Friday, November 22, 2013

"Cement Stoop"

The day Bud Lee
Poured a door pad
For Aunt Esta's white house.

Right after
The smoothing was done,
Gobbler Ervin ambled up
With coarse news.

"Someone blew off
JFK's head in Dallas."
Stillness clung to the
Air like black paint.

Momma's mixed cake batter
Became supper for
Emmy, our collie.
Even the dog seemed stunted.

Sobs in the night
Gave way to the light
Of a newborn day
Filled with death news.

Until the sight of the riderless horse-
(universal sign of a fallen hero)
The flag-draped coffin on a
Somber horse-drawn caisson…

Solidified the nightmare,
Much the same as 3 days
Curing had likewise hardened
Aunt Esta's new cement stoop.

---Bud offered to take it up
And pour a new one.
After some thought, Etts
Figured there was no comfort there.

Kennedy was dead and buried.
(Innocence shattered is glue proof)
The hard cement stoop
Mimicked sad canvas castaway hearts.

Anon endearingly-in stoic communion,
It remains as broad as it was long,
Serving still its unending term
Of remembrances of Camelot days.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The Undead Love of My Life"

Cotton is louder than she.
Every morning I feel for a pulse.
We brag about being married for a thousand years.
Without details of feckless romance or cosmopolitan tears.

I want my red wagon back.
I could pull it along with me everywhere.
There was never a coppery whiplash smile
Matched with languid, moonless eyes to bear.

Maybe today will be asteroid day.
When talent fails, indifference endures.
Please notice us, the flawed Dysan Sphere
In retrograde orbit, before we manifest your fear.


The grey cemetery
Remained hushed
That Halloween night-
There was a new occupant you see.

A slight, unmarked grave
Down the rill where the
Poor, the indebted, and
Ruffians were planted in their seasons.

"Who is this new Sleeper
In our city of the dead, Mayor Bones?"
"His name is Feyd, an orphan soldier
Killed by cannon this very day."

"Fielded, dressed, and dropped herein,
We grieve this boy, abandoned
In death the way he was in life,
Wrapped in a patched tarpaulin."

The wind rustled a hollow hymn
As the minor woodland creatures
Marched forth to the cawing beats
Of the mountain birdland band.

Some carried white rocks,
Still others ported red or blue
Fronds from Pastor Alan ferns.
Their effort, by morning, took shape.

Sunup revealed quite a sight.
Down in the castaway plots
A magnificent flag draped grave
Caught the eyes of all passers by.

A rough hewn marker
Had even been instilled.
The bird peck inscription read
"Here Lies Dear Hero Feyd"

"Raven-Haired Beauty of Gudger, Still Wanders"

The picture
On my tombstone
Doesn't look like me.

I wonder why
My friends who
Parked me never visit.

Am I forgotten?
For I am surely dead.
Does no one want to know the rest?

Where is my hero?
Sparked not the favor of even one?
(I never knew to either love or fear selfishly.)

The fat ochre worms-
Breeched my casket in death,
Personal vault & camaraderie in life.

My hair jet-black remains,
Ebony as the nighthearts that
Willed forth fate's abandonment.

I look in the parking lots.

I will find them, and their children…


"Private Thoughts in Olive Drab"

"Could heaven incarnate
Victor Lazlo to welcome me?"
The strange not-moo-cow musk-ox watches me die.

"How do they grow anything in all this water?"
The rice paddy hushes my wounds.

"Where is Alice?"
The smell of not-life is here.

"I have lost the road and the fire."
Mmmmm, lemon grass.

"Life Lies and Frights" or "Why There Really Is No Spoon"

The Faun
"Never be afraid to walk deep in the dark woods."

"A river uncrossed is a river untested."

The Minister
"Shallow spirits fall in winter."

Roasted Peanut Flea Market Man
"I've never been to Spain."

Etowah Fat Mama
"When in doubt, Twinkies."

"We never knew where we were, or when we were there, but we knew we were right."

Neighbor's Dog
"I love my master."

The Raven-Haired Beauty of Gudger
"Friends are like fairy dust."

The Rowdy Guy at the Dixie Youth Games
"People respect thermal cameras."

Carnival Girls
"We love to ponder ‘The Book of love'."

Driver's that Pass on the Snow-Covered Roads
"I am needed and wanted somewhere."

Jiffy Guy Cigarette Age Checker
"I admire your excellent taste in cheap smokes."

Undertakers (not all, but at least two)
"Caskets reflect the true essence of admiration."

"Blurred Turnstile" for Momma's Birthday

My memorial stacks
Granite blocks, an
Obelisk finger to heaven.
Pale rain fades the edges.

‘Flour layers patted,
Rolled in turn.
Massed with the
Imprint of Egytpians.'

No need to buy
A smart, loving card.
Messaged personally
Beneath factory poem.

‘Pie pans filled.
Sheepnose apples
Graced with sugared
Dual tender crusts.'

Failed presents.
Another duster or mug.
(I fear there was a stuffed
Cat you secretly desired.)

‘Home from school, work.
Fire built or ready to light.
Riches beyond Tiffany's
Surrounded undeserv-ed me.'

It wasn't yesterday,
But it really was. Now
When I hear the theme from
"Cheers," I cry alone.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Funeral in Montana Rain'

The old cemetery was so large
A very big crowd was required to
Gather the caretaker's attention.
Today's crowd was not quite big.

The song being sung by the blurry
Group on this day bereft of cheer-
That is what caught his ear,
Before the corpse was laid to rest.

The words spoke of the Red River
Valley and brought to mind a
Journey away from home, ne'er
Expected to return, yet revered.

The caretaker imagined the
Cowboys of the last century,
Young men, old men, hard men-
Who had lived the trail hand's life.

Then he thought of his Father,
The old shaving cup still sitting
Monarch-like on the kitchen shelf,
The desert tales told round the table.

Tears fell masked by drizzle,
Feelings of something forever lost
Hollowed out vessels of hope.
Horses neighed off in a canyon.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Limpin' Charlie's Blues"

‘But if you had regular hands, you'd be like everyone else.'
‘Yes, I know.'
-from "Edward Scissorhands"

His pale orbs glowed dimly,
Beneath black bangs on a head
Considerably large for such a
Short and heavy set.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
This boy is guilty of arson and murder
In the destruction of Lamb Lot Church
Parsonage and its occupant, Rev. Chop."

The jury agreed.
Charlie went to the pen.
Seventy years of hard time later,
Here's the real story of the Holy Fire.

(Told to me, Timmy Lee,
Neath the visitor's yard oak tree.)

I seen that Preacher out
Near Mason's meadow, where the
Wilson sisters were found
Missing their bonnets & their heads.

It was pitch black night,
I'd gone gigging and was side winding home
Dragging on a Lucky Strike I
Stole from Uncle Gus, when I spied Chop.

He was a flailing his arms and
Carrying on like a mad dog
Speaking in tongues and kept
Shouting into a blazing hot bon fire.

Then I seen this big figure
Rise out of the flames, and
I seen his horns and knowed
It was the boogerman then and there.

Next thing, Chop hauls out two
Blue-checkered bonnets from his bag,
Same ones I seen Mary and Sudie
Wilson wear many a day to school.

Then the Devil hisself spoke
Saying, "My servant, you shall
Baptize everyone in this community
Into my crimson congregation."

Well, I knowed then and there
That I had to stop this devil's deal,
I figgered a crippled boy might just
Do one good unexpected thing.

I followed Chop home,
Waiting by the shed till I seen
Smoke belching out his chimbly,
I was froze on what to do next.

Then I smelled gas and found
A full jug by the side of the shed.
Next thing I knowed, I had shambled
Up Chop's chimbly and chugged it full.

He come out flailin his arms like before,
Screaming and askin the Lord's forgiveness,
But the only reply I heard was a breeze
Singin' thru a weepin' willow.

Well I never had climbed before or since,
So I just sat there by the shed and watched
The burning end its solemn flourish,
Until the law came & seen me there, smiling.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"They Drowned Their Own"

The third plate had persimmons.
That was when I noticed the
Unfaded square on the wall,
Then I asked if I could make a call.

Breaking down,
Doesn't everyone sooner or later?
If AAA is all that good,
Why doesn't it include broken people?

So the rollback comes,
Loads us up and rides the
Night out of Belltown,
Driver asks if I smelled the river.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"The Giantess' Repose"

She lay still in Pacific shallows,
Pretending to be a part of skyline,
Listening to the planshopeschemes
The mini-people floated from shoreline.


Her breath mingled with surfcrash,
Sighing moistly a lost whalesong refrain-
Pondering their futile fear of outgrowing
Life challenges, these children of pain.

"Facebook in the Seventies"

Breaker one-five!
That's where we hung out on the Citizen's Band
Around this neck of the woods.

These were all dear friends,
Some I never did or will meet.
Some passed on way too early-
Brenda Marie Bowers Bolinger,
Von Miller,
Dale Snyder,
Tom Pearson,
Gene Pearson…
3's and 8's to y'all, and others I
Know not recent news of…

A roll call of best memories-

66, Doodlebug,
Little Deer, Suzi Q,
Mountain Goat,
Big Al, Minnie Mouse, Dr. Pepper,
East Texas, Kayo Kid, Wild Goose, Seatwarmer, Tex,
Jumping Judy(JJ), Bodyman, White Dove,
WT, Uncle Russ,
Ellie Mae,
Mr. Kool, Soul Sister, Jackhammer,
Hound Dog Man,
Stokley Boy,
Guitar Man,
Little T,
Brown Eyes,

See you all in that big coffee break in the sky,
Keep an eye out for Uncle Charlie!
This is Little Eagle, KFO-5700, signing off
One last time, forty years later…

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Peter Pan Meets the Clan"

My little town,
Is the best joint around,
Ne'er a sadly sound,
Even cats don't frown!

Good ole town square,
Is a retro street fair,
Clans stomp without care,
Faygo dandy pink hair.

Lo! A/ged K3 great hall,
Served with odd lobster ball,
Hardware store's mute jute call,
Fishing the darkman falls.

Musical high school,
Candy stripe teach rule,
Feckless plop glory fool
Covet Hook's peridot shoe.

No can/ned tea,
Free lobes DeeDee,
Creakie Coker's Salton Sea,
Buck's Bald TV.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Lincoln Spring"

Pitch away
Your greyblue slate.
Trim & comb that beard.

Raise arms in praise
Toward Gideon's gate,
Warm rays basked shore.

I joined no Church,
So blessed or cursed-
Seek sanctuary in May.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

“Dream of Beverly & Trampas”

Hurry and drop old sun,
Let black night’s blanket
Hug round and glide
The way back to the good.

Wearing puka shell necklace,
High top converse & LED watch.
High five the fast ride,
The backroads at night, the wood.

Beverly & me slip in the beer,
Beefsticks and cheese.
Play bingo in the back row,
Watch the movie on the hood.

Sic ‘em Trampas, sic ‘em.
Catch that rabbit by the cave,
Fight the wolf-dog after midnight,
Running red streaks when you could.

Beverly made me a Hobbit cake.
She read Lord of the Rings
Her senior Tornado year.
What a sight-

The Red Book of Westmarch traversing high school halls pressed against a Texas girl’s bosom.
I venture her adventure was ne’er traced again within those walls.

Combat with the wolf-dog
Took up more & more of Trampas’ time,
‘Til one day old Tramp didn’t even
Rest long enough to come home anymore.

I think those two still battle.
I may see them in my dark dream, in a silvery glade,
Surrounded by nightbirds and forest critters unseen.
Sic ‘im Trampas!

I don’t know if Beverly still has
The stuffed animal from the big fair that I won for her.
(She named him Smeagol)

She claims she don’t miss Texas, well I bet Texas misses her, like I miss Trampas.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

“The Scenic Route”

They had good times
Riding up the scenic route
To Knoxville for shopping,
Eating out, and people watching.

Passing through Tellico Village
When it was just beginning,
Seeing the mansions being built
On water’s edge bereft of livestock.

The fun to be had was great in
K-Mart, Target, West Town & Sam’s.
(That big Kmart on Kingston Pike,
Long closed now-had a great deli/café.)

She loved to look at greeting cards.
He loved to rummage through books.
Finding a bargain was great fun, on
Shopping trips with the Mother & Son.

Monday, July 1, 2013

“Duty in the Sea of Japan”

The U.S.S. Princeton flattop
Plowed the grey Korean waters,
Lighter by one Golden Dragon soul.

Seaman AM-3 Tubby Watson,
Sailed away from Mount Vernon,
Returned home in a casket
On a somber funeral train.

Never to ride upon Trigger again, or
Run with his dog Hitler in the wood.
Mourned and remembered by all
That knew of Tubby-his service, his good.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

“Ennui vs. Tattoos”

Well I’m old.
But I learned a thing or two.
The main thing being,
It’s easier to get marked than be marked.

Everyone is so consumed with ‘ISMS.
Lennon warned us in
“Give Peace a Chance”
Yet the deafness abides.

Listen children, listen-
Feelings linger, but they are real.
Tattoos are impulsive and lose their appeal.
Consider the lineage before you commit.

Being lonely and distraught is
NOT the same as having  a biker
Altamont singed on your buttocks.
Consider the results, please.

Be free, live the moment, feel the force
Rushing you through the framework
Accepted as your life.
Be not the slavish wife.

Get Pooh Bear tatted on your
Hundred Acre Wood, &
Admit that Who Killed Cock Robin
Is Irrevalent.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

“The Last of the Hat Creek Boys”

Gone are the moonlight riders,
Cowboys geared for prairie work-
Wearing boots that seldom shined,
Hats that four winds couldn’t budge.

Lost are the sounds of spurs a-jangle,
Cow-town saloons lighting the night,
Whiskey, cards, & Buffalo Gals
Wiling away the mirage of black velvet.

Forgotten are the bravehearts,
Their swagger now tempered with canes.
No longer the Kings of the range,
Faded into the backpages of old books.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

“Bada Bing! The Passing of a Soprano”

Silvio and Carm send regards-
Leaving as how you have Drop-
Kicked the slam start of summer.
Where is Gary Cooper, indeed?

Read your paper.
Watch the ducks
Swim endless circles
Cleansing their souls
In big blue.

Returned to Italy, in Italy.
Don’t stop believin’.
Abyssinia Tony.

Friday, June 14, 2013

“Mount Vernon”

Hills remember dreams,
Stones remember Queens,
No second renaissance here,
Yet all’s not quite as it seems.

Bottle of Old Crow,
Enjoyed during yard mow,
Wait for the Second Coming,
Hoping not to go below.

Don’t know the reason,
We sing so out of season,
No second act to show us,
Why freedom isn’t treason.

Secrets in the barn lot,
Lost virtues in the stew pot,
No second sight illuminates,
The last truth tribe, is forgot.

What to hate? What to Love?
All reason is a turtledove.
No second Son leads the way,
Colored lights hover above.

Enlightenment we seek,
One day of every week,
No second wind to buoy souls,
Spared the dire fate o’ Shoal Creek.

Here goes dear number seven,
Friday we’ll zumba in Heaven,
No second chance for Charlie Pride,
To dance & eat unleaven.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Thirteen days and no rain,
She holds the faded picture,
Imagining the swing over the creek,
The last race for a third-grade geek.

Spiders tutor textile workers,
Emotions learned via wikifeel,
How many days are revealed,
‘Til her shoulder meets the shield?

Bollywood celebrates misogyny.
The latest news crawl indicates,
Lasting sadness from her restraint.

Thirty minute infomercial,
Uninterrupted by any newsday,
The lost origin of caviar,
Drusilla appeal of a fast car.

Peeled. Cored. Eaten.
Lost between the folds.
Ironed out imagined wrinkles,
Invitation to a dance of twinkles.

Cinderella lived before guillotines,
Else the French would her have slain.
Whisper down the diving stream.
I am alive, and I am clean!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

“For Guinevere, Somewhere In a Rural Vale Trailer Park”

Don’t regret Act III of Macbeth,
Hold firm the picnic in the glade.
Walk out of the clouds
My daylight dream.

Work the noble sorrow,
Forget the temptations
The cottage porn industry
Tellico offers behind shuttered walls.

Lay your hands on my
Gravel heart, once granite obelisk.
Tour Reliance after dark,
In convertible farm trucks.

Open local cans of green beans,
Stuff them in fresh trout
Caught from the river where
Black men still fear to fish.

Spare the pained Pastor that
Martyrs his flock,
Leave the new highway for
Smart cars and Axis imports.

I sold my birthright
For a nightmare fantasy.
Don’t curse your prison,
Become its warden.

Breathe the wind,
Smile with the rain,
Warm the hollow
Knight’s chambers anon.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"The House of Gooch"

The Gooch house has no birds.
Lady of the corner tear smiles
When flattered with a hot iron,
Serenaded with pennies sink plinking.

(She once had potential,
She once drew horses,
She once was Queen HC,
She once breathed freewill)

Dreams afford snatches of sanity,
The dawn brings renewed sadness-
Her husband’s welcome to the light
“You’re no love, just a placeholder wife.”

To sleep in silent lucidity, to find peace;
These goals Mahalia met for her muse.
Grey night shades gave way to last tragic day,
The Gooch house has no birds.

“Safety Glasses & Seat Belts, or Modern Values"

My Own Work Life

So I worked for a Pearl Harbor company
That had a figurehead minority leader &
The real disenchantment of the whole façade
Was his only apparent concern of all the vast

Where are your safety glasses?
Where are your safety glasses?
Where are your safety glasses?

For the love of Peter, Paul, and Mary…
If our plant had blown up like U.S.S. Missouri,
The only question that would have been
Answered on the news & in the paper-whether
“He/she had their safety glasses on.”

My Own Driving Life

Run it down Haun straight
Over a hundred miles an hour
In a 6 banger pick-up.
Two wheels leaving the pavement,
Circling the A&W, funeral home burnouts.

Was the seat belt being worn?
Was the seat belt being worn?
Was the seat belt being worn?

Regardless of the floorboard Quaaludes,
Fake ID’s, THP maryjane, ripped mattress tags.
Trunks full of weevil wobbles and Rural Vale.
The news reports all focus on the
Wearing, or absence of, seatbelt rex.

(News Blurb)

“The truck struck three vehicles head-on before
Plummeting down a thousand-foot gorge
Into the only active volcano in Eastern Tennessee.
The driver was reportedly NOT wearing
A safety restraint, BUT he was wearing SAFETY glasses!”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

“The French Girls Still Love William”

Though his rhyme time
Passed ‘fore plastic love prime,
They still sav(i)or his prose
The way red paints a rose.

Their parents frown faun
Upon scissor runnings,
Drive-by gunnings, &
All things bunga-bunga.

House security admits The Bard,
All access pass through Abelard.
No one jests, for his bedrests-
Furrowed & shaken glacier fests.

The plight & pain,
The flight & fain-
Of the loves not wisely but
Too well-scarred offspring.

“Ohh-La-La” the French Girls sigh,
When his magic van rumbles down
Northumberland anon & doles out
All things fair & foul- Bill Pills.

Bereft of a thrill in the fast lane?
Remember, re mem thee Bard’s Tale,
Summer Ale, New Rochelle,
Secrets you neither tell or reve(a)l.

Cloaked in red velvet,
A caped/encased Ophelia,
Trapped under water, maybe ice,
Singing “sur le pont d’avingnon…”
Once, twice, thrice~

Friday, April 26, 2013

“The Liberation of Palestine Avenue”

The Gooch house has no birds.
Lady of the corner tear smiles
When flattered with a hot iron or
Serenaded with pennies sink plinking.

(She once had potential,
She once drew horses,
She once was Queen HC,
She once breathed freewill)

Dreams afford snatches of sanity,
The dawn brings renewed sadness-
Hus bland’s welcome to the light
“You’re no love, just a placeholder wife.”

To sleep in silent lucidity, to find peace;
These goals Mahalia met for her muse.
Grey night shades gave sway to last tragic day,
The Gooch house has no birds.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

“Hundred Dollar Bill”

‘Write my name down on a Franklin,
Then throw a smile my way after after,
-Race me over in the hof lane
Then try your best to ex plain
Why the reason for the season is you.’

“Can you drive a tractor?
Can you drive a ‘Cedes?
Can you drive a man straight,
To the depths of Hades?
Will the water float truth
Or drown it like Ophelia?
Trust the name you write now,
‘Cos soon you gonna hug ground.”


(Feel the dirt around you,
Tuggin’ breath out of you,
Pine tree be a cryin’,
South wind be a sighin’,
Lay you now a  dyin’.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

“Nightbirds Redux”

In the wee hours
We sing our dreamsong.
Still air dances with
Sweet secret movement.

There is no spoon,
Nor is there echo any
Ever from puresong,
Trailing verbs & reverb.

Silent hay rolls
Hide shadows within
Dark music mosaics-
Reality abstracted view.

Turns taken in sync,
Bereft of timekeepers,
Ruleseekers and rakes.
Smooth as light reflected.

In the fleeting eclipse end,
Where most sleep awakens
Our songs fly away with us
To the other side of the world…

Sunday, February 24, 2013

“Easter Grass on Route 66”

Jimmy Dean sausage is tasty.
Guess he knew what he was doing.

Never will miss Tellico or Ballplay,
Something dark lives in the bogs there.

Lighting a candle for Ted, remembering
Basketball games and scottyburgers.

The rivers here are dry, hardened arteries.
Where are the mobile home parks out west?

My cat detests liver, he leaves them for me.
Eating as road crosses whisper “He Lives!”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

“Grass” A Bantu Combination by Tim & Brandon, or possibly Kelvin

We’re lying in the grass.

We’re still lying in the grass-
The breeze raises us toward the sun,

And drops across our faces,
Our noses and our cheeks.

The more we leave our bodies-
The less we miss our feet,

And I’m alone in the grass.