Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Love Elvis

I like Elvis.
Elvis is cool.
Even when
he played Las Vegas
in those silly jumpsuits
and speed sweat
flinging upper body judo swipes.
I love Elvis.
His voice was
made for tape echo,
hiccuping in between
upright bass notes
and Scotty Moore's
flatwound Gibson.
I always think about Elvis.
He loved Gospel music
and wound up
in rock and roll,
and wound up
in the army,
and wound up
in the movies,
and wound up
wound up.
What it was he wanted
wasn't probably
what he expected.
Philip K. Dick said
"Whom the gods notice
they destroy."
They destroyed Elivs.
We destroyed Elivs.
Elvis destroyed Elvis.
I like Elvis.
I like watching
my favorite part
of the movie
That's the Way It Is
where Elvis dons reading glasses
onstage at the Sands,
stares at an envelope
and says
"B.J. Thomas has written a song,
I don't particularly like it..."
and then phones it in.
At some point
Elvis decided
to profit off the line of credit
banked on his image
instead of
the act of creation.
I love Elvis.
I love America.
I think about them
all the time
until the difference
becomes unknown to me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On Highway 2

Sunday morning following the big Georgia loss, The Girl and I are sitting in Voula's on Northlake. We're both making admirable progress through our Bailout Scrambles and drinking steaming hot coffee in the glow of the low hanging sun. As we watch the kick-off of the Packers/Bucs game, it comes upon us; we're gonna get out of town. We're gonna jump into Truck-Truck #2 and head up to the pass. The sky blue sky and autumn's yellow stone are just too inviting to be inside. We head up to Highway 2 going east into the North Cascades and in less than a half hour we're rolling through canopies of stained glass leaves illuminated by streaming sunlight. There are brilliant reds nestled in stands of cottonwood and big leaf maple. Over the top of Steven's Pass (I don't know Steven, but it's a nice pass) and a couple tens of miles, we roll into the counterfeit, bavarian hamlet of Leavenworth. We must have hit town as it puts on it's ooom, pah pah and sausage for Oktoberfest. The whole tourist trap was wall to wall lederhosen, helgas, tuba farts and sausage. We jumped right in and had ourselves some brats and a beer. The Girl was radiant and happy in the mountain sun, eating ice cream while the brass band played yet another version of 'roll out the barrel'. I looked at her pretty face, so serene and happy and then looked around the bandstand at all the people and smiled.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ain't It Fun?

Last night

i was hunted down

in my sleep 

by the governor’s 



they looked 

and spoke

like the 

T-Bird chorus


the auto shop scene

in the movie


P -hips and I 

were cracking wise

in the Pioneer 

log cabin



that the chief lawmaker

was sitting 

a row down

and three to the right.

When she said

“take them out”

I didn’t think she meant

Brown Shirt style

until they smashed

P-hips’ pate 


a Jack-o-lantern


I jumped in 

the unlocked hook

and ladder

and legged it

down Ninety-Nine

heading for 

away from there.

They had that 

loud garbage truck

from my previous nightmares

covered in stygian grime

packed with dead souls

and a V-12 

from a Junkers 88.

They forced me into

oncoming traffic

and I saw 

scores of drivers

watch their life

flash before my eyes.

The T-Bird Garbage men

mocked me

on Citzen’s Band

and bands of policeman

blocked the road ahead.

They dumped dish soap

all over the asphalt

and my wheels 

no longer gained purchase.

Right at that moment

I jumped out of the cab

thinking about 

going out swinging

Only to find myself

staring at a slot car 

fire truck 

floating in soap suds.

Standing next to me

is a pomade ‘do

in leather 

saying “Ain’t it Fun?”

Ain't it Fun? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Everything Was An Exclamation

Long years ago that seem short to me, we lived on the heights overlooking the meanders of the Columbia River. I walked down the hill every day past the barbed wire fence that acted as my safety net on my first Western Flyer test flight. It took four years, three grades and earned trust to walk the short cut through the farmer’s field and tree’s forest to Francis Marion Elementary. When I told my best friend, David Palmer that Francis Marion was the Swamp Fox, he told me no girls ever fought in the Revolutionary war. “What about Molly Pitcher Molly?” I asked. He told me that was a man’s name but that Francis was definitely not. We saw a mule deer one September morning while cutting through the tree’s forest to school. It bolted away from us in springy leaps like a four legged pogo stick on the pine needled ground. Locomotive clouds of steam left an ellipsis dissipating in front of our stunned expressions. “That was bigfoot, man!!!” David stamped out in shouts of words and flurry of baseball t-shirt arms. “That was bigfoot and we saw him… and here’s the track!!!” He pointed to a barren spot on the short cut trail and frantically commanded me to gather branches and weeds to hide the footprint. “We’ll come back after school and make a cast!!” When David got excited about something, he would talk really fast and move his arms about like he was making a snow angel in the air. I always imagined he was casting a net to draw you into his new thing, his new obsession. “We’ve got to start a bigfoot club and try to catch him!” He exclaimed. Everything was an exclamation with David Palmer. At that instant, I knew that the UFO club was taken off chalkboard.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freedom to Fail

Welcome back
the boom's bust
reach for the sky.
The bourgeois highwaymen
mounted up 
and rode disorder
riot through 
the leveraged streets
with a balance sheet.
They put a gun
in the mouth of mayor
and purloined absolution.
See shell games 
and see shells whistle
at the front 
where capital 
goes over the top
in fixed bayonet assault
at labor.
Compounded interests
withered the holdings
and held out 
the collection plate.
The state 
breaks like a wave
and brings tides 
of liquidity 
to the shores 
of these trusts.
Crises of consumption
and speculation
and absurdity
are capitalism's comet.
Marketed freedom 
and the apocrypha 
of private property
brings with it
the freedom to fail.

Friday, September 19, 2008

You Just Keep Me Hanging On...


What is it?
All over this everywhere
comes a blinding glare
that doesn't come
from the sun.
In my journey
from here to there,
from her to him
and all points
in me 'tween,
my field of vision
is brim-filled with frown.
What is it?
A certain itch
buried deep
in the shallow creases
of my increasingly
worried brain
spins like
a dust devil
pulling rocks skyward
into the Sonoran sky
to splash them down
on unblinking winshields.
I wet the bed
of roses
we were growing
for our turn on the track?
The magnet pull
of the mirror
is growing.
Could it be
this haircut?
This expression?
Could it be me?
Is this why
Syd turned into Roger?
Greta dissolved into Harriet?
What is it?
Everyonething painted frown.
My steps quicken
and I keep thinking
of a certain badger hole
deep in the twisted thorns
of a dark forest.
I'm not gonna run
I'm just gonna try
to smile
and mean it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Summer's Empty Shaker

the cinema box office queue
in the jack-o-lantern sky
I saw the crow highway.
They stretched across
the whole of the firmament,
bearing south
winged grains of black pepper
spilling out into the wind
from summer's empty shaker.
The migration
progressed hourly,
thready streams of black,
navigating airspace
in near silence.
Their passing
invokes dull spikes
of dread
in my hopeful heart.
The chutes and ladders
of time's calendar
are filled with leavings
and goodbye
but there are things
and there are those
who I hold
and I would dissolve
in diffuse, devastated black sparks
if they migrated
away from my aching grasp.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guitar is a Suitcase

all of the chords
seem frail
and old.
The stories
they try to tell
are fretful
and full of
tired affectation.
This ship
has navagated
its frame
to zero degrees
latitude and longitude.
The anchor vomits chain
over the mind's fo'c's'le
and it pours into the deep.
The Lawless Joe
gave me a tool
for just such circumstances
as the one
I have befallen into.
It's a small tape measure;
thin metal band spooling out
from a tiny silver casing.
Weave it through the strings
above the alnico pickup
and play out some slack.
With everything plugged in
and the guitar laying flat,
the application of e-bow
lets loose
mallard trombone flock squall
pinto violin herds of sinewed whinny.
The prayers of the animal kingdom
loosed through a fender deluxe.
After all,
a guitar is just a suitcase,
only as worthy
as the cargo it carries.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I see change
Who can
play their song
the turning
of that wheel?
The frightened
parts of me
are lanthorn
and waxing sliver
whose light
is febrile
and dim.
They are
frightened parts
whose search
to avoid
only illuminates
sandwich board falsities
that skywrite whiteout judgment
without disambiguation
of value.
The spilling darkness
only brings
one thousand hurts.
The growing parts
of me
smile in contradistinction.
It is this inevitable turning
and change constant
that can bring
and strength.
I see change
and reach for it
on the inside
to the outside.
The sky
at twilight
a torn construction paper
and the yellowing
leaving the world
unafraid to pass
unknown to history
whisper to me.

Monday, September 15, 2008


He had
Brubeck fingers,
sepia tone stained 
with nicotine 
Farfisa hum.
His voice was
soft and steady.
A pillow of winds.
he pulled out 
all of the stops,
he didn't make a fuss
or cause a scene.
He just rode 
the Binson Echorec, 
plate wave echo
on streams of B-3.
Early gray
and ever background
but his parts
breathe color
and synaptic wattage
into the skeleton
of the song.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wallingford Wurst Festival

Holy Mary 
Mother of God
slinging bratsmoke
and sauerkraut
to the brass-blat strains 
of The Seattle Civic Band
in the glare 
of the Wallingford Sun.
St. Bernard Parish 
is at its wurst.
Teenage girls 
rush the red flagged crosswalk
flamingo legged 
and shrieking
at the sight of 
cow-licked skateboard boys
from double catamaran runs.
They are received with 
stage strut hugs
and leis of shiny beads
underneath the approving wink
of evening christmas lights.
The bowels of 
the brick and mortar 
catholic school leviathan
open and reveal
a timeless auditorium
populated with tables
of ruddy faced parents
authoring landslides of laughter
in florescent light.
This time could be every time.
Older new student parents
weave through the peopled room
lugging Fender amps 
and Tama Rockstar drums
to the elementary stage.
The annual reunion 
will be baptized 
in St. Benedict lager
and raffle ticket confetti.
I take in the beer 
and I take in 
the wonder of shared joy
right down the street
mere steps away 
from my front door.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Balance and Direction

Since I started
remembering time
the dance
bull charge determination
of the running back
is the golden spike
driven through
orbital cavity,
piercing the lobed ground,
and crossing the hemispheric divide
of my awareness.
This is the arms,
heart and soul
set against time's gravity
and the mass of opposition.
Everything must be expended
in the act of preserving balance
and true direction.
Linear momentum
in cleats
staring down
resultant force.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Country Music

You know,
a country music
that didn't come
from Nashville
or better yet
(and much better)
is of no use to me.
The prophet Hicks
said it was a
round world 
the last time 
he looked.
I agree.
You know,
we've got
a country music
filled with 
bellicose couplets
peeling back the 
foreskin of our manhood
to see the scared
little member
I can't see
so stop asking me
if I can.
Banners sell things
and the things I treasure
can't be bought.
You know,
if you chant 
"rockets red glare"
enough times
intercessors will deliver.
Looks like they have.
You know,
it's largely
a small company of men
chopping out white lines
on the blue beach ball.
Each hopscotch square
gets it's own hankie to wave
at the end of its pole
and country music
that didn't come
from Nashville
or better yet
(and much better)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sloe Gin Fizzle

The frantic goose
on the short end
of the idiot's megaphone
shuffles through her 
primary school stars
and gargles,
I never read the fine print!
at the business end
an olde buoy bookworm
chews the vellum,
eschews the fat
and grows 
the grass tax.
This ain't like 
the end of World War Two
it's more like 
the Korean Conflict.
Harm's length 
is a short as the 
footnote's boot
coming at you
like Italy 
knocking Sicily 
for six
only it's gonna be
figures you owe.
it figures you owe.
The clause of recession
lurks in type as fine 
and tiny 
as a newborn's fingernail.
This new attention
to the details
ain't going down well
with the barnyard.
What the fuck?!
Said the urban
nest egg 
in white t-shirt
and leather sandals
pushing his organ 
grinder miracle
the streak of dreams.
The bank
sold his mortgage
to a magnate
so strong
it sucked the nails
out of his cashmere teepee.
What the hell am I supposed to do??
What's my family supposed to do??
The dry cleaner 
and the finca boss 
pat him on the back 
and tell him 
they understand his frustration
but don't care.
Now take your skinny bitch
and semen sculptures with you 
down to the mission.
You're blocking our sun
and spoiling our 
sloe gin fizz.


That's my shower song.
I'm singing it today
because she's gonna
soon be home.
It's been so long
and I can't wait 
so long.
The dials are rocking
into the red.
Geiger counter tingles
course through me
and my half life,
soon gonna be 
Neemer Nomer!
That's the waiting song
I've been singing
all the long while
of my life.
The spotlight penumbra
stage is curtain call
The waiting is over.
Come on home, girl.
Come on home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Two Miles and Change

It feels so good
to get out 
and run.
I don't 
take it for granted
having only
one and a half
A lot of work 
went into standing
and walking 
after that left
anterior cruciate
went south.
It's taken 
nine months
of mind numbing 
and healing
to get 
this far.
Got more 
to go.
this feels
Going over 
two miles 
at a nice clip
is my 
rock and roll.
It's my masterpiece.
The tightness 
in my quadriceps
is coming back.
I'm getting 
spring loaded
The oxygenated high 
flows through me
as pulse,
and thought
grab the 
running rhythm.
you can watch
the soles of my 
get small.
stop and catch 
your wheezing breath.
I may not be Mercury,
or Ruffian,
or Hershel Walker,
but I'm running.
Damn! I'm running.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Magician in the Rational Kingdom

So many everybodys
moving through the streets,
in metal and rubber,
barefoot and inked
with sanskrit
or hebrew
(I thought that was
a big no-no),
under the football
season sun.
So many everybodys
and very few somebodys.
The pitbull decade 
is upon us.
It is the age of the 
racing stroller.
There's so much money 
borrowed from
Instantly connected 
and evermore same.
Viral reason begets
instant progress
in this 
communication continuum.
Weber's disenchantment 
of the world
has left me 
out on the street,
stripped of my daydreams,
my only protection
from so many

Your Serviceable Villain

I'm not right 
in the head.
Never have been.
Never will.
Strangled with 
self absorbed tears.
Perpetually dark.
I am
a fine example
to compare yourself to
and feel good.
A serviceable villain. 
Your serviceable villain.
but I've got something 
inside of me
I'm trying to build on.
Something I can grow
and share.
A bulwark against the 
A bright space in this 
expanding tragedy.
I've apologized.
Tried to see things 
as they are
and not 
as I fear they will be.
It doesn't matter.
You're never gonna change.
Selfless selfishness.
Go ahead and define 
my life 
my love
and hope
as little.
Kick it over 
like a bully.
Make every sentence
written and spoken
to me
with Louisville Slugger.
Is this what 
that inanimate rock
shaped like a fat
bald hermaphrodite
you doze off in front of
taught you?
I shouldn't say this
but I will.
You're full of shit
and completely lost.
Aren't we all, though?
Aren't we all?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fourth Quarter

Summer's broadcast
is ending.
The afternoon light
is warm but remote,
like chrome reflections
on a hearse 
leading the funeral
procession through
the cemetery gates.
I can feel the world's
pallet dry into
cracked hues 
of yellow and orange
where the veins in leaves
write unheard eulogies
like the ones 
murmured in halls
of nursing homes.
Today I smelled 
a garter snake trail
of chimney smoke;
the throat of a house
clearing itself
upon waking.
Things fall and decay
the air grows damp
and cold.
The dark puts its arms
around the horizon.
There will be whistles
of tea kettles promising
something warm
and of referees 
winding the clock
on two minute warnings.
Soon there will be bowls 
of candy
and living poltergeists 
haunting the streets.
This is my time of year.
This is fall.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grand Old Jumble

The pit mom
in hockey lipstick
smiling at the 
white men chanting
drill! drill! drill!
is full of
lady bull.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Ride down
the hot lane
to the city of 
and rock
the old 
coffee pot.
I took my 
true love girl
to the control tower
and showed her
moving picture romance
on mountain goat heel
I see you talk
and talk 
and talk.
I say you
like to put
yourself on
over coats
of jackets
and coats
of paint.
What do you 
want when
all you do 
is want?
The sky
above the 
is filled with 
each one 
just like you,
and you
and you.