Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/28/09


Our sister Grace is not,
strictly speaking, our sister:
we found her one night
in a Corpus Christi bus station;
she was fully formed
as if hatched from an egg.

My brother Dick and I
knew we HAD to have her,
so beautiful and wild!

But if course
she wasn't our decision,
she followed us home,
she felt right beside us,
as if she'd been there
the whole time.

Our parents knew it too;
there was no "can we keep her
PLLEEEASE," it was just
"hello Grace, welcome home."

NaPoWriMo 04/27/09


Hello Saturday, hear
my saxophone sounds,
our bleat-bop style is fly
on the wall of this truck,
I'll make this alley mine.

NaPoWriMo 04/26/09


Oppressive Spring
is upon me, branches bent
with heavy pink beauty.

We are slowing down
beneath the trees,
bony December far away.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/25/09

sucking on a beer:
John Cotter from New England
happy Spring indeed

Friday, April 24, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/24/09


An orange-red radar beeps
in the darkness -- my night vision
blurrrs a halo onto every corner;
an insectine chirr catches my ear:
a sign pops into my sight,
and so begins my Friday night.

NaPoWriMo 04/23/09


Neon is not always neon;
electricity arcs to excite
other noble gases
to make light and color:
orange-red for neon,
blue for argon (with mercury)
and xenon is purple-white.

But fluorescents can be deceitful,
do not look to these signs
for noble gases; look for
"dinner," or look for "subway."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/22/09


From where do poems come?
Last night John Wieners' voice
leaked out of the internet
and into my ears. Did that poem
come from John Wieners,
or did it come from the internet?
Paul Killebrew sent me the link;
there is abundant evidence
that poems come from Paul.
And are there poems
without my ears and eyes?

A blueprint for poetry:
John --> internet --> Paul
--> eyes --> ears

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/21/09


This is my purple house
where I talk to birds -- hey
bird! and where I talk
to plants -- hey plant!

My lady is asleep upstairs;
she is an uncommon girl
with whom I have a common
relationship: it's amazing
the things you can do
with a cell phone.

When she awakes,
we will walk from our purple
house out into the green
world. Our love is law;
our rituals are old
and well-tested.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/20/09


Long after happy hour,
our smiles remain here
where the friendly folks
congregate, on the
North side of Monday,
on the South side
of Manhattan, on the
wooden side of the bar.

Sink side, Shafer's working,
and his eyes are so thankful
when we help him
take the trash out,
or bus some tables.

Shafer growls, Teejay
smiles, and we all remain
through the evening,
long after happy hour.

NaPoWriMo 03/20/09


Happy hour's come and gone,
but still there are smiles
near the bar where good folks gather.

Later we won't even remember
tonight -- it was just like any other
-- a pileup of dozens of smiles.

Tomorrow comes another happy hour
and the same old mouth
will break into a brand new smile.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/19/09


Oh great ounces
of bourbon, oh
wild cat of
The Great Plains,
your name is known
from Manhattan, KS
to Manhattan, NY.

Our love for you
is near as the burn
of whiskey in the backs
of our throats.

Keep yourself safe
and wing it back to Brooklyn
to us and to the bottle
we will keep safe for you.

NaPoWriMo 04/18/09


Aurorites unite
behind the firm front
of Brendan and Tracey:
thank them for
a nurturing mother
ship to dry off
when we're logged
with rain and to cool
off when we're dry.

And seventeen issues
from now, may your smiles
still be finely flecked with crow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/17/09


I light, and therefore I am Monkey Lamp,
and back here in the shadows in the back
of Jamison's bar, that which I illuminate
is often all that is; when Jamison
clicks me off, there is nothing, and
I am Monkey Lamp no more.

[click] Monkey Lamp [click]
not Monkey Lamp [click]
Hey there are two people
making out on the "leather"
couch; that is too much
for my Monkey Lamp eyes [click]

No daylight filters back
into my little Monkey Lamp room,
but Jamison sometimes sits
and tells me of the big world
out there, a world with as many
lights as there are monkeys [click]
Monkey Lamp [click] no Monkey Lamp

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/16/09


Dawn's rosy fingers touched
my Clifton Place this morning;
my feet were all over the street
and the stoplight kept us all safe.

I traced a path to the corner store
to search for grapefruit soda,
I tried to tell the fellas there
about a drink called Ting.

But our English wasn't enough
for us, we agreed to give it up;
I said "go Mets," and he said
"ayyyy," and home went
my Gatorade and I.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/15/09


America lives out West
in western Wisconsin --
"the Land of Trees Touching"
to the natives.

Power is plentiful here,
so our extension chords
are curled up on bumpers
decorating our purple buses.

The snow is a museum;
come inside where it is warm.
We will show you our animals,
our drinks, and our guitars.

Later on, someone's target
practice might tear up
the evening, but for now
our boots are freezing on the hood.

You can decide on your own
omens when the bus begins
to move again; tell us
what it tells you -- if it burns.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/14/09

Big confetti busts
out above West Fourth; April's
cruel chill continues.

NaPoWriMo 04/13/09


When materials oxidize and react to make fire, it's chemistry
And we stop hiding behind our collars and our beers
When sparks fly on Friday night, it's called electricity

Let's meet down at Coney to forget the week's perfidy
And to find someone fine who later we'll fear
When materials oxidize and react to make fire, it's chemistry

The whine of her grinder is an aggressive sort of prosody
And I find myself drawn nearer and near
When sparks fly on Friday night, it's called electricity

Toward stammering salutations her performance is prodding me
I'll break the spell of her headlight on my deer
When materials oxidize to make fire, it's chemistry

It's a bit of late night intoxicated trickery
My odd combination of bravura and cheer
When sparks fly on Friday night, it's called electricity

I've never quite learned what behavior is worst for me
I can't quite say how I came to wake up here
When materials oxidize and react to make fire, it's chemistry
When sparks fly on Friday night, it's called electricity

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/12/09


Saturday skips across midnight
and here we are: I miss Mark's
porch, but it's one good night
at a time: good night Coney
Island Avenue: good night
Old Carriage Inn: what will
the East Side say when we
say "Hello?"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/11/09


Prospect Park is on golden fire
through the tint of my Cadillac
in conveyance to Mark Reilly
on his birthday: what apocalypse
harbinges Ocean Avenue,
so cool & slick on this Saturday night:
the pointed roofs of Windsor Park
poke menacingly at the evening:
a police escort with "birthday boy"
written on its armored fender.

NaPoWriMo 04/10/09


Oh magnificent Seventies,
when golden tones fudged
at the edges of our senses
and dinosaur punk rock
agriculturalists roamed the land.

A Dee Dee was a Texas Aggie
was a black shirt was a guitar
strap dangling a slicktastic bass.

My one-year-old mind
was textured with thumps
but now it's smooth and slick
from Queens, NY to College Station.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/09/09

Uncle Charlie

Uncle Charlie sits at the back of our brains,
a Phil Spector haunting our memory
from the wall where he is projected
with his funny and menacing gun.

Some of us, this is all we have
of Uncle Charlie. We have Uncle Charlie
and a curtain of brunette hair brushing
the air, hiding what may be a smile.

A cigarette and a beer round out
our inventory: a cigarette and a beer
and a faded denim atmosphere
producing mystery, fun, and fear.

That's all the camera tells us,
and maybe that's all Uncle Charlie
wanted us to know: as his picture says,
he has ways of making us not talk.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/08/09

Nighttime at Nye's Polonoaise

Night has fallen on Minneapolis,
and down at Nye's Polonoaise
the piano is starting to clink.

A lonely gal in a pretty pink
headband is crossing her legs
and drinking a rum & Coke.

Put yourself in the picture:
pick your favorite drink.
Sit down close by.

Outside it's snowing,
but in here the leaden,
colored glass is warm.

Wait from song to song
for a song you know, a song
to take you home.

Then that gal kisses
the microphone, and chirps
"take the ribbon from your hair."

Oh, skinny northern Mississippi
River, Southern boys
get so cold up here.

But maybe a pretty
Twin City lady
will give us a place to stay.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/07/09

Bobbie the Three-Legged Pit Bull

Bobbie the three-legged pit bull
arcs across the concrete:
a comma made of muscle
pausing in the breeze
on the porch in the afternoon.

Bobbie stretches out a leg,
and she becomes an apostrophe:
possessive of everything
the Spring smells help her see.

Later on, Bobbie will be a period:
ending the day at the foot of dad's bed,
curled up on top of mom's feet.

Monday, April 06, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/06/09

Sunset & Vine

The sun is going down
down in Texas, while
the vines are growing up.

The human fact
of a powerline moves
horizonwise across the sky,
man and plant in tandem
defying gravity.

Here on the ground,
I can feel my feet,
but my intoxicated head
is up there among the leaves.

My camera and my eyes work together
to keep us there for our version of forever.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/05/09

Born Raised

The raised marks on my skin
show me home: a map is a memory,
and my marks are equally for my mind
and for yours. Find me on my skin:
Texas is to the right of a stray freckle;
you are here: don't forget, but if you do,
I'll remember for you.

NaPoWriMo 04/04/09


Intrepid egg hunter
and cousin Ollie
discovered a number
of eggs today.

It is a banner day
for egg hunterology.

In his right hand
is a stegosaurus egg.

In his left is the egg
of the dreaded eggeater.

Watch out stegosaurus!

Friday, April 03, 2009

NaPoWriMo 04/03/09

Central Avenue 3AM

The rain slicked the streets
of Albany last night
as we were stealing home
up Central Avenue.

The Continental Fried
stared quietly toward the Northwest;
its flat neon lights
had been extinguished for hours.

We were free and radical,
separating and bumping into
each other while the atom
of our collective intoxication decayed.

From hours away, this
is all I see: a lonely building
allowing itself a little sentimentality.
Let's take it with us next time.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

NaPoWriMo: All Smarties' Day

Storm Night

The iron gate
at the bottom
of the stoop
is whanging

The demons
are quivering
inside the popcorn.

Mark Wahlberg
is glowing
unnaturally on the TV.

The wind is moaning
through the apartment
skeleton across the way;
canvas and plastic
construction materials
pop like bullwhips.

Kill another coffee.
Pass the cream.
Call your little sister.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NaPoWriMo Two Oh Oh Nine!


A twisted hometown
is knotted up
over a dead Canadian:

the candor of his neighbors
echos off the supermarket tile
into his mother's ears,

and down here
we're talking openly
about the way he lived,

some of us know,
some can't imagine,
but we all shake our heads:

what a shame, what a
waste, what's the latest
from your hometown?