. 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

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