. 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, 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