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, April 26, 2010

Possum Squat Birthday

It was a sleepy little town.

Naw, bullshit, this town was fucked.
Mayberry was a sleepy little town. A hick sheriff porch picking his guitar to his old fat Aunt that would never know the clutch of sheets in tightened fist with her legs spread wide. Not even Floyd would touch her and he aint touched nothin but himself in forty years.
I been in Detroit, Gary, Philly. Even lived in New York City, practically.
But those I get.
I know when to swagger and when to hang low. I know the looks, the colours and the code. I know the time and so do they. Our eyes locked narrow in passing say so.
But here, in Possum Squat, Ohio. I don't know anything. Can't figure out their code.
It was my birthday, another one on the road, and it seemed as good a reason as any for legging a saloon. The neon trip ticket I needed punched on this, another bullshit Thursday.
It was early; pre pork chops and mashed potatoes early. The sun wouldn't clear the edge of town for a couple hours and the highway guys were just taking off their orange vests out on the big road.
But I'm not on the big road. I'm walking the edge where ghosts hang and smoke, where there might be a sidewalk but isn't.Where crickets whisper in shame and fear. Just a lumpy stretch of grass along the old factory that now pierces discount nipples and rusty clits behind the red brick framing plywood windows. I look away in trip and stumble to the other side of the road.
A young knucklehead with two arm loads of bad tatoos is sweeping the sidewalk in his stupid as shit cutoffs with no idea why he's doing it. A big ugly dude rolls up on his hog while knuckleheads wife strolls the four little ones to the neighbors porch and fires sharp darts back over her shoulder.

I decide to retreat to the red brick and four times a year grass.
Knucklehead sees my retreat and mutters to the biker wanna be. Mrs. Knucklehead throws her hair defiantly and openly wonders. In this town where grass bristles the tension and the moon looks away in shiver, my cover is already blown and I'm unsure how to recover. But I'm thirsty, so press on I must.
Where am i going? To town, or where a town should be. How do i know where town is? like a turtle to muddy river, I know.
Porch hangin seems to be the big hobby here and they do it well. Wyatt Earp would walk this street unstrapped and sober. Women with too many small children chatter and bitch about how they got em and where the hell is he anyway?
The fucker.
I pretend my phone needs attention. Give it the fondle and shake but really am looking up out of the corner of my eye like Wyatt would.
This goes on for miles it seems as I zig zag dodging dogs and little girls holding torn rag dolls in a head lock.
"Hey, Mister. there's a cat over there."
"Oh, yeah," I spit, all hardened nails. "Is it dead?" Like I hope it is.
The little girl recoils as if I might take a swing at her. A total misread. In New York I'd a been spot on.
This town makes no sense. Octogenarian Buicks and banged rods on blocks. Dope smokers giggling over the fence at neurotic clover pullers. As I pass, the talk dims to hush and I either ignore the small herds or cast don't fuck with me glances depending on my reads.
As finally i draw near where a town once might have been, I find boot hill for rotted two by fours. The places open shouldn't be and the places boarded speak ruin for any that might have known them.
There'll be no drinks; no cozy barstool or sloppy horny bar wench to call me Hon. That's clear. Only escape.
If I just turn around I'll look like a damn tourist lost in shitville and an easy target for whatever it is making me uneasy. So I alter course, take other streets in the general direction of my truck with locking doors and dark curtains.
Ahead of me, nasty dogs, loud mustangs with a handful of misses, a basketballs bounce, and over there, a church full of pretenders, just half a block from the bingo hall where blue haired ladies pray for O 64.

But no bar and secretly I'm glad.
When i get to the dank gas station where my truck is anchored, dark is closing in and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Tonight it will be gas station beer as I sit on the back of my truck and look out over a field of neutral turf and try to remember my worst birthday ever.
I also wonder of this piss hole called Possum Squat and wonder how many escape and how they do it.
Do the others let them or do they have to steal away in the early morning?
I also wonder what makes this town dangerous and tense to me.
Then i decide.
Boredom and restlessness are near kin and here they clearly fucked. Hard. Sweating the balls of July.
And its offspring's first word was shit.
Nobody here cares and there is no plan beyond Mary Janes cherry on Friday night and four-wheelin Miller's pond on Saturday.
I've pissed the streets of murder in Detroit because I knew when and knew how. I swagger and elbow Chicago and Philly cuz I know the mood. When to bluff, when to back down.
I've walked into the seediest bar in Albuquerque and barstooled between the glint of sharpened steel because I measured it all in an instant and knew my place.
But this I don't know. Boredom and hopelessness out of control. Somebody's gonna get hurt because there is no plan and nobody cares. The gangbangers and drug dealers have a plan, a code, a way. And they don't need to fuck with me beyond letting me know they can.
But not in Possum Squat.

In Possum Squat the code is simple; why the fuck not? And that can get you killed.
I wonder. Was this mayberry? once upon a future before the moon shivered just to look down?
In the morning I'll move on. Pull stakes, draw anchor, fill sail and move. And I'll look for the sense a city of busy can offer. The safety of felons with a plan.


Thursday, April 22, 2010


When I was a child, in my parent’s bedroom upon the wall, there were a series of pictures that hung in cascading order. Lovers, maybe newlyweds. There were no features, only bodies, trees and a gazebo in black and white. Even then I thought them beautiful- a mystery in shadow. I’ve come to learn that nearly every couple married in that generation had a set of these. I think it would be marvelous to make love in a room lightened only by the glow of a high moon telling the mysteries of these ubiquitous lovers. Anyway, here is my tribute to those beautiful two who played upon so many walls.

in a world
of neon
and sixty-four plus

think of silhouettes.

the trees that line
the lakeshore
in silent coronach

the umbrella
hiding the grief
or lack thereof
at a ten o’clock funeral

a brother’s push
to a sister’s swing
as dusk
sweeps the playground
for stragglers
and dogs
that wandered too far.

the eagle
brown on blue
shadowing it’s prey
in I see you

two lovers
park-benched alone
to the backdrop
of a lakeside trail

can flatter with colour
and digital
delight in mega pixel
but the silhouette
beyond the reach
of new and improved.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've Never Been To Spain

If dreams were stardust we could spend on wishes what a life I'd lead. My list of things I want to do keeps expanding while the obstacles continue to grow. Not complaining, really. I've done my share. But there's a few things that will probably haunt my daydreams until the grave.

I've watched them
from below
always and only
colours made up
in the thoughts of forever children
in patterns brutal
in their beauty

the wind, the rudder
turned only by the mood of God

drift sail up and dip
land with a
thump thump thump
bounce and a drag

but i've never

her back
the alley artist's
her hair
a perfect black tangle
of tease and tickle
to the purple green dragon.
i long to touch it gentle
kiss it wild

i might've
-then everyone did
but i never

such a big ocean
full of life and dangerous stoicism
no cops no help no love
no hate
just power in deep motion
and death by container ship
the ultimate irony

the grave here is easy
with earth never more than five miles below

and time
ha! time
as much use here
as a snow shovel

wanted to
thought i might
where do you get one?
how do?
what about?
she did
i watch her from here

but i've never

can you imagine?
like that?
with those?
and her?
do people really?
my word
what if God is watching?
will it feel?

yet my mind has been there
a thousand times
a thousand ways
in secret silence

i guffaw with the others
you know-
that face
til i go there again later
in secret silence
as God watches

but i've never
not really

just go to go?
do as the moment leads?
leaving monuments to heroes?
break their rules?
with no net?
and wear the scar as smile?

i've known some
read of them
in dark passages
I was one

But I've never

"well I've never been to Spain
but I kind of like the music
well they tell me I was born there
but i really don't remember"
(Hoyt Axton-I believe)


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Wind

My feelings for the wind are ambivalent. It blows my golf ball where I would rather it not go and ruins my fishing. But it also stirs my soul and makes me alive. To me there has always been something in the wind beyond the flush of heat and chill. It calls me, it draws me and sometimes even leads me. It is my friend if not always a kind friend.

I feel the wind
inside out
as it tugs
and tears
from the things
I desire

can you see the wind?
I can
fingers waving
me home,
wherever that is

the pines
sing to me

it’s ok
like a slow moon waltz
in shadowed
of sleeping war

the flush
to my cheek
and hair gone awry
tell me of
on and
life in promise

I tilt my head
to bathing
of sun-bleached beauty
in the gentle rinse
of an ivory moon

for a moment
I fly
in freedoms
a moon carved cradle

join me,
there’s moon for two
and breeze
for plenty
while the pines
sing so lovely
a melody
to lances laid
and shields parlayed.