When I was eighteen I drifted

off the coast of Florida towards Heaven

drunk as Hell in an inner tube singing

"Good Vibrations" to myself.

Screaming from the sand,

my Mom woke me up.


That night my Dad asked me

if I got close.  So I told him about

the Hawaiian girls and waterfalls and alabaster porticos and

laughing so high in a hot tub on the Rockies and the blue painted gate

and bending my knees and statues of saints and a fox in the night cutting his mouth on cactus.

He said it sounded nice, then bummed a cigarette

off the lady bartender, everything smelling like

smoked meat.



A small plant

but with leaves thick and juicy.


“Where did you come from?”

“The ground.”

“Where will you live?”



Simple clay pot and rocky soil.

Thorns unseen, only blood dripping

from the tip.

Red as Christmas on green leaves.


On Returning

She knows she’ll only hear from me when 

I’m drunk or high or lonely and it’s late.

In my mind she fights off sleep

with cigarettes smoked on the couch

and the scrolling TV Guide, waiting

for her phone to vibrate.  The same way I wait

on the call from another.


Once she found a pair of panties 

stippled with black roses

pressed between my mattress and 

the wall.  She giggled then laid

them neatly on my pillow, “someone

might want these back.” She knows there

is love like a letter sent with no return address.


I Call This One "Stoned Man Fills Pot With Water"

Clouds are glacial drool sucked up into the sky.

Floating lakes, purple and silver like 

my Sacramento Kings t-shirt. 

A stolen shirt that I stole hearts in,

those were happy times.

So fucked I fell and broke their necks and bodies

like a guitar where a couch should have been.


Put it on my tab.


Sun baked like a pizza on hot stones, my nipples

are the pepperonis. Godzilla rises

from the shimmering waters to take a bite.

I throw up everywhere and scream, "I’m sorry," breaking up

a piece of tree bark in my hands

tossing sappy shards into the wind.

When the dust storm comes at the end of the world 

my last words will be, “I love yall.”

Until then, the timer has been going off for hours

and water bubbles above the rim. Time to put pasta in.

I could never make enough to fill me up.