Then only dust remains

I like listening to the sound

Of beautiful melodies

Ones I haven’t the heart to play

Ones I haven’t the strength to ignore

Mostly those that come in waves

After morning, noon, and night

You can hear them like catching

The glimpse of a shooting star

Barefoot atop San Jacinto

Bend Oregon or Williamsburg highrise

Naked in the ecstasy of flight

Knowing even as your approaching

You’ve already begun to disappear

My studio by the sea

The incense

Cigarette smoke

The neighbors next door racket

The dirt, the grime

Reminds me of Grove Street

And Mac, sleeping

Angelic snores from a lofted bed

Where I sat, idle in the morning

Last nights memory a circus

Holding my piss, hungry

Waiting for Forest to finish his shower

So as I could relieve myself

And head back to Long Island

Where I’d dream of dying

In my studio by the sea

Left: Mac, Right: Me looking down the hall at Forest, BK 2013-2014

Huckleberry Heels

Silence falls like snowflakes

Covering the field

Where birds like statues watch

My huckleberry heels

With frost left underfoot

The hallow ground revealed

Where doe tread light as feather

And sun spill bleeds me home

Footnote: to Regardless of the election.

For the majority of my adult life I have lived in impoverished communities, mainly because it’s what I am able to afford. I have seen, felt, and heard the cries of both men and women, alone in gutters, pulling the arms of children onward to a life not many of us will ever lead. Some of course have made choices leading them down this path, others are facing hard times, but I see the majority of them, just as I see myself, as I see my loved ones, as common people. So regardless of the outcome of an election, regardless of the winning or losing side, I still see many men, women, and innocent children who will continue to suffer either way. I do my best to spare what little I have to offer, be it a dollar or two, a bottle of water, or even a smile which seems to go even further than the former because at least they know that they are seen, and like so many of us often feel, we like those less fortunate are not forgotten. So just be a decent person, treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their current standings in life. Do what you can to leave the world a better place than it was yesterday. And be well, my friends. Be humble and aware. And give more than you receive, when possible. With love, gratitude, and thanks to all who’ve graced my path, and who I continue to think of daily.

whether or not

Every morning

theres’s a woman

pruning bush, or

a bush pruning

woman, whether or not

either is real to me

it’s real to her,

that rose bush

pruned, green grass

now rising wet

in the morning dew

of chimney’s now

smoking, standing

in line at the DMV

with the DUI

unpaid, scratching lotto

old men lifting hats

scratching heads,

wondering like children

where all that hair

goes when it falls out

and if there’ll be

enough water

for the grass, in

the coming July drought,

no matter, still

does the woman prune

as the old me croon—

each mourning.

the LA river

Looking at the LA river

now, smelling it

more than I can see it.

There’s a pigeon

down there, drinking

down there, bathing itself

in whiskey and piss—

probably blood even.

Who knows really?

It could be the purest water

in the world, but I guess

only a choice few

will get the opportunity.

While the rest of us

get coffee, Dasani

and whatever else

man feeds the birds.

L.A. River

footnotes in nursery rhyme

Got up this morning ahead of my time

shook fear from my hair and tears from my eyes

took to the mirror and spoke to this guy

who said he knew me from before —

it’s there that he unlocked the door.

He gave me a sunrise he gave me his hand

he told me a secret I could understand

life isn’t a journey or destination

it’s your choice to choose to buy in —

for me it’s better not to win.

So I sharpened my memory and tore out his tongue

recycled the organ from which I’d dislodged

filled it with the secret and sealed it shut

if X marks the spot then I’m fine —

love’s just footnotes in nursery rhyme.

Connecting the dots which soon filled my head

aligned with ideas I spoke with each step

life ain’t no cake walk or deal with respect

it’s your throat or mine well of course —

I’d take mine to spare you the course.

It’s kill or be killed so I’m on my knees

no fear any longer just tranquility

it’s obvious ain’t it half hearted pity

runs deep like the roots of despair —

no one’s got the cure or should dare.

So with that in mind one swift hit should do

a hole in the head hell it ain’t nothing new

I was head over heals now I’m sinking through

the clouds which look soft from afar —

at the end of this there’s only dark.

With all things considered it’s lovely I guess

like spilled paint confetti this hole in my chest

I’ve dug it before since third grade I guess

my actions speak louder than words —

it’s all been a blessing and curse.

Pull another Death card

I have no business

I’ve made that quite clear

But I’m still wondering

What lies beyond here

This bottle I’ve found

Is filled to the brim

With messages signed

In blood red penmanship.

The city wakes up

I open my eyes

These walls are filled with

Unsealed goodbyes

This letter I’ve got

Return to sender

I’ve not the courage

Or will to send her.

It’s 3 o’clock in

The fucking morning

These panic headaches

Come without warning

Now I just want sleep

No sleeping beauty

So when I lie down

Please keep my casket closed.

No kiss

Is worth

A thousand words

I know

So spare me the ritual.

This blind ambition

That I know so well

It’s superstition

Like Heaven and Hell

Now where’s that locket

The one I gave her

It felt so pure then

Like the last savior.

No one is perfect

I’ve made that quite clear

Still all this nonsense

Makes sense in the mirror

And when I throw up

It’s all of my fears

God had to go up

For us to burn down here.

So take this end and

Tie it to that beam

I weigh less than him

So it should hold me

And when I wake up

This’ll all be over

Pull another Death card

Rebirth and closure.

Nobody

Gets out

Of this place

Alive

Just promise me you’ll try.

die a King in your fantasy.

I don’t want to be a burden

I just wanna sit here and read.

So if that’s ok

then the band can play

I’ll look up a couple times to see.

Everyone who’s silently cursing

checking out the latest feed.

There’s someone I knew

from another life

I look away so they don’t notice me.

It’s a living, a hard living

the barista says while pouring cream

a couple swirls and a twist

now there’s a swan swimming in my drink.

Guess I never really felt like drowning

I just swam in this misery.

I guess I can’t complain

I made my bed

skipped my prayers

now I’m counting sheep.

Guess I never really felt like dying

just romanticized how life could be

it’s like a game of chess

you protect the Queen

and die a King in your fantasy.

Cause it’s a living, a hard living

it could be worse is a common phrase

a couple riffs then applause

now the band packs their noise and leaves.

If I have to take a vow of silence

plead the fifth in double time.

With all due respect

I think I must confess

I cracked up like a nursery rhyme.

Still I can’t sing that song without crying

so whatever shall be shall be.

I guess the world’s the same

rinse repeat complain

the punch line never hit with me.

So if you’re living, a hard living

here’s raising this glass to you

and if you’re worried, don’t worry

there’s bound to be an answer soon.

Cause baby I don’t wanna be a burden

I just want to write my poetry.

Because I’m not a rock

or an island but

ain’t that the only way to be free.

Kyle’s Camel

Kyle’s

Camel

cigarette

smoke

lingers in the air

creeping in my window

wishing me to dare

take another drag

see what you’ve been missing

though if I did decide

to have another kissing

I’d like to think

it would be mid winter

jangling down the streets

of New York City banter

admiring sleepy windows

with a stranger I barely know

after leaving the Wreck Room

now long since closed

and wondering if she feels

the same way I do

taking a long hot drag

while

trying to seem cool

knowing nothing about her

yet desperately wanting to

and they would taste like Brooklyn

they would be Pall Mall Menthol

crisp and clear and clean

like ice on the verge of thaw

we’d be cracking up.