When death lurks on your morning stroll

baked by the fresh, morning sun
the streets reek of boredom, panic, and piss
decide to practice increased tactility

practice keeping my head from bowing to track my shoes
practice my breathing
practice regulating judgmental tendencies

achieve temporary reprieve
enjoy a brief taste of peace
until I remember that there is horror

horror and death, that floats above us all
ready to set upon us at will and whim
there is danger, and blindness, and strokes, and insanity, and…

and then, I remember women
I remember sex with a woman
feel myself growing lighter, in shade and weight

feel myself getting hard
and suddenly
I’m not thinking about dying, anymore

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musings upon her funeral dress

These garments are like a tightly packed row of
Hers
dehydrated, deflated and hung up front to back.
Each item was her in a mode, a mood, a moment
in time
each was chosen by her to reflect the parts of her
personality most vibrant and attractive in times
when she felt brave.
They all began as simply wares on sale,
sterile and lacking a history and association.
I wouldn’t give a care for any of them
although I might have found them
eye-catching because of their colour
but they would hardly stir inside me
any fondness, not on their own, not any moreso
than any configuration on display at
H&M or Winners or the lot,
slapped and stretched over
plastic, faceless mannequins.
These clothes here in her closet
they were no different:
they began on a mannequin, on a
plastic person with no soul or agenda,
just textiles and dye and thread,
stitched up, ironed and branded
by some company like Billabong
– she really liked Billabong,
even though she never cared for brands
and she certainly didn’t fit their target crowd
of surfers and boarders.
She never surfed in her life.
Now she never would.
Would never try and find out if she enjoyed it,
if she would master it,
incorporate it into her lifestyle.
Who knows?
Maybe, eventually, her hobbies would
reflect her favourite clothes.
I doubt it.
She wasn’t a surfer.
That’s not the point.
She could have been,
she had the option,
life still held that fate as possible.
It doesn’t now, that’s the point.
It does for me, though.
Maybe I should take up surfing.
For her.
What good would that do for her?
Really.
None.
She’s dead.

my brother the stone

The ocean waves, that is the rhythmic undulations
emitted ceaselessly from the rich void out there
and beneath us in the earth and the weather from above,
gently yet unyielding, roll over the back of the large stone
three-quarters submerged at the water’s edge
in a distinctive V-pattern, and such a pattern
takes lasting shape in the lines of fine, soft sea-moss
that grows atop the stone’s surface and makes one
draw a comparison to the thick hair flowing
from the back of an early ancestor, stooped and apelike,
a pre-hominid lad or lass diving for clams in the shallows
and using their dextrous extremities to pry open the shells
perhaps with the aid of some early attempt a chef’s knife.
The stone is me, you think.
Or trying to be, at least.
Perhaps though, it is I who is trying to be the stone.

constant

The Pacific Ocean apes the face of the moon
in size unfathomable to minds as mine
likewise effect which upon time untold
unites the men and women in kind.
Through we, the people, the city, the ghosts,
our bloodshed, orgasms, soft drinks
and me, through us all
the moon is constant, remaining
subject for world’s people to gaze
necks bent longingly skyward,
and so has the ocean
lapping at our toes.

the hats I once wore

see the people, watch them
wearing the hats and suits and jewelry that you wore once
and wish you could don again even if only for a night

see all the different faces you could make and varied words
you could picture uttering from your mouth

long for a myriad of realities that are not yours
but could have been

see, look, watch, long, envy
and accept your world as your own
yours is the world of many faces
worn in secret, in moments of experiment

see them all as failed trials
of paths sought after then abandoned
as false fulfillment

envy no more
you are yourself
beautiful and radiant and true
embrace that empty vessel
you

faces, voices, touches, memories

sometimes I wonder what ever became of them

the black girl that came from France
who had the skinniest ankles I’d ever seen
the brunette with the husky voice who fucked me in my van
she had a tattoo on her back of a butterfly and she wrote me a poem
the almost-virgin with the most perfectly tiny nipples
who screamed like my cock was a knife inside her
the one who bore my child
the one who used me as a way out of hell

the one who took my virginity in my parents’ bed on new year’s eve
I remember her in flashes of memory now
the way her perfume stung my lips when I kissed her neck
the way she said “no” while she told me not to stop
I remember the way she took me by the hand
or maybe I took her
and before I even knew my shirt was off
my pants were too

I think of it sometimes and wonder
whatever became of them all
the girl with the rad blue jeans that I loved in grade school
the one I asked to graduation dance and then accidentally stood up
they came into my life, all of them, without motive, agenda or reason
they left without goodbye
all I have are the memories
just shadows of dreams
just echoes on the breeze