blake ellington larson

dirty nails dirty nails

oh set me free

together we shall hearth

and set our spirit free


paint yr poems like

invisible strokes

feather wand


my grief yr grief

i get lost in the details

i set sail for ambivalence

i get lost in the details

everyone around you is grieving

black and red and velvet

alcatraz like the ocean

when you woke up

oh, death

you tired tyrant, you sleepy monolith of epic clarity, you heavy heavy air, you and your shelf life, you and your tired old obituaries and your faded paperback detective stories and your make-believe airports and your broken pencils and your unfinished crosswords and your late night secret-coffee-monologue-poems and your evening sketches, you and your serious blanket isolation, you, the owl to my wingspan, you and your secret cauldron promises and your sweet forgiveness, your bliss acceptance, you and your choose-your-own-adventure never-land dreams, and your secret crutch, your hidden misery, your red riding hood shroud and your sunny, perfect days, you and your clear glass fate and your mountains and your lakes and your wind, you and your full laughter and your full tilt exorcism, you and your axe, you and your final blow, and your final breath –

oh, sad and heavy news

you unwanted guest, you silent waiter, you and your appropriate attire. you and your clean cut and your deep breath. you and your open krishna mouth and your endless dark matter. you and your forever sunrise and your endless night. you and your sudden whip and your instant forgiveness. you, the long distance traveler to my seasoned response. you the patient mentor to my grief. oh, sad and heavy news, won’t you, for once, join me in a prayer? won’t you help me turn back time? If it’s in your power to disassemble, surely we can turn the tide. surely, we’re magicians, after all –

I do not exist

there’s enough cloud

for the both of us

wild lavender

and purple sage

I came here to know

what it is

to know

what it is

to be wild

i still dream about her

white blinds

purple pigeons

her pure black hair

and that howling wind

I don’t mind

being late to the party

I was busy

I wasn’t sure you’d show

I sat on the cliff

I sang “Jane Says” to no one

I started bleeding and I didn’t care

the strings were so thick

the seaweed was everywhere

I waited so long

the secret to life

is not

(a secret)

fire is death

wait for it to pass

this concussion

reminds me of losing you

and who we were then

and how you left

and how it hurt

and how sudden

it still feels

letting you go

is the pure blanket of clarity

that fills my days

touch the ceiling

touch the ceiling

break through it

The second time I committed suicide

I was knee deep in Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses. I recorded nine hours of Pink Floyd onto cassette tapes from a scratchy and faded Colorado station. My brother and I were lost in Santa Fe’s ugly summer, its angry cacti. I quit taking my anti-depressants and bottomed out. That’s when I downed the rest and headed for New Mexico’s endless oasis. The green belt. Think empty and rusted cars, sun faded porno’s, abandoned washing machines. Suddenly, a dark and moody patch of forever-charcoal clouds shone on. I found a wallet with a bullet hole pierced through it. I found a shady shrub and sat down. I felt nothing. And the Nothing was growing inside me. And I realized I was dying. Two songs found me then;  “jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam” and “things are going to get easier.” I remember spilling apple juice all over the place. Taking off my clothes. Crawling into bed. I remember the stomach pump. My lips were blue. My hair was brown. I remember the sunflower fields in Kansas after I was cleared from the psych ward, Mom and I, on the road again, and all those Black-Eyed Susan’s, winking at me.

i used to be a sunflower

i used to be the moon

i used to be an astronaut

staring down

at you

I want to collect records

like you collect rain

there is a tiny ghost inside me that knows I will die someday

memory and mantra

back and forth

music is memory

back and forth

my friends

died in that fire

there’s a picture of you

inside me


there’s not enough string

bring me

closer to you

love is acceptance

patience is flowers

plant everything

go broke

love is acceptance

patience is everything

plant flowers

slow down

wind and fire

yr hair in the neon sun

we were summertime gloves

kids against the world

reverse echo

the dogs on my block

set off car alarms

the mellow in me

is at war with everything

I have a hat

I do not wear my hat

I can’t stop breathing

it’s like everything inside me

just wants to

get away

I am


many postcards

to you

and who

I was


oh, memory, you sleepy sith

you tired traveler, you distant warrior, you imaginary me, (you turn into dreams, don’t you know?) like a river, I collect and let go of everything you have to offer, we’re cool like that, you and me and our collective un belief, you and I and our collective acceptance, you and I and our shared sun. you the moon to my earth, but, I remember, I do, and there you go again –

how evil the sun

shone so darkly powerful

in it’s brilliant defiance

of my grief

you are

where I’m at

my greatest image of you is

not a picture frame worthy

I am a lone cowboy

I do not have the photos

to prove it

I am an endless drought

of surging inspiration


of all things

music is memory

don’t pick the flowers

let it rain

elevator soul

glimmer and switch

glitter and twitch

wrestle with which

we were night’s welcomed dew

the two

of us


yr strings paint brushes

and you




like you

I’m a nervous castle

like gristle on the grapevine

we were taut and taunt

ween and want


dear spirit/thunder

test me

I will best you

it was a new kind of dark

a poloroid postcard

a cardboard cut-out

neon dusk

in the autumn sun

when I go deaf

won’t you join me

fireball and all

shit and solace

steel mojitos around

we’ll toast the captain

set sail for spain

search for mermaids

herbie, the one eyed pirate shih tzu


survived katrina

but not the anesthesia

perched on the corner of the bed

with the cone of shame on

the last time I saw him


every time I hear a siren

feels like

you’ve been


your breath

ever since

you died

I am faded paper

limestone and yellow’d I am the sun and the strawberry moon and I collect daisies on the daydream walks I take from memory makes me hungry for Spring’s late night butterfly’s and I am nothing paper like steaming coffee or tea or perhaps there is no daydream and it’s always winter makes me fonder for the subtle things like mint and I have to wash my hands again

my new poem is not the song of the river

bloom and cotton

your final burden

exit:  stage left

enter:  curtain

bloom and cotton

your final curtain

exit:  stage left

enter:  burden

my butterflies are quiet

it’s not the wind

wakes ’em up

in the morning

my first thought is anxious

it collides with the pages in my cloud memory like books and cobwebs and candles and the smell of old wood and everything up close looks like words I’m making up in the moment and there’s no end to the wind

music is memory

let it sink in

I am a cloud of indecision

my antlers and my spirit animal dreams like cotton spread out abounding my mattress in kitty whisper nap time for years the alarm has been going off and we’re just about daybreak and the napkins aren’t enough this wind is treachery I’m glad we’re set studied on nervous noise and not that damned clicking from the window it is drowning the smell of old europe and I’m still not used to it damn the bridges and the locked doors and why am I on this ratchety train it smells like newspapers and sweat and that pigeon keeps staring at me and the clutter in the mildew like dew in the mornings is but fog on my windshield keeps catching up with me

people are like spiderwebs

carry a toothpick

I am the nothing dragon

hear me roar

two sunflowers

in the shade of

each other

taking turns


the sun

my new wind is blank paper

it shuffles to the sound water makes

makes clear what





my new heart is blown glass

it bows to the sound of winter

keeps cool-through

crescent moons




for Autumn’s


and frogs

yr love is the blanket of sun

keeps me

invisible warm

I am the nothing jasmine

and you are the cure

found a new home without you

like throwing rocks and gravel

this place

keeps changing

this island

isn’t us


i am haunt




when our souls were ships


yr parents took us to kawaii

and you were afraid of

deep sea diving

so we stuck to the waterfalls

and our guitars

and we came up with a shared philosophy;

the burden is upon us

and like the oddballs we were

I still have photos of us

smiling, when

we got into that airplane



we would die


my soul crux

my perpetual

soul crux

gets lost in you

truth, he said

tastes a lot like


we have roots

we grow


days are like rivers that

slow down enough

for you to

write on them


is a powerful beast

the trouble with writing songs is

sometimes they

go boom

my thoughts are all but colorwise

sadness, though

shone like a rainbow

when you called

grief is not guilt

it is not malice

it is love

pure love



waits for no one

save the horses

save the world

celebrate everyone

you know

who you are

celebrate everything

you know

who you are

my spirit is the avalanche

keeps me covered

yr spirit is the blanket

keeps me covered

sometimes, when I dive into you

it’s like breathing under water

but, most of the time

in life and in death

come wander with me

the Salvage King

you and I

forever in search

of calm

if horses were feathers

I’d make a raincoat

out of the songs

you left behind

art is process



yr songs make the rain in my heart


the sky is beautiful

I wish you were her

I was sick with love

made like a balloon

I drifted to sidewalks

where she found me

the difference between life and death is

I get to swallow you

dear dark

it is not yr crimson glow

draws me to yr furnace

I am not

breathing for you

I am not trees

not the feet

you will meet

I am not my heart

it’s you

yr steel thunder

is the marsh mellow

to my silver lining

I’m thinking backwards

I’m looking forwards

to you

I don’t play with fire


dear dark

I am not your foldboy

this is not laundry-town

I have a bus ticket

yr spirit

is the pinata

that hangs in the breeze

and someday

yr candy

will shower me

the inside words

say little of the wind

and the dew

and you

and i

when i sleep

you are still alive

warranted, you

arrest me