Black Friday. Black Sabbath. Black lives matter. The Black Keys. The Black Panthers. The Black Maria. Jack Black. Paint it Black. Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Black belt. Black Flag. Beyond the black stump. Black roses. Black and white photos. Black Hole Sun. Black Dog. Black cat. Many like their coffee black. Jet black. Black box. Little black book. In the black. Back in Black. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Black poets. Black pioneers. Black humor. The Black Dahlia. Black-eyed peas. Black-eyed Susans. Black is beautiful.
Longitudes & latitudes of gratitude for my friends, family & lion-hearted daughter. Thanks for those with green thumbs & purple hearts, gravediggers & garbage collectors. Praise for bringers of incense, orchids & music. All the poets, writers & artists that have inspired me, coaxed me off the ledges of brief madnesses. Graces to the teachers & healers, zen masters & car mechanics. Mother Nature & the Mothers of Invention, animal vets & pets that say the wisest and kindest things with their eyes. Grateful for the ground under my feet & roof over my head. Indebted to the lights that haven’t burned out—in my apartment, my heart & mind.
Euphoria our dystopia. Lightly salt our tasteless comments. Superfood our Twinkie defense. Little Rascals our free radicals. Evil Knievel our cold feet. Flower power our helter skelter. Mingus our dingus. Hip-hop our hiccups. Heavy-metal our easy-listening apathy. Honey our ruckus. Whirly-gig our manic panic. Trampoline our dug-in heels. Gumbo our mumbo-jumbo. Peacefully punctuate our run-on hate. Future perfect our present tense.
Think of your unexpressed emotions as soon-to-be-born children living in your throat. Think of love, sorrow, and anger as the color of their eyes. Now recall the countless daily rituals you’ve undertaken, all the victories and defeats embodying every alphabet of sensation you’ve yearned to share with the world. Before the time of your birth, you were just a lump in someone’s throat.
when the future divorced the past; when all the world’s things became unthinged; when the alphabet went on strike; when sunshine boycotted the sky; when Sunday filed a restraining order against Monday; when the Gods of Monster Rock played only harmonicas; when the winds of Yes blew only No; when my one and only mirror broke—that’s when life pulled me aside, and whispered in my ear: “There’ll always be days like this, but there’ll be better days ahead…”
Wherever equanimity is hijacked by inequality, or the heart’s lull and hum becomes a jagged bone of contention. Wherever inspiration is traded for expiration, or atoms of grace are centrifuged into one feud after another. Wherever life’s breath root is cut from flowers of affection, or love’s architects are left dumbfounded when their homes have been burned down—that is where you’ll find a hint of humanity blooming through those leaves of grass as Walt Whitman’s beard points faithfully towards peace.
Down on Santa Monica & Wine, there are miracles and miseries, sirens and tattooed mysteries. Femme fatales whose luscious red lips sting like mercurochrome on love’s open wound. Blitzkrieg boppers swarm Hollywood Forever, rock with the ghost of Johnny Ramone. Santa Ana winds howl through alleyways, scatter wild juju like dice. Passive assassins kill you softly with sex and music in bliss beds rented by the hour. Psychic transmissions hum through phone lines of disease’s remission. The sleepless talk to the walls and dreamers talk to the stars. The Grim Reaper’s dressed in drag, the taste of apocalypse on his kiss. And everyone’s eyeball deep in some God-scavenged trash because sometimes life is most alive in those dark and greasy places peppered with a little heaven and hell.
It’s better to rock than be a rock. It’s preferred to go in peace than arrive in war. More fitting to fly on time than to watch time fly. Worthier to take the stairway to heaven than the highway to hell. It’s finer to carol in Carolina than karaoke in the Okefenokee. More desirable to be a maestro than a minus sign. More preferable to be dust in the wind than smoke on the water. More suitable to calm a cougar than make an antelope anxious. It’s quite improved to swoon by the spoon than die by the knife. More sophisticated to be a pocketful of change than a bank of stagnation. Better to suffer a dang storm than Sturm und Drang. It’s far worthier to be an unclear feather than a massive smart bomb.
Tendons of tender mercies. Blood of sea-swell and warm kitchen scents. Sighs like distant trains at night. Flesh like earth’s first cousin. Tree’s green tidings winding through our breath. Weed wanderings of wild emotions. Bones like dense bouquets of upright grace. Shadows and tombstones, chants and rants. Love’s keen spirit sailing around our bonfire hearts. In this way, we are one with everything that is.
The light and dark of this life—
honesty and heroism,
truth blindsided by a fog of lies.
Consciousness rising, optimism flailing.
Joy’s gigglesquirm burblings and grief’s deepweather chill to the bone.
Birdsong and lullabies, gundoom and suicides.
Music and lovemaking, death and heartbreak.
Dogs that are more like shrinks and priests that are more like creeps.
Convicts and derelicts, poetry and promises kept.
The lamentable mirrors that are sometimes our eyes when reflecting shared sorrows.
Our DNA exploding into a brilliant array of TNT Superfly dynamighty.