. 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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Road at Night

Just driving. Pulling over and writing under the glow of whatever streetlight is nearby. Letting the miles and the sounds and the wind speak for themselves...


There’s a lot’a Scotties out tonight,
Free-moon babies basking
Like a beached well,
Except without the whale’s anxious panic,
His startled dark eye as big as my fists
Coiled now like toy snakes
Hammering
Hammering
Beating a drum beat onto my mother’s still chest,
Blaming it on my father,
On everyone I loved,
As long as I didn’t have to blame it on myself.

A hobo’s gloves in the darkness,
The tac resting at a thousand RPMs,
A fine mist of high octane fuel
Flowing effortlessly through the venturi,
Purring
Purring
Someone’s headlight blinds me for a second,
And I am light too,
A million years before,
And a million years hence,
In everything there is God,
This engine,
These tires,
This road.

The light leaves and I a man again,
A human of flesh and bone
And sin,
Connected to the bones of Adam
Through every
Ant
Tick
Flea
And dinosaur,
A bleeding vessel prone to weakness,
And apt to die,
Where there is no one to safely bring me back.

12.2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When You Came to the Door You Wore Only a Blanket

Be careful how you answer the door... I might make poetry out of the encounter...


When you came to the door you wore only a blanket,
Loosely wrapped around your shoulders,
Grinning and naked beneath that thin purple fabric,
Playfully arresting me with your dark eyes,
Your tiny knuckles clutching at the seams,
A periwinkle layer of cloth,
A translucent layer of girl skin,

But our lives had been rearranged by the circumstances of the heart,
A thing broken and reformed into new shape,
And where once I belonged in that blanket with you,
I no longer had any right,
Perhaps I could have taken what I wanted,
For there was an invitation on the wind,
It blew through your disheveled hair,
Disturbed the edges of your purple blanket,
I felt it on the ends of my fingertips still attached to the door knob,
And along the lost avenues of my heart,
To be the scoundrel that you loathed,
And the scoundrel that you loved,

In the end
I left you standing there,
Smiling,
Amongst everything misplaced between us,
And closed the door,
Still,
I remember how you looked…
Wrapped warmly and naked and so very close.

9.2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Driving

A poem about staring too long into a computer screen, about not doing what you think you should be doing, about love, of course, and about everything else...


This is one of those nights
Meant for driving
Computer zombie with an eerie white face
And pale skin
Limp fingers
The light in spreadsheets on my wall
Filtered through cheap blinds
Where you once stood so I could take pictures of the shadows on your stomach

I should be driving
Lost in the quiet darkness of an old car
Tethered to a pair of headlights like the helpless string that must follow a balloon to Heaven
My mind a flock of black birds
Through this city and her dead children
The stars are an ugly constellation of orange street lights that do not twinkle
But vanish into my future and into my past
I never thought about love that way
Not when I was with you

An empty house
And no car to drive away in
I stand again in the window at the door
Watching an empty street
Blood at the corner of my mouth
Now dry
The smell of your yellow skin on my fingers.

11.2011


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

She

She makes writing easy...


She is time lost,
years spent daydreaming,
her life and body twisted and contorted,
as if shaped by a blind sculptor,
a process of interludes in my imagination,

She is wet clay ever changing,
a form lumped together in my mind,
may or may not be who she really is,

She is a distant satellite,
whose orbit has carried her sometimes close to my world,
and sometimes very far away,
but always visible in my sky,

My heart has been taught to not recognize itself in the mirror,
but it knows her face,
when she opens her door it remembers,
despite what I don’t tell it,
it knows why it came,

She is happy,
and as beautiful as I’ve seen her,
confidently in command of her world,
beaming with pride and self-discovery,

She shows me around,
but all I care to see is her,
her fragile smile,
disalarming eyes,
unkempt clothes,
those impossible tangles longer than I’ve ever seen them,

In her tiny apartment,
not unlike that ghetto pad and window bars,
we talk ‘til exhaustion,
the misplaced words of many years,
many miles since,
the sun comes up and the satellite moves closer,

She is in her panties,
reaching for a bowl of fruit,
and I am reminded that it has always been this way.

02.18.10

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First City Kiss

Magic in New York City...


There was someone singing about the rain
outside your window,
saying that it was such a good feeling,
a summer thunderstorm in the city,
lifting the curtains,
the soft orange streetlight haze spilling over the couch,
the repetitive tubes of the cold radiator,
long shadows of your bike and the books along the shelf.

The stranger’s voice fading into the night,
his song about the rain becoming the sounds of traffic,
of the city bus and its lonely fluorescent passengers,
the braying horns in the distance,
like muted lovers calling,
the silhouette of your plants behind the curtains,
sway to the music lifting,
to the street cooling,
to the red-eyed wanderers who float from bar to bar all night long.

You weren’t asleep and neither was I,
pretending to be asleep,
only waiting,
until my racing heart forgot the city,
and no sound existed on the earth,
and my hand,
it moved,
found your hip beneath the blankets,
no sound,
no city,
no rain,
just your skin beneath my fingers,
and that was the world,
every planet and every star and every life I’ve ever lived,
there in that touch,
at the beginning of mankind,
in your bed beneath those blankets.

The song outside the window was gone,
the people carried on,
stepping out of taxi cabs,
smelling of the subway,
airbrakes at the intersection,
a bell jingles above the door at the deli,
I kissed your neck to ask for your permission,
and you said yes when your lips turned to find mine,
there in the orange darkness,
the city outside,
and rain on the way.

11.2010

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jim Bilt

A cowboy love story...

Jim Bilt held the cracked leather reigns split,
Dust canyons formed in his swollen knuckles,
Disfigured fingers a monkey’s fist of rope,
The sweat crystal on his nose under shadow thrown from  a sun-bleached hat,
A dry world of scrub and barbed wire,
Rusty tin and oaks bent,
Upside down in the prism hanging from his crooked beak,

He stood in broken boots in a sharp puddle of his own shade,
Heels buried in the soft brown powder of the round pen,
Where long dead men spilled blood,
Where the hooves of wilder horses were made to stand still,
In the field the bones speak,
The old nails back themselves out,
Jim Bilt swallowed his spit and watched her eyes,

She refused to blink,
But stared back at him through muddy pupils swimming,
Wide and alert and reading him – waiting for him,
Her black hair stuck to her neck,
Her chest was full and heaving,
Her waist high,
Her legs strong,
She had broken his heart and was testing the limits of his love,

The wrangler let the reigns slide through his fingers,
So soft and slow over what tough years had hardened,
He lowered himself before her,
Offered his head to be taken from his body,
Beneath the hot sun where nothing moved,
They spoke in soft whispers,
In silence,
To decide if the Devil had gone,
His heart struggled to find enough blood to fill his body,
But the limits of his love were endless,
She bent a knee,
And then another,
Until she was on the ground before him and resting her head on his chest,
Crying,
Jim Bilt take me home.

5.11.2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Mary Became a Saint

This one is about a wonderful/magical Summer night riding our bicycles around town...


We were moon tossed
saint streets secret playground park
where the diplodocus is measured by the tops of trees
and bats fly willy-nilly through the stars
bending our backs into the cross-cut wind
drowning on the night air
tracks snake behind us in the cast iron glow of
the few street lights like lazy comets at the edge of the grass
we descend in madness through the
sleeping streets
peddling our laughter on the passing doorsteps of strangers
fancy streamers flying from our knuckles
knee-deep in aluminum
and the city
and everything there is to love about life
drifting gently along her spine
where tar and tile and asphalt flow

ardent adventurers were we three
conscious of following some unknown
pleasure
tickling her tarmac
pushing forward into the future
aloof in the tears that streamed backwards escaping
the corners of our eyes
hopscotch playground plunder from one puddle of light to the next
spilling slippery pearl smoke from the
heartless soul of an apple
concealed in the one corner where the cameras can’t look
stealing each other’s reckless absurdity
sneaking past sleeping soldiers
spinning yarns
and rims
and rooms
kissed softly by the maniacal lips of darkness
of madness
of every joy that rides in with the night

until our tires slipped the bounds of Earth
until our loosed wolf cries echoed off of the
brick and glass canyons of The Drop
and the stars were caught in our hair
and we lost each other again at the end
so they heard us say
we will never be as young as we are now!

9.2011



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ode to the Mosquito

I was born and raised in South Louisiana... Basically, it was a matter of time before this poem was written...


Little Wily Shit-Winged Bat,
Him with the thousand brothers,
Times ten thousand more,
Proboscis needle-nosed vampire
     walking the vast tundra of my skin on six striped legs,
Who cannot speak but whines incessantly instead,
The sound which tunnels through my ear canal
     and deep into my brain,
Into my heart,
My soul,
A sound that no man can fall asleep to.

Little Perpetual Purveyor of the Water of Life,
A connoisseur to all varieties of the finest human blood,
Deviant drunkard dancing languid on someone’s soft flesh,
Feckless curiosity be the owner a cook or a queen,
Whose toes have you tickled tonight,
And at what cost, my tiny friend?
How are you so unconcerned in the peril of your own minute life
     as you attempt to steal some of mine?

Little Dark-Horse Angel of Death,
What manner of mayhem do you bring today?
What kind and loving God would
     breathe you into existence,
And for what purpose?
To give us a reason to stand in the bed of a pickup truck
     and spray heather mists into our neighborhoods?
To validate stagnant water?
To populate the forests with millions of unseen thirsty minions?
Or to canvas our skin with your puncture marks
     and give new use to our fingernails other than for back rubs and biting?

Little One-Horned Wonder
     hiding in the corner of my room,
My tent,
My car,
A drinking straw permanently attached to your face,
Born a thief of the living,
A bird on the wing,
You both fascinate and annoy the hell out of me!
For what creature is there that exists,
Who but you can I smash on the wall
     yet still spill my own guts when I do?!

9.15.2011


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Storm in the Field


A fitting poem for a morning like this; my open door sweeps tendrils of summer rain onto the kitchen floor but I don’t care – It’s been raining for two days and there is music in the air, there is still soft skin under my sheets and somewhere, somewhere, Fall is opening her dark, sultry eyes. Perhaps life goes on after all…


The rain collects along my fogged windshield
Gun metal clouds and a drummer in the distance
Stench of workman’s boots
Of the armpits of my shirt
Of that ticklish place behind my balls
My aromatic presence no longer a bother in the long halls of my nostrils
Bread crumbs in the khaki clefts of my crotch as if I am awaiting some horny grey pigeon
Bird boned
Or beak blow job
Take your pick
Outside in the building barometric pressure the air is crisp and certain
Folding over me like a cursed throw rug
In and out through the cracks of my windows
Cracks in my sanity
Cracked heart dulled the chisel of rational behavior

Finally the storm breaks
Some freak wave of atmospheric mayhem with blood sucking fangs and long clawed tendrils searching for destruction
Swallowing the breeze and periodic camera flashes
Ongoing growling in the mist
Her legs spread open and she is wet, wet, wet
Wherever I look
Paddle me, she says
The clouds blend together in a colorless, shapeless mass of floating tissue
Removing from view the world outside of my truck distilled and forgotten and disconnected from the shadows that swim past the ether
A baptism in the tears of lonely mother giants
Heavy heart
Lungs of diseased breath
I watch the world wash away

There is anger in the mob
Crowds with distaste on perch along their dry lips
A fever of sex
A fever of restlessness
A fever void of ambition and swelling to the brink with dreams
Great gray clusters spewing rain and torrent
Willing me to feel alive but my feet are in concrete
And the dreams are just dreams
Dead beneath me
Seedless and short
While my father’s ghost laughs in the distance.

11.2010

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Once

Still, we artists keep un-healed those wounds that drip not only blood but gobs of creativity...


And now the black top road of fate where once we travelled down together,
divides us,
and we find ourselves on opposite sides,
in the margins of a different candor,
standing listlessly in the fine powder gravel,
 among the disfigured bereft bones of random animals,
dusty dandelions and ditch weeds at our ankles,
a faltering barbed wire fence and the rest of our lives behind us,

Shall we cross to the center and shake hands,
the soft skin of your child’s fingers,
your obsidian shark eyes watching me twist across that eternal yellow stripe,
as if our deal is concluded,
and the broken bond that eludes to other distant freedoms
does not represent the shattered remains inside my chest,
to turn and go about our way,
when that way was a shared path once,
where “once” is but a word uttered in echo to the cadence of a memory,

You were bent over piles of your own clothes,
laundry I later learned you loathed,
you said your name and I said mine but you swear I was looking away,
and for years you worked hard at readjusting that gaze,
where it strayed you waved your arms and bade it return,
we were wise guys,
we were lazy bums,
we were skinned and held each other’s entrails together,
you first gave love a voice when I wrecked your car,
I returned that holy affirmation much later after you had washed my hair enough,
small words,
but it was time,
and we were good for each other,

The road shimmers into indefinite distance in both directions,
fading at a horizon of unknown possibility,
and at another marked by the treads of our dancing shoes,
God, how I loved to kick around with you,
we were good for one another,
and no distance dampens that,
so don’t you dare say otherwise,
use some other beguiling and imaginative words to explain your outstretched hand,
if there must be a parting,
such origins would be fanciful,
and at best invalid,
because there is no truth in love,
there is only love,
the power of such a concept that which holds me still,
which roots me here,
unable to shake your hand,
smile sadly,
and disappear through the weeded ditch of my fractured life.

3.2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where None of This Ever Happened and You Still Loved Me


Where raindrops,
heavy as every dog-legged and indiscriminate sin I’ve had the chance to enjoy
and cast out like disavowed children of shame from their brooding mother thunderclouds above,
turn clear-cut sugarcane rows into miniature rivers,
overflowing their troughs and swelling muddy ditches,
where muscle-bodied eels come to call for the crawfish below
and islands of ants defying death ride the currents through culverts along lonely gravel roads,
water colored forests where palmettos stand guard at the gate,
barbed wire fences and horses who stand miserable with their asses into the wind,
fat blackberries clinging to violent thorn bushes wrapped around the base of every utility pole,
stabbed into the loose top soil by the hands of men,
so that a warm kitchen window becomes the warning lighthouse beacon
distant in the downpour across soggy fields,
basin catcher to the tilted heavens,
deluge in every direction,
where I am left to watch the underbelly of a pocket-sized waterfall along my windshield,
each expelled lung erasing the scene outside the glass,
until I am and nothing else,
fog on the radio and the world soon submerged,
 torrid heat humid where the AC cannot offer help,
though it may cool my skin my heart is on fire,
if I but had you here I would bathe you again and baptize you with my long dead fingers,
until in mad revival we flew away from this place,
high above the anvil heads of summer thunderstorms,
where on your couch beneath the copper light of the lamp my hand found rest on your knee
and your head fell into my shoulder,
a thousand miles away from here,
where you still called my name,
where you still were mine.
5.3.2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

This Cowboy Rode Trains

How young we were, to think we could have those kinds of adventures without any consequences that would follow us for the rest of our lives...


A thousand ton steel bronco bucks beneath me,
grinning I climb higher,
corrugated metal roof,
and full moon sky,
engine whistle echoes in the distance ahead,
a desperate howl,
a lonely sound,
pleading me to ride all night,
pleasing me,
wind against my white knuckles,
laughter,
so much joyful laughter,

She watches from her wrought iron balcony,
her door,
her mobiles hanging,
at the top of those thin stairs,
tissue paper in the fan,
in my cowboy boots by her bed,
the pile of clothes,
notes we can’t read anymore,
the fading train whistle,
blinking red light,
red eye,
until there is only darkness,
and the silence that swallows thereafter.

12.09

Sunday, May 15, 2011

His Only Answer

Faith, hope, love... but the greatest is love...


She spoke:
Even in the dead center of the night,
When my face is in darkness and I cry
     but cannot discover the reasons for my tears…

And he answered:
I will love you then…

She spoke:
Even when the weight of the world
     falls heavy on my shoulders,
When I know better to suffer under such a burden,
But bear the load bent and stooped to the duress of my soul…

And he answered:
I will love you then…

She spoke:
Even when the words inside my head
     don’t match those that stumble from my lips,
Lost thoughts and mismanaged sentences,
When those words sting and pierce
     and are thrown carelessly at you…

And he answered:
I will love you then…

She spoke:
Even when my heart is broken and my vision clouded,
When my judgment is not fit to be considered,
When I am but a lost little girl
     in the flesh of someone supposedly older and wiser,
When I cannot trust my legs to stand
     but need your arms to prop me up,
When my soul is shaken by the countless fears inside me…

And he answered:
I will love you then…

She spoke:
Even when my weaknesses surpass my strengths,
When my doubts overrun my confidence,
When the neurons in my brain get scrambled
     by the hormones in my body,
When the flesh you long to touch
     begins to wear and tear,
When my cowardice holds me back,
When my suspicions go unwarranted,
When my failures outpace my successes,
When you find me in a corner,
And find me bruised,
And find the parts that need repair,
When you finally see through all my smoke,
Exposed for who I really am,
With nothing left to hide…

And he answered:
I will love you then…

She spoke in a whisper:
How?

But he could not answer,
For there are answers more mysterious than words,
Still,
Finally he said:
I will love you then
Because
I will love you forever
And always…

And she knew it to be true.

5.5.2011


Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Pig Wig and the Lil' White Tiny Tot

This is a poem about a little cute white girl who thought she was brave enough to stop off at a ghetto grocery store after work to pick up a few items...


Yours is the end of the workday,
that long and lasting stench of jailhouse sweat,
pheromones of little girl pleasure from the dirty clothes
     that cling to your sharp shoulders and prominent breasts,
Lo’ the day is long and those black iron bars shut tight,
those demons chased like kit foxes through
     the parish prison,
until every criminal is reprieved,
every crime de-mystified,
and you’ve left it all so very far behind,

So you heft your wavy hair with a simple pin,
pencil skirt your thighs and lock your car,
tell yourself you’re not afraid,
not the fancy fresh faced little thing that inmates love,
not the slender waist and teasing ass,
sharpened corners that cut eyes,
casting sidelong glances behind you where each and every
     exit becomes a stinging rationalization,

The Pig Wig doors are a mouth agape,
soaking up your perfumed wrists,
breathing on you the stale air of unkempt vegetables and fetid rodents’ whispers,
come hither, little baby girl,
so we can taste your fine salty sun brown skin,
so we can lift your skirt and set you spinning,
from one prison to another,
for a bucket of milk,
expired and unattended,

The Pig Wig Four-Corners Grocery Store,
The Pig Wig County Corrections Facility,
yellow eyes and bleeding mouths of soapy saliva,
dank hollow aisles of forgotten perishables and edibles,
strangers are zombies are the convicts you only recently
    left behind,
where there were the bars of justice to protect your precious head,
in the Pig Wig you are not as sheltered,
opened cages,
bread and produce and canned goods but no deputies,
only panties and fingernails and feet to run as fast as you can,
expired milk the lost child left behind,
its open arms calling from the freezer,
your keys in your hand,
the milk on the shelf,
calling,
calling,
dying,
but better the milk than you,
better the milk than you,
your last visit to that abomination the Pig Wig.

7.2010

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hold Me

Recognizing techniques in reverse. The rest is from the heart...


Hold me
Like the mud rich waters of the Euphrates River,
Like Haley Mombassi,
Like the Diarrhea Twins –
     who shit for giggles…

Hold me
Like the stench of rotting road flesh
     in Louisiana’s August,
Like that girl at the zoo –
     little Mexican Celeste,
Like a voodoo curse –
     praise the lawd, ma’am…

Hold me
Like a used leather saddle under a black man’s ass –
     riding a blue roan through the ghetto,
     sparks on the concrete…

Hold me
Like the mysteries beneath the Nile –
     long dead king’s and queens crying crocodile tears,
     Pharaoh’s sail barge lost at sea,
     Moses roasting hot dogs over a burning bush…

Hold me
In the deep dimples of your breasts –
     where smooth-faced babes perch,
     and snake blue veins encircle the towers of your nipples,
In the den where you mix grave potions –
     rice, roast and gravy aphrodisiac,
     shampoo and the secrets of the universe,
In the beveled chambers of the guns on your hips –
     my fingers pursuing you in the contours there,
     the lines of your figurehood cast like rising pistol smoke,
In the clouded and caliginous swirls of your burned eyes –
     where I once would not look,
     but find them now floating before me always,
In that space between your tongue and your lips –
     where pregnant breath gives birth to “I love you’s”,
     those savory sons genesis coupling of the heart and soul,
     where I am held your captive
     and forever…

4.2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ode to Lepanto

This one is about a girl who loved a poem more than she loved me...


G.K. stands tall with a gold medallion
     about his neck,
(I with only a silver am a complete
     emotional wreck)
To be in second place is just as
     bad as sin,
It seems G.K.’s Lepanto has beaten me
     once again.

She loves you more than I and has
     ranked me justly so,
Afterall, your tale is of a great sea battle
    fought very long ago,
The Christians and the Byzantines met under
     clouds of grey,
For a battle of its kind it was the
     biggest of its day.

And you told it so eloquently, such
     a noble work,
Of Don John of Austria who fired
     upon the Turk,
So I’ll step down, my argument
     has bayed –
Our impressions on this girl both of
     us have made.

I had the couch, ha! ha!
Slept by her side, hurrah!
Domino Gloria,
That for a first place poem I’d never trade.

2.2003

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kansas Massacre

This is a poem about a fictional time in the history of Kansas, where within a period of a couple of years, an extremely violent and blood-thirsty gang of outlaws (if they can even be called by that civilized of a definition) would set fire to the forests surrounding the city; and just as the smoke settled on the streets and cut off the outside world, this band of killers would come a'hunting for blood and loot. What brought an end to this era is perhaps fit for another poem some other day...


Wichita’s wild-eyed citizens awoke to the smell of smoke,
her dusty streets day long,
her sleeping salons,
the marquee of ‘Milfred Mann’s Gambling Cantina and Whores’ awash
     in the dim sea foam draw of blood,
covered in campfire light colors of a fading sunset,
distant flames reflections in the town windows,
in the eyes of fearful children,
her dark forests burning in the night.

Morning found Wichita lost,
waking citizens like ghosts ambling through the sunless dawn,
a grey world vanishing on choking air,
glowing embers and ash like a twisted winter storm,
black snowflakes falling,
her streets and shops dusted with a painter’s brush of feathery soot,
no prairie bird sang sad notes,
no horse lifted hoof to work,
so it was that the town stood still,
women lost sight through cloudy kitchen windows as life disappeared,
o’ world of men,
o’ uncertain future and dull light,
all feared the coming night,
that which walks under the shadow of such rolling smoke.

Twas when the moon replaced the sun,
at a broken time no man knew,
the lions came hunting,
a group of silhouettes like transparent wraiths in the haze,
dark visions in a darker night,
they prowled the vacant thoroughfare,
German Deschtoll pistols of heavy iron and wood slung low on their hips,
worn road clothes,
eyes bent to killing and a foam on their lips,
in no hurry,
apt to drift away with the smoke if the wind turned.

No father let his son to the window,
no wife let her husband to the door,
still,
every citizen of Wichita heard the gunfire,
a distant discharge,
foul evil thunder crack like a demon on the wing,
its alarming sound echoed down the alleys,
reverberated in the chests of the hiding populace,
wreaked havoc in their heads,
no one was spared the sound.

Sheriff Elwood Street was dead,
his heart cut from his chest,
and his eyes taken,
dead at his post,
so was Mayor Cardinald Pope,
his wife Mary Esther split in two,
Dean Prichard and his family,
the banker Barty Goldenstein,
the vault broken,
the general store marauded,
Wichita left crippled,
bleeding out,
to wonder why,
to wait in shambles for the next fire,
to forge on in the face of unexplained evil,
picking up the pieces in the lifting smoke.

11.09

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Search for the Origin of Hate

In keeping things melodramatic, here's an old poem from some bygone days when some heavy life decisions were weighing on my soul...


What dragon steals the lives of men?
What vile monster delights in the scattered
     debris of a human heart
          and fills its vats of wine with the stinging tears of loss?
Is there something hidden,
laughing at the decision before me,
A confrontation of choice that has the possible
     inevitable
          conclusion of truth,
but can bury me under the shattered stones of misery?

Such granite crags of woe not unlike those
     that adorn his cold, cavernous walls,
sheltering in joyful sordidness the hellion serpent of pain.
He drags a scale-ridden toe,
bejeweled with an inky claw,
across my back,
     and the pain is a dead hunger
          and the poison sets deep
               and the scars are like nothing I've ever seen.

Does he think it futile when I smile at the sun,
when I force a laugh through tears that burn
     like the breath that bellows from his lungs?
Does this hideous hater of happiness hold a secret I can't yet see,
some knowledge of a timeline to my fortune
     with an ending he's anxiously awaiting?
How can something gain so much pleasure
     from so much lamentation,
          taking inner satisfaction at the wretched disposition of my heart?

It's the unknown answers that I fear,
some hidden potential conclusion to loathsome questions,
and the worry inside of my heart is like a feast
     to that obscure greedy demon
          lurking in the shadows.
What terrible creature can thrive in that way?
What am I looking for?

4.13.05

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Finally Caught Up to You

Sometimes we wake up, and the world has changed, moved on without us, or the other way around...


I finally caught up to you,
And now I understand,
Why the gap was so indefinite between us that first night in your bed,
A canyon in which your knee dared to cross,
To graze against mine,
So soft and assuming as ever there was a knee,
So alarming and absolutely frightening,

Shower water running over our bodies,
You stood above me,
Eclipsing my spirit,
The eye of your belly button dark,
As it should always be,
Black hair flat against your neck,
And you made me cry,
My tears dissolved in the rain that fell from your curves,
Whispering for the first time,
I love you,

Was I a kite,
Always lifting away,
Always bound for heavenly places,
Weaving around clouds whose shapes dazzled my senses,
Pulling on your tender fingers,
Bright red blood in your fist,
Taxing your strength,
But always holding me at bay,

You held my face in your hands,
The feint signs of life pulsing in your wrists,
Bade me to look at you,
When my eyes kept wandering away,
Afraid of what was there,
Terrified to see the size of your heart,
That warm center within you,
Where there is purity in your words,
In the depth of your desire,
When your lips part,
When you tell me,
I love you,

Now the canyon has returned,
A self-imposed rift of undetermined span,
Now my tears fall into its maw,
Where once they alighted on your breasts,
They disappear into darkness,
Carrying with them token years,
Our years,
Such depth found in your grace,
So much effort,
So soft and assuming as ever there was a knee,
Love is a struggle,
I understand you now,
I finally caught up to you.

8.2010

Monday, March 28, 2011

That Night at the Renaissance

An old friend visits the South and together, in a smokey dive bar neither of us has ever been to before, we encounter a mammal unlike any other in our known species...



The lizards hidden behind the palace walls
   are the few rain drops,
leaving the storm to its downpour-ways outside,
penetrating nooks and shimmying through unseen places
   to fall or plummet,
to dive headlong from the black ceiling,
avoiding deadends in a maze of multi-colored stage lights.

What once was nestled twenty thousand feet above the downtown scene
   in a brooding mother cloud of smog and chemicals
      now drops as heavy as sin,
randomly on the misguided heads of a swaying crowd,
a room filled to capacity and wall-to-wall,
ancient bricks eternally smelling of a century's worth of cigarette smoke
   chaperones the denizens.

Skinny jeans and thin shoes,
ear-rings and cocky tattoos and black wandering eyes,
they are sickly animals thirsty for the devil's rhythm
   and bathing orgiestically together under what once were raindrops,
in basement-darkness we confess before the alter,
grimy and sweaty and too many faceless black t-shirts.

Electric bomp, bomp, bomp.
Electric twang as his fingers slap.
Electric crash.

He wears two hats on his skullish head and reminds me
   that the moon is full of cheese - is disgusting,
a one hat salute without uncovering his sopping stringy hair.

Electric voice that rocks the house.

The Editor and I exchange what must be glances,
our lungs dying in the moments that pass,
sipping too many and back for more,
more,
closer and closer
   to distinguish the mad-hatter's clumsy head in a frame between his fingers,
holding his odd instrument, happy to oblige,
our night is short with rushed back-talk and conversation
   that cannot linger,
plans made and promises broken,
the Tower eludes us,
That 1 Guy stands before us,
as Sunday falls apart in the downtown rebirth of chance encounter,
the dashing apart of water molecules too many to count on the heads of the damned.

11/2007

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Old Town Prayer

To all you children out there, hang on to what you've got. Hang on as long and as fiercely as you can. And when they come to take it, fight them like snarling dogs, fight them with every tiny and perfect aspect of your beings, until the blood that runs through you is gone...


Refashion these sticks and bones,
faggots left by the campfire,
stained with cigarette smoke,
till they’re dried like a poor man’s roof and old,

Take me back to torn sleeves,
a knife in the boot,
outlaw hair and a crooked smile,
salted snakeskin stiffening on my mother’s front porch,
till I stitched it to a hat they wouldn’t let me wear,

Boxcars bouncing on the rails through town,
drilling holes in our heads,
electric orgasm on the intercom,
before porn was sin,
before the trails were choked with thorns,
before they pulled my nest down from the trees,

Naked in the sugarcane,
green tunnels of paper-sharp leaves edging out the sun,
thin lines of beaded blood on my skin,
kindred to the crows overhead,
till the sweat burns my eyes and turns me homeward,

These lone wolf ribs are lean,
years spent hunting philosophies and chasing dreams,
refashion these sticks and bones,
till I have regained the joy that comes with solitude.

5.22.2010


Friday, March 18, 2011

And When We Wake Up

A poem about decisions when it's too late in life to do anything about them...


And when we wake up
And these lives are distant seascapes
Where dim lights dance in the haze
And the miles are countless
And the years like faded yellow pages torn
When love is an unaltered notion
A final definition
Or maybe still an illusion

And when there is only dust
And a face in the dust
And the name of that face is lost to the trade winds of time
But those hollow eyes still haunt you
The ghosts of a thousand choices
And you chose to leave her behind
And her face is there
Always there
But you can no longer remember her name

And there in the shadows the Vagrant waits
His clothes sin-black and playing a sad fiddle
And he has come to retrieve you
And he has come to wake you up
When your hands don’t work so well anymore
When your fingers have failed at the pistol
He comes with bony fingers
To touch your sleeping face
To whisper her name into the vacant halls of your heart

And when we wake up
And there is nothing so precious anymore
And that great tomb is filled to the brim
But we have not seen each other in years
And we cannot see over the pile

Will we smile
Or will the sadness break like water in the rocks?

11.2010

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back Teeth

In lieu of the first dentist visit in three years and the first cavity my mouth has ever experienced, I thought it fitting to reach into the archives and pull out this little gem...


They warned me against the pain,
Against the hardship,
The suffering in the years to come.

An invasion,
A civil war beyond the violence among brothers,
Only me against me.

God created you,
Like He does a tree,
But we destroy you,
Only because we do not understand you,
Have not yet figured your purpose.
Uprooted in our human ignorance…
You are this.

Why, if you truly are as wise as they say,
Do you wrestle with us for control,
Bully us with your stubborn tact,
And try in vanity to crowd the crowd?
Sometimes with success.

So we fear you,
A tormentor’s spirit…
You have this.

What is it that you seek?
Victory?
You’ll never get it.
Does you wisdom reveal that much?
Your knowledge does nothing to save you,
Your insight ends in death.

We are more than brothers,
Yet we have never been more misunderstood,
And we have never been any more than strangers.

5.25.05

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brave Lori Rides the Tiger

Oh the days of our youth as seen through the foggy but perfect lens of the looking glass of our adulthood. Such wholly beautiful and horrible times. May they live forever stuck to the back of our skulls like those multicolored eternal globs of dried gum under the desk...


The neighborhood was asleep and quiet
     and so she suppressed her giggles too,
Her legs wrapped around his waist,
Her clit a mangled tickle of moist flesh below her clothes
     pushed into his spine,
Her pale arms bristling with soft standing hairs,
Gooseflesh and white below the moon,
Draped over his shoulders and locked about his neck,
Like a necklace of sinewy girl muscles and colored fingernails,
Her nose against the hidden flesh at the back of his skull,
Buried in the freshly shampoo’d layers of his hair,
Her small breasts flattened against the shifting muscles of his back,

She feels his struggle,
She feels it as if it is her own,
His shoulders in the crook of her elbows,
His hips rotating under her knees,
His spine twisting inside of her,
The night air sharp and inciting,
There is madness in the chill,
And as she holds him,
Holds him against her,
She knows this moment will never happen again.

1.2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another's Kiss is Better

An old poem from a faraway land...


The jungle’s hot tonight
Alive with a thousand lights
Each one too hot to touch
Shining bright, each over a single life

We’re all alone
Waiting for someone to join our company
Standing with shadows
We crush cigarettes beneath our feet

One drink to remember
One drink to fall
Another’s kiss is better
When the alternative is nothing at all

Because the Devil’s place is the night
No one dreams here anymore
We live hoping everything’s wrong
And pray in the morning we’re right

5/7/05

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eugene's Black Magic

Sometimes I witness simple normal things when I'm in a smokey dark booth at the bar and I am nothing if not compelled to turn those moments into dramatic poetry...


He walks black in from the door,
His lavender shirt called into question,
They beg him for tricks,
Magic tricks,
They want his bold black cock,
Drunk and thirsty for his love,
Screaming in imagined ecstasy,

Eugene, show us a card trick,
Show us a card trick,

And one among them speaks the bold truth,
Everyone needs a little magic in their lives.

7.2010

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Listening to her Words

City boys and girls released to play cowboys and cowgirls in the mountains for a summer...


Jenni hid her eyes when we talked,
placing a strand of thin hair behind her ear,
the profile of her boy's blue eyes
not enough for my consolation

so I talked to her high cheek bones instead.

Her teeth were too white for genetics
or her skin was too dark for her teeth,
I wondered what it would be like to kiss such thin lips,
perhaps like kissing a gun shot wound

and would she use her tongue?

Jenni frustrated me when she talked
because I wouldn't look into her eyes when she spoke,
I watched her bright belt buckle,
wanting to bite it to test the validity of its gold,
looking for a panty line on her hip
under her Wranglers wrapped tight
around the sticks of her long legs.

We carried on
afraid of the length of our conversation
but neither sure how to successfully end it.
I looked at her face and begged her to look back.
When she looked at me I followed the pearl buttons
down her checkered shirt
trying not to stare at her flat chest.

Our words floated between us in misery,
on a soft blanket of awkwardness that
we would forget in a matter of minutes.
Jenni was never beautiful

except when I talked to her.

5.2007