Changing sets

Changing sets
between the scenes,
stagehand shakes
and mainland dreams.
Not quite doubts
but not quite clean.
Will I make a mess
if I mess with things?
Status quota,
quote the writer,
I felt I had to
stow the lighter,
but dull is dull
and left is brighter,
like moth to porch,
the torch desire.
I've sang the lay
of the land so long
that my throat is sore
and my voice is gone.
The choice is slim,
one hand belongs,
one hand's adrift,
both are moving on.
And I hope I land
but if I slip,
then I'll be back quick
as a powder trip.
What would I lose,
what would I quip?
There ain't no shame
in sinking ships.
Lil' big plans
and an unclear goal,
but sooner or later
I had to go.
I've seen too many
western strolls
to cling inside
this hobbit hole.

Some learned man left

Some learned man left
his hardback open
on a pair of pages
I'd read before
in the margin
perfect scrawl
an aphorism
I wish I'd seen
and committed
to memory
when I was fifteen
it could've led
some other spot
than in between dumpsters
hiding smoke
from school cops
with coke bottle glasses
but every vessel
I've ever hailed
only floated
until it sank
and so I'll close
that book for now
so not to lead
any fool boys astray
even if onto
a better way
let them have
their silly smoke
hidden motives
cruel-hearted jokes
bloody hands
and muddy souls
these damaged sons
brothers though

Move it in

Move it in
leave it there
and move it all back
how did it fit
where does it go
now the room is jacked
you can't return
to moldy homes
without a mask
so stay instead
at grandma's house
and help yourself unpack
the way you lived 
the way you'd like
and the coming task
three roommates
without a fourth
(can we keep the cat)
with western winds
and urban chimes
(can we make it last)
he's with her
and I'm with him
(ain't we quite a cast)
from house to home
to future place
I been afraid of that
but I've read
too many books
to stay just where I'm at
out the door
and down the road
a quest deserves a map

Turn the key

Turn the key,
and hold it there,
to see where and when
the band 
will kick in.

Good enough,
are we still near?

I would've waved
or nodded or something
if I wasn't so still
I could feel 
no emotion.

Her expression,
I couldn't catch,
a tracer's procession
of proceed-with-that
the shutter too slow,
the shudder too fast,
opposite directions
on a foreign street,

A cigarette,
then I shift gears,
with plans to return
another near evening.

Westward, then,
but the east is leading.

Grab myself

Grab myself
the nearest clawhammer
roofing nail
and steady hand
he'll tell me
what to strike
I'll tell him
when to break
he's a stubborn
son of bitch
and I'm a lazy
hour's work
how I sweat
yeah, I owe him
for treehouse fort
blacksmith shop
and red aero-
he built the set
for every play
in between
a working man
and a worn out
and all he got
was crippled love
but he bought it

I try not to care

I try not to care
about your pain
I keep mine
and you keep yours
headlines packed
between the cats
self-shot nudes
and comic books
passing by
and rolling up
the windows for
a moment fucked
I cannot stop
big bad cops
broken ops
I've got
my own shit
like getting laid
sharing complaints
with my friends
they say they made
in taverns, bars
but I mostly
stick to shots
pass the chips
ain't she hot


of course I know better
but I haven't seen
dangerous me
for several seasons
and a movie
I like to look
at my hand
when loaded with
the breath of death
and the taste
of filthy sex
a little lick
a little suck
nervous system
awkward fuck
I'll wrap it up
before it sticks
to my belly
dripping spit
you can't stay clean
without conflict
my second act
needed a twist