sea nights
black smoke of days
steeped in teasel
drenched in rain
winter's honey
cornfields of Earth
long trains passing


night ends in blueberries and white lilies.
the flutter of doves takes me
to ancient desert places.
lines of ink on paper quiver,
almost alive, almost meaningful.
the sun is Mars-orange in distant pines.
I retreat  with the deer
into the opium of shadows.


avocados ripen in an antique dish.
a thousand lilies flare up like a religious vision.
the day is far away from anything.
I run my hands along infinity,
water chimes on ferns,
death is near,
the air is sweet with goldfinches.


like some
burned out old astronaut
and an alien poet
sharing an ultimate moment
with cups of rocket-coffee
to cover the many galaxies of meaning
we, too, meet,
like clouds,
at this moment of writing
on Saturday afternoon
once as infinite
as morning shadows
at the edge of expectation


insane streets
where the river breathes diesel fumes
a dog barks out its tortured melancholy
pavements hallucinate me
give me my stark lusts, in watercolor dawns
the moon long gone
to some stoned eternal past
where I feast on dates, heavy coffee, patchouli breasts
and hair falling
from a silhouette
in a dream
into the broken heart of the town
where nighthawks call
like the dead
from centuries ago
who sit forever
to the drone of cicadas
at dusk


hills boil over
into a river of burlap and wax.
giant gutter roaches appear, ancient,

I dream of cocaine, white thighs, vodka kisses,
and the cool grace of snow
on palms
in the violent ruby silence of sunsets
as nighthawks weave their spells
into a breeze of vetch and berry
and the gold moon is swallowed in diesel smoke.

another excursion into the day is pointless,
so I go,
since life itself is the exotic other


it is getting dark, it
is starting to rain.

there is the smell of bread,
a rush of dark wings beneath the eaves.

I am increasingly partial
to unfinished phrases, half-images,
ghost sentences buried
between shadows of ink.
the absolute coherence of the fragment.

outside, on a lawn, the day crosses
into evening.
a swirl of birds, smokelike.

a conversation brings back
ruby and sundew moments
from long ago;
the river's titanium glitter,
starpoints behind heat lightning;
rabbits of stone.

lace curtains; violet; a marble cup.
honeycomb, snow, bamboo, winestained and

at night the waters of the bay
were silveryblack.
towers rose, polished grey, into a cobalt sky.
at first light,
the glowing faces of Victorians.
a cool and salty air.
sometimes I think of San Francisco.


morning's velvet.
the gold ink of yesterday's scrawls
already lost
in the archives of sleep
and the next excavated word.

rose-petal dawn.
as if her lips.
no one ever kissed my knees before; she said.

and this nightsong of tires
on wet pavement.
red neon of insane eros.
then, hours later,
the killdeer cries of empty lots.

pigeons haunt me under bridges
as I haunt women
under their skirts.
I look up from the black water
of ditches
into the beauty of dusk.

a cold grey autumn
all I ask for.

drunkenness beyond drunkenness.
getting dark; starting to rain.


smoke of old nights.
fingers twined with leaves and fingers.
fires of dawn inside me
burning down days and poems
existence and survival
to these aging eyes in an empty mirror.

foghorns in the brain,
whiskey flashbacks,
taste of black cigarettes and flesh
at the edge of evening;
ink of pure sky,
the astronaut's forgotten name

snow and grasses on graves.
the murmured velvet
of the river's
the sound of cats
fucking deep
in city blocks.

a sentence written in a dream,
the rising moon of sweet caresses
in the pink split
of a pear.


I cling to a breath
to a leafy moment
the streets silent in lamplight
after rain
the robins seem a million miles away
the sound of fire in my head won't
I go out for another walk along the creek
as the saxophonist blows
yet another suicide note
into the empty darkness
of the parking garage


the smells of rain, leaves, exhaust,
dark Columbian and Chinese take-out all mingle
into the single image
of a book I'll never write
a book the color of wet neon
luminous grey
muted chrome
and clouds the color of old lead pipes
a book in which old men walk the streets
like sticks
chasing stupid dreams
back and forth, back and forth
in decrepit rooms
filled with the invisible fetishes of a lifetime


lingering kiss of the night's fog
along the river
the past opens like thighs
there is no room in the moment
for this ink, this paper
I follow the poem's drift
like the moon over wet streets
to the brink of absence


leaves dying early
on drunken paths to autumn
bitter taste of ghost and old lust
no Paris streetcorners no Belgian canals
only these shadows of dissolving images
a red dress a glass of whiskey
the glow of night fog
around her impossible body


somber clouds gashed with pink
give way to ether-blue
finches twitter their fool heads off
trees turn to colorless dust
Sunday moves on into senile droolings
light seems to die where it lands
as I dream of poems made of next to nothing
and my brain screams out
like a thousand black paintings

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