The skin of gopher is nothing like snake. With snake, there are edges,
the venom, a cold simplicity. Gopher is fat. I pull it up through my palms
until they leech together, the pink salt of my hands and the clean fat of
the skin. My nose works like a switchblade. I can smell the small pride of
Everything now is gold and blue.
The milk thistle dried up on the hillside,
honeysuckle sweet on my tongue,
but not close enough to the chamomile.
With bear hands I grab hold of what I have
and attempt to call it freedom.
I say this in a lisp, in a whisper,
in the secret Tongues of Spirit.
With bare feet I trod and tread,
kneel and kiss,
till the ground until the Earthworms come up
and say “Hey there, Great One. What do you have for me Teacher?”
They only writhe and wiggle in my sweaty palms
and search for more dust to fill their mouths.
I follow suit
and fill my mouth too
until I have enough to build a sand castle along the river.
When the Robin sings her song,
I lift my head every single time.
I wonder if their is any vanity in her,
or if there are still some pure and good things left.
my fires burn next to Eden
and the cats play games with other cats.
I twist and turn, cracking my bones from their weariness,
demanding myself to wake up and taste the Life wine.
The best days are when I listen.
There are a great many things to be done still
and no time for lazy men.
The Earth Mother calls out for Healers to come home to her.
I can hear her in the dark when my body craves lonely sleep.
My eyes do not close until I can remember what it is to feel satisfied.
so I looked into the pink, purple sunset
and saw only Cowiche Canyon flowers.
I saw all the different ways that my body fits with yours
and we create music and dancing.
How the g-ds can create color out of dry land and atmosphere.
I looked at my palms and found them wanting.
They are too calloused.
They are too lonely, without your hand to hold.
They do not even remember how to wrap their fingers around you,
but could find a way if given an opportunity.
I watched the moon grow again and again for the thousandth time
and thought of how many brothers and sisters
fall asleep with only their own bodies
just like me.
Explosions in the Sky said that the Earth Was a Cold, Hard Place,
but I can’t bring myself to believe them,
because it is almost Summer now
and in three and a half weeks
my body will not be so lonely as it is.
My fingers will be reminded of muscle memory
and laughter will light the sky,
the dust, the ground, the everything
just like it does in Cowiche Canyon.
There was a time when I was graced with wings.
Two sets. Four wings.
They were not mine.
They were Tabukeh and Siskiyou’s
and could only be called that by scientific definition.
When they first arrived
they were molty twigs that stuck out
from their mangy bodies
with little holes for mouths and throats that only begged for food.
I pretended that the sound of wanting food was the same as the sound of wanting love
and found that they wanted so much love.
I gave them love with tweezers that I stole from my grandmother’s bathroom and cat food soaked in water that I stole from Atlas and Fable.
Their wings and all their love-wanting only slept when I turned out the lights.
My wings and love-wanting never sleeps, but occasionally drift into dream states after long days working in the Sun.
My body grows tan in the Springtime and my muscles form around twigs that stick out from my body.
I admire them in the mirror sometimes, just after I turn out the lights
and the birds forget that they have wings,
that they love to fly and eat and be loved.
There are some days where I wish I were more like the birds,
so easily turned off and on like a light switch.
But it is Spring again and I am full of young Life blood
and my tan armWings flex under the weight of all this beauty
and I remember that it is much better this way.
burning sage to feel better
while the sky moves down in shades
from blue to black
moving down to me
from blue and back
caught in the throat
with the pavement that I have become familiar with
bicycle tires neverending in front of me
the days are spent feeding greedy mouthed birds
and trimming ever growing shrubs&trees
coming “home” to find sleep
and repeat, repeat
if I look into the distance
I can still see the mountains
woke up before the Sun did
and let out a little laugh at him
it’s been a long time since I’ve won like this
been a long time since familiar faces
reflected similar places of searching
and though the moon smiles
it doesn’t tell why
so the bed rolls over in it’s skin and sheets
while I sweat and breathe
and am made to learn how ‘happy’ and ‘content’ words
are formed on dry lips,
tan skin and callouses.
It is lonely
in the valley
where I was made
save the birds
and the cats
and the alleyway walkers.
by the time I touch your face
we will have been separated twice
by a full moon Mother.
On the Full Crow Moon
I swam naked in Crescent Lake.
Talked to the fish, moss and reflected images
of mountains much wiser than I am.
The crystal on my neck carried with it the G-dlight
and I had not let it go
until the envelope.
That last stamp was the first time I have put my trust
in the government since I went to jail
for those two days
and saw the Prophet.
On the full Fish Moon
I will swim naked in the Yakima River
and become everything sacred that I have ever found in this place.
All the holy chukars casting their shadow
in a dance with the sunsets
and fresh elk tracks weaving along the waters edge.
This time I will find my porcupine brother.
I will flex my muscles on top of the mountain
and remember the song that Pepper taught me
only one year ago.
I have not touched your face for two moons
and yet it does not matter.
It softer than last time
and you will have my heart more tomorrow.
a cup of cats milk on the back porch
expanding their borders to the corner park,
the roof of my house,
the yards on every side.
i saw a wildflower today
the skull of a field mouse
and a swooping swallow dancing in the light.
i became a two story circus
and received smiles instead of sneers.
how funny perspective is.
The farthest I have traveled in any direction,
in the last month, is 10 miles.
In sesame miles, they are in the lead
and I have sore bones and a weak smile.
Trying to hold the Faith, the Space, the Will.
I dream of co-co engines and
coo-coo birds on the street corner hot spots
where they make their dollar
and i am given an ear to talk to,
an air to breathe that is not all mine.
I want to tell you about the rooster,
the black bear, the hole inside the rock
where fears are left in the light,
but I cannot find those things tonight.
I have hollow tunnels and an adam’s apple in my throat.
These are caverns of days filled with only perfect things
if only I can figure out what I did with my wide angle lens.
How it was that people once talked to one another.
Words were not always this hard.
I am a chain link fence,
buried in a backyard, under blackberry brambles and a nameless ‘weed.’
If you see the guards,
would you please tell them that I would like to leave?
Give me the peices of yourself that have broken
cracked or feel as if they are failing
I have been doing puzzles with my grandmother
and am getting better at putting things back together
clench your fists at dawn and meet the new light
without feeling sorry for the State of things
We can only control so much.
Hold on to the much you have been given
and become a steam engine by noon.
Let an earthquake burst from your feet
and don’t be afraid to let your hands be the thunder,
your eyes lightening
and your ears the conch shell that lead to an ocean.
let me believe in you
like the test of Time
learning to ebb and flow through this ocean of
yesterday today tomorrows
this infinite Now that we are swimming inside of
can you too breathe underwater? or feel how the Moon pulls on us like a string?
driftwood marionette of a Blue Heron dancing
on the Jesus water
not afraid to look away
fully becoming the Soul?
if there is a chance there was a purpose for our meeting
may we drink it down with the wine and herb tea
form blood pacts under a New sky with our teeth showing?
It is just a while we have
I want to peel off all the layers to find the middle
and whisper G-d secrets with a brave smile.
I have now been to jail, for three very short periods, in my life.
I have also only worn flip flops three times.
That is only three times out of 28 times around the Sun
and many of the men I met in there
have worn flip flops for many times around the Sun
and have ceased to pay attention to days
who speak only in 6 month intervals
and about how Sgt. Cole has switched from graveyard shifts
to evenings. They all wonder why.
They can tell me what we’re having for dinner,
by smelling through the smell of men
small spaces and cinderblock.
Let into larger small spaces to walk in circles
flex their muscles and take their shirts off. They belong to no man.
And grown men share their stale bread, flavorless meals
and mini golf pencils with you.
Teach you how to make dice out of toilet paper and tooth paste.
If only the gaurds knew, they’d charge more for the hygiene kits.
You would never believe that a room that size
could hold so many dreams. You’d think there would be a jail break.
That the walls would burst open and flood out into the streets
and all of a sudden the police would be surrounded
with dreams of Alaska, Colorado, the open road. Opening a hardware store dreams.
Dreams of a homestead, of rough sex with their ‘old ladies’, and dreams of holding their new born children. They would run for blocks in every direction,
until the city woke up from it’s sleeping
and decided to join the revolution of jailbirds
who in their Minds are freebirds and have found that their third eyes
see no bars.
That scripture is a line in a book, a kind letter or when they are finally given their dice back.
That G-d is whatever they have held on to
that reminds them of the Self that cannot be taken away.
The voice that can still cackle, laugh and howl at ‘fate’
rather than mourn.
I no longer see days, years,
miles, States or countries.
Everything is already Inside.
my smile looks just like the moon
when it won’t shine back
lacks the right reflection
I am re-learning the art of new Discovery.
counting down the letters of the words
of the sentences
until i can create a Whole.
I road the orange bicycle that has yet to be rhymed with anything
to the 3 o’clock train
so that I could kiss her on the lips
“Goddam, it feels good to be alive.”
How do our eyelids shapeshift so quickly?
Today, I floated in a hammock
forty feet above the World
and spoke to Red Fox Lover
through invisible atoms and pine needles
while the Sun learned how to Set herself one more day
just like We do.
One more day.
So, let’s continue to not kill ourselves
and uncover wildflowers under rocks
while we Teach our mouths
how to be the Sun and Moon.
in the Beginning
there was Light
a deep birth
little piece of something something
it came across my frame of vision
i saw it in a dream
i could have been drunk
i don’t remember.
listen instead to the word flow
of the river coming out of my stomach
i am trying to be Thristy.
this Body is a shell now.
I am cracking the surface,
discovering barnacles (ew!, they say)
and bad habits.
Accepting the roll of the dice as prophesy
and remembering what it sounded like
to have a Rooster Teacher heart.
please don’t mind the gibberish.
I’m in love with a Red Rabbit and in my dream
I was a small cat named Spade.
And, tomorrow when we all wake up,
I’m going to howl like a rooster
and brush my teeth
you’re my favorite cover
the books we’re told not to judge
but I have read them
and the cover was right
tell my the symphony of your bones
so I can listen to music - not the sounds of telephones
ringing, dumpster trucks dumping or the rooster next door
who has never known freedom.
i get to go to jail on thursday morning.
which is made up of even numbers
and I’ve mostly always been an odds man
so this is new for me.
i am forced to weigh the odds
and become a free man
i have to write the story about it now,
because when they only give inmates pencils on Sundays.
There are two skylights.
One is the closest I will ever see to Heaven for the next two days.
There are seventeen other men in the cell.
That makes eighteen of us.
there are odds. I am it.
we all are.
There are 482 bricks.
9 bunk beds.
8 window panes.
1 sink and door.
The man with the most tattoos is drawing a Disney picture for his daughter.
90% of us are in here because we forgot to do what they told us to.
it really does feel good when Father Sun
comes through that skylight
and hits my face.
I can feel my Soul
and it feels Odd.
I did ten whole summersaults the other night,
at St. Pauls, in the childrens playground.
I think it’s been ten years.
I wouldn’t have even done them,
because they always make me terribly dizzy,
but someone else did 8,
and another 9,
so I had no choice.
There have been dozens upon dozens of nights
I have sat still, rolling tobacco high
on an evening when the bell struck
and the pigeons cooed
and we all felt a fresh breath of G-d
There’s just something about Holy places.
they aren’t just at churches.
They can be found everywhere.
Give me the back of your hand,
let me show you where Spirit lives.
Let us a climb a mountain,
suck, gasp and struggle to breathe this easy thing
and try to tell one another the story of how we were born.
I cannot remember.
There is just something about Holy places,
dark dens, points to which people will pilgrimage and
trespassing that makes me remember Saint Paul
and all his valuable Teacher lessons
in playground games, the Book of Romans
and the act of Now.
We’ll do our last couple Marlboro Red 100’s
because we can
and kiss those three Sisters goodbye
while I learn Temperance.
Won’t it be a funny thing
to Look through these eyes
the same way every time?
Atlas is chasing black beetles
while Fable stalks dollar weed
and I remember what it was like becoming a child.
I’ve returned to scribbling in notebooks
and always carrying a pencil with me
making lists with bold statements on them
and giving names to inanimate objects.
By the time the smoke clears
and the midnight train has emptied her throat
I will believe your nursery rhymes