wind-up angels (20170701)

i take my wrenches
brand new and gleaming
chiming like tuning forks
shining like suns
and disassemble these
clockwork angels

gears for guts
tightly-wound spring hearts
hollow aircraft grade aluminum bones
unseeing marbles embedded
in deep sockets

[they do not need to see–
they fly in darkness]

their oxyacetylene lungs
power their songs
their wings
their breath of fire

strewn about
their parts litter my garage floor
run your finger over
eight laid out in a row
and they ring
in the dorian mode

voices in flight (20170515)

consider the old saying
that every time a bell rings
an angel gets its wings

and think of all the times
you have heard a cash register chime
or the wall street stock exchange
or a fire alarm
or the low slow clangs of cowbells
as they are led to the slaughterhouse

what the hell are those angels making
their feathers out of
misery, greed, blood and fire?

i have always preferred birdsong
an earthly tune to be sure
unfettered yet surrounded by sky
even if it is all about territory
and sexual conquest
and where the best worms are

cloudy morning (20161024)

morning rain washes
everything clean
sidewalks, streets
air heaves with petrichor
and the scent of eucalyptus
thin crescent moon wanes overhead
masquerading as a wisp of cloud

today, two cars make u turns
in the middle of the street
what is not forbidden
is implicitly allowed

the sun, that smug bastard
burns through clouds
ruining this autumnal dream

but he draws my eye
like a pointed finger

two silhouettes
against a brighter bank
two souls
rising up on shafts of light

or a pair of angels
falling in slow

these are the angels (20160804)

the beating of dark wings
in complete darkness
and the downy touch of
feathers brushing your cheek

this is no dream, this
eternal blackness
no manifestation of
of unfulfilled desires
or torturous regrets

these are the angels
with knives for voices
they want to sing to you

these are the angels
with razors for hands
longing to caress you

these are the angels
with fire for tongues
and how they want to kiss you

sunset and messages (20160722)

we saw no angels only
the aftermath of their
swords cutting the air

orange sunset through
clouds of distant smoke
and somewhere a single

dog barking
__________i hope someone
threw that loud bastard
a bone to calm him down

as for the angels–well
they can carve up heaven
as they see fit

there aren’t enough
actual souls down here
to complain about it

Poem 20151117

the birds exercise their right
to be silent today
avoiding the feeders
and the yard in general
like an apocalypse
en media res
and i didn’t get the memo

the sky is so blue
what kind of blue
what word to replace blue
such a simple set of four letters

but none of the synonyms appeal
it’s blue blue blue
it’s clean-clear, almost white
it’s blue like a transparent
layer of skin that can be peeled back
revealing a host of sword-wielding angels

but are there any other kind?

even angels of mercy carry scalpels
in their tongues
and their words cut away the dead weight
the dying weight
paring you down so that you can fly
like them with hollow bones
silent mouths

you have the right to remain–