everyone around you is greiving

Category: 2007: never ending poems

my new distraction

covered in early morning firewords

strays hidden from the chandelier

my old distractions
cling to the earth

how my tired feet forget
their many arms

how loose strings sting



i was trying to record my own version of the big bang

when i got the call

that they took you off life support

i was awash in theories of stardust
writing songs about
the galactic dance
that is this
maze of life

when i heard the details

my words turned
as dry as rain in africa

my song
like a balloon

out of breath
out of water
out of life

the universe evaporated

the black hole
in my gut
slowed everything to a halt

i stared at the moon
and waited for the sun to purify something


in the morning
when i slept
i dreamt we rode elephants
through deserts and deserts
of never-ending-story-nothingness
that we marched backwards
through time
for hundreds of miles
towards water
until we both disappeared


when i woke up
i framed your crooked smile
in the form of a tattoo
on my left arm

a pitch black heart


dividing it

in half


when it came time to honor our heritage

you sat terse and anxious

as if your reluctance could accept the
sorrow our parents could never admit

and your sleep echoes hatred

but your arrows
and your windmills
and your long spears

beg to differ


if you are dead or not sure if you are dead

please report to gate A

if you are alive or not sure if you are alive or dead
please report to gate A

if you’ve committed suicide
or if you’re not sure
if it was intentional
or unintentional
please report to gate A

dear passengers we are offering a limited service
for those of you who know for certain
that you are dead

all dead passengers will receive a free flight
to wherever you’re going

everyone else please report to gate A

for whatever reason you believe yourself to be alive
and likewise very much not dead
please refer to the manual
‘how to be dead’

if you would like to contest your death
please refer to the manual
‘now that you’re dead’

if you have any other questions regarding life or death itself
please refer to the manual
‘so, you’re dead’

all other inquiries should contact the hari krisna’s
they are located near starbucks


i memorized your poem

on the bus
to your house

you were
yellow roses
and full of surprise

me picked daisies
and i played you
three songs
i recorded
on a four track

but the poem
was the kicker

we sat in the dark
of your ceiling fan
and laughed
at the silence


as if time was against us

we let our ties slip

undid our tucked-in shirts
and cut loose for the beach

at Saturns
after the sun had set
we saw a flash of crimson
on the horizon
and we swept our tears into
the tide that
scotty had tossed his
father’s ashes into

we chased our hearts

like shots of liquor
through back rubs
and moon howling’s
to quench our thirst

your favorite songs
in our enormous emptied bellies
ached like hungry’d ghosts
for some kind of
perfect nostalgia

full-tilt memories of you

and not

your accidental death


go ahead

throw in the towel

wipe your brow
think about storage
about your photographs
the next ten years
sip your tea

lean back friend
do not worry
take your time
get married
it couldn’t hurt that much

plot your land
you gotta grow some roots
you gots ta learn
the nature of trees
gotta sit the fuck down

and start singing

you gotta get comfortable

so please
by all accounts
let the love in

clean sheets mean a lot
to a guy who sleeps on the floor

you can always
iron it out later


found a home in your misery (ours)

rented a beach house without consulting

photographs i won’t touch (can’t)

spent all afternoons chasing trails of
hidden cobweb notions that
could of built our church

but the old man inside me sleeps it off

as if i could puke you out of my lungs
as if i could forget our
everything-is-made-to-break-us philosophy


i can’t wait to hear your post-life debauchery
your elvis-is-alive monologues
your no-more-coffee-days

but my totem poles are
filled with stardust and wire

and as you are sorry
i am thinned


and your worry sings chimes

and my sturdy arms flap upwards

and the blue turns to black

and the wings beneath my wind


crawl crawl crawls

to your moonlight


and tried to put a faceless anthem

to your skinny-kitten murmurs

in my nameless approach i sucked the bone from the marrow
i swung ancient sweats on your open emptied trains
i slept in saltwater mist
i raced my hearts content on blistered feet

my chalk-less attempts to capture the humidity
left empty pints on emptied wallets

and my out of town sorrow lifted
and my nervous legs clung ambiguous to twilight
and i choked on your sparkled exhaust
and i slept on your invisible roof-tops

and watched

as silent sirens and women
drove by


and then she starts singing

and i’m flying above a sailboat

and the sky is clear
and the wind is angry

but the bats
and all the albatross
swim and sing and
frolic in the air with me

and the ripples in the ocean become real
and my feet are dangling off the edge of the world

and i’m realizing that

all the love in the world
is this
and all the sorrow in the world
is this

and like the shiny thing
i drop into the water
she disappears


and found a tornado

spurn’d from my hearts welcome’d repose

and her manhattan eyes crept my

spiderweb’d sadness
from it’s rainy days

and stood motionless
and took notes on how and where to grieve
and read didion, wolfe and the daily’s

that i could find a spot worth the shade
that my aching feet
could find respite
in such emptied homes

where animals needed tending (not me)
where money is time and art is not love but process
where the cowgirls are city-girls and the busy is just false noise
where everyone tells you not to look up
where everyone is looking down or through you
where your only hope is in getting lost
where everyone else is bored
where the planes don’t explode anymore

where phones die
where people wait for you to leave to ask you to stay
where survival is passion
where the sun and the moon and the earth are against everything
where you can fall in love with your own broken heart


and if it sings it sings

and when it rains it roars

that new york will wait
but i might not


all the sweet relief guitar lulls i can pull

won’t make a vagabond out of these iron strings

i am construed on captivated crooning’s
flush with the floor
drunk on pitch and purr

i am focused on making old hands
out of these new chants

and the song sings itself:

sweet sweet
clean clean rug
safe as home
just needs a tug


over dinner

we discuss the death we lived

in order to get to the life we’re living

and though my healing wrists caught gleams of
the pavement that’s killing you

i waited an eon or two or three or four for us to purify our hug
our lungs – only with meaning this time

and now my goodbye anthem

is singing faster than cats bring dead birds
is lunging harder than feet make blisters
is waiting longer than my welcome’d repose

wore out it’s welcome


when i see you again

forgive my absence


my frequency has changed

i’m telling you this because

it’s important to honor
our passing ghosts

it’s important to follow their
bleak demise
like obituaries
across the pavement


whatever ship
it’s sailed

whatever cure you had in store
i’m sure
it’s not been perfected

either way
to the brig the lot of us
i am sure
we’ll know how to swim


i sang with the whales while you slept

i was so sure your slippery grasp coveted my urge to wake alone

that i swam like a dolphin in
dreamt-of foreign waters

i drank enough saltwater to color my hair blue

i got lost in the pelican’s plight

and we sat in dirt

and prayed for waves

and when the cliff began to fall

i felt nothing but love


my velvet reluctance

and the mirrors

are over-lapping
at best

i repeat my mantras
until they become clear

like bells
like christmas
like ash

i make pretend castles with my hands

i float aimless on the delete button

i watch the planes in the skies


we pinned our ears to the pages

of san francisc’an nights

bag pipes and incense
that followed the fog
out of sewers

smoke that oozed
from storm drains

horses that clopped
from atop rooftops

your irish rose
rose above escalatored steps
into mission’s glittered avenues

you drank my metaphors
like some kind of rainbow structure

as we stood in the glass of the emerald haze

that was our drunk

our silent seance

painted ferlinghetti’s image

without using paint
or words

or sign language

and it was beautiful

and we showed it to no one


my sing-a-long song

is somewhere

beneath the hay stacks
i’ve been building
for decades

between you and me
i think my waterfalls
might topple those
silly dams

i think that
with enough courage

my lion suit

could come in handy