The pigeons calling to each other from roof to roof.
The Lubavitch children playing secretly behind the dumpsters.
The shattering of bottles across the street at dawn.
The sirens and helicopters and spotlights shining through windows all night long.
The ocean and its waves that somehow don't break.
These the sounds of our routine, sleeping and awake.

I admit that I have little memory for dates, anniversaries, birthdays, or all of those unforgettable moments...

I have no memory but
for the sounds of sounds,
another morning I've been given again,
and somehow you

I found.

Los Angeles - 1/22/07


The Double Flame

"The dangerous nature of poetry is inherent in its composition and is a constant in all periods and in all poets. There is always a schism between social and poetic expression: poetry is the "other" voice. The voice beneath."

-Octavio Paz


The Tripping


No, her driving
and him in the back seat
trying to make sense of the map
on that one lane road
just as it is starting to rain...

This is the journey,
the journey they had both been anticipating
for weeks,
waiting for without ever admitting it
to each other.

I'm talking about how
it all comes down to
him wanting some strawberries
from the bag in the backseat
and from there, well, it just goes...

First the innuendo, then the accusations
then the stories of each of their
mutual abandonments,

finally, the silence and the fear.

Then her saying she has to use the bathroom,
and him saying there's nowhere to stop,
that they'll just have to push on.

And then,
not able to hold it,
she begins to pee in her pants


Her jeans and the seat
are seeped
in the wetness, but
she just continues confessing.

She will not stop confessing.

Would you please stop confessing, please?!

He doesn't want to know
the list of
and exact locations,

only because he can't match her
sin for sin--

he has nothing to confess to her...
sin for sin--

In their love
he wasn't innocent
only without mystery,
without secrets,
without myth nor shadow
(so much worse.)

This ride
the pavement
the rain
her words
all of it is just happening,
all of it mixing together
and he can't tell anything
apart anymore;

not the road nor the wheels,
not the sky or the ground,

not the rain, nor the air,
not him or her...

And how did a joke about
strawberries turn into this?

He grabs her by the shoulders-

he tells her to look at him,
his face, his eyes, his lips,

to study it
every detail
to study it

because you only
get one chance
to try and tell the difference
between each other.

He asks her
if she remembers him
if she remembers her.

She stares back as the rain
blasts against the wind shields,

the white streaks
of the headlights
of the pounding
semi trucks
coming right at them...

You stare at me and begin to move
your lips, but I can't hear what you're saying
between our heaving chest.

I can feel you breathing through my skin

L.A. - 6/10/06


The Big Hold Out

How long can
all this speculation
go on,

all the maybes,
the perhapses,
the we'll just wait and see(s?)

All the buying,
and the selling,

the negotiations
for some supposed space
like it's our most precious

How long can we stare
at computer screens
always waiting,
always on,

always telling us
who we are
or who we are
supposed to be?

How long can we stand
to watch each other
plastered to our seats

thinking we're moving
when we're only drifting
farther away?

How long until it feels
like this is ours
and not some interview
you've seen a thousand
times before
on late night TV?

How long until I find you,
the you who can make
this real with joy, pain
and everything in between,

make me finally accept
the transience of me?

How long until we surrender
and let ourselves age and decay,

bloom one last time,
then finally fall away?

Please, can someone, anyone
just tell us
how long until this hold out ends,

and the subways start running

12/27/05 - Brooklyn, NY



"Let's be new people."
"Let's be new people, completely new people, people who don't know each other and never did. We'll have no past and no future, nothing, it'll be like we just met right now."
"That would be very difficult."
"Because it would mean I've broken into your apartment."
"Stop it, I'm being serious."
"Is this even possible?"
"I don't know. I never tried it with anyone before."
"Neither have I."
"Do you want to try? It'll be like a game. We'll just, just start over."
"I don't know, man. There's a lot of history. It's not like you can just forget..."
"Sure, we can forget. Maybe we could forget. You know, I know I could forget."
"You never remember anything anyway. Ever since I've known you. You can't remember where we went to dinner the last time we saw each other."
"That's not true."
"Then where?"
"Okay, I have a lot going on in my life, I can't remember exactly where or even when, but I remember. I mean, I remember, the gist..."
"The gist?"
"The spirit. The spirit of our last meeting."
"Ah yes, the spirit, that would be hard to forget, wouldn't it?"
"And that's just want I want to do. That's what we should do. Just for a little while."
"A little while? There are many, many spirits to forget, in this case. I think it might take more than a little while."
"I could. I would. You could too."
"It's too easy for someone like you. That's what I don't understand. How can it be so easy for someone like you?"
"Someone like me?"
"Someone so smart and funny...How can you choose to forget, to ignore, not just this, just, everything?"
"It just is. It just is. That's all. That's it. Like a zebra. Like a zebra having stripes. These are just my stripes. It's just the way I am. I'm smart enough not to question it. It's just how I am. How I was made, decorated."
"Look, I admire your stripes, the stripedness of them, but I don't understand them or where they come from and I certainly don't want them hanging up on my wall."
"I should hope not."
"Most people would. Most people would take one look at a girl's stripes like yours and the first thing they'd do is get out their knife and skin you up good. Skin you up so there was nothing left of you underneath, just the stripes on top. Would you like that?"
"It sounds like bliss. Momentary bliss. But bliss. But not you, right?"
"No, not me."
"Why not? Don't think you could catch me?"
"I'm afraid I would."
"You never know. That's why we play this game, right?"
"I'm tired. Must sleep. I'm leaving tomorrow. Early."
"C'mon....Please! Try. For me."
"Okay, what time is it?"
"Ten of twelve."
"Yeah, for like, I don't know, a half hour we'll be strangers, okay. Tabula Raza. And then I have to go to bed."
"It doesn't have to be like that, y'know, so practical all the time. You were always so practical."
"Well, you know me."
"Yeah, I do."
"So how do we do this? How does one, or two, begin to forget?"
"It's amazing, five minutes ago, when I first had the idea, it was perfect, I swear I could have written a dissertation on how two people can disappear completely together, but now, I really don't even know anymore."
"I assumed there was complicity."
"Between you and me. An innate complicity. But there's none, is there?"
"I don't...
"I don't know what I was thinking with you...You don't even know me at all."
"I just don't...
"You dummy. You're so dumb, you know that? All I've ever wanted to do is forget, and all you've ever wanted to do is remember.
"Those are my stripes."
"Well, you can only hang out in between for so long before one or the other breaks."
"So which one of us is it going to be? Who's going to break?"
"Guess we're going to find out."
"I guess so."
"Well, it's about time."
"Would you shutup and turn out the light?"

Atlanta to Los Angeles


akhmatova - 1924

akhmatova - 1924, originally uploaded by levari.

Alexandrian Society - 6/23/07

The ancient Alexandrian Society every day played a game where in they convinced themselves that they were condemned to death in order to make their every day observations more poignant.

In their minds images appeared in the memory as vivid fragments: Their memories do not proceed in sequence but run after one another in a jolting wave, a stream of images - once forgotten eyes, someone's light blue dress, the voice of a passing stranger - because the concrete fragments carried the perception of imminent death, readers would associate them with important moments in their own lives...

Mikhail Kuzmin - "The Collected Poems of Anna Akhmatova"


"Keep away from fantasy. Shake off the image..."

-Sam Shepard, "The Tooth of Crime"



scraps found in pockets at dawn...

you stare through the window
at the end of the hall -
the bunches of blood roses
against the blue wall...

wake up dead for all you had shouted,
all you will never say;
wake up dead and badly rhyming
day after day.


phones die
people pry
cats cry

on occasion

even lovers try
we always lie
no one can say why.

(language comes early,
and without any mercy.)

phones pry
people still die
cats always lie

(that's the secret of their strut)

lovers almost always try
even after prying through each other's lives.

on occasion - I assume - someone knows why.

(language came early,
my only mercy.)

-Brooklyn, New York

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

...is like Berlin Light.


Hop Scotch

Anything you can't walk away from, run away from.


Tragedies of The The Technological Age - Vol. 7 (What He Said)

"These days
You could get away with murder.

It would be easy,

For all our so-called technology
I just as soon figure
Nobody's really watching anyone else
at all.

We think we are, but we're just staring at
a TV show, a football game, a magazine cover
all the while imagining ourselves.

We think we're looking,
but we're just dreaming
our lives away.

That guy over there?
You could kill em' durin' a commercial break
we don't even know how to see each other anymore."



Hanging, yellowed notes and epigrams:

scribbled reminders
of meetings and moments,
of pleasures and hedonism.

Quotes by the known
to you (and perhaps me,)
the unknown.

Those carved, fountain lines,
your elegantly restless handwriting;

there were so many words
lining those mirrors and walls
they often reminded me
of leaves falling from trees

as they blew around
that room
in the last autumn breeze.

But more than
ink and paper,
were your talismans,

totems in miniature
to protect you
from ever
losing yourself

I will never know if they worked.

it's so quiet
on this coast
relentlessly jutting
towards Africa,

and only now,
staring out
at waves
I can never know,
do I finally realize
how little
pleasure and hedonism
there was
for you,

the fading ballerina
of my ocean mind.

Frigillana, Spain - 6/07