. 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, October 27, 2010

They Danced Polka and Slept in Geese-Turd Fields

Bear Mountain State Park Oktoberfest 2010 in Upstate New York = So much fun! Maybe I should write a poem about it...

Oktober in the North Country,
Where painted mountains whistle a chilly Autumn breeze,
Scarves wrapped tight around our necks,
Shoulders pressed against shoulders,
A visiting hand in your coat pocket,
Where the train snakes lonely through the trees,
The Hudson River beneath the windows of the Metro North,
Where thru-hikers pass idly from the trail,
(Two for you and two for me)
We’ve come up from the city.

Saturdays aren’t meant for being up so early,

Brownstones fade behind us
As we munch on bagels and muffins to pass the time,
Wandering from the empty train platform down the lane,
Where we would wobble back later in scorn of sobriety,
We cry Rebellion along the private road,
Such good-looking youth noble born and foreign bred,
In defiance of land ownership and the rights thereof,
Who could charge us today?
Who could stop us in our quest for German beer?
Harold, city kids are disobeying laws again.

The bleached white tents of the vendors beckon through the trees,

Like day-ghosts or the lost molars of some ill-mouthed giant
They line the path beside the lake displaying their wares,
Candies of every origin, fudge and the like,
Irresistible koala bear hats with tassels that dangle,
Crafty cigar boxes and pumpkins painted with faces where knife marks should be,
Bratwurst, pork knuckle, wiener schnitzel, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, frankfurters,
And of course,
That dark soothing swill which is the elixir potent of the Germanic people,
Poured into overly large steins unfit to be managed by a single hand,
An oasis in an ogre’s thick glass mug that has drawn us thirsty to these grounds,
Hipster pilgrims with fermented suds on their upper lips.

We chase the sun with our picnic table and lift beer laden steins when it breaks,

Elusive rays reflect in an amber waterfall expelled by hearty cheers,
Appease its warm smile and it will perhaps stay longer next time,
Despite warmth’s timidity the crowd thickens,
Our own loose tongues do the same,
We seem to be drowning in laughter, in stories, in camaraderie, in golden drink,
Cameras pull the memories into their guts for later tell,
An accordion is squeezed and high country tunes float about,
The band in leather lederhosen, suspenders and Bavarian alpine hats,
Calling for the Hokey Pokey, for the Funky Chicken,
For other songs in a garbled language heard intermittently on the festival air,
We put one leg in,
We put one leg out,
Soon thereafter it’s being shaken all about.

Ride the still-frame plastic turkey beneath the carousel’s canopy,

And frogs and leaping otters and around and around we dance,
Surrounded by judgmental geese like bowling pins on the grass,
We fall into each others’ lap,
Disregarding what the geese have left behind for a nap in the warm sunlight,
Exchanging what stories are left,
Light-headed the world spins as if we’re still on the carousel,
Glistening whip-cream fingers,
How fancy is life in the fuzzy aftermath of a glorious day,
Where there is nowhere to be but in a field,
Where thru-hikers pass willy-nilly intent on distant shores,
(Still two to two)
High-flying buzzards bemoan the park’s beauty and wait for what’s left,
Or are they vultures?

Oktober in the North Country,

Where sinuous mountain roads lead us back to the platform in the dark,
Some of us teeth chattering and wet,
Having braved the cold lake to the delight of Japanese tourists,
Naked bodies like shooting stars in the reflected sky,
We hold close one another,
And our empty steins,
Feet leading us home when our heads are too distracted for the task,
Where the train’s bright eye searches along the shore,
Calling from the valley,
To find us gathered on the wooden planks,
We are tired and worn thin with exaltation,
To return to the city.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The View From Under a Tree

Some things change completely when we look at them from another angle, if we are strong enough to get up and change that angle...

Some things,
Some things are things I do not know,
And here I am strangely still,
Shuffling in-between so softly supple tits I find myself
Alone and like a child again,
So near to a heart that is not my own,
Thin blood dangerously close to the end of my knife,
Spending so much time focusing on the blade’s tip
We never know just how much we’re worth,

She drummed her fingers along my summer-time window,

Laughed aloud and we drank till dawn,
The sun with its thick lips catching our tears as they fell,
One tiny mind growing into a peanut of conscious thought,
Captain Two-Week Old
Waltzing in the rain and unable to feel the same things I feel,
Never understanding just how much he’s worth.

I could beg you to come along,

Standing there trying on your clothes,
The night-time stars overpowered by a fragile world outside our window,
Lost to our imagination,
Corrupt canons decreed at the dawn of our days,
I could find work in the cracks of our wanderings,
Soft and like a rebel in a bank,
Like a free man having too much wine and leaning on the wall,
To be free,
To be free,
The life inside the tomb of your skin pushing itself to the limits,
And no one knows what it is,
To be completely insane,
No one knows what it is,
To be free.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Head Full of Jesus

Written soon after I returned to Louisiana and began my new life in Lafayette after being eight months away...

My empty pocket’s shame a sin,
Quenching forever the jubilance of my quest,
A notion that I might live forever -
All bark, branch and root of me,

Foreign front porches,
Time’s gift given to sit and wonder,
Through spells cast in confusing enlightenment,
Along the road of my hopes,

She doesn’t mean now what she meant,
And the riddles of my heart
Are holding tight the clues,

Behind all that’s closed I’m clever enough,
Seeing the southern carpet bagger
For who he really is -
Beneath boiling skin a deceiver with a bag of tricks,
Marked one by one,
By one for me,
By the grace of God go I.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Go To Twelve

This isn't the first time the supermarket has inspired me to write...

Go to twelve,
said the painter,
old and covered in the dried residue of a lifetime of work,
a whisper on the air,
from the moustache’d lips of a strange gentleman,
a curious Samaritan among the check-out aisles.

Go to twelve,
said the voice inside your head,
a disconnected conscious from the swirling chaos of your everyday thoughts,
an internal suggestion,
willing you to see what you thought you hadn’t,
be lucky that your brain looks out for you when your heart is distracted.

Go to twelve,
said the still voice of the Lord,
whose guidance you trust to steer your steps,
an unmistakable stirring,
somewhere in the invisible an angel smiles,
even among groceries does He work in mysterious ways.

Go to twelve,
said the boy at your side,
tall and skinny and sometimes unaware of the very words that escape his lips,
a likely culprit always,
ever searching for the fastest route,
but currently paying more attention to the girl at his side than to the registers.

Go to twelve,
came the voice,
and so you do,
empty conveyor belt,
lonely cashier waiting for a customer,
that customer who just happens to be you,
ode to perfect timing,
and thank you…
whoever you were,
(although it was probably the painter).