Wednesday, November 26, 2008

All That Could've Byn

It’s on reflective nights when so moved I
Sometimes think back to all those plans
We made, that toast to our future lives as
The day broke across the sky, and think,

No more. The canvas is empty now;
Your brushstrokes no longer fill the
Page. And all your past works,
They’ve been put away.

Was it a temperament you couldn’t control?
Or did sober days simply take their toll?
Who knows? But even though your life has
Changed I still wish it was different, somehow.

If only it could all start over!
Act in a different way,
Step up above the fray,
Instead of let silence rue the day.

Not so. But though dreams may be dashed,
Thrown aside like life’s discarded trash,
You’ve found your true destination:
Your very own Haven. A child of your own.

She is your art, your masterpiece—
The saving grace I could never be.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The road was long, the road was full.
Loaded rucksack on your back and
Thumb pointed north, you bummed your way
Across the country back and forth.
Down to Mexico and Old Bull,
Chasing visions of love down old
Dream sidestreets, fish markets, brothels,
Scribbling in notebooks tales of trips

With N.C., of morphine queens, by
Candlelight on rooftops of piss
Rank junkie hovels. And then the
Return to the States, spending days
Banging away at that big black
Underwood, during those weeklong
Coffee-fuelled sessions, onto
Scotch-taped teletype rolls stretching

Hundred miles, spring of ’51,
In downtown apartment, you and
Joan, her quietly expecting,
Soon to be left there, abandoned.
Restless, you fled to the West Coast
To seek out salvation with mad
Dharma poets. Trying to find
Mind Essence at the bottom of

Wine bottles, instead found yourself
Alone, frustrated, staring at
Fir trees and snowy peaks atop
Desolation. It suddenly
Struck you, mourning the hut mouse you
Killed out of fear, learning of death
For the first time, truly knowing
You could never bring back the years.

(Driven by the need for constant
Movement, the desire to make it,
To break free of convention and
Attain starry-eyed connection;
Taste, savour the rich exotic
Flavours of reality, to
Go go go, burning out of sight
With the electric fiery night.)

To Tangiers, Morocco, Paris
And Madrid, it was in New York
With Joyce, fall of ’57,
When you finally hit it big.
Month-long celebration ensued,
What proved both your ascent and your
Doom, singling the end of youth
Beat down, howling for a lost moon.

In that cabin at Big Sur, three
Years on, paranoid, hung-up, your
Mind snapped, way gone. Wanting to
Run away, hide, you retired
On the fly to Florida sun
And sky. Beloved Memere and
Third wife there, watched as, bitter and
Broke, soul-dry and empty as the

Steady succession of bottles
Of scotch that lined the walls of your
Study, you bashed out another
Batch of slapdash manuscripts,
Blew and told all, in a last sad
Dash towards immortality.
Sporadic interviews, aired for
The world, all but confirmed what the

Critics said: He’s washed up, done in,
Finished, a hack, nothing left but
Bloated imitation, poor cat.
But you knew what was coming, first
Neal now you; last letter to
Nephew little Paul, it said it
All. Sign it away, the papers,
The house, and most of all the fame.

But what if that wasn’t the last?
What if, like Neal, you too grew a
Beard, changed your name, disappeared to
Some far off place in Spain, living
Out your eternity writing
Long buoyant letters to Memere
With hardly a care—and breathing
In sweetly the fresh morning air.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bright Moon Sings the Blues

"Hope, love, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I."
—Theodore Roethke, Long Live the Weeds

Pour another drink, get
up out of your seat, the night
Begins to hit on that perfect smoky beat.

No calls coming in, disconnected,
But that’s OK.
Who needs phone love anyway?

I communicate with the dark.
She is my mistress, the black
Robed lady who haunts my desirous heart.

Through her I speak my words
In voiceless nervous utterance,
And so lift my spirit and heart, up and up and up.


Cool November is here,
A cold without despair.
It is the safe turning in
From a world grown gray.

It is the hiding away,
So why complain?
Make your own world
Out of the inner, where it’s at.

For who wants summer
All year? The green and blue
And yellow, ripe, immodest, grows dull.
In its own way it is false, unreal, why stay?

The colors of fall
Work on the senses a different
Way. Alive, they are nevermore to fade.
Perceptions grow out and fly off into a breeze,

The chill that carries
Along our silent dreams
To be frozen, sealed, locked,
In the coming winter months.


It is nothing really.
The waste. I heard
My mother once say
That all days are sacred

But every morning
I rise in good faith
Knowing milk not sour
Cereal no expired play-doh smell

And I shower in hot water
As hot as I can get it
And play my music with feeling
And spread mustard on sandwich

And when I meet the world
I know that what waits for me
Is the same as before and
When I end it will still go on

Just as before.

What flut?!

Whizz chiff sneeze
The monkey calls to thee
Eek, creak, boheez stiffy
Sucking knocka cheese

Eep cheep the sunken drunken
Lunk nut thar breakin the whomp bat
Choking on hibernating bearskin
In shoop shop hastin case made lacin.


Conservative dentist drilling
Tar-stained molar. This will
Hurt and you cry out MERCY!
Hits you quick a shotta gas

There it is, the GOOD stuff.
Start to go under…this aint
So bad. Crazy cast iron dragon
Shield, protector of Morheed

Mountains, where Princess Anapas
Awaits your return with shining eyes
And long golden hair. Fight against
Sprays of winged beast flames and climb

Scaly flesh to get at the heart flap
That proves Achilles heal even to
Such a mighty creature. Pull back, swing
Penetrate thru that thick skin, digging in

With hard thrusting side to side till he done in.
Triumphant, make your way back
To castle atop mountain where princess
Show the gentle touch to your ache and tender.

Jam and grind in that last tooth-capping
Snap and suddenly you come to,
The victory in vain and nowhere to go
But the car for joint with numb gum painless pain.

Fruit Tree

In dreams I eat from your fruit tree
And bite in, bite after succulent bite,
Sweet to savour, cupped in hand, to
Chew down to core and still want more.

Shining Music Gold

"Bright moments is like
Making love to a moonbeam."

Yeah, yeah, make it with that swirling beat.
Play that flute, toss off the weight.
Blow! Blow! Awake the heavens—
Magic comes alive like gold dust

In the energy of the stage light
That beams down on sweating
Brow. Work it. Swinging, hip,
All for the nighthawk crowds, appreciative, elate.

Fancy fingers, puffy cheeks, spitting lips
Whip smack and beat behind cool
Black eyes that see beyond the hall
Into the deep halls of eternity, yes right!

Mr. I Don’t Need Me No Label,
I got the soul to burst the sad
Swollen world of woe that cries
Tears of CO2 gases and black smog, pitiless.

Our love is pure and will carry
Us on this cascading wave to a
Place without shame and decay
That will reach out and touch the sun’s rays.

Hurray! Hurray! We all make love today!

This House

In this house I give myself.
In this house I give to you.
In this house I ask myself
What do I mean to you?

Please Don’t…

Please don’t say no, I know
Nowhere else to go.
Please don’t give me cold shoulder
I have no shoulder to cry on.
Please don’t put on coat and go
I have black roses to give as show.
Please don’t fight with the landlord
It is the Lord’s land that we share.
Please don’t hate what maybe, really
Was, could have been fate.
Please. No? Why not wait and stay.
Give it a chance, just one more day.

The Other Tenants

Why do they do that, every night?
Leaving on the hallway light only
After final load of laundry complete.
I used to go out there, walk the length,

And turn it off before bed or click it off
When coming in for the night. But now I
Cease caring, let it shine in thru crack
Between door bottom and floor and wonder

What bugaboo they so scared of that comes
Creeping in the dark night hallway and eats
The mothballs and hides in the furnace vents but
When push comes to shove is terrified of harmless florescent light.

I Got a Love for You Blues

I got a love for you yes I do yes I do
I got a love for you yes it’s true yes it’s true

I got a love for you that runs laps round the equator
I got a love for you that towers over the space needle
I got a love for you that shines brighter than starry nights
I got a love for you that cut left and right down diverging paths

I got a love for you that sings with the heavenly minstrel
I got a love for you that does handstands across the Atlantic
I got a love for you that turns snake’s poison to ointment
I got a love for you that tamed the snarling hounds of hell

I got a love for you that laughs at the secrets of the universe
I got a love for you that saw death coming and did not turn and shudder
I got a love for you that dug to the earth’s core and came out shivering
I got a love for you that made even Buddha jealous

I got a love for you that out-blew Miles Kirk Dizzy Trane Coleman Bird Dolphy Young
I got a love for you that out-blues’d Blind Howlin’ Muddy Son Elmore B.B. Bo Johnson

I got a love for you that ate the sun and came back for seconds
I got a love for you that drank up the oceans and was still thirsty
I got a love for you that kissed the angel’s virgin lips divine
I got a love for you that sealed shut the continental divide

I got a love for you that beat back the furious winds of the South
I got a love for you that fed the starving countries of Africa
I got a love for you that emancipated the Chinese people of China
I got a love for you that brought democracy to Mother Russia

I got a love for you that rewrote the holy scripture
I got a love for you that never thought twice
I got a love for you that danced and danced with the night
I got a love for you that is forever

I got a love for you that they all want
All of them, my love, except for you

She Don’t Know Me Blues

My baby says she knows me
But she hasn’t got a clue
Came to get me after work
And went home with the boss, it’s true

No she don’t know me
She never has
Said she would make it up to me
I’m still waitin’ for her come back

If my baby was an island
She’d be out in the middle of the sea
I’d swim all the way to be with her
And then she’d sink away from me

My baby says she know me
We go out about the town
But when the night’s over
She ain’t nowhere to be found

My baby she says she knows me
I ain’t got me no doubts
Except for the other guy she’s livin’ with
I’m the only game in town

No she don’t know me
She never has
Told her that I loved her
She said that’s a bunch of jazz

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Another chill autumn day
The clouds hang in the sky, gray

Today I was so tired and it
was so cold in my apartment that
I fell asleep at the sink running
hot water over my hands

I feel a strange ecstasy over my own stupidity
All the weird, nervous energy normally restrained
Escapes me and fool I be it feels right and good
To not give a fuck where once would

So what for cool sullen appearances?
My indifference is honest but not all
I let my spirit shake and shout and leap
With the drives that rise and beat with the heart

I am the dog
running around the yard
slobbering uncontrollably


Listening to Klaus
Schulze thinking nothing exists
beyond decay

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fight and Slog Thru the Stormy Darkening Hours

"If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise."
—William Blake

Mind like a Hurricane, Soul like a Sieve

Grab a line you want to use
Never know what passes thru
Like a sheet of metal a shard of glass
It has strength of form in conception
That holds till the last

Not even a break in the continuum
Can shatter, snap, expose. It is resistant.
When the lines of connection, the dire exertion
Of speech, caught by force, momentarily,
Necessarily, tires in the expression.

It remains complete, unharmed, undiminished,
Like the void.

Moment’s Hesitation

There are those who rely on firm decision
Mixed with honest, thorough revision.

Long this has been the way, the means, to
Weave patterns of one’s perceptions.

Only now clearer it becomes to all, known, true,
That there is a cost in such a process, though rigorous.

What you cover, discard, distort is lost
In a moment’s winking hesitation.

Underneath, the true natural flow continues, unimpeded.
Trust the senses that fill such impulses. Ready, go.


My assumptions blind me like a beggar.
I am in the street, irate, wishing death
On all those who don’t gratify my position.

Such are the actions of those sally fools,
Those loser outcasts, drop-outs, wanders,
Listless and dispossessed,

Casting their shadows from the oil drum flames,
Heartbroken, wounded, their lusts soured,
Scorched, left to rot in bleak winter sun.

Down here in the bowels of the soul,
Furnace fumes and urine alleys,
The meek wait in vain.

In this land of decay, where the
Watcher stands on guard eternal,
Where men of flesh and time

Seek reason in the irrational, here,
Brought together thru dispersal,
Like the fragments of the mind, they

Wait in the rain-soaked weary night to
Die like fair Buddha with knowledge
Of earth’s crimes.

Asking for no repentance nor
Acceptance, there fate is our fate.
Their plight is one known to the ages.

Now how could you dare to doubt
The tempered wisdom of the
All-knowing sages?

The Crimson Hour

A reckoning echoes thru every common phrase.
Boredom of the day matched only by the
Restlessness of night. A shock of realization

Jolts the body awake. To rise and grip the day.
Gaze upon the barrenness of the land that
Stretches across the horizon like a hundred traffic jams.

Don’t deny. Don’t delay.
Hours passed in withering haze.
Tired, shrill laughter booms
Like the saxophone wail.

It is hollow, inert.
Artless, and what’s more,
Therein the words spoken (between
Croaked chuckles) drop like dirt.

An element lacking fusion,
A heartbeat lacking blood,
If in time the division lessens
Than the spoils can be found in another lifetime.

But not this one.


I’ve noticed in recent times my instincts weaken,
Deplete with each passing season.

I hardly make efforts to fortify myself against
Such an obvious (to me) fact of daily existence.

This brings its own kind of watered-down
Contentment. My mood seldom changes.


Over the hills the new dawn gives rise
The safety, comfort in those clear blue skies

The children laugh and play and scream without reason
In the garden the flowers bloom fresh, ripe, in season

Over the hills the day divides
The imagined from the actualized

The chemist’s growing fear in daily rumination
The conductor gasps at his symphonic creation
The office-worker darts off in cloud of exhaust
While construction worker continues to smile, at a loss

The leaves turn, the flowers wilt, the sun
Dips low, jagged, like a slanted crown

Over the hills the night begins
Time to crack another bottle of gin

Parents add up their losses hoping to remain in the red
Soon to tuck freshly-washed children into bed
All along the window-pane the frost begins to set
Outside the flowers dead, and naked trees bend to the west.

Eulogy for the Intellectual

Sensitive, you always were the best at dismantling
The abstract. Acute with strong sense of the
Absolutes. The fiercest of intellects
Marked by the precision of each decision.

Rational, refined, arguments held together against rebuttal.
Nuanced and biting, without shameless posturing; remaining subtle.
That you always had a quick retort,
Nothing different could be said of the sort.
Your lofty ambitions
Set against a strongly analytical mission.

Where did you go, run?
Where the turn come?
Did finally they lock you up?
Was it the madhouse destined?

Or worse—sealed, trapped in your own over-cooked mind,
In some cheap Cracker Jack room, sitting cross-legged,
Day and night, like on repeat, fretting and spitting,
Drinking and rhyming out your worries in incoherent verse.

How drab. Undefiant.
These days and nights now mindless, quiet.
And over and above it, the echo of crickets, like
Late-night television static, grows to a terrifying roar.

You will not be missed.