. 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, November 23, 2016


That harvest moon calls me out
like the howl of the grey wolf long lonely and loud
prowling about in leather drunk on the weather
moccasins tethered in buffalo skin
elf knuckle knife on my belt
calf pelt over my rear end
moonglow shadows fade out
fade in
within the black forest I am made into the shape
of a wraith
skirting the low growth as silent as a snake
full weight of that orbital cheesecake rests easily on the strong shoulders
of my soul wide awake
I am naked splayed for a sleeping city afraid to dance where
devils mate
let them skate along the edges of the gate
I make my way within where sin begins to blur into a less recognizable
erased are curses and blessings alike
it's only right
that what's left is the moon
her glow
the night
and I.



Monday, November 21, 2016


Lola's gone missing in the mist again,
a London-like fog sifting in through the garden's walls making
us question if anything really exists at all,
kissed with wet lips adrift in the cold dark grey,
Lola in her panties has wandered away,
the brightly lit lamps are only a former shade of warmer fuzzier days,
now orbs of dull moonlight betrayed by curling
fingers in shadows and shades,
Lola in her naiveté wandering around a cobblestone maze with
peeling skin papier-mâché,
stray cats croon lamentations under the blanket of
so much midnight haze,
stray dogs hug their buried bones to
keep them safe,
Lola in thin lace and bare feet a ghostly apparition of grace,
there's no need to alarm the state,
in this gloom she is left to fate,
all we can do is stay indoors,
and wait.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Ghost Land

Main Street once passed beneath this place,
but now there's only salt water for days,
an avenue for cars is now one for hurricanes,

They talk of land like some women do a dying child,
each year the marsh vanishes by the mile,
the waves lap ever closer but we are as ever in denial,

What our great-grandfathers saw we can never see,
what's currently happening is hard to believe,
but the proof is the salt and the skeleton trees,

Walk with me, my dear, along the vanishing coast,
take plenty of pictures and plenty of notes,
for what you see now will one day by a ghost.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Black Hand Thinking

Every single last fucking time I've died
I've asked you for relevance,
But never found the remotest kindness in your eyes,

The Witching Hour and the way you unpin your hair,
Found the missing A-minor chords in the bathroom stall,
Left them on your doorstep but you weren't there,

These fraggle crack rock whores tend to stare,
Make like I'm the bad guy when I'm fuckin',
Off-duty backdoor cab queens pay a different kind of fare,

I rode the coal boxcar from Denver to Dynamite,
Taking shits on the roof near the stars,
Slept in the hideaways through the coldest coal-black nights,

I saw the stamps in your desk at dinner,
And the jars of rain drops,
But you won't lift a GOTdamn ink pen to write a poem for a sinner.



Photograph by Mike Brodie

Monday, November 14, 2016


Wash off, boy, those fears smeared like today's dust and this last year's rust
from the parts of you covering your once so potent natural
the robots gather like iron maidens at dusk,
sunshine playing from ivory teeth sparkling to iron tusks remarkable
but terrifying too,
such smashing power such,

and I'm terrified, boy, that from this terror I'm unable to protect you,
to keep the dogs of death from the loins where wet with canine breath
they take from me in cruel jest the one fool foolish enough
to love me back,
stand with me,
back to back,
cleft to cleft,
be brave and let's conquer let's,

find what lost courage is left leaping from cold heart precipice to cold breast
where below is expressed in fierce colors a heart possessed
with wild
for days and days let's lay waste to what tyranny towers,
be brave, my love,
be brave,
find valor and thunder with me into legend into history into madness,
destined to be our love's confession the engine of the ending
and our final reckoning.


original photograph by Arlene Gottfried

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Had You Had

Had you the talent,
or the madness maybe,
had you had the courage to capture fire, baby,
sip lust from the lady - that water bird
who rises just after dusk,
she sifts through the weeds hushed,
hunting for kind boys,
to coddle,
to kiss,
to crush,

if one hasn't been cruel yet
one simply must,
I beg you if you would,
if you could,
forgive me for losing your trust,
for rushing in with no end in mind,
touching what I shouldn't touch,

had you had what it takes,
the stakes would not need be raised so much,
lost sheep sleep in fear,
and the devil sleeps at our feet,
below the dust,

had you had a friend when none were had,
someone who would come when called in a rush,
perhaps your rusty heart would still be beating
and not permanently shushed.



Thursday, November 3, 2016


on the devil's license is the name Marty Vanderlew,
it says he's an organ donor too,
although don't wait around with baited breath for him to offer a kidney in lieu
of the one you've lost,
because of the camera flash his blue eyes are crossed,
tossed curly hair with frosted tips and lips perfectly puckered and soft,
his clothes might be a little unwashed but the cost
of always looking disheveled has been minimal to this whirly devil,
a freckle here and a very special metal cross hanging from his ear there,
rebel eyes beware,
he looks at you with a devil-may-care attitude that comes off as either lewd
or a madman pursued,
he'd love to catch you posing in the nude but wouldn't dare intrude due
to the way his daddy raised him since he was just a little root,
it would behoove him to stand a little straighter
so that he doesn't come off as some stooped anti-angelic traitor,
layers and layers of charisma
which is an enigma
because this red-handed gorilla is only after your soul's shapely hour-glass figure,
inwardly bitter rigorously whispering do-nothings into the ear of the sinner,
that ol' trickster,
a true killer through and through,
that well-mannered Mister Marty Vanderlew.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016


My best friend was born in the yellow grass below a cattle guard
In 1972
Behind the Standard Hotel on the outskirts of Kansas City
Under the warm breath of a throaty jack-ass braying his arrival late into the night

We once sat together drinking imports in a crowded Glasgow pub
Watching the American girls drowning in their sexuality
Like babes in a bathtub to the ruddy broad-shouldered local women with freckles and impudence
A Jack The Ripper mist settling over the cobble stone outside
The world slippery and reflective
Surrounded by the thickly twisted tongues of a roguish pagan country

He told me that night of his desire to rob the Golden Day Bank & Trust
And he asked me to help him

He once spent three years in a slum near Gwanju, South Korea
His father was a missionary who hung a metal cross above their tenement door
The little shark-eyed South Korean girls wouldn’t look at him because he heard their orgasms
The coast was exactly twenty-three miles from his fourth floor tenement window
He could taste the salt some nights
Although he started using words like “thirty-eight kilometers” instead
With wet lips dipped in soju he once guessed his father’s cock was about fifteen centimeters long
But I suspect those Korean girls would know better than he would

He stole a taxi from an impound yard near the train tracks before anyone was up
He was parked at the bank when the first employee pulled into the parking lot

We once travelled the length of the Pacific Union trans-continental railroad together 
We robbed hobos
They robbed us
I spent the night in the emergency room in Tucson waiting for them to stitch his arm up
If there is any rule in a knife fight, it is that everyone gets cut
We slept in the high weeds and waited for the whistle
We slept on rocks under trestles in pockets where the rain water wasn’t falling
We slept with a black prostitute in Jackson who kept calling herself Mother Teresa 
Who kept demanding we owed her thirty dollars more for things we did that “weren’t on the menu”
He killed her in the back of that den and we slipped like snakes into the Pearl River
He told a judge in Bogalusa that he wasn’t scared of sixty days in jail
They caught him pulling the tires off of a county sheriff’s squad car
I told him I would meet him on the coast
I didn’t see him again for eleven years

He put every employee on their knees in the conference lounge
Letting them wander willy-nilly into the empty lobby like distracted raccoons into a rattle trap
After two rolls of duct tape he walked back to the front door and hung the closed sign over the entrance
Then he selected Pamela from the group

He has a tattoo of a laughing skull with a lion’s mane on his shoulder
Carved into his skin by the mangled hands of a crippled artist in Madrid’s Atocha district
Where in 1977 eight attorneys were gunned down in their office
He says Death is the king of the jungle
He says Death cannot help but laugh at our attempts to outrun it
He says he is not afraid to die
He whispers words in Spanish at the café where we drink coffee and watch girls
¿Sabía usted que he matado a cuatro personas en mi vida?
Only in whispers do we speak truths anymore

It was Pam who went with him to the vault
It was Pam who interviewed him two weeks earlier for a teller position
His resume a bundled grouping of lies fed to him through quick searches of internet facts
She had been trained to detect manipulative questions and be wary of revealing answers
But not trained well enough I suppose
He knew she could open the vault
He knew a lot
It was Pam who died with him when the police came through the windows 

I’m not ashamed of who I am
My best friend and I rode motorcycles through the desert once
We ate mushrooms and danced in the arroyo shadows
There are stars in the desert sky invisible to the rest of the world
He told me his life felt smaller than a grain of sand
Flying as fast as a rocket
We bathed in rivers
We slept on mattresses left on the sides of roads
He thought he probably would not be able to help killing someone again
I was supposed to wait in the taxi
I called the police instead
Pamela died
My best friend died
I am left sitting alone at the edge of darkness 
And although the chasm is perhaps endlessly deep
On some nights I can still hear his voice below