. 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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We Decided to be in Love

We decided to be in love,
to erase the crazy idea
of landscapes that called our intrepid souls apart,
distant realities that fed our independence,
acting as a buffer to the theory that we belong together,
in the lie of a life that says we don't,

in the midst of it all
we found the course that was the root of our love
from the beginning,
yet we dashed off to fulfill dreams
that draped the dreams that made us cry for one another at night,
in the darkness that made us question what we had,
in the darkness that made us blind
to the crazy notion that no love was greater than ours',
that made us think we lost it,
a misplaced perfection like a storm cloud in the desert,
thinking the cloud brought lightening,
ignoring its shade,
and altogether forgetting the rain,

we were so close to a mistake,
tasting a freedom that was vile to our pallets
and a prison within the open space
of what could have been our empty lives,
realizing before the gate was closed
to grab on tight,
to intimately lock our fingers and never let go,
we decided to be in love,
knowing we were never out of it.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


I wrote this on a road trip of undetermined length and destination, feeding my lonely soul with more and more miles. Such unguided trips are treasure chests of creative gold for artists, and I tried to capture every drop my bleeding heart pumped out.

They sat alone together on the end of her girl's bed,
like two tired boxers
they were tired of fighting,
fighting for each other,
and they had retired to their corners,
tears are the heart's sweat.

He said: This reminds me of last spring.
Last spring you wore roses,
and you smiled like morning's garden.

She didn't smile,
nor did he.
They were broken and didn't dare cause another crack,
afraid of what the broken glass would cut.

She said: I only wanted me.
He said: Me too.

The distance talked between them,
it begged them and pleaded.
They ignored it.
It sounded like the television
turned on for no one in the other room.
This distance had new friends
and they turned a cold shoulder.
He wanted to kiss her because he remembered how.
She looked down.
He wasn't sure.
She thought he looked the same.
The years had come
carrying them along,
and they moved unchanging through them.
That's a lie, she thought.

He said: Was there any point,
to all of them,
if now is now?

They met at night
and he often didn't remember her.
They fell in love.

She said: Don't...
Don't talk that way.
We were on fire,
we couldn't help it.

He felt alive and was ashamed for it.
He felt her but his fingers were still cold.
He was a ghost,
but she couldn't see through him.
They danced together when they couldn't sleep.
Each thought the other forgot.
Neither knew the immortality of those thoughts.
He felt the bed's sheets.

He said: How far back can you remember?

She shrugged.
That was why she loved him.
He looked around and wondered how well the walls listened,
and he was jealous.

She said: Something's missing.
He said: It doesn't have to be this way.

The air felt dry.
Talking seemed empty within it
where it never had before.

He said: I want you.
I want you to know that.

She shrugged,
and her heart broke.
The world was damned.
They swam through it and choked on love.
The alarm clock rang unannounced.
The morning and the sun had arrived.
She stood, weak in strength,
pulled the plug and stopped the clock,
and rested on her girl's dresser.
He looked up at her.
She thought, well...,
but said nothing.
He thought, well...,
but said nothing.
Sadness floated in the air
and drowned the sound of the TV in the other room.
Sadness rested on the bed,
at the corner where he sat,
at her empty corner,
on the dresser too.

She said: I have to go.
He said: I should be going too.

They both smiled and the glass held.
The cracks weren't as bad.
He shrugged and looked around
before he walked out.
He remembered every part of her.
She knew that.
That was why he loved her.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Introducing my father, who appears from time to time in my poetry...

I stole my father’s knife and
     cut myself,
and I called the mangled flesh
     a loss of my innocence,
The deep blood that ran like a river across my wrist
     was a red glove into which my hand slipped,
I found it made me indestructible,

In my fever I dreamed wild imaginations,
I became a king,
The crimson-colored dots that speckled the concrete
     below my shoes were the distant cities of my kingdom,
Their banners displayed,
A vision of war,

I fell into the illusion,
Past many stars and many miles,
And with the weapon that had taken my own life
     I slew many thousands,
Returning at the very end to my father’s face,
Parched and thirsty for his love,
For redemption,
That sweet sound,
An end to this madness and my eternal fall.


Monday, March 22, 2010

False Hope from Outer Space

When it seems like your heart is dismembered and in a thousand tiny pieces of its former self, you look for all kinds of things to blame and take your frustration out on. This was one of those...

Oh Little Prince,
Tiny Chimney Sweep,
How wrong you were,
So wrong to say that all that matters
    is of the heart.

Isolated and alone in your starry kingdom,
You could not have imagined
    ambition, provision, stability, action.
What is essential is more than invisible.
More than caring.
It needs to be seen with the eye,
    for it is otherwise insubstantial.

Who am I to tame anything?
I wrote your words down in a yellow note pad
    and in my soul.
You spoke only of the heart, heart, heart.
I was foolish to believe you
But it felt so admirable.
How could you have known?

Isn't it apparent that love is not enough?
Too late, Little Prince.
I will spend the rest of my life forgetting you.

It's so easy to love a flower,
you bastard,
    when she can't walk away and break your heart.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jim Zimmerman

Don't ask me about this one... I don't know where it came from or why. It just came. Fell out of my head, down my arm, onto the pen and then the page... And now it's here...

Jim Zimmerman,
Jim Zimmerman,
It's quite what you do,
It's what you do to us,
And quite what you do.
Your fancy soldiers' teeth line your shelves
and grin,
War relics of the shouting mouths of boys who've been.

Plucking them from the ground,
You combed bygone battlefields,
Molars and incisors and canines
line your shelves
and grin,
The talking tools of long dead men.

They say we'll go to dust,
And before we were made
we were made from such stuff,
But you tell us otherwise,
You say it everyday,
Standing freely over our simple cages,
You say:

Little Children in an iron womb,
In the smallest time of your life,
There are bones in your bodies,
But I will not break them,
There are hearts alive in your small chests,
But I will not stop them,
I will grow you into men myself,
Raise you like chickens,
Raisons pruned once grapes before,
I will make you soldiers,
Little Fighting Men,
to die, to die, to die,
By the choice of another soldier's will,
And many years from now
I'll come along and pick out your teeth from the battlefield.

Jim Zimmerman,
Jim Zimmerman,
It's quite what you do,
It's what you do to us,
And quite what you do.
Your fancy soldiers' teeth line your shelves
and grin,
War relics of the shouting mouths of boys who've been.

Plucking us from our playground perches,
We've been stolen from our mothers' breasts,
Nights of caged and grinless screaming children
line your trophy hall,
The darkness of your gift creeps upon us all.

They say we'll go to dust,
And before we were made
we were made from such stuff,
But you tell us otherwise,
You say it everyday,
Standing freely over our simple cages,
You say:

Little Children in your fleshly tombs,
Sleep well, sleep well this long night,
Your fragile bones will swell and grow,
Under guidance from my loving hand,
Nurtured minds tortured to fruition,
In the blackness of my trophy hall,
I will water you into men myself,
Drip-drop the essentials you need for life,
It's soldiers' teeth I need for mine,
And I will make you soldiers,
Little Fighting Men,
to die, to die, to die,
I'll miss your childrens' sounds but still,
Many years from now,
We'll find each other once again reunited on the battlefield.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Corner's Thoughts on a Lonely Night

Another poem from some of those long dark days in Denver...

Orange shadows move across my wall as if
the wallpaper were slipping sideways along the brick
in the post-dusk light
darker because of the rain desperately seeking my attention on
the oversized windows

I am confined in the corner,
a defeated boxer waiting sullenly for the next round,
for the bell to remind me of where I am,
try to feel excited to be alive

Listening to the conversations through the wall
and waiting for the next passing car to make the light dance
my dogs a fury of teeth and snarls that could
go on for hours beside me
oblivious to them

The heater hasn’t kicked on in days
my appetite matches the mood of this dreary room
and somewhere
a baby cries
or is it just my imagination as sirens drown around in the city outside
where I’m missing out on everything

There’s more beyond the ropes,
at ringside, in the bleachers, in the world
I’m missing out
my heart is heavy and presses me into the bed like an anchor of loneliness
that bed unmade because my life isn’t there yet
nothing’s begun but everything moves on
and I feel like I’m being left behind
in this room where the world stops

Tomorrow is usually a different moment
the shadows have been still like the purple swollen lip of my mind
no one’s driving tonight
by the passing of long hours my eyes have counted on the wall
pressing my fingers to my face I think,
I need to be cut.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Dookie Game

This is the game to defy all games. A backyard competition of intricate skill and well-mastered timing. It involves two athletes, a plastic bag (best double-bagged) full of fresh dog shit and a grassy lot with open airspace above. To play is to enter a game where the rewards are like well-groomed cocaine and defeat can leave a man broken and shit stained. In the spirit of the Olympics, here is a poem dedicated to this art...

Pile of dog shit on high,
Wal-Mart plastic bag like a rocket heading to the sun,
warm kernels of canine feces are star-bound astronauts inside,
trailing plastic flapping handles where jet fuel propellant and thick white smoke should be,
weightless at its apex,
one last loop around the moon before heading home,
a distant speck with a backdrop of blue,
a failed launch?
the shit bag turns and begins its journey earthward,
plummeting heavy and hard,
like a ton of bricks,
like a plastic bag of wet dog shit,

I struggle in the grass yard to pinpoint its trajectory,
eyes scanning the heavens,
feet shuffling tongue-tied beneath me,
an eclipse across the sun,
blinding glare,
I close my eyes,
rely on the instinct that has gotten me this far,
my hand moves,
my heart stops,
the moment,
the moment,
the moment comes and goes,
my fingers collapse upon themselves,
and when I awake the plastic bag is securely in my fist,
dookie, I shout,