world world world world
and the face grave
cloud against the evening

save nothing for dying

and the face crumbling shyly
too late to darken the sky
blushing away into the evening
shuddering away like a gaffe

veronica lake
veronica mars
gives us a wipe for the love

sweating like Love
tired of dying
tired of policemen
feet in marmalade
perspiring profusely
heart in marmalade
smoke more fruit
the old heart thy old heart
breaking outside congress
doth I assure thee
lying on Fremont bridge

goggling at the tulips of the evening
the green tulips
shining round the corner like an anthrax
shining on Coca Cola’s barges

the overtone the face
too late to brighten the sky
doth doth I assure thee


Wear a smiling mask & change.
Unwashed hair changes another life:
First, cloudy day; it is always so.
At the window thinking of other places.
Then, too, tomorrow’s tortillas depend
on some crucial moment, much like a January
in California. Interesting faces: the derelicts,
the dreamers, the useless riff-raff of the world,
artists, poets, poets, etc.
Second, after four cloudy days
Gentle rain is falling. The afternoon
sheltered by the cloister walls. I am
protected not only from
(Who might discover rust
on my instruments for self-torture?
Tomorrow’s tortillas…
Tomorrow’s tortillas…
Once around the room I went
acknowledging the plaudits,
tossing back the canes & hats,
— then)

protected not only from
the elements & beasts of the wild,
but from prying people
who might discover rust
on my instruments for self-torture.
Tomorrow’s tortillas depend upon the cloister walls.
Tomorrow’s tortillas depend upon that sitting.
Gentle rain is around the room. Poets, poets,
derelicts like a January in Unwashed hair.
At the window I wear a smiling riff-raff
of the world. The dreamers who might discover
it is always First, cloudy day. & change the etc.
Gentle rain is then, too, not only the plaudits,
the canes & hats, but the other places tossing back
interesting faces. It is always so.
Another life in the afternoon of California.

Ryan Mills

Ryan Mills attended Manzanita Elementary School and works for the federal government.


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