Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nicole and Dan

I know most people assume I only think and write nasty, acerbic shit, so forgive me if I take a short break from the negative. I've been reflecting on my children, and how they've managed to grow into absolutely wonderful, brilliant adults in spite of my leadings. I encouraged their drowning in lakes and jumping from cliffs. I told them the dastardly tales of my youth and of my foibled history. I've led them in poverty all over this country and taught them that Pepsi for breakfast was perfectly fine. I've never imposed a curfew on them. I've never grounded them.
I've never had to.
For some reason they've just always had a weird knack for doing what's right and it still drives me crazy. It's so not me.
So I guess I must credit their Mother, though she swears it isn't her. Anyway, I was thinking on them a bit lately. This is what resulted.
I have a daughter. I love her dearly. She's grown now. A mystery always. Always sleek and under the radar. Words are used only when necessary.

the harbour
it looks still
and peaceful
from this hillside

I squat
ancient observer

was a time
the time
when I worked
the dock

she stayed close
back then

her wake was playful
her conning tower
to the stars

I rubbed her
I smoothed her
I polished her
-she let me

but the day
has grown on,
the shadows stretch

her wake is strong
full of purpose

she polishes
in her movement
a barnacle
wouldn't dare approach

so I walk the hillsides
that surround
her emergence

ancient observer

she goes out now
much farther
much deeper
by the learning
of her engine,
the motive
of her rudder
and the pull
of the tide

others watch
and give passage
to her sleekness
as she slowly disappears
below the surface

one day,
she won’t return
neither good nor bad
it just is
the way of life

so I walk
the hillside
ancient observer

and dream of where she’s going
and hope
her bunkers filled
and her seams dry

and I hope
as she slides
beneath the surface
that her periscope
will rise once
and turn
to look
for the
ancient observer
who looks from squat
upon a windblown


I have a son. I love him. He's brilliant, and funny when frustrated. Loves to argue. Dabbles in everything. Extremely creative. He always tries to do the right thing-nothing like me. I wonder where it will all take him.

a strange one,
this long, lanky

a hard thinker
from his roots
of tender lily

I don’t miss
the times we had
so much
as the times
we never had
and should have.

a boat builder
of tobacco sticks
he might have seen it float
-had I seen it float

he believes in science
and logic
and modern man

my belief in such
lies fragmented
in the craters
of a war
beyond this earth.

he wants,
I think,
to be battleship
but one that swerves
to avoid sea turtles
or stops to rescue
broken birds

I don’t know how to tell him
he can’t be both.

I just know he can’t.

he’s stronger than me
he will be battleship
in the name of progress
and logic.

I wish him well
but I wish him
stars over gps
and enough trouble
to keep him spirit

I will take the broken bird
and tired turtle
and swim for an island
that knows no

and dream
of tobacco stick boats
and a little boy
who once sailed
a plastic lid
across a lake
with a sister
for crew.

and miss the times
we never had.
(I sorrow greatly for any love I ever held back. I know them to be forgiving)


Monday, November 23, 2009

Making Sense Of It All

I have a problem. Nothing in this world makes sense to me anymore except crazy lyrics to washed-out old songs. Funny, I remember a time when I thought I had the world figured out, but didn’t have a clue what Bernie Taupin was trying to say. Go figure.

Making Sense of it All
Levon likes his money…

Google gave me directions,
last week
clickety tick
flippety whirr
zip! zip! zip!

we’re on a first name basis,
this Google fellow

he’s very helpful
and I trust him

so when he said left,
left I went
with a thank you
so very,
very much!

Levon wears his war wound
like a crown…

he was big
and ugly
this Pennsylvania
with stomp your ass

I told him about Google
and the beauty of
all sunshine
and enlightenment

you know, right?
he didn't know.

he only
and chewed
and nashed
and puckered both
our asses

I guess
to someone-
is not so large
a traffic ticket

Levon sells cartoon balloons
in town
his family business

I’m thinking Brazil.

will the mean man
from Pennsylvania
follow me
like Popeye Doyle?

the Rio Connection

my purse-cinched
feels rather bad
and wishes me well
from tenth story
mascara’d by the

blows up balloons
all day
he’s on the porch swing
watching them fly….

another man
who loves peace
and good prayer
went quail hunting
on God’s
Texas ranch

not sure he had a license
he thought
he did

feathers and ribbons
tangled in stars and stripes.
but the taxidermy man
can clean it up
with speeches
and bugles

now the quail
have taken arms
against the liars
with un-apple pie names
but I fear,
for quail are not always
so bright
and the pound
of flesh
must be sliced
and broiled to perfection.

take a balloon
go sailing…

I went into a bathroom
and sat down

the wall said,
“die niggers!!!”
“Mary Jo is a whore”

these quail
of very little brain

while Levon
slowly dies…

I listen to the man
of eloquent speech
and secret
and wish to believe
his banner of hope
but aged cynicism
stews a cold shoulder
in dented pots

he was born
a pauper to a pawn
on a Christmas day
when the new york times
said God was dead
and the war’s begun
Alvin Tostig
has a son today…

Bob Dylan
has a Christmas album
I guess William Shatner
was busy
I think Cat Stevens
felt too much
and now,
thinks too much.
John Denver
wouldn’t give the Russians
ten million
to fly their space ship
then nose dived
a puddle
near Pebble Beach
Stevie Nicks
now blasts Lindsay Lohan
for poor choices,

and Jesus,
he wants
to go to Venus,
leaving Levon
far behind…

Toby Keith
says he'll put a boot
in the ass of all
who don't fall in line,
and sings that
he likes that her kids
cry down the hall
the Dixie Chicks
dislike senseless wars
and oil driven

now Toby
wades fields of
green confetti
Natalie smells
of rotten
in banishment

How do we like him now?
just fine,
thank you

And Levon likes his money,
spends his days
in a garage,
by the motorway…

I remember the young man
laying lifeless
in blood and
a runaway's tears
at Kent state.
It’s fading,
was she fourteen?
does it even matter anymore?
the man who pulled the trigger,
the American soldier
who STILL eats
apple pie
and toe taps to Toby,
he who aimed
and pulled
does he remember?
67 rounds in 13 seconds,
damn, that's some shootin!
and they fixed bayonets.
did you know that?
we bayonetted our children.
-in Ohio

Cuz he likes the name,
and he sends him to
the finest school
in town…

I remember,
many years ago,
a woman with twin
just one year old.
-can you hear them
pleading for a pick me up?
she left them alone,
in the house,
while she went out
in her yard,
in the Maine cold
to hang laundry
or some other
such malfeasance .

this rebel
wore mittens,
white ones,
to keep her fingers warm.

A hunter shot her
right through the heart.
clean as a whistle
dead as a doornail.
the little girls waiting
must have wondered
of the sound,
and the cries of "Dear God help me"
that the neighbor lady heard.

how dare she wear white mittens
in her yard.
they bellered and arm waved
in uproar
the invading survivors
were driven
back to Iowa
where they belong.
ungrateful bastards!

the hunter lost his license
and was greatly
and all was well,
once more.
Her name was Karen Wood.
do you remember?
my friend, Google
can help.

if we reached up
and spun
the sun
would we get
another turn?

or just more shots?

he shall be Levon
he shall be a good man
in the tradition
of the family plan.

{since I've penned this, just last week, a 23yr old girl, a college student collecting frogs with two friends for biology class, was shot dead. BLAM BLAM!! right into oblivion. Her friend was only shot through the hand. Guess that one can't go on the wall. How frikken bad can one want a deer? Do deer in Virginia and Maine look like students and mothers? A year or two ago in Minnesota, an old guy hunting from his lawn chair in his driveway shot a horse out from under a young girl next door. Everyone but the young girl and horse thought it was a hoot. LOL}

Monday, November 9, 2009

Northern Sky

Well, if there's any I haven't completely offended yet, this just might knock the fence-sitters down. Sometimes we find ourselves out of our element and in the rush to blend in, stumble into something better left to experts. I've spent many years in the South. Being a foreigner, it took me awhile to find my way. But the truth is, I'm Northern. Always will be. I just need to be a better visitor to the South.


Warning #1- The language in this piece is rough and raw. If you are offended at all by such language, you may want to skip this read.

Warning#2-To all my friends south of the Mason-Dixon; please put on another layer of skin. I know the south is beautiful and the list long as to why so, this is just a tongue in cheek post about finding myself far from home.

I’ve swooned
and wooed
to the southern belle charm
just a hip swagglin whore
eyelash batting her way
confederate ranks.

oh, yes,
she slapped my sloppy white ass
while bubble gum popping
to my school girl giggle

“well, mah, aintchu a perky thang!”

why yes, ma’am, I demurred.
all rubbin my ass,
sweet and shy

I flashed my tah tahs
and threw up at Bristol
got banged by four
under a peach tree in Atlanta
and two-finger whistled
a Dallas rodeo
while he slipped his hand
down my panties
to take my temperature

she always said,
“ya’ll come back!”
but that’s the problem;
she always said it
and she always called me ‘Hon’

my ass got sloppier.

not sure if it was Bubba’s BBQ
or Bubba’s cooking me
over his rusty tailgate.

now don’t get me wrong,
ain’t nothing wrong with Bubba
or his bent up gate.

ain’t nothing wrong with
Earnhardt or Bristol
or getting fucked
under a peach tree
by boys baked
in the jungle heat
all ‘baccer plug droolin

but I woke up
one day,
all tramped out.
I smelled it fore I seen it.

I tried from the window,
but it was too small.
So I kicked open that door,
that mother son of a bitchen door
and stepped outside.

There it was,
higher than I remembered it.
bronze and gray
and three sheets to the wind
yet stone sober
and beautifully stoic

the northern sky.
My Northern Sky.
The sky that coddled my wet dreams
in moose shit
and bear scratch.

the sky that froze the moon white
and lured me to hidden wonders
the sky that made me one with the universe
on starry nights of chosen solitude.
The sky that understood Christmas
and strong armed spring behind the rockies

it shouldered me,
in the doorway
through mournful cries
of a weeping wind
that a cypress
could never translate.
but I could,
with the help of a pine
and a hungry grayjack

the southern lady
wouldn’t give two shakes of a stick
for this bullshit we call North

blizzard sittin
to a five gallon bucket
on a twenty below field of scarred ice

mosquito slappin
to the last sunfish
on a loon guarded lake

snow shovelin
cable jumpimg
pipe freezing son of an ornery ass mother

we’re too stupid to make money at a yard sale,
we just wanna get rid of shit
and our barbeques
are mostly just hamburger

A girl hardly ever
gets banged by four guys
under a tree
cuz it’s too damn cold,
pine needles hurt
and she’d slap em silly
for the try

So now my ass
is not so sloppy
I’m relearning
“good deal” and “you betcha”
and I’ve become invisible
below 72 degrees

my perfidy forgiven,
the Northern sky
has come to scold
and take me home.


Monday, November 2, 2009

My Old Foe, Death

Death is a cagey bastard. It rarely comes right at you and if it does, it does so at lightning speed. It has a way of showing disinterest until it creeps from the shadows and coddles you into it’s clutches. I choose to search it out, keeping my enemy close, the better to keep an eye on it. It has a need to be in control and that is the battle I choose.

I walk through fields of amber and grey
boot heavy and heart full
all jangle and beat
in search of one who feigns
and waves along
with nonchalance

a foe I wish to draw near.

my life falls heavy
upon my chest
in anchored breath
of heated sorrow
and wasted want

bare and Poseidon-like,
a back of brass and iron.
banded arms in lock formation
jeweled in blood and blight
as emerald and ruby
these eyes of hardened deceit.

echo this,
echo I
hollow made thus
erringly so
you of yesteryear and forever.

but yet, I call
even demand
to one who flicks
the ash of man
across the chessboard
of who dare?
I dare

I search you
in hunt of red October
and dip my fingers
to the depth
of your despair
in beleaguered plea
of selfish surrender.

I spy not
the whiskers of your age
nor the grain
of your youth
but the stench of your choice
I discern
in these fields
of inglorious restitution

and my eyes glint
as my tongue clears the scabbard
of notched forlorn

but you whisper goodbye
and trace
to the whisper of your
the magic
in the chicanery
of your choosing

and once more, you have greased my grasp
with your laughter.

sheath full
of dull worn edge
boot heavy
with rusted jangle
and heart weary
yet alert,
narrow eyed
to the shadows
that chase
along the edge
I plod on


when cease I to hunt you
your cutlass shall claim my blood
in chains
of sullen embrace.