Jesus Christ, it’s been so long since I’ve posted or written anything. I’ve been really busy with life lately, but will throw some new stuff up here soon. Here are three really old poems in the meantime from a chapbook I wrote called “An Addict’s Prayer Book.”


Nascent
One more night soaked
in this sweaty, humid
emotional whirlwind
beckons me from my
gargoyle’s roost
to descend on the moonstruck
plateau build for me
by the labors of
devotional love–
one more night to last
my life away
is all I ask.


Clamor Song
Mister Machine churns
his way through darkness
every night of his life.
He has his alibis;
they keep him chaste and clean
and forgotten along with the wayside
trash of libido and religion.Mister Machine works in a world
that can
 never
   forgive.
This does not dishearten
rather hardening his heart to
the cruel excuses uttered by everyone
around him.
He continues
churning like an industrial Beethoven
deaf to his workings
a masterpiece in himself.
Mister Machine wonders to himself
in his factory night
with the quarter-silver moon
and pisshole stars.
Wonders about everything
and nothing at all
focused repetition of his
cause forces him to believe in
no-emergency-exit life
built up of endless doors
leading to dead ends.
Mister Machine plugs
a bullet in his head,
scratches a knife along his wrist
and finally,
learns the truth.


 

Layers
The music of apartment complexes;
ringing phones, slamming doors,
screaming children,
bass from below the stairs,
shouting heard outside the window
and all languages spoken through
vents and grates
mixing to form an unrecognizable
mesh of human experience.
I imagine every heartbeat
sounding in time
like a drum at
60 beats per minute.
Echoing through the air ducts
to the stairwell.
Some stray laughter explodes somewhere
in the building,then dies as abruptly as it began.
Listening to this as I sit
on the stairs at the top floor
I cam connected to every sound
and one with every heart.
Resounding resplendence with
every solemn chord struck
by a television set blaring
the six’o’clock news
and the American desire of
appliances cycling away;
so ambient and innocuous,
it requires me to hold my
breath to hear it.
The music of life enclosed in
claustrophobic serenity,
of a box with hundreds of tiny
boxes inside of it
sets me up for the flow
of energy and transubstantiation
to become
another layer on the mix.

 

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Aside

Emotional Vacancy

there’s a hotel sitting on the corner
in a city rarely accessible
with a giant sign flickerflashing
neon bulbs burst, broken, busted
but still broadcasting “emotional vacancy.”
this is certainly something that needn’t be advertised.
everyone knows.

we check-in out of convenience
and stay for the peace and quiet.

last night I dreamt I was a river
crashing and thundering through rocks
of a particularly phallic caliber.
metaphorical, clearly.
I’m sure my shrink would say it’s an
unresolved
issue.

my entire generation is an unresolved issue.

our parents had to deal with
drunks, the simple brutality of abuse
and in return we were given drug addicts
hustlers, welfare queens and the introduction
of the cycle of abuse as children,
which is sort of like a bicycle
in that you don’t forget how to ride it out.

that river I was snaked its way through streets and avenues
past the rocks and rapids of misspent youth
and poured down through cracks in pavement
until it burst into the parking lot
(cracked and worn like it was)
of that hotel with its scab colored sign.

and as I found the way, rushing down
into the empty faded boulevard
I saw the sign flicker once more
–EMOTIONAL VACANCY– 
then gutter and die.

maybe there’s hope 
for us
yet.

Oklahoma

there was a fire in my belly like bloody gold
the day Oklahoma receded into memory
like barbed wire to soldiers and prisoners both
like flaming whips of fire to speed me on
with Saturn as my guide –
and the moon shining overhead like a bloated queen
culling the sky and calling me through
burning tiny towns away in my wake
I traveled through desert
shrub
mountain
vale.
My boots moved one thousand miles from
chill to heat to chill again
as I lay my head in a mountain town
while the singer on the radio keeps singing-
“am I strong enough to start again?
all will be forgiven.”
And I sing along with perfect cadence
to serenade that bitter, bloated queen
to chase the better one that waits for me.

I hate you, Oklahoma.
I hate you for the friends you took from me
for the mentor that died in your arms
for the truth that I wanted to find
at the bottom of every whiskey bottle
but instead found vomit and piss as my bedsheets
head aching like a freight train rumbling through –
ribs aching like I fought a hundred men –
and I hate you for the pills –
all that valium, vicodin, xanax, oxycodin and worse.
But I love you, Oklahoma.
For the family you gave me unthinking
the ones you didn’t take away
that showed me a better way than a revolver
pressed straight above my ear
to paint the wall Navajo orange.
Am I strong enough to start again?
All will be forgiven.
I’ll sing it and believe it –

Because when that family who bears you
and the family you choose later
lifts you up to the sky and pushes you on
to better things
life isn’t going to let me down again.

Post-Ictal Blues

I’d sleep but I can’t sleep.
Racing thoughts ache to wrench me
from restful slumber
from dreams of
…what?
Probably best that I don’t remember.
If I took my Xanax could I sleep?
If I took my Xanax…
If I, if I, if I,
“Why do you think you had a seizure?”
I don’t know, Doc.
Probably because you loaded me up
with enough tramadol to
kill
a
horse.

Or at least tranquilize one.
After all – that’s what it’s used for. Right? Right.
So, maybe you should feel like
your body is on fire
every fucking day.
Or you can’t think of one thing without
thinking
that same thought over and over and over and over and over.
Let’s trade for a day.
Then you might give me something
so I can go back to sleep.

Bukowski said:
“waiting is depression. We spend our lives waiting
to sleep, waiting to wake up
waiting to eat and then eat again.”
Well, Chuck. My body sings that intrinsic.
Because every night
from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.,
I’m waiting to sleep
and from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m,
I’m waiting to wake back up;
it would be rest if I could
feel it.

At least when I was drinking
I never had this problem.
It was always the morning after
that caused the most trouble.
I’ve decided that this is God’s way
of telling me that I need to get back on the bottle;
it’s a good thing I never
believed in God.

Right?

Right.

Addiction Dirge

Summer has closed her eyes
and Autumn’s drawn a wicked scar
across her throat and left me
to count five hundred days
with five hundred pictures to show my progress
or lack thereof.

The building collapses, the heat shakes the windows
as Winter dreams herself into a seizure coma
that rattles every glass in every cabinet
built inside of the head of every god
wrapped up in man-made packaging
and sold on the covers of magazines
while I count away five hundred days
times sixty divided by every time
that dark voice comes to sing inside my head.

Where are you going, what are you doing
who are you, what will you say next
and the whisper comes fast and slow and
there’s no day left to count.
Every day turns to night that bypasses
the slow decline of Winter into Spring
with bloodloss and a lack of inspiration
that doesn’t dwindle past the bleak desperate
concocted careful lies that live behind my eyes.

As I count each picture of every day
five hundred times in shadow withdrawal
speechless and breathless and timeless
and I run with my hands bound behind my back
and my legs tethered close together
my skin a Pollock, my face a Rembrandt smile
that never seems to fall off the face of
every angel and every angle I’ve ever cut
to reach the destination that leads to ruin
discarded packs of cigarettes and empty bottles
five hundred days wasted on five hundred
pills broken down to bear me to
five hundred and one.

Sediment

Never again but always ever is never enough.
There’s three crosses in a pattern on the wall
broken up by empty space and
in that space between are sixteen pieces
of sixteen stars
naked and cold and frostbitten.
It hasn’t lasted a day since August
came and went, came and went.
Heads or tails drove me west and east and west again
which brought me down a broken highway
bloodless and calm
with the rest of myself scattered to the winds —
cherry on a cigarette.
Each nightmare driven deeper like a passage
long since left alone to filter
and burn like scraps of paper caught in a marching breeze.
In a symphony of empty space
calls the clarion wild clarity that escapes
each quickened vein that pulses
with both agony and ecstasy
through sickness and in health
till death makes me part.

Aside

Expectations

The tide rose
and was a bloated harvest moon.
It swept in to push and ebb
at the quiet rock
seeking to etch its way in
inch by inch
foot by foot
until it dug a hole so deep
that it could live inside;
larva eating away
at the walls
that strained and struggled
to ignore the tide
and carry on.

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