Saturday, November 27, 2010

savvy sarah ten feet tall

So I've met a girl who is like the living Sarah. I've always considered her my alter ego but yeah. this is bad. poetry to follow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"they never even thought to ask your name"

I feel the need to post something so here is this. I don't feel like posting anything newer. This was written (i think) the day after "troof". It's pretty similar in subject matter, but I think it's better. I re-read it last nite and was pleasantly surprised.

"troof #2"

this is what i do when i'm desperate
i listen to "all the umbrellas" on repeat
and erase your pictures from my phone
i ignore the fact that you're a twenty minute walk away
all of this, this is all

i can either do that, or disappear
but to disappear i'd have to undo everything
cut my hair, cut all ties
move to a new state, and change my name
it's easier to suffer, it really is

what if instead i showered you with words?
called you at one am with tears on my neck?
i could whistle a sea chanty, and hide in my hands
the backlash would be imminent
i need to pretend i'm safe

i'll continue to pray, and deny every urge
if it ever happens it
won't be because of me
or i'll have to go paint houses
back where it doesn't rain

The second line is a reference to the song "All the Umbrellas in London"  by The Magnetic Fields. It is one of the most depressing songs ever written, and is dear to me.

Here is this because people seem to like it:

"for terri"

i wanted to sit with you in your garden
and talk about the iris
i wanted to listen to your voice as i sipped sweet tea
still, i can feel your spirit, and i know it continues

i will carry a piece of you forever
a treasure, a flower in the soil of my heart
you were something to be shouted for
i am blessed that you knew my name

you encouraged me to love, and to watch my mouth
and, i am bigger because of it
you called me "the picky poet", and played up my strengths
you stood, and struggled with me when i couldn't hold myself

i hope it's warm wherever you are
i hope the breeze blows just the right way
i hope you're with those you love
and i know you're kicking ass just same

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


These lines:

i cling to deliberate things
my lover's breast, her hot, soft kiss

are from a late '07 poem called "success". I'm pretty sure it'll make the cut for ex-girlfriend. I like those lines a lot. I'm rarely that specific when I write, I know exactly who I was talking about here. The word deliberate can be taken so many different ways, which is why I like it.
It's odd looking back at work. It;s like looking at grainy photographs. It's fun going through these old poems. I can't wait to see what recent(ish) stuff will look like when I start compiling for gravity. This next stanza is from an aborted cycle called "marriages". I was high from the success of "birth" ( when I tried to write that. I'm going to attempt to cannibalize what I can from that.

i'm married to this city, it was a simple ceremony
i got drunk, puked on her shoes
signed the papers, went to sleep in a bush
it wasn't the best of beginnings
but at least expections started low

Aw ha. Those are favorites. Anyhow, nothing to report. Life is threatening to get better. We'll see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"silence is a sound"

i’m falling, why am I falling down?
gravity is a bitch, and silence is a sound
songs i'd rather not be reminded of
they kick, and banter, and they shove

growing timid, as vapor as a slave
sweet devil, it's your voice i save
i go into my wilderness i come out scarred
mama, no one told me failure would be this hard

but as i lie, and attempt to tolerate
i yell, and pray away the bad voices that scrape
at my icky lungs, borrowed travelers from foreign town
i ache, i collapse, but get up without a frown

i brush off, and i'm standing, still
reminding the world that i'm not too ill
finicky and fucked, with the patience of a  child
i'm wounded, but the look in my eyes is wild

See? See what I did there? Not only is this a first draft, it rhymes. I haven't written in rhyme in god knows how long. I wanted to try it, though. Mostly, to see if I could but I was given the first two lines and I wanted to make them work which meant I needed another fourteen rhyming lines. I like it. I hope you do too.
If I ever finish compiling "things your ex-girlfriend said"; "gravity is a bitch" is the tentative title of chapbook 3. I've been deliberating over this for a while, but now that I have a poem with the line it has more of a chance. Unlike 1 and 2 this will be mostly newer poems, which is why I'm trying to be careful about what I post here. I have an unfinished poem called "elliott smith's blues" that will hopefully make the cut, if I can finish it.
Other stuff I'm working on.. I've been thinking about my neighbors cycle again, and I have an idea for another  called "east coast world". That title has been in my head for like six years. I'm also pretty sure I now have enough ammunition for another project that isn't poetry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"lord knows i've been trying"

"winter (10/10/10)"

i'm begging the night to dissolve itself
this season i'm begging for a change
for questions to implode
for 1 + 1 to no longer = 2

i'm bigger than the bitches i barter with
i throw cigarettes at tourists but
i'm always alone in baking cold
watching for a sign to pray to, i go grasping for a center

so, take me out somewhere
where swimming isn't allowed
return your poisoned promises back to their origins
i've been talking, but i've been closing my eyes

as i write hymns for the season i long for
more inarticulate intricacies to sow the ground
lover you're gone, or lover you're loud
but i'll be here forever, and i'll remember every word

"i should probably apologize"

to deny the urge
 for a shit or a sandwich
instead to go out fucking, and fuck something instead
to grope at futility, and know it's the only thing

cramming my ears with haunting
sending clipped flowers to strangers
i wrinkle and i wash and i watch and i wade
and i never know my way

i'm going to take you away from yourself
i'm going to show you bigger than your issues
plant a seed, but if it rots
you're fucking typical, and ill

no matter how i mutter the sanity won't creep
no matter how many unfulfilled former brides
i come in contact with
i'll still be safe and sighing

To first understand the second poem, here are some Will Oldham lyrics:

"kid of harith"
O will I be faithfull to you
And never to separate, now you have found me
Or will I, regardless, be true to how you
Think that I am and know that I should be

I watch things painted on public walls, now
But I see other things as well, behind
But right fuck in front of my spirit is how
The real road's laid out in a line

I see it lit up, headlights and lightening
While your eyes are fixed on the dark of the car
I no longer cry, I don't find it frightening
But wound up and bound up, so near where you are

For how can it be, to be so much with you
When there are those that totally laugh at me
I pray so often that some fluid will pass through
While I slowly strengthen my vocabulary

It isn't an urge, it is more like a duty
To begin to explore again things of the world
To resaturate skin with injections of beauty
And to mess with, undress with some jewel

And I think you will not notice, do you
As I am only wind and weather, only to you

I had just bought a copy of Palace's Arise, therefore. It's probably my favorite thing Oldham has done. I'm aware I'm in the vast minority in here. I was reading lyrics, and here are more, from "disorder"

 To see in me a promise of what I could give
And I to see in her a reason to live
Which was past just a symbol of woman and luck
That I would never be lacking for something to fuck

And one to fuck over when things would decide
That it was once again time to go for a ride
We felt we must seize the weather, and never the whim
To be led by the other and not the whithin 

So, obviously to me is the influence, esp. in the first stanza. I started it on a bus and finished it on an escalator in a light rail station. Maybe it would've been different if I had written it in other circumstances but it's the best thing I've written in a while.
The other poem.. it's a winter poem. # 3 in fact. That is all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

yesterday, i went out to her gravesite


and we should throw static at silk
sniffling our way underground
as if we should die of shock
if our spirit were willing to do what we asked it to

the wood pile piled high with aggresion
light as air but ready to burst
at any moment we will
shrug off our desires and discover new burdens

this is the way we wish we could confront our deities
like we could warm up to the sun, and eat it
the literal truth is much less articulate
like rubbing a new wound in old milk

if I tried harder would it get me any further?
I’m afraid there might be some things I’m too small to compete with
I’ve counted each minute of desperation
I’ve found  answers but they only precede new questions

This is likely going to be the opening piece in my next chapbook.  It's from March '08, I think. It fits well with my current mood.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

School is in and I'm procrastinating on homework. My computer keeps doing things I didn't ask it to. I'm complaining a lot. I'm frustrated with a lot of thing, but if I got my way I probably wouldn't be happy then either. Life, goddamn you for making me live. Occasionally I miss being able to do nothing but drink. Then, I remember that didn't really work either. I watch my friends. I pray a lot. And I hope. Oh, god do I hope.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

5% troof/95% bullshit


picking up quarters from my bedroom floor
only to keep my mind occupied, and away from it's stray
i need to keep away from the fact that i'm falling in love with you
i'm at the entrance to a minefield
if i don't keep my tinfoil up, i'm bound to explode

i'd never say these words to your face
i know the cost and it's fucking high
but, you're beautiful, and i want to touch you
almost as much as i want to breathe
sideways, i'm sideways, i'm retreating back inside

i watch the rain wash
your car prints from my driveway
i take another sip of coffee at 2 am
i've been doing this so long, i don't know how i'd come out
even if i knew it were safe

so, i wait for the sky to open, for a heavenly chorus of angels wielding bells
i've been waiting an eternity, i can wait another
please remember to dress warm, and to drive slowly
i'll whisper these words as i send my love
off into the night and i'll pray that it reaches your heart

Post title says all I'm going to tell you. I'm sorry about the lack of updates. I haven't been writing much and blogging seems so self indulgent. I swear to god I'll write a life update by the end of this weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Today I send you love. I wonder if you will receive it./I would have gone crooked but for you"

I sat on this for a week before I did the second draft. Laziness is my excuse. I like it. I wrote this in a meeting, for whatever reason I was thinking about porn. It seems a bit vicious in places but I think it's pretty decent.

"lovers don't learn"

when all the pornography that will
ever be made has been made
i will gaze upon your memory anew
my lusts will reassert themselves
and i will go stumbling after your flesh

i fixate on impossible things
i elected to be damaged
to reject you with false starts and liquor bottles
but i have my nights when i would remember nothing else
the t.v. gets into my head and i'm groping again at love

the house we built with soft words and nervous caresses
was made of straw but we didn't know
we thought we were as eternal as any eighteen year old boy
we flung ourselves at the world and
were dumbstruck and numbed when we went uncelebrated

finally and firmly we fell apart
went back into our corners
to lick our wounds and repair
off to do it again, eventually
lovers don't learn, not a single lesson

I'm listening to Diane Cluck's "Oh Vanille", again. Jesus, I don't think I've listened to this record on a regular basis since 2005. The strange thing is that it still sounds as beautiful and vital now as it did then. Strange badly recorded folk music with vocals that would annoy the hell out of anyone not accustomed to whiny, slightly off vocals. The songs get through, though. This is an album for the ages.

Monday, September 13, 2010

maybe you should've let me drown

I lied. No update from SF as I'm home now. SF was fun. A lot of walking. An insane amount of walking, actually. Thinking about a lot of stuff. Talking with my uncle made me realize how much I've changed and how much I continue to change. Interesting. Jeffy is trying to grow up and apparently is succeeding somewhat.
Can't figure out how to turn the underline off, goddamnit.
Song of the moment: Kristin Hersh - Speedbath can't stop listening to it.. again. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flying to Oakland. They're calling my plane soon which kind of  bums because I wanted to ramble incoherently for a while. Update from San Francisco, probably.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"all the pretty ones will leave you low and blow your mind"/"hope that we die holding hands"

"between the rhymes"

i showed up to your house, and i was drunk, and sorry
i was hiding between the rhymes, and i wanted to be a line in your face
some lasting impression that would never change as long as you fade
a lost alibi tracing your wisdom
from the day you were born through your descent into destruction

i am a decaying thing, sticky with shit
pouring words onto paper as if they could save a soul
my ransom has been paid but i don't feel well
i'm only a thing resonating into the fears of strangers
i'm a rest stop, a respite from poison, something you can carry, and then discard

encoded in your open wounds are the answers to life's riddles
pick at your scabs and report back to me
tell me how they bleed, tell me how they scream
every inch of life we fight to lie but our bodies fill with cancer and horror
we lisp, and accelerate, forced free, and we're in the open

you can find me hiding between the rhymes
in words that dance dangerously but don't sound like others
you'll find me anywhere, in my headphones with a pen, and a cigarette
i'm going blank, and ambulatory for the sake of someone else
anyone really, who'll sit and stare as i throw, and watch what adheres

Really? How much stuff am I going to wring from the memory of that girl? I had an idea for a "last poem to julia" a couple months ago but for whatever reason couldn't get it down. Now I wish I had. More stuff about dying and decay and writing. This is a fun one. Nothing interesting to talk about with life. Maybe I'll write a non-poetry blog post in a couple days just because.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ten days since my last post, whoops. I haven't had anything new and haven't felt like rambling into space. So.

"thinking of a woman i met on a train"

you said: "maybe i'll try new mexico"
i said: " baby, i think you're wrong
you should be somwhere safe
rasing children, your life
should be contaminated by small things
not always on the run

or maybe i'm giving the advice i should give myself
when i'm out walking and chaining and obsessing
over sad folk songs that never do any good
my life feels like it's shriveling
i have no duties to fulfill
i'm sad and absent and full of unattainable desires

i'll watch your face as you fluster and ponder and decide
i'll give you poems and c.d.s that will only gather dust
knowing my only entry into your room will be through them
and i'll wait for the bad news because there's always bad news
my eyes will remain forever swollen from the sight of you
you're too beautiful to be beside me, but that's alrite, that's the story of my life

Some notes: Looking at this now, this poem seems fucked. There is some good stuff here but the third stanza seems violently diffrent from the first two. Plus, there is too much real shit here. The title is bullshit, I was thinking of a woman I met somewhere other than a train, and only during the third stanza. I scrawled the linew "you said maybe you'd try new mexico" on a poster on my wall many months ago and only here found a place for it.

Life is life, ya know? School is about over until 9/27 and I haven't murdered my roomate yet so I must be receiving the patience I've been praying for.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I was maybe too successful with "no art poem". The lack of art is way too evident to me.
Anyhow,  here are the two I mentioned last time. I'm intrigued by the fact that even with a piece this wordy, I still chose to work with four line stanzas. Comfort?

"dream song"

the blood that is your body gets colder as i struggle into sleep
i forget about the slowing of your breathing as i search for a place that you can't follow
a cough, a last wink, and the shadows fade from my eyes
your black hair is the last thing i remember, but i don't feel safe

i've withstood everything to get to the place where i'm standing
it's the world but it's not the world
in this phantom place, my fears lapse into reason
i lean against a wall, things are building inside my head

is there anything worth watching here?
this is why i don't like wandering away from my stories
my fingers suffer from a lack of upheaval
feral religions can get at my meat if i'm not careful

it's always the night that drags me out of hiding
whether it's in dreaming, or the wider world, where i kick stones at captured vehicles
i ingest the residue of the seasons
beautiful is a thing easily discovered, triumphing in it's success at not being undone

my artistic muscles stretch as the wind saunters in through my window
it's obvious where i'll return to upon awakening
away from obscure punches by foreign law
free again in domestic oblivion, and it's attendant horrors

"mundane poem"

when you find someone who amuses you
for longer than it takes to fuck them
or for the chemicals to wear off
you might want to keep them around

it's inevitable that things will get less entertaining
this is why i like to light things on fire
and why i spend my time with violent or insane women
i like people whose actions i can never predict

i conduct my life like a therapy session
looking for reason and answers in the most mundane
even when i ignore the obvious and dip into tragic
there is something worth digging out in every spirit

don't let me discover what makes you tick
i might discard you like so much used tissue
i catch a glint of sunlight off your yawn
i'm there, recording and deliberating, but for how long?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't ask questions. You won't like the answers.

It took a fuck of a lot of work for me to make this poem work

"no art poem"

i think i've taken the tortured artist thing to it's outer limits
by the time i had to start hiding my arms from strangers
my fingers were the only things still working
pushing the ink as fast as blood
an eternal struggle, an arguement with life
this is not me giving up, this only me trying to, and not being able

i could be in a parking lot with a can of coffee
sitting on a curb with the rain dripping on my notebook
not angry with anything, but only internal
wherever i go the heat is stifling
with each day that passes
thirty seems both closer and further away

excavate my collected works
throw them like stones but they fall like soft
with a low thud, and only curious glances
i'm not going mad yet, not even to amuse the masses
if i can only out a few more years
it will be a much more popular ticket

i stare off into space and search for the words to staunch the bloodflow
the tortured poet is a false idol, but an eternal identity
i violently suggest myself, constantly, and without a map
i have my humanity, but how often am i happy with it?
if only i could keep the fevers away
there would be no art but the pain would diminish


shelves full of decayed things
relics of fire and extinction
button pusher's bones
don't ask why i killed my lover
only know that she got in the way, and don't do the same

i'm exercising my options
i have more than you realize
until the cancer gets me or my addictions catch up
i reserve the right to complain
to bleed the world, and to make it my own

golden soldiers marching oblivious
i flick my cigarette in their direction and light another
i'm a laboring, breathing thing, that is all
but i want your bones on the outside
i want the windshield of the world to crack and shatter and for everything to change.

I feel no need to add any comments to these. Let them speak for themselves or yammer at me in the comments.
I've been writing a decent amount lately. Public transit is good for that. I wrote two things I like (I think) today and they'll probably appear here in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I've got nothin'

This first poem I find very nervewracking. I don't really want to post it which is why I'm posting it. There is A LOT of stuff going on in here. Mostly stuff only I would notice but if you wanna pick it apart and make guesses, have fun. It's interesting to think about connections. What frame of thinking led me to write a line and how that line influenced a line in a later stanza.

"as seen through a door"

empty sounds dancing like fearful tears
balancing my outbreaks w/ the shape of streets to come
calming myself with the idea of peace
i throw my voice, and remove myself like vapor

if i outstayed my welcome, i am sorry
i can still feel the taste of your fingers slipping from mine
oh so silken, you infect my head like rhthym
i wanted your burden inside of mine, tucked into my inner like an infant's kiss

there are shadows that populate
the hall outside my bedroom where i stare as i write
the dancing of a woman, and the violence she brought
a foreign prayer trapped at my back, it commences my mutter

never more numb than the fuel inside my fingers
a pregnancy escapes my throat, and i
beat back things best left buried
a simple good night call from an ex-lover, and i'm back there, puking up my sorrow

These two feel like very close cousins to me. Both are sixteen lines, (but quite a bit of my stuff is sixteen, if I have a prefered format it's that) and both were written inbetween 11 and 12 at night, but beyond that I think the obvious similiarities are gone.
Abstractly, I think they're about the people I've been thinking about lately and whether they're thinking about me (I know some of them are).
I can point to a few lines in both of these, and know exactly which person influenced it. It's nothing direct, and how I got there would only ever make sense to me.
Again, none of this is direct. Nothing in either of these was written to or about any specific person. I guess it's like ideas leading me to other ideas.

"how to leave a room"

let me apologize
for every mistake before i make them
forever, i will write you poetry
i am sorry for this as well

don't get tatooed anywhere
forget my name as soon as i've said it
these things will only bring you sadness
i'll skip town leaving only my boots to remind you

you'll stay young eternal inside my head
your skin won't sag, and your breath will never sour
my imagination is a breeding ground for impossible things
it's there you will flourish, and fear nothing for always

let me kiss your lips one last quickly
remember the scent of my fading away
the last chords i sing will be
your name exaggerated, and soft as breeze

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

fucking in the bushes

"fucking in the bushes"

scribbled a notbook
went flipping back
found your name
next to a whiskey stain, and a star

strangled my anger, went back, rewrote a poem
about the day you hit me
at westlake, and i remember
laughing, as you walked away

sipped my coffee, frowned, and thought
about that day, you told me to wait
i tried to stay away
i had been drinking, and didn't want another fight
damage is damage, and it never lands the way we think it will

startled into stories, i will
put my pen down, and pick it back up
i draw old lovers back into lies, i could never fix them
in fiction, i am a beggar
in fiction, i am safe

There is only one other person who could maybe know the truth behind this poem. This is a mingling of true stories with false and I doubt that person will ever even read this, so I'm safe.
I found it in a notbook, yesterday. I remember when I wrote it I didn't think much of it but when I reread it I thought I should do a re-write and give it a title. I changed a decent amount of stuff, made some stuff truer, and I like it.
I'm not explaining the title, either.
And now! On to anthropology homework.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Parasites are excited when you're dead

Life has been irritaing me the last few days. Maybe it's because I haven't beenwriting like I would prefer. I've had two supposedly sure fire lines blow up in my face recently ("we communicate with cigarettes winking in the dark", "give me a woman who is ugly when she's crying").
Or eh. These things happen and maybe it's just been the slowness of life that has been so grating. I have less to complain than I've had in a while so I dunno. School is good, the internship is cool. Friends and other people are a pain in the ass, but that will never change.
I just go through my phases, I guess. Sometimes everything is beautiful, more often life is stress and work. I just have to deal, with it and find joy where I can.

Monday, July 12, 2010

something new


i'm up, in prayer, my head is low
i'm suspicious of everything, but let the words flow
a string tied around my finger
so i can remember not to be afraid

i grow older, i grow less bitter
more comfortable with faith
less worried about everything
darling, we'll die, but we'll have each other until then

listen to the sound of my voice, how it cracks and whistles
i've seen signs of better days to come
open doors and pretty girls
and a lack of desperation

This is flawed but I like it well enough. I was surprised when it wasn't four stanzas long but it works w/ three. Other stuff.. the darling in 2:4 is generic
I've been thinking a lot about faith lately, maybe I've needed it. I'm also really worried about a friend right now but that's completely out of my control.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

poem for april

"poem for april (in memoriam)"

thank your god for the pills
if that's your thing
i, myself
am too old to believe in god

dizzy as hell but
still haven't had enough
almost drunk enough for prayer
almost ready to smile

as i stare at wooden crosses
i shake my head and inhale
these things scare me, why
don't they focus on the way he lived?

i have my own gods
may they die and go
they come in bottles and join me in ill times
wake me up for a short while and then send me back nowhere

i used to think i was breathing for no reason
but now i'm tired of hiding
i want lightning, i want fire
i want to break down doors and celebrate with things exploding

if god is your thing
i wish you joy, you won't regret it
i can't settle myself with easy ideas
some days i wish i could

I called this what I did because  April was a sad person who once said  "I'm too old to believe in god". We were drinking in the Sodo district of Seattle with someone (I don't remember who). Somehow we got on the subject of god and she said that. She was 55 or 56, I think. I told her I was going to use that line, and eventually I did. I think she might of been brilliant once but she wasn't in the short time I knew her. Her body and mind were pretty ravaged by drugs and alcohol. She was one of the craziest people I have ever known, but I loved her to death. I speak in the past tense because she died in a pretty horrible way last summer.
 The poem really has nothing to do with her but I wanted to put her name on it because she was the type of person the world forgets pretty much immediately. I think I wrote it within my first ninety days of sobriety last year. I was thinking a lot about A.A. higher power stuff and struggling. I came to terms with that stuff early this year. This poem is less reflective of how I feel now but I don't outright bash religion in it so I think it's OK
I think it's pretty good . The only thing I don't like is stanza three, line four. I tried to write: "why do they focus on the way he died instead of the way he lived". That didn't fit right but I think I got my point across well enough.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

oh god, more words.

I was going to post a poem called "no art poem" but I realized needed to rewrite the last stanza. Nothing recent I want to post right now, either. Aw well, such is life. One good thing happened recently. I got an internship at kexp ( This is more exciting than anything else I have going on. 
I should write some new stuff this weekend. That's not a plan, only a desire. I can never plan when it comes, and I don't like forcing it. Sometimes the words come in trickles, sometimes like a flood. I wrote two things last weekend, maybe they'll appear here soon. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

didn't it rain

I should maybe start to organize my work. I found a poem called "dare I eat a peach?" (T.S. Eliot reference, again) sitting over by the television today. I *think* I did a second draft but I have to find it.
I just got back from California yesterday. I had a lot of fun hanging out in the desert with siblings and other people. I did a couple rewrites while I was out there and what I think are possible beginnings and ending to "neighbors". We'll see.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tonight, I have to leave it

Less work than I expected was needed, though I'm sure it probably needs more.

"Tonight, I have to leave it"
Jones hurried out of the QFC supermarket, past the old man selling Real Change newspapers and across Pike street. With barely a glance over his shoulder he continued up the block to where a woman was standing next to a club, Neumos. He smiled at her and bent to pick up a backpack from the ground .
Adjusting the straps on his shoulders he winked.
“What’s wrong now, Jen?”
"You” she muttered.” We have a bag full of beer, yet you continue to tempt fate.”
Jones cocked an eye at her. “It’s a sport, my dear. The security guard in there  busted me at a Safeway in West Seattle, once. Old Friend.”
He wrapped Jen in an all encompassing bear hug and then kissed her on the nose. "The Park, then. Shall we?"

The Park (as it is usually referred to by those who thrive on the underbelly of Seattle’s Capitol hill neighborhood) is officially known as Cal Anderson Park. It is popular for the wading pools and fountains located in it’s center. Most summer days you’re likely to find any number of children splashing about and plenty of family picnic fun. It’s also popular for it’s softball field and tennis court.
Pretty much year round, weather permitting, you’ll see any number of sports being played, from bicycle polo to friendly pickup softball games.
It’s also popular w/ the bums, the punks, the drunks.. pretty much any type of person who isn’t comfortable living within society’s norm. They cluster around picnic tables or pass out in the grass. They shoot smack in the bathrooms, smoke crack in the shadows or simply sit on hills and guzzle beer.
Jones considered these types his people. He spent most evenings here w/ one hand gripping a can of beer, the other on Jen’s knee. He was famous for peddling bootleg  Vietnamese Marlboros, bought on the cheap from a woman in the International District. The punk kids being either too lazy or too young to cop their own smokes came to him in droves and Jones was more than happy to take their money.
 Recently, malt liquor had been banned on the hill . Jones didn’t like selling his supply but he wasn’t going to turn down three bucks for a 24 oz. can of beer, either.
Jen gripped her boyfriend’s hand as they entered the park The sun was setting, early, it seemed to her. They  found a table near the street, on the 11th avenue side and each lit cigarettes. Jones pulled a green Fosters can from his jacket, popped the tab, took a sip and placed it between his thighs. He glanced at Jen, smiled and began to watch the street.

It seemed most folks came to make his acquaintance from behind, Jones was thinking. He looked at the sky. The sun was gone and he was on his second beer. Jen nodded her head at him. “Company” she said.
A  lean 17 year boy came into sight. ‘David!” He  smiled. “Alone to the party?” He asked , handing him a pack of cigerettes.
David opened the pach, stuck one in his mouth, lit it, inhaled, exhaled and pulled it from his mouth.
“I sent the lady friend to panhandle on Broadway. She doesn’t know I have beer. What are you two up to?”
Jen remained smilingly silent. “Usual” Jones replied as he a lit smoke of his own. “Have a sit, the cops have been through already tonight. We’ll get drunk and yell at the moon.”

Jen took a small sip from her beer can and rolled her eyes. The boys were much further along than she was and were babbling typical drunken gibberish. She was waiting patiently for something to happen. Sometimes it did.
“The fact is” David yelped “god is bigger than any of can imagine. This is why it doesn’t make any sense..God is fucking mystery. The asshole can do anything it pleases.”
“ Well then.” Jones replied “considering we’ve already had this conversation at least five times is there anything else to talk about? “He looked back into the park. “Anything going on out there? Is that your lady?”
 David smirked. “That would be my beautiful Delores. Lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree, I’d wager. One day she’ll grow up and become the hooker with the heart of gold but for now she doesn’t know any better and is more than happy w/ scum like me. For now.. “ He suddenly looked serious. Jen, don’t you dare tell her I said that“.
Jen laughed and took a much larger sip.
Five minutes later David stood up as Dolores ran into his arms. Jones looked at them, shook his head and muttered: “David and Dolores, god help us.”
Jen glared at him, silently threatening him to behave himself. The lovebirds ignored them both.
After their kiss ended Dolores held up a plastic bottle like the prize it was. A grin spread across David’s face. “Where the fuck did you get vodka?”
“Feminine wiles, of course” she answered back and threw the bottle to Jen.

Some days can be measured i the numbers of drinks taken. This was one of those. About a quarter to the bottom of the half gallon Jen’s head was in Jones’ lap and she was staring at the sky. “Do you know if this is forever? Is this it? Are we even enjoying ourselves?
Jones winked. “Aye. Fuck. Now I know you’re  drunk. Why is it liquor always makes you think?” He laughed. “You know I don’t know. I want a life that isn’t desperate.. I haven’t figured out the way to that yet. Is it enough that I’m trying to work it out?
Jen coughed. “Haven’t much choice have I?”
 Jones stood up and kicked David twice in the upper thigh. He  began to stir. “Wakey wakey. Eggs and bakey, motherfucker. Come on. I’m bored.”
David begin to rise, dusting himself off as he did. “What’s the good word ?“, he asked?
Jones took a drag off his cigarettes and a hit from the bottle. We’re leaving. Y’all have a crash spot in mind?”
David reached for the bottle. “Not really. “ He made a half assed attempt at a smile”
“We have extra blankets“. Jen piped up. “If you  can walk and if you can get your dead broad to rejoin the living we can get you guys warm and secluded.
“Sound good.” He began shaking Delores.  “Goddamnit ,woman. You could sleep here but I wouldn’t recommend it. No telling what kind of  fucking crackheads are out tonight. And I can’t fucking carry you.”
He continued shaking here and she eventually found the world of semi-consciousness .
“What is it?”
“We’ve got to mosey, little trail hand.  Quickly now, before our benefactors change their minds.”
Jones laughed and shook his head. He lit a cigarette, reached for Jen’s hand and they began walking to Broadway.

'You wanna rock? Why not!"

 Sitting in Portland airport listening to Prince's "good love". One of those amazing tracks he used to shit out seemingly without trying. Mostly unknown except to the faithful. Also: "I could never take the place of your man". Cannot fuck with, almost totally untouchable, by anyone.
I'm yelling at the only piece of prose fiction I've actually finished. It's called "Tonight, I have to leave it". It's mostly a mess. I wrote it to try my hand at prose and it's very apparent that I really need to train myself to write decent prose. Some of the dialog sounds a bit forced ("One day, she’ll grow up and become the proverbial hooker with the heart of gold, but for now she doesn't know any better, and is more than happy w/ scum like me. For now.." Seriously) but a lot of it I like. The Jones character is very real. He's a mix of a lot of people I know but also someone I've only just met. I'm sure we'll see him again.
I'll publish it here when I've cleaned it up as much as I can.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From Walt Whitman's "To a Stranger"

I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again

thinking of at least two different women, that is all.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is from last summer, I think. I found it in a book of re-writes from last year. I forget where I stole the opening line from but I did steal it.

"happiness is a molotov cocktail thrown at the sun"
i do not think the ending can be right
no ending, and there always is one
fire, concrete, or a simple "go fuck yourself"
nothing ends on time
and rarely the way it should

if you thought you deserved this
you wouldn't be weeping
regardless of our sins
we rarely warm to our comeuppance

so, i will wave my white flag
that's me, standing by the freeway
smoking a cigarette
and yelling at the sky

i will accept whatever ends poorly
with restraint and few tears
i've come to understand
that most of life is failure

still we search for little specks of joy
for times spent in true happiness
are so few and far between
grab what you can and hold on for dear life

Last day of school tomorrow and California on Friday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the girls want to be with the girls

I wrote these this morning on the train. Less about content and more about playing around with style

"also a scar"
i don't know where she came from but i found her in the forest
she came stumbling out
with crazy written all over her face
wearing a loose peach blouse and corduroy jeans
all she wanted was a cigarette
all i wanted was someone to yell at me

i never found out her real name
she only followed me for a while
maybe she went back to where she came from
wherever that might have been
i hope i left an impression, she left one on me
and also a scar, when i tripped while watching her smile

"bad soup"
only excuses
tiptoe us back
to our favorite dooms
i can watch you
you can watch me
and we can screw
and we can shout
and we can drink
and we can damn
i'm pretty almost
as pretty as you
my friends ask me
not to kill me
they must like me
and i like you
almost as much as
you like dope
or i, gin
reality is uncomfortable
and i don't like it
i want to swim grudgingly
and gain perspective
gain ground
push away fault
and grow
until i tire
and you, too
simply, it's surgery
it's rough living
it's barren life
the thrill of agony
how you're taller than i
and only remember my name
when you're high
or drowning
or flat
it's ok
we can go back

Monday, June 7, 2010

Communists in the funhouse

I'm working on a new poem cycle called "neighbors". I found a bunch of random line groups and some of them are very interesting. I guess I wasn't thinking about about these turning into completed poems so I turned out some ballsy writing. Lines like "nothing terrifies me like new love." A lot of talk about women and etc. This will likely be used for "neighbors":

i believe that anything
can be severed
if you try hard enough
i believe that
chaos is nice and
we could all use more of it
why are you looking for water?
why aren't you looking for yourself?
why are you rich?
why am i melting?
your tendencies, my tendencies
i believe that each and every one of us
we are all up to no good.

I'm still writing notes but that gives you an idea of where I'm headed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Here is a poem:

"first poem for T."

this city could be new for us
as if- you never knew elliott bay books at it's old adress or
i never passed out on second and seneca and got picked up by the cops 
the bad things that happened to us here
they built us, they rest in our bones and we'll leave them there
they need not have happened
we can go back to the dog park on bell
and stare at the space needle
as if we're seeing it for the first time
let the sound of rain direct our traffic
let us have new lives 
in our new city
we are born again

That will most likely be the last poem for T. I'm not saying it's completely impossible for a reconnection to happen at some point but at this point I highly doubt it. She decided heroin was important again, and I guess sometimes it is. There may be more poems written about that but I doubt it. We only met once and I can't see me getting much out of our late night phone calls. Anyhow, if you do read this thanks for whatever inspiration you did give me. I'm more excited about poetry, prose and possibilities than I've been in a while and you gave me a few ideas I'm trying to figure out how to implement. Here's hoping you don't kill yourself, you're one of the better poets I've known and the world needs more of that.
I was going to type something I wrote last fall up but I'm not in the mood at the moment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here is my weekly update. I am in a very bad mood. I would type poems but again, bad mood. It will likely persist for a day or two so.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I've been thinking about poetry. I've been thinking about the lack of true stories in my poems. It's not like I have a lack of horrible stories. I could write about drinking vodka and screwing in a Vegas alley or smoking crack in an Austin, TX sewer. I could write about sitting in a mobile home in Eugene, OR with alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning so bad I couldn't drink but.. are you starting to notice a pattern here?

So few of my poems recount true stories. I'm sure there's a reason I prefer to write through the guise of fiction but I can only guess at what it is. I have my alter ego, Sarah. It took me years before I realized that when I wrote about Sarah I was writing about myself, to a certain extent. She kept stumbling into my poems and she kept pulling the same stunts I like to pull.

It's easier to write fiction than non. I'm a liar by occupation. I lie when I scribble. The strange thing is I very rarely, if ever, lie to my friends. I'd rather people know the truth about me, even if it is ugly. Most of my past is ugly but it's impossible for me to not be exactly the person I am. I don't regret my past because I don't believe in regrets. Every decision you've ever made, good or bad is something you can learn from and therefore become a stronger, better person. Christ, that really does sound cheesy.

I say I lie but everything I have ever written is true in one way or another. If you're reading, chances are you know me but if not, hello. I'll try to keep this updated better than my myspace blog. Here are a couple recent poems:

death threatens my friends in large numbers
i'm healthy but my heart and stomach hurt
i give them my care and comfort
but secretly wonder if i insult them by being well

ignore the police
they'll let you go smooth
smirk at cancer
it might invite you out for tea

i wish i were something bigger
so that fear might never touch your world
but i'm only a man
my hands are frail

i watch the water, i watch the trees
i say a prayer for brave, small things
for survival and health
for sanity kept and renewal by faith

"untitled # 8 (i mean it this time)"

faith wasn't what i was talking about
i never expected to be saved
by anyone or anything
i wanted to go my own way
i fully expected the world to be blown to shit

find me in a waiting room
curled in a corner w/ a cup of coffee
begging in my head for the receptionist to call my name
violently urgent for a cigarette
making my definitive plans and  predicting what will upset them

knowing that my curses won't solve anything
but flinging them about all the same
i'll be here waiting for a psychiatrist eternally
and for the next round of laughter
to thrust itself indecently

not even i know what it is i'm talking about
i mumble sad stories
i express gratitude and wish for peace
but i'm only going through the motions
for the sake of my friends and family

I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with these. Ha. What's with me yammering on about faith?