Monday, August 28, 2006

kay sage, lost

she tells you she was raped
then says she's sorry

maybe says she's sorry
she told you

and either way
she was raped and
she's told you and then she
says she's sorry

for some reason
she says she's sorry

and all you have to give her
are these words and
the useless fucking sounds
they make

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

miro's house

these kittens still blind and
these men who grind their skulls
beneath boot heels

the shadow cast by faith
when it's held up to the sun

the sun which is dying

and so your own death
approaches quicker

the people you love
smile as they enter the room

step delicately over the bones
and the broken promises

tell each other what a
decent bastard you were

Saturday, August 19, 2006

between static and fear

it’s a trick question this
asking do you believe in god?
when you have a gun to
someone’s face

it’s a joke with a punchline
no one gets

you laugh and then the
trigger is pulled and
the sky suddenly filled with
a million flowers
raining down

the air pure blue burnt
black at the edges

these planes exploding
like absolute joy

Monday, August 14, 2006

blood in the spaces between what we say and what we mean

crows in an empty field

not the idea
but the fact of it

the sky with a
beginning and an end

the earth moving
beneath your feet and thick with
the bones of indians and


whatever day it is in
whatever year
and all of the unpaid bills that
keep you tied to this life

all of the people you've hurt
who'd like to see you dead

the names you've forgotten and
the lovers you've betrayed
and the trees all bare

the sound of the freeway

the smell of cold engines
going to rust

of the rivers filled
with oil and sludge

america at this exact moment

a woman beaten unconscious
and left in the closet of a burning house
and the simple fact that i've
outlived cobain

have outlived christ and
that i refuse to die like pilate

and what about this
eighteen year old girl naked
except for a string of pearls?

how many wars are you
willing to wage to own her?

not action
but the act of demanding it
from others

all of these young men shot dead
for reasons that have more
to do with money than freedom

all of these songs with
words but no meaning

it was never enough
just knowing how to hate

Friday, August 11, 2006

bury these hands

you in the desert with your
savior and his dogs and
all of you hungry and all of you

banging on the door of an
abandoned trailer and listening for
the sounds of the girl who was
tortured here

looking for meaning in her murder
but there is none

no grace
no salvation
no redemption and if
all you know is anger then
this must be america

a roomful of men with
hammers and bloodstained hands

a pit filled with the
corpses of emaciated children

with the screams of mothers

of animals

the absolute fucking enormity
of it all

Monday, August 07, 2006


we will scream and bleed and
talk about the weather

we will drive to the edge of town
the two of us the both of us and
every border will be marked
with barbed wire

this is how hope is defined
and denied

this is why wars become movies

the days are blue and motionless
are nails bitten down to dirty blood
and when you open your mouth to speak
the girl is raped

when nothing but the dust of
10,000 ghosts spills out
she's murdered

an ending yes
but then the parents burn the
trailer to the ground

the image of the virgin mary appears
on an empty billboard further down the
pacific coast highway

and we are out of money and
we are out of time and you are
sunburned and sick

are puking on the bathroom floor
on the day gideon's body is found

and you want to speak of faith
and you want to speak of healing
but they're not the same

the wounds are washed
but they don't disappear

the children are given names
then taken away

it matters
but we'll act like it doesn't
because what you remember is always
so much more than who you are

because you will never hate anyone
more than you hate yourself

will never love anything
more than you love money

it's what christ was trying to
tell you all along

Saturday, August 05, 2006

christianity as poison/as blind hatred/as addiction

this woman who asks
about my father

who writes
i've read your poems
and what they sound like is
so much shit

tells me that i can't deny god
because he will never deny me

and what i think about is
this hard grey light falling from
an indifferent sky
and the way that none of the birds
cast shadows

what i think about
is the god of starving dogs
fucking someone's teenage daughter
in a cheap motel room while
his children sit at home

while his girlfriend bleeds on
the bathroom floor

and what we need to give up is
this idea of AMERICA

this idea of a group of people
moving with certainty
towards some clearly defined future

remember that christ wasn't
the first to be crucified
or the last

understand that his death is
no more or less
important than my father's

this is all i ever
really wanted to say

Friday, August 04, 2006

triptych, center panel: calling the burning house home

the soldiers kill
the children first of course
then rape the women
and i want to be shocked
but am not

what i've learned from history
is that
no one learns from history

what i don't mention very often
is that i don't care

the cold rain falls and
my son sleeps through his sickness
and the streets offer reflections
but no shadows

i have spent so much time
inventing the bleeding horse that
i never stopped to think about
how he would live

i never realized that all of these
thin sheets of paper
would fill up actual space

and getting lost is a simple trick but
staying that way is
something else altogether

junkies die or they
pull themselves out of the tar

houses burn or they don't
and the bodies found in the ashes
are given names

they are called husband
or father or lover and
the poems written about them
all sound like empty threats

the hills spin slowly around
these barren fields
and bankrupt factories

we are finally home but
no one here is happy to see us

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

st. cecilia, mute and blind

not the poem but
everything before and after

too much to set down on paper
and so i wait for
the pills to start working instead

i crawl from god to god with
my fingertips bleeding
and my questions unanswered

or maybe this is a lie

maybe i make too much of
the small casual fears that pull us
from day to day but listen

this story on the news just now
about a baby not even
twelve hours old abandoned
by the side of the road

the fact that he lives

the fact that someone
at some point
will laugh at him for what's
happened on this day

this one thing we all have
in common
which is the need to inflict pain