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.