Wednesday, May 19, 2010


All my life I seemed to be a parcel on a bus. I am the famous fucker. I am the famous barber. I am the famous cornet player. Read the labels. The labels are coming home.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

For my Anime Ninja warrior, who I will always be sleeping and waking and sleeping with: unpoem.

Around you

i want to be a rain ant
that zings and wings crazily
around you and your incandescent head.
i close my eyes and it's flight simulation
at 4 G in a nose dive as I circle and swing
around you and your smile of lead because
see, there is no walking towards or running away:
you must be approached from all angles and sides
like a Mickey D's happy meal
offered fool-fantastic in a cold grey cell
minutes before your execution.
Death shimmies all around you, every possibility of it
twining your neck like the sex of drunk girls on their last night out,
like a flamenco dancer on heroin stepping the roof eyes closed.

a blind man with his headphones on, running down a highway.
A couple dancing while angry husband, drunk lover and Jat father drink in the next room.
A Tibetan monk mooning the Chinese empire, kevlar long-forgotten.
And yet despite the ending contained in this final
fascination to be blinded,
to have my wings seared off--
i continue to zing and wing, circle and swing
around you, for here between your dazzling teeth,
the little death of your tongue and your leadened smile
exists the entire possibility
for the rebirth of me.

Art by © Dan McCarthy July 2005

Monday, March 30, 2009

The bones of you

She refused to keep diaries, or shoe-boxes filled with pictures, post-scripts and empty bottles of scent. When pressed about it, she would only say that she didn't work that way. Her memories were like origami-knowledge in her fingers, flute-music-knowledge in her hands that she would bring out for certain people, at certain times of the day or night. Performance. She would quote Castaneda, say that what was important was not the emotion but the lesson of the experience.

To herself she acknowledged that like starfish grew arms to replace the ones lost, her heart had expanded from four valves to include rooms and halls and corridors that tunneled deep within and stayed closed. These rooms and halls and corridors held the parts of her that were changed forever, because of you, because of me, because of the feeling that couldn't be stopped then or now.

On her travels she constantly took pictures of creepers and vines growing into and across crumbling walls, up the sides of brick buildings. One of them won a prize, and she had it framed, hung up on her wall. In the picture, the building was so old and broken and the vine so wild and overgrown that it was impossible to tell which was holding the other up. In her dreams, she would push her fingers through the growing leaves and tendrils looking for the stone but instead always finding his palms, his cheek, his hard knuckle, his shoulder blade, as she imagined they now felt, all these years later.

She ignored the Skeleton Woman, and now drags and carries the bones of her love wherever she goes. Without regret, and almost a fierce joy, dancing on full moon nights, ghost arms and ghost legs flailing with such abandon that there are tales in certain cities of a many-limbed goddess who blesses wanderers, single mothers and fishermen, who demands no offering, who has no temple.

And why would she have a temple, some place of rock and wood fire when she has her rooms, her halls and corridors, strung with pressed flowers and leaves from long ago summers, his long-remembered scent as incense, the mere whiff of which conjures up five years ago, and three thousand miles away.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ode to an Old Friend

And you will be many, many things
to me:
the last cigarette
in what looked like an empty pack;
that long ago mix tape
on the bottom most rack.
My Anime ninja warrior
with the perfect hair
--who i will
never sleep with--
or a slice of bread and pickle at 2am.
The lecherous foot massage from a
shoe-shop clerk, after rushing 'round
five hours for a visa
to a country where
i don't want to be...
But i don't mind.
You may take or you may give, but you
will always be many things to me:
a suicide note scribbled on the back
of a prescription, found years later in a
cupboard smelling of naphthalene.
The bartender who allows one last drink,
then another way past closing time,
--and he's deaf and laughs and takes your order in mime--
Prodigal son or lying whore I'm left to see
but you will always, always be many things to me.
The first number I drunk dial.
Your warmth mixed with the last grains of weed
to roll a joint i wouldn't offer to a dead man
and yet..
comfort like the moonlit shore on which my ship wrecks
a worn-out drawing still kept in dad's chest
your bruises deep in my arm and breast
to remind me shit, this is what it means
to carry that weight
out into the night-- like trying to calm
a teething child outside the Opera house,
like hailstorm on a black umbrella
like looking at your ex and saying
"damn,lucky fella". You can wash in with the rain
and wander all across the North Sea
but always, and fuck that
you will be many things to me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Best Part

the best part, you sonofabitch,

is looking for the exact word

to use like a ear bud

or sharp salad fork --

the exact word that dangerously, delicately

and exactly gets to the tiny shrimp, the hidden olive

the waxy crumbs of feeling

that fighting you and loving you

shake loose from heart and ear.


The exact word is a powerful word

and we scratch it into the ceiling

with diamond eyes hardened by waiting

and forgotten contact lenses; 

Mine is "when?"

Yours: "how long?"


Exact words aren’t Comforting words;

Those we use for pillows at night;


are dams of warmth and memory that

keep us from drowning

in waiting and the silence of

craning ears, for our sounds:

my footstep, your key in the door.


Truth, my man.

This looking for words like rafts

to row over the ocean of reasons-why-its-difficult

tells me that no matter what,

we shall float, two coconuts landing at the same shore

(Cocos nucifera: high tolerance of salinty, preferring high humidity)

become two trees curving with words like birds walking squawking

in our oiled hair-- timesunlightwalkredwinemashed potato

quietsex LOUDlovebabiesmineyoursourshappy--

two trees living, eyes closed smiling, wow and always on our lips.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Winter Conversation

She laughed and said I should be happy:
Here was a full moon and snow to call my own,
like discounts at Subway and beating rush hour.

I replied I missed sending him songs
on Gmail, that silence is cold fog
that even seagulls huddle together in.

She said I couldn't scare her, that fog
can be beautiful for things like magic frogs
and crickets singing to find their way home.

She said the trees would shine like
Swarovski tonight, that the moon would
make the white, whiter.

Baked red sands where she lived
turned the sound of my winter
into the yearning of her heart.

The full moon cannot find my heart,
hidden under this heavy coat
the snow has draped over my shoulders.

Friday, October 05, 2007

If I was to write this pain

If I was to write this pain
Paper would tear and shadows under the moons of your eyes would feign
Which is to fade and yet attempt to make
A difference in the way I see you.

Which is why I do not write this pain. I do not,
For I cannot take your multiple choices,
Your Oprah, your wiping my sex so dry that skin yells desert hunger howls
with your sanctimonious sanitation.
Your hugs, your chicken soup, your Johnson & Johnson god
Who squeals and burps up words of love that
Cry from the fear of being burnt by the mouths of
Crow and I.

I do not want your help, your concern
your things that will soon be better.

I do not write. I yell.

I scream and howl and rage and shudder and weep at the inexplicable certainty of it all.

For fail we all must.

Leaves must curl, whiten, die.
As must this love, as must I.


N.B- from the archives. Dusted off, and glued back together.

12:30 am

An incredible ache
like the time you dared yourself to clutch
ice-cubes in your fingers
till nothing was left but water.

Here lies one who waits
for the cool drip-trip to write her name
with frozen-old-man-bent fingers.

Here lies one who chooses to tell the truth-

(that is behind
noisy psychotropic legging around a back n' white world,
that leaves territorial markings pungent tears where it
is ok to pause)

-The fact that we will all
smoke cheat cry weep
gulp rage suck kill
fuck break run sleep,
pull strings spin yarn
then darn the souls of ourselves
when fifty,
stirring cotton white robes in government homes, because:

Sometimes the pain comes not from what has happened,
but is due to the scientificonstantaxiomofreality that

Ice changes to water, water to ice. And that this
does not end....