The Capitolianos’ House of Rock.

We’re all sailors in a shivering,
Smoking ship
Where the rafters serve as monkey bars
And the carpet is always stained

Shaking
Our shapeless sweaters
Settle on starkly still bones

There are two rules,
always broken
Wash your dishes,
they keep piling
Don’t smoke in the house,
always abandoned

Laughing in worn down chairs
Huddled beneath blankets that are always too small

We’ve run out
And all the beds are occupied
By groping
Fast breathing
Far reaching loves
That can’t grasp anything
But cold air and rain

And, well, maybe this cat
Who, restless,
Launches herself off couches and beds
And arms
Vainly trying to hold her still

She chases her tail
Claws our chests
Purrs into our necks

So, distractions run rampant in this house
This house
Never clean
Never abandoned
Always realized
And always missed

Reaching for another bowl
Empty yesterday’s compost into
And watch the oily colonies grow
On top of the stagnant
coffee grain stained
Water of a flooding sink

Empty green Sumi inkbottles litter tabletops
Nestling with cigarette butts
And cellophane paper
Broken pieces of charcoal
mark hands and feet
As trampled they lay smearing carpets and jeans

And in the art room
Feet and hands get bloodied
With paint
And breasts press into a free couch
While cups sail through windows
And words rocket through mouths

And all the time music pouring from every room

Competing and harmonizing
Our voices blend to sound like angels
Who’ve drank too many martinis
and imbibed too much smoke
To recount and confess
To a disowned God

Instead,
we pray to the wooden Mama Mary on the table
The goddess who rules our hearts and absent hearth

Who watches with a dead baby in her arms
How we,
her daughters her lovers,
Try to crawl back into her womb.

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A cup of coffee started all of this…

…this neurotic fidgeting.

My body numbs with the pain of a thousand angry sewing needles out for revenge because I had dropped a stitch.  One stitch, that’s all it takes for the whole thing to unravel before your tired wakeful eyes.

This morning I woke up gasping for breath.  No one knows and only I can hear how my chest shakes with dry coughs in the cold mornings.

We danced in the rain today, around noon, in the Porter Quad as a tour watched hooded, carrying umbrellas.

I’m obsessed with neologisms.  Hey, sniff, you wanna bum me a square because I’m not yammed up enough to be distracted.

I have a wicked oral fixation.  My mouth doesn’t have legs but it’s always on the run.  I’m on the bound to a destination that is always realized and just as frequently forgotten.  My short term memory has gone to shit.  My ability to care has dissipated with the dust that impregnated the air just before the first cleansing rain.

Everything in sight looks much too bright and clear it’s almost blinding when you realize again how sharp everything is, how rigid the lines, how conforming the contours.  The lavender bushes can impale me if I get too close.  The smell could intoxicate me into oblivion and the next morning I’ll find myself on a cold bathroom floor, while my fingers count tiles and broken glass.

Three Images

#1. The record player skips emitting miniature sonic booms that penetrate the atmosphere of cigarette smoke, dull twilight and quiet laughter in the living room. Sofia, the eldest at 21, picks up the needle and puckering her lips sends the offensive ball of dust resting on the tip of the needle careening into some dark corner. Lennon resumes his interrupted performance as four girls, continue a lazy mind’s stroll down Abbey Road, cigarettes ever ready. Jennifer’s dyed red hair shines like blood in the light of the dim lamp as her thin artist’s fingers, ringed, carefully shuffles a deck of faery tarot cards.  Meghan, stocking feet padding on the paint-speckled carpet, begs a reading from Jennifer. The shuffling of the cards beats out the time as “Something” opens with whining guitar. Four girls chain smoking in a dark room when the beach is just down the street. The Beatles Collection on vinyl, each other’s company – a sacred space. They decide to spend another night at home.

#2. Finger on his left hand gently poking upwards toward the ceiling, Professor Neu emphasizes every point on his passionate lecture on Socrates. Tiny round spectacles cling to a hooked nose.  There is alarming volume and animation in his black eyebrows. Every nuance in speech obviously demarcated by a sudden upward jab of his eyebrows. He reads from his notes, which lulls the students into a comatose state, pens moving in hypnotized unison. Once in a while, Neu’s deep voice cracks; everyone in the room notices but no one gives any indication.

#3. Ripped jeans, white froth of fray around the hole’s edges and a white threadbare shirt cover his hunched shoulders, lifting slightly as his lips gently drag on a Camel Filter. He observes the six girls immersed in their notebooks, pens galloping on paper as fast as his smoke gallops on the air. Brow furrowed he ponders what the girls write. Boys, sadness, strangers? Do they write about him? One girl writes about his cigarette and how the sight of it sets her hands to shaking. He gets up before she can beg one of him. All she has left of an addiction is a paragraph that’s addicted to it.

Birds

The days are sharpening into long dreary halls.
No getting over or under,
trailing fingers along white walls.
The eyes that still hope for better and
the struggle, compressed sigh,
words ooze from under breath.
There is a surprise for the call
to fly.  The wings have been lost.
Do you know why?
They say female birds are bigger,
more drab. They carry so much
weight and it makes them so
bitter and so very very
sad.

A study

A fantastic and embarrassingly whimsical panegyric of the musicians that would and did.

or

The Panegyric That Was Long in Coming – or – (For the Music)

This is no apologia for something that was promised long ago and never delivered (until now).  This is no excuse to become someone of worth to a group of certain people (namely the band).  This is not a testament of talent (namely the writer’s).

This is an inspiration, a demarcation of something special that is festering in the plastered, carpeted, gilded heart of suburbia.  It is a love letter.  It is a simple offering to a non-entity that is music, but if music had no entity, it will certainly assume a shape, albeit blurry shape, after these words have painted a wardrobe for it.  The color of this wardrobe is blue, a blue like a screen door swinging shut at dusk when the crickets begin to sing.

The shirt this music wears is sky blue.  Blue like the hue of the ocean when the sun’s corona makes it smile.  Its pants are worn faded blue Levis, or, the color of your first bike after the sixth fall.  It is the blue of our childhood in the shock of impending adulthood.  This music is the silent blue flashes of a television screen on white walls when the hour hand has just passed midnight.  This music is Voltron action figure blue, tiny and breakable yet still menacing and exciting with its sharp plastic corners and metamorphosis.  Blue like the Orphic pulsations of a star, solitary but brave in a sea of unforgiving black.

On any normal day you can catch this now painted thing swaggering with a limp on any sidewalk.  It is there in our everyday perceptions lurking behind a cloud, splashing noisily down a riverbed, playing tag on the metallic sheen of high rise buildings, or careening off the fenders of blue automobiles in noisy city streets.  This music is Blue Ravine – the main street of a sleepy, but perpetually waking suburb, the aorta of a heart that doesn’t know it’s beating.