. 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

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ode To Revenge

Seven bodies burned bad and took their wonder with them
into the ground,
seven long years later and their killer has yet been found,
I stand alone among their bones by blood bound,
by destiny to the be the hound that tracks this gotdamn fox down,

Seven young women robbed of living while flames flickered
o'er their delicate skins,
alabaster turned into disaster as somewhere someone walked away
with a grin,
do not call me sinner on the day I capture him and dismember his parts
limb from limb,
forget what they say of revenge in the hymns!

Seven reasons to steal my resolve reciting the psalms from holy heights
they melted in that inferno no less a volcano like the leather of a
baseball glove,
such pretty doves drugged on the lies of a muddy thug,

Lee Arnt,

my loves.


Friday, April 20, 2018


Eponin was born in a black back room in 1962,
post-war soldiers became her fathers,
she'd yell a hearty hullo while chasing hoops,
knees like cobblestones
and skeleton bones
short skirts and her smokey purple eyes too,
she refused to give directions
but was happy to tell you what to do,

Eponin saved my life on the River Danube
when the fire began to crawl,
she spit on my wounds
to soothe the pain
and slept with her tiny fist cupped 'round my burned balls,

They told me she lost her mind
on a mountain in the Urals,
a half-finished old-war mural was all they could find that remained
of her name
on a wall
in downtown Moscow,
some say she made it here to there
in a year
but no one can tell me exactly how.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mammal Pride

I'm a bit too kind
or like so many caged egg-laying mammals
I'm likely out of my fucking mind
should'a stayed wild but now I'm saddled
drinking my own blood like it's wine

Momma Bird said only the first whiskey burns
her hair wet from the shower her eyes hungry for a prowler
when I touch her she purrs
scorned like a wasp hunting shadows in a thunderstorm
she makes me work for what I earn.


Friday, April 13, 2018

The First Supper

He bade those with ears to hear gather
garnered as we were in
layered laurel
flowing robes
royal garments
garland'd vests
wigs like setting sunlight nests
a thick pregnant mother moon about to crest
firelight glowing amber's orange on heaving cheeks
and chests
so the bard stood
and although the tiny band crammed in the Avalanche
played their lutes rudely on
he cleared his throat and persisted nonetheless

woe the wrist dipped in dripped candle wax
a pheasant's feather spinning wildly in his cap
a parcel packaged thoroughly in very tight slacks
light from the candelabra throwing his long shadow o'er the grass

twas the night
some say
a tale as old as the sea
did pass

how we laughed carefree as the story slipped from his lips
past eggs cracked
past ALL that food
meat pies sleeping peacefully next to cow pies
each awaiting the first morn's first borne dew fall
past tiki-torches dimly but delightfully setting the mood
over our heads
through our hearts
floating lazily up
like paper lanterns growing ruddy
rising steadily
to the moon

this bards words were fire, y'all
like screaming rockets splashing color skyward
and he earned his due
but as with every bard's storytelling time
the ending came too soon

when we grasped the news
we gasped aghast
stricken dumb by this yeoman in pantaloons
we gnashed our teeth
we spit
we swooned
we rang his ears with endless pleads
we even moped and moaned

the bard would not be moved
quite true

and what's more?!
he left the tale unfinished
so he'd be SURE of an invite the next go 'round
for the telling of part 2!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Trindell Slipper

He is the very breath and bones of the Lord
taken all those years ago from the rusty swing-set
   in the yard
charged with mayhem and the destruction
   of the saints
   of the stars

And what then would Mr Trindell Slipper do
if he were alone here
with me
with Linda and the kids
   or with you?

They say it takes a man a year to walk the Earth
to unload his bundle of burdens
to leave his footprints in the dirt

they say religion is the answer
they say religion is the cancer

but the truth is people find it difficult
   to tell you
      exactly where it hurts

Mr Trindell Slipper stole my youth
if you would have been there that day
a child innocently at play
   he would have stolen yours too.


Photo: Vivian Maier

Monday, April 2, 2018

Mint Julep

I'm a woman of groceries
stone red tomatoes
iced milk mixed well with black joe
roasted stalks of tall celery
fresh frozen meat kept stable at 32 degrees
curly red hair
bangles on my feet
linoleum aisles for miles or at least
   as far as the eye can see

I'm diving in the lobster tank deep
those little encrusted spindle legged crab apples
should be free to roam the bottom of some
ancient salt sea
I'm diving in my purse
for mint julep
for starburst
   for unsweetened summer ice tea

I'm a woman prowling
purring loudly
fingering the green peas
tempted to flash the register boys staring at me
over black-rimmed glasses like some kind of
cashier bourgeoisie
I'm a woman not unlike the holy trinity
not beauty
nor freak
be done with your judgement
your modern critique
   and let me shop in peace.


Monday, March 26, 2018

That Kind of Fire

Is it true that we once held fire,
that it once burned bright and fierce in our stomachs,
leapt like lightening from our fingertips,
danced in hot, blue tongues along the precipice of our pressed lips?

or was that just a fever dream?

were we comets?

did we rupture the night sky with a flash of white light,
leaving a crystal sliver sparkling under the moon's silver gaze,
fading with the passing clouds?

were we a brightly burning supernova?

did we reach the limits of our unknown edge,
outgrow love,
and collapse into dark matter,
remaining only a shadow of the light that once was magnificent,
invisible to the still bright and shining galaxy around us?

is it true that we once held that kind of fire?
or have I mistook the sun setting

     for someone else?


Tuesday, March 20, 2018


My baby
she's a ghost
host of vocal camaraderie filthy and derogatory
advocating for captivating women everywhere
gyrating like I found her whether I love her
whether I leave her
decipher or deceive her
please her when you nod yes ma'am
yes ma'am!
bend down beggar boy, and be my slave
be damned
yes, you
sweat her swelter she plays the cards dealt her
makes me fantasize I've got the blues like old thick-lipped black men forgotten in the Delta
the truth is -
I've got it good,
but the truth is ruthless
my baby
she's music
hardly human
hardly foolish
she uses me brutally never apologizes but cries her blue eyes out at man's futility
no, not his futility;
his violent tendencies
his quest for countless cock strokes and mother-may-I dependecies
she's lucid, you see
she's confused at times, sure, but not stupid
you see
she's got cerulean swirling in her eyes like lost sailors pining for lost love lost at sea
she's not defeated
she cannot be
she just can't comprehend the kind of inhumane human ignorance perpetuated by under-enlightened but overrated men
she's no believer but believes piously that hate is sin
projects reckless acceptance to anyone genuine blessing those who strive for transcendence
my baby is a life lesson
and I but a lowly scoundrel
a felon
I come when she beckons
steal what I can from her council when she gives me even seconds of that arousing attention.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Can I do to you what the moon
does to the tide?
that moment your face brightens with fire,
the black starlings who hide
worrying each night that the sun has died,

end of desire,

never again morning light,
we play with truth,
and with lies,
trying to balance it all on the dull
edge of a rusty knife,
shaking off a grey layer
from a dusty life,
might as well tell the story
before the details
run dry,
cross the river of your body
at low tide,
before the water gets too high,
under the dull pattern of moon light,
shore to shore,

blow that whistle, baby,
wave goodbye.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Plymouth Duster

To the man who tried to sell me life insurance out the back of his Plymouth
mouth agape cheshire grimace begging me for one more minute
trouser snake hunting in the thin folds of his denim lolling on with his gimmick
me distracted
pondering the finish of each poorly designed poorly contrived sentence
him stretching the truth like some athletes stretch their tendons
I felt his pain
(in that moment)
I felt his tension
I knew his mission
he had come to claim his place on the throne of heaven
he had come because he was promised a holy ascension
but because I couldn't afford any life insurance
I didn't listen
sent him off with Momma's three-day-old biscuits
shook my fist in the air and dismissed him

now I simply miss him
long to kiss him
suck the gin from his lips and subsist in a pit with him
if I had to
I'd make do
linger in his perfume
be moved to consume his voodoo
love him until all life on earth is through

love him
love him
love my boo
in that chalky blue Plymouth Duster with the rust holes you can see right through.


Monday, February 19, 2018


Gabriella succumbed to the night and fell to pieces
let the stars inside her head because Death
(that old dread)
had been defeated
in her pleated skirt and transparent shirt her rosette nipples
begged like orphans to be needed
I conceded
for who wouldn't??
challenged her to combat until one of us was left bleeding
until only one heart was left beating
until the crescent moon packed up its silver light for the night
and retreated.


Thursday, February 15, 2018


     Layla, travel weary princess
and tireless fence runner
hunter in the heather in leather and clean linens
spent dreaming
spent spinning
red devil in your red ears ever listening
found you drowning in the heat of your own clutch
where it feels no pain
where it
in the center of your heart where the dark fire burns
     Layla, spend your summer nights
(if you must)
in pursuit of that holy truth
in the dirty bed in the center of my room
trumpets playing midnight tunes to crows and thieves
and fools
Jesus in the warm heart of a whore
     Layla, with pockets full of gum and copper change
nothing is
as it was before
nothing changes
a dangling moon hangs as low as it always has
gravity as heavy as invisible gas
silver serpents cold to the core
lower us into the burning flame
I cried
she sang
everything seemed rearranged


Monday, February 5, 2018

The Cavalcade Prayer

I guess he's ready to eat,
to serve himself in that hot summer heat,

Seems this old dog's ready to dine,
fresh chunks of horse flesh hang heavy in clumps o'er a red fire,

Long days through the cold grey of winter,
from cub to cultured adulthood
     it has yet to be different,

All hunter's hunt for their dinner,
there are none who are righteous
     and all whom are born
          are sinners.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Streaks of Street Light

The warm dark air picked up the octopus tentacles
of her red hair and threw them willy-nilly
against her face
so that in the soft glow of the gauges
I watched from the corner of my eye as she wrestled
her own head into submission,
sugar cane fields in the passing night fading
into the distance,
crickets singing endless love songs to one another
tossing up wishes each time a shooting star left
a gash in the sky like
burning interstellar bridges,
the gun empty between us,
the miles endless ahead...

they said:
go over and meet her,
you'll feel cheated
if you never get her name.


Saturday, January 20, 2018


Moony made it down to Mexico,
past wilted women in homemade cottons
     and men smoking spliffs through holes in their throats,
dogs died in ditches after a dissatisfied life on the open road,
when Dios calls the bitch mutt home
     the bitch mutt goes,
scores of crows flood the sky diving in droves
     nesting in blossoming teenagers' clothes,

Moony waddled through it all,
with balls of dope in his ass laughing madly
     at the insanity of a man squirming with illegal contraband,
his hands clammy under every shake,
his eyes shifty and his smile fake,
hauling poisoned freight nestled so very closely to his prostate,
a thin trail of blood slithers from his dilated ass lips
     like an infant crimson snake,

Moony makes his way to where jackals wait,
they welcome him into their den in blue berets
     and cocked AK's,
mustachioed men with dark skin
     and sullen face,
the last of the great Aztec race,
a man named Juan Castillo displays his place
     within their ranks,
points to a desecrated bathroom,
bids Moony make haste,
go spread his legs
     and lose the last of his civilized grace.


Thursday, January 11, 2018


This carnal craving a tomb
a dark dance-hall floor for my slender fingers to
a waltz to ragtime tunes
she's soon to come soon to leave
this ace tucked higher than a magic man's hare up my
   cheap three-piece suit sleeve
daring me to strangle myself in flaxen tangles
velvet triangle
believe I will
believe I do
in her flesh
in her lips
in the thunder and lightning crackle mountain shifting earthquake dazzle
   of her bony hips
her hands tied to my ceiling
reeling because I taunt
but never touch
the brush of her soul too much
rush to find gold
but when it's found
tell no one
expose her pale flesh to the midnight sun
snap photographs of our bodies like a sub-machine gun
run this rubber tongue along the avenues of her spine
a long curving train track through Steinbeck's jug wine shanties
but whoa boy! never waste taste
dine in the unrefined nooks and crannies
   left behind by discarded panties
mix foul and fancy
treat her course
treat her classy
send her home with a kiss
   and pay for her taxi.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lemon Party

Twelve men stand together in hip waders and rain slickers
bent over tripods with mounted cameras and remote-controlled triggers
snickering to one another as their reddening fingers snap pictures
twelve men focusing lenses on the lake bed where looms a single figure
a veritable killer with thick fur the wet color of hard liquor
they wager their very souls that this monster is not out searching for dinner
otherwise they're out of luck and he's twelve old men richer
consider the brute force of his attack and the violent manner it would be delivered
in bites he could eat eyes stomach lungs small intestines testes and liver
it would come quicker than they could abandon their gear to jive and skitter
shutters flicker as the twelve men linger like city slickers on the shallow lake mirror
their other selves shimmer when the wind blows soft breath ripples and trimmers
winter whispers in their aged ears this natural killer
the figure remains downrange and ever the giver
of life
of love
of liberty
and all with vigor.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Alas (or) Footprints In The Sand II

I went out walking this morning
   past dew and the fog from the sea,
to see if I could spot your love,
perhaps somewhere in the grey distance, infinite,
looking back at me,

no birds sang their shrill notes nor did the sounds from the ships
   reach the coast,
nor did the Earth move nor did any sinners boast,


my love is lost,
the sun is hidden,
and I am a shell,
an empty crumbling hell of a shell at most,

my feet bore me along twisted paths irresolute and demanding,
sand sucked on my bare bones in hopes that I would be caught unmoving,
perhaps standing,
long enough to be buried by the weather and my sadness,
the dead trees gathered round like sharks as they sensed my descent into madness,
foolish bastards!
I moved along scurried ever hunting in the rocks for laughter,

still, without the sun,
without the birds singing from throaty lungs,
I was at best lost
   and at worse done,
complete in my isolation,
at the end of the world,
known to no one,
a figure in shrouds whose disappearance had begun,
when you left
   you promised it was for the best,
you were wrong,
but still you've won.

pic by mariahurtadoi

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Footprints In The Sand

I went out walking this morning,
past the domes wherein prayerful petitioners lay prostrate absent
   the distractions of house and home,
eulogies and laments mingled in the surf with hints
   that the devil's meddling had been overthrown,
ghosts moaned in the deep begging to be released,
but it was not up to me sifting through the sand in my bare feet
   to set their grumbling sorrows free,
a ball of gas and heat rose slowly in the far east painting the coast
   in hazy orange tones,
I walked on past cackling gulls and offered back my own sweet song,
notes from my guts bled past my tongue into the heavens
   thrown from my lips to flip o'er the surf rising ever upward like a vocal cyclone,

a drunkard eyed me from his cardboard box home,
sand in his beard and his eyes set with fear,
I steered neatly around his mound of the things life throws out
   only to hear from behind me sounds from his gruff hound's mouth:

"excuse me, kind sir, got anything you'd like to give out?"

he wasn't loud,
only a whisper,
an anti-shout,
vowels crowded with disuse and a tongue long abused by foul liquors
   allowed into that toothless pouch,
I crouched down next to his abode, stole a glance at the trash that flowed
   from his comely chateau to the open sea below,

"tell you what," I spoke, "you free them lost souls out there in that moat
   and I'll give you anything you can manage to ask for from that ol' tattered throat."

he sobbed then, for he knew this to be so: that bums to not float,
they sink like stones,
if he were to attempt to bob like a shrimp
   his own life would be forfeit,

I touched his gentle head and said, "weeds spread like fire, my friend,
do not lay your bed down with the dead,
here's a dollar,
don't spend it all on bread."