Monday, January 30, 2012

Clyde Columbus

I know you've heard of Christopher Columbus, but have you ever heard of his second cousin, Clyde, the lesser Columbus? It was his idea, ya know.
Clyde (his friends called him CC) was older than Chris and a real dreamer.
He would smoke opium with the Asian girls down at the red dragon massage parlor and get visions, crazy ones.
Not ones as crazy or ambitious as a new trade route to the East indies, CC couldn't give a rat's ass how his shit arrived or from where. But he would get these crazy dreams about a new world where cows were black, furry and enormous. And men were sitting in tents smoking stuff while the women did all the work.
"Wow, Hookie! Did you see that?" he would say to the naked girl playing with his balls while he
peered into his exhaled smoke. Her name was really Hukio but Clyde was never good with Asian
names and again, didn't give a rat's ass. Hookie would look up, smile and nod playfully not having a clue what he said, but anytime he said anything she just squeezed his balls tighter and this seemed to make him happy. All in all it was a fine relationship.
The more he smoked, the more he saw. A land of white sand beaches, lush meadows, grand mountains.
But he never knew where this new world was until one day, Hookie's friend Tamiko gave him some magic mushrooms before sitting her pretty little flat tush upon his face. It was then, finally and all at once that CC unlocked the mystery. As Teeko's (as he called her) juices flowed over his course beard, onto his tongue, and mingled with the mushroom sauce, Clyde s eyes flew open wide and there in her dark bush, he could see the map.
"Teeko! For Christ's sake, could you sit still?" CC mumbled into her clit. "I'm trying to read."
The frantic girl smiled, nodded and began to grind even faster, figuring, what else could he be asking for.
No matter, Clyde had seen it. The new world was directly West, straight across the ocean.
For the first-and only time in Clyde's life, he felt the tingle of ambition. It sprouted almost immediately into determination and as his mind began to fire up the rusty gears, his cock fell limp. No matter, he had seen the new world, and it was filled with half naked dark haired babes who could bring it back to life and they were just waiting for a king to discover them.
The first thing CC had to do was gain respectability so he could gain a following and sponsorship.
This wouldn't be easy as he had already established quite a reputation far short of respectability, and though he knew he needed a wife everyone admired, he settled for the scrawny snaggle toothed wench
with the crooked nose who worked down at Juan's diner. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be fast and easy as even Juan grimaced in anguish when he looked at her.
Next, he subscribed to National Geographic, which was quite thin back then, and studied how these loony bastards thought and spoke.
He then invented the New World Foundation and got every bum, thief and prostitute he knew to join, knowing quantity was as good as quality in a pinch. Clyde not only had connections in high places through his drug and prostitution rings, but he also was quite a con artist. He once misplaced an entire ship of Asian whores, then convinced the shipper to compensate him for a non-delivery.
He began to dress well, if not quirky, and to speak as though he knew what he was saying.
It all only took four years and there he was at the harbor saying goodbye to all the lords and Noblemen who had given him their money and seemed quite happy to see it sail off to God knows where.
He kissed his wife, Trudy, on the forehead as he couldn't stand to kiss her face and released the sails to the wind.
Clyde's flagship was the Queen Hookie, and three sister ships tagged along, the Pinto Bean, the Santa Bertha and the Moroccan Lady.
Having not a clue just how far it was across the sea, Clyde stocked enough food to feed his band of miscreants for six months. He could have gone longer but he stocked the Pinto Bean and Bertha with mostly whiskey and rum.
It may have helped if he actually had seamen for a crew instead of the criminals of every variety he convinced the local judge to release to his care. And it may have helped if he had a plan beyond a map he had seen emblazoned on Teeko's cunt while he was in a psychedelic state, but sail on they did.
It's hard to say where all they went those first three months as only one man knew how to read a sextant and he never saw a sober moment once land was out of sight.
But they hit storms somewhere where it was warm, floated in circles for weeks in a place without wind,
had a three week party on some rock Clyde dubbed The island of CC, faced a dozen drunken mutinies,
and all fell ill as they had no doctor and all the wrong food.
But none of this mattered, at least for awhile.
Clyde had seen a vision, which grew roots and sprouted like kudzu over the men who knew that , for them, it was either paradise or back to the hoosegow.
It's amazing what a man can do with a vision, hope, and two ships stuffed full of liquor.
But after the four month mark, when the battered ships lumbered along perilously low on food and nearly out of rum, Clyde felt his first tinge of doubt, which was a seed for fear and it sprouted and spread like Sargasso over his deep inebriation..
Though he still had the support of most of the crew who faced long sentences back in a Spanish dungeon if they failed, for Clyde, it was too late. Fear has a way; it slumbers, growing strength while hope is yet high, then when doubt starts asking questions that hope can't answer, fear pounces like a cat on a three-legged mouse.
Clyde made a strong bloody mary one morning with the last of the vodka and paced before the desk where a chart would be if there had been charts back then. Then he staggered to the mast and climbed as high as he could before pointing the spy glass West.
And in fact, other than the Isle of CC, they hadn't seen land in four months and they had about a month's worth of food left and enough whiskey for one good party.
Clyde looked down at the ship and the mongrels rolling bones, he then looked at the smaller sister ships that wagged like a retarded dog's tail and all the fleas hanging on. He thought now of failure also, and of the yarns he would have to spin upon their return to the people he had convinced to bet on him.
But you see, none of these thoughts mattered squat, the decision had been made when the first question doubt asked could not be answered by hope. That's how it works.
Clyde called the ships together, and now had to con a men whom he had conned into success, back into failure. And with that, The Queen Hookie and her footmen turned around.
What isn't well known is that they had stopped just sixty miles short of what is now the Carolina Coast.
Just one more day, maybe two if the wind was lazy, and they would have known success.
On the way back, they got lost not having a clue about Ben Franklin's gulf current that flowed North undercover.
The Pinto Bean was swallowed in a fog off St. John's. The Bertha was lost in a gale two weeks later taking all hands to the bottom, and the Moroccan lady sailed off on purpose having the last of the rum and enough of Clyde's psychedelic vision. Most likely they landed somewhere in Ireland and blended in.
The Hookie somehow managed to right itself now that the navigator had gone sober by necessity and floundered back to Spain eight months after leaving with a crew of five emaciated skeletons that longed for a warm safe dungeon.
Seeming that Clyde had suffered enough, his investors shrugged like it was just a bad night for poker, and moved on with their frivolous lives.
Clyde went back into the quiet life of opium dealer and pimp, divorced his hideous wife and the story of his journey was mostly forgotten except for the time his cousin Chris came by to see him and
CC relayed the whole bizarre fiasco to him during a drunken orgy.
But Chris, being a Columbus, actually believed in his tale of the vision. But he also knew that no one would invest in such a crazy scheme again, so, being a Columbus, he conned new investors into a more lucrative adventure. A new trade route to to the East indies.
Being a true Columbus, there were the usual fuck-ups and he turned around once before finally meandering his way to something he had no idea what to do with.
That's how life works, that's how worlds are discovered and history rewritten.
Who knows how Clyde would've made out with the people his idiot cousin called Indians.
Who knows how what is now America would've turned out.
We'll forever be sixty miles short of finding out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Civil; Polite
War; Open armed conflict. Hostility, struggle

Sooo, what is a civil war?
America, the land of freedom, had one.
Six hundred thousand died
I would say were slain and butchered-but in truth, more died from sickness than from wound.
Is it any wonder? Is one not the other?

Each combatant thought they were right, that God was on their side.
There was Antietam,Shiloh, Stones River, The wilderness (Twice, for good measure) and the mother of all Civil battles-Gettysburg.
So many guns fired, so many swords drawn, so much blood spilled.
But in the end, at Appomattox, the guns were silenced, the swords layed aside.
There were no harsh words, no outrageous demands, no joyous celebration.
Just an agreement that enough blood had been shed. It was time to move on and reconstruct.
Finally, there was grace, mercy, forgiveness, and civility. And an end to a crazy conflict, leaving only remorse that the battles had lasted so long, and caused so much damage.
Recently, I and she layed down the sword. Silenced the musket.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


if i hadn't gone to Oakland
perhaps, we wouldn't have met
and perhaps, she wouldn't
have left, perhaps
i wouldn't be leaving
or maybe even staying

click click
hear the key? turning
in moments,unlocking,
exposing, unleashing
the eagle falling to flight

this, the cliche' of fables
-life is all about choices.
the simplest of math that
ignores the crooked finger
leading us to such

a star explodes, this,
is a happening
to wonder
the choice

looking to the sky, i
see a great maze
ever expanding that
calls to be explored
-if we dare

a narrow passage ahead,
a narrow passage behind
without aerial view
to cheat the way

to squat and grow moss,
a choice
to retreat to the safety
and comfort of
what's known
where fear is consoled and
mislabeled as security

and where there they wait
for your safe return
riding upon their choice dressed
in soft linen on polished tables

we might press on
til an open door
we discover,

this is the happening

and in this place of
no shape or size
law or promise
we find doors

and as we are one alone
only one may be entered
this the choice
this being life
where we meet

if i hadn't gone to Oakland
if we hadn't loved
if she hadn't left
if only i had grown moss
or returned
to where fear
dies of boredom
in shades of silhouette

but i did, and we did
and she did, and
i didn't
so here we are

surely pain and consequence
are the risk
the surety
for alone I've forged
hunger and thirst

if i hadn't gone to Oakland
and if my father hadn't
fucked my mother
that hot July night
but this is life
choices from happenings
happenings from choices

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lovers and Friends

just now, i look out through the woods
where the frosted evergreens shiver,
and shudder, where the soft snow
butters the crust of the maples
and i think,
i'm gonna miss you

when i walk through woods such as these
deep pockets down, and i see the lone rabbit,
and the grey jay searching, and those
weeds along the swamp that collect
tiny balls of snow, and wave, like
a child's balloon,
i know i'm gonna miss you

and when i see an ocean stretching
like a yawn, a sunset
over mountains, and a girl
on a bike peddling past
a vineyard, surely,
I'm gonna miss you

and you, hanging out the window
inviting life to come- but be
gentle, and when i see a girl
sitting on a stoop, wondering
of the night, and the nights
to come, oh yeah,
i'll miss you too

and of course, you,
when i see that stray cat
you'd never turn away from,
and when i see diamonds
that sparkle like your eyes
when life knew breath
you, i will so miss

hills in summer and jagged lakeshores,
Superior when it roars, a garden, a bench by the delta,
trains in passing and rivers rolling
a trail grown over where once
love walked

you, the eagle
you the hawk
geese up high, ducks on a pond
the Carolina Wren
when it thieves

when the morning comes
til the sun sets
leaving the moon
to haunt my shadow
in reminder of all i've known
and all i've let go
you, all of you,
surely, i will miss,
and some of me
as well

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

dark shadows

the moon of white light
oh! what dark shadows she casts

beneath this insidious rock
slices are carved in snowy hillsides
where the hare is discovered
and the fox is fed

the oak casts drunken spells
upon the fears that play
beneath the midnight labyrinth
while the owl spies

yes, by all means, lovers
swoon naked and on fire,
viscid beasts unleashed
beneath the power of mirage

tides roll, churning
the underbelly of
deep hidden danger
where shadows are void

will you sing to me, my love,
beneath the chill of
the autumn moon?
is this not the poetry
that bleeds newborns?

romance and promises
fiction of the dark night

yes my love, this
fire we will burn
where the white night blazes

and let us pretend
as the restless hare in crimson
that the shadows
will not give us away

Saturday, January 14, 2012


the bars slide shut like a boxcar door in frozen warsaw
while the lock stamps finality

I've been to prison
i oughta know

head counts and yard time
three meals a day, in sync to the minute
there are books you can read,
and those you can't
glances you can acknowledge
those you dare not
scratches on a wall
chk chk chk chk
tic tic tic

you learn to survive
-not win the game
for you've already lost
but you adapt
almost grow comfortable
a ballgame comes on the radio, and
if, you close your eyes tight enough,
you're almost there

a model prisoner?
one that obeys
my crime?
being a model prisoner

the wind whistles through the trees
and if i close my eyes lightly enough
it carries me beyond the ridge
beyond the borders
beyond the fixtures
where dream coloured visions
blow a curtain through an open window

i oughta know
I've been free

breakfast? probably not
lunch? if i get to it
supper? we'll see

the days sailed by as ghost ships
far out to sea under broken sky
the nights
layed me down
in the cool comfort of a sleeping wake

kisses were tokens to the roller coaster
miles were trinkets that shined
choices were guiltless
and tomorrows rushed blindly
deaf to the dangers and
armoured to consequence

i broke no rules for there were none
but the rules found me careless
and broke me

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Sands Of Time

It had been a wedding gift, this record, and  appropriately, the song's title was The Sands Of Time. The Perry Martin Orchestra performed it beautifully, and once or twice, they even danced to it as if still on the beach where they were married.
When he was at work, she would put the record on the old Victrola and make up lyrics for the melody as she did the breakfast dishes, washed the kitchen window, constructed dreams..
At first, it made her believe, later, it made her remember a happiness that was or wasn't real and that's the great thing about a song you write the lyrics to.
At night, when he came home from work, she tried to teach him the lyrics, show him how well the words defined their melody. She would sit upon the arm of his chair of refuge and sing to him while he smiled up at her and tried to sing along.
"What do you think?" she would fairly burst. "Isn't it perfect? isn't it us?"
As she squeezed his arm tenderly and swooned to the music, he would smile and hum along as she sang.
Music changes as time rolls by, as does everything. Perry Martin became Elvis Presley and then The Beatles, then the Stones, Dylan, Zeppelin, Madonna, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, but still they held onto that old Victrola, that first record, and the words she gave it.
She taught it to their children, to her family, to his, their friends, and anyone else who would listen.
And all this time he smiled and hummed along, but in truth, he never was crazy about the song, never really got it, and the smiles grew forced as the humming turned to gravel.
It's funny how she held to that song like a flattened rose in a blank album. If she did tire of it, she never let it show but rather, sang it all the louder and played it even the more.
Have you ever heard of the Perry Martin Orchestra? Didn't think so. It was a rare recording, and in fact, only one copy existed.
One day, as she washed the morning dishes and watched the birds sail before the window, the record skipped and she nearly panicked. Pausing mid-wipe, her face froze statue as the same part of the song played over and over. It was the place where her words sang "we will love beyond the sands of time"
and as she sang the verse over and over, the tears hidden deep within denial sprang forth and the birds flew away as if knowing.
Somewhere far away, far beyond miles and her reach, his sprang forth as well as if on cue.
That night, on the arm of that old chair, she pleaded as the song spun in the worn groove.
"Can you fix it?" her desperation asked. "Can we replace it?"
Hanging his head and shaking it, he listened as she sang the verse over and over.
There is a place where a battle must be faced, cannot be ignored, and truth must be shaken from the limbs like fruit gone bad. Perhaps the tree must come down. Maybe the only victory to be had is in a surrender long overdue. As she cried and sang all the louder, he knew they had come to this place and rising from his worn out chair of refuge, he took the long walk without smile or hum, raised the needle, lifted the record, and broke it in two.
His heart broke, same as her's, the only variance being cause.
She wanted to sing that song forever.
He never did sing it, but hummed along far longer than he should've, lying to her heart cruelly, far beyond the sands of their time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The German Bar

i went to the girl in the German bar
but the french had won her back

she had been fresh, dark-luscious
ripe on the vine, dripping in succulence
and my future, she held in her locket

she could wink with her lips
and smile with her eyes
a fine trick to a boy shedding innocence

or perhaps, innocence
shedding the boy

i went meaning to ask her
did she remember?
was my future yet hidden in her locket?

but my future i found instead
in her tired eyes which long ago
forgot how to smile

so we said nothing beyond
a glance to the mirror
of an innocence
we sold so cheaply
not knowing
we could never buy it back
not even for a moment