happyland to Headless Point, a Homecoming
yet another poem to my father
Buddha Baby
sanguine months
NASA narcissi
Heading Homeless
Whose Shooting Whom
Ow Wow Tao
Post Millenium I, Earth
Pain of Assumption
Highway One
Moon Tribe
Michael Wish
Mississippi Set, New Orleans 2002
Bush is not my president


Flesh Stone

"Dare I eat a peach" -- T.S. Elliot

"I can see your everything"
my lover said to me
emphatically, with a touch of horror
as I bent down
folding at the waist
straight legged in the middle of a grocery isle
to examine a basket of peaches

I must get close
I tell him
massage their gentle flesh juice
with my eyes

my own sweet juice glistening
like a midsummer sunset
waiting for tourists

the river doesn't stop
flowing anymore
Always Wet
that is what I call myself now
Always Wet, like an Indian name

I blame middle age
I have climbed into my late 30s
stumbled upon a rich spring
of woman water
all my own
something I can share
something I can drink alone

which is why I answer his concern
"do you like what you see?"
and pick out the two ripest peaches
hand him one
"eat it"



Hey lady, your mouse ears are on upside down
yelled a smart-assed 10 something from the flying Dumbo
Don't ya know it dumbo
I shouted back at him
the cows in the elephant line
cringing at my volume
Jez, you don't have to be so obvious
says an eyelined, eye-rolling teenager
in J. Lo lipgloss and jeans
I don't care, I shout louder, shriller
glad for the excuse
I'm in mourning,I'm distressed
I clutch my breast
incidentally cupping the red velvet bra
that's fastened on the outside
of my Alice In Wonderland T-shirt
moo, the space in front and in back of me widens
iye, thanks for the room
I crow in my best Pirates of the Caribbean
now I can flap my arms
wave my fists
pierce the air
to protest the anti-culture
that turns girls into demure pink princesses
boys into tiny waist loving nazis

can you tell I'm pissed?
irate at the masked chipmunks
posing with the unsuspecting kiddies
the ducks pushing Tomorrowland
for status future quo

a six year old frowns at my gesticulations
and kicks me in the shin
lady, you're really stupid
it's true
I paid $47.50 to endure It's a Small World
with a gaggle of gap-clad remote control addicts
$47.50 to wait 65 minutes to get whiplash on the Matterhorn
$47.50 to watch a bear play mediocre tambourine
I grab the budding kung fu master by the throat and shake him
what am I doing here
no, what are you doing here
get out, get out while you still can

I notice his father running toward me, pupils dilated
brandishing a nutty chocolate coated banana
so I release my grip and the kid backs up
I see tears welling in his green spinning teacup eyes
before he turns to run
all I can hear as he jumps the rail is
you're stupid and scary
god, the kid's a genius

I jump the rail too
making a break for the Mark Twain Paddle Boat
before the Disney cops make the scene
I know I'm safe as the boat begins its nowhere circle
still, I sit on the Tom Sawyer Island side
to eat my last pot muffin
the perfume of generator fumes heightening the experience

feeling better, I climb to the top of the boat
and watch the fiberglass deer eat polyurethane bushes
until I see an obese Midwest lady
in a denim button-down with a Minnie izod over her left boob
who do you like better, skinny mouse or Minnie mouse? I ask
she ignores me
Minnie's a lesbian you know

the ride's over
at least I can have drink in the French Quarter
some things never change
I shuffle through voodoo shops,
mask stores, pirate paraphernalia products
but no yo ho, no bottles of rum,
no whiskey, no tequila, no bar
what kind of New Orleans is this?

now the ride's really over
I'm beyond claustrophobic
Jessica Rabbits are boiling in imaginary pots
to the sound of whining mouskateers
coming down off of sugar
it's dark and the masses have lined main street
for the electric light parade
I am pressed against a trashcan and cannot move
someone keeps farting
so pretty soon I feel like
a feedbag on the butt of a Clydesdale

I have no choice but to leap into the parade
I join the fish and crustaceans marching
beside a sexy, red haired mermaid
encased in a huge bubble of glass
every 30 seconds, she pounds her tail
against the side of her aquarium
the people cheer
I think she wants out



Of wheels and white water

turn off your engine
along this vast twisting highway
give your skin to the cobalt curves
sunset framed rock spray
bull kelp bob and breath
pampas fingers waving
luring you to the edge of earth
and beyond

use your soles to part the rattlesnake grass
wind a climb down dry deer path
where slate shale stairs turn
into seaside couches
with a big screen sky
and salt caves to explore
semi precious pebbles
wet with briny shine

but get here early
before the sun slips
into lithium orange
before it conspires with ocean fog
drops into a purple stripe
and builds its rainbow horizon

if you do, you can swing
on the crescent moon
stare into Venus's eye
as she winks
into a different tomorrow
as the sky darkens
into a basin of stars



Country Life

there's no such thing as selling out if you live
though I hear hints growing between the questions
old acquaintances asking if I'm hiding in the woods
ignoring the world, not directly
making it hard to be honest
admit I live away from human lights luminescence
so I can curl up stars, wake up to myself
dream laced in trees like visible breath

out here, in the country, I am a dirt road cut into the arc of the sun
following people epochs into the spiral
of buddha genes and teradactal thoughts
circle these river of time
and I will spiral and circle
until I am fished into silence

until then, I refuse to dry up
refuse to hide in woods or concrete
or listen to soul brokers telling me to sell
sell high, sell out, sell myself

instead, I write off any game with dumb rules
cut my losses to live in the ledger of my own accord

Living out here, I accidentally forgot how to do
the boring brutality waltz
I have learned to pick my knife up by the handle rather than the blade
I don't cry so much as each green stem is ripped up for pavement
Don't watch the tree bone houses stack atop each other
so someone else can get rich off my minimum wage

Out here, we can look at each other
eyes are not for sale, even if our woods are
luckily these words are on sale
cheap for those willing to risk everything
for a love that can't be bought
purchased, traded, bartered,
it might be learned
it isn't taught, not like that
no patched elbowing for tenure
no, not like that
there are already too many dirty textbooks
staining the wind
with dead white facts

whose country is this? yours or mine?
can we divide it? how about this,
I'll take half, give you half
will you take it? is it enough for you?

If you want more it's too late
I gave my only half to someone else
so I could be whole

look my empty pockets are spilling out into the ground




I am minimal
human butterflying upstream
in an earthriver of stars
alive to meet the silt
the runoff, the death sludge
logging minds of creative flow

a human beckoning
a human beckoning
like courage cracking sunshine
into the midnight of change

is that you on the path?
simple beside the political
cloud people dropping bomb shapes
into the geometry of peace

we are the future now
the living backwoods of art and body
our waters welling to meet
the naked beauty of time
naked, naked since the moment cold fusion
bore light from the mother's cave

you are a sun braid
weaving waves of latitude
I am palms pressed together
fingers radiating longitude
radial here
radial now

feel this egg shell, touch it
we are animals breathing into the dirt
wind that is vastly minimal

can you hear the silence of these words with your eyes?




Slate sea, unsettled dream
surrender your tsunami
let vision arc over walls of sapphire
spray dappled sunshine, salty foam juice
lifting gull and pelican
into vertical surge

your addiction to motion is eternal
crashing against eroding shores
crumbs of land inhaling, exhaling
changing course with every swell
tides receding, proceeding
as they conceive the rocky imaginations of time

yes you power us, pound us into dear blue life
then extend a calm bath of certain survival
vast and silent as any booming wave
you are master and servant
breaker curling into a outstretched hand
meant to ride as much as tumble

Hokusai knew the beaching of driftwood
how it etched itself into color blocks
after thrashing about in the mind of the sea



Two Haiku

ink syringe
blue drug

empty neighborhood
workying assets


Drowning In The Flames

Can we feel the heat
through pores of rainbow latex
live with playa-encrusted upturned eyes
as creation casts plumes of dioxin
into the hologram nightsmoke thick in the battlefield
of this war already won

bards are burning the bardo
can we ignore it?
the charge of imagination
will it cost us more?

Bugless, plantless, reckless
Lake Lahotan is engulfed
in urbanity, post renaissance sea
of time and space
anarchist bodisattvas
pedal past on winged bicycles
silver wigs dragging along the ground
a Jolly Green Penis looms behind a group
of women laying on golden eggs
someone walks by and whispers
"human thighs at flesh camp"
a naked man hands out orange wedges
a painted gamine ties herself to the desert floor
so she can cry out for water

each vision swifter than light
a gong that cracks its flames against callused alkaline
witnessing as saber tooth bones peer up
through the thousands of portholes
dug like sores into this Black Rock City
leaving our childrenís childrenís children
row after row of virtual Swiss cheese

bards are burning in the bardo
can we ignore it?
the charge of imagination
will it cost us more?

Every day of his desert existence
the man goes up
the man comes down
fondled by an inner crew
who tweak his neon
pack and repack his explosives
caress the mala of his sanded pine flesh
until his night finally arrives
and he transforms into the scarecrow of Disneyís nightmares
as people pray and scream and dance and trip and weep and run and sleep
tessla coils spiking the sky
accordions and polka dancers dodging the flame machine
all pretend nothing is happening
all pretend everything is happening

someone tells the reporter from the Times
that the "Man" represents liberation
collective individual release from the bullshit of this culture
the guy from the Post reports that the Man
is the crucifixion of the 21st century
a sort of second coming of artist messiahs
Larry Harvey says nothing
or at least, he used to say nothing
back in the days before insurance premiums and the media
turned BurningMan into a business

bards are burning in the bardo
can we ignore it?
the charge of imagination
will it cost us more?

each naked body spiraling
through the masks of its genius
limbs dangling in the pyre
sweat tinged with the thrill of cyber blood
spilling, spilling as night spends into morning
leaving a graveyard of stereo carcasses
burnt pianos, strange colors of fire
twisting and driving
driving, driving, driving, driving,
driving back to whatís left
as the rest of America celebrates labor day
with only a few left to pick up the traces
spectating in the open sun

the man is ashes now
lost signs become cardboard tumble weeds
going nowhere in particular
Guilt Dies Here.

I denounce the dryness



Boletus Coitus

Now that the rains are here
I look for you every morning
your shinny head
hard, ready, poking out
from earthy covers
shrouded in moist greening hair

How I want you
virile king
mycelial talons unbuckling my dreams
sliding off each night
slippery, wet feet
diving into hunt

I carry my box
open, ready, a crevasse
for your long white flesh

the many faces of you
invite, coax with scent
thread me through naked blue and fallen golds
past deer bones, deserted beer cans
teasing with jacks and agarics
every sexy spotted red nub
making me want you more
there, right there

jutting like a bull pine
ripe, thick, ready
you dance me to you
I squeal, you wait
a fixed flower
microscopic pulses
patient as I coo
pull you into my world
lips moist
fire hot



Dragon Countdown In A Finnish Sauna, Northern Tropics, Feb 2000

Letís divine the zodiac now
swallow all twelve pieces at once
walk our fortune past scrolls of ink
lie down beside a hissing, cherry glowing
flue of hewn steel shouting flames into the sky
metamorphose thoughts into naked, sweating beasts
roll them out, spread them around
air their tongue-timed shadows
into loyal strands of DNA

Tonight, the New Yearís chime drapes sound
over the BC mountains
moonless laps of icy sea
ripple a hexagram of seaweed
atop jumbled round rock
some changing lines, but all

the Receptive

sages making patient tread
across the acupressure beach
dancing the Tao of extreme, Val Hala style
gingerly stepping, diving
between hot and cold
as soft rainbows of night
peel back their northern lights
water buried bodies
almost kissing the anemone
fanning water born fungi
beneath our heaving chests
limbs lank double time
ten breaths before imagining
red cedar walls
scaly womb of fire
tight skin, taut mythology
dragon curtain raised
in a toast of flesh



Pandoraís chest of Picassos and Square Cut Diamonds

How many myths are retold
through the lens of community
the scratched and polished screen
lifted from the hollow box
to reveal the TV suitcase
carrying fantasies beyond city spill
where stage meets homestead and ocean froth
lifts the curtain for rainbow skulls of time
to unravel quadratic underpinnings
leg kicking calemba picking voice ripping
halt the raid of little boxes on green hillsides
if only for a single night
of presence drawn like a pistol
smiles as clear and exposed as Hearn Gulch
on a sundae Spring afternoon with doughnut sugar sand dusting thawed limbs

limbs used to erect the great box pyramid
of Pandora, douse it with gasoline
nearly drive through our Cybirk Cecil B. De Mille ascension story
as the landlord soundtrack screams
what the hell is going on here--
hidden cameras rolling in the dusk wind
coaxing almost flowers toward their yellow dance
flowers nobody notices under cardboard and wheels
flowers that bloomed later, like they were supposed to
within view of the editing desk that kept Alice on that trampoline
held one hundred seventy something eyes
like a T-Rex baby emceeing the apocalypse

blue light teasing a Diaphanous moon
laser float through angel honey siren
das Machinezen ecstasy flashing
white polka dots over Robotecha skies
trapeze liberation front reporting to flag duty
(if only useless concepts ripped like paper)
fiddle and saxophone lifted in star spangled salvo
a tattered couch casting a sit down dinner for three
your choice of two entrees: canned spam or cheeseburger pie
pink frosted animal cookies ground into El Mundo floors for dessert

astro-forested Taneís only hope was not in the cereal box
senor heart Veles is almost beguiled by BassOmatic breath
glow-in-the-dark Astlik tosses multi-pharmaceutical consumption into Hephaestus fire
lightning feathered Pele Lite tests Seattle PD and discovers bunnies on Nutrasweet
violet Vanth eyeballs lemming patriotism for dad and wins a free box of syringes
peely fingered Sir Handsalot unplugs as he never exhales David Lettermanís cigar smoke
bottlecap butterfly Xochipilliís garter poll reveals weíve all gotta see it
prism-shelled Kurma wonders why Nicks isnít the worst single thing Zeus made for kids
doric ivyed Thalia knows people do when they say yes, yes, yes to Alpha Centuri
glitter-gilled Pescadoman honks when vacationing with valium-infused, fresh frozen toastie-Oís
pollen fluff Monjuís lollipop chemistry lives by collecting Walmartís taxes
sunset-yarned Sunnydae pops them in her mouth for the makeup on her labia
Comitrag blows and blows baby

Extra Extra naked butterfly polarized truth salmon
swim wherever and whenever they can
Oh Johnny, are we still awake?




Suburba Ma Goes Home

There is a gated community inside me
my secret LA suburba ashram
immortalized, fossilized, Elvis proselytized
in a two bedroom communion wafer
fortified with palmed greenbelt and pool
where Cape Cod found Mr. Rogerís neighborhood
amid chicken skin skies and speed bumps

itís my hidden temple of lemming track blues
a private confessional flanked
by widowed Mrs. Dís vacuum cleaner soundtrack on one side
the Paterson familyís DVD subwoofers on the other

in flesh, I Shuttle by United to my mecca twice a year
in Motherís Day and pre-Halloween pilgrimage
yet I was born a stucco priestess
genuflecting before concrete pylons
closet humming doorbell hymns
behind the double lock
dead bolt safety of childhood trundle bed
gibbous moon shining onto the plastic covered cream couch
to illuminate me through the pre-fab peep hole
just below the ceiling

My cookie cutter guru is about being and the mall now
a mutant avatar drunk on pop grape culture
toasting her concrete beat with Trader Joe chardonnay
doing the morning memoisa Korbel fizz fuzz
like the Mervyns version of Martha Stewart
in country club epaulets and coin fringed sandals
her shrunken nose and over budget boobs
accented in Palm Springs hue
Praise be Safeway
she is a bleached-blonde bob saying no to everything
Owsley sold to the university professors

thank visa, I embody this boddisattva of white linen asphyxiations
specter of all-you-can-eat smorgasbords
belly to the bar code of fads and labels
because sheís enshrined in sitcom conversations
anointed with the oil slag of five-story parking lots
with no spaces because everyone forgot to carpool
before putting the down payment on a car
that wonít fit into the compact space anyway
because she is my covenant with madness

But listen, listen, can you hear one hand packing
a Zen audible despite the logging rigs roaring past
the gravel driveway in their daily aternoon funeral parade
it is the hand of the other woman
the one who hoisted a backpack to her shoulders
made it out
moved away and around
eventually up the state
outside an ocean town
with a third world bar on Main Street and
poetry readings at the art gallery
across the double yellow line
from the slacker hippie grower hick cafe
a town where you can eat popcorn on red velvet seats
blast off on vaudevillian seas
do lots other stuff
like river stuff
political stuff
big bellied roper pot smoker stuff
stuff which reads like the national inquirer
after it ate the funny cookie
fell through the rabbit hole
chasing after something Alice
wasnít sure she wanted to find
but she found it

out here on the faultline
in the summer fog and autumn sun
away from Kansas, Missouri
all the other places
that also belong to somebody else
places that only emerge
for those who stay long enough
to remember to forget to remember

Come, Suburba Ma
lets us both hands
take off our orange terry cloth robes
board up the sacrificial patio
feed your breaded fish sticks to the weeds
so we can paint eyes along timeís sandbar
lace ourselves in aurora borealis dream catchers
to ride with the human sling shots
boing boing boinging past tales of subdivision and cellular rates

believe me, this Ipecac lifeboat
floats down sublingual gutters
slips through the grated manhole
into the river's mouth
where filmless cameras record
a future of hound dogs and frogs
of not-quite dinosaurs
set free to roam the congregation of earth

a land far from the Cheered lingerie
that struggles for space
inside a dusty, swollen garage bras and slips
dripping amid the tide of wedding waffle irons
pool floats, photo albums competing
for incandescent acknowledgement
while the ray soaked deck remains clothesless
by decree of The Royal Nouveau Condo-shwa Owners' Association
keeping the underneath inside
creating socio-economic distance
from the underwear lined barrio
stippling the apartment facade
just outside the gate



Happyland to Headless Point, a Homecoming

this September Tuesday post burningman 2000 morning
pillows tumbled, blanket in a rumpled nest
ground, piled purposefully like the back of my hair
nothing but sunlight to hold onto
the golden outline of my undamned reservoir
mingling its moat onto wine red cotton
the perfume of him tucked safely
into the fold of my desert hued legs
sky eyes drifting toward the impatient day
this first day in a month without sleeping bags and campstoves

crates to unpack
telephones to entertain
email to delete
bills to rearrange
and still the wayward DPW desert rats to feed, allow
our conceptual abstract politic poetic heaped in a 72 hour communal landing feast
arrival and departure drifting among the livingroom den of undefined bohem
lingering stories that can and will be shared
some on paper others deciphered from the crusting pile of costumes
heaped atop the Marlboro studded deck planks
framed by electric smokestack bayview bridge and ducktaped Venus of Deusledorf
naked woman folding herself neatly beside menacing blades of salvaged wood
breathing as an alp of green heafty bag luggage closes in on her

when is it time to post the no more vacancy sign?
empty the bus, say not here to the wayfarerís need to crash somewhere?
when is the broken leg mended?
when does the tall tale grow stale?
when it is repeated six times, eleven times, one time?
how many ropes does a 23-year-old lost child trick-turning drug-hawking honey soul
deserve before both ends are thrown back into the torrential stream of conscious unconscious
the reigns returned to the overdosing friend in the hospital
who owes more than the discounted C note he borrowed
when does saving the shelter mean abandoning the red eyed, crusty nosed girl
who calls herself Karma on the streets
the good bad pagan angel who would tap us all with her amber veined love
is it before she uncorks the dusty man
passed out in a sea of empty vodka bottles
still gathering the last threads of himself
in the bitter valentine-tagged school bus of his own creation
his pain laughing and dripping from head to taillight
in the neon spraypaint of some other diablo street angel
a pink dreaded fire dancing muralist punk he romanced with his cult laminate
---propane, daily showers, trucks, in and out privledges---for two weeks in the budding city
a midwestern gypsy-to-be who wanted to find satan but needed to jump box cars instead

save yourself, yes save yourself first, before the martyred art
hums its familiar back beat, backtrack aint-got-no-one blues refrain

wipe away those crocodile tears before they seep and harden into everything
like the black rock city weíve barely left behind
cause we are in plutonium bay now, hunters point SF
just around the low rent corner from BM headquarters
camped in rows of time, just as before
the month long sojourn in the desert telescoping
the elements slightly closer to body
branding our constellations on headboards of flesh
like chips of paint rusting in a last chance nuclear nucleus ease
pre-gentrification offering ham sandwiches and dime bags of playa dust for working hitchhikers
where sexy women give birth to rib cages, dance to the clatter of air compressors
where men eke existence out of plasma, battle the stock puppets of each others ego
an infinite piece orchestra of post human instruments
humidifying the alkaline-tinged dragon tease, love please respect
that holds art together amidst the condo-threatened pompas and poplar bowing in the wind


yet another poem to my father

your silence still sits within me
not like a park bench at dawn
or the redwood patch behind my house
its needle lined path flanked by naked ladies
their pink and sleepy perfume
reaching for my knees
as I disappear into thick light
instead your silence sits within
the burrow of my stomach
a stark cavity begging to make choices
Iíve learned to avoid
the unsettled gaze of a boyfriend
with your distance in his eyes
planting his love inside me
as I plan my escape

but I can never escape you
the planks of my house
were assembled with your flesh
I chew my bottom lip
like you when I read the newspaper
I smile at fast cars
know the freedom of soaring
rudder in hand
plane tracing a circle in the sky
I even say stupid things
for the expressions they evoke
see if people are paying attention
to their heart

so when others ask
I tell them of you
of your absence
the things you did
the hate-filled wife you use
like a Doberman to protect you from yourself
it is as if Iím still trying to evoke something
thaw out my tears so I can float down
the river of fathers who revere their daughters
like Richard and his virgo girl
how he makes tea for her friends
accepts her collect calls from India
brings her to my house when she visits
asks me to help her in ways I didnít learn from you

not as often as I used to
I wonder if you still read the morning paper
sneak past the murders and sex scandals
without her watching
your black and white crime covert
as you glance at the forecast map
checking the weather 500 miles away
remembering how you once said you looked
every single day of my three years in Tokyo
feeling the rain, the humidity, the winds of change
through the pages
carried me with you
through the events of the day

Iíll tell you dad
it is cold and cloudy when I think of you
a hollow, icy chill that takes work to love


Brut Baby

when I was born
Mama says I had three chins
a Buddha belly
cheeks red as zinfandel
first and only
she says I slipped through her
like an acrobat on a slide
my cry eager, raucous
baby toes tumbling their soft round rocks
into the next river
all of me wiggling from doctor hands to hers
proud smile entering my gaze
in the one motionless moment it took
for my elbow to leap and dive
into her eye

this is why my newborn albums
are filled with shots of me without her
me sleeping in a basket of willowy arms
me laughing on the knee of homemade Capri's
me, already a circus clown with an anonymous mother
a three ringed love framed
by the delicate edges of southern vanity



sanguine months

lift me on an open current
petals of myself pooling
a crimson sky
drift away
extraneous matter
petty lists
release them
with the pistils and stamens
of every childhood
vision soaring
in the wind
take me higher
than power
king of patriarchy
queen of matriarchy
as yin yang creators
sowing diamonds
into deep blue soil

today I watched two hawks
kiting through the sun



NASA narcissi

where is she inside the astronaut suit
the travel protection insurance
that lets her boomerang out
get lassoed by some creative predator
a human comet
strap him on for power and adventure
see how far off course
she can let him take her
and still find her way back to the mothership
when the shuttle cracks

this time, southwest flight 214
destination: Dallas Love Field
purpose: save family pizza business
purported goal: begin country retreat and labor camp for artists fund
actual goal: SLOW
as in S.L.O.W---soul liberation & oracle wakeup
mission status: dangerous
eeeeeeep, eeeeeeeep, eeeeeep
warning barbara barbara barbara
warning eeeeeeep, eeeeeeeeep, eeeeeep

yeah, she knows, the whole operation sounds
a bit big hat brained at best
country artist meets city artist
at Mendocino ridge party, altitude 2000 feet
sparks fly but ambitions soar
a Cecil B. DeMille Star Trek sitcom
complete with a near year of pilot episodes
in and around San Francisco
with monumental desert faces
newspaper paparazzi, geiger counters
Hayes Street galleries, hillside gunfire
swashbuckling slips and shows of snake

now, ssssssshe'sssss a prisoner
Princess Ipanema in a Dallas pizza matriarchy
smiling at the million frozen boxes
of sausage, pepperoni, combo
that go out to Jabba's huts in trucks each week
observing barbara
listening to her lawsuits
watching her two sons duke it out
for the love of big cheese
one who stayed, made a palatial mausoleum out of life
the other who left to return as artist
cum prodigal-acquisitions-efficiency-expert toting wonder gal

yeehaw, grab your Mercedes and ride
the charge card as far as it lets you

of course, as fate would have it
the she astronaut turns out to be
a mere social humanist with pirate robinhoodisms
a sky nurse, which is to say
she prefers dutch to strings
making the outing far less glamorous
than that 80's television show with JR

you try walking into a factory at 6am
when the illegal immigrants belly up to the conveyor belt
and the crusts start cruisin'
watch your lover jump on the conveyor controls
play big god peabody with their robot hearts
you sit in an office all day
push efficiency around
mop up old miscommunications
juke the digs and jabs
of an existence impossible to please
you lay naked in bed
wide awake and alone with this poem
pizza maven and the man she abuses snoring in the next room
lover asleep in the middle of your orgasm
leaving you at the alter of this pen
forced to tell the truth
to anyone who'll listen

for a good reason, cosmically speaking
the she astronaut remembers her home planet
only the pizzanauts don't notice
her orbiting the spiral ovens
as she returns to herself, pippylongstockily exploring
the city she calls LA without culture
on Barbara's brand new, two year old red bicycle
they don't see her skipping blithely through Target
in a synthetic gorilla coat on a hunt
for striped toe socks to turn into gloves
don't see her snorting a single, lonely line of cocaine
from the mirror on the pool table
beneath the bookend oils of Earl and Wyatt
in the mayors mansion on the one and only night
---a Monday--- she went out in Dallas's Deep Ellum alone

to death does she fly



Heading Homeless

what advertisement are we in?
whose cyberclopsied vision scaffolds this culture
of pixelated pupils poking through dot windows
who posts internet cookies at the fiber-plied
Poseidon Gates of mysterious union meltdown

oh, but arenít we a willie-nillie, bush-wacked allotment of dis-inloftment
enduring the sub-urbanification of this city
mission mind hole hideouts of convergent creativity
nearly purged of their foragers
the lucky few quietly vacationing in asia on move-out funds
some praying for the benevolence of spare couches
others limping back to mom and pop
in dallas, kansas city, cincinnati
guitar and easel a heavy burden
to bear under the waiting of tables
in cities were no one wants to live

what if someday, nobody's left
to put their fingers in the dam of gentrification
nobody real holding their head high in the city of love
to the beat of the red heart
ready to crawl through the walls of despair
and leave mural tracks
nobody like you and me
to turn incommodious---as in not condo-odious---space into room
will the haves, ensconced fashionably in their four walled rooms
scrape peanuts off the floor for creation
so hungry minds---yours and mine---can eat?
Or will they count paper and watch tv?

(rearrange art and you have rat
rats arts rats arts arts rats)

our shifty artsy ratsy crafty warehouse promenade
---our western frontier, cyberalamo---
is being baked into microchips
for the roaring appetites of haute greens and jaunty fusion fashion palates
who meet for redbull & vodka South of Market
an exclusive meal plan which cultivates cavorting gastrofication
amid the institutional desecration of WE THE PEOPLE

look, there goes a silver SUV wheeling
across the red carpet madness of more NSDEQ bullshit
traveling down the pavement of blue collar sweat
to prop up the mud flap market
ticker-taping its mind tricking undertaking of Caesarís vision

look, its another white BMW
driving past the heavy shopping cart
of a street sadhu pushing on

another gold mercedes
speeding through the slumped bodies
begging for leftover zeros

look, do you see the drunks
spitting teeth at the executive alarm clock
planting their nihilistic prayers
like pomegranate seeds in persephone parking lots

will the concrete earth forever swallow
whatever knowledge the Street Sheet has for sale?


Whose Shooting Whom

last week I had a dream
it wasnít Martinís dream
the one before the nightmare
nor was I dreaming about Jeannie
tiny woman in a bottle
slave to astronaut hands
because of her magic powers

no I was dreaming different
high school kids and me, their drama teacher
running across a freshly mowed football field
under machine gun rain
red puddles pooling under my pupils
their screams becoming ravens in an apocalypse
led by a single outcast
fifteen year old messiah thrusting himself farther into an abyss
too real to startle me awake

his were the tools of the 5 oíclock news
trench coat, semi-automatic weapon, geek epitaphs of despair
yes, right there, in my sleep
the cheap thrill adrenaline tricks of the Hollywood
I refuse inside the movie house of my mind
breaking and entering like a video isle
lined with gun barrel fingers
uncle sam progeny
WE WANT YOU red and blue
pointing at me from one box to the next
recruiting me into the collective nightmare
the TV arsenal which stockpiles ordinary humans
marches us toward death between bugles of commercial interruption
every man woman child networked to a cathode ray straight jacket
potato chipped and remote controlled for consumptive contentment
a greater violence from which to view a nowhere life
via the insidious murder marathon loop
of soul sipped dreams

but nevermind the harbingers
the mirror inspirations of violent horror
what about the bystanders
thirty "at risk" high school students, country kids
self described throw aways whoíve become my friends
what about this afternoon, wide awake me
driving ten of these young friends over mountain road
after a radio interview where we talked of making art from broken trust
of the much needed psychological services being cut
of them, the latinos, the jines, the white trash
already being taught that the world isnít theirs to conquer
what about all of us as the van
becomes silent for the first time in an hour
nothing but breath and engine as the newscaster announces
another intrusion, too much like my dream
another kid blowing holes in the fabric of high school life
of skin and organs
gentle fibers of light
turning technicolor
ripping apart the butterfly cocoon
too soon
too soon


ow wow tao

donít give me yesterday nailed to a cross
or some bitter fruit sideshow opera
trite melodramatic minutia of past lost lover tale
refine this awareness to the admitted distrust of an eyelid
the nose flick of a gaze
let every gesture, glance, flinch
be an offering of truth, of presence
the scar of vulnerability worn straight across
a face open to caress
before succumbing to anonymous assimilation
folded and planted like another mirror
in the mindfield of two-dimensional memory matter

blue clouded clown pants dangle from rainbow suspenders
like a bridge uniting sky and cartwheel
red and white stripped smiles worn through open toed shoes
as they tap their shinny sing-a-long song on down the sidewalk
to a backbeat chorus of "good afternoon", "go baby", "yeah, you got it"
the groove a secret to no one in particular
when mama embraces her everyday stage
accepts each bus stop as a cow palace
every queue an opportunity to thrill herself
amid the eye turn merry go round of lookers
the entire crew in the bleachers together
playing twister on the ground
coaster of funk

empty classrooms are ghosts of a hungry mind
mucn like two am highways heading home
after a long mountain of social climbing
mambo mumbo jumbo mumble calypso
casting the same, tired and cool
50s cosmopolitan drink ticket chips
into the 21st century, velvet crooners wailing
long into the casting box of amplification
all ears on the door prize
barking and trolling a game too big to replay intellectually
some things just got to be felt to be heard
the stakes have grown bigger than before
hopefully sharper


Post Millenium I, Earth

two comma zero zero zero
the Bohemian Grove magician nearly rented a space shuttle
champagne flutes almost clanked high above six triennial masses
their imaginary sonic boom toasting dateline hoppers
lotus sitters assembled in fairy rings
beside Fijian taro farmers
incense prayers wrapping long, thin fingers
of six packs and sequins
while the prepared huddled around radios
listening for disaster
Art Bell salivating on cue
and still fallen apple gathers fruit flies in Times Square

everywhere people drank and danced for cover
small change hoarded, dollar bills stuffed
in PVC pipe, buried if there was dirt
(mattresses were for the last Armageddon)
apartments, garages, trunks heavy
with preservative-brushed eggs, beans, rice
a retailerís paradise
and still fallen apple gathers fruit flies in Times Square

two comma zero zero zero
it felt like Dick Clarkís Rockiní Eve
October, when the producers gathered
the pretty young girls and boys
dressed them up in silver hats and heels
paid them to shout Happy New Year on three
smile for the cameras
untouched by Thanksgiving, Christmas
that mourning for the twenty-first century
was sport, a Mahabarata monopoly in the back of an SUV
the FDIC watching CNN film it for microsoft
life hasnít gone now here
cause banks, stock markets, sewage treatment systems
presidential races, fiber optic cables
weapons arsenals, dams, missing trees
havenít gone anywhere
our timeless disease so arrogant
it failed mass millennial suicide

but always thereís the few
the self-chosen not many
whose gravity begets levity
bones on earth
ribbons of mycelia caressing skin soil
salmon threading the silted rivers
planting rows of hope
non gmo corn grilling on the fire

listen, can you hear the free
we are laughing
this game of numbers already won
we are unpaved, twists and valleys away
from the marketers, the mavens, the money
we know the millennium starts this year
when the calendar turns to one
the zero year over
a world saved
from Y2K by life.calm


Pain of Assumption

I want immunity
from the pain of assumption
a free love to wear feathers
leave nakedness to the light
of self-possessed wings
not collapsed, but full
flying under the weight of no projection
devoid of preachy assumptions
sentencing me to the past
a past I speak of
accept willingly
only to be corrupted by unquenched desire
I want love
I have love
I am love
the wellspring is always full
only judgment dries


highway one

winding north, wrapped in wind and fog
wishing both, either something
could mend the cleave in the ground
everywhere footsteps dare travel
so many on the move now
(or glued to their TVs)
awaiting a geographical sentence
forecast in flapping flags

each direction fortified
by impenetrable double yellow
and 800 billion barrels of righteousness
driving toward each other at countless civilians per hour
the ordinary human caught
in the headlights of holy imperialist soma
drunk in a media spin as common
as the dirt covering Kennedy's grave

my old car pulls to the side of the road
someone reaches down
turns off the ignition
silence and surroundings lost in streaming mind
till an orange tabby leaps
through the open window and nestles into my lap
her kneading paws demanding love
I look up and out, see a field of tombstones
rising above pink goblets
the ripe, deadly sweet belladonnas of September
offering a 911 reprieve
we will all die

I open the door and step onto the road

a dust-caked 4x4 blows past
stars and strips as big as the truck bed
rising from the roof
a Subaru station wagon
with a fish on its license plate frame
passes from the other direction
"bomb them and let God decide"
finger scrawled on the dirty back hatch
does that include you, I wonder
as the all too ubiquitous red, white and blue
suddenly reveals itself as a freedom lover
nailed to a cross
its message emaciated
martyred and distorted for power and control

a raptor soars overhead
in its wings I hear the revolutionary hymn
of Betsy Ross beckoning from behind gray granite
needle and thread defiant
her hand-wrought patriotism burning at her side
we can make a new one
she says through the wind

across the road
a cow flaps its tail
and I begin to sew




moon tribe


stories drift into rippled reflection

as the Liberian moon surfaces just this side of sunset

weeks of coaxing exploding into communal expression

drums gathered on sacred sand ashes

fire licking, spiting a center of cherry golds

heating the naked feet of you and I and we

twined in ancient snake coil

unwound monthly like the wax and wane

of iridescent breath mirrored against light night sky

penciled white contour circling, joining eye and orb

as silver waves rise and fall

rise and fall

rise and fall with hands joined in sound

and women voices reaching deep into the earth

like underground rivers of sight

where rock echoes reveal

the empty vessel of truth

silent earth walker whisper


the future is here

healing is now


the lost world has ended

it can never be found the same again

life is forever

the hallway follows a spiraled corridor

past time and tales

winds and twists in infinite art cycles

creation the only constant

in this age of destruction


we are the children of the sky

found at last amid a graveyard of tree bones

returning to land after lifetimes at sea

Neptunesís gates thrust open

by whale tridents of primordial pitch

calling us up from the bottom of ourselves

up from the bottom

from ourselves into our Self

one, the collective

unanimous tone of reason

vibrating its taste

through blue jaws

teeth baring stars

tongue silently cupped

around the moon



Michael Wish


you were a voice of reason

my 16-year-old mind hungry

for what you wanted to show me

the world was yours

you said it could be mine too

no longer me alone with everybody

or you with everybody and alone

together we got on our knees

touched the grass reaching

through the cracks

to live again


you were the sophisticated one, traveled

gobbling Hollywood and itís films

video camera and tripod with you always

as you interviewed, poked

excavated truth whether tape rolled or not

people ducking into themselves

to find you on the inside smiling

laughing back at them, reminding

that there is no place to hide


although sometimes we hid in there together

during lunch break, 7th period, after school

at football and basketball games

we retreated into a wide swirling pool

where we found ourselves

lost ourselves, emerged again

only to discover some new crevice

waiting to be opened and explored


where are you now as I explore myself

put on the scratchy Walking On the Moon

still with me, like you,

from that Christmas when you gave me fourÝ

Police albums in a red box

said I needed to listen to the poetry

think about the world

as you went out and learned about whiskey

part of film school research, you said

the fast life


Sometimes when I dream, I feel your hands

like an empty screen on my stomach

the movie rolling with deep, black space

the stars of your young stubble

against my check

loud, laughing voice in my ear

shaking my heart


Then I awake, remember the day

the day after you drove off

that onramp

70 miles an hour the Police calculated

from the skid marks

you flying through the night air

like a jaguar hunting its prey

not to be found till morning

everyone elseís mourning

eyes black and blue, limbs swollen

broken glass and red everywhere

whiskey still in your veins


you drove out of my life

left me to this free way


I still cry

for the freedom

I found

without you


Mississippi Set, New Orleans 2003

Give me a body
a current that breathes sunshine
fills the people membrane
with golden eye drops
calm trust curving through
full and empty spaces

all the way to the salty corners
where chairs and tables push against red walls
holding up the careful
the planners, the schemers, the watchers
wordlessly nodding toward a stage
a front center microphone stage
with amps and pops and lights and grown-up children
without sunglasses saying
look-this-way follow-my-eyes do-ya-see-its-all-up

a love resolved to love
guiding the muddle masses to the muddy river
which isn't really dirty, just churned up
mishmashed up with inside feelings
ineffable people thoughts yearning to be seen
even though they can't be seen
can't find their way to the surface, not yet
because a mile down darkness won't let them
pull the trash out of the water, not yet

so the river turns browner, browner
keeps on smiling for the people
as it pockets the sun's hand
turns glittering and pale and prisming on the surface
lets its center of America flow
go and go and go
cutting this divided culture in two
keeping each half for itself
knowing we must be united again

and we will
whenever the tide is immersed in sound
breathing vast in a body
and the sun is saying yes yes please
from the other side of the earth
because the night faithful listen
know the sun is their greatest fan

so they play to the stars
keep stirring the people with music
and the brown looks beautiful because it is
and all the colors dance in spiral math
and the river sparkles with body breathing sunshine
and the sky laughs so hard the sun says
yes yes please
till the river is again covered in sunrise
and swirls of gold emerge in hymns of blue
as brown and white and red and yellow
get down in exhale
and the keys and drums and horns and strings inhale
and the sky and the river and the sun and the body
are breathing with them

Bush is not my president

yes I am American
but to me
a bush is low growing
something to cut back
like scotch broom or chaparral
it is the mound of hair
erupting from my bikini line
in between my eyebrows
which may be why I prefer trees
to bushes

yet despite my love of trees
(and because of it)
I drive
I drive from coast to concrete on America's roads
I fly Pacific to Gulf to Atlantic on her airplanes
eagerly subject myself to tense airport lines
stuff my tweezers into potted plants
to avoid the M16s and camo
framing my perilous security

you could say I'm addicted to fossil fuels
and the freedom they offer
because I am
which I guess means
I support the guns prowling in the bushes
more than I'd like to
cause if I truly pledged allegiance to we the earth
and the sun
and the stars
and the people
my engine would spew French---yes French---fry stink
rather than a dark cloud of evil doer incense

but bush is not my president

it's true
I wear red and white stripes with blue
I've got a star tattooed on my belly
outside of northern California
people think my clothes are
"Hilfiger and Kline go to the front lines with Bush" wear
and smile knowingly, warmly at me on sidewalks and parking lots
initiating me to the inner sanctum of patriots
unaware that I'm fighting for democracy
from inside this flag

bush is not
and I do not shop at cosco, kmart,, compusa,
walmart, target, sam's club, price club, cost plus or ikea
not my president

Bush is not
I don't start my morning with GMO corn flakes
and Starbucks in a cup
not my president

I think the American beef council should be irradiated
for mad cow disease

I do not have a president
only friends and co-conspirators in peace

fast food franchises, Ritalin, methal bromide, government commodity trucks,
velvetta, logging interests, Hollywood, Chait Day, video games, fashion magazines, MTV
are destroying simple reason and nature's laws

I think television causes hemorrhoids
that news is a repetitive stress syndrome

say president five timesÖpresident, president, president, president, president
it becomes meaningless after a while

do you want to play golf on a fairway of perfect chemicals?

have I said this yet?
Bush is not my president

today, like everyday, I am in a sovereign state of mind
molecule dancing on a tick's pinstriped pant leg
my hand waving from a dirty political ground
to peace
please hold on


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