Red Sky at Morning

Tension and torsion
in awkward contortion
shouldering your boulders
with feedback distortion
tepid trickling
insipid liquidity
crackling knuckles
concealed and dormant
with a phrase of praise for heroes fallen
letters on graves of door-knock salesmen
wound up round up
kick them all over
revel in your relevance
and fade in frustration
summon your sprites in a fit of pique
assembled solicitors paid for in spite
spectral spectators
in abandoned forums
cheering like starlings
chattering and swarming
snapping out lashing out
lacking decorum
anger feeds hatred
while hate eats itself
and don’t ever say
that I didn’t warn you.

Thylacine

Smoke and mirrors
a frozen dinner
ensnared reflection within the window
I am a golem
tasting the truth
or maybe just possums living in my roof.

Movement so furtive
no leaf disturbed
sky illuminated by simmering burn
dens in the heath
concealed in ferns
back striped with shadowy fur.

Their faces obscured by history
and their bones dispersed by flood
they stalk my sleep
depriving my dreams
howling in the hills a forgotten reprieve
where ghosts traverse unknown roads
painted tiger-dogs shyly roam
with babies locked in airtight jars
but for the necromancy of our art
those sad decrepit relicts
they sung to the last.

Prognosis Apotheosis

Plans had changed
we arrived late
those grand schemes
oh my splitting seams
“We lay the floor today
and raise the roof tonight!”

So with the confidence of our inexperience
we attacked the timber with blunt implements
like a parliament of plastered bastards
we argued with ourselves and cursed
the fools who built these uneven walls
until the afternoon had washed away
and saddle worn from straddling the sawhorse
with hands raw from scraping the lathe
these city boys in this carpenter’s war
we declared a truce and I succumbed
to heady dehydration and intoxication.

Half drunk in a hydroponic haze
surrounded by a cloud of digital mist
my boots clattered on wooden stairs
and instinct guided my stumbling gait
toward the stone cut seawall
to stand against the Easterly flurry
and precariously ponder
and consider the options
to accept my execrable prognosis
or embrace my belated apotheosis
to suffer rebirth through trial and test
with a can of worms for the birthday girl
and another bottle of your best.

“Come in, come back in
and bring the ocean with you!”

I shed my face and turned my head
as balance dragged me over the edge
flailing, infinite
and entirely indifferent
for a second or maybe two
until the mud rose up to meet me
crowning me in bedraggled seaweed
slashing me with gnashing oyster teeth
and as I lay in on that damp sandy stretch
my waterlogged monologue concluded:

“Life’s a beach.”

7337

Under false auspice and ulterior motive
laden and leaden with manifest destiny
rolling around in rum soaked insurrection
bottom of the barrel, back of the shelf
last calls and final rounds
float to the top, sink to the sky
dance your way into hell.

Liquored up and burdened with prophecy
gin-joint Jesus with electric hair
spilled the beans across the street
and what lurks within a man
bile, curses and spitting shame
please don’t recall my name
when the cloud clears and the waters recede
I find myself and lose the way.

“Who wants another Fireball?”

“What are you, a fucking level ten wizard?”

“Alright Scrunch, I think you’ve had enough.”

Iron Vines

Wrought in the intricacies of iron
obscure pattern frozen in growth
broad-leaf flares on the twisting vine
woven together with oiled wire
metal twisted into organic life
rusting under the open sky
a lattice of gratitude
a ladder of trust
bound with forge feathered wings
brass-plumed in the setting sun.

Semantic Satiation

I thought I had raised Babylon
over one terrible night
the scars on my palms
hammer and tongs
my mouth full of mortar
brick-dust breath
I fumble in a whiskey-dark fog
fugue clogged synapses
awakening and becoming aware
that I couldn’t build a garden shed.

I thought I had composed a symphony
a cascade of chords and inner harmonies
woven into movements of transcendence
aural incandescence
sonic revelations
three minutes of four beats and a voice
starting with a note… What note?
I’ve lost the key, the time, the words
my guitar seems built of lead
my hands stiff and mute
I have a string of nothing and a stolen riff
delete it I guess
my sorry fucking head.

I thought I had created something
made something worthy
yet I behold a palace of nonsense
and lame poetry.

Snake Oil Clearance Sale

Home decorated like a ship wreck
burrowed into a compost heap of paper
digits tapping out the sacred triangle
traced with muscle memory electricity
patterns carved in neural pathways
messages written with molasses ink
sticky fingers
sweet nothing.

Time transforms sentiment into sediment
grinding teeth like millstones on cement
frozen and fossilizing where I stand
bones of crystal glass in metal hands
quaking and tectonic chrome plating
horror in the depths of the kitchen sink.

(Don’t impede this millipede
he has so many steps to take
and although your race is run
he has a million more today.)