when i was young and they sat me down
the name of the game was mediation 
always done by men in suits
wielding cathode rays
bending radio waves
rolling that lithograph into the night

bringing us narratives about love
false narratives for real people
also crackpot terrors and myths
by which it does suck to behave so abjectly
hosting the reproduction of such pernicious virals
wrapped in protein coats of pure comfort
secret pathways open to the public

having no choice but to navigate
this thoughtscape
this virtual ecosystem
this chemical universe
where clouds of stars are as nothing to our notions
where words fly like bees
bearing ideas from one brain to the next endlessly
where none escape this colonization
this mediation
by which i lose my doubts 
the doubt of god not least

and the magic

no surprise to be an esoteric
better than arcane is recondite
in a world full of secret knowledge
comes the shaman now to bless the fire

consolation lain on those afflicted
our survival skills hard won by trial
plants that kill and plants that heal discovered
days of cold and hunger slowly turning

songs we sang to try and trick the darkness
mirror magic hopes to cheat the demons
alas we know the curse of metal and glass
how zones of power lingered round our stones

our mystery cult propitiated death
while ever the weather gloated overhead
we ran the ridges hard when we were young
inviting sacrifice inviting love

jimmy and the bookies

i could see the shapes of baseball bats
on jimmys beaten back
and that crack on the skull
put him in the old mass general
but sometimes a man just has to make a play
so i sat by his bed to keep him company

and if the bookies werent trouble enough
jimmy had to drink a fifth of johnny every day
to keep his hands from jumping off his arms
so i used to bring him nips of booze
from the packy on cambridge street
you cant leave a man in bed with a thirst like that

jojo told him bet with your head not your heart
but jimmy couldnt lay off the boston teams
who badly sucked in an ongoing way
and all those guys who took his action
were friends from the neighborhood but he owed
so much they put the beatdown on him anyways

his liver shut down in 95
and that was all she wrote
i saw him in the box at his wake and 
they had covered up the yellow pretty good
not a bad comeback from that night
in the parking garage with the hungry bats

queen of the aliens

high riding queen she sits upon a silver throne sublime
drops of saliva rolling down her chin
i know the alien queen has got that special chromosome 
sometimes i wonder how she got that way

kings and queens and time machines get me through my day              
psychobiologically they are here to stay                               
teeth so sharp as driving screws in your neck of pain.                                 
a human man is full of fear
she will help you see it dear                   

rule a world so brave and new
all her children own it too
royalty for snacks like you
all hail queen of the aliens

guests from other galaxies they can represent             
proxy reproduction is so surely heaven sent           
all the money in the world is to her repaid                  
slyly seeking ever keeping our coquette the queen   

sunlike plastic energy
radiating chemically
i see the way she looks at me
long live queen of the aliens

those who had the power to kill when the world was bright
know that they possess it still in the fading light
bonded for a term of days endlessly renewed
if a man could see it clear
it would make him want to pray

fleas and ticks and chewing lice are no parasites
pseudomaculate theory states they stand as acolytes
and take their meals of blood in honor of their deadly queen
puissant fecund high and mighty ruler of the aliens

in the levant with maxie

maxie and me were both sixteen 
just a couple of asshole punks
wasting our time in sunny beirut so

one saturday morning maxie walked in
and woke my drunk ass up
just walked on in like it wasnt shit
thanks mom i said to myself

hey man got any hash
aw maxie what the fuck man
just got back from miami man
got any hash got any hash
aw shit well hang on a sec

i didnt have a clue but maybe
my mattress on the floor in those days
my pockets plenty in those days
well thank you jesus would you look at that
a marble sized chunk of black bizri
wrapped in a silver coat

maxie breaking nuggets off the chunk
scrabbling with a blackened thumbnail 
filling a shitty old meerschaum pipe 
carved in a popeye face
with a pierced tinfoil bed
i like my hash rolled up with some tobacco 
but i was in his hands you see
he fired it up with a big old zippo

your gonna burn your nose off
fuck you said happy maxie
woofing at the hash with squeaking asthma lungs
a pigeon chested mannequin
he sat his ass down on my mattress
you sleep naked he said what a pervert haha
fuck you maxie lemme get some of that

i had a big black and white poster of hendrix up on my wall 
i contemplated it while my buzz took hold 
i imagined jimi singing a song about hash
wangin on that slick guitar
i told myself someday i will write that song
of course jimi was alive in those days
wearing out the guitars and the women and the hash
in mean old london town 

the cardinal points

made a movie bout a biscuit so it had a 
david bowie who the fuck was andy warhol
only took about a minute
never think about the left
in the right or for the south 
you can move along the north
if your mama raised you good

when your mind is thick and straight
set your dancing feet alight
no one had to teach you how
to box around the compass rose
spirit guide is best you say
not sure what you mean by that
empty out your sack of bones
kiss the paintings on the walls

move your hand a little north
no i mean your west hand silly
even in the deepest cave 
we can find our cardinal points
join the dream our all in all
sleeping in the dragon belly
ribs a temple bowels are coals
soon the world will be sliced open
when our heroes come to die
we will see the truth unshaken

nothing is too real for us
in proper orientation

sarasota county

and the victory roll over venice florida
as the skywriter dollarsigns the heavens
mansion lawns mown by clown college dropouts
while the sheriff deputies visit their probation officers
traffic reels in a slow elephantine ramble up 75
away from the weary gulf heavy laden
check out my man in his cool boomer haven
said he was in publishing now just another sucker

watch that guy in the white suit got a heart of stone
going downtown with a sack of cash to pay off the winners
you can get away with most things here
nothing you can do about money votes and power
talking mvp baby seats on the county commission
ride that flying tiger to a presidential pardon


we dream here
as we are made to dream
the flashes and pulsations of
illuminated minds
too subtle and opaque 
to charge with meaning

but if the merchants are so clever
why the lack of second dreaming
repetition of the one
that worked one night and met my needs
so that i gladly would pay extra
like i did the night before

america the chemical
patent holders dance for joy
spraying on new smiles
to all the reconditioned dolls
oh look theres one like you
is that a phallic symbol
or a tasty cigarette

sad to say there is no trust
tell them what you like and
they go are you sure it isnt this
new momentary thing
we think you like it even more
your welcome
dig the wonderful
do us confidence
be fulfillment

nightmare in the uk

riding sprightly scooter bikes
licorice vespas pink lambrettas 
cavalcading in the rain
down to brighton for a reckoning

simon templar shiny hair
choke him with his braided tie
like it cis and like it white
like it funny and like it tight

clumsy artist is a creep
devotee of self hypgnosis
new perversions old excuses
got a bag of dead man wigs

swilling at the bacon house
blackouts here are very dicey
models meek have come to grief
awoken bound to posing frames

pining for an age of stretchings
plates of metal blocks of wood
done with all this painted canvas
all conventions understood

pleasant were the cups of tea
brought to bedroom by my hostess
hand the clouds of milk still swirling
with the turning of the world


as a coincident traveler
paperback writer in hand
striking on details at random
debris of the visible world

visited ever by spirits
waxing nostalgic just so
remembering all the train stations
where wandering thoughts are born

the poet has his metier
and pays himself in the coin
of the blockchain of dreams bespoken
and the swelling throat of the lark

inviting the ghastly genius
ashes haphazardly strewn
stands the awaiting boatman
nothing lost in translation