. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

They'll Send For A Chopper

I was working on an isolated and unmanned oil platform once when we were told that because of inclement cold weather moving in there was a chance the helicopter might not be able to pick us up until the morning. I wrote this poem soon thereafter...

They'll send for a chopper,
Ol' Boy, they'll send for it,
or we'll die out here in this hard world
of sea and steel,
with our testicles shriveled and gone,
our failed hands cupping them
in a last attempt
to fight the sea-cold night,
the relentless drowning wind,
frozen hands calling with hoarse tongues
the word "warmth" to escaping blood,
to blood that knows better,
knows a warmer place than in the wrinkled
clutch of our shrinking hairy nut-sacks.

They'll find us corpses in the morning, Ol' Boy,
if they do not send for a chopper tonight,
huddled together like pork chops on the
floor of a butcher's freezer,
our stiff hands tucked tightly between our legs
where the night's effort will be evident,
new meaning given to the words "blue balls,"
nature in reverse,
shrinking and folding,
calling back up
what took our entire lives to drop
with manly weight.

Yes, Ol' Sport, when they pry apart our knuckles,
the hollow emptied space beneath our frozen hands,
where our voluminous scrotums used to proudly hang,
will be tale enough
of the damage the cold and sunless hours have caused,
if they do not send for a chopper this night.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ballad for a Fallen Cowboy

There was a quirky cowboy they all called Cole,
Used to bang around with Misses McNoll.

He lived his life making enemies of friends,
When the bridges were burned he cared not for amends.

Most people he crossed let him go on his way,
His guns had put more than one in the grave.

Until one day somebody up and gave him the slip,
Pushed a three inch blade deep under his ribs.

Most men in most places would have been slain,
Except that Cole had just done a half pound of cocaine.

He twirled and grabbed the man’s neck like a trout,
Squeezed so tight he pulled his jugular out.

Blood covered the floor in gallons and gallons,
And sprayed onto the ceiling like the man was a fountain.

Cole’s face was a grinning mask covered in crimson,
For the wound in his side he had gotten redemption.

No one stirred in the stillness of that keep,
All eyes were on Cole as he stood breathing deep.

He looked into the face of each man in the room,
I have to kill again, he said, and kill again soon.

You’ll do no such thing, came a voice from the door,
And Misses McNoll stepped into the hall (and some blood on the floor).

Every witness there stood frozen in fright,
In Cole’s crazy eyes each saw the end of his life.

You’ll not leave this tavern alive, said the blonde-headed gal,
There ain’t no way and there ain’t no how.

She pulled up past her thigh the hem of her dress,
And there in a bejeweled holster sat a silver pistol at rest.

Wrinkles ran across the length of Cole’s brow,
This was not how he imagined this scene to play out.

No woman of mine draws faster than me,
I’ve lain with you, bitch, and I know your speed.

Misses McNoll let out a sweet little laugh,
Those who were there thought her equally mad.

No man alive knows every girl’s secrets,
I AM just as fast and draw iron just as frequent.

Poor Cole, Do you really think you’re the only lover I have?
That dead man on the floor is he who’s been with me last.

An explosion of rage made him all the more quick,
As his hand went like lightning for the gun at his hip.

Because he had their attention not a one saw her move,
But when Cole’s head exploded they all certainly knew.

He had been fast – the fastest they’d seen,
Yet the better gunslinger stood in the midst of the smoke screen.

Misses McNoll flipped her weapon back to her side,
Let down her dress and bid the room a goodnight.

But just before leaving, she had yet one last thing to say,
Turning, she batted her eyelashes in her sensual way.

If you men haven’t already noticed, she said,
There’s now two open slots to fill in my bed.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Barn Office

The fluorescent lights flicker overhead
threatening an impending darkness,
cob webs on this low ceiling become a hanging obstacle course
like a grandmother threw her wig into the desk fan.

The file cabinet is broken and covered in dust,
years of mismanaged paperwork sits churned in its belly,
leather riding chaps draped over it like a funeral shroud
but a fat orange tabby makes its nest there instead.

Flies are summoned by my presence,
slaves to my middle class blood,
they jitterbug along my lips in preparation for
some tiny ballroom dancing competition.

A sheet of construction paper hangs alone on the empty tack board,
a child’s colored horse and rider,
though it’s raining outside I sometimes think it’s the shitty drawing of
the colored pony prancing on the tin roof overhead.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Little Tornado That Never Was

A few years ago a small neighboring town was struck by what they said was a tornado but what seemed clear and obvious to me was just a bad thunderstorm with a lot of wind. However, because a tornado means recognition and tragedy means attention, the citizens of this tiny town all unanimously agreed on this delusion and have never changed their story since...

In Brother’s Bridge the people stir uneasily,
Coal dark shingles crunch beneath their crawfish boots,
They stagger around fallen limbs and tiny islands of displaced sapling shoots,
Eyeing the wonder of it all,
Empty holes on their sub-prime roofs like the vulnerable spot beneath a dragon,
Taking left-over tears that linger in the gutters,
Seek the candles and the flashlights and the children,
And hold onto each other.

A fertile breeze finds its way into the aftermath
unfit to call itself destruction,
But unafraid to meander along the beaten path of its older brother,
The thief with a thousand names that no one saw,
But all blame.

The people of Brother’s Bridge will not accept anything less than a tragedy,
Despite the possibilities,
They refuse to be robbed their victim’s title
and speak softly into the wind the whispers of what came before,
Twisted fence planks and deceased billboards,
Horror stories that will live forever of what certainly was not devastation galore.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Lovely Pregnant Terp and Tami

I received a picture of two of my very good friends and was inspired to write a poem about it...

My baby girl’s big fat belly-suitcase holding my expected child like a sarcophagus of the unborn,
both have charm,
one has well developed legs and arms,
but both aint got shit to this tattoo of cool looking random letters on my arm.

Your big belly is so massively pale,
I bet it would explode if I pricked it with a nail,
I bet I could build a home on its property and offer it for sale,
I bet I couldn’t hear myself on the other side if I yelled,
it’s so brightly white I gotta wear these shades so my eyes won’t fail.

My honeypie,
varicose veins on your thick thighs,
you make me drip pre-cum with those sultry eyes,
maybe tonight I’ll put three or four more kids up in there – maybe five.

Her momma told us to get an abortion,
so I gave her a five-fingered, high school class ring, knuckle sandwich – all of it, not just portions.

Girl, I got my hand all over the side of your stomach
but feeling your displaced guts up in there makes me want to vomit.

These Levi jeans fit us like gloves,
you in my old pair
and me in yours.

Because of those spying neighborhood children’s parent’s reaction
I’ve had to take some precautionary action...
That’s why I’ve got our bed sheet wrapped around your tits
but taking it off is at the top of my wish list.

Sometimes I wake up deep in the night,
sweat dripping from my beard and my butt hole tight,
I want to punch on that big belly but I know it aint right,
giving our baby blood packet eyes won’t make me your white knight.

That’s why I put brass on your wrists and gold on your neck,
and we’ll pay the doctor with next month’s check,
so let’s finish this photo, girl, and head out to the deck,
my head is swimming and I need something to wreck.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Shrimp and the Wedding Party

One of my best friends was married to a beautiful girl a couple of months ago and I was inspired to write this poem about their fabulous wedding reception...

- The Shrimp and the Wedding Party -

His were thin and fragile,
those that bore the blood,
such slender salmon-covered fingers,
each fan-tailed soldier of the crustacean army
fell to the insatiable southern seafood appetite
of his digits,
nodding and chewing,
a mouth full of meat and ideas,
reluctant to ever leave that mob of fervent devotees,
each belly among them a capsule,
enclosing the grinded muscle meat of a satisfied shrimp feast,
the wedding party on the groom’s old patio,
tall and skinny
and tipsy,
responsible for the shaking of all those greasy hands,
his own wrists so weak,

I am a stranger in this gathered throng
yet I share in their love,
and I share their shrimp,
away from the obligations of greetings and goodbyes tonight.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Veritable Beginning of Sorts

An exert from an article I wrote in the 2007 November issue of Moonstruck Magazine and a fitting beginning to my new blog....

"...Most people no longer read poetry regularly anymore. The poet, they say, is a dying animal and his poetry a dying art. Each year, classics like Edgar Allen Poe, The Canterbury Tales and the stories from Walden Pond find less and less meaning on their high school readers. There is less exploration of our poet fathers and almost none of modern writers. Enthusiasm for the written verse is waning, they say - an abatement for poetry as art.

I, however, am skeptical of this decline. I believe there is more than the flow of a lucidly written verse to the definition of a poet. We have confined this description to an unnecessary and rather tight corner, and therefore I propose that we knock down these self-imposed boundaries and take another look...

I am a poet and this is what I believe: Poetry goes beyond well-constructed words. Poetry can be found in a painting, in a musician's instruments, even in movement. It can certainly be in the long form of a novel, in the sweet smells of a kitchen and even in the bedroom. There is poetry in a sunrise and in the perfect smattering of stars across the night sky. It is in the undefinable mystery of love, the black hole of sadness and can be found on the edge of revolution. The way I see it, life is poetry, one second after the next, verse by verse. The only difference is that some of us can describe it in words, and some of us can not. We can all, however, live as poets..."