Go Home, Ocean

You would think that the ocean
would just give up finally.

The coast is our immovable object,
its sand a sliding ruse selling the waves
on a false hope
that they can take back the land—
stretch their sea legs with a walk in the grass,
rise and fall with the curves of the coastal highway...

At least when the ocean shows up
to our mainland party
uninvited, drunk and stumbling
all over the beach, it’s been so
thoughtful as to bring food
(even if it hasn’t bothered to
wrap the fish in the seaweed).
Like last time, we kindly accept the fish
but have to turn the frenzied tide
away because it smells like
the savage ocean and wears no clothes.
Foaming at the mouth, it drains away,
ripping straight out horizonward with
the hooks of a thousand drowning horses,
taking with it our surf boards and wetsuits,
occasionally someone’s car or sunglasses.

Out past the shelf, the ocean strikes
up a little party of its own
attracting only a few
narcoleptic pelicans, who fall like
feathered stones out of the sky
and crash the barrier-reef buffet
while skittish fish refuse to dance
with smiling sharks...


More of the ocean poem...

What We Call Ourselves

Poets can’t even call
themselves poets anymore.
There always has to be something else,
some other business.

Lines can’t be straight
anymore, they must
succumb to curve
like the snake’s back,
bending repeatedly
from one dune in
the desert to another.

There is no almost straight.

Almost straight is the
embankment, marking
the cliff, over which
our poems run,
tumbling drunk,
with the final drops of faith.

I was Group A

pretty bumpy en route
not the only ones gone to dallas
george dub, too
short flight, 33 mins

cold in dallas, dallas love
a place to wash me hands
pop some 'cedrin
head is cabin-pressurized

my hands: scraped
spilled myself at intersection
walkin the whole way home
leaving a classic message
then writing gibberish mail

count the drinks, count em
on both hands
without all digits, i'd be short
one dogfish, two dogfish
bus comin—half a dogfish
real ale phoenix esb
cigarettes and a phone

over to a bar onn fifth
a jack, a coke, a band and waiting
hey, there is someone i know
beers for them
where's the group leader?

there he is, says, "car bombs"
consensus says, "OK"
half a pint of guinness
(you can chug it)
and bailey's goes down easy

no drink service on this flight
coulda used some water
parched, dessicated, husk of self
carcasse void even of lions
clipped from sky
like a headline never written:
i arrive on time

time for another beer
let's move on
time for some dancing
wristbands and a cigarette

forty bucks for jaegerbombs
the guy next to me gets three
i double that
but can't unload the sixth
maybe god drank it
before he kicked my ass
in the form of a friend
handing me what was it?
some anonymous shot

goodnight everybody
good night for dancing
who's gonna dance with me?
i told a guy we should
brokeback dancefloor
but it didn't come to that
i worked up a sweat
doing the faux salsa

when did I leave?
don't remember
barfed a little
turned off my phone
woke up to the sound
of the handyman
mowing the lawn,
two hours late
for my flight.