A landlocked alternative for jumping in the surf

arrives in the form of simple extension and compression
while the kelp forest sways idly in the underwater lull
you’re a six-foot swell on the horizon

air bubbles in the synovial fluid crackle under the surface of my spine
tugged by the pressure of a tidal energy // your arms a double overhead barrel
closed out by open palms curling in

:: i keel into unity with water anatomically, the energetic housing of chaos coiling head over heels, swirling throughout frothy endless vigor till i level steady an inspiration for air, a receiving ::

a burst of calm.
endorphins releasing in the happiest of exorcisms.

my freckles smile bright washed by the sun and saltwater
the shore ebbs // “you smell like the ocean,” you say in an exhale and ensue
the radius and ulna and humerus relaxing till the tide goes out

welcome to the butterfly pavilion, i’ll be happy to answer all of your butterfly questions today

the magnificent flying sunset we all know as monarch butterflies were previously scheduled to begin arrival at their migratory destination :: the only monarch preserve in the state of avocado california namely in the region of natural bridges state beach of santa cruz rest in peace jay moriarity where many will come to gaze upward and most likely agape at the fluttering group-hug clusters forming orange cities in the ever insightfully fragrant yet invasive eucalyptus roosts allowing these milkweed tigers refuge to stay warm and beautiful:: this october.

however in a surprising turn of events a rather large tribe of monarchs have veered off course from their traditional sojourn and made landing in the nearby redwood town of felton floating in descent with remarkable aggression into their new-found and notably visceral habitation :: namely the stomach as well as swarming in and out of my windpipe the frontal lobe of my cerebral cortex and mysteriously the superior vena cava :: in a markedly early arrival amidst the fading moments of september to be exact.

Try your best to remember the sun is just another star

you entered          —          slowly.          interrupting

The first time we met I stood peeking out from behind the incense cedars and you were cloud-scattered sunlight flickering through the branches.
Told me your mother named you Spear-Strength and I returned that my mother named me after the cold Pacific White Waves.

Traces of Apollo in your blood fire springing from your brow and I notice you pop out a cigarette to light whenever we get to the top of a mountain. Curry recipe in your hands and spurs clicking the ground at your heels with a red paisley cowboy kid look in your eyes. I seem to keep getting in your way in the kitchen.

smelling of:      smoked paprika     fresh-baked bread     basket of wildflowers

The steel carabiners clink together like wind-chimes hung from our waists.
Tied in to the stony crag where I hear you say I’m strong.

After three years I’m taking my vengeance on the split granite dome and when I finally reach the top I find you waiting like Sampson fast asleep but you jerk awake easily when I touch your hair and I start to wonder why I have the tendency to want to wake you up.

figure-eight knots         eight-spotted          american forester          american kestrel

Tying feathers to my elbows and ankles I’ve got a nature to run into the sunset clouds to keep my legs from getting too restless at night.
I know that in the end I’ll be running back through the doors every time but you’ve got a different type of restlessness don’t you and when I do come running back through the doors sweaty and red like I’d been chased by one of my recent nightmares you jump up with your guitar playing like you wanted to make me dance and singing like “It’s okay it was just a bad dream just go back to sleep.”

And after the day you told me “I know what it’s like to fall through the ice” I started thinking about how I could tell you that I know what it’s like because I’ve fallen through the ice too.

alternative folk    //      bluegrass punk     //     americana     //     new wave post-hardcore

Taking night walks to the docks to clear the noise from our heads got me thinking about the day we met and how you looked at me like sunlight.
But you’re not the sun are you at least not in the sense of the springtime sunlight warming our faces but more like one of those pictures captured in space that we have to dim to see on a screen more like one of those pictures of a rough molten sphere so turbulent it bursts in flares at least every other day and I’m catching your reflection glances because I’m the moon phasing full churning up the tides into this rip current catching us red-handed.

When we dance we light up the sky.

the same           universe            for the brief           —

So we will mostly undress.
You started asking me about where I got my oceanid veins and I said it’s all about learning to kiss the face of chaos to catch a pure breath of peace but that’s when I started to remember I needed to come up for air.

See I’ve got this wild habit of keeping my foot off the brake when I’m driving the downhill curves and (I think I’m getting better at it but) every now and then I crash (turn and burn) and now (for five straight days) you’ve set forest fires on my mind so when you find the words to ask me how I slept last night I honestly gotta say that my spine aches from whiplash and I honestly gotta say that I’ve felt it before (hit and run). All I want to hear you promise me you won’t leave without saying goodbye.

please          watch your step! on         your way out of           the garden


Semi-precious stones, shattered by
cedarwood branches, soaked in
meadow-kissed rivulets awakened under the dawn horizon.

Framework of tissue, skin, and bone:
the clockwork of gaze.

And you were looking at me.


I wish he didn’t ask.
How’s it going with you and…?
Gleaming Herakles tilts his lynx ears toward Orion.
I hope the glancing-eyed Archer is too absorbed in the sport to see.
My pallor, draining into shrugged shoulders.
Leaving a gaze cement, mechanical.

Since when is this July?–my hands are so cold.
I’ve been praying I could maybe feel that summer breeze, been praying the Earth would stop spinning so fast.

Why does she have to spin so fast?
She just keeps spinning and spinning…

And if there’s anything I’ve learned.
Forward motion doesn’t pull over to the side of the road for anything.
But, sometimes, you can lean against that gravitational pull–
Step one, walk to the kitchen after the game and make a cup of tea.

Which, I was hoping you’d be there, watching me pour the boiling water.
Watching me feel proud of how I don’t want to burn myself while I’m pouring the boiling water.
And see me use the steeping roots you gave me.
The calming Kava and bright Licorice.
Letting the steam curl to my face–

But I am alone.
Step two, walk to the amphitheater, sit down, and breathe.
Breathe in the steam, Breathe like she taught you.

Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four. Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe In one two Hold one two three Breathe Out one two Hold one two three Breathe

Herakles arrives in his Shadow way.
Not gleaming so much.
He sets the oak roots of his legs at almost right angles.
Sitting behind me like a tower.

How is it, really?
Don’t really know
All right, you don’t have to talk about it

I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall
I’m sorry to hear that
Sip the scorching tea.
Is that supposed to help

And then I: Flash Flood, Flash Flood like I know how

The glancing eyes the careful steps the shoulders turned away the vapid smiles the waning conversations the fresh smell of Lemongrass the Earth spinning the Sun just not caring the uninterrupted nerve endings the frustrated nerve endings the trying to go hunting the promise to find the creek the tugging towards the Ocean the two years ago in my apartment the therapist’s couch the empty hands the music’s cackling decadence the tossing and turning at night

God I hate this song
He says.

It drips like the condensation on a cold glass of water.
It burns like the fire Leo stokes in the pit below.

The music, the Earth spinning–

Herakles looks at me like a river and says,
Come on, let’s get out of here