Pale Mary, full of grace
ash night of the urban sky.
There’s a whisp against you, 
white as children's hush.

I seek the well of grace, mother.
My love has spilled, holy, and red.
I’ve come for my stillness.
I’ve come with this stumbling vesper,
in my night cotton,
to the ministry of the atmosphere
to pray alone.

Pale Mary, full of grace,
a tail and tongue across you, 
a dragon in the breath of the censer.

I seek the word of the lost, mother.
The hymn of the hollow.
I’ve come for my wholeness,
in pieces,
to the alter of the stars,
those sacred hearts, burning alone
in silence and chaos,
with mine.


Forgive me, Silverlake.
When I am in you, the urge toward socio-anthropological vivisection is too great.
I want to eat you,
and spit out flannel fibers in strings of lumberjack plaid.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I know I expect too much,
but still I expect.
You are the twilight zone between that guy I knew in Los Feliz, and that guy I knew in Glendale, but you always had the best turntable.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I think of you too much.
You smell like your dad probably smelled, or some uncle.
Or how you imagine Jon Brion might smell.
Or the childhood recollection of the pale peach apartment, of your Russian piano teacher,
tinged with musk breath of Oak and nicotine,
washed upwards on Santa Ana currents through the canyons.
Or just Patchouli.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I want to come correct with this hatchet-job of a heart.
I want to stop bleeding on your custom cabinetry.
I seek the kata of the earnest blasé.
Show me the steps to the bird’s eye view, so I can pretend that I am not an Earth-bound stone.
I seek artisanal avoidance, with citrus.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I am sentimental.
And envious
of the girl from that party, who made me crave furniture polish, with her shiny brown bangs,
like muddled chocolate and Hendricks gin.
Her curves did not beckon, and her face did not move.
Everyone was left holding the bag, because she was blameless.
Her entire seduction beckoned, despite her.
She was anti-sexual and we were all animals,
vying to lap raspberry pulp out of her cracked obsidian.
And everyone agreed parking was shitty.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I compare you to your past.
Your ragged, bohemian days, when my father was dating a Jewish girl, named Alice.
He had a German shepherd, and a van.
He talks about you as a wilderness of the libido, and of “good white people”
who were generous with the herb.
He wore plaid, lumberjack shirts back then,
so maybe not that much has changed.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I grew up in West LA,
with goth boys.
Drinking instant coffee.

Forgive me, Silverlake.
I have culture envy.
I want my haircut to mean something.
I called Eagle Rock, but I was thinking of you.
I talk shit at parties because I don’t want you to know
how much I like you.



Hello wanderer.
God of war.
Ancient over suburbia.
Celestial, bedazzling the oil fields
in the hills over Inglewood.
Mars, and the stars of Orion's Belt.
Plentiful tonight, lovely.
Mars eternal, through angelic, gray, particulate haze.
Eternal through the invisible, holy fellowship of wi-fi.
Eternal through the carcinogens of technology in violent ecstasy.
Eternal through blue-light hour evangelist infomercials, dim pixel prayers for gold and apocalypse. 
Eternal through the empty rib cage of patriotism.
Eternal through the streets protecting hollow statues of hollow men.
Eternal through the spitstorm of exalted trust-fund kids.
Eternal through the posturing of nations.
Eternal through the wanderers,
Gods of war,
lights on the crest of the hills, 
growing closer,
hissing over suburbia,
celestial, bedazzling the oil fields.
Technology in violent ecstasy.
Someone pressed the button

The Answer


I’m writing to God on a dinner napkin.


In my bratty ennui,
deeply moved in perfunctory ways,
smug in the dream that history has unfolded in my favor,
I’ve been alarmed at violence, but not sparked.
Rattled by injustices, but not awakened.


I’m writing this half drunk.


I don’t believe in the rapture,
but I feel the crust of the Earth, and the firefly souls upon it.
Your delinquent children, throwing stones.
Throwing prayers away in bursts of shrapnel.


I’m bracing for something.


We are calling out
from within your holy architecture,
vibrant in reverberation,
waiting for the echo back.

We are all sitting
in lust and terror of the answer,
transfixed upward,
waiting for the sky to crack.

For Dr. King

Sunday morning, January 15, 2017


I woke to gospel cadence in my mind.

Clap children.

Stand up on your creaking ankles,
laugh at the bone snap.
Glory wakes up every day,
Praise is a dusty hat, 
trimmed with Sunday’s busted roses.

We are gathered here today,
as we were gathered yesterday,
as we will gather tomorrow.

All irises
ice blue to coal,
open with hope.
Wet with memory.
Red with glory, waking up every day
on snapping ankles,
to march
through dusty roses,
over bridges,
through glass and golden towers,
on pain of love.

We are so heavy.

We are heavy with rolling storm
but we can carry it together.

In our hearts
we all hold the thunder
of The Preacher.