Grace en Gracias

a glad struggle to focus & show
how this aging shadow
succeeds at pretend ownership
of midnight breaks--

fruitless backtracking
held beyond the bored repeats
on empty roads

every solitary night
I translate another lesson in trust


Final Harvest

To quote replicant Leon--
  'Do you know what it's like to live in fear?'

Some don't need reaper season paraphernalia
lighting up All Hallows Eve
to be reminded our lives bump down their path
surrounded by ghosts

Fighting to keep my eyes open
staring into oncoming death since I was twelve

Fighting to make peace with the fact
it will likely creep over my shoulder
to snuff my last bewildered breath in mute surprise


Barren Progress

I run South
at an angle to fading twilight

I turn around & the river funnels a cold Northerly
against my chest where shadows fall

Dim past is the icy night calling the tune
I can't dance around

But the ticktock world of labor markets
marches at dawn
pretending clear daylight will focus justice


Verlaine Channel Surf

you seized a life that righteous gossip would diminish
and blew the beats full with contrarian history
to lift some sharper wounded substance of sweet danger
well beyond seductive labels once wild nurtured

gritty grungy balance ever under booted feet
only your voice would not shelter under alien masking thrum
whilst blunt trickster arrows sail across an ocean in your heart
finding senseless targets in your studied joking art

dear secret brother dear wandering brother
dear steadfast unknown brother painfully revealed
recognised in journeys and in loss and crackling absence


Regarding certain 2022 Festive Vortex submissions...


Most-- if not all!-- of the new music I discover these days is what gets played on the Listening Club, so
it felt a bit redundant to pick a couple of tracks from any of the ear-opening selections that club members have regaled our assembled multitude with in the last year-- dare I say, especially these last few months? So I thought I'd share a couple recent surprising tracks by two very different, dear musical friends--

Jon Royce (Around That Time of Night) is a graphic artist, animator & multi instrumentalist based in Hamilton, Ontario. He grew up in Puerto Rico and he and Léné Lovich are the only two people that flattered me by asking for  flute lessons- talk about the pupils outpacing the teacher! This selection, as far as I know, is his first published & shared song form, although I believe he has earlier composed &/or arranged instrumental pieces. Hmm-- there's two versions of it now on his https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-royce-1 page...

José 'Popu' Román, (Snowstorm, as O.P.A.L.) on the other hand, is a prolific programmer-composer of electronica and other musics across a wide spectrum of genres-- from the industrial trash punk of D35C0JóN UR84N0 to the tropical(?) shoegaze of his O.P.A.L. project. It's all published through his online label, 'Rojo y Negro records', and posted on the label's Bandcamp page: https://descojonurbano.bandcamp.com/music

All the best to said assembled multitude in this anxiously developing 2023! Let's see if I can focus & find the threads to finally spool out those story fragments from my musical youth. BTW...I'd love to find a soprano sax-- ideally for less than a grand-- as I am increasingly in need of some musical self-care & therapy...putting this out there, working on my positive intention-ality towards the universe...


Sombra del Hogar

traigo un calorcito que parpadea
señales de muda despedida

dudo de sus fuentes y su constancia
pero me orienta ante la fría sombra
que pretende acogerme en el exilio

contra el filo de la medianoche
la telaraña de ramas desnudas
teje la cuna del postrer reposo


Despedida de Duelo: Epitafio del Amargo

(ante un espejo de años donde mi carácter
de chayote adquiere deformación terminal)

No vivió: transitó como fantasma
natimuerto por el mundo
forastero embutido en disfraz de carne zombi.

Mentiroso transeúnte, derrochó el amor
que no fue suyo y del reconocimiento
que pudiera merecer por algún talento escaso
la huella guardó-- ¡tan bien oculta!-- bajo la duda
(o la sospecha contaminada de resentimientos)
que desde la vacía condena de su ausencia
sólo el demonio que atormenta su disoluta inocencia
puede aún, desde aquél mustio ramillete de caprichos
que una esencia pretende, rendir cuentas.

Confundió la lengua de músicas ignotas
con sones de añorados idiomas fronterizos
cuyos ecos hechiceros deshacían
el rastro de su desorientada fuga

Ejercitó un informal deseo informe
contra los abundantes muros
que acorralaban la ruta de su deriva
en constante sabotaje a pretendidas metas
y a cualquier ficción de plenitud:

Al final logró publicar su rabia
para alimentar la rebelión desnuda de futuro
y descansar en guerra.


To Reap the Rear View

an early harvest moon, fullness
a mere skip & jump closer to equinox
than midsummer's buzz

mercury retrograde stalls in haze
soaking urgent cricket chirp
under whirling constellations

another piece in a shapeless puzzle?


Autumn Falls

the welcoming drizzle gives the lie
to the names of the season

gliding on the shifting gusts
to costume your face
en llanto postizo
that cools the unfinished sermons
of your caffeine Sunday