Red and Green and Blue

2012-12-11 21.55.45


Red and Green and Blue

Red and green and blue are safely locked in my head. Night returns with disease and obsession, obsessions. I draw a line on a dirty piece of paper. There is nothing on either side but I have created a boundary. I don’t feel any safer.

He walks to the back of the house without great conviction, out the back door to look at the alley. The painkiller makes his vision flicker around the edges. Painkillers are a gift from God when they are needed, and they are needed tonight.

The red is the blood. The green is the money. The blue is the sky. I think about a bourbon. That will surely put me away. I like the sound of ice cubes hitting the lead crystal rock glass. The red is the blood, the poison river, always escaping, falling, splashing.

He doesn’t try to count the city lights. There are too many and he dislikes them all. They hide the stars. He wanders rather than walking because he has no destination in mind. He breathes a word that only he understands. He exhales it.

I touch the steel because it is blue. I touch the skin because it is red. I touch the earth because it is green, but that is all. I am unavailable. Disconnect the phone because I know the danger. A song plays in my head that I don’t like.

He lights another cigarette and inhales deeply. Smoke trickles out of his mouth and nose, slowly, erotically. The smoke curls up around his face and into his hair. He pulls an old book from the shelf. Without even looking at the title, he begins to read.


Captions: The Time To Dream Questions


In clothes made ragged by design

to show the endless flaying of our souls

we walked lonely streets

never failing to draw the attention

of police and older men passing by.

Streets in Big City have their own shamans

who can turn the summer night

to a thing of ecstasy or dread,

Street Picture: power poles rise

like pillars of the temple.

Cryptograms lay hidden

in the signs of liquor stores.

Night fed upon our electricity

and our juices made forms in the air.

Trees reached up like skeletal hands

to grasp the toxic darkness

and held it close to the earth.

Fog hung motionless

like the vague words spoken.

We unwound that night

like threads of an ancient curse,

left the strands there on the sidewalk,

and stepped quietly away.





Step through the door
between two worlds,
one to be departed
and one to be explored,
one comfortable
and one is unknown.
Threatening. Necessary.

Fall asleep and awaken.
Waking and sleeping
are different worlds.
I flee from troubling vision,
sweating, out of breath,
flying not as well as before.
Awake, escaped, relieved.

Sex. Orgasm, “La petite mort,”
the little death, release that comes.
Dissolve into the universe,
indistinguishable for the moment.
Go from particular to oceanic,
a self to non-identity.
Surrender and then return.

Fort Pulaski 9

Patriot Point 13

Fort Pulaski 10



Old Guitars

Guitar Lexington



Old guitars lean on chairs.
Sound boxes curve
like bodies of women.
Blank music paper scatters
to catch notes which fall
from long fingers
with blue knuckles.

Tantric mandalas
of guitar chord spin
for a moment in the air.
Cigarette smoke settles in waves
around un-barbered heads–­
islands in a phantom sea.

Music played urgently
pushes back the void.
The world shaped by it
can be photographed
but not the sound itself.


Young men who chase after ghosts amuse me


Young men who chase after ghosts
amuse me,
when I fight through haunted night
to keep them at bay.
I want to say, “Just give them time;
they’ll arrive,”
but I don’t want to spoil their fun.

Tissue frays; sharp becomes fuzzy.
Night falls.
Look straight ahead, not side to side.
Shades gather.
Don’t make eye contact or answer,
or they will never leave.
There is no hope in their words, no joy.

“Do you remember me?”
they mouth the words.
They have no breath to make the sound,
no heat to warm the room.
I need a warm touch, not ghost words.
I need a throbbing pulse,
Not the rustling of dead leaves.


Captions/Thoughtscapes #2



Rain paints Louisville with a silver sheen.
The town smells like a fish hatchery
when rain settles in for days.
Green algae grows on sidewalks
and shoes will rot unless you dry them.
Strangers in raincoats hurry across streets,
dodge the spray of cars with squints.

Stop action: a tidal wave of water
thrown up by a bus,
frozen in mid-air
above soaked pedestrian
who meets the muddy baptism
with a grimace.

Apartments stack in squares
the private places
between diseased trees
and wire poles.
A half million private universes
hatch ecstasy and nightmare.

Victorian porches
please the eye with a fantasy
of walking the ribcage
of a titanic sea serpent,
bleached by time
to a palisade of bones.


I would not have heard you

Hearing You
Click on photo for larger view


I would not have heard you,

lost as I was in myself.

I may have wondered about you,

but I would not have heard.


I would not have heard you

above the whispered storm

of doubt and imagination,

of thoughts that would not leave.


I would not have heard you,

though you cried for me to do so.

It was not my choice, nor plan.

Forgive me if you must.


I would not have heard you,

lost as I was in this dream.

I awakened too late to hear you,

too late to take your call.



Stairs in the Woods


is bitter black coffee
always tracing
the was against
the wish it was.

are pages yellowed
in time’s acid –
edges crumble,
feeling lost.

i return
as my own ghost,
translucent and silent,
remember everything
and then forget.