cali super-fragile mystic




tule fog come up,
covered everything
thick and dark for days
it was, like,
“all bets to the second act
this valley has
righteous to say”
amidst hurly-burly
and vinculums
all is either
black and white
like it’s arkansas
through a telescope
or otherwise,
gone to jesus.

and ev’rythin’ gone smells
like earthquakes these days
and sings like a
fountain of tears
‘neath some
venice beach colonnade
or grumbles like a
low-down coupe de ville.
stings like catchin’
the katy in some
celebrity lockup –
tastes like cherrywine
mr pibb, moxie
and chestnut hair.
oh, her gorgeous, glorious
chestnut hair.

come on, pilgrim!
you cotton merchant,
you speechless seeker
with hands as precise
as blind men’s –
death’s got a warrant
oh, but desire is
the strongest –
can you be for me that woman?
my hadacol show healer?
or are you just
dust below
and an angry god above?
as we have moiled and clotted,
we will yet eat dirt
and fall into a bottle

i cannot calm you
with a prayerbook
or galvanicals
i cannot compose
you sonnets,
or watch your shadow.
you know, though
i will not give you posies
when i know
it’s boots you need.
i have moved too much
to be your myth,
for our myths are about those
who never surrendered.

oh, but you are the rattle in
my bones
the jimping on my
randall knife
you’re the goddess of
a gibson hummingbird
smiting the waters
with a 2 by 4
it has been so dry,
you can make a powder house
out of the world
yet i like it here
paying for my sins
in the loving
of your arms.

This entry was published on 07/06/2013 at 10:32 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

63 thoughts on “cali super-fragile mystic

  1. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People | tarnation and eudemonia

  2. It would seem you have reclaimed your majesty. Wonderful!

  3. Myke Todd on said:

    Brother, (are on a) roll like thunder with this piece. You went straight to the source, and were not found wanting… Great to see this. I really enjoyed my visit… Nice place you have here… Myke

    • It is a nice place, Myke. I’m not here near as much as I would like to be but I have plenty of good neighbors to visit and that keeps me happy.

  4. Oh my gosh, this is…. fantastic. Does the weather change you or do you change the weather?

  5. Well, to begin with, let’s state the obvious – this is long, 80 lines is long for you. I can sort of see how it rolls, I catch the references from the hurly-burly to the chestnut hair (what the fuck?, by the way!) and I like the way you mix and match the images at the end. Your honesty in verse 4 is very touching, too.

    • I can’t be honest like you’re honest, Dan. I wish I could. That’s the hard thing about writing – the stuff that you want to do that you don’t have the first idea how to do.

  6. This is the best new thing you’ve put up for a while. It’s so open and naked sounding.

  7. This poem is as a man to the boy you once were.

  8. Oh, those final lines! loving hellfire, yes!

  9. So vividly written in the strange language only you can write in.

  10. God, I wish I could write like this.

  11. It’s like you step out of the 1930’s in this voice, so many rich and resonant lines and an amazing, clever title.

  12. thatbiatch1982 on said:

    You need to read this sucka out. It is, like the good DJ said, thundering…

  13. Your love poems remind me a little of Pablo Neruda’s. I really liked the boots instead of posies part. And the rattle in my bones line. Looking forward to reading more.

    • boots and posies is one of those fragments of an older language that I like to lasso and throw into poems now and then 🙂

  14. sounds like you found your woman…smiles…between mystery and volcano..nice

  15. JackieP on said:

    It’s a good thing I don’t do works like this, it would make me look bad. 😉 Keep those mirrors handy.

  16. As in the scents of verse, you put to rest the myth that love is never lost in California.

    • I think love comes and goes, Theo, north south east west. It’s just that ol’ CA is where all four of them winds blow to.

  17. I love your obscure but powerful images – the tule fog, the colonnades, the 1950’s soda brands – I’m not sure how they work or why they are there but they just “angle” this to a different light, if you get what I am saying. It’s not straightforward, it’s straightforward and a little to the left.

    • It’s all about (or it is supposed to be all about) making the poem some sort of passenger in the continuum of American language. Well, that’s what I’m shooting for…

  18. marlamountp on said:


  19. would it be wrong to call this heavenly? I think not………………paradise would envy…..

  20. maxibigcee on said:

    I like the way you appropriate these old rural blues idioms into a new, modern synthesis context and synthesize your own quirky little language out of them. It’s like finding new values in traditions.

  21. taseye on said:

    i have moved too much
    to be your myth,
    for our myths are about those
    who never surrendered.

    That’s so revealing and brave to write. Very beautiful

  22. Seriously beautiful.

  23. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    A true epic – the story so far. The title is a wicked misdirection – you’re not in the slightest super-fragile and mystical. You’re too straightforward.

  24. Seb, it’s like you laid down every word with a hot branding iron. You’re my favorite poet, including the dead ones.

  25. My only issue with this one is whether or not to treat it light heartedly and reflectively or solemnly as a reverent tribute. I’m tempted to think the former, but when my own voice reads it inside my head, I hear it in low, slow and serious tones. You should put up a reading – I would be curious to see how you read it, or would have it read, in you own voice.

    • To me it reads as a fairly straightforward conversational narrative – it’s a point A to point B narrative – but point A isn’t the beginning and, hopefully, point B isn’t the end.

  26. marga t. on said:

    speechless 🙂

  27. “but you are the rattle in
    my bones”
    Waah, that line is great…

  28. Fantastic Seb — so much here that it’s a riveting piece that stirs the reader’s soul…
    Loved this:

    “i have moved too much
    to be your myth,
    for our myths are about those
    who never surrendered.”
    Awesome all of it – x RL

  29. marekofpoznan on said:

    It is true, Mt Seb – this is a wonderful window to the soul.

  30. lindastoria on said:

    I believe you are addressing the future Mrs. Seb here!

  31. yoko1ohno1 on said:

    A journey through the long night and the new dawn of the soul

  32. It’s tempting just to bask in some of the great one-shot lines here rather than step back and enjoy this wonderful thing as a whole…

  33. A great mix of the quirky and affecting and the genuinely sincere here. You have a whole vision of a woman.

  34. Seb, this is my first time reading your poetry. You blow me away. Had to google “haldacol,” although I had a feeling it was like the Swamp Root elixir that was marketed in my hometown of Binghamton, NY… and I was right. Too many wonderful turns of phrase, and most have been mentioned. Suffice it to say, you are BRILL and I look forward to reading more of your work. Sincerely, Amy

    • Ol’ Hank Williams sang on a Hadacol Caravan at one point. I can’t help but think that was a bad move as Hank woulda drank ’em dry in a week or so…. 🙂

      Nice to see you here, Amy and I hope some of the folks here have the good sense to come visit you blog – there’s some mighty cool stuff on there.

  35. I enjoy your twist-y title and the cascade of verbiage…images flowing down the page. You have a great tone that carries through each of your works…uniquely you. 🙂

    I appreciate your visits, Seb, thank you!

  36. So glad you visited me, and allowed me to find your site. You have a distinct, and no bullshit voice that resonates. I love this particular poem, but admit that I had to look up a couple of words. Tsk, tsk.

  37. I can’t believe nobody called me out on the line “catching the katy in a celebrity lockup”. What the hell was I thinking?

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