Output Negative Space

by Enablers

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second enablers album.


released May 5, 2006

Joe Byrnes,Joe Goldring,Pete Simonelli, Kevin Thomson



all rights reserved
Track Name: Five O'Clock, Sundays
When the doors part the heads at the bar swivel like pooches to a snatch but, too bad fellas, it's just the beleaguering vapors of Andy's early start punching in a few feet ahead of him, eager to take liberties with the imagination and stay awhile. A vicious sunlight pinch-hits for kliegs and Andy takes the revenant showman's cue, slipping the gap sideways on his heels, toothless grin abeam, arms outspread, his vibrissa geared on a sucker's best wishes.

By the Half he's greased a covey of hard-ons gussied up in their Niner livery (chumps
one and all), lifting a slurry of shots in praise and grief
until the final score comes down, and Andy's quarry grows decidedly tight.
Thus marooned, he molts under another sweat of 'something about a woman,'
returning again and again to the lonely bead of a dome light, when the car wailed
with a voice clearly on its knees.

Come five o'clock, Sundays, Andy steeps himself in his hands, drooping against any number of troubled domestic serials, lickin' his chops always munchin' gums, his mood votive in Autumn's slipping rays. Even when the beloved ladies pass he remains as if in prayer,
oblivious to the innocent few who dawdle over him then politely fade to the back room,
where the faintly crepitant pool balls soon have Andy dozing; slumped in a chair
that appears to've been tendered by mutts.
Track Name: Up

The sky is vaulted over the valley, and the ridgeline lays the road
like a discarded ribbon coaxed suddenly straight through tunnels
whose mouths wind us out again, resuming sway over dusk-reclined
views. No one cares to speak.

It begins up ahead. (It is beginning up ahead.) Smoke, but not: end points fanning, reeled in, fanning again. Once a rhomboid, once a bat ray, once articulate then not.
Ever in and out and toward its churned center, slowly alone in its broad meridian.

Smoked glass the sky can’t penetrate, or pivot around in like a sky should,
it sows among a child’s cryptic secrets, chiding vector and field as it breaches,
tapers downward, cobra-like in its first offering at form.

I remember how memory will serve it, like how guilt or loss or shame will frequent
the scenes of their arrival, taking care to instill their burden of proof,
leaving nothing but words listing across time.

Try to explain something eventual.
We were given birds and gave in turn bomber planes.
Track Name: On Monk
And here a few stalled, pendulous seconds
When his ear demands more vertigo
And the measure he conjures further and further upward
Back-flips and stares back at him
The blueprints of several ideas egg-beating his signature
Among the studied spin of street corners
Where birds have detonated in lift force
Enfilading the skies he’s spiraling

This he takes away for himself once he stifles our breath
Stringing out the number to a point of threat or starvation

But he’s just dancing, and vaguely sad too, because his song
Must turn and run arcing into another season

To bite into and drink the water he’s freed from rainy trees
He sees the anonymous drunk man staggering across slat-lit streets
His steps like a desultory tickling of keys
An agenda is back in tune: work in the morning
And of course, the Blues.
Track Name: Mediterranean
The door frame's early morning skies roil partly to bisque,

the clouds seized at mid-swirl.

Indications stall, and being so motionless, work through

their every element, every possible design, not storming

and not storming again,

so that dawn becomes a moment in time

much larger and less enforced, abandoning all skies

to a sudden fiction.

Far below,

the shore tugs at the sightline

(and the sightline in turn answers with a mute roar) until

the moving and pulling of so many delicate influences

evolves upward, allowing a band width, a livewire, and finally,

the sun's jagged minaret to quietly persist

against a dying swathe of whitecaps.

Peripheral shapes return to boats, and the simple heave

of logic brings him back from his late night,

diminishing all former threats. The silence fails,

and a once maundering sea and sky

step away from the car with him,

in portraiture, in complement, but no less willing

to destroy him.
Track Name: Output Negative Space
I cross my legs
and the night’s brink appears
where memory buckles
The street lamp’s throws distended
through heavy shafts of rain



A bristling nova
Track Name: For Jack: A Philippic
For Jack: A Philippic

So maybe it is your turning 40, Jack, that ramshackle Coolsville floating
across your scowl as the sign in this bar blinks a demanding, red SIN.
All the boys and girls are diamonds at the rounds of their tables,
mewling under the jazzscape like intellectual pedants at some Parisian feed circa the Lost Generation, but we both know the risk factor in here
is lacking brass.The foreheads are tales manqué, and just too smooth for a surrealist trapped here in the Mission night's grabass élan.
It’s a veritable Cupid’s Last Rites when you’re thinking, 'how her hair fucks when she walks,' the curls buoyed on each elaborate placement of the heel.
Is she Gene Tierney in Laura?
Or is she just another wank coming to a slow boil on the can’s back burner?

I can only wonder what that off-shoot glance entails.
A handsome though churlish grin becomes a tintype of poise and intimacy,
your lone countenance thrust out from the pleasing lacquer of dimmed sconces
--- no, check that.
Not thrust out but blazing through this fleshbath like a lodestar,
your near-avuncular status pitying this middleclass assembly of shoegazers and morose frauds. Because you were jonesin’ long before they ever took the so-called pipe of the quarter century mark.
You suffered through long and dreary New Hampshire winters
hopped up on cocktails that would have a pharmacist scratching his head.
Christ, even you didn’t know after a spell, but that was the whole damned point: departure…zeal…a fuck-off con brio.

You suffered further still through staid New England airs,
the cabinetmaker’s son gone awry, the guy who fled Central Casting and landed in Clorox HQ’s, dried out fifteen years but still awash in the proverbial fists of your own mania.
But these bushleaguers aren’t concerned --- it’s fickle pussy they’re after
and who can blame them?
Your own renewed curiosity agrees with the Catholic schoolgirl, Jack,
though your eyes and innards speak elsewhere: in fractured spells
of looms and darts stitching the crooked wrinkled sheets as the breathing coalesces with the scent of right after. That cigarette of yours mistakenly takes on a curious charm, its taste subsumedand full
--- and it ain’t an after-meal one, either, boy, because when the pecking order has morphed from the assorted glyphs of old girlfriends’ faces to that dead air beside you?

There are no longer any Valentino’s, sir.
Track Name: Sudden Inspection
A rainy Friday, Dave, though the high fogs have since moved in
and brought stillness. Nobody's out.
The contemplative life has unlocked the cupboards on the world out here,
drawing out our capable solitudes-- mine walking, yours what-or wherever.
It could very well be a far later hour if not for the waxwork
of a rain's afterlight. Or the train that's just pulled in
at the base of the hill.

Puddles render the sky perfectly, depleting their surfaces just deep enough to allow for a depth and clarity this passing Narcissus borrows
on the sly, watching myself in the overhead drifts.

One in particular. It can almost be heard, at lurk-speed,
coursing through the reflection as if somehow giving a taste
of the afterlife. All that fairy tale drollery just might be true.

That the dead are clouds now, and comprise the fogs that pass
in the eyes of occasional parking lot puddles (briefly contained, but living)
before the real time resumes and they move out into the rest of our lives,
continued, waiting out our senses to hatch something more than a name.
Track Name: 1939
Gusts announce their brawn at the windows,
and somewhere at the far end of the abandoned villa
a door slams shut.
Tensed, they listen to the echo,
suffering the imminent conjunction of boot-falls
and vehement commands.
Until the echo melts away, its impact once stark
then tapering,
gone: a hung note collapsing comfortably
at their side.
They lie back again, At sea, she says, offering words.


The feather drops from nowhere -- or from somewhere
they no longer care to see-- demanding of its dipped-like spinnaker
a languid freefall against release and eventual disappearance.
They'd swear it was chuckling, but sighting it gives it weight,
watching it as a symbol, or a soul, or time drifting down
into the hue of the candle,

where she reaches for it.

No, he says, pulling her arm gently back.
Let it, he says, meaning the memory of it.

Their capitol is overrun, its plazas guarded, its nights under blackout
and curfew-- and by their definition a gangly tableau of knocking knees
and elbows falling drunkenly in the streets.

She turns on the radio. Too quick for him, she removes his hand from her arm,
saying, Low. I promise, low.
Blues strains. A lilting consolation by turns droopy and ascendant. Doped.
she hums flatly to the melody, dreaming into it, as he turns to her side of the bed.
Track Name: Ghosting
For Jen Terry

"…But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them?"
--- Frank O’Hara

Her laughter was always lush, a brogue-like tumble that comes suddenly bright to my ears, laughing away the brooding pomp of fountains and cobblestone. She’s just emerged, a lover falling in with me on a small side street, expansively silent, aroused by the sweaty glean of a hot, beguiling night.

Spires disembody and hover in the hazy skies,
and lights are more like eyelets
once Rome grows as full as life was full, of her; a Rome
raddled with the living
and the dead.

But who’s sounding who through the places we keep, watching the other
as I might watch myself in a dream, shook clean of border and barrier, lost
or found?
I don’t care to understand.

I’d rather wonder if she knows what she’ll be the ghosting tenor of next.
Emptying darkness like a morning sun that tracks a sleeper’s eyes; the tweaked glow of an ember bossing a low night sky--- by light, by now always next to light?