October 12, 2013
You’re all over the map—
our city is a free pass if you find
her and mind the gaps,
though the Greeks were right,
count no man alive
still lucky. Anything can happen to a man,
anything, a man is a door in a mountain
of money and brass tacks.
Your high fliers dive
eventually, one by one
the world’s charmers croon to death
on empty beds,
and wealth’s a zone
where collars thrive.
Yet say you make it out the other side
iron-stomached, majestically alone . . .
No, I want to help a guy
but no, it’s $1.75 to ride
feeding on the city, covering your eyes.
May 30, 2013
Fallow season here at RBP. In the meantime, here is a link to the other blog I write for: http://thegeneralreader.com.
March 19, 2013
Near the end, no, nothing worked
but those shotgun shells,
the white-capped tubes
of Opana from Eckerd
that hauled you out of hell
for hours. In a cold glade
the stone body gladdened, till nerves
jerked loose like nasty roots
beyond the gardener’s ken—
though you had lived well—
December 12, 2012
Start here, with information,
life that elopes,
cloves, a live apple or a still lemon,
then move to newer shoots;
or speak of mountains cured in the smoke
of leafless branches in their billions;
talk diesel, ridge-and-valley, steeples,
the gray forest scrawny as people
who can’t sleep.
Move to frost, then swift water, then children.
You may start here, here, here.
My fellow travelers, let me be clear.
August 6, 2012
A Painter in California
Dodger Stadium seems to say
buzzing from the den.
I’m on the front steps,
another aspect of the West
toward the interior counties
of the Union’s prize:
rosewater mountains snaggle-backed
and going Irish on their toes
after the winter soak, green fur
of chaparral following last year’s fires.
And down here you blur
into laurel and contorted oaks,
into strawberry strips, curdling surf,
coyote tracks near benches,
the jasmine billow coming on,
bulbs strung over our porches
like scars of frost,
cars burrowing the air (car-surf, car-brush),
ordinary things, groceries, duplexes,
arroyos and driveways and spurge-patched sidewalks,
me out for a night walk
shields-down and breathing,
a translation to elsewhere.
Neighbors in California
Taste local wine and toast your luck,
tucked in the modest garden
where you paint. Outside is a Mazda truck
loaded with tools and brown men,
the two reasons (stuck in painting’s craw)
your garden exists at all.
You see California empty
of all but imagination’s broad promise,
like the first whites, with their rucksack songs
for Eden. My question being,
the fuck would you know of the West
and its beatings?
I’m a deep-cover source
doing dishwater paintings
which also concern our mutual state
and the myriad breakages in it.
Paint that, paint your neighbor
if the neighborhood waits.