Thursday, February 15, 2018

Silver Orchids

for Pamela

Waking in the night
I can hear you
& it's a warm breeze
like the 7 sleepers of Ephesus
an offshore breeze
bending sea-green eucalyptus
& my heart
decked out w/palm branches
& wind chimes
muscle memories
& orchids
rare orchids
shining like silver
hit w/sunlight
but only when you let me see them
in your eyes


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fake Blonde in Red

A wind opens the door
the beach at Topanga
Mount Tamalpais drifting in the fog
the road to Dakar

It's the cool wind
coming in off the ocean
at dusk
the hills are on fire
I'm thirsty
this is an interpretive dance

O by the silvery light of tide pools
I often think of the
tear-stained pavement
of Todos Santos
         Hawaiian Mythology
                  & all the names that are
                           crossed out in your address book

                                    whoever you are this time

& so tumbling down the Odessa steps
           filmed in black & white
your pearls, your Mexican silver, your troubled past
assuming a pale shade of
                                variegated turquoise

but like alleyways 
         near the beach
                  held in the grip of
                           a sunset aura

the burgundy nail polish
was a dead giveaway

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Organic Traffic

I guess I should remember the
name of the photo-engraving that
hung on the wall there
next to the door
& the way the light came at it

Was it raining?

It was autumn, briefly,
I could feel it in the light
but preempted by winter too soon
carefully set at a certain angle slant
among bird shadows in the cypress grove

I wrote the song they sing

Monday, January 1, 2018

Exit Velocity

      Guarded secrets & lug wrenches await
            like the memory of summer rain

"This must be the place where St. Francis tamed the wolves"

                        It doesn't matter
                                as long as you
                                        stick the landing

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Orient Express

A wind rattles thru the palm trees
making a sound like a seagull
suffering from sleep apnea

((( the provisional )))

"One more sip & this half full cup of
coffee will be half empty..."

Meanwhile the marine layer flattens out
as light & shadow trade places

You look for the "tell" in the poet's eyes
having flunked the personality test
as well as the re-enactment staged on the
wrong side of the beach just before the fog
rolled in


She was reciting something she lifted
from a mad-libs version of the King James bible
& I was digging my way to China w/a plastic spoon

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Zulu as Kono, or The Parable of the Stolen Pipe Truck

Alternate possibilities like
       sunset in a parallel universe
              filthy with your fingerprints

Reasonable Doubt
1. The sky was the color of beach pavement
2. Descriptions should always be misleading

Catch & Release
If I was talking to you
I wouldn't have to say a thing

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Water on Mars

I swore I heard Sweet Jane's kid sister
calling the little red rooster
& the foam
rushing up across the sand
was like a game of Chinese whispers

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Surfing by Candlelight

I tripped over my first bloody nose
& landed here
                       57 years later
beneath a dark sky getting darker
         clabbering up to rain

& I played that clawhammer ukulele 
like a champ
         just so you'd know what it felt like
confessing to crimes I knew
nothing about

It was late summer on the coast
& you were like a brain surgeon
         smuggling a pipe bomb
                  into my most cherished memories

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Steel Pier Freeze-Out

Nothing left now but the
soft caress of a breeze
edging ahead of the fog
rising off the beach

a kind of psychosomatic bait & switch
within the confines of our souls
each to the other

& if my heart is like a 
hand grenade exploding in a field of grass skirts
it's just what some call love

out there beneath the swaying
fortune palms

& following the roach of "whatever"
a late summer bend in the sky might be
just the thing we need to
reverse engineer the ocean haze

but gnawing on a beer can
one step closer to amazement

with that number 4 expression on your face
& those empty swimming pool eyes
like nine pound shadows