Undone Dishes

You ever wake up from a dream
To get a drink of water
But you’re still in the fucking dream
And then you hear your grandfather crying

What the sam hill were you thinking
I really wish you weren’t such an idiot
I can’t believe I spent my life working for you

You ever get stuck in a dream
Where you can’t move your body
And you’re screaming for relief
But it’s hissing air in your throat

And you can feel the demons breathing
Their hands and hair surrounding your neck and face
You catch a breath only when you get used to them

You ever have recurring dreams
Of your family fighting
And you can’t find a way to leave
As they scream from the porch to the street

We are the ones you owe the most, baby
You turn and run now and your dead to us
How could you miss your grandfather’s funeral

You know we don’t talk about that
When you were born, he became another man
We loved him just the way God made him


And Sagan said to Caselotti…

Where do we go from here?
I’ve been
Spinning on this blue marble
For 30 years
And it’s odd
Making the same mistakes, I’ve learned nothing from different places
Brushing the same teeth in your image while different faces look back

I’ll get
the swing
Of things
Even if
I swing forever

Where do we go from here?
We’ve been
Spinning on this blue marble
For 30 years
And it’s done
Both of us little good
We’ve been killing ourselves
To be friend we could never find
Sharpen the blade of the heart on a darkness of mind,
bring desire out of the light

We’ll get
The swing
Of things
Even while
We’re swinging for others

Ignaz Semmelweis’s Lament

In Sciens, Nemo Nocere
We, the Guides and Explorers
We, the Healers and View-changers
Our timeless assembly of Professors and Prophets

We, the Witches and Heretics 
We, the Charlatans and Truth-tellers
We stand, foot to shoulder, free of the burdens of our discoveries

From towers of magic and meaning
We guard energy as the traits The Stars chose
the words written The Ancestors willed
the meaning observed that Evolution perfects
All that is held sacred and empirical by our connections of carbon
Our voices and patterns protect

We are the Keepers of galleries of physics and oceans of feelings,
Conjurers of invisible connections and infinite vacuums,
Defenders of ways won with infinite suffering
Meaning is matter and Animism is Atoms
From Self to Soul, we pledge to harm none

We know the Ways of not dying by battle or perspective
Death is a pioneer and we travel by his cairns,
We defined the Cancer cells and Charon, 
Coins in our pockets in coats of white
Our hands are the ones that warm the cold instruments
That excise demons and decay 

We receive voices and infants from nothing and nowhere
Phantom Limb Holders and Bad News Bringers
Throughout time and gravity and space
We care for the ways of remembering

Stories of all living things in romantic taxonomies
Perspectives that change our velocity
Nuances between axons and bonfire tales
For generations to agree upon

That Karma is neither created or destroyed
That Nothing is a solid without the spirit
That water was spirit, and became lizard and ape
And That there is no greater Evil than not washing your hands

How to Quit Your Job and Enjoy It

Before I was barreling through the tunnel
tighter, faster, more death and friction
fear and fear and fear
flying past the flashing lights and screaming sirens
hyper focused on every shot, evading every riposte
the voices of power droning in my earpiece
“Abandon Ship”
“Stay the Course”
“It’s a Trap”
“Don’t mess this fucking shot up or we’ll all be homeless”

After I was dancing through the gallery
lighter, thoughtful, more time and more inertia
pain and pain and pain
wandering past the weeping faces and suspicious eyes
Caressing every line of the pallid faces with my swelling heart
Crushing against each corner, the edges of the oil paint pull my tissues
ripping, gushing and spilling until you can’t tell the difference
between my eyes under the blood or theirs beneath the paint

I keep having the same daydreams

Misunderstanding the future
forgo your disbelief in the possibility of eating the pie
Do not tempt her with any farthing-like sensibility
Get over yourself, you confused soul.

Authenticity is the only thing that sells anymore
There’s not even a market for picking a side
Convince me I’m right to sell me more shoes
For every shoe you sell, one goes to a fish in need

Video games are the eternal resonances of realities’ mirrors
Assuring us that control isn’t the only thing that separates us from animals

Light a journal on fire and its ideas exist in the air where they’ve been the whole time
in the air with the rest of the Internet

My ears are far too big and no one listens to me

Turtles dreaming about exploring the desert in a good pair of slacks
Wandering pre-determined paths like a wizard who burns his dirty laundry with magic.

Cauldrons boil over when you ignore their feelings
but when watched closely evade even the slightest resemblance of domestication.

A hornet isn’t yellow with black stripes, its a yellow wolf in black sheep’s clothing.

Uselessness assumes that utility is a feature of experience
when experience is a feature of utility.

Anything greater than humanity is bound to treat your plans
like a rooster regarding the theory of relativity.

Lady Lazarus Takes a Walk

Sylvia Plath does Wislawa Szymborska’s “Lazarus Takes a Walk”

Lady Lazarus Takes a Walk

The poet has died three times now.
After the first death, she was taught to die as an artist does.
After the second,  she learned how to pare her eye pits.
After the third, they even taught her to write,
Propped up by a sturdy Holocaust metaphor:
Let’s take a little walk, shall we, Miss?

The peanut-crunching crowd shoves in to see her following the accident
and yet – will wonders never cease – she’s come so far:
grave cave, skin skull, Jew Nazi, hurt write

One year in every ten, madam?
Nein, says the poet
At least she bleeds
for it was three

Hurt, mud, sit, seashell
But at the garden’s edge, that old cat
neither gold nor bloody
chased away nine times now
Her Herr Doktor, Or so she scrawls – who knows.

She wants to go to Him. Another miracle.
What a shame. She was so close that time.

A Madman with a Box Describes His Companion by Means of Shades of Time

At times, my lover is an artist who doesn’t grasp she is an artist
She is abstruse
and indistinct
but to me, at times, she is concrete

At eras, she is the lone sunflower,
reaching past the others,
arching in the dusk,
yellow, black, purple, and blue

At epochs, she is a Gemini,
an Aries, and a Libra
a Capricorn by nature
yet a Leo by appeal

At spells, she is a neo-pagan witch
the black lace adorning a Bay area bar
tattooed like perdition
a pale, moonlight hand serving straight whiskey to a man
with a scar across his eye
and a naked lady on his neck

At stretches, she is a model in a black and white sweater
in a crimped, VOGUE page
near a white coffee cup
filled with beige cappuccino
on a white linen sheet

At stints, she is a little girl in a field of irises
still for a moment, lost in Kentucky
she will return to her endless procession momentarily

At periods, my lover is a minimalist painting of two people kissing
genderless, sexual, provocative, risqué
yet impersonal

At intervals, she is a student in a café,
pen in her mouth,
legs crossed,
hair up,
glasses at the edge of her nose,
her gentle, white hand resting on the edge of a laptop

At phases, she is in control of everything except her ability to love.
except to let her eyes talk and restrain her words
except to slit her wrist for a vampire
accept apparently

At moments, she is a girl resting her cheek against pastel foliage
staring with unconsciousness
pale yet feverish yet stunning

At stages, she is a glass and brass chandelier
hanging above a black velvet couch
in a room with no walls in it lacking
in old, delicately scented books and macabre, peculiar curiosities

At occasions, she is the groupie with no boundaries
staring up at the stage in her denim jacket
angling her face in the limelight
so that her eyes and hair look
syrupy and ravening

At instances, she is a ragamuffin,
resting her sunburned face against my shoulder
devoid of the burdens of possession or belonging
sitting in front of a gas station
in boots and dirty clothes

At days, my lover is the purple and green knolls
bending, reaching, stretching
shrouded in mists, caressing the rice fields
she shelters the pagodas in a little town in Japan from the rising sun

At seasons, she is a brunette on a boardwalk in blue jeans and a white t-shirt
no fishing pole, no cotton candy, no sunglasses, no man
exposed and smiling
like Mona Lisa

At seconds, my lover is the aurora,
detached and buoyant,
turquoise and cerulean,
an image of the image of the sun
gliding like stardust does
behind the white alps of Alaska

At minutes, she is a match
in a dark room
stretched before kerosene
above newspaper
and swaying like a drunken ballerina

At hours, she is a queen
strategically striding through her bastion
up stairs adorned with wooden thatching and golden cupids
She pauses often
to sigh and to stare up
at the stories that belief and time have painted
above and before her

At months, she is a cosplay geek
grinning like Dante and laughing like Marceline
buying and consuming
yet always aware of the mandatory metaphor she represents

At counts, she is a double entendre
meaning what she says
and saying what she means
having an old friend for dinner
she’s figuratively a man-eater

At years, she is a bohemian adolescent
leaning against the green wood of the storefront
flicking her ashes on the ground
one foot forward, the other back
sipping coffee and cream black
with “The Bell Jar” in her hand

At tempi, she is Suzy Parker in Paris
O’Keefe in the desert
Hepburn in New York
yet Stevie Nicks dancing with a bonfire

At schedules, she is the woman in the subway
the one with the red lipstick
the one with the black pencil skirt
staring out of the window with wet eyes
and perfect mascara
suspending her briefcase with one finger

And quite often, she thinks “beautiful” is a lazy way to describe her assets
so like a A Madman with a Box
I am counting the times
she is, she was and will be
So that at any moment,
she remembers
she is everything
to me

Pool Sticks and Cigarette Burns

I hold my breath when I kiss you
Cause you taste like the morning after
and in your smile there’s a lie
that makes me wince when I hear your laughter
What did they do to you?
Where is your middle?
Where is your end?
What did they take from you?
Were you their lover?
or were you their friend?
Can’t sleep in your bed?

Confess all night my dear
I’ve been deaf since I shot my gun at the floor
Hold your chin up, girl
I wanted those eyes since you walked in the bar
Oh what a night for our lips to part
and speak
cause we’re too drunk to sleep

I can’t kiss you when you kiss me
cause I think of those morning afters
and in my mind, there’s a lie
that makes me think kissing doesn’t matter
What did they do to you?
Where is your middle?
Where is your end?
What did they take from you?
Were you their lover?
or were you their friend?
Did they sleep in your bed?
In your head?
in the end?

Confess all night my dear
I’ve been deaf since I shot my gun at the floor
Hold your chin up, girl
Oh I’ve wanted those eyes since you walked in the bar
I want to be light
oh I want to be warm
Oh I want to be light
oh I want to be warm
and sleep
cause we’re too drunk to dream

After You, Mr. Ghost

Go on and take on all our dreams
I’ll be on tour and you can’t leave
hold up the kids with just two strings
and try to breathe

We had alot when we were young
but we traded the water in for rum
married the pirates that sold us some
but we never thought of sails

Give the ghost
a little room for up
stop dragging in the guilt like a cat drags in the day
let’s give up
being the steady ones
the weight of love never gives way to holding up your end
don’t mention it
I don’t need a thing but you
we find its hard to
be someone we know
yet we never knew

I held your hand when we were friends
we sat in the shower to hide from him
peeked through the blinds every time when
a car drove by

We drive as far as we can think
before the signal gets too weak
a bird in a cage always sings
unless her baby’s crying