released January 5, 2004
enablers' 1st album on Neurot Recordings
all rights reserved
- Track Name: Glimpses, Audio: Driving Late
To the immediate west, a beautiful sight,
and simple in its looming.
I have the Sutro’s constellation perched above me,
its four red points blinking in the drink of fog and night
like some ethereal point of entry.
The radio says it’s coming up on 4AM,
and 16th Street’s suddenly hot wired with chivvying cries
of the highly sexed, a barrage of them, eerily canned,
one playboy after another sounding off burdened reports through the air;
invisible behind trees and penumbras of street lamps but voices all the same, looping down from second and third story windows, each one
flared from the augurs of narcotic frights to pass leeward
and careless to the women below.
You motherfuckers are goin’ to jail.
And just like that— a tacit inception or some shared psychic reasoning—
the night falls slapdash into fugue, its haunted figures askitter with needle points surging willy-nilly through the body of them as they go veering across the darkness like startled insects, a scratching, sniffing, febrile emblem of indecisiveness, pushing on buzzers,
imploring upwards in hisses, every one of them dying a little more.
Like the kid asprawl on the stoop, sick and keenly marginal
like a late-model Tantalus in up to his neck, denied fruit,
and so realizing that the stuff’s bigger than him, that it’s the unrequited love, and therefore in everything he sees.
- Track Name: Pauly's Days in Cinema
He’s stepping heavily, a humbled canting his course in random lines
down Mission St,
a grave heat on.
It’s the photographs again, their captured time fingered
once too often and now spun to pique,
never settling in the same dudgeon twice.
And never mind what’s taking hits in the abstruse deeps
of his belly.
Baja drifts peevishly in him now, its memory jabbing at his nerve
like a wayward crank inclined to correct strangers.
Pity him. He craves the vacuous shoulder, a female he can treat like a stooge and pitch his tales of woe to. Pity him,
and you’ll have a hell of a load on your hands—
a hell of a load.
In the last week alone he’s seen a rage collect hard in the pith of him,
lift a hundred pound desk over his scrawny, rummy-wan frame
and swing down, smashing the fucker to kindling right in the middle of the street,
the neighbors stopping their varied business to gape at what might come next.
Meanwhile, Hope’s on the line from Seattle. She’s worried, she says,
her voice itching with years of untenable kinship.
My brother, she says, fashions himself after some kind of Tarrantino
cowboy, she says.
Yeah, well, Pauly hates the phone. Ask anybody.
Countless blinks later, he says he wasn’t quite sure. Something
just broke and washed over him as though the body had suddenly
addressed its own uncanny agenda.
So weighted, and lately a man who falters on his heels and disassembles altogether quite a bit, Pauly picks himself one hand, one knee,
one foot at a time, stripped of the controlled badass who waves away phantom help under the hazy line of street lamps
burning coal-like and suspended
through the boulevard.
That’s quite a frame when he takes that critical left turn into the bar,
where the solace of the peopled din is soon lost
once the quick glimpse of Her
(He’s doodling misery by knife point and candlelight again; pissing in jars alone in the basement, no less)
- Track Name: And Last Night?
A wending freshet catches turns across the dry bed,
a gaping movement denied closure.
Mouths spawn and speed the plain and, in a bar,
legions away from the magnificent terrors of the African continent,
she addresses her own savage flush, her speech slurred
and going south in lubricious tides.
Something about rainy days and carnal visits
from people she’s recently dreamt of— men and women, she says,
conspiring toward emphasis.
There are hints of a willed libertine, and inside that blithe geode she
registers for effect— secretly, inexorably— deep songs vie
with the otherwise salubrious designs of shiatsu.
Even the smoke from her cigarette disdains to avoid her.
The ice in her drink melts quicker than everyone else’s.
The histrionics of troubled sleep have crept to the loins
like a starved black panther, she says. Or better still,
like a starved black panther loping across the dry river bed,
where, waving her hand undulantly from the wrist, she sees
sheets of heat and furrows of torpor.
See, when the moment’s just right, she can spot its ribs chafing its coat,
and that’s when she comes.
- Track Name: End Note
Scan the smalls things rushing to a dark clutch of weather above the busy street.
You once said that we are smarter in our dreams; you also said that words were important,
and they were said. Or so it was said anyway.
Thrush of traffic and wind: a natty legion of cirrus cloud streams over the inland peaks,
a slow, brawny pace it converges in roiled plumes and drives steadily onward,
marching across the sky, the way newer skins converge and cover the body.
So many words that maybe there might've been an inkling of truth hiding among them.
I just had to feel it out in peels, waiting through air, much like a sculptor might sound the occurring depths and store of the rock.
Molecules are in a frenzy up there. A rollicking mass of sightless matter
in violent contact. When a phone rings just below the touch, a person might cultivate
a small simulation of that.
And you laying in bed so many nights alone-- a date with a cigarette & a book, any book;
it made the scenario complete, constantly forging your new skin.
Meanwhile, no lightning. just the birds and trees hove to in the winds, graceless,
stricken things at the whip.
And the quietly vigilant apartment houses poised together in dull weather-toughened homologue, bled clean of their grand eras like faces and hands, creaking
with the singular duty I imagine weary clippers once did in heavy seas.
I watched its fleeting monochromes pass in the reflection of your aviator glasses.
Plains and sky that slid like currents into the hollows of your cheeks, gathering miles
of the kind of breathing that conquers speech.
You stared straight ahead for hours, drugged and sullen.
You looked like a cute idiot.
It's tremendous what the wind can and will bring into clarity: views once frayed
and obdurate, now bound by the hidden blessings of change.
And you are here again, fretful but playing it safe. You asked about me where once you had told me how I was. I said No once, a start for any number of pressing endings.
And funny how that word remembered the way you squeezed yourself shrill, a death-grip
on the odd solace of a back of a chair. Your mother. My hand.
A tuft of paper flits into traffic and settles after the deluge into a cozy pocket of gutter across the street-- there. The way a person might refer to another in place: there. Until the glimpse of a raincoat starting into the store cuts the show, and the rain comes.
As my hand passed across your face, at once fostering and wiping away woe and worry and a deliberate need to fuck, I told you that if a person believes in time this is what he does. Words were said. Words were important. Or so it was dreamed anyway.
- Track Name: Joe
Things’re astir in the kitchen, constant with sibilant tides
and the clatter of several wares plied at once.
There in the middle of it all the sorcerer Joe oversees his purview,
coaxing his sauce to its signature point.
Until a sudden wisdom has him banking left to prod and divine
the yams’ give.
Claps hands and he’s switching right again, his hands busily
dicing, busily rinsing & wiping, quick, attentive hands at turns
with the bird and au gratin— never lost to the boiling water
the old Indian in him will soon preside over, still as quiet pools,
a solus to the billowing cast of steam, saying, “Nah, g’wan! Go ‘way.”
He’s got it. “Drink,” he says. “Whatcha want? Dov’é vino?”
Claps hands again and mugs a swoon for the Polaroid,
distracted at last from contemplating the tests,
from counting them now, far removed from his language
in his creaking cottage high in the Appenini.
At his back the light’s gone blue at the hills,
and what’s oncoming night continues to rise from the valley floor,
enduring slopes and small, crested villages, until what is not under blue,
that deepening scrim of blue, surrenders its final dapple and winks out— dark
A breath that bears reflection:
“Don’t ever get old.”
- Track Name: A Not-So-Pretty Sight in Steinbeck Country
So the door of this car meditating at 80
Lurching like a rocket's first flames
It soon stiffens against the wind
Feet swing out
An absurdity so obvious
It can't be helped
Certainly not this man
Nor the abrupt memories of any number
Of stupidities ever committed in a life-- those mute,
Insufferable tyrants that put you here in the first place
Simply to drive, think things through.
You can almost thank him
When in no time at all the feet lower
Do the Mashed Potato in quickening flops
And slashes across the whirring highway
Enough torque there to catapult the body
Into a panorama of ancient trees and Van Gogh yellows
These otherwise serene hills of Steinbeck Country caught
By a certain off-off-and-away whirlybird man
By his own risible devices once the corpse sobers the effect
In a roadside ditch
A coiling of limbs and prey
To the gawking faces lit up in the swiveling lights.
And the car
Don't ever forget the car veering casually eastward
Some eerie jetsam cast into the limned green expanse of alfalfa
Ghost-driving under the deep faceless tombs of hulking
There to bid travelers a fine welcome to Salinas, 101 South
- Track Name: Manly
I hit ground bobbing critically and floor it against the
shocks’ unnerved play, the last of the humpbacks vanishing
in the rearview mirror as I lift again,
fast among the wind-strummed trees,
the air cool about my chest.
I had the old McClellan slows once but I stopped dealing in shy measures,
lit up the county courthouse and I aim to keep firing:
become my own favorite infidel apprised of a stellar wash so clear
and distinct I’d swear it was a jangling glory of bells.
I’m all reflex. I’ve distilled toward it, hugging its burnished roar
to my bones. And the promise of what’s left of my bag
speaks better than me when I really open up this piece,
and the pride of my garage finds purchase through the night
in a rippling sprawl of echoes.
Star Track Road sits awash in clouds of dust,
and Via Monserate hurtles beneath me
to join it at the San Luis Rey branch—
Sweat collects with the loamy odor quickening in the draft,
and the upper grove’s thick hood of murk and quiet descends heavily
across my approach—
Below me, the first sirens begin their peeling whispers,
their reds and blues twirling a continual afterglow from the bluff.
The cutbacks now.
Headlights enfilade the dense roadside brush, the turns sluiced
through like arms into perfectly tailored sleeves.
I wend ever upward to the big bed of dead leaves,
where I will pull them over me, a cowl,
and tarry with the tempo of the hours.
- Track Name: The Record
Three hours of erratic fly-by's and he’s still a pacing mess,
bumbling along from jukebox to bar to his isolated post
near the side door, spanking his brow with furious adjustments.
Back and forth he goes— no drip here!— leavening his inner pabulum
with tinctures of Curly’s agitated mewling and Kramden’s distressed moons. Not once, never once, taking his eyes off the tube.
The ballgame’s got him in knots— terribly, terribly conflicting knots—
wring-wringing the savage drunk out to the systolic knuckling and
splay of his hands.
Then along comes the Young Turk who thought he could bust one
up and in, and Bonds sends yet another into the drink, the dark night skies
in abeyance to the ball’s drift and descent.
Through the roar and replays our knave’s up with a bound
and cruising a fit of release. He’s nimble and hefty at once
(a man become bull), hurtling down an imaginary lane of fire and wrath
until he zeroes in on his desired point
and shifts his offering to an evocatively fey mince, his hips
yanking the jeans down to an unbidden half life of his ass.
“Look, I’m the bartender, I tell this guy to get the fuck outta here.
Tell him to go back to the sandbox he crawled out of— Christ!”
Having none of that though, he’s rather satisfied. He sashays in place,
an ashtray and cigarette in one hand, and wishes in the other.
Welcome: behold the nexus of his lonely nights at the mirror
just before the throes of his stars abandon him and his jazz spatters the rug.
- Track Name: George's Skies
George's hit code red again, a downright 2 & 8,
holding a walking bellow like he was the mighty and distant purge
of the Swatted Ball in an old Warner Bros. cartoon:
all mouth and jangling tongue yawing toward the downtown skyline
as designed by lung and carnal rage.
The curtains above him peel inward and fall quickly back in place,
and George cuts the engines; goes slouch beneath a nearby stoop
and roils in adagio, rocking back and forth, secretly intent,
It's clear he's through with the kid's stuff.
No tears, no more of the same ageless sorrows, none of it.
Any last grief will just have to wait till the bottom of that tall boy
he's got hitched in his back pocket appears, you bet.
It's clear there will be no more querulous fits for today. It's payback time.
George's time. A daily shit
starring George: squat over a cardboard box,
his face an opaque drift of frowns under a mess of cloacal black hair
and beard, gazing skyward and back as though suddenly land-weary
and adoring of the ocean's broader firmaments.
The coastal bulkheads lit pink and purple at their bellies
are coming in fast and with credible heft from the sea,
and they hit the cipher in him, that shape of mercy he takes in sleep
once the beer and day have done him in. A frozen and ponderous
form of him, looking as dead as those of shock-bombed cities, flung
immobile and hewn to the pavement.