everyone around you is greiving

Category: 2000-2004: painted poems

it is not yet time

to persuade this

to pass


if in the old days

before the medieval days
before the baby jesus days
and the pagan turned christian days
the romans had fashion magazines
and fashion media
they’d all be walking around
with their placid cocks out
stroking and strutting their stuff
in famously lit coliseums
while tigers
and giraffes
mauled at their genitals


according to grapefruit

my poems lack sugar

they’re bitter
ugly to swallow
spit you in the eye
when you try and
spoon out
any pulp


according to richard brautigan
even a fart in the middle of the night
deserves a poem


when i was in paris

my penmanship was superb

i’m not sure if it was the seine air
or the awnings
that left everything

so aloof

i wrote like the clouds wouldn’t move

unless you were staring


your europe stares back at me

through the dull haze of a lit purple candle

i keep your europe boxed away
with the slow southern anthems
i had spool’d out of a spindle i found
from the corners of your eyes

your europe fills me like water

it claws through older photographs
of stiller times
and hides from the
care bear monument we created out of
museum stubs

sometimes though
when i let your europe breathe
it chokes on american fumes

like arrows from my stride
falling dead in their wake


the pain in me reaches high e

as i pretend to write you

a lullaby
from the back wheels
of my bmx

i am singing the tablature
of your moon sign
without noticing

cracks in the pavement

holes in the street


she calls me on the eve of my awakening

as i say goodbye’s to open doors
she closes more

the hinges are all but rusted
so i creep through
the awkward window
just to see her breathe it
without me

my inhaler it seems


on her nightstand


saw the coliseum today

rainy long lines and japanese tour groups sprouted umbrellas over feral cats and humming police sirens

took a walking tour where blah blah this is that and blah blah this was that and this wasn’t really that ’cause this was really that

and blah blah as the rain poured and more umbrellas and ferrel cats and police sirens stirred

and oh how napoleon did this but mousollini did this and if you look over here where napoleon did this but the romans did that and mousollini was just a little bit too late

because blah blah this and blah blah that

and then we saw the palatine hill where this housed that and the church did this and the church did that

and it rained some more and more japanese tour groups grew umbrellas out of their digital camera heads

and feral cats ran in circles while police sirens and rain and snapping flashes filled the empty spaces where buildings used to stand

where people used to worship pagan this and pagan that and the churches meant this and the earthquakes did that

where old ruins used to stand and fall where this was here and that was there and this meant that and that meant this

and the puddles got bigger and the rain came and went

and more japanese tour groups started sprouting out of the puddles with digital flashes and digital umbrellas

and digital tour guides filled up the space where churches and pagan gods and monuments and romans used to stand under the rain that came and went like the feral cats and police sirens and the buildings and the structures used to stand

because this is that and that was this

and at the end of the tour
we had an italian lunch
and sat in the sun
with our wine
and our cigarettes
and as the sun came out
rome was beautiful


my first attempt at solace

second grade

drama class

i would mime myself
out of a box
in the corner
of the room

i remember

quite clearly


just light and listless

cruise and reminisce

leave the living
and the winning

to someone else


john and i

collecting water over the years
happy smiles with kaz
spill our aqueducts
over breakfast

we talk about grade school
and college

one bite at a time
just to
get it

out of the way


you sound the sound my heart makes

so strange

you who are not my echo

half a heart ready to love
half a heart already has

you sound the sound i’d like to sing

and in case i haven’t

my watchful ear

bends true to your rhythm

and i listen still


sweet and sorrow

lust and found

there’s a crumb on the table

but it’s underground


in the end only solace matters

fine lines drawn

in red and white


our broken faces


if love is futility

then let me bleed


i want to punch

the life into you

make you breathe in

this life

you’ve left


i talk to her in the dark

on the phone
in the dark
in the garage
and i’m on the phone with her

i tell her about my life
she tells me about hers

the door is open
the only light from the house
from the kitchen

the phone begins to die

we agree again
and say goodbye


and suddenly

it becomes a palace

and even the music

sparkles in place

to the wind


so chalk it up

if you’re so good at dealing
with all this loss

let the teeth hang from the ceiling

those ivory edges cut you still

draw a line from
your turnstile boy

it’s still
a long walk home


she is like the painting

i could never paint

blue eyes
black hair

something composed

the way
she looks at me


no one ever told him

hold fast boy

your arc

and your arrow

will compliment

you still


long eyes on her casualties

how she

forgets me


i think

fumbling the ways out of
my pockets in this hour
where i put my china set
made no difference
i don’t have one
and i always sort of
wanted a kitchen
it’s really more like
having someone in the kitchen
i can’t recall if the dinner
came out alright
you see
it must have tasted fine
it’s just
the immediacy of your touch
doesn’t exactly prove
my worst fears were ever valid
i think i remember
an acute confusion
how long i let
everything settle
because i’m sure
i left something
only it was so
quiet in my head
that night
that i almost went to sleep
without a cigarette
or you
for that matter


from before

i remember when
this was the time
we were ourselves
here in the land
out by the lake
in the boat
by your side
under the stars
around the bend
across the way
past the yard
out in the street
and down the dirt lane
riding a bike
sitting on a stump
looking out a window
driving past a buss
in the middle of night
watching t.v.
singing a song
smoking a cigarette
i always think i see her


all this sadness

hasn’t done much to suppress
my lightness of heart

the cold blown wind
doesn’t do much
against my socks
and my cigarette

this empty house
hasn’t changed

these sterile walls
still haven’t grieved

but i am sorry

for whatever it is
i must of done to you


we all come prepared

there is no you
that does not know me

we fall in line
like lovers or light bulbs
and on

this is where the saddle goes
and you go here

we come and go
into and out of
the future

swinging further

the chariot
of our lives


my body is the familiar smell

it is what keeps me like this

i run from my wake
to your side

there is shelter in forgiveness

honesty in resonating honesty


old dawns and twilights

sunsets i haven’t seen

still haunt me