Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tuesday, Chico

The hotel swimming pool,
full of floppy children and
chemical stink. The fly
dying on my nightstand.
A quarter and magic fingers
for two minutes. Orange
diamond, black diamond,
orange -- the bedspread reeks
of bleach and violets. I need
to understand some things,

you said, some things involving
This time, I left.

July is listless and self-conscious;
I'm avoiding the beach,
my bathing suit has an
embarrassing hole. The ceiling
fan weeps rust every so often,
and I wonder what happened
to our bug-eyed goldfish, the red
potato, pierced with toothpicks
and string, that was sprouting
in a glass by the kitchen window.

I'm studying the way people use
you said when we first
met, at the party in the house
without electricity. I fell down
the back stairs and you watched
me, then offered me a hand
when you saw I was done.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm trying out some new images for the cover of my next book, "Echo Park". Here's a close up and then the big picture. I'm trying for a wallpaper motif.


The Big Picture:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lines Excised from the 5th Poem About Your Death

Then you said, I'm not really your mother. How, when you took off your shirt, I saw your black-winged bra cupping your freckled breasts. The Wednesday when you told me you couldn't answer my call last night because you had someone's cock in your mouth. The script you wrote for me for valium, so you could get some yourself. The part where you kept your fingers under your eyes to stop the mascara from running. How your hair got in my mouth on the ferris wheel. How you were supposed to engaged, but the obituary said single. The part where you were a pole dancer. The part where you fucked the hospital janitor. The pink lampshade with the feather trim. Your son's pencil drawings of rats on your refrigerator. How you cried every time in the same monotone when your boyfriends broke up with you. The matching bitchy cats under your sofa, your sink. The poster of a pastel garden just above your toilet that appeared to be painted by an extremely depressed grandmother. The part where your pregnant patient hung herself. How you counted to three in a voice as sweet as any hypnotist to get your son to put his video games away. How he has your enormous bronze eyes, the eyes of a busy victim. The sickly yellow light above your stove, how it made us all look bloodless, dying. How we looked in that polaroid from the party, curled up on the black velvet sofa, the white of your big teeth matching the backs of my hands. The dislocated, sudden shadows a flash makes. How in all my dreams of you, you are wearing a yellow flowered scarf around your head, although you never wore a scarf. How you swoop slowly down from turbulent clouds as if you are riding a floating dinner plate. What you really said to me. How you made me my first martini, and I was disappointed. The part where you came on to my psychiatrist and he turned you down. How your insides ached afterwards, as if you'd been hit with a shovel in the stomach. How I tried to pretend to sympathize. The drugs we shared on that couch. The kiss we nearly shared on that couch. How you said you were worried about the stereo speakers, Is sound coming out, or going in? Are we being recorded? How I told you to close your eyes and it would soon get better. How you wanted to ride the bumper cars three times in a row. How you hit my car so hard my elbow dislocated. How it didn't, eventually, get better; none of it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dream Dog

Barking bangs from the corners of the garage.
Drool pools in your lap. Face the size of the

horizon, scummed puddle eyes, muzzle and grey
gums. Black hide, burned at the elbows and chin

to pink. Your snot-smeared hands, struggling
with the rope. Paws scrabbling like falling pigeons.

The reek of his tongue; he has been eating something
dead from the trunk. Out-of-tune horns, cellos, from

the front lawn; he whines a pinkish nursery song.
His face is your horizon; eyes the size of scummed

pools, red muzzle and gums, teeth grease-smeared,
like your struggling hands. Drool puddles in your lap.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beaver, Cat, Clam

Think of it as a small
tender beast. With large
deformed paws. With a razor-
wire necklace. Think of it
as your mother once she's
drunk, when she has forgotten
her second language and can
only swear at you in Russian.
Think of it as a cop
on a Segueway, as a cop on a
Segueway in shorts. Think
of it as an attractive sky,
blasting in your face. With
the moon, sun and stars all
jangling at once. Think of it
as the pink and black sow
you bit at the petting zoo
when you were five. Think of it
with hooves, with hands.
Think of it as the mouth
of an old Mamacita after
she's removed her teeth
for the night. With the scent
of her last whiskey-rich coffee.
Think of it as a drowned girl,
long hair covering her face,
by the side of the pool. Think
of it as her lips, her throat
with your breath inside, your
breath, your breath. Think
of her coughing once, waking
up with her hand on the back
of your head.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Rewrite of old poem

Birds Clearly Don't Understand Glass

you stood near the winter
swimming pool, like a little
mother, but with fur,

a lightweight skeleton,
hollow bones, the age-old bell
on the collar,

your large palms
spread with shelled peanuts,
sunflower seeds, red millet,
white millet