Verses, 11.1 – 11.51, Revolver


Why do I crawl

in reverse,

rewinding back, back

through the eye

of a needle, back

through a stageset



Am I inspired by acquaintances

who play so tight and close

their intimate whispers,

pregnant with trauma,

give way to a fetish:

a knowledge

of sutures,

de facto,

aid in a minor form?


The first ones

so lovingly forgive;

close those caverns

in the flesh.

Now chambers echo

where spinae yanked

tight as guidewires.

He who said so

set-to with

thickset hands,

unbuilding things

inside me.


In this way

my ambitious spell

was set in motion.

I gunned it, high-speed

down the highway

‘long uncharted deserts…

the lone oasis long departed.

I ran those re-treads thin, left

that smoking hulk aside,

tumbled out on a sandy

shoulder to save

my skin, birth

a little shiva.


Call it what you like,

but I know my own

private fear of death.

It was laughter over radio which

bubbled up from wreckage wires

and echoed in that dented hull.


You know I did not get

away unharmed…

could not make my break intact.

Now my undelivered

foot must sweep the dust

as Lefty, clopping clods apart

and falling, just as

poems fall, suggests…


(I later note

a fear of death

to be the flare

laid out

on asphalt,

which gets us gawking left,

such stupid geese,

while right

a parked car smolders,

its shadows on the grit.)



the mechanic, slave

to other accidents,

sweats and bends,

his dream catcher

hooked to the roll-tor.

Yet I’m the one

(Waaaaa-Waaaaa cries martyr!)

who hoists that

fucking engine.


You note an emotion

makes your trapezius

knot and lift; your shoulder

the record, the softly turning vinyl

of a breakup.


A needle


its world

upon your surface.


I must turn.

I must turn and

Turn.  And turn and turn.

After all, my dear one…

There is no Witch-Doctor, no Alchemist.

Only a locator of grips, a deft

unwrapper of phantom fingers,

one who makes wake for her

who would choose superstition,

flying along the mirage of our secret

inland sea, strange wood fins

nailed to the side of her aqua car,

(a rooster tail, a big deal).

the painter’s knot left

unfurled at the dock, I

the one who cured her.


No magic here,

no paradox.

Instead, a desert lake:

a perfect fake,

now spoiled,

a silver mirror


by the speedboat

with its tall-tall yards of spray,

its superstitious show.


You and I,

ever pragmatists,

know a boat will make its

desert rescue even

across the sickening mirage,

in the middle of nowhere,

in the deafening silence,

in the absence of fanfare.


So why do you

force me on

the thing you deny,

(though you think it already):

Every means is orthodox,

when you bite down,

train the mind to skip

the trauma we both

know as cause and effect.

11.52 (Three Epilogues)


Now we dance

beside the smoking car,

its radio tinnily

doubling the bursting

ring of laughter,

its broadcast hollow;

we sing across

the sands, black asphalt

ribbon’s end no matter

now… We’ve seen its vistas,

and survived.


We dance at dusk…

in the cool blue shade

of metal husks,

‘mid radiowaves

and tiny shivas,

and in our



the eye

of Christ…


…a decoration

slid ‘long twine

hung round

my neck,

then yours,

(a fisheye, a wet

black bead, an

ornament worn

for tiny dances).


rated x, part three

…the moment when I am with you…and we lose track of time and space; we rotate and tumble; we become each other; we are sweat and skin; we are liquid; we are ether…

until again we materialize…propel ourselves deeper into the dark, whirling corridors of eyes…

…so that when we sit on the cement grit of my stoop on the other side of that reality…when we drink our coffee, and smoke our cigarettes, me in my jeans and you in fresh cotton…(when the “morning is cold, and bright, like we need it”…)

…when we look up into the sky and watch a skiff of gray cloud…and shiver in the air that sweeps our skin before light rain sprinkles the fabric of our sleeves…

…we know we’ve been somewhere.

(Back Door:  Enter rated x, part two into the search bar.)

(Please note: the quote above is from the music of David Eugene Edwards and Woven Hand,  whose lyrics can be heard in the Wim Vandeykeybus/Ultima Vez dance film entitled Blush.)










Falling Forward

I stared into the rectangle of light.  It was too bright, and I shut my eyes.

The Yogi was gone, but I could hear his voice.  He spoke quietly in my head.

“Falling of this kind,” he said, “is a physical sensation that occurs within the body.  There are people who call upon redemption to explain it…although this is misperception.  When you’re ready to clear your heart…you’ll want to fall forward.  There will be no obstacle.  It will feel good to you to fall forward into space, and you’ll want to fall forward, as if your sternum could open, like a sail.  This feeling will come over you like a wave.  Surrender is one of the names for it.  And if you want it, if you say, ‘I surrender’, it will never be.  It will happen to you.  It will surprise you.  But don’t begin believing things because of it.  Only remember it is true.”

Still the bright light of the street yielded no detail.  I only knew of the time when I had been in Sailor’s kitchen, and knelt down on her floor, and felt a fool.

(Back Door:  Enter “Reflection” into the search bar.)

Turbulence (The First Touch)

Then the things came through so fast they were ragged, without clear beginnings or endings… and I sat opposite her, and the things just ripped through me, the memories…

…sounds, smells, sensations, without time or place, without face or image…  And as they tore through me, I could hear the sound of Sailor’s voice in my open ears…over the tiny trembling and shaking that became me…

She lowered her eyes, and sipped her tea.

“Love is a lie,” she said slowly, checking my reaction, her eyes large.

I sat stock still.

Her fingers went unconsciously to the slender chain she wore around her neck, and then her hand dropped lightly away.  She sighed.  Her chest rose and fell softly inside her T-shirt.  The faint blond hairs on her forearms stood out a little…tiny goosebumps.

I felt a yearning rush.

She reached across the table, and touched my forearm, intending to calm me. A thrill went up my spine.

“Narc, it’s about love,” she said, “It’s the feeling that makes you want to hold me…  But it’s not what it claims to be…”

She broke off for a moment, then went on.

“Narc, I have to say it to you…I don’t think this feeling comes from grace…”

I stared.

A cloud must have passed away from the sun; Sailor was now lit from the side window.  I could see that she was thinking.

“This feeling is not true…” she said.  Her brow wrinkled.  “It claims to give shelter, to protect…but I’ve felt it before.  It’s hypocrisy, Narc…because it is not what it claims to beIt does not seek to give shelter; it seeks to take it: it seeks to be sheltered, and to be rocked, and held, and comforted.  It seeks to take, and take, until there is no more…as if you could drink, and drink, until there is nothing left of the pleasure of my heart.”

She took me in with her eyes.  Then she finished her tea, and placed the cup back down on the table.

The sound of the china against the warm wood was like a note of music.

Now there was a simplicity, and a sensuality, and a frankness to her face which I had never seen before.  She spoke simply, and clearly.

“I know this love, Narc…it seeks to be secreted away…until all the world is oblivion, until all pain is absorbed into hiding, and comfort, and ecstasy…    It’s the most pleasurable destruction: it is the heart’s addiction to the heart.  And that is why the heart panics, and the body becomes turbulent: because it knows that it cries out for the destruction of another.  And what your friend speaks about…the turn to hate…  It is only the love becoming true to its own dark power.  Hate is authentic: it does none other than what it claims to do.  It is desire for the destruction of another.  Hate knows itself, and is austere…for it does not make from joy a mask for its desire…”

I waited, said nothing.

“Narc, I’m saying this to you only because I believe…that if we don’t reckon with the truth, love will kill us slowly…  We have to to fly free…so that our falling bodies take wing…like waking from a dream.”

As I listened, a strange sensation took hold of my body, and gradually intensified.  I felt as if I were clearing of all tension, all discomfort, as if my body were becoming translucent, sensationless.  Then something in my chest opened.  I had a desire to fall forward.  I wanted to go forward and down.  There was suddenly an overwhelming feeling that there was something above me, something much bigger than me, something huge, bigger than the sky.  I felt dizzy.  There was something that was receiving me.  I lost my concentration for a moment.  I felt crazy, out of control, but at the same time as though everything were happening in a kind of strange, inevitable slow motion.

Then  I was on the floor of Sailor’s kitchen.  Sobs shook my body.  This was it; this was the thing that had to come through.  It washed over me like a flood.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry. 

What the was this?  Like someone who’d been converted by the power of Jesus Christ…  I couldn’t believe it.  This couldn’t fucking be me.  No!  Stop!  What was going on?

I was bewildered, confused, embarrassed…but letting it happen, right there on the floor in her kitchen in front of her.  Crying.  Just crying.  Tears were rolling down my face, dropping onto my jeans.  A couple tears fell on my body.  They were hot.  I was coming the fuck apart.

(What was this?  I was a man!  I was a fucking atheist, God damn it! There was no God, no divine, no….)

But whatever it was that did not exist, it was in my heart…ice, and dirt, and slag, and crap, from my life, in the chambers of my heart.  People I had hit with my fists, people I had screamed at.  It was getting scraped out.

And then words started pouring out of me again…

“Oh Jesus Christ, Sailor, Fuck me…I’m sorry…”

I didn’t even know what I was sorry about.  I’d never done anything to Sailor.  And then I was just crying, sitting on one hip with my hand down on the floor, like a girl, crying.  Wiping my wet hand across my shaved, stubbly head, and making it cold, and wet…and so sorry that she had to see it…and wanting to apologize for everything, all my flaws, which were all my actions…

Everything about my physical body seemed ridiculous, my stupid muscles and good grooming.  Narc you vain, vain fuck.  You fucking prince.  What is the point?  Your heart is a  fucking shambles.

(Back Door: Enter Anahata Awakening into the search bar.)

(Front Door:  Enter Cheat (The Second Touch) into the search bar.)

(A Footnote:  Thank you Osho.)


I flashed on the first time I’d seen Sailor, in that club…and thought she was a hooker…knew she was a hooker.  And I’d never shared it; I never would.  But there was this woman, who at first blush had struck me hard, so hard, as someone who slung her trade on the street, that I’d reflected on my life, and how I, “the artist”, was a whore…  …and now she was telling me that love was a hypocrisy.

I wanted to knock everything off the table.  I wanted to tear the room apart; I wanted to abuse her.

The nausea grew stronger.  The room seemed out of proportion somehow.  Sailor’s head looked tiny and distant.  I felt panicked.  I wanted to grab her and take her into the bedroom, and resolve things a different way.  I wanted to babble out my rage in an avalanche of screams.

I did nothing.  I sat upright and waited.  This had to come out.

(A Back Door: Enter “Motionless” or “Dark as an Illusion” into the search  bar.  A Front Door:  Enter “Exquisite Stillness” or “Stockings” into the search bar.)

How did she know?

“It’s okay,” Sailor said, “it’s going to be intense.”

How did she know?  How did she know what was coming?

Things flashed back to me, at a terrific pace, tearing through my mind and body, memories rocketing through me like a river charging down a rapid.

I remembered a relationship I’d had, there in New York, but years before.  I’d lived in one of the last cheap apartments on the West Side, way up where there were those Chinese-Cuban restaurants on Amsterdam; we’d shared the space, a skilled concert pianist from Armenia and some other musicians, a percussionist from Portland, Oregon, another pianist from Mexico, and my roommate, whose closest male friend was a pool shark, and would come back early in the morning, his pockets lined with hundred dollar bills.

The relationship I’d been in was hot, insular, toxic, paradoxical…  Because we loved each other so deeply it was magical.

And we fucked. Oh lord we fucked.  We fucked on the floor, against the dresser, in the toilet, the shower, against the frosted glass in the dead of winter, wherever; we were in our twenties, and never got tired, and came everywhere.  It was a time when we were fucking with an urge, and an anger, and a hunger, and a need.  We were exorcising ourselves through our fuck.  We didn’t know what was wrong with us, and we were trying with every cell in our body to get rid of the thing we couldn’t find.

During this time I was a heavy smoker; it was bad for a dancer: 20 cigarettes a day, maybe more.

Often when I was down on the street smoking I would encounter Malakian, the pianist, whom we always called by his last name.  He was often gone concertizing, but when he was around, I listened to him.  He spoke either not at all, or in a complete paragraph, before falling into silence.

Once Malakian said to me, “Hey, it’s okay that you are enjoying her.  And I don’t want to impose myself.  Please just let me say this.  A little noise…okay, you know, when the feeling is so good, and you want to cry out during sex…okay.  But the crazy shrieking and all this, that I heard a couple of days ago.  Man, it’s too much.  Good sex is one thing, but it’s not the holocaust.  Please.”

I nodded my head in deep embarrassment.  Malakian touched my shoulder, and finished his cigarette. She and I were quieter after that.

The memory was gone.

It was inevitable: I was coming to what I had to say to Sailor.

“I love you,” I said.  I blurted it out.  It didn’t feel right, but I’d had to say it.

She looked disappointed…as if this were exactly what she’d been expecting me to say.

Talking Heart

We sat in Sailor’s kitchen.  My eyes were still closed.  She’d laid her hands on my shoulders, my neck…and my life raced helter skelter through my head.

“You’ve been talking now for hours,” she said.  She didn’t criticize; it was soothing, the way she said it.

She was right, too. I couldn’t stop.  I couldn’t stop talking.  I had to blurt out every story, every meaningless anecdote from my life.  I tried to stop for a moment, to see what made me so afraid…

Afraid because that was what it was: my mouth had come unmoored from my heart, and I could not stop it.  Or perhaps it was the opposite: my mouth was roped up to my heart, inextricably intertwined, bound and knotted, connected up to this blood engine in my chest that was pumping, beating so fast for her I couldn’t shut up.

Stupid boy.

I closed my lips and looked into her eyes.  I was terrified.  I breathed.

She stroked my hair so softly I thought I would cry.

“Just sit still,” she said, “and it will come.”

I’d never experienced this.  It’d never been like this.  God fucking damn it.  And now cursing!  Fuck! Narc, you emotional child!  Stop yourself!

And now…here…with Sailor, I couldn’t shut up…an impossible deluge of information about my life had just poured out of me…as if I were a child, returning to the safety of a parent.  But what was this?  What was the one thing I actually had to say?

I sat still.  Sailor and I stared.

“I’m feeling a bit nauseous,” I said.