Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Auld Lang Syne

(this is a post i've published previously. I've tweeked it a bit and sent it out for another new year's romp)

ran into an old friend today,
to be sure.

you see,
I was sure
he was long gone,
even hoped so, i guess

a dreamer,
this one,
that won’t ever
amount to nothing
cept whittlin clouds
into snowflakes.

I was out
in an old familiar
place, hummin an old
familiar tune, from
an old familiar time.

the wind was right
the season sure
the clouds asleep,
just right for dream carving.

dropped by, he did
as I was cutting wood
under these here clouds and
he winked in whisper
pockets packed
and I wiped my brow
to his knowing.

we agreed, a beer to share
on a stump carved
for ass cheeks
when January whistles boredom

God, it was good to see him,
though he’s such a fuck!
blows smoke out his ass
and calls it maple syrup!
a real piece of work,
this one.

we studied the clouds
and weighed em out
like butcher’s beef
along the ridge line
while our fingers numbed
cold to remembrance
and bitter barley brew.

we wondered
just how long those trees
have swayed
and if Yankee soldiers
ever silhouetted
the sky line
in no reason why.

I showed him the chicken coop
of simple family dreams
that were cashed in
for ten cents on the dollar

the murdered cedars
stripped bare and marched
down the hillside to a grape arbor
that never happened

and that garden
that April applauded
July killed
and August mocked

a killin field, all
in a country slum
only shangri la for
lazy coons and lost ambitions

he never asked
about the family,
mostly out of kindness
and detoured regret

we mostly reminisced.
of winters past,
summers that promised
but never were,
and autumns yet to come

and we never back slap
or laugh out loud,
but rather sideways glance
in a giving comfort.

he didn’t ask how I was
he knows what I am
and didn’t ask
what’s new, or hers past
knowing I never could
draw a winning hand
cept in solitaire
-and then only if I cheat.

but we did drink a beer,
pretending it was cold
and not the wind,
nor the season final
and that was enough.

we of tripped up dreams
and tangled ledger
resting upon trees in Mexico
like infertile butterflies
too vandal to fly a straight line

but a shrug, a beer
a broken ridge line
and an old friend
who couldn't spawn a maggot
on a pile of shit
cures today, hides tomorrows
and ignores a past
where I’ll pretend
not to look.

a toast then
to another year
another ten penny nail
in thread bare tires
on a beater
comin back from Cleveland

so too, then, a toast to him
and to clouds,
and to you,
and what might've been

Happy New Year


Saturday, December 24, 2011


i ride the canyon rim
careening the curves of life
while death below claws for a pants leg
and my curled lip says,
nice try

the top down on a gulf coast highway
i pass sea and earth haggling
over property rights
and the art of supremacy

i lean salt spray to the gale
in rounding the horn
spitting challenge to the shoal
while my maniacal glance to the deep
says, where are your balls, oh
father of fear?
mine are here for the winning

these feet scale the frozen peaks
knowing the crevasses lair lurks
below, whispering me a bit to the left,
a little more firmly
a flag of glory for a soul

every journey needs a vehicle
and not just any will do
you can't plow a field with a camaro
and john deere won't win bristol

so now and here, in this journey
is it my heart burning rubber?
my mind weighing fear?
or my spirit telling both
to fuck the hell off!

perhaps i drive them all at once
maybe i just need a good wreck

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pirate Prayers

holy are the reverent
their petitions, solemn
to carry the day, unlock the mysteries
secret chords and riddled tongues
must be practiced

not so, with shipwrecked pirates
and street corner whores
never knowing time for ceremony

so then on stained napkins
scribbled and tied to stones
like the vandal i am
i fastball them through the clouds

little doubt, a window or two
stained glass and gold trimmed
I've shattered, sending the innocent fleeing
knocking David from his perch
Solomon from his porch
right in Martha's soup

with brows pinched and tongue out
i've said, HERE! this is the one!
really, so certain
while Peter, tsk, tsk'd

but then, -NO WAIT!
that was all wrong
what i really meant was this

and i changed, and you changed
and they changed, and holy green zebras
everything changed
and so
scribble, tie and hurl
up to the heavens once more

while the moment, my mind, our heart
renegotiated terms
i just kept slingin them stones to the heavens

until, one day, sure i was
that my pirate prayers littered the foyer
ruined Martha's soup
broke every window, beaned poor Lazarus
and sent Stephen back to therapy

and as is my way, to my senses
i arrived far too late

from heaven, the light warbled in waves
the ground rolled like thunder awakened
and as i fell prostrate in Holy terror
i heard, ENOUGH!
cease and desist.


which prayer might He answer?
i pondered in mumble
did i really mean any of them?
they seem crazy now

if fly i could, i would soar into heaven
sneak in the back door, overwhelm the janitor
gag, bind and closet him
take his place, his broom
clean up the unrighteous mess

I'd find all my twisted prayers
in the soup, in Samsons's hair
Mary's laundry
scattered about the king's feet
and rid them i would, take back the chances of pirates

I'd sweep the glass, paint the porch
and sail my escape back to earth

but i can't fly
and the bells have chimed
so wait i must, for what?
where i said, oh, please do!
or later, when i said, oh no! please don't?

will He find the one where i accused Him?
the angry one? the most foolish one?
will He ignore them?
sweep the whole bunch into hell
to keep Satan amused?

i wait, shipwrecked
tossed in the storm
of a pirate's prayer

Friday, December 9, 2011

jingle bells

listening to Barbra Streisand singing have yourself a merry little christmas
yeah, right
all our troubles will be out of sight?
faithful friends who are dear to us
will be near to us?
the good ol days?
give me a frikken break!
yeah, yeah-humbug and all that frikken nonsense

every year we fall for this, buy into it
lock stock and barrel
we mace and punch our way through black friday for that x-box 17 (don't worry, there will be)
we empty our wallets hoping to buy happiness
the first hour of Christmas music is nice
the second hour brings nausea
the third, rage

mel torme wrote the christmas song in july;  in Arizona!
jack frost nipping at your nose?
more like
scorpions stinging at your toes

i don't mean to bitch
God how i want it to be so!
every year i ante up hoping i'll get it right
but i've lived too long
seen too much

the pogues are the only ones who sang christmas honestly
merry christmas, you horses arse!

i am glad we're such a hopeful people
hopeful being a euphemism for gullible
but this emptiness, this hole, this longing, loneliness
most of us harbour
like a virus that has seen one too many antibiotics
it has learned to turn the tables
using the cure to its advantage

and so we fall for it
thinking, maybe, just maybe, we just need more
more music, more lights, more egg nog, more presents
but the more we are, the less we become
let's see einstein solve that one

but don't cross me off your christmas list just yet
i'm a child at heart and i remember the times
before the virus grew herculean
and i'll try
i'll hope
and i'll wish upon stars
but i can't assuage the fear
that come january
the only one merry
will be the shopkeeper off to the bahamas
merry christmas

(jus so ya know, my spellcheck isnt working again and i'm a lousy speller)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mr. Throckmorton, if you please

if it turns out shirley mac really knows her stuff
and isn't just the biggest wing nut since a '74 Schwinn
i hope i come back as Ernest Throckmorton,
the son of Norman and Elizabeth Throckmorton

there's gotta be money in a name like Throckmorton
dontcha think?
even a locker at the club

Ernest bass is a hillbilly
ernie baker would be a decent third baseman
Ernest tubb is a hillbilly that can sing better
than the hillbilly Ernest bass
Ernest e zackmueller would be an old farmer that smells bad
ernie johnson would be the junier varsity coach
and ernie potts the garbage man

but Ernest Wainwright Throckmorton II would reek of old money!
and there's a lot in a name

ever met a homecoming queen named Bertha? Edna? Gertrude?
nope, there all over at Beulah's for a slumber party
ever know an eddie who wouldn't swindle ya?
or a small laughless hank?
ever known an andy you couldn't trust or a whore named Martha?

see! that's how it is!
i was just born with the wrong name
it just lays there like a sack of cement
ho hum
siblings too, tom, bob and sister sue
geez, i've been doomed from the get go

do you think it a coincidence
that the farm girl was mary ann? the actress, Ginger?
the buffoon, gilligan and the rich guy, Thirston?
or that the barber was floyd, the dopey deputy, barney
and the butcher is always sam?
and Marcia Brady was the all American cheerleader
while brother Greg-the star quarterback
-did i mention archie the bigot? his dim witted wife edith,
or fred, the junk man?

and of course, the maid would be alice and the aunt, bee
yeah, of course
hollywood has always known
but if i was Ernest W Throckmorton II,
boy, then you'd see something!
I'd be there in my dark study
cozy in my smoker, sippin my brandy
the dark book case lined with important looking shit
no one would ever actually read
i would settle my pipe on the small table
once owned by Thomas Jefferson
poke the fire, (cuz that's what us rich guys do)

i would rattle my wall street journal
and uh hmm a lot as i scowled
to the fools losing money

i'd bet i'd golf better too
and write? Holy smokes how i'd write!
then i'd toss em in the fire and snort at how easy it is

i'd probably walk with a cane too, cuz us rich guys look cool that way
and I'd spend a lot of time at the window
hands behind back
sometimes rubbing my chin
cuz we rich guys think a lot
and i'd say, "Good day, madame"
and use a lot of big words to impress my colleagues
and i bet i'd never fart cuz we rich bastards eat good
-might miss that

oh! if only i was Ernest Throckmorton!
and you know what?
i'd marry Gwendolyn Steinhousen
cuz she has all the right syllables
and none of our children would have less than two
even the donald is never called don or the don

robert, thomas, richard and susan
see how easy it is!

but alas, it's too late in this life
just plain rick sinkel thud for a few more years
budweisers, bad golf, empty pockets
and Mcdonalds farts

but boy oh boy
you just wait til next life
then you'll see!
it's all in the name