. 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, August 31, 2010

Washington DC

The capital city... Capitol.

Washington DC is burning,
The antiquated palisades of dogwood and rhododendron
     give way to Lynchburg hollers,
give way to river gorge canyons,
give way to rolling horse-farm country,
give way to manicured lawnscapes,
until the eventual unfolding of the District of Columbia,
that Potomac River city
     of white-washed concrete monuments to Capitalism.

The Georgetown flames are more than can be contained

     in a freshly baked oven pizza smokehouse,
toxic beers of international origin,
a confluence of governors and the young well-groomed political activists
     that will become them
roam the clean concrete sidewalks beyond our seedy peep hole,
yellowed glass that hides our skin-thirsty eyes,
each sip of our coffee black beers enlivens the madness,
until we are face-to-face with the ghost of George Washington,
his ethereal spirit dances in the first purge of a plastic whiskey bottle,
clatters in the sparkling ice cubes possessed of bouncing cruel brilliance,
a black man spins his yarn,
the DC derelict,
dead days of the heroine purge,
my brother,
my man.

We unite at the rooftop tavern,

the last of us to spill his drink,
becoming more invincible with each new blow to the liver,
erasing all memory of the seconds behind us,
young devils in the night,
we are the forthcoming drug dealer,
we are the young silly girls who slip and tease,
we are the sleeping Congress,
we are the late-night diner milk shake,
where the bills are made into laws,
and the laws into men,
and when men are made
     there is nothing that can be done to stop us.


Monday, August 30, 2010


A popular night among the many nights of the journey...

Ashville is burning,
her distant Appalachian hills aglow with the
     reflection of predawn carrot-colored embers,
shadows ebb and flow,
dance like water babies on the old oak wood of the wall,
Jack of the Wood,
where the downtown denizens collect,
Bluegrass fiddle sounds and churlish sing-song yelps,
herald call of the lost mountain men,
bring forth your hippies and shake those bejeweled earrings.

Mrs. Carroll, where is your baby boy tonight?
Sleeping in her naked arms,
her misshapen crimson cheeks and labored eyeball,
lost contact lens afloat on chlorine seas where the waters
     be stirred by so many weightless, shapeless tits,
by the frightened retreat of minimalist ball sacks,
the bull dyke hunts tonight,
and will shave tomorrow,
viscous milky smoke bubbles from the glass at her lips,
a fog across the hollow caverns and despoiled calderas of her upper thighs,
white hot sobering revolting revelation.

Carried along the night air to her bed,
propelled by a swift Carolina breeze
     and the enriched flames of a mystical mountain city,
a new baptism,
exposed in the soft underwater glow translucent and boreal,
blue-skin cold,
her soft, sad tears race each other along marshmallow cheeks,
to fall willy-nilly between her exposed tits,
sun dark skin,
over the rump of her belly and between her legs,
her lost sailor a thousand miles away,
her plastic passion on the night stand,
O’ Mrs. Carroll, if you could only see us now,
dance like a butterfly
and sting me
     like a bee.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


This next week or so will find me posting multiple poems inspired by a two month road trip undertaken earlier this summer by a friend and I. I'll throw a new one up everyday, so try to keep up. The series is called "The Open Road 2010: Burning" - the name of which you'll start to understand, precious reader, as you gander each new poetic entry. They are inspired separately by the differing locales we visited and in some odd way tells the tale of our time spent there. Anyway, enjoy. We start the series off in Mississippi...

Lorman is burning,
a lost culture overtaken by wild magnolias,
creamy vaginal orbs dangling promiscuously from those roadside trees,
wet box turtle slipping on the black top,
that deep cut of the Natchez Trace,
antique vein that winds its way up through the Mississippi Delta,
a faded tattoo crawling like cancer up an old black man’s arm,
lost music,
forgotten town,
an old country store riddled with unsold trinkets,
aged lamps and outdated toasters no buyer would ever consider,
no purchase ever necessary,

The flames rise like the open cleft of the heaven’s above,
a deluge of soft grey rain,
ceaseless toil of sweating clouds
     causing everything to stink as if we’re driving through the armpit of the South,
the Mississippi River Valley,
where cannon balls still cling to the church steeples,
where bygone era cotton mansions are only marked by the Corinthian columns
    that still stand but no longer guard any sweeping front porch,
just an oversized concrete cage in the forest,

Dust on the old hymnals,
hornets in the pulpit,
cracked stained glass,
the fractured and crackled golden brown landscape of deep fried Lorman chicken,
bright white breasts and muted silver thighs,
dripping in the juices of a thousand cooked meals past,
busty birds sentenced to death,
to be reborn in the holy masticating waters of satiating saliva,
ground into energy,
cleaned of their brittle bones and released of their earthly cares,
from the Delta’s doleful Blues those chicks were born,
and back to those same singsong, soul-sister Blues they return,
ashes to ashes,
mud to mud.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Knew Orleans

Now that I am in New Orleans almost every week, living the hotel life above a city of such dirty romance, I am reminded of another time in my life I often visited the place. A different hotel then. A different time. The same feelings for the city. Here's a poem I wrote back in those days...

Ten stories to next to impossible,
the city seems unreasonable,
unrelenting August heat in the grass quad where the Jesuits sunbathe,
liberals in swimsuits
kissing Father Iggy's feet to make the grade,
cigarette butts in Wolf Pack ash-cans,

Ask and you shall receive,
ask the unanswerable questions,
unrelenting and irregular use of a finger on the fourth floor,
the library with the skin of a church and
twenty-four hour use of fifteen computers bringing broadband to everyone,
math students,
law students,
a communications student,

The people in the town talked like this:

Magazine bore the footprints of a gang of transvestites,
wandering he-she's with leather gloves and switch-blades,
long days absent the buzz that brought entry
brought the trannies instead,
hungry with the perfume of lust in fish-net stockings and Golden Girl wigs,
terror in the midst of confused sexuality and
misguided hormones,
a haven for impossible negotiations with short-term sales clerks,
Magazine Madness that scared the uptown citizens,
the summer of fear,
the summer of short skirts and tucked genitals,
sweat that soaked through and through,
the sheep's wool humidity,
the boutiques,
the fire in the dirty clouds pregnant and pressing,

Now they lock the doors to protect what's overpriced,
the tyrant trannies no longer maraud,
dead to the desires that coursed through their rotten veins sharing space with the diseases,
they pass along like the storms that swirl heavy overhead,
the tourists have returned,
long before the denizens of cobblestone and high-water,

Ten stories demanding a view of it all,
the pigeons for company,
twins to replace the King,
the Thunderbolt Kid follows my movements across the keyboard
and I am alive,
even as the city,
as the search continues,
as the trannies sleep - somewhere alive or somewhere dead.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Riches Don't Dance on the Silver Wings of Promise

The midnight dance of the white butterfly
a golden lilac has never known before,
dwarfed in inferiority by the human condition
like a sour grape in the vineyard of life.

Alone the queen sits, never having lived or
raised her flag on the ramparts of others
to flutter
at the discretion of the wandering wind.

Her finger becomes a cobble-stoned street of goose flesh,
a sugary refuge to the battered butterfly and
they both feel the retribution of an
ugly past.

Buried in a disinterested flower garden is
the withered shell of a memory untouched,
the shade of the sun hotter than it's been in years,
a feeling shared in the nonexistent hearts
of both the white butterfly and the grey queen.

Lightly, she thought, she'd win the war
though not so feather-light as to match the crystal scales of her tiny guest.
The broken parts of their oddly skeletal lives
floated up to meet them in the silver hour of the night,
a golden petal like an eagle in a crowded forest,
it cried neither sweetness
nor sorrow
but drifted as if a lazy thing and disappeared into the black.

The queen fell asleep in a mountain of silk dreams,
conquered treasures of a little girl.
The white butterfly alighted,
its knuckled nest a fist of quivering chaos below it,
and determined
its shimmering wings echoed in search of other thronely pleasure.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bowling Pins for Ignorant People

I once witnessed some late night goings-on in the kitchen and afterward was inspired to write the tale of all that I saw and heard...

Usually the most open customers
they enter into Timmy’s museum,
greeted by going where he wills them,
through his arch,
over the stones placed by a hand holding wine,
swoon of her hips the late night study,
they switch clothes and I find him
wearing the apron she wore last night,
cooking him her supper to last the late hours,
to bring home an intellectual pig,
educational bacon,
she’s trapped another in the kitchen she cleans
once a filthy hole for soups and flavors,
the things Timmy needs in his innocence,
shall follow,
cleaning for her and hoping for more,
his gaunt features stretched over steel tresses in his cheeks
and sunken eyes, odor, odor, odor,
they smell like knowledge and
are a part of cooking.

The thumb that stretches heavenward fits his hand tonight,

a judge of the distance distant on his twisted arm
searching for that magic angle,
gone crashing pins when I need a drink
in the middle of the night,
soothing my awkward throat and flash -
a parched moment.

They wait outside of the double doors locked,

his museum waits to be built,
scuttles in preparation for that big day
when his loafers and clean white shirt will all be worth it,
virulent malice in the pussy she holds near to his face,
the cat she uses to get closer to him
but never close enough to avoid his ignorance and
her broken heart.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Denver Life, Part Three, Chapter Two

A friend gave me the book On The Road to read while I was living in my truck and driving without a purpose across the country back in 2005. Kerouac's words were an amazing inspiration and his beatnik spirit, still very alive within those pages, was a muse that still resonates within me even today. When I arrived in Denver, a place he and his friends spend a large portion of their time, I was moved to write this...

Denver is the middle ground,
that place we eventually turn to,
those long road travelers and I,
the place we eventually come back to,
having never been before.

All our spirits are here,
waiting for us,
protected from the great deserts by our Fathers,
the looming Mountains,
the guardians of the city
     they've no doubt been called by better poets than I.

We've all died here,
like paradise under the sad lights
     of a sandlot softball game,
with all humanity watching,
with Dean's ghost floating on Colfax,
floating ever onward,
a journey with no return.

Denver has held us all,
and I,
hardly noticing it,
on the edge of that embrace,
dared to tap into her sadness
     like so many before me.
I am a lonesome patriarch
of Middle America,
and all I do is die.

In the Denver nights,
it's what they all did,

and Tommy.

In God's name and under the stars,
what for?


Monday, August 2, 2010

Driving Through the Hood with Billie Sue

A poem inspired by a very good friend's tale of her excursions into the physical and psychological world of the lower class society...

Tea and cakes on the dash,
Psycho-analytical notebooks tossed willy-nilly on the floor mat,
Chicken scratch pencil scribbles,
Posted notes and prescription pads,
A topographical map of a madman’s brain,
Empty merlot bottle on the backseat,
Driving through the hood with Billie Sue,

She talks wantonly of young lovers,
A shameless need for physical pleasure,
Interjecting her thoughts on client-centered therapy,
Carl Rogers aspirations slipping like molten silk from her
     overly painted lips,
Pavlov’s saliva on the steering wheel,
Interspersed curse words in the dialogue,
Pointing out past clients waiting at the bus stop,

The AC labors to keep things cool,
A soft lurch and the seat belts catch
     as the old car bounces over thickly weeded train tracks,
Neatly creased pencil skirts,
Damp armpit stains on your blouse,
Velvet pumps intermingling among old coke bottles and several back issues
     of last month’s weekly periodicals,
Cigarette butts crushed in the ashtray,
A faded photograph of Erik Erikson paper-clipped to the visor,

There’s a new prisoner on suicide watch,
Earrings dangle against the pale flesh of her broad neck,
Mouthing obscenities into her purple cell phone,
Crumbling brownstones out the passenger window,
Street signs with bullet holes,
Diluted cleaning supplies,
Hide the power cords,
A pothole dislodges a book on Social Learning Theory,
Albert Bandura falls between your legs,
Lost in the trash there,
Driving through the hood with Billie Sue.