Archive for September, 2009

Fire! Fire!

California, as during every fall and winter, is on fire. Now that I’m living in Vegas, I have the gist of how bad they become. The city, once more, is clogged with smoke this morning. Two days ago I couldn’t see five miles out, and the strip and mountains were choked by fog. Today, though, it’s better, which may or may not be to due the hurricane we have brewing (category 5) on the West Coast. We’ll get some of it, although the mountains will break up anything potentially threatning. The sky is blue, and this settles strange with me because, in Florida, it would have been cloudy and stormy by now.

Update: Not only is California on fire, but Athens as well. I pity those people who are losing their homes, and I also pity the possible loss of ruins. ‘Twas a sad sad day. (I must use dots to keep everything in order. It’s jumbled otherwise.)

The fires inspired a poem and journal entry. Only four or five lines from the poem were decent, and the journal entry needed cleaning up.

  • Jounal Entry: There are fires today. You could not see ten miles out this morning; the city was covered in a thick film of smog. Tonight, the same occurs: you stand with your elbows resting on the rail, inhaling the thick air and smog, seeing the city. You are sad for the people whose homes have been lost. There are spindly trees across the street, and cars pass by so often. Still, everything is unnervingly quiet. All this you see from your balcony. If you look up, really look up, it seems someone has nubbed out the blue part of the sky and what remains is a mixture of bleach fumes and ocean tides.

Written a while ago.


Once, In Vegas:


 There was a time,
a blue-collar time
when TV’s were made of fire,
image tying knot in burnt throat
and laughs broke one another.

We’d walk on our hands, pretending
we were spies,
heads meeting carpet
hair an array of white
until the day your mouth fell apart.

Suns, stars,
and green-cheese moons passed
cutting teeth into the sky
yet the lips were too timid for smiles,
too knotted for words.

For you, I took my silver wrench
fastened to thumb and forefinger,
and screwed on a smile:
Much like this wire.
How your fish flesh receded,
how it faltered about the teeth
as though scared of the broken TV’s.

You looked through eye-holes made of water
head turned inside out,
saying my tongue had stuck on a lie
though I have not lied,
not that I remember.
Remember: a warm day in December
eating black fruit and
blue laughter.

Time lurched, and
the camera followed us
into each place, though it never ate,
never touched what food we offered.
It watched those lips
and that smile slivered inside its belly,
stared out, contemplating a sad tick.
Looking back through our shed skin,
the toothless, fishy grins,
I see gills and fins
turned to frowns.

Now the wrench is cold
made of bones
as days turned to black, blue, white.
Brought away memory formed like soap;
floaty-angels on the wall.

The bathwater ran
you sitting in the suds,
all rope and plastic boat
frowning through a camera lens that never ate,
and Mother laughing at your naked bottom.
We were children then,
and our feet were cold
as I waded into your water,
fully clothed
my smile all falter,
holding not your missing grin, but words
“there are no spies here”
and tossed the lens aside.

people walk
people walk with legs on backward.

In a month,
maybe two
the fair will come.

With it brings peanut language,
leaping, diving elephants
and yards of colorful tent

made to fit tongues –
just the talk of it,
of the lady wearing red.

There will be
clouds made of stitch,
the stitch in sides.

Barracks of fun!
what a beautiful ride,
slipped and fit for a gun.

Candy machines in whirl
hands of children, shoving;
made to listen by mom.

A mother holding
her baby in lap
and laughing, laughing

like the face
of that child, though skeletal,
was most beautiful.

balloons float
balloons float from children’s arms

and rise in black
through the clouds
stitch releasing a spray of red.

There are cries
there are cries
like the back of his hand;

made of bones
made of clay
we walk on our hands.

The mothers cry
the mothers fly
to the back of his hand

“O daddy, O daddy!
what’s become of this? a palm
made of lead sunk into your head!”

Bodies covered in flies
on the back of his hand.
We all die. We all die:

our mouths filled with sand
and fingers on our jaw
making that solid noise

we heard somewhere before.
Perhaps a baby cry,
a mother’s sadist lullaby.

jaws open
jaws open and swallow your laughter.

In a month,
maybe two
the fair will come again.


In honor of such a black subject, here are some visuals:


at the fair

clowns at the fair

the fair


the holocaust