Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Busted out

the trick
is to go fast and go far
right there, on the edge
of where the four winds
come together

out beyond the amber ridge
across the rio bravo
makin sure, to leave no tracks
in the desolate valley

and forsake the roaring greyhound,
the trap of her easy ways, rather,
leap for that rambling boxcar and
her screeching iron wheels that
grind regret deep into polished rust

first day out, i traded my old plow horse
and sterling silver pocket watch
for a sprite apache pony, not five
hands high but a real coal burner

and i turned her north, then kicked
her west, before finally pointing her south

course, they hung the posters
on the ass of rats in subway stations
tucked em in the purse of grieving widows
and i even seen one on the ferry
at st louis, but

they never had a clue

while they was off a chasin shadows in fargo
i was bathing the dust off in chihuahua
had whiskey for breakfast
she had my smile for lunch, and
i had her love for supper

then rode with the moon while she dreamt of tomorrow

there was that cabin i built me
that spring in the high sierras
way back deep, in the tall tall pines
and the winter's worth of wood
i chopped in july, just to leave
in august with a never look back
ceptin to check my tracks

i even played priest for a short spell
in them carolina hills while they
hunted me in omaha
but i lost my congregation
over disputed prayer and
followed the ridge east

gave my john henry to a merchant
bound for england, just to chase
a good beer and shake the buzzards
only to find,- them folks got buzzards too

i left my mark on the wall
at chantilly's in ol new orleans
dirtied the sheets at Greta's
in fairbanks, and married
a pair of wolves in walla walla
in exchange for their secret

but i'm growin old and the times
they are a changin, and my bones
how they ache, and my pony's
gone back to the wild herd

and i've lost a step and the shine off my edge
too many nights i snuff the fire hearin
them hounds, a little closer than last night

my bread has grown stale
the whiskey seems watered
and the warden never retires

so the time has come, i reckon
to see if chief joseph was right
or just a damn fool who
smoked ancient ideology

do i lean to this tree, listen to her song,
and just wait for the posse?
or do i ride into town, turn in my ways
and finish my sentence in their cage
of forged iron?

it's true my crimes were nefarious
and rebellion must prove a just cause
but still i can't help but wonder
have i got one more ace in these
worn out cards? do i play my last chip?
steal one more pony, take one last
run for the border?

i hear the hounds
they've got my scent
but i heard there's still
some gold left up in the yukon
and still a few like me
searchin, runnin
tryin to decide

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Long Dance

i entered because i thought we could win
and though i knew my talents were lacking
it was my stubborn stamina
and your prowess
that teased me of the prize

well, hell yeah, why not!

and durned if i didn't do ok for awhile

the bocanova was a breeze
and that night we tangoed?
that year we did salsa?
just before the cha cha cha

who knew i could do the samba
and did you see my feet move to the polka?
while the flamenco was a snap
it was the anaconda that
carried us through April

but the lights dimmed, the music grew faint
and my legs turned all gummy
while all those cheering us on
grew fewer and fewer

still we hung in there, though,
not even sure of the prize
and who woulda thought?
how could it be?
that finally, just short of the prize
it was the waltz we learned
so long ago
that did us in


Well, blogger has changed again (writing this on 4/23/12) i can't figure it out-don't even know how to get to the dashboard! And once again I come here with an unhappy offering. So I think I may hang up the quill again, maybe just republish some of my faves from the last few years.
But who knows, I'm anything but definitive or stable.
Meanwhile, here's today's downer. Have hope! it may be the last. hee hee

of all diseases, there is none so cruel
yet none more fair, than old age
it forces us to find a sense of humour
we do not possess
and apply it to something
anything but funny

the only cure is to rob it
by catching a train
bound for a gorge short a trestle

apparently, God finds it funny
for He gave us ears and a nose
that never stops growing
while everything else shrinks
pretty funny eh?

the man who stormed Normandy
now looks like the empty shell
he bled into on his way here

he shakes as she ties his shoes
wipes his chin, reminds him
where the bathroom is

back in that little ballroom in'49
she laughed,
like jesse james blowin a vault,
while her skirt swirled, twirled and fairly flew
and the young boy felt so damn lucky
just to hold her hand through the ride

that skirt is long gone, the boy too,
and besides, it's hard to twirl
with a walker being your partner

a woman's hips grow wide, wider, square
while her ass grows flat and southward bound
a man's just disappears, as he's left with
the choice of hitchin em up to the moon
or just lettin em fall to the earth

we long for life, cling for more
and who can blame us?
one trip on this merry-go-round
and then anybody's guess what next

but there's a price for such desperation
to pile the cake with candles
and I guess, thank God,
it doesn't happen all at once
and we don't go through it alone

but as i feel the symptoms take root,
see the eyes that look with pity
upon my cancer,
i can't help but take occasional glances
toward the train heading for a gorge

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Baking Lesson

i watched her, from deep in the attic,
from the far corner of the cellar,
from my secret window

with unsteady hands, she broke the egg in two
then, yoke from white, white from yoke,
she schlopped it back and forth
while softly humming a tune
i yet did not know
-the bakers abortion

my pants were too long, too baggy,
and my shoes straggled untied
and i noticed, just beyond her curlered hair,
the sun shining through the dirty window
far too small to escape through
not even if we went one at a time

the sink dripped her minutes
while morning from night
yesterday from tomorrow
hope from desperate dreams
she schlopped, keeping
both of us hypnotized
by it's charm

my nose was running dirty
my hair a tangle of ruin
but she didn't notice
nor he, who was at the diner
eating an omelet

but the lesson she taught, i remember,
i know just how to do it

step one, ignore the boy in the window
draw the shade, and take the curlers out,
now toss them in the oven, turn on the gas,
but don't light it.
the ticking sink will be the fuse

now take one grade A large bomb
throw it against the family portrait
which never spoke the truth
never saw the sunlight
and watch it explode

that's how you make a cake
and even the diner will rock
from the tremors

Thursday, June 14, 2012


a battlefield should be honest, with no aces up the sleeve
or better yet, not a battlefield at all
the lion should lay down with the lamb,
the rich give his bed to the poor,
and the heart should always
be free to explore the treasures of love

but because this life is a battlefield
littered with the blood and bones
of an endless war
we all must carry a sword

when yet young i was, it
all seemed but a playground
where i ran free as the breeze
turning somersaults in mid stride

but here an ace, there an ace

and when at first my sword i drew
i surfed the waves, skied the hills
stayed a step ahead
and never noticed the blood

but the aces piled up
and somersaults failed

I'm not really sure when i began to walk
with cement blocks tied to my feet
through a field of quicksand
but once mastered, it's hard to unlearn

but here now, in this field of blood and chicanery
where so many battles have been known,
so much blood has been shed,
i long only
to give my victories back
for only a playground

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Healing

i went to the doctor
who tsk tsk'd his wisdom
to the window, then
hmph'd his sterile magic
to the silence, before
tossing his degree
to the fire

then i went to the headbender
on 16th avenue
she penciled and scritched
her "i see's"
crossed her bony legs and bony mind
and in grey flannel class warfare
went to the closet to ask her ouija board
while i counted the tiles in the ceiling

i climbed the great mountain
to seek the wise shaman
and as a beetle played among his beard
he leaned hard to his crooked stick
and told me
only your spirit can heal your body
but your spirit has died

so i took his magic wizard stick
and bashed in his head before
throwing his spirit off the mountain

i skulked to the dealer
with tiger shark eyes
and a diamond tooth
and he showed me his answers
in needles wrapped neatly
so i traded the wizards stick
for a trip to venus, and
it took me four days to find my body
when i got back
but the dealer had gone to the mountain

so now i come to you
whore of neptune
goddess of sin and
purveyor of pleasure

if failure is the answer
let the ride be pleasant

Thursday, June 7, 2012

turning black

some might suppose i write here of love
i do not
i write here, of death

ever stood at the stove,
watching the bacon burn?
it sizzles snap crackle pop
writhing in agony
turning black
smaller and smaller
under the turn of
your fork

i am nearly done

consume me yet
while the fat

Monday, June 4, 2012

Broken Pride

like the blizzard riding in low
pride sneaks, then engulfs
masquerading as a valiant virgin

when yet he was a young pup, he put
his nose to the air, and it was
fear that bristled his fur,
his eyes, yet then, were alive

in this great valley of sublimity
it's hard to tell the motive
behind the muscle we pin
the badge honour to

and it's hard to tell victory
from sport, rage from justice
as the weak grow strong
to subdue the weakest

he grew to be great
his greatness to be feared
the fear to be admired
and the first virgin snow, fell

the hills, he roamed as champion
while companions took solace
in his shadow bleeding
the life from his eyes

and i thank God
for the murder in the night
that his blinded pride
could not shield

for while he was off telling tales
of brave battles to the
plebeian's worthless applause
his greatest jewel was taken

and in the sorrow of his shame
in the last dim light of hope
that love might conquer pride
there, in the strength of brokenness
the life returned to his eyes
and his crown, he layed down

Friday, June 1, 2012


you make me laugh, you just
really do
got it all mapped out,
got it all together, happenin

better watch your ass Marco Polo
just when you think,
think that you know
just then, when you're
so sure
like a nebraska barn tornadoed
in June
it'll all come apart
shatter and fly into pieces
like that window
you hide behind

this i know
this i think
the folly of humans
is thinking
they know what they see
see, what they're sure they know
then, betting the farm on it

sail on Marco polo
sail on knowing