Artist As A Young Man

The things we wrote
April 26, 2010, 8:42 am
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For Leigh Marshall


About the purple flashes of ardor

On July 3rd, when we were nothing

But two bodies pressed against the

Side of an Ithaca knoll. A mountain

Of fire was building up in the sky,

The greens and the reds and blues in

momentary heavenly conversation,

but our two souls whispered about

other things in wet air, window panes

knew our fingers’ touch as we wrote our

momentary poetry on the dewy glass.

In my mind and in my heart—no,

Between my toes, I felt your gaze,

Walking with our shoes clutched like

Wildflowers picked from the overgrowth,

We would wander like siblings of the

Sky’s fire under the benevolent

Shade of the ageless trees, home to our

Silent place, to write, to touch the

Panes of the houses we selected

In quiet ecstacy.

And two years later, you ask me:

Do you remember what you said to me that night?

And I would pause, muted and dumb,

Waiting for you to finish:

You told me that you found

a missing part of yourself in me.

You had your tea, and I had my cigarette,

And you asked me between sips if I remembered that.

Vaguely, I said. And that’s how it was.


And I thought about a lot of things then.

I thought about the murderous tree dipping towards

Our balcony, begging for a kiss,

The ersatz moon pulling it away from

Us, stealing its own kisses.

And about the Chinese paper lanterns

Housing little bulbs green, red, and blue

That I have stored in my room.

And I thought about the dewy

poems we wrote on the window panes.

And I wondered what was left of our

Impermanent glass poems, and what vague time

And seasons’ somnambulance had done

To wipe them from my mind,

To wipe them from their glassy graves.

And I wondered if the fireworks were

Purple this year.

Stanford, CA. April 26, 2010


Painting the curbs red
March 14, 2010, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One man on his knees, painting the curb red with the alien tune of his own fated knowing.

The wraths of reddened cherry blossoms dripping their flower leaves down upon the man as he wiped the curb with paint from a solitary bucket on the roadside.

Amazed in the sunlight and in the rain of the cherry blossom, where will you end your labor, today, painter?

Are you going to climb this hill, towards the winding heart of the sunset tonight? And when you arrive, will you beg of it something to match your pallet?

Or will you reach up into the sky at dusk, above us in the hills, swath red the orb as she slumbers beneath the blankets of the ripened hill, eclipsing her with sleep?

The sunset will forget you, and I will forget you, dynamo man who painted the curbs their forewarning red. Afresh, this afternoon.

You will only be memorialized, immortal, by the solitary imprint of one unaccompanied petal, pressed into the paint on the curb by the trembling tenor of the wind.

Painting the curbs red
March 14, 2010, 10:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A man on his knees, painting the curb red,

Blood spread across the deepening hill,

Blindly feeling his way along the roadside.

Dipping his brush into the liquid collected,

And like child of waxy content, with lines

Lines to follow,

Wiping a red roller against

The side of the road.

His hands gloved against

The perfume of the toxicity,

On a sunless day the color will

Not be this bright, and I would

Not have lifted my gaze to greet

The image of your labor

Deepening the lines

Carving rules against the

Edges of my mind.

Where for art thou, sir?

Will you paint and paint

Past these hills into some other

State, reddening, with bourbon

Authority, the State’s position on

Where to park? Will we meet next year in the

Roads of some other place, and will the day be as

Bright as it was today? And will your eyes contact mine?


Alveoli branch between the doldrums here
March 14, 2010, 10:01 am
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Alveoli branch between the drums here,

And dew threatens to fall between the beat.

Bright battalions of words belie dear,

The steady progress of the axeman’s feet.

This isn’t what our sisters predicted,

And that wasn’t yours and this isn’t hers.

Amongst arbors already evicted,

We, hanging up our souls amidst the furs.

Now, turning mulch for pennies tossed from hell,

Seeking my fee – an eternal recluse –

My torso, limbs – kissing goodbye farewell.

Peace in gravity, that cosmic excuse.

Jigsaw snapping into a lumbrous mass.

Behead the tree, free my sap, and demask.

elegy to a poet whose lithography is in the skies now
March 5, 2010, 2:47 am
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For Nic Russel


“Trouble, trouble please be kind,

I got no fight, and I haven’t got a lot of time.”

yellow skin from the Xanax

bummed from a friend.

yellow teeth from the cosmology of smoke

yellow nails, too.

yellow lips, too.

yellow hardened lips mine.

Eating my fingers.

A look into a mirror, a look into a mirror,

knowing you have this planned,

that look into my own eyes, worshiping myself,

and worshiping you in my imagination.

Deliciously tasting taste

my stone lips aren’t matching

yours – what is it like to kiss

a stone?

Matching anything when collusion and

sacrilege and honesty are relatives

and no one else can tell the difference.

But peace. Peace. I beg you, I beg you,

give me a piece of what you stole.

Give me back time and give me back

your body – to look at, to touch

your lips, to wipe away the rust

from the corners of your mouth.

To ask you to open it, insert a

pen. ink. and to kiss the

eternal page:

Lithography in the sky.



pressed, stonelipped

against the

pillars, the highest

windows of the

skull, on tree

trunks, carved by

lovers’ lips.


and no


will notice your

Wasco Wisdom.

There, back there,

where we used to

be stone lipped

lovers sharing in

streams of



I bent down,

took the rust

to be proof of

my indelibility,

and crossed

your forehead




And you

did not


For you knew your lithography

would be published in the sky

before mine.

January 21, 2010
January 22, 2010, 11:54 pm
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Under the sublime remedies of tonic waves of indifference,

An asphalt warrior speaks the poems of Mephistopheles.

Inquire in my eyes something unspeakable, something erroneous,

Something linoleum. Press your mud hand in my sepia mouth, and

Gouge out something golden, and believe in pyrite.

In the dark, pretending to see the infinite eternals evermore,

A martyred nymphomaniac pains for some kind of lull. A disturbance in the

Heads of frogs, in the gingerbreads lay, out on the bench’s black robe.

One raven is hunting for nothing. Strong black cups of coffee are poured

On the heads of infants at church alters, anointing them into bohemia.

Other priests proselytize the national crematorium, my very home.

Silver studs sprinkled in the patterns, of sheets, warm from only moments

Ago. Make nonsense music, sing the siren’s song about the siren’s song.

Adjectiving the brown high peaks, bosoms are eating my face’s happy

Frown. Elementing the rhomboid world, beginning the backward walk into the

Last frame, next frame, the rushing drip of honey sweetened sex in

Mars’ jockstrap, living there, I poet, declare my omnipotency.

This generation without want, screaming, periodically appeasing the

Aesthetic Allah, always allowed to allow.

December 6, 2009, 7:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve said yes to the four

corners of you, your car,

and the square. And given myself, my eyelashes plucked one at a time

and taped to your door.

Tonight, yesterday, I’m going to find a menace

in the coke bottle, I’ll suck down the liquid,

staring at you, and you will feel that disdain

in my lashless gaze – as I forget to keep drinking, and brown pours down my front.

And I will tack a firefly to my fingertip; use your polaroid to catch me wagging it.

To catch me point.

Tie this ribbon around my neck, tighter now, I want to feel you around my

throat, to fly down a highway makeshift ribbon

mimic hollywood glamor woman

seraphim winging my motorcade

madness down the highway traveling Mojave thirsty

and freezing in a convertible midnight haze driving so long not knowing sunrise

or sunset.

I tore the clock out of the dashboard in my past life,

when I

was Alexander and I found the innards and wires

an eerie proposition to the future,

but loved that they marked my end.

Gimme the keys.

Gimme the keys.

Gimme the keys.

Keep your hand on my thigh as we drive

maddened by the desert air and tonic bourbon married

in the canopies of our veins, a stale promontory you brain

my child, our child’s carseat tethered to the fenders,

V-dragged across California.

That umbrella in the backseat. Open it, you.

We’re not indoors. And I need to know I haven’t broken any rules.

Wipe your cum across the sky,

make the heavens know your seed.