Until You Forget

Until You Forget

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Words from "Spoken Music" album by Maximum West

Child Poet's Walk

Dew drop, moon step
Across the crystalline grass we crept
To greet the sun upon its frosty-eyed dawn;
Was it me, or you,
Or some newly visible star
We expected to come upon?
Was it words or a lack thereof
That brought me near
To the bell of morning
As rays struck clear
And set everything ringing, golden
Grains taking root
In every furrow of the eye,
The grey sprouting rainbows
The rainbows blooming sky,
Blue arms raising
In oratorical praise
To blanket with form
This newborn universe—


Soothe Without Touch

Nothing but poetry
Can soothe this mood—
Not quench—
But enter so fully
There is only
What’s burning

Which cannot
Consume
Without providing
Light

The pain radio blares
So loudly I can’t hear
The music of the city
Around me, detect
But one faint note
Of harmony

The feeling of difficulty
So overwhelming
It’s swallowing
All the clarity
Of mystery
All the divine arrows
Guiding me

So I walk
The city,
Still awake
For what it’s saying,
At least
For the
Possibility

I need someone
To hear, I need her
To listen to me
With her noise,
Her pans clattering
From open windows
Her strangers
Climbing into cars
Her wind rivers
Flowing my way

I need her
To show me
Without pointing
To soothe
Without touch
To understand
Without knowing
I need her so
She must need me
Because it’s a feeling
Of seeking each other

It’s shared
Loneliness and
Misery we’re willing
To bear together
On corresponding horizons

I wander tonight
Inside you
Like a lover
With the wild hope
This spark of heart
Will ignite
A completed circuit
For us both

Besides I’d rather
Wander than go
The one place I know
The one that got me
Before
The one that’s a one-
Way door

Do you feel
Sacramento
The proximity of
The ledge we live upon
Tonight?
Every step I might
Fall anywhere

I’m a miner tonight
Digging your
Darkening veins
For a thirst cure,
For an unlisted donor
For a deafening
Whisper

And I’m only
Inches better
Than when we first
Started walking together

I don’t expect
Pity, even empathy
Exactly, though I know
You have a pain
That resonates
Even greater
Frequency
Than I can echo
In all my bones,
So maybe baby
If I remember
You can take it
So can I

Not by toughing
It out though
But breaking
All the way


SacramentOde


Climb rickety backstaircases
From alley entrances
Toward parties on several floors
Of remodeled Victorians, kitchens
Gradually becoming other rooms,
Faucet handles in one corner
Of the living quarters, over the bed
Follow exterior pipes painted
White to the bathroom

Passing people whose names
You’ll never remember and barely-faces
Gazing through the single-paneled door,
Heavy pane of antiquated plate glass,
Big bronze bathtub knob

The trip into alleys
Inevitably becoming one,
Pass the same bum
On different sides
Of a dumpster, kick
Broken glass
Kick broken glass
Listen to acoustic conversations, tin stereos
Reverberating from some thin-walled apartment room,
Try not to laugh, be anonymous
Driftwood newspaper, a ghost
Unrolling its endlessly long sheet
Find a street, any street
Arcing big brother trees and
Envy, appreciate each other’s
Breezy silence
Stumbling down stillness

Make not more music than the leaves
Walk till dawn finds you
Ass wet on cold bedewed grass
Tucked far enough back
Up the park lawn to become one
With the lowly trunk tree, only lonely friend—
Catch 4 AM newspaper men
Each wondering how the other does it,
Invent weirdness sayings
They won’t forget, give them your best
Just because you know
They’ll never pass again

If possible drag as much of yourself as you can
To the river, passing
The offices beginning to file
Into exoskeleton ant lines,
Make little of
The eye contact
They don’t want, lament
The droll resignation, the focus held
Like muted masks, sing praise
For the occasional one that won’t, that seldom
Unquenchable fire eye still glistening, even now
Just for us and 7 AM

Arrive at last
Sit right down on the bank
And no longer care, even wish for the dirt
To crawl all over you
Make you the same being
Watch yourself glisten emerald skin
Grow golden coins in the moss
Splice verdant rainbows into green gradients,
Crickets chirping the calmness
Egrets sliding through stillness
The fragility of lifetimes
In that delicate, graceful neck and sky
Line
No one owns and so
All yours


Smell of Spring

The smell of Spring always comes in subtle and soft, sliding along those fast-melting jewels Winter leaves behind in the grass, breezing in across the landscape like an initial whisper which suddenly opens up ears to the whole world; the smell of Spring always arrives in a single instant, and the next everything blooms and reveals its most tender flesh to the forgiving gaze of the sun, which is just starting to smile in spreading pink and orange rainbows amidst the green; the world is never more briskly alive than in Spring, and even the skin sprouts forth fresh tingles in the diamond air: flowers open themselves in the imagination and the mind becomes an expanding container for the rolling blues of the sky, which continue to grow in potential until a deepening purple gives way to cool space and then stars stretching their veins out in the darkness, a darkness which, unlike all other darknesses of the year, is never fully asleep; the smell of Spring is the first line of a sonnet soon to be penned in Summer, the smell of poetry wafting into the prose and becoming a single, indivisible perfume; a smell as bright and crisp as the first crack of sunlight in the dew of the first melt of snow amid the crystals, the renewed baptism of water into the earth after a dense, rigid winter, the first opening eye of the year when sunlight and the world are reunited–


Embers

1.
Her words brushed an unseen cord
Tied so familiar
Yet ringing so far
As if hands
Of overlapping passion
Were plucking the strings
Of my heart’s guitar

2.
As always
When you come on
A gypsy vision
Of times
Long gone
I would pen
So many Lorca poems
With the worded wish
To flesh out
Foreign landscapes
In trembling expeditions
Along your skin
Just to be
In the neighborhood
Of your café
My song arrows
Begin to quiver
Your way
Even here
In the remote dimness
Of my cluttered room
A few beams
Of poignant light
Occasionally stray

3.
Vagabond campfires
Smolder inside your eyes, leave
Remnants of embers
Smoking in my soul,
Stolen rubies glisten
Upon your lips
With the invitation
Of an unsolicited kiss
But strongest always
Is the music
Of stars in your motion,
Poetry your voice
A weeping willow
In the wind
Your song
I go on
And even though
I rarely think of it
Haven’t forgotten

4.
Come on out, girl
Come on out
We’ll watch the sun
Slip off its gown
Watch the colors
Disappear from the clouds
Come on out
Come on down girl
Come on down
From the stairs
The moon’s not
Quite there
But you can feel it
Rising in the air
Come on down
You know, the
Cypress trees
Are whispering
A symphony,
And the wind
Is liquid light
Splattering
Patterns upon
The night
Come on out

5.
I no longer want
how much I miss you,
I would rather have
my heart strands
all root themselves
straight down into my bodily planet
and not imbalance me
with these massive branches
reaching toward the infinity where
you are not, I would rather
the flowers smelled like someone else,
or better, nothing,
I would rather
the petals all fell
back into my mind,
the sprouts reroute themselves,
the dying leaves fertilize me
and the seeds
renew my soles
because this fruit
is wasted
on no one to taste it
but a bland page
and a man
who knows the flavor
all too well

6.
I would prefer
no girl to write poems for
than one who cannot hear,
one without appropriate ears,
I would choose
to soothe my soul
under smooth sheets of the sea
or bury myself in a bath of hot sand
and have la guitarra play solely for God
to harmonize with the overhead bird’s cry
which I know it yet does
but in a way that leaves me
empty and empty instead
of empty and full

7.
The café was crowded when she walked out.
He blushed bright yellow but
The tables were unfulfilled and
She was adress in emerald seas
The night he got drunk and wavered the ledge
A thousand fish squirmed his insides
As he turned in a net of memory
He saw no visions of their future
But the waiter already knew the answer
He pushed his back toward the corner
All of time’s arrows fixed upon this instant
And had nearly put back the towel
Every time he fixed the ring it broke again
And then she walked in
The waiter asked him if he wanted a drink
It was just another tree in a forest of nights but
As soon as he stepped into the café
And instead wound around the wrong end of evening
The needles tingled differently
Her eyes encompassed a panoramic glance
He had tried to make someone push him off
But this time silence screamed only what he never wanted
He could see the empty café and their table through the window.


Waiting

The muffled click
of a clock
as unacknowledged
Faces
wearing unassuming
Forms
vanish past

Eyes are searching
for Eyes
like that first
Mirage
slowly become
a true Island

An auditorium
of voices
unintelligible
as singular waves
of sea,
the mind leaps
through the body
at first guess
of her hint

The steam of
boiled and bitter
Freshground
Awareness
of already being
too awake,
the glass countertop
too smooth
to be
really Real

There will be
several rehearsals today...

Always well-placed
the neon haloes
overshine
Actual angles
of a presence
that would wing
all else away

Light
is showcase
For what we are in
What we seem,
What we have
in want

The purpose
will not
be discussed
but remain
everpresent
until it becomes…

A woman
of soft fabric
whispers through the room,
too subtle
to cause
pause

Reflections live
nearly invisible lives
in the thin world
between the window
and outside

A hand too close
to be any
but my own
firmly clasps
the water glass
as if time might freeze…

Sudden
voices scatter Sparks
into this reverie
of what is
yet
to happen
as
like a premonition
Her face
appears
in the illuminated
door frame

(and all these
considerations
forever cease
to exist)


The Brooding Woman in the Nice House

We come stumbling by
In sandfilled sandals
And smelly shirts,
Salt stuck to our skin
And scrubbed into each brushy hair
Blown out like wild roots by the wind—

And smiles, such smiles born
As only inside the ocean herself,
Inherited from a day in the waves
And breaking out
A crest of white keys
From the mouth,
Tinkling atop breezes
Of laughter

As I look into a window
To see a woman brooding
Over a large wooden table.

The table is bathed in sunlight
From cycloramic windows
Curled around the room
Like a clear curtain forever
Uncovering the sea

A glittering scene
Of myriad diamonds
Spun by glass chandeliers
Into carousels of light

Swimming pools
Of sky and water
Against a landscape of marble
Draped with interlaced vines—
Fresh aromas of nearby forests
Ingrained in the hardwood floor
And ornate cupboards polished
With the perfumed oils of distant shores—

But she was not happy,
Lost in some thought
Of what was not
And in her downcast glance
Did not notice
All the beauty
She had constructed
In order to be
As a matter of fact
Could not even see
The sea

And it was sad
Not only because the beauty
Was wasted on her
But because
She was such a waste
Of beauty

And here we would have loved it
And taken advantage of it
But I guess
We had such love
For everything
Anyway
And not much time for sadness
So hopped into our dingy van
With curtains of rags
And feet of clay,
Leaned heavily tipped
Toward that heaven of blue
And drove straight away

-Santa Cruz


The Downhill Slide

It’s never flight that destroys a shooting star. It’s friction. A friction that makes it collide, makes it burn, makes it beautiful. A shooting star is only an asteroid without friction, only an invisible piece of rock in space. Friction makes it something we wait for, something we wish upon, something that is breaking apart as it creates.
Because of friction, shooting stars are fast, and you have to be looking in the right place even to see them. But that’s their magic. You look and you see one and you think, Maybe that was just for me. Maybe no one else in the universe was looking in that spot at that moment, maybe I’m the only witness in all creation. Maybe, besides the star itself, I’m the only one who caught the brilliance.
And friction is always a downhill slide because the moment of its beginning is also the simultaneous start of its end. From that first instant of contact all parts are beginning to fall away and spread into the atmosphere where they will ultimately scatter their anonymous drops into the oceans of the world. The downhill slide is just the hardest part of the process to admit, since we’d like to think at least one thing, besides change, would hold together forever.


My Muse

My muse
       is a light calling
              with bright silence
           a wind forever about to blow
           a chance
              waiting to be taken
           a dream of awakening
                              we are mostly asleep to
           a truth voice
                       we usually ignore
                                         as long
                                         as we can
           something like the most beautiful woman
                                                                  whose grace is utterly without artifice
                                                                                                                    of seduction
           naked without shame
           brave without pretense
           all-wise with unknowing
           she wears a starry inner smile
                                                  all through
                                                       her wardrobe of tears
                                                                                  that glisten with
                                                                                          the way she listens
           she wants to dance
                                and wrestle
                                and win
                                       as she watches you
                                                   and waves
                                                          to begin

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Setlist from Poetry Feature at Shine Cafe, October 8, 2014


Mystery Sea

Words are but the crest of the wave—
It’s in the tide the secrets ride—
Mystery sea, whispering me,
Letters splatter the sand with foam;
Enscribed until the tide slides home.
 
 

Castles, Caves and Graves

Scooping sandfull memories ashore
For castles, caves and graves to explore
As relentlessly the sea tugs at the crags with a jagged hand
 
 

The Wounded Horse

You are a wounded horse
On the edge of an abyss.
The holes your hooves enlarge
Galloping so frantically after intangibles
Leave not much of
You left.
 
I pray for you
Though I have no religion
And hope for you
Though I possess no decision.
 
Your choices of smoke
Are quickly becoming
An icicle cloak
Behind which freezes
The blood
No longer running.
 
I pray for you
Though I have no reason
But that something
Has brought us together
For a season.
 
And somehow the waves
You make as you move
Create in my spirit
A permanent groove.
 
We are both in danger.
 

When it Comes to Love

When it comes to love
You know it’s right
If she ends up
With you at night
 
When it comes to love
It’s meant to be
If you’re together, for even a moment
In all this possibility
 
When it comes to love
It can only be new
After you release all the strings
Tied inside you
 
When it comes to love
It can only go on
If the song you sing
Is continually strong
 
When it comes to love
It can only exist
When the wish to be loved is less
Than the wish to kiss
 
 

The Gift of Softness

It is our very softness
Granting the gifts
That eventually destroy us-
An immortality of stone
We’ve traded
For the intensity of a candle-
 
The limbs of trees
Never bleed
But they cannot handle
The running motion or feel
The smoothing touch of rivers
 
The backs of rocks
Do not age or suffer
But neither do they weep
Nor sing of the endless time
They witness
 
 

Song to the Ocean

I love the ocean
Like I would a person
And feel love in return
 
So sing a long, living poem
Against the backdrop of our yearnings,
Of the pull toward each end
Of sunset and sunrise—
Of powerful leavings
And endless recurrence—
 
I have a need to revisit
Every year
As if only at the sea
Can I cry
This specific tear
 
And every time
We see each other again
It is the reunion of old friend
To friend
 
Always I receive
Upon the wings of waves
Some new inspiration
To release and remember.
 
The ocean works on principles
Of intuition and time,
Rewriting the shores
With natural instinct,
One everchanging line,
Each wave the product of thought
Of an immensely blue unrolling mind
 
Its poetry is tide to music
Because there is a melody of meanings
From the birds whirling
Over its depths
To the balconies swaying
In sunken sunlight
Where fish wing the turbulent sea
 
To people, standing and listening
For hints of words
In the whispers
Of a million small collisions
 
A piece of the poem
Is given to me
And I, fished in its net,
Swim the turning space
Until I am wet
With understanding
Of each new outstretched wave
As a simultaneous inner space
 
No other power I’ve encountered
Pushes with such certainty
To ensure that always my mind
Becomes one with the mind of the sea
 
And I am driven always
A little mad
With wild feeling
Of what can be
Yet all the while sensing
That somewhere deep
In all this potentiality
There sleeps
A whole unfluxing
Eternity
 
 
 

For No Good Reason

Depression isn’t so bad, for all clouds finally float away.
Happiness isn’t so great; fairly soon it dissipates.
Pain is unavoidable, though we imperceptibly learn to slough off the changes with grace.
Pleasure is pointless to pursue, for always it is fastened to an unattainable end.
Up goes, down goes, middle goes,
The birds fly away from away.
Even the going will soon be gone.
So, for no good reason, I
Wrote this song.
 
 

Capitol Park

I. Entrance
 
You pass a million souls
And no one knows
The worlds you suffer
 
So the struggle
To meet their eyes
Passes on
 
You feel
They haven’t felt it
And so the unintended touch
Of their fingers
Still lingers
 
II. Bench Laments
 
A.
 
You try hard sometimes
Not to write
Because
There’s no point
 
And yet she looks
At you
With eyes ready
For a dream
Or joint
 
B.
 
You try to forgive yourself
Because it’s not quite
Getting dark
 
And yet the shadows are leaning
Ten times long
In Capitol Park
 
 
III.  Shade Adding to Shade
 
A.
 
Because I am riven
 
By a melancholy
That won’t die
 
Because the birds above
Fly through nothing less
Than the suns
Inside my eye
 
B.
 
Because everything breathes
And the breath
Doesn’t have a home
 
For all of these beatings
I write this poem
 
Because I have no way else
In the moment to tell
The minutes of heaven
I glisten in hell
 
C.
 
Because I posses
No rules for the game
That keep us apart
In all ways the same
 
Because you share a moment
And yet alone
 
For all of these
I write this poem
 
D.
 
Because your sadness
Leaks on me
 
Because the happiness
Breeds jealousy
 
Because our tears
Are dropping stone
On stone
 
For all of these
I write this poem
 
IV. Ishmael Bar Song
 
A.
 
Get me drunk and I’ll whale
Until it’s white away,
All the while feeling
Culmination
Of waves I won’t say
 
Day after day
After day
 
After
Day
 
B.
 
Song doesn’t end
So when did I start
Coining collections of words
To cash in
These moments of heart
 
Remembering a reality
That can’t be seen
 
Perceiving the repetitious
Rhythms of this dream
 
V. Girl Asks What I’m Writing
 
A.
 
To expel cough medicine
So I drank it
“Yet random wizardry
Expresses positive
What-Is-Ness”
 
And so I say
Nothing
Because it’s the only
Song to sing
 
B.
 
That flower seems so unreal
Afar in bar light
And yet lives
Because I have not
The heart to doubt it
 
VI. Conversation Rewired
 
“The town of Nowhere
Is a good place to get lost;
I know, because I can
Barely remember the day
I tried to get across.”
 
VII. Seeing Past the Mirror
 
Words catch upon words
Like nicks scratch
From the inside of bricks
And soon as I listen
There’s too much to hear
 
Can you imagine
All the rainbows
That prism
An infant’s ear?
 
 

No More Words

No more timeless nights
No more special regard
No more confessionals shared
No more sentences served
No more words, no more words
 
No more laughter harmonized
To the music cruising between our heads
No more melting into the delicate sounds
Of each other’s bodies in bed
No more softness, no more the heaven
Each of us so dearly deserved
No more words, no more words
 
No more knowing the light
In your window is on for me,
No more double dates with our fantasies
No more slow dancing beneath the sheets
No more poetry where I could cry freely
And finally feel fully heard
No more words, no more words
 
Remember you said it isn’t all bad-
I know in time so will I
But right now its all rockdrops in time
And pain making love
To memories in the rain
With an anger that twists me
Into a fist so quietly shaking
From fury so burning
Even in screams it’s barely heard
Like everything I’ll be missing
Beneath the triviality
Of no more words, no more words
 

I Drink Sometimes

I drink sometimes
For different reasons
Every day
 
Sometimes the fun
Of stumbling on a run
And sometimes to bleed
The streets of gray
 
Sometimes keep
My hands from the shakes
Or write a swing
That steadily breaks
Ghost chains from the world
 
Sometimes to sing
And sometimes cry
Or close eyes’ inner distance
Toward cloth lullaby
 
Sometimes to believe
And sometimes doubt
A shattered dream
In a broken shout
 
Sometimes drink
Just to say “I’m drinkin’”
Or knock out a way
To break my thinking
Ticking against the way
We all live and die-
Sometimes for the fact that
It’s all a lie-
 
Sometimes drunk
To believe it’s true,
Swallow stray brains
And sometimes feel
Reel
In the swarm
 
Sometimes drink
To feel allways warm
And slowly despise
The evil eyes
Glancing down upon me
 
Sometimes drink
Like a hopeless Nazi
Obeying orders
He never understood
How he learned
 
And sometimes I drink
Just to watch
Myself and the world
More unmistakably
Burn
 

Anyplace But

There were days, yes
When all I wanted was more so
I could have less of
Everything troubling me when
Reality was too loudly at my door when enough
Overcoats could not be thrown over
The bed I had to lie in when secrets
Were the secret of my disease I
Would not see yes
There were days that took everything just
To keep a standstill when
All my strength was spent so carefully
Not turning my head when
A neverending rain of bullets went
To sleep with me constantly when
I would do anything try
Anything be anything buy anything
Go anywhere anywhere anywhere
Any place but in
 

Inevitably Fire

We are, all of us, moths
Drawn to flame—
The proof of this
Is the basic fact of birth—
Some of us are afraid of the light
Or try to ignore it
And some so drawn
We go right for it
But whichever case, the destiny is the same: flame
And so, if the answer is inevitably fire in the end,
Fire that draws us
Like planets to the sun and in,
Fire that compels us to rise
From our ashes ever again,
Fire that we communicate
With the intensity of wind,
 
Perhaps it is unfair
To call either foe or friend
Since it neither discriminates
Nor lets us win
 
Rather, true to its nature,
It strips us of all possessions
As we are torn asunder
And yet with such a beauty
We give ourselves to it with wonder
 

Even Then

Talking in poetry
Sounds like a good idea
On paper
But just try it sometime
You’ll be lucky to finish
Two verses.
 
People really
Don’t want to hear it
No one is ready for it
It’s too much, way
Too much
And they’ll punish you
For it, one way
Or another, even
Worse when
It’s true
 
Even onstage
It’s only acceptable
When there’s been
Forewarning
Of some sort,
A sign or song,
At the very least
A preliminary scream-
Even then, not
Too much-
 
And even then, they’ll
Punish you
And even then, I wasn’t
Ready
 

Inside the Flickering Fires

Another unrepeatable day
Is exhausting its flames,
Another night is opening
Thoroughly dark eyes
 
You would think the accumulation of time
Would finally become so great
Its weight would collapse into itself
But the only place
Static is gathering
Is in our ideas
 
Nothing has really touched anything
Or gone so deeply
There is no place left not all
Of the same wound
 
In any event time
Has to follow itself through
Because it started
 
I’m not sure if so long ago
We didn’t all vote on the matter,
Not realizing then how far
Forever can stretch,
How easy it is
Over centuries, millenia
To forget
But never completely, for nothing can
Ever touch us that deeply, can
Ever entirely erase the face
Inside the flickering fires
Of the changing days
 
 

My Muse

My muse
       is a light calling
             with bright silence
           a wind forever about to blow
           a chance
              waiting to be taken
           a dream of awakening
                              we are asleep to
           a truth voice
                       we usually ignore
                                         as long
                                         as we can
           something like the most beautiful woman
                                                                  whose grace is utterly without artifice
                                                                                                                    of seduction
           naked without shame
           brave without pretense
           all-wise with unknowing
           she wears a starry inner smile
                                                  all through
                                                       her wardrobe of tears
                                                                                  that glisten with
                                                                                          the way she listens
           she wants to dance
                                and wrestle
                                and win
                                       as she watches you
                                                  and waves
                                                         to begin
 
 

Dare

I dare you to be yourself, to let your spirit sing,
to do the thing only you can, and to let it be the right one
even when the rest of the western world has gone wrong,
I dare you to dare yourself, to find out if and when your limits truly end,
to find out if all the can’ts clammering in your consciousness
will continue to keep you from testing the edge,
I dare you to enter the palace of your own existence
and surrender to the splendor and the glory
and the power of what you are,
to stand silently unshaken in your beliefs
amidst the most violent clashes of opinion,
I dare you to know yourself,
not the idea of yourself,
not the way you present yourself to others,
not the way you should or would like to be
but to expose the nitty-grittiest heart-feltiest
most unashamedly naked speck of your soul
to yourself, the universe, and at least
one other person
before it’s too late