Thankful for the colors of paint (Matisse).


Sometimes one must buy one’s self a book of Matisse paintings after a day that is humdrum and low after the letdown of good friends leaving town, the bright, juiced visits over and the schedule back intact, the same old bus ride and no time to ever finish a novel, the sky clouding early and the promise of paperwork, because a Monday is a Monday is a Monday, and so to cure it a little, Matisse.



“Still Life with Lemons”


Damn it feels good to have a sideyard.


The sideyard was better than ever before

The sideyard, according  to a new neighbor-friend named Neil “felt like the 60s again.”

The sideyard had around 70 people attend which is record-breaking for the sideyard

The sideyard had a tiki torch

The sideyard had such good loud music that the police came

The sideyard thanks “Tendrils,” the new house band, who will perform acoustically from here on out so that we don’t get evicted

According to a girl I met, the sideyard was “the most fun event I’ve ever been to.” EVER!

Neighbor and friend Jed said about the sideyard, “Don’t ever let me miss this again.”

The sideyard offered free wine and decaffeinated coffee

The morning after the sideyard I had both a real hangover as well as a happiness hangover


Thank you to everyone who came to the sideyard

Thank you to everyone who let themselves enjoy something so analog

Thank you to everyone for coming out to hear poetry; we poets need you, we poets are you, we are all poets


(photos by misha marston johnson)

LA poems, 11-15.

Black tied

Thinking of Paris, France.
Thinking of mangy cats
in garbage piles.
A hair cut can change everything.
The Latter

“Do you think we’ll ever stop
becoming ourselves? Maybe
around 40? And then we cruise?
Or will we die at 86 having
come right up next to it?”
“Ok can we stop being serious now”

because it’s nearly 4am & late
to be a soldier for the word
“treasure” for the first time in my life,
but goddammit you are such a.
And hardly anyone knows it.
World Famous Big Dean’s

This is the first time I’ve wanted
a Coca-Cola this badly in years

yell the kids at the pretzel shop but
don’t we stop needing salt as soon
as it’s offered? Take me to the ocean.

Literary love (Baldwin).

I’m in the middle of my fourth reading of Giovanni’s Room–the third reading this year. I don’t think there’s much left for me to underline, but I’m sure I’ll find a way.

“People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not.”

Poem (Jean-Pierre Rosnay).

The Song of the Fireplace

It’s God’s shirt that is burning or, if you like it any better, his beard.

Fires in a fireplace are more and more infrequent, at least where we are, and for that reason too they are all the more precious to us.

At one time or another, there is always a friend or relative who can take advantage of a fire to visit us or sound off.

Wood fires always have something to tell us. The one giving me my excuse now for a flight of poetic fancy speaks to me of the past, of war, of the Resistance.

It insists on my not forgetting the Haute-Savoie, Vercors, Mont Mouchet, where fires of logs and dead leaves strengthened and warmed our will to keep fighting on to victory.

Fires in a fireplace always lead us back to the essential, their warmth has nothing in common with the warmth produced by electric power. God sometimes speaks above a small candle-flame, but rarely in light from an electric bulb.

Let’s leave it at that.