Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sick Clark's New Year's Rawkin' Eve!!!

Themb, naahin, eeeahifht, sssifffevplhegm, axe, ffligheve, floor, t-t-t-thee, oohnnt, un!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Just Starstruck On You

A rocket age.
It's nobody's fault.
I hear them all
sing Katyusha whistle
and ring, ring the rage.
Ring the rage
dragging the martyrs
all over the set.
Slit by the heels,
my awareness
gets dragged
and dragged around
circles of autumn cannibalism.
Internecine ejaculations
of heated discourse
shell fragmented offal
dance around the radio,
flicker in the monitor,
scroll across the television
I just stare at it all.
I must be looking for
some kind of comfort
in all of it.
Something certain
beyond awareness
that never explains anything.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


When it gets like this
I like to pull my furry hat 
down over my eyes
and wait until I wake up 
in someone else's dream
maybe yours.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Perpetual Summer

The Principal of my middle school was a broad shouldered, rumbly voiced guy named Mr. Zurfluh.  He used to pace up and down the courtyard during lunch like a yard boss, breaking up groups of homogenous black or white boys in hopes of avoiding any race baiting and fights.  Looking back, it really was like prison. Pioneer Middle School was laid out like a penitentiary, with close-walled common spaces and red brick breezeways that connected the classrooms, gym, cafeteria and office.  The school was evenly divided between white and black students.  While instances of outright racism were few, there were eternal struggles about which was cooler; rock or soul, Prince or Journey, Members Only or San Francisco Riding Gear - sometimes coming to violence.  Mr. Z was really in his element there.  I believe he did indeed see himself as a warden. Year round, he wore these wool, three piece suits that felt like horsehair sandpaper whenever he got you in a headlock for a quick trip to the office.  For me, these trips were thankfully infrequent.

I got to know Mr. Zurfluh a bit during my middle school prison stay.  His intrusive strolls around the courtyard provided plenty of opportunities for conversation.  He had a sly sense of humor and could be pretty self deprecating at times.  Mr. Z didn't retaliate when I made cracks about snow in the forecast while pointing to his jacket collar.  This was quite a contrast from my initial impression.  I suppose the authoritarian Mr. Zurfluh was more his response to the immediate environment and the avuncular Mr. Zurfluh was probably closer to his civilian self.  His favorite movie was Patton.  I used to amuse him by doing George C. Scott imitations during lunch.  He'd chuckle and give me one of those knock-the-wind-out-of-you pats on the back with his giant, bear paw hands.

Mr. Z held down that Principal spot at Pioneer Middle School for a year after I went on to high school.  During the year that I left, his pregnant daughter was stabbed to death while closing up the Safeway near the community college.  Everybody in town knew about her murder within hours.  Steilacoom was a pretty small town and for some reason I never came to understand while my family lived there, very insular.  It seems odd that it was, considering it bordered the very large McChord Air Force base and the vast Fort Lewis Army Reservation.  Mike Loverick's sister broke the news about the Zurfluh death.  She got it straight from Mike, who worked at the Safeway with Mr. Zurfluh's daughter.  He drove a blue metal flake Trans Am and his family had a swimming pool tucked away behind their colonial revival styled home.  Mike's sister thought I was lame and gross so most of this information was stuff I gleaned from her constant loud babble during study hall. The stupid part of me was really jealous of the Lovericks.  How come the accident of birth stuck me with my hardscrabble lot instead of with these suburban Gatsbys?  Life for the Lovericks seemed to me like perpetual summer.

About a week after the murder, I came home from school to find the neighborhood filled with local news trucks and cops.  They were all massed down the street around the Loverick house.  Mike Loverick did it, I was told by my little sister, who walked right past their house on the way home from Pioneer.  They found the knife and the money in his room.  Mike worked as a shelf stocker at Safeway and was on the schedule the night of murder.  He later confessed to stabbing the soon to be mother to death when she caught him stealing money from a strongbox.  Needless to explain, this created quite a tempest in our town.  

Mr. Zurfluh was destroyed by his daughter's death.  He resigned from his post at Pioneer and took a year off.  He took up a position under the Superintendent at the high school and I would run into him occasionally in the halls.  He was always quietly soused.  These encounters were awkward.  I would do little scenes from Patton and Mr. Z's eyes would get red rimmed and wet.  He was in perpetual darkness. 

When I was a senior, I wound up at a keg party in the house of Marion Manlove (yes, that's her real name), who was close friends with Mike Loverick's sister.  This was one of those parties you wind up at after a night of driving around bored with friends, looking for a joint.  On a medicine cabinet raiding mission to the bathroom I chanced to hear these two girls prank calling the Zurfluh house on a cordless phone, "Hello, is this Mr. Zurfluh?  Well, we got your daughter, you're next."  Some people live in perpetual darkness and some in perpetual summer.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thanks Be For The Furry Hat

Thank you for this furry hat I set upon my head.  
I wearing all the more and some, quite even in my bed.  
This cheerful flap and buckle that 'tis fitting to a tee.  
Now I cannot imagine one as strapping grateful me!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dream/Jimmy Silva

I just woke up
from this eerie dream.
There was a soccer pitch
upon which I tried 
to put together a game
of pick-up football.
The people milling about
were diffuse and mumbling.
It was hard 
to get a good look 
at any one of them.
I cussed about the fog
and realized it was clear,
they were clouded.
These people
seemed quite diverse,
not only in where they came from
but when they came from.
They spoke in rivers of babble.
After a few failed attempts 
to throw the football,
they all moved off the pitch
down a narrow road
towards an old hotel.
Okay, I'll follow.
The hotel was laid out 
in a quadrant of buildings
all overlooking 
a manicured lawn.
At one corner,
between the once stately
white columned structures
was a gaping mouth 
to a tree tunnnel.
Without anyone specifically
mentioning it
I knew we were there 
to look for a little girl.
I followed an inuit guy around
as he moved through the suites,
then a hippie woman wearing a sari
and finally went down to the lawn
behind a brush pilot type 
smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes.
On the lawn
I could see down the tree tunnel.
The oaks that composed it were 
hundreds of stories high.
Christ, how'd I not notice that?
Drawing up to the mouth
I looked down it's leafy throat
and got deep shivers 
of weird electricity.
Something primal inside me
was urging me away 
from this path.
Turning around
I noticed the lawn had filled up
with these faded folk
all milling about
like a garden party 
of somnambulists.
A great murmur 
came from the tree tunnel
and I began to see people 
trickling forth on to the lawn.
The little girl had been found
in one of the rooms.
How the hell do I know that
when nobody here talks to me?
Somehow I knew her name.
I'd heard it mentioned on television.
She lived in the southeast.
Not anymore.
At that point,
I had a very strong feeling
I was about to see an old friend
coming out of that tree tunnel.
He hasn't been around 
since that night,
December 23, 1994.
Jimmy's gonna show up here
among these flickering souls.
That's when I woke up
tingling from head to toe.
I just missed you Mr. Silva
but I sing your songs 
each passing day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Burnt Kabob

We're pretty well snowed in here.
Getting a lot of reading done.
Here's a poem from the sufi sheikh Rumi
I like...

Burnt Kabob

Last year, I admired wines. This,
I'm wandering inside the red world.

Last year, I gazed at the fire.
This year, I'm burnt kabob.

Thirst drove me down to the water
where I drank the moon's reflection.

Now I am a lion staring up totally
lost in love with the thing itself

Don't ask questions about longing.
Look in my face.

Soul drunk, body ruined, these two
sit helpless in a wrecked wagon.
Neither knows how to fix it.

And my heart, I'd say it was more
like a donkey sunk in a mudhole,
struggling and miring deeper.

But listen to me: for one moment,
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you. God.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Priori Proof

The grandeur and awe
of the Virgin's Dormition and Assumption
in to the arms of the Son,
entering the house with great sound,
with Peter at the head 
and John at the foot
of the deathbed
is rendered in record as fantastic manifest.
I set it up in my mind's own canvas
knowing the ecclesiastic canon of the Gospels
calls for at least six pictorial representations.
It always comes out overly surreal
even campy
but I have faith
that the story has true power
as the Canterbury Ontologicalists
like to say
the inspiration for it all 
is something than which nothing greater 
can be conceived.
The greatness is limitless.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Watching It Fall

I love it when it snows!
There's a fookin' igloo down the street.
We're going sledding
We're making snowballs and snowfolk.
We're staying out late and watching it fall.
Staying out late and watching it fall.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Passing by the Stars

I walk the dogs
with a 9 year old named Lili.
She sees walruses in autumn piles of leaves
and signals her conditions 
with a white leaf.
She has a song 
she would like me to share with you;

Passing by the stars
two in a row
on the way to the moon,

Passing by the stars
three in a row
on the way to the moon,

Passing by the stars
four in a row
on the way to the moon.

until you get to 10 in a row. 
-LKI 2008

It's very catchy, I think.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Diodes of Light

From this porch
atop the steam vent clouds
from a cup of whiskey tea;
everywhere, wintergray is made white
by this glorious sum of snow.
And later down hockey rink streets,
among plantation cotton-ball blossoms of ice
hammock-hung in the cradles of woodbrush,
we moon hop slowly to the store -
vested in heavy wool,
pinched by cold clear air,
and sung to by slipping bus tires
to get a cookie cutter 
and wax paper.
On the way home
the sun is a blinding yellow ice-cube
low in the south sound sky.
It looks like a pupil 
contracted between lid-fronts
of blue black arctic air.
Even at night 
the darkness pales 
in blankets of claustrophobic coldquiet.
My hands feel dry and old
under the floor lamp's heat
down here 
along the mopbucket sponge floorboards.
When December comes I stay inside,
with the heater constantly on,
clearing away the dust, 
and staring out the window
at frost never thawing 
bathed in Christmas colored 
diodes of light.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Watch The Footwork Baby

For Christ's sake, come on.
Watch the footwork, baby.
Watch it.
Come on.
If you want it you can get it.
Pick it up.
Pick it up, come on and get it.
It's free.
Watch the footwork, baby.
Come on.
Come on.
If you want it you can get it.
You can get it if you want it.
Dig it.
Dig it?
Forget it.
Watch the footwork, baby.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Make The Fog

Eleventeen years in a master tape box
Tracks of vocals
Tracks of drum
Tracks of feedback
Tracks of tears.
I’m pulling them out in splices
To build a picture.
A picture of a lake.
Every night
I come to the bank of the lake.
The bank of the lake
Is the bank of the fog.
The fog I am in.
There are no distances.
Space is all singular.
All of the round rocks
Under my bare feet
Are robin’s egg spotted blue
And woodgrain ribboned brown.
You can peel back the water edge
And turn the covers of the lake bed.
I lay down
I don’t need a melody here
To paint the lake edge in sound.
What is needed
Should be random
And appropriated
From the formerly meaningful.
I’ll run the sad falsetto backwards
Over epic soundtrack snaredrum
Struck dumb with tapespeed.
I make the fog
And the still lake bed
From these disembodied expressions
Of former feeling.
I make the fog
So that everything I do is clear
To me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ron Nasty: 10 09 1940 - 12 08 1980

We miss you, Ron.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Evening Wear Migration

There's this thing 
you see down wet December streets
on cold saturday and sunday mornings.
A woman walking in heels like stilts,
shivering in a cocktail dress
all darting raccoon eyes and rum perfumed
making her way home 
from the holiday party
and the drinking 
and the dancing
and a pick up night 
in a strange bed.
Dana calls it The Walk Of Shame.
I don't see shame in that walk.
I see narcissism hung over.
They clack clack the sidewalk with bleary resignation 
cross-examined by daylight.
Channels of memory
replay last night's sophistication
lost in smears of lipstick 
and tequila.
The evening-wear migration ends
up the steps and through the door
in a hot shower and breakfast later with friends
dressing events in whole cloth 
of indiscretion and bravado.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Junior and Senior

Joel told me that Junior was the owner's youngest son. He was being groomed to take over the T-shirt wholesale operation when Senior retired. Senior was reluctant to turn over the reins of business to Junior. He was definitely your classic example of a wastrel cruising through life on his father's coattails. He bleached his balding hair that hung past the collars of his awful Hawaiian shirts. Junior even sported a gold razor blade on a chain which sat parked in a hedge of chest hair on his exposed torso. I often heard Senior shouting at his son to button up that fucking shirt because will call pick ups might mistake him for a pimp. Junior did a lot of illegal things but pimping wasn't one of them as far as I knew.

On occasion, Junior would give me the keys to his Chevy Suburban and instruct me to take the behemoth to Brown Bear car wash for a thorough fucking cleaning. I could keep any of the thumb sized buds of smelly marijuana I found but any baggies of cocaine were to be rendered unto Junior. These thorough fucking cleanings occurred before his ski trips to Canada. I made extra cash selling the bud nuggets to Joel and Phil back at the warehouse. Senior did not like us because we were too buddy buddy with Junior. He used to sneer at us when he came through the warehouse and call us RollingBeatles. Once while sleeping off a hangover in the back of a semi container we were unloading, Joel revealed that there was a second son who was not senior or junior or major or minor. Apparently he was a successful dentist in town. When I asked why he wasn't being courted to take over the warehouse when Senior called it a day, I was told that he was queer. Senior could tolerate a lot of things; drunkenness, sloth, minor thievery, gambling addiction (it was Junior who first showed me how to read the Daily Racing Form), womanizing, even gross mismanagement, but he could not even for a moment of his life of simmering resentment and anger entertain the idea of turning over the company he built moldy cinder block by moldy cinder block to a faggot.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

They Never Look You In The Eye

The Great Leap Forward;
scene one revolutionary foco irregulars
immolate and collectivize the bystanding
standing in the center 
where your eyes never settle.
Hey you!
Powerman who sells me the same old story.
What vanguard is addressed in your vision,
ever navigating the general will
towards enlightened delusions
of virtue
constituted in blood tributaries
of those who must be sacrficed
to The Spirit of The Laws?