released January 1, 2013
all rights reserved
- Track Name: To My Friend
To my dear friend,
who also cannot stop
reordering the flat houses,
pulling shutters down for cutting boards,
imposing warfare on small plants
that have stopped growing,
counting hours as losses to the infinite,
who burns love like the first iron smelt,
picks and chooses days
and could imagine himself enraged
at the top of the world.
and we will reorder the same city to ourselves,
or atleast ourselves to the same city again.
- Track Name: Harpstar
West of Orion's eye
lies his starcluster embouchure,
half slack from stroke,
disease, you can count on it,
silver rainbow hums
off coiled brass.
The skronk nephews wrote
seven letter "songs"
two too many to reveal much
more than black currant jam
underfoot. Inspired to found
a new circus with the whistles
uncoiled from Rashaan's beard.
I came up on deck, breathing
above apple barrels, scattering
muscular throated mice,
they ran old circus
from every tent post, brush machinists,
untenable alto shardsmen.
Harp cables sit slack in sympathy,
arrayed black against the ebony broadsky.
My hands have not grown large enough
to pitch them in sympathy with my mind.
- Track Name: The Politics of Driving to France in a Dead Car
Priest black, a sleeve of shoulders
up to the night, like a little screw,
eye wanders left to right,
right up and black over,
green as wide as any limbs,
new shoes, a baptism.
New hat with a brim
fierce as an eclipse.
You could count all of your bones
under such a dress.
Mary sitting stiff as uncarved wood,
holding the body of her son, Jesus.
Heaven is afoot,
Scraps of angles,
up to three children
at once, and angles cannot blunt
the gravity of one fall.
- Track Name: Why Don't You Float Me
Why don't you float me a painting of yours?
I'll sell you a billful of drinks.
Why don't you float me a mound of artifacts?
I'll sell you a Turkish sink.
Why don't you float me a sense of life?
I'll float you two months of winter.
Why don't you float me a week to get well?
I'll float you eight days to get sicker.
Why don't you float me a dream in South Philly?
I'll sell you two shots from the tower.
Why don't you float me a booth in the market?
I'll sell you a field of wildflowers.
- Track Name: Happy to Be Alive and Breaking Strings
My ancestors are wide rock walls.
Nuwa water - the god of death,
often a bald man, sometimes a candle.
The banjo is no woman.
The god of death paints
the new caverock walls
to knuckles and ankles
in white, dressed like the first
bather, the singer of monuments
handled hands and desert red
flowers in prayer. Gobi anasazi,
did I grant permission to hold me?
Smiling when she did,
face like a bare sunflower.
- Track Name: England He Goes By George
When Dr. Daniel pulls his blade,
don't count on nothing to be save.
I wouldn't count of my own fingers
to stay attached to my own hands.
If it bounces at your feet,
don't pick it up, it's not good to eat.
Just leave it lying there
and walk straight on home.
If Michael draws his blade,
he'll send old Hob back where he came
writhing like a snake,
ground the dragon in a cave.
In England he goes by George
but he's still a wall against the dragon's scourge.
Swing his blade with all his might,
sword gripped with both his hands.
- Track Name: La Charité-sur-Loire
Pretty city girls scoff,
but every old crossroads needs sweeping.
So I sweep my front porch
while they are sleeping.
Passing green on one side,
for the candied businessclass men,
were children biting lips,
in mirrored train window reflection.
Passing green on one side,
rolling green on the other,
children and businessmen
trade seats, don't acknowledge one another.
- Track Name: In States
In West Virginia,
they ain't got no kings.
Their daughters of winter
are the mothers of spring.
If you told me, dear,
that I was born in Nitro,
I'd have to admit
that it wasn't so.
For I was born unto kings.
West Virginia, you know,
they ain't got no spring.
In Maine, the open spaces
are all fairy moss.
That's just where
I've counted my favorite loss.
Nobody's working at all up there.
They're all just helping around,
they've all got enough to share.
I'm the king's only heir.
In Maine, you know,
nobody's working up there.
In Alaska, all they've got
is husky men.
They'll do just about any old thing
for a few more women.
All they've got up there
is a bunch of snow,
so I'll call me up 158 women
from the Opera show.
There's always gonna be
a bit more snow,
so I'll call me up
a few more them girls
from the Opera show.
Every time I'm in North Jersey,
I swear I'm gonna die.
Those crazies take their New York money
and build castles in the sky.
Although the drive from Newark to New York
and back is short,
I swear I'll be struck down
by a speeding German import.
I know my life is getting short,
and I don't want to loose what I've got
to a speeding German import.
- Track Name: Magicraftsmanship
In the painter's head,
just as wit was about to go dead,
he found an oil lamp,
and a desert canvas, hardly damp.
He touched zinc white
to angles' wings,
with pearls, living.
Here redolent truffles grow.
There none show.
The Atlantic cries,
its back is barren to our eyes.
- Track Name: Withandin Good Company
Sitting forward in my salon,
always with and in good company.
Mazurka settled in
as a warm bath, a warm night
visits in spite of the season,
we tabled green, brown raisin, cassis
and French red. Only butter
always with and in good substance
remained appropriate to the occasion.
- Track Name: No Identity Blues
Having sought freedom amongst the nodding grain,
Having sought freedom across the dustdrift plain,
I found myself without a place to stay.
Having sought freedom in small town apple pie,
Having sought freedom in cities that scrape the sky,
I find myself without a name that's mine.
Having sought freedom between the oceans grey,
Having sought freedom in how to think and pray,
I find myself with a thing to say.
I'm grappling with the no identity blues.
- Track Name: Yusef's Changes
Yusef's changes are sixteenth notes
and flat saxes, printed on black rayon jazz,
referential, nonflammable, like a barback
standing on an encyclopedia pointing
to canonical bottles, reverential
like ziplipped freebird.
Stomp up on the coffee table,
2071, 1804, 1811, 2042,
staring up Sesame Street
where Tony's nieces
have opened a record store.
- Track Name: Yosemite, (pt. 1)
Pull the shirt down in the reeling, reeling.
Pull the shirt down, take the kneeling home.
Meadow break down, hold the burrow, burrow.
Meadow hold still and the hill back bows.
White tail lurching down the country backroad.
White tail wicked up as the sun sits low.
High stepping cross the bridge again.
Force the nails back in, keep your fears in tow.
I'm coughing up shards of my broken power.
I don't want to bring my children to a loveless world.
My wife is a promise, she is patient like the past.
In my woman, I see my young body aging fast.
If she asks, I love her,
but I've found my front yard.
We are bears brother,
peeling roofs in the dark.
- Track Name: Teach These Girls to Swim
Moss sofa removed
to the front to rust,
rusted cassettes, moved
and found a green thousand
for the first time.
Excalibur painted fence post,
painted white, slitting New Zealand,
Spain splitting oak and
escritoire, alternating legs
to make it past virginity
then drown, past college,
then drown. Who the hell
didn't teach these girls to swim?
- Track Name: Alewife and Rock
Alone down and free
on my back with a cat
that doesn't speak
like he should.
A brown month drought
is upon us. I'm waiting
by the neighborhood's
Alewife and rock
in the bay we would have caught,
but sunnys are all the pond
If catfish were around
a scaling knife I would have found,
and not a fat cat
all dead in the sun.
This town is a deli.
I don't know why I came.
I'll leave before it kills me.
Those fuckers all sound the same.
Don't take me to see
my new home before I've arrived.
Like the future devoured by the past,
the highway's devoured by the grass.
I wouldn't know
what to take
and what to leave behind.
Imagine Myself, after I
moved to New Jersey to be
fishing on my back with a cat
instead of a scaling knife
not for catfish, or I would
need a longer knife, sharper cat
or to fish dynamic off my
back, bristling like a backed up
tomcat to slit my fingers
into its mudlove seal
muscle side, hanged from
its own gills, its own
back to break and my fingers to
swallow beneath whiskers.
- Track Name: Empty House, Counting Splits
Dampened coal spittle dumb down half my face.
Work hard, I don't give a shit for praise.
A union will give you say in kick around your loss.
I'd rather be born a demon than be the boss.
You're not crippled, they told me, we can use you.
Standard vagrant, no job refused.
Boys count splits, pass in file,
like a comb passes through, marks parts on the left.
Doing work with no tools, the last work I withstood
was to bloodmoney, underfed fools.
I walked swiftly, like grey on a mouse,
upright and still thin as a dead fly.
Rolled three mats underarm, homemaking charm.
Hiked up my skirts to keep my clean hems clean.
From the dirt and the day, the dirt and the day,
from the dirt and the day, to keep my clean hems clean.
Hardwork, I don't give a shits.
My body casts no shadows.
- Track Name: Rebel Angel Band / Monday Morning at Sandy's
What drivel peeped from the horns
of the fallen rebel angel band?
Did they honk a fungal flat fifth
back at heaven before losing throats to Michael's hand?
Doesn't hell look like a fun place,
where you can chew yourself and there's no where to stand?
Bet they hardly got a good one in
before falling hard on poor, poor man.
- Track Name: Devil Matsu's Suicide Poem
Got no regrets in life. Just wish I hadn't failed.
I fell in love with a farmer's daughter.
I could never, ever be a farmer.
You could sketch her,
bury your hand in her,
wail for sympathy
and never know her.
When a full moon makes plain a dell,
close your eyes, make love, or go to hell.
- Track Name: Seamsplitter
Hidden an eye under an X
stitched shut my mouth,
no, I just set patterns,
a woolsea blue knit across chests
florals hanging gardens
grown lower off either hemisphere
- a river is a bamboo forest of blue jean -
I need less than a nest
of spiders to weave a new dress.
Better hope that there is someone at the end of the long table.
Better hope there is someone at the end of the field.
Better hope that there is someone.
Better hope the darkness yields.
- Track Name: Psychadelic Baby
If you really love me,
buy me an island, oh
take me to your house,
and do me as you like.