"It's about words, and words are all I have…"

Archive for the month “December, 2017”



On my way home to write a poem about  the sword  (it’s not

sward  it’s sword  father bellowed)  I see a one-legged woman

get into a car  alone   Driver’s seat dexterity enters psyche   It is

-23   Hunks of ice floes  pepper city streets   She smiles ferociously

+walks at a clip  among dead eyed boxing day refugees


Yesterday I talked with a young friend about the sword he’d received

at 18   A full blown Jedhi number  glinting   Envy ricocheted   His 10 yr.

old brother + me  sobbed pitifully   I too coveted his weapon   The things

one would do with a sward  are different at 10  than at 60


Though the woman now driving home  foot frantically moving  gas to brake

to gas  brake brake  knows the sword intimately   While we sword coveters

day dream of jousting infamy   With dragons  not surgeons   But still  a sword

is a useful instrument  Perhaps living by the pen is for pussies  while growing

old is decidedly not


For at the start of each decade  there is a slicing away  of unformed forms  of

oneself    A cleansing of what has been festering  if one is lucky    Otherwise

Ebeneezer-like  drag it around for eternity   Rattling chains in living rooms of

friends    That obsessional knot  the one you cannot untie   Pick away as you

might  with fingers grown thick+arthritic


At 10: back the bully Keith into a corner  impress upon him which bitch rules

He who sucker punched you on the way home from school   At 20: cut away

dreams  in fact hack them quickly  It hurts less?  At 30: carve your initials into

clouds hanging upon peaks at Big Sur   Hungry for conversion of new dreams

into  as yet un-hacked reality


Though you begin to see  there is a certain symmetry to all this foreplay   Carve

away the fluffy stuff  chop the dross into one inch cubes  +the next decade appears

All pink +baby’s cheek   Until it begins to dawn that no sword will save you    40’s

50’s   60’s  emerge   You learn to live by your wiles+your wits  or not    No need for

that sharp flirty ego    All dressed up with no place to go


Now you know what Jung actually meant after his NDE  when he said: you won’t

need your little worker bee  Where you are going  the dead will hang on your every

word    There you will be a rock star refugee  newly born   Same as when you arrived

here  newly born  +they hung on your every word    Rock star in a birthday suit    And

smart    Don’t ask




Winter 2017

…here’s to poems filled with daffodils + sunshine as requested by most readers..



Keely Smith died this week  Louis Prima’s diva

Sexy in a 1950’s kittenish way   Tight tight tops

Pointy bras   Pert bob   Faux impertinence   You

have to wonder though if Louis was prone to rages

Black moods?  Why else would she appear his plaything?


Keely  part Cherokee  part Irish  A woman of her time   Seen

but not heard   Louis’ first girlfriend   All the boyz I know  still

love their 1st girlfriends  Except for one bro  whose first was likely

his last   Beat him senseless  often   Unfinished loves leave a trail:

of burn marks about the chest


Once in grade 7  my bff  (a dead ringer for Joni Mitchell  named Joni)

+ I   clomped down the stairs at high school  trying to figure out the

difference between: destination + destiny   The Vice Principal behind

us stopped to ponder   But he didn’t seem to have been slipped the answer

A thick set man  squarejawed  +Narc-ish


Perhaps there is no difference  We have all lived lives of unfinished business

Destinations impossible to reach    Like the horizon that keeps moving  or the

dream of my parents going on a trip   their destination impossible to ascertain

Perpetual unconscious fog gets in the way  Repetition compulsions  +chasing

your rotting tail


Destiny a place you get to  but your body is no longer a player   The destination

a place where your bliss will be handed to you on a silver platter  +you won’t

recognize it  nor will you need it   So what did Joseph Campbell  New Age guru

mean when he said:  Follow your bliss   He meant that you are the only likely

destination    So stop searching and sit down in that chair



..if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there

all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you

are living.     Joseph Campbell





Winter Solstice 2017   RIP Keely Smith  no man’s sidekick..



Rich ladies eat crumpets  +chat up vacation porn

Throwing out names heard by forlorn   Big Sur

Amagansett   Manhattan at xmas   Barbuda

Yesterday in Vogue the nuptials of Kate Upton  +

Justin Verlander were chronicled    She of the

pneumatic breasts   He the Astro’s pitcher  28 million

per year


Standing on a precipice in Tuscany  flowers flown in

that morning from Barbuda   By the boatload   So many

monied coincidences    The ladies have the vacant look  of

easybreezy manmade dolls   Speaking of french fries at various

ports of call


It is hard to care whether the afternoon train runs out of track

And deposits them on a barren plain  where coyotes sneer +yip

Heartless?   Yes    (the Verlanders too)    See this now empty room

A couple sit down  facing me  +order xmas nibbles  wordlessly   We

are so close I can smell their sinusitis


It is as though I am a magnet  in my black layers  lace at the knees

Hecate about me   Yet they do not flee   As I wrap my scarf to leave

the end flicks their bowl of rarebits   Whereupon the silver haired man

who looks like Leary  gets down on his knees  collecting mashed olives



I place my heel at the base of his spine  + I climb    He is a stair   And I

glare  especially at people like these  +those at the beach   They sit up

against your thigh +pick sand out of their cracks   Lemmings!  Lemmings!


Back slowly away from me   Grow an imagination  +a pair  but do not tarry

here   You dance contest winners    You who feed Hummingbirds though the

feeders are deathtraps    You with your heart conditions  +your smallhappy

Flee!   Flee!





Have you ever been in a room where old men in

threadbare suits  sing their threadbare hearts out?

Sweat coursing  they come up beside you   Sweat now

flying into hair +eyes   One bold creeper bestows a

bordello scented rose   It cannot be packed for the trip



Border dogs +guards would howl at the reek of your cheap

carnality   And crocodile tears wouldn’t save you from tooth

+ jowl    But wait  the same bold bluesman has stolen a kiss

Lips moist  laboured breath   Grizzled one tempts you out the

side door   +onto the back of his bicycle


Through dark parishes  +a cemetery or 2  you come to a halt at

a rickety pier   Backroads astride the great Mississippi   It is here

that you are baptized    He trembles  +moans in tongues  as frigid

black water licks    Red hair  medusa-snakey  flares out in a fan


You float  +a zillion stars above  form constellations in the shapes

of old men with guitars   Next night it is you up on stage  knowing

you will miss your plane    Now the bride of Little Freddie King!

What was before was never yours   so you have lost nothing   From

this day forward juke joints call yo name



Winter  2017

for Lightnin Lee + Little Freddie King  for the kiss+the rose  Siberia New Orleans 2013



Yesterday a good friend said: be careful what you ask for  

re: my dream career in advertising   They’ll give you toilet

paper ads   It won’t all be work with über cool fashionistas

That’s just fine with me   For who really knows what will

become of my poems  + the paper on which they are written


All flung daily into the re-cycle bin   Toilet paper  filled with

ghosts of poems   Hours  Days  Months  +Years    Dredging

Digging in the dirt  Reaching higher than the holy clouds over

Jerusalem   (Orange ape inciting race hate as i write)  


This conundrum is not unlike that of Tom Petty’s   Now pushing

up daisies  Still largely unmourned   Tom sightings on Ventura

highway  daily   Once when a horrified Thomas  gazed out onto a

boooo-ing crowd  he was told:  Don’t worry man!   They’re not 

boooo-ing you  They’re cheering for Bruuuuce Sprinsteen!

Same thing!   Tom intoned  in his characteristic nasal groan


Well this is exactly my feeling about writing copy for toilet paper

versus exploding vowels  +receiving shitty rejection letters   Or

fielding the soul marauding question: What exactly did you mean

when you wrote  —- ?    So  bring me your privies   Your porcelain

buses   And I will wipe away tears   +turn on multitudes!


*(now how is that for a literary toilet paper ad?)




Winter  2017  ..missing   tom  david  leonard  lou   et al.




Neil Young  gorgeous hunk?  Or ape-ian?  Soundtrack to start of

hippiegirl era   14    After the Goldrush   Too cool for Beatles crazed

brother  in his striped stovepipes


He +Jew-fro’d friend  now a neurosurgeon  busy with Beatle business in

next bedroom   As I lay splayed   Window cracked  cig wafting   Poodle mellow

Soon to chew a hole in bed  searching for cool-girrrl’s stash


46 yrs. come+gone   Neil on computer screen Saturday eve   Lights out

Laptop +tequila balanced on good knee  Reefer no more  New pot sent poet

into ecstatic confessions  Giant spiders still leap onto body nightly  +snakes

in mind’s eye slither up vericosed legs


But what I will say is: None of this extraneous bullshit matters  to one’s spirit

To one’s life force   Even seeing Neil Young  hulking+broken  on the computer

screen   Slovenly+doddering    Blasphemy!


Execs who paid him BIG corporate bucks  knew he needed mega$$$ for alimony

after jilting the loyal Pegi (for the ho Darryl Hannah  after 34 yrs. of marriage)

Neil you bastard   You deserve to look like you do   Unwashed  Unloved  Unfucked

Though tattered souls still soar to your high-pitched groan:  4 dead in O-hi-O  

4 dead in O-hi-O    


Unlive the years!  Re-inhabit splayed girl  on mauve bedspread   Canned Heat poster

on the wall   Room where 5,830 nights of stony sleep   Unaware of the fact that: once

you left (at 19 with young husband in tow)  the wind would kick up   The house razed

by bourgeois buyers  +your brothers flung into men’s bodies   Your parents: 1 dead +1



But you were there   The tributaries indelible  Right up until the day that: a heavyset

man in a brown coat   +a winsome whore with yellow flowers in her golden hair  walk

beside you  up through mountain passes   Until you end up back at that front door!

Bald grandfather Joseph is waiting   Black poodle howling at the harvest moon


Put the needle on the record




FALL  2017   For Rocco Rella  long may you run..




Though on the surface it seemed every person was different,

this was not true.  At the core of each lay suffering; our eventual

end, the many losses we must experience on the way to that end.

(Lincoln in The Bardo  George Saunders  Booker Man Prize 2017)


Last night’s show  East Texas troubadour  Steve  married 8 or 9 times

Numbers 5+6 the same woman  Began seeing him some 25 yrs. ago  Heroin

chic hair to his waist   Prison would soon take the sheen   Bikers no longer

fill the seats  Or could these greyish old folks be old bikers?  Hard to know


Where do old Hell’s Angels go?  Does the road end at the Danforth Music Hall?

Some with canes  vacant eyed   Bird tattoo between scavenger shoulder blades

on one babe  Bouncers pat you on the shoulder ie.,  It’ll be ok dear   DO NOT  pat

you down  though I begged to be    He was burly  thick fingered  a bit dirty


Earlier in the day a very old man lay  on the floor  as nurses walked slowly toward

him  so as not to alarm the lunch crowd  Restaurants we frequent now full of the

aging population   But don’t let the bastards get you down  It is also true that while

we are all the same in our creaturestowarddeathness   We are all burled battered  +

dazzled in entirely unique ways


3 billion gaze at the stars nightly  +only 1 sees flashlights   Ditto old bikers with

sagging tattoos  Their greyish womenfolk looking out of hollow eyes  Some large

breasted amazons who in the midst of cellular degeneration  crack wizened smiles

that say: Underneath this Steve Earle t-shirt is strapped the gold of the alchemists

with which  you can barter for immortality  on your way across the Styx


The thick fingered bouncer  too thick to be slipped the answer  He sees only

innocence +ruin  on old chapped lips   Only 1 sees epiphany:  Those who know

the difference between being DEAD  +being ALIVE  shall enter the kingdom of

heaven    All others will be sent back to earth to practice  being alive




Fall 2017



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