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Louie the Grifter

Louie is a con man
who always
tries to have
his way

Sleeping at the terminal for Phoenix, Arizona
casing rental homes in the new subdivision
Watching for an ambulance or a U-Haul van
taking down the numbers from a bathroom wall

"There ain't no shame in knowing things," Lou once said
as he was taping gauze onto his chin
"And theft is simply actin' on your knowledge"

He's a greasy son of a bitch with a ten-foot shadow
living off of rotten fruit from the market square
Louie, the crooked martyr, with love for whiskey and rye

Screaming in a parking lot in Memphis, Tennessee
crying in the lobby of a vacant hotel
Bleeding in the stairway of an old subway line
whistling in the trash heaps as he falls asleep

If Louie had
his way,
the world would
drown beneath him

Let me (take you)

I close the lid to the daytime land
And I seal away the worries of my everyday plans
The threats and the sins always hounding at me
So let me transcend my natural boundaries

Let me take you down to the city in my dreams
Sitting in the stream of the television screen
Between you and me and the underlying theme
Are purple colored people gathered in the mezzanine

And it would seem that they throw their life away
Disposable people getting overtime pay
The shoreline screams, well that is to say
I mean, like a dream just getting in the way

Let me rethink the premise of my rhyme
As I highlight a fly buzzing into my mind
I climb my tree, I’m all alone
I’m far too high for a freefalling zone

I stand in the fields and breathe the sweet air
Caramel skies kiss the evening flare
The meadowlark sleeps with peaceful care
And I take you down to my secret lair

I scream with my dreams as the people it seems
Well it’s been, I don’t see what they really mean
All these things are severely demeaned
As I hang from the corners of the crescent queen

In the green empty grounds of the village I live
In the busy blue streets of the city I built
In the Hawthorne fields where there is no loam
In the alleyway where we built our home

Burned into the eyes of the steeple at day
Molded by the skies into people of clay
Turned upside down by a winsome fear
As the mind turns clear of potential peers

Walden wails to the empty sea
Ishmael sails to see the symphony
As Emerson delivers the fool’s eulogy
Who are we to supersede the whimsy of infinity?

The sun makes love to the stars at dawn
The queen calls home her wayward pawn
Flora puts her hand on the heart of the fawn
As I graze on the fields in the strawberry pond

Scaffolding/tableau of the courted

She took the first train from Belgrade
and I knew then that she had left
to see if she could
make it to you
through the

She had bought her umbrella while
in Vienna and as the station
faded from view her
fingers slid
across its

She had hoped of being a hairdresser
working in Paris or Venice
buying golden lamps
to dress up
her dingy

She let her hair untangle from underneath
her scarf and it shook wild in
the flickering yellow light
her dreams were frayed and
dark as midnight

She smiled as she held her letter
hoping to escape me though
knowing you would just
abandon her at the
next station


She called it "a withered tapestry of damned souls aching for their release" (excerpt)

It was the end of time when cosmic light had dwindled
the rolling stink of Normandy left lingering in our
noses & having sold ourselves to history
found life in eight stages of denial,

Seventh Day Adventists saw the junkies
littered on the morning floor with
open faces burnt fingertips cracked
lips bloody refrigerators piano wire
dreams & pipes of war knowing they
were the hopeless midnight of
an unproductive day,

Octagonal hours had passed in
their hourglasses as
they cracked beneath
the pressure of the
interrogative when the
missives of the chimera
became the mantra of their
weeping mothers,

All at once the sum of human history had released its brief and brilliant flash into the void, a photograph of lost potential and a warning to the men of distant stars

Open letter of gratitude

Although I haven't responded directly to all the warm comments I've received over the past month, I'd like to personally thank anyone who has miraculously found this blog. Those of you who have taken the time to comment or follow the blog are especially appreciated.


Here you are in your sexless,
electric dreamscape,
aching for the rhythm
of the mother spirit;

Here you are in your sonic citadel,
bypassing the eardrum
and jamming your frequency;

Here you are in the kiss of Judas,
selling out your faith
for your pieces of silver;

Here you are within your wire tower of Babylon;
Where are you?


Preacher man's sun sets just like mine
when we both glide down the Mississippi
he's a black obelisk, some monolithic terror
clutching a thin prayer book between
fingers wet with blood

Preacher man's grass is green like mine
when we both run the yard and daydream
he's a mad liturgist, some monotheist mirror
consumed in flames like phoenixes
the rebirth of first sin

Preacher man's bed is just like mine
when we both part sheets to rest our souls
he's a white anarchist, his glass of water clearer
filtered from tap so that he may
escape the angel of death

Preacher man's grave is just like mine
when we both are caught by memory
he's a dead archivist, the price of mythic error
buried in his very best so he
can be forgotten


Jerusalem is collapsing
am I just your phantom?

Caw with me
and we can be
together crows
or cowards

The Venetian

The staggering wind of the winter is blowing and
he stands in the window, forgets where he's going so
he paces and traces curved lines with his fingers as
questions like strangers haunt him and linger

The Venetian is pale and his eyes are still sinking, the
woman he bedded is smoking and drinking and
the sermon, it echoes from deep in the steeple but
his heart is crippled by good and evil

He places his glasses inside his old raincoat to
remind him to look in the street for his angel but
as he goes stumbling throughout the black market he
trembles beneath the weight of his darkness

The Venetian is pale and his eyes are still sinking, he
mentions to patrons that he has quit drinking but
he finds himself speaking words from the steeple for
his heart is aching for good and evil

The schedule of trains, it is scrawled on his wrist so
that he remembers where he is missed and
the train screams like wind that is fervent and blowing, he
steps out of his window as it starts snowing

The Venetian is pale and his eyes have stopped sinking, the
conductor is screaming, the train is still bleeding but
the words of the sermon are heard in the steeple for
his heart is empty of good and evil

This stable

I sought your sly replacement
holding form to flesh
when both of us were ruined
the rain was still so fresh

She held me close for mischief
stealing with my hands
but I refused to stop her
or issue reprimands

Had you been with me darling
who knows what I'd say
The price for your remainder
was far too high to pay

The house we built together
crumbles at my feet
Your porcelain mask is cracking
from years of our deceit

Is she broken?

Do you see her
standing there
in the empty

Do you hear her
crying out
for her lover's

Do you know her,
do you care?
Will you walk

I heard you hadn't mentioned it

Light filters through your cage
the bars of which are window panes
The static of your television
is drowning mother's mind

Five thousand city boys
dream of taking you to town
Blaming you for their love
roses in their hands

Sit, drink, look at yourself,
hidden from the razor blade
You take your iron kerchief
and scrape away the dust

Say there, dandelion
I heard you called for me?

Hey there, little angel
I hope you're having fun.

The bridge collapsed
beneath your father
Swallowed by the darkness
of a cold New Jersey night

Settle in your carpet nightmares
lifting books to shield your eyes
As images of lovers roll
across your bedroom floor

But have you learned to look
beyond your own reflection?

Can you help but listen
to someone else's voice?

Falling in through wiretaps


You gave that formless hatred
the face of a mother

You shaped the consciousness
of ten thousand robots

You spoke in tongues of intrigue
to disciples

Can you live with


It all came together suddenly.

Red blouse, silver necklace, motorcycle.
Sunday the 31st, sometime after noon.
You laughed like the time I bought you flowers.
Everything in the room was covered with your perfume.

Car door, radio, your missing Bible.
Sunday the 31st, sometime after five.
There is no time left for words or games.
You left his condoms laying out.

The howl of winter.
Sunday the 31st, sometime after dark.
I depart from Eden one last time.
Yeah, I hope you're doing well.


I love you&
want you&
know you can't be there

I see you&
feel you&
touch your cold hands

I'm sad&
I'm lonely&
I can't believe it

You're leaving,

As the day grows thin

I awake from her loud snoring,
The sun blooms on the horizon.
Fog clings close to my closed window
And the sea calls to my eyelids.
Dew is sliding on my doorstep
As the daylight breaks on prisms.
She yawns sweetly to a songbird
And I mourn my broken prison.
Smoke is pouring through the kitchen
From the oven to the table.
My lover's eyes shine gently
Behind locks of flint and sable.

What if Jesus carried his cross
Across mountains to the valley
Where the lepers are the princes
Of the gutters and the alleys?
There they rule their mighty kingdom
From their thrones of ash and cinder
And their rags are robes long tattered
From a thousand long Decembers.
Could he ever cure their sadness
With the eyes that God once gave him?
Would he cry in perfect silence
Knowing none could ever save them?

So I close my empty Bible
And I wash my hands with water.
The floral patterns swirl from the
Wind that blows upon the harbor.
I then fold my palms together
As the train howls like a phantom.
A man peers from hidden mirrors
In the garden of his mansion.
The snow melts slowly on his cheeks
While he lights his ancient sorrow.
He still dreams of days long vanished
And the promise of tomorrow.

But as he climbs into his tomb
The dusk crawls in through my chimney.
She will never be my true love
But she is so warm beside me.
My bed knows no other lover;
I am faithful to my demons.
She brings only darkness with her
But she listens to my grievance.
So I lay below the altar
Where the sacrifice is offered
And I know she will unbind me
From the sins that I have suffered.


Is it strange
being at the bottom
of a century of

When you can sit
in your asylum
and count the

Is it strange
to be alone
for all your

When I can sit
behind the glass
and watch your


Draped across a sofa
her hands were knitting,
she lay in errant exile
the madam of gold-bricked streets

Parisian eyes,
a bleeding chamber,
precision in pretense;
she did a lot of LSD

estranged from morning
a ray of light bursting backward from her prism

The canvas folded
and fluttered to
the ground,

She was not a pimp,
she was a jester

What has she become?
A stranger to herself as
the lyric of the dawn
shrinks against her

What has she become?
A temptress whose throat is
as raw as when she
fed on my

What has she become?
A godless goddess with
a broken temple in
the Garden of

What has she become?
A dissident who paints herself
with blush, blue mascara on
her blank face, forever the

What has she become?
What she always was.


You made love upon the stair
You built an altar from your flesh
Playing his madness
Like a harp

You took a throne from innocence
You steal the power of the night
Warring with sorrow
Like a knife

you only want
What you can't have


Diamonds are your answer
For a century of pain?
Are we lost?

Kicking pebbles along the creek; gravel aches

Punch the dial
swing, sing sweetly
touch me with your
brilliant light

Put me on your pedestal
drag me through your riverbed

Rhythm answers
questions raised
because of our

Demeter paws at wicker flesh

She rattles chains
she cannot burst;
she cannot unfasten
her love.

She straddles him
into the night;
he cannot unfasten
her mind.

The saffron burns
and drifts about;
it clings to her bosom
and curls.

Their passion burns
and melts in waves;
like magic or mayhem
or myrrh.

The called me a radical hung me by a noose upside in the city garden

Feels like the space age
feels like a mirror.
Screaming like a razor blade
singing with her fingers.

eyes for


There's a crooked back alley where the sun can't reach and your head don't look past the rotten Georgia peach when you take yourself to Vegas just to put up a hand and you drive out to Seattle in a U-Haul van I wish you the best and may God Rest the Soul of that god-damned dog and the Pope and his clothes

String-faced nobody with a bottle of rum talking out his earlobes just to see who will come takes a hand of black glitter to sprinkle on his grave letting everyone see that he's just another slave can't see for the wishes of the surrogate mass and can't wish for the sea of the arrogant ass look down to London and you'll get a feel for another old mother on a carbon reel

The soldiers cast lots for a pile of clothes as the sun goes down over the bars of death row say could you spare me a mention of time as the Roosevelt family takes the last of my dimes the shields are being lowered for the misses and sirs but everything about this is growing absurd please take the book and just bury it away because there's no more room and nothing left to say